Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Christmas, innit?

So it's finally coming up to Christams and I'm starting to feel a tiny bit festive. It's the album of the year time around here and I know that my favourites won't appear anywhere in the mainstream round ups. The best release this year by far was the Manu Chao produced album from Amadou & Maraim, Dimancha à Bamako. This is probably the most wonderful and rounded album I have heard in a long time. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you're in this album will brighten up your day. The problem is most English speakers have an issue with either lyrics in a language they don't understand or what has been termed "World" music. The production, playing and mixture of influences on this album just leave you breathless.

On another tip I discovered The Subways through my fabulous daughter. They remind me a little of the Undertones, in their choice of subject matter. Other great releases this year were from the likes of Electrelane, Moussu T e lei Jovens, Wilco, Neil Young, The White Stripes and the very wonderful Psapp.

Do yourself a favour this Christams, though, and go out and buy the Amadou & Mariam album. Spread a little peace and love and remember, children make Christmas so try and make some children this Christmas.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I guess sometimes I get a little negative. My daughter has accused me of ranting and sounding "very angry" all the time. Well I guess I am sometimes. One way or another I've been kicking around the music industry for almost thirty years and in all that time I've seen so little change in favour of the people who actually make the music.

It so often seems that those people who do make it big pull the ladder up behind them; neither arguing for a better universal deal or attempting to make any changes to the practices of the major labels. On top f that I have to agree with Alan McGee about the current crop of stars, particularly the king of the bedwetters Chris Martin. I mean how ineffectual is that simpering twat with his "I want everyone to be nice" attitude. I heard him on the radio the other morning whining on about how punk was always so angry and confrontational and never achieved anything so he was being all understanding and compromising and, guess what..........he's achieved squat. Yeah, that's right, him and that big self-aggrandising idiot Geldof have done absolutely nothing for the world's poor after Live8 except make several more million people see them on TV.

More power to Albarn and Chao.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Price of Fame

So Snowpatrol have sold over a million albums. Bully for them and their sound just like Coldplay approach to music. Still, whatever I might think about their music it doesn't alter the fact that the poor bastards have suffered for their art at the hands of Universal, the major that owns them. You might think that a band that sells a million might have a few quid in the bank. I mean, after all that represents around £10 mill to the label right? So how come the Snowies still owe Universal in excess of a million.

Come on musos out there. It's time to wise up and stay with the small labels, even better do it yourself. I don't just mean myspace but you know there has to be other people out there who would be prepared to get involved in a csual way, PR companies, distribution companies or - if you don't make the effort for yourselves then don't be surprised if you end up back at the fast food joint serving fries with everything.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Starting out

Finally thought I'd start doing this after trying to persuade my teenage daughter that it would be "a good idea" if she took up blogging. Being as when I was her age I was invariably off my face or causing my parents excessive worries the fact that she seems a bit disinterested in current affairs is the least of my worries.

Having once been in a band I know find myself operating on the fringes of the music industry, which isn't so bad. At least I don't have to go through the shit that most of the poor kids trying to get off the ground have to do; that said it has never been a more auspicious time for them to get out from under the burden of the major labels. These greedy rapacious companies should bear the prime responsibility for the collapse, a few years back, in music sales. The fact that all they were marketing for almost a decade was the drek and detritus from cheesy TV game shows or production line pop should have caused no surprise when people just stopped buying.

Now these corporate hogs want to get their snouts into all other areas that bands can make money from. take it from me young musicians, don't do business with major labels. They are all intellectual copyright rapists. They are all over the moon with this new technology - downloading. If they'd been smarter at the start they wouldn't have been pursuing twelve year old kids through the courts. As for the bands, how come you're still having to pay packaging charges when there's no fucking packaging. For a 79 pence iTunes download the artist is lucky to see 4 pence on the sale. If they're lucky they'll make some cash on their publishing, but now the pigs are screaming that the publishers and artists are being greedy demanding a slightly larger cut - 12% - than they've been getting. Hey kids, wise up. Get yourself a good PR, get your name out there, build a website and sell your own downloads.