Goodbye, 2014: Hoping for a better new year

Goodbye, 2014:

 

 

Hoping for a better new year.

 

 

THIS past year has been a pretty dreadful one- even by my standards.  After suffering a car crash six weeks, I find myself in pretty bad financial state.  It looks as though I will not see any money come by way (from the other party)- having had to pay over a grand of my own money, the punishment keeps coming.  After having to schedule a medical appointment (in relation to the accident), I will be charged a ‘cancellation fees’- which will put me into debt.   One single and stupid event has cost my so much- not just financially, but emotionally (and physiologically).  This year has also seen my lose a very dear (online friend)- over something very stupid and baffling.  I have had one of my worst years of depression- helped in so small part because of recent events.  Being in a job (that is causing a lot of stress and dissatisfaction), I find myself looking to 2015 with a sense of… skepticism.

Aside from getting a lot of support (from my family), music- and my music-producing peeps- have given me the most fulfillment- and satisfaction.  I am not sad to see the back of 2014, as it has been a pretty disappointing year.  On the plus side, I am determined to change everything in 2015- and I mean, EVERYTHING.  I have not put any of my music to tape; not collaborated with any musicians- that will change.  I have a ‘wish list’ (of people I want to work with); a song (a very big one) I want to get produced- and of course, get a band together.  It is time to stop thinking so much about other people- if recent unfortunate occurrences have shown me anything, you get screwed over.  It doesn’t matter how much you give and give- someone will take that spirit clean out of you.  Sitting with a pile of stress and (a severe lack of money), it is time to burn the remnants of this year- start fresh and learn from it.  I am going to focus more on myself- whilst continuing to give to others.

When all the debts, costs and sacrifices are tabulated- it is time to start doing things differently.  I am determined to stop working just for the hell of earning a wage- do things I actually WANT to do with life.  Get music made; get ambitions realised- start focusing on better things.  I hope to move to London (or closer to it); see some of my online friends- head to Yorkshire for a start.  I am not one for making ‘resolutions’ (when we approach a new year) as they are cliché and insincere.   It would be nice (if 2015) gave me the following (and helped me achieve…)

Record at least one song

Form a band

Visit as many online friends as possible

Move to my own place

Stop being single- it gets annoying after a while

Stop putting everyone else before myself

Complete four new half-marathons (for charity)- in addition to fundraise

Get my charity endeavours and projects launched to a wider audience

Manage my depression and try to keep it under control

Be braver and less reserved- being bold can lead to some good things

Punish those who punish me- not letting people and things screw me over

Promote new music and help my music friends- as much as I can

Try and get my Psychoacoustics business ideas started

And…

Well, you get the idea.  I am more than fed up with losing out; getting knocked down and kicked.  It sounds like I am on a total downer- this year has seen a lot of good.  I am so glad that many of my music friends have managed to achieve success- so many of them have made some big strides.  Seeing other people succeed (and do so well) has given me a lot of pleasure- I hope that 2015 is huge for them!  If I can achieve a few of my ‘goals’ it will be a massive achievement- I feel this year has consisted of setbacks and day-to-day grind.  Whether- realising my goals- involves poverty and illness, I will make it happen.  Positivity and (focusing on me) is the way forward- it does not mean abandoning others.  I think getting the balance right; taking risks and being bold- THAT is the smartest thing to do.  Karma and equality do not exist- they are mythical concepts expounded by people that want the universe to ‘level the score’.  Life doesn’t work like that- reality exists; the universe plays no physical hand in anything.  I have accepted I will experience misfortune and sadness- although hopefully less than this year.  The only way to obtain satisfaction and self-fulfillment is to take gambles; go out and get it- not expect others (who should give back and appreciate their lot) to do the right things.  It may not go exactly ‘according to plan’; there may be some roadblocks and delays- but the ambition is there.  Being stuck in a rut is sucky; losing so much is horrendous- why would you not want to change that (whatever it takes)?  I hope that others (and those reading) have their eyes trained to the next year (and aiming for bigger things).  If you have had a bad year- make a list and set yourself targets; look ahead and make 2015 so much better (than this year).  If you have had a good year, then keep the momentum going- and get stronger and more assured.  I am looking forward to focusing more on music; following dreams- and stop living a boring, buttoned-down and frustratingly (pointless office life).  To hell with 2014- let’s start to plan for an exciting new year.  This time next year, I will post another blog- I hope to post lots of great news.  It is ambitious stuff, but I have always been that way- it is so much better than being boring and ‘realistic’.  As I make plans; try not to let financial woes dictate things- it is a good time for others to reflect.  I know that next year will be a much better one; a more productive one…

A more musical one.

Psychoacoustics: A One-Stop Music Venture

Psychoacoustics:

 

A One-Stop Music Venture

 

______________________________________________________

With social media stagnating; the music industry showcasing fewer surprises- perhaps a time for change (is required).  Short of looking for a big money opportunity; Psychoacoustics is a way to bring musicians together- and ensure a community for all

 ____________________________________________________________

OVER the past few months, I have been neglecting music reviewing: seeing it as a bit of a dead-end junction.  It was great to begin with- I felt I helped a lot of artists- but after a while, the whole thing became unsatisfying and stagnated.  My own music ambitions have come to the forefront, and I find myself becoming more forward-thinking and far-reaching- aiming high and (formulating some) rather big ideas.  Music-making and writing is my biggest passion; singing my all-consuming obsession.  I am looking to recruit a band that is less all-male- more Fleetwood Mac (with a couple of girls; a few boys to create a more diverse and richer sound).  I have my ideal band in mind; the songs practically written- the seduction will be forthcoming.  One of the things I find- when looking for band members; writing songs; trying to make things happen- is how hard it can be (to achieve rather simplistic goals).  In the last few weeks, I have been engaging more in charitable endeavours; donating time and energy to some worthy causes- something that will augment and multiply in the lead-in to Christmas.  One thing that is frustrating is how hard it is to coalesce (music, charity and recruiting) together; make life a lot easier- get people involved.

When trying to get people involved in charitable avenues; getting funds and awareness raised- it seemed like an uphill struggle.  I know there are some good and loyal people out there- those that are always keen to help out and do their bit.  The trouble is; it is near-impossible to engage and motivate large sectors of the online community.  Music is something that compels and seduces nearly everyone: that force of nature that is universal and free for all.  In addition to formulating my own music; I have been thinking of a way to get everyone together- tying various threads into one idea.  As Virgin do; the idea is to have an organization with several strands- but not doing everything for profit and money alone.  I have no interest in being a millionaire and wealthy- it is not something that interests me in the slightest.  The aim of Psychoacoustics is to have a name that promotes music alone- yet has a business mind; an ambitious and multipart logic.  Whereas music-making takes a bit of money; a bit of input- a business venture (like this) takes a tonne of each.  It may be an uphill struggle, yet I am passionate about making it a reality.  Below are the various ‘sides’ to the business- what Psychoacoustics will consist.  Most of you are probably aware of a few of these (in other blog posts), but here they all are in one place- how considerate, huh?

THE CHARITY:

The final tentacle of my five limbed squid is a charity: a benevolence that helps to prosper musicians, and non-musicians alike.  Let me elaborate.  There are a few charities around which aim to provide funds to the new musician- not many mind.  The idea is to filter and tribute the profits and finances gained from the other arms of the business, and funnel it into the charity.  Of course it will not receive ALL of the profits: there is staff, expenses and other costs that need to be dealt with, yet will (hopefully) benefit from a sizeable chunk of revenue.  The charity will aim to provide funding to new musicians: those struggling, as well as those finding it hard to fund their projects.  In addition, finance will be assigned to worth music-related projects: invigorating struggling venues; providing support to record labels as well as independent record shops and larger chains alike.  Aside from music digressions, it will have an intention to provide support to a multitude of other charities.  The idea is that an assigned percentage of donations will go to charities, such as cancer charities, those whom support the elderly etc.; yet will also aim to benefit many others.  I would hope that the charity could entice established as well as new musicians to act as ambassadors and supporters: who would help to raise funds for the charity- as well as raise awareness for worthy causes.

All of us have experiences tragedy of life: either first hand or indirectly.  Whether a relative has died of cancer, or a local business has faced ruination; there are many things and events that can shape a human being for the worst.  Of course we have established charities and great causes, yet few that are music-based.  It is hoped that not only Psychoacoustics’ profit-share benefit a multitude of charities and ventures; but it would inspire multinational companies, organisations and huge bands to kick in some funds; help raise revenue and assist in rejuvenating people, causes and lives.  There is a lot of focus based around self-involvement and self-enrichment; yet small mind is paid towards those less fortunate.  This would be a way of helping to raise money, yet also be involved with music and musicians.  The idea is that the charity would have a website and you could pledge an amount.  Like the Psychoacoustics website, one could download and access music- at a cost; the idea being that as well as purchasing a track or album a small amount would go to the charity- thus benefiting the associated musician as well as others.  Gigs would be organised and events (runs, bake sales etc.) would be hosted; with the intention of encouraging as many different people- from all around the world- to donate their time and effort to symphonise a more stable future.  Who could object?

THE RECORD LABEL:

Named Psychoacoustic Records, I am determined to create a small record label that will give a warm home to some great talent.  In my previous role as music reviewer, Scottish band Universal Thee was one of my favourite ‘subjects’ (see them at https://www.facebook.com/universalthee).  I have been communicating with their lovely members James and Lisa Russell for a while now; having been bowled over by their brilliant and original sounds.  Between the three of us (as well as the band as a whole) we summated that there is a lot of great talent that emanated further north- Scotland especially.  Most of the musical money; including the big labels etc. are based in and around London.  I have been blown away by the sheer quality from bands such as Universal Thee- a stunning band that is starting to get the attention they deserve!  In addition wonderful bands like Issimo (fronted by the phenomenal lead Abi Uttley, and multi-talented wonder Marc Otway), as well as talent such as Nightwolf, Katsuo, Lisa Marini, Steve Heron and Jade Barnett have been featured amongst the pages of my blog.  I have mentioned these illustrious musicians as they are the epitome of the modern-day idols: those nauseated by the cheap X Factor fakery and noxious fame; talents whom let their voices do the speaking and are deserving of a huge audience.  They are all going to be huge one day very soon, and it is artists such as these I am trying to recruit.

Of course there are hundreds of small record labels- some fail; some succeed- that are trying to do the same as me.  I want to set up a label not restricted to the U.K.  As much as I want to entice the likes of Issimo, Universal Thee, Steve Heron etc. to the books of P.R.; I want to look farther afield: to the U.S., Australia, Europe and Africa- aiming to help those who have a stunning talent, and need a record label to help them out.  I have been speaking with, and reviewing for, Phil Cass’ brainchild, Cuckoo Records: http://www.cuckoorecords.com/.  With the help of a couple of his friends and music colleagues, he has raised and built up a brilliant Yorkshire-based music label.  They have some stunning talent on their books- including Cisse Regwick, Annie Drury and Raglans- giving a voice to some superb northern (and Irish) talent.  There are precious few southern/London-based labels that share the ethos of Cuckoo': encourage a wide range of genres and talents; with the intention of sharing their brilliant sounds to a wide audience.

In conjunction with the studio (below), the label would initially attempt to attract a dozen or so local artists.  The long-term aim is to tie and bind international and local acts under one roof: to provide assistance (both financial and creative) to the patrons and participants.  Not only that, but provide opportunities for the acts to work with each other and generate publicity and gigs for each other too.  It is hoped that I can find premises either in Surrey or London- but I will mention that more later.  There are a lot of merits one can assign to and ascribe, with regards to the big labels.  They provide a home for some superb artists, yet I feel that too many have limited quality control.  I don’t want an X Factor/The Voice parasite in the team; no generic and faceless U.S. act: just concise and staggering bands and artists.  Bigger labels such as Rough Trade are the exception that proves the rule; as it seems that there are few smaller labels that have their voices heard.  I hope those labels can kick the dust aside and break through.  I want to assist them, and work alongside them.  I have an idea for a band of course, and it seems logical to parabond the twin desires of music-writing and talent-hunting.  I have an idea for a logo; I have some names I want to approach; and have a location in mind- who wants in?

THE WESBITE:

Idea of the site:

There are quite a few music websites at the moment, between the iPhone, Facebook and the Internet. Most of them offer roughly the same things- music sharing, free downloads, and Internet radio access. There are a lot offering the same things, and quite a lot of things are not being considered. The idea of Psychoacoustics, is to pull all the existing qualities of these sites, together, as well as offering new features, and great networking opportunities- for free. The plan is to top Spotify, iTunes and the biggest sites, by offering what they do, plus much more besides. Specific areas and pages on the site will be named after musical figure, albums and events. For instance, a lyrics section will feature Bob Dylan’s name and be themed around here. It is sort of like a music Disneyworld- different zones and characters. This makes it more interactive and interesting than most music sites and is engaging.

Interface:

By accessing www.psychoacoustics.info, (website currently under planning/construction), you will be able to access the site. From there, there will be a home page. On the home page is a main design. It is an animation of a studio, called Psychoacoustics. It is designed like Abbey Road, and there is constant movement on the page. There will be a bank of about 200 different musicians, who will walk into the page and interact with each other; leave and enter the studio, and keep the user amused. The icons as well as the animation will be colourful and interesting and better designed than most of the music websites out there. The icons and options displayed on the homepage are as follows:

Chat:

There is a chat/Skype option where you can interact with any of your contacts or friends. This can be done via a Facebook-style message service, or Skype. When you add contacts- like Facebook or Twitter- you can chat with any of them at any given time.

Mail:

Your personal inbox; you can mail your contacts, as well as any musician or venue.

Search Engine:

This is a bespoke, specialist search engine. It is similar to Google but responds to questions and searches effectively, returning only relevant websites. It also can record via and audio, so if you were searching for a song title or name of song, it would be able to locate it. The search engine is able to answer specific music questions and ties together information and resources from Yahoo, Google and Bing.

Updates/Events:

This is a diary of important music events and updates specific to the user.

Music Player:

You will be able to create a playlist or jukebox of up to 2,000 songs.

Personal Profile:

You can create your own avatar, and enter all of your information. It is similar to Facebook, but more detailed, and upload photos, videos, and designs. I will go into more detail later, but on your personal profile, is all of your information, favourites, and links. The profile works like Twitter and Facebook but more in depth with fewer faults. I have described the social side of things in a previous mail.

  1. Studio and Rehearsals:

This is an animated studio and rehearsal rooms (about 3 studios with control rooms and one rehearsal space). Unlike sites where there are a list of features, you access the features via icons; so for instance you would click on a T.V. or a guitar to access the relevant feature. The tab on the interface is red, and will consist of different shades of red. The specific names and designs for each feature are to be decided, but are as follows:

Music video:

Here you can pitch ideas for music videos to bands, acts and labels. You can protect your idea and sell it for money or use it to gain points and exchange for a reward in the future. There is also a music video store, where you can access any video from any song, and search by genre, artist or time period. Also, there is a software where you can put ideas into and create videos through animation, film or various other techniques and apply them to your own songs.

Album cover:

Here you can view any album cover, and search for it like the music videos. The features here allow you to design covers using animation, photography or a photography edit where you can mix and edit images and merge together to create incredible designs. From here you can publish them or share, or pitch ideas to bands looking for ideas.

Photography:

This is like Instagram where you can upload photos or designs and edit them, using hundreds of options. Here too you can search for photographers and view images, websites and famous images from music history.

Music video player:

This utilises YouTube where you can view music videos for free and have a favourites list, or share the video to social media.

Song dissect/mix:

On this page, you can take any song- from rock to classical and dissect it. You can see what notes are played, and what instruments are played. This helps when writing songs and can learn easily about music. Also you can take sections of various songs and mix them together, and edit the sounds to create new songs.

Entrepreneur:

Here there are guides, links and ways to set up your own record label, festival, or music magazine. You can interact with others online, and get funding in order to set up your own business, and then network on site to attract users and business. Also you can invent new music ideas and instruments; design them on this page and pitch them.

Broadcast:

There is a software where you can design and broadcast your own podcast and radio station. Broadcast over the site or YouTube, play your own songs and broadcasts and get fans and followers as well.

License:

On here you can sell songs to T.V. and film companies and productions.

Band sites:

I will explain more on the registration but when bands and artists sign up they can create their own website and include a wealth of information, and make it easy to promote and get fans.

Sounds:

This is a sound library with thousands of sounds, effects and mixing options.

D.J:

If you are a D.J., here you can mix tracks, scratch and broadcast your own set, via the site and promote your gigs.

Home Studio:

This is a software where you can record vocals, instruments and effects and then send your songs to fans or broadcast the tracks online. There is also software for tuning instruments as well.

Recording and Production:

This allows you to record songs professionally and easily, and provides every technology a modern studio would. You can record vocals and instruments, mix and layer them, and create a professional sounding track. From there you produce the tracks, and broadcast them, and burn them onto C.D. It also allows for album covers to be printed and gives links to sites where you can buy C..D. case and additional software.

Rehearsal and Live Room:

These are simulations of studio spaces where you can play live or rehearse. Via Skype you can jam with the rest of your band or solo and be seen by contacts and have your performance saved and shared. There are options for recording. There are guitar, drum, piano, vocal and orchestra options where you can simulate any guitar or piano etc. and get the most realistic sound possible. Unlike software where it is flattering, here you have to know how to play. Like Wii it reacts to touch and you can simulate yourself playing, as if it were real. From there you can either mess around or record the sounds, or join with others or your band members, and jam together. You can tune the instruments and it is as good as the actual instruments. You can do the same with vocals and record as many tracks as you like, and access different mics, and effects. It is able to work with recording so you can record full songs and albums using this. it is not to replace real life but more act as an easy way to share and record demos for when you are in the studio.

  1. Bar and Venue:

The venue is downstairs of the studio and the bar upstairs. It is animated like the rest of the site and acts as a portal for socialising and broadcasting. The tab for this is green and appears with different shades of green on the interface.

Radio player:

You can access tens of thousands of digital stations from around the world and stream them live, as well as access archive broadcasts and songs.

Links:

There are links to all music magazines and publications, as well as music websites as well.

Donate:

Like PledgeMusic where you can donate to get album made, and respond to pitches. Artists can offer rewards or treats, and get a % of funds raised. Can network and swap and record vocals or write as well.

Share:

Due to revenue coming from advertisers and labels, the site can pay royalties to artists whose songs are downloaded, and means that songs can be downloaded free, but artists get paid.

Food and Drink:

Links to music venues, as well as music bars and cafes, anywhere in the world, and you can get alerts of any local to you as well as any events that are happening, and share them on the site.

Leagues and Competitions:

There are various leagues for new bands and directors etc. that are updated and points given to the winners. These charts reflect download amounts, most hits as well as popularity too and there are leagues and competitions for new and unsigned bands.

Music Fantasy League:

This is like football fantasy, but you choose a 5-piece band. You have to choose at least one drummer, and one singer, and can choose from any musician from history. You also select 2 songwriters as well and an album and song. There are various points awarded to each depending on how many times they have been downloaded and mentioned, and there is an overall league that updates each week.

Read and Write:

You can publish blogs and reviews of bands and gigs, and albums and publish them and share them, as well as gig reviews and album reviews.

Social:

There is a dating website and connection site for musicians, as well as connect and promote music charities. There are event postings and updates for your local area as well as internationally. You can also tie all of your contacts and friends in from other social sites into this one.

Connected:

Once you have created a profile you can search for potential band members or venues. When bands or acts register, like a dating website you answer various questions such as favourite music, bands and albums. If you are looking for someone you can either type in a search and the site matches people for you, or you can click on a map. From here you can click on any country or city and search for any member located in that area and contact them. There are sections where you can connect bands and venues, labels to acts and band members and bands together. If you make a successful match, you gain points that can be exchanged.

Actors:

This links actors to bands looking for people for music videos, and also can join actors together, who can share links and tips with regards to music, and best contacts and agents.

Contacts:

I have explained all of the social side, but the site works more like Twitter where you can ‘add’ any band or musical act, and follow their progress and updates. There is a LinkedIn style site too where you can connect with employers or contacts and build up a network of fans and followers which gives you greater opportunities.

Live:

You can broadcast live shows and gigs and stream concerts here and share them.

  1. Living Room:

This tab will appear shades of yellow. The living room will consist of a sofa, chairs, jukebox and notice board as well.

Music download:

Like Spotify, you can download any track for free, and either play them, or create your own playlists and sections. You can compile songs into albums and burn a C.D., or you can share songs via your phone or social websites. There are also links to Spotify and iTunes, as well as music apps too.

Promotion and Distribute:

You can listen to recommended music depending on your mood or find any new music depending on your tastes. You can then share them via social media, or you can promote new bands and artists, and share acts with promoters and venues, as well as labels. It works like ReverbNation but more in depth, and gives tools to find new music, as well as share and get your own voice heard easily.

Jukebox:

You can have a playlist of up to 2,000 songs, and play them, whenever you like.

Reference Library:

You can view information about every band, artist or album released. It is like Wikepidia where you can find out anything about music, and gives info about bands, videos, links and merchandise; which allows you access to new music, old music you may have forgotten about, and can access any information whenever you want.

Music Trends/Stats:

There are tables and graphs that show music trends, sales figures and stats relevant to you, that are updated daily.

Charts:

These are all of the charts from home and abroad, updated weekly, with links to all of the songs featured.

Search engine and lyric finder:

The search engine is also available here, but is a lyric finder, where you can type words or lyrics and it finds the song. Also you can input audio or video if you are unsure of the song or artists, and it will find out for you.

Pitch Zone:

If you have spare lyrics or ideas, you can pitch them and trade them with artists. You can earn points for anything that is bought from you, and you can pitch and find ideas for songs. Also you can pitch music, so if you have no lyrics you can match them, and also collaborate with people on site and join your music and lyrics together. From there you can create songs together and share them.

Music Notation and languages:

There is a software where you can learn music and translate your music into musical notes, so that it makes it easier to write music. There is a link to a language site where you can learn any one of 30 different languages for free. This makes it easier to communicate with international contacts as well as write and sing in a different language.

  1. Bedroom and Kitchen:

This tab appears as different purple and the bedroom has a bed, wardrobe and table, T.V. etc.; the kitchen is a smaller room connected to the room.

Updates:

You can access all of your updates, information and messages here- as well as directly from your personal profile.

T.V. zone:

This allows access to dozens of music T.V. channels as well as archived videos and shows as well, and relevant T.V. shows and performances.

Links:

There are links to music teachers, studios, websites and bars and venues; everything anyone could want.

Creative Zone:

You can chat with anyone; share ideas, stories, gig reviews as well as photography and videos etc.

  1. “Acoustic Vinyl”:

This is a specially designed shopping site. The animation is designed like a large Rough Trade store and the tab will be a specially designed one.

Music:

Search by genre, period or artists and find music from them to buy. It pulls together Amazon, iTunes and all music websites so you can compare prices for the album and gives you the most choice you can imagine.

DVDs and Merchandise:

You can search for DVDs and merchandise from any band. This gives you links to shopping sites as well as band sites, so again you can find the best deal.

Others:

You can purchase band and festival tickets, music books, apps and instruments. You can also purchase gift cards too.

Stores:

There are links to shopping websites as well as info for independent stores, with website and address details.

  1. Join/Log-In:

This tab is in shades of black and grey.

Registration:

Different registrations. For casual user, browsing, solo, band, promoter, venue, label and other. They ask for different details and different lengths but all very simple and easy.

Log-in:

It allows a simple log in and a feature where you can log in to all of your music and social accounts at the same time.

  1. About Us:

This tab is going to be detailed in shades of orange.

Studio history:

There is information- fake of course- of how it was set up in East London in 1969, and the story behind it. There is a ‘mock’ Vevo-style video and video history of the studio and founders. It is comical and is also like a guided tour.

About the site:

This is a serious description of what the site aims to do and how it will evolve.

Press and links:

This displays any links to relevant sites and partners, as well as software sites so you can create your own music website.

  1. Music Player:

This tab will be in shades of blue. This ties together all of available and your downloaded music so you can play it on-going and create smaller playlists.

  1. Advertise With Us:

This tab is in shades of pink.

Adverts:

This is a separate page where all adverts from sites, and venues can be displayed. This means it doesn’t interfere with your profile or browsing but can access it any time from this site. Advertisers and sites pay to be published on the site. There are contact numbers and an online form if you want to advertise or subscribe.

  1. Contacts/Links:

This tab is in shades of whites and grey.

Contacts:

This details all e mail and phone contacts for every department.

Enquiries:

Up to 6 different contact email and phone numbers depending on the query

Address:

This is the address of the H.Q. and map.

Social media:

This gives links to the Twitter and Facebook sites, as well as YouTube.

Feedback form:

Provide feedback on the site.

Suggestions box:

If you have any ideas for futures or designs, then let us know and will take into account.

FAQ and Troubleshoot:

If you have trouble with any part of the site there is support. Also an FAQ if you have a question and can report abuse or any issues day or night.

THE BAR/CAFÉ:


Logo:

The logo will depict a gorgeous woman in a black dress.  In her left hand is a blue rose, whilst in her right, is a microphone.  There is a microphone stand in front of her, whilst we see a spotlight shine to the side of her face; whilst drops of rain are overhead and on the other side of her face.  She has brown fair and green eyes, with red lipstick.  To the side of her is a gramophone, as a vinyl plays.  She looks focused but relaxed; enjoying and entranced by the music playing.  The main logo will be centred, whilst either side of the logo will be ‘Psycho’ and ‘Acoustics’ in red lettering.  The letters will be in a stylised font, but easy to red; with the letters bordered in white to give a modern and striking design.

Intended Destination:

Hoping to have the premises located either Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden or Soho.  Due to the size of the building it will need to be located in these areas; and are also locales that attract huge amounts of tourists and attention- providing the most possible custom.

Building:

Inspired by Café De Paris, the building will be very large as well as decedent.  The premises will comprise two floors; with the intension of each being large enough to contain all the incorporated properties of the business (see below).  Hoping to have it opened no later than 2018.

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri:

8am to 12am.

Sat:

8am to 12am (when gigs are performed it will be extended to 1am).

Sun:

9am to 9pm.

Staff:

Around about 50 in total.

Policy:

It will be over-16s only: no babies or children allowed.  Dress code is not strict and open to the public.

Funding:

I know of websites similar to Kickstarter that provide funding opportunities for businesses.  I hope to pitch a business plan and raise as much of the funding from there.  Aside from a business loan, I am hoping to raise as much of the remainder of the funds myself.  I am not sure of the exact cost of the entire business, yet hoped that over the coming few years the entire amount can be raised.

Ground Floor:

Bar and Kitchen:

As you enter, to the left of the premises is the bar.  The bar will be very modern with a wide and long counter, in order to allow maximum custom.  The bar logo will be emblazoned above the bar, and will be unique.  As well as serving coffee (and tea, hot chocolate etc.) alcohol will also be served.  There will be a range of beers, wines and spirits- as well as an extensive cocktail menu.  The menu will be extensive.  There will be breakfast, lunch and dinner options- with a dessert menu.  The range will include British, American, Mexican, French, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Australian and Spanish food; from savoury to sweet.  The kitchen will be next to the bar, and will serve food from opening through to close.  There will be themed dishes and cocktails that will incorporate band names, lyrics and album titles etc.

Seating: 

There will be a large amount of sitting, to accommodate around about 100 people.  The seats will consist of sofas, leather sofas and chairs, as well as wooden chairs.  It is designed to be a relaxing and comfortable environment; it will not be cluttered or compacted- space and openness is a huge key.

Jukeboxes and Speakers:

This is one of the main features of the business.  The music will be the epicentre of the bar/café, and will be a constant.  As you enter, to the left and right hand corners; to the back left and right corners; as well as in the centre, will be two digital jukeboxes.  It will be free, where anyone can select a song.  There will only be allowance for one song per customer; with a continuous playlist being selected.  The jukebox menu will be interactive, so you can select a song by searching; or find by genre/decade etc.  There will be access to over 500,000 songs, and will include every genre and style.  There will be screens in the centre of the room (overhead) that will show which song is next- running order etc., and everyone will be able to hear the music.  There will be four speakers suspended from the ceiling- on each corner of a chandelier.  The music will not be so loud that you cannot converse, yet will be crisp and true.  Using latest technologies it will be possible to blend the sound of music and conversation so that neither becomes too distracting.

Stages:

As you enter, to the right hand side of the building is a small stage.  It will measure 15 by 20ft, and will host intimate performances.  At the back of the building will a main stage.  It will be 25 by 30ft, and will have a retro feel.  There will be a blend of modern, gothic and American; giving the stage a unique feel.  The stage will host larger gigs; whereas in front of the stage, will be an orchestra pit that can host 30 musicians.

Décor:

The décor will be a main attracting.  On the walls will be paintings and landscapes depicting famous album covers, music photos, as well as band portraits and designs.  It will encompass a large range of artists and there will also be canvases on the wall.  There will be modified street signs and portraits, giving it a retro and classic feel all at once.  There will be a white wall as well, where lyrics can be written and designs drawn.  The entire interior will mix modern and vintage, with artefacts and designs reflecting this.  It will not be like Hard Rock Café where it is a sort of music museum or attraction; it will be subtle and will play second fiddle to the key components.  Overhead will be several chandeliers as well, providing a romantic feel.  At night these will be on, and soothing lighting will bathe the interior.

Access:

There are two methods of access from the ground to upper level.  There will be a staircase to the right of the entrance; in addition there will be a small lift giving disabled access (and to allow transportation of equipment, stock etc.)

Upper Level:

Store:

This is a store with Rough Trade in mind.  The store is split into different sections.  There is an extensive store that offers music by genre, decade etc. and has a large stock- similar to HMV’s largest stores.  As with the lower level of the bar, there are paintings, designs and artwork on the walls- and ceilings.  There is also band merchandise and memorabilia, signed memorabilia, as well as musical instruments.  The idea is that there is everything under one roof that a musician, music fan or music lover could want.  There is a charming décor that mixes ’90s Seattle, modern-day U.S. as well as Rough Trade.  It is homely as well as modern and cutting-edge.  As well as being an all-inclusive store there is a profit-share initiative.  Schemes will be set up to allow a small percentage of profits going to independent record stores, as well as local bands.

Charity Office:

There will be a small office, next to the store, which will house the Psychoacoustic charity.  It will employ around 10 people, and is a charity which aims to raise money for musicians, struggling bands and children from difficult background persue their goals.

Consoles and screens:

This will incorporate everything from the Psychoacoustics music website: http://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2013/10/.  There will be about two dozen consoles arranged within the middle of the floor.  These allow direct access to the website.  As mentioned, the website aims to make it simple to create music, music videos; collaborate online and distribute music.  It incorporates all of the best features of the major music websites, and offers so much more.  People will be able to access the website through the consoles.  There will be two large walls which will display music videos, or can alternatively project images from any of the consoles- for instance is a music video has been created, it can be instantly projected.

Studio:

Dominating one half of the level will be the studio.  It is a medium-sized studio that will offer all the benefits and technologies of the biggest studios.  It will encompass a studio, rehearsal room, control room; as well as lounge and bedroom.  There will be an in-house engineer, producer and representatives and offer rates that are very competitive.  The hope is that is will appeal to new bands, but also drag in big names and established acts.

Garden and Tranquility:

In the center of the level will be a small garden.  There will be a water feature, as well as plants; aimed to relax and inspire.  There will also be a balcony that will provide a small garden as well as seating.

Décor:

There will be chandeliers as well on this level, but a more toned-down feel.  There is impressive lightning and a warm and relaxing vibe.  Again there will be leather chair and sofas- located near the consoles.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE:

In conjunction with the music website (itself); the website is going to be different from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.  Although I use both; I find they have huge limitations and drawbacks- primary among them is the emphasis on irrelevance and self-indulgence.  We all love to have a good vent; to put our thoughts onto the page- the Psychoacoustics site is all about music- nothing else.

Design and interface:

The home page will be designed like a hotel building.  It will consist a building with rows of windows- you can see a lift running up the middle.  The sign at the top of the hotel will say ‘Psychoacoustics’- it is a simple design that is easy to read and clear.  There will be 16 windows in total.  At the top left will be the most recent post/update- the bottom right will have the oldest.  Unlike Facebook, there will no adverts; no poor layouts or needless icons- it is efficient and organised.  Running down the left hand side of the screen- going vertically will be: Mail; Updates; Search; Map and Favourites.  Down the right will be Chat; Contacts; Profile; Events/Gigs and Edit.  At the very bottom left of the screen will be a video player- where you can watch YouTube videos or any other music-related video.  At the bottom right will be a music player where you can stream tracks- listening as you navigate.  The whole page will be a catchy and stunning design; with constant movement and animation, it will feel less static- and unmoving- as current social media.

Functions and Features:

The site shies away from the user’s personal thoughts and ponderings.  The idea is to promote music; connect musicians and music lovers- for that reason, the site is design to focus on music alone (rather than self-promotion etc.

The Search function allows the user to search for bands and music.  It connects with Google (and other search engines) to hunt for bands and new music.  Connecting in with YouTube, you can hunt for songs and music videos.  The Map allows you to track down bands and artists from particular regions.  The map will bring up every country of the world.  You can clicks into a particular region/city- from there will be a list of musicians (arranged by genre) who are on the site- so you can connect with and interact.  The Favourites tool allows you to save your favourite bits of music- arranged by song/album/act and update.

The Profile and Contacts section are the main focus.  When a person logs onto the site; they select whether there are a Music-Lover; Musician; Manager etc- the interface will then tailor to that person’s needs and desires.  There will be personal information you need to fill in- name, location, favourite band/genres/albums.  From there, the site can find recommendations- songs and other artists; and put you in touch.  A Song of the Hour uploads to your home page; facts and links are fed in- that are of interest to the user.  If you are a music-lover, you can just go on the site to find great music and acts.  The site recommends existing music and songs from YouTube; finds recommendations; builds playlists and selections for the listener.  If you are a Musician, then the site factors that in- connecting you with other bands; venues and contacts.

You can add Contacts to your profile- these will be fellow musicians/bands (or just other music-lovers with similar tastes).  The status updates will be music-related and aimed at promoting great songs and acts- rather than inanities and personal thought.

It is all a bit brief, but gives you an overview of what the site will do.  Whereas the current social media crop has no real relevance; is flawed and limited; never offers anything beyond vanity and vagueness- this site is aimed at connecting music; finding great music and making it easier to unearth treasures.  One of the issues with the internet is how vast it is.  You have sites like YouTube, BandCamp, SoundCloud, Twitter etc.- yet no way of connecting it all together.  Tying in those sites- as well as search engines- it makes it easy to connect with like-minded people; terrific acts; possible band members (or unearthing a song you had forgotten about).  I love YouTube and its choice, but find it daunting- there are so many songs, it is hard to know what to select.  Psychoacoustics makes the whole experience much smoother and less stressful.  In a nutshell, the site is a one-shop portal for all fans of music.

So then…

I have poured out a lot of words- and put some ideas out there.  I want to do something like Virgin- yet not set out to make millions and become a bloated tycoon.  The idea is to represent musicians and build an international brand- something that aims to help making music easier; get people connected; bring fantastic new music to the forefront.  It will take a lot of money and time, and that is the big dilemma- how to raise the funds?  Sites like Kickstarter exist, yet it will take a lot more- I need to think how to get that started.  When the money is raised, there is plenty of potential and scope.  I want to make it London-centric- the café will be based in Central London; the H.Q. will be based nearby (so it is centralised and focused).  Whether people take to the idea(s); if it appeals to those reading- that is what I need to ascertain.  Over 2015, I will be putting my music charity night into effect; promoting new music and acts- and getting my own music started.  Let me know your thoughts; what you think- until then have a…

HAPPY Christmas and a fantastic 2015!

 

 

The Voice: A Beautiful (and Underrated) Thing

The Voice:

 

A Beautiful (and Underrated) Thing

 

MUSIC is always on my mind…

something that is never going to relinquish its grip- this year has not provided (the strongest and most enduring sounds).  I have stepped away from reviewing for a number of reasons-tiredness is one of them.  Few new acts have caught my imagination; compelled me to listen hard- weariness and boredom have taken the place of surprise and fascination.  In addition to having a severe lack of free time, I am finding something worrying (happening in music): it is starting to decline.  A lot of times (when reviewing) I found my integrity hiding away- uneasy being critical to musicians (I felt deserved it).  Few bands and acts lingered in the memory and it has been fairly easy walking away- I hope 2015 provides to be more eventful, fruitful and imaginative.

One of the best things about music is the vocal- the voice(s) being the creations.  Talent and reality shows emphasise the voice- in a bad way.  The sorry and miserable excuse for singers (and humans) that litter these shows have distilled and clouded the potential of the voice- that magic essence that can elevate music (to rarefied and dizzy heights).  Most of my favourite new music (and most cherished classic music) is synonymous with terrific vocals- it doesn’t have to be showy and huge.  A great singer can turn a mediocre song into something special- just with the simplest of utterances.  Too many people get confused- thinking range and histrionics are the most important factors (when it comes to finding a tremendous voice).  Discount the likes of Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson (too singers with vast ranges) and you can find a lot of good- artists that can hook you and compel the senses.  Whether you prefer the graveled and animalistic tones of Tom Waits; the soulful hypnotism of Otis Redding- you don’t need a monumental (vocal range) to seduce and entrance.  Too many new musicians overlook the Importance of the vocal performance- the ability and necessity of getting into (the listener’s) consciousness.  Over the last year or two, singers like Sam Smith and Paolo Nutini have made their mark- buckled the knees with their inimitable and distinctive vocal prowess.

I am not saying that the voice is the most important thing- it just seems to be lacking (as-of-late).  Too many acts are concerned with cramming in noise and music- focusing on the sound alone.  Duos like Royal Blood have been lauded for their hard blends; 2014’s best and most profitable have been notable in their own way- how many unique voices have resonated in the mind?  I have a huge amount of respect for the likes of FKA twigs, Kate Tempest (and other Mercury-nominated wonders), but I have craved something singular- a vocal sound that is hard to shake off.  Maybe once (or twice) a year do we hear of such a thing- reality shows are proffering false idols and raising expectations.

Perhaps I will get back to reviewing music- when I am feeling a bit better- but something spectacular needs to happen- the quality has to increase; the vocal warriors have to make their moves.  It is not just enough to have a remarkable voice- you need the songs and lyrics to back them up.  One could criticise artists like Sam Smith for being too thin and effete- not being gritty and real enough.  Whilst few can ignore his immense vocal chops; his stories and themes do not delve that deep- he has the potential to get better, though.  Acts that concentrate away from the voice- like Royal Blood- are too limited- one wonders how long public fascination will last.  Perhaps I am over-simplifying, but the public yearns for that next great voice- someone who can buckle the knees; and has the songwriting quality in there too.  Into next year, I hope to work closely with a terrific young singer (and her band); someone who has an incredible songwriting talent- an exciting prospect to witness.

Whilst I plan my musical ideas and endeavours, I have been focusing my attentions to another realm: animation and comedy.  Although music is my main goal; the thing I will focus on the most- comedy and animation has been obsessing my mind.  In the U.K. we do not really have an animation industry- aside from the odd commercial or children’s show.  When it comes to comedy, we are somewhat limited- in more ways than.  Aside from the odd hal-decent comedy, we are not exactly consistent- most of the finest comedies are American-born.  Whether we lack the talent, the money or imagination, it is the U.S. that has always led the way- stamped out the finest animated shows of all-time.  From the classic days of Looney Tunes and Disney; the terrific shows like The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy- they are showing how it should be done.  I have always hated the influx of animated films- there seems to be a new one every week.  Once Toy Story passed, I got bored of the medium- with every coming week comes a new animated film featuring talking animals or some flimsy plotline.  It is comedies such as The Simpsons that grip my hardest- fascinate my mind and excites me hugely.  I have always been obsessed with the voice; what you can do with it- how far you can stretch it.  Fantastic actors like Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer provide dozens of voices (between them)- amaze you with their talent and versatility.  Look at legends such as Mel Blanc and June Foray- two of the greatest voice actors who have ever lived.  When it comes to extraordinary ability, few can top Frank Welker- an actor few would have heard of.  He is the most bankable actor of all-time- no other actor has pulled in the bucks he has; nobody else has his pulling power.  From the throat-shredding vocals of Dr. Claw (from Inspector Gadget) to Slimer (from Ghostbusters) he can do it all- his range of animal voices/noises is mind-boggling.  Nobody alive has his ability and talent- he is one of the reasons I want to get into the craft.  Mel Blanc is probably the name we all think of (when it comes to voice acting), but modern artists like Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson himself) are wonders of the craft- defying belief with their abilities and vocal turns.  In Britain, we are not over-stocked with vocal legends- nobody actually comes to mind.  Impressionists like Jon Culshaw and Alistair McGowan are undeniably skilled, yet none match the heights (of the U.S.) legends- we just don’t have the same talent.  One of the biggest problems is the entertainment industry itself- we do not have the same opportunities America offers.

The voice is a wonderful thing, and should not be confined to music- there are vast possibilities out there.  Every time I watch an episode of The Simpsons or South Park, I wonder the same thing: why are we not producing similar gens?  In the past (the U.K. has dabbled) with animated comedy- one or two average shows have emerged.  Thinking about it, we have not really come up with anything memorable or long-lasting- we are much better (when it comes to longevity and prolificy) when it comes to live-action comedy.  There are quite a few animation studios (in this country) but they tend to specialise in adverts, children’s shows and promotion pieces.  One of my secret ambitions is to be a voice actor- combine it with music if I can.  There are so many accents, voices and sounds in my head- anywehere up to a couple of thousand- they need somewhere to go- I risk being one of those crazy people that talks to themselves.  Rather than being put into a home, it would be great to get the voice out- have somewhere for them to go.  I have conceptualised and synopsised an animated comedy- that I hope to parlay into a fully-fledged series.  I have mentioned it in previous blog posts, but I have some trepidation- will it ever get made?  Even of the ordained (to get a commission), are there studios that can accommodate my demands- anyone out there that can do the words justice?  I know this country has some great voiceover talents- they are being reduced to hocking lousy goods and voicing idiotic cartoon characters.  We have some great comedy writers- a paucity compared to the U.S.- that would love the chance to branch into animation.  Animation is so much better and more freeing than live-action- it allows the imagination to run wild; realise your most ambitious ideas without spending millions doing so.

Voice acting is not something (most of you) will think about- not in the same depth as me.  We all watch great animated comedies like The Simpsons- given half a chance; we’d all love to appear in an episode!  In tandem with a music career, I would kill to do voice acting- release all of the odd characters and accents floating about my brain.  I have written an animated comedy, but fear no channel or studio would pick it up- maybe America is the only option?  Of course Kickstarter is out there- that afford the chance to get finances raised- so that a home-made endeavor is possible- you still need to make the animation and find someone to help.  I think America has the opportunities and facilities- moving there may be an answer.  I do not need much of an excuse to flee to somewhere like Burbank or Los Angeles- given the chance I would prefer to stick around London (and the U.K.).  In so much as great voices are important in music- they are just as needed in the entertainment industry.

Perhaps I will get back to music reviewing- when I am less anhedonic and tired.  If the quality goes up; if the desire is there- perhaps I will produce the odd review.  I just feel that a spark is lacking; a lot of new music is too safe and aimless- that the best we have had is the best we will ever get.  Too many bands and artists pack in noise and music; they negate the importance of terrific vocals- the voice is a beautiful thing to behold.  In a society that values looks and aesthetics (over personality)- the voice is an instrument that needs to stay tuned and loud.  My favourite current musicians and musical peeps possess tremendous voices- it is the reason I adore their music so.  It may be my particular tastes and bias- I just think the voice is a wonderful thing.  So much more fascinating and interesting than anything else, it makes music (and comedy) better and more fulfilling.  Whilst I (perhaps fruitlessly) hunt for U.K. animation studios; write music and imagine ideas- let me know if you hear of any truly captivating voice.  Reviewing may be what my blog represents (and is designed for) but the voice is my true passion- the reason I want to throw off the shackles of the ordinary; do something truly remarkable.  Whether my ambitions and dreams are a reality, I am not sure- I will keep pressing and searching.  If you have any idea and thoughts, let me know.  When it comes to wanting to find a great voice; unearth something truly extraordinary…

THAT is something we all have in common

Making Changes: Not Just For New Year

Making Changes: Not Just For New Year

 

I have been neglecting music reviewing some-what; for a number of different reasons: the energy and commitment (it demands) is one of the most pressing.  Working irregular and demanding hours, I am finding it (reviewing) a strain and tiring prospect- it is why I have put it firmly on the back burner.  In a way it is a shame, as music reviewing has been a part of my life for several years- it is the reason this blog exists.

This last week has been a rather trying and bizzare one- a silver lining has developed.  I find myself putting (myself first) and sacrificing my own happiness- too concerned with what other people are feeling.  Very recently, a rather upsetting and heartbreaking event has occurred- something that has caused me sleeplessness and upset.  Having hurt a valuable friend and caused some upset (for them), I have decided to change my ways.  I am too keen to get involved with people; ask if they are okay- pay compliments.  Not dragging the details into the light, an harmless and good-natured gesture (on my part) has back-fired- and will continue to do so.  In the wake of it, I have probably lost a valuable and close friend- possibly forever.  Not just that, but have hurt them hugely- this angers me enormously.

In addition to having upset and hurt a wonderful person, I am fearful that I will never hear (from them again)- it has caused me to reassess me way of thinking; the way I prioritise myself.  I am always too keen to be seen as ‘the good guy’; the person that goes out of their way- do something kind or thoughtful.  When it backfires- and innocent people get hurt- it gets to me (more than they will ever know); and I am tired of being a burden- things need to change.

Being close to my 300th (blog post), I am keen to get back on track: reorganise my mind and start putting dreams first.  For too many years I have neglected recording; put a relationship in the shadows- made sure most of my money went to other people.  It is not the case I am going to completely change- become a harsh and selfish human.  The fact is, I am getting too upset and affected (when things go bad).  Thoughtfulness and consideration will always be high on the agenda- I just need to limit my ‘kindness’; stay out of other people’s lives.  Be like everyone else, essentially.

New Year is the time for resolutions; it is stupid to dedicate an arbitrary (time of the year) to resolutions you will not keep.  When things go bad; when life starts to crumble- THAT is action needs to be taken; things need to change….

I have decided to make sure I record some music- before this time next year- and find a relationship- think about personal fulfillment and happiness.  It is important to keep friends; be faithful to your better nature- it is even more important to not lose focus of your own well-being.  When it comes to recent events, I doubt they will resolve themselves- I think too much damage has been done (and that cause me more pain than anything else).  Baffled, angry and deeply upset, I have to make changes and start putting myself first- take myself out of other people’s lives.  In addition to recording music, I hope to write a comedy (pilot); find love; move closer to London- as well as dozens of others things.

Not so much a Bucket List: it is a list of things I (should have done years ago) and have neglected- at the top of the list is ‘Be Happy’- how many of us aim for that (and fail)?  I should be back to reviewing music- in limited capacity- next year; making plans to get a band together- becoming a different person.  Too many of us make bad decisions and make mistakes- and do nothing about it.  Having chatted with a  treasured and loyal friend, she has opened my eyes- urged me to start thinking about me; putting myself first.  She is right, and I am glad she (said it)- it is something we all need to do.

I am not suggesting we all need to abandon our finer nature, but you definitely need to balance priorities- stop being so involved with (making other people happy); getting involved in other people’s lives- and making things (for yourself) worse.  As horrible as I feel- for having made someone I care about hate me- it has made me realise what I need to do: make myself happier.  Only then will I be able to live a better and more fulfilled life.  I have charity ambitions; music plans and things to sort out- distraction from recent embarrassments.  If you are in a similar position (and feel too burdened) it is okay to let things go- and think about yourself.  When it is all said and done…

THAT’s not a bad thing at all.

Time Out of Mind: My Second Entry

The Equality State

 

Pilot episode

(29 minutes):

“Wyoming, London

(Why I’m In London)

Notes and ideas:

Because there have been so few- good or successful- U.K. animated comedies, it is high time there was an attempt.  At the moment, there are few comedies- from Britain- I watch- there is a bit of a dip at present.  I want to write something with a U.S. sensibility; inspired by the likes of The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park, it will a very modern look to it- the same style of animation as The Simpsons (without the yellow people), and feature a great and varied cast.  I have an idea for the main cast- two boys, two girls- and hopefully they will be in.  The pilot will hopefully wet appetites for a full series.  With cliffhangers and plot twists, the idea is to leave people wanting more- both A-story arcs have huge longevity and potential for growth.  The series will see the girls with the power- transposing gender roles and making them the dominant duo.  Parodying and (with) affection referencing Breaking Bad, the girls go all across London- and the U.K.- and get in all sort of adventures and scrapes.  The boys go all across the world and bond; experiencing and achieving huge things.  The reality of home life and reality never is far from the door; each couple comes together and keeps their other lives separate.

In time, I hope to employ celebrity voices for episodes, but want to make sure the pilot gets made and received.  If there is not an animation company in the U.K., it may be a case of going to the U.S. – or raising a Kickstarter campaign and getting it made privately.

Desired Soundtrack:

Figure It Out- Royal Blood

The National Anthem- Radiohead

Metal & Dust- London Grammar

Synopsis:

The pilot focuses on two different couples in their 20s, who come together; during Hallowe’en of 2014.  Their coming together will have a huge effect on each other; that will change their lives and cause huge waves.

Alice Yorke is a Jehovah’s Witness; she is down on her luck and a mother-to-be.  She has just learned she is pregnant and tries to balance her daily life, coping with it.  She goes door-to-door in east London; trying to spread ‘the good word’.  The local citizens are not so accepting, and as she meets some weird and wonderful people, she starts to doubt herself.  As the sun rises over east London, Alice and her ‘colleagues’ try to change people’s minds; before a huge song-and-dance number- mixing Thriller and Billie Jean together with classic musical elements- breaks out: D.E.N.I.A.L.  As a hard morning drags on, Alice returns to her Canary Wharf apartment she shares with her boyfriend.

The boyfriend in question is a one Stefan Buckley.  He has recently been fired as a teacher, and spends his days obsessed with Radiohead; smoking, drinking and preparing for an upcoming court case: a harassment charge made by Thom Yorke.  The two sit down and discuss the future possibility of becoming parents; both knowing that they do not have the money or security- or stability- to be able to handle it.  They weight up their lives, and recollect how and why Stefan got fired: both aware that they need to change their lives.

Over in Camden, P.C. Natalie Mercury is on the beat- and on a crime scene.  She is a controversial and ‘bent’ police officer, and has been in trouble constantly.  From drag racing The Red Cross; wrongful arrests, parking in disabled spaces and tampering with murder scenes, her boss is fuming.  Natalie arrests some ‘freedom-hating terrorists'; lays down the law and not strictly playing by the rules- not realising they are Hasidic Jews.  When they complain, she tells them to ‘tell someone who cares'; as there is a smash cut to her Chief Inspector’s office; as a stack of complaints and written warnings are piled on the desk.  She is given one last chance, and told she is on very thin ice.  In her spare time, she models for Crimson Electric: a London model agency that is filled with the most disreputable opportunists and odd assignments you could imagine.

In a local hospital, her high-flying and dashing boyfriend Dan Bush is experiencing a typical day.  In the clinic he is dealing with some strange and depraved patients, whilst dealing with the advances of a gorgeous co-worker; as well as fending off a tyrannical boss- who is rather violent and angry.  In his spare time, he manages a successful band (Famous Atheists)- as well as looking after his sick and cantankerous parents (two 80 year olds).  After a rough month, he catches a quick break at his flat; located opposite a kebab shop in Camden- Madonna’s Kebabs (run by Madonna herself; although she tells everyone she is a look-alike).  He meets Natalie there, as the two discuss a recent event: Dan proposing the previous night.  With Natalie’s job at risk and pressures in Dan’s life; Dan starts to feel the strain; as Natalie makes lavish- and very unusual plans!  As they prepare for the evening’s Hallowe’en party, the day ticks on…

Alice deals with the effects of morning sickness; choosing inconvenient and embarrassing places to fall ill.  The day continues, and the four prepare for the evening.  As the guests arrive in various costumes, Alice’s niece is round as they have to babysit her.  She is a very ‘mature’ and strange 4-year-old and causes all ends of issues; not helped by Stefan teaching her how to smoke.  The party swings on, as each of the couples confide in each other; and their various doubts.

As the morning arrives, the four go separate ways.  Alice is left to clear up the mess and carnage of the night before; before having to go onto the streets, in a desperate attempt to bring the word of Jehovah to Elephant and Castle and Hackney.  Dan has a nightmare morning as his colleague makes a pass, and his fellow doctors tease him about settling down.  Natalie is fired for letting a drunk meth-head drive her home after the party- in a police car.  Natalie has her badge, car and clothes stolen, and is now out of a job, being pursued by angry criminals, with the Met. Police angrily demanding the return of the stolen assets.  Stefan spends his morning trying to invent the perfect hangover cure; looking for a new job, as well as being embroiled in a battle with a neighbour- with disastrous consequences.

The two boys meet up at a local bar- Homme’s; they discuss their situations and both feel trapped.  They are making plans for the future when Stefan gets a phone call with terrible news- he may only have 8 months to live.  The two girls meet at an Australian bar in Soho.  With Natalie fired and Alice dislocated and lost, they both feel a change is needed.  After both drinking a well-known cocktail; Natalie still has drugs- taken from a local gang.  After dropping them in the cocktail; she accidentally takes a sip.  The effects start to take a hold; leaving her sedate and ecstatic- a bizzare and brilliant animated sequence takes place (mixing Fantasia, stop motion, The Beatles and live action).  As the girls make their way home on the tube, they see the depression of London life; the inequality as well as the beauty and fascination.  As Alice finishes her day, arriving at the door of a chavy couple, Natalie calls.  Suddenly a master plan is struck, and the girls strike upon a way out of their problems.

Stefan and Dan have a heart-to-heart and asses the news.  Stefan decides that he has been a disappointment to Alice, and decides to make a list; a sort of Bucket List, where he will do as much as possible- as well as achieve as many goals as possible.  The girls realise that Natalie has stumbled upon an addictive and potent invention.  The two set up premises in the empty basement of the kebab shop (opposite Natalie and Dan’s flat), and come up with a name: The Equality State.  They recruit a group of followers who are all socially different.  It refers to the effect the cocktail has where everyone- rich or poor- is levelled and equaled: everyone feels the same.  It also refers to Wyoming, a U.S. state which is mountainous and sparsely-populated- the first state of America to give women the vote.  It seems like a metaphor for their business, and how they customers will blend into London life.

As the police close in on Natalie and Dan’s flat and the walls close in, Natalie still uses her pull and power as a police officer to round up customers and make money and connections.  Stefan and Dan begin a list of 30 ‘to-dos’ or tasks; starting with number 1- with the help of Dan’s band, Famous Atheists.  The two forget about work and life.  Dan does not mention that his colleague made a pass, as well as his doubts about the wedding; Stefan does not let Alice know about his illness.  Meanwhile neither girls mention their business venture, as well as Natalie’s firing, and Alice’s doubts about motherhood.

In the closing scenes, Alice and Stefan talk about the future, and possible abortion.  Outside an inappropriately-named abortion clinic, as the rain lashes; the two realises that they want to stay together and need a future to hold onto.  Knowing that each of their lives will be very different and turbulent, they continue as they are: making sure neither knows of each other’s fate.  Natalie and Dan spend the night together; neither revealing truths, but promising to stick together.  When the following night comes around, Natalie and Alice are in the basement, surrounded by acolytes.  In a homage to Fight Club, Alice gives a speech; the mantra of the club and society:

The vile men that take the head of the world,

Break the mind and kill our kind

The women who break the mould will never ask

For an even mind

In spite of light the sun goes down

The world’s true nature is revealed

The poor are blinder, the rich control

The average are crushed under foot

The right to vote, the equality state

Every human on a level plain

In the openness of the midnight hour

We are all the same

Whilst mere mortals tell us they see some

And only remember a few

We feel everything

When eyes of the fools are closed and their idle dreams dance

We will rule- and they will hear us call

As the conclusion plays out, the girls find that they are being pursued.  Alice has her colleagues, as well as some of her ‘faithful’ chasing her; angry at her betrayal and revaluation; as Natalie finds that her flat is taken over by the police; keen to find her, as some disgruntled criminals also close in.  Stefan has a court case; illness and fatherhood to think about, as Dan’s colleague announces her intentions- leaving each pair with much to ponder.  The screen splits as each of the couples go separate ways.  Stefan and Dan head to the U.S. to fulfill the next ‘task’- both trying to escape from life; unaware what ramifications could be in store.  They are involved in an epic fight and car chase; escaping with cuts, the duo pledge friendship and the promise of making things better.  Natalie and Alice have a huge queue of customers, as word spreads.  As the siren’s flash across the street and the flat is turned over, the girls both join hands and smile; realising that London will be changed, and that their lives will never be the same again.  Mirroring the first scene- in tribute of Memento- Stefan pulls his car outside a local tattoo parlour (just before heading to America).  There is mystery to why he is there; what is going to happen- setting up another cliffhanger, there is narration (from Stefan), as he delivers the line: “Now… where were we?” as there is an instant cut to the closing credits.

Time Out of Mind- Press Release

Time Out of Mind

 

Over the coming weeks and months, I want to raise awareness, money and attention for Mind- a charity that helps those affected by mental illness.  Being someone who is afflicted (by the illness), I am keen to raise focus and prominence- ensure depression and mental illness is not stigmatised and margalised.  Most of the people I know, know someone (who suffers mental illness)- a majority of the public do, too.  My proposal looks at changing attitudes and getting people involved- much in the same way the Ice Bucket Challenge (did for A.L.S.).  Unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, there is a creative edge and proposal- the individual is encouraged to think of something unique and special- so no two people offer the same thing.  All I ask is (for each participant/nominee) to spend 15 minutes of out their day- and post it on social media.  It can be a video message or a poem; a recorded song or photo  (a good deed for someone; a walk in the park for instance)- I wrote a song from scratch!  Having launched the idea, I have had people contribute and get ‘the ball rolling’.  Below are videos from three of my Facebook friends- Diane Sherwood, Jen Armstong and Georgia Jakubiak:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=960946843930864&set=vb.100000466725465&type=2&theater

http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=1040669&rf=115256

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154611985545207&set=vb.561780206&type=2&theater

This is what I am looking for: something fresh and fun; something personal and creative- all it takes is 15 minutes (or less).  Once this ‘entry’ has been posted, the person must nominate three people; they in turn have 48 hours to respond/complete the challenge- they in turn nominate three others etc.   I hope to take the idea globally (and turn it viral)- get it talked about and promoted.  The most important thing is to donate to Mind- everyone must ensure they do this.  This can be done in a number of ways:

Just Giving:

https://www.justgiving.com/Sam-Liddicott3

By text

There are two ways to donate to Mind via text

  • Text SUPPORT to 70660 to give £3
  • Text GIVE to 82772 to give £5

By post

For one off gifts, please send a cheque, rather than cash, payable to Mind Fundraising, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ. Please download and complete the Mind donation form to send in with your donation.

If you’d like to set up a regular gift by post, please download and complete the direct debit form (PDF format) and post it to us.

By phone

Call us on 0300 999 1946 and make a donation with your debit or credit card. Calls charged at your normal rate. Mobile and other providers’ charges may vary.

 

Time Out of Mind is a fun and creative way to raise awareness for Mind and the issues of mental illness- something that can be done by everyone.  It only takes 15 minutes- and you!  Let us all work together and do everything we can- so many suffer the effects of mental illness; many do so alone.  I myself often feel lost, lonely and disconnected- in need of a helping hand and friendly voice.  With community togetherness; a common goal and focus- we can make a difference.  Thank you.

For further details please see The Problem: An Invisible Illness; A Way Through: Time Out of Mind:

http://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/the-problem-an-invisible-illness-a-way-through-time-out-of-mind/

Time Out of Mind: My Entry

Time Out of Mind:

My Entry

_________________________________________

Following on from…

 http://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/the-problem-an-invisible-illness-a-way-through-time-out-of-mind/

….I shall get the ball rolling…

______________________________________

Okay peeps.  If you have read my previous blog post- proposing an Ice Bucket Challenge-esque endeavor- then you may be thinking: what am I going to do?!  Well, in the spirit of getting things going, I am posting my ‘thing’- my Time Out of Mind entry- it took a staggering 14:31 to complete.  Disclaimer: I am counting the time publishing this blog as a business expense- no technicalities here!  The song itself took under 15 minutes to think of/type/complete- here are some more details.

Before I go on, I have donated a tenner to Mind- put a little message in and mentioned what I am doing.  This song was written between 10:00-10:14 at a coffee shop in Guildford (all glamour me- you can keep Paris!).  Surrounded by screaming kids and babies (my least favourite sensation on earth), it perhaps inspired a lot of the process (in a good way too).  The track is influenced by the likes of Royal Blood- their fusions of Hip-Hop and classic Rock.  The song has that feel and draws in the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin (and Royal Blood themselves).  Most of the song is an assault of guitar/bass/drum riffs and signatures; with some exceptions…

The Classical Break will consist of two violins; cello; oboe and viola- it will be romantic and quite sweeping.  Containing some passion and tenderness it has some irony to it.  The verse that starts “Breathe out and suck it all up” is presented as an Electro-Swing passage.  Backed with skiffling and dancing electronics; some ‘20s and ‘30s sounds- it is a distinct and unique passage- the vocal will have that classic and almost ‘elegant’ sound.  The second Musical Break will see all the instruments come together in a flurry of fury and trippy diversions.  It is the most electrifying and swaggering part of the song.  By the end, the instruments die one by one to be left with guitar, bass and drum- each in turn dies to be left with a vocal snatch.  At the very end, there is a nod to Queens of the Stone Age- and their song Feelgood Hit of the Summer.  Whereas they listed a cocktail of drugs; I list one of illnesses and ailments.

I hope it makes sense and tracks to a point, but it took less than 15 minutes- go easy on me (and that is part of the challenge!).  I am very proud of it at least, and it will be the first song I record- the lead-off track from the album Marriage: The Beautiful Revenge (hopefully will drop in the next couple of years).  This endeavor has compelled me to get a band and lay this track down- I am excited by it, and by setting myself a limit, I have ended my writer’s block- it does work.  In order to get over and conquer stage fright, it has been good to focus on music- take a step for a great charity that means a lot to me.  Whether you connect with what they do in an edifying sense; or just want to do something different and fun (to help a lot of people)- hope come up with something yourselves!

 _______________________________________________

Black Majesty Blues (Citizen Arrest)  (8:27)

Intro.

Hard to be a gentleman when manners are bleeding

Throw away the atom bomb

And use your mouth instead

It you’re “sure-as-hell not listening”

You better know that I’m still speaking

Don’t let my bad mood let you down

_______________

I got the kind of face only a mother could love

And luckily she was yours

In the night we confused science and religion

With the ceiling and the floor

_______________

Hold open the door just to slam it in my face

Make an unwise statement on behalf of the human race

You don’t have to scream to make your voice heard

Take care of your health and don’t give a shit about anyone else

These Black Majesty Blues, yeah

Going to get to you

Going to get to you…soon

 ____________________

Stripped bare like an animal in the wilderness

I write my most romantic for the right to impress

You say that you’re in love, girl

But you kiss me with barbed wire

And don’t stick around to hear me weep

If they call that politeness then don’t hang around

I got the kind of body research science would love

And they’re researching a stone-cold gentleman

If my bones don’t make it right down to hell

My soul sure as hell will be heaven-sent

 _______________

Hold open the door just to slam it in my face

Make an unwise statement on behalf of the human race

You don’t have to scream to make your voice heard

Take care of your health and don’t give a shit about anyone else

These Black Majesty Blues, yeah

Going to get to you

Going to get to you…soon

_______________________

Vocal and Instrumental Break

________________________

Breathe out and suck it all up

Let go and don’t take it in

Push away and don’t pull your weight

Loose tongue to communicate

Stand up but don’t walk away

Drop the ball and never pick it up

I’m blind but I hear you’ve seen it all

Alone in crowds and pushed away

_______________________________

I walk through the city and the masses walk by

Technology more important than the look in my eye

When a poor men begs here you walk away and laugh

A drunken generation with a hurricane for a heart

You say I’ve got a face perfect for radio?

A radioactive missile to blow you away

Your songs buy you diamonds; mine earn me respect

Well I cried when I wrote this line

What the hell did you expect?!

 _______________________________

Classic Break

 __________________________________

You think you’re Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa in one

Stuck inside your vanity suckling on smoking guns

She was just Hey Nineteen

You know what I mean?

Would you rather be the fool in a love story?

Or a hero in the war?

I’d talk to God but he stopped believing in me

I’m no bigger than my sin so what’s a boy to do?

Sing a ring of roses and a pocket full of poses

You got nothing on me, that much is true

 ________________________________

Hold open the door just to slam it in my face

Make an unwise statement on behalf of the human race

You don’t have to scream to make your voice heard

Take care of your health and don’t give a shit about anyone else

These Black Majesty Blues, huh

Going to get to you

Going to get to you…soon (real soon, sugar)

 _____________________________________

Musical Break 2

 ____________________________________

How you feeling now?!

Pink eye, diabetes, hemorrhoids, syphilis, peptic ulcers, genocide

Pink eye, diabetes, hemorrhoids, syphilis, peptic ulcers, genocide

Oh…

Pink eye, diabetes, hemorrhoids, syphilis, peptic ulcers, genocide

S-s-s-s-syphilis.

Pink eye, diabetes, hemorrhoids, syphilis, peptic ulcers, genocide

Pink eye, diabetes, hemorrhoids, syphilis, peptic ulcers, genocide

Repeat to fade.

_____________________________

Whether it’s a song, a walk; a poem- maybe a short film or video message, the idea is to get involved and keep the word going.  Donating is the most important thing, so as long as that is done as well- hopefully we can raise a lot.  If you are in a similar boat to me, the process can be cathartic and releasing- I have had a much better day today (than I have for a long time) x

 ____________________________________________________

11:35

To: saml889@hotmail.com

Dear Sam 

Thank you for deciding to support Mind with your kind gift of £10.

Mental health problems can affect anyone – rich or poor, young or old, shattering the lives of those affected and the lives of people close to them. 

Your contribution will help us continue to offer vital services for those experiencing mental health problems as well as to their friends and family.

On behalf of all those whose lives your gift will help, thank you so much.

Thanks again for your support.

Mind

———————————————————–
Email: contact@mind.org.uk
Tel: 020 8519 2122
Web: http://www.mind.org.uk/
Address: Mind
15-19 Broadway, London
E15 4BQ