Saturday, July 28, 2012

James Laid Cover

The single from James called Laid was easily one of the best things to come out in 1993; I would say that it was definitely a high point for the band that experienced so many highs and had so many great singles.

The design for this one somewhat mars the impact of the single; the cover is difficult to read and I would definitely have flipped what's on the back for the front. I love the close up stitching as a motif and I like the detail in the cloth and the colors. This is not the first time I have liked the back cover more than the front cover, but it won't be the last, either.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Buy Any of This Crap

Oh, bah.

The Do Not Buy list is old hat at record stores. What used to be at the top of the do not buy list was anything from the Columbia House Record and Tape Club or the low-rent other version of that nonsense. These CDs used to have a marking on them identifying them as such.

Crap releases were always a given. If you got stuck with a dog you couldn't trade in, that was on you. Funny how websites are catching on to this decades after they appeared.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Give the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy Some of Your Money

There are no bad Jazz Butcher albums, only bad attempts at explaining why there aren't ten more of them than actually exist.

Give Pat and Max some cash if you can. I haven't decided how best to support their endeavors.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Show Everyone Wanted to See

There are two points that need to be made here.

One, I think this proves that Roger Waters is one of the great frontmen in Rock and Roll history. He's been on the road, he's gone out and played for the fans, and he has never half-assed anything in his long and storied career. If you want a template for how to do things, you could do a lot worse than Roger Waters, creatively or otherwise.

Two, the music business is in serious trouble. Serious trouble. If the top grossing concert tour is based on touring behind an album released 33 years ago featuring exactly one original member from the band that recorded it, then what will actually sustain the music business past the moment when Waters and everyone from his music generation decides to hang it up and move on to retirement?

The answer is, nothing. There isn't anything like The Wall being made right now (there are three new Green Day albums coming out soon; I hope they're good) and that means there won't be a top-grossing farewell tour for it thirty years from now.

That's not the fault of Roger Waters and it's not the fault of anyone making music today. His show, as presented, was what the fans wanted to pay to see. No one cares what some kid is going to do in comparison to Waters, unless that kid is Justin Bieber and, quite frankly, what is the artistic value of bubblegum kiddie pop.

What sustained the recording, promotion, and exposure that brought The Wall to the masses is gone. No one will be paying for, supporting, or taking a risk on anything like it again.

The music business is, essentially, marking time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Chemical Brothers Setting Sun Cover

Another great cover from the Britpop era from negativespace. The Chemical Brothers put this out years ago and I have just now discovered it and I can't believe how good it still sounds.

I cannot seem to tell if this design firm is defunct or not. It is pre-Internet, obviously, although I do remember looking at a few fledgling websites in 1996 for bands like Ride and The Charlatans.

The process for doing this involved Yahoo! and their index of sites related to music. You basically had to scroll through band names until you found someone you liked.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Clearing the Decks

This is the clearing out of the attic post that I've been meaning to get to.

Here, in this massive, jumbled pile of things, are covers and images and things I never got around to writing about or more fully expanding. There are some gems here, so peruse at your leisure.

Spiritualized Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space Covers and Booklet

This is easily one of the most interesting packages I can think of.

Spiritualized packaged this album as if it were a prescription drug, and their masterful use of the blister pack design, the use of Arial, and the overall medication feel of the packaging leaves you wondering what the hell is inside of this thing?

No idea. I've never heard the album.

But, Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space is a fairly popular release, so there's that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camera Obscura I Love My Jean

I have been trying to find music from Camera Obscura for months now, and, luckily, I have been able to put together a few tracks that really stand out.

This particular single is interesting since it grew out of a project inspired by the late John Peel before his untimely demise:
We were asked by the late DJ John Peel to put some of our music to a few poems by Robert Burns, and to perform them live at Peel Acres as part of John’s annual Burns night celebration. I love my Jean turned out to be a favourite of John’s, so we decided to release it as a single and dedicate to him.
The cover, the package, all of it is smashingly good. This is how you sell music to the masses.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Can Radiohead Save the World?

Radiohead have allowed Greenpeace to take one of their songs and use it in an advertisement that is designed to draw awareness to global climate change and the destruction of the Arctic region. This hearkens back to the days when musicians actually cared about things--I had thought that those days were long gone. Apparently not.

You cannot fault Radiohead for giving a crap. Few of their contemporaries care about anything other than trying to figure out how to survive in a world without viable record companies and the outright theft of everything they do. It's almost quaint to see a band do something above and beyond enriching themselves.

I made a few attempts at embedding this video, but you'll just have to click over to here to watch it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pulp This is Hardcore Covers

This is a very avante-garde way to put out a single, but, really, this is how it used to be done. No overt promotional type nonsense to get in the way. Just knees and bars and text that disappears into the background.

Pulp's This is Hardcore is a great single, and a great example of how design can sometimes make your single seem as important as it really is.