The Sound Is Not Asleep

Each tour I do, more and more they either want the history stuff, or the newer deep stuff… They want the grooves back, which is really interesting. I’m pulling out tracks on dubplate that were never released and people are going, “What the fuck is this?” And I’ll go [laughs] “this is Loefah from nine years ago!”.

— Joe Muggs in conversation with dubstep pioneer and originator, Hatcha, over at FACT. [read the whole thing here]

Very sad news about Bob Casale from Devo passing away today.

Here’s Bob on guitar, with the band playing ‘Uncontrollable Urge’ on US TV in 1980.

Sometimes we play the music, sometimes the music plays us, sometimes… it plays.

— Ralf and Florian from Kraftwerk, as interviewed by Geoff Barton in Sounds magazine, September 1976.

Here’s an absolutely wonderful live video of Broadcast performing ‘Winter Now’ on TV. Trish Keenan, the lead singer, sadly passed away in January 2011.

Quick tips: writing a bio.

When writing an artist bio, all you’re doing is letting people know who you are, and what you do. Those two things should be in your head at all times when writing one of these things. I don’t want a long convoluted story about how at the age of 11 you picked up a guitar, or how your parents used to play Motown 45s in the house all the time - I want to know who you are, and what you do.

Keep it short, keep it snappy, and try to avoid release details. I can’t emphasize that enough, as all too often bands get carried away with bios and start talking about albums that are “coming out soon” in 2011 and forget to update it 3 years later, so instead of the bio acting as a little introduction to who you are and what you do, it becomes a kind of weird time capsule. It also shows you’re not bothered enough to update it over 3 years, so stay away from it.

Who are you, and what do you do: I don’t want to read 15 paragraphs of life history, or philosophical quotes about how much music itself means to you. It doesn’t mean anything, and it doesn’t help me figure out who you are and what you do.

Acknowledge the silliness of having to write them if you have to, and break the wall between you and the audience. It’s ok. It’s fine. Try to keep it in the first person as much as possible too, as doing stuff in the third person makes things tricky and insincere.

A few choice namedrops are OK, like if Steve Lamacq loves you, then sure, feel free to bob that in, but don’t give me a massive list of every publication that’s ever mentioned you. It’s boring, and if you’ve really been that well received, I’ll pick up on it anyway. It’ll speak for itself, in other words.

To sum up: keep it short and sweet, avoid release details, and don’t include your musical CV.

Regardless of what you think of the Gallaghers, or Oasis in general, this commentary from the always entertaining Noel on some of the bands videos is absolutely hilarious. Kudos to his honesty!

When Frank was asked to support the boy band Bros at Wembley. There were 50,000 people in the crowd. This was a huge stage for Frank – his biggest ever, by about 49,500 people. It was his chance to break through to the mainstream. But instead he chose to perform a series of terrible Bros cover versions for five minutes and was bottled off. The show’s promoter, Harvey Goldsmith, was glaring at him from the wings. Frank sauntered over to him and said, “I’m thinking of putting on a gig at the Timperley Labour Club. Do you have any tips?”

— An absolutely wonderful anecdote about comedian Chris Sievey, better known as comic singer Frank Sidebottom, from Jon Ronson in the Guardian today. [read all of it here]

Yes, we like to play somewhere nice… We stay out of pubs — places that stink of piss and bollocks

— Sigur Rós (now ex) keyboard player Kjartan Sveinsson talk to Select Magazine’s Roy Wilkinson back in January 2000.