After finishing Like Me and Talk To You, a few days passed when I wasn’t able to record (due to my temporary recording studio being re-occupied by its rightful owner, and everything else associated with reintegrating a 15-year-old back into a household and a family). It was actually good having a bit of time away from it. It gave me a chance to listen over anything (making my last.fm profile look a little narcissistic for a time), and I soon realised that the collection was leaning heavily toward relationship-oriented songs.
I think there’s a reason that most pop songs are about love or heartbreak: of all the things we are faced with, matters of the heart are probably the most difficult to understand; and art is so often a search for understanding. But it’s also a mode of communication, and I have plenty more to say than crap on about highlights from my lovelife.
Accordingly, I picked out a few appropriate songs from my considerable repertoire. (I also decided to write at least two new ones, and also record at least one song written by my friend Brianna Schembri).
I wrote Poster Boy a few years ago. I had just been filmed for the Channel Ten news, as the “man-in-the-street” offering my opinion and thoughts on the rental housing affordability crisis. I told them about my difficulties in finding an affordable house (at the time I had just moved into a dilapidated but expensive house after a three month search); I explained what I though was causing the problem; and I said what I thought the government should do about it. And there I was, on the 6 o’clock news (or whatever time it airs), sharing my wisdom with I guess millions of viewers. Problem was, I wasn’t really a man-in-the-street at all. I was a housing policy expert, working for a community based advocacy organisation that was trying to build public awareness of the problem in order to force governments’ hands to implement much needed reforms. It was all for the noblest of causes (and it worked ??? the State Government made one of their biggest ever investments in public housing and housing support services later that year), but it was propaganda all the same, and I felt bad about having participated in it. Hence Poster Boy.
This was pretty straightforward to record. I had previously recorded it with just guitar, vocal, and harmonica, so I already knew what i was doing with it. All I added was acoustic bass guitar. However, my friend Jill Young has subsequently written a cello part for it and hopefully soon I will add that to the mix. Then I think it will be done.
This is about two years old. It’s really cheating, because while the lyric is an observation of a destructive, one-sided relationship, it’s all based on things that one of my exes said about me. I guess you can???t always be the nice guy. Anyway, I literally ran out of time with this song; I recorded a guide vocal and an acoustic guitar part, but just as I was about to record the bass line my darling daughter T came home from school and needed her room back. I hurriedly did a few takes but that is no way to get a good track., so I packed up and am now waiting for some time and space to get back to it. I’ll post it then
For the last two weeks I’ve been back at work. It’s been good to be back among all my brilliant and wonderful colleagues, but even though I’m only working four days a week, combining that with running a household, looking after two teenagers and numerous medical appointments and dramas for one of them (my son J has a mystery Glandular-Fever-type illness, which is playing havoc with the demands of Year 12) has left me with little time to do much at all. Though I have been writing, which is good. Still, I expect things will settle down into a bit of a routine (it’s quite an adjustment going back to work after 7 weeks off), and then I should be able to use my day off and part of the weekend to record in very small steps. Onward and upward.