Monday, 26 May 2008

I'm just sitting here

Converting files for a video. I can't do much because Jack (my iMac) is busy converting, and I can't leave because there are lots of files and I can't queue them.

So I'm bored.

So I'm writing this.

I'm actually quite excited about the video, it's going to be quite a lot of work, probably more than anything I've done yet, but it should be really good. I was going to do a video for 'Dance on' now that I have it recorded properly, but I decided to leave that until the EP is done, I'll release a video for all of the songs, say one a week, that's the best promotion I can give it. So instead I'm doing an old song, 'The Promise' as it's never been on YouTube.

I recorded all the video parts today, assuming I didn't forget or mess one up. It's going to be a split screen like the Strokes video I did, but I'm going to be more ambitious with the editing, a little conversation between the four of me... We'll see how that goes, might drop it if it turns out I'm not that good!

I'm really hoping to get it done tomorrow then I can upload it before I leave... I'm going to London by the way. On Wednesday, just to see family, which unfortunately means no Glasgow gathering. I really want to go up for it, but I see some of these relatives even less often than I see the youtubers. Oh well, there will be always be another chance. That's why I like being in England, it's not too big.

Veggie week is over . I did the whole week without too much trouble. I worry that Ben and other vegetarians that know I've done it will be more disappointed that I have done it and gone back to eating meat than if I hadn't done anything. But I can't make myself believe in something, and that's the kind of thing you really have to believe in. I just thought if I did the week it would be some publicity for it. Sounds pretty stupid, but I only heard about it from Ben's video, hell he could have made it up for all I know! So I think a few people probably did it because of my video.

I do apologise to anyone who's read all of this. It's meaningless and insignificant. I guess most blogs are, but mine are quite long too! I've even just remembered a topic I was going to write about, but I think I'll spare you for now.

I'll leave you with my current favourite song, 'The joy in forgetting, the joy in acceptance' by Bright Eyes. It's not pretty, but it's beautiful.

There is a cat in the window, of the house of my lover.
Well she sleeps there alone now, or perhaps with another.
Oh I try not to think about that,
I try not to think at all.
I get cocaine from a girl I met,
And my brother buys me alcohol,
And I stay up all night walking through,
These houses I have grown to hate
And my parents ask if I'm all right
I say "I've just been staying up too late."
I need to sleep.
I need to do something, to get this awful weight up off my chest
And keep her pretty ghost from chasing me...

**music descends into chaos, out of which comes a piano playing two strong, slow chords...

So you say there are spaces open and wide.
Believe me there's days longer than nights.
And you will be happy the minute you try...
But you don't try. No you don't try.

And you speak of a fever, that burns you inside.
As you explain to your mother, how you wanted to die.
So she kisses your fingers, says "My Darling but why?
When there is so much more. There is so much more.
Do you know there are spaces, open and wide.
Oh believe me, there's days, longer than nights.
And you will be happy, if only you'd try.
Oh won't you try? Won't you try?

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Eight minutes

The latest video to be featured on the uk youtube homepage is eight minutes long, and I just saw this comment

"8 mins .. you must be joking ..bye"

I mean seriously? Has the attention span of generation Y reached such a devastating low that they can no longer sit through an eight minute film? How do they watch tv, go to the cinema or read a book?

Read a book, who am I kidding?

But what do they do? How do they fill a day with tasks that are under eight minutes? Surely there aren't enough!

I thought I would write a thousand words on this to vent my frustration, but honestly I think that comment speaks for itself.

"You must be joking."


Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Being vegetarian, dreams and last fm.

So I bought some quorn. Guess that's the first part pretty much done! It's been two days, not been that hard but I guess we'll see. Oh for anyone who reads this and doesn't watch my videos (does such a person exist? I'm curious) I've gone veggie for a week. Watch this. if you care.

Dreams. Bad ones. Last night I dreamt I accidentally ate meat and... umm... oh dammit! I forgot the other thing, but it was similar in that I messed something up, but what's funny is neither of them were things I care about that much. Hmm.

Ok last but not least fm. I've been uploading stuff there. I had some kind of half page on there already, just because some people who have my songs use the lastfm widget thing... I don't really know how it all works you probably figured that out by now. But I uploaded the songs properly so people can listen from there AND apparently I can get royalties from the advertising, just like youtube partner stuff. I don't expect I will ever see any money from there, or maybe about £10 in about a year, but it's good to have set it up.

Especially as I think there is another band somewhere that shares my name, because there were some tracks on there that weren't mine, so I'm attempting to take over! I've sent out bulletins telling people about it, basically I think if a lot of people go over and listen to my songs they will be the ones that appear on the page instead of the other 'blue skies' whoever they may be.

As my lovely blog readers I am expecting you to do this as well, oh yes. And any of you that know the site better than me go ahead and do whatever you can do on there! Is there an equivalent to subscribing? I did manage to make a playlist of the songs and embed it on mymymyspace, if other people started doing that it would be very helpful! When the EP nears completion I'm gonna start properly pushing the idea of word of mouth advertising, it's so powerful today with this clever little thing called the internet.

Four songs have been started for the collab ep. I'm listening to the song me and Jay are covering now and I'm excited!

 here is the page.


Friday, 16 May 2008

Thoughts on a song

I'm uploading a song at the moment. It's going to take a while because my internet is made of failure, and since it's quite a strange song I thought I'd write about it.

It's strange because I wrote it in three parts and I was in a very different mood, or at least thinking about very different things when writing each. I should point out right now, it's not as funny as that song from 'The Wedding Singer', the one he wrote half of before he broke up with his girlfriend and half after... But it is all over the place. So I'm gonna run through it because I think some people might be interested, but really it's more that I want to run it through my head. If you don't care about the thought process behind a song then I'd stop reading this round about now.

The first part I wrote yesterday, I was feeling kinda down and really lethargic, it was just one of those days where I didn't think anything productive was happening, my mind was flicking between topics and never settling on one, which I suppose is how the song turned out as well, which is quite nice.

A little while later I was listening to Jack Poulson (who had just put a new song on his page) and that was picking me up, it really made me want to write but I was annoyed because nothing I've written lately has been finished or turned out right. That's what the 'Jack has me falling in love again but it seems so distant' part is about: songwriting. I can confirm I have not fallen in love with someone called Jack.

The word distant got me thinking about how far I am physically from all my friends. That and I got a call from Alex who is up in Glasgow with Mhazz, by the way, expect hilarity from a certain youtuber not mentioned involving a bike ride! Also go watch Davey's video where he asks 'why do so many people die of cancer every year?' as he puts out a cigarette... in a graveyard. Genius.

Getting off topic. The repeated line, 'take me in...' is about a few things but centered around that longing for physical closeness with friends I don't see often enough. Adding 'your mind' on the end was to put a more positive spin on the idea, because I know even if I can't be with them, I see them and hear them through all this technology some nice person invented for us. Also it's a way of saying I hope I'm in their thoughts like they are in mine. I think of new meanings and forget old ones every time I think about that line.

The last verse is the most out of place and makes no sense. I wrote it today after I had the guitar part figured out and had sung through the rest of it once or twice. That had me in a much happier mood because I love the guitar in it so I was really writing about writing. I don't know why people don't write about writing more, after all you write about what you do and what are you doing when you're writing? You're writing!

So that's what I was thinking when I wrote a strange song about all sorts of things. Hardly great lyrics but I kinda like it... And the guitar is shit hot.

Oh but I just got a comment on youtube that informed me I can't actually sing, so I'll be closing my account now, bye.


EDIT: Ok Just want to add a few things, it's a couple of hours after this blog went up, and the video too. First off... Yes, that last line was a joke! I get those comments every day, they don't get to me.

And something I should have said was that this is a first draft and I will go over the lyrics - There is a balance between keeping true to the original feelings and creating a coherent, intelligent piece of writing. So far this is all feeling and little thought! Over the next few days hopefully I will go over it, probably replace the last verse and attempt to connect the others more solidly.

bye then!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Some fucking clowns from myspace

Just sent me a message saying my untitled track is 'identical' to their song and they reckon I ripped it off. Several problems I have with this...

1. This song of theirs isn't even on their page so I can't listen to it, I don't even know if it exists.

2. They are Italian, the only song they have up is in Italian, and the title of the song I supposedly ripped off is "Pane e verità". Now I'm quite particular about my lyrics, I pay very close attention to them, and as such I'm pretty sure I would notice if I had any songs WRITTEN IN ITALIAN!

3. As a songwriter I've never been so insulted. Who the fuck would do that?

4. The one song they did have on their page was shit. If I was ever to intentionally steal someones song (would absolutely, unequivocally, NEVER happen, but for argument's sake...) it would be someone good.

But my real concern is that I know fuck all about copyright, I don't know if the files on my computer are enough, dates posted on websites I would think are official and recorded. But I don't even know when they wrote/recorded their song. For all I know it is before mine. I had a look just now and apparently you have to post songs to yourself and not open them unless it's ever required in court. I guess I'll start doing that. I never even dreamt of this happening.

What I do know is that around a year ago, maybe more I can't remember, I sat down in my room, on my own and wrote every fucking word.

And it's the best thing I've written.

p.s. If this is any of you playing an elaborate practical joke, tell me now or I will actually murder you.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Going well so far

Love it!

top 3


Think I'll do another one today if I can get some quiet.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Reasons to be happy

My sister Katie and her boyfriend Matt will be here in twelve hours.

One of my videos is currently playing on Charlie's page. I like Charlie, he's nice. I've only met him once at upstaged and I was a bit preoccupied, but I noticed one thing, he was nice.

People are digging The Sunshine Sessions, and well they should! It was a great idea. I'm hoping to put out five parts, four of which I've already recorded, and I want them all up within a week and I want them all to make the first page of the weeks top rated/commented/favourited videos in music, so one quarter of the top twenty music videos will be me! How good will that look?! Also when they are all on youtube I'm going to get them in mp3 format and make them downloadable, not on myspace, but all together from one of those sites... like Jay's EP. 

I got a comment on that first video from someone in South Africa, they said they liked it when it was sunny in the UK because the whole world seemed to get happier! I loved that.

I don't love that I accidentally removed their comment. If you're reading this, I'm sorry.

The Collab EP has begun! I've sent two songs out so I can do no more to them until I get parts from the collabees! I could do with picking songs for everyone next, then get started on one or two more. It's quite good doing so many at once, because I don't need to rush people, I've always got something to do... Those two I can't do more on until I get parts back, but so what, I've got a load of others to start!

I'm currently thinking that getting on as many ipods as possible is a very good idea, so with The Sunshine Sessions and the collab EP being sent out to music collections throughout the world for free and being quite well promoted there should be 'Blue Skies' sections popping up everywhere! Once you're on ipods you get promotion without having to do anything. I like that thought.


I'm getting subscribers again, which is nice! I went down to only getting about 10-20 a day for quite a few days, but I got over 60 today, that must be one of my highest. I was a bit disappointed with the Kings of Leon video though. With a lot of my recent videos they have gone to the top of searches, so for example if you searched 'the strokes' for about a fortnight after I released my cover of them, that was the number one search result. Because of this, that video has more views than the one that got featured, same with Iris. But the KoL cover got nothing! I'll tell you what you get if you search for 'kings of leon', you get the bloody Kings of Leon! It's a shame, I got it in stereo and everything, I wouldn't have bothered if I'd known!


Still I make that five reasons to be happy against one annoying thing. The fact that the second part of The Sunshine Sessions still hasn't uploaded can make the final score 5-2. So a good day. Bedtime now and I just had one of those 'Oh my God' moments when you realise the time is an hour later than you thought it was.

Sorry this has been a bit all over the place... Well not that sorry, I'm sure you'll get over it.


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Sunshine Sessions

The recent wave of gorgeous weather has had me longing to get outside more. However I struggle to do things productive with music out there other than song writing, so I have decided to do a little series called 'The Sunshine Sessions.' There's nothing too special about it, it'll just be me and my guitar like many of my videos, but I'll be out in the garden (and maybe the local park if I can be bothered) and I won't be using proper recording gear, just the mic on my camera (which it turns out, is pretty good!)

I like playing outside, you get all the background noises, water fountains, birds, a plane goes overhead at the start of the first one!

So I have done two songs today and I may go out again tomorrow and record a couple more. The videos are going to be really simple, the audio will have no effects and I'm only giving myself one take for each song so it's not going to be polished, there will probably be a mistake or two, but it will be real, just like you were sitting in my garden with me. At least, that's the plan.

You never know how long this weather will be with us so I'm going to put the videos up quite quickly, probably one a day. Then hopefully it will still be nice when people are watching, I don't want it to have gone cold and wet and for my videos to remind everyone of that!

So yes, I let the weather run my life. I am English.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Where all good stories come from.


Especially if they are Irish.

So I have a story for you, one that I just heard for the first time, which is the most amazing part because I thought I had heard every story my grandad had in him, most of them several times!

Just in conversation my Dad mentions Tho Who, and my grandad says 'Oh, I remember them.' This is unexpected. His knowledge of rock/pop music is limited at best, The Beatles are the only band I think are big enough for me to be confident he would know them. He's into... Marty Robbins and... stuff. Anyway his appreciation and taste in music is beside the point, all I'm trying to say is that he is unaware of the popularity of this band, which is probably why I've made it through 22 years on this earth having never heard this story before.

On further enquiry as to how he 'remembered' The Who he comes out with this little gem. Please include an Irish accent when reading his lines, it will greatly improve the realism and wonder of his story.

He used to work as an accountant for Granada, and here my knowledge is shady, but this day he was working in some large music venue, but... as an accountant. 'The only other people in the whole building' he says, obviously prone to exaggeration but that's why everyone loves old Irish people, 'were The Who.' They were rehearsing for a gig. He was doing accounts. Unsurprisingly, they were quite loud and off putting, so he went and found them and ASKED THE WHO TO TURN IT DOWN! The best part however, is that they did turn it down with their apologies!

I only wish I could write a story as well as he could tell it, and I hope you know an elderly Irish gentleman who is similarly stereotypically brilliant at weaving a tale and holding the attention of everyone within earshot so that you can relate to being told a story from the genius that is my grandad.


Also I have had a stroke of genius about the collab EP. I was just going to go along putting up videos for each song when it was finished, but I've realised that would be stupid. I'm going to hold off releasing any of the songs at all until they are all finished and everything is ready. Then I'll have a 'launch' night where I put up a video explaining what I've done and the videos for each of the songs go up on the channels of the people I did them with, all with a link to a download of the whole EP. It'll be awesome. We can take over the music section of youtube! Ok maybe not, but it will be awesome, and I think I can reach a lot of people. Even if these ones wont be my original songs, having a ''Blue Skies' section on that many people's ipods has got to be good! But I'll be honest, that's just me justifying to myself the time it will take, the main reason is that I want to work with these people and to listen to it myself!

Saturday, 3 May 2008


So the first few days of May have been and gone and brought some genuine productivity, this is rare for me so I'm hoping to ride the wave for as long as I can, who knows maybe even just become the sort of person who gets things done! I think the reason is because I'm excited about things. This collab EP for one. I started recording one of the tracks today, and I asked Ben if he'd be up for it and he said yes, and Ed read about it and said yes before I even asked him! I love it when people are enthusiastic about things. Especially my things.

You know what else is mad? I got a comment on my first ever video saying it's funny that I mention people I watched (can't remember what I said, I haven't watched it in a while!) and that now I know them! It's true; If you'd told me four months ago that I'd get an e-mail tonight from Ben Loka saying he's up for doing a collab, I'd have called you a dirty rotten liar! So yes, that comment made me happy.

Oh speaking of things I'm excited about, Jeff from studentdotcom emailed today about an idea he's had, which I won't go into, but I love it. It's going to be a big job and will hopefully involve a lot of people from all over the world. It is going to take a long time, but I don't care, I'm really glad he asked me, it's just the sort of thing I want to try.

Alright, enough of the two days that have gone and onto my goals for the remaining 29 (got a maths degree innit).

I should keep the weekly posting of videos and blogs, that's a good one. Record a song good enough for the EP, which includes writing I think because I don't think I have any I want on there left, oh apart from 'Alone Again', I'll do that too. Also writing, as I failed last time on that I want to really focus on that. So let's lay them out...

1. Video and Blog every week.
2. Write four songs.
3. Record 'Alone Again' and one of the new songs for the EP.

That will mean it'll be almost finished, so I should say

4. Look into distribution, art work, and all those other little things that need to be considered when you want to sell music.

5. Complete at least three songs for the collab EP. These rely on other people being able to to them too so I can't be sure, but I will do my best.

Jay's new video has 100 views, at least half of those must be me. I've literally been sat here pressing play over and over as I write this.

Two other things I forgot to mention anywhere else:
1. I just edited a new video, should be up tomorrow, involves Kings of Leon.
2. Jimmy made a new video the other day. This made me very happy.

End of blog.