Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Manufacturers struggle to keep up with vinyl revival

photo: United Record Pressing

The Independent report that "Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records."
They say that turnaround for getting a record pressed is now three months. That sounds optimistic.

"... The world's largest vinyl producer, GZ in the Czech Republic, reported its busiest-ever day this year, pressing 42,000 in a day in February. The company has recently bought six ageing machines in an attempt to increase production, but is reportedly unlikely to get more than half working ...

...But the labels are facing a constant conundrum. “Do they press more than they originally need as it would take time to get a second run,” asks Record Store Day organiser Spencer Hickman. “Or risk it selling out, waiting two months for more and the interest waning? If you’re sending a band out on tour, timings are crucial.

“The problem is everyone wants colour, picture or splatter vinyl and it’s very time consuming to make."

I covered this a few months back, when local label Fishrider Records noted that vinyl pressing was now taking them 5 months, from UK/Europe pressing plants.

James Watts of BrewDog on craft beer: "you feel like it’s everywhere, but it’s not."

Was reading a great interview with James Watts of BrewDog, over at the Beer Diary, go give it a read. He talks about the growing availability of craft beers, and whether they are becoming mainstream. The recent ANZ Bank report on craft brewing in NZ noted it's only 2% of the market here. As Watts says.... "When you just drink craft beer in craft beer bars, you feel like it’s everywhere, but it’s not."

With self-proclaimed ‘craft beers’, including your own, finding their way into Wetherspoons, Greene King’s pub estate etc, has craft beer really become mainstream? Would you ever draw a line on where your beers are going to be sold?

"Well, 1 in every 2,700 beers sold in the UK is a BrewDog beer. Let’s have the conversation about craft becoming mainstream when it’s 1 in every 200 or 300. And we’ve never been elitist when it comes to where our beers are sold. We’ll happily sell our beers to Tesco, we’ll happily sell our beers to Wetherspoon.

We want to help revive the UK good beer market and make people as passionate about great craft beer as we are, we want to increase the availability of great beer, and we can’t do that by being snobby about it. If they’re happy to sell our product we’re happy to sell it to them. 

When you’re on the inside of the craft beer industry, it’s difficult to have that perspective to see just how small it really is. When you just drink craft beer in craft beer bars, you feel like it’s everywhere, but it’s not."

Oh, and BrewDogs have their on TV show in the US. It looks brilliantly bonkers. Try this: "To make the Ultimate Alaskan Survivalist Beer, the Brew Dogs are rigging up a brew system out of old, salvaged plane parts." Watch...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Skatalites return to NZ for three shows, this December

The Skatalites return to NZ for three shows in December, celebrating their 50th anniversary... their previous visits here were in 2010 (Womad), and back in 2006.

Press release: "It’s rare that a band can boast of this milestone achievement but THE SKATALITES are more than a band; they are an institution, made up of a collective of some of Jamaica’s finest musicians who not only defined the sound of ska in the 50’s and 60’s but influenced and inspired a number of generations and bands both on their own turf and around the world.

Named after a recently-launched Sputnik satellite in 1964, THE SKATALITES were officially together for only 14 months, but changed the shape of Jamaican popular music as chief proponents of the ska form, backing all the leading artists of the day, including a young Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, and Toots and the Maytals. Skatalites instrumentals such as Tear Up, (the original ska anthem), Guns of Navarone, (which also made the UK top 40), and Ball of Fire all topped the Jamaican charts.

After a hiatus the group reformed in the mid-80’s to a new and embracing audience, including a world tour as Bunny Wailer’s backing band and later for Prince Buster.

The band’s constant world touring has seen generations of new fans captivated by the now-legendary musicians which includes 9 of the finest brass, sax, horn and string players as well as the first lady of Ska – original vocalist, Ms Doreen Shaffer."

The Skatalites 50th Anniversary Tour
Friday 5th December, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
Saturday 6th December, Bodega, Wellington
Sunday 7th December, Churchills, Christchurch
Tickets on sale Thursday 4th September.

below, the Wailing Wailers, backed by the Skatalites....

Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band

Via Innovative Leisure: "It all started over a year ago with a Youtube video caption "Mindblowing Psychedelia From Thailand" which lead a Los Angeles music producer named Josh Marcy down a Youtube rabbit hole in search of everything he could find on this mysterious band.

 Little did we know that months later, Marcy would leave his job to take on the quest of tracking down this band and travel to Northern Thailand to record them in a field. The result is a mindblowing 40 minutes of music over 4 songs.

Six months after that first encounter with Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band, Marcy used Facebook and some un- likely interpreters at his local Thai restaurant to get in contact with the band and inquire whether they’d be interested in having him travel to their town to record their music for a global audience.

At first the band was naturally suspicious, but through subsequent interactions the group’s leader and namesake Khun Narin (also known simply as “Rin”) warmed to the idea of having Marcy come visit. And so began the journey of uncovering who these mysterious men from an obscure blog post actually were...."

Album out now, listen to it in full at Innovative Leisure.

"Like Ry Cooder did Buena Vista in Havana…but less moody adult contempo, more gonzo psychedelic punk style... The result is unlike anything else you’ll have come across this year. And possibly ever." - KCRW

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 30

John Davis and the monster orchestra - Love magic
Fantastic four - BYOF
Clarke Duke project - Let's get started
Patrice Rushen - Forget me not
Recloose - Why I otta
James Brown - There was a time - Kenny Dope remix
7 mile per hour band - Playing your game
Clarence Reid - Masterpiece - Kenny Dope edit
Shirley Scott - Messie Bessie
Sonsine - Believ'n
Scientist - Sunshine version
King Everand - Kill ole pan
Conroy Smith - Original sound
Mos dub - History town
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
45nm - Rider
Sola Rosa - Both of us
Heaven 17 - We don't need this fascist groove thang
Talking heads - Psycho killer - Greg Wilson edit
Malcolm X - No sellout
Grand Wizard Theodore - Can I get a soul clapp
Family of percussion and Archie Shepp - Here comes the family
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance - United future organisation remix
DLT - Liquid skies - Ultra neon mix
Cooly G - Love dub

Mini doco: Funkin for Jamaica (NY)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Diggin' In The Carts trailer

Former Auckland DJ Nick D, now based in Japan, has been working on a very cool project, documenting the people behind the music for classic Japanese video games. Watch the trailer to catch the vibe. 

"For many of us, the music of video games played more in our households growing up than any other form of music. Diggin’ In The Carts is about unearthing the men and women who inspired an entire generation while arguably creating Japan’s biggest musical export to the world.

The series will include six episodes about some of the greatest composers of the 8-bit and 16-bit era of video game music ...

... From the personal studios of these legendary composers, to the concert halls of Japan where symphony orchestras are performing their compositions to sold-out crowds today - the series will document how the music of video games was created, what inspired it, and how it evolved into its own cultural phenomenon."

Watch the first episode on http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com on September 04.

New Shaolin Afronauts album out Sept 8

Shaolin Afronauts Follow The Path Album Trailer from Ross McHenry on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kerretta new album preview at Brothers Beer tonight

Kerretta have a brand new album on the way, and they are having a listening party this evening at Brothers Beer, on Wellesley st, by Food Truck Garage/Ugly Bagels.

The band say: "The new album 'Pirohia' being played for the first time!  5.30pm-8.00pm THURS 28 AUG, Brothers Beer, Auckland. Free entry, DJ's spinning new album and unique craft beer."

Como Mamas x Menahan St Band 45

From Daptone: "Led by Ester Mae Smith’s unmistakable voice, the Como Mama’s have found their place at the gospel end of the Daptone table alongside a legendary stable of soulful musicians. However, as stirring as their music is, up to now, all of their recordings have been a capella.

With this record they join forces with the boys of the Menahan Street Band (billed pseudonymously here as The Radiant Rhythm Band) to lay bare the funkier side of gospel music. “The rhythms we all play were already right there in their vocals,” explains drummer Homer Steinweiss, “so it felt natural to lay down the grooves behind them.”

Thomas “T-N-T” Brenneck, the up-and-coming producer who brought us both Menahan Street Band and Charles Bradley, presided over the collaboration, which took place in the old Dunham Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn." 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If These Walls Could Talk trailer

Trailer for the mini-documentary series If These Walls Could Talk. Featuring Askew One, Benjamin Work, BMD, Elliot Francis Stewart and Mica Still. Coming in October.

Prince Fatty meets Nostalgia 77 - Seven Nation Army dub

Via TruThoughts: " The worlds of dub and jazz collide when Prince Fatty meets Nostalgia 77 ‘In The Kingdom Of Dub’; this intriguing collaborative album, out 22nd September on Tru Thoughts, sees two musical explorers and like minds joining forces to illuminate the shared roots and spirit of rebellion that lie at the heart of these two genres.

The first single 'Medicine Chest Dub / Seven Nation Army Dub feat. Dennis Alcapone' is out now. Buy it from iTunes, Amazon & Etch Shop. Stream via Spotify

Prince Fatty – maverick producer of Hollie Cook and countless pop and reggae legends alongside his own Soundsystem projects – puts his spin on the music of bluesy jazz wunderkind Nostalgia 77, for a full set of exclusive new versions of tracks from across the latter’s prolific career, including collaborations with Alice Russell, Keith and Julie Tippett and Beth Rowley."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

@Peace disturb the peace

A few weeks ago, I posted a piece on the controversy around Darren Watson's song Planet Key. When I posted that item on Twitter, Tom Scott of @Peace/Homebrew replied, saying he'd done a song called Kill The PM, and was thinking of releasing it. He recorded the song a few years ago, he says. Not the first time Scott has been outspoken on the PM - remember when they got censored during their music awards performance?

Turns out he did, on August 21, under the @Peace moniker, and now it's hitting the headlines. Several news outlets apparently incorrectly reported the song was funded by NZ On Air - while @Peace did get funding last month, that was for another song, Gravity.

The Dominion Post reports that "Kill the PM, which is available for download, is also being hosted on Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom's file-sharing site Mega."

Dotcom said Twitter "For the record: A song about killing John Key is a SHIT song and unlawful too. Please report #Mega links to our takedown team."

Tom Scott's response: "1st you made a fortune selling other people's ideas. Then you steal our tour campaign & chant. It ain't sposta be a concerto bruv."

Scott has responded to the outrage with this on FB:

"Now that I have your attention, may I remind you that 130,000 ELIGIBLE PEOPLE UNDER 25 HAVE NOT YET ENROLLED.

The current PM does not care about these people. He does not care about the growing gap between the rich and the poor in our country. He does not care about the native people of our country. He does not care about the planet we depend upon to survive, the living organism that we as humans are a functioning part of. He does not care about the right we should all have to an education. He only cares about him and his friends.

I do not want to literally kill this man. I do not wish to have sexual relations with anybody related to him. Let's not pretend a silly little song ever changed anything. Last I seen famine was still going pretty strong since 'Heal The World' came out. It's just a song. No different from Thatcher era punk. Anyone ever heard "Maggie you're a c#nt"..?

What's important is that we ENROL TO VOTE so that we have a chance to select someone to represent us who understands the concept of empathy.

I'm fed up with this dude. But if you want to vote for him, that's your choice. Personally, I'm voting Greens but you can vote for whoever you like. You can choose between a whole bunch of different people who represent a whole bunch of different ideologies. That's the beauty of the political system in NZ.

Please respect my right to express my disappointment for the leader of our country.

ENROL http://www.elections.org.nz/voters/enrol-check-or-update-now " 

Watch: An Otara Millionaire's tale

OMC cover, Pavement, June/July 1996. Photo: Stephen Langdon
Pavement, June/July 1996. Photo: Stephen Langdon

Last night, MaoriTV debuted the documentary directed by Stuart Page about the life and times of Pauly Fuemana, it's now available on demand, watch it here... sadly it's geoblocked, so NZ only at this stage.

OMC,  Pavement, June/July 1996. Photo: Stephen Langdon
Pavement, June/July 1996. Photo: Stephen Langdon

Sola Rosa - new single

Sola Rosa - new single out today, off their new album Magnetics, due out in mid September.