Words: Four for thought: What’s big in the music world?/回顧:本週四項不可不知的音樂大事

(中文版在後面)

Pesky Meerkat

Pesky Meerkat

  • Meerkat: What the hell is that? Some pesky animal right? It’s an iPhone app that allows streaming straight to Twitter, with obviously great implications for music fans, who can see what’s happening with their favourite artists at live shows. Except: profiteers will struggle to monetise it, which is a super NO NO (see story two). Even the tech gods aren’t too impressed: Gizmodo calls it a “parasite app” and Mashable is sceptical. Jeez guys, give poor Meerkat a break eh? At least Medium is onboard. Writer Eric Peckham points out nice benefits: Video streams are getting prettier, artists can engage Twitter followers, engagement is high, comments are visible which builds excitement; and like Snapchat, the feed cannot be rerun, making it exclusive. Twitter might be kind of annoyed, they’ve just bought competitor Periscope for a figure that could be between US$50-100m and have curbed Meerkat’s ability to link users. Poor Meerkat, although founder Ben Rubin is only 27, and likely to be totally MINTED now.

    Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke: hard done by, but probably still loaded

    Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams : hard done by, but probably still loaded

  • It’s ironic that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were successfully sued for US$7.4m by Marvin Gaye’s estate on “Blurred Lines”. The question: Did it copy Marvin Gaye’s “Got to give it up?” It’s 2015, we live in a /sample/slice/hack/copy/ culture which doesn’t suit the interests of those looking to make a buck. Modern music is based on copying. No blues, no rock. No funk, no hip-hop. No disco, no dance etc… I don’t particularly think that “copied” is relevant; it’s a different track. As the producer and DJ par excellence Laidback Luke put it very succinctly in an editorial for Billboard: “The fact is, this very second some kid somewhere is taking my music, chopping it up, looking at it sideways, replaying it and then calling it his own. They are the future. If that stops, the music stops. However, a new standard has been set. Those “Blurred Lines” suddenly became dangerously Thicke.”
  • YouTube, god bless them, are doing their best to help up and coming talent with an artists initiative. It lets musicians geographically find fans (nice for planning tours); offers advice on optimizing algorithms, fan engagement, YouTube collaborations; provides tools to annotate over videos (get fans to buy your $hit!) and enables fan funding. It’s all designed to make you never leave YouTube (and love Google), but hey, it’s still helping the small guy out. Don’t be a corporate hater, this time… (for that, please see McDonald’s showing at SXSW.)
  • Art fever hits Hong Kong, but do we even like art? I’m not sure. A friend of mine brought the topic up on Facebook: all these fairs, so much bullshit. When it comes to music in the city, many of the spaces for live shows are elitist, exclusive, and expensive. LKF has become a smarmy Disneyland for drunks, while underground clubs struggle to survive. If you think West Kowloon Cultural District will give you that wonderful mid-size venue you wanted (like a bigger Hidden Agenda) don’t hold your breath.

    YouTube for Artists

    YouTube for Artists

  • Meerkat 是甚麼?能吃的嗎?還是甚麼新動物?其實它是新上架的IPhone 軟體程式,讓用戶直接將影片串流上載到Twitter平台。對樂迷來說,這的確是個很好的消息,因為這樣就可以實時觀賞他們偶像在不同地方的表演!可是對既得利益者來說,這應用程式是萬萬不可出現的(見章節二) 而且對科技之神,例如尊貴的立法會議員TreeGun 來說,這個上下載(還是串流?)方式效能存疑。Gizmode 稱呼這它為「寄生蟲應用程式」,Mashable 則抱懷疑態度。(是說程式啦,不是Treegun ) 不過至少Medium 對程式予以肯定,作家Eric Peckham 指出Meerkat 的幾個好處:一是影音串流技術愈趨成熟,藝人透過科技和Twitter Followers 接觸,建立溝通渠道,回應和留言就變得觸手可及,令粉絲覺得偶像更有親和力。二是程式像Snapchat 一樣不可重播,令影像每分每秒更珍貴,也不可轉載。Twitter 可能對這個程式沒甚麼好感吧,因為其公司才用了就達五千萬到一億美金買了程式競爭對手Periscope。Meerkat 創立人Ben Rubin 才二十七歲,前途無可限量呢!
  • 當你看到Pharrell Williams 和Robin Thicke 因Blurred Lines 成功被Marvin Gaye索償七百四十萬美元,你才覺得侵權案諷刺吧!人人心中疑問是:到底它有沒有抄襲Marvin 的 “Got to give it up?” 呢?我想現在身處2015年,這是一個令創意沒法賺錢的世界。 摩登音樂從來就是互相抄襲,不像藍調,搖滾、Funk ,Hip Hop、Disco,Dance等… 我不認為這種抄襲有用,重編後就是新曲。像制作人和DJ巨匠 Laidback Luke 在Billboard 評論說:「現實是在此時此刻已有不同地方的人把他的音樂斬件重新編曲,演繹,然後視之為自己的創作。這就是音樂未來發展,若這風氣停了,音樂也跟隨停了。」抄襲界線其實如履薄冰。
  • YouTube, 世界已經阻止不了它稱霸了,推出程式協助藝人尋找世界各地的粉絲。(巡迴演唱更方便吧) 這令網站演算法更完美,粉絲更容易參與,也推出新功能使粉絲可在影片中提出意見(銷售技倆而已!),甚至容許Fans 捐款!種種功能也令人無法離開YouTube (和Google ),不過這的確也能幫助到捉襟見肘的小藝人。先不要憤世嫉俗,看看這篇文章吧。

    我們真的喜歡藝術?

    我們真的喜歡藝術?

  • 藝術風潮襲港,但我們真的喜歡藝術?一個朋友在Facebook 提起:這樣多藝術活動,有屁用嗎?在香港找地方開Live shows 可能比齊昕找離開禮賓府的路更難!因大部份場地比齊昕既父母更涼薄無知…對不起,我是說昂貴專制。老蘭?是洋腸食港女的地方吧,地下Club 難以經營呢!以為西九龍文化區(像比較大的 Hidden Agenda)可以幫到你?別發夢了!