THE HEALING IN THE SHARING OF MUSIC

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Often, pettiness and petty people are. And so, after a few months of being surrounded and hounded by pettiness, and those who will always dwell in Petty World, I took off with a friend for what was going to be a one week break in Australia, where all we were going to do was bet on the horses, meet some new and interesting people who just might add something new to our lives.

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THE MAGIC AND THE LOVE OF SHARING MUSIC

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If every industry used the power of music to attract consumers, there just might be more honesty in the world that will make this a happier place- or, at least, more of a thinking person’s world, and not the vapid moment in time it can often be when one sings, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” or Peggy Lee’s sad lament, “Is that all there is?”

A few of us were talking the other night about music and how damn lucky we are to have been born at a time when so much great music was created- music that has become the soundtrack to our lives, music that has been the Voice of political change, and music that we carry with us in our hearts and minds to get us through those dark moments that can creep up on us when we allow our minds to wander off with Tom Thumb to Juarez where there are some hungry women who can sure make a mess outta you.

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STORYTELLERS AND WHY THE MUSIC INDUSTRY DESPERATELY NEEDS A DAMN GOOD AD AGENCY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Maybe it was listening to Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited album after all these years, and hearing his stories put to music- “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” and “Desolation Row”- that had us talking about music’s storytellers, and who’s there today writing songs that touch heart, head and soul.

There probably are more new, young storytellers than many of us think believe are out there, but the problem is the invisible corporate wall that’s been built over the years to keep “outsiders” at bay. It’s The Great Wall Of The Old Boys Club.

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FORGOTTEN HEROES OF MUSIC: THE SONGWRITERS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Listening to “Work”, the new recording by Rihanna, and then hearing a brilliant Remix of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” recently in a club, one had to wonder whether, like everything else, if writing songs for a living and trying to make this a financially viable career, there’s a need to rethink one’s modus operandi.

Forget, if possible, about the absolutely thankless task of dealing with music publishing companies and trying to get very basic answers to logical questions like, “Can I have my Royalty statement?” The arrogant ways in which too many music publishing houses work, and the total disregard for their clients and artists- the songwriters they have signed and whose songs they are supposed to market- have not changed in decades and never will. These are accountants reporting to those strange people speaking in legalese. Once signed to them, you’re Django Chained. You’re under lock and key no matter how unsuccessful. They don’t want you or your songs, but they will not set you free. You’ve become just another dumb Kunte thinking that being signed to a worldwide music publishing house will lead somewhere.

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THE LOSERS, CHEATERS AND SIX-GUN USERS IN LIFE AND THE MUSIC WORLD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

In the Rant section of the SCMP’s Sunday Magazine, the writer mentioned being hit in the face last Friday and thrown out of a club by one of those Hong Kong princelings with the powerful big daddy’s surname and money behind them and who are always seen scouring the local club life for new notches to their Ego belt.

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THE LASTING POWER OF MUSIC BACK CATALOGUES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

And now Keith Emerson is no longer with us. Was I a fan of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and their “Prog Rock”? Not in the slightest. It sounded contrived and ponderous despite the undisputed talents of Greg Lake, Carl Palmer and Keith Emerson. But as a music fan, I followed all the back stories about the band, how Mitch Mitchell was their original choice for drummer, went back and listened to their previous lives with The Nice and King Crimson, loved many of their album covers, especially those designed by Hipgnosis, and respected their influence on artists like Koji Kondo, the first composer of Nintendo video games, and Nobuo Uetmatsu, possibly the most influential composer in the video game industry.

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LOOKING FOR GIGS? TRY ASIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

For musicians in places like Australia, Canada, the UK, Scandinavia, and the States- especially singer-musicians- still looking for gigs in all the wrong places, and wanting some financially viable place to lay th​eir​ hats down along with their guitars or keyboards, now more than ever, is the time to think about heading East, and trying their luck in the huge Asian market. It’s not easy and it requires firm commitments and knowing the white hats from the sharks and shysters, but the opportunities are here.

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THE OTHER WAYS IN WHICH MUSICIANS ARE BEING SHORT-CHANGED

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s been a whole lotta shaking and tweeting going on in the past few weeks, and now that the social media genie is well and truly out of the bottle forever screaming, “Feed me”, the more that music is relegated to a nondescript cameo role while celebritydom is elevated to an obscene level of importance that often makes the mediocre or the tiresome assume hugely overrated roles as the grand wizards of our times.

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