I know I’ve been quiet, but I think I’m getting somewhere with my sit around and strum the songs into submission tactic.

A very pretty tune (I think) that I recorded into the dictaphone in 2005 provisionally entitled ‘Why In The World?’ – which I like, I guess as it points to Low’s ‘What In The World’ – can now be played on regular tuned guitar and open Eb and I think the combination of the two might be enough… will demo soon.

A riff idea labeled ‘Minor Triad’ from a long time ago – maybe 1996 (all I know for sure is it’s from the period that I was using a cassette recorder) – which I always thought was promising but never really fit into any album aesthetic I’ve done since then (it would have sat nicely on etc) – has now been hammered into a song shape and features open tuned guitar and banjo. The riff, I think, may be improved by the banjo – we’ll see. I wrote a new chorus to go with it yesterday and managed to get the various bits to transition better. Optimistic about this one.

I have new banjo tune idea based around the modal D thing one can play at the 7th fret. However, getting from fret 7 on the banjo back to the nut for open chords requires that one circumnavigates the 5th machine head at fret 5… this is a 10 gauge string and when you clip them short (as the person who set up my banjo did) you make the equivalent of a 5mm pin. You know where I’m going here – there was a lot of blood the first time, and the second time just as much, and some awful cursing. I have now restrung the offender and used my very sensible ‘fold over’ method. There is much more string sticking out of the tuner now, but it’s folded over and floppy, not lethal…

Fred Maher has expressed interest in drumming after I suggested the idea. We haven’t discussed real logistics as I don’t have a start date, but he could do LA or NY recording easily.