Friday, 30 January 2009

Stealing music, child's play

I'm a scumbag, I am a part of the reason why Half Machine's Christmas Party only had red label Smirnoff rather than black. My crime, I steal music, I'm a "Knock Off Nigel", in fact let's go the whole hog. I'm a c**t.

Why do I do it? It's there, it's free, it gives me the opportunity to listen to music that normally I wouldn't give a toss about buying, in turn, I've downloaded then found myself buying the entire collection.

I know this isn't exactly anything ground breaking, in fact, the same facts are always stated trying to justify the reason why people find stealing in this manner socially acceptable, but something got me thinking about this whole issue one night at a poker game whilst listening to "Straight Outta Compton" by NWA on Spotify.

Back in the day as a young impressionable 8 year old, a school chum came back from America with a cassette tape that was to shape a part of who I am today, the now legendary works of Dre, Ren, Cube, Yella and Eazy "Likes a big fat dick in his mouth" E were played out on a mono cassette recorder in our 2nd year junior school classroom and we were all amazed, this may have been due to the incredible range of swear words we were being taught, or it could've been due to the fact that prior to listening to it my listening pallette consisted of Level 42, Alexander O'Neal, Genesis, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson (fair enough, not too bad), this was something else. Anyway, the crowning moment of this was my recently acquired 3D Super Woofer stereo system, this system had the most technologically advanced thing a kid at school needed to gain instant (albeit temporary) popularity, a tape to tape cassette deck.

Within 2 weeks myself and David Goldie had become the epitomy of all that was wrong with children in 1989 by giving angelic children the tools to swear and therefore, I guess, inventing Peer2Peer file sharing (had to have been, although Richard invented everything so he may lay claim to this). My point here is that the whole "bung me a copy" thing has been around since someone discovered that the use of magnets could allow for sound waves to be stored on a storage device, getting something for free is in our nature!

One other way of looking at this is the fact that if I buy music, the chances are that I'll use Amazon Marketplace or eBay and buy second hand, now does the artist gain from that? Kind of leaves you with the "do I want a physical copy for £1.50 or a download for 10 minutes of my time" quandary. Either way does some gak addict at EMI's A&R department benefit?

And let's face it, if indirectly it's affecting the chances of Robbie Williams acquiring a record contract and his smug face is going to go without a nice treatment or he's not going to be able to buy a new dildo to roger David Icke with I'll just go logging back on to The Pirate Bay.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

He looks like a thumb

Half Machine 2009

This year we're having a make over. Ferry Gouw (from Semifinalists) is redesigning everything for us. We'll be having a relaunch in the next few months of the website and all that. Ferry's done some great stuff for us already and we're looking forward to showing it off.

Releases this year will be -

Banjo or Freakout 12" EP, with four new recording, including blog favourites 'Like You' and 'Upside Down'. We've also got some remixes coming from Allez Allez , Vincent Oliver , Coma, PhaseOne and more...

Sam Buck Rosen 'Purple Mountain' 7". Debut single from Sam Buck Rosen, a prodigious 19 year old, who channels the spirit of the Blow, Microphones, YACHT and Bobby Darin in to lo-fi tropical Macbook pop. The a-side was recorded with Rostam from Vampire Weekend in New York.

MIT will also be releasing a digital only remix EP. Featuring Luke Abbott (Border Community), Shitdisco, Crystal Fighters and more remixing 'Rauch' from last years critically acclaimed debut album 'Coda'.

Real Estate are also releasing their debut UK single in June/ July. 'Fake Blues' sounds like Yo La Tengo and Galaxie 500 covering Abe Vigoda.

We'll no doubt have more releases out this year, but we're winging it at the moment and waiting to see what catches our ear.

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Night

My favourite Frankie Valli song and a Northern Soul classic (shit video though):

Sunday, 4 January 2009

2009, It's Echo and the Bunnymen's turn.

Hey, you know how some bands tend to choose a band from the past, then rip them off as means to crowbar their way into the pop charts? Yeah you do ... The Streets / The Specials ... Chairlift / The Cure .... All the bands of 2005 / Gang of Four

Well, it seems that 2009 is the year we have a pop at watering down the greatness of Echo and the Bunnymen.

First off, the Template...and my favourite E&TBM song....

Now to White Lies, don't get me wrong, I like this lot even if the video is as bad as Virgin Suicides

(Polydor have disabled the 'embedding' function on this video ... another huge major label 'REALLY??')

Hatcham Social, recently signed to Fierce Panda, (who for some reason are proud they signed Birmingham's finest 3 Colours Red ... who, incidentally taught me what 'skinning up' meant )

I promise you by about August we'll all be buying Echo and the Bunnymen live at the Roundhouse tickets.