By Hans Ebert

I forget where we were, but “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” was playing in the background- an odd choice for the lounge of a five-star hotel- and someone with us reminisced and mentioned how Joe Cocker had a great voice. He did, but that was Gary Brooker singing on the track, and soon we were onto what happened to each member of Procol Harum before returning to why very few can write and record music like this anymore and Old School Baby Boomers versus new school hipsters. There’s a slight snobbery on both sides of the fence- a pity if it’s to keep the love of music floating only on territorial waters. “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and all the back stories behind it should be heard today and tomorrow and the tomorrow which nobody ever knows and where you turn off your mind and float downstream.

The problem with many Old Schoolers is living in the past- completely- when it comes to music. They’ve given up learning. They’ve given up trying to embrace the new. They’re engaging on social media, but not really sharing. They’re trying to hold on to some kind of exclusivity. Yes, some know, or else have made it their job to learn about new technology and apps and streaming to, one guesses, show that they’re still relevant. After all, if The Donald communicates via Twitter, the world better learn to tweet. Communicating in 140 words or less might be the new English, at least in America. Anyway…

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AN OPEN LETTER TO #KANYEWEST

Posted: November 28, 2016 by We-Enhance in Music
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I hear you’re paranoid and depressed? Here’s some news for you, bro: Get in the queue. Every day, millions around the world suffer from depression. And in silence. They don’t have millions of Twitter trolls drumming up the sympathy vote for them. They go through that long dark tunnel alone and hope to the god person that they will come out into the light. They don’t have access to million dollar psychiatric care and enablers to help make the demons go away. Couldn’t you see this long train to nowhere hurtling your way? It’s called the Karma Train.

For over a year, you’ve gone out of your way to be anointed the Chosen One. You have demanded that the world recognise your genius. You’re Yeezy. Must be related to Dozy and Dopey. You have been allowed- yeah, bro, allowed- to have mindless rants because you’re yet another social media created cretin. Yet, these rambling rants have been applauded by those muppet cronies of yours led by your equally vapid cheerleading moron squad made up of your wife and her dysfunctional family.

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By Hans Ebert

“Thinking young and growing older is no sin/And I can play the game of life to win.” That’s a line from one of my favourite songs- “Going Back” written by Carole King and then-husband Gerry Goffin, and which I just heard as a demo Freddie Mercury recorded almost as a favour before the release of the first Queen album. The article that contains this recording is a fascinating insight into the man, and one of the most definitive articles on Queen. It’s an amazing read.

The beauty of music is how in sync it is with life. Mercury’s reading of those lyrics had an immediate effect on me- one of elation, regrets, regression, progression, and, so often, the need to go back and re-understand everything again, why you did what you did, the weight lifted off your shoulders after you’ve forgiven those who never forgave you, and the need to learn to enjoy being by one’s self and where nothing and nobody else matters. And this is so key when insignificant people to the grand scheme of things often ground and you where you’re almost held captive by them. It’s like The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers except they’re playing those mind games Lennon warned about.

It’s all about control, and it’s always been music that can at least liberate this particular soul so that no one owns it even if one gets to those Crossroads and hasn’t found Robert Johnson’s 99th song. It’s what Dobie Grey sang about.

You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal. Dylan wrote those lines as a put down. But turn the half-empty glass around, and it could mean being free of the mental debris so that you can move on with no looking back, and into the arms of someone you had thought could never walking into your life. And suddenly, McCartney is singing “My Love”, you’ve beaten the Queen of Diamonds at her own game and have now drawn the Queen Of Hearts. Leather and lace have come together.

Thinking young and growing older is no sin. The line just sums up everything so well. It clears away all that clutter that keeps you shackled to maintaining a status quo for the sake of politeness. It pulls you away from those that are pulling you down. It inspires and excites you to confront your demons. And win.

It’s again, all about the power of music that can tell you how you once held mountains in the palm of your hand, how big boys don’t cry, how being in love is just a silly phase you’re going through, but how on the flip side, you’re amazed at how she loves you all the time, and, yes, keeps reminding you that thinking young and growing old is no sin.

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By Hans Ebert

A group of us were talking about why Hong Kong can’t produce anything even remotely creative to this track and accompanying video by Mainland China artist Jane Zhang, below with producer Timbaland.

Zhang first appeared onto the Greater China mainstream consciousness as Zhang Liangying after placing third in 2005 on a programme called Super Girl. This was one of the first in a spate of television singing competitions that were to suddenly invade television screens throughout Mainland China. Monkey see, monkey do.

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By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It appears that the last post about all the shenanigans played out using the mantra that “China is potentially the largest music market in the world” to feather the nests of especially Chinese music executives in Hong Kong- and let me quickly add, Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia- has registered with many, because- quelle surpris- these scams to use money from the many dimwits in “Head Office” to fund self-serving agendas is still allowed- ALLOWED- to take place around the world. It’s one of the loudest secrets in an industry very much on its last legs in its current incarnation and desperately seeking Susan and a new business model. Or maybe no one really cares? Perhaps it’s about milking and bilking it for what it’s worth while there’s still the chance?

Video killed the radio star and streaming is not going to save the business of music. If streaming music is the only bullet music companies have they might as well use it to shoot themselves and start all over again.

Those at “Head Office” don’t really care about any of the above, because most are old guys waiting for that golden parachute to open so they can leave with the golden goose of pensions laying them a few extra eggs.

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By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

To understand the current state of the Hong Kong music industry today- pretty much dead and buried- there’s a need to understand at least part of what happened and didn’t happen yesterday, and how things have been allowed to evolve and dissolve into very muddy waters with some Howlin’ Wolf thrown in.  We’re going back to the future, Marty…

A fish stinks from the head down, and today’s local music industry is paying for the sins of the past by those handful of decision making executives who engaged in dirty politics, made use of their “Chineseness” to sell themselves and their side projects to naive Head Offices blinded by the “China Dream” that here was “potentially the largest music market in the world”. 

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He’s the voice behind the latest theme song for Happy Wednesday titled “We’re Having A Happy Wednesday”.

He’s also the voice behind “We’re All Here Together”, an anthemic song about racing and, especially, the Hong Kong International Races, and another original written by music executive Hans Ebert and producer/engineer Trevor Carter, co-owner of Studio 52 in Melbourne, where the recordings were produced.

And now the voice behind these recordings- Melbourne-based Jimmy Cupples- will perform ‘live’ in Hong Kong at Happy Valley on December 7, the night of the 2016 Hong Kong International Jockeys’ Championship that will see some of the best riders in the world compete including Ryan Moore, voted the Best Jockey In The World, Australia’s Hugh Bowman and Hong Kong’s globetrotting Magic Man Joao Moreira.

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By Hans Ebert

@hanseberthk

In the space of two short days, we lost Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell. The curse of 2016 struck again robbing the world of two more extraordinary creative talents just like it’s taken Prince and Bowie and Glenn Frey and so many others from us, and replacing all that wonderful music about life, love and peace and, sure, sex, with a bitter, angry, divisive world hell bent on tearing down all the goodness and innocent forays into the dark that had been built up only to have all this replaced by downright ugliness- ugly politics, where everybody is wrong when nobody’s right, attractive women ugly on the inside in and out of “love” for financial security, and old fashioned ideals handed to us by our parents wiped out forever. 

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By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

So, you’ve recorded some songs. Great. Creative outlets always lead one away from darkness and into some form of shining light. But what do you plan to do with these songs? Even with a record label behind you, what can they do for these songs? Really. And if you’ve managed to convince some benevolent fairy godparent to invest in your musical project, what next? What’s the payback? It’s not easy being a fairy godmother or fairy godfather these days. It’s a full-time paying gig and like Shylock, they’ll return for that pound of flesh. Bet on it.

Do you even own what’s been recorded? You know, the Rights? All. The. Rights. No one’s going to foot the bill for something and not own it all. All. Everything. It’s what, surprisingly, many who’ve been making music for even decades, still don’t understand. But they’ve happily jumped the gun and are pursuing the fame game by shooting blanks. Even Mother Superior can’t jump the gun.

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By Hans Ebert

It’s reached a point where it’s not even a case of Them versus Us. It’s finally come around to how to get around legalese that were questionable from the start, but which many were too timid to question, especially at those tribal gatherings of wannabe big swinging dicks who would waltz in and out of those ubiquitous music conferences where nothing was ever achieved and everyone left mumbling that music mattered when they were as confused about everything as someone trying to understand the relevance of a blog by The Bobster.

Sitting on the fence and swearing a great deal just for effect ended in the Eighties when one thought it was cool to enter the music industry and be David Munns. Lovely guy. But as a music industry supremo who used his Cockney accent to swear a great deal? Nah, especially when he and joint CEO Alain Levy, below, were blindsided by The Biscuit Bungler and then-Chairman Eric Nicoli who had them clean out their offers before selling EMI Music to Guy Hands and his Terrarists and made a swift exit with his golden parachute. But the industry was and is littered with poor men’s versions of Munns. But the bark has been muted and there’s no bite. There aren’t even any teeth.

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