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Saturday, 1 September 2007

A little musical interlude

People in my trade – direct marketing – know two infallible ways to get people’s attention: first, appeal to their greed, and second, flatter them.

Doesn’t that say a lot about human nature? Sad but true.

If you also say something that is undeniably true that does a lot for your credibility. So I’m sure you won’t mind being told you are a part of a small but immensely discerning and cultured minority.

Does "discerning and cultured" sound like you? Of course it does - which is why I am sure many of you are music lovers. If so, keep reading, because although I have absolutely no musical talent, two of my sons and one daughter have.

The music business is a dreadful one, and you need a lot of luck, so now one of this trio has quit trying to make a living at it full time, but the other two are still at it. One of them, Nick, makes most of his living doing a remarkably good impression of Paul McCartney. He works with so many tribute bands here and in France and Germany that I can’t keep up with him, but he also writes pretty good songs. By pretty good, I mean good enough to get recorded.

The one who has done best so far is Martina, who came round last Sunday night for dinner with her friend Raphael and her daughter Mina. Raphael runs a music festival in Switzerland, which seems to me a pretty good way to make a living. Better than what I do, anyhow.

Martina is rather big on creative gestation and has been labouring away forever on her new album, which I'm listening to as I draft this.

(The picture at the top is Nick and Martina singing at my birthday party last year. And by the way, if you want an amazingly cheap, very good photographer, I'd recommend the lady who took that - and about 300 others.)

There is a lot of agonising going on about the best running order for the album. In fact even I have been asked for my views, since although I have absolutely no ability I have bags of opinions. But I ask you, seriously, how can she fail with a producer like Danger Mouse? What an excellent name - and he seems to have quite a penchant for odd names, as he worked with Cee-Lo on the Gnarls Barkley album.

Martina’s album sounds excellent to me. Mind you, so did the last one- and it got excellent reviews; but the label promoted it, as far as I can see, by osmosis. Never very effective. But then record firms live in an alternative world, don’t they? They spend all their time looking for something that sounds like the last big thing rather than the next one.

A bit like young Mr.Cameron, come to think of it.

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