Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: A Year of It

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  • Tom Beard,

    "Who would have thought that big beats and soppy folk would go together so sweetly?"

    It does work surprisingly well, doesn't it? Then again, Everything But The Girl went all Drum & Bass for a while, to great effect (well, I thought so at the time), and I first heard Beth Orton on a Chemical Brothers track, so the combination has form.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Can't say I've bought a lot of albums this year, but the local music scene here in Dunedin has been absolutely over-flowing with new, young bands. I reckon I've gone to more gigs this year than in the past five or six years combined.

    Two gigs really stood out: Astro Children, Opposite Sex and Die ! Die ! Die ! at the Crown in May, and Space Bats Attack, Astro Children, A Distant City and Idiot Prayer at 12 Below a month or so ago.

    Radio One has also been having free gigs for card-holders during the year, so it's been a heap of fun to also see Strange Harvest, Dudley Benson and others I can't remember live this year.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    OK, some of the embedded tracks are excellent. Talking Heads, Dido and Destinies Child remixes. I think I'm a sucker for remixes.

    Unfortunately there's a lot of frustration for me, from bandcamp and their "we make the rules, peasant" popup for people that like to choose which flash applications run to Amplifier deciding for me that 3/4 of the album is all I'll ever need (presumably FLAC is is just too hard, even though Flying Nun can do it). Which means I'm not actually buying anything as a result of this post, as I already bought the Flying Nun album you mention. Feeling very grumpy old man as a result. But you know, I did the A-B blind testing on my setup and I can tell the difference between "acceptable" lossy and lossless.

    My rule these days is that I buy CDs at gigs, and lossless downloads otherwise. Or if an artist wants to send me a CD (which happens surprisingly often when I email them, no idea why). So I'm ripping "Axis of Awesome"s latest album. I thoroughly recommend http://www.axisofawesome.net/uncategorized/in-the-club-tonight/ because it's funny and catchy. Paid for the gig and the album...

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 491 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Amplifier's 2012 Top 20 is a great shopping list of NZ albums.

    It's also a good catch-up for someone who's far enough away from a local FM radio. Great sounds.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Wow. I can’t quite work out of it’s my thing or not, but that’s strikingly characterful music. Fascinating.

    It's worth watching his NPR Tiny Desk concert just to see the way that he makes the music. Layers built with a loop pedal, but he mixes up playing his violin traditionally, finger plucking it, playing it like a guitar, occasionally tapping it percussion style, beatboxing on a mic, and vocals. Classically trained.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

    Download this Talking Heads concert, love it.

    Stardust Ballroom – Los Angeles, Sept. 28, 1979

    http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2012/12/07/talking-heads-stardust-ballroom-los-angeles-sept-28-1979/

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 863 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Can't say I've bought a lot of albums this year

    I'm the same, but I've listed to vast amounts of music. I blame Spotify mostly as I tend to listen without buying and then only buy when the playlist has been on rotate for a while.

    I did a brief blog on the records I liked this year if anyone is interested.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    I love that Watercolours track, definitely the best NZ artist to appear in recent times.

    But I think my favourite song of this year is this (their new album sounds very Connan Mockasinish...);

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 300 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Amusement for today was buying a couple of CDs from Elefant Trax and in the comments box saying "I want flac not stupid plastic trinkets" and shortly afterwards getting a call from Dale @ Trax saying "come down to the label and bring a hard disk". He's giving me the wav files and chasing up artwork for me as well! I'm impressed. Apparently they get FLAC requests only a few times a year, and since I'm local it's easy enough to do. He'd like them to offer FLAC as an option but there's not enough demand. But apparently if you ask... :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 491 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Who cares about albums, seriously? I haven’t purchased one for years, but I’ve sat through a lot of 15 second ads on youtube this year.

    Here is a question for the crowd: What do PSY (most ever youtube views), Justin Beiber (second place on youtube to the Korean phenomena) and Carly-Rae Jepsen (she of the hottest youtube parody of 2012 from the cheerleaders of the Miami Dolphins, bless them) all have in common?

    The answer is their manager, Scooter Braun. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny those three artists have set the pop agenda in 2012. Hell, the Guardian just voted “Call me Crazy” as the best pop song of the year, and I'll admit it - I quite like Beiber's track with Nicki Minaj. As this chap notes, PSy made his money ignoring copyright and it is clear Scooter Braun has worked out the future of the music industry. The album in the sense of being a formal, released body of work is as dead as vinyl. Instead, people will set up their own youtube channels and make money from the ads and the parodies – much like this fellow Robin Skouteris, who makes the most fantastic mashups and whose channel I often check for new stuff.

    Youtube is the new album for everyone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Who cares about albums, seriously?

    I do my music exploration online, but once I've found something that I like, I buy the album, and I almost always buy the hard copy rather than digital.

    The new version of itunes that seems to play stuff in a random order, or sometimes only play one song, or only a few from an album, is pissing me the hell off.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

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