donderdag 19 december 2013

2013?

2013? Lou Reed is gone. Not a perfect day, but......reminds me how big his influence as an artist is, now even more.

But success in the music business is a very relative thing and Lou did his time in the rodeo.                                             

2013? More and more people decide to try out the bumpy road to fame and fortune. They often wonder why the glamour doesn't happen or... not as quickly and sensational as on TV. You sister says it's good, so.....duh?!

2013? You have to ease down a bit and take a deep breath. I think there's a lot more pros in it for us all in the end.
Yes, create excitement! You can still play the live-circuit and sell a few cd's afterwards, but on top of that-with a little bit of healthy self-reflection and some bold determination-you can get your own fifteen minutes. You can easily spread and share the best(!) of your (musical) works in a digital way (Fandalism, Jamendo, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube) and create your own "fans". If they like your music, they can spread it for you among their buddies. Some of these potentials can become loyal listeners, others will move on. A lot of helpful recourses to try out in your favor, a great one is Tom Robinson's Fresh On The Net.


2013? Nowadays you can bring out a new album without any restrictions of a label. I know it will give the listeners way too much to listen to. But I think the level of musicianship/produktion is so way up high, you can easily filter the bad from the goody, goody stuff.

2013? So glad my humble latest "The Ballooning Brouhaha" has brought me a few more new listeners and podcasters. It got me more feedback, radioplays (Croydon radio London, Tom Robinson's BBC6 Mixtape, Radio 98Eins Germany, got reviews from loyal journalists like Nathan Norgel). Yes, times have changed. Next year there'll be a new one, right on schedule.

1975! Back in the glam/disco/pre-punk days...
As I became such a crazy, curious and fanatic music lover when I was fresh and wet behind the ears, I used to tape every new, exciting tune I heard on the radio. Saved every dime I could to spent it on the new one of Bowie, Roxy Music, Boz Scaggs, Steve Miller, Zappa, John Martyn, Steely Dan and many more just for discovery purposes. I followed and supported their careers, even if the albums got crappier. Expectations. The human factor.
The excitement of discovery. Especially Zappa albums (talking vinyl here!) were unavailable or very expensive, so I was always glad to find one in a secondhand store. I spent hours and hours of magic shopping in Amsterdam (one called Concerto, 4 stores full of rare stuff) and I' m still proud of all those rare, often unknown and often pricey (aargh!) gems I've found there.

2013? Along the years I have created my own "recordstore" (a small music library of about 13.000 cd's, 1500 vinyl). Freedom for my ears, food for the mind & soul and not least inspiration for my own creations. I shall not count a 3TB harddisk full of the rest in mp3 format though. Modern times.

2013? I have never stopped looking for another obscure album.
The discovery is everywhere, not far away, just one mouseclick....voila! Streaming is the new buy.

So here are my most spotified albums of 2013 (very close but no sigar: the magnificent and surprising stragedy (marketing!) aka comeback album of Bowie, the verrrry Beatlesesque album of McCartney or the seemingly interesting Elvis Costello/ Roots combination, all simply great to have back for their age(!), but in my opinion, not all that strong compositionwise, but what do I expect):

Jonathan Wilson- Fanfare











Yes, I don' t like retro! But even if this recalls the seventies, it's is done in a very colourful, loving and organic way. The guest list, Crosby & Nash harmonies deja vuing around beautiful melodies. And there's also excitement in the playing and variety in the arrangements.

Darth Vegas- Brain Washing For Dirty Minds (Ok late 2012 release, late discovery)










10 years after their even crazier debut came this Zappa-esque slapstick rollercoaster of sounds. Full of funny musical surprises. Everytime I laugh my ass off when I play these 2 records. Long live Zappa.

Janelle Monae- Electric Lady











A grower. Had to listen again and again, it just crept under my skin.

 Prefab Sprout- Crimson/Red



          

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

So glad Paddy came out of his cave! No surprises here. Songwriting to the core.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
And for the sensational background information, here's a few books I've read this year
As usual, mostly sleezy biographies. Recommended:                                                                                                                                              

Neil Young- Waging Heavy Peace
Nick Kent, Apathy for the Devil A Seventies Memoir
Ryan O'Neal - Both of Us
Victor Bockris- Up-Tight The Velvet Underground Story                                                                        
Marc Elliot- Paul Simon                                                                                                                          
Ray Manzarek- Light My Fire                                                                                                                
Garth Bardsley- Stop The World (Anthony Newley)                                                                                 
Billy James- A Dream Goes On Forever (Todd Rundgren) Vol.1 & 2 
Paul Meyers- A Wizard A True Star (Todd Rundgren In The Studio) 
Al Kooper- Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards 
Bertus Borgers- Ik Hou Van Herman                

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