SMILE WITH THE SUN

 

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Despite accidentally killing my special pocket compass (as mentioned in my last post), I still might get to The North Pole as I’ve now got the compass app on my iPhone.  Having said that the phone will probably need a charge every 100 meters or so if it runs true to current form and I’m not sure if they have a mass of random electric power points spread over The Artic Circle yet.

Anyway, I felt I needed a replacement inanimate friend, so I went and got one of those flash fitness watches. Not only is a flash fitness watch great when I’m in the gym, it also goes out of it’s way to get to know everything about me. I’m cool with that, although the worrying bit is that it keeps a 24/7 register of all the steps I take. When I woke up two days ago it told me I’d taken 5 steps while I was asleep. So, so odd. If that was a 5 step sleepwalk then it’s a pretty pathetic sleepwalk. It couldn’t have been an unconscious nocturnal visit to the loo as I worked out that it’s 9 steps to my bathroom – weirdly and worryingly it’s only 8 steps back to my bed (a mini time warp?).  I’m thinking about my 5 comatose steps probably more than I should.

 

SMILE WITH THE SUN

One day, back where it begun

When I’ve undone all the things I’ve done

When I’ve paused season one’s only ever re-run

When I’ve lost at the game I’ve always won

One day, that day, I’ll smile with the sun

 

I read this great line ‘Smile with the sun’ on a post from Jean Lee – https://jeanleesworld.com/ – she said it was OK for me to work with it as a possible beginning of a new lyric.

Time for some music. I’m still working hard on the new album, so this is one from my old uni song writing module ‘demo’ album ‘Liquid Truth’. This track is called ‘Red Mist’. I hope you enjoy;

https://soundcloud.com/george-blamey-s/07-red-mist

Next, a seriously brilliant track makes me think of sunny days and skateboarding. A song with real clout, from The Cheesebergens. It’s called ‘Cool’. This is a track from their album to be released very soon. They are a family band from California. Marissa is the Rock & Roll Super Mum (a WP blogger at https://rockandrollsupermom.wordpress.com/ ) who wrote the lyric (great words worth listening to) and plays bass, husband Ides is on drums, son Jesse plays lead and on vocals the amazing, unique Angelica.   A great video as well.

The Cheesebergens aside – Copyright © 2013 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

ZOOLON’S DEAD COMPASS

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(My dead compass, now in the care of the compass angel)

When I dropped my compass on the floor and saw it was dead my first thought was, ‘I’ll never make it to The North Pole now’. Then I remembered no one had ever fulfilled my ultimate Christmas wish of a dozen huskies, plus a sled so I’d probably not got there anyway. Then there’s the polar bears to think of. Maybe it was for the best.

I’d had the compass for about 10 years. It was only a cheap one I got in a Christmas stocking. Nothing special.   I never carry cash, yet the compass was always in my pocket.  I treasured that compass.

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(the dead – some say it was compass-slaughter – compass laid to rest on a tasteless lavatory seat) 

Whatever, I recently made the video for my father’s new book release, ‘Notoriously Naked Flames’. The background music to the video contains an extract of a new piece I composed recently called ‘Prohibition’. It’s one of the new numbers from my forthcoming album – yet to have a title. I hope you like both the vid and the music;

Notoriously Naked Flames from Mike Steeden on Vimeo.

If you want to check out the book some more then you can on the old boys WP page at;

 

https://mikesteeden.wordpress.com

Next a number from the best female songstress & sound artist on the planet, Imogen Heap, with her song ‘You Know Where to Find Me’

Imogen aside – Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

 

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RAINBOWS GONE?

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(Above, me having a think about lost rainbows, all the time taking care not to fall off the edge of the cliff into a watery grave)

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RAINBOWS GONE?

On the day the Ice Caps melted

The sun swallowed a swollen sea

No rain from Africa to Eurasia

No springtime blossom on the Cherry Tree

 

The wheat, the maize, the grains dried and died

No more the rainforest of the Amazon

The last human left alive looks up

Says, ‘Where have all the rainbows gone?’

 

My song is not a warning

Believe it, it’s far too late

Mankind’s ways of greed and war

Has defined Mankind’s death wish fate

 

Rainbow’s End will stay a secret

For forever and a day

“Where have all the rainbows gone?”

The last thing the last human will get to say

 

Time for something a little brighter; something with ‘magic’ in it – my song ‘Rexie Believes in Magic’. I hope you like it;

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/rexie-believes-in-magic

The ‘Dream Rescuer’ album from which this song comes from is available for download at https://zoolon.bandcamp.com/

Next the genius that is Agnes Obel with her song ‘Riverside’.  The mood of the piano is a work of art in itself;

Lyric & ‘Rexie’ song – Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

THE BEST RESULT YOU GET IS A DRAW

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(The floodlights know everything and rarely tell lies)

Here’s the basic lyric for a new acoustic number;

THE BEST RESULT YOU GET IS A DRAW

She dances while they quarrel

Over all the things he said

“I’m leaving you tomorrow”

He answers, “You go right ahead”

 

He wonders just what he’s done wrong

She’s not telling anyhow

He ends up looking shamefaced

She’s looking holier than thou

 

The best result you get in The Premier League of Life?

…The best result you get is a draw

You can cheat, you can take the dive

Do whatever you want, there’s no referee keeping score

 

The bits and pieces of what we’re made up of

Is the thing that makes us whole

No point in saying ‘Sorry’

When you’ve missed an open goal

 

The stand at the away end’s not a great place

To chill out and lose the blues

Eyes wide open, waiting for the final whistle

And the thing he can’t defuse

 

The best result you get in The Premier League of Life?

…The best result you get is a draw

You can cheat, you can take the dive

Do whatever you want, there’s no referee keeping score

 

No pre-match pint, no halftime pie

Kicking empty cans down an empty street

While she dances to a new tune now

Celebrating his defeat

 

Love’s like the ghost of relegation

You can’t see it, but you know it’s there

Only when the ball’s been kicked outside the ground

Does it vanish into thin air

 

A bit of music? Sampling this time. I composed this piece called ‘Decider’ a while back. It maybe fits the mood of the words.

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/decider

Next, a Jarvis Cocker weird and dark number, ‘I Will Kill Again’.

I was asked me to describe the musical content of the ‘Dream Rescuer’ album.  For what it’s worth it reads like this;

For this album, I have focused on an acoustic, folky type of theme with a few electronic elements added in and not rely too heavily upon percussion to help carry the songs. True to its title, with ‘Dream Rescuer’ the aim is to convey the surreal things we dream of when asleep. The love and hate things, likewise the happy and the sad.

Jarvis Cocker aside, Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

PUTTING A SIMPLE VERSE TO SONG

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First a quick view of the evolution of my ‘Dream Rescuer’ album’s cover art. I forgot I still had these sample shots. Above, one of the source photos; below the final cover.

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Anyhow, to the point. If you take the acoustic route, then verse words transfer reasonably easily into song, especially so the ballad.  The song I wrote a good while ago now, ‘Busking in Berlin’ is an example of a simple verse being turned into song without too many revisions and adaptions to the original text. This song sits on one of my old SoundCloud pages for no other reason than it’s in an acoustic ‘demo’ format. I hope you enjoy; 

BUSKING IN BERLIN

Storm clouds on the horizon

No red sky tonight

The wind blows away the magic

Of a starry, starry night

 

Melissa cries for Candy

Candy dreams of John

John is suicidal

On how it all went wrong

 

Larry plays the old guitar

Kate the mandolin

And Finn plays the accordion

They’re busking in Berlin

 

It’s a game of names and fortunes

A game played out in time

A game of life that ends in death

A mountain we must climb

 

And John’s looking out for Sally

Candy’s dreaming on

Melissa took an overdose

She does not belong here

 

Larry plays the old guitar

Kate the mandolin

And Finn plays the accordion

They’re busking in Berlin

 

Candy is the blinkered one

John has the broken heart

Larry’s getting on with life

Melissa fell apart – she fell apart, she fell apart

 

Finn, she won a battle

Kate, she lost a war

Candy is still dreaming of

What are we fighting for?

 

Storm clouds on the horizon

No red sky tonight

The wind blows away the magic

Of a starry, starry night

 

Larry plays the old guitar

Kate the mandolin

And Finn plays the accordion

They’re busking in Berlin, they’re busking in Berlin

https://soundcloud.com/george-blamey-steeden/busking-in-berlin-jorj

Below, Derek the Owl. He’s here for no good reason other than he’s a mate.

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Lastly, a number from the maestro. Paul McCartney’s song ‘Blackbird’ revealing the sublime quality of his simple, no frills approach to acoustic ballad song writing. His trick? Basically the same as everyone else; he lets the voice carry the melody – only he does it better. I’m betting Derek would have fancied being a blackbird, then he could have claimed this one as his own.

‘Busking in Berlin’ – Copyright © 2016 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

AGED 19

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I’d just started blogging last year when I first posted a piece about The Étaples Military Cemetery in the Pas-de-Calais department of Northern France. The Cemetery stands on the former site of a vast military hospital complex used by the Allies during the First World War. Being away from the frontline trenches the military hospital was relatively safe from enemy land attacks. The hospital could cope with up to 20,000 casualties at any one time.

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Given that we are so close to Remembrance Day I thought a reprise was in order. I was 20 when I visited the Cemetery. There were rows and rows of graves that simply gave a name and an age, ‘Aged 19’. It was food for thought and reflection. The gravestones seem to speak. They told me how lucky I was.

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The song itself remains a demo version, nothing more. Just a simple experiment of possible styles of composition and construction. That’s all. It’s what the song’s about that’s important. Nothing else. I won’t post the whole lyric, although there is a link to the song itself that still sits on my old SoundCloud.

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AGED 19

On that day I saw a thousand graves

They all said ‘Aged 19’

Wall to wall white marble stone

Stood on grass so green

They went on for miles

As far as I could see

Relics of remembrance

A cosmic storm’s debris

 

Were they just a band of brothers or just a band of lonely ghosts?

What was good is now on the edge of being the most obscene

It’s a lonely road to travel when you are so young

Where did it all go so wrong? Could it have been foreseen?

Guess that it hardly matters now

When the stones say ‘Aged 19’

Battles fought and lives all lost

Or something in between?

This unholy

Heaven’s door

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https://soundcloud.com/george-blamey-steeden/aged-19

Copyright © 2016 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

OBSESSION’S NOT A PERFUME

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 It’s a logical conclusion

No time for turning back

Obsession’s shut the door on you

That’s a thing they call payback

 

Obsession’s not a perfume

It’s just a self-centred private curse

An ever-growing cancer

You’re not the cure; you’re not the nurse

 

You’re in denial about the gathering up

Of all the hearts you led astray

Yet when those broken hearts cried for you

You pinned them on a green hill faraway

 

You turn sweet dreams into nightmares

You can do it with just a smile

You sold your soul for a lock of my hair

Kept it hidden away in some old file

 

It’s a logical conclusion?

Is that a window or just a crack?

Obsession’s outside looking in

‘If you want it darker’ paint it black 

(a ‘work in progress’ fresh off the pen lyric waiting for a bit of melody magic)

The new album will be on its way soon but for now here’s and old number, the original version of ‘Sunlight & The Dust’ – as opposed to the version on my ‘Dream Rescuer’ album. I hope you enjoy;

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/sunlight-and-the-dust

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

MARIONETTES & SOMERSAULTS

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Sometimes it’s a pain being Zoolon. Monday morning I was down in the kitchen having breakfast (Shreddies with a chopped banana). The news was playing to itself on the TV.  I wasn’t taking much of it in. Then, out of the blue I heard the newsreader say, “With police numbers dropping the Metropolitan Police are no longer investigating somersaults.” ‘Do what?’ I thought. The Metropolitan Police look after London, but I had no idea that somersaults were illegal there. It wasn’t until about ½ hour later, with ‘somersaults’ playing on my mind instead of creativity that I checked the story out on Twitter and discovered that for ‘somersaults’ read ‘some assaults’. Like I said, being Zoolon can be a pain.

Anyway, I’ve got a song together that could pass the whistle test and end up on the new album. That is if I still like it after the mixing etc. Here’s the lyric. I’ve had the idea buzzing around in my head since the marionette festival I went to last month in Charleville-Mézières. 

THE MARIONETTE’S TALE

The marionette told me her story

Saying “It’s an illusion; I’m not alive

But once I was a human

Before He made me take the dive”

 

At the Festival of Puppeteers

She spoke of harmonious ceasefire

No war, no bombs, no handguns

No ‘great’ walls and no barbed wire

 

The Borough of Queens own Orange Man

Answered, “No way, no way girl

But you do look half gropeable

Go on girl, give us a twirl.

Your kind are spreading false news

You realize you’re heading for a fall

And what do non-white females know?

I’ll tell you what, the likes of you, they know f**k all”

 

The marionette told me her story

Saying “It’s an illusion; I’m not alive

But once I was a human

Before He made me take the dive”

Time for some music. A re-run – in case you missed it last week – of my Scandinavian ‘Noir’ instrumental track, ‘Hidden Beneath’ that will be on the new album.

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/hidden-beneath

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

ZOOLON’S SCANDINAVIAN ‘NOIR’

HIDDEN BENEATH

HIDDEN
Flesh & bone under water
Soul flying away
Which will be reborn?
No one can say

Is she in the dark river
Or lost to the sea?
Only the ghost knows
The ghost that is she

Staying with the ‘dark’ theme, here’s a new piece of music I’ve composed, aimed at the Scandinavian ‘Noir’ Murder TV/film market. It’s titled ‘Hidden Elsewhere’ and will also be on my forthcoming album, out soon. I hope you enjoy;

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/hidden-beneath

Below, the link to my ‘Dream Rescuer’ album;

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

ZOOLON’S ‘ITCH’

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(above, a happier me just 48 hours before the ‘the itch’)

What’s the worst thing that you can do to your mum on her birthday? Maybe, forgetting to buy her a present? Possibly, sitting her next to Trump in the restaurant on her special birthday outing? Even, thoughtlessly hiring a hitman to ‘take her out’ so that you can get your hands on an inheritance? That last one was more of a random thought than anything else.

It was the day before her birthday. Both my dad and I hadn’t got her any presents yet. She likes surprises. So, off he and I go to town. I cracked it early. In The Body Shop I spot a box of stuff called ‘A Touch of Youth’. The old man says that I can’t buy her that as the products name sounds like I’m taking the mickey, what with her no longer being in her first flush of ‘youth’. The shop girl comes over and bigs the product up while I’m glazing over. She sells it me; even gift wraps it for me, adding loads of ribbons. Neat. That’s me done.

Then, it’s me bored out of my brains while the old boy is buying this and that for her – I remind him he’s going to have a hell of job wrapping all the presents up. Right at the end of the shopping trip, when I’m thinking of opening a vein I’m so bored, he spots two Art Deco vases – she loves Art Deco – made of frosted white glass. They cost a good few quid, but he buys them. The woman running the place apologizes for the fact that she’s only got plastic bags, so she recommends the bag is held with one hand under its bottom to be on the safe side as the vases are heavy duty glass.

I offer to carry the bag with the vases in because he’s carrying loads of other bags.

We’re walking to the car. I’m walking behind him being ever so careful. Out of the blue I get a random itch behind the ear. It has to be scratched there and then. You know what happens next. I offered to pay for the damage, after he stopped calling me names mainly preceded with a word that began with an ‘f’ and ended with an ‘ing’. Such is life. We dumped the Art Deco remains at the council rubbish tip on the way back.

Time for some music. This one is fresh off the press. It’s a bit of fun. It’s called ‘Guitar Jam’. I hope you like it.

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/guitar-jam

By the way, I’m selling packs of 10 Aluminium RFID Blocking Contactless Debit / Credit Sleeve Wallets on my eBay at £4 for a pack of 10 including UK postage & packing. These wallets are designed to help prevent payment cards being cloned or copied by fraudsters using their smartphones or other readers. Might be worth thinking about?

Click here to open RFID link

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Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.