Monday, November 01, 2004

romanowski

Steady Rocking, Bay Area Style.
Romanowski is a San Francisco DJ/producer (pictured above, rocking it Mickey Mouse styles) who "considers sneaking into his mother's liquor cabinet and record collection his introduction to the DJ lifestyle. Booze and Beatles albums gave way to old school rap and early electronica, a combination he spun together at the age of 14 in his native Zurich, Switzerland." He moved to San Fran in 92, and his debut as a producer was a collaboration in 2001 with graffiti artist/producer Doze Green on the Future Primitive Sounds label under the name Aromadozeski Therapy (check his bio at the Future Primitive site).
He debuted earlier this year with the 'Steady Rocking - Romanowski in a Jamaican stylee' EP - there's a few very tasty samples you can download over here - check out 'Why' and 'Speaking Of', a few downtempo reggae groovers, thoroughly reccomended. Scissorkick has some samples from his next EP over here, more uptempo funk malarkey. It's a party in my pants, like the man says.
Peter Urlich: Oh, the screaming silence.
The Herald On Sunday had Ben Lummis as one of its cover stories yesterday. It talked about his second single from his first album flopping, the trials of building a career (he's playing school fairs these days), and what he's planning next. The story continues inside the paper, under the title "Fallen Idle: Is Ben's dream over?" The cover headline said "I wish people would take me seriously". Boo hoo. Poor starving artist.
According to HOS reporter Amanda Spratt, Lummis is currently working on his third album. What happened to his second album, then? Slight factual inconsistency there. Still, Spratt runs the numbers on Lummis' album sales, and notes that revenue from his 30,000 album sales would be negligible, "as artists do best if they've written the song". After promotional costs, videos and BMG and Idol creator Simon Fuller take their cut, she suggests that Lummis is probably even. (I wrote about this back in May, when BMG marketing manager Jake Shand said to the Sunday Star Times that the winner of NZ Idol would be well rewarded: "For them not to make any money is not a reality. I'd be astounded if they didn't." He aint out buying houses, tho, is he?)
Lummis doesn't know how much he earns each week, but says its better than what he was getting as a teacher's aide. Several NZ music biz movers and shakers pitched in their thoughts, including Peter Urlich. 'New Zealand, say music industry gurus, is a tough crowd to serenade. Urlich, depite his screaming silence when told of the success, or lack thereof, of Lummis' follow-up single, has faith... "You have to leave, have some success in another market. It's going to be an uphill battle. It comes down to songs. You need great songs."' Just watch out for that screaming silence.




Isn't it ironic?
The Beastie Boys are on the cover of the latest issue of Wired magazine, with the entertaining headline "The Beastie Boys; fight for your right to copy", which is hilarious, coming from a group whose latest album was copy protected, much to the chagrin of their fans. Wired comes with a free cd featuring music distributed under the Creative Commons license. Looks like a good read, apart from the dodgy cover line. Public Enemy, Dangermouse, Thievery Corp and Gilberto Gil feature also. There's more about the CD here.
"Rip, mix, burn. Swap till you drop. The music cops can't do a thing - it's 100 percent legal, licensed by the bands. Call it copyright for the 21st century."


"I'm the old git with the chick, the Roller and the rock band'" - Iggy Pop interviewed by the Guardian's Miranda Sawyer. She gets a look round his house in Miami.
"...Iggy takes me on a tour. His place is small but stuffed: Haitian love goddesses battle it out with Mexican madonnas on Italian marble tops and Chinese antique dressers, which cuddle up to cow-skinned chairs, curly mirrors, a cartoon of the serial killer Carl Panzram, a 'cut-up' work by a contemporary of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin. There's an Iggy painting of a Stooges gig on one wall; a Shirelles CD sits like a single on the old record player..."

Allhiphop.com interviews Olu Dara, musican and father of Nas. Dara features on his son's new album, on the tune Bridging the Gap. Wicked tune.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Peel
from Novelist Andrew O'Hagan, in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

"...Two years ago, I was in New Zealand with him. We were there to represent British culture, a fact which made us laugh for an entire week, and I have to say I've never fallen into camaraderie with someone so quickly in my life.

The first night, I went for an Indian with John and his wife Sheila, and I wasted no time in paying dues to my former self: I told him he was a god. He took it very well, saying something profound like, "You wouldn't pass me some of that mango chutney over, would you?" As we went from place to place, I realised John and Sheila were one of the very few couples whose relationship I envied: she loved his jokes, and he just thought there was nothing in the world to match her.

Waiting to meet some Maori dignitaries, John and I were discussing a band called the Wedding Present. I broke off and said something nice to him about Sheila. His eyes filled up and he lost his words. "Thank you, Andrew," he said eventually. "I think that, too."

Every few yards in New Zealand someone would present themselves to John and give him a tape or a CD. By day three, he had 92 of them, and he brought them to a house I'd rented on Waiheke Island. We had dinner on a veranda looking over the greenest water; the trees seemed to caress the house and we listened to the music.

"This might be the loveliest place I've ever been," John said. We walked on the beach - Sheila behind us and John walking backwards so he could see her. "It's like a painting," I said to him. "The Man who Loved to Look at His Wife." "It's true," he said. "I love looking at Sheila. I've always said it: she's just the nicest person I've ever met."

There was a dinner one night. John started talking to me about his childhood and the various things that had happened. I was mesmerised by him, the way he spoke so humanely and clearly about the past. He was my favourite person on the radio, but now he was talking privately, almost conspiring with me to get it right, make it precise, for each of us, the story of childhood and what it means. It was then I realised what it was that made John Peel the greatest broadcaster of his generation..."

The Herald picked up fellow BBC DJ Andy Kershaws comments via the Independent, some of which have created a stir...
"The last time I saw him he looked absolutely worn out. We went to a cafe near Radio 1 and I said: "John, you look terrible." He said: "They've moved me from 11pm to one at night and the combination of that and Home Truths (his BBC Radio 4 show) is killing me." He felt he had been marginalised."

"BBC authorities rejected the notion. "It is extremely distressing that Andy should say this. John was fully supportive of the changes -- he even said that the late finish meant clearer roads when he drove back to East Anglia", one BBC executive said."

I think that is called 'saying what the boss wants to hear'.

Peel getting shunted to a later slot is not disimilar to the story of Rodney Bingenheimer, a US DJ at KROQ in Los Angeles. I saw an interesting documentary about him at this year's Film Festival - it's called The Mayor of Sunset Strip. Bingenheimer is responsible for breaking many bands in the States the last 30 years, and he's still on the radio, but these days he's been shunted off to Sunday midnight to 3am. While the doco makes much of Bingenhiemer's celebrity friends, it also makes him look sad and lonely, as someone who has never capitalised on their position in any meaningful financial way. It's not a very flattering portrait, and the director is useless at asking questions. You know a doco is in trouble if you are sitting in the theatre thinking of questions you'd want to ask, really obvious stuff, and they just get bypassed.
When it screened here, they showed the trailer for the film just prior to screening it, which basically gave away all the good lines, before you got to see the film. Sigh.

Not many
Bizgirl went to the Silver Scroll Awards - she's written it up here..

"Noizy had scored us some media tickets, so we bowled along at 6am [think she means 6pm] to get stuck into the infamous open bar that accompanies the event. I had my Voon frock on again, but noizy had decided to wear his ridiculous Scooby Doo and Shaggy brown corduroy jacket, which has a picture of the said cartoon anti-heroes on one pocket, and the Scooby Doo logo in big gold letters on the other. Needless to say I 'lost' him in the crowd as soon as we got in the door.

And what a crowd it was. Unlike the b.net awards, which are a bit more indie/alternative and bring out only a small smattering of stars, the Silver Scrolls gets a much more successful breed of music celebs out and about. Not that any of the readership from outside NZ will recognise any of these names, but within a short time I'd variously managed to spill my champagne on Dave Dobbyn, clocked Jordan Luck in the side with my elbow as I swung around to see if it was indeed Shayne Carter who'd strolled past me going the other way (it was), and knocked Scribe's baseball cap slightly askew as I pushed past him on the way to find another drink. He left it that way all night, much to my amusement..."

No mention of the Shayne Carter/Liam Finn rumoured fistfight, and no sign of the promised post from Noizyboy either. Where's the dirt, people?
UPDATE: Noizy has finally got something up on the Silver Scrolls here "... I caught up with Jody Lloyd (aka Trillion, and of Dark Tower fame), whose been a bit of a champion of the indie scene for a few years now, and who has some good ideas on how NZ On Air money could be better spent than funding knock-off American-sounding commercial rock bands. He'd obviously come to make the statement, as his shirt had the NZ on Air logo printed onto the pocket, but the with 'NZ' removed and 'Sound like USA' replacing it..."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Wicked mathematics
About two months from now, watch out for the local media to start doing their end of year reviews - you'll see the same line repeated from last year - "2004 was the best year ever for NZ music". That's true, but it's more accurate to say that 2004 was the best year for commercial NZ music, but that doesn't make as good a headline.
Truth is, if you were out on the fringes, that's where you stayed. Just ask Auckland metal band Subtract - their debut album Formula One features a delightful song called NZOA. If you're in a CD shop, pick it up and read the lyrics, they are amusingly direct. It's a concise rendering of the difficulties faced by the band as they try (unsuccessfully) to fit into the mold for funding. They are very disparaging of NZ On Air providing grants to its mates at record companies. Which means they swear.

Where's Radar?
TV One has Mark Sainsbury running round the US during the leadup to the US elections - he was last spotted in Louisiana. TV3 has been following ITV's Nick Robertson driving round in a campervan meeting up with ordinary folk. But some bright sparks at the NZ Herald and National Radio have sent comedian/columnist Radar off to Pahrump, Nevada. He'll be doing some reports for NatRad and no doubt some interesting columns for the Herald. Pahrump is a town of 33,000 people, about 60 miles from Las Vegas, formerly known as the town with the brothels, is about 91% white, and supposedly a bit more liberal than surrounding areas. Should be interesting to see what he comes up with.
UPDATE: Radar's first column is here.
Opening line: "You boys here for the hookers?" is the most persistent phrase I have heard in the past week....

Also, look out for my cousin Rob Warner on Soundlab on C4 tonight (Wed 27th Oct, 10.30pm) - he's interviewed by Nick D in Thailand; Rob is up there DJing at the mo. He and Josh Webb did the What the Funk remix for me that's on the Fashion Week CD 'Off the cuff', alongside Minuit, Fat Freddy's Drop, Nathan Haines, Soane, One Million Dollars, Baitercell & Timmy Schumacher, Concord Dawn and more.


More Peel..
tip of the hat to Peter Hoar...

From: Tim Wall
To: RADIO-STUDIES@jiscmail.ac.uk
Date: Wednesday - October 27, 2004 6:41 AM
Subject: Death of John Peel

"Many of you will have heard about the sudden death of the British Music radio presenter, John Peel. In an aspect of radio that is often seen as trivial and common denominator, or trite and formulaic Peel did something rather surprising: he played records that interested him. He didn't always like them, but they sounded a bit different and so thought you might like to hear them.

He was a mainstay of BBC Radio One's evening broadcasts for over thirty years, but not in the way you would guess if you haven't ever heard one of his shows.

British radio has been full of elegies this afternoon, but many of them sounded like the easy clichés he tried to avoid. I hope this personal view doesn't sound the same. Otherwise I didn't learn enough from him.

I only had lengthy conversations with him on a couple of occasions. The first was 25 years ago when I was a student (and a student broadcaster) and he was the visiting National- Radio-One- DJ- come- to- play- some- punk- records- to- some- drunk- students. But he was willing to give up an hour to come and talk to me in the radio station. I had been expecting him to be critical about the late 1970s music scene and music radio in general. But he wasn't. On this, and the later occasion ten years later, I found him very non-judgemental, and I like to think he remained like that. He just liked what he liked, was interested in different sounds, and hoped we might like them as well. He just wanted a bit of space for music radio like this.

There's been a lot about him contributing to the art of radio, but that's tosh. He was anti-the-art -of-radio. He constantly made rather obvious mistakes, like paying a record at the wrong speed, or playing the wrong track, but he always treated the music with respect, and he joked about
himself.

There have been some interesting early sound clips of him being interviewed in the late 1960s (I doubt there is much of him presenting a show, because music radio just isn't archived enough) and he sounds so BBC middleclass. But by the 1970s he had taken on a rather lugubrious personality distinct from the laid-back Rock DJ style that dominated evening radio in Britain, and of course as the advocate of punk (and Reggae, and various forms of African pop, and blues, and hip hop, and almost anything) he established himself as an institution with his listeners, and later with his station.

I say later with his station because the corporation management which spent a decade trying to marginalise, and even make him disappear was replaced before he was. And I was always impressed that he never tried to become a presenter for an older age group of listeners. He didn't carve up music like that. He even sort of made it possible to still be interested in music after you were 25. That's helpful in my job.

In a way his idea of playing music he had just heard became the aspiration of Radio One as a whole. His version of public service broadcasting, sort of, became that of Radio One. Almost while no one was listening.

I learnt a lot about music radio from John Peel. A lot about presenting (although I always tried to play the record at the right speed). A lot about playing music, and what was important about music.

John I'll miss your shows. And I'll miss you. That's the funny thing about radio, isn't it. Only talked to him twice at any length. But I got to listen to him almost every week for thirty years.

No longer teen age kicks."


Legendary British DJ John Peel has passed away, aged 65. He was on a working holiday with his wife in Peru. RIP.
"After announcing Peel's death on Radio 1, the station played his favourite song, Teenage Kicks, by the Undertones.
Michael Bradley, bass player for the Undertones, spoke of his shock on learning of Peel's death.
He said: "He was a very funny, very warm man and we will always be grateful for what he did for The Undertones.
"Personally, I find it incredible what he did for the band and we always got huge pride out of the fact that he said Teenage Kicks was his favourite single.
"He always had his finger on the pulse of the music industry and the fact that Radio 1 played the Undertones, the White Stripes and the Strokes today showed just how relevant he remained throughout his career."

UPDATE: Hans has a good post on his own memories of listening to Mr Peel, read it here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004



I Heart K Rd
I headed uptown on Saturday afternoon to check out the shops and mooch about - discovered a great new shop called Xia (see pic above); stocks a range of Chinese goods like clocks with proud Revolutionaries raising their fists (the fists is the second hand, ticks back and forward), Chairman Mao porcelain figures, a dancing revolutionary girl raised up on one foot while pointing a handgun in the air, and some wicked Chinese and Japanese posters. Had a look at the window display in This Is Not A Love Shop as mentioned over here by Robyn - its outstanding, a kitsch 3D painting/sculpture of Axel Rose.
Also worth having a loookee, the excellent art exhibition at Distrupt Gallery (145 K Rd; near Verona Cafe) from the Richmond OG, Sparrow Phillips aka SP23. He's a graffiti artist who specialises in stencils, and here's a few pics. Get along and check it out; the show is on til 10 November, and if the artworks are out of your price range, he's also got the designs on t-shirts. Niceness!







King hit
TV3 showed footage of Destiny NZ's political launch at the weekend, screening the following quote...

'Civil rights legend Martin Luther King “did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage”, according to his daughter Bernice King, who flew all the way from the US at the weekend to endorse the rulership/dominion/possession political mandate of the Destiny Church.'

Unfortunately they failed to balance Bernice King's quote with the following information, which casts Dr King's beliefs in a slightly different light...

'Destiny quoted Dr King without authorisation during their “Enough is Enough” campaign in August, to the dismay of his widow, Coretta Scott King, who declined in a written statement to support the Destiny rally, and noted that one of her husband’s closest advisors (Bayard Rustin) was gay. “I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King's dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people,” she said'.
The best thing about Destiny NZ is they are out in the open - we can see these haters coming a mile off. Thank fuck for democracy. Speaking of which...


Watch the pretty pictures.
Eminem's new video, Mosh.
O-Dub says.. "The video opens with the sound and sight of an airliner, flying off screen, accompanied with an explosion: the allusion is clear. From there, we see everything referenced from racial profiling by police to a parody of Bush sitting stunned in a Florida classroom, to renters getting evicted by greedy corpoglomerates, to Bin Laden being held up as Cheney's puppet. The ending images are of a mass of black hoodied youth walking through the streets - not to burn the motherfucker down but to register to vote. TO REGISTER TO VOTE. Put aside the fact that Eminem himself has never voted: seriously, this video is a kick to the head, a parade of images and messages that leaves even a tired, old progressive like me feeling simultaneously charged and astonished.

I have to admit: watching Eminem's "Mosh" is pretty damn stunning, especially from an artist who I've called "misanthropic" not that long ago. Em is now extending on Michael Moore's criticisms of the Bush Administration, creating a video where the main thrust is to call for insurrection through democracy. Be a cynic all you want, say it's just some clever P.R. ploy on Em's part to stir up interest in his upcoming Encore album but offer me a more visible call to action that you're going to see on MTV, BET, VH1, etc.?"

Em's last vid made fun of Michael Jackson and used a Peewee Herman laugh as the chorus hook, continuing his rep as pisstaker-extraordinaire, and then he comes back with this kick in the face. Easily the most effective political statement to come outta the US entertainment arena during their election year. Beats Bruce Springsteen and his tired old cronies rocking the vote.

Nas and his dad appeared on VH1's Hip Hop Honours special, doing a tune called 'Bridging the Gap' - starts off all swamp blues with Nas' dad singing, then Nas enters and the beat gets skippy - it's wicked. Check it here. You can also cop the Beasties doing RunDMC's 'Sucker MC's', and Fat Joe doing KRS One's 'South Bronx' at VH1's site.

from Funkdigital... "How embarassing and what a black eye to the music industry. And you wonder why we don't pay for music. Ashlee Simpson's stuffup on Saturday Night Live." Seems lipsyncing is really difficult. She is blaming her performance (or lack thereof) on a gastric disorder. She's also quoted as asking her fans on her website how she can delete the videos floating round the net of the unfortunate event. Ah, the joys of live tv.
Subject: How do I get rid of all those videos.
10/24/2004 8:35:08 PM - by Ashlee Simpson
Ok you people know the internet, I'm going to get rid of all these videos posted on other websites, how do i delete them?
Search me
Here's some of the delightful search terms that have landed you folks here in the last five days...

Feelstyle; Jayzeezer; Bro town; mass sucides; woggles posters; Belinda Henley; amatanga; reasons not to eat mcdonalds; TV3/bro town; dimmer star times betchadupa; Alison Annan; Leona Johansson public sex; Brian Wells collar bomb video; breasts; Riot III; feelstyle reviews.

That's the joys of site stats for you. Here's Bizgirl's fun with stats. She suspects someone from her work is lurking on her blog, and hopes it aint her employer. I've wondered if any of my workmates read this, and if sol, why aren't you working? Slackers.

UPDATE: here's a few more search terms...
pauly fuemana married; benjamin crellin; dj peter gunz; Graffiti prevention officer Rob Shields...

Friday, October 22, 2004



Russell Brown is doing it for the kids.
From Hard News - Russell reviewed some new local hiphop. He talked about P Moneys new album, and Tha Feelstyle's debut, Break It To Pieces...

"... Break it to Pieces, the debut by Tha Feelstyle, is quite a different affair. While P Money is all crisp, digital beats and iconic samples, this is warm, funky hip-hop. In keeping with the collegial feel of the local music scene these days, there's even a guest appearance from Dimmer's Shayne Carter, who does his Curtis Mayfield thing on 'Savage Feel'. It's a riot.

The world's best Samoan-language rapper is no spring chicken, and he certainly has plenty to say - indeed, there's a little précis of what he's saying under each track title in the CD booklet. 'Le Amatanga' "means the beginning in the Samoan language. A moment of reflection to understand this moment in time", while 'Tha Medicine' "is about self-counselling."

This is a nice album, and in its way a very important one, in the tradition of Ermehn's Samoans Part II (on which Tha Feelstyle featured as the elaborately-named Field Style Orator), which you might say began the story. When I interviewed Mareko last year, I asked him about that record and he agreed that he felt part of its storytelling tradition. Amid a flurry of local hip hop releases Ermehn himself has an album of brutal, convincing South Auckland gangster rap set for release via BMG - with or without one particularly defamatory track."

Niceness. had a listen to it yet? Check it out, it's a fine funky feast for your ears, and perfect for summer, which is right around the corner, I hear.
UPDATE: Smokecds.com have it available online, with audio samples for your listening pleasure. good price too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sweet as.
Andy Morton aka Submariner(DJ/producer of Tha Feelstyle's album) is in Rome at the Red Bull DJ Academy, along with fellow Kiwi Amy B. Excerpt from the daily diary, last thursday follows...

"...I chat to Andy Morton a.k.a Submariner (Aotearoa) who's been reading my book of philosophy by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (and bumped into a statue of the dude one day as well). Andy's found the ornate details of the city mind-boggling; and has also been pretty boggled by the number of guest lecturers who've big-upped New Zealand music. "Man I've been feeling patriotic, got some pride for Aotearoa!" [A few days earlier he'd copped an Irish DJ dropping Downtown Brown's Mr Brown tune which suprised him, as there's only a few hundred copies of it in existence]

Darshan comes on the decks and the dancefloor gets more traffic, and Andy is brave enough to accompany me for a bit of a tutu on the floor, pretty nice to see this 90bpm man feeling some electronic house. He says "After hearing all these four/four beats over the last two weeks, I've been starting to get into it." Who else do I meet in the jam but our other kiwi participant Amy B and we pump it up. She says "Being here has made me realise what a wicked little scene we got in New Zealand, y'know?'
Keep the Groove Going

Dub Reggae Icecream Truck

"Xeni Jardin rides with Aurelito and Shakespeare, two Los Angeles-based reggae DJs who have converted an old ice-cream truck into a mobile sound system."
I first read about this in Giant Robot magazine a few months back; now it turns up on NPR radio over here. Now, aint that a great idea for our shores? And yes, I know Red Bull did a portable DJ thing here with a Hummer, but that's just a bit too Arnie for me.

UPDATE: Just came across this article on Aurelito and Shakespeare from LA Weekly.

I caught the new video from Fast Crew on C4 last night - laughed my head off when I saw the villian in the vid is played by my main man Radar. He runs off with the Fast Crew chasing him, runs into an office and photcopies himself, creating multiple Radars to battle the Fast Crew, then it goes all animated for a minute or so. It's hilarious, but that's Radar for you - he's doing it for the kids. He is a dope mofo. And I'm loving the Scratch School DJ lessons that Sirvere and CXL are doing on the Holla Hour. It's a real eye opener.

And there's something wierd with the new PMoney video. The track is called Stop The Music, Scribe guests on it, and I've seen it twice in the last few days on C4, and both times the presenters introduced it saying 'look out for Sam from 8 Foot Sativa on drums and Justin from Elemnop on guitar'. The catch is neither of them actually play on the recording, but you wouldn't know that from the presenters blurb. When you pick up a copy of the album, the beats are credited to PMoney and the guitar by Tyna (ex Dubious Bros). Hey Pete, WTF?

Thursday, October 14, 2004



You like to go-go, baby?
Selma Blair stars in the new John Waters movie A Dirty Shame ("Threatening the very limits of common decency") as a go-go dancer whose stage name is Ursula Udders. There's a good interview with her at suicidegirls.com.

DRE: Have you gotten sick of talking about the breasts yet?
SB: No it’s ok since I’ll probably never get to talk about my big breasts again seeing as how I don’t even need a brassiere. I did my mommy proud.
DRE: Have you ever thought of go-go dancing professionally?
SB: I do everyday for my dog and my husband. I truly do. I wake up in the morning and I give them a little sugar.
More here. Blair is worth catching in an indie film called Kill Me Later; I saw it on video a while back, and she's great in it. She plays a bank employee whose goldfish dies, her boyfriend cheats on her, so she decides to go to the roof of the bank and jump off, but before she gets to do that, she gets taken hostage by a bank robber, who promises to kill her later.

also at suicidegirls, interviews with...

John Kricfalusi, talking about new episodes of Ren & Stimpy airing on SpikeTV and the first two seasons of the original show are being released on DVD

expat Kiwi Alison Maclean talks about her documentary film Persons of Interest

RJD2 talks food..
DRE: What’s your favorite food?
RJD2: Sushi.
DRE: Do they have good sushi in Philadelphia?
RJD2: It’s ok. There are only a couple of good sushi spots.
DRE: You’ve been to Japan, is it good there?
RJD2: Everything is good there.
DRE: Are you into the punk girls?
RJD2: I’ve got a girlfriend so I’m basically married at this point. I’m into whatever.

There's also interviews with QTip, Christopher Walken, Lemmy from Motorhead, Eric Idle, Jet Li and Stephen Fry to name but a few. And some naked punk/goth girls. But you knew that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Tha Feelstyle (left)

Break it to pieces.
That's the name of the debut album from local hiphop MC Tha Feelstyle, and I picked up a copy yesterday, and it's very cool - funky beats with rapping in English and Samoan. Check it out. There's a great interview with him that was in the NZ Herald at the weekend, over here. Their reporter followed Kas (Feelstyle) and a video crew back to his homeland Samoa for a video shoot for the song Su'amalie/Aint mad at you. You may have copped this on C4 - Feelstyle is the only rapper I've ever seen who can spit a rhyme and operate a machete at the same time, which is one hell of a skill. Props!

Check the cover art above right, it's a beautiful velvet painting by Charles McPhee.
Shayne Carter to Liam Finn: You're going down, bitch!
Liam Finn and his band Betchadupa are finalists for the Apra Silver Scroll Award for NZ songwriters.
Finn the younger said in the weekend paper that "Really, I don't care who wins, so long as it's not Dimmer. To me Dimmer just sounds like Shayne Carter trying to be Marvin Gaye, but he's left out all the Marvin." Sorry? "He sounds really gay."
Carter's response? "... I'm looking forward to the awards night. I don't usually go to those kind of do's, but we're going this year, even if it's just to have a scrap with Betchadupa."
Finn and co's song is about Australian bats. Carter's outfit Dimmer are up for their song Getting What You Give. The shitfight is going down October 26, Wellington Town Hall. Wish I was there. Carter and his band of heavyweight thugs will pummel Liam and his cocky little grungenik mates. Should be hilarious.
And aint having two competing sunday papers a blast, especially when they duplicate each other - this week they both had stories on the Simpsons, and one on breast cancer, last week they both did stories on Linda Clark. The Sunday Star times even managed to review the same cafe twice in the same issue - two reviews of Cafe Rikka in Newmarket.
I am a vinyl junkie...
Think I'm gonna have to buy this book.



Vinyl Junkies, by Brett Milano (St. Martin's Griffin)
Reviewer: Nick A. Zaino III, Paste magazine

"Every guy with a record collection and a girlfriend should read Brett Milano’s Vinyl Junkies with her as relationship therapy. The book follows die-hard collectors from different walks of life—from R. Crumb’s country and blues 78s to several vinyl addicts in Milano’s native Boston, where he writes for the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Herald. The book presents an engaging look at a diverse subculture—from the rabid nerd completists to the musicians and industry types you would expect to have a serious relationship with their records (including R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore). But Milano also writes about “normal” people with jobs and relationships and whose fashion choices range outside jeans and obscure punk T-shirts.

Anyone who has a shelf full of Journey and Foreigner albums and considers himself a collector will probably feel ashamed after reading about the lengths to which Monoman (of Boston’s The Lyres) goes to obtain a rare Tony Jackson EP from an overseas dealer or the description of George Stone’s apartment, where—except for a couple of folding chairs—his collection has taken over the entire space. But Milano’s subjects are all human, and even the most eccentric collectors escape stereotyping— though at times the author enforces such notions (for example, a particularly passionate speech about the merits of the Partridge Family or a record considered a personal holy grail, a 1957 pressing of Scythian Suite by Prokofiev).

Milano strikes a balance between more serious scientific research and light-hearted self-examination. Someone who flies to Japan to pick up a rare jazz album might deeply love the music or they might have an issue with their seratonin levels. Some people like the grooves on the record, while others believe in a scientific argument for the warmth of analog versus a cold digital sound. He gives both viewpoints their due, but always with a knowing smile, noting they equally bring out the inner geek, making the details almost irrelevant. Collecting, after all, ultimately isn’t a logical pastime, and that’s part of what makes it worthwhile."

Speaking of vinyl junkies, the new issue of Wax Poetics is out this week, and the latest issue of Scratch magazine is in stores here now too. Cover story is a wicked indepth interview with Kanye West. There's also a great interview with P-Money in the new issue of Back to Basics, Aoteaora's hiphop mag. This mag is going from strength to strength - check it out.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Alison Annan is a freaking nutcase (and cheerleader for illiteracy)
The disgraced former principal of Cambridge High School decided to scrap the school's library - "In March last year, Mrs Annan said many students were doing their research online and the non-fiction section of the library was not being used enough." WTF?
She wanted to put in a cybercafe instead, using a $1.5m capital building grant. Nice little money earner.

"School commissioner Dennis Finn said the old library building at the school was barren and empty, with the only books now stored in individual classrooms. The school would have to find new books to stock the library and he was looking at funding options. "There is certainly enough support for this to happen." Finn has confirmed the school's library, which former principal Alison Annan got rid of last year, would return "The library is coming back," he said. (from NZPA report.)

How much did she get paid out, again? (Abstract side thought: Did any members of the Datsuns go to this school?)

Speakling of the Datsuns...

"... Lead singer and bassist Dolf, 25, was shocked to be called a transvestite in Leeds, England by some 10-year-olds, but Christian, who has longer curly hair and wears a bunch of rock pins on his jacket, seems to be a lightning rod for attacks.
"I don't feel like I've arrived in a place until I've been called a fag, and I've been pretty much called a fag in every country, except Japan," he says, recalling a recent night in Manhattan when he was taunted by some drunk frat boys.
"It's just a common occurrence. But that's what you discover when you travel around. London is just as bad," says Dolf, referring to their current hometown.
The crazy thing is, these guys, who don't sport goth tattoos or a load of metal piercings, aren't that outrageous-looking. And in spirit, they're more Monkees than Metallica."
From the New York Post. Next time the lads play in that town is in December, supporting the Pixies. Wicked.

Monday, October 04, 2004

P Money does some arse kicking.
I went to the Aotearoa Hiphop Summit at the weekend, saw some wicked graffiti art including some cars getting painted (nice work, Sparrow!), some good hiphop and some not so good hiphop. There are a lot of local hiphop albums dropping in the next month - for example, RES, Alphrisk and The Feelstyle all release their albums Oct 11. Grant Smithies noted in the Sunday Star Times yesterday that...

Lately there have been substantially more local hip-hop records on the radio, video clips on TV and CDs being sold than ever before. "Behold the long-awaited flowering of Aotearoa's hip-hop underground!" cry the grateful multitudes, including me. Virtually every recorded utterance by a local rapper is declared not just socially relevant but witty, wise and original beyond measure. Lift up the hoodie of any passing local rapper and you'll find big bruises from too much back-patting. Well, P Money isn't among those doing the patting....
"Look, nobody could doubt that I love New Zealand hip-hop, but it doesn't help the music to just say everything that's made here is great. A lot of mediocre local songs are currently getting thrashed on the radio. We need to stop being stoked just because NZ rap songs are finally on the radio, and start trying to get better rap songs on it. Everyone needs to push themselves harder." A big sigh billows down the phone, followed by a phrase you'd expect from a frowning grandad: "I mean, where's the work ethic?"

Read more here, or here (if the SST has hidden it behind their stupid archive).