Thursday, 30 September 2010

Songs which just shouldn't be covered

What a funny day yesterday turned out to be. After posting a blog which I thought would provide a 5 minute distraction ended up taking over the whole day as Twitter lit up (resulting with the link being posted on the front page of the site) and the stat counter on this here page going through the roof! By the end of the day Myspace got in touch to see if they could post the blog in their Artist Hub, PR's were asking me if it was a clever marketing stunt (boy do I wish it was!) and hundreds of shocked strangers were messaging me with words of praise and sorrow.

I eventually trundled off to bed around 2am, but not before rediscovering this forgotten gem: Shoes And Socks Off - Piepton EP. As Toby had been staying here for a couple of days earlier in the week, and I'm off to see him again tonight in Oxford, the timing seemed delightfully apt, so decided I'd post a reminder that this free EP is still available. As the man himself described it, "it's a collection of songs which just shouldn't be covered."

Download it for free from here

1. Lounge Act (Nirvana)
2. Not Ready Yet (Eels)
3. You Said Something (PJ Harvey)
4. Wolf At The Door (Radiohead)
5. Tame (Pixies)
6. To Forgive (Smashing Pumpkins)

Of course, Shoes And Socks Off's new album (of his own material, this time), 'Robin Hood Waiter Champion Have-Not', is still available from here, and the 10 videos which make up the record can be seen here. This is arguably my favourite of the bunch, and not just because it was my old mobile phone gaffataped to our £3 kite...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Vader In Burgos

A late night stream of conciousness

I don't get to write anywhere near as many blog posts as I used to. It really puzzles me where the time has gone. It seems like the part of my day previously assigned to this kind of rambling has been filled by something else, but I can't work out what. Strange. I'm working late tonight, though, and a bit of a catchup/nonsense post seemed like the perfect way to end the evening.

Earlier today I was interviewed by Rock Sound who have very kindly made BSM their label of the month in an upcoming issue of the magazine. I normally like to do these interviews over email as a bit of time to consider my answers and spellchecking (God bless it) are essential for not sounding like a prick, and today proved that point nicely as I stuttered and stumbled my way to a new world record of um's and err's before completely failing to answer the final two questions, instead returning to the salvation of the computer screen to consider my responses and email them through. I guess I've become one of THOSE kind of internet kids now then. In my defence, they were tough questions. The first was if BSM was a film, what would it be and why? Seriously, what would it be? I won't tell you what I eventually plumped for but after asking for a bit of assistance on Twitter and two people instantly replied with Weekend At Bernies, it might be time to give myself a long hard look. The second troubling question was "Tell us a secret about the label." Sometimes I struggle to separate what's common knowledge in my head and the 'real' world. Not a particularly good trait, especially at times like this. I think I came up with a good one, however, but you'll have to buy the December issue (in shops early November) to find out what it is. The only difficulty left is finding a good photo of myself to include. A horrible selection of drunk, tourist and flat out ridiculous images flash, disappointingly, to mind.

I've just emailed a band called Suffer Like G Did about playing a gig for us in London soon. Have you heard them? They were on our '10 Collection recently and sound great. A lot of people have told me they're awesome live so I'm looking forward to seeing them play soon.

I recently promised myself (seriously, I do that a lot) that I would make no new signings for the foreseeable future. As if this year hadn't already been busy enough, we're just about to hit "Release Season" with arguably our biggest albums and EP's of the year set to the drop over the next few weeks. For this reason I've purposely kept the first half of 2011 relatively quiet, because I'm not sure I'm ready for grey hair just yet, and I've earmarked December '10 for a real Christmas holiday, not like the close calls of recent years. I mean a REAL (that's capital letters and italics) Christmas holiday. Anyway, that plan is in danger of going out the window as I continue to find more and more awesome bands, never more so than when a member of one of my favourite bands in the world got in touch saying that BSM was their number one choice for a label, for his new side project. I think I blushed. I'm 27 years old, that sort of shit shouldn't be happening. As I type this I'm listening to their (really, really good) demos and feel like I'm wrestling with the "ah screw it, what's one more band?!" devil on my right whilst the "but what about Christmas?" angel argues from the left. They both put forward such good cases. What to do, what to do...?

I've got a couple of really exciting - and much needed - trips coming up soon. In 10 days time I head to Dublin for the first time to hang out with the good people from Disc Manufacturing Services, Adebisi Shank, that not-so good guy from Alcopop and attend the HWCH festival. I've only ever been to Northern Ireland before (and hope that my trip home this time will be a lot less eventful) so this will be a lot of fun. Then in early November I get to cross another new city off the 'been meaning to visit' map when I hit Berlin for 65 Days of Static supported by the wonderful (if troublesome on Twitter) Tall Ships. I've heard nothing but good things about this place - including from BSM artist and sometimes Berlin resident, Walter Schreifels - and that many people can't possibly be wrong. Mob mentality is always right, right?

I should go to bed. It's late and I've got a long day of emails, collections, deliveries, emails, mailorders, trying not to sign more bands, emails and to-do lists tomorrow. Night all. x

Friday, 24 September 2010

Competition season

I've got to write a blog post about something other than a sodding competition soon!

Here's the results of the Dad Rocks! contest we've been running all week. The four songs Snaevar will be covering and posting online next month are...

1. Colour - Chutes
2. Kevin Devine - Another Bag of Bones
3. Tall Ships - Vessels/Chemistry (medley)
4. Shoes And Socks Off - I'm A World Class Assassin

Admittedly we used a little creative licence with the Tall Ships track. Vessels was in the top four most voted four songs but with Snaevar having fallen in love with Chemistry recently, we came up with the idea of a Tall Ships medley. Hope y'all don't mind!

Will post his recordings online soon, and look out for the first ever Dad Rocks! UK tour dates...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Tall Ships comp winner

We had so many entries to our Tall Ships 'animal collective' competition! Some were weird, all of them were wonderful. I sent them all to the band who spent a fair amount of time carefully considering each before picking this little beauty submitted by Chris Hicks as the winner! Chris wins all of the bits listed here.



But because there were just so many awesome others, here are 10 runners up who win nothing more than their name in lights on this blog, posted alongside the short descriptions of the pictures the band used in their email to me. Congrats.

1. Alice Tragedy - old fashioned photo man holding dog



2. Frank Pell - french prez with deer



3. Jack Clothier - cat in frog suit



4. James Johnstone - cows fucking fence



5. Kaylea Mitchem - penguins and seal



6. Kirsty Nimmo - hot dog dog



7. Mark Pascoe - bear arms out



8. Sinbad Jones - dog getting out of pool



9. Steveo4 - huskie and tv



10. Elliott Freeman - the dog in wig and little suit



Remember we're running a new competition now to win loads of Dad Rocks! bits by picking four songs you think he should cover. Simple, right?

Dad Rocks! competition

As one competition ends, another begins. Check out www.bsmrocks.com for info on a really cool little contest which will see Dad Rocks! recording covers of your favourite BSM songs, and giving you a chance to win a selection of goodies along the way.

The winner of the Tall Ships competition will be drawn this weekend and announced Monday. We had so many incredible entries so thank you to everyone who sent one in. I'm going to print them all off so we can have a good laugh and stick them in Tall Ships van at Southsea festival tomorrow.

Speaking of Southsea, you should probably come down. The BSM/Alcopop showcase at The Edge of The Wedge features Pulled Apart By Horses, Tall Ships, Stagecoach, &U&I (ex-Blakfish), Elephants, Hold Your Horse Is, Shoes And Socks Off, Stars And Sons and Ute, so it promises to be quite a day! It all kicks off at 12pm. Seeya by the sea!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Tall Ships competition

Everyone loves a funny picture of an animal, and Tall Ships are no exception. The band have recently started an "animal collective" on the sun visor in their van but with just two pictures so far, they're in need of your help.

What we'd like is for you to send in amusing pictures of animals which they can print off and stick in their collective, to help keep their spirits up during the long drives of their upcoming tours with Tubelord, Maps And Atlases and 65 Days of Static. You can submit pictures via email, Twitter or Facebook and they can be ones you've taken yourself, ones with you in, or just things you've laughed at and stolen from the internet.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 17th September, on which date we'll choose our favourite one and that person will win...
No doubt we'll also post a selection of the entries on here too.

Here's a picture of the animal collective right now. It's a good start but between us we can make it amazing!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

BSM100: around the world

Yesterday was amazing. I was left completely overwhelmed and flattered by the messages of support we received as well as the number of people who ordered 'Partied Hard'. I honestly couldn't have asked for more and just wanted to send a MASSIVE thank you to everyone.

So far we've received orders from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan. If your country isn't on that list and fancy doing your nation proud, get yourself over to www.bsmrocks.com

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

BSM100: Interviews

Over the next few weeks there'll likely be a few interviews and things cropping up online, talking about the label, it's history, the back-story to how we came to work with a few of our bands and so on. I thought it might be nice to post links to some of them here.

First up, an interview with This Is Fake DIY.

And secondly, Rock Sound asked me to name my top 10 BSM songs. Not an easy decision, I must admit, and one or two controversial inclusions/exclusions here, I think.

EDIT: Another interview, this time with the lovely Bearded Magazine.

You've come along way baby

...is the title of my favourite Fatboy Slim album. It's also a thought which has been spinning around my head a lot of late.

Today, Big Scary Monsters Records turns 100 releases old. I was up until 3am this morning making final adjustments to the website and answering a bunch of email interviews with different magazines, all of which asked the same question: Did I ever think it would come this far? Simple answer: no. When the label began I didn't even know what a record company does, let alone stopping to consider how far it might go. Of course I had childish dreams of swimming in pools of money like Scrooge McDuck, but as time wore on, naivety was replaced with excitement as I discovered the joy of finding and working with new bands, doing all I can to get their music out to as many people as possible. There's a certain, addictive joy to discovering a brand new band and watching them grow. A proud father feeling, perhaps?

You can read all about 'Partied Hard', our celebratory DVD/CD compilation over at www.bsmrocks.com and watch the trailer I posted on here yesterday. As you'll see, the release is only available until 24th October (the day before BSM101 comes out), and will be limited to however many sell during that time, so I'd encourage you to order sooner rather than later. During this period I'll be writing bits and pieces for the blog, talking about some of the content on the discs, running competitions and making a few new announcements. Hopefully it won't get too boring!

I wanted to finish this post by saying thanks. We really couldn't have come this far without you all. It's a cliche but that doesn't mean it's not true, and you'll probably never know how much your support has meant to myself and the bands over the course of the last 9 years. For every CD you've bought, gig you've attended, band you've put up for a night, nice email you've sent, friend you've recommended the label to, or minute you've read this silly little blog, you've helped make it all worthwhile.

Here's to the next 100. Cheers

Monday, 6 September 2010