Archive for September 17th, 2008

September 17, 2008

Why Bother?

Recently, I got this message on my WordPress dashboard:

“Warning: We have a concern about some of the content on your blog. Please click here to contact us as soon as possible to resolve the issue and re-enable posting”

I found I was locked out of posting.  I contacted WordPress and discovered my account had been suspended for an article I’d posted two years ago reviewing Richard Hawley’s wonderful ‘Hotel Room’ single (Click here to read it).  Apparently WordPress had been contacted to say I had to remove the links to copyrighted material.  But I was linking to five mp3s Richard is hosting on his own website… absolutely free!

The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  On one side, Record Labels scour blogs for copyright infringing material, dishing out threatening emails without even reading the blogs in question.  On the other side, the same Record Labels flood bloggers in-boxes with emails (Quite literally) begging for articles to be written, with mp3s attached for sharing with public.  They’re trying to have there cake and eat it.

Maybe a website could be set up ( where Labels can log protests that they don’t want to be blogged about, and us bloggers can trot along, read the names and happily have a media blackout for the companies that so wish it.  I suspect it would have few takers.

Time and time again these copyright measures are introduced and as always they seemed designed to impede, annoy and cheat the genuine paying customer, and committed fan. For example:

Copyrighted CDs (They don’t play on CD players!!!!)
Solution -> Get a pirate copy
Copyright warnings on DVDs (You are forced to sit trough them each and every time!!!)
Solution -> Get a pirate copy
Usage restrictions on digital music (For music you’ve just paid for!!!)
Solution -> Get a pirate copy

The industry needs to spend less time harassing the very people who spend hours of time promoting their artists for them and more time thinking of ways to sustain music sales.  Look at recent releases from artists like Radiohead, Oasis, Duke Special, Chris Rea and Laura Marling.  Each artist has produced a super-deluxe boxset version of their albums retailing for around the £50 mark.  They are lapped up, because people are willing to pay for a genuine artifact that you can hold, touch, read, listen to and even smell.  It’s all about added content, just like the lovely DVD boxsets (Crammed with bonus features) that we all shell out for.

Rant over.

Click here to buy Richard Hawley’s fantastic ‘Coles Corner’ album.

P.S. Here’s the music and DVD collection of someone who’s clearly cheating the record industry out of it’s money:

September 17, 2008

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 4

Hurray! This week Elbow won the Mercury (Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of lads) although for my money their last album was superior (Buy ‘Leaders Of The Free World’).  New sounds wise, I’m spoilt for choice, there are so many great things I’m hearing.  Here are the ten best:

You’ve probably read about the ‘Large Hadron Collider’ in the papers and the supposed way it’s gonna destroy the world (That’s if you believe tabloid hacks with all the scientific acumen of a toasted marshmallow). So in a bold attempt to inform the public, ‘The Large Hadron Rap’ was recorded.  AlpineKat (aka science writer Katherine McAlpine) drops some rhymes at least as good as anything Chicks On Speed have released.  Comedy Rap isn’t supposed to be this good.

Bumblebeez have me groovin’ every time to the addictive Funky-Dance-Carnival-Sounds of ‘Rio’.  It’s just one oddity to enjoy from their new eccentrically titled ‘Prince Umberto & The Sister Of Ill’ album.  Unless I’m mistaken it’s got a sample of Harpo Marx whistling (Or it might just be your average rave whistle, which would be a shame as the image of Harpo “Giving it large” to this tune is quite pleasing).

‘In Search Of The Youth Crew’ is relentless, energized, fast-paced Rap from Cadence Weapon.  The repetitive chorus of “The youth crew’s back” is the best bit on this brilliant bit of danceable Hip-Hop.

Capitol K’s ‘Libertania’ is quirky Pop that’s so very, very catchy.  It’s like the Postal Service after too many Smarties and a quick decision to get Bryan Ferry in for vocal duties.

Every now and again Conor Oberst brings out a song I absolutely adore and ‘Souled Out!!!’ is one of them.  It seems like one glorious drawn out mewling Guitar solo with Conor’s Dylanesque lyrics riding over the top.

Craig Charles asked his 6Music listeners to help him compile a fantasy-funk-band and in response DJ superstars Diesler, Dr. Rubberfunk and Smoove made their own special mash-ups.  The best of the three is ‘Dr. Rubberfunk’s Fantasy Funk Band’ (Just out on 45) featuring the vocal talents of James Brown & Nina Simone with contributions from Bootsy Collins, The Temptations and others.    It sounds like a superb Dr. Dre production but without the references to guns ‘n’ bitches.

Emiliana Torrini’s ‘Gun’ sounds allot like Benjamin Prosser’s outstanding track ‘Below The Plough’ (One of my favourite tracks of last year).  It’s got the same sinister air, and expansive echoey sound.

‘Took My Lady To Dinner’ combines 60s Garage-Rock, Soul, and Funk without sounding anything like Ocean Colour Scene.  It’s from King Khan & The Shrines’ brilliant new compilation and if you like Sacramento band Cake, this is gonna be right up your street.  However singing an ode to your beloved with a chorus of “She’s fat and she’s ugly, but I love her” might not have the desired effect.

Sebastien Tellier’s delightfully mellow Remix of Low Motion Disco’s ‘Things Are Gonna Get Easier’ is like that melancholic song you hear in an Eighties teen film, about two thirds through, when the protagonists best friend at school has committed suicide (Or did I imagine that one?).  Drift away on sighing waves of sound and bask in the beautifully subtle Claptonesque Guitar solo.

‘Only Loved At Night’ has that powerful Patti Smith poetic atmosphere combined with the Icy vocals of Nico.  The tinkling Xylophone is magical, although the band’s name, Softboiled Eggies, is less so (But no worse than Arctic Monkeys!).


AlpineKat YouTube
Bumblebeez MySpace / Purchase
Cadence Weapon MySpace / Purchase
Capitol K MySpace / Purchase
Conor Oberst MySpace / Purchase
Dr. Rubberfunk MySpace / Purchase
Emiliana Torrini MySpace / Purchase
King Khan & The Shrines MySpace / Purchase
Low Motion Disco MySpace / Purchase
Softboiled Eggies MySpace