Sunday, January 27, 2008

The state of the Art 2007

Looking back on the music scene over 2007, I don't think there was anything particularly exciting about it, but it was interesting for the direction it started to take. The most significant thing to happen was Radiohead dumping their record company & selling their new record online for what ever price you choose to pay. Whilst there was always going to be people downloading it for free, it still gets the music out there to be heard & they're already cutting out the middle man (recod company) so any money that is made goes directly into their pockets. Not to mention the boutique box set available from their website which included a CD, Vinyl & artwork. All available for ₤40. Again, straight into their pocket. The rules are changing & it's time for Artists to change too or get left behind. The business is becoming a lot more DIY, the punters are going to be able to download specific songs rather than buy an entire record, so the art of putting together 12 tracks won't be so important anymore. Ash have already stated they won't be selling anymore LP's, they're only going to make singles. As for how this effects Pisces, I want us to be known as a boutique band, our music will be available for download as well but for those willing to buy the CD or LP, the artwork & presentation has to quality, as well as what's on the actual album. Real music lovers have to know if they spend their money, they're going to get a quality product.

Elsewhere it seemed to be more of the same, Justin Timberlake seems to be the reigning king of the industry - he tends to cross boundaries & appeals to all types of listeners & generations. R & B continues to be popular & the stars younger & younger, Rhianna & Chris Brown are still in their teens but both are huge. As for Rock, EMO continued on it's merry way, particularly Fall Out Boy who seemed to come out to lead the pack although My Chemical Romance was a close second. Got to admit, I don't mind FOB, I like that they don't mind taking the piss out of themselves & their video's are usually funny. Unfortunately, there was no real danger anywhere, no band really stood up & poked it's head above the crowd which was a shame, but the next revolution is always only just around the corner..

Personally, my favourite album last year was Killing Jokes 'The Death & Ressurection Show'. Released in 2002, it has Dave Grohl on drums & totally kicks ass. It's everything a heavy album should be in my opinion, crunching guitar's, monster riffs, killer vocals & fucking evil in parts.. but also with a soft side. Loved it. Other standouts for me were:

'How do you sleep?' This single of John Lennon's 'Imagine' album is just an amazing track. The production is amazing & the way Lennon tracked his vocals is just so Lennon. Noone else could've made this track, totally blew me away.

Dizzy Rascal - 'Maths & English'. Rasket was back with a dope record, my favourite MC by a long shot. Apparantly tore it up at BDO.

'Impossible Germany' - Wilco - Although I thought the overall record 'Sky blue Sky' was a disappointment, this particular track was outstanding. First heard it waiting for the Brunettes to come on stage at San Fran & it even blew me away then..

Speaking of which - my favourite live show, single, & outstanding Kiwi record was easily the Brunettes 'Structure & Cosmetics' with the single 'Her Hairagami Set' - unique, produced really well, great songs, looked good (& different) - just an outstanding year for them. Deserved more recognition than they got.

Lastly of course a huge year for my boys Silverchair, Dan came through again & wrote a great record of avant garde, intelligent, up beat rock music - blew away crowds all over the world and just continued to produce excellence. Never fails to put me in a good mood this record.

Biggest disappointment was the dull Wilco record & the depressing Bloc Party.

Anyway, they were my favs & just some observations, hope 2008 is just as interesting for both the industry & the mighty Pisces.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hi ho, it's off to work we go

Played San Fran last night. About 35 people showed up, was an appreciative crowd, at one point during the quieter moments of 'Hope' the whole room was silent. Was quite a thing, I can usually hear chatter chitter but we seemed to have won them over last night.
Opened with a new track - Over you - which we had only rehearsed once on Monday, it worked ok. It was a track I was hoping Carly could sing but it's in too low of a key so we'll be working on that to get it closer to what she's comfortable with.

Set list was:

Over you
City Streets
I'll wait for you
Jimmy Jones
Secret Garden
Broken Pieces
Only a fool
We probably could've (& should've) squeezed in another track, but I was too slow on the uptake..

Funnily it was the quieter tracks - Hope, I'll wait for you, Jimmy - which seemed to go across the best. The rockier ones seemed a bit souless to me. Then again, it's hard to gauge what the audience is enjoying, sometimes you think you've duffed a track & someone will comment how much they like it. As was the case last night with Broken Pieces which I thought was an average rendition of, but Kate said it was her favourite.. go figure. It's hard for me to be objective about things sometimes, even while we're playing I'm critiqueing everything, audience response, my playing, my singing, the other's performances. I might hear a duff note, which most people will completely miss..

Overall was happy with the gig, really nice to see Mum's brother & his family come along as well as Graeme's brother & Fam, I think we play music that can appeal to most ages, as you need to if you're going to play big gigs & sell a lot of records.. but yeah, happy with the show, no other gigs lined up so back to door knocking. Might try the Adelaide.
Till next time..