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Sunday, 24 June 2012 14:49

Telstra Launches MOG

Communications giant Telstra has waded into Australia's music streaming battlefield with their new MOG service. Their ace in the hole? Unmetered streaming and downloading, meaning Telstra customers can listen to as much music as they want without racking up additional data charges.

Following the high profile Australian launches of similar subscription music services Rdio, Spotify and JB Hi-Fi NOW, MOG will offer unlimited, on-demand access to more than 15 million songs (slightly less than Spotify, and considerably more than Rdio and NOW), streamed to their mobile, tablet, computer and select Smart TVs.

A 14-day free trial will be offered, as well as two levels of paid service ($6.99 for desktop/web access and $11.99 for additional mobile access). Unlike Spotify, which offers a free service supported by advertising (ads are removed for subscribers), MOG will be ad-free at all levels.

MOG — which streams at an impressive 320kbps — employs a HTML5 browser-based player, and allows users to download and store music on their phones so it can be accessed even when a data connection is unavailable. The service also includes endless, intuitive playlists based on your listening habits and which artists you 'like' on Facebook. Curated content is also provided via Editor's Picks and Featured Playlists.

While those features will impress, its the removal of data charges — a major downside of other subscription music services — that Telstra thinks will give them a competitive edge. The Age has speculated the deal (which mimics those in place between Spotify and Telia in Sweden, WiMP and Telenor in Norway and Deezer and Orange in France, all of which have led to dominant market share for the streaming providers) could be responsible for a large-scale movement towards the music subscription model in Australia.

MOG has been operating in the US for two years. Reports circulated earlier this year that HTC's Beats Electronics division (run by Dr Dre) was in talks to buy the company. As it stands, MOG's board includes hirsute producer Rick Rubin (of Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slayer and System Of A Down fame).

The HTC deal hasn't been confirmed, but it could certainly have played a part in Telstra choosing to team with MOG, given the HTC Velocity was the first handset on Telstra's 4G LTE network. The new HTC One XL is exclusive to Telstra in Australia.

It's unclear how much money will flow to the artists whose work is streamed. MOG CEO David Hyman stated last year that royalties paid to artists are "like a black hole" once telcos and record labels take their cut, while Spotify have yet to specify how much of their revenue goes to individual artists (but have confirmed that 70 per cent of it goes to record labels).

In a recent interview with The Global Mail, Kate Miller-Heidke commented that music subscription services are "better than BitTorrent". Artist rights activist David Lowery, however, rightly notes that these services don't exist in a vacuum, and are only able to offer significantly lower royalty rates than iTunes because the true alternative is piracy.

Regardless, streaming looks to be the only way for the music industry to future-proof itself against the tech industry, and it's certainly the best deal for consumers. For Australian consumers, MOG looks to be the best deal of all.
Friday, 01 June 2012 15:36

Winning: Raw 2012

With five super-charged installments under its belt, the Raw series has built a solid reputation for delivering when it comes to the latest club bangers and dance radio crossover smashes.

Returning for its sixth serving of the very freshest selections from one of the nation’s leading dance networks, Raw 2012 delivers another essential collection of sounds that are tearing apart the nation’s dance floors and setting airwaves buzzing including tracks by Tonite Only, Afrojack, Example, Skrillex, Bombs Away, Kaskade, Laurent Wery and more.

With a high impact playlist fuelled by the clubbing landscape’s most compelling offerings, Raw FM has built a fanatical fanbase through its FM network in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Canberra, the NSW Central, North & South Coasts, Albury & other regional areas, and its online and streaming listenership. 

To win one of five copies of Raw 2012, generously provided by Onelove Recordings, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 15:37

Cosmo Cater: Top Five

Meals To Eat After A Hectic Clubbing Weekend

1. Lamb Rogan Josh. Curry is a debatable choice after a big weekend, but there’s nothing quite like a hot curry with all the trimmings, shared with friends. It’s not health-conscious, but has bookended many a great weekend.

2. Chicken and prawn laksa. It’s hot, fresh, easy to cook and ultimately comforting.

3. Sashimi. Best enjoyed in a tranquil Japanese restaurant. The fish takes care of the brain while the serenity soothes the other senses.

4. Beef pho. The Vietnamese know a thing or two about soup, and this completely hits the spot after a big weekend, without being too heavy.

5. Mum’s spaghetti bolognese. It could be anything cooked by Mum, really. Sometimes you need familiarity and comfort, and cooking is just that bit too challenging. Where would we be without Mums?

Cosmo Cater plays the Sky Room (under new ownership/ management) this Sunday, May 20 and Sunday June 10.
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:00

Adam Yauch Tribute

It’s such a tragedy to lose such a talented artist well before his time. The Beastie Boys were a huge influence on us growing up. They changed the way we looked at sampling and live instrumentation. The hip hop scene has lost a true pioneer and a legend.
Hilltop Hoods

Beastie Boys were a big inspiration for some of us growing up. I remember the 1994 Livid where they imprinted what a hyped show should look like deep into my memory. Berzerkatron (former Herd member) and myself freakishly stalked them back to their hotel and phoned their reception asking to talk to Adam Yauch and their tour manager, eager to give them a dodgy demo of our band. No luck, understandably.
Traksewt (The Herd)

Well, I guess I never got to apologise about my dumbness at the Tibetan Freedom press conference after all. I have to say that even though I never knew him at all I loved a good deal of his work and his dedication to Buddhism and Tibet. I hope his spiritual understanding aided him in his passing. I'm sure he will be missed very much by those closest to him.
Quan (Regurgitator)

MCA was a huge huge part of our musical development and life as a band and his presence in our world will be sadly missed. His energetic expression through his laidback vocal style and distorted basslines were and will always be a true inspiration to us. Love you, MCA.
Ben Ely (Regurgitator)

An originator, a pioneer and a man of many huge talents. A compassionate and active world citizen, and crazy fresh to the very end.

Out of all the MCs in the Beastie Boys, MCA was always the raw voice behind it. His husky voice always cut through on every track. Sadly, without him the group will never be complete. He was, and is, a great inspiration for myself and the rest of DWC. He stayed true to his beliefs and creative visions, spoke his mind and stood up for the underdog. It’s an end of an era, and reminds me, especially as an older MC, to keep chasing my dreams and go hard at this, while I am still blessed to be able to do so. RIP to the legendary MCA.
Sereck (Def Wish Cast)

A true inspiration for those of us who represent a past generation. Also, as an emcee of Jewish faith, I've always been proud of that commonality that bound us through bloodlines.

MCA and the Beastie Boys were true pioneers. As an aspiring young rapper in Australia, the Beastie Boys were fundamental in forging the belief that white rappers could and should be viewed as legitimate artists in an industry that previously viewed white rappers with contempt. They kicked in the door for white hip hoppers and showed the world that if you had something to say and the skill to present it in an interesting way, then race was really irrelevant. RIP MCA.
Jeswon (Thundamentals)

The Beastie Boys were one of the first hip hop groups I ever heard blasting through my older brother's walkman, through our tinny stereo speakers and who I saw on TV as a kid in the late ‘80s. That energy helped get me hooked on hip hop and their reinvention and growth was inspiring. This MCA line made it easier for me to write tracks like 'Subtle Brother' - 'I gotta say a little something that's long overdue, this disrespect to women has got to be through'. RIP MCA. Now I'm gonna turn up the stereo and play 'Sure Shot' and 'Pass The Mic' LOUD!

It’s sad to hear the passing of MCA. Musician, hip hop pioneer, humanitarian ... he has been an inspiration to many a band, even if they don’t know it. We were lucky enough to share the same stage with the Beastie Boys a couple of times as Resin Dogs. They were definitely an inspiration to our band. One of my favorite tracks that I did get to hear live was ‘Egg Man’ off the ‘Paul's Boutique’ record. MCA’s lyrics shine through on that tune... Rest In Power, Adam.
DJ Katch

MCA was an inspiration to my generation of rappers coming up. Met him randomly at the buffet breakfast counter of a Gold Coast hotel; he was such a down to earth and seemingly straight up guy. He will be sorely missed by everyone who has been influenced by his music.
Rival MC (Impossible Odds)

When I first played the ‘Licensed To Ill’ tape my brother bought me in the late ‘80s, I was speechless. Throughout his life it became clear that MCA was more than an MC, he was a truly spiritual being, and he will be missed, but his soul's legacy will live on. RIP to the king Adam Yauch. JUST DON'T STOP.

I guess it's almost trite to say it's a shock and sad news, but it really is. The work he released over the years has been such a massive part of my DJing experience. 'Paul's Boutique' especially has been a staple in my crates for the past 20 years, definitely one of the most classic hip hop albums ever made.
DJ Damage (Terntable Jediz, The Optimen)

WTF? RIP, MCA. MC, bassist, Buddhist, activist, filmmaker and a third of one of the most influential hip hop (and punk, that stuff is the shit) groups ever. Thanx, Adam. Rest.
Laneous (Laneous & The Family Yah)

I first met Sammsonite and DATS back in ‘96, when we would regularly cross paths at weekend house parties and all too commonly stay up drinking until the sun came up, kicking rhymes and talking about music we liked. The Beastie Boys provided some of the strongest featured music as a backdrop to this and whether by intention or not we have taken a lot of inspiration from them as a group. I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that The Optimen probably wouldn't have existed if not for the fun-loving, party-rocking approach of MCA and the team to show us how it's done. I was honoured to see them at Riverstage way back when and it still remains a live-show highlight of my life. MCA, Rock Rock On!
Kristoff the Russian (The Optimen)

"I let it flow like a mudslide, when I get on I like to slide and glide." An inspiration. Sir Stewart Wallace forever!

MCA was a true legend and a pioneer. They don't make them like that any more. He will be missed by the hip hop community world wide.
Fluent Form

A benchmark, innovator and king of kings. MCA's contribution and innovation were immense. A pack leader!
Brad Strut

MCA was a pioneer. An inspiration for millions. A humanitarian. A King.
Kel On Earth (Bankrupt Billionaires)

MCA was pretty obviously a big deal to not only hip hop but the music industry as a whole. The Beastie Boys are one of the rare groups that just about anyone you knew growing up loved regardless of their love or hate for hip hop. I'll remember him as the first person that introduced the Free Tibet movement to me and my sister.
Newsense (Broken Tooth Entertainment)

MCA is a true legend that transcends words... he was not only a third of the trio, but also an activist and a producer. When he announced with Ad Rock via YouTube that he had cancer, he seemed optimistic, and not much was heard and I guess we all assumed all would be ok. They then released their last album which was amazing and received a great response... Many proclaimed "The Beasties were back". This news is personally really sad, because as a kid growing up it was all about Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Those three groups went together perfectly like the trio of Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D did... We lost a good one. Also as a sidenote, when I went to work the day after MCA's passing, I was having technical issues with my computer. By chance I also had all their albums loaded on the iPhone. Punters nor staff seemed to be phased as I put ‘Paul's Boutique’ on repeat, and I guess we were all reminded about the greatness that was the Beastie Boys. Rest in peace Adam Yauch.
DJ Sheep

I’ve only ever been to two artists’ shows back to back and the Beasties were one of them. Night time overs and the following day all ages on their ‘92 Melbourne tour. Incredible. RIP MCA, my favourite Beastie.
Trem One (Lyrical Commission)

Beastie Boys were a huge part of my younger years and it’s crazy to believe MCA is no longer here. He will be missed and I will be spinning Beasties tracks forever. RIP MCA.
Prophet Rayza

Who doesn't love Beastie Boys? You didn't have to be a hip hop fan to get down to their art at all. The loss of MCA is a major blow to the music scene all around the world. Much respect to a true innovator!

MCA and the Beasties provided me with a soundtrack to channel teenage angst and dumb teenage boy humour to the rest of the world via a large Ghetto Blaster carried on my shoulder. Thank god for the Beasties.
DJ Mathmatics

MCA is here to STAY / Rock a funky rhyme in an old school WAY.
Nick One

MCA was a bearded and grimey looking white dude. For him to take the stage in the same era as LL Cool J and Run DMC and be something was inspiring.
Robby Balboa

Always the rawest of the Beasties, Adam Yauch inspired me to be an unshaven white boy into hip hop music. His gravel rhymes were immediately recognisable, he was cool as fuck in the 'So Watcha Want' filmclip, which hit me at a point in my life where I was just starting to properly appreciate hip hop music, and he just had that something extra. Irreplaceably awesome.
Alex Roche (Former Junior Mag Editor)

‘Paul’s Boutique’ changed my world. This news is super-sized fucked up!
Luke Robertson (Former Scene Editor)

For me, MCA's appeal was never about his rhymes. I loved him for what he brought to the culture — not just hip hop culture, but pop culture. The videos he directed for 'Shake Your Rump', 'Intergalactic', 'Make Some Noise' and (especially) 'Body Movin'' were every bit as memorable as Spike Jonze's 'Sabotage' clip, and the indie film distribution company he founded was responsible for game-changing gems like 'The Messenger', 'Exit Through The Gift Shop', '30 Century Man' and 'Meek's Cutoff'. He told us he'd plot and scheme to change the world, and he actually did it.
Rohan Williams (Scene Deputy Editor)

Friday, 27 April 2012 16:05

Tour Diary: Thundamentals Part 2

Back on the road for the third week of the tour and I think we were all starting to get a little crusty/ warmed up — The Herd included.

Lack of sleep, all-night drinking, and fast food usually start to take over your body after a few weeks.

Adelaide is a city we have probably been to the least, so we’re always keen to get down there to rock a show. It had also been raining in Sydney all week, so the sun and 28 degree heat were a bonus. People turned up early, which is always dope when you’re the support act, and it was one of our best shows in Adelaide to date.

I was the designated driver that night which was balls, but I dropped Jeswon and Ozi Batla at some club; Jes strolled in mad late talking about banana pie cocktails etc.

Then onto Melbourne... we were all pretty excited, as we had heard it was sold out. The place was rammed from Sky’High’s performance and basically was mayhem all round. Really fun night in one of our favourite cities. 5am Noodle Kingdom was a definite highlight too.

Dope weekend and only a day back at home before we head south with our mouths down to Hobart. Last week of the tour; it’s gonna be sad when it’s finished.

- DJ Morgs

The Herd and Thundamentals finally roll into town this week with a show at The Zoo Friday April 27, before they head south to play Byron Bay’s Great Northern Saturday April 28.
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:23

Tour Diary: Thundamentals

Your favourite swag of vagabonds — that’d be Thundamentals — are on the road with The Herd for the next month in support of their ‘Thousand Lives’ tour. Tuka gives the low down on the first week of touring.

It's gonna be a pretty special line of shows for us seeing as the first real set we ever played was with The Herd in the Blue Mountains years ago, so in a lot of ways it feels somewhat sentimental.

The first leg definitely started out on the right foot, a brilliant way to kick off the tour if I do say so myself (bad pun intended). Both Sydney and Newcastle shows were sold out.

The Sydney show was the first time we'd played a set in a while so I was a tad nervous... I tend to piss like ten times before I play when I'm not nervous so if you can imagine I had a fairly weak bladder that night.

However, being the hometown gig the crowd was insane, really nice vibe in room, everyone seemed super amped by the time we came on and by the time we got off stage the place was heaving.

Certainly a bucket list moment sharing the stage with The Herd for their last song as well.

Mad props to everyone who came down and The Herd for having us. Brisbane’s gunna get it!

Stay tuned for next week's next tour diary and video instalment from the Thundas.

Thundamentals, along with Sky'High, join The Herd at The Zoo Friday April 27 and the Great Northern Saturday April 28.
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 15:28

Remixed: Victoria Bitter Theme

The beer that’s been whetting Australian whistles for more than a century — and sells a slab every second according to AC Nielsen June 30, 2009 — has had it’s iconic theme song remixed by creative, Brendan B.

A hard earned thirst needs the best cold beer: Victoria Bitter.
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 14:38

Ticket Prices Too Steep?

More than half of Australia attended a live music performance in the last 12 months; that’s according to a recent live music performance survey conducted by Eventbrite, a leading ticketing organisation.

Despite the demand for live performances, the survey, which gathered data from 1000 Australians, found that most Australians thought ticket prices and fee were too steep, discouraging future ticket purchases.

Some more findings from the survey:  

• Almost one in ten attended five or more concerts in the past twelve months.
• Smaller, independent music venues have more appeal than larger arenas.
• Almost half of people surveyed prefer smaller music venues.
• Almost 75 percent of Australians think current ticket fees are too high.
• A large majority of Australians find out about music performances through friends, family and coworkers.
• Almost 60 percent of Australians who are planning to attend fewer concerts in the coming year say they are cutting back because tickets are too expensive.
Friday, 30 March 2012 16:58

Ladyhawke: Album Sampler

You don’t have to wait much longer for Ladyhawke’s second album. ‘Anxiety’ will be released May 25.
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 12:12

Sign Up: Island Vibe 2012

Australia’s finest reggae, soul and dub festival, Island Vibe, is returning for its seventh edition this year — October 26-28.

Applications are now open for all artists, performers, marketeers and volunteers!   

A special very limited run of early bird tickets has also been released for die harders via their website: you know who you are.

To get you in the mood, West End rudeboys, Laneous & the Senors, have a free download of the The Delfonics original, ‘La-La (Means I Love You)’, which was covered by Alton Ellis.

Island Vibe is held at the magnificent beachside location of Point Lookout on Stradbroke Island – or Minjerribah as it is known to the Quandamooka people indigenous to the region
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