Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kids interview...The Darkness!

The Kids Interview Bands team have done it again, this time hooking up with kings of tongue in cheek pomp rock The Darkness. Originally scheduled to just meet with Ed and Dan from the band they were soon joined by a mysterious stranger with a dodgy ' me...

Big, big news...Emilia plays The Yardbird...for free!

If you’re over 30 the chances are that you’ll remember Emilia’s big big hit, Big Big World, top 5 in the UK, number one all over the place, shifted nearly 5 million copies. She’s carried on making and releasing music over the years but this year sees something of a major comeback with the release of her “vintage pop” album, I Belong To You. 

It’s a little bit jazzy, a little bit country, a little bit Hollywood musical...think Norah Jones with a little more oomph...and it features a heavenly cover of Dream A Little Dream too. Somewhat remarkably Emilia’s chosen to showcase the album at free gig in The Yardbird next Wednesday evening, that’ll be the 6th February then. Yes...FREE. You could say it’s a...ahem...big, big bargain. Oh dear...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Semi Regular New Music Roundup Thingy w/e 1st February

Time for another trawl through the bulging inbox of new music (oh my how it bulges etc etc) and first up the debut single from the delightfully named Drenge. Apparently Zane Lowe recently made it his Hottest Record In The World, but don’t let that put you off.  Sounding not unlike a garage rock Maximo Park the single, Bloodsports, has some neat grooves that grind their way into your skull...enjoy.  Oh...and they’re brothers expect in band fighting, onstage wedgies and a dodgy clothing range by the year 2025.

Sticking with the noisier stuff here’s a scuzzy 90s Hole-ish track from Thought Forms.

And on the 8th day God created DutchUncles. Manchester’s latest wonder band continue to justify the hype with new single Flexxin. It’s all about the high vocals these days boys...

Great ‘Spot The Hipster’ style video for Strokes style punkers Parquet Courts' Borrowed Time, there are some real beauts in there. It was shot at one of those gigs where you end up 68% cooler just by simply being there. The tune's not bad either...simple, catchy, Noo Yawk punk-u-like.

You know some things just make you feel soiled and dirty? Like eating a Greggs' pasty, watching anything on ITV or reading The Sun? Well Brooke Candy’s Everybody Does is the musical equivalent. The pop video train spotters amongst you might recognise her from Grimes’ Genesis promo but now the charming Ms Candy’s doing her own thang.  I like it for the vaguely Uffie feel at the end, but you might just like it for the whacking off potential of the video...anyone with a breast/lizard fetish will be in heaven...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rocky Horror Show @ New Alexandra Theatre, Monday 28th January 2013

It’s been 40 years since Richard O’Brien’s everyday tale of a Transylvanian transvestite first hit the stage and since then it’s gone on to become one of the biggest cults in musical history, perhaps as notable for its devoted/fanatical audiences as it is for the actual productions themselves. O’Brien himself is a fascinating character. Readers of a certain age will know him best as the sometimes caustic host of The Crystal Maze but before then he’d been a stuntman on Carry On Cowboy (yes, really) and a struggling actor (he appeared in hippie rock musical Hair and as a leper in Jesus Christ Superstar) before penning the frankly (or should that be Frank N Furter-ly) bonkers Rocky Horror Show, a gloriously deranged homage to the 50’s B movies of his childhood. Now identifying himself as transgender he’s currently in the process of retiring to New Zealand and marrying his third wife who’s half his age (O’Brien’s a sprightly looking 70). I do love a happy ending.

Somehow I’d avoided seeing the movie of The Rocky Horror Show until fairly recently and tonight was the first time I’d been anywhere near its theatrical incarnation. Happily a decent number of the audience had continued to embrace the tradition of dressing up as some of the characters, with more suspenders on show than an Anne Summer’s stockroom...and that was just the men. Yes, it’s rare for any theatrical production to encourage anything more than the odd spot of applause or the occasional cry of “Oh no it isn’t / He’s behind you” etc in panto season but Rocky Horror relies on audience participation to such an extent that some of them practically deserved a mention in the programme tonight. Regular Rocky fans will know the script off by heart and will happily chime in with collective shout backs at given points in the show. Others go a little more off piste with some topical...and frankly hilarious...contributions (Jimmy Savile’s currently in vogue). The cast of course are in on this worthy tradition and the ones that can react, popping in their own ad libs, come off best. The role of Narrator’s best suited to all this banter and Philip Franks was particularly sharp this evening with some wonderfully self deprecating jibes and liberal sexual innuendo sprinkled in amongst his scripted dialogue.  

The star of the piece of course is Frank N Furter, a gift for any actor, and the current inhabitant of the most famous suspenders in musicals, Oliver Thornton, wrings ever single juicy drop of gloriously camp, sexy, deranged potential out of it. Reviews of this touring cast have favourably compared it to some of the legendary early runs and it’s hard to imagine anyone doing the role more justice. Channelling his inner O’Brien (he’s actually performed with him during another tour of this show) Kristian Lavercombe’s a demented dream as Riff Raff and an unbelievably buff Rhydian’s perfect as Frank-N-Furters’s beefcake wet dream made flesh‘bone’. Ahem. Ben Forster’s nerdy Brad and Roaxxane Pallett’s virgin turned sexpot Janet are the perfect foils for Thornton’s increasingly lusty sexual advances and Joel Montague provides the rockiest moment of the night (that’s a good thing by the way) as the doomed and rejected Eddie (returning later as the wheelchair bound cross dressing Nazi scientist Dr Scott). If you’ve never seen Rocky Horror this will all sound a little nuts. It’s not. It’s massively nuts. It’s nuttier than a king size portion of rocky mountain oysters and just as pervy, but that’s the point. For a couple of hours you’re free to lose your inhibitions, plunging into a world where the sight of man in his 60s dressed in a PVC thong...and very little else...doesn’t even raise an eyebrow. With some fine vocal performances, a rock sure band and a suitably enthusiastic (and remarkably witty) audience this current version of Rocky’s a hugely enjoyable night of sex, laughs and rock n roll. Time Warp might be its signature tune but 40 years on it’s still one of the most refreshingly different nights in musical theatre.

The Rocky Horror Show’s on at the New Alexandra Theatre until 2nd February (limited ticket availability so get in quick if you want to unleash your inner transsexual transvestite) before hitting the road (dates here).   

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Computers / The Mighty Young @ The Sunflower Lounge, Friday 25th January

There’s a limb flying through the air. It’s difficult to tell if it’s still attached to its owner. It seems unlikely given the mayhem that’s unfolding in a compact basement in Birmingham. Welcome to the world of The Computers...

Lordy, it’s been a while since my last live gig. Nearly a month in fact. I’ve got some decent excuses though, what with the nut shrivelling cold, 3 cm of snow and a misguided attempt to go ‘dry’ for most of the month. Avoiding booze at home is tough enough, not drinking when you’re out at a just don’t seem right. What better way to pop my 2013 gig virginity then than a gig from The Computers eh? Rock and motherhumpin’ roll.

Before Exeter’s finest Brum’s The Mighty Young, purveyors of top notch garage rock ‘n’ blues, guaranteed to defrost the parts other bands simply can’t reach. It’s been a while since I last saw them but in the intervening months they’ve clearly been locked in a dark room somewhere practicing like crazy. Either that or they’ve done a swift deal with the devil. Either way they're rapidly morphing and maturing into a mightily impressive garage blues band with each of the three players frequently proving their musical chops in a dirty 30 minute romp through gyspy women, liquor and all the other sins of the flesh yo momma warned you about. The singer’s Beefheartian delivery was particularly pleasing and lovers of all things Black (Keys that is) and White (Jack, of course) should be salivating like a one eyed dog in an abattoir.

Time for The Computers then and, with a new single out soon, the rather fabulous Disco Sucks, they’ve plumped to promote it with a whistle stop tour of freebie gigs at a time of the year when most acts are still eating their leftover turkey. We’re living in uncertain times. Not much is guaranteed in life these days. But one thing you can count on is that The Computers will sweat blood, tears and pretty much every other bodily fluid in an effort to rock your pants off. Literally. You’ve gotta love what you’re doing to slog around the country in the snow for a week playing for FREE and that’s blindingly obvious watching them perform. From the second the throbbing heart and soul of the band vocalist Screaming Al hits the stage (okay, it’s more like a step in The Sunflower Lounge but hell let’s not quibble) the crowd explodes into a moist mass of flailing limbs, demented grins and spilt booze. Al’s at the centre of it all from the very first note, climbing onto anything in sight, the bar, the merch desk, the drum kit, the keyboards, the crowd...whilst still singing up a storm and playing guitar. Impressively the crowd even ended up carrying his mic and stand at one point as he surreally floated over our heads like a punk rock Mary motherfuckin’ Poppins. Song wise it was a fan pleasing set, complete with their biggest tunes to date, Teenage Tourette’s Camp and Music Is Dead plus the new single, Disco Sucks, which encouragingly seemed to get the best reaction of all. Al’s still screaming but the newer material seems to be sanding down the splintered edges a little (perhaps echoing the kind of transition currently being attempted by ex Gallows front dude Frank in his new Pure Love incarnation?). It’s a subtle change but it’s there and it might just start winning them a much bigger audience (the sort of audience they deserve in fact), especially if they can maintain the frankly death defying energy of the live show that’s got them this far.

If anything the encore saw things ramp up a gear or two, with a lively mash up of one of their acknowledged musical granddaddies’ best tunes, The Clash’s Train In Vain with a little of Ben E. Kings Stand By Me. Works really well too. Honest. As is traditional with The Computers the set ended with Al, perched precariously on the bar, splitting the crowd down the middle before inviting the two sides to come together in a (good natured) explosion of arms, legs, heads and various other body parts. Boom! It bears repeating that tonight’s gig was FREE. Given this the band could’ve been forgiven for just ‘phoning it in’ or playing a handful of songs but they played as if this was their last gig on earth. If it was yours you’d die a happy bunny...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chic to headline Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul 2013!

Blimey, topping last year's headliner, George Clinton, was always going to be a big ask but the MoJaFuSo team's done it. They've got CHIC! Yes...CHIC. Funking CHIC. WITH NILE RODGERS! Agggggghhhhhhh!!! Permision to Freak Out? Permission granted...

PS: This'll sell out before you can say Good Times, so if you wanna go buy your tickets yesterday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

San Cisco - Wild Things

It's still frikkkkkkkkin' freezing here in the Midlands so today I'm desperately attempting to warm myself up with some cute Aussie indie pop from hotly tipped (as opposed to filter tipped I guess, or fly tipped...or tipped over the edge of a cliff...feel free to join in) San Cisco. As seems to be the vogue these days the videos clearly been directed by a serial killer but hey, live and live right?

Assuming the band survived the making of the video (just watch it and you'll see what I mean) they're touring Europe, gawd help 'em with this weather, in February and March with a B-Town gig (yep, I'm sticking with the whole B-Town thang through thick and thin) on March 2nd at The Temple (the room right at the very top of the HMV...whoops...don't mention the HMV bit...Institute) on Saturday March 2nd. The single, Wild Things, is 'out' on February 18th, as if such things matter any more eh? Speaking of which someone's apparently taken over HMV, Hilco UK a 'restructuring business'. Hmmmmm. Unless they plan to 'restructure' HMV into a chain of discount clothing shops selling shoddy goods for 99p with a free horse burger for every tenth customer who comes in to pawn their gran's colostomy bag I still can't see much of a future for them, but what do I know.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kids interview...Goodnight Lenin

Mornin'! Following on from her interview with George Barnett Connie and the Kids Interview Bands team have just unveiled the results of her meeting with three fifths of Birmingham's very own Goodnight Lenin. Love it! Someone give these dudes a chat show...pronto.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Not At All Regular New Music Roundup w/e 18th January 2013

Good grief, been ages since we did one of these. I blame all those Tesco Donkey Burgers I’ve been eating, developed a nasty addiction to sugar lumps and loitering around on drizzle soaked beaches looking downtrodden. Anyway, it’s 2013. Hurrah! HMV and Blockbusters may have already snuffed it but at least we’ve still got the tunes. Okay, so we can’t buy them from anywhere but still, we’ve still got the tunes (downloading? don’t talk to me about downloading...the devil’s work I tells ye). First up the frankly brilliant Pale Green Ghosts from John Grant. Whoah...where did this come from? It’s like Scott Walker jamming with early era Human League in a Berlin dungeon. Awesomely good.

From the sublime to hip hop rockulous courtesy of Elephant 12. Rage Against The Machine anyone? 

I’m old enough to remember when house was new, yep, that old. It still brings a shake to my rump though and this track XXXY’s Got Me So is deliciously old skool.

Happily getting plenty of airplay over at 6 Music Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark) is part 60’s tinged hippyness and part indie hipster heaven.  Get naked, slap on the chocolate spread and let the love have no idea what I’m on about today either.

That’s it for this week. Still vainly attempting to ‘get in’ to 2013, already been an odd year what with HMV and Blockbuster both going bust and just last night the sad news that Birmingham’s biggest independent venue, The Ballroom, has also been forced to close. Add to this my self imposed booze ban (not doing a month, that’s far too depressing, just up until the first gig of the year on the 25th) and the arctic conditions and I’m half tempted to hibernate for a few months. Tempting...very tempting.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Computers...rebooted

Nearly ready to pop my gig cherry for 2013 and what better way to do it than a free (yes, FREE) gig from our chums and yours, The Computers. They released their brand new video yesterday too (see above, you're welcome) and there's a bit of a rockier, bluesier edge in there whilst still retaining that primal energy that makes their gigs so nut bustingly great. Midlanders can catch 'em at The Sunflower Lounge on Friday 25th January, they also play Lahndaaan on the 21st, Manchester on the 23rd, Glasgow on the 24th and Brizzle on the 26th. All gigs are absolutely, totally 100% FREE!

PS: No organs were harmed in the making of the video. Well, maybe one. The spirit of rock and roll is truly alive and well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

HMV RIP - Dog days are over...

I so wanted to be wrong about this one but - as everyone now knows - HMV has bit the dust. I actually knew it was game over on Saturday when I went in to the Bull Ring branch in Birmingham and they had a sudden 'blue cross' 25% off sale. Black cross would've been a better call. The whole place had the same feel that engulfed Zavvi as they went to the wall, with bargain hunters cruising the carcass looking for musical scraps.

Hindsight is a great thing but HMV should have seriously downsized a decade ago, built up a decent e-platform and kept a few high profile specialist shops that focussed purely on music. Trying to survive by flogging over priced 'technology' (the very stuff that was killing HMV) was frankly suicidal. Anyway, that's all ancient history, as is a retailer that's been with us for nearly 100 years.

No one knows what impact the loss of HMV will have on music. No one. I have a horrible, horrible feeling though that, far from being a glorious liberation of control from 'the man', with the loss of all the national and the vast majority of independent music retailers, the medium sized record labels, the music magazines and even the seemingly middle of the road TV music shows like Top Of The Pops, what we're now left with is a music scene that's partially at the mercy of the 'masses' (see Gangnam Style) and partly controlled by a handful of huge media giants (individuals like Cowell and labels like Universal). Great music will, of course, continue to be made but without discerning and high profile 'taste makers' (and HMV certainly helped people discover new music) how the hell will it ever get heard? Internet buzz is great but the internet is controlled by the masses and the masses don't always have the best taste do they (again see Gangnam Style)? I don't have any answers by the way. My best prediction is that the majority of music that the majority of people will be exposed to will increasingly be as bland and inoffensive as possible, designed to appeal to the mass market. Some might say that this has always been the case but would The Sex Pistols, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Cure, hell...even though I'm not a fan...Oasis, break through these days? I guess the point I'm trying to get to is that in the old days there were just a few 'channels' for people to discover new music and some decent people out there (step forward John Peel and Tony Wilson for instance) to help light the way so that, in amongst the bullshit some really good stuff got though. Now, whilst there are billions of 'channels', I reckon most people still want to plug in mainstream TV and Radio and that, in the main, plays utter, utter crap. Yes, that's the point...I think...we've lost our taste makers. Anyway, only time will tell if I'm being overly pessimistic, I really hope I am, for all our sakes.

PS: Most of all my thoughts are with HMV's 4000 employees, their many suppliers (some of whom will probably also go the wall as a result) and any poor bastard with a gift voucher left over from Christmas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Miles Perhower

Been meaning to give this dude another plug for a while...ladies and gentlemen meet Miles Perhower. I first saw him fronting the all too short lived Miss Halliwell when they supported their spiritual granddads, The Fall, way, way back in 2007. After seeing the band a couple more times I lost track of them (and him) for a few years and only stumbled upon his new incarnation at the rear end of 2012. Two things appeal. Obviously the music’s one of ‘em, noisy, top notch bile flecked art rock of the highest disorder (you really must listen to the whole During The Interrogation of the best things I've heard in ages). Secondly there’s his blog, part hilarious road trip through life part terrifying insight into the mind of a man on the edge of a huge meltdown. Anyone looking for a modern day Kerouac would be strongly advised to tune in...
PS: There's a great interview with Mr Perhower over at James Kennedy's blog too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kids interview...George Barnett!

Our chums over at Kids Interview Bands popped across from Ohio just before Christmas (on the number 11 bus) to interview two of our favourite Midlands based musical lovelies (and tips for the top...). First up...winner of The Hearing Aid's Debut Album Of The Year Award (proudly sponsored by Neelams Kebab House)...George Barnett!!

IO – Our Disintegrating Museum

Museums eh? Quiet, dusty places inhabited by bored schoolchildren on a field trip (still, it beats double maths) and couples in matching anoraks. Installing IO as one of those 'living exhibits' would certainly liven ‘em up a little...okay, scrap that...a lot. Yes, the experimental explorers of rock’s outer circle are back with yet another fine album of glorious (WARNING: wanky music journo cliché ahoy!) sonic soundscapes. 
Melding math rock, screamcore, prog (and other genre’s I’m woefully equipped to witter on about) and opening with the awesome brain pounding stereo panning epicThe Lost Cosmonaut this really is an album to lose yourself in. A kind of aural therapy for anyone who’s sick of the vacuous mobile phone music and shitty pap rap (so devoid of the original spark that made the genre so refreshing back in the day that it’s frankly laughable) that’s regrettably becoming a staple for so many of our dear lost youth. Sure some of it sounds particularly doom laden, The Cisco Kid in particular starts off sounding like the human race’s end credits, but then again we live in dark, dark times my friends. Indeed the album’s theme revolves around the “disappearance of logic and reason from society” (no doubt the disintegrating museum to which the album title refers), to that you could add any number of other social ills but then again we’d be her all day. Reinforcing all this anger, frustration and confusion lead singer Al Lawson’s pained, impassioned vocals rip through the music like a razor blade through an eyeball, frequently shocking you back to earth just as the quiet / loud / quiet / ruddy loud noodly bits are lulling you into a false sense of insecurity.

At just 6 tracks long you might think you’re getting a raw deal but the first three are particularly meaty pieces of work, all clocking at over 8 minutes each and delivering the kind of range and performance in a single song that a lot of groups would actually need a whole double album to match. Impressive stuff. A prize exhibit all round in fact.

Our Disintegrating Museum is out now on Grammatical Records

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Thompson Twins to reform!


Since writing this post way back in January 2013 it's just been announced (29th January 2014) that Tom Bailey will be performing Thompson Twins songs (for the first time in 27 years!) at this years Rewind Festival! Details here!

Oh alright...they're not. Sadly. Whilst most of the 80s bands I was too young to see back in the day have dutifully reformed over the years, Culture Club, Heaven 17, Blancmange, Soft Cell, Dexys, Adam Ant (less of a reformation, more of a Lazarus-like return from the grave), Thomas Dolby (again, not so much of a reformation, more a comeback) etc, one of the decade's biggest bands, Thompson Twins, have stubbornly resisted the lure of the lucrative nostalgia circuit and gradually faded from the memories of all but the most hardened 80s pop fans. For a brief moment though they were huge, with platinum selling albums in the UK and US and a slot on Live Aid that saw them joined on stage by the material girl herself (okay, it's not their finest moment, but still, you get the idea, they were BIG).

I'm guessing that most people under the age of 30 won't have a clue who they are (or quite possibly care either but what the hell, it's a Wednesday and you've got nothing better to do) so here's a very quick history lesson in video form...

Now that Bowie's back how's about a Thompson Twins reunion eh? Apparently both Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie live here in the UK (Currie's married to ex KLF dude Jimmy Cauty) and I'm sure we can lure Joe Leeway out of his career as a hypnotherapist...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

So...Bowie's back...

After an uncharacteristically huge gap (ten whole years), no doubt partially caused by the odd bit of heart surgery, Dame David Bowie's suddenly come back to earth with a bump...and new single (out today, his 66th birthday...happy birthday Mr B) together with an album (due out in March). Where Are We Now?'s a pretty low key song, with our Dave sounding like a man who knows his days are numbered. There's a touch of Gabriel's Don't Give Up to it, that kind of desperate hope in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and it's the reflections of a dude who has recognises that he's got far more to look back on than he has to look forward to. On first listen I found it insufferably dull and more than a little trite but, three or four listens in, it's becoming a bit of a grower. Stripping out all of the crap and giving us the wisdom of his 66 years he's come to the conclusion that sun, rain, fire, me and you (obviously not just me and you, that would be weird...) are all we need. I'd add food, a nice bottle of Shiraz and a tweed suit to the list but maybe he's saving that for the 12 inch remix. There's no news about any interviews (I'm up for it if he fancies a chat) or live dates and this and the album might well be the extent of the comeback but I for one (and judging by the interweb I'm not alone) am mightily glad that he's back. Call me demanding but I like my artists to keep on going until they conk out. If you've got a talent for something then keep doing it until Mr G. Reaper Esq. comes a knocking. Even then you should keep him waiting a while. Just tell him to go round the block a few times or give him a puzzle to do. There are far too few truly creative souls left out there as it is and Bowie's right up there as one of the very best. Anyway, the new Bowie single. Have a listen.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Deez are good, Deez are good...

...Deez Ebenezer Good (one for the Shamen fans out there). Yep, everyone's favourite frizzy haired tache sporting goofball of good times Darwin Deez is back with a new album this February, Songs From Imaginative People, and this is the first single, Free (The Editorial Me). Having worked in a convenience store much like this many moons ago (big up 7-Eleven Western Road, Brighton...well it's gone now but big it up anyway) I can relate to the video but I guess anyone that's stuck in a soul crushing job (er...that's pretty much everyone then eh?) can also relate to both it and the lyrics. Something to cheer you up on Monday morning. You're welcome. Play it loud in your office/factory/shop/brothel and who knows, you actually might just be 'free' by lunchtime...

PS: No gig guide this week 'cos there ain't many gigs on right now. I guess most bands are still ploughing through leftover turkey and plotting global domination on the back of shreds of wrapping paper.

PPS: I was put in charge of stock ordering once and failed to notice that toilet rolls were ordered by the pallet load rather than by the box. The resulting delivery requiring several articulated lorries filled most of the stock room...and indeed a significant chunk of Brighton...for several months. Who knows most of it might still be there...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Let’s get physical...a plea to HMV...and music fans everywhere

Judging by the news that digital sales of music, films and games have now hit £1billion it seems that pretty much everyone’s now downloading their music so it’s hardly surprising that the one remaining national high street music retailer, HMV, seems to have turned its back on the thing it was any good at. In a desperate attempt to stay afloat a large percentage of its floor space in its main Birmingham store’s now depressingly taken up with ‘technology’, with most of the rest of the floor occupied by games and DVDs. Look hard enough and you might just find some tunes. If you’re lucky. Surely they’re missing a trick though? Granted most of the stores will, sadly, inevitably have to close this year (they owe more money than Bernie Madoff) but if they would just get back to what they’re know for...hello...MUSIC...then maybe there’s still a future for what was once a glorious brand (cue a rousing chorus of Land Of Hope and Glory, the raising of the Union Jack and the wobbling of stiff upper lips). 

Here’s a business plan...stock the classics (Beatles, Stones, Sabbath...Steps etc)...people will always want to buy this stuff, carry some new flavours of the month, have a small section of cooler hipster stuff and some collectable vinyl (new and used) plus a little memorabilia. Hold a few in store events each month (acoustic gigs/signings etc) and voila...surely that would still be a viable business? I really shouldn’t care if HMV goes tits up, but I do. Having spent many, many hours in HMV stores (not to mention Virgin and the many independents that have now pretty much all disappeared) I still have a lingering soft spot for the place. Sure music doesn’t have to be carried via a physical product anymore but if we lose HMV altogether we’ll be losing a lot more than just another retailer, we'll be losing a big piece of our musical and cultural heritage. 

Call me a luddite but a physical ‘thing’ will always be better than a ruddy computer file. You can hug it, sniff it, squeeze it, stick it on a shelf and gaze lovingly at it. It’s got personality, history and magic (I’m still in awe of how records work...yes I know the theory but still, it’s magical...yes, I’m a simple soul). Listening to music on vinyl demands your attention. You can’t just stick it on and expect it to play happily in the background whilst you do something else. Like a new born it’ll need changing every 30 minutes or so. Despite the sceptics vinyl really does sound richer and warmer than digital versions. If all you ever do is listen to an iPod then you’re simply not hearing what many artists originally wanted you to hear. Still not convinced? Okay then, let’s talk dosh. Buy wisely and you’ve got a much better investment than sticking your moolah in the bank these days (record collectors are nuts when it comes to paying for some of this stuff), not difficult given that banks don’t pay interest any more. Last of all buying music is like sex. You can do it at home on your own (well, sort you get my drift) but it’s a lot more enjoyable with a little company (oh good grief that sounds like I’m into dogging...). So if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that’s worth keeping dust off or buy yourself a turntable, go out to a record store and buy a record or two and make the whole process of buying and listening to music just that a little bit special again.  
PS: Any accusations that this whole post's just a flimsy excuse to post a camp Olivia Newton John video will be hotly denied...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year New Cover

It's a new year! Yay. Whoop. Er...great. Yes, yet another year croaks it and its offspring zings into our lives all hopeless optimism and soon to be forgotten resolutions. For most of us, those lucky enough to have jobs that is, today's the first day back at work so let's celebrate with a cheerful (well, it's pretty cheerful compared to the original...listen to those lovely Eurodisco synths) Nirvana cover version eh? Enjoy.