To absent friends

In our previous post we lamented about the fact that major labels were targeting music blogs and announced that we were boycotting Columbia artists on The Pop Cop as a show of support for fellow Scottish website 17 Seconds.

Bloggers have understandably been asking themselves this same question: “Has writing under the threat of legal action now become more trouble than it’s worth?” – sadly, our compatriot Ross Pearson, who founded The Devil-Tips blog, concluded that the answer was ‘yes’.

Ross emailed us this today:

“It’s quite gutting, I got this email from somewhere saying that if I kept up posting tracks online that blah blah blah they are going to take legal action against me. It didn’t really bother me that much but Blogger.com kept deleting my posts that whatever this person/law (whatever) wanted taken down with no warning. It’s happened a couple of times and more often the last few months and it was just getting me down so I’m resigning from the blog business for a while. Might start it up again later once i’m on a lull at uni again but it’s looking doubtful. It was quite disheartening to see posts just disappearing. I’m still reading The Pop Cop though. Keep going.”

The reason we regard this as a truly sorry day is because the spirit of solidarity that exists between bloggers in Scotland is very real. This is not a domain populated by egos and one-upmanship. There is no rivalry or competitiveness since what we do is driven only by a shared passion for finding and enthusing about good music.

The sickest part of all is that those responsible for crushing this passion are faceless, clueless record company employees who should be doing the very job of those they are persecuting: promoting the music industry.

It would be so easy to let ourselves get dragged down by the doom and gloom, but salvation from the suppression comes from remembering just how healthy the music scene is in this country. Therefore, in tribute to The Devil-Tips, we’re going to let the three finest Scottish bands around have the final say in this post.

BROKEN RECORDS have made available 16 songs in either demo, single or session form – but in our opinion Ukulele Song is the best of the lot and below we’re offering you the only version anyone can get their hands on, recorded at The Bongo Club earlier this year.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT released a hot contender for the greatest album of 2008, a fact borne out by their mushrooming popularity. We’re letting you hear their rarest song which can only be found as a bonus track on the Australian edition of The Midnight Organ Fight.

And finally we’ve got a firecracker of a tune from new Fat Cat Records signings WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS, recorded live at Caves in Edinburgh this summer.

4 Broken Records – Ukulele Song (live)
b November 6, Avalanche, Edinburgh (5.30pm, free)
b November 8, Elvis Shakespeare, Edinburgh (2pm, free)
b November 9, Avalanche, Glasgow (4pm, free)
b November 9, Oran Mor, Glasgow (supporting Okkervil River) (tickets)
b December 20, The Picture House, Edinburgh (tickets)

4 Frightened Rabbit – Don’t
bNovember 14, Corn Exchange, Edinburgh (supporting Death Cab For Cutie) (tickets)
bNovember 29, King Tut’s, Glasgow (sold out)
bDecember 9, Liquid Room, Edinburgh (tickets)
bDecember 10, Fat Sams, Dundee (tickets)
bDecember 11, Moshulu, Aberdeen (tickets)

4 We Were Promised Jetpacks – Short Bursts (live)
bNovember 25, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh (tickets)

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