Wednesday, 30 April 2008

40 days

Day two of the rain. I've decided to focus on the positives of this situation. For one, the pigeon waste on my window I was complaining about Monday has been washed away without me having to get my hands dirty. And two, there's no way I can be tempted to go out and buy anything for breakfast so am instead settling for the two leftover (12p a go) jam doughnuts I found in the kitchen. If it wasn't for the obvious and probably drastic health related consequences, I'd happily begin every morning in this way.

I've just given the BSM Myspace page a nice new face-lift. It's a little garish but I like it. Come get some.

Regular readers may recall a couple of weeks ago when I was bemoaning the state of my computer and my two-restarts-a-day routine. Well guess what? The laptop fairy has been to call! Taking pity on my situation a very kind man from talktotoshiba.com has asked me to trial a Toshiba laptop for a few weeks, and in return I simply have to mention it on here. Whether or not I'm actually supposed to mention this, I don't know, but it's a bit late to worry about such details now. It's a beast of a machine, though. As big as my torso (which is huge by the way, ladies) and weighing somewhere in the region of 3 tons - I estimate - it's the biggest laptop I've ever seen. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to say that if you tried holding it on your lap you can wave goodbye to any hope of future fatherhood and face the risk of coming out of the confrontation looking a little bit like Parappa The Rapper. On the plus side, it does have a HD DVD drive. On the negative side, I don't own any HD DVDs. Ah well, thanks anyway, Toshiba!




Remember Ronaldo? Not the Man United player with stupid hair, the Brazilian World Cup winner who used to be the best player in the world and then got really fat. Looks like he's gone off the rails.

This Town Needs Guns have an album out in Australia and Japan right now. It's a compilation of tracks we've released in the UK over the past 18 months, along with a bonus song, and is being released by two different labels, Rallye in Japan and Yellow Ghost in Australia. You can buy them both from the bands Myspace page, each one features different artwork and packaging and neither will be officially released in the UK.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Dan The Van

Me and my big mouth. Yesterday I casually mentioned, just once, that it was looking quite summery outside and what happens? It rains for the next 24 hours. Typical!

Here's your chance to donate to a good cause. Blakfish are one of the hardest working UK touring bands I know but last week their beloved van, Sir Tobias, blew up! Check out the video below to see the extent of the damges. When I said blew up I wasn't kidding. The band now find themselves in fairly deep financial peril, with the insurance set to pay out half of what the thing cost them, at best, and are asking for any kind souls to possibly donate any loose change they may have to help them with buying a new one so they can get back out there and continue wowing the masses. Take your good nature over to www.myspace.com/blakfish





Rival Schools have reformed and are touring the UK in June! This, obviously, is superb news.

A band called Pavilion are playing Club Fandango at the Dublin Castle in London tonight. If you're sick of this rubbish weather and are in need of an injection of summer joy of the Weezer variety, be there for 10.30pm. That's after the football finishes, don't worry.

Monday, 28 April 2008

New podcast

It's quite nice and sunny out today but some human-sized pigeon seems to have shit on my window over the weekend, somewhat ruining the experience for me. Every now and again I feel a blaze of warmth and glance happily outside to bask in the summer sun, only to come face to face with that lump of turd. Damn you, pigeon!

Episode 5 of the BSM Podcast is up online now. Download it via itunes or as an MP3. This month it features music from Cats And Cats And Cats, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Secondsmile, This Town Needs Guns, Hush The Many and more, all taken from the new '50 Not Out' compilation CD. Good times.

Competition alert! - To win a free copy of the afore mentioned '50 Not Out' CD, simply email bigscarypodcast@hotmail.co.uk and tell us two of the working track titles from the This Town Needs Guns album, as mentioned on the podcast. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on the May episode.

Here's a cowboy monkey:

Friday, 25 April 2008

Half a century

So as of Monday BSM is 50 releases old. To mark the occasion I hired a stripper:



What a party.

Lots of people have already bought the 50 Not Out compilation and there have been some really lovely messages on a couple of forums and via email, so a huge thanks to everyone for those, it's much appreciated. If you haven't yet purchased the CD, it's £4 from www.bsmrocks.com/shop or free with any purchase.

Tonight Secondsmile cruise into Oxford for some live music and drunken dancing fun. They were due to support Oxford Collapse but rumour has it that they've pulled out. Probably just as well, I didn't like that poorly named omen anyway. The Collapse are, however, playing Barden's Boudoir in London this Sunday with Shield Your Eyes (Toby from MMISL's band) and Blakfish, so you should all probably go to that really.

STOP PRESS! Psycho Tanbad update: Amazing new photo added to Myspace. Looks like ol' Psycs has traded his massive bulldog in for some birds of prey. Smart move, Tanbad, smart move.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

50 Not Out press release



"We should celebrate daily that BSM exists to continually discover such thrilling bands"
- NME

"The DIY ethos is alive and kicking and BSM is one of the finest purveyors of underground music right now" - Rock Sound

"Without doubt, one of the most reliable and consistently challenging independent labels in the UK" - Drowned In Sound


Completely against the run of play, Big Scary Monsters Records have made it to 50 releases! The half-century came as a bit of a shock to everyone but we prefer to think of it as one in the eye for the music industry Grim Reaper, rather than blind faith and an outstayed welcome from this little independent label.

Started on an adolescent whim amidst wide-eyed dreams of rock n roll stardom, Kevin Douch awoke one morning with Melody Maker-grubbied fingers and decided to start a record label. No contacts - who needs them? No money - A part-time job at the local supermarket will soon change that. No previous experience - hey, I've been listening to Steve Lamacq and starting fights on music forums for nearly a year now. No clue - No problem... How hard could it be anyway?

Seven years, many premature grey hairs, enough empty boxes to start a cardboard revolution, a constant humming in the left ear, more old CDs then a desserted branch of Fopp, an overflowing email account, a slightly jaded, sometimes snobbish view of the industry, a series of awkward and accidental blips in the learning curve and a hefty roster of bands vying for love, attention and the knowledge that their recorded output is in safe hands. Oh, and did we mention 49 releases squeezed somewhere into that time? Forty-bloody-nine! Plain saling, it wasn't. The super market job was the first victim.

So as we approached the big five-oh we needed to mark the occasion, and it seemed only right that it be with something a little out of the norm. '50 Not Out' is a compilation CD made up of 50 MP3s (are you spotting the numeric pattern yet?) from past, present and future associates of the label - including a couple you might not realise are family just yet - along with a whole heap of our favourite others. With debut releases from the likes of Jeniferever, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Secondsmile, Meet Me In St Louis, My Awesome Compilation, Yndi Halda and many others sitting triumphantly in the back catalogue, it's no surprise to see their names included right alongside This Town Needs Guns, Tubelord, Pennines, House of Brothers and the rest of the new kids on the block, meanwhile Maps and Atlases, Jonah Matranga, Rolo Tomassi and others, as well as a selection of treats from the Alcopop (BSM's sister label) roster make up the friends numbers. It's like a big, happy Christmas gathering... In April... On a CD... Which won't play in your stereo.

Here's to fifty more!


'50 Not Out' is available to purchase from www.bsmrocks.com/shop or free with any purchase from the website.

Look out for new releases from Secondsmile, This Town Needs Guns, Tubelord and loads more in 2008, as well as a number of BSM parties and our second 5-a-side football tournament, taking place in London this July.


Tracklisting:

01. Anathallo - Kasa No Hone
02. Audrey - Views
03. Blakfish - Merry Fucking Xmas
04. Cats And Cats And Cats - Brilliant The Brilli Ant
05. Chariots - Friends Forever
06. Copy Haho - To Balance A Diet
07. Cut The Blue Wire - The Race To The King
08. Data.Select.Party - So Long Sweet Lime
09. Days Ago - Where No Measure Refracts
10. Emotive Exposed - Russian Bride
11. Ever Since The Lake Caught Fire - Disaster! Disaster!
12. Fang Island - Curuga
13. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Whitewash Is Brainwash
14. Hikikomori Broadcast - Three Cheers For Other Peoples Poems
15. House of Brothers - Lose Yourself
16. Hush The Many (Heed The Few) - In Bloom (live)
17. Itch - Sleeping Lions
18. Jacob's Stories - Dear Mr Pearson
19. Jeniferever - You Only Move Twice
20. Jonah Matranga - Not About A Girl Or A Place
21. Jonquil - Thick Mugs
22. Lucy And The Caterpillar - I Don't Want Your Stupid Crisps
23. Maps and Atlases - Every Place Is A House
24. Marvin's Revolt - Deliberate Deeds
25. Meet Me In St Louis - Ein Zwei Drei Hasslehoff
26. Mimas - Cats On Fire
27. My Awesome Compilation - Our Lives: The Sequel
28. My Favourite Co-Pilot - Cadence And Close
29. Nathaniel Green - The Hardest Man In The World
30. Outcry Collective - New Franchise Mess
31. Pennines - Open Closed Open
32. Richard Walters - Elephant In The Room
33. Rolo Tomassi - Beatrotter (Please Will Remix)
34. Sam Isaac - A Cinematic Low
35. Secondsmile - Years
36. Settlefish - Summer Drops
37. Shoes And Socks Off - Yeah, But
38. Stapleton - From Wood To Ridge
39. Tera Melos - When Worms Learn To Fly
40. The Campaign For Real Time - Rachel Says
41. The Dudley Corporation - Safety Shot
42. The Family Machine - Reminds Me Of You
43. The Next Autumn Soundtrack - Lost.Fondly
44. The Remarkable Rocket - I Only Count In Tens
45. The Sound OE - Party At The Moontower
46. This Town Needs Guns - If I Sit Still
47. Tubelord - Half Man Half Amazing
48. Wintermute - Shark Vs E-boat
49. Yndi Halda - We Flood Empty Lakes
50. 4 or 5 Magicians - I'm In The Band


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Myspace Fruit Of The Week - Part 4

I'm quite busy this week with the launch of the '50 Not Out' compilation as well booking a couple of tours for Secondsmile and enjoying a feast of particuarly fruitful brainstorming sessions, so I've decided not to focus on any one induvidual in this weeks Myspace feature, and instead give you a little glimpse of the wonderful add requests I've received so far today. A picture speaks a thousand words and all that:




Cunt Pig wants to be your friend. That sounds like a difficult request to decline.

Wasn't the weather great yesterday? Walking down Portobello Road, arms bare, jumper left at home neatly filed under "no need", McFlurry in hand and almost considering smiling at passers by. "Hello summer, it's so good to see you."

This morning I awoke to the sound of rain on the window. Mother Nature is a cruel bitch.

Guys, a little warning: Never, and I mean never try to check your email on your mobile whilst a little bit tipsy and peeing into a tiny toilet on a bus as it coils its way around the many roundabouts of outer London. No electronic communication is worth that toilet seat collapsing pain or awkwardly stained trouser leg.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Flicked

So I've just joined Flickr. What's that all about, hey? I literally don't have a clue what I'm doing but I've managed to add 50 pictures and 20 friends. Come and join in the fun.

What's new, pussycat? Well, I've just updated the website with a new release. Ooooh. It's called '50 Not Out' and is a compilation CD featuring 50 MP3s of past, present and future BSM artists, as well as some of our favourite others. Give it a look. It's free with all online purchases or £4 to buy on its own. I'll post the press release and more info on here soon.

Our lovely friends in Anathallo are heading out on tour with Anticon's own Dosh very soon. Have a look at those dates on their Myspace and be prepared to be jealous, all non-Americans. Which does actually include me, so I know how you're feeling.

I have a meeting in London this evening to decide upon the next Tubelord release. Good news for you lot is it could be sooner than you might expect. Read their guest blog entry below

(see how well I linked that in? That's why they pay me the big bucks)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Tubelord guest blog entry

Here's a lovely (if a little weird) blog entry from Tubelord about all sorts of nonsense and their upcoming tour plans. Enjoy. Safe.


hello dear children men and woman of the internet.

so...touring's pretty fucking mint. especially when you get the chance to meet some pretty inspiring people, hear the most inspiring new music, and get to gig with some of your most favourite bands ever. i can't complain. good times.

anyone who came to a show, safe for coming along, i hope we weren't too shambolic (we probably were... if you thought that then all i have to say to you is gutted!!... i hope you really fucking hated it). and to those of you who bought stuff you helped re-pay debts which is always nice :)

if i could take away any new found knowledge from the tour, it would be credit card suicide.
I ask you dear reader of t'internet, what better way to leave this world (die) than to be zip-lining between two hot-air balloons? is that all? nah nah nah...because their are cows surrounding the hot-air balloon vicinity and they're strapped to MASSIVE helium balloons. Your mission is to uzi the helium balloons and simply watch the cows float and splat onto the ground. OH!...the death takes part when you decide to jump off of the zip-line and plunge to your death into the middle
of the north pole, hopefully landing (exploding) directly on to a mass of penguins..(and cow parts)
That's what happens to your relatively sane thought pattern after 8-hours straight in a van having been severely intoxicated by Blakfish's (pecketts) farts. rank. but good times.

ANYWAY!!! more important and better things are happening NOW than in the past.

yesterday we were 'firmed as first-on-the-bill for Johnny Foreigner's headline tour late may/early june to promote their absolutely MINT debut album. I can't remember the exact places but they are all beautiful. Have a look on our myspace to see where we're playing. I am
completely adament that this will be one of the greatest few days of my life. sick.

ALLLLLLLLso. We are main supports for Tellison on their Summer tour (22nd July-7th August) and that is gonna be bare jokes. we're gonna be like "WE'RE BIGGER THAN TELLISON!!" and they're gonna be like "nah bruv you're not 'cuz your supporting us innit, shut your boat and sit back down"... la la la.

errrm. new songs have been written, if you want to hear them come to a gig and we'll play them. if you don't want to come to a gig then why are you interested in what i've typed thus far? dick.

STRAIGHT after the Tellison your we will be staying on the road and joining Blakfish throughout august and september, visiting mainland europe in the process and returning to Ireland. bangin'. After that (or maybe before) i think we'll be releasing the next single through
BSM again. It's title is currently under-wraps but it will be fucking jokes i promise.

i was gonna plug some important gigs and whatevs but just have a gander on our myspace page, i think Great Escape is pretty key...erm....barden's boudouir with elle milano and maths class should be mint aaaaaaaaaaand.....Del can you think of any?!....at the Peel?!.....next saturday?!......nah me neither.

ok safe. loadsa shirts are being made real soon, but keep enjoying yourselves, tell more people you love them because it's always nice to hear that :)

safe safe.
joseph.x.x.x.

p.s. we love everyone in ireland, you're all amazing.

and kate...you have a teeny face.

xxxxxx





That was pimp

Watched Superbad for about the 10th time last night. It's pretty pimp. If you haven't seen it, sort yourself out. I couldn't decide which video to link to on Youtube so here are loads.

I think it may have somehow escaped my posting before but Hush The Many (Heed The Few)'s 'Revolve' single is out on Alcopop (our lovely sister label) next Monday and they have an awesome animated video for the song. A crack-team of people who'd never previously attempted animation before pieced it together, which makes it twice as good in my book. Check it:


Saturday, 19 April 2008

Secondsmile podcast

Todays hangover is bought to you courtesy of Koppaberg Pear Cider and Tesco Value vodka.

Good news is that the Secondsmile podcast has finally gone live on itunes. Round of applause for Apple, please. Featuring a couple of tracks taken from the forthcoming album, an old one and some of the bands favourite other artists, you can download it via itunes or as an MP3. We're all about giving you options.

The next proper episiode of the podcast will be online towards the end of next week and having just been listening to it now I can honestly tell you it's a bit of a winner.

No outrageous 15p football accumulators today, I'm too nervous about Reading's game with Arsenal and our questionnable Premier League survival to concern myself with winning millions. Fame and fortune can wait a couple of weeks, this is tense.


Friday, 18 April 2008

Goodnight

In a shocking bout of showing my old age... I'm going back to bed! It's 2pm and I'm now really hungover so the BSM office is shutting down for the rest of the day.

If you're going to the Camden Crawl this weekend come to Bar Monsta at 11.30pm to see myself and Ivano DJing some massive tunes. I'm under strict instructions not to play any of my "pop shit" so I'll probably be throwing down some mosh. Well... maybe. Not sure which bands I'm going to see but I have a pass which will get me into any venue and I'm not afraid to use it. Get your recommendations in now.

Night

Snickers. No, wait... Marathon Bar

Just another normal night out last night, winding up drinking vodka and eating a battered sausage in the back of a packed chip shop whilst a little fella played Johnny Cash and Elvis covers. Standard, really. Still, could've been worse, could've been out with these lads.



Myself and Jack Alcopop made the trip into London last night to catch up with our good pals in goFASTER, along with a cluttered array of brilliant other friends. Quite the industry fest, we hung out with managers, labels, publishers, booking agents, promoters, press people, a few band members and apparently one or two actors, not that I recognised them. We even managed to agree a new, and brilliant, release which I'm pleased about. Oh and Mike Hooper, the former Liverpool substitue goalkeeper, now a doorman in his hometown, was recruited to play in goal for Team Alcopop in this years BSM 5-a-side football tournament. Talk of Peter Beardsley was also overheard. I ended the night with a violent case of hiccups.

If you only do one thing today, make sure it's listen to 'Fair Trade Bananas' by Paddyrasta. Clearly the best intro to a song ever. "One banana, two banana... Three, four bananas"

Itunes shuffle update: Anathallo. Fang Island. Alkaline Trio. Oh how you treat me today, kind Apple.

The Secondsmile podcast should've been up on itunes Tuesday but it still hasn't gone live! I don't know what's going on and it's really frustrating. I've double checked the coding and that's fine, so I'm not sure what's stopping it working. Stupid Apple. I take back my kind words from earlier.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Under achieving

It's 12pm, I've been up for 4 hours yet feel I have achieved nothing thus far. In an attempt to rectify I head over to Blog Scary Monsters with the intention of venting loads of inane crap. Will this help my under-achieving feelings? Will it fuck.

Please excuse my french.

I'm still enjoying the fruits of my itunes shuffling today. We've just had Biffy Clyro followed by Audrey. Earlier on saw two Get Up Kids tracks back to back followed by Andrew WK. The joy was astounding, I nearly put my head through my difficultly low ceiling. At the time I was also working on the BSM Summer Collection flyer. I gave myself a brief of combining as many sunshine-inspired happy thoughts as possible and it's shaping up nicely. A little piece of summery ecstasy, you could say.

So This Town Needs Guns are in the middle of recording their debut album. They've been in the studio for two long weekends so far and have one, possibly two more to come. As I mentioned somewhere down below, I have a collection of animal-named rough mixes on my computer (although itunes has so far chosen to ignore them in it's shuffling state) and they sound amazing. I think y'all gonna enjoy this record. If you want a taste, check out this short video of studio action:





In the next couple of days I will return with the link for the very-soon-to-be-published Secondsmile podcast episode and a guest blog entry (of sheer madness) from Tubelord, including news on their summer touring plans. Good times all round, blogosphere. Itunes has just coughed up some Jimmy Eat World for me. That's my cue to get a bowl of Kellog's Crunch Nut Clusters which I forgot I bought last night. How's that for achieving, eh?

The Difficulties of Finding Home Working Motivation 1 - Kevin Douch 1

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Shuffle

This morning I've been getting loads of menial admin tasks out of the way (currently halfway through copying 319 mailorder details onto a spreadsheet - wow, exactly) and decided to put my itunes on shuffle to keep me company. Despite there being 1694 songs on there, apparently 4.5 days of solid music, 5 of the last 10 songs have all been Glassjaw. I'm not complaining, but I think it says a lot about my taste. What also says a lot about my taste, is that the last song to play was 'Centrefold' by The J-Geils Band.




Inspiration for the next Secondsmile video? I think so

Na na nanana

Cosmo

Girls everywhere! Put down your lipstick and listen up: "Anathallo's sound is so soothing to the soul it'll cure you of just about anything" proclaim Cosmo Girl magazine in their 'Daily Kiss' article. Whilst we appreciate the support from the sweet cheeks bible of everything X chromosome, I'd like to take this opportunity to say that whilst Big Scary Monsters Records loves and fully endorses listening to Anathallo, we offer no guarantees of their ability to cure "anything" and hereby refuse to accept any liability. Just had to get that out of the way, like. I dread to imagine that difficult law suit.

Click here to read what else everyone's favourite girly mag had to say about your new favourite Chicago 7-piece.




Girl power

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Myspace Fruit Of The Week - Number 3

Continuing my new series of Myspace Fruit Of The Week, the latest entry comes thanks to a friend and her keen eye for a weirdo (or should I say, musical talent?) on Myspace. Said friend works for a well known UK music festival so I'm writing this whilst hoping and praying she'll do the right thing and make us all very happy this summer with the booking of...

Gaz Reynolds

If you know a more English man than Gaz Reynolds, put your hand up now. Nobody? Didn't think so. Gaz is the very epitome of British. His bulldog features, his EastEnders accent, his flabby pale body and his excellent hard house beats. That's right, hard house beats. If Gaz wasn't the wrong side of 40 he could be the best up and coming DJ this isle has ever seen. Check out this brilliant video of (apparently one-toed) Gaz in India, talking about his injury, the weather and a clip of his absolutely incredible music video.






For fans of: The UK

Listen to: Everything he's ever recorded

Link: www.myspace.com/gazworld

Collection of CD covers:



Which is your favourite? They're all winners in my eyes

A&E

Monday 14th April. 4pm: "I didn't realise it took so long to get seen in A&E, I've never been before" I said to Ivano, whilst talking about the time his Dad sliced his finger off.

Monday 15th April. Midnight: "I can't believe we've been sitting here waiting for someone to see you for over three hours" I say to Gemma, in A&E, completely disheartened and sick to death of listening to people chew gum loudly all around me.

What are the chances? In 24 and a half years the very first time I ever utter the words "I've never been to A&E" I end up there, on a completely unrelated matter with a completely separate person, just a few hours later.

I HAVE NEVER WON THE NATIONAL LOTTERY BEFORE

Come on lightning, strike me twice

Monday, 14 April 2008

I don't like Mondays

It must be the school holidays as everytime I look out of my window I see kids rolling past. And I mean rolling. In my day they didn't build tiny wheels into the bottoms of shoes. What is this new and bizarre fad? Kids are all about multi-tasking these days.

Well as you may have noticed I lost yet another 15p football accumulator this weekend. Bit annoying, I thought this was going to be a winner but I ended up very, very wrong. Millionaire status will have to wait another week.

I just poured the best part of half a pint of orange squash into my keyboard. Obviously I didn't mean to, but the poor thing has had gallons over the last couple of clumsy years. My whole computer is on it's way out anyway. Outlook has decided it won't send anymore emails until I clear some of the 20,000 out of my sent folder, the fan keeps coming on and making a terrifying noise every couple of minutes, the keys are swimming in orange and I have to reset the machine twice a day. It has this little system whereby it slowly crashes in five stages:

1) BBC webpages suddenly stop loading
2) The sound stops working
3) The internet completely packs up
4) The fan gets even louder
5) Everything freezes in strange white blocks across the screen

It's a bitch.

Yesterday, whilst yelling and punching the table as stage four set in for the second time that day, I made myself a promise that I would buy a brand new laptop the very next time I receive more than £1000 in a lump sum. This could be from a large distributors payment, a freelance work invoice, a huge football gambling win or finding a wad of cash on the street. I have cartoon montage daydreams of me and my laptop skipping happily across meadows clutching onto one another, having a great time on a train watching episodes of Scrubs together, travelling the world hand in hand and downing pints of orange together in a sunny garden. Ahh. If any rich readers out there (that's one bit of info Google Stats doesn't tell you!) fancy making this struggling independent record label very happy, I'll meet you at PC World.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Working 9 til 5

Dashboard was suitably emo last night. I think he must have played for two hours but I missed the first half due to due to vodka related activities. Here's a picture of the happy gang. We eventually agreed to have our picture taken with Mr Confessional. He was having the time of his life.



Today is Saturday but there's no rest for the wicked. Right now I'm burning loads of Secondsmile promo CDs for press. I have one of those duplicating machines which knocks out 3 at a time but it seems to be broken, or at least, part-broken. So now that's down to doing 1 at a time I have a system setup which basically sees me running between that, this computer and the one on the other side of the room, setting a new CD going on them all roughly every 2 minutes. It's like spinning plates. Brilliantly musical plates.


I bought some red paper from everyones favourite book-cum-stationary-cum-random junk shop, The Works a few weeks ago on my Mum's recommendation. It kinda looks like material and gives the impression of being a lot more expensive than the £4 I paid for 100 sheets. I'm printing a basic sleeve design onto that right now and it looks quite nice so have decided to knock up some special one track Secondsmile CDs which I'm going to send out with all of my mailorders this week. I hope people like them. I hope they think the paper's expensive.

I just got involved in a thread on the infamous Drowned In Sound forum and posted a completely inappropriately long message. oops.


As per usual I have a ridiculous bet on today. 15p (that's right, fifteen pence) on Villa, Sunderland, Spurs, Pompey, Cardiff, Palace, Charlton, Hull, Southend, Yeovil, Peterborough and MK Dons to all win. Not sure what it'll net me. Hopefully enough to get the CD duplicator fixed. All this running around is tiring.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Emotional

Tonight I'm off to see Dashboard Confessional and get exceptionally emo. Six years ago (six?!) I bought the MTV live album from Ebay and bloody loved it. It's a record I haven't listened to in a good couple of years now but I feel like I owe it to the 18 year old inside to go and get drunk on cider and have a good ol' sing-along. I might even try and dig out a sweat band for the occasion. I understand that this will probably make 50% of you reading this re-think your feelings towards BSM, it'll make a further 49% of you lose all respect you may have for me and the final 1% will be thinking "right on, brother!", and to you 1% - sing with me:

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Indigestion

There are two kids in the street outside comparing the sounds of their bicycle bells. "bring-bring... riiiiing... bring-bring... riiiiing.... bring-bring.......... riiiiiiiiiiing". This has been going for 10 minutes now and is every bit as annoying as you would imagine.

This week I've completed two email interviews with magazines. One was for an article in Clash about DIY indie labels, which I'm quite interested to see. I answered the questions whilst hungover and feeling fairly negative about the world, so I'll probably come across as some sort of fascist. Again.

I haven't made a proper new band recommendation for a while so lets rectify that right now shall we?

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Tubelord have been banging on about this band for a few weeks now and I think I like them. They have the kind of recordings which make it hard to decide, undertaking a one-band mission to the absolute depths of lo-fi but 'My Rock n Roll' has a nice Weezer-like sound to it and 'Love Is A Boat And We're Sinking' sounds like it could be a massive pop hit. You get the feeling that the cool kids of East London would lap this bunch up before you can say "hey, I recognise that building from Nathan Barley". If you're into 4 or 5 Magicians, Copy Haho and the mid-90's American indie bands they're influenced by you'll probably enjoy this lot. www.myspace.com/dinosaurpileup


Ever have one of those days where you can't help but make disappointing culinary decisions? Every choice is like another slip on a landslide of poor food, indigestion and sickness. Yesterday started poorly as I endured a packet of stale Jammy Dodgers for breakfast. This was followed up by some badly burnt Turkey Dinosaurs and some half-warmed up (deceptive steam made me think they were hot right through - until it was too late) leftover potatoes from the previous night. Regrettably I don't have a photo of this meal, as at the time I was unaware of what an important role it was to play in a day filled with cooked mishaps.

In the evening as I walked through Central London bypassing every single restaurant, cafe and takeaway you can name, I had an unquenchable hunger for pizza. Unquenchable because when I finally found a place serving it, this is what I received:



My "chicken" pizza which tasted like bread, warmed up in the microwave multiple times, with strange reddy-orange lumps all over. I don't know what it was, but it sure as chick wasn't poultry.

I managed to escape the big city without making my usual mistake of grabbing a burger from McDonalds and spilling it all down myself as I run across Victoria station to catch my bus home, instead I made it back into Oxford before treating myself to this beauty:



A Tesco Value microwave cottage pie. I think the title says it all, really. 4 of them for 50p. You get what you pay for, I learnt that the hard way.

The day ended with a midnight trip to Tesco, the previous 15 hours of food playing on my mind and spinning my stomach out of control, I proceeded to spend the best part of £10 on veg. So much veg, in fact, it filled both trays in the fridge and has taken over half of the bottom shelf. I can honestly say I've never been more excited about the prospect of eating broccoli.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

How to get signed

It must be difficult for bands. There are literally millions of them in the world, all competing for notoriety, attention and world domination, but relatively few labels out there willing to listen. Being a man completely free of any musical talent, it's not really something I'll ever need to concern myself about, but being stuck firmly on the record label side it's something I come into contact with every single day. A disappointing number of bands seem to have decided the way to get signed is to add you on Myspace and leave an arrogant "thanks for the add, we're the next big thing" comment on your page. A simple rule of thumb for me is if you can't be bothered to even write me a proper email, through a proper medium, then I don't have time for you. However, sometimes bands do take the time to write a proper email and I can't help but wish they hadn't bother. Case in point:


From: Fine 69
To: (loads and loads of labels all packed, un-ashamedly into the To field)
Date: 07 April 2008
Subject: Fine 69 - Fuckin up the world of indie


Hey, We're Fine 69 - and we think indie and emo music is old hat. The standards gone down, emo music is depressing, people want something they can jump about to, something that pleases the eyes aswell as the ears, and thats where Fine 69 come in. We're not gonna bullshit, we're emailing you cause we're a bunch of fortune hunting rogues who play dirty rock and roll and wanna get in touch with some record companies. Think AC/DC - Guns N Roses - The Wildhearts - Buckcherry.. Fine 69.
Kenny



Oh my.


From: Big Scary Monsters Records
To: Fine 69 (I declined the very tempting option to hit Reply All)
Date: 07 April 2008
Subject: Re: Fine 69 - Fuckin up the world of indie


Thanks for the email Kenny but unfortunately Big Scary Monsters Records is an indie label, so we don't really want our world fucked up. Cheers for the offer though


Fine 69, if you're reading this, sorry to make an example of you. That said, judging from your wildly inappropriate list of influences (which, for the record, could be re-named Kev's list of all time most hated bands) and the fact that your email was cc'd to the best part of 200 labels, I seriously doubt you even know who we are.

This post isn't all negativity and hatred though, far from it, as I now bring you a shining example of a nice band: Mimas. In the post this morning I received the below photo, all the way from Denmark:




My only concern from this photograph is the man on the left, staring into the distance with a large rock in his hand. Once you consider what could be going through his head it puts a slightly different spin on the previously happy, now slightly axe-murder-ish grins on the others faces. Either this picture is a good band making a lovely and personal attempt at reaching out to a label they enjoy, or it's the happiest death threat I've ever seen.

Listen to Mimas... Or you're dead meat.

Monday, 7 April 2008

New TTNG video

As promised in my Grand National gloating post, below, here's the new video (for an old song) from This Town Needs Guns:




Enjoy

Good ol' blighty

When I posted those Grand National predictions, I wasn't joking. King John's Castle, my middle namesake, came in 2nd at odds of 20/1 and Bewley's Berry was a respectable 5th at around 17/1 (if you placed the bet when I wrote the blog - he dropped to around 12's on the day), which you will have won money on if, like me, you placed your bet with Paddy Power who were paying on top 5 finishes, and also gave a 10% bonus on all wins. My 3rd prediction, Butler's Cabin, unfortunately fell at the 22nd fence when looking good. You'll listen to me next time won't you?

Saturday night I enjoyed a tremendously UK moment. Sitting in a Hungry Horse pub, somewhere deep in a rural part of Peterborough. Every single square inch of the place was covered in England flags, the TVs were blasting out the Amir Khan fight, the two fat women on the table next to me had their tree-trunk arms covered in tattoo's as they smashed down huge plates of food and pints of beer and a drunken man in a football shirt stood up and started singing "we're blue, we're white... I want a fight". An excellent night, really. No wonder so many tourists flock here every year.

Later on I'm going to post the new This Town Needs Guns video. It's good, I think you'll like it. Check back about 4pm, y'all

Friday, 4 April 2008

Grand National - the winners!

Good news, sports fans. I've spent the past two and a half minutes studying the names, numbers and colours (completely disregarding any sort of form or stats, obviously) of tomorrows Grand National runners and can exclusively reveal the first three horses who will be romping home to win you a fortune will be:

1. King John's Castle
2. Butler's Cabin
3. Bewleys Berry

A heavily plural selection, chosen using three important factors: One wears my lucky number, one features my middle name and one is trained by a man I saw driving down my street about a month ago.

Use this valuable information as you see fit. I'm off to Ladbrokes to see how much I can cash a small independent record label in for.

Best of British.

That's what she said

The next new Secondsmile track is up online, give it a listen - www.myspace.com/secondsmile

Right, that's enough work talk for today, it's Friday yo!

The second part of my new Myspace Fruit Of The Week feature has unfortunately fallen through. It was a beauty as well. It was one of those classic dickheads who messages you saying "I love your band" although you're clearly not a band "Pay me $500 and I'll make you famous". I'm not in a band but even I found it difficult to turn that offer down! Unfortunately Tom and his crack team of profile erasers caught up with the lad before I had a chance to learn an instrument and run to the bank, so until next week I recommend you scroll down and give Psycho Tanbad and his massive dog another spin.

Anyone a fan of the US version of The Office? People who write it off as being a poor copy of the UK favourite is every sort of wrong! Wait until series two, when they've got the UK scripts out of the way and watch it come into its own. The characters develop in different ways, the storylines expand and it takes on a whole separate identity. Having seen every episode up to the point of the frustratingly life-affecting writers strike I've just started them all again and feel like celebrating!





Obviously if you've never seen the show, the above (heavily edited, may I add?) clip will mean little to you but within context is absolutely brilliant. That's what she said.

(I realise the above makes no sense but after 10 minutes of failing to come up with a suitable sentence to sum up the clip and work the line "that's what she said" into, it's the best you're gonna get, alright?)

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The lowest part of the night

1.30am Thursday 3rd April. I'm in the Borderline, a nasty little venue which I dislike at the best of times, crouched in a dirty toilet cubicle with a snotty hanky grasped tightly in my hand, ridiculous songs about dolphins annoyingly spinning around my head, trying not to be sick everywhere as my stomach gurgles violently once again. My nose is blocked up to the point where it's become completely redundant and every time I breathe through my mouth the phlegm wobbles about pushing me one step closer to puking. It's not a happy combination. I take another swig of water, gingerly get back to my feet and walk out. The main room's dark, Avenged Sevenfold is booming through the PA and kids in vests with terrible haircuts are windmilling all over the place. Time to go home, I think. I've made a terrible mistake.

Moral of the story: When you're ill, do not travel 2 hours into London, drink for the next 7 hours and then go to a metal club. It's not big, clever or indie. Know your limits!


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Dillinger Escape Quo

Is it just me or does Lemsip taste like crap? I've just made my first mug for the day and it's sitting here looking smugly up at me. Little bastard. Even two sugars and a load of honey won't save this one.

Here's an awesome video:





I'm still listening to the Secondsmile album a lot. My favourite song changes daily but overall I think 'Stars Away' just about tops the poll, and good news for you lot is that's the one we're putting up online tomorrow. Less good news, however, is that it'll only be there for two weeks! Time to start cancelling plans and booking time off work, your new addiction is just 24 hours away.

Just been reading on the Sub-Pop website about how they're celebrating their 20th anniversary. That's quite something. I've always been aware of the label and their bands but couldn't call myself a huge fan. That's not to say I dislike what they do, not at all, I just don't really follow too many other labels so don't feel I know enough to call it one way or the other. 20 years is a massive achievement, though. I wonder if BSM will make it that far? If it does I'll be 37 years old and at our current release rate will have a back catalogue of 133.3333333 releases. It's kinda strange to think that far ahead. Did Mr Sub-Pop (or Mrs Sub-Pop?) ever think they'd reach the 20 year landmark? I'd like to think they muddled through and were as surprised as everyone else when they realised it was on the horizon. According to a lot of articles and interviews I've read over the years many of the super-indies began in the same way as myself and nearly every other current small label did, but it's impossible to imagine getting from where we are now, with our 1000 CD pressings and DIY tours to where a label like Sub-Pop is and it's phone number-sized sales figures. Still, it's a nice dream to hold onto. If BSM made it to that size maybe I'd be able to afford to turn the heating on during the day and stop catching so many colds?

Oh how I hate you, Lemsip.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Cold as ice

I feel terrible today. Last weekend I seemd to pick up some form of Highlands bug which then broke down into a heavy bout of Man Flu. 8 days later and it just keeps on getting worse. On one hand I feel like I shouldn't complain (as it makes me sound like a little girl) but on the other, my head feels like it's turning itself inside out and I want to share my pain.

To combat the ill-feelings I'm listening through some new rough mixes of a few This Town Needs Guns tracks. They're currently untitled so are simply known by animal names for the time being. Aadvark, Baboon, Badger, Chinchilla, Dog, Gibbon, Lemur, Pig and Rabbit. The record won't be finished until June so you've got yourselves a long time to wait before you'll be hearing these little beauties.

We only have 60 copies of the Tubelord 7" left. I'm not going to advertise this fact anywhere else so blog-readers, click away and spend the rest of your day smug in the knowledge that you've got 1 up on the rest of the world. Unless you haven't yet bought the record yourself. In which case you're only about 0.7 up on the world.