“STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” AND TRUST ISSUES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

We’ve come to a point where we’re scared to make music. Over the last few years, those of us who even dabble in music in the wild hope of, not being rich, because there really is no money in producing music, but for the satisfaction of being involved in a hit record, have become more and more scared and suspicious- suspicious about playing our songs to others. It’s probably why the music industry is in such an unhealthy state, and with so many trying to eke a living out of it, going nowhere. Where’s there to go, anyway? We’ve run out of places offering real opportunities to get ahead. But what does “getting ahead” mean anymore, anyway? Meeting or hearing from some has-been with a vague idea for a “project”? Pass. Been there. Led nowhere. Wasted time.

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SETTING SAIL ON MEMORY BLISS (BUT NOT DWELLING ON THE PAST)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

You really don’t want to get drawn into the soap opera surrounding the characters involved, but there’s no escaping any of it. None of it has anything to do with music, but social media has sadly made the most stupid of things become news- and in a roundabout instance, this has become music news. In a nutshell, Taylor Swift, personally speaking, a very average songwriter and singer, has parlayed her serial love life into a USP. Is there anyone she hasn’t been with? And when eventually dumped, she puts pen to paper and writes her Dear John, Tom, Dick or Harry Styles one-dimensional songs.

It might have worked when a teenaged singer-songwriter, but now at twentysomething, her songs and constant updates of her relationships seem contrived and ring hollow. It’s like the girl who cried wolf and squat to do with making music.

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WHY THE GRAND HYATT HONG KONG IS LIKE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: OUT OF STEP WITH TODAY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Huston might have had a problem, but these days, Hong Kong has, almost overnight, inherited or created for itself, one long and tedious problem involving so many things that it’s difficult to know where to start. Just having lunch at the newly-reopened Grand Hyatt Coffee Shop, or whatever it’s called in its latest incarnation after almost four months or refurbishing, was not easy to accept.

Having lived at the adjacent Convention Plaza Apartments for almost ten years when the comings and goings at Suite1616 would have made The Wolf Of Wall Street look like Peter Pan playing with Tinkerbelle, the Grand Hyatt was a second home.

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SAYING IT IN A SONG

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The news that Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris have broken up will have bookmaker Ladbrokes offering two cents on the dollar that the lady in question will do what she always does: put pen to paper and pour out her innermost feelings about the breakup for public consumption. Remember “Dear John” after being dumped by John Mayer?

Miss Swift has been dumped so many times that she can probably release three complete records that tell the story how hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. It’s her shtick, they’re her songs, and it helps sell records.

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OLD FISH, SMALL PONDS AND GENTLE BONES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It would be an understatement to say that Hong Kong is in a funk. Pick up the newspaper and there’s nothing but gloom and doom. Speak to friends, and their businesses are either on shaky ground or else have fallen through the cracks. New restaurants, bars and clubs keep opening, but even more keep closing, and all these new venues are doomed to also end up on the rubbish heap.

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EMBRACING AND GIVING THANKS TO THE MIRACLE OF MUSIC

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s no other way to put it: We’re all going to die, some before others. And as we face mortality, we start making changes and finalising plans- the obituary, the funeral, how and where you want to lay your weary head, who you want to be beside you, what you want to leave behind, and who you want to take with you in your heart when those Bells of Rhymney start to chime- the people and those songs that have been the soundtrack to your life this time around. As Dylan wrote, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”.


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TIME TO REVISIT COLDPLAY AND TAKE MUSIC “UP&UP”

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Maybe “Fix You” was considered too sappy by some, maybe Chris Martin’s marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow was “too Hollywood” for “Rock and Roll”, whereas all the space given by the media to what they named their kids, and all that “unconscious uncoupling” Goop talk when their marriage fell apart, was probably too much for many to stomach.

But let’s not let all this other “stuff” get in the way of Coldplay being an excellent POP band that has recorded some very good POP music. Plus, I wish I could have written “Fix You” for someone who was numb being crippled inside at the time. We all need “fixing” from time to time, and “Fix You” said something about Chris Martin, the person and husband, to write the song for his wife at a time when she was having a hard time dealing with the death of her father.

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GWEN STEFANI AND BLAKE SHELTON AND THE AGE OF THE SHTICK

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It might be All About The Bass, but it’s definitely all about the hype. Funny word- hype. Once upon a Blind Faith, or that thing called a “supergroup”, or even “Dylan goes electric” was supposedly hype, and frowned upon on. But today, hype has become shtick and is celebrated and used to make the ordinaire and tedious be, well, hyped into being much more than it should be.

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WHAT DO MUSIC PUBLISHING HOUSES ACTUALLY, WELL, DO?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Whoever are in these offices have worked in this lazy, meandering way for decades. They’re like hamsters going around and around that little treadmill before its time to retire, and leave with a nice golden handshake for having survived by keeping their heads down and not rocking the boat.

This breed of worker bees will never ever change, yet, despite their total ineptitude, and what borders on scamming their artists, music publishing houses are allowed to continue as business as usual with an arrogance that’s seldom questioned by artists.

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