Month: March 2013

Media in Australia: Television

This week’s reading focused on television and its history. While remaining the most used media form in this country, Flew and Harrington (2010, pp. 157) wrote in The Media & Communications in Australia that the 14-25 age group’s use of the internet may change the TV set’s popularity in the household (Flew, T and Harrington, S, 2010, pp. 157).

The television industry will have to face and embrace the concept of convergence. Convergence is defined in the Dictionary of Media and Communication as the “merging of formally discrete communications technologies/media” (Chandler and Munday, 2011, pp. 77), meaning that the internet is helping to extend the ways that television can be consumed. From the findings of their report, Convergence 2011: Australian Content State of Play, Screen Australia believes that convergence is “reshaping the Australian media landscape, with new technologies growing in influence and providing audiences with more choice than ever before” (Screen Australia, 2011). Convergence is the biggest change that TV faces, with the introduction of 3G mobile internet and digital media technologies such as internet television and online video. These changes are significant because television ratings are affected by consumers watching content online, either legally or illegally.  This means consumers are watching their favourite programs the way they want and when they want, rather than when the broadcasters want them to. Flew and Harrington (2010) believe that for television these new technologies have “rapidly become an important, if not central, issue for the industry”.

Despite the fact that high-speed broadband is speeding the process of convergence, Screen Australia’s report shows that television is still the “leading way of viewing screen content”, with 96% of people still viewing television and participation in free-to-air-channels is actually up 14% (2011).  While it may appear that television is declining, these statistics suggest that television will be still be around for a long time, although maybe not in its current form.

References

Flew, T., & Harrington, S. (2010), Chapter 9, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Chandler, D & Munday, R, 2011, Dictionary of Media and Communication, Oxford University Press Inc., New York.

Convergence 2011: Australian Content State of Play, 2011, Screen Australia, viewed 7th September 2012, < http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/convergence_stateofplay.aspx>.

 

 

[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7 SEPTEMBER 2012. MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED SLIGHTLY]

This is the fifth of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The next  seven will be uploaded over the course of a few weeks, the links to which can be found here: https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/media-in-australia-university-blogs/

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Media in Australia: Radio

This week’s readings talked about the development of radio. Griffen-Foley (2010) discussed in The Media & Communications in Australia the challenges that were facing radio (Griffen-Foley, B, 2010, pp. 82-112). There were legislative changes in 1986 and 1987 that had created restrictions on owning different media types (newspaper, radio and television), which allowed radio to slightly grow (Griffen-Foley, 2010, pp. 119). In 1988, the Hawke government introduced the National Radio Plan to try to improve the reach of radio. However, the radio industry was put in debt in 1990-91 which led to new stations to take the place of others (Griffen-Foley, 2010, pp. 120).

Early on in the radio’s existence in the 1930s, Johnson (1988, pp. 89) describes the marketing campaigns to expand the number of households that had radios in them (Johnson, L. 1988, pp. 82-112). Advertising focused on presenting the radio creating happiness for a nuclear family. It wasn’t that simple however as often stories circulated of family disagreements about which program to listen to. This was exploited by trying to convince consumers to have more than one radio in the house (Johnson, 1988, pp. 93). All this led to radio taking over traditional family rituals. Before radio, families “gathered around the piano, played cards, or read stories to one another”.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation website (2010) notes that digital radio and the internet has so far supplemented analogue radio services in this country. This is different to television, with the analogue signal soon being switched off in favour of being replaced by digital. Radio has somehow survived in contrast to the decline of the press and television.

 

References

Griffen-Foley, B. (2010), Chapter 7, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Johnson, L. (1988) ‘The Everyday Ordinary’ & ‘What Women Have to Listen To’, in The Unseen Voice: A Cultural Study of Early Australian Radio, London: Routledge, pp. 82-112.

Radio in Australia, 2010, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, viewed 3 September 2012, <http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/radio-in-australia>.

[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 4 SEPTEMBER 2012. MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED SLIGHTLY]

This is the fourth of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The next  seven will be uploaded over the course of a few weeks, the links to which can be found here: https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/media-in-australia-university-blogs/

Kiss and Motley Crue 2013 concert review

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A night of rock and roll is a great night out in my book. That’s exactly what Motley Crue and Kiss brought to the table at their show, along with guests Thin Lizzy and Diva Demolition.

There were a few things that annoyed me. There were three different barricaded standing areas. It was one of those shows where you pay a lot extra to get to the very front, which I’ve always been against. I thought it was strange that a large chunk of Etihad Stadium was closed off for the stage, and this smaller stage setup may have contributed to the extreme heat inside the stadium. I think it was part of a dodgy business scheme by the stadium to offer cool offs with really expensive $9.50 beers and then hydration with $6.50 bottles of water. Yeah there was no way I was buying anything from this place. Just remember: it’s a legal requirement for them to offer free water, and what’s wrong with tap water? Nothing!

Brisbane based band Diva Demolition kicked things off with some old school sounding riffs. Catchy riffs, solos and charisma, everything you want from a rock and roll band. I’d love to hear more from this band in the future, and some of their choruses are still stuck in my head!

Thin Lizzy was next. This is one of the new incarnations of the band without the late Phil Lymont. All these shows (the band has refused to record new material) are dedicated to his legacy. Ricky Warwick is the current lead vocalist for the band and I thought he did a great job. I’m not too familiar with Thin Lizzy, but I enjoyed the setlist, which consisted of their hits such as ‘Jailbreak’, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, and the song everybody knows, ‘The Boys are Back in Town’, which was a strong finisher. I’m not a Thin Lizzy fan, but I am keen on checking them out after seeing them here.

The first of the two headliners, Motley Crue, explosively hit the stage. I saw Motley Crue back in 2011 when they did a relatively simple stripped back show. I don’t look back on it too positively. The band’s usual showmanship was not there, and they didn’t even do an encore! That’s strange for a main headliner. This time the band brought the big guns, like in the Carnival of Sins DVD, and it made for quite a show. There was pyro, lasers, circus tricks, hot girls, Tommy Lee drumming upside down on his rollercoaster (which everyone has to see before they die!) and of course, the hits.

The only new material was the new single, ‘Sex’, and the title track off their most recent album, ‘Saints of Los Angeles’. Something that’s been clear to me since I saw the band on the aforementioned DVD and in concert twice now, is that lead singer Vince Neil has not aged well as a performer. He struggled to sing the words, especially during ‘Shout at the Devil’. It wasn’t all bad, as ‘Girls Girls Girls’ was sung flawlessly. The other three members were at the top of the game, which is a good effort for guitarist Mick Mars as he’s the oldest of the group by far. As usual the band ended with ‘Kickstart My Heart’, a song that truly represents what this band is about: kicking arse.

Kiss and Motley Crue are the perfect bands to tour together, as their concerts are not just songs, but feel like a circus. I must admit, I mainly bought the tickets as a Motley Crue fan and I’m not that familiar with Kiss’s discography, but I listened to them quite a bit before the show. Opening with classics ‘Detroit Rock City’ and my personal favourite, ‘Shout it Loud’, the band showed that despite their age, are more than capable of putting on a great show. It seemed the band wanted to have a wide presentation of their back catalogue, as no more than two songs off any album was played, including the new one, Monster. The exception to this was their first album, Kiss, which had three, including the tour debut of ‘Deuce’.

There were great show moments here, such as the band beginning the show descending from high platforms, Gene Simmons breathing fire and Paul Stanley riding a flying fox to a platform in between the standing area and the seats and sang Love Gun directly to those unlucky enough to get seats. A fan threw his wig at Paul Stanley’s guitar was he was flying through the air on the way back to the main stage, which caught on his guitar and it was pretty funny. What wasn’t as nice was Gene Simmons letting loose fake blood from his mouth all over himself. Silly.

Ending with main set with ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ and confetti gave the band the chance to showcase their staying power as a band, with everyone up in arms screaming the words. They finished it up with ‘Black Diamond’ and I went home with a smile on my face after witnessing a show that felt grand, but I also had a hole in my heart as the band didn’t play ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’. This was apparently so because the band started late and Etihad Stadium had an 11pm curfew. Damnit. Also why have ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’ played over the PA instead of performing it? Regardless, I was very stunned at how the band can perform like men half their age.

A great few hours of rock and roll, the Kiss/Motley Crue show was well worth the money. Shame about Etihad though, but despite the annoyances, all four bands put on a great show.

Rating: 4/5.

 

Motley Crue’s Setlist

 

Saints of Los Angeles

Wild Side

Shout at the Devil

Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)

Home Sweet Home

Drum Solo

Guitar Solo

Sex

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

Primal Scream

Live Wire

Dr. Feelgood

Girls, Girls, Girls

Kickstart My Heart

 

Kiss’s setlist

 

Detroit Rock City

Shout It Out Loud

Deuce

Firehouse

Hell or Hallelujah

Calling Dr. Love

Outta This World

Psycho Circus

Bass Solo

I Love It Loud

Crazy Crazy Nights

War Machine

Love Gun

Rock and Roll All Nite

Encore:

Lick It Up

Black Diamond

Soundwave Festival 2013 in Melbourne review

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It was clearly going to be the greatest Soundwave ever. Surely the 2013 lineup will not be outdone by the festival in the next few years. The first two headliners on the lineup were two of my favourite bands ever. As for the rest, seriously just have a look at that lineup. Blink-182, Paramore, Slayer, Anthrax and more! Who the hell is A Perfect Circle? Iron Maiden a couple of years back was pretty big, and Van Halen would have been big at Soundwave Revolution if the bloody thing had actually gone ahead. Metallica is one of the biggest bands ever and the only other bands that could top them are bigger than any festival.

I started my day at Anthrax. They played about six or seven songs, and about half of those were covers. I would’ve preferred more Anthrax. Ending with the AC/DC cover was a nice gesture.

Next up was Stone Sour, who I had already seen a couple of days prior at Linkin Park. Corey Taylor clearly loves to perform.

I had looked forward to seeing Dragonforce for a while. I wish I got closer to them so I could see Herman Li’s crazy solos better, and they were crazy. New singer Marc Hudson has a great voice and is full of energy. They ended with ‘Through the Fire and Flames’, a song most of us played in Guitar Hero III.

After a quick break, Slayer was next; the pit was too full, so we had to watch the first few songs on the screen.  And while waiting to get into the pit, the people were starting to form a revolution against the security to get in because, well…IT WAS SLAYER!  And so they the security had to give in and let us in half way through their set.  And was it worth it? Hell yeah, because we didn’t miss ‘Angel of Death’ or ‘Raining Blood’.

After Slayer, we had to wait for A Perfect Circle to finish, so we could see the great Blink 182. And once they got on stage, it come apparent of why this band is so well liked. Not only did they perform well (even without Travis Barker), the banter that goes on between Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus is grossly crude but kept the audience’s attention like a dog on a comfortable leash.

Then Linkin Park came on Stage B, and in Stage A the Metallica fans started to flood, yelling ‘HURRY THE F@&K UP!’. And with Metallica being a bit late, the crowd became overly restless, even singing ‘It’s A Long Way to the Top’ when it was played on the overhead speakers. But when ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ came on, the crowd were at their feet. And then when Metallica came on with ‘Hit the Lights’, chaos is the word that comes to mind. And it was like this for the rest of the set.

Metallica’s Soundwave sets were tailored for the hardcore fans. The only song from post-1991 was ‘All Nightmare Long’ my favourite track from their latest album Death Magnetic. All the shows had a surprise or two. Melbourne heard the first performance of ‘My Friend of Misery’ that wasn’t a part of the Black Album anniversary shows, and it was amazing. The band was in fine form, and James Hetfield especially knows how to please a crowd. I can’t think of anything bad to say about Metallica’s set. The sound was great, the pyro was awesome and the songs were killer, everything a Metallica fan needs from their shows. If you haven’t seen Metallica in concert before, you’ll be stunned when you finally do.

There were so many bands to see, that I had to make the sad choice of missing Garbage, Paramore, Fozzy and The Offspring in favour of the headliners, but clashes are inevitable with so many great international acts. I’ve been to the past couple of Soundwaves, and this was easily the best yet, in fact I don’t think the festival’s promoter, AJ Maddah, will be able to top this lineup ever!

Thanks AJ, for the best Soundwave ever!

Rating for Metallica’s set: 4.5/5

1.            Hit the Lights

2.            Master of Puppets

3.            The Four Horsemen

4.            Harvester of Sorrow

5.            Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

6.            Leper Messiah

7.            My Friend of Misery

8.            Sad But True

9.            Fade to Black

10.          All Nightmare Long

11.          One

12.          For Whom the Bell Tolls

13.          Blackened

14.          Nothing Else Matters

15.          Enter Sandman

ENCORE

16.          Creeping Death

17.          Damage, Inc.

18.          Seek & Destroy

Thanks to my friend Rhys at Pigeon Stories who helped me write this. Check out his blog at http://pigeonstories.wordpress.com/

Media in Australia: Magazines

The readings this week discussed magazines and they continue to be a media powerhouse. Frances Bonner (2010) believes that despite the fact that circulation figures dropped, new magazines have emerged and readership is still going strong (Bonner, 2010, pp. 173). Bonner stated that Australians are the second highest (after New Zealand) per capita consumers of magazines in the world (pp. 174). Bonner says that magazines are still relevant in today’s media industries and in people’s lives. This relevancy is why it’s still important for magazines to know their audience in order to incorporate the right advertising and keep readership high. Janine Mikosza (2003) discusses the men’s lifestyles magazines Ralph and FHM (For Him Magazine), and both of them “target a specific readership of young, heterosexual men.” The editors of both magazines know they target young adult males and know that the content and adverts have to appeal to what their audience wants.

According to Magazine Publisher of Australia, for the last 12 months, consumers in Australia spent $900 million on printed magazines and 5.5 magazines were sold every second (Magazine readers continue to spend up on big titles, billions of pages read each day, 2012). Matthew Stanton, the CEO of ACP Magazines, stated that print is still the way Australians prefer to consume magazines. This indicates that unlike newspapers, magazines are still a very viable medium.

References

Tiffen, R. (2010), Chapter 5, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Mikosza, J. (2003), In search of the ‘mysterious’ Australian male: Editorial practises in men’s lifestyle magazines.

Magazine Publisher of Australia (2012), Magazine readers continue to spend up on big titles, billions of pages read each day, http://www.magazines.org.au/FullNews/12-0813/Magazine_readers_continue_to_spend_up_big_on_titles_billions_of_pages_read_each_day.aspx (accessed 28 August 2012).

[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 30 AUGUST 2012. MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED SLIGHTLY]

This is the third of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The next  seven will be uploaded over the course of a few weeks, the links to which can be found here: https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/media-in-australia-university-blogs/

Linkin Park 2013 concert review

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Two years ago I was standing in almost the same spot at the same venue watching the same band. It felt like yesterday that I had seen my favourite band for the first time, and thankfully this time they put on an even better show!

Oh before I go on, Stone Sour who opened for Linkin Park was pretty good. I only knew “Bother”, which was excellent, but the rest of the set delivered some hard hitting rock. I liked them enough to check ‘em out again at Soundwave.

Back to LP. Roughly half the set consisted of songs from Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the bands first two albums. It’s a case of the band giving fans exactly what they want to see. The three albums since then have moved away from the nu metal/rapcore style that brought in their original fans (me included).

I was more than happy with the choice to stick with the old, because it made me nostalgic. Linkin Park was the first band I liked, and naturally they were the only band I would listen to for a very long time. It would get on the nerves of all my friends but I didn’t care. Hearing songs they didn’t play last time I saw them, such as “With You” and “Somewhere I Belong”, brought back memories of 14 year old me. It amazed me how much of the words I knew off by heart.

The band often likes to focuses on Chester Bennington’s voice and Mike Shinoda on piano during sets, and this time it was beautifully done with the ballad medley of “Leave out All the Rest”, “Shadow of the Day” and “Iridescent”.

The new songs off Living Things were good too. “Lost in the Echo” and “Burn it Down” in particular were fantastic. I wish they had played “In My Remains” or “Powerless”, but we can’t have it all.

Mike noted how the band likes to change the setlists for the fans who show up to multiple shows, and this time they even gave the audience a choice between “In the End” or “A Place For My Head”. I yelled for “APFMH” because the band doesn’t play it that often, and it won! It was the first time that “In the End” wasn’t played at a full Linkin Park show. “In the End” is a song I love of course, but as the band’s signature song I heard it last time, and will probably hear it at every concert they perform in the years to come anyway.

During Rob Bourdon’s drum solo in the middle of “Bleed it Out”, Chester went to the barricades to shake hands with the fans and they were going crazy. One guy jumped the crowd to try to touch Chester… and succeeded, but it was a job well done.

With a wide selection of the old and the best of the new, Linkin Park delivered a show that fans would die for. I may be biased as one of their biggest fans, but I had such a good time at this show that I know I’ll be back in a few years time.

Rating: 4.5/5.

 

01. TINFOIL
02. Faint (Ext. Outro)
03. Papercut
04. Given Up (Ext. Outro w/ Extra Note)
05. With You (2012 Ext. Intro; 2012 Scratch Outro)
06. Somewhere I Belong (2012 Intro)
07. New Divide
08. VICTIMIZED (w/ QWERTY)
09. Points Of Authority
10. LIES GREED MISERY
11. Waiting For The End (Apaches Intro w/ ‘UNTIL IT BREAKS’ v2 rap; Ext. Outro)
12. Breaking The Habit
13. CASTLE OF GLASS
14. LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent (Ballad Medley)
15. The Catalyst
16. LOST IN THE ECHO (2012 Intro)
17. Numb (Numb/Encore tease at the end)
18. What I’ve Done
19. One Step Closer (Ext. Outro)
—————————————————-
20. BURN IT DOWN
21. A Place For My Head
22. Bleed It Out (w/ drum solo)

Media in Australia: The Press

This week’s readings discussed the press and how in recent years it has been declining at a steady rate. It also talked about the Finkelstein Inquiry and how that might impact Australian media.

The death of the newspaper may not necessarily mean death to the media companies that print the press. In The Media & Communications in Australia, Alan Kohler was quoted saying “Fearing for the death of newspapers is a bit like fearing for the death of vinyl records…Newspapers are just vehicles to disseminate journalism and the advertising needed to pay for that journalism, they are not the journalism itself” (2010, pp 93). Just like music has migrated from vinyl records to CDs and more recently, iTunes, newspapers will migrate from print to the internet and will be distributed through smartphones, laptops and tablets. Many newspapers, such as The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald are already being distributed in this manner. However, this isn’t totally great news for these printing press companies and Fairfax are a great example of that. Fairfax recently announced (BBC News, 2012) that they will cut jobs, close two printing facilities and implement on the The Age and Sydney Morning Herald websites pay walls (allow access to those who pay subscriptions). This will save them over $235 million each year by the middle of 2015. This is clearly in response to the decline of newspapers and the fast growing market share of news on the internet.

The Finkelstein Inquiry, according to The Conversation, has concluded that the media is not regulated well enough to make sure that those working in the media are accountable for their actions. This inquiry looks good for readers of newspapers as it wants regulations of newspapers to be similar to television. The inquiry has mostly been positively received by media experts, who were speaking to The Conversation. A condition of the inquiry means that newspapers will partly be government funded. In a country where the press is dominated by only two entities, Fairfax Media and News Limited, these regulations will create a statutory body, making sure these two organisations are in line.

The decline of the newspaper means that the printing press has to change the way they run their businesses in line with the technological advances and the changing behaviours of their readers, and must also be prepared for the possibility of regulation by the government.

References

Tiffen, R. (2010), Chapter 5, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Australia’s Fairfax cuts jobs and changes newspaper 2012, Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18482442. Last accessed 18th Aug 2012.

Carson, Wake, McNair & Lidberg ‘The Finkelstein Inquiry into Media Regulation: Experts Respond’ 2012, Available: http://theconversation.edu.au/the-finkelstein-inquiry-into-media-regulation-experts-respond-5675. Last accessed 18th Aug 2012.

[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 19 AUGUST 2012. MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED SLIGHTLY]

This is the second of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The next eight will be uploaded over the course of a few weeks, the links to which can be found here: https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/media-in-australia-university-blogs/