Music Industry Axioms for 2009

Some of you might remember my old list of Robert Fripp-inspired music industry guidelines.

I figured it was time to revise them, in this exciting new world of economic crises, declining album sales, the demise of the long tail, the expectation of free music, and the continual fade of major industry players into irrelevance as they hand out awards to each other.

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Sick Rick

My beloved Rickenbacker 4001 is in hospital at the moment, undergoing neck-joint reconstruction surgery. While we’re all anxiously awaiting the news, here’s a little tribute to the bass guitar gracing the next Tunisia album..

I refinished it in these familiar Chris Squire colours a few years ago. But it started out as a fairly standard fireglo red model:Continue reading

Kansas/Oklahoma Line

In a tortuous process exactly not unlike staring at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds (DNA), I’ve finished up the lyrics for the next Band of Bruces masterpiece.

This time it’s the opening track, Break In Break Out.

As you might suspect, it’s a bit of a wordy number. Expect to hear the demo pretty soon.

Craven on Cravens

Time to spill the beans on a new project I’ve started working on, codenamed Band of Bruces.

In the late 1800s there was an Oklahoma outlaw named Ben Cravens. No kidding. By all accounts he was a pretty nasty sort of bloke – horse theft, holdups, murder, jailbreaks, fake IDs, downloading music, etc.

Now, ordinarily his life would be pretty good fodder for a concept album (“oh dear, did he just say concept album?”) if you’re a musician with country tendencies. But if you happen to share almost the same name as him, well the deal is done and dusted.

So here is the first track off the production line, Itchy Finger. Not the first track in the album order by any means (it’s actually towards the end somewhere). But it should give you a flavour of some things to come.

[audio:http://bencraven.com/blogposts/20080910_itchy_finger/20080909_ben_craven_itchy_finger.mp3]

There Used To Be A Ballpark

My studio is moving!

Fortunately I didn’t name Desert Comb Studios after its location.

Anyway, the move is only a few suburbs, but it has – temporarily – put the brakes on the new track Itchy Finger.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts, where I’ll spill the beans on the Band Of Bruces concept album, and feature the new track..

You Get Me Started

Something a little different.

Recently I was asked to work on a new track to contribute to the soundtrack of a short film.

Only trouble was, it was a last-minute replacement for a song which had already been seamlessly integrated into the film’s final cut.

In other words, here was a legitimate excuse to write a short pop song!

Featuring Jason Curtis on bass, and Chad Borchard helping out on vocals, here’s “You Get Me Started”.

(Hey it could make a mighty fine car ad too..)

[audio:http://bencraven.com/blogposts/20080525_you_get_me_started/20080523%20you%20get%20me%20started.mp3]

Captain Caper – Be Afraid

 The three piece!

(L-R: Ben, Jason, Chad)

Here are some of the frightful sounds currently being produced by the newly-formed three-piece in rehearsal. Variations on the middle section of Captain Caper, no less. Featuring Jason “Bruce” Green on drums, and Chad “Bruce” Borchard on bass.

If you’re not familiar with Captain Caper, you can sample the original track on the Music page. By a happy coincidence, this rehearsal clip picks up where the other one left off.

Recorded with a single room microphone, so judge the sound quality accordingly!

[audio:http://bencraven.com/blogposts/20080427_captain_caper_be_afraid/20080425%20captain%20caper%20-%20rehearsal%20excerpt.mp3]

Band of Bruces

It’s not turning out quite the way I planned it.

While I’m getting on with the real business of recording the follow-up to Two False Idols, Band of Bruces is the name I’ve given to a side project of simpler songs. You know, music that doesn’t actually need four guitar parts to play live, or three-part vocal harmonies to sound right, or a bloke on theremin.

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Hi everyone. My name is Ben, and it’s been two years since my last song.

Well that’s not entirely true.

I’m a songwriter/musician/producer from Brisbane, Australia. In other words, I’m whatever I have to be to record and put out my own music.

Two years ago I released my debut album, Two False Idols, under the name of Tunisia. I described it as “cinematic rock”. Phil the marketing bloke called it “progressive singer-songwriter”, which was even better. It came out on my own label, Desert Comb Music, and was physically distributed by Cargo Records across Europe. It’s also available on iTunes just about everywhere.

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