Friday, 27 February 2009
Asterixed shows also boast support from Castrovalva who are either named after the painting by Escher or a Peter Davison-era Doctor Who story. I like to think it's the latter but I will endeavour to find out.
Glasgow, Stereo, March 18th, Wednesday - TICKETS(18+)
Newcastle, The End Bar, March 19th, Thursday - TICKETS*
Barrow, The Canteen, March 20th, Friday
Leeds, The Fenton, March 21st, Saturday - TICKETS (18+)
Sheffield, The Harley, March 22nd, Sunday - *
York, Duchess, March 23rd, Monday - TICKETS * (14+)
Middlesbrough, Uncle Albert's, March 24th, Tuesday - TICKETS (18+)
Nottingham, Chameleon Arts Cafe, March 25th, Wednesday - TICKETS (14+)
Oxford, Cellar, March 26th, Thursday - TICKETS (18+)
Kingston, Fighting Cocks, March 27th, Friday
Guildford Boileroom, March 28th, Saturday - TICKETS (18+)
Brighton, Prince Albert, March 29th Sunday - TICKETS (16+)
Southampton, Hamptons, March 30th, Monday - TICKETS (14+)
London, Madame Jo Jo's, March 31st, Tuesday - TICKETS (18+)
Also, new Future of the Left video!
Where did Falco's hair go?!?
Thursday, 26 February 2009
I think the whole subject is done and dusted, it’s clear that file sharing (and its supercedents that we are yet to see) is with us and here to stay. The challenge for large corporations is how they can go about monetizing this. I predict that the only way that this will happen will be from a royalty derived from the consumers internet subscription. The ISPs have to have the responsibility of delivering cash to copyright holders.
I think file sharing is damaging tactile and digital sales – but I’m an advocate of people hearing music and being able to try before they buy. If the music is good and you want to support the artist, it’s down to you to purchase a show ticket, t-shirt, CD or legit download. If you don’t do that – the artist will wither and die, essentially you strangulate their creativity by not putting your money where your heart is.
How do you believe record companies could use file sharing for their own gain?
Since the mid-fifties advertisers and marketing departments have leveraged youth, sex and music to shift product. Marketing departments are already manipulating web technology to track and place other products beside the downloads we make.
There is no conspiracy here; it’s simply creative economics. Know that every step that you make online is digitised and analysed either in a macro sense or a (possibly more malevolent) micro sense.
Your face book profile, the websites you visit and the downloads you make all inform advertisers and their clients about your leisure/time patterns. This is what they can use to sell you the big ticket items they really want you to buy.
I am crediting the record industry with more deftness of thought than they actually have. It’s a cash-poor sector now and they are desperately trying to catch up with technologies that are quickly outpacing even the brightest of minds.
Obviously CD sales are declining rapidly and there is no current sign of recovery, how do you think this loss of revenue will be replaced?
Live income is crucial to any artist now wishing to have a career in the industry – this is a correction that I personally applaud. I think music will be for the better now that fat cat artists have to get off their arses and play gigs. I had the time of my life at Prince at the O2. Faith No More can no longer rely on their back catalogue sales to run vanity projects – out on tour with you! Jesus Lizard out of retirement – all good!
Artists need to think of other ways of other ways to generate income from their art. Solomon Burke was banned from the Apollo Theater in New York for trying to sell pork chop sandwiches and magic popcorn with his face on the box at his shows. He tried to sell his crown, scepter and “King of Rock & Soul” title for $10,000 to James Brown. That’s the sort of stuff they need to be thinking about.
Do you think that there is one particular stream of revenue that can replace the loss of CD sales such as touring or merchandise etc?
It depends on the size of artist. Kaiser Chiefs will generate 90% of their annual income from live as they’re stadium-sized. The lower down the food chain you descend, the more fractious and evenly spread the income streams become.
What do you think of multiple rights better known as 360 deals? Will this be a successful way of record companies surviving?
I think it’s the last gasp of a dying animal. Record labels are not merchandising companies, tour bookers, set designers or website engineers. 360 deals are a corporate strategy mistake of the highest magnitude. They will rue the day they decided to try to grab income share from industries they have no expertise in, instead of concentrating on the song and generating hits.
The days of the conglomerate are numbered.
Do you think 360 deals could be damaging for artists?
Completely, they no longer have control over the ancillary aspects of their career (live, merchandise, online etc). Ultimately, this stunts their growth; disincentivises management teams and reduces income flowing through the business.
The 360 deals highlight the trend of promoting artists as a brand, is branding important for an artist?
All bands are brands unless you decide to make a record and bury it in the garden. Then you’re a fucking maniac, but could call yourself an artist I suppose. Once you decide to place a product on a shelf, branding is crucial to the artist’s success. In general, people do not want to associate their hard-earned with non-aspirational purchases.
Unless the brand is managed tightly and coherently, generally the product fails to shift an interesting number of units.
Personally, at Smalltown America we don’t care if the artist sells 50 or 50,000 copies – so long as the music is authentic and the band are nice people we will work the record as hard as we possibly can.
Lil Wayne’s newest album the Carter III sold a respectable amount of CDs compared to how the industry is declining. Seven songs that Lil Wayne appeared on were in the charts at one time and some people believe it is this and radio play raising awareness that made the album a success. Do you think being able to sample the album is important in the modern climate and is it indicating the end of the one-hit-wonder?
Radio is a key sales driver in the industry, I don’t know too much about Lil Wayne’s record – but I think that if you get bludgeoned over the head enough times with something eventually you give in. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a good record or not. It’s a kind of record label water torture… drip… drip…
In one respect I think customers deserve the chance to listen to a whole record before they have to part with any cash. Sites like Spotify offer the chance to do that in a pleasant environment.
Do you think that this level of awareness of a whole album means the end of albums being sold if there are not ten solid tracks. Are people more likely to buy the singles instead of a whole album now?
I believe in the art of record making conceptually; I don’t think that a single track tells the story behind an artists. Personally we push all our artists to make full length albums and we don’t see that changing. It’s like putting a single chapter from a Terry Pratchett book on sale and asking people to understand how the story is going to end.
People do like singles though – it’s a short attention span thing, our lives are much busier now.
Now that distribution and the market have changed, promotion is changing with it. How do you think the music industry will decide to promote its artists next?
Soon everything will be done online, even relationship driven jobs like radio plugging will have an online engine backing it up.
Many artists are now teaming up with other companies such as drinks or mobile phones or lending their songs to advertisements. What do you think of this kind of cross-promotion?
Personally, it’s a turn off for me because I’m a indie snob and I like my favourite bands to be unavailable, undecipherable and sometimes unlistenable. I think that for the right artists synergy with other industries is perfectly acceptable and totally necessary. Put it this way I’m not going to be cueing up to buy Nadine Coyle’s biography – but I’m reminded of their music when I see Girls Aloud advertising Nintendogs.
The use of online promotions is rising, do you see this as the future of music industry promotions or should radio, television and press still be considered?
Television captures the mind of a nation in a very influential way. People still foolishly (I included) believe that if something is on television it’s good and valid. Clearly that’s bullshit and it just depends how much money you have to spend advertising The Seldom Seen Kid.
At least with press (although purchasing power does have a bearing on editorial positioning) there is a journalist interrogating the work and there is a dialogue between record, critic and consumer/fan.
A campaign without a strong TV, radio and offline print campaign has no gravitas in the modern world. People still view online as an ‘easy win’.
As the head of an independent label do you see grassroots promotion as important in keeping costs down?
We do as much as we can in-house to avoid going under. I think people quickly make their mind up about whether they like the artist or not – we’re working hard now to push our artists to the forefront rather than the label’s name or our history.
Do you think lower-cost campaigns are going to become more prevalent in the market now?
Not really, the hits still need marketing budgets well in excess of 1 million GBP to get them to flip over into a global market.
I think there will be more indie labels though doing their own thing and much more regional activity.
Is grassroots promotion effective or do the big budget campaigns on TV, Radio and press still play a part in the promotion of artists?
Grassroots support lends authenticity to a campaign, personally I like to know that a band works hard on the road building audience numbers. It makes me feel connected to fans that might have seen the band in Southampton or Glasgow. The sense of community around a band for me is really important – you need to have that community first before you bolt on all the extra marketing stuff.
How do you think the future looks for record companies and the music industry as a whole? Do you think it can survive?
Major record companies as we now know them will shift into a new space, they are copyright holders and content producers. They will task themselves with delivering content directly to your television set and work in league with broadcasters, ISPs and Media Player Manufacturers to ensure that their stars are placed on the first button of your remote control.
Indies will proliferate over the next 3-5 years and this will be the furnace of creativity. These labels will become more niche, bespoke and release smaller and smaller quantities of product by more and more specialised artists.
In the middle ground will be the aggregators, who will consume independently generated product (and some major stars) and digest this for us; they will mostly exist online and offer customers a subscription based service to watch, hear and own their particular brand of genre lead content.
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Now they're running a festival on the weekend of March 28/29 - "hooray", says I, as I steal the following from their website:
"YES WAY is a two day festival celebrating the best and brightest of the UK's art and music underground.
The event is a collaboration between London-based promoter and label, Upset The Rhythm, and Auto-Italia - an artists' project space, currently residing in a former car showroom in Peckham.
Over the course of the weekend, 32 acts will perform from noon until midnight each day. There'll also be an array of artists' work on show (details coming soon), a temporary record store and no end of food and drink from independent, local producers."
It's also super cheap - £8 for the weekend, £5 for a day Check out their website or facebook or Last FM for more details. See you there?
Also, if you're not ATPing the weekend of May 9th, check out their Black Dice show in Tufnell Park - I saw them last October and they were so loud my stomach was vibrating. Nice.
Monday, 23 February 2009
You can check out Fighting With Wire 5 times in the next few days on Irish radio! Happy days! If you can't find the stations on your noise box, then you can find the shows online on the links below.
FRIDAY FEB 27TH
VIBE FM (ENNISKILLEN)
TIME - 1PM
DETAILS - LIVE INTERVIEW / ACOUSTIC TRACK
SATURDAY FEB 28TH
KCLR 96FM (KILKENNY)
TIME - 9PM
DETAILS - LIVE INTERVIEW / ACOUSTIC TRACK
SUNDAY MARCH 1ST
LIMERICK LIVE 95FM
TIME - 8PM -10PM
DETAILS - (Pre-recorded) THREE ACOUSTIC SONG SESSION PLAYED AT DIFFERENT STAGES THROUGHOUT THE SHOW
MONDAY MARCH 2ND
TIME - 9:40PM
DETAILS - LIVE INTERVIEW / ACOUSTIC SESSION
SUNDAY MARCH 8TH
TIME - TBC
DETAILS - LIVE INTERVIEW / ACOUSTIC TRACK
Any takers on what sort of sweets Cahir will have in his mouth while singing? I believe Fruit Pastilles were the confection of choice for last year's Radio 1 Maida Vale session.
Sunday, 22 February 2009
*yes, you did read that right
The best blogcast yet (I've said it before and I'll say it again); seriously, is there a radio station out there playing this many solid tunes in the space of under half an hour? Except when STA themselves are lording over the airwaves of course. All I need now is a cheesy jingle.
Public Service Blogcast Episode 23
28 minutes 6 seconds
00.29 Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome (from forthcoming Photoshop Handsome single - Another Music = Another Kitchen Records)
03.45 Death Cigarettes - Total Fear (previously unreleased)
07.28 The Patio Set - Highgate Owl Nightmare (previously unreleased)
12.02 Elephant Vs Leopard - You Are Not (But I Might Be) (from Safariland album - Genin Records)
13.57 Boats!! - Dream Of A Dentist (from Intercontinental Champion album - self-released)
16.04 Shock Defeat! - Brute Economics (from forthcoming Olympic Village EP - self-released)
18.52 Asobi Seksu - Glacially (from Hush album - One Little Indian)
23.18 The Hysterical Injury - Etc (from self-titled EP - self-released)
If you have any feedback or want to get a track played, get in touch - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 20 February 2009
Pete Calories unveils the new T-shirt design after the first bunch of shirts have now pretty much all gone (and forever as each one is limited).
"So we've had some more done, new design, new flavour, new me, new you etc etc. This is the test pressing (it's an XL) hence why our model is wearing his shirt underneath it, hopefully next time the agency will send us a more voluptuous male, someone I wouldn't be embarrassed to take out for romantic evening after the shoot".
Fruit Tap Tee is available in YS/S/M/L as of Saturday on the Calories myspace.
Priced at £9.00 you can purchase now via WeGotTickets. Album will be available at the show 2 weeks ahead of street date.
You have been warned!
Thursday, 19 February 2009
More great submissions plus a specially recorded message from Alan MX announcing this week's release of his debut single Warpsichord - which is limited to only 100 gorgeous hand-finished 3" CD copies - plus the need-to-know on the superb video
Public Service Blogcast Episode 22
32 minutes 2 seconds
00.29 run,WALK! - 3, 5, 10 (previously unreleased)
03.25 The Pocket Gods - Jombal Party (from Sandringtonsput EP - self-released)
08.41 Alright The Captain - Monster Surf Manual (previously unreleased)
12.43 Action And Action - Nineteen Twenty-Two (from Nineteen Twenty-Two/Reflective Clothing double A-side 7” single - 1922 Recordings)
15.57 Married To The Sea - Tomorrow I'll Do The Right Thing (from 2007 5 track promo CD – self-released)
18.34 The Siegfried Sassoon featuring Laura-Mary Carter - The Al Gore Rhythm (from forthcoming Muscle Beach/The Al Gore Rhythm double A-side single - self-released)
21.54 The Peppermint Hunting Lodge - On Switch (previously unreleased)
28.30 Swim Team - Forever AM (previously unreleased)
If you have any feedback or want to get a track played, get in touch - email email@example.com
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
In-between soundchecking for the London Barfly finale of the tour to promote their new single Sugar (out 2nd March) and taping a segment for Aaron's STA documentary, Fighting With Wire shared their thoughts on beards, when icons sell out and Seafood The Movie.
Public Service Blogcast Episode 21
28 minutes 28 seconds
01.53 Fighting With Wire - Everyone Needs A Nemesis (from Man Vs Monster album - Smalltown America)
06.35 LaFaro - Leningrad (from EP2 - self released)
12.03 And So I Watch You From Afar - Set Guitars To Kill (from forthcoming A Little Solidarity Goes A Long Way / Set Guitars To Kill double A side single - Smalltown America)
24.48 Fighting With Wire - Last Love Song (from Everyone Needs A Nemesis single - Smalltown America)
If you have any ideas for future blogcast takeovers or want to get a track played on one of regular shows, get in touch - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
You can check it out by clicking here or if you prefer you can download directly to your iTunes by clicking here
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Apologies for the ropey sound quality of the speech parts which sound like they were recorded from the future – to cut a long story short, I need a new mike!
29 minutes 06 seconds
00.36 The Thermals - I Let It Go (demo version from forthcoming Now We Can See album - Kill Rock Stars)
04.33 Holly Golightly & Billy Childish - Upside Mine (from In Blood album - Wabana Records)
08.28 Julie Doiron - I Woke Myself Up (from Woke Myself Up album - Jagjaguwar Records)
11.53 These Arms Are Snakes - Lucifer (from Tail Swallower & Dove album - Suicide Squeeze)
14.51 The Velvet Teen - Building A Whale (from Cum Laude album - Slowdance Records)
18.47 Thao with The Get Down Stay Down - Bag Of Hammers (from We Brave Bee Stings and All album - Kill Rock Stars)
21.50 Arthur And Yu - Afterglow (from In Camera album - Hardly Art)
25.57 The Thermals - When I Was Afraid (demo version from forthcoming Now We Can See album - Kill Rock Stars)
If you have any ideas for future blogcast takeovers or want to get a track played on one of regular shows, get in touch - email email@example.com
Friday, 13 February 2009
Thanks to director Slaine Browne for sending these our way:
March 10 - Southend Chinnerys
March 11 - Northampton Roadmenders
Well worth checking out for previews of LP2 which is sure to be as abundant with pop gems as the first album.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
1. Craig's Hat
2. Cahir's incredibly wide mouth (what's that about)
3. The fact that the presenter makes Cahir completely squirm to the point where he can't even plug his own tour.
REMEMBER OUR MEDIA TRAINING BOYS! STICK TO THE SCRIPT.
We like contributing to your projects at college and Uni, the easiest way for us to do it is in electronic Q&A form. Please check the press archive on the official site to find out more about the label and consult the FAQ when compiling your Qs as they may have been asked before. [By the way I didn't deliberately cut Cahir out of the photograph - Blogger did it, click on the image for the big guns.]
1. Cuckoo were signed to Geffen. Did this inspire you to take a more DIY approach with JPL?
The first Jetplane record was recorded on our own in my parents' garage. Andrew and I had been writing songs together and we wanted to record them. There was no way we could have afforded to get into any proper studio at the time. Also, I think that we felt that no record company would be at all interested in the two of us playing the kind of music that we were trying to make, looking the way that we did. We were pretty realistic about it. Maybe some of the Geffen stuff had wised us up to the real facts of how big record labels work. But I don't remember us ever having the conversation were we said let's do everything DIY.
Events just trickled forwards very slowly over the course of nearly two years from the point of being in my parents' garage to where Smalltown America started.
2. You've played most of the major festivals, had BBC and MTV airplay, been featured in Kerrang! etc. Did you always and do you still consider JPL to be a DIY band?
Jetplane Landing are a DIY band but not from an idealist stand point, more from a very practical position. That is to say: I don't think that we are DIY in the same vein as a band like Fugazi. A band like that chooses to work outside of the industry on a political and personal basis. Once you start appearing at festivals sponsored by huge beer companies, and on MTV, I don't think you are really working from the same stand point. You are now inside the corporate world anyway… only you're mainly there on your own. None of the big labels want you there because you are taking up space that one of their so called "signed" bands could have. Major labels still really run and feed the industry at a certain level; they still control most of the printed press for instance. Taking Jetplane into that world, sometimes, felt like we were completely out of our depth.
3. Do you feel there are any limits on what a DIY band can achieve without compromising its integrity?
As I said before, if you have a very clear personal agenda and you stick to it honestly then I don't think you will feel any loss of integrity at all. I guess the same goes if your only goal is to make loads of money and show off to the people you went to school with that you are now on the cover of the NME: if that happens, and that was what you wanted, how have you compromised any integrity? Ask Johnny Borrell, I bet he sleeps like a baby at night.
The biggest piece of advice I could give to any band starting out on the whole DIY route is that if you really want to make it work you will have to feed some of the money you make into the individual band memebers pockets, from the beginning. Even if the profits are small. For a band to function and stick together everyone has to be happy. And it's unrealistic to believe that your band are going to give up all of the time that is needed for touring etc, while not working, and to never make any money out of it. It puts too much strain on people and eventually they will drift away. So keep it small and share it out.
4. You completed a 60-date tour of the UK in 2003. How did that affect you mentally, physically and as a band unit? Any particularly memorable experiences, good or bad?
We were a shithot band but complete zombies by the time it was over. Our minds had turned into the inside of a Travelodge room... our eyes were two fried eggs from a motorway café... our hands were constantly frozen into the grip of a beer bottle - if we were drinking one or not. Every night, for weeks after the tour had finished, around stage time, say 10:30 p.m., our hearts would automatically start racing a little and we would start performing on our own in our front rooms.
5. Do you feel DIY touring is more or less feasible in 2008 than at previous times?
I booked our first tour. It wasn't too hard to do. I used the phone and sent out CDs.
But it worked in more or less the same way really as I imagine it would today: I approached it like a job; I just pestered the hell out of promoters and said we would take any slot, at any money, the first time around. I managed to string together ten or so shows. There you go: you're on tour.
6. Has the internet made it easier for bands to 'book their own lives'? Are there any downsides to this?
I can't see a downside at all. Bands aren't getting any worse because of it. More people are getting their stuff heard. It all seems like a much healthier way for people to find out about new music.
7. What do you remember of the dark days of band life before the internet?
Before the internet the big labels totally dominated. That was nuts because they could, or would, only sign very few new acts. It was like there was a door that swung open and when the room was full they said: "Thanks very much, that's all the good music we need right now." They were acting like there was a finite amount of talent and once they had bought their share of that then those left on the outside must not be deserving of their attention. It's great really how their elitist, close-minded approached has led to them heading to, what seems like, becoming defunct. I mean if you sign for a major these days you'd have to be kidding yourself that it was a good long-term move.
8. Do you feel the DIY 'revolution' has had a negative impact on quality control - i.e. too many bands, too many CDs?
Can you have too many bands? Too many CDs? You can press too many CD's and end up with them stored in a cupboard under the stairs, but I don't think you can have a limit on the number of bands. Everyone should be in one… even The Ting Tings.
9. In JPL's case, is the DIY approach purely out of necessity or a desire to maintain independence - or a combination of the two?
I feel like I am answering these questions with more or less the same answer every time. Sorry for my lack of imagination but when you do something like this people might just scan to one of your answers and judge everything you are saying by that answers… So, Jetplane's approach was more of a necessity. We have never been offered any money. We worked on our own because we wanted to make records and that seemed like the only way we could make them.
10. As JPL became busier and more successful in the early '00s did you find yourselves letting other people take over more responsibilities?
Yes. We eventually took on an agent for live bookings and our booking's became better and better. We paid people to plug our singles and videos and then people played our singles and videos more and more. We had help from a press agent and as a result all of our albums have been given reviews in the national press. The only real DIY element was that we controlled and worked with all of these people directly ourselves.
11. Are there any forerunners or current exponents of the DIY approach who you particularly admire?
Just before we made our second album I read a book about film maker John Cassavetes called, Cassavetes on Cassavetes. It is the clearest and truest explanation of why you can get more satisfaction from working on things yourself – even if they aren't so big-time because of it. I personally believe that DIY is the only real approach that anyone can honestly take right now to making music, films, books, anything artistic. But that is probably why I have never made any money.
12. What's next for JPL? Has FWW's success had a negative or positive impact on the band's functionality?
We hope to record another album. The FWW thing has had a slight negative on Jetplane. Cahir is very, very busy right now. You can't go on tour with two bands at the sametime. But to be honest, Jetplane are very much up in the air all ways round. Still, we haven't split up.
On March 22, 2009, I will be flying from Belfast to Alta in the far north of Norway to raise money for Mencap by husky sledding across 200 kilometres of Arctic wilderness.
Call me crazy, but I believe life is too short not to be! I'm halfway through my fundraising. I need to raise a total of £4,500 for Mencap. I'm paying for my own airport taxes and insurance, and of course the gym hours it has taken to whip me into some sort of shape. But I still need to raise around £2,000.This, hopefully, is where you come in! I am appealing to you, as a friend, colleague, bandmate or someone whose event I have covered, to pledge any amount of money you can afford. From one quid to 100 – it all helps. Here are the ways to pay:
• Cheque or postal order Payable to Mencap Promotions Ltd
Please email me at a[dot]johnston1973[at]gmail[dot]com for my postal address
• Cash Phone me on 077 3823 9653 to arrange a meet-up
• PayPal Send to a[dot]johnston1973[at]gmail[dot]com
• Bank transfer Please email me for my bank account details
Every penny is forwarded directly to Mencap. However, you should be aware that a minor percentage of the money raised is taken by them to cover the costs of the trip. But the majority goes to funding Mencap's essential campaigns.
Mencap, established in 1946, is the UK's leading learning disability charity, working with people with a learning disability and their families and caregivers. Mencap fights for equal rights, campaigns for greater opportunities and challenges attitudes and prejudice. More information on Mencap can be found here.
The Husky Sled Challenge takes in the forests of Souluvombi, the mountainous terrain of Mollisjock and the frozen Jiesavri Lake, as well as stop-offs at a 'Viking sauna' in Maze and the Gargia Ice Hotel, all the while feeding and caring for our own team of dogs. A full itinerary of the trip can be found here.
The event is billed as physically demanding, and for those with a thirst for adventure. Now that the Dangerfields are on hiatus I definitely fit the bill!
One of last year's participants, Clare O'Shea, has described the experience as "the closest [she] will ever come to walking on the moon". Clare spoke of "snow as far as the eye can see, rolling over humps and hollows with not a tree in sight".
Even Richard Hammond has tried husky sledding – not for charity, but for the Top Gear Polar Special, in which he raced a team of dogs to the North Pole against Jeremy Clarkson and James May in a Toyota Hilux. The Hamster lost, but he had a lot of fun and the dogs did exceptionally well.
For me, this is a true challenge. I hope to push the boundaries of what I am capable of, and perhaps gain some insight into the daily trials faced by people with disabilities.
I'll be writing about the experience upon my return, for the Belfast News Letter and on my MySpace and Facebook blogs. Everyone who pledges money will receive a namecheck and my thanks in print.
Your support is greatly appreciated!
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
I heard that someone in Belfast got 'FWW' tattooed on their knuckles in the Foo Fighters font; your writer has no public opinion on that matter.
I can't take credit for this particular couplet - I think this is a Mr. Burchellism. I remember when I first saw the video for Brave Gravity that Raife and Gary made - it was class, I couldn't believe all those people put all that effort into it.
I've never had a tattoo - if I did it would be of my own face printed on my chest. Maybe. Good Night.
(*comedy slip in my first draft there, looking forward to the weekend much am I?)
I'm going to get them signed to STA one way or another, even if it means brutally killing everyone else at the label who doesn't like them. Which may be everyone.
Look, it's been a long day, ok?
OF COURSE THEY HAVE A MYSPACE AS WELL. Don't worry, I'ma go listen to the Butthole Surfers or something similarly noisy now. Really.
1. Zoological Frontrunners^
3. Sell The Sun*
4. Eat Rabbit*
5. Human Handkerchiefs#
7. A Little Atlantisy#
8. The Slow Heat Of Summer#
10. What Do I Get?#
11. A Bear A Bison#
12. Caught In The In-between#
13. To Encounter A Deer#
15. Worlds Worst Vulture#
16. Fragile Numbers#
17. Same Ideals#
18. See You On The Expedition#
19. Shirley Heath Is A Happy Place#
20. Child Boy/ Flanked By Rabbits#
21. The Love Will Find Us#
22. Face To Water#
23. Blustery Districts#
24. Late Eruptions#
26. Computer Snake#
^ Recorded by Tom Livemore: Redbox studios.* Recorded by Andy McKim Peer Studios: Featuring Steven Ingram on Synthesizer.# 4-track / 8-track Recordings.
This baby will be very limited. You know what to do.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Recent customer email to the MD: "I would like to MOAN that you do not release albums on vinyl. I would love to buy the Fighting With Wire album however you seem to only be doing it on CD - just like the Seafood album a while back. Whilst I am familiar with the concept of a 'CD Player' I much prefer vinyl, and hope you'll consider future releases in that fine format. Let's face it, you can charge double the price of the CD (ok, maybe 150%) and people who want vinyl will pay it."
I hadn't realised we had released the Seafood album - I thought that was Infectious.
Anyways - if you agree please do drop me a line. I'm off to bed now to finish me book.
Here is the tour poster for April's Barfly run and I want one already. I'm currently investigating where we can get these printed nicely for a reasonable amount of money, so we can sell them reasonably on the site (posters are a bit of a pain for you guys because the P&P is so high).
Speaking of ASIWYFA (or as-ee-why-fah as they now seem to be known) the UK tour kicks off tonight with LaFaro supporting.
Monday, 9 February 2009
Thermals (+ Calories + 4 or 5 Magicians!) at the Lexington (96-98 Pentonville Road, N1) tonight. I'm VERY VERY EXCITED. VERY VERY VERY VERY EXCITED.
If you're coming down and don't have a ticket, we'll have about twenty for sale, which will be first come, first served. Doors are at 8pm, I advise you to get down before this.
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Prepare the needed supplies.
Print the sleeves, using your friendly neighbourhood HP Photosmart C5280 inkjet printer.
Engage your Ryman A4 Creative Craft Paper Trimmer, and cut the sleeves down to the required size.
Fold the sleeves. I found using a Metal Ruler made this job far easier and the folds far neater.
Attach double sided sticky tape to the flaps, remove the top layer and sticky them down to the main part of the sleeve.
Want one? GO HERE NOW. RIGHT NOW.
This is actually far, far harder than looks. I also have no idea why my thumb appears to be diseased in the last photo. DIY 4 LIFE!
Saturday, 7 February 2009
If you can't wait that long - Calories support The Thermals on Monday, 9th February at The Lexington in Kilburn:
Thur 26 Mar Hull - Adelphi
Fri 27 Mar Coventry - Tin House
Sat 28 Mar Oxford - The Bullingdon
Sun 29 Mar Cardiff - Ifor Bach
Mon 30 Mar Brighton - Engine Rooms
Tue 31 Mar London - Dublin Castle (Rocksound Show)
Wed 1 Apr Sheffield - Harley
Isn't that a lovely picture - aren't all the bands on STA desperately handsome?>
March 9th, 11PM - Late: Ulster Hall Bar - Andy Henry (Clone Quartet), Not Squares, Halves (HL), STA DJs
Andy Henry, Clone Quartet
Since Clone Quartet's Andy Henry relocated to London, the full live band have played only a handful of shows culminating in a Radio 1 live session in January of last year. Determined to keep Clone Quartet's sound moving forward while live outings are on ice, Andy has moved into darker electropop territories. Building and developing the original sounds of CQ's debut LP 'Well-Oiled Machine' (released on Smalltown America /Tigertrap Records), Andy will perform his new electronic material live and solo.
Not Squares are four people from Belfast who combine language, sound and non-habitual movement in order to dance, shout and sing with you. Not Squares is nothing without you!
"In all, an inspiring set that displays creativity and ability rarely found on these shores, and even at this early stage shows promise of a truly exciting record." - AU Magazine
One of Ireland's most intriguing acts, Halves blend a vast range of instruments, acoustic and electronic, creating an evocative, cinematic live experience. To date they have released two highly acclaimed EPs, performed at Oxegen, Electric Picnic & the Eurosonic (Holland) and London Calling (UK) festivals.
2009 will see the band heading to Canadian Music Week, releasing their new single 'Blood Branches' and completing their debut album, due for release in early 2010.
"...cosmic beauty that few others can reach" Hot Press
"…an example of the rise in quality of Irish electronic, unafraid to be intense, engaging and dark." - Sunday Tribune
Tickets and further information available from the Ulster Hall Official Website
Not one, not two, but three doses of Calories in this month's Rock Sound magazine - a live review, a feature (see below) and best of all Forrests Of Varg the closing track to the upcoming debut album can be found on the ace covermount CD.
From Distophia to Antlers to Calories, this trio are finally releasing an album, hurrah!
"For me, I guess my ambitions are the same as they've always been: to release records and hope that people are into what we do," says Calories guitarist / vocalist John Briggs. "Ultimately, fame and fortune is the real reason I'm in this business. I'd like a mountain retreat in the Swiss Alps." Given the uncertain nature of the music industry and the economic shit storm in which we are currently embroiled, fame and fortune will probably be giving most bands a miss for some time - but you wouldn't begrudge these Birmingham indie-rockers enjoying such success. Formed from the ashes of under-appreciated but often-aped quartet Distophia, they've endured some rotten luck. After five years together, the boys decided to ditch their former band in late 07, having toured the frustratingly unreleased album 'Beat Dyslexia' for about two years too many, but what doesn't kill ya...
"I think we learned a lot from our time in Distophia, we made almost every mistake possible and had almost every misfortune befall us, but we had a lot of fun at the same time," says bassist / vocalist Pete Dixon. "I think I've learnt that if you behave like you're the underdog, then that's what you'll be. Life's too short." After a brief time playing under a new name (Antlers) and with a new bassist, the boys called the whole thing off. Fortunately, thier passion for playing music meant it wasn't long before they'd regrouped as a trio, to write and record ace debut album 'Adventuring', which features 10 genius songs played out in 20 minutes. Check it out - even in these hard times, you can't afford not to.
Souns like: inventive but frequently poppy indie-rock, veering between sub-two-minutes bursts and longer, equally ace songs
Alan MX features in Gay Times' five bands who are changing the face and sound of queer music in the UK - here's the feature from the Feb issue.
Patrick Wolf had better watch out; experimental melodic Electro Pop star coming through. Say hello to Alan MX. Here’s his take on this crazy-queers-in-music lark: “People still make such a huge deal when someone in the public eye comes out, and it’s strange, really. It's worrying to a certain extent that people can still raise eyebrows, like Katy Perry has. I think sexuality is still a weapon in this industry as much as it ever was.” Girl, don’t even get us started on KP.
It would be an insult to compare Alan’s take on sexual experimentation against Perry’s ham-fisted attempt, so we’ll let him explain. “If I want to write a song about falling in love with a boy then I want to be able to do it as cleanly and cliché-free as possible. One of the songs on my album is about a gay boy who falls for a girl and then feels he can't do anything about it because he has established himself as gay.” His lyrics meander around the subtler nuances of relationships, through everyday narratives about things such as Captain America Videos. There’s something of Thom Yorke about our Alan’s music, though it’s more like playful, fun versions of songs from Kid A.
“When I think about it, most music is an expression of love. Or songs, anyway. The most common subject of a song is love or lust. If someone was to renounce or ignore their sexuality as a musician, I think it limits their accessibility.” With that kind of openness and some tunes to match, it won’t be long before you’re into Alan. Oh… did we mention he’s quite cute?
Alan MX’s single Warpsichord comes out on Feb 16th on Smalltown America Records, and is limited to just 1000 handmade copies. Check out www.smalltownamerica.co.uk