Friday, April 17, 2009

The Smiths - This Charming Man

The Smiths - This Charming Man.

I think it is safe to say that the recent BBC documentary on Rough Trade has planted this song firmly into my brain. Well, I always liked this one anyway.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do It Yourself: The Story of Rough Trade

Here's a cool BBC documentary on the history of Rough Trade Records and the rise of the do-it-yourself (DIY) musical ethic, entitled Do It Yourself: The Rough Trade Story.

As I watch this, I find it interesting to note that Rough Trade seemed to share a very similar Marxist/collectivist ideology with their northern counterpart, Factory Records.

In fact, if you watch the part about 23 minutes in where one of the label founders reads Rough Trade's basic business agreement with its artists off a handwritten note, you'll probably notice the remarkable similarity between the two labels' mission statements (RT's was essentially a cleaned-up version of Factory's guiding principle: "The artists own all their work. The label owns nothing. Our bands have the freedom to fuck off...").

The concept is/was a wonderful step forward for musicians and their labels, but a lack of business sense or any sustainable alternative business model seemed to prove fatal for both Rough Trade and Factory.

So can artists and labels find a way to work together as equal partners while embracing the benefits of capitalism? That might be the crucial question for musicians and whoever/whatever comes along to take the place of the major labels in the future.

Anyway, on with the show. Enjoy the documentary, and I promise we'll post more along these lines (perhaps next, a look at American DIY) in the near future.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kevin Ayers - Singing a Song in the Morning

Kevin Ayers - Singing a Song in the Morning.

Much discussion on this YouTube clip as to whether Syd Barrett's guitar track was ever included on this recording. Many there quote Ayers as saying that Syd's takes were erased and never released on any version of this song.

So what's the real story? You got me, I'm no expert on either of these guys. I just like the song.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

McAlmont & Butler - Yes

McAlmont & Butler - Yes.

A pretty groovy tune from McAlmont & Butler. As mentioned in yesterday's Suede post, this single was the product of one of Bernard Butler's early, and successful, musical collaborations post-Suede.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Suede - New Generation

Suede - New Generation.

Good song from Suede's second LP, Dog Man Star. Kind of a lame video, but we're in it mainly for the tunes, right?

By the time this record was completed, guitarist Bernard Butler had already left the band and was soon on to new musical projects.

We'll take a look at some of his early post-Suede output tomorrow; should be a good one, so join us.