Call me Russ L

Assorted Things That Make You Go Ooh

Posted in Modern Living, Music by Russ L on 10 September, 2007

There have been a few local things of late that are the sort of happenstances I might generally have commented on, but haven’t as yet. Well, I’m damned if I ain’t gonna take the opportunity to be a gobby cow whenever possible. I’m going to use Created In Birmingham as my general source of links here, because it’s That Damn Good.

– The band Midas from Stourbridge have, apparently, been banned from the charts due to using what may or may not have been non-conventional sales methods. Aaaaw, seriously, who gives a toss? I quite liked Midas when I saw them, but it’s generally accepted wisdom that if you want to get your single in the charts and be a popstar and such then you have to chomp down on whatever crap da moozic bidnith hands to you. The only amazing thing about this is that a sensible man can point out that ‘getting into the charts’ ain’t quite such a worthwhile aim and that people will actually be surprised by his opinion.

Marketing Birmingham have come up with a piss-poor ‘branding’ theme for everything they have anything to do with. Birmingham – Feel The Heat! And, you see (this is the clever bit), they’ve put the word ‘heat’ in their marketing campaign and they used an ugly-arsed thermal style for the visuals. What genius. I know it’s a subjective thing, but I don’t find it particularly nice to look at. At all. Whatsoever. I approve of lolcat-based satire that seems to be cropping up here and there, though. They’re also involved in the B1 CD that proclaims to represent “Birmingham’s best new bands” but basically involves a handful of indie/acoustic acts of a polite nature. I approve wholeheartedly of D. Louis Baker being on there ‘cos he’s great, but still. It wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t been stuck on the front of Music Week (yeah, I know you don’t read it and neither do I, but presumably someone does) as a supposed representation of Birmingham’s best efforts. Outright embarrassing.

– In connection with that, there’s been much talk this year about how much value Artsfest actually has (here, here, here, probably all sorts of other places…). Now, I like Artsfest and hope it continues. I only discovered it a few years ago and am continually amazed how an event that spans across most of the central area of Birmingham for a weekend commands so little publicity, but there we are. It’s been around for a decade and (as mentioned) I didn’t discover it until a few years ago; most people I know still aren’t aware of it unless I’ve been repeatedly banging on at them about a chance to see a load of free stuff (and despite what some will tell you I only have a finite amount of energy). Nevertheless, the full listings are here, and are a huge improvement on the printed programme by means of not using the aforementioned ugly thermal theme and by actually having some degree of explanation of what the various performances actually are. That’s the main problem, though; that’s on the computer, and the (less informative) programme that you might hope to carry around with you is A4 sized. How incredibly stupid is that? I really am massively frustrated, partly by the thing itself but also (and please excuse my French) at the ordure-chewingly-soul-bustingly stupid idea of making a leaflet that people will need to carry around all day A4 sized. I mean… Jesus. All linguistic possibilities fail me. I really am tempted to say “Ooblocks to ‘em” if it does end up getting cancelled after this year, just because of this. It may not seem like a major thing, but if you put on a free weekend-long city-centre-wide event for those ordinary people amongst us who don’t have the necessary technology to access The Matrix on any given spot, how unbelievably cretinous is it to make the only available guide/source of info bigger than can be fitted into a pocket or normal-sized handbag? It may seem silly but I really am angry about this.

Graaah. It better be good now.

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