Thursday, 26 June 2014

Video Alert: The Black Tibetans - 'You're Cold'

Are you a fan of the Black Keys or just love a dirty rock n roll? If you said yes to either question, you're sure to love You're Cold from Californian rockers The Black Tibetans. Produced by front-man for the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, this dirty rocking number is sure to get hearts beating, feet tapping and sweat glistening as it's released this summer.

The video looks fantastic, setting a tour-diary back-drop to the track and was exclusively premiered by Fender. Auerbach also picks up his six-string, taking the solo for the track after having sat in the producer's seat for 'The Nashville Sessions' EP for The Black Tibetans.

The trio have recently been on the road supporting the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Eagles of Death Metal and Brody Dalle and the EP, from which You're Cold is taken, is available now on iTunes. You can watch the video below. Enjoy :)

The Black Tibetans - You're Cold - (Official Music Video) from SRCE production on Vimeo.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Destination Unknown: BANK Fashion

BANK Fashion are running an exciting competition that closes tomorrow for you and a friend to win tickets to 3 chosen festivals this summer!

All you have to do is visit the BANK Fashion website and enter the competition by writing a themed blog post, talking through your favourite festival wear, a fantasy festival or a festival gone wrong.

The first 50 people to submit a blog post will also be entered into a prize draw to win £200 towards their summer festival wardrobe!

The more creative the better, so what are you waiting for?!

Hurry hurry, you've got 24 hours. Good luck!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Dying Under the Doctor - Prescription Drugs and Rock and Roll

- Check out this post contributed by Imogen Reed!

Dying Under the Doctor - Prescription Drugs and Rock and Roll

Music has been associated with booze and drugs since the dawn of time. Ever since Dionysus danced through Greek myth with his wild music and his distinctly altered states of consciousness, mind-altering substances have woven themselves in and out of the lives of musicians, leaving an indelible imprint upon their output. Due perhaps to the association of rock music with rebellion and nonconformity, the drugs which spring to mind when people consider rock music are invariably of the illegal variety – cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD and so on. However, there is a trend just as prevalent for musicians to overdo it with these street drugs’ less cool cousins – prescription medication.


Prescription drugs can have effects on the mind just as powerful as those of illegal drugs. Rockers who cite the altered states of consciousness brought about by illegal drugs as a creative aid could just as easily – and legally – gained the same effect from prescription medications such as the benzodiazepene commonly known as ‘Xanax’. Xanax, as the experts at explain, “is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders”, and is also highly addictive if used recklessly. Using anxiety medication doesn’t carry quite the same street cred as mellowing out with cannabis or heroin, which is perhaps why we don’t hear quite so much about Xanax abuse in rock’n’roll circles – but the fact is that many musicians have in fact used and abused it in the same quantities (if not more so) as its illegal counterparts. As the New Yorker mag have pointed out, “U2 and Lil Wayne have written songs about Xanax”, and it has been found in the toxicology reports of many a dead celebrity – including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Heath Ledger. Xanax is not the only prescription medicine which is commonly found in the musical drug cabinet, however. Sleeping pills, heart meds, antidepressants, painkillers…all of these and more have been cited as reasons for the erratic behaviour, musical brilliance, and even deaths of many a musician.

Elvis's Toxic Cocktail

Although some may believe Elvis to live on (although he’d be approaching his eightieth birthday by now), the fact remains that he died in 1977, allegedly in less than salubrious circumstances. The ultimate cause of death is usually attributed to heart failure and drug dependency. However, what drugs, precisely, he was dependent upon remains little known. People hearing the word 'drugs' in association with a musician assume that the drugs in question were illegal. This is not the case. According to a Guardian report on a new show, ‘Dead Famous DNA’ aired on Channel 4, Elvis suffered from “a heart disease that causes a thickening of the heart and weakening of the heart muscle”. The paper also points out that Elvis “relied heavily on prescription drugs” which may well have weakened his heart still further. The Telegraph report that Elvis’s doctor, George Nichopolous, “prescribed over 10,000 pills to Elvis…They included narcotics, barbituates, amphetamines, sleeping pills, tranquilisers, hormones, and laxatives”. It’s a toxic cocktail which could cause terrible problems for anyone – let alone someone suffering from genetic heart disease. And Elvis is by no means the only musician to have gone out in such a fashion.
A Stressful Business
‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson’s posthumous toxicology report made headlines worldwide, as did the subsequent trial of his doctor, Conrad Murray, for ‘involuntary manslaughter’. Jackson, as the New York Daily News breathlessly reported, died surrounded by “oxygen tanks, prescription pill bottles and other medical supplies” - and it was the prescription pills which finally finished him off. Of course, Jackson was never a model of sanity, so his fate may not be indicative of general trends within the music industry, but it does seem that musicians are fatally drawn to the lure of the pill bottle. Perhaps at the high-performing end of the industry anti-anxiety aids such as Xanax are considered necessary to keep down the stress of the high-powered demands upon musical celebrities. Stress-busting is a big deal even for ordinary people, with companies worldwide offering stress-relief products like Aromatherapy Associates “De-Stress Mind Bath and Shower Oil”, which can be sold at a premium to desperately frazzled customers. Self-medicating for stress is something which easily gets out of hand in anyone, let alone those who live constantly in the spotlight (and have the resources to employ personal doctors who will prescribe precisely what they desire them to).

The Creative Mind

The fact cannot be denied, however, that musicians and other creatives do seem particularly prone to mental peculiarities – some of which they wish to exacerbate and some of which they wish to control. John Lennon and George Harrison both found themselves drawn to Sivananda Yoga, which promises such mental benefits as “a calm mental attitude” according to the Light Yoga Space. Indeed, the Beatles are by many considered to have been instrumental in bringing about yoga’s current popularity in the West. Other musicians, however, sought this ‘calm mental attitude’ elsewhere. Mental illness appears to be particularly common amongst musical artists – the Guardian report that “creative artists are fifth in the top 10 professions with high rates of depressive illness”. The reasons behind this phenomenon are as yet unknown, but that many musicians have suffered from mental illness of one sort or another – often depressive - is self-evident. While the Beatles may have brought their creative minds under control through the practice of yoga (although they were not immune to the allure of drugs), others have sought solace in medication. Jimi Hendrix died of a sleeping pill overdose after he, as the BBC delicately put it “fell ill with stress and exhaustion”, while Def Leppard’s Steve Clark died of an antidepressant overdose.

A Problem Deserving of Publicity

Clearly even ‘good’ drugs can do bad things if abused, and musicians appear to be particularly prone to such abuse. While so-called ‘hard’ drugs get all the press (in a move perhaps perpetuated by the rockers themselves in a desire to seem rebellious), it is the doctor-prescribed ones which frequently prove fatal. This may be because people assume that prescription drugs are inherently ‘safe’, while harder drugs come with an awful lot of societal messages regarding their dangers. Many musicians ‘get clean’ from the illegal substances and, to all intents and purposes, present a sober face to the world. However, they are sometimes still ‘high’ off the effects of drugs prescribed for them by a doctor. Keith Moon ironically fell prey to the drug Heminevrin, which he had been prescribed to help get him over his alcoholism. Prescription drug abuse is a big problem in the world in general, so it is perhaps time that the tales of the musicians who perished due to prescribed drugs should receive greater publicity. The deaths of artists who overdosed on cocaine and heroin are always held up as salutary (if tragic) examples to society – why not so with those who died of legal drugs? If nothing else, it may help to prevent the loss of more musical talent in the future.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Guest Post: Rock and Roll Legends: 
Izzy and Ozzy—A Prevalence of Potty Problems

Check out this rockin guest post from Alice Morell!

Rock and Roll Legends: 
Izzy and Ozzy—A Prevalence of Potty Problems

    Sometimes the human creature finds itself obsessed with the basest of behaviors, somehow returning back to the animal brain demanding to mark its territory.  Sometimes it's alcohol that does it, sometimes it's perversity.  In the case of our favorite Rock Gods, maybe it's just a touch of the same insanity that makes them the pinnacles of riotous and anti-social behavior they are. Whatever the case, when thing get a little tense, or a Rocker wants to have a fun, how often a little urination comes into is, perhaps, reason for pause.  These next two stories have to do with instances of that exact thing, and how sometimes such a thing can come back to haunt you, yes, even as a Rock God, a long time later.

Hey Ozzy, Remember the Alamo?

    Back in the height of his career, while travelling with Black Sabbath, Ozzy found his way down to Texas to perform in a concert on his ‘Diary of a Madman’ tour.  The concert was a smashing success, and unsurprisingly, after the concert the band got smashed to an equivalent degree.  At some point during the night, Ozzy found himself down by the Alamo, and urinated on the Cenotaph across the street.  Ozzy himself admitted to having something of a predilection with defacing such things.  Now, fast forward years later, and Ozzy is now travelling as Osbourne, and sure enough he found his way down to that little corner of Texas again.  Well, this time the locals had gotten word that the Prince of Darkness had taken to defacing and peeing on such a thing, and a near riot broke out at his concert.  Ozzy saw it fit to apologize and pay $10,000 to the Daughters of the Alamo, those who were charged with taking care of the monument.   Next time, maybe he'd best find his way to an outhouse.
Stradlin the Thin Yellow Line

    We promised you two urine based stories, you twisted metal head you.  Sure enough, we're going to deliver.  Izzy Stradlin of Guns N' Roses found himself on a plane crossing the United States, and was rather eager to use the restroom on the plane.  It just so happened that, at the moment he desired to use it, it was occupied.  Most people faced with this situation would stand and dance awkwardly outside until the person inside finished their business.  Not Stradlin, no—instead, in true Rock God style, Stradlin saw it fit to drop his trousers and urinate right there in the galley area of the plane to the gasps and annoyance of both passengers and plane staff.  He was, of course, arrested on landing, and was forced to write an apology letter to the staff of the plane.

    Just like rock music can inspire the animal inside of us and cause us to riot against this pale thin veneer of civility we've painted over the human animal, so do the Rock Gods themselves live close to that line.  Powered by the adoration of millions and the money to pay away almost any violation of the status quo, these boys and girls of Rock have less fear of crossing the human/animal line then most, and out of this is born some of the more riotous and extreme behaviors of our favorite Rock Gods.
But perhaps that is the purpose they serve, to remind us that underneath all these trappings of civilization we're just animals playing house with propriety.  They serve as icons railing against the wall of humanity, demanding for us to remember our roots, run wild, and maybe, just maybe, to piss wherever we want sometimes.   A beast has to mark their territory once in a while, right?
You can follow Alice on twitter by clicking here.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

New Artist Alert: Fans of Faye

Alternative-rockers Fans of Faye are the latest band to feature as my New Artist Alert, putting Birmingham on the musical map after 10 years performing under the name around the Midlands, UK. The 4-piece's debut album, Designed to Be, was released in November 2012 which saw the release of lead-single Paint the Sun taking the band into their next chapter.

The album opens timidly and delicately, not as I was expecting from an alternative rock band however it's not long before a Foo Fighter's sounding guitar sound opens up alongside lead vocals and, almost two minutes into the album, is backed by the whole band. The second verse returns to the much more relaxed affair, showcasing the range of lead-singer and founding-member Zachary Hart's vocals.

Lead-single Paint the Sun builds steadily; a lyrical showcase that explodes with passion at the first sniff of a first chorus. The sound is great and very strong and definitely one I'm sure is even better suited to a live venue.

The band's sound is well-established by Are You Finished sitting almost mid-way, with the lead vocals and guitar leading the line in powerful choruses. Interlude Breathe allows us to, well do just that, providing a momentary respite before Ghost re-establishes the band's full-flow and sound with a great sounding groove in the verses and typically-powerful choruses.

The relentless charge to the finish is halted by Hunting Season Begins with it's Incubus-sounding lead-guitar line but it's not long before it's clear this is yet another momentary lapse in energy. The band's sound is consistent yet not predictable and the songwriting is excellent.

You can download Designed to Be for free from the band's Bandcamp page but be sure to keep up to date with them on Facebook to support them at a live venue near you.

Friday, 7 February 2014

New Artist Alert: White Clouds & Gunfire - Since You Were Gone

It's been a while since part of the I Am Mighty Records family has been featured but have no fear, newbies White Clouds and Gunfire are here with their debut single and video for Since You Were Gone to right that.

Hailing from Peterborough, UK, WC&G are a female-fronted 'pocket-rocket' pop-punk explosion waiting to happen. The quartet, who have been together since 2009, released their debut album For All the Non Believers through I Am Mighty Records back in September last year. The single is a real pop-punk powerhouse full of energy that builds steadily as the track progresses, climbing ever-closer to the heavily backing vocal-laden chorus that packs an ever harder punch.

In a song-writing sense it's nothing out of the ordinary but this shouldn't take anything away from the energy and the production of the track and the video looks great; a narrative featuring the band's lead singer running in parallel with live footage. The genre is still very much alive and current which the band suit perfectly and, complete with crowd-pleasing wooh-oohs-oohs, WC&G are sure to have a great time on the road with Taking Hayley. The tour includes two headline shows at the Crauford Arms in Milton Keynes on Feb 14th and a hometown show at the Met Lounge on Feb 21st.

You can check out the video for yourselves below, and be sure to keep up to date with the band on Facebook. For All the Non Believers is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many other online digital retailers.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Jake Meeking ft. The Cat in the Hat - Walking On My Own LIVE

Check out this great video for Jake Meeking's Walking On My Own live as part of the Lost and Found sessions recorded at the Nest in Bath, UK. The video takes a slightly different route to the original with a dab of piano added for good measure and sounds great.

If you haven't seen it all ready, check out the excellent official video for Walking On My Own too:

You can keep up to date with Jake Meeking on Facebook. Enjoy :)