part three of the ever-exciting adventure

Archive for Music

Automatic high

So my thoughts on The Automatic? Lots of energy and pretty good at what they do, even if their style is slightly, ummm, narrow. I can’t decide whether destroying your own instruments and stripping down to your boxer shorts live on GMTV is really cool or really stupid. Or both.

My thoughts on the gig? Standing next to the mosh pit can result in the odd sweaty fifteen-year-old hurtling towards you at high speed, which can be rather distracting when you’re trying to watch the god damn band. But other than that it was good. They got through most of the songs on the album as well as the Gold Digger cover. The warm-up acts got prettier better as the night went on too, although I can’t remember any of the band names, rather annoyingly.

Overall, not bad for a tenner.

Admiring: Some much better photos than mine
Wanting: A digital SLR for Christmas!


According to today’s Guardian (complete with poster of salad greens – what’s with that?) Keane are to launch their new single – Nothing in My Way – on a USB memory stick through HMV at the end of the month.

HMV are doing a lot at the moment to improve their offerings in a world dominated by the likes of MySpace and Apple and where digital distribution of music is becoming the norm rather than the exception. In the last few months they’ve launched a new download service at hmvdigital.com – which allows users to download tracks without installing the HMV Music Player required by their older subscription site, introduced new access channels such as Txt2Buy and in-store kiosks, and in a desperate move to halt their recent decline in profits have even started slashing prices.

In short, these guys are desperate for our business, and as a result they’re increasingly looking for alternative ways to reach consumers – and most importantly that crucial 16-24 year old demographic.

But they’re not the only ones – further up the food chain, the record companies are too looking at new distribution models, and as a result you can buy many newly released tracks via CD, download or even your mobile phone. That’s great, right? Because surely with more ways to access music than ever before, more people are therefore able to enjoy that music?

Sadly the reality doesn’t always match this and often that choice isn’t there. So-called “exclusive” deals such as the Jamiroquai greatest hits album shortly to be available on a mobile phone near you a whole three weeks before you can get hold of it via CD mean that people are actually being stopped from listening to music – in this case for three weeks but in others for longer. The mobile operators signing deals with the record company licensing clips of concerts for exclusive use by their own subscribers are playing an even more dangerous game, competing with each other on who provide the most “exclusive” content.

So the net result is that people get locked out of content – “you can watch this music video, but only if you have the latest mobile phone” or “you can listen to this track, but only if you’re on Network X”. Add to this the fact that you need a credit or debit card to access most online music services, and 99 percent of music sold on those stores comes encumbered with DRM crap that will stop you listening to your collection if you ever stop paying for that service (or if your PC or iPod dies) and you’re increasingly slamming the door shut on legitimate consumers. These are people who want to listen to music and are happy to pay, but who if they can’t get at it easily will either download it illegally or worse – not bother at all.

So go ahead Mr Greedy Record Company – you go destroy your whole business through a series of misguided and short-sighted strategies that determine how you distribute the content that you so protectively guard. That’s fine. But remember that there are some people out there who actually are struggling to make a living out of selling music. People like HMV and of course the artists, who would probably rather that you didn’t destroy the whole entire industry when you eventually keel over like the big huge dinosaur that you are gasping your last dying breath.


Nizlopi for number one!

Of the Jo Whiley-championed JCB Song which enters the singles charts today, the Guardian says:

It’s like a battle between a lovely little ant and a giant ugly lizard, little indie labels versus evil major corporations, homemade creativity against mass commercialised bastards, because this year’s race for the top of the Christmas Top 40 boils down to a fight between two blokes from Leamington Spa with a life-affirming song about being five years old or the winner of X Factor singing a cover version of a song that was quite possibly written by the devil.

So, they’re a couple of blokes from Leamington, on a comparatively small label who’ve written what seems like a genuinely honest song. And they have a cool name.

Even if you don’t like the track itself, that’s still plenty of reasons why it just has to be number one for Christmas, especially given the competition.

This is going to be the first single I’ve bought in quite a while, and deservedly so.


Congrats to Giles and Polly for hosting a fab Christmas party last night! We went on quite late in the end, with the result that the music that I’d put together at the last minute on Polly’s laptop unfortunately didn’t quite last through the night.

In the end I ended up replaying a big chunk of the precompiled playlist and a whole bunch of songs off CDs nearer the end – almost proper DJing! Lots of fun, and nice to have an excuse to stay slightly soberer that I otherwise would have been – perhaps I’ll do it again sometime.

Here’s the precompiled list in full.

Mamas and the Papas – California Dreaming
The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
Jim Croce – Working At The Carwash
Chef – Chocolate Salty Balls
The Beach Boys – Wipeout
The Beach Boys – I Get Around
Terrorvision – Tequila
Barbie Girl – Aqua
Wham – Do They Know it’s Christmas
Kylie Minogue – Spinning Around
Sophie Ellis Bextor – Murder On The Dance Floor
Busted – Year 3000
Belinda Carlisle – Always Breaking My Heart
LeAnn Rimes – Can’t Fight The Moonlight
Candi Station – Young Hearts Run Free
Bryan Adams – Summer of 69
S Club 7 – Reach
Trick Pony – Cotton Eyed Joe
Divine Comedy – National Express
Snap! – The Power
Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
The Lion King – Hakuna Matata
Presidents Of The USA – Video Killed The Radio Star
Space – Neighbourhood
Clock – Oh What A Night
Robbie Williams – Old Before I Die
Eminem – Sing For The Moment
Pete El Conde Rodriguez – I Like It Like That
The Seahorses – Love Is The Law
OMC – How Bizarre
Supergrass – Alright
Ocean Colour Scene – The Riverboat Song
No Doubt – Just A Girl
Sum 41 – In Too Deep
Suggs – Cecilia
Ocean Colour Scene – Mile High City
Garbage – Stupid Girl
Ash – Girl From Mars
The Strokes – Last Nite
Free – All Right Now
The Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
Garbage – Only Happy When It Rains
Placebo – The Bitter End
Jimmy Eats World – It Just Takes Some Time
Pink – Get This Party Started
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Skunk Anansie – Weak
Muse – Feeling Good
Pink – Just Like A Pill
T.Rex – 20th Century Boy
The Cardigans – Lovefool
Pink – Don’t Let Me Get Me
Reef – Place Your Hands
Queen – We Will Rock You
The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
Buddy Holly – Rock Around the Clock
Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love
Buddy Holly – I’m Gonna Love You Too
Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire
Elvis – Hound Dog
The Beatles – Hey Jude
The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Goo Goo Dolls – Slide
The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Chrismas Everyone
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Babybird – You’re Gorgeous
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
The Rolling Stones – The House Of The Rising Sun
The Beach Boys – Surfer Girl
The Beach Boys – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
Queen – We Are The Champions
Feeder – Comfort In Sound
Ben E King – Stand By Me
Sting – Every Breath You Take
Mamas And The Papas – Dream a Little Dream
The Lion King – Can You Feel The Love Tonight
The Stranglers – Golden Brown
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Wham! – Last Christmas
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Marilyn Monroe – Santa Baby