Been Away So Long I Hardly Knew the Place

This is nice. And do feel free to scroll around.

So, the workers at Stigmund Inc. (me included) took a well-earned break in Seville a while ago where this type of thing is the norm round Easter Week. This was, of course, a wonderful surprise and a delightful time was had by all.

IN PRAISE OF MYSPACE

It’s very easy to criticise MySpace, the third most popular English-speaking site in the world with a million new members a month. Its hideousness is just one reason: the layout is crude and the colours are left to its tasteless members to choose. It is one of the most unintuitive websites to try and command and its users communicate like 9 year olds who’ve just discovered MSN. The advertising is shameless: “She’s waiting for you” and a picture of a girl who might have said she was 18 on her MySpace profile but man, she ain’t. Because I clicked on and asked her myself, that’s how. And it is all too often “undergoing maintenance” which makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Probably says more about my MySpace problem than anything, but I digress. The point is that, having said all that, I’m still slowly becoming an addict. I follow their conversations like some disgusting voyeur, tracking back to find out what everyone was talking about and who said what in response. It’s shameful, I tells ya. There are some funny little gimps out there though. And some sweet music. Irish people making deadly music! Check these out, each with at least three songs to listen to. The quirky Kevin McNamara with a thrilling voice; History of Harry, musically mature beyond their years and showing real promise; Michael Knight, who I’ve carefully compared before to Brian Wilson, have three new songs up; the bluesy, funky, difficult-to-pin-down-to-a-genre The Musical Show and the newest to MySpace, the guys just knuckling down to their Leaving Cert, The Roll Models.

Where else could these technologically-disabled musicians find a place to upload their music and run a simple website? And what better place than somewhere where there’s already 65 million members who you can contact easily and who can listen to your music for free? Sure, you’ve to sign up and exclude all those who ain’t gonna bother. But even the laziest of jackasses can still listen to your music, no matter how crap it is! Hear that, Zoomy? Get your music up and out there and show these people what you’ve got! I’ve got no-one but MySpace to thank for introducing me to these guys.

Plus, one Liam McD, a self-confessed MySpace addict, has recently come up with this gem. It’s called MySpace Arguments. It is purely for riling up the easily excited and is a joy to behold. There are various topics, each one more provocatively-titled than the one before (see ‘Gays’ and ‘Blacks- weren’t they so much cooler when they were just slaves?’*).

My favourite one so far is ‘Are women better at anything?’ Obviously intended to stir it up, and boy are some of those girls grabbing the bait. One point that has come across loud and clear though (and something I’ve often wondered) is why are girls so quiet in the music department. Think of all the bands/artists you know… Any decent girls out there? Don’t give me the poo about the industry being dominated by men etc. What about people you know, hm? I know about 20 guys personally who play instruments and are giving the ol’ songwriting a go, experiencing varying degrees of success. None of them have been signed either but they’re giving it a shot and some of them are damn talented. I don’t know one girl who’s written a song. Not true actually, I know one. She’s written a couple. But she is far outnumbered by her male counterparts. What’s the story? Sure, you often see the odd female-fronted band, but when it comes to writing the ol’ ceol she’s nowhere to be found. I do love some female artists. I’m a shameless Joni Mitchell fan and Bjork does blow me away. But even Bjork gets a lotta help with the writing. Anyway, I’m just disappointed to see not as many girls coming up with the goods. I’m not just trying to get things going but I would love to hear what people think. And if I can get things going too that would be a nice bonus.

*UPDATE: now defunct.

GOOD TASTE = SAME AS MINE

This guy has brilliantly re-enacted two of my favourite scenes of all time. As in, when I was younger (not too young, mind. 19? I am a nerd. What, you knew that!) I tape-recorded them from the TV and listened to them over and over, I loved them that much.

The first is The Princess Bride ‘Battle of Wits’ scene and the second is the climax in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (DANGER: INNUENDO OVERLOAD. EVACUATE BLOG. PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE NEAREST EXITS. IDIOTS.).

stigmund – Wears Those Dresses And The Sun Comes Shinin’ Through

10 Responses to “Been Away So Long I Hardly Knew the Place”

  1. Welcome back.
    Regarding female musicians I’m throwing my ephemeral weight behind The Pipettes. Three girls wot sing, play instruments and write their own songs, one of which – ‘Your Kisses’ – is already my favourite track of the millenium.

    http://www.myspace.com/thepipettes

  2. Zoomdance says:

    I have a friend called Aimee Mann who’ll write you a song about how shite MySpace is and then direct you to Blogspot, a service provided kindly by Google to let you have a website even people over the age of 21 and/or IQ or 75 can enjoy.

  3. stigmund says:

    She just messaged me there saying how Blogspot was “ok and all” but it wasn’t as easy to upload songs and that it had nowhere near the reach of MySpace, with over 76 million members.

    Then she sent me this link.

  4. Zoomlost says:

    Yeah yeah yeah. I think you will find though, Mr. Stigmund, that 76 million members is somewhat dwarfed by the 2 billion+ who have access to the INTERNET. The “information superhighway” may be boringly filled with thought-provoking content and spectacular multimedia designed (for the most part) in a rigourous manner to encourage readership but I don’t have to register and look at a photo of “Myspace friend Tom!”

    Once again, hosting songs on a website is as simple as hosting a photo or any other kind of file. I think this site must have some boffins on it though because they have acheived it.

  5. D says:

    Listen up, and let this be the end of this nonsense – the difference between blogspot and MySpace is absolutely minimal, you chumps, so BACK OFF.

    Yours,
    somewhat irked,
    D x

  6. Zoomchump says:

    Hmm. The irking is unintentional. But next time Stig and I have a conversation about it, we’ll make sure to have it on a site that requires registration to view it, lest your eyes be inflamed by our opinions.

    Once again my arguments about MyBebo are destroyed by the well constructed, thought-through and mature responses they provoke. I am sorry for getting ALL IN YOUR FACE and now I will BACK OFF.

    Chumpingly,
    chumped,

    Chumpchump.

  7. jimlad says:

    Girls are too busy thinking about cool male musicians to work at that kind of thing themselves. They enjoy stuff that looks and sounds pretty but they don’t enjoy doing stuff so much. They’re kinda like ornaments, and guys are like machines, eg. cd players.

  8. You’re a racist!

  9. stigmund says:

    The only material on MySpace where membership is required is the View More Pics section- hardly unreasonable. Or a great loss to those not registered.

    You need membership to comment on people’s uploaded music, photos etc., much like YouTube, Flickr or other such sites.

    120 million people agree it’s a great medium and a handy network for promoting music or music-related stuff. I know many people with BlogSpot, Blogger (et al.) accounts, but none of them are bands or even host songs. Why is that?

  10. […] CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MUUUSIC I mentioned before about how girls (in general) are not so hot on the music. Obviously there are many talented songwriters with (their own) ovaries but the majority of musicians and songwriters (good or bad) are male. I’m sure many of you have your own theories n this- I don’t expect anyone to deny that this is so… I’m not going to give any of my own theories here, I’m just using this paragraph as an intro to my bit on The Pipettes. The last time I mentioned music and women in the same sentence one young pup put forward The Pipettes as evidence of sisters doin’ their thing. Turns out they do some guy’s thing. And his thing is cute girls singing about school and sex and wearing polka dot dresses. Rumours abound on their true identities and the band’s history but having seen them live and met them in person I am quite convinced of their MANufacturedness (like that?). They are the (very entertaining) brainchild of a guitarist stroke music promoter called “Monster” Bobby, currently a member of The Cassettes, The Pipettes’ (all male) backing band. He came up with the concept of the group and penned half the album before they even existed. Others have suggested that even the name, Pipettes, stemmed from the fact that this group was merely a project or experiment. The Cassettes deliberately avoid any interviews or publicity, to keep the focus on the girls. This publicity choreography was also evident from the set up at their gig in Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, last month. The musicians stayed at the back in the dark while the girls stood out front in the spotlights, dancing, singing and looking pretty, even taking it in turns to stand in the middle so you were never far from your favourite Pipette for too long (Rosay, obviously). Their album supports the facade: all songwriting credits are attributed to “The Pipettes”. Anywise, this review from CokeMachineGlow sums up what I couldn’t here. Not just to prove I’m not biased, here’s one of the best things you’ll ever see. […]

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