THE NEED TO REALLY REALLY MOVE ON

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Perhaps it was once like Sliding Doors and down to fate to see where one might end up with more than a hint of excitement at the prospect. But go through those doors one too many times and there’s the feeling that the thrill is gone and even B.B. King has put his guitar down and moved on.

Moving on. It’s an interesting concept comprising two words that can mean so much, but are often reduced to a meaningless PS in a relationship that was long over before the Fat Lady even cleared her throat.

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THE FAME GAME AND ITS FOIBLES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Just as there’s a very thin line between cool and uncool, so there is between hip and unhip. For example, seeing unknown musicians wear shades indoors has always made me cringe. If they’re blind, that’s one thing. If Bob Dylan, definitely. But wearing shades, even if one is very average Hong Kong actor-singer-model Michael Wong, isn’t exactly going to make some unknown or never-been musician be taken seriously.

On this subject, a group out of Singapore had won me over. Their recordings were and are extremely good, they’re a high priority act for their record label, and they even had a name producer credited on one of their records. Let’s just call them The Sleepy Hollows.

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TASH SULTANA: KEEPING IT REAL

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

My friend Mark in Sydney is going into the studio this week to record some of his originals, not for any other reason than just the fun of it. It’s not even taking a punt, because he has no expectations and knows that the return on his investment would be minuscule. But he’s put a makeshift band together, they’ve rehearsed, and there are no lofty ambitions. It’s purely for the love of music and returning to a recording studio after many years.

As for those who are still in the business- and it must be looked at as being a business- a very small almost niche business these days – with one being the CEO and most of the staff- the financial gains for making music remain slim pickings, which is different to Slim Pickens, the actor.

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HOW MANY “LIKES” WOULD SGT PEPPERS HAVE GOT (And other stuff)?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of silence. Real silence. See what I’m doing? I’m doing nothing other than gathering my thoughts, blocking out meaningless distractions, and spending some much needed Me Time by breaking bread with myself and cutting myself off from being drawn into the online world and “sharing” and reading the thoughts of weekend politicians and keyboard warriors.

All the lonely people, where do they all come from? And now that the genie is out of the bottle, will we ever return to where some of us had been before and where we engaged in the art of face to face conversation? It was often probably asinine conversation served with huge dollops of bollocks, but there was truth even in our dishonesty. Today, well today, we might be scared to admit it, but we’ve changed so much, we’ve let priorities slide, family values are thin on the ground, we’ve lost all track of time management, and, without even realising it, have probably become users and cheaters relying on second hand news to try and dazzle others with bullshit to get us through a day.

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AS WE SAILED INTO THE MYSTIC

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

And that’s the beauty of music- when it sneaks up on you when you’re not looking for it, and how one song can affect your entire being for that moment and it’s then up to you how long you want it to last.

I had first heard “Into The Mystic” by Johnny Rivers, who never got his rightful dues for his music, his business acumen, taking the fledgling songwriting career of a kid named Jimmy Webb and putting it on the right path, and for writing and recording “Poor Side Of Town” and a hugely underrated album called “Rewind” that showcased the early songs of Webb.

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SAY THE WORD AND YOU’LL BE FREE. WRITING THE WORDS IS BETTER

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Someone recently asked me why I write. We were talking about the impact of social media on society today and how, to her, everyone is a writer. If so, everyone is a writer that no one really reads. It’s all just verbiage now that everyone has the opportunity to have their say about anything and everything and with none of it mattering. It’s just an information overload of often irrelevant twittering.

For someone who was probably born with a pencil in their left hand, which teachers told my parents was the devil’s hand and so whacked my hand with a ruler to get me to change my writing hand, I listened to her words, but was thinking just how much all this “social media” has crept into our daily conversations. And not for the better.

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DIG YOURSELF. THE REST CAN WAIT.

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Often, it’s feeding evil more evil. It’s even creating new evil. Social media can be such a powerful medium for creating unity, but when the “sharing” degenerates into a regurgitation of the same news, it all becomes as vapid as every 24-hour showbiz “news” channel needing content to fill an entire day, and so pulverise the senses with repeat after repeat after repeat, where an audience is soon bogged down in quicksand. It stops progress. It stops the mind from switching gears. It stops new thinking and creativity. It becomes just another platform for wayward keyboard warriors to air their views, but, too often, transparently and shamelessly promoting themselves, or these days, offering some very naive political views. Seriously now, it’s all about free speech, but not when it comes from intellectual midgets.

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SIGN OF THE TIMES: HARRY FLIES OFF IN ALL DIRECTIONS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Remember a short, chubby guy named Robbie Williams? Used to be with a boy band called Take That, then went solo, lost weight, got lotsa tatts, and became huge. And then he grew old and became even more huge. Which leads me to Harry Styles, formerly with OneDirection, and his first solo single, Sign Of The Times.

Don’t know if Harry Styles is his real name, or if the pop music Svengali who put OneDirection together-Simon Cowell- gave him that one, but Sign Of The Times, reminds me of the Robbie Williams hit called Angels. In fact, when she heard the opening chords on piano, my friend stopped making me some ratatouille and started to sing Angels until I told her, Wrong era, baby.

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AND THEN WHAT? MORE OF THE SAME

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The Big Fish In The Small Pond Syndrome. It’s been the death of many musicians, and, these days, with all these social media platforms available, it’s all become one free-for-all for self promotion. And it’s not only ugly as hell, it’s funny, it’s sad and it’s pointless.

Once thought to be online meeting places to meet like-minded people and the sharing of news and views and community, it’s become as boorish as Trump shoving other world leaders aside to be the centre of attention.

What we have is The Selfie Generation- here’s me having a drink, here’s me eating, here’s me in a restaurant/club/shop/street/hotel/fitness centre, here’s me photobombing some occasion to show that I was there, here’s me flaunting my wealth because I am so darn insecure that I might be seen as a loser. And so it goes on and on with updates, “likes” for things many don’t even realise what they are, let alone like. It all becomes just a free-for-all of nothingness for lemmings all screaming for attention.

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WHEN DID THE ONLINE WORLD TAKE OVER THE REAL WORLD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s tough to absorb it all. It’s constantly being on overload and grappling to simplify things. And even if one were to get rid of the debris cluttering up our personal lives and too close to comfort, there are those outside forces that force themselves in and which manage to effect and impact daily lives. Rarely do these impact our lives positively, and there’s always the fear that something will trigger such negativity that you end up walking down that tunnel again- the one with no light at the end.

While some of us are trying to come to grips with the death of singer-songwriter and musician Chris Cornell, which we now know was suicide through hanging, and a report that the tranquilliser Ativan was involved, comes the absolute horror and sadness and darkness where a bomb went off after an Ariana Grande concert- a bomb targeted at the young singer’s fans- mainly very young girls, many probably attending their first pop concert, with their whole lives ahead of them. And now they’re gone and we’re left wondering about those who managed to survive this depraved act of evil and how they will be forever scarred, how this will affect the young career of Ariana Grande, and how we manage to carry on knowing what we know, but at a loss to find a solution.

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