Taking Care of Business is a summary of the weeks music business news, from New Zealand and abroad.
For the first time in many months, the main local music news was not about Lorde. Instead, it was about the ejection of hip hop act Odd Future from New Zealand. Various groups had had campaigned to keep the band out of New Zealand because of their lyrics. But, despite many assumptions otherwise, this was not the official reason. According to Immigration New Zealand they were turfed out because they were "a potential threat or risk to public order"
The banning caused a lot of media coverage both at home and abroad, with Pitchfork, Vice magazine and others picking up the story. If you are from New Zealand the Pitchfork facbook comments show an entertaining (and also depressing) insight into the world view of New Zealand.
Despite the Odd Future ban, New Zealand has welcomed bands like the Guns and Roses who had a fan crushed to death at Donnington (though arguably not their fault). Bobby Brown also got a visa into NZ despite various offenses such as drive by shootings and misdemeanour battery. Limp Bizkit never came back to New Zealand after a 2001 death at The Big Day Out, but they have been to Australia. Would they have been let back in? Even the Rolling Stones, who tour NZ in April, of course had their own public order issues at Altamont in 1969.
So, whatever your opinions on Odd Future, the official reasons they were kept out are dubious. But if they said it was for lyrical content then they would have to explain why they let a lot of other artists in - like Eminem for example.
In other local news, the Taite Music Prize finalists have been announced here. The Taite is a prize in honour of New Zealand journalist Dylan Taite and put on by the NZ Music Indepedent labels association (IMNZ). The first round of voting to find the finalists is done by NZ Independent Labels and various people in the music industry, the second round by a panel of experts.
In international news, this study claims that streaming services - such as Spotify and Pandora - will never become profitable, even though they should double in size by 2017. Apparently the reason is because they are paying labels and artists too much. This collection of artist royalty statements for streaming shows that artists should be fully ok with reducing their royalty rates. This artist is also OK with it - even if Thom Yorke isn't.
The prize for the most entertaining twitter account over the last month or so has to be Australian Harvest/Big Day Out/Soundwave/Warped promoter AJ Maddah. Whatever your opinion of conducting the business in public, it makes for a compelling read. His exchange with Megadeath frontman Dave Mustaine reads like a couple of old boy rockers whose bro'mance has gone wrong. Still, people do strange things under pressure. He's been having a tough time of it lately, as this Fairfax article outlines. More recently, Soundwave have also been hit by a swathe of cancellations as well.