I'm off to Melrose and its environs in the Scottish Borders for a week or so. Lots of rain forecast. Not sure if I'll be online which suits me. If you need me, I'll be here...
Friday, June 22, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Field of Dreams is an underrated film...in my humble opinion. It's somewhat tainted now because people just seemed to turn on Kevin Costner after making Waterworld which was seen as rather indulgent. I think he and his back catalogue have been unfairly treated since then (let's just not mention The Bodyguard).
Anyway, this post isn't about KC. It's about an extraordinary (and true) story I just came across courtesy of The Word that sort of reminded me of Field of Dreams.
Back in the seventies Washington farmer Don Emerson decided to encourage his two sons in their musical ambitions. Most people would probably buy their kids a guitar or pay for extra piano lessons. Not Don.
He decided that he would convert a substantial amount of their family farm into a concert venue and recording studio exclusively to showcase the talents of his two sons. He decided to call it Camp Jammin'. This included a ticket office, green room, public toilets and snack concession stand. Not content with that he also started a record label so his sons' recording work would be released.
What you're probably thinking is that the sons were borderline average or worse still, talentless, and this was just an over indulgent parent but in fact they worked hard at their music and produced an album - Dreamin' Wild. Dont judge that cover too much - it's of its time. There were many worse covers produced on a far greater budget.
Photo from here
Even in the seventies, for a record to gain recognition you needed a substantial distribution, publicity and marketing machine and the Emerson boys didn't have that and pa's money wasn't limitless. The record didn't sell far outside the immediate neighbourhood. The boys, Donnie and Joe, made other careers, Donnie in the music industry and Joe as a farmer.
But now, over thirty years on the record has reappeared. It got onto the radar of a few people in the industry.
Douglas McGowan from Yoga Records said "The album looks so goofy that you almost feel sorry for it - and then the music is basically perfect."
Folk music devotee Ariel Pink said "The track Baby has been a staple on just about every playlist and mixtape I've assembled in the last three years. It is nothing short of sublime."
Camp Jammin' still exists and the boys played there for their father's 80th birthday. His faith in his sons has never dimmed although building Camp Jammin' and trying to get his sons a future in the recording industry almost cost him his farm and livelihood.
Dreamin' Wild is going to be re-released by Light in the Attic Records on 2nd July. It's not really my cup of tea but it's a great story.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Spanish banks have said they need 40 billion Euros to avoid becoming insolvent.
The European Central Bank (ECB) don't trust them so would prefer to give them 80 billion.
The financial markets don't trust the ECB so think 100 billion would be safer - to maintain confidence.
Financial services institution JP Morgan estimate the final figure needed could be around 350 billion.
Does anyone actually know what they're doing?
Words fail me.