The 405 Records Club follows Ben from Lazy Acre Records as he pontificates on random things and then presents a new free mp3 every week.
I don’t know if you have seen it yet but Jamie Oliver seems to have hung up his apron for a short while and headed out to try and turn around the educational shortcomings of some of the nations kids. "These kids have no GCSE's!" he cries, "No-ones here for us" bleat the kids. "Your fat!" claimed a clearly pissed off David Starkey to one jumped up little twerp. It is - at heart - a fine idea and one that sees him pitting a class of educational under achievers against some of the finest minds in the world to try and find some kind of mechanism for learning that these kids can get into. Simon Callow, Alistair Campbell and Ellen McArthur for three have already signed up to get back into the classroom. Highly commendable for sure and another reason why I genuinely think that 50 years from now Oliver will surely be remembered as a genuine force for good in Britain with the various projects he undertakes each year. Now my place is not to pass judgement on the relative merits of the decision making and strategy shaping that goes on in the nations schools and boardrooms - there are folk far better qualified for such a rant than I, however that didn’t stop me spraying tea around last night in fury, with every whine and moan from a classroom of kids clearly disinterested in any kind of learning that wasn’t a new cuss word or the inner sexual workings of each other. I get that there are kids in the system that end up being overlooked, disenfranchised and ultimately lost but one thing that really gets my back up, is the way so many kids these days use this as a crutch and in the event of them failing dismally will blame anyone at hand for it. Parents, teachers, schools, the system, the government - whoever is to blame for the lack of GCSE in their "Record of Achievement" (Ha! Sorry) the one thing that is clear. It’s not their fault. They turned up Gov honest and "tried and like tacked their facking shirts in like but then this facking teacher like got right up in mah grill right and was like giving me facking evewls and then tried to take my facking iphone so I told him to leave me a facking lone alrite and then next fing I'm like facking expelled or sommat you know what I mean?" Er no I have no idea what you mean actually. You see if you had paid attention in any of your English classes you would be able to construct something as simple and fundamental as a sentence and communication between us right now would be a lot easier. Well that and the fact that were having this conversation through the intercom at the KFC drive through. What? Oh corn on the cob and a bottle of coke as well please. Thanks.
Some rapscallions yesterday
This breed of lazy, disinterested kids (a generation that has only seemed to materialise in the last ten years or so with any real vengeance - although I’m sure our parents would disagree and contend that we were a bunch of shits as well - mine certainly!) seems to mirror for me a lot of the bands that I come across on a weekly basis. Bands who having knocked together three chords seem to be fixated on the idea that as a result they are now just crown princes in waiting - sat around their doss hole flats, spending our taxpayer "future jobs fund" money awaiting their acceptance to the upper pantheon of British music. Now should a major label come a knocking they can kind of get away with this - said labels will have cash to burn to pay for bookers, and tour bus hire and guitars and people to write blogs and take photos. Dear bands of Great Britain. I do not. When you work with music and more to the point, musicians, on a grassroots DIY level, collaboration is crucial. There is nothing guaranteed to turn me off a band more than laziness. We live in a world where it has never been easier for musicians to be self sustaining and to take control of every aspect of their music from fan communication to retail to design to selling t-shirts. There is not an excuse for you not doing this yourself already. So why do so many of them not bother? Because this sense of entitlement that seems to be pervading a certain age group nationwide in educational and employment circles will naturally spread to music as well. They should be on top because they should and if they’re not its someone else’s fault. It's apathetic fans, it's the marketplace, it's internet pirates, it's lazy record labels. One thing’s for sure. It’s not their fault. Maybe Jamie Oliver could run some kind of workshop for indie bands. "Nice guitar strap Brother". Now for once these little incoherent ramblings actually do bring me to the point of this week’s column and track. See, I want to present to you the poster boy for hard working musicians and a man I feel genuinely lucky to work with each day: Mr Uno Møller. Uno came onto my record label just over 12 months ago and continues to amaze me daily with the sheer level of his productivity. Between his solo records, his work with Team Me and 3 other bands, somehow this is an artist with the drive and the ambition to be spending the hours between constantly writing new material, designing artwork, developing new release concepts, blogging, making videos: it's a rate of creativity that puts virtually every British band I know to shame. Don’t get me wrong I know there must be Brits out there doing exactly this but I don’t know many of them! When it comes to genuinely trying to snowball momentum and trying to forge a musical career work ethic is as important as it was in school or the commercial workplace and without doubt Uno has the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. Indeed not two weeks ago in Oslo he turned up at a showcase we were running (a showcase he didn’t even play a set at!) and within ten minutes was sticking CD sleeves together and manning the merch table for me. It’s that kind of amazing attitude and camaraderie that makes working with artists like the ones I do such a pleasure and when a track turned up in my inbox yesterday it was perfect timing - allowing me to share it with you today. 'Creature Days' is as achingly pretty a song as I think I have heard the man write yet, so enjoy this weeks entry to the records club and remember you don’t have to stay in school kids - just remember to make an effort whatever it is your doing!