Monday, July 05, 2004

Who's with Stupid?
In Japan, the cover of Michael Moore's book Stupid White Men looks like this... (tip of the hat to the PNut House who notes that "white men" is translated as "Americans")

Friday, July 02, 2004

The great unwashed.
Last night on the Newshour, Law Professor Michael Scharf (director of the War Crimes Research Office at Case Western Reserve University; he's recently returned from Iraq, where he was helping train judges) talked about the tribunal set up to try Saddam and his associates.

"The Iraqi special court statute was drafted by the United States, given to the provisional government and then ratified by the new government.
The statute does not look like a traditional Iraqi court. Instead it looks more like the Yugoslavia tribunal or the Rwanda tribunal or even more ironically the new International Criminal Court that the Bush administration opposes."

This last point highlights what may become a key problem in this trial - as the Guardian notes...
"Both the US and the new Iraqi leadership want to run the trial themselves and resisted any suggestion of creating an independent, internationally staffed war crimes tribunal like those working on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. That fits comfortably with Washington's reluctance to sign up to the International Criminal Court, but inevitably means a shortage of experience and the danger of vengeful justice."

On a brighter note Te Radar has been scaring small children in the South Island. Using a longdrop with no door, what was he thinking?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004



I am a vinyl addict.
From the crate diggers forum on DJ Norman Jay's website...

"Dear Norman and the crate diggers gang:HOW MANY RECORDS DO YOU OWN?
This may be a very personal question so apologies if I cause offence. Its just that Norman was buying records since 1967 when he was 10, and all you guys seem to come out with a zillion and one amazing tunes! It makes my 2000 or so records seem very inadequate!
You guys must have a separate house to store that vinyl!

Dayo: "When the Budget is tight and i promise my Wife that i will cut down on the Record buying, i then would often walk into Reckless and see some tunes i have been after for a while.. I then would buy them and when i get home i throw them in through the Guest room window. One day after doing this again, and sneaking to the Guest Room to pick up my ‘stash’ which would then be secretly transferred to the ‘vaults’, guess who i saw waiting in the Guest Room for me? (LOL!!!!!). Yep! You guessed it, it was my darling Wife. She later told me, that on one occasion the thud of the records landing was so loud that, she had planned to lie in wait for me the next time...hahahahahahaha

Norman responds...
"Listen up CS - having 2000 or so records is NOTHING to feel ashamed of nor to be sniffed at. So long as it's full of stuff you yourself love. The fact is personally speaking, I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW MANY RECORDS I'VEGOT!!! Then I would be able to HONESTLY answer you (and countless others) who have asked me this same question forever and a day HA! HA!. But as you can imagine, I'd walk up Mount Everest BACKWARDS!!! before i would embark on the nigh on impossible (and probably thankless) task of counting 'em...."

At last count I have about 1200 records and 400 CDs. Not many, if any. It's only like, 10 crates. And I regularly get rid of stuff I don't listen to, and there are worse addictions, and...

Monday, June 28, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a joke.
Aint no joke, "In its opening weekend Fahrenheit topped the box office, taking $8.2 million. It opened in only 868 cinemas nationwide. For comparison, the much-hyped movie White Chicks, which opened at the same time but in a total of 2726 cinemas, took $6.7m."

Here's a few reactions to the film...
"One cinemagoer in Alabama said his local cinema in Mobile was filled to capacity, despite living in an area where, he said, “even the liberals are conservative”.
The viewer added: “I heard something I have never heard at a movie in Mobile before – applause. Giant, cheerful applause as the credits began to roll for a film that I was just sure I’d have the theatre to myself for.”
One Texan moviegoer said: “Living in Houston, heart of Bush country, my whole family including in-laws piled into three cars and went to the opening ... we were surprised to find the showing sold out at the first theatre, but managed to find seats at the second we tried.
“We loved the movie, which gave us real hope that freedom and democracy will return to this great country in November [at the presidential election]. The audience gave a long ovation at the end.” Moore says that Bush spent 42% of his first 8 months in office on vacation (source: Washington Post).

Tattoo You
I had the pleasure of DJing with that fine fellow Simon Chaplin on saturday night, at the opening of Illicit Clothings latest venture, Illicit HQ, a tattoo shop on K Rd. When Martin Emond passed away, he'd just started training as a tattooist, and the shop is a tribute to Martin - it was one of the ideas that he and Steve from illicit had been talking about before Martin took his leave. It's a very cool shop; a long narrow space (ex Pascoes Jewellers), with some Illicit clothing available, and a room down the back with Martin's huge toy collection in rows of shelves. If you're in the K Rd area, drop in and have a lookee. Marty would've dug it.
On the way up to K Rd on the bus (cos I travel to all my gigs in chauffuer-driven luxury, right?), I passed a busker on Queen St, jamming out Sweet Child Of Mine, Martin's fave tune. It was a terrible version.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Hey Fuck You.
There's a song on the new Beastie Boys album called Hey Fuck You. You think Dick Cheney might be a fan?

Reuters.com: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney blurted out the 'F word' at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor, congressional aides said on Thursday.
The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to 'f--- off' or 'go f--- yourself,' the aides said.
'I think he was just having a bad day,' Leahy was quoted as saying on CNN, which first reported the incident. 'I was kind of shocked to hear that kind of language on the floor.'
According to congressional aides, Leahy said hello to Cheney following the taking of the Senate group photo on the floor of the chamber.
Cheney, who is president of the Senate, then ripped into Leahy for the Democratic senator's criticism this week of alleged war profiteering in Iraq by Halliburton, the oil services company that Cheney once ran. "
Ah, turn up the heat.


J is for Jurassic
Jurassic 5 play in Auckland early August, makes up for their no-show in October last year - they did more Oz gigs instead. Here's an interview with DJ Nu-Mark from J5...
Y: How do your parents feel about your job? They wouldn't prefer it if you were, say, an x-ray technician? (Readers Note: DJ Nu-Mark did in fact once work as an x-ray technician).
NM: Oh God, no. I don't know, I mean if I was unhappy my mother for sure would be like: yo, you need to get out of this profession. But she sees that I'm happy doing what I'm doing, so she's happy for me.
Y: Did you ever find something really cool inside someone?
NM: A lot of people get sex-toys caught in them for some reason...

Y: And finally, if you had to liken the members to J5 to Sesame Street cast members, who would be who?
NM: (doesn't miss a beat) Chali 2Na would be Big Bird, Soup would be Cookie Monster because he loves cookies, Seven would be Bert, and Cut (Chemist) would be Oscar the Grouch. I guess I'd be Ernie. Who am I missing? Nope, that's everyone.
Read the rest of it here. DJ Nu-Mark is top right in the photo.He's got a beats album out in July, called Blendcrafters, its wicked.

Radar on point
From this morning's NZ Herald, Radars latest column...
"... These pages have been inundated with the superstitious claptrap of those associated with organisations such as the Maxim Institute. These self-proclaimed moral guardians are the people who put the mental into fundamentalism." Go, Radar!
He and Team Classic won the Auckland heat of the 48 Hour filmaking competition, clever chap.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Ch-ch-check it out.
The new Beastie Boys album may or may not automatically install a virus in your computer if you listen to it via that method.The Register has some advice on how to check for this, if it is in fact true. Beasties fans are discussing this on the Beasties website. Their website administrator has said... "Just to clarify, here's the deal with the copy protection on the CD:
a) The copy protection is in all territories except the US and UK - US and UK discs do not have this protection on them;
b) All EMI CDs are treated this way, TT5B isn't protected in any special way;
c) Beastie Boys would have preferred not to have the copy protection, but weren't allowed to go against EMI policy in these territories."

Oh, so it's not the Beasties fault, it's their evil label. The one that paid for the studio they built in NY, just like the one they paid for in LA. But it appears from comments by their fans that the copy-protected cd is being sold in the States.
Their webmaster also adds that "The copy protection system used for all EMI/Capitol releases including "To the 5 Boroughs" is Macrovision's CDS-200, which sets up an audio player into the users RAM (not hard drive) to playback the RED book audio on the disk. It does absolutely NOT install any kind of spyware, shareware, silverware, or ladies wear onto the users system. You can find more information on the technology used here:
www.macrovision.com"

Except Phillips, who helped establish the Red Book audio standard for CDs back in the early 80s refuse to recognise such copy-protected cds as complying with those standards, as they are corrupted CDs!
It does install a player when you first load it in your computer, and you can navigate to find where the uninstall feature is on the cd, cept clicking uninstall seems to do nothing - it uninstalls in less than a second, which makes me think it doesn't really uninstall at all, just gives the appearance of doing so.

UPDATE: From Russell Browns Hard News... "EMI is effectively installing a virus. If EMI really wants legislators to go ahead and forcibly remove its copyrights, it's going precisely the right way about it. Don't you dare, ever install anything on my computer without telling me, okay? Bastards."

Monday, June 21, 2004

Enough. Stop now!
Someone's done a new bunch of Jay Z remixes - Jayzeezer - Jay Z vs Weezer. Groan (his best effort is his remix called Jay Zena - '99 luft balloons' with '99 problems' vocal over the top, truly absurd).
Here's a list of all the remixes done so far, from Jay Z vs Prince, Rage Against The Black Album - Jay-Z vs Rage Against The Machine, Jay-Z vs Kenny G, to Jay Z vs Grateful Dead. Warning; listening to this unimaginative tripe could damage your finely honed sense of irony.

Hiphop artist Michael Franti is touring the Middle East, performing solo. Here's his report from Baghdad... heres an excerpt...

"... Singing in the hospitals is a really amazing and intense experience for me, because it's hard to know what to say. I don't speak Arabic, and most people don't speak any English at all. So, you're there witnessing children with no limbs, children who are going through chemotherapy, adults that have incredibly infected legs that are about to receive amputations, and it's so moving that it's hard for me to even sing. You see a lot pain. There's no nurses or very few nurses in the hospitals, so family members sleep in the hospital with their children or their loved ones. Most of the time in the same bed. Some mothers are there 24 hours a day with their children. So, I sing songs to the mothers, and the mothers begin to weep. I begin to weep, and the children begin to weep, you know..."

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Nuts
There's this old Polynesian bloke out at the Otahuhu markets on a sunday morning, selling bags of peanuts. His sales pitch is a giggle... "get your peanuts here, only $4 a bag, the best peanuts in the whole wide world, get you peanuts here..." He has confidence in his product, lots of it. We got up early(ish) and got there about 9am. The markets start at 6am, go til midday, in the Workingmans Club carpark on Atkinson Ave.
Have you ever noticed that if you compliment a Kiwi on a clothing item, they'll say thanks and then tell you how cheap it was (it was a bargain, it was on sale)? Well, I'm no different. I got two beanies (one with Northside embroidered on it, cos I aint Southside), a cap, some silverbeet (99c), 5 pairs of sox and some home made chocolate chip cookies, all for $20. It's a great market, excellent range of cheap veges, fine mix of cultures, and baragains galore. Thanks to the ad on Triangle TV for the tip - gee, advertising works, who knew?

Went and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night, the latest film from the pen of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Stars Jim Carrey as a man who goes to a clinic to get the memory of his former girlfriend (played by Kate Winslet) erased, then changes his mind halfway thru the procedure, while asleep. It's a brilliant play with memory, and the humour is wonderfully dark.
It's a pleasant reminder that Carrey is a good actor when he gets decent material, rather than just pulling faces and being a goofball. I always thought he was a one note actor til I saw the Truman Show and discovered otherwise. Its directed by Michel Gondry, who has a background in music videos (White Stripes, Steriogram - the knitting video), like Kaufmans previous collaborator, Spike Jonze. Speaking of which...


Six Must-see Music Documentary Films In The Film Festival (as selected by myself)
Lists are part of blogging - I don't know why, and I'm sure there's an etiquette guide on this I could probably read, but really, who would?
1. Ramones - End of the Century
2. Spike Jonze Rarities
3. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

They employed a group therapist to the tune of $40,000 to help them deal with recording their latest album. Yay for corporate rock!
4. The Mayor of Sunset Strip
"Rodney Bingenheimer has been at the influential Los Angeles rock station KROQ-FM since 1976. He’s been instrumental in breaking the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Nirvana, Oasis and Coldplay and many other bands into the US market". He looks like Sonny Bono, which is funny cos he's posing with Cher in the photo in the festival brochure.
5. Frodo Is Great... Who Is That?!!
Wellington musician/actor Bret Mckenzie (Black Seeds/Video Kid/Flight of the Conchords) appeared in Lord of The Rings for 3 seconds. Now he has LOTR fans turning up to see him perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest. His character has been dubbed Figwit(short for Frodo Is Great... Who Is That?!!)
6. Michel Gondry Retrospective
Also, check out these documentaries - Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator, Persons of Interest (codirected by expat Alison Maclean), Kaikohe Demolition, and Supersize Me. Above selection highly subjective, don't blame me if you take these seriously and they suck. Forget the usual festival fare - if it's in English or French, it will probably come back. Go out on the edges, that's where the juicy stuff is. Like Ant Timpsons 'Incredible Cinema' selections.... The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, hell yeah!


Merlin Luck is one sharp cookie....
"Big Brother evictee Merlin's protest in support of refugees demonstrates contestants are now so media savvy they can exploit the reality TV formula, writes Clare Buttner.
It will go down as the most controversial and talked about event ever on Big Brother. Last night’s evictee, Merlin Luck, caught the show’s producers by surprise with a silent protest in support of refugees being held in detention.
His mouth sealed with gaffer tape and holding a sign saying "Free th refugees" (the "e" fell off), Merlin bravely refused to take part in the question and answer session with host Gretel Killeen, following his eviction.
"This segment is five minutes long, are you going to speak at all?" Killeen asked. The audience, disappointed they weren’t going to get the show they’d come to see, began to jeer.
But when it became apparent Merlin wasn’t backing down, despite the audience’s disapproval and Killeen’s attempts to remind him of his “obligations”, he was removed from the stage."
His former housemates reactions? One said: "What a legend." Another said: "That was the best exit ever."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Picasso core.
In the last year I was in the Picassos we added a guitarist by the name of Gavin Downie, who we christened Gavaroonie. He headed off the the US earler this year, seems he's doing all right, and bloody good on him... Paul Reid of Rubicon (and Marshall on Shortie St) is in LA and met up with Gavaroonie...
"6/5/05 — I hung out with Gavin Downie (NZ guitar tech) last night, he has been doing the Steriogram tour for the last two months. Their song was presented to pop radio yesterday and they got 24 ads to playlists out of the 280 or so pop stations that it was submitted to, which makes it the third most added song in USA for the week."
Man, Steriogram are gonna be huge. Their marketing is brilliant, check this from Apples website.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wrong wrong wrong.
O-dub reports that "This new Ol Dirty Bastard/Macy Gray song, a cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's hit duet "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," is so unbelievably bad, is such unfathomable dreck, is so remarkably horrid that 1) it must either be a brilliant joke that Roc-A-Fella is perpetuating on the world or 2) proof that Jay Z is a goddamn genius for selling his share of the label [Rocafella] to Dame and signing to Aftermath."
Have a listen, its unbelievably bad (I did warn you). O-dub also suggests that maybe it's so bad, it's good, but I don't think so.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Holla
DJ Sirvere did his Holla Hour show on C4 from New York this week - he and DJ Shan went there for the Hot 97 Summer Jam. Which means he got to see Alicia Keys, Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, Jadakiss , Ludacris , Beanieman, Kanye West, Mobb Deep, Public Enemy, Naughty by Nature, 50 Cent and G Unit, you name it. According to this writer, Fifty didn't get much love from the crowd...

"Someone from the back told him his time on stage was up, and he said, "I ain't going nowhere, you're gonna have to send them niggas in the blue suits to get me off this stage." Then he continued to diss the crowd, saying, "R. Kelly's about to come out here and do 'Step, step, side to side,' and all that bullshit and you're gonna eat it up. But you can't show me no respect? I put in mad work for you, and right now you're not giving it back." He just kept going on and on until eventually everyone in the stadium started booing him."

Rest of the show sounds pretty choice tho.

Friday, June 11, 2004



Figure This Kids
"Gareth Shute's profile predicts he should look incongruous in this hip-hop setting. Aside from his scruffy preoccupation with popular culture, he is shy, Pakeha, plays bass in the Tokey Tones (a band described as "delicate"), writes poetry, works part-time as a librarian and volunteers at the Auckland City Mission.
He is also the author of new book Hiphop Music in Aotearoa, a comprehensive and beautifully designed homage to the rise of the local scene. He is also likely to bust out a back-spin at parties." Read more here. Real Groovy Auckland has copies instore.

Rest in peace Ray Charles.

If you're up bright and early on Saturday morning, check out my new radio show on BaseFM, 107.3 on your dial - broadcasting around central Auckland. I'm on from 10mm til midday, spinning reggae, downtempo and hiphop. They've getting streaming audio online soon -still testing it.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hello Mcnaughty!
"Never has the piss been taken quite so adroitly and beautifully in New Zealand." - Anita McNaught on Eating Media Lunch, in the Herald. She's the UK correspondent for said tv show.
Did you see the (hoax) slaughtering of Shrek on EML? Outrageously funny. I mean, so TVNZ got 50 complaints, but its a bloody sheep! Who cares? We've got a several million of them! I hear that Shrek's owner has left an abusive message on Jeremey Wells cellphone, blasting the media star for his cavalier attitude towards this national icon. And Paul Holmes may be doing a story on it tonight.
And then there was EML's new reality tv show spoof, Celebrity Dog Bum Stare. You can bet someone in tvland is thinking about turning it into a series right now. If Jackass can fly, why not? Eating Media Lunch repeats tonight (Thursday) TV2 11.30pm.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004



Death, Taxes and Prozack...
is the brilliant name of album by US hiphop MC Prozack Turner, part of the group Foreign Legion. Thanks to the demise of his label Dreamworks, you will probably never hear it.
When I first came across this album title last year, I had to check out what it sounded like, just on the strength of the genius title. I managed to buy the Restaurant Quality Lemonade EP which was released as a promo for the ill-fated album; it's got some great tunes and rhymes on it, including a tasty Pete Rock production called Wonderful Life, where he rhymes about being a kid and buying his first records - Run DMC and Stray Cats. Prozack Turner's story goes like this...

After being courted by Virgin and DreamWorks, Turner happily signed a four-record deal with the latter in July 2002, and began recording tracks soon after. "I thought, 'This is cool, I'll put all my friends on the album. People are going to know that the Bay Area has really great stuff.'"
To that end, Turner recruited DJ Design and MC Marc Stretch from his group Foreign Legion, and enlisted local producers DJ Ray and Supa Dave West. He also flew to New York to work with legendary beat-maker Pete Rock and headed to Atlanta to collaborate with Organized Noize, best known for its production for OutKast and TLC.

For more, read the article at SFWeekly here.

"Every independent label [Foreign Legion] ever messed with has stole from us," he says. "Every person who had been my manager has fucked me over. I got sued for 10 grand by some manager. It's such a dirty business. I'm a real honest guy. It's a hard, hard business to be in, especially when you get so close to succeeding. I'm having meetings talking about Spike Jonze directing my music video. Six months later, I'm looking for a bartending job."

Still, the recording of his album had some high points...
..."I'm in New York, standing in the glass booth, and Pete Rock is on the other side about to record me," he remembers. "Even if the album never comes out, I made it. All the people who told me not to do it- 'You're not going to make it; you're white; you're from San Jose, the suburbs'- here I am with one of the illest cats. That was an emotional moment in my career."

Along with the label and legal drama, he and Foreign Legion recently parted ways. Just last week, Turner contemplated quitting music altogether and getting a straight job to pay his bills. Then he got a check from one of his Death, Taxes & Prozack distributors for a thousand bucks. And then he got an order from Japan for 400 CDs--an extra 3 grand. The record is also selling in Germany and Australia. This boost, plus working with San Jose production team the Buckle Brothers on new tracks, improved morale and given him incentive to make music." From the San Jose Metro.

Now that Dreamworks has been bought out by Universal, they want $450,000 plus $70,000 in uncleared sample fees before they'll let him release it officially. Just as well 'someone' has bootlegged it for him, aye? (Tip of the hat to Underground post)


If you haven't scored the new issue of Wax Poetics, the best music mag on the planet, then check this interview with DJ Premier over at Pound magazine (premier is in Wax Poetics too). Anyone know where I can get Pound magazine from? Anywhere in NZ? Or online?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Bonzo goes to Simi Valley
"I was sitting in a bar in Chapel Hill last night and every time they said something about it (Reagan's death) on tv people cheered. Just like when Strom Thurman died." Tip of the hat to the underground post for that. Makes a change from all the overblown nonsense getting generated in the press around the globe. Here's some more critical comments from Iran, Russia and elsewhere, collated by the BBC. And here's Christopher Hitchens on The stupidity of Ronald Reagan (tip of the hat to Uroskin).

I watched one report on Reagan on DWTV (via Triangle), which mentioned the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. I tried to remember the last time Simi Valley made the news and then it came to me. It was when an all-white jury from this predominantly white community found the police officers accused of beatng Rodney King not guilty, even with that famous videotape. "Within hours of the jury's verdict, Los Angeles erupted in riots. When it was over, fifty-four people had lost their lives, over 7,000 people had been arrested, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property had been destroyed."

UPDATE US musician Bob Mould lived thru the Reagan years, and has some good insights on his legacy here - scroll down. Mould also links to some strong reaction to Reagan's passing, and a backgrounder on Reagan's inaction over AIDS, which appeared in the US media in 1981 - Reagan didn't mention it in public til 1987...
On April 2, 1987, Reagan said: "How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let's be honest with ourselves, AIDS information can not be what some call 'value neutral.' After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don't medicine and morality teach the same lessons."