A perspective on the future of the music industry
Missing Link Records is recognised by all as one of Australia’s leading independent record stores. As times change, so has the way we listen to music.
Missing Link Records is launching their new digital download service, Missing Link Digital Media and we talk to owner, Nigel Rennard about their dedication to keeping indie label and unsigned bands alive.
SR: You have been in the music industry for over thirty years now, how have you seen music change over the years?
NR: Back in 1981, when I took over the shop, we were just about to embark on the arrival of the CD, as the new format for the future of music – the single largest change to music since it’s change to vinyl. Just like we did in the early 80’s we were committed to bringing new music, from both the U.S. and European arenas to Australia, along with our strong focus on Australian Independent artists. Of course we have seen the punk/new wave movement, the grunge movement, the emo movement, the advent of urban rap/hip hop music, the many various metal genres and all the other trends in music style over those years.
SR: Missing Link Records is an icon of Melbourne, have cd sales slowly declined over many years or has there been a sudden and quick drop?
NR: There is no other way to put this but yes we have, especially over the past year, seen a dramatic decline in cd sales and sales overall. As we have traditionally catered to a male audience there has been an almost total disappearance of the 14-20 year old punk/metal/thrash crowd along with just the overall trend in all age groups and genres being downward. I put this down to a number of factors, the economic conditions, the type of music being promoted and last but significantly the most damaging has been the theft of music by our target market.
SR: Do you think joining the digital download world is a necessary step in keeping music sales alive?
NR: Missing Link are currently in the process of creating Missing Link Digital Media, which is going to provide a digital download facility, along with a hard copy sales option for our customers and hopefully many, many more around the world. The writing is on the wall as digital sales increase by hundreds of percent each year and hard copy sales decline somewhere around 8-10% a year.
SR: What is your vision for MLDM?
NR: We are looking to create the largest archive of Australian Independent music stretching back as far as we can go along with the latest offering from the artist as they leave the recording studio. To this end we have been hunting down people from the late 70’s to now, in order to get hold of anything recorded by them over the past 30+ years. It is a mammoth task but we will persist to create a catalogue that will offer previously unheard music to areas of the world that has never had the opportunity to hear it. We will also provide overseas music on the service that is distributed by Independent Australian wholesalers.
SR: Is it a case of “if you cant beat them, join them”?
NR: We must get our music back from the clutches of free file sharing and once again protect copyright owners from the greatest threat to their intellectual property ever conceived, the internet. We must be part of this if this is the way that people wish to receive music. Just look around at the human zombies as they walk around, sit on the tram or elsewhere with headphones, downloading music just by putting their portable device up against a speaker to recognize a song for them, which they then hopefully pay for. We also change our shop from being a storefront in Melbourne to a storefront to the World.
SR: Some people may believe that digital downloads are killing the music industry. What do you have to say to those people?
NR: They said the same about cd’s killing off vinyl and music 30 years ago. Illegal downloads are the biggest factor, as previously mentioned, in causing the greatest damage to music and movies for that matter. Governments must create laws to stop this a.s.a.p. but all we can do is do what we are doing and become part of the new technology, provide something different to our competitors and charge money for that service.
SR: We all know that illegal downloading has been an issue for some time now. How can we stop this from happening?
NR: Governments and ALL businesses involved in the entertainment arenas need to put pressure on ISP’s to stop illegal file sharing. The mindset, amongst the young generations is that music is just a free throw away commodity, yet if asked about a career in music they all wish to be rich and famous, it doesn’t add up.
SR: What about those artists who want to sell their albums in hard copy form?
NR: Our service will be offering both single download (if permitted by the artist), album/e.p. download and if it is available, a hard copy purchase.
SR: Will we ever see physical form music completely disappear?
NR: There will be a place for hard copy and there are still millions sold each year but more likely as a collectable item in the future.
SR: It seems hard for unsigned and indie label bands to get their music heard on mainstream digital services. How is MLDM different?
NR: As our focus is on Australian indie, they will get the opportunity to self promote on our site along with us giving priority to these releases through our banner ads. They can promote their live shows, do instores at the shop and generally benefit far more than sites that give a high profile to Lady Ga Ga or other such nonsense.
SR: What has the response been so far from independent labels and unsigned bands?
NR: Just about everybody we have contacted has been very enthusiastic and signed up. Chasing down old label owners like Citadel and Aberrant, AuGo Go and many other icons from their eras like, Cosmic Psychos, Ollie Olsen, David Thrussell and plenty more has been a personal job of mine. We also have commitment from Shock, Stomp, MGM and plenty of medium and small labels that self distribute.
SR: When will we see MLDM up and running?
NR: The first week of June 2010.
Stone Sour in The Studio
Finally grabbing a copy of Save Me From Myself by ex-Korn member Brian Welch – better known as Head – was a massive step. Korn have been my favourite band since I was about 14, and Head deciding to leave the band once he found God and cited moral reasons for leaving, was almost like a personal punch in the throat – he was my favourite, massive reason for me playing guitar and influenced my own band‘s style to some degree.
While there’s much I wasn’t as impressed with (my bias to Korn is unavoidable really) it’s the openness of the album that made it for me. The video to Flush is incredible though – very Korn, but really confronting, there’s also a little controversy around it too.
Personal things aside. I’ve picked it up, and put it on, and will give it a fair go.
The production is strange: I guess I was expecting massive guitars, dripping in bass. What it appears to be is a much more Dope – I can’t even really tell what guitars they are, too much (what I assume) post-production work, kind of sucked any rawness. (Note: I’m telling myself now to stop expecting a Korn album)
Hearing Head’s absolute musical direction is actually surprising: it’s pretty classic nu-metal meets industrial metal. The guitar work isn’t incredibly technical – another surprise to me. Some really great melodies through there. Head on vocals is also interesting: it’s pretty Jon Davis (Korn’s lead singer), and you can hear heaps of other influences from the nu-metal and industrial era there: but definitely some classic Jon Davis from the earlier days.
The synth work is okay – although because I’ve been spoiled listening to heaps of tech and progressive house (dance) music, they sound ‘cheap’ – and in fact much like what I’ve been producing on my MacBook’s GarageBand, another let down.
Overall, it’s enjoyable, even if it sounds a little juvenile in production and lyrical content. But I definitely something I’d put on and play comfortably at full volume, just as a metal fan. Religion isn’t spat at us, the themes are there, but like so many are delivered well tact.
What I really do enjoy about this album is it’s just raw – it’s Brian just smashing out all the songs that have obviously been in his head for some time. Good work, mate. Will pick up your next one for sure.
“Flush” controversy – from Wikipedia
The content of the music video has reportedly caused select retailers to pull Save Me from Myself from their shelves. This prompted Welch to provide his explanation for what transpires in the video:
The video for ‘Flush’ is about crystal meth addiction and the crazy things anyone addicted to meth will do while they’re high or to get their fix. Everything the models were doing in the video is what I was wrapped up in while I was addicted to meth. The video is a very realistic look at the addiction and where it will lead you if you get hooked. I understand the images of the models may be too much for some people, but honestly, I was just trying to be real with what happened in my life and show where I was, as well as where I am at now. I was totally imprisoned by meth … I would do anything to get my meth … I believe I would be dead right now if I continued using meth, but instead, I chose to surrender my life to Christ and die to myself so He could share His resurrection with me … Significantly, the images also go along with what the kids (not actors) at the beginning of the video were honestly saying about their addictions.
my music is my life…something you can listen to over and over again and still find something new
I’m always excited to speak to fellow Australian artists and musicians and tyDi (aka Tyson Illingworth) delivered very well. tyDi gives us a really passion and honest look into what he loves about creating music, and exactly what creating music means to him.
Jye Smith: When did you first start DJing?
Tydi: When I was about 14, in my bedroom really, then inviting friends around to watch. From there it was house parties til I was about 15 when I started playing my first clubs with like 50 people in the room.
JS: What were the clubs like having some 15, 16 year old playing shows?
T: The liquor licensing act meant that as long as I was contracted by the club, and was with a guardian, meant I was fine. But yeah, they were a little worried I guess.
JS: Where’s been the best place you’ve ever played?
T: If you’ve ever been to Miami, it’s an incredible city. Holland too. But I’ve played so many shows now, and sometimes it’s the shows with only 300 people that can be the best.
JS: What do you think of the drug scene? It’s pretty heavy here in Sydney
T: I don’t take any drugs, for me personally. With my job I’m in the studio Monday to Friday, then always on flights and playing so many shows on the weekend. All people see are the DJ’s playing, so they think it’s all party, but not really the work that goes into it.
JS: Does the drug scene ever affect you?
T: Nope, never affected me. My interest is purely in music. My music is my life, and that’s my passion.
JS: What is music making process like?
T: Well right now I’ve really found my zone.. I’ll call up my friend down the road who’s a guitarist and invite him around. I’ll sit down on the piano in the studio, I’m here now, and the guitar will jam along till we come up with a sequence.
From there, I’ll take it and map it out on Logic.
JS: So you play the piano?
T: I’m not really a piano player, but I studied Music Technology at the con [Conservatory of Music] for 4 years.
JS: Would you consider yourself a bit of an audiophile?
T: Yeah, I’m a bit of a music geek I guess.
JS: What’s the biggest challenge to making music?
T: Writer’s block – sounds like something that musicians just say. But I need every song to be unique. And when I can’t make it unique I need to take a week off and just go to the beach of something and then come back.
JS: What’s the direction of your music? Not only in the next 1-2 years, but also in the 3-4 year period?
T: I want my music to be cutting edge, intricate and have a large amount of detail involved. Something you can listen to over and over again and still find something new with in.
JS: Does anyone else help produce the album, or just you?
T: Just me, but then the people who come in to do the strings, cellos, etc. or guitars, they usually will write the parts, and sometimes I’ll let them bring in their own ideas.
Interview with Stone Sour
Music video and lyrics for As Much As I Ever Could – City & Colour
Beautiful acoustic version of As Much As I Ever Could by City & Colour (Dallas Green).
Definitely one for her..
love, love of mine
won’t you lay by my side
and rest your weary eyes
before we’re out of time?
give me one last kiss
for soon such distance
will stretch between our lips
now the day’s losing light
bring me your love
bring me your love
lost at sea
my heart beat was growing weak
hoping you’d hear my plea
and come save my life
as the storm grew fierce
and danger was certainly near
i knew there was nothing to fear
bring me your love
bring me your love
no i am not where i belong
bring me your love
no i am not where i belong
so shine a light and guide me home
no i am not where i belong
so shine a light, guide me back home
Eminem on top
Just read this article over at Rolling Stone. I’ve got a massive man crush on Eminem and was so stoked to hear about his albums’ successes over the years.
Over three decades after their breakup, the Beatles still released the top-selling album of the 2000s. The Fab Four’s greatest hits compilation 1 sold over 11,448,000 copies since its release in November 2000 according to Nielsen SoundScan’s decade-end sales numbers. Eminem was the 2000s’ top-selling artist with 32.2 million combined in sales, plus two albums in the decade’s Top 10: The Marshall Mathers LP was fourth with 10,195,000 sold and Eminem Show was fifth with 9,789,000. Slim Shady edged out the Fab Four for the distinction of the decade’s top-seller as the Beatles claimed Number Two with 30 million.
“A morning filled with four-hundred billion suns, The rising of the milky way” – Carl Sagan, A Glorious Dawn, ft Stephen Hawkings
Symphony of Science brings us three incredible videos around delivering some very scientific knowledge and philosophy in the form of music.
Take a bunch of space and time nerds, grab a vocoder and drop some beats and strings behind it, and you’ve got some pretty incredible videos.
Full version at the original post at A Digital Perspective
Sony Australia and The Music Blogs have teamed up to offer six lucky readers a number of Sony personal audio prizes, including the new 16GB Walkman E series video MP3 player each valued at $219.00 and the impressive MDRXB300 Extra Bass headphones, valued at $169.00.
With a profound heritage in delivering industry leading sound quality, Sony Australia is uniting all its audio products under a banner entitled the ‘Power of Sound’, which will focus on the importance of sound quality and demonstrate Sony’s leadership in this area.
A number of interesting ‘laboratory experiments’ have been conducted by Sony to test the capabilities of some of their latest audio products including headphones, Walkman, home theatre systems, Hi-Fi and in-car audio equipment. The films demonstrate the products’ ability to deliver the true power of sound and we’ve been provided with the headphone experiment to show just what Sony means by ‘The Power of Sound’.
Further information on Sony’s ‘Power of Sound’ campaign can be seen at www.sony.com.au/soundville
How to enter
Leave a comment and tell us in 25 words or less, the 1 song that would be the sound track to your life right now, and why. Best 6 as voted by us here at TMB win these amazing prizes.
Corey Taylor: In The Studio Singing “Snuff”
Some great footage from their recent album.
I’m sitting in the cosy bottom floor of El Rocco’s at Bar Me (154 Brougham Street, Kings Cross). The room is warm, while dimly lit and the crowd seems almost at home in the candle light. I’ve arrived for Julia Why – who contact me via TMB.
The lights dim further, the candles appear to brighten as the crowd warms while Julia introduces herself to the room. Her guitar opens with strong, binding rhythms.
When I listen to her voice: it’s warm, almost haunting. Her articulation is nice: almost Irish/UK – nice round tones over deep melodies. Maybe a hint of Evanesence, but there’s something stronger there, something else, something deeper (and less opraratic). She doesn’t say much – she doesn’t need to.
I really enjoy Julia’s control and inflection with the notes – memorable steps careful phrasing, good use of rhyme. Her rawness, and openness with the crowd speaks volumes of wisdom beyond her years.
Julia’s lyric choices are definitely not your ordinary lyrics – and they have a really nice dynamic between being quite raw, and shaping some very pretty metaphors. They appear to be quite honest.
“The wine is too far away.” Best line. She just said she’s looking for a bass player – and honestly, she read my mind! This would sound great with a full band behind it.
Julia – wow, what a show. These are some great foundations to set.
Amazing. Just amazing.
First release tickets on sale at ITM from 9am Thursday, 20th August. Check out the Stereosonic 2009 lineup below:
Fedde Le Grand
The Bloody Beetroots feat MC Justin Pearson
Miss Kittin & The Hacker
Cut Copy DJs
Drop the Lime
Tim Sweeney (DFA)
The Cobra Snake
Juan Kidd/Jason Herd
+ and more to be announced
Dates for Stereosonic – Australia
Sat 28th November – Moore Park, Hordern, RHI & Surrounds, Sydney
Sun 29th November – Claremont Showground, Perth
Sat 5th December – Bonython Park, Adelaide
Sat 5th December – Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne
Sun 6th December – Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane
Well, this is the Mariah Carey diss/”Obsessed” response that everyone’s been waiting for from the notoriously maladjusted Eminem. That is, if everyone has been continually stooped over the computer monitors, waiting for pop stars to dive into the miasma of their lives.
The eerie opening to the first track builds tension like few albums I’ve heard before, before your dropped into what can only be described as a Spartan pit fight. This is metal. Real metal. And there are no prisoners taken here.
It’s definitely progressive, but it’s not math metal. Thankfully. It’s raw and quite emotive. The timing is supburb.
Ballarat never sounded so brutal.
Yep, this is a local band from Victoria, Australia. The drums and bass stick together and move as a powerful force. The guitars are dripping wet on top and drive a lot of treble and high mid. The vocals are done in a full growl – not everyone’s cup of tea – and the force is again brutal. You can hear a unique blend of a wide range of influences coming to taint this voice: I get flavours of Bolt Thrower, Cradle of Filth and a little Pantera in the higher screams.
The guitars continue to fly on top of drums and bass that can only be described as a rumbling boom. It’s a really nice balance of blood lust and atomic doom: it’s fast yes, and raw, but the bass and drums ground the sound to give it depth. Depth, especially in faster and harder metal, is vital to develop any kind of story and emotion with the listener.
Soul of A Machine is track 5 of the 7 track album – is a great little spoken word piece. A really unique mark on the album – and something rarely done.
Birth of a Digital God would definitly have to be one of my favourite tracks followed by Ruptured. Over all, the final track End of The Aeon - would be my favourite. Like the opening track, we’re treated to the vocalists clean styled vocals. AND FUCK ARE THEY GOOD. The vocalist, Luke Greenwood, really showcasing his full range, tonal flexibility and raw emotion throughout this last piece.
The album over is very dynamic and is great cranked at some solid volumes. To Dylan, Will, Aaron, Jase and Luke: keep up the amazing work. Hope to see you guys in Sydney sometime.
For everyone else, get your copy of Lambs to the Slaughter by Kaamora and prepare to be taken apart with a pick axe, and love every minute of it.
I just kept the CD running and discovered the secret track. Hah. This is fucking brilliant.
For all those fans who missed out on seeing Bloc Party at Splendour, the band will be playing only one other gig in Australia, at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday July 28.
Tickets go on sale this Thursday, 9 July. To purchase, fans will need to go to www.mastercard.com.au/music
Site Times & Map For We Love Sounds
Free set booklets will also be available from the entry point on the day. If you haven’t got tickets yet, remember that the Diesel Only The Brave crew are giving away 2 tickets for nadda as a part of the new fragrance launch – and they’ll even be there tomorrow!
Diesel U Music pres. Renaissance (Royal Hall Of Industries)
8.30pm-10.00pm: Armand Van Helden
7.00pm-8.30pm: Laidback Luke
5.30pm-7.00pm: James Zabiela
4.45pm-5.30pm: Kissy Sell Out (Live)
3.30pm-4.45pm: Dirty South
2.30pm-3.30pm: Grafton Primary (Live)
2.15pm-2.30pm: The Aston Shuffle
1.30pm-2.15pm: Pivot (Live)
1.00pm-1.30pm: The Aston Shuffle
12.00pm-1.00pm: Radio Ink (Live)
Armin Arena (Hordern Pavilion)
5.30pm-10.00pm: Armin van Buuren
4.00pm-5.30pm: Matthew Dekay
2.00pm-4.00pm: Chris Lake
12.45pm-2.00pm: Robbie Lowe
12.00pm-12.45pm: ITM Comp Winner
Lost Baggage (Forum)
8.30pm-10.00pm: 16 Bit Lolitas
7.15pm-8.30pm: Popof (Live)
6.00pm-7.15pm: Guy Gerber (Live)
4.30pm-6.00pm: Anja Schneider
1.30pm-3.00pm: Justin Martin
12.45pm-1.30pm: Emerson Todd
12.00pm-12.45pm: Bump DJs
Bang Gang (Coachbay)
7.30pm-8.45pm: Bang Gang Allstar Jam
6.15pm-7.30pm: Dave Nada
4.00pm-5.15pm: Doom & Hoodrat
3.00pm-4.00pm: Bag Raiders
1.00pm-2.00pm: Dangerous Dan
12.00pm-1.00pm: Bang Gang Hangover Set
Trashbags (Byron Kennedy Hall)
9.00pm-10.00pm: Danger (Live)
7.00pm-9.00pm: Guns N Bombs
2.00pm-3.30pm: Trashbags Posse Djs
12.00pm-2.00pm: Trashbags Posse Djs
Lost Disco (Peter Finch Grass)
8.30pm-10.00pm: In Flagranti (Live)
5.15pm-6.00pm: Jimi Polar (Live)
4.15pm-5.15pm: Nathan Mclay
3.30pm-4.15pm: Spruce Lee
2:30pm-3:30pm: Le Rouge
1:30pm-2:30pm: Disco Not Disco
12:45pm-1:30pm: Better Days
8.30pm-10.00pm: The Aston Shuffle (Encore)
7.30pm-8.30pm: Act Yo Age (Live)
6.30pm-7.30pm: Dj Neoteric (Dubsided)
5.00pm-6.30pm: Sleater Brockman Vs Kato
2.30pm-3.30pm: James Taylor Vs Ben Morris
1.00pm-2.30pm: Jimmy Posters Vs Dbr
12.00pm-1.00pm: Rob Zobec
Parklife lineup has just been released.
PLEASE NOTE: UPDATED LINE UP HERE: parklife
Parklife 2009 lineup, in alphabetical order:
Art vs Science
The Aston Shuffle
Busy P (DJ & host)
The Cool Kids
Empire of the Sun
Dates for Parklife 2009
Sat 26th Sep – Botanic Gardens & Riverstage, Brisbane
Sun 27th Sep – Wellington Square, Perth
Sat 3rd Oct – Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Sun 4th Oct – Kippax Lake, Moore Park, Sydney
Mon 5th Oct – Botanic Park, Adelaide