Monday, December 13, 2004



SAGE ADVICE

"Sage Francis is a rapper out of Providence, RI and half of Non-Prophets (the other half is DJ Joe Beats). Sage made a reputation for himself by consistently winning poetry slams and freestyling competitions, and has built something of a cult following. His style is always personal and often highly political, but refreshingly free of preachiness. With his new Fuck Clear Channel Tour, Sage is pushing music industry politics to the forefront." Read the interview here at Downhill Battle.

Sage Francis is playing in Wellington December 16 at Indigo and Auckland December 17 at Rising Sun. Here's his opinion on downloading music...
"Downloading has not had a negative effect on my music. It has had an incalculable positive effect. That being said, I hope people spread the good word and buy an official copy if they enjoy what they hear. We even included the lyrics and booklet on the inside. Oh, and a urine sample." Very funny. From an interview with Music-News.com.

There's a bunch of other interviews over at his official site's messageboards including two Francis labelled as "Two god awful New Zealand interviews". One of the local interviewers takes exception to Francis... "remember that bad New Zealand interview? Look what he did" posts Francis. Its 14 pages of dissing, death threats and crap on the PE messageboards. Utter tripe.



So how many MC's duck like this?
Haven't heard much from Scribe's camp in the media on the ugly assault that happened to BFM's Phil Armstrong at Scribe's management co. Xmas party, but I've heard the person responsible was Scribe's associate and labelmate PNC - have you heard anything? There was even a rumour over at the NZMusic.com boards that Scribe was in jail - totally untrue, but as one clever poster noted - "Scribe is in jail, he got caught with P money".

Friday, December 10, 2004



DO IT TIL YOU'RE SATISFIED
In September this year, legendary remixer/producer Tom Moulton was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, along with the likes of Barry White, Donna Summer, David Mancuso, Larry Levan, and Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. If you've ever possessed any 12 vinyl singles (and I'm assuming that you're a music junkie if you got here, right?), you owe this man a vote of thanks. He invented the 12" single. No kidding.

from an interview with Moulton at disco-disco.com...
His idea to make songs longer led to the invention of the 12" single that disco was built on. "When I first started I took my records to Media Sound to master. And I came in with a new Trammps record on a Friday, so I said "Dominic, I really got to get some test pressings of this." Dom said; "Well, I don't have time and I'm going away." I said; "Oh my God, I can't believe this... I really got to get these, I really got to get some acetates cut of this." So, I said; "What about your assistant there?." He says; "Oh, you mean the Puerto Rican sweeper!." I was SO offended by that, so I went over to the guy and I said; "Hi, I'm Tom Moulton" and he goes "I know who you are." And I said; "Well, what's your name?." He says; "José." I said; "José, do you know how to use this?," he goes "Sure!." And I said; "Well, can you cut me some acetates?." "Oh, I think so." I said; "Well, let's do it!."

So, you know, he did everything I wanted... I told him I wanted this, I wanted more bottom or I wanted more top - whatever! And he did exactly what I wanted to do. And I said; "This guy's amazing!." So, from that day on he was the guy who mastered all my records. I took it back to Atlantic and I said; "I want it to say "A Tom Moulton Mix" but I also want it to say mastered by José Rodriguez." They went; "Oh, we don't do that!" and I said; "Well, you gonna do it now." So I started putting his name on everything and everybody was like absolutely stunned."

Tom continues; "So, one day I went in there to José and I had "I'll Be Holding On" by Al Downing and I said; "José, I really need some acetates." And he said; "Tom, I don't have any more 7" blanks. All I have is the 10" blanks." I said; "Well, if that's the only thing you've got, what difference does it make?." So he cut one, I said; "It looks so ridiculous, this little tiny band on this huge thing. What happens if we just make it bigger?." He says; "You mean, like spread the grooves?" and I said; "Yeah!." He says; "Then I've got to raise the level." I said; "Well, go ahead - raise the level." And so he cut it at +6. Oh, when I heard it I almost died. I said; "Oh my God, It's so much louder and listen to it. Oh! I like that - why don't we cut a few more?."

So it was by accident, that's how it was created. But for the next song we cut, we went for the 12" format instead of the 10" and the song was "So Much For Love" by Moment of Truth." That was the birth of the 12" single."

Tom expounded on the virtues of the 12" further by stating: "Because 45's were geared for radio, they were all 'middle', and you couldn't cut a lot of bass onto the record. A lot of records didn't have the fidelity and sounded terrible. But you were playing them for the songs, not the fidelity."



Moulton's big break came when he was asked to mix a single for BT Express...
"In 1974, a former model called Tom Moulton produced the first commercially successful disco remix when he doubled the length of BT Express's Do It 'Till You're Satisfied. The band loathed it until it became a massive crossover hit, at which point they brazenly claimed that it was their idea all along." [from the Guardian; "Change the record"]

Moulton describes it like this: "The band hated it," he says. "But it reached #-1 and they were on 'Soul Train.' Don Cornelius was interviewing them and asked about the length: 'Oh yeah we recorded it that way' they said. I was so fucking mad!" The song crossed over to a number 2 Pop hit on Billboard's Hot 100. The band played for the King of Thailand while touring Asia, and were invited to perform at the Whitehouse for Jimmy Carter.

Q: Have you got any special memories you can tell about when mixing a specific record? Like something that happened when you mixed it or some idea you got or something like that?
A:"Alright - "Dr. Love" [First Choice]. You know that song?!"
Q: Yep! It's one of my favorites actually.
A: "Ok, well. I actually had a mild heart attack that night."
Q: OH!
A:"I was so frustrated because the rhythm, the tempo kept changing. And all I know is I wanted to get back to the part to create a break that had that "di-di-di-di-de, di-di-di-di-de", you know like that, with the stings. I mean, that absolutely drove me crazy. And the drum pattern kept changing. So I had to speed it up, slow it down. Well, I got so frustrated. I raised my arms and saying; "Jesus Christ, can't these guys play in tempo for anything?!" And I got these electric shocks up my arms.

And I sat down and I calmly said; "OK, let's try to do this again." And I sat down and I really got scared because I could sense something that was wrong. I mean, there like - my breathing was off and I could hardly talk. But anyway I said; "OK, Let's do this." So I, we kept doing it piece by piece and I kept speeding up the multitrack machine or slowing it down. And it was driving me crazy. And finally it was done and I said "Can somebody call me a cab or drive me to the Hospital?" So they drove me to the Hospital and I went to the emergency room, this was like 4:30 in the morning.

They said "What's the matter" and I said "Well, I've had these electric shocks in my arms and bla bla bla bla bla". I got to see the doctor and the doctor goes "Oh my, your heart is beating sporadically." He said "When did this happen?" and I said "About 12 o'clock!" He said "12 O'CLOCK! It's 4:30!" and he said "Where are you coming from?" and I said "It's like 3 blocks away." He goes "You're an Asshole!"

That's what the doctor called me. He said "What could be more important than staying alive?" and I go "Well, I was mixing this record..." he goes "What's mixing a record?" and I was trying to explain to him and I said "Well, I mean, I know something was seriously wrong but I didn't wanna die not finishing this song." He thought that was the most ridiculous thing he ever heard of!"


More Moulton background here, here and here. There's a great interview with Moulton at djhistory.com (with the authors of the excellent book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life).
Like I said, if you own any 12 singles, then respect is due. Final word to Mr Moulton: "People have said, 'You make disco records,' and I said: 'Wrong. I make records you can dance to.' I wouldn't know how to make a record just for discos."

Wednesday, December 08, 2004



Worst stock photo ever? (via Getty Images) Tip of the hat to jamjar for this outstanding image.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Pahrump
Radar went to Pahrump, Nevada during the final days of the US elections last month. Pahrump, a small town 60 miles from Las Vegas, is known for its liberal citizens, and its whorehouses. "He meets the hosts of 'Out There TV' - a hot bed of UFO's, Government mind control and sex slaves." Watch his report on Eating Media Lunch, TV2 9.30 PM tonight (Tues). Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Truth About...
We're watching TV3 last night, and during the ads there's this promo for a documentary coming up on TV3 - shots of pills, vegetables and food, with voiceovers asking "Are vitamins safe? Do I need to take supplements? Isn't fresh food enough?" Then on comes the voice of authority saying "watch The Truth About Vitamins on..." Is this sheeeet for real?
So here's some other imaginary doco ideas we came up with... The Truth About Lamps, The Truth About Feet, The Truth About Glass, The Truth About Kneecaps, The Truth About French Fries (they're from Belgium)... Feel free to add your own ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Just don't be surprised if they end up on TV when some overzealous researcher from TVland surfs by and steals them, ah, I mean creatively acquires them.

Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation
is the name of a book by journalist Pratap Chatterjee. Here's a few excerpts about the book- here and here.

"Iraq, Inc. introduces us to the former soldiers and police officers lured to the conflict zone by offers of high pay from companies including Blackwater and DynCorp. Yet, as illustrated by the private contractors hired to interrogate prisoners at Abu Ghraib, recruits often lack the expertise and training required to meet basic human rights standards in occupied Iraq. Further, the author investigates several other shadowy companies operating in Iraq and reveals the failures of the psychological warfare firm SAIC to run the Al Iraqiyah radio and television network, an American sanctioned Iraqi "free press." Such ironies, Chatterjee suggests, are not lost on the Iraqis even as they are unknown to the American public.

In the concluding chapter, the author describes the company hired to run elections for Iraq, the most plausible American exit strategy. Yet, Chatterjee shows that this very company is importing Mormon preachers and disgraced city officials from Texas to impose an election system that ignores basic principles of democracy."

Chatterjee tells the Berkely Daily Planet that “In the first Gulf War one in 100 ‘boots on the ground,’ as they call it, was a private contractor.” When the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, one in 10 was a private contractor. “Today, as we speak and the U.S. is launching a war in Falluja, one in four ‘boots on the ground’ is a private contractor.”
Tip of the hat to Jeff Chang.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Everything's gone green
Like my new seasonal look? Grey just wasn't working for me - I was reliably informed that it was the new black, but that now appears to be grossly incorrect. Grey is the new brown. And there's only 23 shopping days til Xmas, ha ha. Here's something to do if you get stuck in a mall...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Read til it hurts, baby.

Copped these via Beats n Rants. Worth a lookee.

Mr. Babylon -
Do you really want to know how fucked up our kids are? Then check out Robert's weblog, Mr. Babylon. Robert is a school teacher at a shitty high school. His thoughts on teaching, kids and inner-city life are thought-provoking, and, at times, humorous. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read his posts. In the end, his words keep me coming back to his blog. Link him up now!

Music for America -
Hip-Hop is more than just getting crunk or droppin' it like it's hot. It's also a movement to inspire social change. Hip-hopper DL Chandler mixes hip-hop with social commentary/consciousness. That's a hard feat to achieve on a blog, and DL does it with such wit and insight. Whenever you have free time, visit his blog and read what he has to say.

Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage -
Pop music/culture writer Sean Fennessey has the one job that I would love to have -- he's the staff writer at Complex magazine, one of the best music/gear/style magazines on the newsstands, right now. I'm not going to playa hate on him, though, because he has a cool blog. (I still want his gig.

The Fabolous and Funky World of a Diva -
All you divas out there don't have a thing on Jazz. She is a radio DJ who recently quit her job and is now in transition toward a new gig. She has plenty of drama in between as she tries to maneuver her way through in the male-dominated radio industry. A great coffee-break blog. Link her up.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Teddy bear antics
Kanye West's debut album is easily one of the most exciting records to come out this year. It's certainly the most unconventional-sounding hiphop record to make it big on the charts. Recently West has been getting a little uptight; witness his antics at the American Music Awards, where he didn't win Best New Artist and stormed out in protest...

from My Stunted Growth...
[West said] "I think that as Best New Artist, I feel robbed. I won't be giving any politically correct answer to that. I was the best New Artist this year so get that other bullshit outta here. I walked out when they announced Best New Artist. If I'm not here for political reasons next year, you'll still be hearing my music...something real."
Okay, so Kanye loses to this country artist Gretchen Wilson at the AMA where Usher won 4 awards and Bon Jovi got a special merit award ( I guess for trying to remain relevent after the 1980's) and he's upset?!? He should be happy, but instead he throws a little tantrum like a little bitch."
Read the whole piece here. Its titled "Kanye West is an overrated, egotistical hack and he wears shirts with Teddy Bears". Owww!

In Exciting Rock News, the band formerly known as Thin White Rock Gods have picked up some aging folk singer's engineer to mix their new album... the headline in the Dom Post reads "Shihad uses Bob Dylan's engineer". Just as well the gent in question, one Chris Shaw, has worked with the likes of Public Enemy, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Cheap Trick. Bet it was the latter that swung the lads, right? Bah.

'I always thought we'd be as big as Radiohead'
What happens when a group £1.2m in debt tours for the last time? Dave Simpson joins the Beta Band to find out...

Thursday, November 25, 2004



Dignity and celebrity
Check the great Jack and Meg White interview over at the Observer - the edited version is here, longer transcript here.

OMM: Dignity and celebrity are two words that don't really belong in the same sentence.
JW: Yeah, but they used to. They really used to. I think Frank Sinatra was dignified. But it's been lost. We don't have a Frank Sinatra nowadays, or a Patti Page nowadays. What do we have? Ashley Simpson instead of Patti Page! I mean look at those people - Hilary Duff and Ashley Simpson and Paris Hilton! Who are all these skanks, man! Little girls are looking up to these girls, and it's gross, so gross.
Those girls have no dignity at all, and parents are letting their kids dress up like those skanks. But what else have they got? What are the other choices? Oh well, hahaha. (uncontrollably laughing) Somebody had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to play guitar Lindsay Lyons'[Lohan] album! Hahahaha! She's another one of those sixteen-year-old actresses, and she's making an album. 'Like, No', hahaha!"

But wait, there's more...

Comic Steve Coogan and White Stripes frontman Jack White worked together on Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, but never actually met. Here's what happened when they were offered the chance to meet online.


Last week I fired some interesting questions that Act MP Deborah Coddington was throwing round in Parliament about TVNZ over to Russell Brown - in this morning's Herald there's some more TV related news from Ms Coddington - could they be connected?

"Claims that a TVNZ manager was dismissed from television production company South Pacific Pictures after allegations of financial mismanagement had no substance, Mr Fraser told the committee. Act MP Deborah Coddington had made the claim about the head of commissioning and production Tony Holden.
Mr Fraser said TVNZ knew there had been a dispute over "money and content rights" between Mr Holden and the company, but it had been rapidly settled.
Mr Fraser said TVNZ had a robust recruitment process for checking prospective employees, and an enormous amount of checking had been done on Mr Holden. "No one was charged, there was no conviction for any crime."

Friday, November 19, 2004



One drop
When The Clash reissued London Calling recently, they followed their longstanding tradition of adding value for money for their fans, giving them the original album, a bonus CD of demos for the album, and a DVD of the making of the album, including previously unseen footage (mainly of the album’s producer Guy Stevens going nuts in the studio, throwing chairs round and swinging a ladder).

The flipside of this trend is the abhorrent practice of artists/bands releasing their album, then re-issuing it a year later with bonus tracks/remixes/instrumentals, making the fans go out and buy the same songs a second time. I got stung when Jurassic 5 did this with their debut Quality Control and ended up paying for the same album twice, when they reissued it for their 2002 Australian tour with a bonus disc of instrumentals. I traded in the first copy, but still made a loss on the deal. Just as well their gig here earlier this year was kick ass.

P-Money did the same thing with his debut album Big Things, reissuing it with a second disc of instrumentals and new tracks (to his credit, his second album Magic City comes with a bonus disc of instrumentals for early purchasers of said product). P-Money isn't the only local example, of course: other culprits include Mareko, Bic Runga, Dimmer, Brooke Fraser, and Golden Horse, who released their debut album three times. Sure, it’s a marketing tool to drag in new fans and bump up sales (nothing wrong with that), but if you went out and bought an album when it first came out and then you find out there's a 'new improved' version of it, you’d feel ripped off, right?

Which is why I got to send out maximum respect to Salmonella Dub – their latest album One Drop East has just been reissued (out Nov 29) with a bonus disc of remixes. But they have also made the second disc of remixes available as a mid-price single disc for their fans who already have the album. Niceness. Let's hope this starts a trend, known henceforth as "Not Ripping Off Your Fanbase". Remixers of the Dub include Mu, Digital, Concord Dawn and Mad Professor -I went to a workshop with Mad Prof back in October last year when he was out here working on this remix. One question - One Drop East came out with copy protection, which didn't impress some folk. Will the reissue be the same deal?

UPDATE: Stinky Jim reviewed the London Calling reissue in this week's Listener, saying that it "remains a stunning record, even with its dirty laundry now on parade", adding that "everyone's got to make a living, but let's hope that this is the last of the attempts to remarket a group that went out of their way not to rip off their fans when they were active." More here.





One of the world's most exciting DJ's Mr Scruff comes to our town this Saturday night playing at The Studio on K Rd, and I can't wait. He's doing one of his 5 hour sets (his preferred set length).
"He rates drinking tea and eating pies as the things he does most besides collecting, playing, and listening to music... He says he made the connection between his favourite band, 80s ska outfit Madness, and the ska of Prince Buster early on, but he's not so sure how important musical history is to people today. It's something that fascinates him, but do others care? "It's reliant on what you're exposed to as a kid. If all you see is MTV and listen to the charts you're just going to think it's supermodels who make music and all you need to do it is jewellery and cigars."
More of this interview (via NZH) over here . [update: The Herald has redesigned their site, and moved their content round the place, making this link dead. Stink - hang on, fixed it.]

He's playing in Wellington tonight (Friday) at Subnine, and after the Saturday night gig in Auckland, according to Mr Scruff's website, it's "Australia, here we come! Mr Scruffs "Keep It Solid Steel" continues to Australia where Scruff plays a series of dates, beginning on Sunday 21st November at 'Dux de Lux' in Christchurch." Dude is a wicked DJ, but somewhat geographically challenged. Any Mainlanders out there impressed at being lumped in with Australia?

Oh, and cruise on over here to hear the new single from the D4, called Sake Bomb, in English and Japanese versions - it pisses all over the Datsuns latest. Cambridge cissies!

PLUS: Catch Te Radar’s Dispatches from the Holy Lands – hear it on National Radio, 4 parts starting Saturday 20 November at 1.30pm (repeats Thursday 8.30pm). Join Radar as he attempts to shoot the seminal work on the Arab-Israeli conflict, his film called Christmas in Bethlehem: A Naivety Story

Thursday, November 18, 2004



Get mashed
Latest from the nutty world of musical mashups - Queen - "A Night At The Hip-Hopera" bought to you by the Kleptones. Grab it quick - Disney (who own the rights to Queen thru Hollywood Records) are chasing after it. There's mirrors here of the audio, plus cover. Klepshimi has a list of all the samples used for it (also check the live Pixies recordings on same blog).

Remember all the fuss about the Grey Album? Beatles vs Jay Z from DJ Dangermouse? Well, now someone's done a video for it. Check it here. Very funny, brilliantly executed. (both via Boingboing)

Tourist fun
The king of abandoned skyscrapers, found in Detroit. This fella and his mates went in and had a lookee. Check the pics here. This looks like a whole lot of fun.


Simon Grigg kicks some shit and comes out punching for the Car Crash Set...
"... Realistically its probably about time to stand up and say that the most interesting and inventive stuff coming out of these isles in the eighties, aside from The Headless Chickens and Fetus Productions, came from outside the Flying Nun catalogue... The early Flying Nun stuff sounds like the past whereas things like the CCS sound like the present and the future in 2004. Sorry, but its true."
The other FNun acts that I reckon still sound fresh are Bailter Space and the Skeptics, easily one of the most important and under-rated bands on the Nun.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


ET
From Jeff: "Ryan Moore from Twilight Circus brought this to my attention: the great reggae engineer and dubmaster Errol Thompson passed away this weekend. He was behind the boards on some of the most thrilling roots and dub records like the African Dub Almighty series, Dennis Brown's Words of Wisdom, Yellowman's Zunguguzungguguzungguzeng, and Culture's Two Sevens Clash.

This from Ryan:
"Errol Thompson must have recorded many 1000's of albums and singles in the 70's. IMO he was the all time greatest recording engineer of reggae & one of the very best on the mix. Clear, open, FAT and well balanced..
He worked at the legendary Randys studio in the early 70's and then later at Joe Gibbs studio..
Anybody here who has heard some vintage reggae has heard his work - he worked with everybody.
The last I heard, from a reliable source who was there, ET was working in the supermarket owned by his former musical production partner Joe Gibbs. Thus, no longer in the music business."

Errol is centre in above photo, working the phone. Augusus Pablo on right.


I know you got soul.
Entertainment Weekly
ranks the "25 best rap albums of all time".
On to the list:
1. Eric B & Rakim Paid In Full (1987)
2. De La Soul 3 Feet High And Rising (1989)
3. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready To Die (1994)
4. Public Enemy Fear Of A Black Planet (1990)
5. RUN-DMC Raising Hell (1986)
6. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
7. Wu-Tang Clan Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
8. Nas Illmatic (1994)
9. A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory (1991)
10. Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique (1989)
11. Outkast Aquemini (1998)
12. Cypress Hill Cypress Hill (1991)
13. Gang Starr Daily Operation (1992)
14. Ice Cube Death Certificate (1991)
15. Jay-Z The Blueprint (2001)
16. LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
17. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
18. Lauryn Hill The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)
19. The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride ll The Pharcyde (1992)
20. Mos Def Black On Both Sides (1999)
21. Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary (1988)
22. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five The Message (1982)
23. Missy Elliott Miss E...So Addictive (2001)
24. Dr. Octagon Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996)
25. Aceyalone A Book Of Human Language (1998)

O-Dub notes a few glaring omissions... "where is Pete Rock and CL Smooth's Mecca and the Soul Brother? Where is NWA's Straight Outta Compton?" The Shrimp crew drop the same list, but they "took the liberty of bolding the titles of the albums that aren't even any good." See what you think.

UPDATE: Nelson George weighs in on the above list, and talks about ODB's passing.
"... to name Eric B. & Rakim's Piad in Full the greatest is just plain wrong. They picked the wrong Public Enemy album for their top ten. There are a bunch more crazy ideas in their list..."

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'.

UPDATE
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."