We were just watching a documentary on punk, which was disappointing because it interviewed bands like Sum 41 who just don’t count in my book. Punk was mostly about the DIY ethic. One of the cheery, polished kids in this doc said that he enjoys corporate sponsorship “so that we don’t have to do things ourselves” and that everybody uses brands anyway so we might as well exploit that. I don’t think you’d ever have seen the UK Subs in a Nike t-shirt, but I digress.
I love the idea of punk but never usually enjoyed the music – it’s one thing to tell people that anyone can do it, but most people can’t do it very well. There are still quite a few punk songs I do like, such as these. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of debate about what “counts”, and it’s difficult to define. Half of them straddled the line with new wave, and I wouldn’t classify Talking Heads as punk at all, so it’s hard to say. Regardless, these are some top tunes. Continue reading →
Although very tame by modern standards, Elvis Presley’s first performance on the Ed Sullivan show was considered highly shocking at the time. The myth goes that he was filmed from the waist up, so as not to offend viewers with his racy hip gyrations, but in truth, his whole body was shown. The performance was broadcast on 9 September 1956. Continue reading →
Band-members are like the ingredients of a cake: get it wrong, and the result is bland or sickly. It’s about getting people together who make each other feel comfortable, who can inspire the audience, and who can deflate the ego of an overindulgent songwriter. The producer is the mould. If you pour cake mix onto a baking tray, you’ll end up with a flat, sticky mess. Some producers are like old-fashioned round cake tins, providing a strong but subtle structure that simply allows the flavours to emerge. Others make fancy shapes, so vibrant and daring that its cakeness comes second to its art-form. Like the line-up, the right producer for your band is the one that fits your personal dynamic, and brings out the best in what you, uniquely, have to offer.