I thought I’d do the whole personal blog thing, for the first time in a long while. I don’t usually like doing these things. It does seem awfully self obsessed. I mean people may want to hear your opinions on sport or culture, and that’s very cool in it’s own right. But who really gives a damn about your personal and professional life? Unless it is relevant to them, why should they read it? Boy, I’m not really selling this very well at all am I? I guess it just feels good to get some things off of your chest sometimes, and give yourself some perspective on where going through your writing. I don’t know. I’m just going to do a little recap on the stuff I’ve been up to, and I hope you find it at least slightly interesting. Here goes.
As part of my work for Chameleon Recordings, I have spent the last couple of months writing and producing Artist Portfolios for Brains For Breakfast and MoJoe. You can see reviews I’ve wrote on both of their latest releases in the ‘Chameleon Recordings’ category. Those reviews are a small part of the portfolios. They are thirteen page promotional devices made with the intention of getting more press exposure and publicity for the two artists.
I’ve wrote them page by page, arranging and engineered them into Word and PowerPoint formats, added a promotional pack .zip folder with exclusive audio, video, photographs and tour information, and now I’m ready to start emailing them to magazines, radio stations, online zines, promoters and musicians. I have to admit that it’s a huge relief to have them off my workload. They have probably been my number one priority for quite sometime, and finishing them off should give me a lot more free time to dedicate to other work.
Another responsibility I’ve had as part of the Chameleon Team has been working on Brains For Breakfast’s upcoming UK tour. I will be on the road with him and MoJoe between April 3-17. Check out this link for more info on tour dates, etc: http://www.facebook.com/events/544516652249515/?ref=ts&fref=ts – When I jumped on the tour, it was missing around six dates and needed polishing off. I took over some of the tour booking and secured those shows.
Now thanks to the hard work of all three of us, we have the entire tour fully booked, the tour poster finished and a comprehensive tour schedule containing the location, addresses and contact details of all the venues, promoters and even the people we are staying with. If you know me, you can guess which obsessive, compulsive freak has compiled the tour schedule. We are even in the midst of self promoting one of the shows ourselves in Stoke on April 6. Check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/events/357017921073381/?ref=ts&fref=ts
There are just a few finishing touches that need adding to the tour. We are waiting on t-shirts to come back from the printer, taking hundreds of copies of the EP, leaflets and stickers with us too. We have all the information now. We almost have all the merchandise. We are all armed to the teeth with equipment and media. I honestly can’t wait to just get on the road. It’s been a childhood dream for as long as I can remember. I came very close when I was seventeen and had it snatched away from me the day before tour. Second time lucky. I can’t wait to film everything, and video/print blog my ass off all day and night! My only real concern about the tour is how I’m going to see Wrestlemania. That is all up in the air, and that’s not normal. I know I’ll find a way…
Moving on to Birmingham 2022, which is the exciting magazine project I’ve been working on, as part of the launch for the New Library of Birmingham. Our work will be getting viewed by an estimated 150,000 people which is really cool. It’s in the early stages so far, but I loved the first session and meeting the team. I’m really looking forward to getting more stuck into this after the tour. As part of the Discovery Festival, and in conjunction with Capsule and Fused Magazine, it’s a really great opportunity to learn a lot of new stuff, meet a lot of interesting and influential people and really improve my writing skills.
Speaking of Fused Magazine, I’ve been nagging Kerry the Editor for such a long time about doing some unpaid freelance work for print. Little did I know she was eventually going to be one of the co-ordinators for Birmingham 2022. Now I’m finally working on assignments which will go into one of the coolest youth and culture magazines in the country, with a national distribution and a local, national and international context.
My first task is to preview The Who’s upcoming gig at the LG Arena. I’m looking forward to starting work on this tomorrow night after work. I’ve also been afforded 1,000 words to play with on an idea of my own. I’m going to write a feature on the resurgence of the northern soul scene in the West Midlands. I’ve tried to make a movie and that’s pretty tough. This should be much more my speed at this point in time with my current workload, and now I will actually have the chance to use the contacts I have for interview, and tell a story I’ve wanted to tell for quite some time.
Then there is my day job at MEL Research. I’ve been back there on a three day a week basis now for a few weeks and it’s absolutely great to be back. My new shift pattern allows me to earn just enough to get by, and affords me a whole four days a week to work on everything else. It’s the perfect situation. I now only catch six buses a week, which cuts down the likelihood of me eventually going on a killing spree. Best of all, I get to see my work mates and my boss again, which is absolutely great. The company on the whole has been so loyal and so supportive to me, and I can’t thank everyone there enough. I think I’ve got the perfect balance now. I can’t survive with no job, but I can’t be happy travelling that distance to one five days a week. I can’t have any complaints at all about that part of my life right now.
I’ve also submitted an application for another IdeasTap project. It’s called Ideas Fund Shorts. It promises eight hand picked applicants a £5,000 grant and expert mentoring to make a 20 minute film in a format and on a topic of their choosing. I submitted an application to work on a project entitled ‘Users’ – I want to make a documentary film exploring the misunderstood world of drug experimentation among young people in the UK. I want to approach a crucial topic in an unbiased, fresh, unprecedented manner, while putting myself in unique on screen situations alongside hardcore drug users. So far, only 97 people have applied for the grant and there are only four days until the deadline. I like those odds. That’s almost one in eight or something. Not too shabby. Fingers crossed on that one.
I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time creatively. A few months ago I made a conscious decision to try and use my time as effectively as I possibly could. I’d like to think I’ve been doing that. Nonetheless, I do wish I could add another four or five hours onto a day, because there is still so much more I want to do. I know a lot of people have the same problem. There are just never enough hours in the day. I’d like more time to start work on the wrestling discussion YouTube series I want to launch, to actually have a real go at making a documentary film and to be a lot more prolific when it comes to blog posts. Oh well, can’t do everything at once.
In other news, it’s been snowing a hell of a lot around here lately, and that’s… pretty cool.
So that’s the work I’ve been doing. I hope you found it vaguely interesting I guess? I don’t know. What I do know is that I was listening to Immortal Technique when I wrote this, and that’s a fact.