Friday, 26 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody

Over the next 6 months BSM will be going a little quieter on the new release front as we start the build up towards our mid-2011 album campaigns and dedicate a little time to the finer things in life. Things such as updating the website, filling in tax returns, updating some very outdated systems of ours, moaning about how Christmas isn't as fun as it used to be, and scouring the world for our next wave of new signings. I'm going to need some help with one or two of these things (seriously, how do you make Christmas fun again?) and this is where you come in.

Have a read through the below and if you make it to the end still thinking "that doesn't sound too shit", get in touch and we'll have a chat.
  • Ideally I'm looking for someone based in or around Oxford who could offer up a few hours per week to come here and help with mailorders, collections and deliveries, and some online work. We have broadband internet, a spare computer and Sky Sports News. And best of all; I don't drink tea, so frankly I couldn't give a crap how good you are at making it. HOWEVER, a close friend or relative working in a local bar with potential to supply free liquor is a distinct advantage. Equally, anyone with good gambling tips will be well received.
  • Having said all of that, I'm also willing to consider people from all around the world (the alcohol and gambling thing still stands) as many of the tasks will be based online, so don't be put off if you're our one regular blog reader from Peru. I'd still love to hear from you.
  • I won't lie, some of the jobs won't be a whole lot of fun. Stuffing envelopes is tedious, as is making countless website tweaks, updating mailing lists, compiling press reports, researching and sending numerous emails to strangers you know will ignore you. These are the kind of things you'll be doing.
  • It's not all doom and gloom, though. Meeting and getting to know lots of awesome people and working closely with some brilliant bands is very rewarding, as is going to lots of gigs and getting free CDs. And if you're one of those people who gets genuinely excited about HTML, graphic design or spreadsheets, I definitely want to hear from you. A bit of work experience at an independent record label can also look good on your CV and some of the people who've previously helped out have gone on to find bigger and better paid roles elsewhere soon afterwards.
  • Not wanting to sound like an arse, but I'm going to be quite specific about the kind of person I'm looking for here. Based on previous experience, this just isn't a job for everyone, so let's save each other some time and figure that out now. What I'm after is someone who is creative, with lots of bright ideas and a willingness to work hard. If I'm going to ask you for an opinion on something and you just shrug at me, it's not going to work. A good knowledge of the industry would be a bonus but not essential. Similar rules apply with your music taste; if it's good, great, if it's bad, that's still ok, we can always talk about the weather. A fair bit of the work will be based online, ranging from updating the website to setting up and maintaining certain social network profiles, so you need to be computer literate and ideally have some knowledge of web design. You need to be contactable, honest and not a dickhead. If you're local and will be working here, the dickhead thing is doubley important, I'd also like it if you don't smell. The label is run from my flat so you may have to face occasional rants about the neighbours, Fantasy Football discussions every Friday afternoon, drop-ins from friends and family, and me leaving you to work whilst I sleep off a hangover.
I think that pretty much covers everything for now. If you're serious about helping out, get in touch and tell me a bit about yourself. Who you are, where you're based, what your interests are, any previous experience in the industry, what you feel your strengths are and, perhaps most importantly of all, what you would like to get out of this role. I don't want this to be a one-sided thing where only the label gains from your hard work, I'd like to make it a good fit where I can find jobs which will interest you and hopefully help with your future career in this crazy little industry.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Football/dogging fans...

Recognise this man?

I mean the one on the right...

Pick up the latest issue of Rock Sound magazine (with Bring Me The Horizon on the cover) and not only do you get the above joy, you'll also find a full page feature on Talons, a track of theirs on the covermount CD, and 8/10 reviews for their album and Tall Ships new EP. Bargain.


So, 2010. How was it for you?

The year couldn't have got off to a better start for us with the square-shaped (Fantasy Football funded) release of party-loving Andrew W.K.'s 7" single, which sold out in what felt like a matter of hours, quickly followed in similar fashion by the debut Tall Ships EP which also sold out. Twice. With a third pressing on the brink of disappearing, too. The release of Walter Schreifels debut solo album, his ensuing UK tour and my constant "who the hell do I think I am?!" questionning each and every time I was forced to email arguably one of the most influential people in the history of punk rock, chasing up a photo, interview or whether or not he'd remembered to book a hotel in Kingston (he hadn't) took us through the spring and into the summer with a perfect, er, spring in our step, before Chicago's Grown Ups came and kicked all of our arses with their brilliant record, 'More Songs', in May. The saddest news of the year came as Blakfish decided to call it a day, halfway through their European tour with Biffy Clyro! This unfortunately meant that the BSM 5-a-side football tournament was lacking a certain, rowdy Brummy element, but everyone coped admirably with Fear And Records eventually coming through to become the first ever double winners.

Shoes And Socks Off kept relatively quiet this year but still managed to sneak out two albums; the three CD, 40+ track, 'Don't Blame Yourself, It's In Your Blood', and the wonderful, yet confusingly titled 'Robin Hood Waiter Champion Have-Not' (including a video for each song, made for a total budget of less than £10), before hitting the road for a paltry 30 date tour in September. Kevin Devine followed up last years 5th studio album with a new EP, 'She Stayed As Steam', which featured a couple of 'Brothers Blood' recording session out-takes and saw him crash the iTunes chart, something which he later bettered with the release of his Bad Books album (a band he shares with members of Manchester Orchestra), which topped the Amazon chart in November and even found itself in the US billboard top 200!

Dad Rocks!, the solo project from Mimas front man Snævar Njáll Albertsson landed on British soil for the first time, bringing with him his delightful debut EP, a set of BSM cover songs and a handful of lovely videos, before being joined by the rest of Mimas who celebrated the release of their lovely second album in October. Another new addition to our roster, Hold Your Horse Is, released a stunning debut EP and saw their music soundtrack more than their fair share of "arty" videos for Front Magazine, whilst Adebisi Shank's awesome new record rightly got the internet all hot and bothered as they were propelled into the top 10 of the Hype Machine chart.

BSM itself 'Partied Hard' by hitting the landmark of 100 releases, celebrating with the release of a CD/DVD double pack in our most ellaborate, popup, artwork yet, before Tall Ships came back with another brilliant EP, taking it out on tour with Minus The Bear, Maps And Atlases, 65 Days of Static and more, just before Talons dropped arguably the best album of the year with the brutiful (new word alert) 'Hollow Realm'. A record every bit as crushing as you would expect from the young instrumentalists. Our final release of 2010 comes from Tellison with their long-awaited, Zane Lowe endorsed, new single, 'Collarbone', showing the world they've most definitely still got it, with the excitement rapidly building for their new album, due out early next year.

Throughout the year our '10 Collection, 52 part singles club has been speeding along, providing subscribers with a weekly dosage of great music to brighten up every Monday morning, and we've thrown a number of free parties across the country, including showcases at The Great Escape, Southsea and Swn festivals. Of course, we'll be seeing the year out in our usual style; the BSM Christmas Tour! This year it's the turn of Tall Ships and ex-Colour boys, Tangled Hair, to bring the festive spirit, as we all start turning our attention to mulled wine, Santa and then the new year, which promises, amongst other things...

The debut album from Shapes! The boys have taken much of this year off (apart from a short tour with some band called Glassjaw, of course) to write and will be heading to Sweden later this month to record it with none other than Eskil Lövström, the man behind Refused's seminal 'The Shape of Punk To Come' (the headline puns just right themselves really, don't they?). Look out for a release in the spring, alongside the debut full-length from Dad Rocks!, which may or may not feature a very awesome guest appearance, although I don't want to jinx it, so I won't tell you who just yet. Other new releases lined up for 2011 include EP's from Men and Tangled Hair, as well as our '11 Collection singles club and a book from Shoes And Socks Off.

It seems somewhat of a cliche to wrap this up by saying thanks and we couldn't have done it without you, but if you can make it to any of our xmas tour dates (below), let's raise a glass and toast the continued success of the independent music industry, and the wonderful people within it. Here's to another great year!

BSM Christmas Tour 2010 w/ Tall Ships and Tangled Hair

06.12 - Brighton, The Albert
07.12 - London, Brixton, The Rest Is Noise (free entry)
08.12 - Cambridge, Portland Arms
09.12 - Kingston, New Slang
10.12 - Bristol, Start The Bus
11.12 - Middlesbrough, Uncle Alberts (free entry)
12.12 - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
13.12 - Sheffield, Bungalows and Bears (free entry - no Tangled Hair)

Gutten tag

Have you been to Berlin? You really should. Having spent a wonderful 5 days there, and 4 days since, weighing it up, I think it's my favourite European city. A really nice, easy-going feel to the place, loads of awesome little bars and restaurants and possibly the best atmosphere I've experienced at a football match (an important factor in international travel) made it a wonderful experience. Of course, seeing Jimmy Eat World one night and Tall Ships the next helped a little too!

Here's me and my tandem bike, mid-city tour...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Oh collarbone

I'm off to Berlin on Saturday. 3 days of sightseeing and a night of passion with Tall Ships supporting 65 Days of Static. Until then, it's emails, mailorders, deliveries, collections and other such fun. Glorious.

Here's the new Tellison video. You should buy their single, it's released on 22nd November and I'd be surprised if it's around long after that.