Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Awards season

In this month's Metro magazine, Gary Steel has critiqued the NZ Music Awards, and picked at the bones - he's is a former judge of said awards. Hussein Moses at The Corner blog talks about his comments here, and has a pdf of the article too if you want to read it  (as Metro no longer has a website - that's the progessive thinking of old media for you).

Hussein says... "... as Steel tries to get across in his column, let’s not forget about the independent labels and artists which are the backbone of our industry. Border, Arch Hill, Muzai and countless others release superb music every year and will continue to as long as they can."

The need for some kind of recognition of the incredibly strong indie sector we have at present seems to be coming thru from a lot of quarters - maybe it's time to revive an indie awards show, similar to the B-Net awards? The indie labels have a very strong organisation in Independent Music New Zealand, who could pull it together. If it's anything like the B-Net Awards, it would be a bloody great night.

The B-Nets started out in 1998 at the Mandalay (remember the Male/Female Fox award?), and originally sprang into existence because the NZ Music Awards were so endlessly crap. They’ve kind of outlived their purpose, as many of the acts it used to highlight like Fat Freddys, SJD, Mint Chicks, Phoenix Foundation or Shapeshifter, now get recognised by the NZMA’s, which is a sign of the Music Awards evolving. The B-Nets stopped in 2007.

Steels' argument for overlooked acts highlights critically acclaimed artist SJD, and Steel claims that as long as the the music awards judging team is "loaded with radio jocks and industry honchos" with little passion for music or limited knowledge,  SJD "will continue to be roundly ignored".

SJD has won two Tui awards (in 2005), and been nominated for best male solo act. He's not in the running this year, I guess because he hasn't put out an album recently. Steel also points at the Naked and Famous as being proudly indie, but distributed by  a major label, Universal. The last three SJD albums were also distributed by Universal (as were Naked And Famous's earlier EP releases).

One of the things I like about the NZ Music Awards, it gets people talking about our music.  We're a passionate lot and that's a good thing. Now, lets bring back the B-Nets!


Ben Howe said...

Don't forget about the Taite award put on by Independent Music New Zealand. Admittedly it has only been going one year, but seemed to go down well. It was won by Lawrence Arabia.

Anonymous said...

Don't you have to be a member of IMNZ or nominated by a member of IMNZ to get the Taite prize? And isn't IMNZ an organisation similar to RIANZ where you pay to be a member ($450?) and the organisation looks out for the interests of its member exclusively?
Same difference with a different level of cool factor.

Peter said...

Dear Anon,
IMNZ is like RINAZ, in that is an industry organisation - full membership is $400 + gst, and requires a minimum of three NZ releases (one in the last twelve months) for labels, or a catalog of 25 different NZ titles for distributors. Associate membership is $150 + gst and requires a minimum of one NZ release for labels or self-released artists, according to their website. I understand next year the Taite Prize will be open to anyone, not just IMNZ members.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

YES, bNets is so so so missed. feels like it might do a bit better if it was going today too. such a novel concept - music awards given to good music.

I know it's sacrilegious but I always felt the name could be snappier when I was younger. I liked the music once I discovered, but had heard about it for ages while being confused about what it actually was.

Tuis have all the authenticity of a professional wrestling match. this is a paid presentation from our major labels and CRS management.

Ben Howe said...

Re Taite, just to clarify, anyone (member or non-member) can get nominated for the Taite...they just have to be nominated by an IMNZ member.

That said, we are looking to make some changes and improvement to the processes/criteria next year.

IMNZ Membership has also recently changed so there is just one level...which costs $150. Pretty much anyone who has released anything can join up.