Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Who got the RZA?
Tofu Hut goes all out on the RZA from Wu Tang Clan, highlighting his wicked production on the movie soundtrack for Ghost Dog, including some MP3's. Niceness. Sample...
"Read this May '04 interview with Rizz in which he talks about how he met Jarmusch and read this December '04 interview where he talks about studying Danny Elfman." Dropping knowledge like Britney's dropping babies.
More later.

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....

Via Brooklyn Vegan - Listen to fan-made M.I.A. remixes

Download M.I.A. vocal tracks to make your own remixes (or just because)

Listen to Galang: Real | Windows

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. interview in Australian paper The Age, and another at The Guardian.
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

Based on a true story
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

At last, some good news.
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

Songs that make you go Eewww
"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

Pop goes the university academic
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

I predict a riot.
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.