enovate and launching a new music video project with my friend Charles Lanceplaine. Let's talk about the music videos first. The most recent one, filmed in Taipei is embedded in this post (watch it here if you're inside China) 1277
Center Stage was to classical ballet. Forget the bad acting. It's the unfakable intensity of the musical performance that had me (really) clenching my jaw as Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic saw through the strings, tearing the hair out of their instruments. 1149
discarded* cellphones in Sahel region of West Africa. Download link and more about Christopher's latest mixtape after the jump. 1050
End of Year Top Albums 2010 [zoho.co.uk] provides a visual summary of the most successful music albums in 2010, based on the aggregation of a large variety of music rankings and charts, ranging from Amazon.com's list, over the Daily Telegraph to Rolling Stone and The Times).1019
Julian Assange case. There's even a hat tip to one of 2010's biggest viral video successes and current #1 most-viewed clip on YouTube, Antoine Dodson's "Bed Intruder Song" at 4min 30sec. Although the amount of actual news content in this (WikiLeaks) video is questionable, it's a great way to help communicate important current affairs to audiences who have no interest in tuning in to the traditional 6pm bulletin on the box. [via Schitz Popinov]
After the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and the millions and millions of visitors who came and went, the message still lingers on in Shanghai: 'Better City, Better Life' Film Director Bas Roeterink, music house MassiveMusic Shanghai and Rapper Tang King ('TK') sat down, took that message, and spun it around. 'Make a Better City, Have a Better Life'.
London Design Festival. Below are some of my favourite musical products Suzuki has created over the last few years...including a musical kettle, which looks more like a guitar than a kitchen appliance. 706
[October 12, 2010] George Michael has been released from prison after serving half of an eight-week sentence for crashing his car while under the influence of cannabis. [via Guardian]To mark this day, here's Lindsay Anderson's "Foreign Skies" documentary of Wham!'s 1985 China tour. Wham! was the first western band to tour China, consummating the 10-day tour with a show, attended by 10,000 screaming fans at the Workers' Gymnasium in Beijing. 621
last decade, indie music has been battling for a credible presence in India’s first-tier cities, like Mumbai. Despite some media outlets prematurely breaking the shell of an ‘Indian indie scene’ sometime ago, Mumbai’s music community has continued pipping its way into an internationally recognised industry. Now, though still teething, there are very few who would refute India’s emergence onto the world’s independent music stage. Earlier this month, I spent two weeks embedded in Mumbai researching what’s really going on. Starting with the Nokia Music Connects conference [review to follow], I couch-hopped across the island-city from gigs to gurus, receiving a unique musical and cultural education, and uncovering a surprising trail of Australian musos in the process. 526
Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium. To be honest, I never really listened to much of the band's work and it's a strange feeling to 'discover' them in the wake of such unfortunate and sad circumstances. It got me thinking though about how many other people, on learning of this tragedy, felt compelled to engage with Haddon's music. 509
Power Rangers. [via @klustout]
Reptile and Retard completed a massive and very debaucherous tour of China. Here are some of the highlights published by Vice Magazine this week. 406
C.Custer posted an interesting retrospective on the ChinaGeeks blog this week, discussing soft power, censorship and how the Wu-Tang Clan became unlikely ambassadors for China and its traditional culture. So what do 90s east-coast hip-hop, the Confucius Institute, a 1987 film by Steven Spielberg and an Australian electro-pop duo have in common? 281
The US names and shames the world's worst piracy offenders. The release, circulating news wires around the world couldn't come at a more opportune time for two of the main offenders. From 28 May–4 June 2010, a league of Canada's key music industry innovators and decision makers travel to China for the mainland's largest music industry business conference –transmitCHINA. 245
BBC Radio 4 correspondent, Rajan Datar, went to a recent gig at one of Beijing's major live houses and asked a handful of Chinese youth to name their favourite bands. Their responses were varying combinations of the acts listed below. Oasis, Joy Division, Lady Gaga, Rolling Stones, Ting Tings, Tom Waits, Blur, Johnny Thunders, Ramones, Smashing Pumpkins, Suede, Radiohead, The Doors, Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols. 234
Converse stamped a giant Chuck Taylor star on the Chinese indie music scene with its hugely successful Converse Love Noise campaign, engineered by Shanghai agencies W+K and Split Works –and awarded Ad Age China’s Top Marketing Campaign for 2009. The campaign was centered around local artists in five key cities across China and incorporated live music, live art and a filmed documentary, featuring two of China's buzz acts, P.K.14 and Queen Sea Big Shark. 207
Yesterday Google removed one of Australia's top 5 music blogs—the best, in my humble opinion—after repeated complaints from labels and web sheriffs. On the surface, it appears Google shouldn't be blamed for removing unlicensed material (like mp3s) and their stance on copyright infringements are clearly stated in their Blogger Terms of Service...or should they? There's a lot more to the situation. 175
Music is just advertising (for itself): it's a self-promoting product. Another way of looking at it is that a single song is an advertisement for the artist that wrote it. Each single that's released – aside from hopefully generating revenue in its own right – is a vehicle for winning another fan for the artist, in the hope of connecting with them again (and again) in one way or another. This could be by having them discover other material the artist has written (or will write), other projects the artist is involved in, or by attending a live performance. 137
I'm really not a fan of the Hordern Pavillion as a venue. But for a huge act like Bloc Party you really can't argue with that venue choice. The guys were extremely gracious during a meet & greet with triple j winners. Kele welcomed the 10 winners and their guests from on stage, as they made their way across the vast hanger-like space. The band finished the soundcheck with three tunes especially for the 20 punters voluntarily jammed up against the pit barrier. After soundcheck Kele, Russell, Gordon and Matt took the time to meet everyone personally and sign whatever was thrown in front of them. Their set was a perfect mix of their huge radio hits and new material. Check out the rest of the photos from their Sydney show @ The Hordern Pavillion on the triple j gallery. Big ups to a band who are grounded enough to know the value of their fans and really know how to turn-on a live performance.
Emiliana Torrini's live show was beautiful. It was one of the best I've seen since Regina Spektor toured in 2007. CW Stoneking, who played at the Metro the night before Emiliana was also one of the most brilliant shows I've seen this year. The key is in their storytelling (between songs). After attending one of their gigs, you're left feeling like you know them better on a personal level — something you'll never get from just listening to the record. I hope these photos have captured some of that memorable performance. All photos posted in the triple j gallery.