Has a record company ever taken you to dinner? I know that Jeffrey Lewis has some strong thoughts about that, but I have been lucky enough to have a few of these dinners, some in honour of me, some in honour of others, but never in Tokyo (until now).
With bands still enthusing about recording for vinyl and a new generation embracing the physicality of a 7" single it looks like there is still a future and despite it still being the preserve of the few with downloads clocking in to the billions a year, at least it hasn't been dead and buried.
Okay, I know, it's slacker and 'Oh-So-Western' to go to Starbucks when we should be eating the more traditional okayu (rice porridge), tamagoyaki (an omelette type of thing), tsukemono pickles (random pickled things), nori (dried seaweed) & natto (fermented soy beans).
So, what did we learn at South by South West this year? Well, firstly that it can rain in Texas and did, almost solidly for two days. Countless burger buns were transformed into deformed sponges and all the swag shops were selling umbrellas at exorbitant prices, which, mostly fell apart within minutes of use and in my case, before I had even left the shop.
Some guy at one of the shows had a placard held what said: "WHAT COLOUR UNDERPANTS ARE YOU WEARING?". I'd like to say the crowd were stunned into silence when I told them I don't wear underwear onstage, but as it was quieter than a comedy club that Madonna's doing stand up at (did you see that thing? Holy sh** balls!!) I'm not sure anyone noticed, least of all me!
DEAL REAL, the iconic record store rooted in UK music culture from the early 2000's until its closure in 2007, returned over the weekend for Record Store Day, for a six week pop-up run.
'EIGHT' was the bringing together of eight artists, four from Manchester, UK and four from Wuhan, China. Our collaboration was in celebration of the year of China/UK cultural exchange, 2015.
I've previously written about Josh Savage a very talented singer songwriter. In addition to possessing prodigious talent, Josh has to be one of the h...
With virtually every band that is making waves at the moment seemingly in attendance, it almost seems irrelevant that the Sunday headliner is still to be announced as whoever that may be is going to be the cherry on top of a bountiful cake.
At a jam-packed London concert when I was 16 years old, a man put his hand on my leg. I knew straight away that it was absolutely not okay. I did not know him, he had not spoken to me, and most importantly, at no point I answer yes to anything like, 'excuse me miss, can I put my hand on your thigh for a while?'.
The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku was our next stop... It is surreal, from the moment you arrive at The R. R. your senses are attacked with pure bling and eclectic over-the-top-ness.
Declan McKenzie is a name that will be up in lights before he reaches the end of his teenage years but there could well be more than just his talent emerging from this competition that is proving to be one of the most important in UK music.
Sleeping with Sirens recently released their fourth album, 'Madness' (via Epitaph), which has been reviewed by many as their most accessible album to date (and debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200).
As much as I adore my Spotify subscription for music discovery, music creators can not live off the pittance from the streaming model, which is why I buy physical when I come across a piece of music that I really want to hear it again.
The first of the two nights was very strange. I've been coming here to Japan for well over 20 yrs now and I can safely say that was the oddest gig I've EVER done. The crowd were silent in between songs. They usually are quiet but this mob were SILENT!!
This second installment will not be a blog about jet lag because seriously how boring would that be? But it would be unfair not to mention it because it is significant. I.e. Day one actually lasted two days, one of which was spent on planes.