Category: Jukebox Jury


Publish and be damned

– Attributed to Arthur Wellesley

 

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I don’t know what it is about us musicians, but sometimes we just like to make things so darn tricksy that it becomes parody.  One common example of that is the hidden track, where an album contains a song or two that’s not mentioned on the sleeve.  It’s a nice surprise in a way, but the problem is that in order to both separate it from the rest of the album proper and actually hide it it’s normally placed as part of the last track after a long silence placed after the last official song.  This means if you actually want to listen to the hidden track on it’s own you (some of them are absolutely cracking!) then you have to manually search through.  Also, if you’ve set your music library on shuffle and the last track of an album pops up, you’re left with huge gaps in your listening.  Not to mention the even more insidious practice of hidden tracks before track 1, which a significant number of computer CD players are incapable of reading.

Saves the Day, however, have found a new way to annoy me.  On their most recent album, Daybreak, track 1 is not one song, but a 5-movement piece (also called Daybreak – and the last movement of the 5 is also called Daybreak.  Really.)  5 songs on 1 track??  Really?!!! Was that really necessary?!  So now if I want to just listen to one part of it, I have to start seeking through trying to find the right point, which could be anywhere?  How do I put it on shuffle?  More to the point, at least with a traditional hidden track at the end, I can cut the silence and the give the hidden track a new track number.  Even with a hidden song at the beginning of an album, I can call it track zero.  What am I meant to do with this?!

I know you said you’re Through Being Cool, Chris, but this seriously isn’t.

Went to see my marvellous bro on Tuesday play his first gig with his new band line-up.  They’ve done some recording as well.  You should have a listen.

Sunshine

One of the ways to get me really excited is to tell me that Copeland are releasing a new album.  I honestly think Copeland are ridiculously underrated; they’re one of the few groups who can actually deliver a sonic landscape that you can explore at will.  My sanity has been saved on more than one occasion by popping on some Copeland and just having a lie down! 🙂 Continue reading

Last night (well, tonight – I haven’t got to bed yet!) was the first rehearsal for this year’s Christmas Concert for our Stake Choir.  While there I heard about an extremely bizarre anecdote.  Last year, we performed ‘O Holy Night’.  The version we have music for only as the first 2 verses for some reason.  During rehearsals the director decided that after the second chorus, we’d repeat the first to finish.  So that’s what we did in the concerts.  After one of them, a former director of the choir (incidentally the previous Stake President) was approached by a gentleman who asked who had given us permission to change the song.  The man (who is supposedly in the music business) then claimed that by repeating the chorus we had rearranged the piece and thus infringed copyright.  The sum result of this conversation is that the choir director now refuses to do the same this year in order to not cause trouble.

All of which I find quite incredible.  My question is: whose copyright is being infringed and how? Continue reading

One of my dad’s childhood friends, along with her husband, has come to visit from Dubai and is staying at my house for the next few days.  They’ve been here a total of 3 hours, and I already want to kill the husband.

Dad’s been rabbitting on about how he plays guitar so we’ll enjoy playing together.  I knew full well that’ll never happen.  We’d play very different styles and not really appreciate each other’s (it turns out he’s into country/rockabilly – no surprises, but that’s fine, it’s his life).  But then he started lecturing me on note theory and double-stopping (this is after being told that I learned classical instruments as a child and therefore actually know something about music).  I put up with that though, for the sake of international relations.  The icing on the cake though was the following exchange:

Him: So play me a full song.

My dad: <Chuckles> He doesn’t know any! [I’m not entirely sure what that was for, but anyway]

Me: <frantically thinking of something to play> erm…erm…okay

The first thing that popped into my head was Stone by Unbelievable Truth, cause it’s nice and simple, but I realise it’s not the most attention-grabbing song ever.  That does not excuse what happens next however.  I’ve barely started (about 10-15 seconds in), when all of a sudden he asks my dad about the how the heating is controlled, and then they both get up and examine the thermostat!

THE THERMOSTAT!!!

They don’t even want to alter it or anything.  Just to explain how it works….

I knew there was a reason I didn’t like performing….

Last week I got hold of a few albums, namely the new albums from Muse and Hundred Reasons as well as an oldie from Daft Punk (Homework).

I haven’t listened fully through Homework yet, but I have the other two and the first thing that struck is me how bad the recordings sound, and there’s really no excuse for it.

The Muse album is recorded too hot throughout and leaves clipping all over the place.  At times it’s quite annoying.  The Hundred Reasons album on the other hand is over-compressed, just like a Generic American Corporate Rock(TM) band would do.

Highly disappointing.  Somebody needs a good kicking!

After that I decided to have a listen to my old Ride CDs (the original releases rather than the reissues), and I’ve already noticed that the old Nowhere release sounds much better than the new one.  I can’t tell much of a difference with the others though.

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Day.

It’s some ridiculous time in the morning, Santa’s been and gone.

Except he hasn’t because I’m not done wrapping, or tidying up, or preparing the emails dad wants to send when he gets back from work with certain family members singing.

Anyway, as I was getting the files ready for ‘publication’ I had a listen to a song I recorded at my brother’s house many moons ago (September 2003 to be precise), and written at some point in the first half of that year while I was at Uni. It was a struggle to write it and it’s been a struggle to write anything else since!

Anyway, I can never really make up my mind as to whether I actually like it or not. There’s some good bits but then there’s the fact that my voice sounds like some bad Will Young impersonator with a cold in the morning. Or something like that.

But yeah, have a listen. Incidentally, I perform guitar and vocals. Drums and Bass were programmed by my brother.

Last night I picked up my brother from his flat as he didn’t have his keys with him (long story) and hence was locked out. As I pulled up I had Radio 1 on (The Lock Up if you’re interested) and hence some cheesy American punk-pop was on. For some reason I decided to announce it as he got in: Continue reading

Pandora’s box

My brother has introduced me to the delights of www.pandora.com. This is essentially DIY internet radio, but not DIY, sort of…..

Anyway, give it a go.