Vinyl sales in 2016 were the highest in 25 years, outperforming digital sales. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the move toward streaming has meant that paying to download intangible files has lost its’ allure – why pay for such a file when you can stream it whenever and wherever you want anyway? And in many ways streaming has become a support system to vinyl. As a try before you buy-type mechanism, streaming allows you to fall in love with a record while vinyl allows you to commit to that record, purchase it, own it and fall in love with it all over again. Yes, there are all the arguments about sound quality (and whatever about t (more…)
It’s that time of year again when an incalculable number of blogs and magazines publish their end of year polls listing the best albums and songs of the year. Having felt despondent about the musical output of some recent years, I thought 2016 was a particularly strong year for music. Despite the heartbreaking passing of greats such as Bowie, Prince, Cohen and Lemmy, there have been a string of albums that have delighted me, songs that have made me smile and shimmy and even well up a little. Although, not necessarily all at the same time.
You expect demos to be of varying quality. Whenever I sit down to sift through the countless submissions we receive, I am prepared for the good, the bad and the hideously ugly. It’s part of the job and it doesn’t bother me. It’s worth wading through these to find a real gem.
What can become frustrating is the way people submit music. So I’ve drawn up a list of do’s and don’ts to help if you’re planning to submit demos:
There has been much talk of late about the left, the right and the center ground in British politics. Following the massive defeat of the Labour Party in the May elections to the Conservatives, many commentators accused ‘Red’ Ed Miliband and his left-wing ideologies of being the downfall of the party. So, Miliband swiftly stood down as Labour leader and everyone expected the party to move toward the middle in order to compete with the right-wing Conservative (Tory) party. But having opened up the election of the new leader to the Labour (more…)
There are no real rules anymore. When I was a kid all the 4/5 letter monosyllabic shoegazing bands I was into (Curve, Ride, Lush) released 4 track EP’s. Now, EP’s will frequently have 7,8,9 tracks and upwards. Now, pretty much any track you put on the internet can be considered a single. An album can have as little as two tracks, like the new Four Tet album, Morning/Evening. One of my favorite long-players, Ys by Joanna Newsom consists of just five very long but beautiful elaborate tracks over its’ 55 minutes. One of the glorious results of the current uncertain music industry is that you can make your own rules. There are no boundaries and, as far as I’m concerned, ignoring and destroying the rule book is something to be embraced. With both arms. And legs. And crotches.
So, when anyone tells you that this is the way something has to be done in the music industry, there may well be a certain truth and it may well be the way things have been done in the past, but it does not mean that it will be that way forever. If we didn’t try and crush historical ideologies, nothing would ever change. And that would be really dull.
Move forward, stomp over old footprints and take pleasure in it. You might fall face flat into the mud but it will be worth it. You can always get up, wipe off the dirt and try all over again.
Blur – The Magic Whip (A Review Of The 1st Record For A Very Long Time By A Band I Liked A Lot In The Past)
“I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘G’”.
“Glove compartment?” “No”.
“Gearbox?” “You can’t actually see the gearbox from in here”.
“Grass? Glen Cove?”
I don’t always watch The Oscars – where I used to live, it was on in the middle of the night. Some years I caught a highlights package the following evening but it wasn’t essential viewing for me. However, this year I was invited to watch it with friends so we could collectively guffaw at unwise dress decisions, loudly disagree with the Academy’s choices and roll our eyes when an actor thanked God in an extravagant fashion.