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?