Kate Hindley artwork

Artwork by Kate Hindley

My friend, filmmaker Alex Buckmaster was kind enough to commission me some artwork as a birthday present.

Kate Hindley is a Worcester based artist who has illustrated for Okido magazine and Girls Who Draw (a more extensive list can be found here.)

I’m rather excited as apparently more stuff is coming soon! (Check out them purple glasses and the little uke…)

Unfortunately this is a bit of a short post as I’m in the midst of Winter break essay writing, but I’ll be back soon with details about my new radio show on Amazing Radio, a new digital radio station that only plays unsigned music.

We’re also looking for a bassist for Get Frank, so if you’re interested or know anyone who might be please GET IN TOUCH, frankiepromotes@googlemail.com.

Happy new year!

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My nearly-the-end-of-the-year resolution!

Who says you can’t attempt to make ‘fresh starts’ before January?

I’ve become slightly concerned about my little grey bubble that I’ve begun blowing recently! The thing about being president of a society, and a substantially sized one at that is sometimes it’s easy to take it all too seriously! I tend to think of myself as a radio station manager rather than a student club leader which means hat maybe I invest too much of myself into it.

Take the Burnfm mousemats situation. The mats, which cost burn £700 and the Guild £300 are far bigger than the size we asked the Guild to order. Apparently this is the fault of the supplier. The biggest issue is that the Guild logo takes up over half the space on the mat meaning that although Burn’s investment was of a much higher sum, the Guild appear to have much more of a visual benefit. These mats are going to be placed in computer clusters where the Guild – or Burn – have ever been able to advertise before so I don’t accept the counter argument that ‘the Guild need the advertising less than Burn so should pay less.’ At the end of the day advertising space is advertising space! The Guild also need to raise awareness about their own site. The biggest issue is that perhaps a smaller mat would have saved Burn money (as well as meaning that the Guild logo wouldn’t stand out as much.)

So that’s the stressy bit out of the way. On a positive note we’ve got them! After around 4 months of planning (since June) the mousemats are now safely with University IT services. Hopefully the mats will last around 3 years a provide a unique way of connecting with potential audiences – after all, all they need is headphones and they can plug into the library computers.

I guess I need to think about the positive things achieved this year at Burn! It’s just frustrating when you put time, effort and most of all passion into a project and it’s not entirely perfect, it can be hard to swallow – particularly when there are over 100 people looking to you to sort things. Any mistakes ultimately fall to me – if someone says something incriminating on air, for example, I may be the one who is ultimately disciplined. When you try and work with people who have less interest in a project than you have your sense of urgency isn’t matched and priorities are different – therefore wires have crossed.

I had a really stressful day last Wednesday. There’s no need to go into details really – there’s not much point, although I’d like to say that it is unfair that the way that staff talk to guild members is not seen as important as how staff are approached by members. I usually communicate everything by email, but not being able to be at the Guild every day I sometimes cannot wait for a reply and have to have a face to face conversation. These conversations are best had in comfy chairs (or at least sitting down.) When there’s an imbalance in the room – i.e someone is seated and another is stood awkwardly by the doorway, it can escalate to something unintended all too easily – tense body language is read wrongly etc… I’d also had the stress of showing the 27 strong committee the mousemats. I’d been frightened that they would be upset with me for giving the go ahead with them but luckily they were supportive as ever.

So, anyway (onto the point!) I went home when I’d finished Burn duties and wrote on my twitter an angsty (borderline hormonal sounding) tweet about how I was ‘fed up of the guild’ and that the ‘VPSAD’ was going to have a meeting to tell me off (or something along those lines.) Actually, upon reflection I shouldn’t have brought the VPSAD into it – and as such I’ve deleted the tweet. It wasn’t a personal attack on the VPSAD herself (I didn’t name her, because it was a general moan about the structure of the guild rather than the way she does her job – I was annoyed at how the VPSAD has to carry out the potentially uncomfortable council of disciplining a student rather than the student and the offended party having that discussion themselves. Had I been asked for an apology, I most certainly would have given one – I had my deputy manager with me and had I been offensive I’m sure he would have had a quiet word with me post event and I would have immediately tried to rectify the situation. I have never set out to deliberately offend anyone.

This is why I want to publish a public apology to the Guild’s VPSAD, Emma Packham, because I understand that my public tweet may easily have been offensive. Emma has been a great support to Burn, myself and all other students involved in societies since she took to her role and has always been open to chats with me – and I’m honestly really sorry if I caused her any upset.

Tomorrow Emma and the Guild gang will be campaigning with a flashmob at the Old Joe clocktower on the University of Birmingham Edgebaston campus (12.50pm.) This campaign is to try and ‘tell David’ Eastwood, the uni’s Vice Chancellor that a rise in tuition fees to £7000 plus is unreasonable. David will be One of the six people sitting at the Governmental table making such a decision. If you are reading this and are available then please come down and support. At 1pm we’ll be heading off to Joes Bar in the Guild to find out more.

Hope you are all well!

Frankie x

It’s burn a while!

Hello!

It has been a while hasn’t it? I’ve graduated from Channel 4, returned to University, proceeded with my court case (still waiting for a date but have received the ‘defence’) and got a radio station back up and running.

This Freshers’ Week was the first time Burnfm broadcasted outside into Mermaid Square. We weren’t allowed to broadcast into the Societies Fair but we did get to have a small speaker in the corner of the Sq. Although small we did get some lovely comments from the people in the square and got to have fun running around trying to find guests. It also gave us the chance to open up Burn’s doors to our fellow societies and sabbatical officers (who did an awesome job throughout the week, particularly Emma Packham the VP Student Activities and Development, Fabian Neuner, Guild President and…. heck all of them! Katie Ford, VP of Sport was brilliant to interview on air – she’s a natural.)

After a successful Burn introduction meeting (which featured legal training from wonderful University lawyer James Piggot) we managed to get down to training. This year, rather than train people in large groups (and a very small studio) we devised a training rota, training smaller groups (ranging from around 1-5 people – last year it was around 20 at a time.) We decided that DJs had to have both legal and studio training before going on air – so even past DJ’s had a refresher and more in depth legal training than ever before. I’m also planning on sending out a feedback form shortly so we can develop this further.

On Monday we went on FM for the first time since Spring 2007 (before I was even a student.)

On Wednesday members of Midlands student radio stations joined Burn at the Guild for some informative Q&A’s from the West Midlands branches of  Galaxy FM and Heart. They gave loads of advice about being on and off air – and I’m hoping to get some more experience soon. Deputy Programme Controller of Heart West Midlands, John Collins also popped into the Burnfm studio with weekend breakfast presenter Matt Jarvis to give Burn DJ Rob Watts the shock of his life! Rob, being the trooper that he is successfully managed to involve Matt and John in the conversation (about 500 Days of Summer.)

In the evening we headed over to TC’s, an undervalued Selly Oak establishment to hear the nominees for this year’s Student Radio Awards. We hadn’t entered a great amount and weren’t nominated however you still have to consider that we’ve still not been long on air. Perhaps surprisingly for me I’m not at all bothered! In fact, I had a ruddy brilliant time! The ‘Social Sams’ (Sam Cowley and Sam Willet, Burn’s Head and Deputy Head of Social) organised the evening party and looked after me rather well. Willet infact described me as being ‘amazingly happy.’

It’s pretty obvious, but I’ll say it anyway, Burn wouldn’t be Burn without the committee. There have been times when people have been telling me to give it all up and maybe I would if it were not for them. Next year, once a new committee has taken our place I hope we have ex committee socials!

Our current ‘big challenge’ is to get Burnfm played in venues around the guild such as Joe’s Bar and Spar. Now we’re on FM, Spar may be possible (but I want to finish the week so I can make sure that everyone is ready.) A motion was passed in Guild Council to make sure that Joes Bar play Guild TV on its TVs and to make sure that Burn is also played. We don’t mind if this is not full time – (the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ comes to mind) however if Guild Council has decreed this, surely it should happen? Students have said it’s okay, many Guild staff have also said they think it should happen – it’s the Venues team that haven’t agreed to anything.

If the Guild is for Students then why is it being run (in some places) entirely as a business? Students were lead to believe that an event featuring Calvin Harris would feature a live performance from the pop star (and they paid £10 for the privilege.) Instead Mr Harris arrived at approximately 2am and played a DJ set (his third event of the evening.)

I saw a fantastic DJ set at the Guild in my first year – it was the fabulously talented Zane Lowe and was part of the Guild Awards afterparty. (I paid £6 for both Guild Awards and aforementioned party,) so surely when one pays £10 to see someone, they expect them to do more than just plug a couple of laptops in? Why would you want to see a DJ play their own voice loops? (The word ‘tragic’ comes to mind.)

I also have a serious issue with Guild Venues as they dislike direct contact with me. I decided to pay them a visit to ask if a full building event would be occurring on Tuesday as the original act had been cancelled and I’d just heard that Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners would be doing a show. The reason Burn needs to know about events in the Guild (and I would say more than most other societies do) is because sometimes these events mean that DJs are not allowed to enter the building to do their show. Now these DJ’s pay for the privilege of broadcasting. It’s also hard for them to build up any kind of following when the schedule is disrupted. Some events mean that we can’t broadcast from the studio, and others still let us – this is what we need to know. Looking at a poster does not tell us this. The same with if a full building event is cancelled. I need to know so I can reinstate the DJs for the evening.

Right, rants over! It’s Peep Show time!

Frank x

ps

Redbrick editor Nick Petrie has helped give the Redbrick Online website a complete (and seemingly Guardian online inspired overhaul) – it’s looking rather fantastic so be sure to check it out.

More advice please?

Hello!

I haven’t updated this for ages because most of the time I’ve been working and also because I’m avoiding blogging about insider stuff at Channel 4 because I don’t want to get into trouble! Instead of blogging work stuff here I’ve been doing some writing for 4Talent’s blog and you can read my thoughts on microblogging (i.e twitter), commissioning and bumping up CVs. There’s also a bunch of contributors regularly blogging for the site on other or similar topics.

And so to the begging you all for advice/few seconds of your time bit!

  • The deposit situation

So I’ve not had a response from my old landlords about my deposit yet so I’m not sure how to take things further. The main thing is that I can’t use the cheque they gave me because it is void but they haven’t even had the grace to contact me about that. I guess I need to write another letter but I’m so busy at the moment its rather difficult. The last one was sent in my first week at C4…. I’m in my sixth week here now so its getting ridiculous. I really need my money back as I have plans for it – plus I earnt that money from acting in the last production at the MAC centre before it shut so its something I worked hard for and therefore makes me far more determined to get as much of it back as possible.

  • The slightly embarassing video situation

I made a brief, silly video for a Big Brother competition to be the voice of Big Brother for the day (I was asked to) and here it is. I basically made it verrrry quickly (hence the lack of instruments in the video and the rubbish paper messages) because I don’t get home from work until late. Anyway please watch it as if I get lots of video views I’ll also get kudos! Whooo intern kudos!

  • The EP situation

So one of the reasons I want to get as much of my deposit back as possible is that I really want to record some of my Get Frank music (as in properly with someone rather than hastily in my bedroom.) The thing is, I’m not sure which songs I should record so I thought that if I asked people via the medium of my blog and they happen to know my music, they could give me a suggestion for tracklisting. I’m probably going to record five but I’m not quite sure yet. There’s more rough ‘sketches’ of songs on my soundcloud which you are welcome to download for free (the myspace stuff should be downloadable too.)

This is a video from one of my gigs at the Hare and Hounds for Bohemian Jukebox with Ben Calvert. Its a song called ‘So Far Away’ and will most likely be one of the songs that I record. I won’t have saxophone on the recording as my sax/electric player is off to Russia and a couple of people have said that in this particular performance, the sax tends to clash with my vocals a bit too much…so perhaps I’ll stick to glock solos. I’m going to put more vids from this gig up soon – when I get them off my boyfriend!

If I have enough money after my work placement finishes (most of it goes on travel and food) I’ll possibly record more songs, it all depends on when the band is ready. Recently I’ve been offered more gigs which is lovely, but it’s also scary because I’m still dependent on my friends turning up – I need me a fanbase! So er… Get Frank street team anyone?

Get Frank songlist (some of it anyway)

  1. Vacant (untitled)
  2. So Far Away
  3. Bedspread
  4. Beat Me Down
  5. Disappointed in Me
  6. When I grow up
  7. You Don’t Like Love
  8. Stupid Beautiful
  9. Whoops
  10. Three Floors High
  11. An Arrangement
  12. By My Side
  13. Individual
  14. In My Mind
  15. Nature Boy
  16. Leaves and Crumbs
  17. Cautionary Tale
  18. Fake Joe Lean
  19. Keep in Touch
  20. It’s Not You
  21. Something More
  22. In Vain
  23. Stupid Beautiful

Thanks everyone

Frank x

(Oooh playing Artsfest on the 13th September at the Tourist info centre, 2.30pm)

Deposit Dilemma – Please Help!

I received a letter from my previous landlords/agency (they own all of the properties that they let out) and was shocked (and quite distressed.)

My deposit was £400. I left my room in the condition I found it (except maybe a little cleaner!) and cannot believe what I am being charged for. We received a letter outlining fines and costs (i.e unclean toilet – £25) and made sure all requests made by the landlords were completed to a high standard.

So why am I now being told my deposit has had £148.20 deducted because of a so called missing key (that firstly was not for my room, and secondly, was returned,) windows of an unspecified location (mine were bloomin shiny!) as well as blatently ridiculous ‘administration fees’ and a service charge (for an inspection!?!?!?!?!)

The appalling letter from rooms4every1.com

The letter also features incredibly poor grammar and presentation. The word ‘whatsoever’ has been separated into three words, my name has a small ‘f’ and a scribbed out ‘C’ in front of it and also a lack of proper signature at the bottom of the letter. Accounts is not a person and whoever on earth they are, they clearly didn’t do very well in maths class.

My cheque, which I’m unsure if I can post has £251.20 written in the numerical amount space and the written amount is a barely legible ‘one hundred and fifty one pounds’….so they’re trying to keep an extra £100.20 (or get the cheque to bounce so that I don’t get anything.)

If anyone can help me. I’m still a student and not earning much for my current work experience position (so I need this money) please, PLEASE let me know. I’m thinking of making a trip to Birmingham on Saturday (in fact I AM) so that I can go to the office and express my feelings….

The incorrect cheque (bank details covered)

Thanks everyone.

Frankie x

The victoria sponge to my brewing leaves…

Heres the new song I’ve put on my soundcloud

I recorded it yesterday/this morning with lots of precussion and boundless enthusiansm….which quickly waned as I did take after take on the keyboard (I’m a rubbish player.) A lot of the other tracks/instruments were thankfully done in one take. It’s another rough realisation but one day it would be great to get some proper recordings, particularly of tracks that sound entirely different live.
The song is called Leaves and Crumbs and is based on a cartoon that Alex has that says ‘You are the victoria sponge to my tea.’ He had a rough script that has yet to be filmed which says that ‘tea is cake’s love.’ After I put up a video about 5 mins after writing it someone on youtube said it sounds a bit like a nursery rhyme and needs more depth but to me this song is allowed to sound like a nursery rhyme. In a way its a metaphor about growing old with someone and hoping that they will love you despite the aging process – which is a simple thing. (I think anyway…)
Feel free to download and pass on if you wish.
On tuesday I’ll be playing at the Bulls Head at an event called Bazaar (part of Mosely Festival.) I’m not sure when I’m on but possibly near the end so hope to see you there.

SR AYYYY

 

This is an entry for the Student Radio Awards (Best Student Radio Station.)
It took me bloomin’ ages as we didn’t have many recordings…I’ve been rather pedantic and reorganised all the files on the production computer.
It would be amazing to get nominated as we’ve worked ‘rather hard’ (to put it lightly) this year – however I listened to stations such as Warwick’s RAW recently and they’re all amazing.
Next year we are going to have to supervise the broadcast constantly so I’m having to enlarge the Burnfm committee to around 25. We currently have around 20 committee members and 171 members. This means that I am ‘in charge’ of 170 people. My big issue currently is that the university ignore the fact that I pay a lot of money to do a degree at their establishment and the ‘daily mail’ incident that occurred last year was no one’s fault (except the two boys who are no longer members.) I’m quite tempted to publish the email I was sent by one of the Uni lawyers as it was rather disagreeable but I’m going to wait until I receive further messages and have more meetings before making that decision. Usually I just publish my own on this blog but sometimes I get so frustrated its tempting to just say ‘what the heck’ and copy and paste…

 

None of us are tw*ts…

 

Joanna Geary at the Journalism Leaders Forum from Chris Unitt on Vimeo.

I had problems with websites run by big news publications after the Daily Mail wrote a factually inaccurate article about the radio station I now manage, Burnfm.com. This was duplicated by other papers’ websites before filtering to blogs. The good thing about the bloggers is that I could write to them without fearing being quoted on the front page of a paper.

Blogs are vital to students like me who don’t study media, (or even do study media) and would like a job within the media sector. From being involved with CIB, Gigbeth and my own blog I’ve managed to gain experience with the BBC and Channel 4. If it were not for blogs, and the Birmingham blogging community my CV would be dramatically shorter.

By talking utter nonsense about how blogs and UGC are ‘scary’, it is the media ‘pundits’ who make themselves look like idiots, particularly as I’m sure many people who read their publications have their own blogs or take part in social networking. Their narrow minded attitudes could damage their careers.

I am 20, the negative men in the video are clearly a lot older than myself (and Joanna Geary) and may be struggling to cope with how fast the blogging community is growing….(and perhaps I am trying to create excuses for the ‘experts’ because I can’t believe how hysterical they are about blogging for goodness sake!)

Copied from facebook..

The following was copied from this facebook page

 

Thank you so much for your support so far.

We are looking for 15’000 names to give to the council. Please help make a difference.

Please invite all of your friends to join this group.

Thank you x
*********************************************
Birmingham City Council EPU (Environmental Protection Unit), are today sat in session considering the serving of a noise abatement order against The Rainbow. 

This is the latest move in their wish to see a once vibrant Digbeth transformed into a souless artistic wasteland populated by Stepford wives and cultural pygmies, and where the only entertainment is watching tumbleweeds race down deserted back streets. 

This latest outrage is yet again the result of one – yes that is right ONE- resident of the Abacus flats complaining about a noise nuisance. This resident since occupying the flats has seen off the Spotted Dog (its nearest and most immediate target), is now close to achieving the same with The Rainbow, and will no doubt soon be turning their sights on The Rainbow Warehosue and The Custard Factory. Just how much devestation are they allowed to cause before someone has the wit to halt this senseless slaughter. Many of the councils own departments vaunt the vibrancy of Digbeth, and indeed the Planning office makes much reference to Digbeth’s unique ‘jewel in the crown’ potential as part of it’s big city plan. Just how much vibrancy will soon be left – perhaps just the vibarting echo of a hollow vaccum? Anyone who has followed this issue on line is aware of the strength of feeling it arouses, and the sheer frustration of how Birmingham seems determined to always be the ugly sister/poodle next to far more dynamic cities like Manchester, London and Liverpool who provide their cultural spaces with oxygen to breath and prosper as opposed to smothering them. No-one can underestimate the significance of art and cultutre on the desirability of a city to live and work in – and it is generally a city’s youth that are best placed to take a city’s cultural pulse. Increasingly Birmingham’s is flatlining. Just think how different it could be if institutions and organisations like The Rainbow were given support, and how much change they could effect in other people’s perception of the City.

THE FACTS ARE THESE 
Noise nuisnace is a totally subjective matter – it is not measured – it is all about a council officers ‘trained human ear’. There have been instances where even the EPU’s own officers have failed to detect a nuisance following a complaint against The Rainbow – but different day and different officer – different result.. There are residents on the same facade and elevation facing the Rainbow that maintain there is absolutely no nuisance at all and that far from having a problem with the Rainbow – the reason they moved in was to be close to such ammenities (this is similarly the overwhelming view of Digbeth’s Residents Association). The Rainbow’s own research from the Abacus rooftops indicates that yes a bass beat can be heard when there is a lull in background traffic noise – but would struggle to see how this was a noise nuisnace behind closed windows and doors and should certainly cause no problem when trying to sleep within a bedroom. Nevertheless accepting the views of the Council and having had a number of ‘noise nuisances’ subjectively witnessed againt them from one resident’s flat, the Rainbow has agreed to erect a roof on it’s courtyard area to prevent sound leakage. This in itself is a highly sensitive subject as the Rainbow is being made to pay the price of the council’s own negligence over the construction of the Abacus flats (which failed to comply with thier own rules on noise surveys). The Rainbow agreed to do this as soon as plans could be steered through the planning department – so completion would be around August. Meantime The Rainbow has regularly asked to negotiate/discuss with EPU/complainant it’s events over the ensuing 3 months, to try and ensure that everyone keeps a cool head, as we cannot afford to close for the period, and any suggestion of us playing music at an ambient level is just naive. This has included giving them details of what times events will start and finish, planning noisier events around times when they may not be in reidence (on holiday), offering to put them up at our expense in a hotel for the night if needed – even very simply getting them to phone us if the levels creep too high. REMEMBER this is just over a 3 month period until a roof prevents any further issues. Unfortunately EPU and the tenant refused to countenance such an initiative and have decided to simply stick to – ‘if you make what we consider to be a nuisnace meantime, we will act’ – this was even when informed we would need to hold some fundraising events meantime to ensure we could provide for the very solution to their problems.

Anyhow following another subjectively witmessed noise nuisance commieted before 11.30pm on Monday (hardly the middle of the night) we now are now awaiting a decision on an abatement order. Knowing what a ridiculous injustice this is and what the wider implications are for the area – we will fight it should we get it – to the bitter end if necessary – to the point we are physically ejected and the pub is boarded up. But we would like your help – sign up to the facebook group so we can present it to the council.

Thank you

Love 
The Rainbow Team

Operation Mousemat

Today in the Burnfm studio I came up with…an idea!

Basically in the OLRC (library on the Selly Oak campus) there are old mousemats next to every computer. These were sponsored by a now defunct computer company called DCS plc. My idea is to replace these mousemats with Burnfm.com mousemats. It’s a hugely ambitious idea, even if it doesn’t sound like it (I mean mousemats for goodness sake!) However mousemats are not posters – they are likely to last for a few years at least and remain where they are. They will be next to the computers, hopefully inspiring people to listen as they work and they will also imprint Burnfm’s name and image firmly in people’s minds. There are students who haven’t heard of us.

If we can get Burnfm mousemats into at least the Main Library and the OLRC then we will definitely be reaching out to people. Then if we can branch out to the other 7 computer cluster areas we’ll be getting somewhere.

If anyone has any idea who to approach about this, be it through printing or in terms of who to approach at the Uni (I really don’t know, but have tried emailing the IT services as a start…will talk to the Main Library staff in person as soon as I can.)

Budget wise I know that unless we get some kind of sponsorship, we won’t be able to get enough mousemats, but ideally I’d like to start at 500 and see where we can go from there…

Any ideas give me an email at frankiepromotes@googlemail.com or comment….

 

Thanks!

Frank x