7 July 2010

The past few weeks some friends and I have been biking round Manhattan. On our first trip we cycled up the east river from lower east side right up to 110th street and across to the west side and back down the Hudson as the sun set. We stopped off at Patsy’s Pizzaria on 118th and 1stAve for a slice of the best pizza in all of Manhattan. Sinatra ordered 100 pizzas to be flown to him in California back in the day. That’s some greedy shit…

Outside the UN

Spanish Harlem

Sunset in Spanish Harlem

P Diddy’s Stretch Limo

Our second trip went straight up the middle of Manhattan,through central park and back down the Hudson again. We stopped to pay respects at the Dakota and then rode to the great lawn and lay there a while in the balmy air, observing the mating rituals of the young and viril, a girly photo shot, frizbee couple, softball dads. The Park That Is Central

Emery and Dakota



21 April 2010

Oh aaaannnd… I was sitting, practicing my piano chops when a police woman came to the door and told me something about my car. I said “Mein auto?” incredulously. When you don’t know how to speak a language, expression is a valuable tool.  Nora (my in-house babel fish) was out so it was like some strange game of charades, where the film was called “Your Car Has Just Been Smashed Up. Come See.”

When I got to the car, there was another car sort of attatched to the front bumper. The girl, who’s car it was, had left it double parked and, most importantly, without the handbrake engaged. She went into a shop and the car slowly rolled down the street and clanged into mine. There was very little damage. My bumper was pashed and her car was all scraped. She was nice and was shaken slightly. The police in Berlin are great. They aren’t the same as UK police. The police man who was with the police woman was standing smoking a fag and explaining the situation. It’s a bit like The Sweeney but in green uniforms and without the flares.


Vegetarian Alerts

21 April 2010

I fancied and egg sandwich and some lentil soup so I cracked and egg and out flopped a big fat chicken embryo into the frying pan. Clay was watching, as was his Oma and Nora too as I cracked the egg. We all got a major fright.

Then I opened a tin of soup and put it in a saucepan on the gas. When it boiled, I poured it in a bowl and put some in my mouth. There was chopped up sausages in it!! I spat it out(Paul) and looked at the tin. It had a label on the tin saying vegetarian. Nora called the manufacturer and they said we were the second folk to call and that someone in the factory had mis-labeled a large quantity. They are going to send us some more soup to make up  for the mistake.

Man that chicken embryo will stay with me though. Errrrraaauuughhh!!!


Potato Clay

23 March 2010

We have a new friend at the kitchen table.


Life Drawing

23 March 2010

I went to life drawing class last night. It was fantastic. The model was brilliant.


Our Back Yard Got Ripped Apart

19 March 2010

Last week, 2 men rolled into our communal back yard here in Berlin, tooled up with chainsaws and hatchets. Some property developers are about to rip the place apart to build some pokey apartments. That’s a reality in Berlin and I kind of resigned myself to it but it was sad to see what they did. The men spent 5 days tearing these two massive wall climbers down. They had grown there for 40 years. Hundreds of birds and bats nested there.

Nora took some pictures out on the street of them filling their huge truck. When she turned her camera on the two guys, lazily leaning against their van, the bigger one ran at her, grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her head. Nice people.



14 March 2010

I had until the past week been going to bed between 1 and 4 in the morning and getting up at 8. After arriving back from New York, my jetlag sent me to bed before midnight. I thought I would stick to this and I have experienced much longer days. 1pm feels like 4 or 5. 6pm feels like 9 or 10. The last week felt like a week instead of the usual WHOOSH “God is it Friday again!”
I have been listening to the absolute finished album. The last stage is puting the transition between each song. Some songs need an extra second before they begin, some need an extra pause when they end. Emily and Joe at the Lodge (uh!) did a great job. We also changed the mix of the first track of the record. I’m relieved we reopened this track. It’s the first track of my solo record. Ohhheee!

God. It’s snowing again!



4 March 2010

I made some art for auction on this site http://craftsforacause.tumblr.com/

Bidding starts on the 15th March




25 February 2010

Snow seems to be a running theme this winter. I was thinking late last year how I had seen far more snow as a child than I have in recent times, so it’s nice to finally get some. I spoke to Nora on the phone and she said that alot of the snow in Berlin had begun to melt. She was saying how she hadn’t seen so much dogshit on the streets in here life.  She said it smells rank  . Dog shit is a massive problem in Berlin. People don’t want to pick it up. I wouldn’t want to pick it up either. It’s dogshit! I need to not get started on dogshit…

Anyways more snow. Last day in studio. I am out here because I wrote 2 more songs way past the 12th hour. I am swapping them out with two on the record. The two in question were incongruous with the rest of the album. The 2 new songs are called “Shadow Boxing” and “Anything”. I have one more vocal to do. Wish me luck.


Kidnapped By The Sun In A Time Of Production

18 February 2010

It’s a beautiful sunny day today in Berlin. I have been writing and writing and writing. It’s been good. The strike rate has always been 20 flat songs and 1 that stands up by itself. These songs come from a different place in the brain than the others. I’m not familiar with right left brain responsibilities but I think the reason it is hard to write a good song maybe relates to it coming from an unconscious area of the brain so there is no way of repeating it because it’s unmapped, unknown. Like being blindfolded and taken in a car somewhere and then blindfolded on your return, you would never know how to get there again. A song from here is a postcard which ignites upon consumption this area of the brain.
When I hear something which comes from this unmapped place, I get a little jolt and for a moment I am transported there. This feeling is addictive. It is escape.
Anyways I got one of these the other night. It is nice to know if I empty my head enough, I am still light enough to float off to that cool secret place.

On another note, I was driving the other day and I heard a familiar voice singing on the radio. It took a while to figure out who it was because the lyrics and his voice were beautifully juxtaposed and later it all made sense when the announcer said it was a cover. The song is by Magnatic Fields and the singer is Peter Gabriel. Still one of the best voices Britain has produced. The song is called The Book Of Love. I’ll take it down if it’s naughty to have it here.

It comes from his new album of cover versions buy it


Peter Gabriel - The Book of Love / Not One of Us - Single

and buy the Magnetic Fields original


The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs - The Book of Love