Sunday, May 30, 2010

Robert Coyne’s “Woodland Conspiracy” is an altogether different beastie from “Death Is Not My Destiny” in all but one way. They both include versions of “What A Pleasure It’s Been”. It’s a stripped down, acoustic album. I’m tempted to use an overplayed cliché from the 90’s here but won’t because Rob deserves better than that and he’s just about as far away from MTV fodder as you can get. Not because his stuff isn’t commercial because it is. I mean more because it simply reeks of quality. I can never get away from mentioning Silver Chapter when I consider one of Mr Coyne’s ventures. As mere youngsters they always pushed the envelope.

Real teenagers making grandiose pop music but never in a pompous way, Pete Kember knows what I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure that Rob is sick of me asking him why there’s no one stepping up to the plate to compile that great old gear but I do it anyway. And there was Mean Vincent too. They should have been able to cash-in on that with the name alone. It’s a bit better than Elbow, you have to admit.

So yes, this is another treasure. Available on CD and also vinyl from the Meyer Records imprint. The closer is a version of “Sugar Candy Taxi”, recorded live. It’s a song that Robert wrote with his dad. There’s no big ad campaign or media push to go with this. It would be cool to think that something of such obvious worth would percolate on to the radar of those who need it most. This is what mags like Mojo ought to be raving about but Rob isn’t about to be booking ad space in the hope of making that happen. Always a pleasure to hear, see or hang out with this gent. That remains the whole truth and nothing but.

When I was looking for Silver Chapter, I found this. Britney goes Alan Vega via SSS. For Bill Henderson – The Big Kahuna – out there in Tacoma, WA.

Reading more about this Mojo (Kerrang! and Q) kerfuffle, perhaps there’s some way for a new publication to come together that might make it a priority to look out for the IP of the contributors. Those who populate the blank pages to make it worthy of buying or even just reading. The latest issue with the Waitsy cover is a bit of a stinker, all topped off by a thumbnail review of The Fleshtones Raven comp that is, in my view, written by a philistine. I don't reconise the name of the person.

Still, here is another example of something that is very successful – influential and authoritative even – being sniffed out because of corporate greed. Good music writing is a dying art as I’ve said before. It relies on cut and paste skills and inherent ability not to provide an opinion. While I might not have much time for what’s been in Mojo of late (I never see the other two), I certainly wouldn’t want to hear of its demise. I imagine that Bauer’s most bankable titles may have been diagnosed with a terminal illness as a result of all this.

I’ve turned down “paid” work in recent times because I’d rather that individuals who do this thing to make a living got the gig. It’s flattering to be asked and am under no illusions of possessing any such skills. Anything I do outside of this blighter now is done for the love and appreciation of the subject. I think Brother Joss is the same? All the goalposts have changed since the dawn of the interweb and ownership seems to be the drug of choice for the bean counters in board rooms that come up with this kind of rampant theft.

More power to those who haven’t just signed their livelihoods away.

Further info on the situation...