Friday, July 23, 2004

Def Sign


Russell Simmons owns a loft right next to Ground Zero. He hasn't been able to use it since 9/11, but he managed to get his mate Glen E. Friedman in. Here's what he did. Read the comments too, they are hilarious.

The Guardian reports that "New research suggesting that file sharing has no impact upon sales of CDs has, not surprisingly, angered the music industry."

"... So, if downloading hasn't caused the slump in sales, what has? There are several factors that could be involved, but the easiest explanation is the popularity of DVDs.
"Over the period 1999 to 2003, DVD prices fell by 25% and the price of players fell in the US from over $1,000 to almost nothing," says Strumpf. "At the same time, CD prices went up by 10%. Combined DVD and VHS tape sales went up by 500m, while CD sales fell by 200m, so a possible explanation is that people were spending on DVDs instead of CDs."
More here.
Rock band in media punch up.
Noizyland had a few problems getting an interview out of the Mint Chicks.

"Far too busy and important for a face-to-face or even phone interview, their record company FMR contacted this website to offer an email interview with 'the boys', who had just returned from an excursion to Britain and the United States. We at Noizyland dutifully fired them off a list of questions. How did your meetings go with Geffen, we asked? How large and receptive were the crowds you played to overseas? According to the Americans you met, where can NZ be found on the map? Were you able to communicate clearly and easily?

FMR thought our questions were very good. This pleased us, as we have been working as music journalists now for a very long time and according to a myriad bands, both famous and in this case, not so, we have so far had nothing but praise when it comes to our question-asking skills.

Sadly for us, however, The Mint Chicks' manager John Baker disliked them and said he would not pass them on to the band. When pressed, he added that he was 'unhappy with the tone' of the questions. When pressed still further by FMR, he replied, rather sulkily if we may say so, that he no longer wanted to proceed with the interview."

It's like how no journalist bothered to ask the Beastie Boys (during their round of interviews for their latest album) hey, why does Mike D look half dead? No one asked what the hell have you done for 6 years while hiphop passed you by?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quote of the Week.
 'Juliette Lewis just vomits on stage. I'd rather stick a finger up her ass than hear that again. Her sound is that bad. She's that commercial, man.
"She's no artist. And as for her acting career ... Did you ever see National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ? What a demanding role that was... She's just one of those religious freaks. It's her and John Travolta leading from the front line.'  Ryan from New York band The Rebels, on Juliette Lewis and her band the Licks on the Warped Tour. Read more on Ms Lewis impending rock stardom here.

Are you the Fifty Quid Bloke? He's the saviour of the music industry.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Why Tom Atkinson is the coolest drummer in Auckland.
Channel surfing on Saturday evening, and I ended up watching that Kiwi knockoff of Top of the Pops with Alex whatshisface surrounded by Teenage Girls Who Will Scream At Anything, and he introduces One Million Dollars. Now, they're a fine bunch of funky types, and there's Tom grooving away behind the drums, and he's wearing a t-shirt that says "Ahmed Zaoui: freedom or fair trial' on national television. And that is why Tom Atkinson is the coolest drummer in Auckland.
And I'd just like to raise a two finger salute in the direction of Eli Cara and Uriel Zoshe Kelman. That is all. Oh yeah, go see The Ramones;End of the Century documentary, it is brilliant. The  live footage of the band playing at CBGBs way back in 1975 is just phenomenal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Tip of the hat in James direction for this gem...
"... in not safe for work news, a couple in Norway clambered onto stage during a performance by the band Cumshots (asking for trouble, aren't they, with a name like that), and proceeded to have sex as a way of showing their support for rain forest preservation. Yes, the rain forests. They're part of an environmental organization called Fuck for Forest, and if 21 year old Leona Johansson is typical of the Scandanavian activists who are members of this group, I think there's going to be a queue about a mile long at their recruiting office this morning."

If you are one of my American readers, this may be of interest to you (from NZ media commentator Russell Brown)...
"The Bush administration has been making threats and promises to push the Pakistani government into capturing and delivering Osama Bin Laden. So what? The order has come for delivery on specific dates - the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston at the end of this month. In order to smooth the way for a politically advantageous result, the administration has raised no protest against the Pakistani government's pardoning of nuclear physicist A.Q. Khan, who recently admitted exporting nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. Most of the US media appear to have ignored the 'July Surprise' story broken last week in The New Republic."

Dr Dre and Burt Bacharach are collaborating... yep, read that one again, I aint joking.
Dre: "We did a little thing together. My piano teacher introduced us. Burt Bacharach came by the studio, and we chopped it up for a little while. I gave him a couple of skeleton tracks on a CD, and he went home and played some piano over it. The next thing I know they had this jazz trumpet player play on the record, and it sounded hot. I think they’re going to put it out. I would like to really get in, and do something from scratch with him as opposed to me giving him a track, and him going to his studio and doing his thing, and us sending it back and forth." Read it here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Makes no sense at all
Bob Mould on copy protected CDs....
"Capitol Records fucked my computer over a few years ago with some glitch they inserted into a Sparklehorse CD. I broke the CD into 20 pieces, and never listened to their music again. Now, there's this Beastie Boys thing. All of this is really embarrassing. The business is killing itself."

So, what's the latest cool CD you got? I'm sick of everything at the moment. Suggestions please.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I Am Joe's Consumer Intstinct.
So we watched the Simpsons the other night (7pm TV3 weeknights - old repeats are better than Shortland St, it's gone right off the boil since they brought Dominic back) and then we go to the supermarket and discover Bart Bars. Health bars with Bart Simpson on the front, with a blank expression on his face, saying "Feast your eyes, man". Bart Simpson linked with healthy snacks? Bogus, dude.

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.