Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: The Soft Tyranny of Streaming

I discovered this week that the national album chart includes streaming results, which is both inevitable – streaming revenue is now the biggest single category in recorded music revenue – and a bit depressing.

Until now, local and indie artists have been able to break through into the Top 40, at least for a week or two, by the simple fact of their fans rushing out and buying the album (much as Pacific Heights did in the June 6 chart). That looks like it's going to be more difficult now, with big acts and back-catalogue works likely to fare well courtesy of streaming listeners who don't react so swiftly to new releases.

I couldn't get hold of Record Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan this morning to talk about it, but I understand why they've gone there. But it's just another step towards the charts being less connected to the joy and immediacy of grassroots music fandom.


Your mileage may well vary, but this year's official Glastonbury headliners – Muse, Adele and Coldplay – don't sound like a good time in Pilton to me. But that matters little when you scan the full lineup. Sigur Ros! Underworld! ZZ Top! Ronnie Spector! And that's just Friday.

When Adele takes the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, New Order, James Blake and M83 will be playing elsewhere on the site and earlier in the day, Mercury Rev and the great Ernest Ranglin appear.

On Sunday, it's LCD Soundsystem, Earth Wind and Fire, Bat for Lashes, Beck and ELO. It could see myself standing in a field slightly altered and really getting into ELO.

The festival's How to enjoy Glastonbury from outside the UK page consists solely of a lot of live radio and some promised video highlights (which will be easier to watch if they turn up promptly on the Glastonbury YouTube channel).

For those without a VPN solution, Filmon.tv has the broadcast channels, but that's not going to get you the six live stages in iPlayer. I know the Hola VPN browser extension is a bit ropey, but for a short-term free solution, it's probably your best bet for full iPlayer service.

If your FOMO needs treatment, I suggest Buzzfeed's Literally Just A Lot Of Pictures Of People Stuck In Traffic Or Mud At Glastonbury. This looks a bit like what happened the last time I went, in 1990 – when we left London on Thursday afternoon and finally parked up (after I threw a tanty to get our campervan into the camping zone) about 7am on the Friday.


Quite a bit on in the K Road-Ponsonby axis this week. Tonight at The Wine Cellar, Show Me Where It Hurts (Josh Hetherington on vocals and Fender Rhodes and Ronny Haynes) play a release show for the EP with Spammerz?, featuring Dan Sperber, Ben McNicoll and other jazz fiends. You can hear a taste of  Show Me Where It Hurts' electric piano songwriter swing here and the and the Spammerz? record grooves like this:

Also tonight, Bruce Russell and Marco Fusinato make noise with guitars at Audio Foundation.

And Clap Clap Riot play Golden Dawn ahead of their all-ages show tomorrow night at the Auckland Old Folks Ass. tomorrow night.

Tomorrow night, The Onedin Line make their K Road debut at The Wine Cellar, with support from Subpoena and Queen Neptune and DJing by Pennie Black and Tina Turntables.

And the friends of the late Daisy Ram are staging Doggy Style for Daisy, a benefit gig for her favourite charity, Chained Dog Awareness, at Galatos. It features Bailey Wiley, Eno x Dirty, Soltree and more and looks like a good way to hear a lot of newish electronic and hip hop acts for only $5 (plus raffle ticket).


Over at Audioculture, Richard Langston remembers The Oriental pub. Nice writing and cool posters.

And a new service will press up what you like from Soundcloud onto a vinyl record.

And Pitchfork previews Killer Road, the Nico-inspired new album from Soundwalk Collective, who include both Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse Paris Smith.



Aucklanders Sorceress celebrate their UK tour with a lovely remix from expat Aucklanders Chaos in the CBD:

More info here.

Turns out Yumi Zouma are mates with Cyril Hahn and he's done this typically delicate, floaty remix for them:

I am hanging out for the (now well-overdue) digital release of this bounding nu-disco banger:

And for kitchen-dancing purposes, this rework of The Commodores' 'Brick House' is a free download (with a bit of palaver). Yo.


The Hard News Friday Music Post is kindly sponsored by:

The Audio Consultant

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