Sunday, 20 April 2008

Public Service Broadcast Club #2

Aaaaaaand... that was Public Service Broadcast Club 2! Thanks to everyone who came down and a special thanks to all of the bands for being... well, fucking brilliant, if I'm going to be honest. How good was Jam On Bread's cover of At Your Funeral? A LOT BRILLIANT, that's how. Plus, Aaron Connolly finally cornered me for this documentary he's making about us, and it went far better than I ever expected it to. I probably talked a load of rubbish, but you can blame the Arts Club's rotten cider for that. The evening went hilariously off-the-radar after we left Notting Hill, and ended up with my friend Chris and I drinking cheap Strongbow whilst making keyboard loops and guitar feedback in my tiny, tiny flat until about 4am. I think my neighbours probably hate me now.

Oh well! Public Service Broadcast Club 3 is set for June 14th, which is also my birthday weekend! Most, most excellent.

So tomorrow, we're off to Radio 1. I'm really excited! I've only been to Maida Vale once, when I saw the Super Furry Animals do a session about seven years ago. I've also been up since before 7am working on some sampler CDs, we have the intention of thrusting them into the hands of anyone important looking we see while there...

You may also notice the presence of a Faux Discx logo on there - for those who don't know them, they're a great little label based down in Brighton, and we'll be co-releasing and handling distribution on a number of release with them this year. This is also really exciting! Have a look at their website, there's a bunch of free download releases that are all worthy of your time.

So there you have it! Record labels: pretty exciting.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Be Awkward

Oh, poor little blog, how neglected you are... However, fear no more, because here is some VERY EXCITING NEWS!

Next week, on Wednesday April 23rd to be exact, STA will be taking over Radio 1! Sort of. Both Fighting With Wire and Alan MX have been invited to record live sessions for Huw Stephen's In New Music We Trust show.

This is, obviously Proper Cool.

As I've just posted over at the STA site, we've also got some spare guestlist places. Click on this if you want more details on that.

The best thing to remember is this, though: Radio 1 (like all of the BBC) are able to give labels such as us airtime like this because they're a public service broadcaster. This means that, essentially, they work for you. If they play something you like, you should tell them that you like it and that they should play it again. If they're not playing anything you like and you want them to, you should tell them this as well. As a great example - Let Our Enemies Beware (as seen on Public Service Broadcast 9) recently got a couple of plays from good old Zane Lowe, and all because someone who liked them emailed him and told him to play them.

That, dear readers, is the power of non-corporate public broadcasting. Treasure it, because, as anyone who's been subjected to North American radio will tell you, we're very lucky to have it.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Chris T-T - Capital

I'm absolutely in love with the new Chris T-T album. It's called Capital, and came out via the wonderful folks over at Xtra Mile a few weeks ago. I suppose it's his first 'proper' album since 2003's London Is Sinking, although that only really works if you count 2005's 9 Red Songs as not a 'proper album', and I'm not sure why you would do that, 'cause it's great.

Errr, moving on. I've had a softspot for Mr T-T since I caught him playing a set on Leap Day 2004. I've always liked the way he's managed to combine wit with a level of insight about "things" that few songwriters ever seem to reach. Essentially, I really like how honest he's always been - I mean, how many people would release a single that contained the line "or if you’re fat like me"? Exactly.

He's always had a political bent to his songwriting, as shown most prominently (and deliberately) on 9 Red Songs, but this new LP manages to take this to a whole new level. Largely avoiding the issues-based songwriting of the previous LP, it instead takes a totally brutal "THIS IS YOUR FUTURE, IT'S KNOCKING ON YOUR DOOR, AND IT ISN'T GOOD" line. Suddenly, you're catpulted into a nightmare Children of Men-esque world where London is pinned down by terrorists blowing stuff up and tanks occupying the streets.

But you know what? Mr T-T is quite, quite happy to stick two fingers up to it all. The man who, seven years ago, scored a minor indie hit with a song about using alcohol to boost ones flagging self-esteem, is now singing "so if you want us, come and get us" and giving songs titles like "None Of Them Give A Fuck About The Future", and aiming it all squarely at the liars and cheaters who manipulate us for their own gain.

The end result is a strange mixture, because in a way it's vintage T-T - a record of angry, eloquant pop music - and yet it's so much more of a statement, of a complete experience than his previous records. It's a really brave, really honest album. I was expecting something good, but not this good. Go buy this record, I'm confident that you won't regret it.

Isn't music great?