ADAM LAMBERT: COVERED AND BELIEVING

It’s been done many times over: take an upbeat and well known song and slow it down to a ballad or turn it into bossa nova, neo classical or that obtuse term many refer to as “Jazz”. It never is Jazz. It’s simple Pop. But turning a popular Top 40 track into a ballad is no easy thing to pull off. It’s where A&R skills, a knowledge of someone’s back catalogue and arrangement come into play. And about very personal feelings.

Ryan Adams flipping the Oasis hit “Wonderwall” into a tender love song is a track where all the pieces fit. It seems to have been recorded ‘live’ with Adams wanting something raw, real and emotional. It works. Beautifully.

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DOING THE HUSTLE: TRENDING AGAIN IN ASIA

By Hans Ebert
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Van McCoy was a man ahead of his time. He saw the great Hustle of the 2000s coming long before anyone else did. He even recorded The Hustle.

For those of you into such things, hustling and The Hustle is what’s trending everywhere- at least “trending” as a means to an end and to get somewhere. Often, very often, The Hustle blind the easily star struck.

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A SURREAL SATURDAY AWAITS AT SHA TIN TODAY

By Hans Ebert
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They say a nudge is
as good as a wink
And that a big name
from Sydney
will be in Hong Kong
long before anyone thinks
He’ll add star power to
the trainers ranks
It’s really not that hard
to fill the missing link

Some say April
will see a big announcement
About a changing of the guard
Something Moore to
stir the pie?
With some Whyte sauce
on the side?
And what will Georgie say to that?
And is it really
that big a surprise?

The rumour mill goes round and round
There’s something new every day
Someone’s going
someone’s staying
And how someone’s gotta pay

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THE FEMALE SINGER IN ASIA: NEXT CAREER PORT OF CALL?

By Hans Ebert
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For those female artists in Asia who know that no matter how “mature” they might be that their pulling power at those huge and often way over the top ‘live’ concerts worth millions to them will always be there along with Star Appeal, especially at home and which might travel to markets nearby, international fame, no matter how small, eludes them.

Is this fame important to them? Not financially, but as part of their portfolio- part of enhancing their image, and that thing called face/pride, definitely. Maybe not much anymore as no one knows where music is heading and what’s in it for anyone other than coasting along and making that existing brand as relevant and expensive as it can be. Of course, one must first actually have a brand.

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THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF HONG KONG RACING’S BUTCH AND SUNDANCE…

By Hans Ebert
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A few years ago, many of us in Hong Kong would look at the race card and draw a line over whatever it was that Douglas Whyte was riding. He seemed to be thrown some scraps and just going around for the hell of it and probably far more interested in having the opportunity to ride a winner in Perth. And which he did until the HKJC correctly changed the Rules about Hong Kong based jockeys making those often fruitless overseas flying visits.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF LOR AND ORDER

By Hans Ebert
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While Zac Purton chills out somewhere serving out the rest of his enforced holiday aka three day suspension, Silvestre de Sousa and Karis Teetan are apparently bobbing up and down to keep their rides on Dark Dream and Perfect Match, respectively.

Both riders were deputising for Purton at Sha Tin on Sunday, both won and both gallopers, especially the Frankie Lor trained Dark Dream, look like going to the uppermost of the toppermost, Johnny.

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HORSE RACING, “YOUNGER PEOPLE” AND THE GIFT OF GIVING

By Hans Ebert
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If someone who follows horse racing religiously and does the form, understands handicapping, track conditions, times, odds, track work etc, everything that follows below is not for you.

You’re what racing clubs put in the “hardcore” basket and say they know exactly your wants and needs and cater to all of these. Maybe.

Some might say that this is pretty narrow minded thinking- continuing to preach to the converted. But if this captive audience continues to make turnover tick and tock, why fix the wheel when it ain’t broke?

Why?

Well, coming from the music industry, and having seen this wheel fall off when music fans understood how to get music for free and saw the compact disc along with a music channel like MTV in its death throes- all those superficial VJs seeing their fifteen minutes of fame go up in flames was awful to watch- nothing is ever what it seems. Or goes according to plan. The consumer is always in the driver’s seat.

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THE MAGNET THAT IS HONG KONG RACING

By Hans Ebert
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In the end, it’s always about the money. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s nothing personal, it’s only business, though we now know this to be just a tag line and how, as Dylan once sang, “Even the President of the United States must sometimes stand naked.” Now there’s an awful visual.

Getting back to money, it’s what drives every business. At least today it is. Even the business of love and marriage. And horse racing. What’s the business model to horse racing? Create a race or races between a group of horses- a game of chance and consequences, where there’s big money up for grabs…if one wins. And there are various ways of winning. Some, not so obvious.

How one tries to get a slice of the winning pie is a form of business because there’s work involved. Even hobbies can become businesses. It’s about the money money money and millennials and oldsters and hipsters and more money money money and entitlement. And it works in different ways for different customer demographics. It involves the entire racing industry. Some racing clubs can be The Good Ship Lollipop. Others are The Titanic.

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TIME TO CHANGE FREQUENCIES, HKJC. PLEASE.

By Hans Ebert
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It was one of those rare- and often, Old Mother Hubbard’s bare cupboard- an all weather race meeting- at night and at Sha Tin- on a Wednesday. Yesterday. Golly gosh, Gee, I don’t know. Remember yesterday?

Those of us who live in Hong Kong, well, most of us, know what this means- eight races that one can either take or leave and, unlike a Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley racecourse, something that, especially on bilingual Channel 668 on NOW TV, takes one back to living with the folks and watching programmes like “Highway Patrol”, “Laramie”, “Bonanza”, Mrs Steed and when Roger Moore starred as Ivanhoe.

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