<
September 2009
By Akira The Don on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Shlock ‘n’ roll will never die.

— By Akira The Don on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

By Akira The Don on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Does Max B know about this?

— By Akira The Don on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Featured-Artists-Coalitio-001

You may remember that, some months ago, I attended the inaugural meeting of the FAC. While I was suspicious of some of their motives, I agreed with a number of their stances – they wanted standardised contracts that were more in favour of the artist than had been the case previously, for example. And, most importantly, they agreed that criminalising filesharers was Wrong and Dumb. At the end of the meeting, impressed with what I’d seen, merry on pop, and displaying my usual lack of careful consideration, I signed up with the group, and became A Member.

I was starting to question my decision by the next morning, and the group’s activities over the coming months caused me much concern. (Eagle-eared listeners might have noticed some of those voiced on Can’t Go For That, from The Omega Sanction) Thing is, I am a busy man, and hadn’t taken the time to properly look into the situation. Last week I got an email inviting me to a debate they were having on file sharing, but I coudn’t go as I was Actio.

Then I got back from New York yesterday, and found the following in my inbox:

On September 24th a very special meeting took place at Air Studios in London. It was an unprecedented gathering of artists who all met in the spirit of collaboration and with the aim of discussing the very challenging issue of file-sharing and how it affects the lives of so many artists and all the people that support them in creating the music that we all know and love.

The statement below is the result of that meeting…

The Air Statement:

We the undersigned wish to express our support for Lily Allen in her campaign to alert music lovers to the threat that illegal downloading presents to our industry and to condemn the vitriol that has been directed at her in recent days.

Our meeting also voted overwhelmingly to support a three-strike sanction on those who persistently download illegal files, sanctions to consist of a warning letter, a stronger warning letter and a final sanction of the restriction of the infringer’s bandwidth to a level which would render file-sharing of media files impractical while leaving basic email and web access functional.

Signed:

Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)
Jamie Turner
Adriano Buffone (Raygun)
Allan Bradbury
Helienne Lindvall
Tony Crean
Andrew Laidlaw (Luck Soul)
Isard Haasakker
Tony Morrelli (The Fire Escapes)
Jean-Baptiste Pilon (The Fire Escapes)
Mark Headley (The Fire Escapes)
Hal Ritson (The Young Punx)
Billy Bragg
Ben Ward
Karl Harrison
Howard Jones
Tjinder Singh (Cornershop)
Phil Simpson
Athleen
Steve Jones
John Reynolds
Sandie Shaw (via phone)
David Rowntree (Blur)
Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)
Alan Sharland (The Hoosiers)
Martin Skarendahl (The Hoosiers)
Steven Hogarth (Marillion)
Mark Kelly (Marillion)
Guy Chambers
Patrick Wolf
Sam Duckworth (Get Cape Wear Cape Fly)
Jamie Allen
Toby Sebastian
James Kelly
Beryl Marsden
George Jones
Ross Millard (The Futureheads)
Stax Dempsey
Rona Sentinar
Fran Healy (Travis)
Karl Addy
Nathan Taylor (The Young Punx)
Josh Allegro
Ali Howard (Lucky Soul)
David Arnold
Lucy Pullin (The Fire Escapes)
Annie Lennox (via phone)
Lily Allen (Not a Member of the FAC)
George Michael
Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)

Signed After the meeting;

The Music Producers Guild
John B
Claudia Brucken (Propaganda)
Rick Wilde

The Air Statement can be found on our website www.featuredartistscoalition.com

We also have two fantastic events coming up for artists. See the events section of our home page for more info.

So, there you have it. With that pretentiously titled “Air Statement” The FAC have announced that they are taking the Metallica route. They have revealed themselves to be greedy, backward, vindictive crybabies. So fuck them. Who wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with Adriano Buffone  from Raygun and Timothy Rice-Oxley from Keane anyway? Are they going to personally sign the “warning letters”? “Dear naughty filesharer, I want more port, no more broadband for you, yours Timothy Rice-Cuntly, Oxford.” Come friendly bombs and blow these sad fucks to smithereens!  I was not joking when I said that!

I mean. Really. “A three-strike sanction”? Who’d you pricks think you are, Rudy Gulliani? Rockefeller laws for file sharers? Are you fucking insane? Damn! You foolish, foolish people! These are not the seventies! Things are different now! Time has marched on and left you behind! You are dead meat! The wind changed, and you got stuck making a really stupid face! I feel sorry for you, but swear down, I will not have anything to do with you. (Goddamnit, there’s a photo of me looking celebratory on their homepage. I am embarrassed)

So goodbye FAC. Groucho was right, and I have learned my lesson.

— Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

plane2

So, yeah. Like I said. I AM BACK.

Which is more of an achievement than one might imagine. That I got to New York at all is pretty amazing. You already knew I’d been through a week of foul adversity before I left. Who knew there was more to come? Who knew that getting Akira The Don out to New York to judge an Awesome Piano Battle between Chilly Gonzales and Andrew W.K. was going to be such a fucking epic struggle?

Perhaps I should have. That Ignorant Old Testament Skygod was testing me, brothers and sisters, that was clear from the start. And so it was to continue. If there was a thing to go wrong on that outward journey, then it would. While my acting debut was a success of Olympian proportions, what was to follow was like something from John Cleese’s Clockwork.

First off my flight from London to Milan was delayed. Not too much, but enough to get me antsy. Enough to tighten the stomach and shorted the fingernails. I knew Milan was trouble when we arrived and I tripped over my shoelace and hit myself in the back of the head with my brown leather sports bag. And when security wouldn’t let me through the gate and told me to go upstairs to check in, a cold sweat crept across my forehead and prickled my palms. I tore through that rotten place – yellowed, musty, and foul of carpet, like an airport from The Seventies – but when I got to check in, it was empty, and nobody knew any English, or at least pretended they didn’t. I dashed around the airport in what could only be described truthfully as “a tizzy”, eventually finding the ticket office for the company behind my precious flight to New York.

The woman behind the counter, who looked like she had just stepped out of a seventies holiday camp, and eyed me with a languid, suspicious derision, took twenty five (25) minutes to come to the conclusion that I would not be allowed onto my flight (which departed for New York City but fifteen minutes after that swineheaded decision) as the security “should” have let me through downstairs, and I “should” never have set foot in the main terminal.

“But… but… but it’s not my FAULT!” I wailed, deep from the glacial insides of my tragic World Of Anguish. Seventies Lady didn’t care. I wasn’t getting on that flight. And her shoddy-ass airline wasn’t flying again until tomorrow.

“But… but… but I need to be in New York city by 11! Tomorrow Andrew W.K. and Chilly Gonzales won’t be battling anymore!” I cried, nay, warbled, desperately. “It’ll be too late! This isn’t fair! It’s your airport’s fault! You must sort this out!

She eyed me coldly, like that dinosaur in Jurassic Park eyeballed the fat guy from Sinefeld before it grew giant bat ears and sprayed him with black acid. Then she sighed, and explained: No they would Not be putting me on a rival’s airplane, under any circumstances. Anyway, she said, there were only two other airlines flying to NY from Milan that afternoon, and the “cheapest” was going to cost £780.

“£780?”

A great white rage filled my brain. Then I headbutted her desk.

Seventies lady shrugged her shoulders, and wandered off out back.

Another fucking ticket. ANOTHER FUCKING PLANE TICKET! That would be the fifth one now. 5th. 5. Five. FIVE FUCKING PLANE TICKETS and I couldn’t afford my fucking RENT oh dear shitting Christ what the FUCK! WHY ME, what did I EVER DO, apart from that one thing but that could have happened to ANYONE right? Well OK there was that other thing but I was ONLY SIXTEEN GIVE ME A BREAK I wasn’t THINKING STRAIGHT was I oh WAH WAH WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

I paced around in a frenzy for some time, before deciding to do what any other mildly-sane late twenties male would do in such a situation – I  called my girlfriend, and said, “WAH! WAH! Wah-wah WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Then my money ran out.

Then I begged an Italian lady who could hardly understand me to change my fiver into some euro coins, and she laughed at me. I didn’t realise how totally worthless the pound had become of late. So, I ran, with all the grace of a crippled pelican, to…

Oh, bugger it. That’s enough. To cut a long ass story a bit shorter my Mother ended up lending me the money to get another flight to NY. It was actually closer to £500 than £800 in the end, but still. I banished all thoughts of rent and bills and insolvency and exhaled a sigh of relief so huge and pointed it might have taken someone’s eye out, had they been in the way.

So, me and the great big lump on my head flew to New York, via Paris, whose airport looked like something out of a glamorous near future, and didn’t have a single fast food joint in it – just an uber-posh restaurant section, which I resented as I could not afford to eat in it. They also had a relatively luxurious-looking smoking bar, which I also resented, as I No Longer Smoke. Oh, and the swine stoke my deodorant! Foolishness on their part, given the stress levels I was under. I’d already changed my top twice.I was wringing wet when I left Milan, and a sodden dishrag by the time I got out of Paris.

Still. I got to JFK airport at 9:30, and got to the front of the que of America’s scary-as-ever security pretty quickly. Last time I came, the latest addition to their arsenal was an eyeball scanner. They now have a bleeping, flashing green digital fingerprint machine that scared the utter crap out of me, for reasons some of you may understand, and the rest of you will have to guess at. But the bleeping stayed civil, and they let me through. Only for me to go and outdo my self by getting into what the New Yorkers call a “gypsy cab”, which took over an an hour and a half to make the half an hour journey to Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. It was gone eleven when we arrived, and when the incompetent, George Michael-bearded, Keanou-In-The-Matrix-Sunglasses-wearing, stop-and-take-a-piss-up-a-firehydrant-when-he-knew-damn-well-I-was-in-a-rush, piss-taking asshole fake-cabbie said, with a straight face, “that’ll be $97 plus tip,” it was all I could do to stop myself from tearing his smug face off with my bare hands and strangling him with it. As it was, I threw $40 at him and said, “$97?! Don’t you dare take the piss out of me my brother! I have been here before! I am not a fucking mug! This is all you’re getting and more than you deserve!” Then I slammed the door and legged it into the venue, heart beating out of my fucking sweat-sodden T shirt.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

A jovial bouncer greeted me.

“The Gonzales show? Sorry man, you missed it.”

I gawped at him.

“A ha ha ha! Only joking man! Come on through!”

Seven and a half minutes later I was sat in a nice, yellow-lit backstage room with Gonzales and Andrew W.K., drinking a cold Guiness out of a flute-glass, smoking a cigarette (which I don’t do anymore) and discussing score-taking etiquette.Everything was OK now. We were going to have fun.

That’s all for now kids! Check back tomorrow to find out what happened next!

— Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Akira The Don on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

MOCKY-BOAF-3-1000px

So, I got an email off of Mocky last week. He was all like, “yo A to the D, nice work on the Andrew wk gonzo battle dude.”

Which was nice of him. But Mocky wasnt just sending me props! Oh no! He was also sending me a little slice of history.

“i got a verse from GZA on a track from my recent ” jazz ” album,” he went on, merrily devoid of capitals or othersuch fripperies. “its kind o crazy. ive attached it for ya. little on the short side but nice to hear the genius in a different context and a definitie first for the canadian crew … any way been diggin what youv been up to an i thought id give you the scoop..”

He added a pps too.

“pps been checking your vids i really like em , very touching and great lyricism!”

What a nice man to say such things and send me so sweet and dope a song! Sadly, I didn’t have time to post it ’till now ‘cos I was running away to New York to join the circuis judge a pinao battle. And now I am home, and New York might as well have been a dream. Yet somehow, this song is still real! And it is beautiful! GZA and Mocky – two worlds collide, and its as if it was always thus. This sounds just like Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee And Cigarettes scene with the Wu and Bill Murray in it looked

STREAM: Mocky ft GZA – Birds of A Feather (Remix)

Dope, huh?

The original is from his “jazz album”, Saskamodie, which is a very lovely thing indeed, and is out now. Want to know more? Watch on, oh my brothers and sisters.

— By Akira The Don on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Akira The Don on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Ah, those scamps. For The Lulz!

— By Akira The Don on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009