A Star Is Born (Or Perhaps Not)

Something happened on my blog yesterday that has never happened before. This week’s Tuesday Tunes was the 107th in the series and I must have played upwards of 500 songs across the duration. Many of you have been kind enough to ‘like’ these posts and share your thoughts on them, but not until yesterday has one of the artists whose song I played got in touch. But now one of them has. I was hugely chuffed, and thought I’d tell you the story.

This was the comment I received:

And this is my reply:

Dax also did me the honour of following my blog, and after I left that comment for him I think I managed to fight my way through the deepest canyons of WordPress to return the compliment. He also reciprocated my subscription to his YouTube channel, though as I haven’t published anything on mine for more than eight years, and the few that are there are hardly in the Altman or Scorsese class of film-making, I doubt he’ll find anything of interest!

To refresh your memory, I played Dax’s excellent song Run And Hide in Tuesday Tunes 93: Run which you probably won’t recall was a theme I chose after being unwell for several days – yup, it was squitters time. It was well received by those who commented on it, so I’m playing it again for you:

I absolutely love this song! This is what I said when I played it before: This is the opening track on a 2011 album by Dax, entitled Beating Hearts And False Alarms. I came across the album in the days when I made much use of a site called Noisetrade, on which artists could offer for free tasters of their music. These could be singles, EPs or, as in this case, full albums, and were sorted by the site as being ‘for fans of…’. I don’t recall who they thought Dax was like, but I downloaded the album and have never regretted it – it is very good, and this track has been a favourite of mine since then. Dax – whose full name is Dax Penick – is a difficult guy to pin down. In my Apple Music library I also have an album by him from 2003 and an EP from 2010, but these were downloaded from Noisetrade and don’t appear to be available now. He has, however, been releasing new music since 2017 under the name Of Jagged Risings and this song is included on an EP from 2020 called Crooks. It’s almost as though he doesn’t want people to hear his music, isn’t it! Whatever he is doing, it seems to be working: I’ve found a website that gives his net worth as being $20m. Noisetrade, by the way, has been taken over by Paste magazine, which is continuing the Noisetrade role in offering free music via their website, if you’re interested.

Looking over Dax’s YouTube channel, which you will find under the Of Jagged Risings name, there are several other videos there of his great music, and I thought the least I could do is to share a few more of them with you. This first one is the second track on Beating Hearts And False Alarms, and like Run And Hide was also included on the 2020 Crooks EP:

Another great tune, and you can probably see why I enjoy the album so much. I mentioned in the first post that I got this from the Noisetrade site. That was in the early days after I got divorced, and didn’t have much spare cash to buy new music, so the site was a godsend to me back then. I have since removed from my Apple Music library many of the downloads I made from Noisetrade, but not this one: it is a keeper!

I’m not sure where this next one comes from. The video is dated 2008 but it doesn’t appear on any album I know of that Dax has been involved with. I still think it’s great, though:

The three songs I’ve shared so far have all been from Dax’s earlier catalogue. I thought I should give you a couple of more recently published ones, too. This is YWF, which was released as a single in 2017:

In case you didn’t spot it in the video, the title stands for ‘Young, Wild and Free,’ and I think the video goes well with that. It’s another good song, too.

The final one I’m playing is a video dating from November 2019, but don’t be fooled: it is another track from the Beating Hearts album, and it is equally as good as the others I’ve played from it. It was also included on Dax’s EP The End Of The World in 2010, and again on the Of Jagged Risings EP Radio Mind, which Apple Music says came out in 2011 while Spotify says 2017:

In his comment to me Dax mentioned that ‘there are still a few songs that need to be released.’ I hope he gets round to them, as I’d really like to hear more of his music. For now, though, you can find Of Jagged Risings on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, and you can download some of these from the Noisetrade page on the Paste website. Hopefully there is more to come!

The title for this piece is a tongue-in-cheek reference to myself, and to my new found fame with real musicians in the rock world. In an ideal world it would also apply equally well to Dax: I hope the songs I’ve shared here give you an idea of just how good his music is. As always, I would welcome your thoughts on the songs I’ve played, but this time there is a twist: it might be worth bearing in mind that the man who made all of this great music may well see what you say, so be careful 🤣

31 thoughts on “A Star Is Born (Or Perhaps Not)

  1. Pingback: June | Take It Easy

    • Thanks, Janet. I found him quite by chance looking through the offerings on Noisetrade and I’m glad I did. He was pleased I’d shared his song, which is a real stonker. If you enjoyed that, do try the others in the post – they are all very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved that Dax reached out to you, and because of the connection the two of you met, I’m now familiar with his music. I listened to all five songs and liked each one. Too bad more artists don’t take the time to reach out to their fans, as people will remember this kind of gesture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you recall, Pete, you really liked Run And Hide when I first played it, and I thought you’d like his other songs too. I’ll certainly remember his gesture, as no doubt will everyone who has read this post – it gave me a real spike in page views yesterday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I remembered enjoying Run and Hide. You always have a great combination of familiar mainstream artists along with introducing to some more hidden talents. I was going to look up Dax today and pick up one of his albums.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I try to mix them up a bit, it is interesting for me to share artists I think may not be well known but deserve to be. If you look at Dax’s comment on this post you’ll see that his earlier albums are no longer available – a good thing I got them while I could! You can find some of his more recent stuff and some reissues under the Of Jagged Risings name on the streaming services, and a few of them to download from the Paste website. There are also some MP3s to buy on Amazon. For the reasons he explained, that’s about it, I’m afraid.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cindy. I was flattered, I’ll admit. He seems a really nice guy, and has added a comment on this piece giving more of his background. Try the other songs too, if you haven’t already – they’re well worth your time 😊

      Like

  3. Yes, as you say many have been taken for a ride by those maestros who say ‘Trust me kid, I’ll make ya star- just sign here, and here, on the dotted line…’ Stan ‘Soulless Bastard’ Polley, Badfinger’s ‘manager’ and Allen ‘Bleed ‘Em Till They’re Dry’ Klein are two that deserve an extended residency in Musical Hell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And more recently, Taylor Swift’s manager and record company, which is why she is re-recording her older albums as ‘Taylor’s version,’ to take back control of her music. Loads of other examples too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was a very welcome surprise when I woke up to it yesterday morning. And he’s added a very detailed comment to this piece too, which explains where he’s coming from and mentions a possible new addition from his back catalogue shortly. I’m glad you also like his music – I think it’s great!

      Have a safe trip – I guess you must be taking off fairly soon, if you haven’t already! 😊 x

      Like

  4. This is so cool that a musician contacted you through your blog. It sounds like the music business is similar to the book publishing industry. Sigh. Dax/Of Jagged Rising’s music is very good. My younger brother plays similar music and produces it himself. Three cheers to all the creatives out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is very good, isn’t he! I think you’re right about the similarities between the industries, and if you take a look at the comment he has added on this post it will probably ring a lot of bells for you. Creatives have always been at the mercy of business, and that is a sad commentary on human nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you once again Clive…To elaborate a little more from the previous comment… I started releasing my own music in high school and continued to do so through my mid 30s… A lot of this was pre-Internet and very early Internet… at the suggestion of an early music business mentor I decided to release a lot of my original music under my own name… Dax… I was always on the fence about it and really wanted a band name but just could never think of anything… Years went by and I tried everything I knew to do to make something happen eventually getting a record deal or so I thought… This was probably around 2015 or 2016 when the music business was still trying to figure out the Internet…so at the behest of my manager and this ‘big push’ that was going to happen with the record deal…I was advised to pull all of my existing content as Dax so everything could be rebranded more consistently and professionally…a clean slate basically… that was actually fine by me as I finally found the name that I wanted to release music under… Of Jagged Risings…Everything was pulled… social media, previous full length albums, music videos with 70,000+ views… All in anticipation of a proper release with money behind it… Going on the road, taking a song to radio… The whole 9 yards… Well the big push never happened… The label held onto an old distribution deal but there was never any financing…no money, no touring, no nothing…By then I was in my late 30s and quite frankly running out of steam… An EP and single were released by the label but it was really a drop in the ocean and I probably would’ve been better off just releasing it myself as I have been doing ever since…I was actually inspired by your blog post and will probably have another old song coming out in the next couple weeks… So thank you again it’s nice to know that someone out there is listening. I hope this sheds a little light on things as well. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for this, Dax. It is extremely helpful, and it’s a pity that the industry has let you down so badly. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to keep making music after that, but I really hope it can come together for you. If my blog post has helped in any small way, that is its own reward for me. As you will have seen I don’t get huge numbers for my posts but the SEO seems to work alright and maybe someone with some influence will pick up on this – we can but hope! I’ll look out for that new/old song – YouTube is good at recommending for me!

      Liked by 3 people

      • A bit of true unforced humanity in the reply from someone burned by the music industry. It is heart-warming- and I don’t toss soppy trite-isms around easily- for all concerned when the internet can make the world a more intimate and understanding place. Keep smiling, job well done for all concerned.

        Liked by 2 people

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