Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: Police. Security. Screams. A singer comes to town.

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  • philipmatthews,

    Good column. I like a bit of teen-pop mania as well so I didn't mind the (what felt like) half an hour 3 News gave Bieber last night.

    But I suspect there's a bit more to the we'd-never-heard-of-him factor. If Simon Reynolds and other critics are right -- and I think they are -- about how the rock/pop mainstream has fragmented into many self-sufficient genres, and will fragment more and more with the way the industry is changing, then someone can be a huge act for teens without anyone your age or mine ever hearing of them. I imagine that people in their 30s and 40s had at least heard of The Beatles, The Osmonds, Bay City Rollers, Jackson Five, and so on in the 60s and 70s. Media was so much more monolithic and music had few outlets.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Well put sir.

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    New Zealand's Terenzo Bozzone was too quick on the half-marathon leg to secure victory in the Texas half-ironman in Galveston yesterday.

    It's just missing a comma, though even then it could still be better-phrased.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Nothing wrong with a little teen idol-worship.

    My first love was David Cassidy - I felt some what guilty replacing his poster in pride of place on my bedroom wall with that of Donny Osmond - but goshdarnit I was gonna marry Donny, after all!

    (I made sure there was no competition in our family as to who actually was going to marry Donny by graciously allowing my younger sister to claim Jimmy as her very own. How generous of me!)

    Later it was the Bay City Rollers (of course! who could resist the cut-off jeans with tartan edging - and the stripey socks beneath!). My God we were so stylish back then. Derek the blonde drummer was my fave - followed closely by Woody, the cute young one.

    After that I had an ongoing dalliance with some of the glam rock boys - Sweet, Slade, Mud et al (Bowie and T-Rex were a little grown-up for me, however)...

    And then I became a punk.

    Excellent!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I heard him on radio dismissed with the self-damning line from a commentator, “I'd never heard of him until the other day”.

    Well, isn't that true of everything? You have to hear about something a first time.

    But the subtext here is, “He can't be any good because I haven't heard of him”.

    I said that, but my subtext was "Wow! What's all this about?". Most of the oldsters I know have been fascinated by the phenomenon. We spoke of little else before last night's Media7.

    We mentioned the Bay City Rollers and David Cassidy -- and then our legendary producer revealed that as a young reporter he had covered the Beatles' visit to Australia.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    As far as I can see, the best talent on Justin Bieber's videos is black.


    Which is not to say that seeing a bit of teeny girl hysteria ("We ran until I died of exhaustion!" made me smile) isn't refreshingly sweet - Justin Bieber is almost (but OMG!!! just that bit older ) their age and his delivery is pitch perfect to his demographic. he is a youtube discovery, and the fact he he came to NZ shows someone is milking young Mr. Beiber's fifteen minutes for every dollar they can get. My 14 year old niece certainly thinks he is a total dish.

    People who dismiss him may need reminding that they are not the intended audience.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I admit, I knew who Justin Bieber was, but the quality (or otherwise) of his music passes me by.

    I did thoroughly enjoy the more surreal aspects of his stop here though. Tess Woolcock and Josh Gillman's Twitter feeds were a marvel of absurdist observation.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Reid,

    Relax Russell, it wasn't you. I didn't hear your similar comment, the one I heard was delivered with a sniff of derision by some woman. Context is all.

    And I agree Tom: I constantly remind people who dump on Britney etc that I really have no opinion because she doesn't make music for me. Nor do the feelers -- but I don't want them to cease to exist. They are there for the pleasure of others.

    As long as no one puts a gun to my head and says "you should listen to this" (as the alt.people are wont to do) or makes out some kind of music is morally superior to another (and don't classical folks just presume that?!) then we should just let a thousand styles and artists flourish.

    Young Master Bieber will not trouble me. But I love to see people --- of whatever age -- enjoy whatever their music is.

    Wilco were terrific by the way!

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    I heard him on radio dismissed with the self-damning line from a commentator, "I'd never heard of him until the other day".
    Well, isn't that true of everything? You have to hear about something a first time.

    But the subtext here is, "He can't be any good because I haven't heard of him".

    I heard Hilary Barry make the comment. She hadn't heard of him before and then he is the lead story on TV3 News. Apparently newsreaders should know everything.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 189 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    I just hope his parents are investing the money properly otherwise he will end up in ten years on a 'where are they now' or Celebrity Rehab.

    Still at least we don't have these guys to contend with. My irish nieces are Bat crazy over them. Beiber is Kurt Cobain compared to them

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I constantly remind people who dump on Britney

    You don't have to be a certain demographic to recognise that Britney made some absolutely classic pop tunes. Anyone who can't see that is just a moron.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Yeah, it's amazing the attitude some people have towards pop stars.

    I took my daughter (who is right into the whole Justin Bieber thing) to Lady Gaga. It was a fantastic show, and a real contrast to the Pixies the night before.

    Anyway, a good friend was holding her 40th in our back yard that night, with a fair number of guests I didn't know. And I'm, like, "Lady Gaga Rocks" and some guy said to me "Yeah, but she was rubbish."

    I said: "Did you go ?"

    He said: "No, but she mimes all her songs".

    Imagine that, allowing Milli Vanilli and Betty Boo to forever colour your perspective on pop music.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    After that I had an ongoing dalliance with some of the glam rock boys - Sweet, Slade, Mud et al (Bowie and T-Rex were a little grown-up for me, however)...

    ...who all, incidentally, have all received fairly extensive reissues and fulsome appreciations from Mojo magazine at some point.

    Which I guess goes to show that even the ephemeral has a significant half-life. I'm more of a Bowie and T-Rex man though.

    For what it's worth, I guess this one baffles me because it's the first time a teen artist became absolutely massive without me even knowing about him. As I'm 26 years of age, it was bound to eventually happen to me. I kept up with the play being a music reviewer, but I've been pretty slack over the last couple of years.

    Whether or not it's not "for me" is beside the point- I hadn't heard of him! I guess I'm officially old.

    Regarding Britney, I've always been disappointed by her music. Even with the best production team in the world, she still manages not to put any real personality into her work. Especially compared to the late Aaliyah, who became a conduit for Timbaland and Missy Elliott's best production, or Kelis, for that matter. A (sometimes literally) wasted opportunity. Maybe she didn't know what she was given.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 448 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Regarding Britney, I've always been disappointed by her music.

    Apart from 'Toxic'. That one's a corker.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The two girls who stole his hat at the airport are students of my beloved. As Josephine said, she didn't know whether to laugh or cry--especially as they were bunking off school to engineer the hat theft.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's a bit like Twilight isn't it? I find Stephanie Meyer barely literate and downright creepy, but I'm not a twelve year-old girl and I'm not supposed to get it.

    Having said that, I'm not Joni Mitchell convinced that Madonna marked the brain death of Western civilization. (On a tangent, her one-sided feud with Bob Dylan is the most interesting thing either have done in three decades.) I love me some tasty fizzy bubblegum pop -- and its much harder than it looks. I was just rather bemused that he'd turned into the Beatles redux out of nowhere I was aware of.

    And is it just me or were Beiber and Hit-Girl separated at birth. I'm just waiting until his stylist decides its time to get "edgy" and he pipes "Ok you Cunts….Let's see what you can do now" at a heaving throng of tweenie-boppers.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The two girls who stole his hat at the airport are students of my beloved. As Josephine said, she didn't know whether to laugh or cry--especially as they were bunking off school to engineer the hat theft.

    I would compliment them on their considerable dash and enterprise together with their mature assessment of the post-hiest threat environment. I would encourage them to make these qualities the subject of the essay they will be writing during their detention.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Bieber, Bieber, be-bar-bo
    aaahhhh... The Chills...

    images of Russell tucked
    on top of a speaker stack...
    ...does someone have a recording
    of that fab BFM live to air Chills
    Mini Drama at the Windsor gig...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Maybe she didn't know what she was given.

    I think it's more that she didn't have any genuine personality in the first place.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Maybe she didn't know what she was given.

    I think it's more that she didn't have any genuine personality in the first place.

    That's probably the truth of the matter.

    @Danielle- yeah, I'll concede that "Toxic" works. Actually, it was reminds me of the first time I listened to f Sweedish pop star Robyn's s/t record (thankyou, free promos!). Musically, it was pretty similar- if sleeker and less brazen-to a lot of the stuff Britney gets given, but it was so knowing that it practically commented on itself mid-song. It's a curious record, like she desperately wanted to be a star but felt she needed to explain herself. Which might have been something to do with the fact she was/is a bit older (mid-20s) than her contemporaries as well as having already faied once in the gig.

    I also spent a day with with the young Billie (later to become Billie Piper) and she was lovely – although I had more in common with her dad of course who was trying to negotiate the difficult waters for his daughter. (She later married a much older DJ, so I guess he failed.)

    She seems to have done pretty well for herself since, mind. I'm looking for a nautical analogy to go with your "difficult waters" comment, but I can't think of any!

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 448 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    A great blog entry. You put into words the fond feelings I had when I saw the excited girls talking about their idol. And it was intriguing that the whole thing built up without my hearing about it. Now that I'm not teaching I miss out on a lot of that pop culture and I miss it.

    To their credit, some of the girls were conscious of the phenomenon they were experiencing. Can't remember the words ...

    And Bieber is like, soooo cute. And he was discovered on Youtube - thanks to his mother!!!

    I'm not a belieber - but ...

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    He seems way more talented than most of the bubblegum popacts NZoA have funded in the last 10 years. We don't do bubblegum that well and can't possibly compete with the foreign muck. So why bother ?

    Why structure video/music funding to cater for groups/artist who will try to make that shit just to get the funding and why perpetuate that system with little or no allowance for how the internet has levelled the playing field compared to how it was 10 yrs ago ?

    Why is NZon Airs raison d'etre to continually fund sub standard shit to play between the ads on commercial radio/tv. Fuck radio, fuck ads, fuck insipid bubblegum pop and fuck those clowns at NZoA treating us like dumbed down peasants who think we can't choose what we want to listen to and see ourselves.

    BTW...Yes it's that time already. Time to bust out your cheap and nasty oven element inspired t shirts/carry bags and show your support for the joke that is NZon Air' and the Music Commission's Music month.

    Welcome to NZ groundhog day for 30 days of the same shit trudged out year after year by the same faces. Grind that shit up, pour it into a trough and let the pigs swill around it for 30 days. Viva la formula.

    ...*yawn* Go hard...get those stats, count them beans, tick them boxes, kiss that arse, show the overlords you're worthy of another year at the trough

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Robbie -- you would have agreed with Vicki Anderson's great opinion piece in the paper this morning? Eg:

    just what is happening at NZ On Air? While the funding schemes available are appreciated by those who use them, just when is this government going to get around to chucking a few "funding advisers" and their labelmate buddies off this gliding- on-type gravy train?

    They really are taking the mick.

    It's well and truly time for new blood. If any organisation needs a shake-up and a good prodding by a group of bureacrats with calculators, NZ On Air is it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    hah...just seen it via your link now. Cheers Philip.

    Yay...now if a few more old school music heavyweights in the media/blogosphere would say what they actually thought in public rather than fear losing their VIP status to insider gigs and free lunches.

    Its time for Brendan Smyth to go. Start at the top, take the redundancy broom and clear out the deadweight at NZoA.

    Fuck it. Why do we give a shit about justin bieber and allow ourselves to be distracted from the real issue ?

    These clowns at NZoA and the music commish have been pissing up our money, funding their own private tastes and palling up to commercial interests while funding themselves to junket "conferences" overseas for years.

    but hey look over there, someone stole biebers hat...

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    It's a bit like Twilight isn't it? I find Stephanie Meyer barely literate and downright creepy, but I'm not a twelve year-old girl and I'm not supposed to get it.

    Except that Justin Bieber doesn't try to convince twelve year old girls that abusive, one-sided relationships are romantic.

    That would be Chris Brown.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

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