I am writing to inform you our new EP ‘How Not To Get Into The Music Industry’ is out today as a download and limited edition CD/self help booklet. You can listen/order it here…
We have also made a video for one of the tracks. It’s called ‘Nom Nom’ and the video is sort of like a weird M&S advert/total rip off of Fade To Grey. Watch it here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li1rOkhZZxo
In case the context of this new EP is lost on you, I signed a publishing contract a few years ago and started getting sent lists of ‘artists’ who were looking for songs. Ronan Keating was looking for songs referencing getting back with his wife. Rhianna was looking for “interesting co-writes”. Will Young was looking for songs that sounded like Bronski Beat. He seemed to be looking for ages which nearly prompted me to write and suggest he just got in touch with Bronski Beat. Sometimes the lists would provide helpful instructions like “must have big chorus”. So contrived is most of the music being produced that it seemed only right that we should take the piss out of it. So we have. The EP comes with a self help booklet detailing the story behind these four songs and my inability to write a hit. This is part one of the story. Part two will be ‘How Not To Get Into The Advertising Industry’.
Hope you like it and thanks for your continued support of our endeavours.
Dear Misty’s Big Adventure Sympathiser,
Right, we’re back, where were we? We’ve been making our 6th album The Brain Cupboard, but it’s not finished yet. These things take time. Like a fine whine.
But the good news is our new EP ‘HOW NOT TO GET INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY’ is being released on the 2nd of November, including a video for ‘Nom Nom’. HOWEVER, you can preorder it today if you so wish. Just clicky da linky…
Do this and you get one song to download today and a ‘Big Man’ badge included. The EP comes with a self help booklet written by myself explaining our tried and tested methods of how not to get into the music industry. And it has some lovely pictures by artist Rosie Carmichael. It’s a good package. And who doesn’t like a good package? I think I made a euphemism. I’m not the kind of man who does that. I just mean I like a good package. Ah Jesus.
Speaking of Jesus…
What with the grim inevitability of Christmas approaching, we’ve booked some Xmas gigs. We will do a Misty’s set of new and old songs, followed by an encore of our ever expanding Xmas repertoire entitled The Misty’s Big Adventure Xmas Extravanganza which many have said is “very Christmassy”.
20th of December – NORTHAMPTON Phipps Brewery Company
21st of December – MANCHESTER Gullivers
22nd of December – LONDON Islington Academy 2
24th of December – BIRMINGHAM Hare and Hounds
I will personally bother you on the 2nd of November when our EP and Nom Nom video are officially released.
When the floor collapses. Which is what happened to me in what I call The Bungalow of Doom. The Bungalow of Doom is where I live. Though the floor has been fixed now, I haven’t started lugging the records back into the room. I feel it’s time to downsize. But I’m a real hoarder. I’ve always collected things. When I was a child I used to collect Dandy and Beano annuals. And He Man figures. And Lego. Now I’m older I collect Dog Paintings, weird postcards, records and Ted Glen figures (from Postman Pat). The Ted Glen thing is because I was scared of him when I was little. If I ever own a house with a spare room, it will be known as The Ted Glen Suite. Decorated in his colours, there will be hundreds of the same Ted Glen figure, like the Terracotta Warriors. And looming large, a huge Big Brother style painting of him will be hung on the wall. Ted Glen Is Watching You.
There’s nothing wrong with collecting things until you run out of room. Then it becomes a problem. Even though I don’t collect most of the things I did as a child, I can’t imagine getting rid of them. The He Man figures live in a suitcase, except Castle Grayskull, which naturally wouldn’t fit. But it’s easy enough to keep them out the way. Records, however, grow like a virus. In the unlikely event a hipster may read this, mark my words, you think it is cool when you’ve got a hundred, but when you end up with thousands, you will feel disgusted with yourself. I couldn’t possibly listen to them all. Couldn’t, wouldn’t and probably shouldn’t.
A few months ago I had an epiphany. It was a beautiful sunny day, and yet I was in a record shop in Bristol. I was on the hunt for The Fall LPs that have so far eluded me, when I noticed a young man frantically flipping his way through a box of records. Next to him stood his patient girlfriend. They looked like a couple from an idyllic American teen movie. And as he flipped, I wanted to go over to him, halt his flipping, look him in the eye and say “Stop”.
“You’re looking for something, a record of importance to you, but pause a moment. Take a look around, your beautiful girlfriend waits patiently for you, the sun is shining and you have youth on your side. You don’t want to be doing this. You feel it’s important that you find what you’re looking for, but you will never truly find it. Once you have it, the buzz will subside, and there will be another record calling you. You will never be content. Walk away, into the sunshine, and never return. You’ll have a better afternoon. You’ll have a better life.”
And then I found ‘Grotesque’, The Fall’s 3rd studio album and I forgot all about it. It’s a good album, not an easy listen, but definitely worthwhile owning.
The truth has been slowly dawning on me though. This needs to stop. So that’s my resolution for this year. I’m still going to buy records of course, but I’m going to make room for the new ones by letting go of some of the old ones. A few years ago I was forced into putting all the records into genres because I could no longer find anything. I then ended up having to come up with sub genres. My kid’s music section got split into music ‘by children’ and ‘for children’, my Religious section into religions (you’d be surprised how many synagogue records are out there) and my World music section got split into continents, and then into individual countries. Today I picked up a record from the European section as an initial attempt at downsizing. It was ‘Yodels of Switzerland’. I decided to keep it in case it might come in handy one day.
This isn’t going to be easy…
On this day, 48 years ago, the genius producer Joe Meek killed himself aged 37. Most people know Telstar by The Tornados, but there are a wealth of recordings that are worth hearing. I listen to a lot of music, but nothing quite retains the freshness of his productions. I must have listened to ‘I Hear A New World’ a thousand times, and yet I put it on today and still felt the same excitement and inspiration when I first heard it 15 years ago. And he made it in his living room in 1960! That doesn’t sound as weird a concept these days, but in 1960 it was very unusual to make records in your house. It’s even in stereo!
I made a mix a few years ago as an introduction to his work. You can listen to it here…
Most of this music was made in an era when engineers in studios wore white coats and tinkering with the equipment was frowned upon. Joe Meek ripped up the rule book, working from home and customising his compressors and EQ units. He even had magic boxes that no one was allowed to look inside which he would use for crazy sound effects. There are sounds on his records I have no idea how he achieved, and I’ve tried to rip them off many times! What he could have done with the technology available now would probably make Aphex Twin look tame.
So thanks Joe for the endless inspiration, wherever you are. Making records with Sun Ra on Saturn I hope. This evening, put on ‘I Hear A New World’, turn off the lights and go into Space.
We have two Xmas gigs in Manchester and Birmingham coming up….
19th of December – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
24th of December – The Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
Without giving too much away, they will feature Jam Jars, Wombles, Snowmen, Mince Pies and Daleks, as well as Dumbettes, Munty Biscuit, Biscuits and Erotic Volvos.
Meanwhile, in Oxford at the North Wall theatre, there is a production of Wind In The Willows on until the 10th of January for which I wrote all the music and was musical director. It’s really very funny and I’m proud to have worked on it. You will definitely be able to tell I composed all the tunes! Children will enjoy it but there’s a lot in it for adults too. I believe it’s what they call a family show! It’s not your average version of Wind In The Willows. General reviews have said it’s “utterly bonkers”, “nuts” and “surreal”. I have no idea what they’re talking about!
Here are the dates…
Definitely go if you can!
And definitely go to our Xmas gigs!
And definitely have a good Xmas even if you can’t make any of this stuff.
My nephew Joseph asked me this question a couple of years ago. I still don’t know the answer. Stumped by a seven year old. I no longer buy him Christmas presents.
I can’t tell you what we’re even doing, but I can tell you what we’ve been doing. I’ve been working on the music for a theatre production of Wind In The Willows. It’s on at The North Wall in Oxford in December. I offered to play the part of Toad but apparently they want someone who can act.
We’ve recorded some songs for a new EP called ‘How To Not Get Into The Music Industry’. And also the next single from The Dumbettes entitled ‘Egyptian Shumba’. They should be out fairly soon. And then we start recording our 6th proper album ‘The Brain Cupboard’, which is now pretty much good to go. We have two gigs this month. The 22nd of October at The Windmill in Brixton, London. And the 25th of October at The Actress and Bishop in Birmingham. KateGoes will be supporting us at both of these shows and you should definitely see them play. More shows to be announced soon.
We should soon have some Misty’s tea towels for sale. But in the meantime, buy all our albums…
Quite a serious blog this one wasn’t it. Not many jokes. I will leave you with knowledge…
Satan likes a coffee at Godforsaken Services.
He says at least in Hell you don’t need a spray tan.
The Spray Tans fought against The Persians in 480 BC led by King Leonidas.
They are now led by Simon Cowell.
As I once wrote in our song ‘Rock and Roll Invoice’, my career choice was Rock and Roll. As such, theoretically most of my time is taken up writing songs. In reality, it’s impossible to be permanently writing. I never try and force a song like Gary Barlow does. I aspire to be Gary Barhigh. So I generally just wander around waiting for an idea to come along. This leaves me with a lot of time to fill, and as I have very few interests, I’m always searching for something new to do. One thing I do enjoy doing is lugging stuff for people. I’m a very good lugger. Sometimes I lug things that don’t even need lugging. And then I lug them back again. In fact when people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m an experienced lugger/songwriter, and in many ways I’m more proud of the things I’ve lugged than the songs I’ve written. It’s sad to think the songs will outlive me but the lugs are already distant memories.
Recently I have a new hobby. My 6 year old niece Lily informed me she has a sports day coming up. I asked her if she’d be doing the egg and spoon race, and she said yes. It so happens that I was undefeated champion of the egg and spoon race when I was her age. The only sport I was ever good at. And they stopped doing it at sports day by the time I was 8. I never felt I reached my full potential. But even today, when I have to get the boiled egg from the hot pan to the cold water tap, I amaze myself with the level of skill at which I manoeuvre across the kitchen. It really is impressive, and I’m not being immodest. So I have decided to train Lily. I want her to demolish the competition. I have been teaching her all I know, different techniques, ways of putting off the enemy. I have become convinced it is psychological, that just the power of your mind can keep the egg on the spoon. Or even the spoon on the egg? And I have told her that I won’t be angry if she doesn’t win, but I will be disappointed. That always works. She is representing our blood line and should remember that when she races. If this goes well, I am planning on setting up an egg and spoon race club for children. It won’t be pleasant. It’ll be like if the Spartans set up an after school club. I will let you know how she gets on at sports day.
Right there’s another blog. It wasn’t that good but it was free so what more do you want from me?!,?
I AM CONTENT PROVIDER. I AM SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT.
And if anyone wants anything lugging, get in touch.
We’ve been working on our 6th album ‘The Brain Cupboard’ for the past three years. I’ve written about 60 songs of which 13 will go on it. Which leaves 47 songs languishing in my head, and believe me when I say no one wants to spend too long languishing in there. So we started recording them, some in Highbury Studio in Kings Heath, and some in our own studio The Audiology Centre. ‘Lumpy Fun’ is the result, and it’s packed full of lumpy goodness. It has 24 tracks, and is 59 minutes and 29 seconds long. It was meant to be an hour but I somehow managed to lose 31 seconds somewhere. It features songs about bread, Bruce Willis, monsters, space, service stations, the meaning of life and not having a face. It also contains a track called ‘Ring Binder General’ which I think is a very good pun. Not many bands are producing that level of pun these days.
They have a lot to learn.
‘Lumpy Fun’ isn’t out until the 7th of July on CD and download, but the first 100 people to pre-order the CD version will get a download code so they can listen to it NOW. And a limited edition Lumpy Fun badge which you’ll be able to not impress your friends with. So hurry, hurry, pause, hurry!
To pre-order, please go here…
Don’t forget we’re doing a mini tour in June. Dates are on our Gigs page. It’s the best place for them.
(Please note we won’t have any copies of Lumpy Fun at these gigs.)
I’m off to continue languishing in my head.
Bread, soap, er, biscuits. I don’t know. There’s three. You see the way to get people to read stuff these days is to entice them in with the promise of new knowledge in a numerical layout. I AM SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT. And I know this because I got a fair few likes on Facebook for saying so. My whole life now is about keeping the likes going on Facebook. I used to write songs but I didn’t get the same sense of satisfaction as writing say “Unfortunately my idea for a psychedelic cookery show hosted by Psychedelia Smith has been rejected by ALL networks”. That got 48 likes. I had predicted 34 likes so I was very pleased with that result. I would say I spend 95% of my time working on my social media output nowadays, and the other 5% on music. So I have been thinking of reflecting that in our gigs. We will play some music for five minutes, and the other 55 minutes will be me going through the best of my Facebook Status Updates.
Listen, we’re living in a DIGITAL AGE and we’ve just got to get on with it. Before we stared at screens, we stared at walls. And that wasn’t fun either. So what I am basically saying is nothing was ever fun. Don’t go thinking it was. It wasn’t. And it’s never going to be fun either. My next blog will be 10 Things That Shouldn’t Be Fun. And it will be a blank blog. Yes I said Blank Blog.
I’m a bit out of practice with blogging to be honest. I used to blog a lot in ye olde days of Myspace. The only people still on Myspace are terrorists as it’s the last place the police would think of looking for ANYONE. My old blogs were much funnier and interesting. I would include links but Myspace took them down. Lest there should be a reason for anyone to go on it.
Anyway, that ought to do it. By the way we have some gigs coming up. Please check the gigs page. And this little fella is going to be on the cover of our new CD ‘Lumpy Fun’ which should be out soon.
Thanks for your time and patience,
Too often the folks behind the scenes don’t get the recognition they feel they deserve, so I thought I would use this second blog to tell the story of Martin Hazard.
Martin has been our press officer for the last 12 years, and despite the lack of press coverage he has managed to obtain us, he would say he’s done a pretty good job. He always meets his press release deadlines, and once we’ve gone through them and corrected his spelling and grammar, they are pretty much legible.
I first met Martin in the early noughts. He would come to some of our early London shows and proclaim we were “quite good”. Already in his mid to late thirties, his demeanour portrayed a life lived. Then for some inexplicable reason, he decided to set up his own PR company, Hazard and sons. Martin hasn’t actually got any children, but he told me the name would imply he’d had sex more than once. Sadly this new venture took a downward turn very early on when his campaign for Germolene (featuring the jingle “Germy it’s Germolene”) led to Germolene being sued by Maybelline. He was blacklisted, and out of misplaced pity we told him he could be our press officer.
I’ll now look back at some of Martin’s most notable achievements. He got us blacklisted by 6 music for five years. When we toured with 60’s psychedelic legend Brute Force he sent out a press release with the title “Some bloke you’ve never heard of comes and plays some gigs in pubs”. And most memorably he had a minor on air meltdown representing me at a Resonance FM session. I had managed to get myself lost in Soho on the hunt for some Jazz magazines, and he gallantly went on the show in my place. Unfortunately as it became apparent I wasn’t going to turn up at all, Martin began to get irritable, insulting not only me, but the DJ’s, the radio station and finally London.
Which brings us to the present day. He recently annoyed the owners of Bandcamp when he suggested they should change their name to Bandcampf. But if nothing else it shows how nice we are to have tolerated him for all these years. So thanks Martin. Thanks a lot.