When I Grew that Adorable Moustache…

As I continue to flag songs that I think are worthy of attention from the Confession archives I stumble upon this one.  Almost literally stumble, for this is a song that could trip you up with its sheer, overwhelming epicness.  I have a bad memory, and so without reading back through this website and finding my inspiration dutifully recorded at the time, it is difficult to recall the inspiration for the song.  However, it seems to be a progression of Perhaps I’ll Kill You, although longer and less refined.  Action Hero is an album rolled into a single song, and for that reason, this song is worth a moment (or ten) of your time.  Enjoy.

The weather is sweet

Sitting here on a Sunday morning.   Flexing the fingers in anticipation of writing a piece of text that is going to inspire you for the week ahead.  … no such luck!  Ha ha!  I have been taking a break from music – just a handful of days.  It has been fulfilling in its own way.  I have been producing tracks like a machine and it is always wise to take a step back and survey the accomplishments.

I am currently awaiting vocal files from Bill for what will likely be the final track of the Eleventh Hour album.  It is a track which may well take you by surprise – especially considering the two we have just worked on.  But I hope it will be a pleasant surprise.  Apple pie and custard on a spring day.

2011 will be a year of getting things into order.  Getting the Eleventh Hour album “escapism” into a shape where we can pin down a release date.  And I do of course still plan to make the Confession album “all monsters and dust” available too!  These plans won’t stop me working on new material in the meantime… but it is certainly important to note that 2011 will be a year of “attempting achievements”.

I’ve been soaking in some great films recently.  I feel that great art brings about great art.  In the past, certain films have inspired me to write great songs.  More in the Alexi in Winter period to be fair… but it does also creep into my more recent work.  My current desire is to achieve what I have always stated is my aim in music – cinematic pieces.  As I have said before… I’m not talking about film soundtrack work – I’m talking about pieces of music that put flesh on the bone.  Music that aspires to more than a 3 minute blast of pop.

So… I watched Raging Bull three times this last week.  What a guttural punch of a film.  Beautifully shot and disturbingly realised.  Tremendous acting, direction and cinematography.  Absolutely epic.  It is certainly not a film for everyone.  It is not a film about boxing.  It is a film about jealously and obsession.  Pretty hard to watch at times.  But like I said… it’s all there to be ‘soaked in’.  Better to flow a Raging Bull than a Transformers! Ha ha!  Then I watched A Matter of Life and Death.  Wow… I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never seen it before.  But what a film.  Deep.  And very, very sweet.  Another film to absorb and digest.

I have some crazy ideas for new music.  But I’m putting it all on hold.  It’s a nice day and there’s gardening to do!  Ha ha!

The Epic

The last few songs I have recorded have taken me on a journey of discovery.  I so often in the past banged on about how the perfect song should be short, sharp and sweet to the ear.  But recently I have been on a mission to create long epic works with the aim of putting the essence of a stage musical into the boundaries of an indie rock song.

This new direction has taken me via landmarks such as Perhaps I’ll Kill You, The Calm and the Storm and Life Will Be the Death of Me.  And I’ve enjoyed every minute of those songs… and we’re talking about 19 minutes with just those three songs.

My youth in music was built upon the desire to write that perfect pop song.  That perfect rock song.  That perfect punk rock song.  Although perfect is probably too extreme a word, I do believe that I have on more than one occasion produced songs of true worth in that ballpark.  Songs that could have been written by Blur… or the Buzzcocks… or etc etc… but were actually written by me.

I now unveil ACTION HERO! .  This song is the beginning of a new phase in my time as Confession of the Whole School.  It is the start of something new… something that may throw even those of you who have listened to everything up to this point.  I am still yet to officially release All Monsters and Dust, but I wanted to keep you up to date with exactly what I have been doing.  It is after all only fair that I keep you guys involved every step of the way.  It is you that are staying the course by logging into this site and reading my drivel!!!

This new song is going to be on the next Confession of the Whole School album.  Believe me, this next album’s scope is going to be far beyond anything I’ve ever attempted before!  The new song ACTION HERO! has already been compared to Bohemian Rhapsody, Paranoid Android and various other epic works of music.  These compliments do of course make me over the moon, and while I accept that, for me, the song is nothing but another of my songs… flattery will always get you somewhere.   Who wouldn’t want comparisons with greatness!  Ha ha!  This song is setting the stage beautifully for everything I have to come.  You see, I just can’t stop.  I know I should be concentrating on promoting All  Monsters and Dust… but I just can’t stop writing at the moment.  I feel that when I’m like this (which I haven’t been for ten years!) I really shouldn’t stop.  I should just exhale.  Let the music spill out.  So that when the time comes that I have no music left to give I can look back and realise that I accidentally recorded a hundred albums along the way.  Okay… a hundred would be unachievable and an exaggeration… but it’s the spirit that counts.  I believe I have so far recorded three albums of genuine worth.

1) Alexi in Winter – Out of the Low Times

2) Confession of the Whole School – All Monsters and Dust

2) The Eleventh Hour – Escapism

(I am ignoring countless demos and obscure singles)

I believe that in amongst those albums are songs of value.  Complete artistic merit.  Complete cohesion (unlike this post which is veering wildly through the years and the subjects).

And I have a title already for the next album.  I won’t leak it yet! 😉  But I’ll let you into a little secret (which, okay, I may have mentioned in a previous post).   The next album is gonna be a concept album.  Not a twee, silly story concept album – but a concept album that ties in with the themes I have already explored on previous songs.  I’m just gonna step it up a gear.

Anyway… here’s ACTION HERO! .  Let me know what you think!

The Calm and the Storm

So… it’s been a while since I last wrote anything of any worth.  What have I been doing I hear you ask?  I have been completing the latest Eleventh Hour song.  You may recall that I have written a few times of wanting to produce an epic work of art.  A long song that showcases more than you can usually manage in a typical three and a half minute pop song.  Well… I believe I’ve done it.  I started working on a song which I had provisionally titled “Epicness”.  I gave it a theme and a structure.  Bill then grafted hard to come up with lyrics for a song which weighs in at seven and a half minutes.  Lyrics on that scale are some achievement and a cause for celebration.  The words are great, but I had never doubted it for a second.  The song is called THE CALM AND THE STORM.  Fasten your seatbelts and press play!


Just watched Part 1 of the Doctor Who series finale.  In my humble opinion – really great stuff.  Universe scaling, balls to the wall tea time tele!  And a reminder to everyone that being ‘epic’ is pretty much always a great thing.

Crossing the road… not epic.

Making a cup of tea… not epic.

Knitting a new scarf… not epic.

So what is epic?  I consider epic to be something on a colossal scale.  Something that takes your breath away.  So, what’s this got to do with music?  Well my little Confessioners… if you take the time to listen to the music that your mentor is creating for you you’ll hear the journey towards epicness.  The aspiration to fulfill the perfect ‘epic’ song!

How do you make a song epic?  Well, let’s forget about how YOU make it epic, let’s talk about me a bit more!  I love epicness.  There, I’ve said it (well, typed it… but it’s the same thing really and not worth pontificating).  I digress… I love ‘big’ songs.  Always have done.  Whether it be ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ or ‘Kashmir’, there is something ‘above and beyond’ about a song which has its sights set so high.  There are many musical methods to create an ‘epic’ song.  I suppose the easiest way (and I say ‘easiest’ with the hugest pinch of salt) is to use an orchestra.  This leads me to the next term.  CINEMATIC.  This is a word I have used to describe my music for a long time.  But what does it actually mean?  Well, I would consider a song that paints a picture in your mind a cinematic song.  Some songs are throw-away songs.  Catchy they can be… but do they linger?  Do they make you weep?  Do they make your day?… make your life???  I ‘feel’ a cinematic song.  It is a statement of intent.  The writer has a passion for a subject and they want to inject it straight into your heart or your brain.  How much longer must we endure the average?  The mean?  The mode?  I live for the epic.  Listen to the ending of songs such as The Comedy is Over, Fall or Where We Go Next.  These are songs that make you want to set fire to your furniture (then cry as you realise you haven’t even paid for that damn sofa yet!).  I want emotion.  I don’t want emoticons.  I want the real thing.  I want Coke!!!

Um, anyway… Yes, I watched Doctor Who tonight.  An epic episode.  I like epic!!!