Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Learning The McCookerybook And Rotifer Songs

We have our first two ever gigs coming up at the end of November, and it seems sensible to start learning the twelve songs in our repertoire, especially since a lot of them have alien chords to learn, and (even more challengingly) lyrics in the German language. Little and often is the prescription. Chords first, lyrics later. If I can get my body to deal with the music, my head can follow on with the lyrics. I hope.

I had an unexpected conversation with a blues guitarist on Monday morning, which was such a cheering thing to do. Guitar nerds aren't usually on patrol on Monday mornings! He's going to come in and talk to the music students, and they are going to love him. On Thursday, an ex-student who now manages vinyl output for a major label is coming in, and last week I spent 150% of my time scurrying around trying to find a room to teach them all in. Now I think I have, but I won't be able to relax until the lecture is over, when I will deflate with relief like a balloon at a children's party.

On Monday afternoon, I played the songwriting students a selection of political songs, all the way from Billie Holliday through Woody Guthrie, Marvin Gaye, The Specials, X-Ray Spex to Pussy Riot and beyond, finishing with the Tokyo Complaints Choir, who always go down a treat, and shine a light of sunny happiness on drab Monday afternoons. I have to introduce them to Lord Kitchener, Pete Seeger, The Last Poets, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Charlie Gillet's book The Sound of the City which is possibly out of print. There is so much they haven't heard!

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