Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: At home with the art-hackers

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  • Simon Grigg,

    God, it's a hundred bucks..either you believe that much in the record or you don't

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Myself I think the Tuis and the way they are put together and the distance they've come in terms of how and what they represent are incredible..and I speak as a person who is geriatric enough to have been to 23 of them...from the drunken little parties in Logan Park circa 1980, which, mind, were great fun, to the big noisy events that the whole country takes notice of.

    And substantial hats off to Adam, Ash and all the others who dragged them away from being very pleasant in-house back slapping to Vector Arena for gods sake.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    God, it's a hundred bucks..either you believe that much in the record or you don't

    its a club where you nominate yourself :)

    I think you hit the nail on the head of their real value though,

    ...........drunken parties

    if they were really interested in rewarding outstanding achievement in all new zealand music then there would be no entry fee or membership ans it would be decided by a panel of knowledgeable judges versed in the many corners of this countries music, or DFenders panel of friends, either's fine really.

    They're about as relevant as the grammys to rewarding true achievement in music.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    it would be decided by a panel of knowledgeable judges versed in the many corners of this countries music,

    I know when I've been a judge I've (and I wasn't allowed to but it's a small country and a smaller industry) quickly found out who some of the other judges are and they tend to be fairly well chosen..there are specialists for each genre. Sometimes there is a WTF moment but it's not common.

    As a PR opportunity and a celebration more power to them...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I think you hit the nail on the head of their real value though,

    ...........drunken parties

    the 3 drunkest times in my life have all been RIANZ awards after parties..dear oh dear....there was the party at the nice lady from CBS' house, with a couple of (still) major pop stars and Paul Rose, white shagpile and red wine.

    That was the night I learned the strong lesson that one never schedules a meeting with the bank manager the next morning.

    Those days are gone though and from what I hear the after parties are fairly tame now.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I find it funny that they've got all snotty because Dfender got all their friends together to vote them in. Isn't that what everyone does for comps of every kind where there's a public vote? I get heaps of "please go here and vote for me" on Facebook and the like.

    What will they do next year - elect a special "public" to vote?

    Still, I guess all promotion is fun. If I could suggest a "most popular Kiwi live act" for the band that was seen by the most people in the year. Dunno how you audit the one, though.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    quickly found out who some of the other judges are and they tend to be fairly well chosen.

    which would add legitimacy to the whole package, but its more the selection and entry process I find amusing.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    if they were really interested in rewarding outstanding achievement in all new zealand music then there would be no entry fee or membership ans it would be decided by a panel of knowledgeable judges versed in the many corners of this countries music, or DFenders panel of friends, either's fine really.

    It would also have no one to fund it or organise it.

    I'd imagine the twelve CDs probably cost more than the $100.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I'd imagine the twelve CDs probably cost more than the $100.

    at cost..depends on the packaging but no..about $30 max. The rest of the price of a CD is royalties and margins

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We're good!

    After reinstalling the download manager and then downloading the Spore installer all over again (at the cost of the second of three permitted activations -- grr), Leo is playing the damn thing as of five minutes ago.

    What a relief.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    I was engaged in my usual commuter stroll up Queen St yesterday with Hornblower when he deadpanned "oh look, we're in a Bravia ad". And sure enough, hundreds of purple sphere were rolling across the Queen/Victoria intersection.

    Shall we blame Steve Crow?
    Obviously Auckland city streets are fair game for advertisers now ...

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Or if they tried to run the kind of palpable untruths that Palin trotted out in her speech.

    You mean like this crap from Fran O'Sullivan? She already seems to be foaming at the mouth as the election approaches, like last time's hysterical rantings.

    Have the Herald let all their fact-checkers go, or just their morals?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    You mean like this crap from Fran O'Sullivan? She already seems to be foaming at the mouth as the election approaches, like last time's hysterical rantings.

    She even throws in "clean coals" for good measure! Two words that should never be spoken together (and using the plural for "coal" doesn't make it OK). There's nothing clean about the extraction of coal, and to burn it cleanly requires technology which is both (a) years off; and (b) uneconomic.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Purple balls on Queen St - does sound like it could be related to Crow's lil event. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • 100 Word,

    Since Sep 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I'd imagine the twelve CDs probably cost more than the $100.

    wholesale wise they're worth about $200 if they were sold instead of contributed to the cause of getting award recognition but its about $3.50 per disc cost to manufacture
    including entry fee its not nothing to a lower level indie musician.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    It would also have no one to fund it or organise it.

    well they're doing quite a bit of sponsorship (vodafone, nokia, steinlager, warehouse, etc) so that sorts a bit of the dosh,

    I would think a national music awards could and should be organized, supported and funded by a govt arts body, but then there probably wouldn't be stories of white shag pile and red wine to be told,

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    $3.50 per disc cost to manufacture

    If that's standard now it's jumped 100% since the last time I manufactured in NZ in 2004.

    So the real cost is $100 plus $60

    Maybe the lower level musician could add 10c per head to their door price to cover it...lets face it if they can't pull enough punters over a year to cover that then they may be too lower level to seriously take part

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I would think a national music awards could and should be organized, supported and funded by a govt arts body

    not at all, it's a celebration of success and a PR opportunity. That's all. A government funded thing for worthy lower level musicians would last about ten minutes before the nation fell asleep. I think it very successfully walks a line between rampant commercialism and the need to recognise the artistic side of the industry.

    Sure it gets it wrong sometimes, but that's the nature of these things.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    In a country as small an nz where many artists make an impact purely from their own initiatives, independently this always seem like the awards were a promotional exercise for the bigger players who had decided to form a club and give themselves awards.

    also noting that a lot of popular and great music is made outside of that scope and that wouldn't it be great if the awards were selected by people who had a knowledge of what was going on (hang out at one of a handle full of venues will do that) and selected based on merit, rather than membership of the club or wanting to promote oneself through award recognition.

    I know I'm going to regret asking this but what club do you speak of, Robbery? I've heard this line from other people, that the NZMA are just a big boys' club. There are a very small group of musicians in NZ making a living exclusively from their music, so it's not as if we're talking people who make shedloads of dosh giving themselves all these awards. Nesian Mystik all have day jobs. And I'm sure the rest of the nominees in the categories do too. My brother won an award a couple of years ago, and he's a teacher. Was the relative success of their album and the award they recieved about air play? Undoubtedly. Was one single from that album played incessantly? Absolutely. Are they rolling in it now? God, no. I don't see any old boys' network at work here. I know I'm not an insider like you, or Simon, but still. Are you talking about the record companies who distribute the music? I'm not sure of your premise here. I acknowledge that the music companies pick up on stuff that's "saleable" or "commercially viable" and plug it like hell. But I don't think that is a huge bonus to musicians' chances at an award, if that's what they want - unless of course it's for airplay or sales. Of course it's the members of RIANZ who vote for the awards. You and Simon would know who they are, I would imagine. Either way, wouldn't they be people who knew a bit about their stuff? It's fairly obvious, robbery, that your argument as always is with the music establishment, such as it is, of NZ. The RIANZ's and the NZonAir's. Just because your favourite musicians' aren't up for awards doesn't mean that the finalists are not there on their own merit. That's a bit unfair.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I know I'm going to regret asking this but what club do you speak of, Robbery?

    of course you are jackie but try reading it with a warm caring and informative voice, kinda like a kindly school teacher, and understand that i'm just interested in the facts of this, not some disgruntled award seeker or upset that my fav band didn't get in. I don't really rate awards and band battles in my music. art isn't a competition is it, but if they're going to make it one then it should be transparent presented as such and understood as such.

    ok here we go, remember, kindly school teacher......... (wobbly screen special effect)

    vodafone nz music awards is the music awards for RIANZ - the recording industry association of nz, a group of major labels and some indie labels that pay a membership fee to look after specifically the interests of the members. One of those interests is to promote the artists on the members labels through such pr exercises as the music awards which gains quite sizable media coverage and respect (and sales/increased piracy of) their artists.
    To view it as a national (New Zealand) recognition of artistic merit in a specific field or genre is inherently flawed as
    1) all of New Zealand is not included in the eligible for award recognition list (only those artists that are represented by labels that are member or those willing to pay the registration fee (essentially the same as membership with out the other fringe benefits)
    2) artists and their labels nominate themselves for award recognition. That 'feels' weird man, just wrong. its someone elses job to say you're good, not yours

    There are a very small group of musicians in NZ making a living exclusively from their music

    I don't know of hardly any. all of em have other income or live on an income below minimum wage.

    its not about income or money, its about inclusion, and the current vodafone awards are flawed because they function on exclusion, ie how can it be the nz music awards if it is only members and payers that can participate.

    its not the members of rianz that vote, its the members of rianz that are eligible on for awards, exclusively unless you pay a fee.
    I didn't say there was an old boys network which infers fat cat rich dudes smoking cigars and spilling red wine on white shagpile carpet( that last bit might have happened) and there is no conspiracy going on here, it just pays to know the structure of what is said to be an NZ awards system which is actually a portion of the nz music system, not inclusive of a large section of it, ie completely independent artists and labels.

    as simon said its a good pr exercise, there's nothing to be bitter about in that, its just that we should acknowledge that.

    My point was I'd love to see recognition go across the board.
    There are many many bands and artists that are not part of the system as it is, most of em on the cutting edge of their art. The a low hum scene is a good example of this, but there are plenty more.

    as far as these awards go great art doesn't get recognised till its part of the official commercial system (club in this case cos there's membership fees) and in nz's case that excludes a lot of our better achievers because they won't be part of that system for a long time, often after their peak.

    and I'm not arguing with the music establishment, I'm merely illuminating what the actual structure of these awards are. They don't hide the facts, its all on their website, but they don't promote them either, cos that would devalue the promotion benefits of the awards, and good for them for figuring ways to get people to pay attention to their material.

    Just because your favourite musicians' aren't up for awards doesn't mean that the finalists are not there on their own merit. That's a bit unfair.

    They nominate themselves. by that criteria their merit hasn't come into it yet. and then they compete against other people from a restricted pool that also nominated themselves.

    its nothing to do with my favourite musicians, its to do with the structure of the awards and how they're viewed.

    (wobbly screen effect), and you're back, wiser and more bored cos I took some of the fun out of the occasion. too bad you can't get on the guest list and drink yourself stupid on someones pr account. that's where the real action is.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Maybe the lower level musician could add 10c per head to their door price to cover it...lets face it if they can't pull enough punters over a year to cover that then they may be too lower level to seriously take part

    so now you're judging greatness on income? you have to be of a certain level of income to be in on these babies?
    Every musician I ever met was skint, unless they had a good day job, and if they did have a good day job they sooner or later had to consider the wiseness of continuing with the black hole of a hobby or settle down and do something constructive with their life like concentrate on their day job, paying off the mortgage and building a family.

    When was the last time you met a musician who didn't bitch about $10 they didn't get from the last gig.

    every single gig I see going on these days covers costs if its lucky, no one is making profit, they pay for their travel, accom, crew, promotion, and thats it. its very very different from the good old days.

    I really don't see a difference between the validity of some completely independent artist and one that has a company punting for it as far as recognition for excellence is concerned, but as we have both acknowledged these awards are all about pr so what are we disagreeing about?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    If that's standard now it's jumped 100% since the last time I manufactured in NZ in 2004.

    $1750 is one of the best deals going for 500 at the moment. price goes down the more you press as you know but print runs have dropped hugely since the good old days too. 150 is a common number to sell at gigs for many bands and 500 to 1000 takes some really hard work to palm off.

    majors get access to better rates, of course, but if you're indie, $1750 is what you'll pay and that's come down quite a bit in recent years.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I didn't find your explanation at all boring, robbery. Kindly school teacher? No. Reasonable person explaining to another reasonable person the inner workings of RIANZ? Yes. So thankyou for that. Look robbery, I know peeps, family and friends, that are members of RIANZ. One or three of them may have won awards in their time. Exercise in self promotion? Maybe. And why not. If you believe in what you are doing, blow your trumpet. Is there anything at all stopping any musician in NZ joining RIANZ?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Is there anything at all stopping any musician in NZ joining RIANZ?

    It's a label's organisation, not musicians. To join one needs to be a recording label or distributor or something related. People don't join as such. You apply and if you fit the criteria you get to join, usually as an associate member. There is also IMNZ which is the indies body. A bunch of us founded it about 2001 when RIANZ was perceived by us to not be representing our interests, although now a IMNZ rep sits on the RIANZ board, a recognition of how important indies are to the local industry.

    I think, if you are a member of either RIANZ or IMNZ you get to put forward you acts at no charge..and really, if you are active in releasing music in NZ there is no excuse not to be a member of one of these, and as an indie the latter is the obvious one.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

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