Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Against all odds

Quite unbelievably, the response to last weeks ridiculous idea was incredible. I claimed that 50 positive replies would be enough to convince me, and within two hours I'd received well over the allotted amount of emails, comments, "Tweets" and Facebook messages. So, I guess I better get on it then...

Oh God.

Last night I dreamt about Saturday's free gig at Rota (Notting Hill Arts Club) in London. I'd spent the afternoon telling people that Mutiny On The Bounty were going to blow them away, yet when they took to the stage, it didn't quite happen. The room was too light, all of the amps were turned down and the vocalists decided not to use mics. It was how the band may sound if you listened under water. I looked around, feeling a little sheepish, to find that the room was the size of about 6 football pitches and I was the only one there. Any dream analysts out there would probably have a field day picking the issues out of this one. If you're in London this Saturday, why not come down to the gig and hope that reality works out a little better? The band will be on stage at 5, followed by Maths and Pennines. It'll all be over soon after 7, so don't be late.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Pep talks and motivations

It dawned on me this morning that I hadn't left the house for more than 2 days. That's a long time and is mostly due to my post-Great Escape flu breaking down into a heavy cold, leaving me snotty and lacking energy. Yesterday I completely over-did it by trying to squeeze a full day of work into the morning, so I could rest in the afternoon, only to get carried away and end up working a 12 hour shift. Certainly not my best plan and I slid down the snake back to square one today with just one roll of the dice left; fresh air.

I wandered into town clutching all of this weeks mailorders and a couple of cheques. It was nice and sunny when I left home but kinda overcast by the time I arrived at the bank. Mother Nature doesn't seem to have my back lately as she's turned on the tap each time I've ventured outside since last Friday. A fairly large factor in my current illness, I'd wager. Coupled with the impending threat of rain and the clouds in my head trying to force themselves out through my nostrils, I wasn't exactly feeling on top of the world. As I turned the corner onto the High Street the live Onelinedrawing track on the best compilation I've ever bought came to a close. The applause kicked in and for one, slightly foggy, very-deluded second, I allowed myself to daydream and imagine a crowd of people encouraging me to complete my journey. An idea kicked in.

Most of the bands on BSM discovered long ago that I have stupid ideas. I'd like to think I have some good ones too, but I definitely have some bad ones in there. Living and breathing this job 24/7 means there's a lot of time to cook up hair-brained schemes in the name of selling records and financial survivial, not to mention entertaining myself and the people who buy said records. This idea, I'm 99% certain, falls neatly into the stupid category, and I'm roughly 98% sure it'll never see the light of day, but before I retreat to my sick bed for the rest of the day, indulge me for a moment...

Big Scary Monsters Records presents: Pep Talks and Motivations

The idea is a simple: A compilation (mostly likely downloadable for a set, low price - in a variety of formats to suit you and your listening needs) of short talks, inspiring sounds and pick-me-ups to give your day the kick up the arse it needs.

Track one: Sam from Blakfish roars "Wake up, dickhead!"

Track two: Toby from Meet Me In St Louis tells you why you should stay in school.

Track three: James from The Tupolev Ghost tells you that you're a winner and that everything will be ok.

Track four: Joe from Copy Haho sings you a little lullabye to help you get to sleep.

...The possibilities are endless! There could be interludes made up of applause and cheering for the moments you need a pat on the back but there's nobody around. A couple of tracks filled with wild laughter for when you crack a joke and nobody gets it. It could bridge into sound effects and offer birds chirping or calming waves for the times when you need to take a deep breath and calm down. Maybe even a secret track which just repeats "you're better than him, and her... and look at that guy, what an idiot, look at those shoes!" for when you're on the tube and feeling a little inferior.

This could literally save your life.

So who's with me? Who would buy this? If I receive 50 comments, Twitter responses or emails giving a positive answer, I'll email the bands this weekend and start drafting up some plans. In the meantime... Where's my Lemsip?



Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Drowned In Scary Monsters

Here it is: Part Four. Written and posted within 2 hours, unlike the usual 2 weeks, focussing mostly on The Great Escape and Spotify. Enjoy

Swine flu

Monday, 18 May 2009

Chaos

The Great Escape was absolute chaos. It goes without saying that I missed roughly 3/4 of the bands I intended to see, partly due to the weather, a few due to laziness, a couple because of drunkenness and the rest down to the sheer number of awesome friends in attendance. The sight of Jack's sick all over our hotel bathroom will unfortunately never leave me, but nor will the memories of the BSM showcase, which was just beyond amazing. Packed from start to finish, with a one-in-one-out system running through much of the day (sorry if you were caught up in that), everyone had an absolute ball and the day came to a messy end with a particularly chaotic Blakfish set full of nakedness, violence, sing-alongs and more, before the BSM Party Crew moved on to the beach, a hotel and goodness knows where else. The below picture gives a tiny insight into the carnival of mayhem we all enjoyed...



Today it's back to reality, or at least some sort of attempt at it. After achieving just under 8 hours sleep spread across the past 4 nights, energy isn't easy to find right now. I might just opt to stare at the rain outside and ponder exactly what happened in last nights Lost season finale.

Come back later this week for new videos from Tupolev Ghost and Mutiny On The Bounty, along with Mutiny's album going up for pre-order and some other exciting bits and pieces.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

We're all going on a...

Summer holiday! The Great Escape kicks off in Brighton today and I'm off to see the sea with a merry band of friends, some bottles of Sainsbury's own Pimm's equivalent, 'Pitchers', a bagful of promo CDs and some business cards. That's right people, Kevin Douch has entered the dirty little world of business cards. Brace yourselves.

Unfortunately the weather forecast isn't quite so cheery this morning promising rain, rain and more rain for the next three days, but hey, there's always the 2p machines on the pier and Harry Ramsden's across the road. Oh and a few gigs too. Over the next three nights I plan to see... deep breath... Pulled Apart By Horses, The Computers, Calories, And So I Watch You From Afar, Emmy The Great, Twighlight Sad, Future of The Left, Dananananaykroyd, Cursive, Race Horses, Zach Hill, Slow Club, This City, Dinosaur Pile-Up, 4 or 5 Magicians, The Mae Shi, The Charlatans, Crystal Antlers, Ben Kweller, Mutiny On The Bounty. Crowns On The Rats Orchestra, Shapes, Blakfish, This Town Needs Guns, Sky Larkin, Fight Like Apes, Three Trapped Tigers, Johnny Foreigner, A Ghost Of A Thousand, School Of Seven Bells, Idlewild and White Denim. Phew! I'm now opening a sweepstake on how many I'll actually see.

Somewhere in the midst of that list you hopefully spotted the little BSM contingent. As detailed below, we have a free entry show (to everyone - none of this wristband crap around here) on Saturday which I'm really looking forward to, for obvious reasons. I've just been packing some CDs into a box ready to sell on the day and have also burnt 20 free, 15 track sampler CDs for the first people through the door. As is the way with these things, I've only included not one but TWO as yet un-announced new BSM bands. Intriguing, huh?

I need to finish packing my bag before I completely forget everything. Look out for updates over the weekend via Twitter (I'll try to keep them musically relevant but can't promise anything!) and will leave you with this lovely live Mutiny On The Bounty video, to get you in the mood ready for Saturday...

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Aerosmith

Hands up who's coming to our FREE showcase at The Great Escape in Brighton on Saturday? We're taking over The Hobgoblin from 3 til 8pm where you'll get to see the following bad asses kicking the crap out of their amps:

Mutiny on the Bounty: 3:50pm-4:20pm
Crowns on the Rats Orchestra: 4:40-5:10pm
Shapes: 5:30pm-6:00pm
Blakfish: 6:15pm-7:00pm
This Town Needs Guns: 7:15pm-8:00pm

It's free entry to everyone, wristband or not, so come on down nice and early. There are free CDs and things for the first people in and just like Aerosmith, you don't wanna miss a thing

Monday, 11 May 2009

Recovery

Saturday night:


Along with a bunch of friends including Jack Alcopop (as seen sweating profusely and crowd surfing right at the start of the above video), Lewis MMISL/Colour (crowd surfing on stage near the end) and James and Andy Tupolev Ghost (both somewhere in the mess of bodies) we partied hard to Andrew WK all night Saturday before spending Sunday nursing bumps, bruises and hangovers. The whole experience left me feeling my admittedly tender age and this morning was looking like a non-starter.

The thing with this job is that every now and again you need a little bit of space, a gentle reminder of how lucky you are and a nudge in the direction of creative motivation. Tiredness is not a great basis and can often see a week off to a slow start. Today, turning the other cheek at a day of pressing refresh on Facebook, reading and re-reading football stories on the BBC website and carefully sorting through my MP3 collection, I picked up my bag and decided to force the situation. A change of scenery, I've been told, is good to ease creative block and get the juices flowing. This is how my morning panned out:

1st Stop - The Post Office. Queues, it turns out, are not great for motivation. Strange old men starting their sentences with the words "in my day...", although amusing, are disappointing and cliched. Standing there, parcels in hand, I decide that rum may help grease my wheels.

2nd Stop - Borders. En route to the pub it's time for a pitstop in Borders to have a flick through some magazines. Most, much to my dissatisfaction, cover bands nowhere near good as ours. I pick up Wired to read about technology and things, and feel that brilliant glow of joy as I realise all of the coins in my pocket add up to exactly to the £3.90 required to purchase said magazine. Gotta love it when that happens. I think it's God's way of beating the recession.

3rd Stop - Wetherspoons. The usual Colin-from-Hundred-Reasons lookalike barman isn't in today and the replacement chav knows nothing of music. I turn to Sailor Jerry for suggestions of new release models, ways to increase awareness of our bands and other fun things we could be offering our fans. He puts forward some good suggestions and I then watch an old man try to walk through a wall. I decide to move on before the rum sends me in a similar direction. This is a work day after all...

4th Stop - Oxford University Parks. One of my favourite areas of Oxford. Peaceful, well-kept gardens sprawling for miles behind the uni buildings, connecting many areas of the city and populated by future world leaders. Apparently. Unfortunately today one my favourite things about the place is also my downfall as I wander aimlessly for too long and soon find myself lost heading in completely the wrong direction. To make things worse I have 'Scooby Snacks' stuck in my head and am desperate for a pee. A river running BOTH sides of my thin path does nothing to ease this pain and when I see a man who looks uncannily like John Locke, I begin to wonder just how far I've walked.

5th Stop - Home sweet home. A 5 hour pilgrimage for motivation and creativity over with, I return home triumphant, 2 pages of my notebook filled in the pub, Wired quickly scanned in the park and no less than 7 text messages full of ideas jotted on my phone as I walked, perhaps this is the way to start every week? My horribly blistered feet may not like it, nor would my bladder, but I can certainly think of worse ways to begin a working week.

Now to put some plans into action...

Friday, 8 May 2009

I don't like (bank holiday) Mondays

Bank holidays really mess me up. I spend Tuesday convinced it's Monday yet by Thursday it feels like Friday. Go figure. I awoke this morning initially confused by my dream of an old man bathing in a 5ft deep, tiny, round puddle, before pondering what day this could possibly be. "Saturday? It must be Saturday, I'm gonna sleep some more" came first. "Wait! Is it Monday?" followed. "And who was that old man in the puddle?" Time for work.

This week has been busier than usual. No great drama's or disasters, just lots of small challenges which could, in time, eventually make big differences. I spent a couple of days in London doing meetings, hanging out with BSM bands past, present and future and watching Shapes, Blakfish and Talons destroy the Old Blue Last. It's surprising how tiring these days can become and with my body clock already confused, waking up on a sofabed in London only makes things worse.

Tomorrow's shaping up for another long day in London as Alcopop Records host their first Rota gig at the Notting Hill Arts Club (four bands, free entry, doors at 4pm) followed by everyone's friend Andrew WK playing a secret show back at the Old Blue Last on what just happens to be his birthday. 150 people and 'I Get Wet' from start to finish. It's the stuff dreams are made of. Interesting fact: The clubnight he's playing at, 'What's My Age Again?' is partly run by a guy called Joe who used to play in a BSM band called The Next Autumn Soundtrack, way back in 2003. Ooh.

Before the partying begins, however, today brings many joys in the form of accounts, contracts and mailorders. Let the good times roll

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Covered

As mentioned a few weeks back, I'm working on the Summer and Autumn Collection CDs at the moment, piecing together a suitable lineup of unreleased, rare and interesting hits for you all to enjoy.

It dawned on me last night that I've never actually mentioned this, but if any bands out there would like to take a stab at covering one of our mob, let me know and I'll try to squeeze it onto one of the forthcoming CDs. We'd all love to hear what you can come up with.

In other news: Remember there's a free BSM showcase at the Old Blue Last in London on Wednesday 6th May with Shapes (celebrating the release of their EP) along with Blakfish and Talons. It all kicks off at 8 and once again, it's free.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Frosty Jack's

Dear Blog
Apologies for my abandonment this past week, it's been hectic. I hope you're well.

Yesterday I went to London. It began with lunch at the NME office in the big IPC Media Tower. The views of London were impressive and the self-service beans were everything I'd hoped for and possibly more. I must make a note to arrange less meetings in pubs as the end of my third meeting and sixth drink in a relatively short space of time left me a little too perky and in danger of signing buskers. Some interesting conversations took place all the same and we'll be announcing two very exciting new Summer releases shortly. 2009 is definitely the year of the Big Scary Monster with our output of releases spiraling out of control. Brilliant sounding, delightfully packaged control. Still, what doesn't kill you...

Are you a fan of product placement? I do hope so. Here's a good one:



What's your favourite cheap cider?

If you'd like to click here, you will be able to view the above Kerrang feature in a size readable by the average human being, which is probably beneficial.

Next week we'll be announcing a new Wintermute / The Tupolev Ghost June tour and a long overdue new podcast episode will be hitting the iTunes shelves.

Come back soon. Much love