Monday, 30 March 2009

New York New York

So good I named this blog twice. New York is, and has been ever since I first stepped foot here some 6 years ago, my favourite city in the world. I love everything about it and when I realised that flying home from Atlanta meant a change in Newark, it seemed rude not to take the opportunity to spend a couple of days here. When I found out that would, bizarrely, save me money too, well I just couldn't believe my luck.

With the tiredness of the past week wreaking havoc with our bodies and minds, we arrived in The Big Apple ready for a fairly laid back, cultural 48 hour stop, so it was probably a poor decision to book into the International Hostel on Amsterdam Avenue where I've enjoyed so many days of youthful, reckless fun in the past. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a bit of wild behaviour every now and again, but sitting, tired and hungover surrounded by hundreds of loud, ugly German college students, you can't help but feel your age.

The thing I love about NYC is the constant sightseeing. Don't bother with the Statue of Liberty, it's just crowded and looks no better close-up than it does from Manhattan or the free ferry. The Empire State Building is nice, if a little windy and pant-dampening, if you're a heights hater like me, but the best things to see here, in my opinion, cost nothing. Walk across The Brooklyn Bridge, through Central Park and up and down the many, many carefully laid out streets. Earlier today we watched cops throw a man up against Starbucks window, search and arrest him. You can't put a price on joy like that.

Yesterday we began our day at Tom's Restaurant (the one from Seinfeld) on 110th Street before walking all the way down to 39th where we met Andrew WK for a drink and a wander around Times Square. We followed his recommendation and had an amazing meal at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse in the stunning Grand Central Station main terminal and then walked home via a good old fashioned New York thunderstorm. Just another strange old day on a very weird and wonderful trip. God bless this country.

I'm in the hostel now. The German kids from yesterday have been replaced by English ones and my accent immediately sounds less impressive. Our flight home leaves at 9 and a taxi is booked to collect us from here in 10 minutes. If I never have to go through another airport security check it'll be too soon. Some guy in Atlanta confiscated my bottle of 'Megasoreass' hot sauce from Texas and I get the impression that nobody ever believes a single answer I give at customs. Must be something about my face. I'm considering watching all three Godfather films on the plane home.

See you on the other side


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Atlanta

A super-fast blog about Atlanta:

Its rained since we arrived, looks nice, in a modern, commerce sort of way, basketball ticket touts seriously over-value their stock, but there's nothing more fun than offering them 10% of what they're looking for, because frankly you don't care if you see the game or not. Technically we lost, but then again we're not the ones still clenching a bunch of worthless tickets. Instead, we spent our time much more wisely, getting drunk on Budweiser in the CNN Centre food court, right up until closing time. It was like an episode of Saved By The Bell, but the only moral ending was that Twix's are bloody brilliant and pubs are easier to find in England.

There's a huge storm, tornadoes and all, billowing around the US right now. We watched the news on a huge TV screen in the mall yesterday but as we don't know exactly where we are in the world, we're not sure how badly it could hurt us. We're going for ignorant positivity and are heading to the airport in a bit anyway, with our flight to New York booked for 3.30pm. Hopefully see you there!

Or here, if you fancy a beer in Atlanta...?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Alabama

Sweet home Alabama?

Today I’m feeling completely removed from reality. I’ve reached the point of the trip where this suitcase wielding life has become normal and home is but a distant memory. I’m excited for the final few days but the comforts of Oxford are also appealing, and my own bed seems the ideal cure for my current sleep deprived state. A few minutes ago we passed through Oxford, Alabama. If you replaced the cyclists with American diners, the university buildings for cloud-covered mountains and threw in a few more indie bands, you could be mistaken for confusing the two.

Right now we’re on the highway, approaching the end of yet another 150+ mile stint without a turn. I just ate a deep fried steak and we’ve crossed the border into Georgia and with it, entered into a brand new time zone, meaning we’ve lost an hour of our day already.

So Birmingham was interesting. The hotel we ended up residing in was in the centre of the downtown area but it was an absolute ghost city. We walked for miles to a restaurant recommended online only to find it closed at 5.30pm. There were no bars, no shops and more alarmingly than that, no people. Every street was filled with office blocks and car garages, and the only messages I received about the place from concerned readers on Facebook and Twitter suggested that this wasn’t a town we’d want to spend a lot of time in. We eventually found a place to eat and then a bar, which must to our confusion, had a signed, framed Frank Turner poster on the wall. A few games of pool were enjoyed, playing in teams of beds so myself and Ben teamed up and apart from him pointlessly potting the black (seriously, you wouldn’t believe that shot, but I promised I wouldn’t go into too much detail), I think we claimed the moral victory. By the end of the night it was half-full and after fielding the standard “what are y’all doing in the south?” questions, it was time to call it a night and return to our large, square room. All of these high-rise hotels are doing wonders for my fear of heights.

The lack of, well, anything, in Alabama has left a disappointing gap in my tourist t-shirt collection so I’m hoping Atlanta will pick up the pieces this evening. Simon flies home tomorrow whilst the rest of us head to New York for a couple of days of partying and catching up with old and new friends. The Celtics are playing the Hawks tonight. The game is sold out but we’re gonna befriend some touts and take our seats to yell “from downtown” and other favourites from the heady days of NBA Jam.

In news much closer to home... The Tupolev Ghost are out on tour right now, featuring none other than Ross Smithwick of Secondsmile fame on bass. From all accounts the dates have been going swimmingly and they’re all over the new issue of Rock Sound magazine, including a track on the covermount CD. When I get home I’ll be uploading a new Shapes video and I believe Copy Haho’s recent London show will be up on the Beastcast.tv website. I have some other exciting news to tell y’all (I’ve been in the south for too long, I’m talking like a Texan) soon, but will be keeping that under my hat for a while. I’ve got three final nights of partying to enjoy first.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

New Orleans

Another day, another massive car journey. We’re in the heart of Mississippi and have been on the same road for 160 miles. We’re just about to make our first turn of the day, which is probably the most exciting thing to happen since the guy in the Ellisville Subway came over, asked why we were there and suggested we kept our heads down and passed through the State as quickly as possible.

The turn has been made. Now it’s just 130 miles til the next one. Thank God for the local classic rock radio stations and their consistent big hits. Simon just found out the hard way that you shouldn’t lick the inside of a car, Ben’s filming scenery and Ivano’s handling arguably the most important job and is driving. I’d like to think my blogging runs a close second, though.

New Orleans was a lot of fun. There was jazz on every corner from the band of buskers in the park covering Louis Armstrong to the small child playing a trumpet in our hotel courtyard to the very old man who walked into our bar, sang a song and did a handstand on one elbow on top of a chair. We spent two very fun days in the city, beginning Tuesday with a difficult, hangover-ridden walk around the French Quarter and a spontaneous Pygmy Lush (a hardcore band featuring ex-members of Pg 99, City of Caterpillar and Malady) show, having passed a flyer and hailed the worst cab driver in the world. Chatting to the band at the venue they tell us they’ve spent the past 30 hours in a Texan jail, after been stopped and searched for drugs by some over zealous cops. The impending court date and the fact that they live a few States away now means they need to organise another tour to subsidise the trip back. A rock n roll story if ever I’ve heard one.

Wednesday was truly a day of firsts. In the afternoon we left the city and headed out to deepest darkest Louisiana for a swamp tour, which featured a disappointing lack of alligators but a decent amount of tales and a lot of mosquito bites. The first bar of the night saw a gay man hit on Simon, telling him he has a female friend so hot she turns guys homosexual, which both confused and scared we four innocent Brits. We visited the Acme Oyster Bar, the finest seafood restaurant around, where we were inexplicably rushed to the front of the queue - The fact that I was wearing a tie is widely considered to be the reason – and all experienced oysters for the first time. Harrah’s casino wasn’t quite the goldmine expected as Ben managed to lose $60 quicker than I’d previously thought possible and with tails between legs, the night came to an end drinking cocktails (perhaps slightly inappropriately named Hurricane’s) and eating burgers cooked under a hubcap around our hotel swimming pool. As four guys staying in one hotel room often do, we then danced in our pants and passed out in a blaze of smells.

We’ve just crossed the border into Alabama, the man from Ellisville will be pleased to know. As it stands we have no firm plans for tonight. The idea, I believe, is to drive into Birmingham and see how it looks, then work out whether to stay there or keep heading towards Atlanta, which is tomorrows destination. The world is our oyster. And on that New Orleans delicacy pun, I’m done.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Road trippin'

We're out of Texas, just driving through Iowa (haven't seen Slipknot, gutted) en route to New Orleans.

Quick question: We've heard a rumour that if you french kiss an armadillo you can catch lepracy. Any truth in this?

Fast fact: In Iowa there are 8 pigs for every 1 man

Band of the day: Castevet

Check out our Sexy Danger pimp mobile...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Houston

It seems wrong that I'm currently writing this from the floor of my hotel room in Houston, the 4th biggest city in the US, yet I've seen pretty much none of it. After a difficult drive around the city (so many lanes!) trying to find somewhere to stay, we eventually stumbled across an absolute goldmine in the form of The Magnolia, a 4 star residence which offered free beer, cookies and milk, a swimming pool and a giant bedroom with 2 double beds, perfect for jumping between. Which we did. Gleefully.

Our night in Houston turned into a huge mess, having stumbled across an amazing clothes shop-come-bar called Dean's where the staff gave us free shots called Bob Sagget's and their iPod included the first Hundred Reasons record. We met people, played drinking games, I walked on the bar, set fire to my thumb and turned it grey. Ben puked several times and has "Kev, are you on Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?" scrawled on his arm, which we don't understand but he ensures me it was funny at the time. There's an empty tiny beer on the floor which nobody can remember drinking. Wouldn't be a problem but it's from the minibar and it's old muggins credit card on this room. Brilliant. I hope it was me who drank it.

All in all, Houston gets a big thumbs up, the whole 2 streets, 3 bars and one hotel we saw, at least.

Simon says hi.




Monday, 23 March 2009

Rodeo

And I thought SXSW was strange...

Being the perenial tourists we are it would've been completely inappropriate to travel as far as Texas and not go to a rodeo, and the racist taxi drivers, cowboy hats and oversized food were appreciated bonuses. I've never previously seen smoked turkey legs the size of children and ounces, as a unit of measurement for liquids, is something which I've always found daunting.

A thouroughly enjoyable experience, obvious highlights include gambling on pig racing, watching a Western shoot- out, the high flying motorbikes and the freak show, boasting a two nosed cow, a 6 legged horse and many more treats. I would advise that any vegetarians or anybody with strong animal rights beliefs should never attend a rodeo. Then again, you should probably never visit Texas at all.

Our evening was spent in the hotel room. Three guys playing drinking games over bottles of Thunderbird wine, listening to some big tunes and regretting the earlier cuisine. I awoke this morning, hungover, fully clothed on top of my bed, a self-inflicted biro'd "sexy danger" tattoo on my arm, playing cards covering almost every inch of our small floor and the faint whiff of nasty smells still lingering in the bathroom. Doughnuts for breakfast and it was off to pick up our pimped up hire car, tinted windows, chocolate wafers and BSM CDs in tow. Houston's the first destination and now that the work (believe it or not, through the relentless booze, live shows and sunburn, SXSW also involved a LOT of work) is out of the way, it's time to turn our attention to the big old open roads of middle America.

I should briefly introduce the touring party, as their names will no doubt be cropping up a lot over the next week. First up is Ivano, who many of you will already know through his label management role for some of our bands, as well as his PR work at I Spy PR. He's half-Italian and half-Columbian so has been earmarked as our racial fodder should we run into angry rednecks. Next up there's Simon. He's the A&R guy from Hassle Records (Rolo Tomassi, Alexisonfire, Brand New etc) and is currently behind the wheel. Apparently the first time he drove abroad he pulled onto the motorway into incoming traffic causing a lorry to swerve into a ditch. Earlier on he pointed at a red light and asked what it meant. Also in the car right now is Ellie, an old friend of Simon's who works for Fiction Records (White Lies, Snow Patrol). I don't really know what she does for the label and it seems a pointless question to wake and ask her. Ellie lost her passport back in Austin and needed a lift to Houston where she can pick up a temporary one and get home. Our 'ladz on tour' massive will be complete in about an hours time when we arrive at the George Bush airport to collect Ben who has flown over to join us for this little adventure. Ben and I are the only non-drivers, so expect to see lots of in-car updates (albeit posted late, wi-fi signal pending) from us here and at nme.com, which is where Ben resides when he's not living it up in Texas.

So to recap, that's a label owner, an A&R guy, a press agent and a journalist driving some 1000 miles across America, taking in the sights, sounds and, if last night is anything to go by, smells. Lets see if this lovely country is ready to embrace this merry bunch of UK music industry travellers shall we?

SXSW

Where to start? I'm sitting in the hotel, it's 10am and we need to check out soon. I feel mostly human, which is surprising considering the last few days of alcohol abuse, lack of food, even less sleep and miles of walking. The sun has been relentless and I haven't even considered wearing my hoddie since I left England 5 days ago. The sunburn on my neck means that isn't a totally great thing, though.

This was my first year at SXSW and as such had little idea of what to expect. A hopeful schedule north of 20 bands per day actually boiled down to more like 5, but this included favourites including Kevin Devine, Tera Melos, Anathallo, The Bronx, Rolo Tomassi, Dananananaykroyd, Look Mexico, White Denim, HEALTH, Cursive and a hardcore band called Trash Talk who brought with them a more brutal fanbase than I've ever seen before. A circle pit beginning before the band even played a note and the singer flipping into the crowd off of the PA really got things off to a flying start.

It's hard to explain exactly what goes on at SXSW. Imagine, if you will, a long street, closed off and filled with thousands of people. Every single building is a venue with bands from 11am til 3am, free beer and spirits strong enough to strip paint. And if that wasn't enough music for you, there are bands on roofs, in doorways, on bridges, next to lakes and even the pizza shops are blasting out Pig Destroyer. There are the occasional wacky weirdo's wandering around crossdressing or holding up 'free hug' signs which brings back memories of wide-eyed early visits to Reading festival, and all this time, the sun is boiling the alcohol inside of your body and making you wonder whether you've slipped into a parrallel universe. I'm still not sure if I have.

When I can track down a USB wire I'll upload some photos and try to paint a better picture. For now, I have a huge hangover to beat and a trip to a rodeo to conquer.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Fatigue

What a mess. Short updates here. More here, when I can muster the strength and wi-fi energy.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Out of Office - Texas!

The holiday (if you can call it that? Which you can, but I won't) starts here

I'm on the bus to London right now. Part one of my epic 8 leg journey to Austin, the self-proclaimed capital of live music. Right now I'm bugging everyone around with my loud typing, but couldn't give a damn as my iPod is set to 'pop punk' and my spirits are higher than Pete Doherty.

Myself and Ivano are sharing a taxi to the airport with Alex from Holy Roar Records tomorrow morning. It's currently booked for 4:15am which is less than pleasant. It turns out that pretty much everyone I know who's heading to SXSW from London is on the same flight, which is cool, although potentially disastorous as any accidents could spell the end for the UK independent music scene in one foul swoop. After the "Belfast incident" I've checked and double-checked every airport I'll be visitng over the next couple of weeks. Our plans for the coming days have enough room for mishaps without my neglegence making things worse.

First things first, I've got a bus and three trains before I reach tonights destination of New Cross in London. Once that's out of the way we'll start to think about Texas.

The massive State. Not the band. Although this was pretty awesome...



See you in Austin!

Native winner

Running late and can't find my travel plug adaptor gadget. Gonna sit here and sulk until someone makes ctrl + f work for real life.

Here's the Native competition winner, stolen shamelessly from www.bsmrocks.com. Although I wrote that too, so I guess it isn't really 'stolen'? Oh who knows. Or cares?! If I was a plug adaptor, where would I be?

A huge thank you to everyone who entered our recent competition to design the artwork for Native's forthcoming EP. We had an overwhelming response and it turns out that there are a LOT of very talented people out there! Oh and these two!

After careful consideration, the band have chosen the below entry by Dan Thomas as the winner...



Congratulations Dan! And here are the two closest runners up. Click on the thumbnails to see full size...



'We Delete; Erase' will be available to pre-order from this website in early April

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Spamtastic

Its been way too long since I took a disappointing peek into my spam folder. Time to rectify that I think. Here are my top three favourite subjects from this past week, in pictures:

"Surprise her with your hulk"




"She'll be so wet after this"




"Show her how a real man drills"

Footy! Take 6

This week, as mentioned on more than one occasion, has been relentless. Two weeks ago I drew up the most intense, forward-planning to-do list of my life, organising absolutely everything I needed to complete before going away, and by the time my head hit the pillow last night, the list was empty. What a glorious feeling that was. I was almost emotional, such was the magnitude of the previous few days workload. I now - I hope - can finally start to relax and look forward to the free beer and sunshine of Texas... But not before I place a couple of stupid bets. I do have a surf and turf fund to raise, after all.

Because of the hectic week it completely slipped my mind to ask the footballing opinions of any industry colleagues (obviously my list wasn't quite as comprehensive as I'd thought) so am going it alone again this week. As we found out the last time I attempted this, it probably doesn't bode well, and to really ramp things up I'm going to place two bets, as it's unlikely I'll get around to placing one next week - unless I can sort out a cheeky backhander at the rodeo, of course.

Bet One: £2 trixie (every available double plus a treble - ie if two or more are right, I win some money) on Arshavin, Micky Owen and Jo to all score in todays Premier League games.

Bet Two: 50p on Arsenal, Everton, Burnley, Sheff. U, Wolves, Leeds, Peterborough, Oxford and Tamworth to all claim victories.

If both bets come in I'll win just over £50 and will spend it on getting an appropriate tattoo in Texas. Probably from a heavily bearded man and a rusty needle.


Friday, 13 March 2009

My favourite Native sleeve so far

The deadline for our Native CD sleeve designing contest is very close now. In preparation of this I just worked through my inbox, saving all of the entries thus far and trying to choose my personal favourite before they all go over to the band to pick a winner. I think it's fair to say that the below, although brilliant, probably won't win...



Thanks anyway, Alex Jakeway. Your efforts didn't go unappreciated and I felt the world deserved to see this masterpiece one way or another. The same can be said for Jack Alcopop's effort...



I'll let you into a little secret... I don't think Jack's going to win.

If you think you can do better, you have until 12pm (GMT) on Monday.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Square, circle, rectangle, pentagon...

I was going to title this post 'More Shapes' but that seemed too obvious. Instead I went for the obtuse route. Really paid off, I feel.

The guys in Shapes have very kindly allowed us to offer their old EP, 'Get Your Learn On', as a free MP3 download for a limited time. What this means is if you login to www.bsmrocks.com/friend you can now download a zip file containing the 6 MP3s from that release, along with 'You Butcher' (see below), all neatly wrapped up in a tidy little zip file. Glorious. Also on the website are free downloads from Pulled Apart By Horses, Wintermute, Shoes And Socks Off and loads more which you won't find anywhere else on the internet. Not even the seediest of illegal torrent sites. Or Spotify.

Man I love Spotify. Listened to the Paramore album today. Shut up, that doesn't make me any less of a man.

So today has been another in a long line of seriously intense days. Myself and Ivano spent 12 hours frantically stuffing promo CDs and mailorders into hundreds of envelopes, dashing back and forth from the Post Office, finalising our SXSW schedules, uploading new music, checking out bands, writing press releases and firing off emails left, right and centre. Right now I'm sitting here waiting for goFASTER to come and collect their new CDs before I can go to bed. I have a meeting at 9am tomorrow morning. It just never ends.

I've just had an email saying that The New York Times is now following me on Twitter. If one of the biggest newspapers in the whole world is, then you bloody well better be too!


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The SHAPES of punk to come

I'm writing this whilst sitting on a bus, on my way home after meeting the lovely Huw Stephens in London. I'm typing away an email to Wintermute and listening through and organising a tracklisting for our next compilation CD. Gotta love modern day record labels and the technology we dabble in. I wonder if Sony was born on a bus somewhere near High Wycombe? Doubt it.

As you may or may not have heard, we've put one of the tracks from SHAPES barnstorming forthcoming EP up online. The track is called 'You Butcher' and includes a particularly haunting ending featuring violin from Oli Knowles, ex-Meet Me In St Louis guitarist and resident BSM strings assistant. You can download the MP3 right here and marvel at the CDs artwork here:



In other news, I'm off to the US next week. You probably already know that as I've been banging on about it for months now. I don't really 'do' business cards (I like to pretend I'm "too DIY for that, maaaan" but laziness is probably closer to the point) but I figured it might be wise to knock up a few label sampler CDs to take with me. I started burning them last night and they feature 10 bands (all the usual suspects plus one we won't be announcing for at least 5 weeks yet) offering up 2 tracks each. Obviously, they sound incredible. I'll probably sell whatever I come home with off on the Boot Sale Music site but as I'm feeling especially proud of this little gathering, I'm gonna give copies away free with the next 5 mailorders starting from... Now!

And last but not least, our friends over at Alcopop Records are running a cool little promotion offering free bets on this weeks Cheltenham Festival every time you buy something from the online shop. I know a couple of people have already picked winners, you should give it a try too...

Monday, 9 March 2009

Help! Name and shame

Next month we'll be releasing a compilation of our favourite 12 unsigned bands. It'll be available on limited edition, hand-packaged CD and digitally via iTunes et al. There's one little tiny problem, however...

The tracklisting is complete and sounds fantastic, the artwork is being finalised as I type, the release date is set... but we still have no title for the release!

Yesterday I posed the question on Twitter and below are some of my favourite suggestions:
Any further suggestions for me? I need to make a decision by the end of today.

Speak up or forever hold your peace


Video Mix-Tape #3 - The Tupolev Ghost

Its been a while since we posted one of these isn't it? But as The Tupolev Ghost's lovely new video is now live and kicking all over the internet, it seemed the perfect time to unveil their top 5 favourite videos. Enjoy.



1. Hot Water Music - Paper Thin (Acoustic Live)
2. The Evens - Vowels
3. Medications - Twine Time (Live)
4. Pinback - Fortress
5. John Farnham - You're The Voice


www.myspace.com/thetupolevghost

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Absolute banker

This week. No doubt about it.

50p on the following to win £165.47

Coventry - Chelsea
Fulham - Man United
Sunderland - Tottenham
Birmingham - Southampton
Cardiff - Doncaster
Leicester - Cheltenham
Rotherham - Brentford
Shrewsbury - Notts. Co
Wycombe - Chesterfield
Ayr United - Stranraer

If it comes in, there'll be a free CD to each of the first 10 people to email me with the subject line "I always knew you'd win..."

Friday, 6 March 2009

The Best

Today was supposed to be the day I posted The Tupolev Ghost's new video on here, but due to some sort of hatred between my browser and Youtube, the stupid thing won't upload and I now write to you with hat in hand and tail between my legs.

Instead, here is a different, equally brilliant video...



Coincidently, I'm DJing at the O2 Academy in Oxford tomorrow night. If you're in the area come down and listen to this song again along with many emo and nu-metal hits from the likes of Limp Bizkit, Thursday, The Bled, Grade, Lostprophets, One Minute Silence and a plethora of BSM stars. I'm cleverly pre-mixing my CDs so that when alcohol rids my body of all function, I'll be the smug looking one behind the decks pretending to work, headphones on, clutching a dirty pint of Strongbow, laying down hits like you've died and gone to heaven. Believe.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Footy! Take 5

I am totally and unbearably hungover this morning. We're talking "did that really happen? Why did I keep drinking? And where did that hat come from?!" hungover. A 3am torch-in-the-face wake up on the top deck of a bus in the local depot is certainly not my favourite way to end a night. Neither is a difficult 30 minute freezing cold walk across the city whilst retching, cursing and trying to stop a dozy and delusional Jack wandering in front of traffic. Oh well, onwards and upwards... Time to have another stab at winning a small fortune through my second favourite vice.

After last weeks disaster its become disappointingly apparent that I'm only gonna get by with a little help from my friends so have enlisted three big hitting tipsters to steer me towards the path of riches:

Dave Summers - Disc Manufacturing Services (Plymouth fan)
  • Chelsea and Man Utd both to get away wins at Coventry / Fulham.Plus a nice home win for Torquay Utd at home over mid table Rushden & Diamonds cementing their play off spot in Conference. Rolling these winnings (or betting same sheet - nervous Sat night awaits) onto Sunday will see: Arsenal beating Burnley in FA Cup courtesy of Van Persie hat trick and Everton turning over Middlesborough 1-0 with more cup heroics from former Plymouth youth player Dan Gosling!
Tom Pennington - I Spy PR (Man City fan)
  • As a begrudging Man City season ticket holder (thanks Dad) I always bet against City when I can and that way I avoid maximum disappointment. Luckily we are not playing this weekend saving me my weekly heartache/winnings so will give my 2 cents on the others. The only Prem game is a grueling 6 pointer at the Stadium of Light where I fancy Spurs to ease their relegation troubles after their cup heartbreak. The rest of the afternoon will be spent rooting for the FA cup underdogs with Jack Alcopop's Cov vs Chelsea and Fulham vs Scum - two away wins the likely outcome unfortunately. Will also go for Kev's Royals to continue their march to the prem away at Plymouth, Watford to seal Charlton's fate at the Valley and Wolves to grab a vital win at Hillsborough
Dany Sloan - Exitfare (Arsenal fan)
  • As a Gunners supporter, it's been quite a thrill to see Tottenham flirt with relegation this season, but pragmatically speaking, is it going to happen? Probably not. The team isn't that bad, and Redknapp is a shrewd manager, but don't expect them to come away with a win this Saturday. But don't expect Sunderland to, either. It will be a 1-1 draw. The FA Cup matches will see a not easy win by Chelsea and a walk in the park for Man U. As much as it pains me to say this, these guys are going to win too many trophies this year. The most exciting matches come in the Championship on Saturday. I pick Birmingham City over Southampton, but Brum will make it interesting since they are down a few men. Blackpool takes Norwich, and in their quest for promotion, Cardiff handily takes Doncaster. Swansea over Nott Forest and Watford beats Charlton, but honestly, I think anyone could right now. Preston v. Crtstal Palace should be an interesting match, with Preston getting the points. I like Reading over Plymouth and QPR and Sheffield United will end in a draw. These sides are more evenly matched than the table may indicate. In the surprise of the week, Sheffield Wednesday takes Wolves. I think Wolverhampton is getting too comfortable at the top. My only comment on League One is this - Leeds over Bristol Rovers in their quest for promotion.
And I couldn't possibly end this blog without giving Dave a special shout-out after his miraculous predictions over the past couple of weeks which included a 1-0 Plymouth win away at top of the table Wolves, even correctly guessing that Paul Gallacher would get the goal! My "pfft, that'll never happen" scoffing certainly came back to haunt me and the pain of those huge odds still lingers. To make matters worse he repeated his success by rightly claiming that Plymouth would beat Watford 2-1 earlier this week, another tip I chose to ignore, and then to round it all off, last night I finally took his advice and stuck a fiver on a four team accumulator... Which lost. Badly.

Nobody gets it right all of the time.

Here's the full list of this weekends fixtures. As ever, your tips and advice are very much welcomed. I feel a big win approaching!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

New look

No, this isn't a post celebrating the women's clothes shop, it's just a short party of a paragraph to welcome the latest version of Blog Scary Monsters to your screens. It's still very much a work in progress so keep checking back as I'll be adding more features and tweaking everything over the coming few days.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Calling all budding designers

Stolen from the main news page:

The long overdue UK release of Native's brilliant EP, 'We Delete; Erase', is right around the corner, but we need your help!

Having spoken to the band we all thought it would be kind of cool to give the CD different packaging to that of the original US release, and even cooler than that: we want you to design it for us! So over the next two weeks we're looking for you to get your pens, paper, glitter and camera's out and make us some nice, new artwork.

All we need for now is the front cover (saved as a jpg, at least 1400 x 1400 pixels) emailed to bsmrocks@googlemail.com and we'll pick our favourite one. We'll then contact the winner with the rest of the info needed to complete the design, which will be printed up and released in the UK on 13th April. There's no brief at all. You can draw a picture of your cat, pour paint on your Gran and tell her to say "cheese" or whatever you think would represent a band that sounds like this

The winner will receive a free copy of the CD along with a Native t-shirt and some other BSM goodies. Deadline is 16th March and our decision is final, so don't even think about it!


Update: NME.com have written a little news piece about the above where you can also watch a Native video and download a track from the EP. Related question: Which Sugarbabe is the neediest?

Monday, 2 March 2009

Out of Office - Post Day! (part one)

Today is the day voted for as 'most likely to be my least favourite'. It's posting day.

I leave for America two weeks tomorrow and have somewhere in the region of a million mailorders, promo CDs and other items to post out before I go, so I'm dedicating today, one day next week and, if necessary, the day before I leave to sending the buggers out. I figured that if I wrote it here, it somehow becomes official and I can't not do it. It's now all of yours responsibility, too.

Thankfully the sun in shining which will make the first of my many trips to the Post Office this morning a little tiny bit happier. Better set my iPod to 'maximum summer anthems', just to be safe. Wish me luck!


Sunday, 1 March 2009

Cute Without The E

I'm having a bit of an early morning accidental nostalgia trip here having just stumbled across an old video on Youtube I used to have downloaded on my computer a few years ago. I don't know how I first found it but around the time of Taking Back Sunday's first album and my love for all things emo, I think I watched it too many times. The lad on the far left is still the best. Worth watching to the end just to see the music take control of his brain.