Thursday, March 10, 2005

The things you see....
What The? No 1: dude standing in front of me in the record shop - he's in shorts and a sweatshirt, and he has a large tattoo on the back of his ankle. It's a tattoo of boxing promoter Don King, with his wild wavy hair spiralling up the guys leg. Not your average NZ style tattoo.
What The? No 2: Young Polynesian guy with big afro walking up the street, wearing black tshirt with white lettering that says "Black eye for the queer guy", which could be taken several different ways. Odd.



Jarret Keane is ajournalist for Las Vegas publication City Life. He recently got a copy of a CD by soul singer Bettye Swann in the post, a compilation of her work, out on Honest Jons. When he read the liner notes, he discovered that Swann was living in his town, so he tracked her down. Read the interview here.
She had several big R&B hits in the late 60s and toured the chitlin circuit alongside singers like Candi Staton..."Staton has many stories of bedlam on the chitlin circuit, including public sex and straight-up murder. She carried a gun for protection, and to ensure that she got paid after each performance. "People like me - a good Christian girl from the country -- had to grow up fast," says Staton. "I had to start cussin' right away. You had to cuss 'em out ... to let 'em know you mean business. That's the only language they understood."


Check out Battle Stations this Saturday night 12 March, KFM vs BaseFM, some wicked tunes going down. inna soundclash stylee. It's on at the Pinnacle Club, St Benedicts St Newton from 8pm. I'm on the mix, dropping fx and samples.
On Sunday, I'll be DJing at the Great Blend 2: Public Address Live. at the Grey Lynn Bowling Club. "It kicks off at 4pm, and the programme will feature an introductory speech from Russell Brown, David Slack talking about and reading a little from his next book, a media panel discussion featuring John Campbell, Gemma Gracewood, Noelle McCarthy and Damian Christie, and a performance from The Checks." More at Public Address.

ADDED: via Coolfer... "Kelefah Sanneh's piece in today's NY Times (registration req'd) compares and contrasts how Usher's "Ride" and Jennifer Lopez's "Get Right" sing their way around beats by producer Rich Harrison and a sample of "Soul Power" by Maceo and the Macks."
Harrison is behind Amerie's fantastic "One Thing" tune which is gonna be everywhere in a minute. If you don't feel like registering, check archived copy of article here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

ENTER THE WU
Check the RZA interview on NPR's Fresh Air. Tip of the hat to O-Dub, who says "Normally, I tend to wince when Terry Gross interviews rappers - in the past, she's revealed a limited understanding of hip-hop history, culture and society, relaying on familiar assumptions (she seems especially drawn to whether rappers did or did not grow up in the 'hood), etc. This, however, was one of the best interviews I've heard her do with a hip-hop figure and I give much of this credit to Rza who's one smart guy and is just a fantastic interview."


Check the Tofu Hut - great backgrounder and MP3 on the group J. Walter Negro and the Loose Jointz - "Shoot the Pump".

"In 1981, Hip Hop wasn't yet out of the oven. Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five had formed only two years earlier, Fab 5 Freddie was just another kid bombing subway cars and the seminal film "Style Wars" was still in production. "Rapping" was a phenomenon not generally known outside of major U.S. cities; "Bette Davis Eyes" was the number one song in the country. In Brooklyn, a young Shawn Carter celebrated his eleventh birthday and not even a mile away in the heart of the city, a group of young punks released a single that had the potential to change the history of music... but didn't."

"... It's an exciting ass-shakin' bundle of urban summer energy, neatly bottled and expertly executed; the playing is ridiculously tight, the rapping is smooth and polished. This is the sort of single you'd expect from a well-known band, something obvious off a greatest hits of the 80's collection, right? So how come you've never heard this song before? How come "J. Walter Negro and the Loose Jointz" evokes nothing but quizzical looks from most of the tunage experts? Just what happened here? To find out more, the Tofu Hut got in contact with saxophonist Pablo Calogero, one of the original members of the Loose Jointz."

For some more audio mayhem, check out jazz musician Vijay Iyer and hiphop MC Mike Ladd. Iyer has posted nine MP3s on his Web site, including, for you headz, two songs he did with Mike Ladd. Iyer's Savoy debut, Reimagining, comes out May 17. (via Suburbs).

Monday, March 07, 2005

THE GREAT MUSIC SCRUM
I attended one of the Resonate music seminars at the weekend, Robyn did an excellent writeup about it here. The UK experts who were on show had some interesting things to say, but kept censoring their answers when talking about how not to do things as it was being recorded for radio, which was frustrating. They were very much harping on the indie rock tip (the names the Datsuns and the Killers came up repeatedly over the sessions, I hear), which doesn't hold a lot of interest for me, and when asked specifically about breaking an electronica act in the UK, the advice on offer was a bit lacking. Perhaps next time we can get someone from that area, please?

UK A&R Stephen Jones lamented that people seem to have lost respect for artists and songwriters, hence the desire to download free music. Perhaps if bands stopped putting out albums with two great singles and 15 tracks of utter crap, more people might be happy to pay for their CDs instead of downloading them.

I also caught Kora playing at the Wintergarden downstairs at the Civic - great band. If you're still sitting round moping cos Trinity Roots broke up, go see this band. Free gigs at the Wintergarden all this week, from 9pm. Go check it; great venue, criminally underused - why is that, Auckland City Council? You charging too much for the venue hire?
And go see the Tao Drummers - caught their free show in the Square, brilliant drumming.


Nelson George went to the Oscars, read his entertaining insiders view here.
Excerpt - "At the Governor's Ball, which is the Academy's official afterparty, there was a lot of buzz about Chris' Jude Law jokes. An LA Times reporter asked me about the whether, as Sean Penn's retort suggested, that the jokes had gone too far. Here's my quote printed in the LA Times Calender section on Tuesday: "You know what? Lighten the f*ck up! That little speech Sean Penn came up with, that's the reason people hate liberals."
[The Times used ... instead of f*ck]


check Junichi's lists over at Pop Life...

Top 10 Songs I'm Embarrassed To Admit I Didn't Know Before I Heard The Hip Hop Song That Sampled It

1 "I'm Coming Out" - Diana Ross (used in "Mo Money, Mo Problems" by Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy and Mase)
2 "It's Your Thing" - Isley Brothers (used in Salt 'n Pepa's "Shake Your Thang" and Kris Kross' "Jump")
3 "Got To Be Real" - Cheryl Lynn (used in 3rd Bass' "Brooklyn-Queens" and Father MC's "Do 4 U")
4 "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" - Hall & Oates (used in "Say No Go" by De La Soul)
5 "Under Pressure" - Queen (used in "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice)
6 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - The Beatles (used in the Beastie Boys' "Sounds of Science")
7 "All Night Long" - Mary Jane Girls (used in LL Cool J's "Around The Way Girl" and Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator")
8 "Stay With Me" - DeBarge (used in "One More Chance (Remix)" by Notorious B.I.G., which itself was sampled by Ashanti's "Foolish")
9 "Think" - Aretha Franklin (used in "The Gas Face" by 3rd Bass)
10 "Evil Ways" - Santana (used in Mellow Man Ace's "Mentirosa")