Friday, 7 August 2009


The Gorillaz were revolutionary back when they hit the underground music scene early in the millennium year but it had taken them two years to get this point, targeting what they believed to be worthy of writing a song over.

What appeared to create the success of the Gorillaz were how they were animators first and song writers second, which allowed them to manufacture unbelievable music videos as well as awesome songs. Tapping into new media technology allowed the public to see the band on computers in their own homes and so the bands popularity spread through word of mouth; helped by the air of mystery surrounding the band as nobody really knew who were controlling the animated toons.

The particular video that I am writing about is titled, Gorillaz 19-2000 and is one of the first songs that the band made. My reasons for choosing the video are perhaps a little simple but then that could also represent what the video is about as it makes little or no sense.

The animation throughout the video is superb which in itself is a great marketing tool as viewer quickly becomes engrossed in the bizarre storyline of the video, quickly establishing a sense of relationship with the toons and a feeling that they wish to find out more about the band. Which can be done at the Gorillaz website which allows the user to tour the bands headquarters, inspecting not only their individual bedrooms, kitchen and loo, but also play games. This interactive feature alone adds another dimension to the animated world, allowing fans almost 24 hour attention, something that a human band simply can’t achieve.

There is a separate, serious website which holds information on the bands next alums and singles plus also the dates of their next tour. It is difficult to believe that an animated band is able to tour on the stage, but due to many of the bands songs featuring formed groups such as D12 the audience wont be disappointed by viewing not only animated sequences/ movies but also witnessing other famous bands perform at the same time. Perhaps it is fair to say that the Gorillaz are not just a band but are instead a project which shows of a multiple of different media while trying to make comments on the worlds situation.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Rough Trade

Rough Trade Records started in 1978 after growing out of the Rough Trade Record shop in Ladbroke Grove, west London which specialised in unusual and left-wing music. Seen as a mecca for punks it quickly became a success as it stood against the ideals of the major labels by sharing money equally with bands and also paying a single wage to all employees despite gender or job title.

However the lack of professionalism which had helped the company grow soon became and problem as bands decided to leave the indie label after becoming successful as they weren’t tied into a contract. In 1982 the record shop had to be shut due financial problems and sold to three members of staff, who still own the shop to this day.

In 1983 Rough Trade Records hired The Smiths and decided to put the band into a three album contract, becoming more like a music machine the company grew larger and began to spread across Europe. With this however came the board of middle mangers that dismissed the equal pay scheme, but still the record label continued to grow until in 1991 the machine grew too big and administrators were brought in. The assets, including the name were sold off and the company ceased trading.

Geoff Travis had other ideas and so began to manage the band, Pulp (with Jeanette Lee) who was signed to Island Records. In 1995 Pulp got into No. 2 in the charts and continued with a string of successes which lead to the pair rebuilding the Rough Trade label and signing the American band, The Strokes in 2000. Recently they have also signed Duffy who after 4 years of development has finally awarded the company its first No.1 chart song.