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Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #8 Muzak
A voyage into the world of unintentional music today. Maybe you don’t notice the music, or muzak, that plays away while you shop. Why would you? Well, the workers do, believe you me. Retail tales with Brian Brehmer is back. It’s time for ‘Retail Tales’.
How Black Was My Thumb?
I finish my £8.30 pint and head for where I used to live. Why? I’ve started writing now, I might as well go. It’s an ex-council block. East London thick brick. Rubicon cans on the stairwell, faulty lifts. A kid called Abdi that tries to sell you weed every time you see him, even though you tell him that you don’t smoke weed. It was him that I thought I saw walking past the pub. He’s got a dog. He told me that it is was rare for a Bengali to have a dog. I wonder if he’s still here?
Storm the Palace and Louis Rive talk about music
I guess they’re the kind of lyrics most songwriters would use as a place-holder before coming up with something more universal and generic. Apparently the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ was originally about bacon and eggs, but obviously McCartney decided to change the words to something more commercially viable. Thankfully commercial viability isn’t something I need to worry about. And for me, at least, I still find the lyrics quite meaningful as they are.
Sightings of an English Band in Poland, 1993
I mean, even the first time round, who the actual fuck was Alice? And who cared about living next door to her? I’m not very good at either listening to or remembering pop lyrics, but even without knowing any of the rest of them, I understood that it was a song about the girl next door. But rock stars didn’t want the girl next door, did they? They got on planes and travelled, got off, collected all that gear, got into vans and disappeared up the road, in search of more glamorous girls.
Folk Music is Dead with Laurence Rivers
Folk music, formerly the prerogative of ale-swilling beardies, is now cool, a bit like smashed avocado and Swedish backpacks. What happened to the old scene? Where are the pork scratchings? What happened to ‘Dirty Old Town’ gurgled into a pint glass for single figure audiences?
No one ever plans to end up as a dancer on Bourbon Street. It’s an employment choice born of pure desperation. I worked at a unisex joint called Sweet Mama’s. After only two weeks on the job, I despised every minute of my interminable shifts. I lurched around the club in stilettos like an awkward stork, as songs like “Strokin’” and “My Prerogative” pounded in the background.
Long way to the top
Frank Sonderborg remembers a groundbreaking gig to literally dozens of people in Surrey. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll.
Inside Stories from the Music Industry
Our resident music industry man, Julian Beach, explains why he is not currently a millionaire. It’s all down to the 80/20 split.
The Business End of the Music Business
A larger-than-life character provides a constant source of frustration for our music industry insider.
The Night Before the Morning After
Temptation and I have never been easy bedfellows.
An Interview with Scottish Cult Hero Jesse Rae
Talking Soup caught up with the ‘godfather of Scots-Funk’ turned politician, Jesse Rae after the 2015 UK general election.