On a Slow Boat to China

Mainstream TV in New Zealand seems to think that besides cooking shows, building renovations and talent shows we need to see X factor, Idol, the Voice and various other talent shows.

Luke Thompson - To the Common DarkLuckily there is lots of great music around and if you have ears to hear it is easy to find.

Luke Thompson has been writing and singing up a storm for a few years and his latest album is called “To the Common Dark”.

But back to the those tv shows..

You’d have to say that when public voting is the way most winners are chosen then the reality is that these talent / music shows are popularity contests open to financial jiggery-pokery.

The show that doesn’t make any real sense though is X-Factor. It is really the Simon Cowell show. There is much hoopla made of the US competition prize being $5m but here is the kicker. If that show really wanted to help the contestants they would use much more of its revenues to benefit the winner and less on the judges.

From what I can tell Britney Spears get $15m as a judge and Demi Lovato gets around $1m but Simon’s take is closer to $75m and I can only guess that LA Reid gets a big number in the $10-15m range at least. So the question has to be asked.

What real value does the $5m prize offer when the real gravy train for the “judges” is something like a factor of 15 or 20 times that $5m which in the overall budget for the show is peanuts.

OK the commercial airtime of having the contestants sing each week is worth way more than any cash prize but you have to wonder if some of the judges bounty payments was taken off them and really used to promote real music – then we’d have a fantastic show.

Luke Thompson is a hidden musical treasure in New Zealand and here are 2 versions of the song “On a Slow Boat to China” off his latest album released last week. ( Note: video updated with new version which came out after this post on Dec 11th)

And the live version. Great to hear both versions. The album version is exquisite.

Summer is coming up for us in Auckland and that means beaches and Luke has another song for that from last summer.