SCOTT WALKER/ENGEL: 30TH CENTURY MAN

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: www.hans-ebert.com

R.I.P. Scott Walker – NEWS AV CLUB

To most of our friends, he just wasn’t cool enough. Actually, they weren’t cool enough. After all, we were in the midst or remnants of the British Beat Boom. But my best friend Steve and I were busy discovering and, I guess, trying to find ourselves in the process while creating our own individual soundtracks to our lives. Steve’s was short-circuited.

In the midst of the trips that became more and more frequent, for myself, to Camelot and always coming up with the number 12 and how Jesus, King Arthur and Julius Caesar were and are the same person- 12 followers, each betrayed by their most loyal, different shaped tables, always a strong woman behind them- came this voice singing “Make It Easy On Your Self.”

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Looking back and moving forward with Carlos Santana.

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: http://www.hans-ebert.com

It’s not how he plays it, it’s what he plays. He keeps things to a minimum. Like that sustained one note that goes right through you like a journey to the centre of the earth. It’s like how one picture is worth a thousand words. It’s always been about the simplicity of what he sends out- vibes, love, pictures for the mind.

Guess one can say the same thing about any of the great, especially Rock, guitarists, but there’s still only one Carlos Santana because he’s really in his own sphere. Even when going Pop in 1999 to give his career the commercial boost it needed following advice from Arista label chief and the very influential Clive Davis with “Supernatural”, it was that trademark guitar sound which carried a track like the hit “Smooth”.

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IF IT’S STARING YOU IN THE FACE, THAT’S THE ANSWER

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: http://www.hans-ebert.com

Sometimes there’s a hit- not the kind where you’re smacked- staring you in the face, but for some reason, many being paid the Big Bucks to identify these are looking elsewhere. Again, it’s more proof of a world continuing to be dumbed down. But thinking it’s being smart.

One has to only look at social media and the silliness that goes on in this pretty faked up world. Forget the numbers that don’t add up. No, let’s not.

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AND THAT’S HOW HONG KONG ENDED UP WITH CANTO POP- AND CANTO PAP

By Hans Ebert
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Often one wishes for that the Cha Cha was still in vogue in Hong Kong. Going back to watch those old black and white Cantonese movies from the fifties, there was always a scene in a nightclub where the lead actors were talking while doing the Cha Cha. It was cool kitsch.

For a while, there was the Offbeat Cha Cha which, one supposes, was trying to change something so simple and perfect for the sake of change.

The Cheongsam and the Cha Cha went together. It was sex on heels. All those gorgeous Chinese actresses like Lin Dai and those sassy Cha Cha moves.

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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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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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GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD OF MUSIC ALL OVER AGAIN

By Hans Ebert
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Yesterday, popular record store HMV announced that it’s closing its doors in Hong Kong after being here for over 25 years.

A girl working behind the bar of a hotel lounge mentioned the news. In her late Twenties and early Thirties, she was talking about how her only store in Hong Kong to purchase music as a physical product- the CD- had gone. How streaming music and creating a Spotify Playlist was not for her. How there was just something “not real” about “this music”.

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