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Robbie Fields
01-26-2010, 09:52 AM
..for most of us, this whole scene is so far away and in a different world, that we value the contribution of anyone who has something to do with it..

Well, I think the lesson learned is that anybody, any group of people can make their own scene. Once upon a time, the "scene" was on the Sunset Strip in (West) Hollywood. Now the scene could be anywhere, given technology.

I am doing world class administrative work (stuff that the major labels can rarely do any longer) in rural South Africa. There could be a music scene here or in any other small town ... all it takes as a rule are 2 gifted individuals to collaborate and inspire others. If just one, he/she heads off to the big city and melds into that scene.

Blitz!
01-26-2010, 12:22 PM
I am doing world class administrative work (stuff that the major labels can rarely do any longer) in rural South Africa.

Where in South Africa?


There could be a music scene here or in any other small town ... all it takes as a rule are 2 gifted individuals to collaborate and inspire others. If just one, he/she heads off to the big city and melds into that scene.

There is a music scene in South Africa however completely unappreciated by the locals, where their preference is always towards international artists. Even though this is still the norm, there has been a shift in the last couple of years.

Omni
01-26-2010, 12:28 PM
I am doing world class administrative work (stuff that the major labels can rarely do any longer)


Is this basically talent scouting?

Robbie Fields
01-26-2010, 12:30 PM
Where in South Africa?



There is a music scene in South Africa however completely unappreciated by the locals, where their preference is always towards international artists. Even though this is still the norm, there has been a shift in the last couple of years.

I am in the old South Africa, south of the Vaal river. A long way south, in the Klein Karoo in the western Cape.

I was supposed to be at Montecasino this coming week for the tennis but cannot afford all the costs, even though I get a laminate for the tournament.

Robbie Fields
01-26-2010, 12:44 PM
Is this basically talent scouting?

No, not at all. It's admin. work, doing the work that Dexter pays his lawyers and his manager(s) and other staff big bucks to do.

When Dexter's own record company Nitro Records releases a new album, somebody there has to make sure all the rights have been obtained and the correct people are going to get paid the correct amounts. It's a minefield, especially when dealing with old school material where half the musicians are already dead.

Sometimes even a famous artist will have forgotten to register a work or his people people forget. I recently came across a N Y Dolls song co-written by the late Arthur "Killer" Kane and the very active David Johansen where the Johansen half the song was never cleared for radio play and Johansen unlikely to receive any performance royalties from the last 35 years of airplay.

As it happens, Nitro Records have extremely good rights administration and are in the top 1% of record companies for paying out royalties, in my opinion.

My forays into talent scouting in South Africa have all been disastrous.

Blitz!
01-26-2010, 01:04 PM
My forays into talent scouting in South Africa have all been disastrous.

May I ask why?

Robbie Fields
01-26-2010, 01:39 PM
May I ask why?

Now this is really going off topic!

3 forays ...

1. I spot an interesting, punk influenced Afrikaans language video on TV and contact the group.

They are one of the more successful Afrikaans language groups but I am shocked when seeing them live how amateurish some of their members are.
In a way they exemplify the strange situation in South Africa where there is no real demarcation between amateur and professional. Obviously there are some great entertainers in the Afrikaans field, but most are no hopers, validating their existence by buying a commercial on the country's #1 TV soap opera, "7de laan".

Anyway, I meet up with them a second time at the KKNK, a major festival and rather than discussing with them how they might expand their fan base on an upcoming European tour, they want me to buy them a tour bus! Then they saddle me with the restaurant bill.

2. Now I see another remarkable video on TV this time by an English language multi racial group and I discover that the very same group had had an incredibly catchy hit that went nowhere outside South Africa and even worse not one of the teenaged girls I asked knew the name of the group but all knew their hit.

Well, I start talking with the leader of the group but when I made the rash suggestion that they should reach out to the Afrikaans community - remember this is a multi racial group - that was the end of the dialogue.

I finally had the opportunity of seeing them perform at a different festival last year and as their 2 concerts were sold out I contacted my guy if he could get me in.

He could not help me! So I went anyway and hung out in the bar where they had an excellent live feed and then saw the group perform the last few numbers as people headed for the exits. As they did a meet and greet, I did say hello!!!

3. Lastly, we had a really small country fair here in our town and they had local talent perform. There was a truly gifted Afrikaans language singer, 16 or so from Beaufort Wes and this guy would be snapped up in a minute by any alternative band looking for a teen idol lead singer. His parents were there and I politely introduced myself and they stayed in their own little Afrikaans language bubble and never believed for a moment that someone who has had lunch with Celine Dion's producer just pitched them!

Oxygene
01-27-2010, 01:51 AM
My band hasn't been too active for the past few years, but I'd be very interested to get your oppinion on a few of our songs, and the sound and music in general...
http://www.myspace.com/thedeadbeatshun
check out two of those songs, the one that starts playing first "look the other way" and the second is "hopeless"

I'd be very interested in what someone with your experience has to say...

Robbie Fields
01-27-2010, 01:57 AM
Sometime Dead Kennedys producer and son of Hungarian emigres Gideon X. Geza (or Gideon Geza), also had a band called ... The Deadbeats.

Just sayin' ...

Robbie Fields
01-27-2010, 02:29 AM
I'd be very interested in what someone with your experience has to say...

I listened to all of the songs. I'd be interested in hearing something that makes the band feel uncomfortable.

I hope the drummer (Burger) is now making a living from music. He's terrific.

In fact, you're all accomplished musicians but you're operating within your comfort zone of post Offspring generic punk.

In that 1994/1995 "gold rush", labels fell over themselves throwing vast sums at what they hoped would be the next Offspring. That scattergun approach almost never works but it worked back in 1960's with the British Invasion so the U.S. labels keep trying.

I was lucky ... just prior to "Smash" I had signed some pretty decent class of
'94 punk bands ... Glue Gun and Das Klown to name just 2, for nothing. But they didn't sell ... the punk field had become far too crowded.

So now The Deadbeats from Hungary are doing exactly the same what some band or 2 or 100 are doing in every town in the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden, all around the world are doing. It's fun! But why should you pick up a following? What makes you distinctive?

Not the name, as discussed in another message.

Are the songs? I don't think so.

The playing? Well, I guaranteed you felt you were better than average players and that quality would mark you out. Sorry, in recorded music quality always loses to image.

Indeed, this is one of those instances where I would advise you're better off singing in Hungarian than English. Connect to your fans. When you have that killer song, then you can whip out an English language version.

But it's the song ... what made the Offspring break in '94 in their own backyard? Those 2 songs, "Come Out And Play" and "Self Esteem". What fuelled the Offsping's staying power? A little ditty called "Pretty Fly (for A White Boy)". A song, not a master class in rap, not 5 guitars riffing away, a song.

Dexter knows there was a big difference between the Offspring of 1992 that I failed to appreciate live and the Offspring of "Smash" where in front of a few hundred fans at The Whisky and at the 50,000 sales mark, I declared that the record would go platinum.

So, you see I was wrong. The album went multi platinum.

Oxygene
01-27-2010, 06:05 AM
I listened to all of the songs. I'd be interested in hearing something that makes the band feel uncomfortable.

I hope the drummer (Burger) is now making a living from music. He's terrific.

In fact, you're all accomplished musicians but you're operating within your comfort zone of post Offspring generic punk.

In that 1994/1995 "gold rush", labels fell over themselves throwing vast sums at what they hoped would be the next Offspring. That scattergun approach almost never works but it worked back in 1960's with the British Invasion so the U.S. labels keep trying.

I was lucky ... just prior to "Smash" I had signed some pretty decent class of
'94 punk bands ... Glue Gun and Das Klown to name just 2, for nothing. But they didn't sell ... the punk field had become far too crowded.

So now The Deadbeats from Hungary are doing exactly the same what some band or 2 or 100 are doing in every town in the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden, all around the world are doing. It's fun! But why should you pick up a following? What makes you distinctive?

Not the name, as discussed in another message.

Are the songs? I don't think so.

The playing? Well, I guaranteed you felt you were better than average players and that quality would mark you out. Sorry, in recorded music quality always loses to image.

Indeed, this is one of those instances where I would advise you're better off singing in Hungarian than English. Connect to your fans. When you have that killer song, then you can whip out an English language version.

But it's the song ... what made the Offspring break in '94 in their own backyard? Those 2 songs, "Come Out And Play" and "Self Esteem". What fuelled the Offsping's staying power? A little ditty called "Pretty Fly (for A White Boy)". A song, not a master class in rap, not 5 guitars riffing away, a song.

Dexter knows there was a big difference between the Offspring of 1992 that I failed to appreciate live and the Offspring of "Smash" where in front of a few hundred fans at The Whisky and at the 50,000 sales mark, I declared that the record would go platinum.

So, if you see I was wrong. The album went multi platinum.

Very insightfull thanks :)

Blitz!
01-27-2010, 12:06 PM
Robbie, why are you concentrating your efforts on Afrikaans singers/bands, taking into consideration that the market is so limited, especially if you are looking for international exposure for these guys. As you have probably guessed, I am not really a fan of Afrikaans music.


they stayed in their own little Afrikaans language bubble

From the above comment it does sound like you were put out by this family speaking Afrikaans in front of you. I assume that you either partly understand the language or not at all. You might be more success if you at least attempt to learn/speak Afrikaans. Like they say ‘When in Rome …'

wheelchairman
01-27-2010, 12:56 PM
Dutch is the ugliest language in the world, and Afrikaans is its bastard child.

Compared to Dutch, Arabic and Hebrew are the languages of love.

Robbie Fields
03-23-2011, 02:14 AM
... I am not really a fan of Afrikaans music.
... From the above comment it does sound like you were put out by this family speaking Afrikaans in front of you. I assume that you either partly understand the language or not at all. You might be more success if you at least attempt to learn/speak Afrikaans. Like they say ‘When in Rome …'

You misunderstood me or I did not make myself clear enough : It's the Afrikaans language MUSIC bubble that I was referring to. For years I used to attend (Afrikaans language) plays at the KKNK festival.

The Swedes have a similar situation. They have a thriving Swedish language music scene but they have no problem stepping outside of it and performing in English, e.g. the English language Roxette as opposed to the Swedish Gyllene Tider, both featuring Per Gessle.

Anyone who knows me knows what a nuisance I make of myself trying speak other languages. As I was living in die platteland, I found it natural to learn Afrikaans but as an American it sure made me a curiosity.