Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'NUFF SAID

OBEY AND SURVIVE, OBEY AND SURVIVE

More and more every day I am hating, and I mean HATING the Swedish system and way of life and the constant big brother that decides your every breath for you. More importantly, takes all your money from you even if you don't have any. Why don't I just move? Trust me, it's crossing my mind more and more every day.


Even after living here for years I was not really concerned with the politics in Sweden, although I did find it very strange that most of the "rocker types" I met were more "right wing" and seemed to hate the left, dismissing it as Communism and "deciding what you do for you". This is NOT the case in the UK, or at least wasn't. Anyone alternative was against the right. But then, they system is very different as I was to learn,. Although I do have a conspiracy theory here:

That in order to keep any uprising or "dangerous" thoughts coming into the youth, "they" have flooded us with radio friendly rock and added it more and more to the mainstream so that these days bands form and want to be money making capitalists so "they" can just have them be part of the system.....any thoughts against it must be cut off at the root.

Still my life here trying to live happily in the system without being a part of it is near impossible - I liken the Swedish system to one of my old jobs working at a customer call center. It started with a few tables and phones and everyone took care of everything. Then, as a problem arose, instead of taking care of the problem they just invented another department to process and take care of it. Thus creating more work where a simple solution could have prevented it, saved money and time and led to better customer satisfaction.


I cannot live outside the system here, "they" have got you on every step, every breath. Every day a new bill comes for something, they just take, take, take your money with no justification why it should cost so much, or why you even pay, you are not even warned or given a choice.

A perfect example - in fact an example that sums up EVERYTHING is today. I went to the post office to post a package. Which was in the same town as I live, and in fact, a PO Box number...which was at the same post office I was at, I could stand next to the PO Box I was posting too. But I still had to pay for the package to be "delivered".....to be delivered 2 meters from where I was standing, because that's the system....

Fuck you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

NICKELBLOCK! BLOCK NICKELBACK FROM YOUR LIFE!

Just read about this awesome application for Chrome or Firefox (c'mon Windows users, get on the bus) that will block anything and everything to do with NICKELBACK from your browser...ha ha genius!



Go check it out!

http://www.aux.tv/2011/11/nickelblock/

And tell me when they've designed it for a whole list of bands, celebrities and happenings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TAPE ON ME

Watched a program a few days ago about cassette tapes making a "come back" - I truly like this as I have never tired of the tape format and happily buy them when I see them!

I trade tapes from places around the world and even still have a tape-walkman. I love them, usually it's the more "poor" places that trades in them - and why not!

The fact is that the tape format is cheap and easy, plus versatile. I am happy to see no end of tape "labels" popping up from all round the place and still putting stuff out, and that this is lasting.

When I set my distro up at a local gig a while back, I noticed two things when people looked at my tapes. A guy in his mid-20s said "wow, retro!" and laughed, while a bunch of girls that I guess must have been around 17-19 looked at them as alien artifacts.

Since CD is, and has always been boring as fuck, Mini-Disc vanished, MP3 is cool but expendable I see Vinyl and Tape as the old skool way forward!

Some places that still make and/or sell tapes, there are of course many, many more!




BLACK KAOS DESCENT PRODS - blackaosdescent@hotmail.com







And of course ZOMBIE ATTACK! - http://zombieattackpunkstuff.weebly.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

THE REAL SWEDISH MAFFIA

Found this with the headline "The real Swedish maffia"



For the non-swede, left to right we have the Migration Office, The Job Centre and The Welfare of course made like biker jackets.

Made me chuckle - especially as right now I am going through a really hard time with all the red tape and bureaucracy in the Swedish system - everything seems to require forms and papers and several forms of ID and money to pay and forms and more forms and then you have to wait 6-8 months before you get an answer in the form of something left on a website that you can't read because you can't log into the website without the right code and downloading a program that doesn't work.

Big Brother makes all your choices for you and you WILL follow.

Picture is from: http://rubenwatte.com/

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THE QUESTION OF REPRODUCTION

Been chatting a bit with Ola from MASSGRAV recently (yes, all the right people read The Elks) and he brought up a great point about the ethics of punk etc selling "unofficial" merchandise.

I'm sure all of you have seen a lot, on the web alone I am in contact with many people who screen print t-shirts and patches and make pins etc - sometimes for a band and sometimes just to sell at gigs and on the web etc. The point being that often these things are not "official" and without the consent of the bands - so is this wrong, is there a line to be drawn?...Lets discuss!



Many of us have possibly been to a larger concert - I have been to many but only as an employee of the venue or band. Usually outside a large gig you will get people scalping tickets and people selling fake t-shirts (or rather "unofficial" t-shirts). If you travel with the band you will often see these same people outside every gig. Some of them actually travel to the same places as the band selling their knock-off tees. Right or wrong? Hard to say. With most official merch these days costing a totally stupid price it's probably much easier for the casual fan to pick up one of these knock offs. It is however illegal, but only really due to the red tape rules of copyrighting and corporate logo owning that major acts go through.

Us in the underground are not always bound by the same rules - so here is my thoughts on the "home made DIY" merch vendor....

Lets think about a t-shirt. Ola brought up WOLFPACK as an example, saying that almost every place they play you can find unofficial Wolfpack t-shirts for sale (is there such a thing as an "official copyrighted Wolfpack t-shirt"?) My take on this is that, I have seen a lot of Wolfpack t-shirts. In fact with so many I guess they must be a pretty good band, and with that in mind it has led me to buy their music.

A t-shirt etc is really just one thing - an advert. In fact so long back as when I was a young 'un people were telling me that buying a band T-Shirt was just paying the band for me to advertise for them.

Bands pay money to get people to make merchandise for them so that they can get their name out there - for a major band it's also an industry but I don't know any underground bands that make their living on their merchandise. I also don't know anyone that makes their own band patches etc making a living off other band's logos. I think that if there was someone making "unofficial" band merchandise and making a living from one band or another then this could be an issue - but I am yet to see this.


Let's take AMEBIX as another example. The band have been in a state of non-existence for 20+ years yet finding AMEBIX patches and t-shirts has never been a problem. It sure as hell wasn't the band putting these out. But for 20+ years the name and legacy of AMEBIX has endured thanks to it! And by this year when they came out of hibernation for another album, everyone knew who they were.

So if you think about it from a punk-rock perspective. People who make these things are not fast-buck-making rip off merchants but often real fans. The people who buy these things are also real fans, supporting and advertising the band. The makers of the merch and the buyers of the merch have put time and money into it. Now, they bands themselves might not see any of this directly but I do not think it should be a question of who is making money - then again...due to people wearing those WOLFPACK t-shirts, I have bought Wolfpack records. I'm sure many people have picked up the new AMEBIX album due to the legacy....so have the band made money off it in the long run? Possibly yes, possibly more than johnny-screen-printer.

Also, a lot of the time these patches and t-shirts etc can also be by bands that are just not around anymore and people have no other choice.

Was I to see someone making merchandise of my own band without consent I would quite honestly be very impressed and honored that they thought that much of us.

So that's my take - it's a bit of free advertising, it's cool, it's punk rock, you might even be helping out some poor person in a poor country buy their next meal by lending your logo to a piece of cloth or paper.

Monday, November 14, 2011

RAMBO MUSIC....SUSPICIOUS....OR?

Now before anybody reads this and gets the wrong idea....I just want to make it very clear that I do not know any of the following to have any basis in truth and is just what I suspect....

A new record company has popped up in Sweden called Rambo Music, it's actually a sub-company of Gain Music who handle Europe, Crash Diet, Mustasch and some other bands I have not heard of. Gain is a sub-company of Sony in Sweden.

So this all sounds kosher right?

But where I scratch my chin and go "hmmmmm....." is that in the short time they have popped up they have signed about 20 different bands. The general requirement seems to be to wear black eye liner (or is that 90% of bands these days? When did that become cool apart from if you were Mike Ness?) Oh and of course having one member make a hand gesture towards the camera (this has been discussed in one of my earlier posts HERE)



And almost none of these bands seem to be any good or have any past record of any degree (some of them are however pretty good even by my picky standards - I won't tell you which ones I like or dislike although I will say that the new EGONAUT album is top-notch and well deserving of being picked up!)

So, some of them are hard-working bands that should deserve a break and the rest are just...well, nothing!

Which leads me to think, why has a big record company suddenly sunk money in about 20 bands all at once and is releasing all their albums at pretty much the same time?

From my experience working in "the biz" it's usual for a record company to release a bunch of albums at certain given times of the year when they are proven to sell better (just before christmas for example, and not after the summer when everyone is poor) - but around 20 albums all at once? That's just madness, how will they keep up?

I may well be wrong but this is my theory:

They don't intend to. Rambo music has been created because with the sales of physical CDs falling rapidly, Sony and Gain has been forced to create a sub-company as a tax-write off.

This happens? Yes it happens. Music biz is a nasty and unpredictable biz and yes....ever seen a band andthought "how did they ever get signed?" the answer is usually just this - tax write-off. The company sinks money into an artist or bunch or artists with full intention that they will lose money on them, then they can use that loss as a tax-loss against their earnings the following year.

Proof?

I've seen artists stuck in deals for up to 10 years where they have to make records that are used by the company only as tax write-offs and are never released. - http://givemearecorddeal.com/

A factory may be closed rather than modernized and an artist dropped rather than developed because the tax write-off makes the next period look better. - http://www.mbsolutions.com/articles/companies_suck.html

I think DIY bands deserve a lot of credit and it is really awesome to see, because shitty record labels who sign bands as a tax write off are ruining the music industry and taking away any chance hard working bands have of making it. - http://www.wonkavisionmagazine.com

alternative music was consigned to specialty sections of record stores, and major labels considered it to be, at the very most, a tax write-off. After the band's second album, - http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nirvana/id112018

record deal with United Artists was a bitter disappointment when it was discovered that the band had actually been signed as tax write-off. - http://www.bluearmadillo.com/artistpage.php?artist=24

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2011)

I will sum up in 37 seconds why the 2011 version of CONAN THE BARBARIAN is not as good as the original.


That's all you need.

Friday, November 11, 2011

THE TAO OF PILKINGTON

Watched An Idiot Abroad 2, I get the feeling more and more that Karl Pilkington really has much more of a grip on life than we imagine. Some of the things he comes up with are not the view of an idiot but the view of one of the world's greatest minds - stripped down and simplified into it's real meaning.


During the episode I have just watched, Karl spends some time with a Japanese Zen monk - wow. I mean, I actually think some of the things he comes up with are actually very "Zen" anyway - look at the above quote for example. Stupidity, or just another version of the zen saying "the map is not the territory"?

When it comes to the Buddhist way of thinking...he's got it nailed! He does question everything, he says "why is it fun?" Even when being unimpressed with the Great Wall Of China calling it "The Alright Wall Of China". Pointing out that most of it was built in more recent times and that although it went on for miles, so does the A1. He has a point. More proof that Karl is in fact Zen?


Now most people think this is stupidity - but it's one of the corner stones of Buddhist thought!

So, Karl's visit to the Zen monastery, he came up with more zen than the zen master.

When told to mop the floor Karl asked:

-When was it last done?
-This morning.
-Then why are we doing it again?

Interpret and discuss. His next point about mopping the floor was:

-At home I have lino, no room for a mop.

Apply, appreciate. When raking the zen garden his lines we not quite straight, when the zen master showed him how it should be done Karl replied.

-Mine are not straight? What about yours?

....Karl. I can teach you no more. That is what the answer should have been.

For those unfamiliar with the round headed one - here is some more of his zen-like wisdom. And there is no sarcasm at all in there - I mean it!

-Stop looking at the walls, look out of the window! (about the beauty of art)

-I find that if you just talk, your mouth comes up with stuff.

-We're just a weed in the universe.

 - "I look at life like a big book and sometimes you get half way through it and go 'Even though I've been enjoying it, I've had enough. Give us another book'" 



Thursday, November 10, 2011

ELK'S HISTORY OF THE WORLD

In the beginning was the big bang


and then planets and stuff and then earth...


 Then there was like small life thingies and then like dinosaurs - but they were too awesome so they died.


So this things called humans started popping up after a while


They were pretty happy with their running about and getting their own food and living wherever they wanted etc - but then for some reason some of them decided to be better and higher up than the others.


And then some of them started to talk about things like gods and angels and other worlds beyond the one that they lived in.


And that was kind of ok because for the most part these gods just told people to be nice to each other. But then some of the humans decided that they should say that the gods had given them permission to rule others and that all other gods were the wrong ones.


And some of the humans decided to start systems where they told the other humans how much of their money to give away, where they could live, what they could eat and more.


Which was strange because all the humans wanted to do was be free and happy and friends and have a nice time.


But some of the other humans decided that they were better than the others.






Which was strange because all the humans wanted to do was be friends and free and be happy.


No one had ever seen or could prove that the gods the believed in ere actually there - but there were many different ones and everyone thought that theirs was the only one, even though no one had even had any proof of any of them. And everybody thought that they were the right kind of people with the right kind of lifestyle - in the end no one could agree so they started to have little fights.


And after each one they said they they would not have another one but they did.

The people who were humans and higher up than the other humans started having more power and decideing more and more over what the humans could and could not do. If they went to work they did everything they could to take their money away from them, they decided where they could live, what they could do, what they should wear, watch listen to, eat and more.


Which was strange because all the humans wanted was to be happy and free.


But the humans that decided over the other humans decided that it was best if the created more and more systems and paperwork and things that the little humans had to do, be and pay for every day


And they put them into small spaces to live and dug up the nice spaces to live


Which was strange because all the humans wanted to do was be free and happy and friends and have a nice time.



PRAISE THE CYBERGOD

Feel free to use this picture - post it on your pages, print it, screen print it onto patches and t-shirts etc - go!



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WHERE DID I GO?

Hi Blog! I'm back....where have I been? Well nowhere actually, I've just been busy doing a whole bunch of stuff and prepping and rocking out and relaxing and all the rest.

Thinking about moving away to the woods after deciding that regular life really is not for me and that the world is a wonderful place but far too many idiots ruin it....

When shopping one should not have to stand outside the shop explaining to someone that just because you have dreadlocks does not mean you smoke when they ask you for a cigarette over and over again.

One should be able to enjoy a day without having to have idiots shout things at you in public because of your appearance.

One should not have to put up with people constantly pushing in front of past you and not even noticing or apologising. One should not have to put up with the general hate a judgement of someone that lives outside of the regular box and maybe has different was of looking at things.

One should not have to put up with being charged stupid amounts of money to rehearse with a band an never get a direct answer from the responsible ones that pass and admit responsibility as it suits them.

....

So what have I been up to.....well, first of starting this:


Which you can of course visit here:

http://zombieattackrecords.blogspot.com/

Here is some of the stuff I have been doing:



And then of course I have been working on the band - writing some new stuff, playing and trying to get gigs - that's been fun!


http://cryptofthezombilord.blogspot.com/

Sharez it fukko!