Music Piracy

I’ve said this before, but I find file sharing and torrents to be a bit of a grey area. I don’t want to go out of my way to condone them, yet at the same time I acknowledge they can just be seen as another form of marketing. Radio for the digital age, perhaps. And in turn I hope that people who genuinely like what they hear go on to support the artist by purchasing the music, buying merchandise, coming along to a show, or just spreading the word.

It’s all a bit of a moot point in my case anyway. Anyone who wants to can already listen to my album, Great & Terrible Potions, in its entirety, online, for free, at my Bandcamp site. Potions was also streaming freely for a few months at the excellent Progstreaming site.

But recently I came across a pirate website selling digital downloads of my album at an incredibly low price. The site looks like an official retailer, and even has a real photo of the actual CD packaging. It’s one thing to trade files freely, but deliberately trying to fool people into thinking they are buying music legitimately (and supporting the artist directly) is absolutely abhorrent.

If you come across any websites like these, please don’t give them the time of day. Honestly, I’d much rather you just downloaded the album for free.

I’m Dreaming Of A White…

In the spirit of the season, I’d like to offer up this raw nugget from the vaults, from the heady days of my old cover band, Rabble. It’s a version of that Cream classic, (I’m Dreaming Of A) White Room, recorded live in the rehearsal room back in March 2004.

Featuring Brad Douglas on verse vocals and drums, Renae Craven on keys and Jason Curtis on bass.

[audio: http://bencraven.com/blogposts/20111223_white_room/rabble_white_room.mp3]

New interview at mwe3.com

Recently I was interviewed by Robert Steven Silverstein about Great & Terrible Potions, guitars, music practice, studio engineering, Roger Dean and Brian Wilson.

Plus he managed to extract some never-before-revealed great and terrible secrets about the making of the album.

Check out the full interview!

 

Review Roundup

Some more reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have popped up over the last few weeks. They’re all a good read!

JerryLucky.com (Canada)
Cosmos Music (France)
Classic Rock Society (UK)
Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK)
Progressive Area (France)
Babyblaue-Seiten (Germany)
Leicester Bangs (UK)
Get Ready To ROCK! (UK)
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (Holland)

And if you can, keep an eye out for the review in the new issue of Dutch print magazine iO Pages (#104). The one with Pink Floyd on the cover!

New interview for Yes Music Podcast

Early Wednesday morning (my time) I was interviewed by Kevin Mulryne for Yes Music Podcast. We had a nice chat about Great & Terrible Potions, Yes’s influence in my music and Roger Dean’s artwork. And of course he threw in a curly one towards the end about my thoughts on the current version of Yes without Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

You can listen to the interview here.

And be sure to check out Kevin’s other episodes of Yes Music Podcast if you’re interested in an intelligent analysis of individual Yes albums.

Free Single Download – No Specific Harm + Aquamarine

Now available for free download – for a limited time only – is the double A-side single release of No Specific Harm and Aquamarine.

This version of Aquamarine is a new edit unavailable anywhere else. It features a nice little acoustic guitar solo towards the end. I debated long and hard (with the other band members) about including it in the original album version. But in the end, the solo was sacrificed to give the album a rare moment of breathing space.

A single edit is different though. It’s an opportunity to cram as much information as possible into three minutes!

The single can be downloaded for free from bencraven.bandcamp.com.

What Happens In Vegas…

Ordinarily I go for Strats with maple necks.

While I was visiting Vegas recently, I stopped in at a “Center” that sells “Guitars”. I was on the lookout for something a bit different, perhaps a US-made Les Paul.

Imagine my surprise when instead I had an unexpected affair with a sonic blue blacktop Strat sporting a rosewood neck. From south of the border! I don’t know how it happened. It just did. And I walked out with it.

Blacktop Strat

Of course I’ll do my usual custom fiddling around with the hardware and electronics, but it really is a great-feeling neck and body combination. Unfortunately one or two of the harem will have to go to make way, but they knew the risks.

In the meantime, here’s some actual news.

– New reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have turned up at Progwereld (Holland), MLWZ (Poland), the Music Street Journal (USA), and JerryLucky.com (Canada).

– Keep your eyes out for the latest issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK). Word on the street is there’s a positive review of Potions in it, but I’m yet to see it.

Potions has moved up to number 7 on the Progwereld World 10, and is currently charting at number 4 at the Just For Kicks webstore (Germany). That’s right, David Hasselhoff fans. I said Germany.

– I recently recorded an interview with Don Cassidy at Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio. To hear it, head over to the site and find the Interviews link on the left hand side. Then enjoy, in all its glory, my seldom-heard “6am Saturday” voice.

– I’m still editing the video from the Potions album launch. Almost at the half-way point, and clips of Diabolique and Nobody Dies Forever have made their way to YouTube.

Until next time!