Monday, August 09, 2004

Rick James, RIP
Read his final interview here.


Scrubs
Zach Braff from Scrubs has a blog about his first film (as writer and director, plus acting in it) Garden State... "Today was the second day of Scrubs. I shot my first scene with Heather Graham. Without giving anything away, it involved me being sopping wet and close to naked. Sort of an odd way to meet someone and get to know them. But that's what makes Scrubs fun, everyday I show up I have no idea what kind of bizarre thing is gonna happen. Tomorrow we're blowing up a car. Now that's a good day job..."
Methodman is in it (Garden State), check his interview on the site under Making Garden State. And watch the one called Ice. Some quality canine acting. Heh heh.

There's an entertainingly trite slice of video over on TVNZ's site, a report from Breakfast by Jay Harkness on the 'new phenomenon of blogging', looking at the impact and asking will it last. Look for a clip called 'The rantings and ravings of bloggers'. Amazingly, they got throught the entire piece without mentioning Salaam Pax. Or famous bloggers like Michael Moore or major media blogs like on the NY Times, The Listener (NZ), or Russell Brown's various blog activities... Stupid mainstream media. Screw you.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Jurassic age (originally posted on Public Address)
Jurassic 5 are tagged as being hiphop revivalists, recalling the party era of rap. They ditched that notion midway thru their show at the St James with a song introduced as "this is about the war in Iraq", followed by the groups four MCs raising their middle finger in the air while rapping the lyric "Well, I’m not hesitant in saying truck the President", cept they used another word that sounds like like truck, but starts with F. You get the picture.
The J 5 took their sweet time getting here - originally schedule to play here last October, they opted for more Australian dates instead. Now they made it, and the appreciative crowd is very happy to see them.
According to the NZ Herald's Rebecca Barry, the gig started with warmup sets from Scribe and "a duo who strapped their turntables and keyboards to their bodies and played them as though they were a rock band." Um, no.
What really happened was this. DJ Manuel Bundy played a few tunes, local MC Tha Feelstyle delivered a brief set (I didn’t make it in time to catch this, but have heard a few tunes on the radio - watch out for his album, due out in a few months, it will knock heads and blow minds) and then Scribe did a subdued set. His voice was a little lacking in power, looked like he might’ve been a bit crook. He was followed by Manuel Bundy, then Jurassic 5 strolled onstage.
They ripped thru half a dozen songs, then the 4 MCs (Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7) left the stage and had a breather, while DJ’s Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist had some fun. Cut Chemist scratched away on the turntables, while Nu-Mark jumped on a drumkit and banged out a beat. Then Nu-Mark banged out a tune on a bunch of kid's music blocks, which was pretty twisted. For their final trick, Cut strapped on a portable turntable while Nu-Mark had a drum machine round his neck, and they grooved away down front (I think this is 'the duo' that Barry was referring to). If she arrived at this point, she would’ve also missed Nu-Mark sitting at a school desk, banging away at sample pads stuck to its surface, triggering a funky rhythm. J5 must be the only touring act in the world that include a beaten up old school desk in their road kit.
The crowd response was dynamite. The energy from the stage was well matched by the enthusiastic audience, and J5 namechecked Scribe, telling us that we should go out and buy his album, if we didn’t have it already – "support your own". Scribe joined the group later for a freestyle. Chali 2na pointed at his throat while Scribe was rapping, suggesting the dude had a sore throat. He’s a trooper tho.
The J5 live experience is one tight machine, well-practised stage moves, but not too many hiphop cliches, and it delivers the goods. If you didn’t smile at least once during this show, you had a face made of stone. When the show finished, they invited the crowd down to the official afterparty at Fu Bar with DJ Nu-Mark playing, then casually strolled offstage, put down their mics, and the MCs walked to the front, shaking hands and signing autographs. Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist packed up their record bags and left the stage, but came back out to meet and greet their fans, Chali 2na signing someone’s shoe! A charmingly low key end to a warm, genuine show.
I headed off to the Fu Bar, and partied with Nu-Mark til the break of dawn – well, they did invite us, and it would’ve been rude not to go - and then walked home, showered, and went to work. Had a nap under my desk, woke up, wrote this, and went back to sleep. Wake me at 5. Later. (written on Monday)
Land of the free, home of the afraid
Check Graham Reid in this morning's NZ Herald - an excellent op ed piece on his recent trip around the US. "During two months travelling from California to Georgia, and time in New York and San Francisco, I couldn't help observe Americans being scared into fear and uncertainty.

... Doubts and fears are widespread. At a Miami bar one night after a lengthy political discussion I tried to make light of them.
"Anyway," I said, buying the next round, "just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."
My companions didn't laugh. Not a lot of Americans do right now.
Read the whole piece here.

What's it like to spend a day with Russell Simmons? Find out here.

UPDATE
"The warning that U.S. financial centres may be attacked by al Qaeda was based largely on three-year-old information, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said on Tuesday, but some intelligence dated from January and he insisted the threat was still real..."
But wait, there's more... "The city [New York] now has 4,000 fewer police than on Sept. 11, 2001, and this year New York was given $US5.47 per head in homeland security grants -- the second lowest in the nation."
The Republicans hold their convention early September in New York - imagine if there was a terrorist attack/threat then - what great leverage for Bush.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Rock the Casbah
Yesterdays big news story was the attacks on Christian churches in Iraq, a startling development by insurgents there. Previously they have attacked Christian businesses selling alcohol, but this was the first time they have gone after churches. So where did this major story rate on our evening news bulletins?
TV3 put it on as their 4th story - their lead was about the uncovering of the identity of donor for Jonah Lomu's kidney. That's a womens magazine cover, not a lead news story. TVone put the Iraq story even later in their bulletin, playing it at 6.24pm. Their lead was a cheapshot about Vincent Ward's new film (funded in part by taxpayers) being canned. The film's producer Don Reynolds told the Herald that was not correct. "I don't know where they got that from. I spoke to them and said it definitely wasn't canned." They failed to mention that Ward nearly went and shot it in Oz, as he had such a hard time rasing funding to begin with. A NZ story shot in Oz, great stuff. Where's the news, people?

Friday, July 30, 2004

Hooray for steak
Went out to Tonys Lord Nelson for steak last night. I used to go there when I was a kid with my family, and it is exactly the same; same decor, same good quality food. My iron count is most satisfactory this morning.

Jurassic Five hit town sunday night, can't wait! Rebecca Barry from the NZ Herald interviews Charli 2na from the group; She asks him about "their hip-hop heroes: LL Cool J, Run DMC, Public Enemy to Grandmaster Flash, Serious 5, etc". Serious Five??? Ah, think that last one might be the Furious Five. Odd typo.

I'm playing at Shadows this saturday night - Dub Asylum with MC Word Perfect, and DJ Big Matt. From 9pm. Spot ya there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Wave of mutilation
Heard any good Big Day Out rumours? Best one I've heard is the Pixies. They've just done the European festival circuit, and they're touring the US thru November and December. Might happen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Mike Hosking on Michael Moore  -WTF?
Did you read the inane rantings of Mike Hosking in the Sunday Star Times at the weekend (not online, unfortunately)? Seems Mr Hosking reckons that Moore isn't a true documentary maker because he doesn't present a balanced story in his latest film. Given that Bush gets great press across the mainstream media in the US (thanks to Rupert Murdoch), why would anyone think Moore needs to put Bush's side of the story? Hosking also slams John Pilger as a former crusading journalist who has now strayed down the same path as Moore.
So, lets say Mike Hosking is asked to front a documentary on NZ Jews who survived the Holcaust. He'd be in there saying 'We've got to show Hitler's side too', because thats what balanced documentary should do. Right? No  way Jose. It's amazing to think that someone with as much media experience as Hosking could be so stunningly naive. Even dodgy old John Cambell rattles on about advocacy journalism and cites Pilger as an example.

Anyway, have a listen to this... William Shatners new album, produced by BenFolds, featuring a cover of Common People by Pulp (with Joe Jackson guesting - scroll down to listen). There's a collabo with Henry Rollins too. That'll save the music industry!

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.