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Monday 29 November 2010

AudioBoo - Policies and Power.


A bit of a political rant.

Social Media Journeys: Vlogging and Public Speaking.

Social Media Journeys: Vlogging and Public Speaking.: "I talked in my last post here about starting to vlog and about getting used to speaking into a video camera. I also mentioned about how vlo..."

Saturday 27 November 2010

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Social Media Journeys: Pointing The Camera At Yourself.

Social Media Journeys: Pointing The Camera At Yourself.: "A friend of mine recently watched one of my vlogs (video blogs), for the very first time. He told me this via Twitter and whilst he made no ..."

It can seem a strange thing to do, but anyone can do it. Honest.

Monday 22 November 2010

AudioBoo - Punked.


Punk and me.

Not The End Of The Pier CD.

Below, is a blog post that i recently wrote for the Hastings Rock MySpace page. I realise that it might not be of interest to all you may visit this blog. But, it does help to explain something that i've been heavily involved with recently.

"As some of you may already be aware, i have recently been helping to put together a CD of local bands and musicians, in aid of HPWRT (Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust).
Well, that CD has now been compiled & mastered & is now in the process of being produced, ready for release.

For some more details about this project, you might be interested in this article from our local newspaper, the Hastings Observer:

We are hoping to get the physical CD's back within two weeks and will then be able to start selling them and helping to raise some much needed money for the restoration of Hastings Pier.

Further details about where the CD's will be available for sale locally will be given nearer the time. But, i can tell you that the CD will have 15 tracks and will sell for £8.

For those of you who live futher afield, we are planning to sell this CD by mail order. We are currently looking at the costs of postage and packing. There will be a dedidcated CD website for PayPal payments etc and the information about this will also be given at a later date.

But, in the meantime i thought i'd give you a rundown of the track listing for the CD, to whet your appetite.
1: Keith Foster - On The Pier
2: The Vindickers - I Wanna Be Geek
3: King Bathmat - Warrior Square
4: Logan Wilson Band - All The Losers
5: Ian Edwards - True
6: Claire Hamill - Oregon Inlet
7: The Possessed - Beautiful White Moon
8: Dr Fonda - Son
9: Arivmia - Sinners Myth
10: O'Donnell & Bell - Deck Chair
11: Rich Lown - Starting From Now
12: Mick Mepham - Driftwood
13: Soul Sanctuary - Gone Away
14: The Cajun Dawgs - Flammes d'Enfer
15: Red Diesel - Rise

For anyone who knows about music from the Hastings area, you can see that this a nice eclectic mix of styles, genres and ages. This is exactly what i wanted to see when i started to compile the CD.
All of the 15 tracks are original compositions, apart from one traditional song. The CD even includes 2 brand new tracks.

Here is a sneak preview of the CD's front cover:

I will be writing a further blog post when the CD is finally available.
So, hold off buying your Christmas presents for just a little bit longer.

Thanks and keep on rockin'

Andy Gunton"

Value For Money.


Just a few thoughts on how life changes our attitude to money & how we spend it, or don't spend it.

Since recording this i've had other conversations about this topic.

A beach vlog. Just look at those clouds on the horizon.

Thursday 18 November 2010

A Day In London With Mike & Rich.

A brief insight to a great day spent in London with Mike & Rich.
After exhausting them on a walking tour of parts of the city, we adjourned for a well earned pint, or two.
I didn't get my video camera out at all, except for at the end of the day!
Thanks for your company guys.

You missed a good day Steve & Gregor. Maybe next time?

Tuesday 16 November 2010

The Beatles and iTunes.

According to rumours circulating. Later today, Apple (the computer people, not the record label) are expected to announce that they have done a deal with The Beatles and that iTunes will shortly be selling The Beatles music, in mp3 form.

This announcement has been a long time coming and has been held up by previous ongoing court hearings about the use of the Apple name. Those issues were sorted out some time ago and it was widely expected that an announcement about the selling of The Beatles music would swiftly follow.
But, obviously, this was not to be.

So Apple will finally be selling Apple.
The first thought that occured to me about this was, does anyone really care anymore?

Yes, this will cause a nice burst of publicity for both Apple and The Beatles and will, of course, help to make some more, little needed, cash for both of them. But, i suspect most people will just be thinking, "what kept you?".

The Beatles are one of the few bands that have, so far, refused permission for their music to be sold in mp3 form. One of the other notable examples are AC/DC.
It must be said that this stance has certainly not hindered either band. AC/DC are one of the biggest bands in the world and we are all aware of the position that The Beatles hold in the world of popular music.

So, why the change of heart?
Well, apart from the obvious chance to make more money by selling their songs individually, i don't really see the need for this change of stance. After all The Beatles are the most famous band that there ever was and ever likely to be.
Their music has sold, consistently, for over 40 years now and shows no signs of slowing down. The recent re-release of all The Beatles albums, in remastered and repackaged CD form, was a huge money and publicity spinner. I even re-bought several of the CD's myself.

Maybe, after that recent re-packaging of the CD's there was just nowhere else to go, but into the mp3 market?
The Anthology series, a few years ago, had cleared out the outtakes and different studio versions of the classics. "Free as a bird" being an example.
So, i guess that, as far as The Beatles music is concerned, the cupboard is now bare and this was the obvious next step to keep that money rolling in?

Now, i know that all of the above sounds a little cynical. But, i honestly don't begrudge anyone making money out of their music and especially when it's as good as the music of The Beatles. In fact, i think The Beatles have been pretty good with the way that they've released their music over the years.
The Anthology was done well, as were the recent CD re-releases. They were good quality products.
There are many other bands and artists who have certainly not treated their fans as well.

I just wonder if a band as well established and unique as The Beatles really needs to go down this route? Especially after refraining from doing so for so long now.
For any new band, the mp3 route is an absolute must do. But, for The Beatles?

From what i can see, it is Apple and not The Beatles that stand to gain the most out of this. Especially, if those Beatles mp3's can only be bought via iTunes. (I sure hope that The Beatles haven't agreed to that)

Maybe, my concern and general apathy about this expected announcement comes down to the fact that i already own all The Beatles music that i've ever likely to want?
And maybe, i'd just like to see some bands and their music, remain just that little bit more special?

By finally succuming to iTunes and the mp3, The Beatles will have changed and at a time when, in my opinion anyway, they didn't really need to.
But, maybe that's just me?

Sunday 7 November 2010

Saturday 6 November 2010

AudioBoo - No Nov Boo Vlog Blog Month.


November can be a busy month in social media land.

Sonic Deception?

As i do every Saturday morning when the BBC2 music tv show "Later with Jools Holland" is on, i settled down this morning and watched my recording of last nights show.

Whilst watching i thought, "I know, i'll write a blog post about how much i enjoy the  show and why". But, something else struck me whilst watching Kings Of Leon playing their final song.

Anyone who knows anything about Kings Of Leon will probably know that the band is made up of four members of the Followill family. Three brothers and a cousin.
But, how many people also knew that, when onstage, they are joined by a fifth member?

You could be forgiven for not knowing the latter fact. Especially if you've only seen the band perform live in the kind of huge arenas and stadiums that they tend to play these days.
The reason for this potential lack of knowledge, is that the fifth"member' is hidden behind the band. Behind the amplifiers and to the side of the drummers mini-stage.

During the course of the three songs that Kings Of Leon played on "Later.....", i saw this fifth member playing percussion, guitar and, i think, keyboards. I do believe he also helped out on backing vocals. But, because he was virtually out of sight and out of the light, this is not easy to prove.

Now, this is not the first time that i've noticed this little deception and Kings Of Leon are by no means the only band who do this, when playing live.
Many other bands also do this. Some more discreetly than others.

So, is this right?

Personally, i feel that any musician who is contributing to the live sound of the band, should be visible. And, by visible, i mean actually on the main stage and in front of those amplifiers and drum risers.
Not behind them.

After all, isn't this mini deception just as bad as auto-tuning a voice, or miming because of the vigorous dance routine that you're doing?

This is not a new phenomenon either. I have heard stories of hidden guitarists, hiding in the wings and playing a band members guitar parts for them. But, that doesn't make it right for this to happen now.

These days, music and especially live music, is a huge money spinner and ticket prices often reflect this. If i pay decent money to see my favourite band, I expect the members of that band to be playing the music that i'm hearing. If they need help, fair enough. But, i also want to see those helpers.
I fully accept that it's not always easy to reproduce what was recorded in the studio. But, at least be upfront about it.

Some bands do this properly and well done to them for that.
The band Keane, for example, now have an un-official fourth member, Jesse Quin. He was brought in to add bass guitar, guitar and percussion to the bands live act and has been touring with Keane since 2008. He always perfoms on the stage beside the other band members.

So, if Keane can do this openly, why not some other bands?

I guess, that in these days of backing tracks and miming, we should just be grateful that bands actually bother to play live in the first place? I'm certainly grateful for that.
But, just look out for those extra personnel, lurking in the shadows.

Thursday 4 November 2010

AudioBoo - A Worthwhile Cause.


Walking, charity, Twitter & heroes.

Social Media Journeys: Social Media - Local Connections.

Social Media Journeys: Social Media - Local Connections.: "Recently, i have been involved in helping to organise some local charity events/projects. Some more successfully than others i might add! Bu..."

The surprising, local aspect of social media.

Tough Decisions.

We all have to make tough decisions sometimes. I had to make one yesterday.
It's not always easy. But, when you know it's the right thing to do, you have to go with your instincts.

A beach vlog.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

AudioBoo - Sinking In.


The Spanish lessons are starting to have an effect. That and thoughts about learning, especially at my time of life.