Thursday, 23 June 2011

Is the Alternative Music scene in New Zealand in a comatose state?

Name me the current top five albums by local artists in New Zealand? Go on take a guess, without taking a sneaky peek below. If you get two from five you’d be doing one better than me. The answers are rather spooky, an indictment of the ‘middle of the road’ vanilla flavour of Kiwi music purchasers (there’s a clue as to the five somewhere in there) I’m loathed to use the term ‘music lovers’ to people who buy this stuff. Be seated, I’m now going to give you the answers:

(1.) John Rowles ‘Hits and Love Songs’ (2.) Liam Finn ‘Fomo’ (3.) Denis Marsh ‘Maori Songbook’ (4.) Stan Walker ‘From the Inside Out’ (5.) Brooke Fraser ‘Flags’. Other Kiwi artists that have an album in the Top 40 include Ladi6, Avalanche City, Hayley Westenra and last of all on the list at 35th place Tiny Ruins (begins to start the process of losing the will to live)

It appears we are kidding ourselves if we think Kiwi’s give ‘a rats’ about local alternative music. What these stark stats indicate is the tribe that follows indie/alt bands appear to be vociferous and passionate – but comprise but a small percentage of the actual CD purchasers. Anecdotally it also appears the crew who are into say Thought Creature or Bang! Bang! Eche! are far more likely to burn-off a copy of their latest CD than say a suburban mum who sings along to her Warehouse copy of Hayley Westernra in the car.

I thought it was prudent to add some context to the situation by adding it’s no bloody better across the Tasman. Looking at their dire Top 40 it was obvious Aussies are equally blasé, impervious to ‘new’ music preferring the equivalent to eating at McDonalds than say an Indian vindaloo.

What is happening to the place?

The short and simple solution to rectify the imbalance is to by more ‘good’ stuff. Send John Rowles back into his cryogenic freezer. Don’t eat for a day and instead splurge a few bucks on great new albums like say this one from Vorn.

Check-on their latest video below – it’s a real doozy.  


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