Many of today’s more progressive thinkers have suggested that live music is the way forward for the music industry (that is, actual money-making through music), and I for one have always subscribed to that view. Today however, the sudden hysteria surrounding the delay to the opening of the XOYO club in London and a couple of tweets from Simon, the blogger supreme behind Sweeping The Nation made me start to doubt this, those tweets reading thusly:

‘…the whole XOYO thing makes me think of Leicester’s new 1000+ venue the Auditorium…’

‘…Three weeks before their first proper gig, with club nights going on, they’ve not yet raised the funds to alter the exterior signage.’

It seems to me that a venue that big in a city with, presumably, a burgeoning music scene just should not be having money trouble. If live music truly is the future of the industry and the continued profitability of music making in general for both the artist and their label, then how are venues having these problems? Of course, this is pretty open to interpretation – Leicester itself might be the problem (not enough interest from fans and bands, poor management etc.) and the sheer size of the venue obviously alienates smaller acts, who are supposedly the beneficiaries of a more live-oriented industry. However, with the problems facing XOYO – which is, from what I can tell, a pretty intensely hyped venue in a city that is famous for its sheer number of new acts – the picture looks a little bleaker. What if there just isn’t enough interest, financial and actual, to open new live venues to a profit, or even a possible one?

Perhaps it’s a target that lies further down the line and maybe it’s for the fans to realise that live music is the way forward, but right now these kinds of signs seem to point to a startling fact; music is not making enough money, and that can only spell disaster for those involved.

Radiohead – Exit Music (For A Film) (YSI)

… This song is almost too beautiful, and Speak Before I Can gets more wonderful every time I listen to it. That’s all, really.

Laura Marling – Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) (YSI)

It’s my birthday today, and last night I received a really rather nice present – I’ve become an editor of the music section for my University newspaper. This means I have some really rather incredible experience coming my way, but may mean this blog becomes even more sporadic, but for now I’ll try and make it a little more frequent. Right now though I’m off to open presents and drink booze, bye!

Regina Spektor – Edit (YSI)

I’m a little tardy to this particular party, but if you don’t already know BBC 6 Music (and the equally important BBC Asian Network) is being closed down, and if you don’t already know, it must be saved for the sake of the British public’s ears. There are hundreds upon hundreds of intelligent thinkpieces on this issue already, and I fear I can’t muster up anything more eloquent or effective than what’s already been said, so instead I’ll just tell you how you can help.

Sign a petition.

Join a Facebook group.

Write to the BBC Trust.

Get a Twibbon.

Write #save6music on many, many tweets.

Listen to the bloody thing!

The other day I turned on my DAB to hear the wonderful (and really rather attractive) Lauren Laverne introducing a Radiohead B-side during primetime. I’d like that to continue, so could we all just stop the BBC from making the mistake they’re on the the route to making. Please?

Radiohead – Killer Cars (YSI)

If you’re at all interested in blogging and the music industry as a whole right now, read this and feel angry/scared/confused

So that about wraps it all up for 2009. The lists are dwindling, the festivities are beginning and planning for the year ahead is well underway. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pretty good year, musically and otherwise, and I’m sure as hell going to enjoy the next one, with new albums from plenty of artists I love (Vampire Weekend, Good Shoes, possibly Radiohead etc.) So this is it, charge your glasses, say goodbye to the decade and here’s to the next. Bye!

This Is Ivy League – Celebration (YSI)

A couple of nights ago, I had an incredible experience at a club. I don’t like clubs that much, I prefer to drink and talk in bars and dance to music at gigs. But Newcastle has a special little something called World Headquarters. It has a brilliant history, which you can learn more about by clicking on the website link, but essentially it was set up as a bastion of tolerance and good taste in a city that, in the past at least, didn’t really hold up to either of these things.

There are a lot of reasons WHQ is great. Firstly, any place that has a sign behind the bar saying “You look lovely tonight and it’s fantastic to see you” is amazing. Secondly, they have murals of their heroes (Darwin, Marley, Attenbrough et al) all over the walls. Thirdly, they have rare funk and soul records everywhere. Fourthly, they essentially have no agenda for their music, meaning their DJs (who are, without fail, fantastic) can play whatever they like and generally have a good time with the rest of us. This also leads to incredible mixes like ABBA with Beastie Boys. It’s just a beautiful, wonderful place, and I wouldn’t choose any club over it. If you’re ever in Newcastle, give it a bloody go, it’s incredible.

Beastie Boys – Intergalactic (YSI)

PS. Here’s a brilliant remix/cover that I played at my own DJ set the other day:

Florence and the Machine – You’ve Got The Love (xx Remix) (YSI)