Tour Management Services

November 26, 2014

Luxury Splitter Vans for Hire- Driving You Crazy 2012

Iron Man offers Tour Management Services to bands and artists.

Tour Management – A professional solution for touring artists, providing a reliable service at a reasonable price. I can help organise the administration for a schedule of appearances, contacting each promoter or venue to ensure the clients technical and hospitality demands are met. I ensure the work remains within the budget. I will take care of the day to day planning and management of activities on the road, and any unforeseen issues or emergencies should they occur. Some recent clients have included: Seasick Steve, John Paul Jones, Madness, The Stone Roses, Killing Joke, Adam Ant, Roland Gift, Fatoumata Diawara, Talib Kweli, Little Barrie, House of Pain, Vagina Monologues, Ivo Papasov, Sierra Meastra.

Transfers – A simple and cost effective transfer service to or from the airport, the office, an exhibition, or an event.

Backline and Gear Moves – A reliable service to pick up or drop off backline, gear or trailers depending on your need. I use a suitable panel van, splitter van, or a Land Rover Defender, which will pull a Trailer (with a ramped load-on/off) capable of moving up to 2 tonnes of gear.

Email: mark@ironmanrecords.co.uk
Telephone: Mark (+44) 07974 746810

I can help with Merchandise, Production, Backline, Crew, Rehearsal, Recording, Press, Promotion, Online strategy and equipment storage.

From the point of pick up, to the final destination, your client is in safe hands. I offer a courteous and helpful service with an eye on safety and security. You and your clients can relax as I understand the importance or being discreet, reliable and friendly.

Safety and comfort is of utmost importance. All vehicles are always in a technically and optically perfect condition. Furthermore, all vehicles are non-smoking and undergo regular interior and exterior cleaning.

Email or Call for more info: Mark (+44) 07974 746810

Tour Management and Transfer Services

I can be found frequently in Birmingham, Cardiff and London.

Luxury Splitter Vans for Hire- Driving You Crazy 2012

Tour Management Services

Most of my work is based around Tour Management in the Music Industry but I have also worked with the Theatre and Film Industry.

I have played in all sorts of bands myself over the years, I’ve organised 1000’s of gigs as i used to put on regular shows in Birmingham, I’ve set up tours, managed bands, put together press kits, pr and promotion strategies, worked out online strategies for artists big and small, I run a record label, and I’ve dealt with all sorts of madness along the way. I have an understanding of most problems, pressures and issues that performers and their crew may face. I’ve taken a lot of people to a lot of gigs from living rooms, small venues, squats, warehouses, TV and Radio Stations to major music venues and festivals of all shapes and sizes.

I have a clean driving licence with a C1 and D1 which means I can tow trailers and drive any car, van or splitter.

Vehicles

I’m a freelance. I work for you, not the hire company. This means that if you employ me I can find you a good vehicle or trailer or anything else you might need so that’s less work you have to do. I can source Splitters, Gear vans, Cars, Minibuses…anything you might need.

Online Strategy

I have an active interest in internet and social media. If you’re interested in how I could help with your, or your artist’s on-line presence get in touch.

Rates

I charge per day. A day is 8 hours, after the first 8 hours I charge per hour. The hours run from when I collect the vehicle for the work until I return it.

Alternatively, I also charge a ‘set day rate’. This is negotiable, in advance of the work, depending on what you want me to do. Longer term clients tend to be on a set day rate, It works out cheaper and no one has to watch the clock.

I expect PDs and buyout/catering on any work where I’m away overnight, and buyout/catering on any day over 8 hours.

Some recent Artists / Clients

Seasick Steve, John Paul Jones, Madness, The Stone Roses, Mika, Killing Joke, Adam Ant, Roland Gift, Fatoumata Diawara, Anthrax, Modestep, Talib Kweli, Little Barrie, House of Pain, The Enemy, Friendly Fires, Crystal Castles, Bullet for my Valentine, The Orb, Barry Adamson, Vagina Monologues, Taio Cruz, Jay Reatard, Nightingales, Ivo Papasov, Sierra Meastra, Endbutt Lane, The Rakes, The Magistrates, Soulsavers, As I lay Dying, Roisin Murphy, Police Bastard, Dufus, Arrows, Ladytron, Son de la Frontera, Jeffrey Daniel, Johnny 2 Bad, XOVA, Johnny Foreigner and many others…..

(Long Wheel VW Crafter Splitter Van shown above is an example of the type of vehicle I most often use when working with Clients.)

Free The Weed 40 by John Sinclair

June 21, 2014

John Sinclair - 12 Bar Club, 11th May 2014

Highest greetings from the Mediterranean coast of Italy, where I’m visiting my friends Jerry Poynton and Helen Oliver Adelson, the great American painter, at their rustic place in the countryside outside of Tarquiia, Italy, just an hour north and west of Rome.

I flew in from Amsterdam through an incredible storm that cleared up just before we landed at Leonardo da Vinci airport, but now I’m relaxing in the bucolic serenity of the Etruscan countryside and enjoying the radio program (#553) I made at the 420 Café before leaving Amsterdam that’s posted on my internet radio station at www.RadioFreeAmsterdam.com.

Radio Free Amsterdam has been my leading passion in life for the past 10 years since Henk Botwinik, the late Larry Hayden and I collaborated at the Café Amnesia in Amsterdam to bring it into existence on November 22, 2004. The station has grown from our initial offering, The John Sinclair Radio Show, to two hours of daily programming of blues, jazz, R&B, gospel, soul and weirdness emanating from our website.

I left you last month with my radio station playing in my dream coffeeshop in Detroit and I’ve been wanting to write about Radio Free Amsterdam in my column here for quite some time—but first let’s enjoy our Official Opening Tokes and a word from our sponsor:

As all hedonists know, marijuana is a sensitizing agent that helps increase the user’s awareness of his or her physical being while also gently expanding the mental consciousness as well. Thus one FEELS more and is more AWARE of the sensations one is feeling.

A marijuana high may also promote feelings of general well-being which in turn stimulate the awareness of pleasant physical sensations that may pass through the mind and body while high.

Marijuana also helps the smoker focus on certain feelings and other aspects of reality to the exclusion of others, so that the smoker may TUNE IN to the important things and TUNE OUT of the less pleasant.

Something should also be said about the benevolent effects of marijuana ingestion on listening to music, especially the correct sort of music that really makes you high when you listen to it. And the better the smoke, the more finely and perfectly one may tune in to the sound and what the musicians are saying when they play.

To complete the circle, there must be mentioned the beneficial effect of such music on the act of making love and the circumstances surrounding it, and the synergism generated by the conjunction of good weed, good music and good loving.

In the immortal words of Clifton Chenier in his classic Specialty 78 called “Squeezebox Boogie”: “Put your legs up, baby….Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”

I know I’ve said this before, but when I was growing up in Flint, Michigan it was the music on the radio that opened our eyes and ears to a world beyond the puny one we had been given—a world where people sang about what was on our minds and expressed themselves in ways and sounds we had never imagined.

This music created the very air we breathed and the thought waves that animated our burgeoning intelligence. It was the perfect soundtrack for our lives, and we couldn’t live without it.

When I went on to college I was introduced to further extensions of the music I’d heard as a teenager and I loved it even more. I tuned in to jazz stations in Detroit and Chicago and heard music that vibrated throughout my being and stimulated my gradually opening mind to reach out for more and more knowledge and deeper and deeper wellsprings of feeling and emotion.

When I first started smoking weed early in 1962 I was amazed at how much better everything good was beginning to sound and feel. On my 21st birthday my friend and mentor, Tom Allen, who had turned me on to weed in the first place, gifted me with a small bag of pot he’d grown himself somewhere on the banks of the Flint River, and I was mentally propelled into new territory where I began to feel and understand the music I was listening to in a whole new way.

The life I enjoy now, more than 50 years later, started that day when I heard what Miles Davis & John Coltrane were really saying on their current recording called Someday My Prince Will Come. As I paid closer and closer attention to the music I began to understand that it all part of the same thing. Blues & jazz had developed together in the last days of the 19th century, both deeply rooted in the spiritual music of the rural African American church and the cultural matrix of West Africa and the Caribbean.

These intertwined roots and their many musical branches progressed together through the entirety of the 20th century and into the present era, making life worthwhile for millions of music lovers and establishing standards of emotional depth and breadth of intellection and individual artistic expression that will stand as long as there is music.

There’s no mistaking the extent to which these musics have been informed by the ingestion of marijuana and other recreational substances. Marijuana was popularized among musicians and listeners in the 1920s by jazz artists like Louis Armstrong, Mezz Mezzrow and their magic ilk, and the culture of weed smoking was spread through countless recordings by jazz and swing musicians of the 1930s until marijuana was criminalized by the federal government in 1937.

In the 1940s and ‘50s the smell of weed and its positive effect on the intellectual and emotional development of humans committed to artistic expression spread from jazz musicians throughout the artistic community, from poets and writers to painters and photographers to dancers and choreographers to actors and directors and and movie-makers.

The mass popularity of weed reached its early zenith in the sixties, when it was hard to find any segment of the musical and artistic community that had escaped its impact. Since then it’s permeated the culture at large until at last a majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing the sacrament once and for all.

When you tune in to Radio Free Amsterdam you’ll gain the benefit of this entire historical sweep and encounter hours upon hours of creative, pleasurable and swinging musical examples of the greatness of our music and its practitioners. Every week original blues programs by Bruce Pingree, Leslie Keros, Scott Barretta, Tom Morgan, Cary Wolfson, and Harry Duncan are joined with jazz programming by Steve The Fly, Tom Morgan, David Kunian and myself as well as my own idiosyncratic mixtures and the unrelenting weirdness of Caleb Selah to offer a listening experience you can’t really get anywhere else—and it all comes at absolutely no cost to the listener.

I put this music up on the RFA website—sponsored by the Hempshopper stores and Ceres Seed Company of Amsterdam—in order to keep the music alive in its original forms and introduce it to people of today. Our slogan is “Blues, Jazz & Reffer” and we keep it coming week after week. If you punch the button called “Listen Now” you can hear a continuous stream of one-hour programs that will keep your ears throbbing and your mind smiling around the clock.

Give us a listen and light up and be somebody, as the old-time vipers used to say. Free The Weed!

—Tarquinia, Italy
June 21, 2014

© 2014 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Free The Weed 39 – by John Sinclair

May 25, 2014

John Sinclair at 12 Bar Club, London, Sunday 11th May 2014

Highest greetings from London, where it’s still a crime to smoke and possess cannabis products and the medical use of marijuana is not yet recognized by the forces of the Crown. Like the guy at Customs told me a couple of years ago when he seized my medically prescribed cannabis in its official Dutch medical container and refused my offer to present my Dutch prescription and my Michigan medical marijuana card: “This is just smuggling drugs to us.”

I’m in London to mark the release of my new album MOHAWK from Ironman Records and play a couple of little gigs with my drummer and comrade Steve The Fly, who produced the album for me in Amsterdam and is here with me for the month where we’re guests of Caleb Selah and The Fuck You Sound internet radio studios in the Blackheath sector of southeast London.

We’re in good hands here and our medical and recreational needs are being well attended, and that’s a very good thing. At the end of the month I’ll be enjoying the great honor of opening for Marshall Allen & The Sun Ra Arkestra at the Sun Ra Centennial concert at the Barbican Centre—one of the highest points of my performing arts career, now in its 50th year, and I’m very happy to be here.

But I have to confess that I’m looking forward to fulfilling my artistic duties here and moving on to my favorite roost, the beautiful city of Amsterdam, where my daily life is centered on the coffeeshop called the 420 Café located right in the center of the city. I’m the Poet In Residence at the 420 when I’m in town and I take my post there just about every afternoon, plug in my laptop, have a coffee and roll a joint, greet my friends, conduct my correspondence, record my radio shows and work on scheduling and posting the programs for my internet radio station, RadioFreeAmsterdam.com.

As a poet, writer, internet broadcaster and public intellectual fueled by art, information, marijuana and espresso, there’s no better place for me than the 420 Café to hang out and get my work done without interruption or discomfort. In my travels and in daily life, all I need to keep up with my work is a place with Wi-Fi to plug in and work my keyboard, and I’m usually hunched over my MacBook at a table in somebody’s kitchen as a guest in their home, but it’s far more satisfying for me to be able to take care of my little business in a public setting where I can quietly fit in to the flow of humanity around me and feel more like a human being myself.

Since I left New Orleans in 2003 to try to base myself in Amsterdam I haven’t had a home of my own, and after my first 60 years residing in a series of apartments and houses while I found my way in life, married, had children, remarried, gained more children and somehow got them all through the Detroit public schools, then moved to New Orleans and spent 12 years in residence there with my wife Penny, I was ready for something different.

A house fire in New Orleans in 2000 burnt up my most prized possessions, my music and book collections, and with the counseling of my Buddhist friends I learned to live without them. I set out for Amsterdam a couple of years later with “a suitcase stuffed with clothing / & a bag full of manuscripts / & hand-burnt CDs.” My wife was settled in Detroit attending to her aging mother while I went ahead to try to make a place for us across the Atlantic Ocean, but it turned out she didn’t like it there and decided to stay in Detroit. So I left the furniture and all my other possessions there with her and kept on with my quest to establish myself in a strange—but very comfortable—new place with very few material encumbrances.

After a lifetime as a tenant with familial responsibilities I was on my own in a foreign land without a housing budget or any visible means of support, suddenly dependent on my friends and sympathizers for a place to sleep and the means of survival. Twelve years in New Orleans living by my wits as a music writer, performer, community radio broadcaster and slash-&-burn barnstorming bard had produced barely enough remuneration to keep up with the rent, and I concluded that if I had to starve in New Orleans, I could just as well try to starve in Amsterdam where at the very least I wouldn’t have to be worrying about the police and nobody was armed.

So I starved for several years until I could get my footing, but the 420 Café has sustained me throughout my entire occupation of Amsterdam and provided me with a stable base from which to operate, ensure my survival, make new friends, and keep up with my self-imposed workload. They play music that you can listen to, my own tunes are on the playlist, the splendid staff of the 420 has furnished some of my closest friends, and I’m always made to feel more than welcome in the warm, comfortable environs of this old-school cannabis café.

The great thing about the cannabis café culture is that there’s one for everybody. There used to be 750 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, but even with the continual shrinkage mandated by the government over the past 20 years there are still more than 200 operating coffeeshops that cater to every stripe of the smoking community. Each has its own distinctive ambience, its own musical direction, its own menu of weed and hash, its own non-alcoholic drink specialties, and its own idiosyncratic clientele.

There are coffeeshops in far-flung neighborhoods for the local tokers, many varied spots in the Centrum for touring smokers of every origination, hard-rock coffeeshops, joints that play house music, rap, reggae, jazz and classic rock. If you’re a resident or a regular visitor, you choose your favorite hang and fall in whenever you want to. It’ll have the menu you want to pick from, the music you want to hear and the patrons you want to be with, or you move on to another place that looks like where you want to be at.

As a life-long daily marijuana smoker, this is my idea of civilization. In my old age I’ve managed to arrange my affairs so I can get to stay in Amsterdam for about half the year, traveling to London and around Europe to perform as requested and returning to the States to visit my daughters and granddaughters, do enough work to keep paying my way, and stay in touch with what my hundreds of friends in Detroit and New Orleans and all around the country are doing to make life more interesting all the time.

One of my brightest dreams remains to establish a coffeeshop like this in Detroit where the laws would now allow it, a place where registered marijuana patients could come, present their cards, take a seat at the table of their choice, have a coffee or a juice or a soft drink with their friends, and light up and be somebody while the music of Radio Free Amsterdam is played continuously as the appropriate soundtrack for the setting.

I’m out of space for this month but think about how great that will be when it finally happens. Free The Weed!

London
May 25, 2014
© 2014 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Last Under The Sun + Fear Insight + Fetus Christ – Sat 15th Feb Rock Zombie, Dudley 8pm

February 13, 2014

Last Under The Sun + Fear Insight + Fetus Christ Sat 15th Feb Rock Zombie, Dudley 8pm

The Culture Industry: Enlightenment or Mass Deception?

February 10, 2014

“Pop culture in general is the main thing they use to keep young people from developing any ideas.” – John Sinclair.

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album called “Mohawk,” on Iron Man Records, on Monday 24th March 2014 with distribution by Cargo. The music was written and arranged by Steve Fly who mirrored John’s poems in the music by initially combing the tempo of the original songs recorded by John ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Thelonious Monk. Steve The Fly is a native of Stourbridge UK, now an Amsterdam resident who plays drums, spins vinyl, writes novels and literary and cultural commentary. He also maintains a flock of websites and works in various other art forms without visible restraint.  His other music projects have included New Flesh, Garaj Mahal, Temple Dragon band, of course he is now full time with John Sinclair.

John has been on TV news recently with an appearance on CNN talking to Atika Shubert about the Marijuana laws in Holland, and the value of these laws in attracting tourism. The piece makes an interesting overview of the issues involved and Cafe 420 is featured including an interview with the owner. Perhaps Birmingham City Council’s tourism department could learn a trick or two.

For those into poetry and performance: Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer died last month at the age of 79. Baraka was a leading force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled “The Dead Lecturer” and won an Obie Award for his play, “Dutchman.” After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. If you don’t know his work, find out more for yourself.

For those assembling posters and flyers for gigs across the region, January also said Farewell to Gary Grimshaw, a Rock Art Legend, the man whose posters and covers defined the Detroit rock scene. John Sinclair wrote a few lines that I think are worth sharing with Midlands based musicians and artists here “Gary Grimshaw was a great creative artist who helped define the spirit and feeling of an entire era with his brilliant posters for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, his artwork for underground newspapers like the Detroit Sun, the Fifth Estate and the San Francisco Oracle, and his posters and record covers for the MC-5 and other bands.

“He was a music lover first and foremost, best friends in high school with Rob Tyner of the MC5, a beautiful cat and the most tireless and dedicated art worker I’ve ever known. We were partners in crime at the Grande Ballroom and the Detroit Artists Workshop, we founded Trans-Love Energies and the White Panther Party together, we worked side by side for several years while he beautifully interpreted all my ideas for cultural and social change into public artwork that could make people want to do things they’d never done before.

“After the movement ended in the mid-’70s we went our separate ways but reunited in Detroit in the 1980s in partnership with Frank & Peggy Bach to serve the Motor City music community for several years before Gary moved to the San Francisco Bay area. He was one of my greatest friends of all time, most valued co-worker and constant inspiration.”

“The Revolution is totally committed to bringing people out of their shells and into each others arms. The music is the source and effect of our spirit flesh and we demand a free music and a free high energy source that will drive us wild into the streets…..yelling and screaming and tearing down everything that would keep people slaves” – John Sinclair

John Sinclair relives his ups and downs with the MC5 in the next issue of MOJO, on sale from January 28, 2014.

Last Under The Sun have more gigs planned, 15th Feb at Rock Zombie Dudley and 16th Feb at The Flapper and Firkin Birmingham. You can listen to and download all their music for free here: http://lastunderthesun.bandcamp.com or you can find their cds in the Iron Man Shop. The band are off to Belgium and Holland in March.

Police Bastard are assembling tour dates to promote their new album, Confined, which continues to generate interesting reviews. A few quotes include:

“Thought-provoking monologues and confrontational lyrics bring you on a cold, doom-laden journey of perpetual war, psychological mind control and disillusionment.”

“…an anti-theistic slice of brutality, which leaves the listener in no doubt that Police Bastard mean business. You even get a quote from Richard Dawkins about teaching the bible as fiction. Musically they give us huge chugging riffs on “Brought To Our Knees”, which tackles the blandness of multi-national companies infecting the high street, set against the backdrop of the widening gap between rich and poor. For those that like their anthems loud and stompy, “Sick Sick System” will no doubt win a seal of approval with its knock about Punk mayhem and catchy refrain, ‘sick sick system, same old bullshit’.

“….From Mark Orton‘s cover art through to the final song, “Fortress,” Police Bastard have presented an album that uses hardcore’s battering ram approach to push through a series of songs that depict how humanity has destroyed the Earth. Lines such as “We’re sealing our fate” hammer home the idea that mankind has taken the world to the edge of existence…”

“Confined” was recorded at Framework Studios, Birmingham and is out now.

The Nightingales – Born out of Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects, the Nightingales have stubbornly ploughed their own furrow in the field of alternative rock n roll for three decades. 2006 saw the release of “Out Of True” on Iron Man Records and the return of a reformed Nightingales after some years away. The band have not wasted much time since then and yet another new album is on the way for 2014.

The band hope to announce tour dates for UK/Europe for  April and May and some Festivals to be confirmed for over the summer/autumn 2014. There may be some United States dates in Sept/Oct time too.

Nightingales are planning a 7″ 45rpm to be released at some point & another album to be recorded later in the year for early 2015 release.

Described in John Robb’s definitive post punk biography ‘Death To Trad Rock’ as “the misfits’ misfits”, the band has constantly garnered praise and respect from other artists and received endless glowing press reports, particularly for their live shows. Led by singer/lyricist Robert Lloyd (‘The most underestimated songwriter of his generation’ according to Ben Thompson in the Independent) the latest incarnation of the Nightingales are back again with a new album recorded at Faust studio in September 2013 for release in spring 2014. There will be a vinyl lp and the record label & title will be confirmed soon.

Blog: On the Iron Man website I’ve posted a series of interesting articles like The Bitcoin Revolution By Steven Hager and Free The Weed 35 by John Sinclair.

The Bitcoin Revolution: “Bitcoin is rapidly transforming the financial landscape with a peer-to-peer solution for wealth transfer. It has already shown capacity to absorb tremendous resources and withstand crisis sell-offs. Read this short ebook to understand why you should invest in this revolutionary computer art meets cryptography concept. I came late to Bitcoin and have zero understanding of the technical complexities of cryptography, but I do realize Bitcoin is open source and completely transparent and completely non-predatory in design, a real departure from our banking industry. Any assets moved into Bitcoin virtually disappear from the public record at this point and do not become taxable events until they are brought back into the system. Bitcoin has numerous benefits to offer and represents a real threat to our current corrupt money system. The media has been relentlessly negative on bitcoins for a reason: they threaten the status quo.”

Free The Weed: “….people in the cannabis community are looking on in wonder as the United States takes its first tentative steps toward legalizing marijuana for use by all thinking persons over 18 years of age.

Like they say in New Orleans, a lotta people don’t know that marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands, although over-the-counter sales of cannabis has been allowed under what they call a “grey area” in the law which amounts to a sort of super-decriminalization policy that not only eliminates arrest but lets smokers buy and ingest the sacrament in designated coffee shops without police interference.

But growing, distribution, wholesale transfer and delivery are still fully illegal, growers are tracked down and arrested, distributors are intercepted, delivery remains fully clandestine, shop owners are prohibited from stocking more than 500 grams of cannabis products on the premises at any one time, and even the consumer is limited to purchases of no more than 5 grams per trip.”

If you are a rapper or organise shows for rap and hip hop, Prop Anon, from New York, is looking at Touring Europe in July 2014. If you want to book him to play email him at propanon23@gmail.com. Theres a post with a few videos I like on the website.

P.A.I.N play in Brighton on 15th March and a number of other tour dates are coming up. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Framework Recording Studios is now fully operational in Digbeth with Simon Reeves at the controls. The recording studio is based at Blotto on Floodgate Street, Birmingham, B55ST. If you are interested in recording at Framework call 07790 158210 or email siframework@gmail.com.

Tour Mangement: In addition to running Iron Man Records, I also work as a Tour Manager and spend a lot of time helping bands find just about everything else tour related. If you need a tour manager or need help sourcing a good vehicle at the right price email mark@ironmanrecords.co.uk or call (+44) 07974 746810.

WARNING: Culture Industry is a term coined by Theodor Adorno (1903–69) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), who argued in “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods – through film, radio and magazines – to manipulate the masses into passivity; the easy pleasures available through consumption of popular culture make people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. Culture industries may cultivate false needs; that is, needs created and satisfied by capitalism. True needs, in contrast, are freedom, creativity, or genuine happiness….Culture not only mirrors society, but also takes an important role in shaping society through the processes of standardization and commodification, creating objects rather than subjects. By standardizing the consumer’s needs, the Culture Industry is manipulating the consumer to desire what it produces. The outcome is that mass production feeds a mass market that minimizes the identity and tastes of the individual consumers who are as interchangeable as the products they consume. Think about it.

For more on all of the above and to buy music by the artists visit www.ironmanrecords.net

Free The Weed 35 – by John Sinclair

February 4, 2014

John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where people in the cannabis community are looking on in wonder as the United States takes its first tentative steps toward legalizing marijuana for use by all thinking persons over 18 years of age.

Like they say in New Orleans, a lotta people don’t know that marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands, although over-the-counter sales of cannabis has been allowed under what they call a “grey area” in the law which amounts to a sort of super-decriminalization policy that not only eliminates arrest but lets smokers buy and ingest the sacrament in designated coffee shops without police interference.

But growing, distribution, wholesale transfer and delivery are still fully illegal, growers are tracked down and arrested, distributors are intercepted, delivery remains fully clandestine, shop owners are prohibited from stocking more than 500 grams of cannabis products on the premises at any one time, and even the consumer is limited to purchases of no more than 5 grams per trip.

So the mouths of the men and women in the Netherlands cannabis industry water with envy while they watch the people of the states of Colorado and Washington provide for full legalization of marijuana and its open distribution in dispensaries and other licensed public outlets.

Dutch tokers have enjoyed and taken great pride in their peculiar form of cannabis decriminalization for more than 40 years, but the Dutch government has always refused to move the rest of the way toward legalization and now the pioneering role of the coffeeshop culture is being usurped by two of the United States, with several more sure to follow soon.

For example, in an historic new development in America, the General Assembly of the state of New Hampshire recently voted in favour of House Bill 492, which calls for the legalization of personal use and home cultivation of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older and the establishment of regulations for the retail production and sale of cannabis.

This makes the New Hampshire House the first state legislative chamber ever to vote in favour of regulating cannabis and, as a NORML report hopefully speculates, “signal[s] that politicians are finally beginning to acknowledge the will of their constituents.” Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan, however, has already voiced her opposition to House Bill 492 and intends to veto it if it reaches her desk.

But she’s just following the bad example of her party’s leader, President Barack Obama, who told The New Yorker recently that he is “troubled at the disproportionate number of arrests and imprisonments of minorities for marijuana use” but has no plans to rescind the nation’s idiotic marijuana laws which trigger those arrests.

The President admitted that he doesn’t think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer… [but] I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.

“As has been well documented,” the President said, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”

The New Yorker points out that the Obama administration “has given states permission to experiment with marijuana regulation…. The president said it was important for the legalization of marijuana to go forward in those states to avoid a situation in which only a few are punished while a large portion of people have broken the law at one time or another.”

Obama said in the interview that users shouldn’t be locked up for “long stretches of time” when people writing drug laws “have probably done the same thing.”

“The experiment that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge,” the president said. Yeah, a challenge to the federal government to dare to ignore the expressed will of the electorate and keep on harassing, arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people for smoking pot and trying to get their heads right.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Once public approval of marijuana legalization moves over 60% — it’s reached 58% now — legislators and elected officials will start falling all over each other to move legalization into reality, and it’ll be a whole new day not only in the U.S.A. but all over the western world.

In line with the thoughts expressed in this particular column, I’ll be travelling from Amsterdam to Denver, Colorado to gain some experiential knowledge into how the new law is working out for people like ourselves. I’ll be playing at the Neal Cassady Birthday Party at the Mercury Café and then nosing around Denver and environs for a couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward to reporting from there for my next column.

I’ll be getting into Colorado just two days after the Denver Broncos play the Seattle Seahawks for the National Football League championship in the Super Bowl, which some pundits are calling the first ever Marijuana Bowl—since, as NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre points out, it features “the two most pro-cannabis-legalization cities in the U.S.” He suggests that the game should be renamed “The Super Oobie Doobie Bowl.”

Bob Troutman reports (courtesy of my pal Michael Donnelly, a Flint native and long-time resident of Portland, Oregon) that “Super Bowl bets between Denver and Seattle mayors are in. If the Seahawks win the game, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will get a quarter pound of ‘Hickenlooper Mile High OG Kush.’ Should the Broncos win, Mayor Michael Hancock will receive an equal amount of ‘Seattle Armageddon Space Needle G-Force Indica.’”

Talk of the Marijuana Bowl inspired Nick Creegan of FOX Sports to write a thoughtful piece exploring some of the contradictions inherent in the present scheme of state-by-state legalization under the dark ugly cloud of the federal prohibition of cannabis.

For one thing, Creegan writes, “It is still illegal for NFL players who live in the state to use marijuana because it violates the drug policy under the current collective bargaining agreement. The same will go for Washington when their pot doors open this spring.

“The NFL is getting pressured by lobbyists to stop penalizing players for smoking pot, saying it could be helpful for getting through concussions and other injuries.

“The lobbyists are also calling attention to the fact the league is fond of the alcohol industry, such as their relationship with Anheuser-Busch. They pitch Bud Light as the ‘proud sponsor of the NFL’ and even had some ads in rotation showing Budweiser and Bud Light bottles going head-to-head in what they called a ‘Bud Bowl’ game.”

Creegan says that last September the Marijuana Policy Project in Denver put up a 48-foot-wide billboard next to the city’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, insisting that the NFL needs to “stop driving players to drink” and the “safer choice” for athletes was actually pot. A petition was launched by the group in efforts to get NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to change the league’s marijuana policy.

Finally, Creegan ponders whether “pot legalization in a state [is] making teams more successful” and points out that “For the states where marijuana is outlawed completely, they’ve actually had a difficult time in the postseason. The Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals all come from states that have not decriminalized pot. Go figure.

“If you noticed, the more marijuana-friendly localities really kicked butt,” he concludes. “I don’t know what it really means in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a nice bit of karma if nothing else.”

FREE THE WEED!
—Amsterdam
January 21-22, 2014
© 2014 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Prop Anon – Propaganda Anonymous

January 14, 2014

Prop Anon is looking at Touring Europe in July 2014. If you want to book him to play email: PROP ANON

LYRICS:

THIS THAT COCAINE CAPITAL, FASCIST TRANSNATIONAL
FALSE FLAG FLYING SHADOW GOVERNMENT MISSION
FBI NSA CIA–WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS ALL UP IN MY BUSINESS
BOMB SNIFFING DOGS, STRANGE MILITARY DRILLS
DID CRAFT INTERNATIONAL SEE MARTIN RICHARD KILLED????
I WANT TO KNOW
JUST HOW DEEP DOES IT GO?
CAUSE IT’S ALL LIKE A SHOW THAT I’VE SEEN BEFORE
IT’S PRIME TIME
A BOMB ON THE FINISH LINE. A BLACK BACK PACK
AND MEDIA FACTS FED STRAIGHT FROM THE FEDS
ON THE HEADLINES. INJECTED IN OUR BRAINS
MAINLINE
I’LL SPLIT A SILLY ZOMBIE’S SYLLABUS LIKE PSILOCYBIN
SEND HIM SEARCHING OF A VISION QUEST
ZIG-ZAG-ZIG
GOOGLE CENTRAL ASIA, GLADIO
RUSSIA, GRAHAM FULLER
MAYBE RUSLAN IS LYING, WORKING HALIBURTON,OIL, USAID
MARRIED TO THE CIA. SEE THEY ALWAYS GET PAID
WITH THEIR NAME RECONNOITERED ALL OVER YOUR BRAIN
CHECK THE SIMILARITY WITH OTHER STAGED EVENTS
HOW DOES THE WAR ON TERROR TRULY BENEFIT THE FEDS?
FIND A MARK, KEEP HIM IN THE DARK, FEED HIM PROPAGANDA
GET HIS FACE IN ALL THE CAMERAS, AND HIS STORY IN THE NEWS
ALL TALKING HEADS, REPEATING THE SAME VIEWS
FROM THE LACKAWANNA SIX, SEVEN AT SEARS TOWER,
THE SIX AT FORT DIX AND THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE BOMBER
IT’S BULLSHIT!
ALL RATS IN A TRAP THAT’S AMERICAN MADE
I’LL BRING IT BACK TO ’93
THE EPICENTER, WORLD TRADE (CENTER)
AT THE CENTER WAS SALEM, HE WAS C.I. ON THE STING
HE WAS PAID BY THE FEDS TO SET UP NEAR EVERYTHING
HAD THE MONEY AND THE MEANS
BUILD THE BOMD, LOAD THE VAN
DRIVE THEM TO THE DAMN SPOT, AND PUT THE MAP IN THEIR HANDS
CAPTURED LAST MINUTE, DRAMATIC LIKE BRUCE WILLIS
NO NO, THEY WATCHED THE WHOLE THING BLOW
3 BILLION A YEAR FROM THE BUDGET
MANIPULATING THE PUBLIC
15,000 INFORMANTS NORMALIZING
PARANOIA, MARSHAL LAW, AND SURVEILLANCE
BEST CHECK YOUR NECK
CAUSE YOU CAN BE THE NEXT TERRORIST

Directed by Joao Amorim. Please go to www.iclips.net/2012 to see the rest of the episodes (more)

The debut video LUXURY CONDOS by PROPAGANDA ANONYMOUS from the album SQUAT THE CONDOS.

“I am continually working on music, as well as touring out here in the States……” http://www.propanon.com

Live camera shots by Rakesh Baruah. Studio cam and video cut by Fresh at Grand Theft Country. Big-ups to Geoff Shelton for hooking up the studio at MNN!

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) Poet, Playwright, Activist

January 11, 2014

“Take the words and make them into bullets, take the words and make them do something.”

The life and legacy of Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer who died Thursday at the age of 79. Baraka was a leading force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled “The Dead Lecturer” and won an Obie Award for his play, “Dutchman.” After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. We are joined by four of Baraka’s longtime comrades and friends: Sonia Sanchez, a renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist; Felipe Luciano, a poet, activist, journalist and writer who was an original member of the poetry and musical group The Last Poets; Komozi Woodard, a professor of history at Sarah Lawrence College and author of “A Nation Within a Nation: Amiri Baraka and Black Power Politics”; and Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress in Newark, New Jersey. http://www.democracynow.org

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” cd is Released Monday 24th March 2014 by Iron Man Records. Track 5 is called “Bloomdido” and is dedicated to Amiri Baraka. Rest in Peace. The work continues. All Press Enquiries Sean Newsham: sean@mutante-inc.demon.co.uk

P.A.I.N – Brighton, 15th March, 2014

January 7, 2014

The Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. Doors 7pm Tickets £6
P.A.I.N - Brighton 15th March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014
19:00 until 22:30

BRIGHTON : The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

The Surplus People present a mash up night of punk/ska/dub/reggae/rockerbilly with…

P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network)
&
RATBAG
&
HOLLYWOOD ASSASSINS

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way.

Advance tickets here: www.wegottickets.com/event/250937

Buy P.A.I.N records and T-shirts here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

P.A.I.N – Brighton, 15th March, 2014

January 7, 2014

The Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. Doors 7pm Tickets £6
P.A.I.N - Brighton 15th March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014
19:00 until 22:30

BRIGHTON : The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

The Surplus People present a mash up night of punk/ska/dub/reggae/rockerbilly with…

P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network)
&
RATBAG
&
HOLLYWOOD ASSASSINS

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way.

Advance tickets here: www.wegottickets.com/event/250937

Buy P.A.I.N records and T-shirts here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

Tour Management and Vehicle Hire

January 6, 2014

I work as a Tour Manager Email or Call Mark: (+44) 07974 746810

I can be found in or around Birmingham, Cardiff and London.

Luxury Splitter Vans for Hire- Driving You Crazy 2012

My work is based around Tour Management in the Music Industry but I also work with the Theatre and Film Industry.

I can help with: Merchandise, Production, Backline, Crew, Rehearsal, Recording, Press, Promotion, Online strategy and equipment storage.

Luxury Splitter Vans for Hire- Driving You Crazy 2012
Driving / TM Services

I have played in all sorts of bands myself over the years, I’ve organised 1000’s of gigs as I used to put on regular shows in Birmingham, I’ve set up tours, managed bands, put together press kits, PR and promotion strategies, worked out online strategies for artists big and small, I run a record label, and I’ve dealt with all sorts of madness along the way. I have an understanding of most problems, pressures and issues that performers and their crew may face. I’ve taken a lot of people to a lot of gigs from living rooms, small venues, squats, warehouses, TV and Radio Stations to major music venues and festivals of all shapes and sizes.

I have a clean driving licence with a C1 and D1 which means I can tow trailers and drive any van or splitter.

Vehicles

I’m a freelance. I work for you, not the hire company. This means that if you employ me I can find you a good vehicle or trailer or anything else you might need so that’s less work you have to do. I can source Splitters, Gear vans, Cars, Minibuses…anything you might need.

Online Strategy

I have an active interest in the internet and social media. If you’re interested in how I could help with your, or your artist’s on-line presence get in touch.

Rates

I charge per day. A day is 8 hours, after the first 8 hours I charge per hour. The hours run from when I collect the vehicle for the work until I return it.

Alternatively, I also charge a ‘set day rate’. This is negotiable depending on what you want me to do. Longer term clients tend to be on a set day rate, It works out cheaper and no one has to watch the clock.

I expect PDs and buyout/catering on any work where I’m away overnight, and buyout/catering on any day over 8 hours.

Some recent Artists / Clients

Seasick Steve, John Paul Jones, Madness, The Stone Roses, Mika, Killing Joke, John Sinclair, Adam Ant, Roland Gift, Fatoumata Diawara, Anthrax, Modestep, Talib Kweli, Little Barrie, House of Pain, The Enemy, Friendly Fires, Crystal Castles, Bullet for my Valentine, The Orb, Barry Adamson, Vagina Monologues, Taio Cruz, Jay Reatard, Nightingales, Ivo Papasov, Sierra Meastra, Endbutt Lane, The Rakes, The Magistrates, Soulsavers, As I lay Dying, Roisin Murphy, Police Bastard, Dufus, Arrows, Ladytron, Son de la Frontera, Jeffrey Daniel, Johnny 2 Bad, XOVA, Johnny Foreigner and many others…..

(Long Wheel VW Crafter Splitter Van shown above is an example of the type of vehicle I most often use when working with Clients.)

Nightingales – "Out Of True" in 2014

January 4, 2014

Born out of Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects, the Nightingales have stubbornly ploughed their own furrow in the field of alternative rock n roll for three decades. 2006 saw the release of “Out Of True” on Iron Man Records and the return of a reformed Nightingales after some years away. The band have not wasted much time since then and yet another new album is on the way for 2014.

Nightingales - Out of True

Buy Nightingales CDs here: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

The new album, which remains secret for now, was recorded at Faust studio in September 2013 for release in spring 2014. There will be a vinyl lp and the record label & title will be confirmed soon.

The band hope to announce tour dates for UK/Europe for  April and May and some Festivals to be confirmed for over the summer/autumn 2014.

There may be some United States dates in Sept/Oct time too.

Nightingales are planning a 7″ 45rpm to be released at some point & another album to be recorded later in the year for early 2015 release.

Described in John Robb’s definitive post punk biography ‘Death To Trad Rock’ as “the misfits’ misfits”, the band has constantly garnered praise and respect from other artists and received endless glowing press reports, particularly for their live shows. Led by singer/lyricist Robert Lloyd (‘The most underestimated songwriter of his generation’ according to Ben Thompson in the Independent) the latest incarnation of the Nightingales are back again with a new album recorded at Faust studio in September 2013 for release in spring 2014. There will be a vinyl lp and the record label & title will be confirmed soon.

Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects had been part of The Clash’s ‘White Riot Tour’, recorded a couple of Peel sessions, released a 45 on Rough Trade and, years after splitting up, had a retrospective CD released by NY label Acute Records to all round glowing reviews – from Rolling Stone to webzines.

The Nightingales was formed by former members of The Prefects following that band’s demise in 1979.

With an ever fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, the Nightingales enjoyed cult status in the early ’80’s as darlings of the credible music scene and were championed by John Peel, who said of them – “Their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980’s to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans”.

The group recorded a bunch of critically acclaimed singles (Almost always ‘Single Of The Week’ in the music press) and three albums, plus many radio sessions for their great supporter Peel – more than any other band bar The Fall. They also regularly toured the UK and Northern Europe, as headliners and supporting acts as diverse as Bo Diddley and Nico.

In the late Eighties the Nightingales stopped working but, following the occasional gig between times, they re-grouped in 2004, with Lloyd being joined by original Prefects guitarist Alan Apperley.

Since restarting the group have been more productive than ever – releasing five 7″ vinyl singles and three studio albums (Plus two live ‘bootleg’ albums), touring England, mainland Europe and USA numerous times, recording many radio sessions along the way. They have been invited to play various festivals in Europe and the States, including Glastonbury and SXSW. Their “Let’s Think About Living” 45 was ‘Single Of The Week’ on BBC 6 Music and they have continued to receive regular rave reviews for their records and live shows.

2006 saw the release of “Out Of True” on Iron Man Records and the return of a reformed Nightingales after some years away. In 2008 the band recorded “Insult to Injury” produced by Hans Joachim Irmler of krautrock legends Faust which was released in 2009 on Irmler’s Klangbad label. “The Lost Plot”, an Irmler produced 10″ EP was released to coincide with the band’s Euro tours in 2011.

“No Love Lost” was also recorded at Faust Studio in Germany but this time self produced and was released in April 2012.

small selection of recent press:

Nothing could have prepared for the astonishing revelation of Robert Lloyd’s Nightingales… The cumulative effect is one of euphoric delight, of old knowledge in the hands of new disciples. “Dig the depth of the furrow of mirth that I can plough,” sings Lloyd on The Overreactor. Tonight The Nightingales hit an epic new low. Catch them when they’re at it again – MOJO, UK

The Nightingales have always been simply a great rock ‘n’ roll band and 32 years on they’re right at the top of their game – THE STOOL PIGEON, UK

The Nightingales – they’re back and they’re marvellous – MARC RILEY/BBC 6 MUSIC, UK

Nightingales are unreal. The level of playing and songwriting after their post-punk hiatus is unparalled by any of their generational comeback cohorts – TERRE T/WFMU, USA

With The Fall getting Lifetime Achievement awards and Gang Of Four canonised it is long past time the wayward genius of Robert Lloyd and his cohorts was recognised – RECORD COLLECTOR, UK

Rock & Roll at its best – SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, GERMANY

Consistently excellent, the Nightingales are back, as ferociously sardonic as ever. Nice to see them still mad, still funny, still wrecking the furniture after all these years. – DUSTED, USA

Shows just how poor these skinny jeaned little shits currently doing the rounds really are. – TASTY, UK

The Nightingales in Southend on Friday jetted in to my top ten gigs of all time – PHILL JUPITUS/BBC 6 MUSIC, UK

Forget all these NME Band of the Week types, who make out they don’t care, they won’t compromise, etc, whilst wearing the same indie uniform and churning out the same tired old riffs. They don’t need your attention. The Nightingales do. Because rock ‘n’ roll rarely gets as uncompromising as this – PLASTELIN, SERBIA

The Nightingales revisited their past and offered up the future. Still stunningly relevant – LONDON EVENING STANDARD, UK

The Nightingales subjugate a rapt and breathless audience with a performance of sinewy magnificence – DAILY TELEGRAPH, UK
Tuesday night at the Cake Shop in NYC. One of the best shows I’ve seen in years. Jangly, angsty, angular, punk, post-punk, just rock and roll, whatever, they destroyed – DAN SELZER/ILXOR, USA

The Nightingales have been responsible for some of the most genuinely innovative minority music of the past three decades. – THE QUIETUS, UK

They sound wired, edgy, boozy and as dangerous as ever, like a new band full of that energy that comes with those first moves and not a band who’ve been doing this since the start of punk. Robert Lloyd really shouldn’t be this good after all these years, should he? – THE ORGAN, UK

Boozy and deranged, Insult to Injury is how the new Franz record ought to sound – VICE, UK

This is a living, breathing beast of an album – ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, UK

This is their fiercest, most lacerating album yet, better by a good margin than the mid-1980s Pigs on Purpose…and that was excellent – BLURT, USA

Their freshest and most subtly intoxicating work to date – OBSERVER MUSIC MONTHLY, UK

The new album from the ‘Gales is their finest for 27 years. Start here and work backwards – SUNDAY TIMES, UK

Unlovable as ever. The Nightingales remain hard work for precious little gain – MOJO, UK

“The new album by Nightingales is brilliant. One of the fiercest and most exhilarating rock records I’ve heard in ages.” Andrew Male, MOJO

Nightingales ‘No Love Lost’ cd/dd – Cooking Vinyl – Released April 30th 2012 – Press Report March 30th 2012

www.thenightingales.org.uk
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Nightingales/8860762012
http://twitter.com/_Nightingales

Buy Nightingales CDs here: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

How does Iron Man Records choose it's artists and how does it promote them?

November 27, 2009

“HOW DOES THE PUNK MUSIC RECORD LABEL, IRON MAN RECORDS CHOOSE ITS ARTISTS AND HOW DOES IT PROMOTE THEM?” writtten by JANINE LABUSCAGNE BA (HONS) Media & Communication, University of Central England, 2007.

“…..There are two kinds of music – good music and bad music.  Good music is music that I want to hear.  Bad music that I don’t want to hear” Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life, 1978

The objective of this study discusses promotional strategies generated by the independent record label, Iron Man Records.  The research examined the use of the Internet as a free marketing tool and how traditional methods of running a label did not have an affect on Iron Man.  Discussing this, I examined the theoretical areas of music industries, promotion and punk in order to understand and gain a solid background for the development of my research.

Conclusions are then put forward after conducting a participant observation, that social networks play the biggest part in promotion for the label.  Findings throughout the research have been put forward about the different strategies used in the process of online promotion, as well as more general suggestions for further research.

‘De muziek is de geleende creativiteit en motivatie in ons leven’ (translated from Dutch), music is the borrowed creativity and motivation in our lives.  The music industry has had one of the biggest influences in our lives and on our culture.  An example of this would be Wall (2003) and Anderson’s (2006) statements which look at popular music as the: “soundtrack to our lives” (2003; 1) and that “we are consumed by hits – making them, choosing them, talking about them, and following their rise and fall” (2006; 2).  The world of the music industry is one which has been forced to make changes because of the constant development of new technologies.  These changes are in order to keep fans consuming the product that is for sale – music.  Britain is a nation of music lovers and we buy more music than any other country – four units per capita each year (IFPI Recording Industry in Numbers 2002).

The music genre known as punk, has been around since the late 1960s, when unemployment was a prominent social feature in Britain.  It would appear that we are currently witnessing a re-evolution of the music industry and punk’s DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos within independent record labels.  Beyond the development and creation of music, technology has created an impact on the production, distribution, and consumption of ‘Iron Man Records’ music.  “Record companies see the other media as promotional avenues for their music” (Wall 2003; 111).  There are many new and different social networks such as MySpace, MOG and Flickr which will be one of the main areas of focus for the research.  These social networks have evolved on the Internet and the trend displayed by many bands in choosing independent record labels, such as Iron Man Records, above major record labels demonstrates what Barrow and Newby argued about how the music industry:

“Without popular recording artists there would be no music business and without record companies there would be no musical product to be bought in the shops” (1995: 2-3).

The research question, ‘How does the punk music label, Iron Man Records, choose its artists and how does it promote them?’ is a significant topic in the industry to investigate.  The independent label has not been explored in depth before, although academics have looked at similar areas of the music industry.  The study will look at how relationships are being built between a record label, the music industry and bands.  The study also looks at what steps are being taken to promote and market Iron Man Records music.

I support this dissertation through a literature review on what academics in the field have written relevant to my research topic and the critical approach that was taken towards promotion of music.  The following areas will be discussed; music industry, promotion and the genre of punk.  Finding underground independent music is a unique way of consuming music because, the music is not distributed through the mainstream media outlets and distribution channels (TV, radio and the Internet).  The music of DIY artists is being promoted through word of mouth.  I will relate this critical approach to the participant observation research I conducted at the independent record label, Iron Man Records. The DIY ethos associated with the label relates to the wider cultural context of the underground music industry.  It operates through the process of consumers hearing music, liking the music and then wanting to own the music.

In Chapter Two I discuss the changes in the structure of the music industry, such as the Internet and new technologies (MP3 players and digital downloads) and how they shape Iron Man Records in its process of promotion and marketing.

Lastly, Chapter Three, I will describe the approach to the subject matter by undertaking research through participant observation.  At the record label, Iron Man Records.  The research follows four succeeding procedures: (1) Observing the label, (2) asking question about the relationship between the label and bands, (3) looking at producing the product and researching Iron Man Records’ and (4) new promotion strategies using the Internet as a free tool.  By the end of this study, I will conclude my research findings with an answer and suggesting further ways in which more research can be done.

Click link for full article: Janines Dissertation on Iron Man Records 2007