Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bob Marley vs Elvis Presley

Ah, some fresh audio blog madness. "If there's one thing that Elvis knows more than love, son, it's Rasta biznezz. And snacks... a modern mashup of ol' Elvis croonin' the Orioles' 1953 hit "Crying in the Chapel" over the Wailers' 'Satisfy My Soul.'" This is so wrong, but I like it.
Via The Suburbs Are Killing Us - for your listening pleasure - don't sleep!

a few more audio blogs... Deep soul junkie is doing a nice line in New Orleans funk, and Funk you has some good stuff too - check the Deodato tune he discovered while playing Grand Theft Auto! He's also got a tune off DJj Keb Darge's collection Legendary Deep Funk vol 3. Keb Darge will be Djing in Auckland at the end of this month, at the monthly Turnaround night, hosted by Cian, Manuel Bundy and Submariner. Check it!

new toys...
check the Mini Mac, only US$499. Very cool, the Mini is available with either 40 GB or 80 GB drive with up to 1 GB of memory. Just add keyboard, monitor, and mouse.
Beat junkies, check the new MPC 2000 XL MCD, adding features they put in the MPC1000, like Flash card reader etc.
"The new 2005 updated version of the most popular production studio on the market. New features include: Multi-card drive supports: Compact Flash, Smart Media, Memory stick, and Secure Digital; resampling with different bit depth or sampling rate; slice function; timestretch with adjustable presets; internal IDE drive so you can replace floppy drive with a zip drive and more". Tech specs here (pdf format)

Danny Sugerman (Doors alumni/biographer) passed on recently - but check this, he was married to Fawn Hall ("who testified against her former boss Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s).
And is this the dirty ol Nick Eynon resurfaced? Or just a pretender?

ADDED: check this assessment of this years Big Day Out from Life of Reilly. Bang on.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

NZ Herald writer Scott Kara has a message for you...
"...Normal people - not just thousands of DJs and wannabe DJs - are buying record players again, or digging out their old turntables and rediscovering their long-lost record collections." Read the full article here.
Amazingly enough, their round-up of turntables doesn't include the Technics SL1200 MK2, the DJ-industry standard and a certified design classic (essentially unchanged since its debut in 1979). Good on em for hipping the masses to vinyl, tho. The world needs more vinyl junkies.

UPDATE: From Playlist magazine (US)
Vinyl's will to survive
"The New Zealand Herald’s article on vinyl’s resurgence as a music format was all the more interesting because it pointed out that the country’s last vinyl record-pressing plant closed in 1987. Still, the country is seeing that many others around the world are also seeing: Digital music can’t kill music lovers’ enthusiasm for vinyl records. The Internet is a godsend for vinyl lovers. eBay is basically a worldwide garage sale, and at online stores like Dusty Groove a shopper can find all kinds of rarities that used to be found in those local record shops that are dropping like flies these days. Digital music is the future, no doubt about it, but old habits die hard, don’t they?"

Nelson George has been out and about... "Last Friday night I went to see an inspired double bill at the Brooklyn Academy of Music -- TV on the Radio and George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars." Review here.

Coolfer has a go at the most overblogged bands of 2004...
excerpt... "In terms of music, Danger Mouse was way overblogged. Had the guy never stole the Beatles' music, had he gone the DJ Shadow route and created incredible music with samples from relatively unknown songs, Danger Mouse would deserve the hype. Taking (without permission) the music of the world's most beloved rock band and adding acapella tracks by one of the most popular rappers of our time isn't an impressive feat. It would have been hard to make music people didn't like. The David-vs-Goliath battle that ensued turned him into a cause celebre, and for this he justly received a good deal of publicity... What does 2005 have in store for Danger Mouse? The same thing 1997 had in store for OMC and 1993 had in store for Right Said Fred." Ouch.

Here's Coolfer on Dangermouse appearing in the Rolling Stone's Best of 2004 list...
"Danger Mouse's The Grey Album showed up on two lists, and just like almost every other critic's list I've seen it on, it's the only hip hop album on the list. There's little doubt in my mind that the rock community has embraced the album much more than the hip hop community. It's an indication that rock fans need hip hop to be safe and familiar. The Beatles samples provide all the necessary reference points (read: familiarity) for the non-hip hopper to get his/her feet wet. The political/legal implications/ramifications of the album are also reasons The Grey Album was so well regarded in 2004. They don't make the songs any better, but they offer a critic an easy way to show an opposition to "the man" and "the power" and big ol' greedy EMI."

I think Dangermouse came up with a great way to piss off diehard Beatles fans, and for that he should be applauded. Sure, non-hiphop heads got into it, and it served up the notion of mashups to a wider audience (Don't mention that Jay Z/Linkin Park turd-fest, okay?) and what's so bad about that? If Dangermouse had gone the DJ Shadow route as Coolfer suggests, then he would've been written off by the critics as a DJ Shadow clone, not praised for it. And the dude did it because he was a Beatles fan.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Check out the list of the Official Most Played Alternative Tracks of 2004 - weighing in at number 62, Scratch N Sniff Remix by Dub Asylum! Yay! Also check out Strawpeople's tune The Andy Warhol Effect (cowritten by some guy) at number 14. Niceness.
I;m keeping a low profile gigwise, but catch my crew Bassteppa Sound System at the Raglan Reggae Sunsplash, Feb 5-6, alongside Blood & Fire Sound System, Trinity Roots, Fat Freddys Drop, the Midnights, Roots Foundation and many more.

Hey, check out the trailer for Lee Tamahori's latest directorial effort XXX State of the Union; stars Ice Cube and there's lots of blowing things up, always a good plot device in my book.

Fast food chains are desperately reinventing themselves these days, pitching their wares as healthy and good for you blah blah blah (and good for Sarah Ulmers bank balance, Olympic cracker ho that she is) ... well, here's a burger outfit doing the exact opposite. They are pushing a Monster Thickburger using some well-dodgy ads (more here). The above still is from an ad called 'Fist Girl'. Seriously. Read more at the underground post.

Monday, January 10, 2005

RIP Phill Matthias.
I got my first ever tattoo from Phill, in his studio up the top of College Hill. A friend of mine designed it (kinda Balinese-looking), and Phill dug the design, so he charged me stuff all to do it. I remember thinking that was really cool as I'd saved up a bunch of dosh to get it done.
"He liked the idea of artists becoming tattooists, not drunken bikers ... he helped to legitimise the whole world of tattooing, which was in a dark tunnel for a long time." said Otis Frizzell.
Tattooist and artist Frizzell got his second tattoo from Phill Matthias and later worked at Dermagraphic for nearly seven years. "He taught me the only trade I have ever had. How to be a tattooist and how to be a hustler. How to take on the establishment from the inside, and I have been doing it ever since."
I remember when Phill ran for mayor of Auckland in 1998 - the incumbent was Les Mills, and his main opposition boiled down to dodgy old Christine Fletcher. I was distinctly unimpressed with Fletcher when two of her competiting candidates bowed out and threw their support behind her - one was right-leaning Victoria Carter, and the other was Lynda Topp (of the Topp Twins), a leftie.
Her response at getting backing from the left AND the right? "That's interesting". And that's why I voted for Phill Matthias (and he had a spine, and a brain which he knew how to engage). People didn't vote for Christine Fletcher, they voted against Les Mills, same scenario as the recent mayoral election - people voted against John Banks.

The Kaikoura Roots Festival next weekend has sold out (features Salmonella Dub, Pitch Black Cornerstone Roots, Shapeshifter and one of the final performances by Trinity Roots among the highlights), look out for the same thing happening with the Raglan Reggae Sunsplash, Feb 5th (final gig by Trinity Roots). Don't say I didn't warn you! You can catch my crew Bassteppa Sound System down there too. It's a wicked site, just over the hill from the beach. Dancing to reggae in the sun, grass under your feet, doesn't get much better.

Via Coolfer... On the eve of the opening of Ramones documentary "End of the Century" in London, The Guardian's Alex Petridis talks to Tommy Ramone.

Go Home Productions clever fella Mark Vidler on mashups, from an article in January Wired magazine...
"...Like any self-respecting rule-breaker, Vidler is skeptical about the commercialization of mash-ups, fearing that it might be the genre's death knell. "It's just like punk," Vidler says. "Once you get 'Hurry Up Harry' by Sham 69, it's all over."
Tee hee. Mark has also started a blog, read about his former musical life in a band called Chicane.

Good Q&A with Nas about his latest album, on Yahoo News...
Yahoo: What's next?
Nas: There's so much that I've never done. I love clothes but I'm not excited about getting into the clothing business, I love sneakers but not really excited about doing it. My guys are interested in doing both clothes and sneakers that I might support ... but what I'm really interested in is doing books and I like screenplays and I've written some, so you'll probably see some movies and stuff like that coming from me. Not from the big Hollywood end but on the independent end. I'm a student of filmmaking and not a student of the glitz of Hollywood. So you'll probably see something from me on the independent end and something really different on the novel end of the book level.