Reviving Drunken Owl

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been playing much guitar or bass these last couple of months partly because I’ve been busy taking care of two extremely precocious young cats and focusing on other creative avenues. But…and I really hate to admit this…I just haven’t been inspired to play lately, which is bothersome.

I’d say over the last year or so, when I do pick up one of my guitars, I end up playing the same four or five songs or riffs over and over again, and that’s boring. I’m out of practice with writing new songs.

So I’ve decided that one of the projects I’d like to start this year is to go through the… *counts the mp3s* …roughly sixty demo riffs I’ve recorded on my phone over the last five years and make something out of them. They range anywhere from thirty seconds to a few minutes in length. I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to find a cheap multi-track software (and one that doesn’t take up much memory as I don’t have all that much space on my PC, unless I put it on my laptop instead) and lay these down just to see what I can do with them. I’ll start small, just going with instrumentals for now until I feel the need to add lyrics. I’ve even assigned myself Saturdays as Music Day on my whiteboard schedule.

The aim here isn’t actually to release or even make any money off them (though if they’re good enough quality I might put them up on Bandcamp for funsies), but to see if I can revive that inspiration. Otherwise these instruments of mine are just gathering dust. And I’d rather not keep doing that, thank you.

Drunken Owl

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It’s not the fanciest gear, but it does its job.

First, here’s a video of The Smithereens playing “Blood and Roses”, one of their first hits and one of my favorite bass lines of the 80s:

Whenever I’m in a guitar store and checking out basses, I usually use that riff to test it out. It’s a relatively easy lick (even if technically it’s dropped down a half-step to E-flat) and if I can pull it off without my fingers cramping, then it’s a bass I can use.   I’m posting it here because it’s also a riff that I like to use when I’m practicing.

So what’s the deal here? Drunken Owl? What?

That’s the name of my current music project, named from the 18th century British slang term “drunk as an owl” (thanks to A.’s wide-spanning reading material for the source). It’s one of those phrases that doesn’t quite sound right logically, but makes for a good band name.

I’ve been meaning to return to playing and recording music demos for quite some time, though, like with most of my other grand creative plans, it was put aside so I could finish the Great Trilogy Revision Project.  So!  Now that that behemoth is out of the way, I can finally move forward with it.  I don’t plan on any grand masterpieces or anything…all I really want to do is lay down my songs.  I’ve amassed a decent amount of them over the years, and I’m itching to write and record some new ones as well.

And like my books, I want to see how far I can DIY it.  I’ve recorded a few demos on my phone, for starters.  [The sound is mono, but the quality is actually pretty good, considering!]  I plan on using the instruments I have already: the basses, the guitars, the keyboard, the funky lo-fi drum pad (it’s hiding behind my camera bag on the floor under the keyboard in that picture up top), and maybe some slightly better (but still relatively cheap) editing-mixing software.

Any plans on releasing them on Bandcamp or whatever?  Eh, probably not, but we’ll see.  I may just upload them to Soundcloud and share them here or elsewhere.  The main reason for this ongoing project is mainly to make good on my lifelong loves of writing, music, and art.  [Yeah, I’m trying to get my art up and running again as well.]  The main goal here is to have fun with it!

[Edit: Just learned this morning that Soundcloud is going kerflooey.  Guess I’ll have to find a different embedder!]