Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Game Lorde

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  • Alan Perrott,

    yeah, I get that - and to be honest I'm not certain what kind of band you could assemble to carry it off, not my problem of course - but I struggle to see how her performance is sustainable on the big stage. and she can't afford to stumble in the way she apparently did on one song. nowhere to hide except behind all that hair.
    but then I'm bandcentric and accept that the minimal approach allows for subsequent reinvention. that big aerosmith sound maybe?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    there are a host of options to give audience and Lorde time and space on stage - projections... dancers (not my cuppa, but common in popland)... or something more interesting - whatever they do I hope it allows for Lorde to remain herself and the music to shine

    - as a older type (not the target amrket at all) I also hope I like the album as much as I enjoy the ep and they continue to allow all those remixes to pop up everywhere

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    what I puzzle over though is that the label has played hide and seek with her for a fair while yet are launching her without having assembled a band. or do they intend to tour her as a biggie sized karaoke act?
    then again, they probably don’t have a choice, an artist’s shelf life isn’t what it was.

    They hadn’t planned to try and go large for another year or so, but you don’t shut down something like this. Basically, they let her put the The Love Club up on Soundcloud as a free download. They didn’t expect Jason Flom to find it and get in touch. And people all over the world just kept downloading the EP. They got to 60,000 downloads before they thought they’d better make it available for actual sale, whereupon two songs promptly became number one records in New Zealand.

    Meanwhile, the US industry (which regards Flom as a seer) was starting to go nuts. Radio stations were adding ‘Royals’ left, right and centre. So they agreed to a promo/showcase tour, which saw various celebrities elbowing each other out of the way to get tickets. This is like, last month.

    The reason there isn’t a band is they there simply hasn’t been time to put one together. Remember when Ladyhawke made a bedroom electronica record and toured with a crap pub-rock band?

    But I don’t see any problem at all putting a band together in time – and replacing those canned backing vocals with real singers. There are plenty of acts who make studio records and can still put on convincing festival shows – M83, for example, or Bjork.

    I know they see her as having more than a “shelf life”, too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    - as a older type (not the target amrket at all) I also hope I like the album as much as I enjoy the ep and they continue to allow all those remixes to pop up everywhere

    That's been really smart, the remix thing. It's clearly not hard to get Lorde stems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s clearly not hard to get Lorde stems.

    Ok stupid noob question - How do folks take a song from Lorde and put a new music score/arrangement underneath? What are "stems"?

    Some of the remixes have been really amazing but surely unless you have the original vocal tracks as they were recorded separate from the backing it must be complicated, is there just some software that pulls apart music?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Stems are the musical parts of the track - those vocal tracks being some of them

    There are also ways to isolate and separate parts of a song via hardware and software too, a very inexact method - which is very common in the dance world where getting the "parts" or "stems" isn't easy - given most/many remixes and edits are not officially sanctioned

    it was one of the remixes that made me go back and re-listen to Lorde's EP... without which I'd be sitting here going I don't get it at all. Remixes are a gateway to audiences that the original will never capture

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    It's been educational for me to see this kind of thing build. I'm usually a little behind the curve on new music, so seeing people I usually rely on referencing "Royals" lyrics in their tweets, or posting that Billboard shoot on their Tumblrs, months after I'd first heard the tracks on Soundcloud...well it's been an impressively smooth run. Folks (not least of all the lady herself) have obviously been thinking and working very hard to make all this seem so effortless and natural.

    (Brainfart deleted.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    UPDATE: My issues are resolved! I had installed a Chrome extension called Mediahint, which tricks the geoblocking on BBC iPlayer, which I like to look at occasionally. It's never been a problem before, but it prompted iHeart to override the redirect to the NZ regional page and prevented me playing geoblocked Lorde clips served by Brightcove to the TRN station and herald websites. Weirdly, it had no effect on Saturday night's Lorde stream. This answers a few questions for iHeart NZ too. Anthea at TRN noted that most of the problems they'd been having were with "savvy users" who knew what an IP address is. So, yeah: if you use Mediahint, or a service such as unblock.us to defeat geoblocking, you may have the same issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    I don't use Mediahint, unblock.us or anything like that, I'm on a regular Telecom connection with regular Teleecom DNS, and I can't get to iheartradio.co.nz in Chrome or Firefox. It bounces straight to iheart.com.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Julian Melville,

    I can’t get to iheartradio.co.nz in Chrome or Firefox. It bounces straight to iheart.com.

    Same here. But clicking on the Lorde photos link takes me to http://www.iheartradio.net.nz/photos/lorde-live-concert-photos/. So it looks intentional to me.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    This comment below the Herald review is hilariously wrong I just had to share;

    "Elle is pretty awesome but she is and always will be a fringe singer with a boutique audience. Nothing wrong with being successful in alternative music, it's just you have to realize that is what she is and whats she is good at."

    I know, sharing dumb comments is dumb but this one made me smile. I'd rather like 'boutique audience' of this size.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    Interesting read. I think with the sheer quality of her songs, people will forgive her flat moments - she isn't as polished as say, Kimbra, but her songs are just so bloody good that I think people will allow her to grow into being a live act. The other interesting story is what is happening/what might happen to Joel Little. His part in the story so far has been a huge one - I would be surprised if record labels haven't started banging down his door and throwing promising artists at him.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Anthea Whittle, in reply to Julian Melville,

    Hi Julian,

    So long as you see regional content featured on the iheartradio.com homepage (TRN stations like Hauraki, ZM, Flava), that's the intended experience.

    We promote iheartradio.co.nz for a number of reasons, it is purposefully set to redirect to iheartradio.com

    You only have an issue if you are seeing American or Australian content when you reach iheartradio.com. Russell was seeing the American version, we think because the Mediahint plugin and thus was treated as an American user.

    Cheers

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    This comment below the Herald review is hilariously wrong I just had to share;

    “Elle is pretty awesome but she is and always will be a fringe singer with a boutique audience. Nothing wrong with being successful in alternative music, it’s just you have to realize that is what she is and whats she is good at.”

    I know, sharing dumb comments is dumb but this one made me smile. I’d rather like ‘boutique audience’ of this size.

    I noticed that one too. I loved how he got her name wrong.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to BenWilson,

    I think the grown ups are stoked that we actually have a teen pop star. Who was our last one?

    Lana Del Ray was the last one the dads got excited over. She's not a teen, but was playing to the same audience.

    BTW, the Selena Gomez cover posted previously is really interesting. She changes the first line from "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh" to "I've never seen a diamond in the rough". This totally changes the meaning, almost completely inverting it. But then, Selena Gomez is a very successful entertainer (and she was Bieber's BB) - she's obviously seen diamonds in the flesh. But is she so isolated from the real world that she's never seen a metaphorical diamond in the rough? Or did she just forget the right lyrics?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    She’s not a teen, but was playing to the same audience.

    Oh, you meant by teen pop star that she targets teens, not that she is a teen? But it’s her age that does actually make her interesting, not her target audience.

    ETA: Well, and of course, that she's talented. Seems to have a voice beyond her years to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    and of course, that she’s talented. Seems to have a voice beyond her years to me.

    Voice, character, presence, and songwriting skill!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • aaron bru,

    By all reports she pulled it off at Splendour, so what went wrong here? Or is everyone expecting flawlessness already from a 16yr old?

    aus • Since Sep 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    interestingly or not... if you read the various comments from US fans on youtube and other places Lorde has popped up there is a theme of calling her alternative - which she is if you consider her career path. No disney years learning to smile on cue... nothing. Nor was she developed via radio / TV, ie the traditional route for a "pop" act - rather US radio is only now catching up.

    She's fresh, new.... and a breath of fresh air to many - so to a person in America (or elsewhere) she's well alternative - not stylistically as in 90s college rock et al (hate the term alternative I might add) but in that she's not been over marketed, hyped and groomed to an inch of her life like her peers

    So saying that its not surprising a kiwi would think the same, given they too can see similar comments

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Lana Del Ray was the last one the dads got excited over. She’s not a teen, but was playing to the same audience.

    Yes, I can't imagine that having your mum and dad's friends as fans is what teen pop stars are looking for in terms of endorsement.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I can’t imagine that having your mum and dad’s friends as fans is what teen pop stars are looking for in terms of endorsement.

    I can. We buy music too, and I'm sure the ability to send positive vibe endorsements to 10,000 plus of your closest friends through twitter (not me, just you know, as an example) is something both the artist, and their label, would be quite happy about.

    But what do I know. I only went to the concert, and loved it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to aaron bru,

    so what went wrong here?

    I don't think anything went "wrong". From what I've seen and read it was a good concert. She had high moments and a couple of slips but it didn't seem like anything went wrong. I think though that some folks wanted perfection and instead they got a real human being. But most of what I've seen has been really positive and folks really enjoyed themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    She had high moments and a couple of slips but it didn’t seem like anything went wrong. I think though that some folks wanted perfection and instead they got a real human being.

    If you want perfection, get the studio recording. Live performance has the excitement of real-time risk. Electrifying when it goes well, but I doubt many artists get through a whole concert without slip-ups.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to aaron bru,

    By all reports she pulled it off at Splendour, so what went wrong here? Or is everyone expecting flawlessness already from a 16yr old?

    Splendour was actually a much easier gig. The crowd was probably about the same size, but it was a far smaller stage and a shorter set and she didn’t have multiple cameras to pay attention to. I’m pretty sure they didn’t shoot the show to that standard for it to go out once on the internet, and she’ll have known it was an important show in that respect.

    I actually wonder if her flat spot was a matter of physical exhaustion, given the way she remarked on how hot it was. Her fitness and strength is going to be an issue if she’s on a demanding schedule, but they’re not going to send her out on tour. Saturday night kicked off six weeks of promo travel – including an appearance soon on Later With Jools Holland: in the same show as Kings of Leon and Kanye!

    So it wasn’t like anything really went wrong with the show. She wilted for a short while under the spotlight, then pulled it back. I wasn’t in the room, but most of the time we were sitting watching the stream and marvelling at the way she was pulling it off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Her fitness and strength is going to be an issue if she’s on a demanding schedule, but they’re not going to send her out on tour.

    But performing in your first few big gigs is going to be emotionally exhausting in a way that doesn't reflect what it will be like when she becomes accustomed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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