Friday, June 03, 2005



Mark Felt (Deep Throat) and Jennifer Dohrn's underwear.
From Democracy Now...


Jennifer Dohrn: I Was The Target Of Illegal FBI Break-Ins
Ordered by Mark Felt aka "Deep Throat".

Mark Felt - who was exposed this week as Deep Throat - was one of only two FBI officials ever to be convicted for ordering COINTELPRO operations. In 1980 he was convicted for ordering FBI agents to break into the home of Dohrn and other associates of the Weather Underground.

He was later pardoned by President Reagan [and had his criminal record wiped clean in 1983]. Jennifer Dohrn discusses the FBI surveillance, break-ins and a secret FBI proposal to kidnap her infant. Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez also reveals that as a leader of the Young Lords that he, too, was also a target of a similar FBI campaign. Link.

"JUAN GONZALEZ: It became clear, I guess in the early 1980s, the extent of this -- of the illegal break-ins and illegal activities. Wesley Swearingen, a former F.B.I. agent, actually testified that he had conducted – he was basically a full-time burglar for many years.
JENNIFER DOHRN: Like 238, or at least, he recorded.
JUAN GONZALEZ: At least 238 burglaries in Chicago and Los Angeles, and that New York there was a special squad of the F.B.I., Squad 47, that was basically assigned to find the Weathermen. Apparently J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with the Weathermen, as were L. Patrick Gray who then succeeded him. And so, the presumption was that the main reason that they were surveilling you so much and burglarizing your apartments was in search for Bernadine Dohrn and her relationship to the Weathermen, right?"

As the interview draws to a close, this gem emerges...

"AMY GOODMAN: Just before we go, with Jennifer Dohrn still in our studio, I think there was one last story we wanted to hear from you, and that was a trophy that the burglars got when they broke into your apartment.
JENNIFER DOHRN: Right. Apparently on one of the break ins, they took a pair of my underwear and put it in a glass case and gave it as a trophy gift to Mark Felt.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And this was discovered how?
JENNIFER DOHRN: This was discovered – it was actually leaked to me by someone in the press years later who had gone over my F.O.I.A. files."


So, Mark Felt was convicted of Cointelpro operations including countless break-ins, but he is now famous for blowing the whistle on another group of burglars. Ha Ha Ha.

ADDED: Mark Anthony Neal on Mark Felt and Cointelpro.



Long weekend fun'n'games...
If you missed George Clinton back in April, Sunday night sees the return of some of his crew -Bernie Worrell and the P-Funk Allstars with Aja Rock at the Studio on K Rd, debuting her single Boogie Baby, recorded with Clinton and Worrell. It's called the Joker’s Circus. With special guests like LA DJ Isiah Martin, Mikey Havoc, Kourtenay K and drag queens. Best dressed wins a free trip to Las Vegas. Interview with Mister Worrell and Ms Rock in this AM's Herald.

Also Sunday night at the Rising Sun, K Rd, check Givin Up Food For Funk - "
Nine of Auckland's best Funk DJ's are givin' up their Sunday night to play some of the dirtiest and grittiest Funk and Soul tunes to keep your rump bumpin' into the early hours of the Queens Birthday and also to aid the city's homeless and needy.

Entry is by tinned food and blankets, which are donated to the Auckland City Mission. You're Givin' Up Food, so we'll give you some back! The Flossatron 3000 MkII will be on hand dishing out free cotton candy. Join Dunc tha Funk, The Natural Disasters, Selecta Sam, Cesar, Uncle Barnie, Automatic, Darren Souljah and Daniel Ward plus the Flossatron for a huge night of Funk and Soul and bring a ton of food for the Auckland City Mission. It's the Queens birthday, but the mission gets the presents."


New Zealand hiphop stand the fnck up
Props to Gareth Shute for being nominated as a finalist in the non-fiction section for the Montana NZ Book Awards for his book Hiphop in Aotearoa. Winners anounced July 25 - good luck, fella! Hope they fly you to Wellington for the awards ceremony.


Ozzie hiphop stand the fnck up...
Via SOHH... "Reports say Black Eyed Peas frontman Will. I. Am is set to temporarily move to Australia in search of unsigned Hip-Hop acts next year.

Word is Will has been impressed by Australia's flourishing Hip-Hop scene and plans on introducing Antipodean rappers to the rest of the world.

"I'm working something out where I live in Sydney four to six months out of the year to help develop urban acts," Will stated. "We have plans of taking our label to Australia and signing Australian urban acts."

Though Australia has a big Hip-Hop scene, Will was surprised to see that a large number of artists don't have recording contracts. [perhaps cos the Oz music industry don't give a damn about hiphop and never has?]

"Every time we tour there we go out to clubs and there's always these artists. I'm like, 'You ain't got a record deal?' They'd say 'No'. I'd think, 'Damn!,'" Will explained."Seriously, Australia is like my most favorite place to be. People are just nice. It's that simple. It reminds me of LA, but you don't see the crap in the air."

Attention all music producers - you need this plug-in for your computer recording setup - Virtual Studio Visitor (tip of the hat to Dubber). Add that something special to your recordings.

More later.

Thursday, June 02, 2005



Peanut butter is coming
US DJ Peanut Butter Wolf from Stones Throw Records hits town tonight DJing at 4.20, tomorrow in Wellington. Few interviews with the man below...

Stop Smiling Magazine: Did Stevie Wonder dig Stevie [the album of Wonder covers Madlib released under his Yesterday's New Quintet alias]?

PBW: I'm not sure he ever heard it. I can tell you that once I was eating at a restaurant in Beverly Hills with my sister, and there were celebrities everywhere. We get in the elevator with Keanu Reeves, Charles Barkley's at a table, and, oh shit, there's Stevie Wonder at the next table! I gotta tell him about Madlib's album. He's at the next table, I don't want to interrupt his dinner. I had a copy of Shades of Blue in the car, so I grabbed that.

He gets up to leave with his manger, and I follow him into the bathroom. And there's, Stevie at the urinal. I told his manager, “I have an album that I want Stevie Wonder to hear, a cover album of all his music.” He says, “This isn't the time or place for this.” Then Stevie calls manager over, and the manager leaves. I asked Stevie if he'd heard of Madlib and he said no. But he'd heard of John Faddis [Madlib's uncle]. I told him Madlib's his nephew, that he experimenting with jazz. I showed him the cover of the Blue Note album, then remembered he can't see [laughs]. I never found out if he checked out the record.

SS: What's the best compliment you've received since starting the label?

PBW: Just that The Source won't review our records [laughs]. They reviewed the Lootpack album and gave it a poor mic review. I thought about using that in a promotional campaign: “Zero mics in The Source.” It's two different worlds. We can get 5 or 6 pages in [a rock magazine like] Spin easier than we can get a review in The Source.

We have a lot fans in Europe. Radiohead's complimented us. The guy from Lord of the Rings, Elijah Wood. I ran into him in an airport and he owned all the records. He was asking what it was like to know Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf [laughs]. Someone like him, I wouldn't think he would even know about indie hip-hop, but he knew more than me. He was talking about David Axelrod, everything.

also, Undercover magazine interview with PB Wolf.


Anybody else think Dick Hubbard's new Council guidelines for inner city buildings is too little, too late? Take a walk up Hobson st and back down Nelson St, and there's your future. Ugly. As. Fuck.

"Institute of Architects president and taskforce member Gordon Moller said that in the two years since the Council set up the urban design panel to vet buildings, 15 per cent of the 250 applications had been outstanding, 15 per cent were rubbish "that should never have been designed" and the rest were a varying degree of mediocrity."- from NZ Herald.
There are currently 10,000 apartments in central Auckland, with another 4,000 under construction (none of which fall under these new guidelines, as I understand it). There is mention in these new guidelines of making a culture change within the planning dept of the Auckland City Council. But then you take in info like this...

"City planning group manager John Duthie, who has just been promoted to the council's top planning job, defended his staff's decision to rubber-stamp so many poorly designed apartment towers without public scrutiny. At the time they complied with bulk, height and other controls that paid little attention to design matters, he said."
How many apartments? 83 since 1998, of which only 2 were notified for public scrutiny. "
Council planners decided not to give the public a say on the other 81 projects." And there's your democracy right there. Sorry, but this dude deserves to get the boot, not a promotion. Who promoted him? Dick Hubbard?

And give this fool the boot too.... On the Terry Stringer sculpture in Aotea Square, which the Council have decided to 'decommission' as part of the $50M Square revamp...

"It works well in its situation now," says senior arts planner, Warren Pringle, "but it doesn't have a space within the concept of what the upgrade's happening for. The new thinking is the space needs to be free of objects so people can congregate."

Thankfully the public outcry has saved itfrom such a fate. $50 million upgrade and you can't include this sculpture? It's been there for 25 years and provided a community meeting point for a several generations of skateboarders, who cut their teeth skating up and down the sides of Stringer's mountain. It belongs to the people of Auckland, they've claimed it as their own, especially the skateboarders.

Sculptor Greer Twiss says the council's track record with artworks and historic buildings deters him from making any more public artworks. "I'm just fed up with it. I would never do another public work and I know there's a lot of other sculptors who would never try to do another public work. Not because of the people, and not because there aren't good sites, but just because of the general attitude of the city's fathers towards the whole thing."

Twiss' sculpture on the corner of K Rd and Symonds St has a water component, which hasn't worked properly for 15 years. There's the Council's attitude to public art, in a nutshell.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


RIP Oscar Brown Jr.
Most recently heard on the Verve Remixed series, with the killer tune 'Brother Where Are You?'

Singer, songwriter and playwright Oscar Brown Jr. died Sunday in Chicago after a brief illness, his family said. He was 78. Brown was hospitalized in mid-April following emergency surgery to stop the spread of an infection in his lower spine. Before the surgery, he had complained of severe pain and suffered paralysis to both of his legs.

He had been released but was readmitted about two-and-a-half weeks ago and died at St. Joseph Hospital from complications of the illness, said his niece, Lauren Hudson. "Although we will miss him deeply, he has left a wealth of works that will continue to touch the world," his daughter, Maggie Brown, said in a statement.

Brown is known for his compositions "The Snake," "Signifyin' Monkey" and his lyrics for Miles Davis' "All Blues." Early in his career, Brown shared the bill with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. Brown, who was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, also ran and lost twice for political office - first for the Illinois legislature and later for a seat in the U.S. Congress, according to his Web site. Along with his wife, Jean Pace Brown, he is survived by one son, four daughters and grandchildren. From Chicago Sun Times.

From AMG bio for Brown...
The multi-talented Oscar Brown, Jr. wrote several classic pieces, including the lyrics to "Dat Dere," "Work Song," "Watermelon Man," and "The Entertainer" (the latter a bittersweet biography of Scott Joplin); and the compositions "Signifyin' Monkey" and "But I Was Cool."

An important social commentator and playwright, Oscar Brown, Jr. acted on a regular network radio soap opera while in high school. After a wide variety of careers (including public relations, real estate, ad copy, and running unsuccessfully for political office), he became a professional songwriter, starting with "Brown Baby" (which was recorded by Mahalia Jackson) and collaborating with Max Roach on the "Freedom Now Suite."

A dramatic singer, Brown was signed to Columbia in 1960, where he recorded several classic albums. In 1962, he was the MC on the legendary Jazz Scene USA television series (some episodes of which have been made available on video). Brown performed on and wrote many shows through the years, and served as artist-in-residence at several colleges. After recording steadily, he was off records altogether during 1975-1994, until returning with Then & Now for the Weasel Disc label in 1995, a disc full of both fresh remakes and new material.


Check NZ On Air's page about NZ Music Month. Notice something badly wrong with it? Here's a clue... "NZ Music Month is coming ... ! May 2004 will be NZ Music Month again and this time, the colour will be GREEN." In the words of Nelson Muntz (from 'the Simpsons') HA HA!

Monday, May 30, 2005



What's your favorite vice?
Blagged a ticket to the Vice Magazine launch party down on Quay St, cos I was too broke to play with the cool kids at the BNet Awards, boo hoo. The Weekend Herald described the launch party as "full of beautiful people and cool bands", and I was discussing said beautiful people with a journo I ran into at the event, and we both agreed that the beautiful people all dress like crap - the women dress down, and the men just look scruffy, especially you over there in the swandri shirt. Whatever happened to dressing up to go out?

Managed to grab a few copies of the magazine - they were cleverly hidden in neat piles at the bottom of the pillars in the middle of the room, but were rapidly disappearing under a filthy mound of empty beer bottles (see pic above left). Slave was spinning the tunes, which made the event slightly more palatable. Reports were that the organisers had handed out 1200 tickets for a venue that fitted 300.

The launch issue is basically the Oz edition with a few local tweaks and ads. It's the Music Issue, features such great stories as "Dead musicians: corpses are more productive". You need that, right?
Most notable slice of local content - Ruban Nielson from the Mint Chicks admitting that the first time he heard Black Sabbath was while making out with a girl in high school on a trampoline. Speaking of headlines, the aforementioned journo hit me up with this one, a Star Wars Ep. III review with the headline "You can't be Sidious?" That's genius.


NZ Music Month Promo Tips #79.
How to get your band's new CD noticed during Music Month is an ongoing dilemma facing local acts. The latest take on getting some press is the celebrity girlfriend angle, so successfully worked by Shelton Woolright of Blindspott. Unfortunately he's just been dumped by celebrity girlfriend, and as there isn't enough time left in NZ Music Month to find a replacement celebrity girlfriend, he's done the next best thing - sell his soul, I mean sell his story to a woman's magazine, and land the front cover. It's told 'in his own words' and features his own personal private snaps of him and the ex. Nice work.

ADDED: Robyn breaks down the story... "On their early courtship: "I never thought Nicky was interested in me. We were simply mates and when she asked me to go to [the Erotica expo] again the following day, I was happy to go."


Pope watch
via Popbitch... Rome's gay scene is buzzing with the rumour that Pope Benedict XVI has a secret priest lover. The money is on... his 55 year old ex-secretary Josef Clemens.


TRENT REFUSES TO CUT HIS BUSH
"More widdle-stained pants at Viacom, fast shaping itself up to win a reputation as better at censorship than the Stalins. They'd booked Nine Inch Nails for the MTV Movie Awards, but then insisted that Trent couldn't stomp about in front of George Bush backdrop. Trent responded with a statement, and a pull-out:

"Apparently the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me."

Via No Rock'n'Roll Fun.


Some light reading... Joan Didion on Terry Schiavo in the New York Review of Books.