[adj] - Andy D Jackson explains the trials and tribulations of being a multi million selling award winning musician in his brain.
from busking to recording, live craziness to general musings, this is the blog for you if you like reading things written by people, because it is that...yep.
Ahh, the beach, wonderful place indeed. For the last 3 and a half years my beautiful wife and I have lived with the beach as our garden and a picturesque elevated view of the surrounding area as our window view. It's pretty special 😁
I am a creative type (writerous-musicianous) and have been trying to capture the awesome nature of the massive art show that happens every day on the beach. Pictures speak a thousand words (if the text is small enough) and filters enhance them, but somehow the filter makes the picture more authentic to the actual experience of life. (no it doesn't)
There is sand on our beach, and billions of pebbles, if you want pebbles then we got 'em.
Sometimes though, the colours need a bit of teasing.
☕️☕️ (tea break)
I like purple quite a bit, it's probably my favourite colour, at least top 3.
Tinted purple the beach takes on a sweet tin kinda quality. Like a quality street kinda quality. Yep. Nailed it!
The beach is so dynamic for getting all filter prankster on, and instagram offers some pretty sweet photo editing things on the phone app. I use an app called Enlight which I downloadeded from the apple tree store. It's pretty darn good 😊
Just a couple more pics with filter tricks for ya. Thanks for your precious procrastination time, it's valuable.
How's it going? You keeping well in these interesting times of uncertainty and confusion? I hope so. At least there's always technology to keep us distracted and perplexed until the future is here and we can all live inside our own holographic utopias.
I got a new phone! Why is that interesting you may be asking, well, let me tell you. I am an odd cookie when it comes to technology, I haven't had conventional TV for 17 years and my mobile phones have made children think I'm some kind of historical relic from Tudor times.
Now that I have joined the 'computer in my pocket' generation I had some catching up to do. Apps are pretty good, simple to use and they fit in your pocket, and boy do they make stuff easy. The view from our window overlooks a park with a lake, frequently it is breathtaking to stand and look out at the shifting colours and birds flying all over the sky (of all places)
Nice view, new phone, time for some filter fun.
Gotta say, this was a lotta fun
Ahhhh, there we go. A few hours wasted mucking around on my phone 📱, and now a minute of your time stolen as well.
TRACK 13: CHANCE ENCOUNTERS ON THE STAIRS (ACOUSTIC) - lost track
When I originally handed Macey the tunes I had been working on, there was over 30 songs, plus we added loads more from Macey and Nick's musical achieve. With that much material, there would inevitably be songs that didn't make the cut and fell by the wayside. Some of those tunes never get touched, some get worked on but then dropped, others come a long way but are just not right for the project as a whole. One such song on this album was 'Chance Encounters on the Stairs', which I will perform for you now in acoustical form.
This song was dropped mainly because there was to much work needed to get it up to scratch, the song itself was fine, but the recording was wonky like a donkey. It might turn up in the future in a more rounded form, who knows, that's the beauty of music...or something like that.
So to conclude, 12 tracks (and another one), the whole album. It was a labour of time and love that I am really proud of, my ego is satisfied. Macey did all the hard work, not me, and he deserves all the credit, Nick as well helped out loads, recording bits and bobs, coming up with some licks and tricks. It has been a collaborative effort indeed, and the videos wouldn't exist without Abi & Mel both working their creative magic.
Also Charlie and Paul require shout outs for all the work in the rehearsal rooms, it is an amazing team of people that have all helped silly old me make a record, I am humbled and overjoyed.
When we had been getting close to completion it kept feeling like there was always just a couple more things to do, to tweak, to tighten, to tinker with. At the final stage, Macey did an amazing Producer display that completed the whole thing. As previously mentioned, 'Pondering' (Track 6) was an interlude song. Macey never worked on it during the development and the version that was to go on the album was my original organ and vocals only one. It didn't fit, when we did our listen throughs to the whole album it stood out. We were considering dropping it altogether. At the last minute, Macey ditched all the music, kept just the vocal, and built a whole new track out of it. It's one of the best on the album (in my opinion), I take my hat off to Macey for making such a beautiful thing.
Thanks so much for all the time you have spent reading this, it means a lot to me, even if I have no way of actually showing you it. Stay amazing in every way :)
so friends, we made it to the last song on the album...
TRACK 12: EVERYTHING IS OKAY (LIVE)
Although the final track on the album has a very singer/songwriter feel, it was actually written in the same way as the electronica ones. I improvised the acoustic guitar and then jammed other instruments over it, it was my 'F' song, originally called 'Focus'.
Since the original version was almost completely unusable, it was decided we would record it live in a studio. I really wanted it to have a raw feeling, stripped down, bare, so we didn't do any rehearsal prior to our studio time. Macey was on piano, Nick on bass and beardy old me (Andy) on guitar and vocals. We filmed it all as well for internet prosperity.
This is the nice little song to end the album, a hopeful happy little ditty, dreaming of a better tomorrow and remembering that actually everything is okay most of the time.
The title is in reference to the work of Danny Shine, a youtube activist that goes out on the streets with a megaphone and a big sign saying 'Everything is Okay'. He's great, you should check him out.
The title is also a nod to Rufus Wainwright, in particular his awesome song 'I Don't Know What It Is', which dreams of a beautiful headline on the New York Times. Also, the line 'As the Google Flies' is an inside joke with my wife regarding sea birds (Googull images!), and the fact that it use to be the crow that was the go to bird, but now it's google maps that do all our flying for us.
So there it is, the final track on the album. I do have one more cheeky lost tune to share with you as well as a Conclusion to this blog, so it's not quite over just yet. But the album is, that's the whole thing, track by track.
so friends, part 11:
TRACK 11: UNBELIEVABLY ATTRACTIVE
Constructed more traditionally (as in, I wrote it on guitar first), the version of this that I handed to Macey was a relentless assault of guitars, drums, keys, plinky pianos, bass and other miscellaneous instruments. Macey stripped it out and gave the whole thing some dynamic which it had been in drastic need of.
For the lyric, I wanted to write about the law of attraction in a meaningful way, trying to help myself be positive, to attract the right things into my life, to understand that whatever I put out is what's coming back, not just the nice fluffy cloudy things.
This song was always destined to be the climax of the album, and as such we worked hard on getting it right. For a while it had a speaky bit over the long middle 8 break, but it never really added anything to the song so we deleted it from existence. Because it is such a long song, it took a long time to develop and we worked on it intermittently throughout the album construction process, revisiting and revising it often.
As this song had been written on an acoustic, it was very easy to strip it bare and give it a good old acoustic version. Here it is, the stripped bare.
So the album was all there, mostly. We had the dancey songs, the thinky songs, the inner and outer songs (and the shake it all about songs) etc.
There was one thing left to do just to finish this project in the right way. One of the songs I had given Macey was very singer/songwriter style, no drums, just a couple of acoustic guitars and a flute thing. It sucked, so we decided to do a studio live re:record. That would become the final track 'Everything is Okay'. (the next bloggington)
This was one of the first songs Macey developed, the original version was more stripped down and built around the stop/start nature of the riff, Macey took this, added dance sections after both the choruses, and turned the electro dance vibe up to 11. The dynamics in the music are all pure Treeman goodness, turning Equality into a bouncy fun ride. I was blown away by what Macey pulled out of his musical mind for this.
As for the lyric (readable in full in the video just above), I wanted a song about the act of math, taking the 'add','subtract','multiply' approach to the human information sponge (also known as the brain or the mind, it will respond to both). Pure scientific math applied to the chaotic mind of a modern human person, but without focusing on numbers (math without numbers?! are you mad man?!). I approached each line like an equation with each section invariably not equaling equality, except the last one (that did balance).
For a long time this song was going to be track 2 on the album, but in the end we thought it too intense to be so early in the order, we wanted anyone listening to find this little energy gem nearer the end. This was one of the songs developed further in the Bos live sessions, although the band version of it was all about the rocking guitars and pumping drum/bass combo.
Here is the acoustic version of it which has none of the previously mentioned Umph.
While I had been constructing the instrumental tracks way back in that radiant summer of 2015, I had wanted to use mainly electronic sounds because I didn't have the capability to record decent live instrumentation on my own. For guide purposes I recorded guitar acoustically using a USB microphone, I did this on a few tracks (Kiln, Warpzones, Stump the Fee!) all with the intention of replacing them properly later.
Only one of the songs was written on guitar first, all the others were constructed in logic using riffs, except the originally titled 'After Effects', which would go on the become 'Unbelievably Attractive'. (the song for the next blog, fancy that!)
When Macey gave me this song to work on, it was 90% done, the chorus was complete, it just had some space for verse vocals, which conceptually were also already there thanks to the chorus. This was an utter joy to construct, all the swirling backwards guitars and warm glowing atmosphere made me feel like I had turned up to the party very late with the cherry for the cake.
This was going to be the second single for a long time, and we had a great video idea as well, but due to complications and haircuts it never came to fruition.
This was an exercise in recognising child like innocence that permeates deep into adulthood, we are never as grown up as we think we should be, and aren't we all still just kids playing games in the great big sandpit of life? (Some of us are for sure)
This song was worked on in the Bos rehearsal sessions and we played it pretty good, probably the most like the record we managed to get a live version sounding. This didn't effect the recording though, as that was pretty much complete before I got to write the verses for it.
From the live Bos sessions, there were 7 of the songs that we worked on more then the others, they would have probably made up our set if we had done any gigs (which we didn't) and they were: Given Half a Dance, Warpzones, Kiln, Lampshade, 7 Billion, Kids Play Games and Equality. (which just so happens to be the next part of this blogthology)