Architecture dancing

Last updated 11:58 08/06/2012

The highest honour any music critic can receive is for an artist to write a song about them, mention them in a tune, reference them in a video.

So I was supremely honoured to find out that Autozamm's new song, The Review, was inspired by me/directed at me. If you can't spot me in the video - or the version of me that the band knows - a fat man eating sweets battering away in the general direction of a laptop - then it was all made clear in this interview.The Review(er)

Yes, a fine piece of journalism that. Worthy of the band. And the cause.

So if you missed the bit where the band explained the concept behind the video there is at least this motivation: "We came under fire from one particular journalist and we decided to make an example of him on behalf of every other f**king band in the country..."

It is then clarified which particular journalist the band means: "Yeah, Simon Sweetman, he basically has singlehandedly taken it upon himself to try and dismantle every commercial act in the country AND now he's moved on to the comedy circuit which is good of him ya know..."

That would be the comedy reviews I've been writing for about a decade now, almost as long as I've been doing music reviews. New to the members of Autozamm perhaps as it's clear they work very hard on their music. I guess they must be friends with a Kiwi comic who suffered a "negative" review from me recently - either that or they read Nick Dwyer's Facebook page, perhaps.

Anyway, the fire that Autozamm came under from me was when I first looked at The Joke That Is NZ On Air Funding. I pointed out the example - call it a crime even - that this band that so many people in the country had not heard of, or wished they hadn't - has received close to quarter of a million dollars in funding. All because they play the funding game well above and beyond the real goal, which, surely, is making decent/memorable music.

You might say good on them for being smart and making money. That's one way to look at it. And they are making money - we, as taxpayers, are basically paying for this band to exist; to continue. I hope you know that. Maybe you're happy with that. Maybe you're not.Autozamm

Or you might get the feeling you've been cheated.

But I've never actually reviewed Autozamm - I've avoided that particular occupational hazard. I was invited to join The Corner's panel review of the new single. But it was a bit hard to coordinate, being on holiday at the time. But you'll see if you click that link what some of the other music scribes in the country think.

So, I have no trouble with the song and video existing. Good on them, I guess. Amazing to think that they took that time and effort to reply to a blog-post that took me about 25 minutes to write; all I did was go to the NZ On Air website and look up the facts - all the amounts of money offered to bands are listed. I just asked the question about Autozamm because it was astounding to me that so many bands and artists miss out on funding yet these guys have continued to get both hands in the pot and smear the honey down their faces. (It tastes like egg though when you recognise it's smeared on your face too, right?)

I don't know the members of the band - they might be decent folk, they might even be great musicians and incredible songwriters (though I think they're keeping that pretty well hidden), but they have felt the need to strike back. You would think they could handle a bit of ribbing for the quarter of a million bucks they've received.

I don't make anywhere near that kind of cash - and never will. And I get to cop all forms of abuse.

Anyway, allow me to link to the video again - and to help the band. I believe in giving back - fair's fair and all that. I've been very mean to them in the past, apparently. Fat, grumpy, fat, judgmental, fat, out of touch, fat, silly, fat, surly - and fat - old me. What was I thinking when I was looking up statistics on websites and pointing out the obvious? How cruel of me. And to think Autozamm has been around for 10 years now - and one person was so mean to them. That's so unfair in the world and lifespan of a band.

So check out the video - it's been viewed about 1000 times with only seven likes and 57 more dislikes. That's 57 new songs that Autozamm is currently working on so quick, help, some more people need to like this song and video. Quickly!

As for my opinion on the song - beyond being flattered, obviously - well I don't think it's a stretch to call this the best thing Autozamm has ever done.

I hope - since I like cruel ironies - that NZ On Air funded this video.NZ on Air

What do you reckon? Good song? Great video? Their best yet?

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77 comments
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erin   #1   12:13 pm Jun 08 2012

this blog slayed me - bravo sweetman. autozamm is a joke. a taxpayer-funded joke.

Jim   #2   12:14 pm Jun 08 2012

Keep up the good work and keep owning your opinions.

DC Lee   #3   12:16 pm Jun 08 2012

Well I managed to get all the way to the end of your blog but only managed 30 seconds of their video.. whatever that says?

Danny   #4   12:22 pm Jun 08 2012

I know none of their songs. If I have heard any, I am unaware of them. So thanks for the links, but I plan to keep it that way. They are of no interest to me whatsoever, and if they can't actually survive and make money out of their music, then I don't want them getting any NZ On Air funding out of the taxpayers pocket. Other businesses have to learn to survive on their own, why not bands?

samm   #5   12:23 pm Jun 08 2012

The funniest thing about it, is in making three and a half minute ad-hominem (the kind of argument you use when you don't have an argument) using primary school humour devoid of any actual cleverness or sophistication, they are actually reinforcing whatever negative things any reviewer could say about them. Nice own goal guys.

Kilted Iwi   #6   12:24 pm Jun 08 2012

That video is cringe-worthy...to think they probably got funding to make it as well!

Never really had any thoughts about Autozamm, now I just think they are a bunch of tools.

heckler   #7   12:27 pm Jun 08 2012

Terrible song, terrible video. I was the 57th to dislike. So there are five people in the band, who are the other two that liked it? oh two of them have girlfriends.

WillS   #8   12:33 pm Jun 08 2012

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call you a music critic Simon, more like a negative vibe merchant

Darryl   #9   12:35 pm Jun 08 2012

The interesting thing I discovered from you wiki link Simon, is that for a band that has been around eight or nine years an EP and two Albums is a fairly slight catalogue. That and the fact the appear to have charted only once in all that time. So this would lead you to believe that they are spending more time applying for grants than actually making music... which is a f&*king totally backwards way to go about things.

As for the insane arrogance of this statement: "on behalf of every other f**king band in the country..." No you don't you wankers, you don't speak for me. I guess 200k can distort your sense of what's right.

Grats Simon... I bet you have been sniggering away to yourself about this since it appeared. The level of whit and skill involved must thrill you to your gnarled core. Go the Foofeelers.

T-Rex   #10   12:37 pm Jun 08 2012

I watched it on mute and it was still the worst crap I've ever heard.


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