March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Publicity | Music
March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
The Crusaders have confirmed All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has a broken thumb and could be out of action for up to eight weeks in a massive blow to their struggling Super Rugby campaign.
McCaw broke the thumb in last night’s 35-24 loss to the Blues in Auckland, the Crusaders’ second defeat in as many games.
McCaw didn’t reappear for the second half of the match at Eden Park and x-rays later confirmed the break to his left thumb. He now has his hand in a cast.
An update is expected on Monday when the Crusaders will reveal whether surgery is required or not.
McCaw was back in the thick of Super Rugby after missing most of last season when he took a sabbatical from rugby.
The Crusaders have an able replacement in Matt Todd but McCaw’s leadership and influence will be sorely missed on the field as they look to turn around their shocking start.
Losses to the Chiefs and the Blues see them bottom of the New Zealand conference, yet to register a point on the table.
McCaw’s absence could be softened by the Crusaders having two byes during this eight-week playing period.
But they still face a tough schedule that features matches against the Stormers, Rebels, Hurricanes, Lions, Cheetahs and Chiefs.
McCaw may not be back until the round 12 clash with the Brumbies in Christchurch on May 3.
Livia Tortella is the former co-president of Warner Bros. Records and founder of Black Box Media, a music branding, strategy and marketing agency.
For far too long, music’s relationship with the Oscars has been a one-way street. You can’t argue the importance of an Oscar to an artist’s career, whether it’s conferring mainstream respectability to Eminem, burnishing the legend of Elton John or Bruce Springsteen, or turning the undeniable talent of Randy Newman and Danny Elfman into solid bankability. But why is Oscar so standoffish when it comes to recognizing the importance of music in the many ways it helps define a movie or support a narrative? As much attention as this year’s song nominees have generated, there are so many standout uses of music that went unacknowledged.
Traditionally, music is the last step before the picture locks. For the filmmaker and editor, it could be a useful tool — like much-needed glue that can add substance and layers to the work. Music can be the ultimate forgiver as well as the creator of pop culture moments that stick. Yet it’s the last thought in the filmmaking process and often treated as an afterthought by the film industry.
As someone who has worked in the music business and helped produce such soundtrack brands as “Twilight” and “World War Z,” I’ve spent much of my life in the dark, devoting equal time to movie theaters and live music clubs. As a movie buff, I long for music to be part of the film’s dramatic structure and composed specifically for the work. But the old rules don’t reflect the attitudes of today. Take, for instance, the nominee for best picture “American Hustle,” which uses existing, established songs almost exclusively; or “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which evokes the early ’60s folk era with such achingly beautiful precision; or the talent of Baz Luhrmann in juxtaposing modern music against period pieces in “The Great Gatsby.” Great directors know that their choices in music tap another dimension, helping to make the point they didn’t shoot or amplify an idea that comes together in the last stages of the edit or one that was in the script from the beginning. As artists, directors understand the power that music selections have in guiding the story. And much to the chagrin of their marketing people, directors always do what is right for the movie — Oscar guidelines be damned.
In Oscar’s constant quest for pop culture relevance, music is still the last pillar to fall — with only two categories representing what has become a cottage industry. Creating categories for best soundtrack and music supervisor of the year would resonate with both the public and the industry, building Oscar’s credibility. The best original song category can’t be all things to all people. And if you consider all the brilliant, defining soundtracks of yore — “The Graduate,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Pulp Fiction,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Juno” among them — doesn’t it make sense that the Oscars claim these culturally significant works? If a costume designer can get an Oscar, shouldn’t a music supervisor?
February 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Survive. Because they’ve got the money and the relationships with radio. Wanna compete? Have the money and the relationships. Until the radio hegemony is broken, the major labels will sustain.
It’s the curation, stupid! And the ability to garner and maintain an audience. No one wants to go where no one else is. Prior to the Internet there was very little off the grid and we were all aware of it. Now, music, like information, is infinite. Do you really want to live on Pluto?
Let’s see, they get their “accurate” numbers from record stores, which are declining, and sales no longer mean anything, gross does. Look at your bottom line, not specific elements. Add up your recording and streaming revenue and tickets, merch and sponsorship dollars then tell me whether you’re winning or not. Tickets are much more expensive than they used to be. And sponsorship dwarfs the dollars of yore. To focus on recording dollars is to miss the point.
Helped Universal’s numbers. Read the reports. If you believe streaming is the death of music and there are no dollars involved, you’re uneducated, you’re probably still saying that P2P is gonna kill the incentive to record! But the truth is there are more recordings than ever and I don’t know anybody who steals music anymore, why?
The bible no more! To think Janice Min can save “Billboard” is to believe Guggenheim didn’t overpay for it! But focusing on pictures and celebrities in an era where viewpoint and voice matter…is to miss the point. In other words, whatever “Billboard” was it will never be again.
Losing Matt Taibbi is like your lead singer quitting the band. Just like MTV, “Rolling Stone” fumbled its digital future. Neither of these outlets mean much online. There’s still a vacuum without an inhabiting music site. Wanna know why? Because everybody in music is so busy saying their stuff is better, and there’s so little money involved, that anybody with a brain is in tech and all we’re left with is the nerds who believe the mainstream is anathema. But the truth is, we’re all gravitating towards the mainstream, it’s inevitable in a Tower of Babel society, you want to find someone who can speak your language, anyone.
Will rule the future. If you’re not a star, you’re a nobody. Sure, fans will support journeymen, but the old saw wherein you pay your dues and you gradually climb up the ranks? It don’t happen that way no more. Now either you write and play music that many can get, or you reside in your niche.
Same as it ever was. Every hit act has one. Having a great manager is more important than having a great deal, just ask the Beatles!
Look at it from the perspective of the listener… He’s time constrained and only wants the best. No one has a short attention span, everybody can just separate the wheat from the chaff, instantly. Don’t tell people they have to give your music time to percolate, no one’s got that time. You’re in the hit business whether you’re radio-friendly or not. You need to create the one hit listen. Which is why Max Martin and Dr. Luke are so successful, they understand the game. You might pooh-pooh the hits, but a lot of work went into them and they’re not easy to create. Making money is hard. Not because people don’t want to pay, but because they don’t want to pay for crap! If every one of the tracks on your album is a certifiable smash, release an LP. But it turns out the public only had time for Adele’s “21.”
This week’s soon to be forgotten new album…BECK’S! An unbelievable publicity campaign with absolutely no sticking power. Next week there’s no story. Unless your track is going to get radio play or you’re constantly on the road playing it it’s got a shelf life of close to zero. Your hard core fans buy it, everybody else forgets it. Tomorrow’s musicians have a full time job staying in the public eye. It’s your job to figure out how to do this. But the best way is to dribble out quality music. Because remember…it’s about the bottom line, not anemic record sales.
Not everybody can divine a hit. Not everybody knows where the bodies are buried. Which is why the business is run by old men (and a few women!) They’ve got intuition. You might think you know what’s going on, but you really don’t. Pay your dues!
Is the second most influential artist working. The first is the rappers. Anyone can be a rapper, note I didn’t say a GOOD rapper, but a rapper. Learning how to play an instrument and write songs requires a bigger investment. But people are making it. Just like Mariah Carey begat Christina Aguilera and the Melisma Maddies of TV singing competitions, we’re going to have a bunch of girls singing songs from the heart. Ms. Swift is the biggest star in America, if you’re not trying to replicate her success, you’re looking up a blind alley. She’s represents everything classic rock used to…catchy stuff sung from the heart that sets your mind free.
Is only going to get bigger. Because not everybody’s a hipster and people clamor for songs that speak to their condition that they can sing along with.
Just like Netflix is the majority of bandwidth, YouTube is propped up by music. It’s where fans go to testify. If they’re not making videos of themselves singing your song…it’s not a hit. Video is the new radio. Especially now that everybody can compete. Not everybody is listening to the same radio station, if they’re listening at all. But everybody has YouTube at their fingertips and visits the site on a regular basis. It’s America’s radio station. Just check the views of those monster hits!
Who knows? It survives. Does it surpass hip-hop to become the dominant format? Maybe… After all, Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” just became the most played Spotify track of all time. Worldwide. And it is a worldwide business, more than ever before. Everybody’s got money, music is the universal language, speak it.
Do not conflate the wannabe famous no-talent youngsters with true stars. Biggest star of the under twenty set this year? Lorde, with “Royals.” Yes, the less than perfectly good looking geek with the nerdy boyfriend who speaks her mind and truth to power. If you think it’s about cozying up to the Fortune 500, you’re still living in the last decade, or admitting to yourself your music doesn’t capture the zeitgeist, and therefore most people are not interested in it, or can enjoy it today and then forget it. Quick quiz… Name two songs from Jay Z’s Samsung album! Better yet, two songs from Beyonce’s new LP! How about two from Springsteen’s! Those three albums had reams of press, but none of them have stuck. Sticking is the key, not mainstream media coverage, certainly not paid for by an electronics company that’s hipper than your tunes.
Soon to be dead on the road. We’ve got somewhere between five and ten years left. See ‘em now, before they lose their voices or die. We’re in the middle of a transition wherein the younger acts are generating the touring dollars. It’s happening.
Will continue to have no place in the music business, because art can’t be quantified and one hit record blows all your projections to hell. Sure, controlling costs and knowing where the dollars are is important, but not as much as great music. There’s no soul in tech, but soul is the foundation of music.
By Bob Lefsetz
February 27, 2014 Leave a comment
Is it really that daft a prediction that Rory Kockott will feature for the Springboks at the next Rugby World Cup?
He is a wild card, at best, given that he is yet to feature in any way in the plans of Bok coach Heyneye Meyer that have included other French-based players in Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha.
They played for the Boks last November on loans from French clubs, along with Japanese Boks in Jaque Fourie, JP Pietersen and Fourie du Preez.
The name of Kockott comes up not only because he last season was voted by his French peers as the best player in the French Top 14 competition, but also because we have just lost another leading South African scrumhalf to that part of the world in Charl Mcleod, who moves to Grenoble in August.
As mentioned, Meyer’s No 1 choice, Du Preez is in Japan, No 2 is Ruan Pienaar and he very happy at Ulster and the third choice last year, Jano Vermaak is also in France. The previous No 1, before Fourie du Preez was back in the reckoning, was Francois Hougaard, and he is thankfully back playing for the Bulls and there is solid back up him in Pretoria in up-and-comer Piet van Zyl, who last year was with the Cheetahs.
Otherwise there is not a lot out there in terms of proven scrumhalves after the Sharks’ first choice in Jaco Reinach and the Cheetahs’ Sarel du Plessis, the nippy 9 that everybody loves for his brilliance on attack but who few coaches will choose in big games because they regard him as a liability on defence. Newcomer Faf de Klerk, the revelation in the current Lions’ renaissance , is still to prove himself over a period of time, so let’s face it, when it comes to reliable scrumhalves, the South African No 9 larder is relatively bare.
Many who have played overseas will argue that probably the most proven South African scrumhalf in the business is the former Storrmers and Springbok man, Neil de Kock, the 35-year-old who has been the rock at Saracens for 12 years. He has amassed 180 caps for the London club and he would certainly have played for England had he not played 10 games for the Boks early in his career when he was still with Western Province. No South African scrumhalf in 2015 will know English conditions better than him.
And then there is Kockott, who after battling to tie down a regular starting place at the Sharks five years ago because of the arrival of McLeod from the Lions, moved to Castre where he quickly became a household name because of his pugnacious approach to scrumhalf play and his unerring boot.
Kockott was a favourite at Kings Park, too, because of aggressive nature and ability to get things going, not to mention his very good strike rate with the boot. But he never settled down under coach John Plumtree, who once succinctly summed up his feeling on Kockott as a playmaker when he said: “Rory is a very good rugby player, and one you always want on your side rather than against you, but he is not always a good scrumhalf.”
What Plumtree meant is that Kockott’s competitiveness sometimes meant that he leant towards individualism, neglecting his primary role of distribution to the backline.
Plumtree may have been right, and it could be that he has been proved wrong in the testing conditions of rugby in France, but one thing is certain for Kockott, he has risen to the top.
He is still just 27, and the product of Selborne College in East London this year qualifies to play for France. If he is not in Springbok colours in London in 2015, he almost certainly will be there with Les Bleus.
By Mike Greenaway
February 26, 2014 Leave a comment
Good news South Africa, Jimmy Carr is coming back to South Africa in March 2014 and this time he is playing Durban too. With a month to go to the shows, don’t forget to get your tickets to his Gagging Order tour to South Africa, brought to you by Comedy Central Africa and East Coast Radio.
Following another stellar year for Jimmy, which saw him host 10 O’Clock Live, two new series of 8 Out Of 10 Cats and record his eighth live stand-up DVD, Laughing and Joking (released in the UK in November), Jimmy returns to South Africa with his brand new tour, Gagging Order.
Having now played to over 1.5 million people on his live tours Jimmy knows a thing or two about making people laugh.
“Gagging Order” promises to be an hilarious night out…let’s see shall we.
The show will be packed with one-liners, stories & jokes. Some clever, some rude & a few totally unacceptable. Everybody’s welcome. Just leave your conscience, sense of common decency & moral compass at home & come on out for a laugh. Jimmy has sold over a million DVDs & hosted countless TV shows but live comedy is what he does best, come and see for yourself. Brand new show, brand new jokes, same old Jimmy. Over the past 10 years, Jimmy has deservedly earned his place amongst the very best of British comics. His stand-up achievements to date include a British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand Up Tour, a Loaded LAFTA Award for Best Stand-Up and a Perrier Award nomination. Jimmy’s new tour, Gagging Order is a chance to catch this award-winning comedian at his near-the-knuckle best. Tickets available from 25 September at Computicket
Venue: The Big Top Arena, Carnival City, Johannesburg
Date: Saturday 29 March 2014
Tickets: R441 to R743 at Computicket
Venue: The Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino, 1 Vanguard Drive, Goodwood Cape Town
Date: Sunday 30 March 2014
Tickets: R371 to R743 at Computicket
Venue: ICC Durban
Date: Monday 31 March 2014
Tickets: R371 to R743 at Computicket