Tuesday, 8 April 2014

$12,000 of Taxpayers Money goes offshore no questions asked.



Liam Finn recorded his 3rd and latest album in a Brooklyn studio overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
 
Finn junior has been residing the New York for four years now, but he hasn’t forgotten home.  

Seriously man, how could he forget the free hand-outs available to musicians such as him via New Zealand On Air?  

Indeed residency, or lack of it is seemingly no barrier to ex-pat musicians receiving the support of N.Z taxpayers.  

Number two example is Flip Grater. 

Flip loves her new digs in Paris, regularly nips home to sign-up for N.Z Music’s equivalent of Social Welfare.

But back to Liam who is clearly estranged from his old man, can’t make a similar call to the ones I get from my sons “You couldn’t lend me?” 

Not only did Liam spend your/my money recording his album in New York he also shot the video for his publically funded single ‘Snug As Fuck’ there as well.  

$12,000 of funding went offshore, no prob, no strings attached so we all get to feel goose-bumpy an Kiwi with a lofty musical surname thinks about us now and again as he mopes about his Manhattan apartment. 

One journalist described his album The Nihilist as ‘dynamic and cinematic’ and ‘exploring  Finn’s subconscious’. In my mind when I close my eyes he sounds much like Conan Mockasin and I like Conan Mockasin. 

Does that mean I now have to now like Liam Finn?  

Saturday, 15 March 2014

N.Z on Air pays for a video set in Australia!

It’s the beginning of 2012 and you are producing a video for local group AWA entitled ‘Papatuanuku’ which is Maori for Earth Mother.  
 
You have N.Z on Air Funding and the underlying theme of the song can’t get much more authentically native New Zealand……  
 
"Toitū he whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata" = Land is permanent, man disappears
 
 So what do you do with your $6K of N.Z taxpayer funding?   
 
You produce a video depicting scenes from The Queensland floods!  
 
Don’t worry there was plenty of earthquake footage from Christchurch that would have conveyed the underlying theme of man’s frailties. 
 
Like N.Z doesn’t suffer the odd flood or two, if its climate change you want to highlight.   
 
But oh no just grab some helicopter footage from across the Tasman to fit the theme.  
 
Ignore an abundance of similar public domain footage from N.Z.  
 
Most people from overseas won’t tell the difference between Australia/ New Zealand anyway and besides N.Z on Air have no checks and balances, won’t give a rats if it’s Australia you are helping to promote. 
 
 
It's not their money they are throwing about.    
 
 
 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Paco and Spidershark 3 at Tommy Chang's



I have been over to Tommy Chang’s a few nights lately, including Saturday (15/2/2014).
 
Check out Lyttelton, cool eh?
 
 
Don’t let the fact, catch the Christchurch malaise “it’s all the way in Lyttelton” prevent you popping through the tunnel. 

In reality 30 minutes from say door Burnside to first beer on the table in Lyttelton isn’t a big chunk of any evening.

Lyttelton as a whole has a great, casual vibe to it. 

It’s always been quirky destination but faced competition from the likes of poplar Lane (tears welt in eyes) prior to ‘The’ earthquake.  

Lyttelton is rapidly filling that void of a place to go with something for everyone all in easy walking distance.  

Tommy’s isn’t a big place. 

75 would fill it to capacity, but this just adds to the ambience. 

The crowds are very eclectic, staff friendly and there’s a varied range of artists performing from old-school DJ’s to poetry readings. 

It’s always been well worth the trip. 
 
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to say I really enjoyed Spidershark 3.    
 
  

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Big Day Out Kills The Wellington Sevens


Contrast….

Big Day Out 2014: Just seven arrests, kick-outs from the 33,000 strong crowd, five for intoxication.  

Wellington Sevens 2014: 270 removed from the Westpac Stadium for being too pissed or causing trouble, 20 arrests and the emergency department at Wellington Hospital left inundated with scores of injured drunks from the 27,000 attendees.  

Why the difference?

If anything, media bias you’d have thought the younger demographic at BDO should have produced more trouble.

The answer to this quandary is very simple….as an entertainment package 7’s rugby sucks!

It’s fucking boring, a stupid concept having some third tare players from non-rugby playing nations run about a full sized pitch made for twice the number, in a bunch of miss-match games held over a whole day.    

Every time you look at a 7’s crowd on the telly there was gaping holes in the stands, accompanied by the dulcet hums of chattering females most of whom couldn’t even name you a single player, tell you who won the last game.    

The only time the crowd ‘got into it’ was when New Zealand took the field and singing drunken renditions to Counting the Beat played over the stadiums PA in order to keep the crowd conscious, from making another trip to the bar.    

Sevens’s is supposedly a sell-out weekend, yet seemingly no one wants to stay the whole time. 
 
Forget what the NZRFU spin-doctors have to say - the on-field sport of 7’s fails to excite the crowd enough to keep their attention over a day.

It’s getting pissed first, getting dressed up second and remind me what is third again? 
It's touch rugby, eh? 

It’s a wonder more people at the Cake Tin didn’t get shit faced given the alternative was watching Portugal play USA or Kenya versus Scotland in a minority sport even the IRB has scant interest in.     

Conversely BDO produced a world-class line-up (Pearl Jam, Hives, Mudhoney etc.) One that evidently appealed to virtually every ticket holder, enough to: avoid starting a fight, attempt to get onto the stage and remain lucid enough not to attract attention of security or the coppers.   

Listening to the music is the priority for the BDO crowd, not dressing up like the Flintstones and Teletubbies, waiting to boo the English team as some sort of badge of Kiwi nationhood rather than a cringe-worthy embarrassment.  

Music is #1 to BDO attendees so much so, that at the last concert in 2012 no-one was booted out of the stadium!  

Meanwhile at the 7’s that year you had a fan out on the pitch head-high tackling a player in his undies. 


Probably the highlight of the tournament for most punters.
 
Rugby officials can only dream of having a crowd at the sevens just interested in rugby.

Still imagine if you banned fancy-dress and booze from the Wellington event.

How many die hearts would turn-up? 

Less than a Phoenix game is my bet!


As an entertainment package clearly the Big Day Out kills The Wellington Sevens.
 
 
Up-Date after last weekend (15th and 16th Feb): 34,000 were at Queenstown’s Gibbston Estate for their Summer Tour Concert involving 10cc etc. Zero arrests and zero kick-outs. 55,000 went to Leagues inaugural ‘Nines’ tournament and we saw just four evictions and two arrests. If ever you wanted evidence that the game of sevens fails to keep a Kiwi crowds interest, most people go to Wellington to party and get pissed you have it ‘in spades’.        




Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Why the hell do we have a U.K based ex All Black on the board of a New Zealand Music Trust?


‘The Play It Strange Trust was established in November 2003 for the purpose of encouraging young New Zealanders to develop interests and skills in songwriting (sic) and musical performance’  

Let me start by first stating PIS does a great job in my books. 

But hey here in New Zealand rugby is demi-god material.
 
One Sean Fitzpatrick is a bloody legend, rugby player extraordinaire, even if you've never heard of him being under 30.   

And in New Zealand, as we all know, All Blacks are very important people, captains more so.  

Get an All Black in undies and you’ll literally be propelled above the entire N.Z Winter Olympics Team when it comes to ‘sports’ coverage on our tellys.   

Even AB’s that haven’t lived in New Zealand for over a decade, have an English wife and for all intents and purposes English daughters as well - they count for a lot.  

But All Blacks in positions of power within N.Z Arts circles? 

Surely they have the same credibility as an ex farmer judging abstract sculpture?   

Take a deep breath: ex AB Sean Fitzpatrick is on the board of a trust that’s modus is to inspire Kiwi children to get into music.  

No that’s no spello. 

This is a music trust, not a rugby reunion committee.    

Picture Sean on-stage at a school-time assembly suggesting to bug-eyed schoolboys at “You lads in the first fifteen should consider taking up cello, writing songs & not hurting yourselves in nasty contact sports.”     

Issuing a media statement: “We should be having more Secondary School Scholarships for those children who want to play violin and not the front row.”  

That’s never going to happen. 

A speech advocating Bring Back Rucking I could believe.

For starters he doesn’t live here.  

You normally pay to hear him speak, on Rugby, not music, silly-billy. 

His supposed love of music doesn't feature anywhere on his lavish self-penned celebrity speaker profiles.    

I would doubt Sean Fitzpatrick has ever attended a PIS board-meeting, nor any of their awards evenings etc.  

He is but a celebrity cardboard cut-out.  

What qualifications, expertise can Sean Fitzpatrick possibly offer, that couldn’t be filled by a N.Z based Kiwi whose ‘heart’ is really into music?    

Fitzpatrick’s inclusion on the board actually diminishes the PIS Trust’s credibility in the eyes of those into the N.Z music scene.    

It smacks of ‘small townitis’ and ‘tokenism’. 

It’s a joke. 
 
A bad one for those that truly care about music in N.Z.   
 
 

         

 

 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

MORE 'N.Z ON AIR' FAILS


It’s that time of the month.  

That awkward time when we get to see ‘the anointed’ bands who shamelessly suckle on the tax-payers tit, get their hobbies subsidised via the good peoples at:   
 
 

So let me apply the blowtorch to this month’s (November2013) recipients of taxpayer funding.

Yes, I hate this system:

Dan Aux is Australian! As Rob Mayes subsequently points out on the 'Sounds Like Us' Facebook, one of the judges, Willy Macalister works with Dan at George FM. I gather Willy did the right thing and abstained from voting on his work-mates submission? 

N.Z Unfair couldn’t even get the song name and band right for ‘Bangladesh’ a song by Hourglass. They had it ‘Hour Glass (sic)’ by Bangladesh!  

Moorhouse is a fucking naff boy-band like 500 others floating around the globe allowing girls to stuff pillow between their legs at night and hump them.  

There’s Midnight Gallery’s song ‘Scars’ featuring Raiza Biza. Raiza wasn’t not happy with one bite of the apple. He got another shot in November round of funding with his video ‘Flashback’ – which I might add is already on You Tube.  

This is the video for The Wlyds ‘Confusion’.  Why are tax-payers now funding a second one?  
 
 
Yuma Zouma? I searched google. I searched Facebook. I searched Bandcamp. I drew a blank apart from a similarly spelt South African dancing troupe. How they are going to make it in the modern day of the internet is beyond me. Clearly this small hurdle of having zero internet presence is no impediment to NZOA funding.   

Part of keeping New Zealand On Air we are funding an artist called ‘Grand Rapids’. The  namesake has a murder rate that makes Soweto seem safe. This is the cover to his first EP. Is that the beach at St Heliers perhaps? Lyall Bay?  


 

Brooke Duff is getting funding for ‘Nothing Compares’. Tell me this is 'the' cover and I will be cutting and pasting this entire post to the Broadcasting Minister, after I stop primeval screaming and spending 15 minutes on my punch bag.     

There is a video for 'More Than I was' by James Read (ex Feelers) already up-loaded on You Tube a month ago personally by none other than James. So far its gleaned a paltry 150 views. Surely that was feedback enough for NZOA to say “no” to $6,000? Providing a link here would have only encouraged him. 
 
Last but not least this is my bands video.  



I don’t give ‘a rats’ if you like it or not.  

I'm not here to critique the bands mentioned, nor their videos but 'the system of funding'.

The base criteria, which effectively is being washed over: to promote New Zealand Music.    

Why I’ve included it, is because (a.) it is currently happily chugging away on You Tube out-scoring a number of the ‘blessed’ videos you paid for over time (b.) it was a real hoot to make, came from our own creativity not some production companies (c.) was made with zero budget (d.) it’s a shameless New Zealand song which is a change (e.) and why the hell not plug your own stuff?! Piss all other people will.        

So we all need to move past our individual loves and hates when it comes to local music/artists. 
Okay I’ll make an exception for Moorhouse and the bloke from The Feelers. And ask yourself “Is N.Z on Air working to promote New Zealand music” given some of the examples provided?  

I say not.   

I say NZOA's criteria is way too loose.

The logical starting point for change: can anyone actually define what New Zealand Music is? 
 
BTW this isn't my first NZOA article. 
 
Search the site for more vitriol, call for change.          

  

When is a New Zealand Tour not a Tour?


There's one thing that get's my goat-up more than a band just stopping in Auckland. 
 
That's media coverage emblazoned with childlike anticipation that Band X is making a 'New Zealand Tour. '

The Music/Popular Press haven’t seemed to grasp the geography of the two islands.   

I can currently get a return ticket Christchurch-Sydney for $299. 

That’s just $75 more than the corresponding airfare Christchurch to Auckland.   

So as far as I’m concerned announcing an Auckland only gig has the same relevance as one in Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney.

It’s nothing to travel the 2 hours extra to Sydney, perhaps a few extra dollars in cab fares.  
 
I still access the tickets on-line regardless of venue.  

What I’m getting at here is the Auckland-Centric reporting.  

Could you image a band that opted for a sole gig at Dunedin’s new stadium heralded as undertaking a ‘New Zealand Tour’?  

I don’t think so. 

So music journo’s stop reporting Auckland gigs as New Zealand Tour(s)   

A tour is where a band travels further than 20kms outside the airport of arrival.