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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cat...hat...mat...sat...

Hmmm...

Having been forced to listen to Magic FM for the last 48 hours (which, in it's infancy was really rather good - lots of Tony Bennett, Patsy Cline and the like - not the slick power pop MOR fest we know it as today) I have also been forced to consider whether people have simply given up making an effort when it comes to writing lyrics?
So many wet, flacid noodlings - I'm not talking grammatical lack of effort, more a sort of 'cod' emotional outpouring that leaves the insides gnawing at themselves.
"If you’re not for me then why does this distance maim my life?"
"I want to stand with you on a mountain, I want to bathe with you in the sea"
"You're gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul"

Hells bells.

Nevertheless, it also occured to me that where the outpouring is not, er, 'cod' in nature then the most banal lyrics can be transformed into something, well, broaching, sort of...well, you know what I mean...
"To give a love, you've gotta live a love, to live a love, you gotta be part of"
"How did I meet you ? I don't know. A messenger sent me in a tropical storm"
"Love soft as an easy chair, love fresh as the morning air"

Of course, there are others that I'm just genuinely fond of regardless of how 'rough around the edges' they may or may not be...
"Got a fist of pure emotion, got a head of shattered dreams"
" I like small speakers, I like tall speakers"
" Hey there, you with the sad face, come up to my place and live it up"

And yet if Neil Young could sing his way through the phone book and it would still make me weep - why not others...? Surely, there's your 'X-Factor'...

In the midst of musing over all this, I confess to becoming rather roused by Cher's 'Just Like Jesse James'. Beyonce's got nothing on her...


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Looking A Gift Horse In The (Proverbial) Jamboree Bag...



People have been asking how they can get their mitts on the 'Willis Jamboree Bag No.1' - it's distribution takes one of two forms.

Either;

Distribution Agent (ie: Me, dragging stock of said 'WJB No.1's' into carefully selected establishments targeted as potentially sympathetic locations for such cottage industry ventures such as this): Hello! Could you tell me who's responsible for the bookshop/cafe/store/tattoo parlour...?
Them: Who's responsible?
Me: Sorry, who's in charge of it?
Them: Who's in charge of it?
Me: Yes, who decides what goes in it?
Them: (Frowning) Who decides what goes in it? (Thankfully even he begins to tire of this 'Call and Response' exercise before one of us drops dead) Hmm, well I guess that would be (insert random, mumbled name here) - you could email them. Why? What is it regarding? (Heartily frowning now).
Me: (Realising I'm being met with what I like to refer to as a 'Head Of Security Response' I begin to explain) I'm a musician and I have collaborated with an art director friend of mine (http://www.antar.cc/) on a piece of design to give away. It's a Jamboree Bag.
Them: (Silence)
Me: It's not for sale. It's free. It's to give away.
Them: (Still silent, though the eyes betray a mind clearly thinking on it's feet now)
Me: Can I leave some here for your customers?
Them: Not really, I mean, we don't usually do that sort of thing, take that sort of thing (subtext: give a toss about that sort of thing).
Me: Really? Oh.
Them: No. The manager/owner wouldn't like it. I mean, we like to try and support artists but...
Me: Can I just show you some? See? They're really rather lovely and, as I said, it's a free piece of design for people to take home and keep.
Them: Yes, exactly - firstly there's nowhere for them to go...
Me: What about over there on that shelf?
Them: ...no, and secondly we couldn't have you just leaving free 'stuff' here.
Me: Really? Why not?
Them: Because then everyone would assume that they could help themselves to other things in the shop without paying for it.
Me: (Silence)
Them: (Silent. And victorious)
Me: Ok. Thank you. Goodbye.

Or;

Me: Hello! I'm a musician and I have collaborated with an art director friend of mine on a piece of design to give away. It's not for sale. It's free. It's to give away. Can I leave some here for your customers?
Them: Oh, thank you, they're lovely that's so kind, thanks for bringing them in, would you like a cup of tea...?!

If your establishment would like to stock a few of the 'Willis Jamboree Bags No.1' then drop me a line (outside London especially). In the meantime, it's available now at (amongst others):
http://labourandwait.co.uk/
http://idler.co.uk/academy/
http://www.donlonbooks.co.uk/
http://www.kristinarecords.com/
http://www.closeupfilmcentre.com/
http://www.clerkenwellmusic.co.uk/
http://www.roughtrade.com/site/about.lasso
http://www.dukeofuke.co.uk/
http://www.folkclothing.com/women/lambs-conduit-women
http://www.clerkenwell-tales.co.uk/wordpress/
http://www.thefamilybusinesstattoo.com/
http://toolslondon.wordpress.com/
http://www.artwords.co.uk/aboutus/
http://www.cubecompany.com/
http://www.whitesofwhitecross.com/