Friday, 31 October 2008

Day off

The office is closed for the day. Business will resume Monday 3rd November at 9am, or at 5am tomorrow morning if I continue my liver-dismaying run of staying out late and then finding my way back onto the computer to drunkenly respond to emails.



Have a good day.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Hangovers and the Hilton

Last night Pulled Apart By Horses (check out the lovely single review in this weeks NME!) played a storming show at the Buffalo Bar in London. Grabbing the crowd by the balls and tearing each one of us into shreds the band showed exactly why they're quickly earning a reputation as one of the UK's best live bands.

This morning my sleep depraved, alcohol-ravaged body hangs limply in my chair as I stare with bloodshot eyes at my somewhat daunting 'to do' list. Maybe drinking all of that vodka and Sprite in the snow wasn't such a good plan? Perhaps the shot of sambuca was one step too far? It certainly couldn't have been the overpriced tiny bottles of Magners in the Hilton bar at 2am that has made my head feel like it's turning itself inside-out.

Tonight PABH hit Oxford so the madness starts all over again. Joyous. Three cheers for paracetamol!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Missing t-shirts!

Before today I've never had a problem with Parcelforce, but right now they're hogging the top spot in my top five pet peeves of the day list.

A box of t-shirts were sent to me via a 48 hour service on Wednesday 22nd October, therefore meaning they should've been sitting cosily in my flat by Friday 24th. (Well, they should've actually been here a week earlier, but I won't get into the infuriating t-shirt printers mishap story right now). I've tracked them online and can see the package was collected from Killigrew Street post office at 17.11 on the 22nd, before promptly disappearing off the system. No mention of depots, failed deliveries or even a well-dressed driver wearing 30 BSM shirts. Nothing.

I call the customer service "helpline" and am pleased to hear the following message: "Voice recognition means you can talk to me in your own voice" proudly boasts the robot lady, everyone loves an incompetent phone system when they're wound up. "Is that the correct tracking number?" she repeats, cleverly clocking up the phone bill pennies as another minute passes. "Yes" Long pause. "I'm sorry. You simply need to answer yes or no" - she's starting to bug me. "YES!!! Y, E, S!" Another long pause. "Your parcel was collected from Kill-i-g-rew Street" on..." too late, I've hung up, I already know how that one ends. A second phonecall and this time I somehow manage to bypass iRobot and speak to a real human being. Not that she was any more useful. "hmm, not sure what's happened there, it's very funny isn't it?"

"Funny is not the word I would use, lady. Can I speak to the robot again?"

Monday, 27 October 2008

Another brilliant Monday

Today's going to be one of those great days, I can feel it. It's only just gone 11 and so far I've received confirmation of my grant towards my travel costs for next years SXSW (Texas here I come!), a huge bottle of lovely looking Polish vodka has arrived in the post, courtesy of my very friendly CD manufacturing people, the postman got locked in my building as he couldn't figure out how to open the front door, which provided me with much amusement, and I've just watched the new Anathallo video. Probably my third favourite track on the new album and one of the nicest songs you're likely to hear all day...



Pulled Apart By Horses are out on tour now, celebrating the release of their debut single, 'Meat Balloon', which is out TODAY! Good times all round. Go and see them live, you won't regret it.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

To do

Saturday 25th October 2008 - To do list:

1) Wake up later than planned
2) Watch The Wire and try not to fall asleep again
3) Cook an un-necessarily large breakfast
4) Spend at least 5 hours watching football games I don't care about
5) Start drinking cheap vodka

6) Go and see This City at The Zodiac
7) Roll into the house late after falling down the stairs and losing keys


Sunday 26th October 2008 - To do list:

1) Write the day off due to excessive Saturday indulgence

Thursday, 23 October 2008

TV remotes

Last night we put Rolo Tomassi on at The Regal in Oxford. It was a good turnout and a great night but I drank too many double vodkas and brandless energy drink resulting in a mostly sleepless night and a disturbing dream. The gist of it is that Pulled Apart By Horses played in my front room, on a stage made of scaffolding. Halfway through the last song the singer, Tom, piled my TV remotes on top of each other and then smashed them to pieces with his guitar. I woke up irate and worrying that I'd have to walk to the box to change the channels from now on. I think my anger was justified.

Watch this video. It's for a song called 'In The Ocean' which is the debut single from Stars And Sons, set for release via Alcopop on November 17th, and is possibly the best video of the year. True story.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Spam and post

My Postman is probably the best Postman in the world. He's cliched to the point of skipping around in shorts (even today, completely disregarding the frost still on the ground outside) and each morning knocks on my door with a friendly call of "Postman." The unbridled joy in his voice made me get up and run to the door. Nothing makes me get up and run to the door! This man is special. I better make sure I don't upset him like the one at my old house.

My early morning happy experience has left me feeling brave so I'm taking my third (following this and this) peak into the seedy world of spam. Here are some of the many highlights from the Gmail folder today:

Be a real man with a larger organ




How to climb Mount Everest blind

That sounds like a drunken challenge to me


Rock hard and huge

Mount Everest? Wait... No, that was the last one


Goodiest

Vague and utter nonsense


Real job and real salary

I'll take it!


Women will be standing behind your door just to touch your Submariner watch

Seems an odd place to wait. Come in, ladies, there's enough watch to go around


Impress them with your large pole




Attack her all night

I'm sorry, what?!


Some tips to make his wife happier

I don't think "he" will be best pleased


Enter your second puberty

No thanks. The first one was tough enough


Stop being jealous of rich looking men

Done


Your big pecker will eat her alive

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Compilation comments and live videos

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the guestion of compilations so far today, I've had loads of really interesting and useful feedback in the comments and also on the Punktastic and Drowned In Sound forums. If you're yet to get involved please don't be shy. The more the merrier!

In other news, you can now watch loads of live videos from Tubelord, Pennines and more over at www.beatcast.tv. Look out for a Blakfish one coming soon featuring them trashing pretty much everything in sight! Rock n roll mayhem.


Congratulations, you're hired!

For the next 5 minutes you're all employees of Big Scary Monsters Recording Company. Your job title is 'Marketing Assistant', which is fairly self-explanatory I think, but just to confirm: you're assisting with marketing. Sound good? Good. You're not getting paid.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday thinking about compilations. I really enjoy releasing those things. Over the past few years we've done a whole number of them on BSM and they serve as great pointers to showcase our catalogue "through the ages" if I can use that phrase without sounding like a horrible television commercial for a 20 CD box set of Great Driving Anthems? We've released CDs in cardboard slipcases and fully packaged jewel cases. We've sold some very cheaply (around £3), we've sold some for a little bit more (£6) and we've given a couple away for free (£0). We even released a compilation dedicated entirely to Swedish music. It sounded brilliant but that didn't translate to sales as one would hope.

The problem with compilations is that nobody buys them anymore. Shops very rarely stock any and unless the content of the disc is nearly all new and exclusive (which is a difficult thing to achieve), people likely already own/can easily find the tracks elsewhere. As Marketing Assistant, here's your first task:

Tell me what we can do to make compilation CDs exciting again.

I really want to release the Winter Collection on CD this year and have a great lineup in mind but don't have the space to sit on (literally, looking at the number of boxes in here already) 1000 un-sold units. How should it be packaged? Would people prefer it in a handmade, cleverly crafted sleeve? Would that be enough to make you purchase? What about cost? What price would you pay for a 15 track BSM sampler CD? £4? Maybe just £1 if you purchase it at the same time as anything else from the store? Or would you only be interested if it was free? Be honest. What if it was in a package with something else, for example, a t-shirt? A t-shirt and a CD for £10? How about if it was an enhanced CD and featured 15 audio tracks and 10 videos? The videos can all be found on Youtube anyway, but would the fact that these play in better quality and could be added to your iPod offer any appeal?

Leave any ideas and opinions in the comments (you don't need to be a member to post, by the way) or email me at bsmrocks@googlemail.com - I'm really interested to know your views on this one.

Flying

Last night I dreamt I took my driving test but instead of having to use a car, I had to hover around on something vaguely resembling a pogo stick. It had three pedals, gears and a steering wheel, and I was told to drive it around a busy supermarket to prove that I could handle the machine. Off I went, wizzing around corners and looking generally cool until I somehow took off and before I knew it, was hovering 10ft in the air, above everyones heads. I was having a great time zipping around, dodging beams in the ceiling and looking down, waving at people. Eventually it came to an end and I crashed down somewhere near the front door where the elderly female driving instructor, who was busy buying beads from a market stall, refused to give me my licence. She hadn't seen my incredible flying skills and accused me of lying, saying that I'd just been hiding around the corner and hadn't done any driving at all. I protested and told her I'd prove it, but when I looked down at the pedals couldn't for the life of me remember which one was the accelerator. I desperately tried to get the thing going but ended up falling off and crashing through the table of beads.

Moral of the story: Stick to public transport.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Me vs The World

Monday mornings. Brilliant, aren't they? Self-employment has turned me into a Scrooge-like figure. Whilst friends mourn Sunday nights and the loss of the weekend I'm celebrating in egar anticipation of the new working week. Bank holidays are a nuisance which hampers productivity. Don't even get me started on Christmas. My office hours are 24/7, the phone doesn't stop ringing and I'm addicted to checking my email. I've turned my back on my rat race-enduced love of Friday and Saturday nights out and the vultures who surface with them. The comfort of a monthly pay cheque is a distant memory, blurred by stresses of paying the rent and scraping together enough cash to take advantage of the latest round of Tesco reduced bakery items. The excitment of leaving the office early, the wonder of sick pay and the constant battles with inept co-workers are simply lost on this cold heart. If Tiny Tim was here right now I'd probably kick his little head in.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Downloads and the death of CDs: a dis-jointed Saturday morning rant

Hands up who enjoys illegally downloading music?

Just because I run an independent record label doesn't mean I don't swerve from the righteous path every now and again and dip my greedy little paws into the fountain of torrents. Me, my landlord and my fried chicken habbit all rely on the continuation of the music industry, but a little time killing it won't harm. I mean, is Fred Durst really going to know that I didn't pay for his Greatest Hitz record? (Soz Fred, if you're reading). Is one less CD sale really going to be the difference between him buying a new Ferrari or an old Fiat? I don't believe that we do it through a hunger to break the law, however. It's convenience. Look at how many people downloaded In Rainbows illegally when they could get it for the same price from the band. Torrent websites are a one-stop shop for your every musical whim. In the 21st century people don't have time to stop and think. It's a wham-bam-thank-you-mam frenzy of right clicking and iPod synching.

The internets biggest asset for the music industry could eventually prove to be it's downfall. The complete abundance of choice and access to information, the fact that nothing is private or unavailable anymore is brilliant. Can you even remember the days of reading about a band and only being able to guess at what they might sound like based purely upon the words on the page infront of you? If they were based in a few mile radius of your town you'd hopefully have a chance to find out for real, if they're anywhere else in the world you probably wouldn't have even got so far as seeing their name in print. Myspace put paid to that, there's no guessing left to make. Pretty much every song by every band you could ever dream of is out there to listen to if you look hard enough. And if you look a little bit harder still it's probably available to download for free. From a music lovers point of view it's incredible. From a record labels point of view it's slightly frightening.

I don't strictly buy into the opinion that CDs are going to die and physical music products will lose all value. I believe there'll always be a market, albeit a smaller one, for people who like to hold something in their hands. A booklet to flick through with beautiful imagery and lyrics to learn. A limited edition, hand numbered 12" version of your favourite album. You don't even own a record player, but boy does that dusty piece of vinyl look good in the corner of your room. I'm one of those people. It's the reason I first fell in love with music and the fact that similar folk are now buying the music I release is what keeps me going. It certainly isn't for the money. It's coming up to a year since I last bought myself a new item of clothing and I've long forgotten the last time I went for a night out and didn't, even for a second think "can I afford this?" Music isn't about getting rich, it's about passion, excitement and being cooler than your friends!

I must admit I do get a slightly sick sense of enjoyment out of reading articles about major labels panicing about the downturn in sales. Their businesses are outdated and based on casual consumers, the people who hear Chris Moyles play a song on their way to work in the morning and they've purchased it by the end of their lunch break. CD singles were replaced by iTunes MP3s and they will one day be replaced as well... But by what? That's the brilliant part. Everyone is running around like headless chickens taking stabs in the dark and dropping their eggs into baskets trying to figure out how the hell they can save this sinking ship. But all this wasting time is just allowing more and more water to seap in. The brilliant position us independent labels find ourselves in is we don't need to care. We don't have millions of pounds of overheads or boards of investors breathing down our necks. We work in small circles of music enthusiasts who love music and are happy to support the bands who bring them so much joy. We sell enough records to fund the next and just keep on trucking. That's our job, we service the excited minority who share our taste and we all get together to bask in their brilliance. When or if the majors find a way to excite their audience again, us independents simply make the choice: stick or twist. Do we stay with what we know or do we jump ship and follow suit? At the end of the day it doesn't even really matter. We'll do what we want, when we want, cos we're fucking DIY!

The BSM Autumn Collection digital sampler is available to download (for free) from www.bsmrocks.com. It's also available from the following illegal file sharing websites (with our blessing): Mininova, The Pirate Bay and Vuze. Chose your poison.

Friday, 17 October 2008

There's no such thing as a free lunch

The lovely Huw Stephens has made the new This Town Needs Guns record his album of the week on his Radio One show. Very nice of him indeed. Listen back online (it's just after the one hour mark) and rejoice in/cringe at the 'guess the animals on TTNG's album' game! I can see that one catching on.

Yesterday I was minutes from an absolute steal. On my way into London in the morning I found a copy of The Independent on the seat next to me. Not only do I run an independent label, I read a paper called The Independent. The Gods are clearly smiling upon me today. Upon flicking through my eyes are diverted to the lovely "Free lunch" promotion. Always one to defy popular, skeptical sayings I was delighted to discover that it really was free, all I needed to do was rip the voucher out and run (this wasn't specified in the terms and conditions, it just makes the matter sound more urgent when I tell the tale) to the nearest Upper Crust at any London train or service station. Tricky for some, ideal for me, there's one located within Victoria which is where I'll later be catching my bus home. This has the potential to be the best day of my life.

7 hours, one KFC, four orange juices - one with bits - and three back to back to back meetings later I'm all about my free baguette. Skipping through the crowded underground station I head up the stairs as fast as my hollow, sandwich-ready legs will take me, mind racing as I consider the options. BLT or smoked ham? Or maybe tuna? What am I thinking?! I don't even like tuna! This free business has sent me over the edge. Upper Crust is in my sight, my palms are sweaty and grey from clutching the dirty newspaper print too hard, oh how I love free stuff! But then there's a problem. I look at the time, it's 19.18. My bus leaves at 19.20. What to do, what to do? If I miss that I'll have to pay £12 to get home. £12 would buy me three and a half sandwiches, is a free one really worth it? I spend a minute trying to decide. People are bumping into me and giving angry stares. To be fair, I am standing at the top of a busy staircase outside of a huge train station, nobody is my friend right now. It's now 19.19, I've spent too long thinking about this. Almost in tears I turn away and begin my walk to the bus stop. It should be slow and downbeat, head hung low, but I have about 20 seconds to spare so dramatics go out the window. This is a race against time. A hungry one at that.

I spend the whole trip home feeling as though I've just lost something. Why is this? The whole experience didn't cost anything. Nothing has changed. I'm on my bus, I have food at home and my wallet is still as empty as it ever was. The only thing which has changed is this voucher which moments ago meant so much is now absolutely worthless. Am I the only person who in these situations feels hard done by? Is this a human genetic failing or just my own? Did anyone actually get a free baguette yesterday and was it good enough for me to continue beating myself up over? So many questions, so few sandwiches.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The calm after the storm

So after the drama of yesterday (see below - I'm still a little put out by the fact that every other house on the street was evacuated!) and the sickening yet somewhat powerful Lemsip starting to win the battle against my nose, today has been a comparative walk in the park. I finished my Pulled Apart By Horses CD burning mission with just minutes to spare, an achievement I celebrated with sausages. I've finally got around to promoting our Autumn collection digital sampler and I've sat back and realised that This Town Needs Guns first slightly negative review from Drowned In Sound has probably done more good than all of their previous 9/10's (check the impressive list of responses). Right now I'm letting the shuffle function on iTunes guide my mood.

Finch - 'Without Your Here' (taken from the album 'What It Is To Burn')

As I mentioned above, the Autumn Collection sampler is now available to download for free. It features MP3s from all of our Autumnees, This Town Needs Guns, Tubelord, Mimas and Pulled Apart By Horses, as well as one of my favourite new bands, a little known act from Indiana going by the name of Native. If you've ever read this blog before you're probably already sick to death of reading about them.

Further Seems Forever - ('Pictures Of Shorelines' taken from the album 'The Moon Is Down')

Chances are we won't post a Winter digital sampler as I'm hoping and praying to the fiscal Gods that we can put that one out on CD. It's been a while since we last put together a proper, length sampler and there's so much music I want to share with you all. It'll be business as usual in Spring 2009, however, with another digital sampler coming your way.

Itch - 'Do You Know What Fear Is?' (taken from the (BSM released!) album 'Well, Well, Well, Three Holes In The Ground')

It doesn't actually take me the whole length of a song to write one short paragraph by the way, I'm multitasking here and trying to reply to emails at the same time.

Andrew WK - 'Tear It Up' (taken from the album 'The Wolf')

Lemsip's getting cold. Who'd have thought it could actually get more repulsive?

The Get Up Kids - 'Is There A Way Out?' (taken from the album 'Live At The Granada Theatre')


Forfeit the game

Before somebody else takes you out of the frame and puts your name to shame, cover up your face you can't run the race, the pace is too fast you just won't last

Name that tune

Mystery solved

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/headlines/3757560.Man_hurt_in_roof_fall/

Crumbs

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Action and Action

So right now I'm supposed to be sitting on the bus to London, somewhere near High Wycombe I'd guess. I'd have my headphones in, probably listening to something like 'Eudora' by The Get Up Kids, a nice mix of upbeat pop and gentle melodies, nothing too thought-preventing. I'd have a notepad on my lap, brainstorming promotional ideas and daydreaming about one day having some money. There'd be a weird middle aged man sitting near me, there's always one on the Oxford Tube. A young girl in one of those sleeveless jackets that I don't know the name of will get on and give him an unapproving look before sitting down and talking loudly on her phone about a load of bollocks. Probably literally, dirty students. I'd invent lives for these people in my head. Despite his deceptive appearance the man's actually a doctor. Like everyone's favourite TV character, he'll be quiet and modest, yet a gentle genius when the course of events unfold and unveil his true identity. If the bus crashes, he's the guy who'll pull me from the burning wreckage but disappear quietly into the night so to avoid any praise or reward. The girl will be stupid, really really stupid. She has daddy's credit card and a boyfriend who rows for the university. In a few years time she'll have a falling out with the real world, give birth to a bastard and a drugs problem. Daddy can't help her now. I'm living their lives whilst cheekily enjoying a bootleg bottle of vodka and lemonade, cleverly disguised as plain old water. Every now and again I glance up at the "no alcohol" sign and allow myself a tiny smirk. Kevin Douch 1, Oxford Tube 0. In roughly an hour I'd be in East London, enjoying food and drink with a selection of fine friends en route to see Maps and Atlases, This Town Needs Guns and Tropics, three of my current favourite bands. A very pleasant Tuesday night out.

Instead I'm sitting in my flat, surrounded by dis-used tissues, a steady stream of snot, 220 CDs into the 500 I need to burn by morning ready to be collected by Parcelforce. I have no food I fancy eating, I accidentally bought orange juice with bits in, the TV holds little interest and my exciting incoming emails have dried up. A confused phonecall from my friend asks me what's going on in the street outside. I take my first peak of the day behind the curtain:



hmm. I go to the spare room and look out of the window there:



Weird.

"Mr Policeman, I couldn't help but notice that my street is completely blocked off and awash with emergency service workers, what seems to be the problem?" I ask in my most grown up voice, which seems a little wasted considering my current bare-footed nature. "We can't tell you what's going on, it'll be in the press soon enough. You're inside of an incident area so we'd ask you to remain indoors. Any housemates you might have can return home, but only on foot, and they must sign a book" My joke of "any book?" goes quietly unappreciated. You can't teach humour. I return to the safety of my net curtains.

An hour has since passed and they're still out there. Another friend texts to ask why there are police riot vans parked round the corner. Wish I knew. I've just seen two fire fighters climb onto a roof and push a chimney over. There's a fat man hiding in one of the police vans. I don't think he's up for this. To be fair, neither am I.

Down with the sickness

I don't cope well with being ill. A common cold to most people is a critical condition for me. I'll spend the next 3 days moping around, complaining about being bunged up, coughing and sighing, responding to every "how are you?" with a mournful look and a disheartened sneeze. I'm a joy to be around at times like this and so plan on doing the world a favour by locking the door for the next 48 hours. Dear blog, you'll have to feel the brunt of this one.

Last night I watched Maps and Atlases play. I can't think of another band I've waited so long to see. Having picked up on them some 3 years ago now via the word of mouth chain which seems to have worked its way around much of the world, I would've been more excited had it not been for the steady stream of snot running out of my nose. Still, they were great and it felt good to finally cross them off my list. Go and see them in London with This Town Needs Guns and Tropics tonight.

Speaking of TTNG, their album, 'Animals', was released yesterday and we're delighted to announce that they've signed a US deal. Joining the awesome Sargent House roster, the guys are in great company sitting alongside the likes of the aforementioned Maps and Atlases, Tera Melos, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, These Arms Are Snakes, Russian Circles and more. The album will be releases Stateside in the new year and they'll be touring to coincide with it. Exciting times.

Pulled Apart By Horses are due back from their little Spanish soiree today. They've spent the past week touring and being generally weird. Check out the video from their first two nights:




Alcopop's latest signing, Stars and Sons, is the Guardian websites Band of The Day today. This is our 3rd one this year, which is a pretty pleasing little stat.

We'll be announcing two new BSM releases very soon. One is something I've been looking forward to all year, the other is a relatively new development and an exciting two-part release, which will be unlike anything else you'll find next year.

PS. Listen to Look Mexico. Their new EP, 'Gasp Asp', is one of my favourite releases of 2008. If you're a fan of Minus The Bear, Colour, et al, I think you'll like these guys. Enjoy.


Monday, 13 October 2008

Friday's dinner

Starter:


Main course:


Dessert:




I wish I was joking.

This morning I think I'll have a large bowl of Credit Crunch for breakfast

Friday, 10 October 2008

Cramp

You wouldn't belive how many envelopes I've addressed so far today. Seriously, you wouldn't. Have a guess, I bet you're wrong!

As I've just "twittered," I've been listening to the new Weezer album a lot lately. I started wondering the other day if they'll make another coloured album before they retire. We've had blue, green and red, pink too, if you want to be all tenuous and include Pinkerton. What's left? The Yellow Album? Maybe a best of entitled Colours? That would work. I'd love to curate that album. Imagine the job of laying around with a pile of Weezer albums listening to them again and again until you've whittled it down to just 15 or so absolutely incredible songs. That's a role I could handle. Maybe I should tidy up my CV and email it to Rivers now, I'm definitely the man for this job.

Time to address some more envelopes. Good times. Blakfish and Shapes tonight, Jonquil and This Town Needs Guns (plus three house parties) tomorrow, Maps and Atlases and Colour Monday, Maps and Atlases and TTNG Tuesday, DJing nu-metal hits to loads of indie kids post-British Sea Power Wednesday, what a week!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

At least in Heaven I can skate

Where to start? Where. To. Start?

As mentioned below I was away for a few days at the annual In The City event up in Manchester. Always good fun, it's a couple of days of running between venues, piling as much booze down your neck as possible and bumping into people you normally try to avoid in London. With a couple of hundred bands playing I'm a little disappointed to admit I only really saw ones I'm already working with, ones I've seen a number of times before, and a couple of completely terrible new ones. I'm sure the lineup had more to offer than that, really. I'm just a music snob.

Unfortunately some lowlife stole Blakfish's equipment on Sunday. After playing a triumphant and typically loud set at the Hockley Hustle in Nottingham, some dicks broke into the bands car and half-inched an amp, a couple of guitars and a bagful of pedals. The band have put the details up on their Myspace blog so have a read and get in touch if you think you might know anything. They're also asking for donations to help ease the pain and allow them to buy new equipment. The guys are off to record their debut album in January and this is going to wipe out everything they've saved thus far, which is a real kick in the teeth. You could go and see them on tour this week with Shapes (who are brilliant, by the way) and buy a t-shirt. That would help them and make you look cool at the same time.




This weeks NME is a rollercoaster of emotions. Starting with the massive high of the full page Tubelord Radar feature (ahem, "the 'Lord rose with the help of Big Scary Monsters, perhaps the finest DIY label operating in the UK today") to the low of the mis-informed This Town Needs Guns album review, which somehow manages to drop the name Snow Patrol. That's right, SNOW PATROL! Lets focus on the positives here:




On Saturday 18th October we're putting on a 'BSM Recommends' night at the Notting Hill Arts Club in London. As part of their regular Rota slot, the show will be free entry and take place between 4pm and 8pm. We've booked three of our favourite unsigned bands, Shield Your Eyes (featuring Toby ex-MMISL who'll be celebrating his 27th birthday that day), Calories and TheJamesCleaverQuintet and will be bookending them with quality DJing. Come down.



Monday, 6 October 2008

Manchester, here I come

This is potentially my last blog until Thursday. Don't worry, you'll cope. Here are some quick points for you to take in once you've dried your eyes:

Mimas brilliant album, 'The Worries', is out today. Check out the new issue of Rock Sound magazine, out this week, for a nice little review and a small feature on the lovely Danes.

Also out today (digitally, at least) is This Town Needs Guns debut album, 'Animals'. Get it from iTunes, emusic, 7digital or wherever your shopping preference may lie. The CD is out one week today and pre-orders will be shipped when I return home.

As mentioned on the news page, Pulled Apart By Horses single, 'Meat Balloon', can now be pre-ordered along with some very fetching t-shirts. Check out the shop for those. The 7" will be in real shops from 27th October.

That's the news out of the way, here are some videos to enjoy until I return. If you watch them all roughly a thousand times each it should fill the time perfectly. Bye.


Japanese Binocular Soccer




Weng Weng




Postman Pat

Sunday, 5 October 2008

In The City

As usual there's no rest for the wicked. Well, apart from the 6 or so episodes of The Wire I plan on watching today.

I'm soon off to In The City up in Manchester. Now nestled comfortably in the "mid-20's" category I find these to be my favourite kind of festivals. Running around between venues in a busy city is nothing in comparison to roughing it in a tent for 5 nights, eating cans of cold beans and listening to shout of "bollocks" all through the night. It's all about hotels. Anyone else who's to be at the event over the next 3 days should be sure to check out Stars And Sons (who's debut single will be released on Alcopop in late November) at 8.15pm at Moho Live Sunday, and then tomorrow Tubelord play twice, first at 8.30pm at Studio, and then later on at The Deaf Institute (oh the irony), on stage at 10pm.

Look out for Pulled Apart By Horses 7" and t-shirt pre-orders going online sometime tonight/tomorrow morning.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Keane - not the band

I really needed yesterday to be a write-off. A crushing hangover was nagging at me but with lots of work on, plus Ivano and Tom arriving at 10am, I had to haul my sorry arse out of bed and plug away. Thankfully I managed to scrape by, mostly thanks to one man who I'll be writing all about very soon. Here's a teaser:




Obviously there are lots of questions now flying around your head.

Was the guy in the black t-shirt just cast to swear profusely?

Why does Tony Adams make a silent, and seemingly pointless, cameo?

What's with the ridiculous music?

Isn't Keane the bad boy turned good character of Wayne from Grange Hill?

I wonder what he's doing these days...?


Answers are: Because he's brilliant, because's it's brilliant, you haven't heard anything yet, yes indeed and come back next week.

Oh the intrigue.

In slightly more BSM related news, we've just uploaded a nice little Pulled Apart By Horses MP3 collection available to download for free from the BSM Friend of The Family website. It's a handy zip file which contains three demo tracks, a clip of the forthcoming single, 'Meat Balloon' and some graphics. Go get it.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

The longest day

Yesterday has kinda merged into today thanks to a second pretty much sleepless night in a row. It started at the crack of 8am. 3 hours work, 11 o clock bus to London, a few phone calls, Pulled Apart By Horses Radio One session, a meeting in the BBC canteen, off to The Social to hang out with Tubelord, hear some horrific tour stories, see Kate Nash and Ryan Jarman from The Cribs having a little squabble, run down Oxford Street, bus home, straight to The Regal for This City live at You! Me! Dancing!, drink a bottle of vodka, go home, fail to sleep, up again, head banging, ears ringing, spinning out.

Here's a photo of PABH recording at Maida Vale. The session sounded phat with a ph as demonstrated. It should be aired in about 3 weeks time.




I've been to the BBC studios 4 times now and still feel like a tourist. It's as though I'm in New York snapping away at road signs and marvelling at the pizza whilst the locals bustle around me trying to get on with their days. I guess when it no longer excites me I should probably think about a career change?

Remember how all 500 of Tubelord's new single sleeves are individually hand made? You know, like these...





Well they made one especially for me. Check out this bad boy:



Jealous? Damn right you are!

Notice the blank Blog Scary Monsters page on the screen in the background? Trippy.

I'm now going to force myself to do as much work as possible over the next 12 hours until I have my next battle with insomnia. I'm 0 from 2 over the last two nights, need to stop this one becoming a drubbing and get some sanity back.