Thursday, December 30, 2010

CornDog Records

CornDog Records has existed now for more years than I care to mention.  We haven't been terribly busy recently so we've shut our website down and moved to this blog.

Over the years we've put out some really nice releases from the likes of Los Salvadores and ZEEB?  But rather than trying to explain all that in a verbose blog posting here's some text we saved from our (now defunct) website:


We are Corndog Records, who the hell are you?
From...
CornDog Records was formed around 1998 (roughly) to help promote the small number of bands in Ipswich. The idea was to bring everyone together to share contacts, put on gigs and generally help each other out.

To...
Us putitng on a series of gigs that went pretty well, so we put out a compilation album called 'Grand Theft Ippo', which sold out pretty much imediately.

Then...
After a couple of years the number of bands in Ipswich went from a handfull to well over 100. Corndog Records simply couldn't cope with the demand so we started a new site to help promote this new and busy scene. www.IpswichGigs.co.uk was born.

Then...
CornDog Records stepped up a gear and worked on setting up distribution for our first few large scale releases. We had a pretty decent distribution deal for a while, but didn't get on too well with what might now be called 'traditional channels' and things naturally came to an end.

Now...
As is often the case when trying to help other creative folk we realised that we didn't have any time left to work on our own creative projects.  That being said we're bound to do something again in the future...

History..
We're not wishing to boast, but we have been quite busy with various bits and bobs in the past, and while our website might be gone there's plenty of versions available of it here - http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://corndogrecords.com


Old Stuff...
In the past we've done stuff with these fine folk:
Calzic
Dan Foden
Juci Da Funk
Junk Culture
Los Salvadores
LoveJunk
Kneedeep
Immortal Alice
Minority
Nemo
Ok Hotel
one:day:life
Red Flag 77
Rosco
Sinfonic
Violent Playground
ZEEB?

Beat Motel zine issue #10

The juice...
Wow, we made it to the big 'one-oh'! We've been sitting on this issue for a bit longer than we intended, but after getting 'zine of the year' in Big Cheese magazine and then a nice bit of hype from The Metro newspaper we decided we probably ought to give the world what it (apparently) wants - a new issue of everyone's favourite home for knob gags and shoddy belief systems.

Buy this issue of Beat Motel and you will be treated to:
  • Feckin' loads of smart/ funny/ dumb columns from our talented and (mostly) housebroken contributors
  • More release reviews (CDs etc) than you can shake an oil covered BP branded stick at
  • Interviews (yes really) with The Thermals and a few other bands
  • These Arms are Snakes tour diary
  • Mum Locked in Castle tour diary
  • An interview with an independent horror film director
  • Facts about farting
  • Misguided and partially stolen humour
  • All kinds of other random bits of bobbinous stuff that you've come to love and crave like the salivating dogs that you are
So there you have it, a clear rational argument about why you should invest such a pissy amount of money to buy issue ten of BEAT MOTEL (oops, sorry for shouting). And if you buy it and don't like it then you don't stand a chance of getting your money back, but as we print using recycled paper you can at least wipe your arse with our pages without getting nasty rectal paper cuts.

YOU CAN'T LOSE!






Zine cover price is £2, P&P inside the UK is £1.00

Now then Gadgie - The Book!

Book published in 2010 by CornDog Publishing, this intro was written by the author - 'Marv Gadgie'





Book price £5.00, P&P (in UK) is £1.50

So here’s “Now Then Gadgie”; a book what I did write all by myself. A book? Gadzooks! How did this come about you ask? The screen goes wobbly and we all travel back in time to 1997...

I had been living in Boston for about six months (a town I had never heard of until ... well, that’s another story) and the local punk scene was just getting back on its feet. In an attempt to contribute and document the wonderful world of fen punk I decided to knock together on a state of the art electric type writer a fanzine. Issue 1 was released in a flurry of underwhelming local apathy but all 35 copies were successfully released in to the wild and a second volume appeared.

There came a point however where I realised that there are only so many times you can fill a zine with “... then Urko took to the stage and completely decimated the entire venue leaving a dusty pile of rubble and broken and battered punters. Poindexter were alright as well ...” before it got a bit samey.

By about issue three then I started indulging myself (and Gadgie’s small but growing readership) in my love of dubious post apocalyptic world flicks – has anyone else on earth ever seen America 3000? -  even dodgier Sci-Fi like the wonderful Buck Rogers and the true life documentary Planet of the Apes and of course, Blondie. Issue 4 saw me invest in a PC! Taking this a step further and after much jovial discussion and encouragement from the ever amusing and sadly late Jas Toomer, I also began including tales from my youth in the pages of Gadgie zine.

And so it came to be, Gadgie seemed to develop a reputation for being somewhat irreverent and filled with tomfoolery from yesteryear (and more recent times) as I delved deep in to my memory to dredge up all manner of stories to entertain an ever growing readership. It was these stories that seemed to touch on something with the punks that picked up Gadgie, reviews were generally positive, and other zines (Suspect Device and Scanner in particular) invited me to contribute to their own pages, all of which encouraged me to go on. And on. And on.

Enter Mr Andrew Culture who became Gadgie’s number one fan and also PR man as he took stacks of the zines, sold them through his distro and returned for more with alarming regularity. “Marv, have you ever thought of writing a book?” he asked me one day and do you what? Yes. Yes I ruddy well had. I had in fact taken all the story type content from the zines, eliminated reviews, news, interviews and the ranting and raving that most “early issues” contain and had begun piecing it all together already. When completed it read like some biographical narrative tracing my life from the mean streets of late 70’s/early 80’s North East England to the modern day where

I reside in Boston as a happily married, father of one, PE teaching, punk rocking, fanzine writing, thirty something who really should know better.


That my friend is what you have in your hands now. Playing out on bikes, vanquishing the Bodo Glimpt sackys, the bum and tail show, psycho Science teachers, Cross Country fun and games, crawling through the dead cow tunnel, getting chased by Boss Eye and Gnome, Boston Youth Crew mooning the nazis, shitting in the pissoir, the dog shit den, the swimming baths locker rats, the frozen dog biscuit shop, people pooing on football terraces, asthma attacks ... it’s all there (all the, ahem, favourites) collated in to one volume. 

Marv Gadgie 




‘Now Then Gadgie’ is the best collection of childish tales and punk rock adventure ever to come out of The Fens. This book collects all of the best bits from the legendary long running zine ‘Gadgie’ and is guaranteed to make you laugh, chuckle, titter, guffaw with stories with titles like ‘poo sticks and clemmies’, ‘the wanger wanger’ and ‘the exploding Christmas tree’. 


 

Foreword by Andrew Culture
Trying to remember when I first found out about Marv and his zine Gadgie is a bit like trying to remember the first time I giggled at someone saying the word penis. I know it was probably a good number of years ago, I am fully aware that discovering it was like having an extra ray of sunshine enter my life, I know that I still find it as funny now as I did when I first learned of it, but I just can’t remember when the discovery was made. Ultimately the exact time and date I discovered Marv’s tales of youthful remembrance is about as irrelevant as remembering the first time I laughed at someone guffing; both have become fairly integral parts of my life and things I have no desire to be without.

I don’t want this introduction to give you the impression that Now Then Gadgie is a puerile publication – it’s something so much better – it’s a collection of anecdotes that contain something that we can all identity with. Marv’s stories appeal to young and old alike and show just how much skill the author has in his observations, they paint a picture of someone with a huge heart, and an even bigger capacity for mischief! 

This book is also proof that if you look at life with a slightly tilted head, you’ll have a lot more fun. So get yourself comfy, prepare libation, and digest some Gadgie…




Read reviews for the 'Now then Gadgie' anthology...

Corndog Publishing Zine Distro

CornDog Publishing Zine Distro was a zine distro that I ran for a few years, the distro started by accident after I ended up with boxes and boxes of zines from around the world that I had traded for with copies of my own zine 'Beat Motel'.  I think I was the first UK distro to have a full e-commerce site, and at it's peak CornDog stocked around three hundred titles from all around the world.

But CornDog was a victim of its own success and in the middle of 2010 I made the difficult decision not to take on any more stock.  It was a tough decision but one that had to be made - I ended up spending so much time stocking and promoting other folk's work (for no money, because zine distros never do make any money) that I had no time left to dedicate to any of my own creative output.

Now then Gadgie
As something of a parting shot I published a book collecting together all the best bits of one of my favourite zines, the book is called 'Now Then Gadgie' and can be bought from this very blog on this page- http://lawsie.blogspot.com/2010/12/now-then-gadgie-book.html

Beat Motel #10
The only other thing I had in stock when I closed the CornDog Publishing Zine Distro doors was issue #10 of my own zine 'Beat Motel', and that can also be bought on this blog here - http://lawsie.blogspot.com/2010/12/beat-motel-zine-issue-10.html

Bye bye CornDog...
So it only remains for me to say fight the good fight, keep on developing this fantastic underground publishing network of ours, and above all keep it non-pretentious!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zine Review | No One Rules Ok! #2

£1.00 for 40 A5 printed pages

I’m blogging this fanzine review because I’ve just put out a new issue of my own zine Beat Motel and gawd knows how long it’s going to be before the next issue comes out (if ever).

I’ve never heard of ‘No One Rules Ok!’ before and in what has become a very small and cliquey zine world that’s reassuring in its own right, what’s more reassuring is the fact that this zine is well-written, well thought out, intelligent and full of personality.

The biggest feature in this issue is a very long (but very cool) interview with Steve Ignorant of Crass – I’ve never been a fan of Crass but (as with any well written interview) there’s plenty here to hold my attention.  Steve Ignorant comes across as still very much having something to say, and zinester Justin is respectful, keen, but not in any way sycophantic.  It’s a tone of interview that works well throughout this issue of ‘No One Rules Ok!’ and makes the whole issue really enjoyable.

This music heavy fanzine (and thank god zines like this still exist) is also peppered with a few thoughtful paragraphs on various topics, all with the anarchic attitude that keeps me interested in punk rock based fanzines (as apposed to arty farty shite zines).  Bands featured include Drongos For Europe (surely the most zinester interviewed band ever), The Warriors, The Sex Pistols experience (surprisingly enlightening) and a hilariously excellent mini-history of Fire Exit.  Features include bits on Glasgow punk, Ulster punk and a smattering of book reviews.

I’m always a bit disappointed when zines don’t contain reviews of other zines as it seems a little ‘unhelpful’ to the cause, but then if I’m starting to expect anything at all from zines then I’m kinda missing the reason they exist in the first place aren’t I?!?

Grab a copy by emailing musicisloud@hotmail.co.uk or by sending a quid (and fifty pence for postage) to Justin, 30 Humber Ave, Brickhill, Bedford, Beds, MK41 7EL, United Kingdom.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Bluetones + Married To The Sea live at Norwich Waterfront 12/12/10

Ah the Waterfront in Norwich, I’ve been seeing bands here for nearly twenty years and every time I walk through the doors I’m immediately filled with an odd sense of excited nostalgia.  My enjoyment of the first act ‘Married To The Sea’ reminded me that one of the things I really love about The Waterfront is that it’s the exact right size venue to showcase new bands.

Married To The Sea (MTTS to friends) played a sort of thoughtful bouncy slightly noodling indie.  ‘Indie’ has become something of a dirty word of late but I can’t think of a better description for MTTS – they were accessible but alternative, poppy but innovative.  They had a nice banter around with the crowd (including I think the first reference to American sitcom ‘The Middle’ that I’ve ever seen on stage) and surprised us all by brandishing an accordion for a few numbers.  All in all very enjoyable, and probably one of the most appropriate support acts for The Bluetones I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen The Bluetones many times!)

Having seen The Bluetones at least once a year for god knows how many years it always feels a bit like watching old mates turn up when they amble onto the stage, but not in a creepy stalker type way, more in a ‘distant cousin that you only bump into at family occasions’ type way (only with better music and less social awkwardness).  Singer Mark Morris seemed a little distant and unsure for the first few numbers tonight, that could be because his band were brave enough to start a set with a new song, or (far more likely) he was scoping the room, scanning the horizon, getting a feel for the crowd and many other clichés beside.

Playing a nice mix of songs from their considerable back catalogue there was something for everyone in what was a pleasingly mixed room age-wise.  Last night The Bluetones were ably aurally augmented by a big haired lad called Andy tinkling the ivories, which gave them the opportunity to unleash a few tracks that I haven’t heard for years, most notably (and warmly received) ‘Mudslide’.

By half time (a phrase wholly accurate given the amount of Norwich City and Ipswich Town fan banter rattling around the crowd) The Bluetones were comfortably in their stride, and reminding fans new and old why they continue to be an essential fixture in our lives.  Their initial hit ‘Slight Return’ was introduced with a somewhat apologetic caveat that it would be the last time the band would play it for a while, the reaction from the fans was mixed to say the least but it’s my opinion that in dropping this song they’re giving newer songs a bit more space to breath.  And that’s what keeps The Bluetones so damned interesting – they just keep getting better and better.  Stylistically, musically (and possibly ecumenically) The Bluetones noticeably change with each new album but somehow the old songs and albums retain relevance as signposts and teasers to what might come on the next recording.

Before this review disappears up its own arse I’ll end by saying that The Bluetones have now finished their set with ‘If’ for so many years that the opening bass riff has a Pavlov’s dog type reaction on my bladder.  I hear the song and my body knows on a subconscious level that soon will be the time for a quick wee before (in the case of last night) the long trudge back down the A140 to Ipswich and home.

Until the next time old friends; you’ve done yourselves proud.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The curious incident of the black ties and the fake taxi.

By Andrew Laws

A very odd thing happened to me in London last week, but this tale would be short and uninteresting if I was to tell you exactly what happened here in the opening paragraph of this story, so please indulge me for a moment and allow me set the background to this curious incident for you…

Occasionally my work takes me to places friends and associates would be most surprised where they to see me in.  Last week I was the official photographer for a prestigious Annual Dinner event in central London; it was for a client whom I have been working with for a very long time.  In fact this was the tenth time I have donned a dinner jack and Dickie bow and joined my client (and about six hundred of their guests) for a sit down slap up meal, an informative speech and some chuckles fed from a comedian.

Usually at these events nothing more is required of me than to sit, eat, nod appreciatively (regardless of my lack of comprehension of the speeches) and let loose a few barrages of belly laughter during the comedian’s spot, but this year I was asked to be the photographer.  If you know me then you’ll know this isn’t as strange as it firsts sounds – I am a professional photographer but my quarry is usually music related.  A room full of ladies in fancy dresses and gentlemen in matching black dinner jackets provided what could charitably be called a ‘new challenge’ to my photographic abilities.

After I had spent several hours capturing the ‘essence’ of the evening the meal had been devoured, the speeches had been spoken and when the assembled lubricated hoards had moved from the huge dining room to the huge bar/ drinking/ mingling area I declared my job done and took myself outside for a smoke.  Those of you who know me (in addition to knowing that I’m a photographer) will also know that I don’t smoke, well not normally, not really, not very often, at all, honest guv.

I made my way to the grand side entrance of the hotel hosting us and braved the ice and snow to shiver up a roll-up.  Because I have been associated with this particular client for more years than I care to tell you many of the guests know me, and my time outside was full of ‘hellos’ and ‘long time no sees’.  So when one middle-aged gentleman in a long jacket approached me and asked for a light I thought nothing of it.

As this long-jacketed gentleman started chatting to me a few things made me suspicious that he may not have just enjoyed the three courses, fine wines and small after-dinner chocolates the rest of the folk present had.  He wasn’t wearing a dinner jacket or black tie so you could call that the first clue that he was not ‘one of us’, and the fact that he was asking those exiting if they needed a taxi was the final and more revealing clue.

We exchanged polite nothings for a few minutes, me in my particular accent, and he in an accent originating some way ‘south of the river’.  His car was parked at the kerb and when he fetched a scarf from the boot I noted that his taxi licence plate was conspicuous by its absence.  That would go some way to explaining why guests at this dinner were not keen to take him up on his offer of a lift.  I guess there are many folk in London who try their luck at earning an additional income by offering their services as unlicensed cabbies in the evenings, and as this chap wittered on about nothing in particular my mind set itself to wondering what his day job might be.

My cigarette ran its course and as I turned to return to the warmth of the crowd indoors this man lent towards me and raised his eyebrows in a conspiratorial fashion that made it clear he much desired my attention for a moment longer.

“’Ere, are you ‘ere wiv your girlfriend?”

I replied that I was not, and went on to explain that I am happily married, but on this occasion I was not lucky enough to have my ken graced with the presence of my darling wife.

“You want company?”

I politely declined the offer and left he who made it to enjoy the night air without me.  As I wandered through the throng to the bar I smiled to myself – now I knew what this unsuccessful unlicensed cabby did for a day job; he’s obviously an accountant.  What a damning exposé of the affects of the current financial climate though; how hard are times for accountants that they are forced to approach total strangers and offer to incorporate companies for them!

Forwarding a domain name to a website using your easily.co.uk account

I have used Easily.co.uk for UK domain purchases and management for many years and one of my favourite features of thier service is the domain forwarding.  Instead of setting up a domain on a web server and putting a code or DNS redirect in place you can point your domain name at an existing website from your Easily.co.uk control panel.

If you are forwarding a new domain name you can skip straight to number 8 on this list of instructions.  If you are forwarding a domain name that was previously set up on a web server (i.e you had set the NS/ name servers) you need to follow all the instructions below:
How to forward a domain name to an existing website:
  1. Log into Easily.co.uk
  2. Click 'My Account' (at the top of the screen).
  3. Click the 'D' button (Click here to administer domain names)
  4. Click the 'D' button next to the domain name you wish to set up forwarding for
  5. Click the big button that says 'Come back to Easily'
  6. At the bottom of the next page click the 'Process' button
  7. Click 'my account' at the top of the page
  8. Click the 'D' button (Click here to administer domain names)
  9. Click the 'W' button next toteh domain name you are working with
  10. Make sure the drop down box at the top of the page displays 'External website (Web Forwarding)
  11. Click the 'Change' button next to the drop down box
  12. Enter the exact URL that you wish to forward the domain to in the web forwarding box at the top of the screen
  13. Select 'None' for the masking option if you want visitors to see the address of the website you are forwarding to, or 'Frames' if you want them to see the domain name that you are currently working with.
  14. Click the 'Save' button
  15. You're done!  It's worth noting that changes in forwarding can take up to 24 hours to go through

If you get stuck the nice folk at Easily.co.uk are always there to help you out!  If you require help manaing your domains and website have a look at www.webcaretakers.com