Hard News by Russell Brown

Rock 'n' roll stuff

I'm due to convene with a bunch of codgers later today to perform an exercise related to this year's 25th anniversary of Flying Nun Records. The exercise will involve arguing over a list of the best releases to have come from the label, which I guess is an issue on which a few of you will have a view.

So feel free to hit the "reply" button below and give me your list, with an argument if you wish. Keep it to a Top Five. Represent.

In a similar vein, I met Eldred Stebbing and his son Robert at the recent event to announce the technical winners and main-category finalists in the New Zealand Music Awards. They had some news: they're reviving the famous Stebbing studio label, Zodiac.

The label will issue both archive and new releases. So, I said, you'll be doing limited-edition 7" vinyl singles with the original label art?

"Do you think there'd be a market for that?" said Robert, looking surprised.

Dude. Are there crazy German completists in the world?

Barbara Ward and I cooked him up a launch strategy on the spot: collectable 7"s, perhaps with one classic side and one new artist. Joint media opportunities with the old and new artists. It'll be huge. And if it is, Barbara and I claim our free drinks.

I passed up on a Rockstar: Supernova final viewing party last night ("Private room big-screen action at the PR Bar, followed immediately by karaoke. Wastedness is not compulsory, but suggested ...") because my darling is not long out of hospital with a script for the drugs that killed Ol' Dirty Bastard (not the cocaine, actually), and I wanted to share this special television moment with her. Interesting result. I never felt Toby was the real thing, and Magni's a family guy and all, so it came down to Dilana and Lukas. Guess Lukas researched better with the MySpace generation. Plus, Dilana can't write songs very well.

Dilana's MySpace fans are disappointed but excited. Still waiting for Jo from Hubris to pronounce. Meanwhile, there's dilana.co.nz. They're rug dealers.

Ticketbooth has compiled a list of Spike Lee joints on YouTube, including When the Levees Broke, which some poor sod has uploaded in 26 parts. Notable: an extended video for Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power'.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Universal Music gets all nasty on YouTube and MySpace, and declares that it won't be like when MTV "built a multibillion-dollar company on our (music) ... for virtually nothing. We learned a hard lesson." Yes, of course. MTV was so bad for the music industry. Guess it's back to bribing radio stations to play your music then.

While yesterday's Herald editorial calls the proposed waterfront stadium a super idea, today's Rudman declares it to be a madcap scheme. Rudman makes some sound points, but his solution for a public stadium - sell Eden Park for housing and put the money into a super-stadium at Mt Smart - sucks. For a start, Eden Park is controlled by a trust that would hardly play along. Would rugby share a stadium with the Warriors? And there's just nothing there: no hotels or restaurants, and only a pretty ropey sort of bar.

The principal problem with the waterfront stadium proposal seems to be that it would interrupt the business of the Port of Auckland. But if it would really only cost $30 million more than the Eden Park redevelopment (and it's actually most unclear where the money is coming from for either project) then it must be worth investigating. Yes, it'll block sightlines, but we lost that battle a long time ago. And I can't help but think how cool it would be to have a stadium that could host not only sports events but stadium shows right in the middle of the city …

PS: Chumby on Monday. The boy and I need to compare notes before I blog it.