Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great Findings At Your Local Record Shop

Just the other day my friends and I were milling about in Fingerprints record shop, checking out books and records and things. I've been in that store dozens of time but never really checked out the used cd section, which is a travesty, because they have tons of releases that I'm always looking for out in the new items but they don't have what I'm looking for or it's too much money. My friend and I spent about half an hour just scoping out all the CDs we were interested in buying, and I didn't get the always pleasant get feeling that I'm about to be broke if I drop 20 dollars on this here Cd, because at most it will only cost about five bucks. So I decide I'm not going to buy anything but I just then happen upon a band called The Coral's first self-titled album. I started going on and on about this tune I'd heard on a Teenage Cancer Trust concert show thingy on palladia called "Dreaming Of You". This song is pretty much everything you want to hear in a good song if you know anything about music and aren't frantically waiting for the New Kids On The Block/ Backstreet Boys tour to come to your town. If you are..... that's questionable. Anyway I talked this song up enough that my friend Spencer decided he was to buy this album and I think it was a very smart investment. This band has got some other good tunes so I recommend you check them out if you like this song.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sometimes I Just Want To Rock

Lately, I've been writing a lot of ballad-ie type songs that sound really nice and pretty on an acoustic guitar. I'm worried, though, that when I apply these songs to a band setting they wont work as well. The songs might be too slow or too boring. In response to this feeling, earlier today I started to play this riff that is somewhat simple and generic, but still fun to play. I then wrote a chord structure around said riff. The structure is again quite rudimentary but still fun to play. I figured I needed a good rock -out song to split up all the happiness of my other tunes. Not to say that the other songs aren't alright, but it's good to shake things up a bit.
The reason for this change in style, I believe, is from watching this video of the Arctic Monkeys playing The View From the Afternoon at a show earlier this year. That band has proven to me to be one of the best of our generation. They have definitely come a long way and now they can really blow your head off. The Monkeys have matured in every way possible really. They've gotten much better at their instruments, especially Matt Helders the drummer. Some of his drum fills in their last album Humbug are truly mind-blowing. This band deserves to be bigger than any fake pop-act ruling the charts in America.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Food For Thinks

As I'm sure you're aware, The Beatles have finally released their music on itunes. It's not exactly everything, mind you. It's all of their studio albums and some live footage I believe, so it isn't all that a die hard fan like me would need, I mean, there's no Decca tapes, and I didn't realize until just now that they did put Past Masters on there which contains all of The Beatles b-sides and generally songs that weren't on the original U.K. albums. For a normal, non-Beatle obsessed person just looking for a miscellaneous grab bag of Beatle greatness, then itunes is perfect. Sure, I think $11.99 is way too much to pay for a download. I actually feel it's a couple dollars too expensive for an actual real-life album, that you can touch (but I've already discussed that in my last blog so, moving on), but if you are an avid itune-zer than get on there and get you some Beatles.

In other music news, my favorite band The Strokes , have finally finished their new album! After their tour in 2006 for their third album First Impressions of Earth, the band went on a four year long hiatus. All of them with the exception of this guy (Nick Valensi) released solo albums or started another group during this time. they were all good sure, but the world needs Strokes! In 2009 they started work on the new record and they finished it just this week. It should be out in March of next year. Hopefully a single is released before that, but more importantly hopefully it gets leaked so I can hear it before it comes out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Major Labels

Downloading music, or more specifically illegally downloading music has pretty much become the standard practice for an everyday music fan. I know I'm no saint, although if it's one of may favorite groups or artists releasing something new I'll try to but the actually record from a record store. Most people, though, find it much more convenient to just hop on a torrent and download some music. Perhaps they're really and don't have time, or what if they can't afford it. Most commonly people can't afford to spend seventeen dollars, or twelve dollars, or whatever it may be on some music they could easily get for free on the computer without even leaving there bedrooms. This is one of the big faults I think the major record companies make.

It's no secret that it's remarkably cheap to manufacture a cd. It does cost money to actually make and produce the body of work that is the album, but if the record companies weren't so greedy and made the albums cheaper I think they could sell a lot more. This is just my slightly educated opinion of course.

I don't think it would be correct for the majors to just disappear completely though. When Myspace started and bands could put their music up everyone got excited and said "Yippee, we don't need them big ol' labels no more!" (or something to that effect), but in reality we still do. How would bands make money? They could license their songs to commercials or movies sure, but how would anyone even know hear the song in the first place without the major labels marketing money.
It's a tricky dilemma that we're all in at the minute, that I don't think we'll see the end of for quite sometime.

On a lighter note here is some music for you to enjoy that you may not have heard before. It's a song written by Paul Weller and his band The Jam, called Carnation with Liam, Noel, and Whitey from Oasis, some other guy singing and playing guitar, and the man himself Paul Weller playing keys. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The All Important Demo Tape

In this day and age of the music industry being in the position that it's in record companies really don't have the time or money to invest in a group or band that isn't going to make them money. As sad as I am to say that I know what I would need to do to get signed to a label, and it's mostly hard work and luck smashed together. You need to invest copious amounts of time and effort into writing the best music you could possibly write and constantly improving. You need to make sure every show you play is more mind-blowingly powerful as the last so that the people who were there watching would want to come to see you again, and tell their friends about the awesome band they saw last night. Who know, maybe lady luck was smiling and a record executive missed his flight back to Scotland and decided to catch the band playing at the bar down the street. You might just give him the feeling that you guys might be right for his label, then bam! Next thing you know you're being paid to record your music, travel the world playing it for people. Hopefully when it comes out people like it enough to buy it, or at least a t-shirt so u make a little something back, but that's not what it's about. If this happened to me I would be ecstatic. My life would be made. There's a lot more hard work ahead for me though.

Here's a guy who worked hard all his life and is just fantastic, and if you don't like him because of the crap you heard about him in the media, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. (what a horrible phrase, disregard that.) :D enjoy!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Perform For Us!

Performance and the actual writing of the music go hand in hand, and for me performance is sometime more important. When you go see a band you want to see something that's going to get you going, and blow your mind right out of your ears. There's really nothing worse than being into a band's music and being really excited to see them, and they're show be really disappointing. Perhaps they just came out on stage, played the songs and left or put no real emotion into it. It makes you feel cheated. Sometimes you don't feel anything, just, blank emptiness. Music should never do this to you. The best bands, for me, are ones that come on and get the crowd going. Maybe not with the cliches necessarily, but people feed off the energy you give so if you give the performance everything you have, then the crowd gives you their all, and you play catch with some vibes.
I used to be in all the acting and performing arts classes when I was in elementary school. I was heavily into it mind you. This was before I or any of my friends could actually play music so this was like playing a concert for us. I really got the sense of what it was like to act and sing in front of large audiences, and I long for that feeling again.
One man who is a brilliant performer/songwriter, and is a real hero of mine is Pete Doherty. I know he gets a lot of flack but when you look deeper, watch his interviews and behind the scenes footage, and become a real fan you really do appreciate what he's done for music. Here he is with Babyshambles. ENJOY

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting That Deal

Getting a record deal can be one of the greatest accomplishments of any artist or band. I could only imagine what it feels like to one day be working at a job you most likely hate, for a boss you most likely despise, and the next day get the opportunity to make records and go on tours. That is without a question my dream scenario. I can't think of a better job. Especially for someone like me who loves music so much and actually has the passion for it. I get really angry when I see bands who, when they become successful or really popular, say they never wanted any of it. Give it to me, I'll gladly take it off your hands!

Sometimes things can go wrong though. Music industry sharks do still rip people off and screw bands out of the money they earned or get them into horrible contacts. An Example of this is Bruce Springsteen. After his huge success with the "Born To Run" album, his manager Mike Appel wanted, basically to control every aspect of his career, even down to the music it self. Springsteen sued him for control but in that time he couldn't go into the studio and record. He kept his career and band going with tours, thankfully, and eventually won the suit and went on to make more classic albums.

I pray that I never have to go through any of what Bruce went through, and I'll leave you with some early Bruce Springsteen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oldie but Goodie

Writing a good song is hard, as I'm sure you've heard and I'm sure I've said many times throughout my blog history. Therefore, when I write a good song (some might say great song), forget it, and then months later remember it, a wonderful rainbow volcano erupts in my soul and I feel quite happy. Thats basically what happened to me a few days ago. I was just strum, strum, strummin' along on my guitar when suddenly this chord progression popped back into the good side of my brain where the happy dreams live. All the happy dreams in my head started to go crazy again. I was visualizing myself headlining Glastonbury Festival, 100,000 people going bananas when I ride out onto the stage on my Harley-Davidson, Undertaker style. We open with a cover of I Am The Resurrection by The Stone Roses and go on to play one of the most legendary sets Glastonbury's ever seen. With the exception of perhaps the Undertaker Motorcycle part (that would be diabolical) these are the dreams I know I can accomplish if I keep writing songs as good and better than this one that I've remembered. I'm not trying to say it's an anthem or anything like that, thats pretty preposterous but it's definitely among the best that I've written.

Now, I have gotten a request to post some of My music on my blogs, and believe me I would love to, but I haven't figured out how. I've tried but I don't think you can upload strait mp3 files onto a blog. SORRY

I'll leave you with a band that I mentioned before, and that I'm deeply slumped in a phase with at the moment. They're truly fantastic. They blew the doors wide open for real music in Britain in the 90's. Without them, music today would look very different. The Stone Roses