Posts filed under ‘All and Sundry’
One of the lovely things about having a blog is recording your heartfelt decisions for your readers/ or unsuspecting punters searching for New Years Eve porn – and then being able to come back to them years later and find out just how badly you’ve failed (or otherwise). Back in the bleak midwinter of 2009 I pledged to buy a new release every week of 2010 which I just about managed, wheras in 2008 I plumped for 9 must dos, of which I’ve managed about 4… And that’s in 3 years.
However – this year’s resolution is a must achieve… It might take me longer than a year, and it might take some pretty awful hours pretending I want to be a careerist film extra (which I definitely don’t)… But imagine when that curtain lifts and for just a fleeting second I see my horror stricken face running away from a Velociraptor on the very edge of the screen I can sit back and know I’ve won… See, my resolution is TO BE AN EXTRA IN JURASSIC PARK 4!
Jurassic Park is genius, 2 less so and 3 something of an abortion in a creative dinosaur-based franchise… But I have high hopes for 4. We’ve named a compilation after it, and I even bought the staggeringly expensive blu-ray box-set with a plastic T-Rex involved in it. Many a time I’ve adventured into Isla Nublar with strong adventurers (occasionally My First Tooth – Gammers is good to have as a Dilophosaurus wingman) and shit – I’d love a part, however insignificant, in the next one.
Now I’m well aware that this will probably lead me having to fly to Hawaii or something for filming. That’s a pretty small price to pay… And the journey starts tomorrow (the journey to be an extra, not actually fly to Hawaii – that would be pretty overzealous). If anyone who’s eyes drift over this page can help, do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment or something… You’d make me very happy.
Obviously being News Years resolutions and all it probably ought to be for the greater good, so I’d donate my fee to my fave charity Afrikids (do extras even get fees? If not, like say £250 for an extra role and £500 for a spoken part –ha!-) because otherwise this would be perhaps the most selfish NYR ever.
But yeah… Jurassic Park 4, the water must be rippling in your cup right now baby… After all… Life will find a way
Today someone sent me this site. It’s just brilliant… I think this is my favourite picture. I believe Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle would be considerably (even more) popular if this had been the original cover. That is all. Thanks.
One of the nicest thing about running a record label is a near constant flood of emails and calls and tweets and post and stuff. I know some people in a similar situation hate it, and it times it can get mindblowing… Help. I can’t answer everything!
But most of the time it’s ace, and I guarantee if you’re one of those rad people who have ever ordered something from Alcopop!, or sent us an email saying how much you dig us/the bands/ like my beard whatever – then you’ve definitely made my heart skip a beat with all excited happiness. It’s so nice to see happy things pop up.
Similar delights today, as an email arrived from the good people at Rum Fest this Saturday, inviting myself and Kev (BSM/POP/Douche without the e) to head on down and get involved in the festivities! “We’d love to” we said. Now, don’t get me wrong – many music festivals this year have essentially been rumfests in themselves (a bottle of backstage Captain Morgn and Coke at Reading led to a VERY messy Friday) but this is like, all about the rum – oh, and reggae.
Rum and Reggae! And notoriously schlonged pornstar Ron Jeremy, who seems to be launching a new rum… Unbelievably it’s not called Rum Jeremy (which would be the best name) but still – that’s kinda cool. Loads of tasting, exotic food and did I mention the reggae? It’ll be like being in the Carribean (or at least the Jamaica bar on the Cowley Road in Oxford which you should definitely go to!)
You should come – we can have a rum party together! I think it’s on in the afternoon (or pretty much all day really), so post rumfest booze will also be required. Brilliant. In the meantime, take a look at this ridiculous trailer for dirty uncle Ron’s rum? Ridiculous but amazing kinda sums it up. It really has to taste magnificent! Thinking we might try and interview him too… But what should we ask him? Any thoughts hit us up here, or on twitter. Presumably something on whether he prefers the strong tangy strains of a good Lemon Hooch, or the more subtle smooth taste of a Smirnoff (Moscow) Mule?
Wonder if he’ll be as nice as Jimmy Greaves
So I’m really aware that this blog used to be full of personal stuff, insights into running (or muddling along at least) with an indie record label, and all the lovely stuff we got upto in the name of Alcopop! True, it almost always involved an inordinate amount of booze, and usually some level of Kev related ‘hilarious consequences’ – but what with our little Hooch baby growing up to and way beyond its 50th release, taking on more and busier bands and getting a kitten (Alcokitten) – the blog’s kinda suffered a bit. Still relevant and all, but more news and announcements and less personal stuff…
This may be good. You may not want to read my ramblings, but for those of you who do, rad! Cos you’ll be getting em. And what better way to start thinks I – than by sharing some of the awesome people who make Alcopop! what it is behind the scenes. So, primarily for folk who press their own CDs, need posters doing, want to get their songs on iTunes and all those unglamorous things that just need done (I asked on Twitter and lodsa folk said it would be useful) – here’s the people we tend to use, who will definitely see you right…
I’m not saying there’s no one else, and there’s plenty other good guys out there that we’ve used – but coming from a popper to a champ – I couldn’t recommend these guys more!
Pressing ‘proper’ CDs/vinyl – DMS… Based in Plymouth and run by the loveliest people around – my amour for DMS may not be grounded by using heaps of competition… But I can safely say that every single release pressed by us in traditional packaging has come through these guys, and they’ve never let us down. Reasonably priced, always beating their own very quick deadlines and excessively personal – they have myriad options, and are really up on green packaging should you be into that kind of thing.
Pressing promo CDS – Tom at E1.. I was introduced to this guy by Kev BSM, and have found him to be by far the cheapest option around – without fail delivering promos within 72 hours should they be needed (ignore the lack of proper website and just email). Tom also masters cheaply (and awesomely), and most importantly for me… Sorts out artwork without needing it on a template or anything stupid. I just say, Tom – here are some words and a picture – can you put them on the disc, and he does. Natch!
Making Tees – Phil at Music is my Poison … Another indie operator, Phil not only shares his name with the Fresh Princes dad, but he also makes good tees, jackets, jumpers. Fuck, he’d probably make you leather jerkins if you asked him… Again, prices are good, turnaround times are short – but what I really like about Phil is that you go to him with an idea and he gives you better ones! I want some silver tees I say to Phil.. Do you fancy some glow in the dark ones too he says. I flip with delight and order 100. Obvs! Phil@musicismypoison.com
Alcopop’s sewing man… Barry at Sew Fuckin’ What… Also known as Oxygen Thief, Barry occupies his time in the rather unlikely occupation of sewing things. He makes hats, scarves, and all of a sudden will pop up in your inbox saying, hey – here’s a really good idea, shall we do it. Yes you say, feed him a small bit of cash and hey presto – you’re warm for winters to come (srsly, check out the upcoming My First Tooth release in a few weeks). We’ve used him several times and he’s ace!
Getting stuff on iTunes… Believe Digital… Having used 5 different digital providers, we’re fairly clued up on this side of things, and while we had reasonable experiences at most of our others, we’ve found Believe to be pretty damn awesome. Always trying to go beyond the call of duty and do more for you than you thought possible, our catalogue swiftly migrated over to them when they got us features on 7 Digital and eMusic, front page releases on iTunes, 20k plays for ute in a week on Deezer and loads more besides. They also run Zimbalan if you’re an unsigned band looking for high quality distribution for a set fee rather than a percentage. Not used that in truth, but can only imagine it’s a cracker…
Physical Merch (AKA badges and stickers and stuff)… Awesome Merch – Yes it’s obvious, but yes they work! Time after time, I’ve given Awesome Merch stupidly awkward orders and tight deliveries and they’ve always nailed them. Always! Really approachable and another lot good for helping out photoshop dickheads like me, love the fact you can order really small quantities, mix up badge designs, and more importantly that there’s no stress or bother. Genuinely simple!
Artwork.. We use a combination of many different artworkers, and I couldn’t possibly name drop them all. Well worth checking out though are Graphic Bomb (Alcopop050 sensible soccer sleeves), Kev BSM’s girlfriend Gemma (Alcopopular 3 and 4), Secretly Swedish (all the Stagecoach stuff), Tony Proud (Wolf Am I and forthcoming new website), Laura Bell (all the PoP OBL posters), Adrian Dutt (Alcopop vs BSM compilation) and Lewes Herriot – all of JoFo’s stuff… Joe Idle Hands is pretty good at making websites look all arty and nice too actually.
Concept releases… Tom AC/DSleeve – Now a lot of these we do ourselves, and I’m not about to start recommending Frisbee manufacturers, but we’ve recently done our first job with the lovely Tom at AC/DSleeve – and he’s tremendous. Good value (for the time and effort her puts in) you get an amazing product, really hyper-personal service, and can be a lot more cost effective if you’re more likely to sell 200, rather than 2,000 CDs. Tom’s stuff WILL fly off the merch table as well. Jewel case you say sir? Fuck you buddy, I’d rather have a pop up digifile with interchangeable covers hand stamped in braille thanks. He’s that fucking good!
Sending massive files… www.wetransfer.com – Simple, huge, pretty pictures. I couldn’t recommend this site more. I literally cried with delight when I found this site. Forget paying for rival sites. This baby owns! We also host files with a combination of box.net and dropbox which are both pretty useful too.
Hosting music to listen too… www.soundcloud.com – Sorry to be obvious here, but in my humble opinion there’s nothing right now that touches soundcloud for simplicity, ease of sharing – and embedding. I’ve actually a fully paid user I’m so into this site, and for me – it solves so many problems. OK, in fairness, it is susceptible to the odd outage which can be seriously frustrating if you happen to be delivering a bunch of promos that day, but it’s very rare. I find a lot of bloggers like soundcloud and download links now, so they can effortlessly have a listen without going to the effort of downloading something they don’t like.
Buying Envelopes… When I was at Hevy festival this year I recall having a really in-depth chat with Kev BSM and Mike Hassle (I think) about the relative merits of ordering in different stock levels of T-Shirts to which a haggard Ben Rocksound (with hungover eyes like tiny black peanuts) gruffly interrupted, castigating us for having the most boring conversation of all time. Unbeknownst to him, I’m just about to trump it (with you, yo). But, in all seriousness, if you’re a label requiring some serious amounts of jiffy bags – keep it simple and get em from eBay. Packaging has hit its costing zenith on there, and they are SERIOUSLY cheap.
SO yeah – I hope that helps, and if you think I’m wrong or have other real good options do let me know… As I say, we’ve by no means used all the competition, and I’m sure there are lots of wonderful guys out there, but I guess we get asked about these kind of things all the time, and this is the PoP guide to the best people we’ve used…! <3 Rock on!
As you may or may not know, the annual (well, this is the second) Alcopop/Stagecoach invitational MegaDrive tournament takes place tomorrow in Tuffnell Park. The Megadrives are dusted down for the night, booze a plenty flows, and men and women of the record industry (along with a few pals and NBA heros) take to the pads. The stakes are high, the hangovers mighty…
The buckets can’t be bought!
If anyone should like to pop on down and get involved (it’s at Aces and Eights in Tuffnell Park tomorrow-Wednesday- from 7.30pm), there will be much boozery, fine times and some good ol NBA time… And if anyone wants to get involved in the tournament (mentioned it on Twitter a few times but in case you missed it), in case of last minute dropouts, do hit me up! In the interests of fairness both teammates and represented teams are drawn, and if you see how close I was to my favourites Charlotte – oh, Dan 4 or 5 Magicians and I used to be friends….
Here is the draw:
So we’re nearly here – and as the sun shimmers in the sky, and Tim from the Windmill, Brixton dashes back and forth with boxes of meat for the free BBQ – things are looking nice for Saturday! It’s time once again for Alcopopalooza (the 3rd believe it or not) and with it, perhaps the most glorious line up we’ve ever seen… Just bloody have a look at it see… Sweeping the Nation would recommend it for sure, The 405 reckon it’s bang on - and tickets are selling swiftly.
Get yours from here! The last two years have been super fun, and there’s plenty o’ meat, booze flowing, NBA Jam on screen (providing the megadrive works), acoustic delights outside and rock n’ roll in…
Without further ado – here’s the line up:
My First Tooth
The Attika State
Katie Malco (acoustic)
Shoes & Socks Off (acoustic)
Hymns (First acoustic set ever!)
Winner right – do come! Doors are at 3pm and it would be bloody lovely to see you!
So – even though it kinda seems like yesterday that Kev and I got home from watching Midget in Stamford and kicked off Alcopop! Records – bizarrely… We’ve been going a whole 49 releases (and 5 years to boot). This is, quite frankly, wonderful and truly humbling for us, and its with great thanks to all you awesome people who regularly support us and the stonking bands we’re putting out – that we’re about to hit the 50th milestone… Alcopop050 down, and plenty more to come!
It’s been a really nice time for us, sitting back and taking stock on what’s been before, going through all the old photos and generally recapping on everything we could remember in the last five years – but we’ve got a massive year ahead, so there will be a few moments of nostalgia before hammering on with details of ALCOPOP050 baby! Up for sale now!!!
First up – names and deets – basically this badboy is coming out on CD and Jacket (yeah, physical wear it out summer jacket) and is called ‘We grew up on a diet of Jurassic Park and Sensible Soccer (and all we have left is this lousy record label)’, It contains 17 tracks from just some of our awesome bands from the very beginning (Emily by Encyclopedia) to the present day (including the as yet unreleased A Casting Call by LightGuides). Full track listing here. All up in the shop now and artwork features (as you’d expect I guess) dinosaurs, Streetfighter II and Sensible Soccer – and also has loads of photos on the inside of well – Team PoP! Bands, Kev and I, you lot – and one of Lomana Lua Lua for reasons that will become clear ☺
CDs are cool and all, but because we bloody love exciting stuff too – we’ve taken a nod from our (well, Jack PoP anyways) fabourite label ever Fierce Panda, and created our very own Alcopop050 jacket. They’re being produced as we speak so excuse the crap artist rendering in the shop (that was mine – ahem) but they’re made by Dickies, hand embroidered with the Alcopop logo, as well as featuring a New York Cosmos style Alcopop Records patch. They’re very limited to 50 and available in S, M, L or XL.
They will be fairly pricey (£30 with comp CD) but these are real expensive to make, and are ace quality… However, because we love you guys we’re also offering a ‘I’m a bit skint’ version too – where we’ll be offering the jackets + CD pack for exactly cost price. It’s not a limited discount, just to make sure that whether you’re skint or rich – if you want a PoP jacket + comp CD, you can damn well have it ☺.
Other than that can we just say, thanks for sticking by us for 50 releases – and here’s to 50 more!
So in the midst of polishing the oh-so-fine edges of the compilation that is Alcopop050 and getting everything for the sunshiney month of August (so much happening we’re all excited) – I was approached by some handsome folk from mp3HD who have asked me to pick a top ten tracks for ‘saving’. Saving from what I’m not entirely sure, but they make, like, the best ever MP3s apparently so I thought I’d see how good they are. Obviously we’re ALL about physical formats at Alcopop!, but that doesn’t mean digital doesn’t have its place… Whatsmore they were very nice, and are sending me a free flipcam so I could hardly say no.
So – I’ve undertaken that impossible task of picking a Top Ten which would almost certainly be different if selected tomorrow But – here goes! I would have of course packed it with Alcopop! acts given the push, but I thought I ought to make it a bit more diplomatic…
So here goes… In no particular order (and missing anything from Hundred Reasons’ Ideas Above Our Station and Cable’s When Animals Attack I’ve just realised – eek! My bad)
Symposium – Fizzy
Fight Like Apes – Something Global
Johnny Foreigner – Salt, Pepper and Spinderella
Andrew WK – The Song
Elephants – Strong Arms
Gene – Fighting Fit
Pavement – Stereo
Rocket From The Crypt – On A Rope
The Xcerts – Aberdeen 1987
As festival season slowly creeps up on us it’s time to start thinking about which ones will be worth a look this year. I was all set to write a beautiful long and winding post to help out, but then the web editor of Aloud.com got in touch to help me out. She writes for a living, so we thought – yeah, lets go Callie! Her selection is strong, though she unfortunately missed Southsea, ROTW, Sothport Rocks, SWN and Alcopopalooza (ahem) which will all be ace. For now though, try these bad boys!
The Great Escape
This Brighton festival is in its sixth year now, remaining to be a culmination of the best new talent handpicked for your festival pleasure – seriously, it’s everywhere. Undoubtedly you’ll discover some new fave bands, new fave albums and maybe even have time for a cheeky ice cream by the seaside…
The acts I’d be most excited about seeing at The Great Escape this year are Warpaint, Niki & The Dove and The Heartbreaks… But the entire line-up will be completely awesome, and with tickets pricing from £45 for a 3 day weekender pass you might be able to choose one (or two?!) other festivals from this list too… Also at the Unofficial Great Escape look out for The Alcopop/This is Fake DIY stage at The Patti Pav which will be ace!
So if you fancy Escaping Greatly on the 12-14 May this year then check out Aloud.com for tickets and more info.
Taking place in Camden, London (obvs) you can definitely expect a bit of a messy bank holiday weekend with the Camden Crawl. With a line up including the likes of Johnny Foreigner, Frankie & The Heartstrings and Dananananaykroyd you can expect a couple of days of mayhem, soundtracked with some awesome tunes.
Plus, you never know, Noel Fielding might pop along for a pint (unless that puts you off – then he probably won’t).
The Camden Crawl will be the 30th April – 1st May this year and weekend tickets are priced from £54. You’ll be able to get your Camden Crawl tickets at Aloud.com.
Truck Festival is having a go at it’s 14th year on July 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2011. Previous artists include The Futureheads, The Young Knives, Ute (yes!) and These New Puritans so you know you’re in good company. Originating as a respite from the predictable line ups of mainstream festivals it has grown in popularity year by year and definitely won’t disappoint anyone looking for a bit of an alternative music scene.
The line up already includes ace acts such as Fixers and Trophy Wife, with more being added all the time – so keep checking up for more announcements! Steventon, Oxfordshire might seem slightly out in the sticks, but you get a lot of wicked bands for your £99 weekend ticket meaning you won’t be parting with your savings too painfully…
This Surrey-based festival has a pretty impressive history of good bands ranging from Blood Red Shoes to Laura Marling, White Rabbits to Enter Shikari. Weekend tickets are £45 with camping included, and it’s also just on the outskirts of London – easy peasy to get to.
With a dance tent, an introducing stage, a main stage which will feature Jumping Ships, (and a beer tent) there will be something brilliant right up everybody’s proverbial alley. Catch it this year on 22nd and 23rd July.
Go to Aloud.com for more info, news and Redfest tickets.
With folky Fleet Foxes headlining this years Green Man festival I’d definitely recommend this one. In the depths of Wales, the Brecon Beacons to be precise, you also get a bit of a country retreat thrown in for good measure too.
This festival has a proper hippy vibe to it with all night bonfires, literature readings and beautiful scenery enhancing your weekend of music. Ute are playing too! This year you’ll need to head down to Glanusk Park Estate on the 19th, 20th and 21st August to enjoy the Green Man eco-friendly festivities.
So if you fancy heading over to Green Man Festival get your tickets from Aloud.com.
Thanks Callie – cheers for that!