Thursday, 16 July 2009

Two Weeks

In exactly two weeks I'm going on holiday. Before then I intend to record an album that I can sell at Summer in the City (and elsewhere, why not?!) so I started that today.

It's nice to play some of these songs again as it's been a while. Unfortunately I'm remembering why recording isn't my favourite part of being a musician. Namely that my equipment is shit and so for every minute I spend recording I spend about half an hour fixing things and re-recording. (Which I believe would put me in an infinite loop, and that's never good.) To be fair, it's not all shit, I've got two great mics (one nicked from my cuz) so it should sound good once I've spent many half hours fixing things. I think it's my computer that's the problem, I could do with one that was built in the last five years if I'm honest.

Still, this album will be easier than usual because the point of it is to record everything live. No layers, no harmonies - just how I would play the songs at a gig. I thought that would be a good thing to take to SitC because that's how people will hear the songs there.

I'm not sure whether to sell it online yet. If I did it would mean that eventually there would be multiple versions of songs available, because most of these tracks I intend to put on an album with full instrumentation behind them... But there should be a fair bit of difference between them, plus people don't have to buy both! So I probably will. Financially it'd be a waste not to, and it'll be nice for people who can't make it to the gathering.

Early draft of the track list looks like this:
(not in order)

The world's still ending (but it's cool)
Another day, another motorway
If we're telling the truth
Happy Friday
Alone Again
Morning After

Then possibly one of the instrumentals I've put on here, one of several half written songs that are on here, and/or an acoustic version of a track from the new EP (as well as Happy Friday).

There's a couple of names you won't recognise, and I think I'll try to keep it that way until it's ready, I don't like the idea of releasing something with nothing new on it.

I've loads of other things I wanna talk about but I'm going to restrain myself because this is long already. Remind me to discuss the idea of the Malteser Sessions and also to tell you about my plans for Scratch That.



Sunday, 12 July 2009


Just got this message on youtube,

Apologies for unsubscribing.
I'm somewhat obsessive compulsive about the number of subscriptions I have.
It must be divisible by three and it wasn't when I was subscribed to you.
I still appreciate your music, as well as the huge amount of effort I know goes into a lot of your videos and will probably continue to watch them - just as an unsubscriber now.
Wish you all the best!

1) That's weird.
2) If you hadn't told me I wouldn't have known and there'd be nothing to apologise for. (And there still isn't tbh, you can use the site how you want!)
3) I have (at least) 3 channels - make up the numbers!
4) Having unsubscribed, they had 61 subscriptions, which clearly does not divide by three.

That's all.
Goodnight. x

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Aim for Happiness

I made an EP about a month ago, you may remember... It's now all done and ready and available. It's called Aim for Happiness, and is on itunes and amazon mp3, which were by far the most popular choices in my (very scientific) poll.

Unfortunately, it turns out amazon are a bunch of muppets. I sent the track details, under the band name Blue Skies obviously, but for some reason that I can't figure out, they decided to add a 'The' in front of that. So my EP is listed on amazon under the band name 'The Blue Skies'. It's a pretty bad mistake to make and they tell me it happens all the time... I don't know how they can have such a terrible system in place without sorting it out. But what's worse is that even now I've seen the problem and let them know, apparently there is nothing they can do about it. I told them (in not so many words) that that was bullshit. Because if Radiohead uploaded an album and it came out as 'The Radiohead' something would be done! Still waiting to hear back from that one - not holding my breath.

So I don't know what to do, I can't find anyone that can do anything. The only thing I've been offered is to have the EP taken down from the site, and that would only hurt me and the people who want to buy it but can't use itunes. Oh and they also said they could change the name for me... Change the name to anything in the world apart from 'Blue Skies'. Brilliant, nice one.

I know it's not a major catastrophe, but I don't think it's too much to ask that they use the name I gave them. Still, people can get it there and just change the name, or have it under the wrong name, it doesn't really matter!

And the good news is that itunes has processed it, and all appears to be well there. I'm exporting a video for one of the songs now, so hopefully that will go up tonight and people might, yunno - buy it! It's quite a big step but since I really took it a month ago, and have since just been waiting for it to happen, it doesn't really feel like one.

Also Cheeky is sorting out the final things I need to order t-shirts, I'll probably start selling those at Summer in the City.

Oh and as some people have asked, I currently have no plans to make physical copies of this EP, for one thing that costs money, and also it's only four tracks - doesn't really seem worth it. I'm planning to put together a sort of live album to sell at Summer in the City with at least 10 of my tunes performed acoustically. I've borrowed a second mic from my cousin for the next few weeks so hopefully I'll have it done by the time I go away at the end of July.

I was also thinking about doing some lo fi recordings... See I'm going to be in Malta for about three weeks and I'd like to get some songs written while I'm away. I thought I could record them on my camera and then sell them, but not properly - set up a paypal thing where you can pay any amount and then you get a link to a download of the songs. Like Radiohead did with In Rainbows... Pay what you want. That way people can't moan about the sound quality! And to be fair the quality will be alright, I just don't plan on setting up a studio out there! Might not be everyone's cup of tea but I love some lo fi stuff... I mean check this shit! To be fair though I just fucking love Conor Oberst. But even so, I think the not particularly brilliant recording quality really adds to that tune.

Well, I'll stop the rambling now. If you have anything to add/ask about any of that then go ahead, I'll be in the comments! (Would especially like to hear from someone who works at amazon and has the power to remove the 'the'!)


EDIT: Video is up now, click here.