AND THEN CAME LUKAS GRAHAM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s a track out called “7 Years” by Danish band Lukas Graham that’s been on Repeat at home and in my head for the past few weeks. That’s scary because the track is almost a year old and makes me concerned that I’m letting too much clutter into my life and not enough music- good music. This is not the person I think I am. Or was or want to be.

Like Hozier’s “Take Me To The Church”, “7 Years” is one of those tracks that are so rare these days- melodic, with intelligent lyrics and performed by an extremely tight band with real raw emotion in the vocals of singer Lukas Graham Forchhammer. Why can’t there be more music like this?

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CAN HONG KONG GET ITS MOJO BACK? AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HELP?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

FOR STARTERS

Before one moves forward, there’s a need to revisit the past. It humbles you. Speaking recently with well-known Hong Kong-born media personality Michael Chugani about what’s really going on in this city these days, and the reason for what appears to be an overflow of anger, his reply- and it was a very long one- made me nod off for a while and think what everyone from Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to Niles and Fraser Crane would make of things.

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THAT PURPLE REIGN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s almost sacrilegious to say one musical icon’s passing has a more profound effect on one’s self than another, but, at least for myself, the last goodbye of Prince is still going through an internalizing period. And every day, there’s something new one learns about a very private person who, like Bowie, lived out, or created various personas, and broke down taboos and barriers whilst all the time producing music in all its many forms. It was never ever about being a one dimensional commercial commodity.

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RIP PRINCE: NOW, LET’S DANCE LIKE IT WAS 1999

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Just like the day one heard that John Lennon had been murdered, the news that Prince has left us fills me with huge sadness mixed with anger, confusion, a feeling of mortality, and to not tolerate pettiness from idiots and to kick all those who have offended me in the nuts- all those ingrates, all those little people with their peanut brains and infantile politics- Lennon’s Nowhere Man multiplied many times over and making all their nowhere plans for nobody.

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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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