Friday, 28 January 2011

Dan Le Sac vs Madonna Ciccone: update

facebook campaigns

when i originally suggested a collaboration between Madonna and Dan Le Sac i also debated the usefullness of whacking up a facebook page in support of my idea

perhaps i should have moved on it at the time, instead of letting my idea waft around the many empty corridors of the webnets that few people venture down

i still, for one, think it is a bloody great idea, and i'd like more people to know that i think it is a great idea

i'd like record company bigwigs and Madonna's hair and make-up artists to know that i think it is a bloody great idea, even if they don't agree

i'd like the word to eventually get back to Madonna, who will then completely embrace the possibillity...

but maybe first it should be best to aim a little lower and actually let Dan Le Sac know how i feel, even tho i doubt he has Madonna on speed dial, i do believe that it is far more likely i could spark his attention long before it is on the Queen of Pop's radar

perhaps right now is the kind of time that i need a twitter account, as aren't these the type of things that are worthy of retweeting, and everybody tweets and retweets and follows Dan Le Sac, right?
alas i am not yet ready for dipping my toes in that world of little blue birds and barely existent sentences

and since my little opinion piece on a possible Le Sac vs Madonna collabo has just seen print in the Enfield Advertiser, and i have also given it a chance to breath over at glasswerk, now seems a sensible time to heavily enforce the second wave , and see if anyone actually agrees with me...

so, for your consideration.....

please feel free to 'like' the officially unofficial facebook fanpage of Dan Le Sac vs Madonna Ciccone

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

are record companies finally getting something right?

ever since Lars Ulrich put down his drumsticks and picked up the phone to start ringing his lawyer, it seems that record labels have been several evolutionary steps behind the rest of the world as music, and the way it has been consumed and marketed, has drastically mutated in the late 20th century since the catalyst of Napster changed things forever

but this week it was reported that two of the big boys, Universal and Sony Music (who between them boast the likes of Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Kings Of Leon, Rihanna and Susan Boyle amongst their top flight artists) have announced a new policy that will see singles available for immediate download to coincide with the new release debuting on radio.
which finally makes some sense, this can only have a positive effect for the coffers of the music industry, providing that it isn't already too late to reverse the illegal downloading habits of certain individuals.

of course, it was always the case that a song would hit radio long before it's physical release, meaning that those unlucky enough to be exposed to one of the FM frequencies throughout their working day would be completely sick of a tune they once liked by the time everyone else has had the chance to go out and get it into the charts.

and if you desired a single before its eventual release, the best you could do before was to have your cassette deck all ready to go in the hope that you'd catch your new favourite song being played, praying that the DJ wouldn't talk all over it, and then patiently wait for the tape or CD to hit the shelves of Woolies.

but those days are long behind us now.

along with the aforementioned cassettes, CDs and Woolworths, release dates have become a thing of the past, because in this digital age, if you want to look for it, it can usually be found, and when Fearne Cotton politely informs you that the song you just heard won't be out for two months, well.... you're just gonna have to download it illegally then aren't you...

Sony Music chairman and CEO Ged Doherty, seems to have got the message, confirming that "we live in an age of immediacy", while Universal Music's UK CEO David Joseph agreed, commenting that "for a lot of our younger fans and consumers the word 'wait' is no longer in the vocabulary."

"You hear something and want it. And if you search for it then you’ve got to make sure there is a legal site for that appetite." concluded Joseph.

And doing occasional turns as a DJ, I couldn't agree more, hearing a banging choon makes me want to take it out and share it, yet the medieval system of lengthy release dates makes it impossible to obtain the track legitimately and simply being restricted to songs that have already been released only serves to dilute the thrill of introducing people to new music and trying to give them something they may not have heard before.

it is quite likely that this will be too little too late to change the opinions and habits of those that don't want to pay for their music, and is unlikely to stem the tide of piracy that has been hurting major labels in their pockets, but at least it is finally a sensible, albeit delayed, decision from a couple of the major players in the industry.

Grenade (Bruno Mars cover) by Anhayla

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Freewheelin' Troubadour

a man with interests very close to my own heart has been following his dreams and desires to creatively produce works for anyone willing to pay attention to them.

The Freewheelin' Troubadour's latest venture has been publishing a collection of poetry accompanied by visuals contributed by a select number of artists.

made available for free, "Freewheelin’ in Monument Valley & the American Offerings" can be downloaded as a pdf, with a limited number of books also circulating, thanks to the generosity of those that donated towards the costs of publication.

the project was helped to fruition with a fundraising gig in August, and the finished article was celebrated with another night of music and poetry in October, both gigs curated by and featuring readings from the Troubadour himself, held at The Victoria in Mile End.

Originally hailing from Enfield himself, by his 20s, Dion Power had been displaced in Cheshunt where he began conversing in the musical circles that were enriching the current Hertford scene, eventually finding himself managing bands and DJing.

When The Freewheelin' Troubadour persona originally surfaced it was of a poetic soul, and his prose was featured on his own myspace blogs.

but owing his adopted namesake to Bob Dylan and surrounded by local musicians, such as The Knaves and The Black Tricks, it would not be long before these ideas were realised musically and a sole CD  entitled '10 minutes of darkness' was composed alongside a number of borrowed band members and was distributed in 2007, before a similar vision found form in late 2008 when the Freewheelin Troubadour began fronting his own band that sadly proved to be shortlived.

What followed was a soul searching road trip across America that found creativity reaching new heights via an amassed sense of freedom and an abundance of new found inspirations, and it is the poems from these few months that make up the short collection, "Freewheelin’ in Monument Valley & the American Offerings".

His return to London began with a search for somewhere to live, continued with looking for willing collaborators, and with the book now launched, The Freewheelin Troubadour is still searching for means and ventures to make his voice heard, whether it is through spoken word readings, organising gigs or an upcoming documentary that will be a testament to everything achieved so far.

to download your own copy of the book, head to to the funpowder plot

and as an extra treat, here is also a rarity for you, my own remix of The Night That I Die, the original of which was on the 2007 CD '10 minutes of darkness'

The Freewheelin' Troubadour - The Night That I Die (Hunchbakk Remix) 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Orphan Boy's 'lost' album

can you believe NME stuck out another list feature t'other week??

well i can, one week into the new year and their first issue is yet another bloody list!

admittedly, this time i was a little intrigued to see what was going on tho, The 100 Greatest Albums You've Never Heard didn't seem to be their usual tack and it seemed to hold a lot of potential to actually be an interesting rundown

still unwilling to take such a stupid risk and stick my hand in my pocket for a copy, i instead headed off to the library, that actually let you hang around, even sit down, and enjoy a selection of current magazines (screw you mr Newsagent, and your 'this is not a library' Apu-isms)

and while i was expecting to find a bunch of musos educating the uneducated on a plethora of albums that for some reason or another never actually got released, what i instead found was quite a well informed countdown that had been contributed to by NME writers and rock stars alike, all revealing their own personal favourite albums that are likely to have slipped under most people's radars

yes, it is still another list that has been cobbled together, and with celebrity contributers it has probably meant that the NME writers have put even less effort in that usual, but regardless, it actually held up as an informative issue, and it was interesting to dip into and flick through, especially when there were a handful of modern choices among them

i was pleasantly surprised to see Clor topping the list (tho i'm not sure if the placings actually had any real relevance) and at 57 was another band name that rang a bell

Orphan Boy's 2008 album, Shop Local had been picked out by someone i forget now... and i couldn't fathom for a little while why the band's name sounded so familiar, i didn't remember following the band at all and continued scratching my head

but then it came to me, that i still have this very album tucked away somewhere among all the other CDs that didn't excite me very much, that had been sent to me from glasswerk to review

the album hadn't had much of an impact on me, but its inclusion in the 'lost' list intrigued me and had me questioning my own judgement, so having dug the album out and given it another spin, perhaps it is due a second opinion

afew tracks in and i wasn't exactly offended by it, but nor was i thrilled, it sounded very standard indie fare that was unlikely to set the world alight...

so what exactly did i have to say about it first time around tho?

a quick google pulled up....

Lazy comparisons they may be but its far from a negative review for the band, many of the tracks on here are deserving of ‘stand-out’ status but the album seems to get lost within itself as tracks charge off in different directions, pulling the album apart instead of finding a focus'

and i must admit, that even with the passing of time, and a re-evaluation given recent light, i couldn't agree more with my initial review, some tracks are big enough to have found them a place on rock n rolls map alongside The Courteeners, but it just wasn't meant to be...

Orphan Boy - Satellites available on the album Shop Local

Saturday, 1 January 2011

is it too late to moan about matt cardle?

muchos congratulations are in order for Biffy Clyro, who in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten, managed to land themselves the verily celebrated Christmas number 1 slot

except somebody else was actually singing their song, and he was at number one

so unless you've been living under a rock as big as Simon Cowell's ego, you should be well aware of Matt Cardle and his gawd-awful rendition of Many of Horror

oh, hang, it's When We Collide is it? i'm sorry, i was mistaken

not that it matters a jot but i am not happy about this

and i think it was the wrong choice for a number of reasons

first off, it sounds terrible, and to be honest i think that should have actually been the final decision made, it is a terrible version of the song, full stop. end of discussion.

except i shall discuss a little further, seriously, if Monsieur Cardle had played it straight and given us an off-the-bat acousticy version then perhaps i may have been a little more forgiving, but squeeling the song and bringing in a rather obvious attempt at a 'large' x-factor chorus was just a stretch too far and the whole thing tumbles down because of it

perhaps this cover version was supposed to bolster Cardle's 'real' credentials and work an angle not yet exhausted by x-factor winners, attempting to secure those 'real' music fans deluded and foolish enough to continuously watch week in and week out yet couldn't give a flying toss about following the eventual winner's newly launched career... if only i could believe that Dannii Minogue and Matt Cardle spent evenings in the judges house blasting out Only Revolutions, arguing whether Puzzleis superior to Infinity Landand discussing whether Living's A Problem Because Everything Dies would be a good choice for the live finals

and the most convincing argument i could possibly make for this crime against music is the entirely debauched ill-fit of the whole thing, those that know Biffy Clyro also know of their struggles and their resilience against the turgid tide of the music industry, being one of the rare breed of bands that grew naturally away from the glaring eyes of fat-cat label bosses intent on profitability and only found mainstream success with their fourth album, slowly and steadily cultivating a fanbase that has taken them from cult-favourites to an arena-visiting touring schedule.

it is this hard-working ethic that sets Biffy Clyro apart from the overnight success guaranteed by the X-factor, but at the same time it also serves as a shining example of how far the Kilmarnock boys have come through years of persistence that has some how put them on Simon Cowell's radar and seen a single that entered the charts at the low end of the top 40 when it was originally released 11 months prior to the Christmas chart battle, landing at a rather respectable number 8, in addition to penning the festive season's chart topper and netting themselves a ridiculous pile of royalty cash from the surprisingly popular x-factor atrocity

and while it is hardly the circumstances that any Biffy fan would have reasonably envisioned, i couldn't possibly begrudge Biffy Clyro this current level of success (and ridiculous wealth)

Biffy Clyro - Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies
available on the album Puzzle