04 February 2010

Community Service #1 - Products of a Gaseous Brain


As I mentioned at the start of the week I thought it might be interesting to introduce some of you to various websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. that I read on a regular basis. I appreciate that there are various links in the toolbar to the right, but there isn't really any impetus for you to click on them without knowing what to expect. It is for this reason that I thought it might be a good idea to let some of them introduce themselves to you.
My first victim is Milo who writes a blog and fanzine called 'Products of a Gaseous Brain', I first came across his blog after he posted footage of last years Homegame Festival and then got in touch with him to see if he fancied being a BAM. Thankfully he did and the rest as they say is history, so it gives me great pleasure to pass you over to Milo, a fellow BAM....

In your own words describe what ‘Products of a Gaseous Brain’ is?

I ask myself this all the time and have yet to come up with a good answer! Whilst I think the best blogs out there probably focus on one topic and do it well, like yours and the likes of Song, By Toad, I am more schizophrenic in my interests and often have 100 different ideas bouncing around my head like a violently shaken can of Irn Bru - hence the name ‘Gaseous Brain’.

however I think the one thing that binds it all together is a love for originality, creativity and incredibly good ideas, whether that be a genius lyric by the likes of Withered Hand, a brilliant TV programme like The Sopranos or the Wire or an iPhone app that tells you when the bus is going to arrive at the end of your street.

What was it that motivated you to start up your own blog?

When I starting writing for the Skinny about four years ago I met Sean Michaels who writes Said The Gramophone and he inspired me to set up the first Gaseous Brain blog – but I didn’t want to do an mp3 blog because he was already doing that so well. Instead the first blog included contributions from a bunch of writers, filmmakers and artists and was originally intended to lead to a fanzine… but I never got round to it and the blog fizzled out.

I started up the current incarnation after I’d been doing a show on Edinburgh’s student radio station Fresh Air. When the show ended for the summer a few people asked me how they could find out what I was up to so I started blogging again for that reason.

Also I met Matthew from Song, By Toad whose show was on after mine, and his blog has also been a massive inspiration in terms of the sheer effort he puts in to it (though I still have no idea how he manages to be so productive). Now there is a real feeling of community amongst Scottish bloggers, as shown by your brilliant idea for the BAMS awards, and the support and enthusiasm of everyone else is what keeps me doing it.

In an age where printed media is deemed to be dying out, you’ve boldly taken the decision to start up your own fanzine, what motivated you to do this?

The fanzine was something I’d always wanted to do but I’ve been fairly busy writing for other people over the last few years, such as The Skinny and in the past Is This Music (on top of my full time job).

At the end of last year I signed up to this thing that Johnny Lynch aka the Pictish Trail is involved in called ‘100 Days to Make Me a Better Person’. Though I couldn’t think of a specific task I could commit to do for 100 days straight, instead I decided to commit to ‘getting my shit together’ and getting some things done that I’d been putting off for too long. At the same time I realised I wasn’t enjoying writing for The Skinny anymore and after four years no financial reward was in sight, so I decided to quit. That left me with some time to finally get a pilot issue of the zine together. I’m hoping to get a few other things sorted out too by the end of the 100 days!

As for the death of print media, I think it will always survive but perhaps in a reduced form. I have to say that I was met with a blanket of apathy from most shops that I tried to sell the zine in, with the notable exceptions of Elvis Shakespeare, Monorail and Deadhead Comics, and orders have not exactly been coming in thick and fast since I made it available on the blog. Clearly printing a zine is not going to make anyone rich. But I did enjoy the process of putting it together and getting a nice shiny finished version in my paws, and I think so far I’ve only scratched the surface of the zine community that exists out there.

Why should somebody visit your site/read your fanzine?

I don’t like this part much as salesmanship has never been my strong point, but I hope that it’s an entertaining read which is written honestly and from a very personal point of view, and I have a bunch of podcasts and videos which would keep the most cynical and jaded webaholic entertained for hours, as well as a decent archive of interviews with some of my musical heroes like Will Oldham, King Creosote and James Yorkston.

The zine itself has a bunch of articles about the aforementioned Scottish BAMS Awards, Cybraphon, The Wire, Britney Spears, Hunter S Thompson, saving the world, and loads of reviews and is perfect reading for chilling out for an hour a cup of tea and an iced Danish.

Lastly, what can we expect to see from Products of a Gaseous Brain in 2010?

Well that’s another very good question. The I Hear a New World podcasts will be returning after a long break and if there is a good reaction to the zine I will do another one but with a lot more input from other people hopefully. Apart from that all I can say for definite is that I’ll be writing about a bunch of random nonsense as usual!

Products of a Gaseous Brain
fanzine is available to buy via the link on the right hand side, look for the pretty picture with loads of half naked ladies and get clicking it's a cracking read.

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