Transmission: Who to see and what to wear?

On Saturday I finally felt brave enough to wear the trousers displayed in this previous post.

It was a trip to see the wonderful Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. I figured that most people would be watching the film rather than noticing me, thus meaning I could go about my high waisted business without a red face.

Jacket by Religion, tee by H&M, bag from charity shop, shoes by Primark and trousers from Zara

All of the items in the above photo are from past seasons – in fact aside from the trousers, the other items are over a year old. (Although the bag is of an unknown age, as I got it second hand a few weeks ago.)

Please forgive my messy room by the way! When this room was taken my wardrobe still lacked a rail, and currently I lack a lightshade so the low attic ceiling doesn’t spread light too easily. I also need a real camera and tripod!

My next dilemma is to decide what to wear to Saturday’s Transmission gigs.

Gig one

The first gig takes place at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum and features some local acts that I really love including Polarsets, Vinyl Jacket and Ajimal. The only problem is that it takes place from 12 – 5pm! I’ve seen Polarsets play a couple of times and they’re reliably fantastic – credible electro pop tunes with above average lyrics from lead vocalist Rob.

Vinyl Jacket are practically ‘friends’ of the show I produce for Amazing Radio, but I’ve never actually seen them on stage or met them in person so I’m going to get a bit nervous about saying ‘hi!’ They’ve got some intricate, indie pop gems in their set so I expect to be pleased!

I’m not sure if Ajimal will be a solo set from Fran, the keyboard player, or a gig with all three Ajimal members. I booked Fran to play a solo set for Amazing Radio but when he brought his two fellow band members with him I got a bit of a shock! The other members Ivan and Stefan are lovely – Ivan brings an electro influence and crazy hair, whilst Stefan brings a classic ‘folk’ voice and a fiddle. I’m hoping they’ve got a full set together as I think Fran’s wants the Ajimal audience to recognise that the music he’s currently playing is destined for group performance. At the moment it’s easy to think otherwise due to the intimate solo performances a handful of us have been honoured to witness (Fran on his own is something to behold.)

The following video is from the day I recorded the Amazing Radio session with Ajimal. If you don’t want to hear me gabbling with the guys, skip about 6 minutes in to hear a fabulous stripped back performance of their song When We Were Children. It’s very special indeed.

Gig two!

The second gig, at Newcastle’s The Other Rooms takes place from 7.30 onwards and features Brilliant Mind, Waiting for Winter and The Union Choir.

I absolutely ADORE Brilliant Mind. They’re punchy, witty and never fail to pop a smile on my face. I’ve briefly written about them before and really should devote a whole blog to their pop future. (Maybe I should call it The future’s bright… the future’s Brilliant???)

I’ve seen Waiting for Winter once before at the Cluny 2 and found them really interesting so I’m looking forward to seeing them in what has been described to me as an ‘intimate environment.’ I’ve heard that they’re also mad busy with recording over the weekend so this gig will probably feel like a studio break for them.

I’ve not seen The Union Choir before (to my knowledge anyway) and I’ve not heard much of Nadine Shah but I’m interested in both, particularly the latter as I’ve not seen many female fronted acts thus far in Newcastle. The few that do come to mind include the prolific Let’s Buy Happiness, Brilliant Mind Keyboardist Kate Edward’s project Agerskow and also rock outfit Retriever.

Hopefully I’ll be amongst them in the not too distant future…

So, onto the hard part! What to wear…?

Now I could go home between gigs for some food and a change, but I don’t want to appear high maintenance. However, on the other hand I am intending to publish this and people will now be aware that I am thinking about outfits! (I’m lacking things to do everyone, honest!)

Here’s what I was thinking for the second, evening gig.

Dress from sale by Zara
Boots by Peacocks (this season), headband by H&M
Jacket by Religion at Topshop
Jacket by Religion at Topshop, 'Love' necklace by Accessorize

(Notice that the clothes are gone due to drawers/wardrobe being fixed… hurrah!)

The Zara dress is a little too big but it was such an interesting lace that I couldn’t resist. (Plus it was on sale, of course!) Lace is still ‘in’ this season, so I shouldn’t risk looking ‘dated’. Although aviator jackets are the ‘must have’ jacket of the season, a little bit of leather always goes a long way (or in my case, pleather.)

I gather that I might not be able to get away with this during the daytime, but I haven’t thought about what I could wear during the day. I know that people will be reading this (particularly those who’ve stumbled upon this on Facebook rather than the original post) will be wondering why I’m fussed, but I think it’s because I want to feel different to how I do at work. At work pretty much anything goes, so I want to separate myself physically from ‘work mode.’ I also want to feel nice!

So, time will tell if I brave the outfit on Saturday night, but if you’re at the gig and see me be sure to say ‘hi!’

On the radio

I’ve moved to Newcastle to work full time as a producer/presenter/webbysocialmediapersonthing for Amazing Radio and I need ‘real people’ to help make my show sound fabulous.

So how can you do this? Well, in a number of ways…

Get your music onto amazingtunes.com

I know many an unsigned/independent band, particularly from Birmingham but I’ve always been a tad tentative about begging them to get their stuff onto amazingtunes.com. Therefore, consider this post asking. All of the acts that we play on Amazing Radio have profiles on amazingtunes.com, an ‘ethical’ music site where artists can upload their tracks for streaming, downloading or selling. If an act wants to sell their music it costs 79p per track and the act keeps 70% of this figure (about 52p.) This is far more than your average distribution/online marketplace (i.e iTunes) and cuts out the costly middleman. So far we’ve had some fantastic Brum-based acts on air including Tantrums, Tom Peel and OST – but I want to hear more!!!

Pick your own playlist

It’s easy… and wierdly addictive! If you create a profile on amazingtunes.com you can make playlists to your heart’s content. One of the features of The Afternoon Show is a user generated feature called The Four Tops. The idea is that you create a four track playlist, think of some reasons why it’s awesome… and then we play it! All you need to do is email it to me, and I’ll give it a good listen.

Prove your rock and roll credentials

We’ve got an awesome Operations Manager at Amazing Towers (HQ) called Kevin Read. He’s basically been to rock central and back. Every wednesday on The Afternoon Show we pit a competitor against the K-Train and see if they’ve got an edgier tale – essentially whether they can out hardcore Kev. If you think you’re up for the challenge get in touch! (It’s definitely my favourite feature of the week.)

Big up your music scene

We like to celebrate musical centres of excellence at Amazing Radio, and I can certainly think of a few musical regions I’m hugely impressed with, including Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham. The Newcastle scene itself is incredible (more about that another time!) If you think your region deserves a week of celebration on the airwaves, let me know why.

Find an unsigned act to love

I have to admit, there’s an irresistable feeling of smugness that I get when I find a new act that not everyone knows about yet – I feel even better when I spread said act on and other people agree. We’ve got a feature on The Afternoon Show that aims to fill your weekly smug-new-music-quota called Matchmaker. All you need to do is tell me three acts you love (old or current) and our ‘matchmakers’ will find you an act from the amazingtunes.com ranks to love. The musical boffs at Amazing Towers absolutely love to compete to see who can find the best pick – so start sharing!

Promote yourself!

Got a blog? We want to celebrate music bloggers and sites by featuring a new Website of the Week every Monday. The winners will also have a special post on the site dedicated to them – it’s all about helping those who help new music. If I do have readers, they’re probably bloggers – so there’s no excuse not to get in touch!

Share your words, not just your music

I present the Amazing Folk Roots Show every Sunday at 7pm and Wednesdays at 6pm (as well as producing The Afternoon Show every weekday from 3 – 6pm), and we’re always looking for poets to send us their words and recordings, so let me know if you’d like to hear your work on Amazing Radio.

So…

Here endeth the shameless self promotion post, but I’ll hopefully return to more regular updates soon. I’m going to find a band and maybe start reviewing again, I’ve not quite decided yet. My first task is to find somewhere to live for September! I moved up to start working at Amazing before I graduated so I’m confined to a suitcase and am living without proper internet at the moment. Newcastle is fantastic, but I miss everyone back in Birmingham and Kent very much.

Don’t forget to get in touch! Email frankie.ward@amazing-media.com

Turn up. Trade in. Help Out.

I admit that I feel like a bit of a thief, what with stealing the following from the Amazing Radio blog! But it’s pretty cool news, and hopefully will get more people listening to DAB digital radio. All digital radios come with FM recievers (some AM too if you’re that way inclined) and there are some great quality stations available such as BBC Radio 6 Music and of course, my new employers Amazing Radio.

So Spread the word… and get listening!

Radio Amnesty – Because you’re worth it

Friday, May 21st, 2010 | Kevin Read | Blog

You’ll hear some ads on Amazing Radio from tomorrow. We’ve not carried ads since our Amazing Christmas campaign but this is another great initiative designed to get you a cheaper DAB radio whilst opening up a world of opportunities to children in South Africa.

Radio Amnesty 

The lovely people at getdigitalradio.com are offering an amnesty on your poor old radio. The plan is simple, you trade in your old radio and get a discount on a snazzy new DAB radio from one of a host of retailers. For more information on the amnesty and how it works, head on over to http://www.getdigitalradio.com/digital-radios/radio-amnesty where you’ll also find details of how the scheme will help the Children’s Radio Foundation and UNICEF in Southern Africa.

You need this unsigned music in your life…

As all of the acts featured on this post are unsigned, their recordings vary in quality. Therefore get ye to one of their gigs before you make a decision on whether you’d buy a properly produced LP. I’ve always felt very passionately about giving acts a chance in a live environment, as it tends to be more of a testament to their songs and musicianship. For example, many can get access to Garage Band, but not everyone has the money for Logic. When I watch a musician play their own music I know fairly early on into their set if I want to invest in their songs. I also feel cheated when I’ve heard a fabulously produced record, but been spectacularly disappointed with the act onstage. The only type of music I can think of that is not intended for live performance tends to be found in a lift, and last thing I heard, ‘elevator music’ was hardly up there with the greats…

So here are some acts I recommend investing in tickets and travel for. (By all means listen to their demos, but please don’t think of them as the finished product):

Jake Flowers – Bluesy, beautiful, delicate finger spun melodies with understated, sultry vocals courtesy of Shropshire born Flowers. Drums and bass give a welcome added kick whilst lyrics are effortlessly fascinating. Utterly charming, scarily talented.

If you like… Ryan Adams, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Mumford and Sons …you’ll love this!

Brilliant Mind – Newcastle bunch who blast out Johnny Marr inflected guitar riffs combined with self depreciating Morrissey-style lyrics without turning into a Smiths pastiche (although I just made them sound like one.) Features divine contrapuntal layers of guitar and organ melodies. Incredibly charismatic as a live act.

If you like… The Smiths, Young Knives …You’ll love this!

Ever Since the Lake Caught Fire – Newcastle rock orchestra with trumpets, occasional female guest vocals, splatterings of saxophone and lashings of indie pop goodness. A force to be reckoned with when live and always a joy to behold.

If you like… The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse …You’ll love this!

Holy Mammoth Amazing Radio DJ Tom Cotton’s third favourite band (after Radiohead and The National.) A live act that bursts with onstage chemistry developed from years of friendship and experience from touring under different monikers.

If you like… GOOD MUSIC …You’ll love this!

My amazing radio debut and other news…

Today at 1pm my first Amazing Acoustic show will be played on Amazing Radio.

I’m a bit worried about hearing my voice – it’s annoying at the best of times. I’ve kept links short and arranged back to back songs to avoid upsetting Amazing Radio listeners who are used to hearing only music (presenters have been only been on the station some evenings this week – and currently there’s just a few of us.) You can see the presenters here. We each have our own Amazing Tunes page so you can see what we’re listening to and playlisting – and leave us a comment.

Amazing Radio plays only unsigned music which it collects from Amazing Tunes. Artists can upload their tracks onto Amazing Tunes and have the option of purely streaming the tracks to potential listeners, making them available for radio airplay or selling their music for 79 pence. They get to keep 70% of money raised through such sales. Listeners can get their favourite Amazing tracks onto the DAB Amazing Radio station (also online) by tagging them, rating them and generally giving public kudos. The site has a chart too so users can easily see which songs are getting the best feedback.

Other presenters new to Amazing Radio include ex Head of Music/partner in crime Fuzz Chaudhrey, super cool Our Beat is Correct podcast producer Tom Cotton and Trevor Dann, former Head of BBC Music and chief exec of The Radio Academy.

If you miss my show today, it’s repeated Wednesdays at 7pm. I promise to improve as the weeks go on!

In other news, Un Coupe de Foudre, my friend Alex Buckmaster‘s short, no budget (and no time), Custard-Factory-Jay starring film is going to be played at Camden’s Roundhouse Theatre at the opening of their new cinema on the 18th January.

Happy weekend everyone

F

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!