Flying Nun gets a shake up and a shift back north
There have been some milestone events for Flying Nun in the last few years, what with the return from the wilderness of major label ownership late in 2009, and the chance to celebrate the venerable label’s 30th birthday in November last year.
Inside the 2012 Smokefreerockquest Final Experience
Finding out that my band, Sunday Best, had made the Smokefreerockquest (SFRQ) national final felt surreal. All of my music idols had walked where I was about to walk and felt the same things that I was feeling. Only last year I fell in love with Attic Sky’s and others among the national finalists.
Making Moves in Maori Music: Quiet revolution or significant revelation?
There has this year been a flurry of discussions and renewed interest around the issue of supporting, developing and promoting Maori music. Events including Pao Pao Pao, Sounds Aotearoa, Matariki and the Waiata Maori Music Awards have been joined by Auckland region-focused discussions within the Matariki Festival Trust and a more nationwide musician-led initiative, co-ordinated by Ngahiwi Apanui. There is appetite and a number of drivers for the establishment of a national Maori music body. The Auckland Council-funded Matariki Festival Trust is planning a Maori music industry conference to be staged on an Auckland marae in July next year. NZ Musician asked MFT board member George Tearoha Kahi to explain more about the current moves along with the trust’s interest in Maori music in the Auckland region. ...more
David Ridler is Making Tracks
At the beginning of April David Ridler left his role as Assistant NZ Music Manager at NZ On Air to return to the land of commercial radio – whence he had come four years earlier. David proved a great fit for the challenging NZ On Air role. An active and knowledgeable lover of music, he is the kind of person anyone would feel they’d get a conversation and sympathetic hearing from. It was his second stint with the funding agency and his focus included the development and bedding in of the new MakingTracks funding scheme. On the eve of his departure back to radio NZM fired him a quick salvo of questions about his past and future roles.
Live In Christchurch
It’s now over a year since the last of Christchurch’s two major earthquake events brought the city quite literally to its knees, necessitating the closure of the CBD area, and along with it most of the city’s live music venues. That time has seen disputes and frustrating delays but as 2012 gets going properly, so too has the Garden City’s entertainment scene started to return to life. First some of the inner city venues then Lyttelton’s Wunderbar. There’s life in the old girl yet. Marcus Winstanley who, in his spare time, is the Programme Leader of Live Sound and Event Production at MAINZ in Christchurch, agreed to undertake the ambitious task of giving NZM readers a round up of the current live music scene from a gigging musician’s viewpoint.
Composing for Film and Television - Bridging The Gap from Pop to Film
I was extremely lucky to be recently given a NZ Film Commission ‘Professional Development Award’. This award is granted to people involved in the film industry who have a feature film credit to their name. It allows the recipients to seek out further training, to attend workshops and seminars, all with the aim of developing their respective careers. I was surprised to discover that film composers were also eligible for the scheme – having long thought musicians were at the bottom of the heap in the film world!
CPIT Jazz School Back on Home Ground
Having been released from the central city emergency cordon, Christchurch Polytechnic’s Jazz School staff and students are actively playing their part in the resurgence of the city’s live music scene. The Jazz School tutors were delighted to be back in their specialist facilities on High St. and celebrated by relaunching the weekly ‘One O’Clock Monday’ concerts.
Claudelands Arena - A V8 Music Venue for H-Town
Hamilton has seriously amped up its position on the New Zealand touring circuit with the addition of a sparkly new 6000+ capacity indoor arena – complete with tech specs exciting enough to keep most international touring crews happy.
The 2200sq metre of floor space that makes up Claudelands Arena includes Australasia’s only C-shaped auditorium. Evolving originally in America, the C-shape bowl (Vector Arena’s is U-shaped) brings the audience closer to the stage so that 95% of seats are within the optimum viewing area of the performers.
How Copyright Law Values Our Songs
In an Industry Opinion piece on page 48 of NZM’s June/July issue, respected international music industry observer/commentator, and ex-pat Kiwi Andrew Dubber, wrote briefly on the soon to be enacted NZ copyright legislation, saying it is deeply flawed and that pre-internet copyright laws generally should be ditched completely. Artist, composer and renowned songwriter, Don McGlashan, provided NZM with the following response.
'Making Tracks' music funding scheme in place
NZ On Air’s newly launched funding scheme will provide $2 million a year towards the production of sound recording and video-making for at least 200 new Kiwi songs. Cleverly branded ‘Making Tracks’ (evidently with TV-maker Nick Dwyer’s blessing), the single-focused scheme replaces NZ On Air’s three previous music and video content creation funding schemes.
Off The Tracks
NZ On Air’s new Making Tracks music funding scheme should raise a few musicians’ eyebrows. The stated aim of Making Tracks is to increase diversity in funded music and to promote widespread awareness of funded music. We now have a new genre of music called “funded” music. NZ On Air goes on to explain that they don’t have the resources to support non-funded music. Hopefully, radio such as Student Radio, Kiwi FM and Radio NZ will not make this distinction and will continue to support all NZ music, whether funded or non-funded.
In the Aftermath of Christchurch's Earthquake Tragedy
NZ Musician canvassed a variety of active participants in the Christchurch music scene – artists, business owners and industry practitioners – to ask if they would provide their own insight for this all-too brief coverage of the devastation wrought by the February 22nd earthquake. For some it was still too hard emotionally, others found they were just too busy dealing with newfound challenges.
NZM is very grateful to those who provided the articles that follow, and would like to express condolences and hopeful wishes – on behalf of all our readers – to the many, such as Real Groovy Christchurch store owner Paul Huggins, who have lost so much. www.nzmusician.co.nz carried a breakdown of the wider music sector a month after the February earthquake, the following are more personal glimpses of some of the parts. ...more
Major Changes Coming to NZ On Air Music Schemes
From the beginning of July this year, wide ranging and fundamental changes to New Zealand On Air’s domestic music funding and promotional activities will take effect. Unfortunately, as this issue of NZM goes to print, the details of proposed revamps remain under wraps, any new schemes needing to first be signed off by the agency’s board – at a meeting scheduled for March 9/10. ...more
Remotely Recording the new Dunedin Sound
Now here’s an idea for recording and/or broadcasting that special live gig. Rather than settling for a patchy live mix, or wasting time and money shoe horning a super smart recording console into a low rent venue, why not just capture the sounds at the live desk and send them down a digital pipe to a nice recording console in a warm studio elsewhere in the city for real time processing? Otago University has recently started doing just that and plan to take this remote recording technology as far as they can. ...more
New Indie Group Operating On Community Frequency (Extended)
On October 1st Frequency Media Group was launched. It’s a new name, but Frequency incorporates some very familiar local music industry players, combining as it does, three of the country’s highest profile independent labels/music businesses. Richard Thorne reports.
An insider guide to getting your music played, heard and talked about in the UK’s music capital. ...more
What are the common threads between 17 years of event promotion in the South Island, seven years of criminal law practice, Christchurch student radio station RDU and the University of Canterbury Student Association (UCSA) 2010 events calendar? The answer: James Meharry and Karyn South, the couple behind seminal Christchurch event promotion company Fabel, also the current directors of RDU and by virtue of these associations student event co-ordinators to the UCSA. The couple spoke to Martyn Pepperell about how they balance these various roles. ...more
Independent Report Leads NZ On Air to Revamp Phase Five
As described in the New Zealand On Air advertising feature elsewhere in this issue, there are a number of changes planned and underway to the agency’s off shore music promotional strategy known as Phase Five.
The changes come in response to a report completed in November last year by Chris Caddick, a former head of EMI NZ, who was engaged by NZOA to independently appraise the programme as it neared four years of operation.
The resulting ‘Caddick Report’ concludes with a number of recommendations regarding how the Phase Five might be better managed in the future, including a name change. Having considered the report the NZOA board and management have acted promptly to address the concerns and misgivings expressed by some of the industry insiders polled and highlighted in the report.
More Than Hype And Buzz
MusicHy.pe is a new website which is shaking up the music industry. Started by a bunch of like minded creatives and entrepreneurs in Wellington five months ago, with the help of funding from another Wellington-based company called WebFund, MusicHy.pe intends to service both music fans and bands, drawing them together in a range of ways. Currently still running in beta mode, the website launched in early February, and has kicked off by running various competitions with The Mint Chicks and releasing their new EP ‘Bad Buzz’. Having finished their contract with Warner/Flying Nun with the release of ‘Screens’ a year ago, The Mint Chicks were keen to explore alternative ways to release and distribute their new work, and have signed up with MusicHy.pe who will be releasing their EP online and also as a custom designed USB stick.
NZM asked Annabel Youens (MusicHy.pe’s communications manager) and Ruban Nielson of The Mint Chicks a few questions each to find out a bit more about this new concept. ...more
Upstart Aussie Ticketing Service Plans to Undercut the Big Boys
More mosh, less dosh’ it colourfully says on the business card of Adam McArthur, the managing director of innovative Australian event ticketing enterprise Moshtix.
Normally Sydney-based, McArthur was in Auckland over the first few hot days of February to talk with the interested press about moshtix, which was simultaneously announcing its arrival in this country while servicing Christchurch’s Sounday festival.
Mukuna - odd name for such an even-handed gig guide
When music-focused online gig guide Mukuna (www.mukuna.co.nz) first appeared in April 2007 it was linked publicly with Manuel Matisi, aka Manuel Bundy, the very experienced Auckland DJ having more of a public profile than his three fellow partners. Jef Kay helped set up George FM and a couple other radio stations, so also knows something about the local music scene. The relative outsiders were the two tech types who continue to monitor, enhance and develop the ever-growing site. Programmer and copy editor Lisa Salmon was raised by her Kiwi parents in Silicon Valley and says her dad is a self-taught programmer who had her cutting code from an early age. Originally from the Detroit area, the fourth partner Jeff Root, aka Jefe, is a web developer and writer – and one fine dancer – at least that’s what he tells us. ...more
Postering the walls of the Super City
The transformation of Auckland region’s four city entities into one ‘Super City’ come November 2010 would seem likely to have less impact on the local music industry than many other commercial sectors. Inevitably though there will be effects felt in closely related areas – like venue opening hours, noise complaint management and liquor licensing – where the current existing councils differ in opinion and approach. Another cornerstone of the music business that will inevitably see some changes is street postering. Richard Thorne spoke with Jamey Holloway of Phantom Billstickers about the best international models and further restrictive by-law already being mooted in Auckland. ...more
Record Labels vs Radio: Debating the Value of Music
In early July the New Zealand Copyright Tribunal will meet to consider arguments from the two sides involved in negotiating a new radio play royalty rate. It will be a legally weighty affair led by QCs but will no doubt become very heated at times as questionable assertions suiting each side are made. The real reason for any hot headedness lies in the amount of money potentially involved in the decision, something in the order of $10 million per annum of extra money flowing from New Zealand radio to recorded music copyright holders worldwide, for the next five years. Richard Thorne sought the skinny from both sides in what has become a quietly damaging local music industry impasse. ...more
South by South West 2009
It happens every year at about mid-March and with each year the Kiwi contingent involvement seems to grow. This year we asked first-timer, publishing exec Savina Kim, to give us her insights into the 1000+ band extravaganza that is the annual SXSW music festival. ...more
History Really Can Keep Repeating
New Zealand has a quite comprehensive visual archive with film, photographs, paintings, drawings and maps illustrating how the country has developed. Sound has missed out in comparison, with the ability to record audio not discovered until the early decades of the 20th century, and much historical and cultural material lost. There is however a small but significant group of repositories that are collecting New Zealand's sound history. While institutions such as Alexander Turnbull Library with its NZ music, sound, and audio visual collection; SOUNZ Centre for NZ Music; and the Hocken Library music collection archive New Zealand's musical past, a broader audio history is maintained by Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero.
Amanda Mills talks us through the organisation's vaults. ...more
Musicians Insurance - A Contradicton In Terms?
For any musician, professional or hobby player, having their prized gear stolen or damaged would be one of their worst nightmares. Unfortunately it happens all too often - as illustrated with the recent haul of tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen musical equipment in a West Auckland drug-related bust. We've long lost count of the number of 'where can I get instrument insurance?' enquiries to NZM over the years, it seems that insuring your favourite guitar/amp/flute/mic in a way that covers the many and varied situations musicians find themselves in is problematic. No longer says InsuranzDirect and EntertainmentWorks. ...more
APRA's Right to License Cops a Cultural Challenge
Auckland promoter Stan Wolfgramm is an actor and dancer with numerous stage and screen credits. He is also a producer and director of Pacific Beat Street which TV3 screens on Saturday mornings, and for much of the last decade has been the front man, producer and latterly promoter of the increasingly high profile, annual Style Pasifika fashion show. ...more
Some Rules of Thumb
I am not sure how to start this series – but I want to commit to paper certain rules of thumb that I have conducted band business by. When anyone ever asks for my advice I usually end up saying at least one of the things that will be covered in this series of articles. ...more
Time to Enter Your Band for WBOB 2007
World Battle of the Bands (WBOB) is a competition that provides bands with a chance to win prizes, overseas travel, and record and release their music... ...more
Merlin Spells Digital Power for the Indies
The world’s first global new media music licensing agency was announced at MIDEM in January and New Zealand’s independent record label association Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) played a key role in its establishment. ...more
The NAMM Show
NAMM - the anagram originates from the North American Music Merchants though these days they like to refer to it as The International Music Products Association. ...more
World Battle of the Bands
This will be the fourth year of the World Battle of the Bands international operation. ...more