Friday, August 29, 2014

State of the art in 2014

Thanks for coming by! Our next releases are two cassettes - yes, audio cassettes - for Cassette Store Day, which is taking place on September 27 in the UK, US and several other nations. These releases are 100 copies of "Music From The Middle Room", under our other moniker of Bleak House...

Bleak House - Music From The Middle Room cassette

...and 25 copies of "Freaks At A Wake", backed with its squalling tumbling Monotron remix on the reverse.

These will be available from your cassette retailer of choice (including Burger Records in the USA, Pebble Records in England and VOD Music in Wales) from September 27th, and if we have any left we'll sell them too, on our wildly successful Bandcamp page, afterwards.

There's a lot of interesting-looking material coming out for this event, doubtless a few releases from hipsters, but much of it from obscure home-recording types who need all the support they can get. Of course, you may find you now need something to play all these new cassettes on, like I did recently when my trusty Sony HCD-RXD5 finally became unresponsive on both tape decks, after 14 years of service. Ruddy electronics - for years, the CD play button has triggered the FM radio. Or perhaps the belt's simultaneously gone on both sides. It was originally bought, along with a MiniDisc recorder, as part of an earlier attempt to upgrade my audio facilities and get some relatively clean recording/copying equipment (compared to cheap-bottom Alba stereos and the Spinney Tronic).

Now then, dear Kesh-chum. We relish the freedom of working outside label/management structures, allowing us to follow whatever whims we like and put the results out directly to you, dear reader. However, we don't make money from it. Now, one of our most-visited net presences is at the Free Music Archive, where we have a page...

Keshco at the Free Music Archive

From there you can see that our recent EPs have been downloaded many thousands of times - Accountants By Day alone is now over 100,000 downloads. It's great that so many people have shared in our music, which is shared under Creative Commons licensing.

On the top right hand corner of the page at the FMA, there's a box with a dollar ($) symbol, saying "Tip The Artist". We're still looking for ways of making this free music idea work financially, and micropayments seem a good way to go. You can click on the tip box (here's our FMA link again), and then via Paypal, donate anything you wish, as little as $0.01 if you feel like it, towards our past and future music-making. Yes, $0.01. That's not an insulting amount and you shouldn't be deterred - it's a valued micropayment. If we get enough little tips, we can put the money towards something useful, like monitor speakers or better mics, or just towards the rent. It also gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling that people appreciate what we've put out.

Imagine if footballers made their cash in micropayments.

Of our other net presences, Reverbnation recently bit the dust. Poor Reverbnation. It was a pointless exercise really. All those tools to gather listener data and nobody listening. Like having a flashy shopfront in a no-go area of town. You could reach the top 10 for your area just by a couple of people clicking onto the page.

All the best now x

PS: If you, like us, are skint, you may appreciate the wise words of Alvin Hall, in Your Money or Your Life: A Practical Guide to Getting - and Staying - on Top of Your Finances which has been recently updated (Amazon UK and Amazon US affiliate links - oh go on, every little helps). It's a useful book, particularly for those who are perennially close-to-the-wire but can't work out why because they obviously aren't wasting money or overbuying... think again. Think everything over again, keep your receipts, and write it all down.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Now that's what I call some physical copies

So, with the supply chain now functioning and everything under control, please consider getting a copy of our Nowkesh CDs from our Bandcamp page. (Or you can still download the whole thing for free.) Here's the track listing again:

Track name and original artiste
1 You Can't Hurry Love Phil Collins   
2 Is There Something I Should Know Duran Duran   
3 Red Red Wine UB40   
4 Only For Love Limahl   
5 Temptation Heaven 17   
6 Give It Up KC And The Sunshine Band   
7 Double Dutch Malcolm McLaren   
8 Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie Tyler   
9 Karma Chameleon Culture Club   
10 The Safety Dance Men Without Hats   
11 Too Shy Kajagoogoo   
12 Moonlight Shadow Mike Oldfield   
13 Down Under Men At Work   
14 (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew  Rock Steady Crew  
15 Baby Jane Rod Stewart  
16 Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) Paul Young   
17 Candy Girl New Edition  
18 Big Apple Kajagoogoo   
19 Let's Stay Together Tina Turner   
20 (Keep Feeling) Fascination The Human League  
21 New Song Howard Jones 
22 Please Don't Make Me Cry UB40   
23 Tonight, I Celebrate My Love Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack   
24 They Don't Know Tracey Ullman   
25 Kissing With Confidence Will Powers  
26 That's All Genesis   
27 The Love Cats The Cure  
28 Waterfront Simple Minds   
29 The Sun And The Rain Madness   
30 Victims Culture Club

...and here's what the whole thing looks like:

Or, you may prefer the 1983 version (ours is a snip in comparison!)

George Weah's cousin

Our World of Football 14 EP (a free download on Bandcamp, though you can donate some pennies if you like) features a track about that great 90s footballer, Ali Dia. Here is the entry from Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics that informed the lyrics (it's full of inaccuracies, but we get the gist from it - I would advise reading the Wiki and other pages, like this on The Football Supernova, for context):

Dia, Ali (1968- ), footballer and impostor. Dia was an enthusiastic, but unskilful, part-time footballer whom Barry Jackson, the manager of Blyth Spartan - a club in the lower leagues - was happy to release after a few games. Some months later Jackson was surprised to see Dia playing in a Premiership game televised on Match of the Day. Ali Dia's moment of glory came after Graeme Souness, the manager of Southampton Football Club, apparently received a telephone call from George Weah, the Liberian international and former Footballer of the Year. Souness would be well advised, said Weah, to take a look at Dia, whom he described as a Senegalese international of outstanding talent, now living in England. The phone call was followed by one apparently from the French international, David Ginola, who seconded this advice. Weah and Ginola were not people to disregard, so Souness engaged Dia without a trial and played him against Manchester United. He missed an open goal and was otherwise careful not to get too involved, so Souness substituted him after 20 minutes. At the end of the season Souness let him go. Dia then joined Gravesend, another club in the lower leagues, turning out twice in the reserves before being released again. It was then discovered that he was a mature student taking a course in business studies at Newcastle University, but he continued to deny that he had impersonated Weah and Ginola on the telephone to Graeme Souness.
  'At least he played in the Premiership,' said his former manager at Blyth Spartan, 'which is more than I ever did.'

(Note: Ali Dia ended up not at Gravesend but Gateshead, as this article explains)