Sunday, 28 October 2012

And that was an album launch (thank yous)

Wow. The launch for the new album was quite frankly an excellent night.
If you haven't already done it, go and download the album for free right now!
http://jezkemp.bandcamp.com/album/airfix-democracies

You can watch the live stream here - our set starts about 07:30
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/26439539

This blog post is split into 2 parts: huge numbers of thanks and shoutouts, but before that, some cool noteworthy things that were totally awesome:

  • Tod telling me, 2mins from starting, that his mum had text to say the live webcast was down. I found out my mobile broadband had run out of data. So I set my phone to be a wifi hotspot, and we livestreamed the whole set through my phone. Brilliant.
  • Breaking a string in the 3rd song, and matter-of-factly announcing I'd be changing a string during the song, and then doing it (14:30 in the live stream, rejoining at 2nd chorus 16:30)
  • Finding out my friends in Essex and Florida had been watching and got my shoutouts
ALL THE THANK YOUS
  • Tod, Gareth and Danny for playing with me as the Cool Story Bros. We said the last one (Sunshine single launch October 2011) would be the last one; I'm super glad they decided to do one more gig with me. This one probably really is the last one. (Probably?)
  • Bar Medusa for being the coolest little rock venue in Wellington for 3 whole years
  • The other bands Mangle and Gruff, FIIN and The Lucid Effect who were all mint as always
  • Boyd for doing sound all night
  • Veli @HoccusFoccus for helping with recording, videoing and the live stream audio
  • Lenscraft Photography for taking some wicked pictures (including these here)
  • Miriam and Mel and Amber for helping out on the night and being awesome
  • Everyone who came and drank and danced
  • Everyone who watched online
  • Everyone listed in the album notes - as described here http://jezkemp.bandcamp.com/album/airfix-democracies
Plenty more stuff from the album and launch night coming up, including live videos, CD release, etc. etc. But for now, I'm going to sleep. I may be some time.

Here's to the next album and/or launch?
Jx



Thursday, 25 October 2012

Airfix Democracies - all 12 tracks

Here are all 12 tracks from new album Airfix Democracies, available on Bandcamp to 1) hear now and 2) download from 11pm tomorrow, Friday 26th October (NZ time).

Hope you like it! This is a bright album, full of catchy tuneful summery British rock, mostly indie-rock but sometimes with a punk edge.
  • Tracks 1 and 8-12 are brand new recordings
  • Tracks 2-7 are existing single or b-side tracks that have been made to sound nicer for the album
What's your favourite song?

I started blogging each track individually - I've been a bit busy but I'll finish this over the next few weeks.

Naturally huge thanks to heaps of people listed in the album blurbs, both here in NZ and back in the UKshire.

Here's to the launch party!
Jezmondo


International webcast times for #Airfix album launch


Once again I'm proud to announce international webcast times for the AIRFIX album launch at Bar Medusa Wellington, starring Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros, FIIN, Mangle & Gruff and The Lucid Effect!

All times below are for Friday 26th October, whether it's starting at 12:30am on the US East Coast, or finishing up in Saturday for us here in New Zealand.
I've worked out summer/daylight saving times so you don't have to!

Go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jez-kemp and, all going to plan, it should be streaming live on there. I'll also post a player here on the blog on the night.
If you don't want to go searching, be a fan on my Facebook or follow the Twitter - I'll post it when we're live.
http://www.facebook.com/jezkemp
http://twitter.com/jezkemp

Tell your friends and let's get a big international audience for the gig. These are truly futuristic times!


New Zealand NZDST (UTC +13) - Evening

8:30pm DOORS
9:00-9:25 The Lucid Effect
9:40-10:10 Mangle & Gruff
10:30-11:00 FIIN
11:20-12:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


British Summer Time BST (UTC +1) - Morning

8:30am DOORS
9:00-9:25 The Lucid Effect
9:40-10:10 Mangle & Gruff
10:30-11:00 FIIN
11:20-12:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


Australian Eastern Summer Time (UTC +11) - Early evening

6:30pm DOORS
7:00-7:25 The Lucid Effect
7:40-8:10 Mangle & Gruff
8:30-9:00 FIIN
9:20-10:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


European Summer Time CEST (UTC +2) - Late morning

9:30am DOORS
10:00-10:25 The Lucid Effect
10:40-11:10 Mangle & Gruff
11:30-12:00 FIIN
12:20-1:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


US Summer Time – West Coast (UTC -7) - Very early Friday morning

12:30am DOORS
1:00-1:25 The Lucid Effect
1:40-2:10 Mangle & Gruff
2:30-3:00 FIIN
3:20-4:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


US Summer Time – East Coast (UTC -4) - Early Friday morning

3:30am DOORS
4:00-4:25 The Lucid Effect
4:40-5:10 Mangle & Gruff
5:30-6:00 FIIN
6:20-7:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


Japan Standard Time (UTC +9) - Late afternoon

4:30pm DOORS
5:00-5:25 The Lucid Effect
5:40-6:10 Mangle & Gruff
6:30-7:00 FIIN
7:20-5:00 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros


India Standard Time (UTC +5.5) - Early afternoon

1:00pm DOORS
1:30-1:55 The Lucid Effect
2:10-2:40 Mangle & Gruff
3:00-3:30 FIIN
3:50-4:30 Jez Kemp & The Cool Story Bros



Sunday, 21 October 2012

Airfix Track #12 - If I Can Be Wrong, Maybe I Can Be Young

The closing track #12 from Airfix Democracies is If I Can Be Wrong, Maybe I Can Be Young. Rocky and pumping, listen up and listen loud! More info below the player.



Tagline: Pumping indie-disco-rock full of melancholy and hope.

Magic moment:
  • 2:44 second chorus: The lead and strings kick in - awesome.
Length: 4:37

Why is it awesome? Pumping disco-rock chorus, defiant tuneful verse, awesome bassline throughout. An excellent album closer.

Title/theme? Self-reflection, and apprehension of getting older, but with a positive/hopeful message. Youth is about making mistakes, about new experiences. Our bodies grow old but youthfulness is an attitude that never dies.

Background? and/or touchy feely stuff? This was the last track to be written for Airfix, and was only finished in 2012. It's one of the 2/3 personal songs on the album. I'm not usually a fan of personal songs, but this one just came out, and it fit with the album.

Lyrics: Below.

This isn't the final final final audio, but it's pretty close enough.

More tracks coming soon.

Jx


IF I CAN BE WRONG, MAYBE I CAN BE YOUNG

Can't you see I wanted something more, than this dirty score
I was given anything I should hope for
So why do I feel taken fro a metaphor of failure
Loser on an overdose of ideas, wading through the comatose
A sea of apathetic machinery
And all I needed, all I need was time

But I remember being foolish, I said things as I saw them
And I never took nothing from no-one
Now my youth is disappearing, I take more than I'm given
But I'm fighting all the way on the run

If I can be wrong, maybe I can be young
Maybe I can be strong, maybe my mistakes can be undone
If I can be wrong, maybe I can be young
Maybe I can be strong, maybe my mistakes can be undone

Can't you see I've always had an ugly side, like we all do
It's something that we shouldn't hide, we must fight it, trap it in the open not just token resistance
Caught between immovable angels, irresistable mountains
I was taught just how to climb them, but there's always a down side
And all I needed, all I need was time

But I remember being foolish, I said things as I saw them
And I never took nothing from no-one
Now my youth is disappearing, I take more than I'm given
But I'm fighting all the way on the run

If I can be wrong, maybe I can be young
Maybe I can be strong, maybe my mistakes can be undone
If I can be wrong, maybe I can be young
Maybe I can be strong, maybe my mistakes can be undone





Thursday, 18 October 2012

Airfix Track #1 - I Brought Down The Average

Track #1 from Airfix Democracies is I Brought Down The Average. Listen up and listen loud. More info below the player.



Tagline: Heroic anthem against mediocrity and the mainstream.

Magic moment(s):

  • 0:09 "Lies": This song kicks in 3 times
  • 2:50 onwards: The defiant outro
Length: 3:14

Why is it awesome? Powerful, fast, catchy. "Average" will challenge on your first listen, and inspire you every listen after that.

Title/theme? It's a song about failing against all measurements of the dull mainstream world and not giving a shit. The title is a double entendre, a play on words.

Background? and/or touchy feely stuff?  First performed acoustic in Leigh-on-Sea in Oct 2008, at my last UK gig before leaving for NZ. Rarely performed since then, but was always going to be the album opener.

Lyrics: Below.

I'll be honest, this isn't the final final final audio, but it's close enough - we're a week out from launch and I'm just impatient for you to hear it.

More tracks coming as and when.

Much love kids
Jx


I BROUGHT DOWN THE AVERAGE

I brought down the average
And I brought down all your lies, and all your dirty dreams in disguise
I'll never say goodbye, you better believe me

I brought down the average
And I brought down all your schemes, to make everyone your dirty inbetweens
And be a part of your scene, and be the part of your scene

But if you strip me down, I'm nothing but an animal
And you can buy me

If you strip me down, I don't think I can take it all
But I'm born to take it

I brought down the average
I brought down the average
And I brought down all your lies, and all your dirty dreams in disguise
I'll never say goodbye, you better believe me


I brought down the average
Because I work for myself, and sometimes, the greater good
Do you know the greater good, I think you should


I brought down the average
And I'll never say goodbye, 'cos I as always taught to question why
And be the thorn in your side, and be the thorn in your side

But if you strip me down, I'm nothing but a sex machine
And you can buy me

If you strip me down, but I won't be a part of your scene
But I'm born to take it

But did you know, that a hundred years ago
They predicted a 3-day working week
And did you know, that a hundred years ago
To be alternative meant to have ideas of your own

Did you know, that just 2 minutes ago
Economists believed in a 3-day working week
And did you know, that just 2 minutes ago
To be alternative meant to have ideas of your own


I brought down the average...
...and I was your breath of oxygen, in an institution.

I brought down the average, I brought down the average
I brought down the average, I brought down the average

I brought down the average, 'cos this is our time
And we don't work for their plans, or their schemes
We are not your average
And whatever their machine says, we'll never be, we'll never be, a dis - a - ppoint - ment.




Sunday, 14 October 2012

Airfix: The Album - Artwork, launch and informations

Well hello there. A long time ago I talked about my first full-production rock album, and even committed to a tracklisting. The time has finally come for it to be released.

The album art is finished: like the album title, and the album itself, it's semi-political but nothing too hardcore.  I'm no wizard with digital art, but I think the concept and execution both work, and they suit the album: clean, simple, bright. I like it.

The launch party is on Friday 26th October at Ye Wonderful Bar Medusa (Facebook event here), just like the other single launches. Also the same as my other launches, I've got 3 awesome musicians playing with me, the Cool Story Bros: Tod, Danny and Gareth from Throw It To The Fire. And the same, it's going to be WEBCAST. So, even if you're on the other side of the world, please log in and watch - international times to be posted here nearer the time. There's also some badass bands playing by the name of FIIN, Mangle & Gruff, and The Lucid Effect.

I still have a lot of mixing and mastering to do, but, the tracks are coming on and I'll be previewing them on the blog here before the day of release.

Looking back at that blog post, it's strange that it's taken another 2 years to get here - most of these songs will be 4 years old, although there are 1 or 2 newer ones. But during that time I've had 2 singles out, and I've been improving my mixing and mastering skills.

My first solo album Without Fear was a special case. As a collection of songs, it was all the things hanging around in my brain that couldn't or didn't make it to F451. As a production, it was a necessary experiment (using only webcam mic and acoustic guitar) because I was without access to electric guitars and drums. So, Airfix feels like my first "proper" solo album.

From that blog post, these things remain the same:

  • EVERY song is a tune. There are standout singles, and there are album tracks, and everyone will have their own favourites. But every song is goddamn tune that will get in your head.
  • It's like a mix of the Manics' "Everything Must Go" and Muse's "Black Holes And Revelations" - bright, big, British rock songs, with a few synths here and there.
  • These 12 songs have to be on this album. "Animals" is missing for a reason. "Hype Of Yesteryear" is missing for a reason. I have stacks of newer songs which are all queued up for later releases. This album is not a concept album, but I have had a very definite idea of what it should be for the last 4 years.
You will be able to make, mix, and edit the album yourself - eventually. There's a lot I want to do after the release, including releasing it on CD, making more videos, and uploading all the original files as an "open source album". But right now I'm just focusing on getting the recordings right.

The tracklisting may stay the same. But I'm tempted to switch 1 or 2 tracks over - we'll see. In the meantime, it still looks like this:
  1. I Brought Down The Average
  2. Lighthouses
  3. Sunshine
  4. Boy With X-Ray Eyes
  5. When Robots Cure Cancer, We'll Talk
  6. I Believe In Dinosaurs
  7. It's Not The Wine ... Or The Vodka ... Or The Bourbon
  8. Pre-Digested
  9. Shark In A Goldfish Bowl
  10. 5yrs+45mins
  11. Surgery For Symmetry
  12. If I Can Be Wrong, Maybe I Can Be Young
Musical success for me has always been hampered from 2 sides - being too mainstream for posers in the Punk Scene and Indie Scene, and being too punk/indie/passionate/political for the mainstream. Much as I love F451 and what we did, looking back, it was very narrow and I can understand why we struggled to gain more support than we did. So, having seen what my best friends have achieved with The Library Suits in making simply excellent indie rock music that appeals on a wide range of levels, I'm very pleased to have a release which is upbeat and hopefully has something for everyone.

Below are some close-ups of the album art (Facebook album here) - for all you geeks, it's done purely in vectors, so it makes me happy I can blow it up to any size I like.

Next week I'll post some tracks. If anyone has any requests for the first ones they want to hear, let me know. Some of you may know the songs, some of you might have to guess on titles alone, but I'm all ears if anyone has any preferences.

Onwards!
Jezo Kempo








Saturday, 6 October 2012

Please, I Will Go Where I Have To Go

This is a response blog post to my dear friend Theresa S. R. K. Qu. X. Ø. Щ. (Batman Symbol) Winters Esq. and her blog post "Please, Just Stay Where I Left You".

Dear Theresa, thank you for your concern.

1. I'm coming to see you next month. For 3 whole awesome weeks, I'm looking forward to the glorious Melbourne spring weather (I'll happily take hail the size of golfballs if it means other days that hit 25 amazing degrees.) So let's go out and see sunsets and do shots. THEN you can worry about me leaving.

2. All being well, I don't expect to leave Wellington (AKA Wellingtron, Wellingrad, Wellingtonia) until April next year. So you have another whole "summer" of putting up with my inane complaints about the weather.

3. I would really prefer not to go. But sad as I am about both Immigration NZ and my workplace's "computer says no" attitude to helping me stay in the country, I've had 4 amazing years here, and if I have to move on, then I have to move on. This is just how life goes, and the best thing for me is to see it as an opportunity to see new places and do new things. And besides:

4. Next year, my current plan is to head back to the UK (via Thailand - it's on the way, right?), then head back to Wellington (maybe via India?), before starting a working holiday in - um - where? MELBOURNE, gurl-friend. Yes, I've got over my fear of living in Australia, surrounded by dangerous animals and Australians. Besides, my understanding of Melbourne is that it's mostly full of New Zealanders anyway (most of them trying to make it in the music industry).
As I described in my last blog post, the best laid plans of mantises and manatees often go awry. But as you can see with my experience in Wellington - still here 37 months after I was originally going to leave - often this is for the best.

5. Regarding your other points:

  • Flatmates - I have some good flatties, they're not looking like becoming part of the EFN, but I don't see that as a problem. They are good guys.
  • Dating - If I ever find someone I really really like enough to - eugh - date, I'm afraid I can't guarantee they'll be pre-approved or someone you already know. On the other hand, if you trust me, you can rest assured that they'll be totally awesome.
  • Moving to a neighbourhood - well, I guess I'll have to face this when I come to Melbournia. I'm hoping I can enlist your help to get me settled into an awesome suburb, with cool people, not too far from the centre but not too far from greenery. (i.e. kind of like Mount Victoria.) So rest assured, you'll be involved here. Provided YOU don't go and move somewhere unapproved!
  • Changing jobs - to be frank, I'm just looking forward to my impending forced unemployment and T-shirt designing. But I assume I'll probably need to get a job at some point. I'll work that out nearer the time.
  • Getting "married" & having pink screaming goblins known as "babies" - Theresa, have you met me?

Rest assured T, I'm not done with a) Australasiocenia and b) being awesome quite yet.