In these complicated times, many musical artists have been obliged to expend some of their precious creative essence on new ways to earn the money that would allow them to continue being musical artists, as opposed to, say, hospitality workers or officials at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage who, in quiet moments, wistfully question their life choices.
Principal among those ways is, of course, going to the people via crowdfunding. And I'd like to recommend to you Lawrence Arabia's new crowdfunding venture, Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club, on Kickstarter.
The idea is pretty sound: for a pledge of $20 or more, you'll receive a new digital single every month of 2018. Pay a few dollars more and you'll get the as-yet-untiled Lawrence Arabia album into which those singles will be compiled. Or a tea towel.
And if you're an official at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, you may even choose to briefly quell the voices in your head by ponying up $200 for a personal video call in which Lawrence will sing 'Wind Beneath My Wings' solely for you, or $500 for a kind of life-membership package which includes your name on the door for every Lawrence Arabia gig until the end of time. You may even have a spare $2000 for a private Lawrence Arabia show at your own home or other nominated place.
But even if you don't have any money or you hate Lawrence Arabia's music, I would encourage you to go and browse the page itself, because it's extremely witty.
Also seeking you patronage are Wellinton's Hex, who'd like a little support to help them with a trip to the South By Southwest festival in March.
Or if you're in Auckland, you could also drop a tenner on going to see them play with the Echo Ohs and others at the King's Arms tomorrow night.
You may have heard the band on 95bFM this morning, discussing the exact nature of Satan's buttplug with Mikey Havoc and premiering their new single 'Sight Beyond The Line'. It's from their debut album, The Hill Temple, which is out next month. You can't hear that anywhere else at the moment, but here's the last single, 'Runes / Ruins', which is about as poppy as they've ever got:
Meanwhile, Digital Music News has a useful story on YouTube's new monetisation rules, which pretty much crap on independent musicians who thought they might earn a little beer money from the ads placed against their videos.
Under the new rules, "content creators" will lose the ability to monetise their videos unless they can show 4000 hours of total watch time within the past 12 months (or have at least 1000 subscribers). Now, this might be fine for "creators" who video their breakfast every morning, but it's less so for artists like, say, Disasteradio, who spend three months crafting a brilliant clip. Worse, YouTube will continue to place ads against their content – they just won't get a sliver of it. And they may have trouble claiming even the money have already earned.
The change appears to be YouTube's way of weeding out the "bad actors" – Nazis and crypto-paedophiles – who have been scaring off big advertisers. It seems a particularly ham-fisted way of achieving that goal.
Kody Neilson has given a glimpse of what he'll be playing at Splore next month, in the form of an instrumental piece called 'Bic's Birthday', which is the lead track on a forthcoming album of similar material called Birthday Suite.
He talks about the new project here in an interview with Under the Radar.
Having brough Theo Parrish to us last year, the Anno Domini crew have gone large for 2018 by announcing that goddamn Moodymann is to play the roof of the Art Gallery on March 11. Tickets here from Monday.
Did I mention that Troy Kingi is touring? Troy Kingi is touring!
Anthonie Tonnon has a nerdy little post about going electronic and shrinking his excess baggage. You can catch him in Australia over the next week and, rather excitingly, he has posted the lyrics from his current Two Free Hands EP, with the promise of a full lyrics section on his website soon.
Old punks may wish to check out the Suburban Reptiles scrapbook on Audioculture. Those were different times ...
It's been out for a few months, but I've been really enjoying hearing Charlotte Gainsbourg's 'Deadly Valentine' on bFM all summer:
Leftside Wobble has posted one of his b-sides as a free download on Facebook (click the link in the Soundcloud text to get there). It's sweeeet:
Auckland electronic producer d.tyrone has a bubbly little number up on Soundcloud: