Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Arafat to Pope: Yo, nice Xtian bling bling you got dere,
my homie. Where can I get me sum a dat?
Pope: Yo, quit buggin'. can't you see I'm on da mic, homie?

Mo money.
So, Yasser Arafat died, and turns out he was a billionaire. He lived in bombed out buildings, when he coulda been high rolling.

... For 12 years, until 1996, Mr al-Ghussein was the treasurer for the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It was his duty to keep track of the billions of pounds that were donated to Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader, by sympathetic organisations, such as the European Union.
Eventually, Mr al-Ghussein realised that he had been handed an impossible task - tracing Arafat's billions required a detective, not an accountant. "I just hope he has left some sort of a will," he told The Sunday Telegraph, on the eve of Arafat's death on Thursday. "Or at least some detailed information about all the accounts and the assets, because that money belongs to the Palestinian people, not to him."
... Meanwhile, Mrs Arafat and the Arafats' daughter, Zahwa, allegedly spent an entire year living on a floor of the Hotel Bristol in Paris, at a cost of £8,700 per night, before buying an expensive flat in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. French authorities have discovered that Mrs Arafat, who moved to Paris in 2000 to avoid the second intifada, received $11.4 million in money transfers from Switzerland, between 2002 and 2003.
More news stories here.

Oh yeah, and Roger Harper - WTF?
"... we don't like the negative messages this particular product gives so we thought, 'How could we turn a negative into a positive?'
"We thought, 'Why don't we make a significant donation to Women's Refuge and youth suicide [prevention] because these organisations help the victims that suffer from Eminem's world view'.

Roger Harper, manager of the CD and DVD Store appeared on TV Ones nightly current affairs show Closeup on Monday night, talking about his actions. He was filmed outside his store in Vulcan Lane in central Auckland. The programme's host Susan Wood pointed out to Harper that the irony of his campaign against Eminem would have the effect of drawing even more attention to his album, which Harper agreed with, saying that the CD had already sold out in some of his 25 stores.

The Herald reported that Harper’s stores displayed a poster “in shop windows to discourage people from buying the new Eminem album, Encore. If people do choose to buy it from the store then it will donate $6 to Women's Refuge and youth suicide prevention charities. The posters claim Encore is more "verbal porn" from Eminem and his "annual pile of refuse" that he releases on record. It goes on to say: "We'd rather not make money selling you this stuff but if you do want this album, buy it here and we will donate $6 for every copy we sell."

The stores will not have the album out on display, but will keep it behind the counter. I went down there at lunchtime today, and they have albums of similar explicit lyrical content on display from the likes of Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg, Lil Kim and Tupac, to name a few. There are 12 music retailers in the central city area - 5 of them focus mainly on chart CDs. Now what's interesting about the CD and DVD Store is it is the only one of the 12 music retailers to feature a Christian music section - it's right next to Punk/Alternative. Harper’s own religious views didn’t come up during his TV interview.

As one irate letter writer in this morning’s paper observed, “We cannot discriminate on ethnicity or gender, but this store is being allowed to judge on our choice of music. This is juvenile and unfair. I know that I would rather buy products where I am not being judged and criticised for being who I am, no matter what my choice of music.”

MO UPDATE: This story has made it offshore, and is getting coverage on Billboard, MSNBC and Allhiphop.com. We are a bunch of hicks.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Wellington crossdresser masquerades as librarian, wins award.

So, it turns out that Natalie Biz (Bizgirl) is in fact a he. "James" aka "Noizyboy" turned up to take credit for said blog at the Netguide Awards on friday night, when it won best personal blog. What a genius media hoax. I haven't laughed that hard since the middle of last week. Top work, "James" or whoever you are.
Netguide had an expert judge the local blogs, and she had some comments on all the finalists, including a major diss aimed at Public Address; "... what's it about? Or does it matter? They are all good writers with important stuff to say ... clearly the movers and shakers of New Zealand's blogosphere. A little intimidating though." She didn't like David Farrar's Kiwiblog either, but he wasn't fazed. "I think it is hilarious that Natalie is actually James Guthrie of Noizyblog. Makes me feel like Paul Henry when he lost Wairarapa to Georgina Beyer :-) "
The Scavengers played on the weekend - I missed em, choosing Roots Foundation instead, which was a mighty fine night of reggae and dub , tho the poor ol PA at Safari Lounge wasn't up to the task of pumping out some serious bass - shame. Simon Grigg went along to see the Scavs - he was closely involved in the early punk scene in AK, with his record label Propellor, and his association with Suburban Reps.
"... The show itself...short (12 3 minute songs), anthem filled (I was touched to be the only person to get a song dedicated to them), and loud (vastly better sound than I've ever heard the Scavs...we used to throw the vocals thru the guitar amp back then)..."
I suspect the song that was dedicated to Simon was "Born to Bullshit" which got a belated release as a single a few years back, with Simon's photo on the cover, with a black strip tastefully pasted across his eyes to give him some vague level of anonymity. Touching.
Simon also noted that Dion from the D4 did a fine job of filling in for absent bassist Brendan Perry, who is otherwise engaged in prepping a tour with Dead Can Dance from a former church in Ireland (his home and recording studio), where he also runs samba workshops for the locals. Speaking of the D4, check out this MP3 from a group with the same name, from back in the 80s (warning: file is huge, 16MB). from Stickershock.

I caught the tail end of Flashbacks last night on C4, a special looking at a bunch of old Flying Nun vids in honour of the new FNun DVD 'Second season' that's just come out. James Coleman's guests were Dave Yetton (JPSE, Stereobus) and Chris Knox, who rubbed jelly into his arms and face towards the end of the show, while Coleman was trying to intro the next vid without laughing. The jelly was on set as a tribute to Superettes Killer Clown video which features a party with much jelly and other party food. Knox called in "conditioning jelly", and then was surprised when told that you could eat it - "oh really?" Classic Knox antics, reduced Coleman to uncontrollable laughter.

One of the final clips was Bike's "Welcome to my world" vid (directed by Jonathan King), which I worked on as a production assistant. The vid features a family going on holiday, towing a caravan where Bike are playing inside, while they drive down the road. Anyways, my job involved driving back to town to pick up Shayne Carter, who played a policeman in the vid, then drive him back out to Maraeti, about a 2 hr round trip. He wasn't very talkative on the way out (too early in the AM for him?), but on the way back to town after his cameo, we got talking , and ended up raving about Sly and the Family Stone - Shayne had just scored the Sly box set for a bargain at Real Groovy. I remember thinking that was real cool, as it marked him out as a fan.
UPDATE: Watch out for the Second FNun Pub Quiz, Wednesday Nov 24, 8pm at the King's Arms - free! More info here.

RIP Russell Jones
AKA ODB, Ol Dirty Bastard, MC with the Wu Tang Clan. Died in the recording studio on saturday after complaining of chest pains. Dude was 35. Sad news. Last time I heard from this cat was earlier this year, after he'd signed to Rocafella Records, and dropped an exclusive preview of his latest recording, a duet with Macy Grey, the Kiki Dee/Elton John clunker 'Don't go breakin my heart'. You can still hear it over here. He had skills, but he aint no Elton. Here's a 2002 interview with him: Portrait of the artist in jail.

Check out Reinventing Elvis: The American Sound Studio Sessions. It's a fascinating insight behind the sessions that delivered In the Ghetto and Suspicious Minds, produced by former Stax alumni Chips Moman. It aslo reveals how Elvis was tied to his publishing company, who sound like a bunch of money-hungry evil little men. They hound Chips to give up some of the publishing on In the Ghetto, which belongs to him, and he is not impressed. His response? "Gentlemen, I thought we were here to cut some hit records. Now if that's not the case, let me tell you what you can do. You can take your fucking tapes, and you and your whole group can get the hell out of here. Don't ask me for something that belongs to me. I'm not going to give it to you."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Back to the roots.
A few gigs in town tonight worth checking, if you're in the AK...
Legendary Wellington reggae crew Roots Foundation Sound System return to AK for a set at Safari Lounge toonight (Friday Nov 12) from 9pm. Koa, Lemon, Goosebump and Mu have been plugging roots music since the early 90s -here's a good interview from today's NZ Herald.
Mu reports that his other project - Fat Freddys Drop - have a new single out next month and their album is due early next year. Wouldn't hold your breath for that one, tho. It was supposed to be out in October this year. Still, good things take time, just like those cats say in the cheese ad.
The other gig is by Wing - she's performing instore at Real Groovy Auckland this evening, at 6.30pm. Who is Wing? She is a local singer (originally from Hong Kong) who is famous/infamous for her 'original' intrepretations of well-known tunes. Check the bounds of what you think is good taste and have a listen to some samples on her site. I dare you. Backgrounder from the Listener over here.

I've been picking up references on various US blogs to Bush's backdoor draft, but haven't really heard too much detail about it til now. US writer Jeff Chang has been concerned about his cousin David Miyasato...

"... David enlisted in the army in 1987. You enlist when you're 18 for a lot of reasons. You do your time like they tell you--3 years through a war to an honorable discharge, 5 more on inactive duty. At that point, by contract, by rules that the Army has established, your obligations are finished.
In the 8 years after that, you start a family, try to provide for them, and then the Army wants to come back at you like they own you. It ain't right. It's the exact opposite of what this country is supposed to be about.
David was an ammo-supply driver. If you haven't been up on it, here's a taste of what kind of work that is.
But David is not trying to duck difficult, perhaps deadly work--like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and all these other chicken hawks who refused to serve. David is asking to be treated justly and fairly, according to the rules the Army set forth at the beginning. That's not unpatriotic, it's the most American thing to do.
Whether or not you agree the war is unjust and wrong, David has done his time."

More press coverage Here's and here. (More here.)

It looks like they've had some success getting him out of this nightmare, thanks to some help from his Senator.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Concord Porn
Via Dodgy Sam on Twisted: "An unnamed D&B duo...*coughconcordedawncough* was approached by a small German adult entertainment company to use a certain track as backing music for a soon to be released movie. After much deliberation and chit chat the duo said yes but only if they could use parts of the vid as a music video to be screened here in NZ...a Yes was struck so all was well... UNTIL the movie was eventually finished and sent to said duo for their use.
The problem with the video was that it was a hardcore mens anal fisting video...(oh dear) The duo are unsure how to approach C4 with their newest music video."
Tip of the hat to Ms Behaviour for this gem. Pass it on.

UPDATE: after checking this with a knowledgable source, it seems this story is true - their song was used in a hardcore video - this happened a while back. The bit about getting it on C4 is unlikely, tho.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Paul Holmes: "I'm not whining like a little bitch - really I'm not".
Paul Holmes got maximum coverage out of the weekend papers, and sure, he didn't say the above words, but he did come out with some gems. He said staying at TVNZ was "eroding my mana". Just like that time you called Kofi Annan a cheeky darkie, Paul? That eroded your mana, aye? Holmes praises Alison Annan, (the woman who closed her school library because it was being replaced by students using the internet) but disses Kofi Annan. Meanwhile, over at TV3, their current 7pm slot is filled by the Simpsons. This week they've just started replaying the very first series, from 1990. Man, it's clunky. Tune in and have a look. The drawing is nowhere near as slick as it is now, and the pacing is way slower.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Working for the clampdown.
The 25th anniversary reissue of London Calling finally came out here last week, and damn it's good. I was surprised at how well it's aged. I remember first hearing it when I was at school - one of my friends had a copy and I went round to his house one weekend to listen to it. I went back to his place the following weekend and taped it onto cassette, but didn't manage to fit it all on one C90 tape, so when I hear it now there's songs on it that I barely know, cos they didn't make it onto my cassette copy. In retrospect, even tho I heard this album around ten years before we recorded the first Hallelujah Picassos album, I can definitely see the influence this album had on me, as a music fan and musician. Connects a few dots, you know? Aint hindsight grand?

C4 played the DVD [that comes with the 25th Anniversary edition] on the making of London Calling earlier in the week, and are screening it again tonight at 10pm. There's some great tales of The Clash taking a break from rehearsing when their record company would come down to visit - they'd go off and play 5 a side football with the record execs, and apparently the games got pretty brutal, with The Clash belting the ball (and the opposition) round the field. Paul Simenon compliments his fellow band members on their footie skills, and describes his own skills by noting that when he got the ball everyone would run away, as what he lacked in skill he made up for with agression. Rolling Stone magazine voted London Calling as the number one album of the 80s; Joe Strummer's reaction? Watch it and find out, I aint giving away all the good lines.

After a week in Jesusland covering the US election, Radar sounds keeen to get home...
"All I could think was that with the result decided I could return home to a country where I can eat at a restaurant without having to look at myriad people with plastic oxygen tubes protruding from their noses and attached to industrial size oxygen tanks." Read his latest column here.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Sartorial wisdom

Tshirt guy

check the guy's t-shirt, top left. (Tip of the hat to O-dub)

A few months back I was speculating with some friends on what Bush would do after declaring 'mission accomplished' in Iraq - I suggested that if he wins re-election, he'd shift the troops next door and invade Iran. Now Bob Mould brings this up in his latest post... "I fear there will be a reinstatement of a draft, particularly if we choose to invade Iran next year..." Hans has a great map of the United States of Jesusland (via Daily Kos). It's a much better arrangement of the red and blue states - the latter become part of Canada. Boing Boing reader Pete Setchell says, "There is still one chance to get him [Bush] out of the White House - send him a pack of pretzels to celebrate his victory. I've just sent some via Amazon."
Q-Burns Abstract Message sent this to Boing Boing: "Bill Hicks once told a story about an American friend of his who complained about the USA. When told, "well, if you don't like it then move somewhere else" the friend's reply would be, "What? And become a victim of our foreign policy?"

Wonkette's Post-Election Media Glossary (First in a Series)
What reporters really mean (whether talking to colleagues, boss, or you):
"The internet propagated bogus information." = "We fucked up."
"Bloggers let the cat out of the bag." = "We believed those polls, too."
"Oh, that room service bill includes laundry." = "I emptied the mini-bar."
"That was quite a night, huh?" = "What's your name again?"
"Truly, this is a divided America." = "I am planning on resorting to tired red/blue stereotypes for another four years."
"President Bush is has a mandate." = "We didn't believe that 380 ton thing either."
"We're all just glad it's over." = "Mr. McClellan, you look tense, can I rub your shoulders?"
"This is a vindication for Karl Rove's strategy" = "We won't tell criminal prosecutor about your Plame leak."
"Will Bush govern from the middle?" = "Will I have to talk to Christians?"
"President Bush is joined by his family." = "I can see Jenna's Barbara's nipples."

UPDATE: Greil Marcus looks into the future and writes up George W Bush's obituary.
"Policy Review, October 5, 2018--George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, died today at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was 72. .." The last line is hilarious.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

You like to watch?
The NZ Herald mentions the tv coverage available here on the US election. If you're in Auckland, skip TV One; your best best is Triangle TV, who are taking feeds from Voice of America and others from 8.30 pm till 11 pm. Their website also lists the following coverage... US ELECTIONS COVERAGE: Midday from TV5 France, 1PM from CCTV4 China, 2PM from DW Germany, 2.50PM from NHK Japan, 3PM Journal, 4PM PBS USA, 7PM Journal, 9PM Journal, 10PM Voice of America.
TV One has coverage all afternoon from 2 til 6pm, but this is probably going to be pretty lightweight as the final polling booths don't close in the US til 6pm our time. Still, might be fun watching Mark Sainsbury and co making a little go a long way.
Meanwhile, sleaze gets the thumbs up at the Whitehouse...
UPDATE: Mystery Pollster has the lowdown on what the exit polls really mean.

Monday, November 01, 2004


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

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

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?