With The Beatles…A Royal Announcement

16 11 2010

Today was the moment that the world had been waiting for. For years the silence coming from one of the most famous institutions in the UK had been deafening.

We all wanted to know when it would happen, what was the delay and why it seemed to be taking so long. Millions of fans across the globe have been on tenterhooks, chewing their nails in frenzied appreciation.

This morning, the wait was finally over.

And then there were two...

The Beatles songs’ were available on iTunes. For those that didn’t want to  buy the re-released and repackaged catalog on the archaic format known as CD, they could now just download 200 songs in the comfort of their own home. The Fab Four have gone digital. Apple merged with Apple and the magical mystery tour was over.

Rock royalty, available (again) to the masses. Read the rest of this entry »

Falling in Love is not just Hard on the Knees

16 08 2010

There comes a time when you have to admit that individuals that you fell in love with are no longer making your heart beat faster. It’s even worse when you have actually given those individuals every chance to make things better.

I have experienced this loss on too many levels in my young(ish) life; my favorite football player being sacked as manager first of England and then my club, the misery of Star Wars:The Phantom Menace, ‘St.Anger by Metallica’, Jersey Girl, Alien Resurrection, Spiderman 3, John Lydon advertising butter/Iggy Pop endorsing car insurance, the England football team.

I could go on.

Every time that I look in the mirror......

But on Saturday night, one of the first rock bands that I listened to after my conversion from synth music, managed to firmly shut the door on any lingering hopes that I had.

Aerosmith @ Fenway Park, Boston. Read the rest of this entry »

Vinyl Love and the discovery of Lycra. A Musical Awakening.

29 03 2010

Spoiler Alert : Long Blog Ahead. Just give it a chance, its a subject that we should all think about. And its got Van Halen in it.

The ear favours no particular point of view. We are enveloped by sound. It forms a seamless web around us. We say music shall fill the air. We never say music shall fill a particular segment of the air.

Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is The Massage

It was Nietzsche who said that “without music, life would be an error” and in the twenty-first century our lives seem to be accompanied by a never ending soundtrack. If I think through significant moments in my life then music has been an intimate partner to the decisions I have made.

Granted there are many musical moments which, upon reflection, make me shudder rather than smile but generally when I hear music that has personal meaning, I am able to experience significant aural recall. Read the rest of this entry »

And the winner is………

31 01 2010

It’s that time of year again. Award Ceremonies.

The great and the good gathering together to pay tribute to those of the profession who they feel have achieved a high standard of excellence that should be rewarded with a small trophy.

Cue the big smiles, formal attire, sweaty palms and the desperate scramble of the paparazzi to get the best shot.

We have had the Golden Globes and the SAGs, soon it will be Oscar’s annual turn in the spotlight. The great, good and talented coming together for a night of back-slapping and bonhomie.

For musicians, the Grammys are the big one and I’ve got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.

109 Awards will be handed out tonight, there will be tears, thanks and the chance for Kanye West to complain that Beyonce didn’t get all ten of the awards that she is nominated for. Read the rest of this entry »

Lost In Music – Simon Cowell Has Left The Building

16 01 2010

In a previous incarnation, I flirted with the music industry.

I had a small record label, Sandman Records, which released four EPs by English bands that I took a shine to and made no money from. I don’t know what became of Baptiste, Omni and Four Way Trauma but I know that The Perishers are still around (in a doing very little sort of way), and I still have all the music on my Ipod. I even still have boxes of unsold CD’s sitting in a cupboard somewhere.

I co-managed a metal band from Cornwall, Fallen To, who flickered briefly on the industry radar before vanishing into a sea of alt-metal that promised much but had no longevity.

I got to hang out backstage, go on tour buses, sell T-Shirts, listen to soundchecks and look for mandolin strings at 4am in Brighton. There was no sex and drugs for me, but I always knew where my cricket bat was.

So I still keep some interest in what is shaking down in groovetown. But chart music has become an alien concept to me.

So the news that Simon Cowell has announced he is leaving American Idol to concentrate on his “new” US ad-venture, The X Factor, shouldn’t really matter to me.

But it does. Read the rest of this entry »

Love Me Don’t – Not every British Institution is Fab.

4 12 2009

An American friend of mine recently cornered me and asked me my views on various UK institutions.

Parliamentary procedures and legends, the role of the Monarchy, the obsession with queueing (although after my experience at The Magic Kingdom, I think that the Brits are way behind), the rules of cricket and my favorite Beatles song.

 I have to make an admission. I don’t like The Beatles.

And I am English.

Sorry. Just not my cup of tea.

I am now expecting a deluge of abuse, but I will remain firm in my apathy to The Beatles.

This may come as a surprise to many people who see the Fab Four as the epitome of British music, but I have never been overly keen on the music produced by these mop-topped individuals either as part of the group or even as solo artists.

There are a hundred bands on my Ipod that I would listen to before them. Although I don’t mind Sgt Pepper as an LP.

I know that they are hugely influential, and that every 10 seconds on radio there is a Lennon/McCartney composition played somewhere in the world. I also know that there are thousands of musicians who picked up a guitar because of John, Paul or George. 

Although I have never met a drummer who picked up his sticks because of Ringo.

But when we consider British music, are The Beatles the first act to come to mind? Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Shuffle……..Give Me Back Control!

16 11 2009

The experiment has come to an end.*

I have noted its findings and evaluated the results. I calculated the co-efficient variable of songs based upon the relative position of the artist within the confines of the library and the statistical possibility of hearing songs that I want to hear.

In other words, I got bored and wanted to hear the new Slayer LP. A band who had not been deemed worthy by the Ipod elves.

I lived on Ipod Shuffle for 9 days, only listening when I was out of the apartment and it was not easy. Mainly because I heard some material that I was not aware I had, and when I did hear a favorite tune it made me want to listen to some more of that band……difficult to do when you have set yourself a task.

The best research takes a small cross-section of society and analyses the results.

In this case, I ran out of steam around 120 songs. Read the rest of this entry »