Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The world is ending...

...one ridiculous product at a time. Today: The Burger King aftershave

"The scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat"

Oh my.

Last night I had a bizarre dream which, upon waking, I couldn't decide if it fell into the category of 'absolute nonsense' or if I should add it to the 'well done Kev, it's another diamond' list of ideas. After a few moments of careful consideration I decided it was somewhere between the two, almost certainly exists and that I should go for the pee I so desperately needed.

For those curious cats amongst you, this is what happened in my dream:

I was in a school classroom. There were tables laid out to form the perimeter of a large square where I sat along with 15 or so classmates and a teacher prowling around the centre. To my right was a lady called Janine, who was the team leader at my first ever office job some 6 years ago, to my left was a girl who looked like a mole. The small animal, not a cancerous lump. She was a receptionist from one of the major labels, apparently, and her manager just so happened to be our teacher today: Bill Buchanan from 24. Anyone just joining us here I'd like to point out that this is a dream, not reality. I don't want any emails from people calling me a liar, I'm aware Mr Buchanan is a fictional character. The former head of CTU was giving us a lesson on the music industry, focusing on promotional ideas and ways to increase awareness of your artists within the crowded field of competition. I was daydreaming and not paying very much attention. The mole girl passed me some sort of note which I glanced at, screwed up and tossed on the floor. Even my subconscious wasn't up for it. Suddenly Bill points at me and asks a question. "If you wanted to bring a new band to somebodies attention as quickly as possible through the medium of a recorded music release, how would you do it?" - CRAP! I should know this, I've been thinking a lot about this lately. All of the fat men (ideas) rushed towards the exit (my mouth) at the same time, causing some sort of blockage meaning nobody could get out. "erm... erm... A CD...?" I candidly ask. "No Kevin" says Bill sternly "that's a terrible idea. You won't get anywhere unless you're willing to think creatively." The bell rang for the end of class. Shame faced I packed up my belongings and trudged towards the door. Off to Publishing next, maybe I'll do better there?

This is when I woke up and started to think about the idea. I'm not suggesting we should start a school full of ugly people and fictional teachers, but short, concise courses in the music industry using a format we're all familiar with. None of this 3 years learning every technical detail and theory bullshit, let the pupils get on and learn some real life experience in the industry, but just give them a helping hand to get started first.

Imagine a school where bands, artists, journalists, budding record label owners, larger companies new employees and the music entrepreneurs of tomorrow could attend a one day course, moving between classrooms like the old school days, learning in hour-long lessons from experienced teachers before heading out for a cheeky fag behind the bikesheds and a crisp sandwich for lunch. First period is record label basics: the jobs you need to take on and where to turn for help, second is publishing: how it works, why it's useful, third is live music booking, fourth is band management, fifth is music, obviously, and sixth is P.E. By the end of the day you have notes and a basic yet solid understanding of each aspect of the industry. You catch the bus home, drop your bag in and go straight out to play football with your mates before you Mum starts shouting that tea's on the table.

Who's up for regressing with me?


Anonymous said...

sounds amazing....i'm in

Kev said...

Thanks, Anonymous! That's two of us... Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Thought a similar thing a while ago by creating a little commune of musicians who respect each other, collaborate, and that can bring other aspects to their world, i.e. publishing, and other music industry related things. It ended there though, sounded expensive ;p

Kev said...

That's an interesting thought. I hadn't really gone past my dreamworld school situation but I guss it could make for a nice little community setup.

Perhaps I could organise a team of friends from different parts of the industry and put something together sometime? Maybe lessons in the day and then a school disco (slutty clothing optional) at night? Boys and girls separated to different sides of the room, of course. I'm sure it could be done relatively cheaply and could prove useful

Wonder if I could persude a school to let me hire their grounds for a day during the summer holidays? hmm

mokele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sounds like a conference really, but renamed as a community or a school. Starting small is definitely the best approach, and having specific direction like those subjects you have mentioned. Having some live acts would also be beneficial, what like a mini SXSW with more of an edge towards advice and learning.

Kev said...

And I do live in Oxford, arguably the best known academic city in the world, not to mention boasting a pretty decent musical background (ironically I'm listening to Radiohead right now)

Maybe it's fate?

Anonymous said...

May be... May be!

I however am listening to Q and Not U, live in London, and um... nothing is related.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea to me!

Anonymous said...

i did the 3 years thing! and it was full on all the way through. learning that much makes you open to where you want to go and what you want to do in the music industry, and thats the difference. if you tried to learn basics in a day, youd probably either forget a lot of it, or be even more confused.

there's a couple of books which cover most of what you may need to know about the business, that's an easier option than a school.

didn't wanna be a dream crusher though!

Kev said...

Thanks for the comment

I think that the 3 year course definitely works for some people. Personally I know I would've got halfway through, decided I knew enough and just gone off on my own! But that's more to do with my attention span than it is the teachers failings, I just figured there might be more people out there who are in the same boat as I am who might only want the basic knowledge to give them the start needed to go off and try things out themselves. I know I would've loved a course like that when I first started the label 7 years ago, and I could still do with it today!

I guess the attention span rules out books for me too, to an extent at least. I've got a number of them but have never actually finished one. I've never really been one for learning from a book, hands-on experience and being able to associate what I'm being taught with my own life are what works for me.

Where did you study, by the way? I went to an open day at Bucks uni years ago. Sounded interesting but the low percentage of people who come out of it and get a job in the industry scared me a little

site said...

So, I don't actually suppose this may have success.