The wrap says brrrr
Including The National, the business of A&R, global passport market, bar mitzah DJs, teens in public spaces, accents, New York diners and Fela Kuti
(1) Some very ineresting pieces of late from Music Business Worldwide about the business of recod label A&R. It began with this report which found that major label A&R departments had a hit rate of just 6 per cent when it came to turning new acts into best-selling stars, a finding which MBW robustly backed up when challenged. Those stats made their way into a panel discusion at the recent Music Futures conference in Newcastle featuring Alison Donald (the co-MD of Columbia Records UK who has had a lot to do with George Ezra’s rise), Jim Chancellor (president of Fiction Records, co-MD of Universal’s services division Caroline International and the geezer who has broken such as acts as Snow Patrol and Elbow) and Nick Gatfield (the Twin Music Inc co-founder who was formerly at Sony Music UK, EMI and Island Records working with everyone from Amy Winehouse to Radiohead). Full report on the panel here.
(2) Inner city pressure: Laurence Mackin on the role city design plays in increasing the alienation of its teenage citizens and the full report, Reclaiming Public Space: Sound and Mobile Media Use by Teenagers by Linda O’Keeffe and Aphra Kerr, cited in the piece on how young people use music and sound in public spaces in Dublin
(3) Oh vey: why DJs charge more for playing a bar mitzah than a wedding or corporate event (though live bands still make out better)
(4) Inside the global market for passports, with a special focus on Basher Kiwan’s venture when it comes to flogging Comoros citizenship. More on the plan to turn Comoros, a sovereign archipelago nestled between Mozambique and Madagascar, into the new Dubai here.
(5) “For us, our guitars are our Kalashnikovs”: filmmaker Johanna Schwartz and her documentary They Will Have to Kill Us First about Malian acts, including Songhoy Blues, battling the ban by Islamic extremist groups on playing music.
(6) Interesting report about research by Jane Stuart-Smith and her team at the University of Glasgow into changes in the Glaswegian accent and dialect over the years. I reckon some of these findings will come up when Banter discusses the evolution of the Dublin accent, language and slang at MVP on December 2.
(7) Superb long-form feature on The National as they ready themselves for a new album and a giant step after “Trouble Will Find Me”.
(8) Eggs over easy: the demise of the New York diner due to rising costs, changing tastes and the next generation of owners wanting to get out of the business. And it’s not just diners either, as James and Karla Murray are finding out as they document the city’s disappearing storefronts.
(10) “You would meet every kind of people there – street urchins, ministers, bandits, businessmen”: inside The Shrine, Fela Kuti’s gig venue, HQ and clubhouse