I am getting ready to leave for the Smashing Pumpkins concert tonight, and as usual I sat down to eat my breakfast cereal at the computer. I was happy to see another “aquablog” and laughed as I read his first few lines because Matt is so funny. Then, as I read on I got pretty upset because, well I will let you read it yourself and see why……….

People of earth,
My name is Matt. I am a music making killer robot disguised as a spekky loser.
My will is my command.

Or if you prefer:

Hello everyone,

Hope your week/life is going to plan. My week/life is as unpredictable as ever.
So, about 3 days after Memory Man (Memory Nan) was finally released in the UK and Europe we were dropped by our record label. Not accidentally dropped like a vicar’s tea cup, but hurriedly, urgently dropped like a hot potato with a poo-covered plaguebomb in it.

So I was furious, then sad, then bored. Then I realised it might actually be a good thing. Big record companies and traditional record deals are very 20th century things as they are busy discovering.

I have a feeling the future for musicians like me lies elsewhere.

Where exactly? Well we shall see. Already a lot of excellent things are starting to happen. A new chapter is beginning. Killer music robots of the world unite!

X matt

Ps. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for a proper tour whilst we sort ourselves out. We’ll get out and see you as soon as we can. We have the following 2 dates onsale now however;

Nov 19 Brighton Digital £8.50 London Click!
Nov 20 London Kings College (over 14s) £12.50 Click!

Also for the month of October, anyone who buys anything from the Aqualung shop will go into a draw to win a 30Gb ipod stuffed with everything Matt has performed as Aqualung, the 45s, Ruth and other rarities!

I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND why a record label would drop someone as talented and spectacular as Matt Hales. I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND why people in this world are not buying enough of Matt’s albums to justify his label keeping him on. Why are people buying Good Charlotte and Britney Spears crap and not beautiful, meaningful, really terrifically great music from Aqualung?

Good luck Matt, and all other killer music robots of the world; we are rooting for you and we love you.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Sep 242007
 

A very long time ago our friend Scary Larry was cleaning out his dorm room and gave us his old plastic pitcher.   We used that thing for years, a lot of kool aid was made and consumed daily during that time in our lives.

A couple months ago the same Larry told me about a band he liked called Mew.   I bought their album “And the Glass Handed Kites” and loved it.  This weekend we bought their other album “Frengers” and I’m back blogging about Mew again.

So now we have Larry to thank for the long lived pitcher, and introducing us to Mew!

My favorite songs on “Frengers” are 156 and She Spider.   Every time She Spider came on I would go over and see which song it was because I liked it so much, only to realize it was that song again.  You can listen to it when you check Mew out right here.

Also, mildly of interest; Tac started a playlist called “Sings like a girl” with Placebo, Silversun Pickups, Umbrellas and of course Mew.   Speaking of Umbrellas, my brother saw them play this weekend and loved it.  I asked him to blog about it on my site, but I guess he’s too much of a wuss because he said no.

Who would you add to the “sings like a girl” playlist?  (preferably boys)

Popularity: 12% [?]

 

The Bravery are opening for The Smashing Pumpkins in Orem, UT this weekend and since I havn’t heard anything other than their cover of the Pumpkin’s song “Rocket,” we bought their album  yesterday.

After listening to it several times I am happy to say that I am even more excited for the concert this weekend!  I like them, they have some sound simularities to 80′s music (the good kind) and the singer has a great voice.  Lots of guitars, keyboards, and cool indie/electronica music back up that voice nicely.

Since we are going to be standing there listening anyway, I  am feeling pretty joyful that we will be standing there listening to The Bravery.  Check them out!

Popularity: 21% [?]

 

I’ve been happily working on a sewing project this week. Years ago I cut out the “SP heart,” and some of the song titles I like best from a guy t-shirt, and sewed them onto a more feminine shaped shirt. I have not worn that shirt in years because the style is so outdated, so this week I carefully un-stitched it and sewed it onto a sweatshirt jacket. It felt kind of quaint to be sitting in bed working on my sewing while my husband read at night.september07-009.jpg

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And yes, I finished it just in time. I am going to see the Pumpkins next weekend!!! I won’t wear it to the actual concert, we will be on the floor and I plan on not needing a jacket to keep warm, I will just wear it every day until then in happy anticipation.

also, I totally sewed my pockets shut

Popularity: 14% [?]

 

Its time for a “hey whatever happened to” post, today’s topic: 80′s electric dance music band The Beloved. They were a British “indie” band in the late 80′s who produced some fairly unsuccessful singles, eventually compiled into one album, titled “Where It Is.”

Two more albums; “Blissed Out,” and “Happiness” were released in 1990. By this time, they had made a name for themselves and were becoming quite popular. “Blissed Out” is the one I remember loving. A way cute boy whom I dreamed of marrying – long before I met sarcastic, witty, handsome web 2.0 guru Tac Anderson- made me a mixed tape (if you are under the age of 20 see here) with a bunch of Beloved songs from that album.

Soon after, the guitarist left and singer Jon Marsh was left alone. He started working as a DJ and apparently got really good at it. The Beloved has since made two more albums: “X” harder and darker than the others which Marsh and his wife made together, and “Sunshine” a platinum collection put out in 2005.

Listen to The Beloved here, ENJOY!

This post is dedicated to Amy and Ben Thomas.

Popularity: 11% [?]

 

I’m getting a little tired of all the negative reactions toward Billy Corgan’s solo album: The Future Embrace. I realize its so two years ago, but as Billy has been in the media a lot lately the album is regularly brought to attention as silly or just not any good.

Not to say that plenty of people don’t love this album because I’m pretty sure they do, at least the fans attending his concert in Seattle for the solo album sounded impressed.

I think I might understand why people have reacted this way ( a little), I remember the first time I listened to the album I was taken off guard by how much it differed from my expectations. I skipped through the album playing only the first 10 or so seconds of each song, and then took it out of the cd player until I could be totally alone to wholly occupy and engross myself in it.

So, yes it was different from the guitar heavy, mostly acoustic album of “little songs” that I had secretly been hoping for, but as I listened (without interruptions, I had to wait all day and into the night for that indulgence) I heard the beauty, the razor voice, and everything else that makes Billy Corgan who he is, in The Future Embrace.

I don’t think most people gave it a chance, they expected The Smashing Pumpkins and it wasn’t. But my point is, The Future Embrace is one of my favorites right along with Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie, Adore and Machina. Trying to pick an actual one favorite has kept us occupied many a long road trip. Tac probably just asks me that question when he wants me quiet, or needs to change the conversation topic.

Popularity: 12% [?]

 

If you’re in the mood for some good live music, The Honorary Title is touring throughout the U.S. right now.  They recently released their new album Scream and Light Up the Sky; an album I’m sure to be getting since their other album Anything Else But the Truth is an absolute favorite of mine.

I love the deep singing voice, its solid and comfortable; not forced at all.  You won’t be let down by the lyrics, and the album artwork is really cool.   “Bridge and Tunnel” is a must hear if you don’t already like this band, ooh even as I write this and listen to some new stuff on their myspace page I’m reminded why I like The Honorary Title so much.

Popularity: 12% [?]

 

I first noticed the band Inkwell mostly because of the writing font on their myspace page.

It reminded me of Umbrellas.

After a quick comparison of the two however, I realized that it was nothing more than the double “LL” in both of their names. I kind of liked their music though, so I listened some more. Its your basic indie/rock/alt band, only they must have shined their shoes and used mouthwash because they’re pretty good.

They have a song called “drop it” followed by the song “no you drop it” which is highly amusing to me. Plus, one of their myspace friends is Death Cab for Cutie, which is very impressive. I wonder if it has something to do with both of them having a song about the Atlantic Ocean? (I don’t really wonder that) See Death Cab’s song “Transatlanticsm” and Inkwell’s song “These Stars are Monsters.”

Popularity: 12% [?]

 

I love the internet, I get to do cool stuff like read Matt Hale’s aquablog newsletters and hear what he’s been thinking about that day. I look forward to them as he has a writing style I really enjoy. This is his latest one, and its had me thinking…

Hi All!

A few weeks ago on an internal/infernal flight from somewhere to somewhere else, a flight attendant started an announcement with “happy afternoon”. Seemed a bit excessive to me. Happy birthday – sure. Happy anniversary? Perfectly fine. Even ‘happy June’ seems ok but happy afternoon, with maybe a little ‘happy afternoon’ card with a sleepy-eyed bear slumping over his workstation…..it’s just wrong.

Happy afternoon everyone. Could you pick up some milk on the way home? Ta. Having dealt with the tricky question of “what is music?” last time (and thanks for all YOUR thoughts btw) what shall I pointless about today? Well I’ve been doing yet more interviews and another question that keeps coming up is “what exactly IS success?” The journalists don’t actually ask that question but I have been tending to try and answer it anyway. After a few days of press you tend to answer the questions they ask less and less. I pity the last interview of the day as they get JUST PURE SHIT from me…..

So what is success? Here’s a fun game:
choose which of the following outcomes would count as successful in your life:

Wealthy and influential
Married with 2 kids
Ignored by everyone
Noticed by everyone
New ‘friend’ every weekend
Celibate but with an enormous ding a ling
Look like a duck
Boring job spectacular weekends
Boring job boring weekends
Saving the world but bad hair
Absolutely brilliant hair
Decent hair
Optician

It’s been proven (by science) that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD has a different definition of success. Yet THE WORLD sets out a few narrow presciptive parameters and says everything outside them is FAILURE and WRONG and STUPID. Yeah!

I am not, by the usual measures, a particularly successful musician. I can’t fill a stadium anywhere. (even my gig at the Catford Mouse-Stadium was only half full) my albums refuse to go to no.1 and i’ve been dropped more times than a monkeys’ yo-yo.
But I am doing what I love with people I love and some people in the world love what we do. And i’m happy more often than i’m sad. There we are then.

Have a good day please.
Matt

This is relevant to a question Ive been chewing on for years, why are some musicians so successful, when they really don’t make good music at all? I don’t have a thorough knowledge of popular music, I just know that every time I decide to give the radio a chance I immediately regret it. And when I’m shopping in the mall I generally want to sew my ears shut so I won’t have to listen to what is playing.

But is that success? In some ways I guess it is, although I think there is more to it than being played in Abercrombie every 20 minutes. What message are we sending to musicians out there when sucky music receives most of the attention, awards, and money? There are of course some bands like Muse that are super talented and successful, and I think Aqualung is more popular than Matt gives it credit to be.

The Mummers, one of my personal favorites, are just starting out. I hope they are successful, because that would mean I can listen to them for years to come and they can continue to do something they love.

We have a good friend Nick, of Sub Rosa, I wonder how successful his music career will be. And if he is having fun, and creating music that people enjoy (which he is) then Hopefully he already feels successful.

Maybe success is making/doing something you are really proud of and having absolutely brilliant hair (in which case the hair will put Nick right at the top). It helps if other people like it too; validation is always a bonus, but not altogether necessary.

Now look who is pointlessing.

Popularity: 38% [?]

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