We’ve reached the last week of NZ Music Month 2015 already – but don’t think that things are winding down by any means. There is a HUGE stack of great new releases – you can enjoy working your way through them over the course of this week if you’d like to investigate some new tunes. We also have an update of the musical status of Starbucks.
One of our Friends
McLaughlin Law Music Newsletter: Recording Agreements – Part 1
There is no doubt that the idea of a lucrative ‘Recording Agreement’ with a record label that will set you up for life has traditionally been the Holy Grail for most musicians. However the music industry has evolved a lot in recent years. For example, more and more artists are now choosing to record and release their work independently. Also today, more than ever before, the term ‘Recording Agreement’ in the music industry can in fact refer to a number of different arrangements, each of which have very different implications.
In its traditionally used sense, most people think of a Recording Agreement as the arrangement whereby a record company advances you money to pay for the recording of your music and meets all the other costs associated with manufacturing, promotion and distribution of your music. In return for all these services the record company will take the majority of income earned from sales of your music and will pay you a specified percentage of such income, what we know as ‘royalties’.
It is important to note that under one of these traditional Recording Agreements you will still have to pay back to the record label from the royalties otherwise due to you, the money the record label advanced to you to pay for your recording costs.
There are also two other very important points to note about the traditional Recording Agreement. Firstly the arrangement is exclusive. This means that for the period of time that the agreement is in place you will only be allowed to record and release music for the record label.
Read the full article here…
New Release Fanfare
Janine And The Mixtape Releases XX EP On May 22
Little Mixtapes Records and Atlantic Records have announced the release of XX EP, the new project from New Zealand-born singer/ songwriter / multi-instrumentalist / producer Janine and The Mixtape. The highly anticipated XX EP (released on May 22 in New Zealand) debuted in the Top 10 US, currently sitting at #3 in the US R&B/Soul charts – her second Top 10 US debut within the last 12 months. XX EP arrives on the heels of last year’s acclaimed DARK MIND EP and its breakthrough remix, ‘Hold Me (Feat. Pusha T).’ The original version of ‘Hold Me’ has drawn more than 2.7 million plays on SoundCloud while also earning featured play on VH1’s smash reality series, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Now based in Brooklyn, Janine and The Mixtape – known to friends and family as Janine Foster – began performing at open mic nights in her native Auckland when she was but 14 years old. Released initially by her own Little Mixtapes Records in 2013, DARK MIND immediately shot Janine and The Mixtape into the spotlight – as well as the top 2 on the iTunes Store’s “Top R&B Albums” chart. The EP – which also includes the hit single/video, ‘Little Bit’ (featured on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Hollywood) – received worldwide applause, with high praise coming from such outlets as MTV,Billboard, VIBE Vixen, Complex, and VIBE, which ranked Janine and The Mixtape among their “R&B Secret Society: 26 Acts You Should Be Listening To.” Janine and the Mixtape website…
Jack Body – Songs Of Death & Desire
The late Jack Body was somewhat prescient – he had been working on this; which was due for release – as it turns out – on a date which happened to be two days after his death. Originally conceived as a ‘theatrical entertainment’ and first heard at the 2013 Auckland Festival, “Songs and Dances of Desire” consisted of twenty movements, five of them cabaret dances. Now recomposed by Body into this orchestral song cycle Songs of Death and Desire, these sumptuous songs, full of drama and passion, are given powerful performances by the NZSO and select vocalists. Includes arrangements of arias from Bizet’s Carmen performed by the sensational Chinese male soprano Xiao Ma, and with settings in Spanish and Maori of texts by women about love and life, songs that are greatly enhanced by vocal contributions from Anna Pierard and Mere Boynton. Read more on Amplifier…
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi Love
While legions of artists show fidelity to psychedelia’s roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has always shared the rare quality that makes the genre’s legends vital, a constant need for exploration. Last year, frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson descended into his home studio in a Portland basement to chart out where’s he traveled since his last set of unhinged psych-soul ballads. He discovered that the best way for him to move forward would be to look back. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together. In many ways, the album is Nielson’s reckoning with and reinterpretation of the promise of the ’60s. Have the ideals from that period of searching optimism, and the corresponding progress towards more fulfilling relationships and a more just society, truly been been met, or as Nielson believes, are we all still searching? Viewed through the prism of today’s progress (or lack thereof), Multi-Love speaks to a more complicated and tricky view of love, enlightenment and racial harmony. “Puzzles” literally begins with what sounds like windows shattering and someone sweeping up the pieces of broken glass, an indictment of recent racial tension in Ferguson and elsewhere that show a country off course. Read more from Marbecks…
Miss June Matriarchy EP
Every now and then, that young New Zealand band comes along, and it just has that something special. In the case of young Auckland band Miss June, there are a number of special things. A four piece who came about by fluke, when vocalist/guitarist Annabel Liddell needed a band for a last minute gig; her instinct that jazz musicians would learn the tunes in time was spot on, and so was the chemistry. The same four artists are now on the cusp of releasing their debut EP less than a couple years after that first formidable show. Punk/Rock/Pop it depends on the moment, what is consistent are the inspired, witty lyrics and their skilful musicianship. This inimitable combination ensures that with their live shows, Miss June are owning it. Be it their headlining spots, touring with Shonen Knife, or stadium shows supporting The Foo Fighters – they’re quickly proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. Now that energy has been captured on their debut EP, Matriarchy. https://www.facebook.com/missjunenz
Astro Children – Play It As It Lays
Perhaps tired of the mainstream attention paid to the past rather than to the present, the first single from Astro Children’s forthcoming EP (‘Plain and Fancy Killings’) sums up the feelings of a disenfranchised new generation of musicians from Dunedin. Not that paying tribute is a problem – more so the continual shadows of old cast over not just a city, but a musical scene. Once more a nod to the literary world, this time to author Joan Didion, “Play It As It Lays” – much like Didion’s work – is permeated with anxiety and a foreboding dread. And if you must draw some comparisons to the past, British music anoraks may wish to draw comparisons to The Raincoats; while those in the South Pacific might wish to unearth the works of Queen Meanie Puss and their examples of restrained aggression.
Stream/Download The Single Now Via Soundcloud
Anthonie Tonnon shares music video for “Water Underground”
The video was filmed by French-New Zealand filmmaker Delphine Avril Planqueel. Read more from Cheese on Toast…
Dictaphone Blues “Lance’s Tape” tour and new video
The song is the fourth and final single taken from Dictaphone Blues’ album “Mufti Day”. The seed of the song resides in a story that songwriter Edward Castelow heard about a ‘naughty video’ that was handed around a high school in Dunedin in the 1990’s. “This was pre-internet, a time where you had to have the guts to walk into the adult section of the video store to get your hands on such an item, or have a cool older sibling. At this high school, which will remain
anonymous, you had to know the right person, they had to think that you were deserved of the tape and then you would get to dub it. The only thing that was written on this Holy Grail was ‘Lance’s Tape’”. Catch the band playing live on the Lance’s Tape Release Tour in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch. Starting in Auckland this Friday May 22 at Whammy Bar (that’s tonight!) Watch the video here, and find the show dates on Under the Radar…
Scalper – The Emperor’s Clothes – LP
Appearing as “MC Nad”, Scalper started off his musical career performing in the underground hip-hop crew Made In Britain (M.I.B.). Later in the decade Scalper became a member of the British-based multi-ethnic hip-hop world fusion music group Fun-Da-Mental, as a live vocalist. The group were well known for their heavily political attitude, strong Islamic affiliation and energetic fusion of Eastern and Western musical forms. Scalper made the move to New Zealand in 2007, after first visiting with Fun-Da-Mental for the 1997 WOMAD festival. Basing himself on Auckland City’s west coast, Scalper began working creatively in his new home, leading to the release of 2010’s “Flesh & Bones”. The album was very well received by New Zealand press, who labelled it “beautifully formed…finely tuned” and “What could be New Zealand’s most polished and accomplished album for 2010′′. Scalper released his sophomore album “Butchers Bakers” on March 19, 2012. Now in 2015 we’re treated to a new chapter from Scalper’s songbook – “The Emperor’s Clothes”. Initially only available on vinyl, this album sees the wordsmith and producer delve deeper into the dark imagery that he’s so adept at conjuring. LIMITED COPIES! Scalper on Facebook…
Tasty Brown – Chapter Two – CD
TastyBrown is the new sound of New Zealand/Aotearoa. This seven piece ensemble based in Hamilton, New Zealand started in their kitchen in 2010 with a vision to play their own music to the masses. The TastyBrown family are set and ready to bring their unique flava again to the NZ Music scene and beyond as “Chapter Two” creates the New Journey, the New Sound. It has been self funded and produced entirely by the members of TastyBrown from the humble surroundings of their own home built studio. Jay Tamati & Paul Northover are the driving force behind the new album, Jay responsible for recording, producing, mixing & mastering the whole Album along side Paul with an ensemble of Co writers and feature artists to create this new master piece that is T. BROWN – CHAPTER 2. Read more on Amplifier…
Radioglo – In Between Time – CD
Radioglo are a four piece rock band based in Auckland, whose diverse songs are reminiscent of class acts such as Kings of Leon and The Raconteurs, along with Elbow and Tom Petty. With the release of their debut album, listeners will be able to discover the depth and breadth of the material, which contains an inert catchiness that lingers on. The odd country lick gives a quirky energetic quality to Gene Bennett (Rubicon) and Heath Watson’s (Sour) shared melodic vocal harmonies, and the acoustic guitar focused sound makes it warm and organic. This is further complimented with the laid back 70’s inspired rhythm section of Shannon Slade (Malakai) and Robert Maskell (Channelling Venus, the NZ’ers).
Diaz Grimm: Debut Album “Osiris”
Diaz Grimm is excited to announce the release of his debut album Osiris. Entirely self-funded and self-released, Osiris is the culmination of a year’s worth of work for Diaz. Named after the Egyptian god of life, death, and rebirth, Diaz describes the album as being “the soundtrack for a movie that doesn’t exist yet.” Being raised with hiphop but falling in love with electronic music, Diaz is bringing a fresh new sound to the table in 2015. Heavily influenced by creatives such as Kanye, James Blake, Steve Jobs, James Cameron, Diaz plans on creating a movement worthy of the history books. A behind-the-scenes look at Diaz in the Red Bill Studios can be seen here, documenting part of journey of recording Osiris. The album debuted at #19 in the New Zealand albums chart. diazgrimm.com
New The Phoenix Foundation album out August 7th – New single Mountain out now!
From TPF: “Hello my friend! WTF!? We are all set to return with our sixth studio album ‘Give Up Your Dreams’ on 7 August. New single ‘Mountain’ is streaming now via Stereogum. The album is called Give Up Your Dreams. We are not slaves to the consumerist jail of ambition and achievement! We are not on Oprah, there is no free car under our seat! Join the GUYD revolution! “THE WORLD IS NOT AN OYSTER”! We at The Phoenix Foundation have woken from our dreams and now we live in a fantasy. A fantasy of GUYD. Join us, GUYD will guide you and beguile you. You can pre-order GUYD now via iTunes with an instant download of Mountain also available on gold coloured vinyl and CD. To make the most of the cult of GUYD we have also put together very limited deluxe packs with signed gold viny, sleep mask, pillow case and signed CD to help you sleep without the tyranny of dreams”. MOUNTAIN ON SOUNDCLOUD.
Enter Barker’s Haunted House
Johnny’s recent new solo project, Barker, has resulted in a soon to be released debut album, Sleepwalking. ‘Haunted House’ is Barker’s first single and music video from the new album. Funded by NZ on Air, it was created by Barker’s 48 hour film team Lense Flare, produced by Rachael Blampied with director of photography Drew Sturge and directed by Barker himself. Featuring a young girl, played by Johnny’s niece Eva Glengarry, the video explores the idea of losing the one thing that makes a person whole, in turn making them dangerous and unstable. Filmed in the neo noir style, the video takes inspiration from films such as Blade Runner, The Matrix, Looper and Children of Men. The ‘Haunted House’ video is premiering exclusively on Australian indie music blog Hhhhappy. ‘Haunted House’ is now available for purchase from iTunes and Amplifier
Glass Vaults – Sojourn Teaser
Last week we announced a vinyl pre-order campaign for Wellington’s Glass Vaults‘ new album Sojourn. While it’s not out till September, if you are wondering what it sounds like, they have released a teaser video featuring snippets of the 11 tracks. If you like what you hear, why not help get it pressed to 12″ LP via their crowd-funding pre-order campaign here.
On the Live Front
Remix the Orchestra sample session demo
Friday 29 May, 4pm – 5pm
Meet young remix artist Loxmyn and hear him demo his original music. Bring your own instrument or rapping ability, and hear what can happen when you are sampled by Loxmyn and remixed! Avondale Library. See more happening at Auckland Libraries…
The Alliance Française Music Festival
…is coming to Auckland again this year. Inspired by “La Fête de la Musique” aka Make Music Day – an international event celebrated in more than 100 countries – the Alliance Française Music Festival will present artists from both the local and international music scenes. Join them for a merveilleux music marathon! Estère, Boagan and Twistin’ The Swing are the main acts of a 7 hour performance of music of all genres: electro, jazz, swing, reggae,… More info on www.alliance-francaise.co.nz/afmusicfestival/
Are you ready for Salvation?
Bernie Griffen and his band The Thin Men are again touring their original style of blues-based folk music, starting with:
– Titirangi RSA, Auckland, 8 PM, June 5
– Warkworth , Walton Park Motor Lodge, 8 PM, June 6
– Riverhead Tavern, Auckland, 2 PM, June 7
Hard to categorise, Griffen’s music has been dubbed “roughhouse folk”. “National music treasure” is how reviewer Brian Thomas on Sounds Good To Me described Griffen’s Salvation album launch show at The Great Southern Tuning Fork, Vector Arena in Auckland in September. The Thin Men are Bernie Griffen (vocals, guitar, banjo) Kirsten Warner (acoustic guitar and vocals) Scott J. Mason (drums) Brendan Turner (bass). The Thin Men are assisted by Scott J. Mason (Mulholland), and Brendan and Alison Turner (recently touring with The Bads and Great North). LINK TO SINGLE I’M CRYING TOO: https://soundcloud.com/search/sounds?q=Bernie%20Griffen%2C%20Crying%20Too
Around the World
Starbucks and Spotify Link Up to Bring Digital Music Into Stores
From Digital Media Wire
AdWeek reports, “This fall, the two companies are teaming up to equip all employees in Starbucks’ 7,000 domestic stores with free Spotify Premium subscriptions that normally cost $10 a month—the subscriptions will ultimately power the in-store music. The coffee chain’s 10 million My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members will be able to stream the playlists baristas concoct and vote for what kind of music they would like to listen to, location by location. What’s more, the listening and voting features can be done on either the Spotify or Starbucks app.” Read more.
After ditching CDs earlier this year, Starbucks is not giving up on providing music to its customers thanks to a new partnership with Spotify.
This fall, the two companies are teaming up to equip all employees in Starbucks’ 7,000 domestic stores with free Spotify Premium subscriptions that normally cost $10 a month—the subscriptions will ultimately power the in-store music. The coffee chain’s 10 million My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members will be able to stream the playlists baristas concoct and vote for what kind of music they would like to listen to, location by location. What’s more, the listening and voting features can be done on either the Spotify or Starbucks app.
Spotify users will also receive points—or stars, in this loyalty program’s vernacular—they can put toward earning free coffee and food.
It’s the first time Starbucks is extending its loyalty program to reward its members for doing more than just buying coffee, but it’s also the latest step in building the chain’s app into the go-to app for other brands.
For the past year, rumors have swirled that Starbucks is building a mobile platform that it will sell to brands looking to break into mobile payments. In September, the brand inked a deal with Uber to include a button on its app that lets users book rides. In March, mobile accounted for 18 percent of Starbucks’ U.S. revenue.
“It’s only a matter of time before Starbucks opens up its app and payments platform for other brands to use,” said Sean Cullen, evp of product and technology at Fluent. “Over the past few years, other large organizations such as Amazon and Major League Baseball have seen tremendous success reselling capabilities built for internal use, externally.”
Meanwhile, the exposure in Starbucks stores and on its mobile platform could give Spotify’s subscription business a boost. The music-streaming service has 60 million users, only 15 million of whom pay for music.
Read more from Digital Media Wire…