Friday, February 25, 2005

Amateurs and Olympians
"I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times ... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics." Bob Dylan is unimpressed by today's pop fodder, labelling them amateurs.

?uestlove (from The Roots) gives a tour of his record room. (via Funkdigital) Serious vinyl.

The new issue of Mojo magazine came out locally last week, Great Bob Marley cover story, plus an excellent feature on Coxsone Dodd and his Studio One label by David Katz (author of the Lee Scratch Perry bio). The airfreighted copies I saw were $21, BUT didn't come with the free CD, which featured highlights from a number of the Soul Jazz reissues from the Studio One label. There's a tiny note on the cover that says 'for copyright reasons the CD is not available in some overseas territories". However, if you go to Megamags near the bottom of Queen St, you can find it with the CD - apparently there is more than one company airfreighting said magazine into Aotearoa. And the cost? $22.50. That's a CD for $1.50. Bargain!

"35th Anniversary celebrations for the Adidas Superstar continue with the addition to the website of the Music Series, seven smart interpretations of the timeless sneaker from the likes of Run DMC, Ian Brown, Missy Elliott, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rocafella and Bad Boy. Accompanying the shoes' arrival are cool video interviews with Ian Brown, Missy and DMC, and there's one in the Expression Series section with legendary Wildstyle scribbler Lee Quinones too". (Via Spine mag) And they're only making 5000 of each of them, which means you sure as hell won't get em down here. Damn.

Olympic champion Sarah Ulmer, who won the Supreme Award at the Halberg Sports Awards last night, was later overheard praising her sponsors, saying that competing at Olympic level was not cheap. "My bike is worth $35,000, that's a lotta Big Macs", she joked. She hoped her achievements would encourage youth to take up her sport and eat more fast food, which she said was the key to her success. "You've got to have the right fuel in your engine to make it fire properly", she said.
Reports that she was later heard throwing up in the toilets have been denied by her management, but one patron who witnessed the bathroom incident described Ulmer as "barfing up burgers". Ulmer was later seen exiting the venue with David Tua and his entourage.

ADDED: Thievery Corp diss PCs in the latest Listener.
"I think we just wanted it to be a little trippier sounding, a little heavier and slightly rock at times," Garza says of the new album. "We wanted to experiment with our Mac – we switched over from PC to Mac. Our former engineer used PC, but it's horrible, like driving the Indy 500 in a VW Beetle. So, having the new technology has helped and also a fresh approach musically to some of the tracks, different to what we would have done in the past."

They also get into an argument with the interviewer (Stinky Jim) over the merits of modern dancehall and hiphop...
Hilton: "Like hip-hop's a joke to me now. It's probably the biggest joke. Chuck D wrote an article recently about how hip-hop has been changed by sampling laws and everybody making hip-hop songs on a little workstation with the stock sounds. You know, like the clap sound and the big kick drum – you can spend $200 and get all you need. There's no excitement in that music unless you're really going to cut up beats and do it the old-fashioned way."

So there's no excitement in Timbaland, Neptunes or Outkast or underground gear like Madlib or MF Doom?

Hilton: "Um, I'm not familiar with all of their music..." full article here.

President Bush crossed paths with Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, and expressed his concerns about Russia's democracy. I was watching the News Hour on Triangle last night, this from their report on Putin's Russia...

"Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's wealthiest man remains, jailed after fraud and tax evasion charges were laid against him just as he was funding opposition parties. His oil conglomerate, Yukos, has been dismembered in a government move that even one presidential adviser called "the swindle of the century."

The media landscape has changed here after several once independent outlets fell under state control. Elections for the post of governor in Russia's 89 regions have been cancelled. The governors are now being appointed by President Putin. And demonstrations have grown over the government's handling of changes to Russia's system of social benefits, a move that has led both aging communists and young nationalists to mobilize against the Kremlin."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"I am going to kill Paris Hilton."
"Paris Hilton's friends have received a massive amount of crank calls from their adoring and not-so-adoring public, much to their dismay [following her T-Mobiles address book being leaked on the net]. One such friend, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, was shooting her band's new video for "Don't Funk With My Heart" when she started getting the calls at 6:30 a.m... "I don't get calls at that time, unless it is one of my friends who has had an all-night bender," she said. "So I answer the phone, 'Oh, I'm going to be there, I'm going to be there.' And it's these people calling, and I'm going, 'Wrong number, wrong number.' Finally, someone tells me, 'I think your phone number is on the Internet.' "

Fergie — like many of Hilton's friends in this situation — is planning on changing all of her phone numbers. After that, she has one more item on her to-do list: "I am going to kill Paris Hilton."

Lil John has got the same problem... "Earlier this week, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz picked up the Roc The Mic Award at MTV's TRL Awards. The King Of Crunk took the opportunity to tell fans to stop calling him. "Stop calling on my cell phone! I know y'all got the number off the Internet through Paris [Hilton]. Stop calling me," Jon told the TRL crowd and viewers." Via

headline reads: "Tsunami suffering may inspire Sting song"
headline SHOULD read: "Tsunami suffering continues - Sting writing song about Asian disaster"

Snoops got a blog... check out Snoop Doggy Blog. he blogs about his passsion - rap and porn.

That is all.

Monday, February 21, 2005

WEEKEND VINYL DELIGHTS (more excuses from a vinyl junkie)
So, Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, just the kind of day to head inside and spend a few hours in a dingy old nightclub for a DJ Record Swap Meet. Must feed the addiction...
Finds; Jazzy Fat Grooves EP vol 6 feat DJ Smash
Smith and Mighty - Steppers DelightEP
Born Jamericans - Yardcore (Stalag remix) 7"
Flying Lizards - Self titled LP (includes 'Money')
Funkmaster Flex and Mad Lion: Safe sex, no freaks 12"
Upper Hutt Posse - E Tu EP
Jay Z - Red Green and Gold reggae remixes
Eric B and Rakim - Microphone fiend - 45 King Remix
Basic Black - She's mine
grand total - $55 (that's $US40, or 21 pounds)

I know some of these tunes might not be considered that rare, but things like the Funkmaster Flex or Eric B And Rakim don't turn up every day down here in NZ.
The event was pretty low key, not many stalls - Rob Salmon and Roger Perry had a bunch of crates of house/techno, Ruffian and Earl E from Champion Sound had a few crates of reggae/dancehall/garage, and Cian from Conch Records had a ton of stuff on sale from his shop and was doing some great bargains on funk/jazz/hiphop. There were a few other DJs with a bag or two of techno/hard house. It was fun hanging out talking about records with cats who clearly love music. If I'd got there five minutes earlier, I would've made it to Rob Salmon's bin of hiphop and got my hands on a copy of Nas - the world is yours, cept the guy in front of me got it. Damn. Still, scored another Mad Lion 12, very happy bout that - I've been hunting down some of his stuff recently. Cheers to the organisers, please do it again soon!

NME Awards - Best Radio Show: Zane Lowe (pictured above accepting his award). Expat Kiwi makes good! Well done, that man. Some may remember Zane from his Max TV days, and his 90s hiphop group Urban Disturbance. Zane also produced one of the best local hiphop tunes ever, 'Behold My Kool Style' for Dam Native. He's been UK-based of the last 7 years, working for MTV Europe and Radio One. Bio here.
Check Zane's current musical project Breaker's Co-op (a collaboration with Hamish 'Hame' Clark) have a new album out in March, and there's a single doing the rounds on the radio at the mo.

Vinyl extinct by 2009
"It looks as though audiophiles may have to resign themselves to the fact that in a few years time there will be only the chance to fondly re-live the good old days of nostalgia, rather than experience the new. Vinyl, the medium that took over from Shellac, Bakelite and even earlier the wax pressing, has had its final play – well, almost. The year 2009, looks set to be the final turn in the long standing vinyl revolution.

A June 2003 press release from The Institute of Chemical Engineering, advised that key by- products of the current petroleum refining process would no longer be generated by 2009, due to deadlines agreed, in principle, with the chemical industry back in 1992. These deadlines were however, only finalised in 1999, in the face of increasing environmental concerns and lobbying.

The IoCE went on to advise that a voluntary co-funded research and development program to seek a green alternative, possibly a polycarbonate based compound had been proposed in the 1999 summary. However no members of the industry wide syndicate had been able to substantiate a sufficiently high market demand for a replacement for the petroleum by-product, which is the primary base for vinyl record albums."

Full story here. The last story I linked on this subject was headed Record Revival. So, what about recycling, then? Whole story sounds a bit fishy to me.