Monday, May 09, 2005
I curse you with endless bad luck. You broke into the oldest, beat up car in the parking building (mine), and found... nothing. A crappy old tape deck, no money, and now my lock is totally busted. Damn you, moron. Least you didn't take my Barry White tape.
The Martin Emond retrospective at Illicit HQ Basement is outstanding, well worth a look - it's overwhelming just how much incredible work Marty turned out before he departed. And I caught up with Gavin Downie (ex Picassos) - Gav, if you're reading this, bloody good to see you, fella! Take it easy in the States and don't lose your New Zild accent completely, ok?.
Great article on Fat Freddy's Drop from Grant Smithies in the SST, plus Chris Knox interview on Toy Love. Also over here(FFD) and here (CK) if SST has hidden them behind their stupid archive.
Another great tour diary entry from James Milne of the Brunettes in Saturday's Herald, as they chug around the US, with absolutely no support whatsoever from any NZ govt agency. Nice Nick Cave interview there too, apart from this appalling typo,..
"... He hasn't been intentionally avoiding us but, as this is an extendion of his Australian tour, he's managed to make it include us and says it will be a pleasure."
To the Editor of The Weekend Herald
Your subeditors need a payrise immediately, cos clearly they just aint getting paid enough to care. Please amend this dire situation promptly. Thank you.
Via Boing Boing...
Louie Louie ban lifted
"Yesterday, I posted that a middle school marching band in Michigan was banned by the school superintendent from performing Louie Louie. Band members and parents complained to the Board of Education and the ban was lifted. From the Detroit Free Press:
"Based on them granting permission and the multiple versions of the song, the students will march in the parade and play "Louie Louie," (the superintendent) said in a news release... The FBI spent two years investigating the lyrics on the Kingsmen's recording before declaring they not only were not obscene but also were "unintelligible at any speed." Link
plus more from Chicago Sun Times.
Get your Iggy Pop and Parliament covers sung in Spanish, right here....
ADDED McDonalds goes on the defensive over The Green's New Zealand Children's Food Awards 2005 and come off like whining little money grubbers in the employ of Satan. Nice.
Friday, May 06, 2005
M.I.A. asks - How do you get British people in a room and make them dance to bloody reggaeton?
M.I.A.s album Arular finally dropped here a few weeks back, and I picked up a copy yesterday. Clincher was hearing the track U.R.A.Q.T, which is not included on the US pressing of the CD, due to sample clearance problems, apparently. It is on the UK/Aus/NZ versions of the album, tho. Sample in question is credited to Quincy Jones (unless there's another sample in there I aint picked yet).
What's it sound like? Insert handy blog quote here... " it rocks hard and deftly (loudly!) melds grime, ragga, dancehall, electro, breakbeat, and hip-hop, throwing in riffs that vary in intensity from sensible pop to hardcore bass." Thank you. In short, this aint subtle.
Of course, if you US indie bloggers who've been giving heat on M.I.A. really want that tune, you could go to her label's website and download the vocals and do your own remix of it. Strangely, the indie music bloggers have gone quiet on M.I.A. now that she's on US TV and magazine covers - surprising, given she's touring there at present. No longer underground enough for you?
You can also download some of her artwork, which is just as well - she does some cool art, but the shocking jumble that is the cd cover is just hideous (download it and make your own cover). One blogger noted that her label XL Recordings was disappointed her album hadn't cracked the top 50 album chart in the UK on release, and suggested perhaps the reason for that was the messy cover art.
You can't clearly read her name or the album title, there's just too many fiddly little elements going on. And the CD comes with an outer cardboard cover sleeve that you have to slide off to get into the CD - the cardboard sleeve features the exact same cover art as on the cd case - what a waste of packaging, not very 'green' of you, M.I.A! You aint saving the Brazilian rain forests doin' that sheeet!
She's been getting great reactions from US crowds right from her first show Stateside late last year, saying that "… [The British] don’t have an arena [for] the tempo of my songs. There are no clubs that play reggaeton, baile funk, dancehall all in the same room. They just don’t dance there. They stare! Or they get really pissed, rock out to a guitar band, and then come home. How do you get British people in a room and make them dance to bloody reggaeton? That’s like a 10-year program to me." - M.I.A.
buncha relevant links....
More videos here. Shockingly bad camera work on her recent live tv appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Show, and links ot the Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape. Plus Galang/Sunshowers music vids.
M.I.A. live on KCRW (listen or watch) from May 2. She's currently doing shows Stateside, like the Coachella Festival.
Funky cold money
The US producers of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here contacted Tone Loc to see if he'd appear as a contestant. His reply was to fax them a copy of his 2004 tax return, showing more than $1.5m in post-tax earnings.
Tone Loc credits George Hamilton for showing him how to build a well-diversified portfolio of commercial and residential property. Via Pop Bitch.
Illicict Clothing hold a retrospective exhibition of the work of the late great comic artist Martin F Emond, opens tonight at Illicit HQ Basement, 202 K Rd from 8pm and runs til 27 May. Plus there's the CD launch too (from 10.30 ish at K Rd Ballroom), more at Illicit's site. Throw up ya goats!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Amplifier.co.nz report that the Fat Freddy's album "has been our biggest seller in the 5 year history of amplifier! Our dispatch department is now resting after 4 days of manic activity."
Quick price check on the album in downtown Auckland … Marbecks - $29.99, Beat Merchants - $31.95, Sounds Queen St - $32.95, $33 at Conch, $34.95 at Real Groovy.
I talked to a few retailers and heard that it’s rocketing out the doors, so I’m predicting this album will go gold in a week - and that will be actual sales out of shops, not just some ‘presell into shops’ hype. Might not hit the charts immediately tho, as a lot of the shops its selling well from are not chart shops. Fat Freddy's album will be the big hit of NZ Music Month (not Shihad, or Phoenix Foundation), despite not being officially associated with it. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Run to your nearest cd shop right now.
Fat Freddy's Drop long awaited album is finally in stores around NZ today. I am currently listening to it for a second time and its absolutely wicked. Now, off you run.
What, you're still here? Okay then, have a read of this or this.
ADDED (vai Tofu hut) - "Moistworks is BACK and back STRONG; today's post of mostly unreleased Stax vocals, demos and promos is great stuff".
Speaking of the hut, check out the Hugh Mundell post, including some dubs of his tunes by Augustus Pablo - great audio clips too.
FAT FREDDY’S DROP :: BASED ON A TRUE STORY This is a message from the Fat Freddy’s Drop crew, sent via the Spacific mail list, for UK folk:
“Kia Ora. Fat Freddy's Drop's here, our album Based On A True Story will be released in the UK on June 27th, and we need your support to help us make the big splash overseas. So please hold back from ordering it online from back home and wait for the international release date. The album should be available from all good record stores so please pester your local shop to pre-order copies. We're heading overseas in August for a 6 week tour so see you soon...."
Thursday, April 28, 2005
You could be forgiven for thinking that the music industry is one long whinging session these days. It's all gloom and doom. But here's a bright light on the horizon...
Here's some cheering news: the Black Eyed Peas are going to shut up after the next album. And that's coming out on June 7th, so it could all be over by the end of (UK) summer.
Something to look forward to for the autumn, then. Oh... apparently they're all going to do solo stuff instead. Nuts. (via No rock'n'roll fun)
And Fat Freddys Drop long awaited debut album is out Monday May 2. 'Bout time!
Friday, April 22, 2005
"We all have songs that we loathe. Now, thanks to a Waikato University study, you've got a chance to tell the rest of New Zealand what they are. The Waikato University Computer Science Department, as part of a research project into musical dislikes, has launched a Kiwi list of the world's worst songs.
Tunes already listed include Racey's Some Girls Do, Song Sung Blue (Neil Diamond), Horse With No Name (America), 50 Cent (In Da Club), Vertigo (U2) and We Built This City (Starship).
The music information retrieval research, by lecturers Sally Jo Cunningham and David Bainbridge, aims to develop systems that will allow people to interact more effectively with their music." - MARY ANNE GILL, Waikato Times
The website to record your choice of worst song is: www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/music
Dunedin student mag Critic sent Aaron Hawkins and Ashley Noel Hinton searching for vinyl - article 'Crate Diggers Union' is here. Good profile of Roi Colbert of Records Records too in same issue. He's selling up.
"After a recent health scare, ending in a kidney transplant, [Colbert] has decided to sell the shop, which, after thirty-five-odd years of trading, has become one of Dunedin’s longest standing locally owned and operated shops, not to mention Colbert’s pride and joy.
“It’s devastating really, because I just love it”, he says. “It has been such a social thing. Friends come in every day; we drink coffee, talk about music. For me, the best thing about having this shop has been meeting people. But my health is more important”."
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Michaelangelo Matos was off last week to Experience Music Project's Pop Music Studies Conference in Seattle. His paper is online here, called All Roads Lead to “Apache” which links Burt Lancaster to Kool Herc, via the Shadows.
Jay Smooth attended and had some good points on the cul de sac that is blogging - "Our music-blogging panel noted an obvious but crucial fact about blogs: they are made for and by people who spend a lot of time on the internet. Among other reasons, this is relevant because when we look for stuff to write about, we tend to draw from the pool of ideas already documented on the internet.
Which means that no matter how tight your news.google game is, you're working from a very limited palette.. cuz less than 1% of the world's ideas are documented anywhere on the internet (much less whichever 10 sites comprise your daily routine)."
O-Dub was in the area too - his wrap up is here.
Nabeel Zuberi, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland (and BaseFM DJ) was presenting a paper there too, called "Brown Skin, Black Masks: UK Asians Process Black Atlantic Sounds". The Seattle Weekly lists a top ten highlights here, including Cecil Brown's "Did She Do Us Wrong? Mae West as White Negress", Kelsey Cowger's "Reading 'Bamp-chicka-waa-waa': Funk, Porn, and the Vision of John Shaft", and a Panel discussion called How to Rock Like a Black Feminist Critic".
Most long winded title for a paper goes to Kimberly Chun, for “Passing, or Through a Glass Dorkily: Adventures in music writing as an Asian American woman from a small, tourist industry-driven island, transplanted in a San Francisco indie/undie-ground where girls will be boyish drag kings, boys will be girls and sport tighty-whiteys as outerwear, and art-noise comes with side of organic ginger-apple pancakes”.
ADDED - Robert Christgau (Village Voice) on EMP Conference.
Hey Joey Ratz....
"14 Thoughts For The New Pope - Condoms. Female priests. Stop gay bashing. And dammit, do something about Christian rock."
Monday, April 18, 2005
So, Shihad have got a new album out soon, called Gay Is The New Straight or something, and I saw the new video for their latest single. It's a song call All the Young Fascists, and features the band dressed like young Black Shirts, all very serious. The lyrics gave the impression that its a heavy, deeply felt political song, and their earnest passion moved me so much I had to run to the bathroom and cry and crap at the same time.
Shihad are playing a free concert in Aotea Square for the start of NZ Music Month, late arvo of Sunday May 1st. Imagine if their amped-up mega rock gets the crowd all worked up, then the Police arrive and decide to deal to some of the rowdier elements on the fringes of the audience. Jon Toogood makes some wisecrack about 'wishing that the Police would stop wanking on with their batons', and suddenly everyone in the crowd turns around, sees the cops and before you know it, they are rampaging down Queen St, smashing windows and looting. What a great publicity stunt to launch their album. But that would never happen in our town, right? Right?
Check this - iPod DJ Mixer. Plug in two iPods and you're away.
Simon Grigg had an interesting post on the NZRadio list, now added to his blog, talking about the next big thing musically to come for down here - worth a read.
"I'm willing to bet anything that the next NZ artist to break abroad will not be signed to a major. Fat Freddies as yet unreleased album is creating a major stir internationally already, although they're largely ignored by the mainstream here.."
Went and saw Hitch, the new Will Smith romantic comedy at the movies at the weekend. His love interest is played by Eva Mendes, and I have to say, she has a fantastic ass. That is all.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
From Billboard... The family of the late legendary Brazilian bossa nova guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim has filed a breach of contract and royalties lawsuit alleging that the rights to many of his famous songs have been wrongly assigned to those who translated them into English.
Lawyers for the widow and three children of Jobim, whose songs include the '60s classic "The Girl From Ipanema," called the practice a "remarkable display of hubris and overreaching."
ADDED check this wicked ad for the new Adidas 1 shoe directed by Spike Jonze.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Unconfirmed reports are surfacing regarding John Tamihere being hospitalised late Sunday night with gunshot wounds to his feet. Sources say that Tamihere's injuries are self inflicted. He shot himself in the foot. Twice.
heres the blah on the "Who owns culture?" event, from the NYT.
[ADDED - Lessig's response; "From the continuing-disappointment-that-is-the-NYTIMES department"]
April 9, 2005 Exploring the Right to Share, Mix and Burn By DAVID CARR, NYT.
"The tickets for the event Thursday sold out in five minutes on the Internet, and on the evening itself the lines stretched down the block. The reverent young fans might as well have been holding cellphones aloft as totems of their fealty.
Then again, this was the New York Public Library, a place of very high ceilings and even higher cultural aspirations, so the rock concert vibe created some dissonance. Inside, things became clearer as two high priests of very different tribes came together to address the question of "Who Owns Culture?" - a discussion of digital file-sharing sponsored by Wired magazine, part of a library series called "Live From the NYPL."
Both Jeff Tweedy, the leader of the fervently followed rock band Wilco, and Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University law professor who has opposed criminalizing file sharing, seemed to agree that just about anybody who owns a modem also owns - or at least has every right to download - culture products.
"I don't think anybody should make any money on music," Mr. Tweedy said at one point, only half joking. "Maybe we would pay audiences."
It is a curious sight when a rock star appears before his flock and suggests they take his work without paying for it, and even encourages them to. Mr. Tweedy, who has never been much for rock convention, became a convert to Internet peer-to-peer sharing of music files in 2001, after his band was dropped from its label on the cusp of a tour. Initially, the news left Wilco at the sum end of the standard rock equation: no record/no tour, no tour/no money, no money/no band. But Mr. Tweedy released "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" for streaming on the band's Web site, and fans responded in droves. Wilco then took on the expenses of its tour as a band.
The resulting concerts were a huge success: Mr. Tweedy remembered watching in wonder as fans sang along with music that did not exist in CD form. Then something really funny happened. Nonesuch Records decided to release the actual plastic artifact in 2002. And where the band's previous album, "Summerteeth," sold 20,000 in its first week according to SoundScan, "Yankee" sold 57,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell more than 500,000. Downloading, at least for Wilco, created rather than diminished the appetite for the corporeal version of the work.
Both Mr. Tweedy and Mr. Lessig used their talk to say that the Web, in an age where conglomerated FM radio has squeezed out virtually all possibility of hearing anything worthy and new, is where fans are best exposed to music they might want to buy. And during the presentation (which was streamed live on Wilco's Web site), Mr. Lessig added that the decision to outlaw downloading would have a profoundly inhibiting effect on the creation of culture. He said that in every instance, from the player piano to radio to VCR's to cable, the law had landed on the side of the alleged "pirates," allowing for the copying or broadcasting of cultural works for private consumption. Thus far, both the music industry and the film industry has succeeded in making it illegal for consumers to download their products .
Mr. Lessig said that "the freedom to remix, not just words, but culture" was critical in the development of unforeseen works of art. He pointed to "The Grey Album," produced by the D.J. Danger Mouse, a remix of the Beatles' "White Album" and Jay-Z's "Black Album" that resulted in a wholly new and unexpected piece of music.
"What does it say about our democracy when ordinary behavior is deemed criminal?" he asked. Mr. Lessig and the moderator, Steven Johnson, a contributing editor at Wired, made much of the fact that the discussion was taking place in a library, where much of the Western cultural canon is available free.
Mr. Tweedy has little sympathy for artists who complain about downloading. "To me, the only people who are complaining are people who are so rich they never deserve to be paid again," he said.
Mr. Lessig, one of the philosopher kings of Internet law, and Mr. Tweedy, the crown prince of indie music, traded places more than a few times during the presentation, with Mr. Lessig, who has argued copyright cases before the United States Supreme Court, enthusiastic about the artistic possibilities the Web engenders, and Mr. Tweedy making sapient pronouncements on the theoretical underpinnings of ownership.
"Once you create something, it doesn't exist in the consciousness of the creator," Mr. Tweedy said, telling the audience that they had an investment in a song just by the act of listening. Later, at a dinner at Lever House, Mr. Tweedy suggested that downloading was an act of rightful "civil disobedience."
All of it - high and low culture, Supreme Court rulings and mashed-up video clips ridiculing the president - was eagerly lapped up by the audience, which included musicians like David Byrne and D.J. Spooky, along with a throng of fans who would show up to hear Mr. Tweedy read from a digital phone directory.
Afterward, Alex Sherwin, a 36-year-old graphic designer, said, "It would have been better with a guitar, but I still enjoyed hearing what he had to say." Mr. Sherwin said his favorite CD was a live Jeff Tweedy performance in Chicago, one that had been recorded and distributed with the artist's happy assent."