Monday, December 01, 2003

The good, the bad and the ugly.
"We were expecting Nicholas Cage or Shania Twain". US Army soldier at thanksgiving dinner in Baghdad, on Bush's unannounced appearance at dinner. Bummer, dude.
Bush managed 2 and a half hours in Baghdad; Hilary Clinton flew in the following day and spent two days in Iraq.

Last drinks ....
The Muse Lounge has gone out of business. Kinda sad, really. I've enjoyed reading Chad's musings on writing, music, life, and related ephemera. I'm not surprised that he's found blogging too distracting from his own writing - William Gibson called it a day on his blog earlier this year for similar reasons. He also notes that the tone of our local media has become ear-splittingly shrill in recent months. To my ears its been like that for the last year. Its one hell of a painful noise to try and block out on an ongoing basis. But what can you do?
UPDATE ... and now Debra Daley announces she's closing up shop too. Sad.

Friday, November 28, 2003

A Slow News Day
How can you tell? Read this. Damien Christie wrote some more about it over at Public Address. Storm in a teacup, anyone?

Bruce Springsteen told a crowd of 50,000 New Yorkers on October 4th to "shout a little louder if you want the president impeached"... didn't work... now Moby is having a go....

Team New Zealand need the paltry sum of $150 million to go to the next America's Cup in Spain - they've signed up $100 million worth of sponsors so far... Just Say No...

a 19-year old Rotorua man pleaded guilty to a dangerous driving charge yesterday, for driving around a roundabout the wrong way. He claimed he had been under the influence of the energy drink V, which he said had put him in a "hypo mood"... again, Just Say No...

But hey, on the upside, Missy Elliots new album This Is Not A Test is totally dynamite. She disses skinny girls with no butts. That's educational.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Pushing the envelope
Some little bastards broke into our car last night - smashed a window, rummaged through the glovebox, coin tray, and the boot, and stole a torch and some clipon sunglasses. Ggrrrrrr! What a total pain. Still, at least there's Newsboy and his outrageous takeoff of Target, which will surely have a sea of complaints flooding TVNZ. It was truly the most twisted thing I've seen on TV for a long time. Talk about pushing the envelope.
And then we had Otis and Slave taking Mo Show viewers off to Coney Island. Look, its a music festival, and there's the Datsuns, rocking out on Coney Island. Nice piece of advice from these touring vets (25 countries in two years) - you may think that getting signed to an overseas label means you've finally made it, but that's just the start.

What about George Dubya, trashing the Palace. What a lousy guest..

The Queen is furious with President George W. Bush after his state visit caused thousands of pounds of damage to her gardens at Buckingham Palace.
Royal officials are now in touch with the Queen's insurers and Prime Minister Tony Blair to find out who will pick up the massive repair bill. Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit.
The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign.
And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants...
The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage.
"The Queen has every right to feel insulted at the way she has been treated by Bush," said a Palace insider.
"The repairs will cost tens of thousands of pounds but the damage to historic and rare plants will be immense. They are still taking an inventory."

The Guardian has an obituary for Chic's drummer Tony Thompson. He also played with Madonna, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin...
"Tony Thompson, who has died of cancer aged 48, was among the finest of all pop/rock drummers. Although his name is frequently absent from the pantheon of the greats, as an original member of Chic, his playing betrayed an elegant simplicity that perfectly fitted the stately dispassion of their New York grooves..."

Monday, November 24, 2003

Bring the noise
Flavor Flav has teamed Ecko Unlimited to produce the Flavor Flav Talking Alarm Clock. The clock is a miniature replica of the animated rapper & comes with wake up messages "Fight The Power," "Yo, G, Yo," "Yeah Boyeee," "Bass For Your Face," "Get Up a Git Git Git Down" & "Rock That Sh*t Homie." The alarm clock retails for $US85. (From allhiphop.com)

Newsweeks Digital IQ test is fun, give it a try. I got 89.

Justin Marshall was interviewed on 20/20 last night. He talked about the All Blacks loss in the semifinal, and the resulting fallout. He summed up the nation's mood, saying that "at the end of the day, people have got to realise that sh*t happens".
I turned to my partner and said "Did Justin Marshall just say sh*t happens?" And she said "I think he did". Go Justin Marshall; thats a much more amusing comment than 'full credit.'

I bought some great records at the Grey Lynn Festival, including a record by Bob from Sesame Street, for $2. Later, I saw Chris Macro from Dubious Bros on Juice TV, who'd been filming at the festival. He scored Stevie Wonder's 'Songs in the Key of Life' for $2. That is a wicked find. Damn!

Friday, November 21, 2003

He got the Ghostface
Ghostface Killah is the mean sounding name for a fella who is part of hiphop crew the Wu Tang Clan (real name: Tony Coles), but he's on the level. Check this story from allhiphop.com...
"Ghostface Killah will hand out 1,000 sleeping bags donated to homeless people by the Troop apparel co. Ghost & Troop's owners, will hand out the sleeping bags & initiate a "Hat & Glove" drive at The Bowery Mission in NYC on 11/24. Fans are being asked to bring hats & gloves in exchange for an autographed photo of the rapper."
I got a record of his recently, doing a mean-ass rap over Dawn Penns reggae tune No No No. Nice.

While flicking thru the latest catalogue from the Warehouse (and another Brazilian rainforest dies), I spied mention of "thousands of retro jazz vinyl LPs for only $2.99". Not the usual place I'd go record hunting, but hey. So I checked it out this afternoon, and its a small pile of new vinyl - I thought retro was shorthand for scratchy and old, but no. They're new pressings of jazzbos like Count Basie, Anita Day, Tommy Dorsey and more. I picked up LPs by Oscar Peterson and Blind John Davis.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Moby Dick
"If you hope to have a career in music, you might want to get involved in porn—it’s the one place music is consistently used."
—Moby, on the music-business slump.

Over at Public Address, Chad Taylor has succumbed to the endless stream of home renovation tv shows and taken to blogging about rehinging windows. Should we be worried? I guess one can't be a internationally reknowned author 24-7.

Jeremy Newsboy's TV show Eating Media Lunch debuted last night - he's droll lad, is News. Its a highly amusing look at local media. The celebrity Stock Exchange was brilliant, but the footage from Oz, highlighting the way their voicover people plug their upcoming shows - over the closing titles of the Hitler miniseries, detailing the horrors of WW2 - was truly unbelievable. Our tv may be crap, but hey, it could be worse.
Then Slave and Otis returned for another jaunt around the planet doing wacky stuff. Last night they arrived at Disneyland and the first thing they heard was the D4 blasting from the PA. Episode one closed with the boys in Central Park, with Otis saying 'F*ck I love new York'. In the opening credits they slipped in something about 'the return of the award winning Mo Show' with footage of Otis going 'Yeaahhh!' at the TV Awards. Nice.

Last week my new tune 'Tag team act' by Dub Asylum Vs Word Perfect (local hiphop mc I've been working with) was sitting at number one on the national Alternative Top Ten, compiled from the BNet radio stations. That is pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Your silence is appreciated.
Australian magazine editor Sue Smethurst flew to the US last week, intending to interview Olivia Newton John. Instead "she was treated as a threat to national security and deported back to Australia after nearly 15 hours of interrogation at Los Angeles airport." When she asked why she was being held, she was told "We will tell you when we have a problem and your silence is appreciated."
Her lipliner and makeup was taken from her, as it was deemed a national security threat. She was fingerprinted, had mugshots taken, and was refused access to a lawyer; "They said to me you don't understand, you have no choice, no rights here under American law," Smethurst said. They also denied her request for a cup of tea. The brutes.
Earlier this year, six French journalists suffered similar treatment, when they arrived in Los Angeles to cover a video games trade show. They were held at the airport, searched, fingerprinted, handcuffed and held for 24 hours, before being forcibly sent back to France. Is this how you win the War on Terror?
I visited the US when I was a kid with my family, and I'd like to go back there one day, but not any time soon.

Cursor.org reports that "an Independent newspaper article on Bush's interview with David Frost, notes his dodging of a question about whether he believed British intelligence reports that Saddam could deliver chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes, first saying "I believed he was a dangerous man." And when asked a second time: "Well, I believed a lot of things."
But remember, he doesn't believe anything in the media. He gets his news from reliable sources, like his own advisors.
"I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news," says Bush. "And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."

Well, that distracted you from the rugby for a whole five minutes. Right?

Monday, November 10, 2003

Remember the Box?
Over at the discussion forums on biggie.co.nz someone has posted the question "what was your favourite night at the Box nightclub?" I remember playing a gig there with The Picassos once, the crowd went nuts when we played Its a Mans World by James Brown. Not to mention many a late night down there dancing and so on...

One of the answers is from Simon Grigg (under the alias 'Asylum') who helped run the place...

"How about Jimmy Barnes punching out the guy from The Stray Cats for trying to pick up his sister whilst Eric Clapton looked on...true.
Rosetti [doorman] charging Mick Jagger five bucks and when asked by his manager if he knew who he was, saying "yes and he can afford it"
John Lydon who sent us a fax saying it was one of the best nights he'd ever had.
Nigel Kennedy asking me to look after something....it was his Stratavarios Violin worth ??????,
Roland Gift and Vince Martin used to live down there. The UB40 party where one of them got arrested outside for smoking in front of a cop.
Or Hall & Oates singing "I Can't go for That" accapella after the bar closed
Or Debbie Harry putting on a wig and coming down so she wouldn't be recognised...people kept on coming up and saying "Debbie Harry's in there with a wig on"
The private U2 party was a goodie-thats why the pool table came down to CC originally-for one night at U2s insistence, but it stayed.
Or the Guns'n'Roses party when the band was doing handfuls of white stuff off a table top with any girls they found and Axl told DJ Geoff Wright he was a really good rock DJ.
But selling someone a Macs one night and realizing it was Harvey Keitel was a highlight. He came back about ten times...still got his credit card slip....I mean Harvey Keitel."

The poster of the question was local dj Sam Hill - the only man ever to get fired from The Box twice.
Good news for NZWW
According to this mornings NZHerald scoop on the Act party... "Act secretaries are accused of spending too much time filing their nails and reading the New Zealand Woman's Weekly." So, now you know who is winning the battle of the women's mags in that particular corner of Parliament.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Not many?
16 of the top 50 albums on the charts this week are by New Zealand artists. Last week 4 of the top ten albums were local, this week its 5 of the top ten. And of course last week Scribe had the number one single and album, thanks to a wicked tune and some savvy marketing from his record company. From Stylus to Supergroove, Concord Dawn to Carly Binding... Not many? Nah bro, there's bloody heaps of good local product.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Back to the 80s
TVOne screened a cheesy documentary last night called Relive the 80s. They'd let someone loose in their archives, and they came up with a show that tried to jam in every cheesy bit of footage they found. This made for a densely packed jumble of images that was fun to look at, but wasn't really given any social or political context - the 81 tour was in there, fleetingly. The voiceover, written by Belinda Todd and mouthed by Charlotte Dawson and her lopsided lips (what's up with that?), was try-hard clever, and the brief interview snippets were so short that they didn't add much. Cept for Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie talking about their days back in the Thompson Twins - cue live footage of them playing at Live Aid to a huge crowd. That must've been some incredible experience; I'd love to have heard something about that. The focus on over the top fashions made it seem like every one dressed like that in the 80s - it was just a small group of Auckland central nightclubbers, really (who went on to become influential fashionista like Denise and Francis World). They covered breakdancing, but made no mention of rap music arrriving here. But there was heaps of music in the show, in fact I don't think there was a single second without some background 80s tune. Still, lots of great images.

One ad they featured made me think about how far we've come. There was the 80s ad for sensible drinking - the woman and man sitting at the bar having fun, he gets drunker and drunker, and she sings "Stop making love to that bottle, baby, you should be making love to me", which was too much for some folk back then, so it was amended to "Stop making love to that bottle, baby, and go and make a cup of tea".
In the Weekend Herald's business section there was a story about Lion Red's new ad campaign, to replace their previous 'red blooded' ad, with the boys night on the town, that screened last year. Lion Red dropped that ad, after one of the actors featured went on to play a gay character in a local tv show The Strip. Groan.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Raw power
Iggy Pop was on C4 last night - they were screening a live concert of Iggy Pop and his band, live in Belgium, apparently to coincide with his new album, Skullring. When the credits rolled, I discovered it was four years old (1999), but man, was it good. He rocked thru Search and Destroy, I Wanna Be Your Dog and a few other Stooges numbers, and it just made me wanna see it for myself. His band were a bunch of long haired metal poseurs, cept for the drummer who pounded the bejesus out of his kit like his life depended on it. Which is exactly how it should be.
Iggy reformed the original Stooges lineup earlier this year for a few select show in the US - they played their hometown, Detroit back in August - check this review.
Arthur magazine did a big feature on the return of the Stooges - you can download a pdf of it, if you feel so inclined.
They're playing at All Tomorrow's Parties in LA in a few weeks; its on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It's a UK/US music festival thats guest- curated. This year, LA's is curated by Matt Groening (Simpsons/Futurama creator). If I win Lotto, I'm going.