Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: History, motherfuckers

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  • JacksonP, in reply to "chris",

    Anyway…phenomenal songwriting there, I’d never heard (of) Janis Ian.
    Speechless.

    Janis Ian was huge in our house when I was growing up. This possibly my favourite. Written by that guy Giorgio Moroder, who apparently knew a thing or two about musical talent.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to JacksonP,

    Ha, I really wasn’t expecting that Jackson. smooth video. I’ve found most of her catalogue on xiami.com, I’m going to enjoy listening how she found her way from there to here.

    OT, neither Royals nor Tennis court grabbed me, perhaps I was distracted by the videos or…but I finally listened to the full Lorde EP last night, and was particularly taken with the eponymous track and understandably(?) perplexed by the closer, both very engaging.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • James George,

    Whole column is as tacky it gets. You'd think after 40 years memories of Sarah could be left to those who knew her instead of this lame tabloid trash getting dragged up again. The dead can't sue for libel eh. Herkt's career peak was editing a taxpayer paid for magazine for junkies so that is to be expected but what's Brown's excuse.

    Since Sep 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to JacksonP,

    Written by that guy Giorgio Moroder, who apparently knew a thing or two about musical talent.

    I had a bit of a Moroder phase some years back, spanning much of his 1977-87 output. In particular, 1977's From Here to Eternity put Kraftwerk to shame.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James George,

    Whole column is as tacky it gets. You’d think after 40 years memories of Sarah could be left to those who knew her instead of this lame tabloid trash getting dragged up again.

    You know, I’ve been watching the busy Facebook discussions among people who, like David, knew her. And not one person has expressed this sentiment. I’m sorry if you were her friend and you thought anything I said was flippant, but the idea that she should be left out of the story doesn’t seem to be widely shared.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was starting to feel sorry for him having half the internet down on him. Then someone else directed me to this effort in 2011:

    Woah, that is bad!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's been pointed out to me that I was wrong to say that Adam Holt saved the local Universal branch by signing Hayley Westenra. George Ash actually signed her and her debut album was number one in NZ when Adam took the top job.

    But what Adam did do was broker the international deal with Decca in the UK, apparently judging that it would be a better move to take a smaller cut of a much bigger success, which is how it worked out. That does seem relevant to the current situation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's been pointed out to me that I was wrong to say that Adam Holt saved the local Universal branch by signing Hayley Westenra. George Ash actually signed her and her debut album was number one in NZ when Adam took the top job.

    Ha, good old George. One of the loveliest guys you could know, at least back at secondary school where I shared 5th and 6th form with him. His parents had a very cool (for the time) modernist pad with quadraphonic (remember them?) sound system and regularly left home so we could party. I can totally understand his success with a major label back then, he was the ultimate cool charmer but in 1980-81 his music tasted hadn't made it past black waist-coat period Eric Clapton and Dire Straits.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    I can't help thinking we are being a tad harsh on poor old Simon Sweetman. That review of Lorde was indeed distasteful, and I have a feeling that Simon on reflection might nearly agree with that assessment, but the way he has been relentlessly pilloried over it makes it less likely that he would admit such a thing. Then again, hopefully he is man enough to do that anyway. I can also understand his frustration at what he perceives as the media hype over lorde. I too was under the impression this music was made in a bedroom, because that is what I was told on one news. Not that I'm particularly concerned whether it is true or not, but clearly it seems to have annoyed Simon. There is a tendency in New Zealand to try to paint any success as somehow achieved against the odds. The old cliche of the Kiwi as the little guy punching above his weight on the world stage. I also don't view Simon's piece on musical taste of men V women quite as terrible as some are trying to make out. If you read the entire article, where he mentions both his mum and dear wife, then I think it is obviously intended to be read in a lighthearted manner. He does invite the opinion of his readers at the end of that piece. And I give him credit for mentioning TISM, one of the greatest, and underrated of Oz bands, in fact any band really.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Dean Papa,

    I don’t think anyone’s been harsh at all, Dean. I rather think the opposite, in fact. The thing is, you see, that NZ is a very tiny country. And so it stands to reason that a good number of people who read that review would know Ella, and/or her family in some capacity or other. So to think you can print just any old rubbish about someone is just not on, and shouldn’t be let go. He was wrong. Not about his assessment of her music, he’s entitled to think what he likes about that. But don’t go spewing vileness. Which people really only do when they are allowed to do so.
    Also, I refer you to Emma's posts about "the missing stair". It is quite possible that Sweetman is a classic example.

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

  • James George, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don't particularly care about facebook that is a medium designed for superficial tossers.
    How about giving her the simple dignity of defining Sarah on her own terms. One of the things she loathed was the way so many people she had no idea existed, claimed to know her & always defined in her terms of her father, a bloke who she quite frankly didn't really want to be bracketed with.
    Herkt's description is so far from the truth I can't help but wonder if he falls into that category.

    Since Sep 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There are literally hundreds of these covers on YouTube. Amazing

    yep. this is obviously what sweetman missed.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Dean Papa,

    I also don’t view Simon’s piece on musical taste of men V women quite as terrible as some are trying to make out. If you read the entire article, where he mentions both his mum and dear wife, then I think it is obviously intended to be read in a lighthearted manner.

    1. "It was just a joke, lighten up" is one of my least favourite rhetorical gambits. If you are so inclined, you can Google why feminists hate that shit (and you should too).
    2. "Some of his best friends have ovaries so he's not being a prejudiced asshat" is another one of my least favourite rhetorical gambits. Particularly when he actually says that women "listen with their hearts rather than their heads" in that column. OH REALLY? Thanks for the essentialist fuckwittery. Women never get to hear about how they're so *emotional* in their reactions to things, do they? (As if music fandom for blokes was all about counting time signatures and writing down numbers of guitar solos because they're so LOGICAL.) I mean, honestly. That column is infuriating.

    I tell you what though, music nerdery IS often a sausagefest. That's perfectly true. I bemoan the fact regularly. But I think we might need to analyse why that's so (hint: there is gendered culture at work here) a bit more deeply than faffing on about how The Ladies Always Like Crap, Amirite?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Dean Papa,

    If you read the entire article, where he mentions both his mum and dear wife, then I think it is obviously intended to be read in a lighthearted manner.

    OH! It was just a JOKE! Well, that’s OK then. Because no one has ever made a joke that was stupid and vile.

    You know what, I have the kind of taste in music that would make Sweetman barf. I think Lorde is fantastic. I loved the Spice Girls, completely unironically. My Spotify playlists are full of Beyonce and Timberlake, and (shudder) Pink. Right now, it’s playing the Black Keys. I have been to U2 and Counting Crows concerts. I’m gonna try to crawl back a tiny bit of credibility by pointing out the next two songs are Haim and Tiny Ruins.

    And, go on, try to assign ANY of that to my gender. I dare you.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    And, go on, try to assign ANY of that to my gender. I dare you.

    Sweetman would probably love and hate my music collection in about equal measure - the sheer scale of it kind of guarantees me a reasonable batting average - but ascribing my love of whichever artist it is to my gender is massively patronising (and believe me, I have been patronised by fellow music nerds MANY MANY TIMES).

    (Jackson, I had forgotten that "Fly Too High" song by Janis Ian, and it's great. I always break into "At Seventeen" when I hear her name so I might change that up. :) )

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Danielle,

    (and believe me, I have been patronised by fellow music nerds MANY MANY TIMES).

    I don’t consider myself a particularly musical person. I don’t seem to “hear” music the way my friends do. I don’t hear melodies and production, and what’s going on behind voice. I hear voices and lyrics. I have songs and artists I adore, but they often come back to beats I like, voices I am fascinated by, and lyrics I am interested in. At the moment I am listening to David Dallas’s Runnin’ on repeat because makes me focus. I’ve long wished to feel like I understand music better.

    But the number of times a music nerd (almost always a dude), has told me to listen to “OMG, This song, you will love it, it’s amazing” and then got mad when I didn’t “get” it brings new meaning to the word mansplaining.

    This is my problem with Sweetman. I read criticism of music because sometimes it helps me to understand what I’m not hearing. It helps me understand why other people are so into a thing that makes no sense to me. And he didn’t talk about the music. He talked about hype and Farmers and blah. Not the music.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    And, go on, try to assign ANY of that to my gender. I dare you.

    You had me until U2. :-)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    In my defence it was 1993, and I skipped out on my School Cert French exam to be near the front of the crowd.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Danielle,

    I tell you what though, music nerdery IS often a sausagefest.

    The word “music” in that sentence is a tad redundant, no?

    ETA: to clarify I'm talking about the kind of self-important exclusionary nerdery that has been discussed in this thread. Not in the "fake geek girl meme" sense.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Yes, as a regular reader and knowing Simon's tendency to veer in and out of deadpan I never thought the women-and-music article was anything but a wind-up, however outrageous it may look out of context. In fact the extent of its outrageousness is probably evidence of that. Were it otherwise his wife, a writer herself, would be the first to box his ears believe me.

    I didn't agree with his Lorde rant, in fact I think it was an ill informed hatchet job he may come to regret, but what most here do not acknowledge is the considerable value he has as the consummate outsider. He cultivates no connections at all with the music industry. He's just not interested. It may lead him to go proudly, arrogantly off the deep end every now and then, but some of us actually value any opinion unswayed by industry baubles, junkets and - that most insidious of all inducements - access.

    Russell is a very principled journalist but even he likes to warm his toes by the fires of the biz on occasion. He has mates. So be it, that's how you get stories. Simon doesn't do that. Look at him less as a critic - he's not a great analyser truth to tell - and more as a musical diarist and passionate fan, and you can see he performs yeoman work. Let's face it, no one else is prepared to make themselves that unpopular.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to James Butler,

    Well, true. But the music nerds are the ones I know the most intimately (ooh vicar) so I can talk about the cultural specifics in greater detail. I don't know anything much about other kinds of nerds. Except film nerds, maybe? And I think the gender imbalance there is less pronounced. Which is interesting.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to Ken Double,

    it was an ill informed hatchet job…but some of us actually value any opinion unswayed by industry baubles, junkets and – that most insidious of all inducements – access

    With you on that Ken.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dean Papa,

    I too was under the impression this music was made in a bedroom, because that is what I was told on one news.

    Please do link to that, because I have heard no such thing from that source or any other.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ken Double,

    He has mates. So be it, that's how you get stories. Simon doesn't do that.

    Have mates? Colour me unsurprised.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ken Double,

    however outrageous it may look out of context

    In what 'context' would it be anything but loathesome fact-free rubbish?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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