The bloke on Jools Holland last night was Willy Moon. Anyone know anything about him?
He was born in NZ but moved to London when he was 18 and that's where his music career has been based. He's not part of the NZ music scene. He has this one song that was used in an international iTune commercial, which you might recognise.
He was also the first guest performer on The X Factor NZ which prompted a flood of "hu iz he? neva heard ov him. get maisy rika" on The X Factor's Facebook page. I'm tempted to call him a one-hit wonder, but who knows what the future will bring.
And I'm going to be listening to those Ultrasonic tunes all weekend now - that gig late 90s at Unitec (?) is an awfully vague memory of good times...
The story itself is tremendous: authentic, insightful and, I think, the best thing Duncan's written.
It's brilliant writing. Like, as far as longform music journalism goes, it's RollingStone quality. Sometimes it's sad thinking about the state of the music press in New Zealand, but then stuff like this happens and it's clear that good music writing is alive and well.
I was inspired by a quote from the interview where Lorde talked about not having NZ On Air funding for her music videos, saying the NZOA logo as "negative power" for her generation. So I had a think about what the logo signifies and wrote down my thoughts.
I was inspired by a quote from the interview where Lorde talked about not having NZ On Air funding for her music videos, saying the NZOA logo as “negative power” for her generation. So I had a think about what the logo signifies and wrote down my thoughts.
That's a fascinating part, although perhaps there's a little of Duncan's own history with NZ On Air in it. He made an OIA request for the correspondence, which is bloody diligent, but I think NZ On Air wanted 'Royals' on a Kiwi Hit Disc more for posterity than bragging rights. They weren't trying to cajole Universal into accepting funding or anything.
As you say in your very good post, most local artists don't have that choice. And if you look at the last round of Making Tracks decisions, it includes the likes of Doprah and Sheep Dog and Wolf, young acts Lorde's into (I know this for something I'm working on).
In the story, she takes the piss out of Joel Little for having been in Goodnight Nurse, the old sort of NZ On Air band. I wonder if that era has more to do with any stigma.
'Royals' is catchy, yes, but also weirdly stark and restrained compared to almost everything else you'll hear on pop radio.
You know who else has this sound? Kanye bloody West. Yeezus is stark-as, which was apparently an underground thing in hip hop about a year ago, with Kanye bringing it into the mainstream. But it's a big jump to go from serious hip hop to the world of teen pop - but that's what Lorde 'n' Little have done. I suspect we'll hear similar production used on even more mainstream (but dull) pop in the next year, which will at least make a change from the excesses of EDM.
I’m going to be listening to those Ultrasonic tunes all weekend now
Happy to share the buzz Gareth, I had trouble finding the tracks until recalling that the vocalist routinely calls out the group's name.
That was a great piece Robyn, I fully appreciated the generosity of:
a serious rock band like the Feelers
They've given this the new name of EDM, but basically, it's the same music than in 2005 would just have been a form of 'ouse.
It's a pretty big umbrella, though. There's plenty of lazy superstar dj's who seem to be churning out bangers not much different from Ibiza '99 and pretending to mix live while playing a pre-recoded set, but it's a bit unfair to throw them all in there and say it's house. That was just about possible when D'n'B came along, but there's too much diversity and history now. Throwing the dubstep side of things in with EDM is convenient, but it's big enough and diverse enough to be a genre all of it's own. While Skrillix is....not my cup of tea, I'll happily listen to someone like Excision, and there's plenty of diverse influences to pick out of his mixes and original stuff: hip-hop, house, metal, pop. Naturally, now that he's getting superstar big, Teh Haterz are giving him flak for selling out and going lamestream.
There's also EBM, for those who like rave for goths. Clear roots in what used to be called Industrial - Skinny Puppy, Front 242, GGFH, etc, but generally with a 4/4 beat you can swing your pants to - a clear house/trance influence. Post-band, one of GGFH was a trance DJ in Cali for a while in the '90's. It's fascinating to trace the roots and influences, for those who are into that sort of thing (<cough>middle-aged men<cough>), but all the various scenes are far too big and amorphous now for easy pigeonholing. It used to be possible to easily keep up with the details of what was happening in multiple genres. Even if you weren't a hardcore fan and/or only liked a band or two in a genre, you'd know the names and be able to pick out the tunes. There's just too much diversity and history to dive in that deep now across multiple genres - only really possible if you really want to limit yourself to one style (no, thank you). At least there's always new stuff to discover!
Unfortunately, the press release, attributed to Frank Sargeson, has a whacking great grammatical error in its first sentence. It's so disappointing, but I'm sure I'll move past it eventually.
I feel you're pain.
It was the kind of thing no one here would have thought of playing out at the time, but fortunately, I didn’t know that.
hmmmmm…. Box classic. All that Northern bleepy stuff was central to the club at the time. I still have my test pressing shipped from Eastern Bloc in Manchester prior to UK release. Maybe not at the Gluepot but certainly in High Street.
But this was our real Unique 3 biggie - massive in 1990
Most of this dance music stuff goes over my head (I don't dance any more. Its sinful* )
But the Battling Strings' 'If I Do' ?? Ahhh... Live clip here, from the Auckland Uni Cafe.
* Well, it was the way I used to do it.
Most of this dance music stuff goes over my head
We used to have our bass bins specially tuned to maximise the bottom end in this stuff. It used to scare the bejesus out of the casual Friday night punter when something like these was dropped by a DJ on a mission.
I fully get what RB is saying about dropping a record like this on a 1991 bFM crowd at the Gluepot – they were pretty conservative at the time.
It's Saturday morning, the sun is shining, so this seemed appropriate.
Happy daze Mr G, a little belatedly. :-)
Speaking of electronic music (we were, weren’t we?), this event looks amazing.
Keynote talks with Arthur Baker interviewing New Order, followed by Gorgio Moroder. And then; Film: Metropolis – Re-scored and Introduced by Giorgio Moroder (£10 / Free with delegates badge) . Anyone got a Tardis?
We used to have our bass bins specially tuned to maximise the bottom end in this stuff
And I for one thank you for that. :)
Okay, this is what I have been able to glean about the business side of the Lorde story.
That big 360 deal she signed with Lava? It's a myth.
She's not signed to Lava/Republic. Lava/Republic has the US rights, Virgin/EMI has the record in Britain. Her only contractual relationship is with Universal Music NZ, for the world.
But it's not hard to see why they've gone with Lava/Republic for the US. Republic renewed long-term agreements with Universal earlier this year. At that time they'd recently notched up hits with Gotye, PSY, Of Monsters and Men, The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine and others.
Republic founders Monte and Avery Lipman became Republic's Chairman/CEO and President/COO respectively at the same time. They seem to have been actively involved in with the Lorde record -- along with, of course, Jason Flom.
Also, just before Republic renewed its agreements, a guy called Charlie Walk came on board. He's an executive VP, and oversees press and publicity.
It looks to me not only that Republic is a good fit for Lorde, but that her record is with them at a good time.
I really must clarify that the inclusion of this "are" (and the ensuing deconstruction and mocking of it here) is one of the lowest and most humiliating moments in a career which has, to be frank, already had its fair share of deeply shameful lows.
Which reminds me, oft sampled and drum machine pioneers Sly and the family Stone’s had the first number-one hit to feature a programmed rhythm track with Family Affair, though still in the funk/ soul vein. Anyway some random tracks:
Oh yeah. Everything about that record is seriously peverse, not least the fact he opted for the drum machine over his actual band, one of the great rhythm sections in popular music. Ironically, There's A Riot Goin' On is the only Sly & the Family Stone LP that feels like a complete work to me- it's wracked, paranoid and stoned out of its mind, but it's never short of conviction- "Muzak with its finger on the trigger", as Greil Marcus memorably put it.
My favourite Sly & the Family Stone record is still the original Greatest Hits LP. I could be glib and say it's because it's got the best songs, but it's the sheer variety of them- the rave-up of "Dance to the Music", the calm plea for tolerance of "Everyday People", the seemingly unstoppable "I Want to Take You Higher", the blissed-out "Hot Fun in the Summertime"...it's all there.
Incidentally, Guardian journalist Alex Petridis's recent interview with Sly Stone is utterly jaw-dropping. I mean, everyone knew he was far gone by now, but still this passage is just out of this world:
It's a remarkable story for any band to live up to, but then Stone's new idea sounds pretty remarkable too. "You know what? I'm looking for albino musicians," he says. "My feeling about it is that it could neutralise all the different racial problems." At first I think I've misheard him, which is remarkably easy to do. At 70, his voice is raspy and slightly slurred, perhaps the result of decades of hard living, or maybe something to do with a bizarre accident some years ago, when he apparently fell off a cliff in Beverly Hills while eating a plate of food: he declined to be treated for the injuries to his neck, a decision that has left him in constant pain unless he hunches over, his chin on his chest. Coupled with a patchy mobile phone signal and a bad transatlantic line, I occasionally lose the thread of what he's saying entirely. But this time I've heard him loud and clear. "To me," he continues, "albinos are the most legitimate minority group of all. All races have albinos. If we all realise that we've all got albinos in our families, it's going to take away from the ridiculous racial tension, if you're black or you're white, blah blah blah. That's why I've been trying to look for albino musicians and organise a group of people that are going to be right. That's what I've been rehearsing for. People will see us, all of us together – a real family, an albino family. People will get happy when they see that! People," he says firmly, "have got to be happy for that."
It's also worth reading as a pretty thorough and even-handed look at the man's influence, Petridis gets some revealing quotes out of his former band-mates.
You know what kills me about "Family Affair"? This lyric:
You can't leave cause your heart is there
But you, you can't stay cause you been somewhere else
The way that summarises all of a young person's complex feelings about leaving home or leaving a small town... it's so beautiful and simple and right. Amazing.
Happy daze Mr G, a little belatedly. :-)
Thank you Mr. P :)
'Royal Planes', a really cool little Lorde-M.I.A. mashup -- free download.
Thanks for that Matthew, that was a little heartbreaking but overall a positively enthralling read:
greeting me in an English accent (“to whom am I speaking?”)
And yes to the Greatest Hits LP, that bass sound in Dance to the Music still gets me every time.
Incidentally, Guardian journalist Alex Petridis’s recent interview with Sly Stone is utterly jaw-dropping.
That's one way to put it - and with all due respect to Mr. Stone, I think he was doing more to " take away from the ridiculous racial tension" just by having a band with white folks (and women who weren't just there to sing backup and wiggle their arses, not that there's anything wrong with that) making incredible music. Yeah, it didn't eliminate racism and sexism. But I think you can make a pretty good case that Prince's best band - The Revolution - would have been a more monochromatic, testosterone-heavy beast without Sly and The Family.
Ella/Lorde still controls her own publishing - which is unusual at this level and good for her. No reason for her to change that, either.
Ella/Lorde still controls her own publishing – which is unusual at this level and good for her. No reason for her to change that, either.
Most composers sell their publishing -- ie: the right to manage a catalogue and exploit it on the composer's behalf -- for an advance at some point. The basic rule of thumb is to wait as long as you can before doing so.
My point is, she doesn't really need to assign. Not for a good while anyway. ASAP/BMI/APRA collection agencies will be collecting and the sync offers will present themselves without the need for publishing house assistance. Well played.