Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
"Named with all the hubris of Napoleon III strutting back into his uncle’s old office, it takes a position in their oeuvre equivalent to that of Bowie’s Let’s Dance or Roxy’s Dance Away. It’s even about dancing, sort of, and there are lyrical nods to the Duke and Bryan too. It’s middle aged My Favorite, which is only right and proper. “Too old to die young, too young to die slow” would be a fine opening couplet in any context, but as a scene setter for this melancholic meditation on the possibility of rebirth on the dancefloor, it’s devastating"
read the whole review here
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
yep - it's been 10 years coming, and it's out today - 7th October - Luke Haines', John Mellencamp's and Simon Cowell's birthday!
Second Empire and Dance With A Stranger are anthems for a bookish overachiever making the most of his best man's yacht for the after party… and then burning it down in the water. Each lyric is a slogan, tattooed in Helvetica, to the sounds of a dark disco Domino Dancing... if these tunes were the John Hughes soundtrack that Electronic and BEF never made Andie would have left with Duckie.
Formed as teenagers in early 90s on Long Island, My Favorite were a critically acclaimed enigmatic indiepop group during the first era of their career, beginning with their debut single The Last New Wave Record 7” in 1994 through to 2003’s The Happiest Days Of Our Lives double LP. Aside from a cult of devoted fans in America, Sweden and Japan, My Favorite also had fans amongst the best of their peers, leading to invitations to open for Belle & Sebastian and The Magnetic Fields, as well as being chosen by Morrissey for his pre-concert mix in 2005. At the same time they were influencing the next wave of indie and alternative bands; members of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and The Drums are on the record as fans.
The group turned the haunted suburbs of Long Island into an array of heavenly pop hits, which in some tangent universe might have landed them on Top Of The Pops, or the cover of the NME. Monsters, misfits, and the ghosts of dead teenagers populated songwriter Michael Grace Jr’s atmospheric short stories about youth and love squandered in squalor. From synthpop to punk, to the echoes of reggae and goth, My Favorite were chameleons, pop artists who borrowed and deconstructed the marginalized music of the 80s to frame a kind of End Of The Century last stand against the coming constructs of the digital age.
And now, through chance, design and metaphysical obligation, My Favorite have returned.
The picture disc is illustrated by Jeff Mellin
Friday, 3 October 2014
Monday, 29 September 2014
Let's face it, none of us have enough room, if I just wanted the music it would be far more practical to get it digitally, but i don't. I want the THING cos it's beautiful, the grooves, the labels, the 12" mailers on the doormat, the 7" bag in the pub... and the SLEEVES
I've lost track of the unlistenable records I have bought cos they look fantastic, and more importantly the hits I haven't cos they look dreadful.
A well designed sleeve in a shop or on a record stall makes me want a record I have never heard.
Is it the same for you?
In which case (obviously) use your imagination to design a sleeve that will stand out on a shelf load of its peers - have a chat with your art college and photographer mates who, I assure you, are itching to design a record sleeve. Money is always going to be tight so think of alternatives to the regular card sleeves, talk to local printers, think about hand making, invite all your chums round when you have the parts and have a put-it-all-together party.
If you decide to hand over the sleeve with the record to the manufacturer, talk to them, make sure you have the right templates, resolution and bleeds.
Perhaps also think about coloured vinyl or picture discs, although they will put the unit cost up considerably.
If you're putting together a number of different releases, think about a standard label sleeve you can use for all of them (these can all be printed in one go, and so end up much cheaper per unit), or a theme (if I have part four of a seven-single set I'm going to find it hard to walk past the other six) but remember NEVER to trust a band with a logo (metal excluded).
While you’re working on the pictures think very carefully about the WORDS - have you credited everyone? Is the catalogue number correct? Is the tracklisting in the right order? have you thanked the guitarist’s previous boyfriend by mistake? Have you called the producer the engineer? is the band name spelt correctly? Have you included website and social media details? For you AND the band?
Are you including sleevenotes too?... perhaps a guide to releasing your own records?
Read, re-read, re-re-read and re-re-re-read, give it to a friend to read a few times too, and then leave the corrected copy for a weekend, and re-re-re-re-read it before sending it off to print.
A good cover will help, but won't guarantee, you sell your records - at the very least you will have a handsome pile of unsold pop sleeves to wallpaper your pad.