Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Thursday, 19 October 2017

SFX CONVENTIONS Green screen examples + layering

Not performing IN a bar but ON the bar top!
Here's a simple example of the power of the green screen - one from 30 years ago, long before you could achieve instant green screen keying on a Mac as you can now (there's a term for that, a very important one, linked to digitisation: CONVERGENCE).

Once you have green screen footage - especially if it incorporates full body movement (as opposed to the maximum MLS dictated by using a single sheet unless you're very careful) - you have incredible creative freedom over how you use it.

LAYERING - which isn't always through green screened footage - is one of the fundamentals of music video, a very common device but not one seen much in TV drama for example.

I'd welcome your suggestions (as blog comments) on useful examples to add to this post from your own knowledge/research.

Here's a simple example from a Thai dance-pop artist.

Monday, 16 October 2017

INDUSTRY MONETISING And the brand played on

No alternative: how brands bought out underground music

Thursday, 12 October 2017

AUDIENCE WEB 2.0 Is going underground still feasible?

This might turn out to be a highly irritating Grauniad exercise in uber-hipsterdom, proudly proclaiming awful bedroom acts adored by some London clique as artistic giants ... but it could also be an invaluable discourse on the still evolving disruptive force of new technology and how it impacts music marketing and artists' relationship with audiences and industry alike....

In the coming weeks, we’re going to run a series of articles examining what, if anything, it means to be an underground artist in 2017. We’ll be exploring whether it’s possible to find a meaningful audience for your music while avoiding the glare of publicity, the complex relationship between art and commerce, how technology assists and impedes artists who want to find new routes of promoting and disseminating their music, what the value of remaining underground is, and whether Britain is host to any thrilling and vibrant music scenes that exist entirely off-grid.

Where is the musical underground in 2017?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

GENRE INDIE BBC doc on history of Indie

As you study genre theory you'll come to realise how loose a concept it is - but one that is absolutely vital for marketing and retail purposes, even in the streaming age when shelf space is not an issue. As 'consumers' (such a loathesome term, but still widely used) we do still tend to think along genre lines, which is why these are so important whether its Netflix, Spotify or (gasp!) a physical record/music store.

BBC3 and BBC4 (often replaying BBC2 content) are worth keeping an eye on through iPlayer as they often feature some great music docs. This is a good example, a thorough grounding in the evolution of the Indie genre - a genre which has both some easily identified stereotypes and such a wide range of music that it becomes a very, very loose concept. Further complicated by the Americanism of alt-pop or alternative rock, which is essentially the same. In both cases, there are acts seen as Indie who are signed to major record labels, while many on independent labels are having their work distributed by majors so even the original linkage is debatable.

Thanks to Richard for the link - I'd mentioned this specific doc series many times and he spotted it on YT.


Unlike the cheesy old school techno classic, there are limits with the tracklisting ... the maximum running time of a CD (while it still remains a mainstream delivery platform).

You need to approach this simple detail of your work with caution - and thoroughly back up your decision with multiple examples.

Here's a simple (its far from precise on CD length, quite inaccurate on that!) pointer from Dave Taylor - as the saying goes, if Dave says its true, it probably is...
As I've blogged many times before, you should be looking to create a value proposition for what is usually a best of/greatest hits (or B-sides etc) compilation of previously released material ... by adding (and highlighting with a cover sticker) newly recorded bonus tracks. Some past students (see Atomic Kitten example) have even gone the extra mile and created their own lyrics for these new tracks to include in a digipak lyrics booklet!


WEBSITE ALBUM SAMPLER Suede's non-music vid video!

An example which highlights three points:
  1. Websites are routinely updated to centre on the latest album release
  2. Bjork, The Pixies and many more are trailblazing a growing trend of creating videos for ALL album songs, not just the singles, recognising this boosts revenue-gaining YouTube hits ... but the importance of additional videos (unwrapping, lyric, live, UGC etc) is growing faster still, and Suede's "album sampler" is a good example. It would have Vernallis jumping up and down screaming I TOLD YOU SO given its narrative-free (is that possible?!) nature
  3. Its another reminder of the convergence between film and music video - bear in mind that the 1964 Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night [Wiki] is widely considered as having created the music video template (archetype) with its video-like scenes ... and MJ's Thriller! While you will generally be creating youth-targeting productions with bands' existing (older) audience now the secondary target for you, Suede are possibly reinforcing their mature adult appeal with an entire feature-length arthouse movie released with their album. Its nature might also suggest an oddly upmarket (ABC1) audience for an Indie band. Read more here.
Here it is so you can judge for yourself - you should be thinking of this as an easy, but creatively free, extra (like the single shot video, lyric video...), so long as you remember to keep it MUCH shorter (or it'll just get blocked).

The website splash/landing/home page on 10.10.17:

The "album sampler"


Saturday, 7 October 2017

GENDER QUEER China's female boy band

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

FRANCHISE MUSICALS Bored bards' Broadway badinage

Bruce takes Broadway: Springsteen's stage show is a risky business