Monday, July 25, 2005

Hey Bill Murray.
Went and saw Broken Flowers, the latest film from Jim Jarmusch, at the Film Festival last night - it's shot thru with Jarmusch's dry humour, great little film. Here's Jarmusch on cricket....

JJ: Let's talk about baseball.

GA: I don't know anything about baseball.

JJ: Baseball is one of the most beautiful games. (Laughter) It is. It is a very Zen-like game. I don't like American football. I think it's boring and ridiculous and predictable. But baseball is very beautiful. It's played on a diamond. (Laughter)

GA: I've seen a few movies about it.

JJ: Cricket makes no sense to me. (Laughter) I find it beautiful to watch and I like that they break for tea. (Laughter) That is very cool, but I don't understand. My friends from The Clash tried to explain it years and years ago, but I didn't understand what they were talking about.

Robert Hillburn of the LA Times talks to 21 of the music industry's biggest movers and shakers... and comes up with the most important artists of 2005. It's all hiphop/r'n'b, bar one rock band - Coldplay. " Here's what one says about Eminem: "I feel his moment has come and gone." Another on Britney Spears: "Trust me, she's over." And U2 fans should brace themselves: "Time is catching up with them. I'd rather have Coldplay on my roster." And this on Kanye West... "This may sound strange, but he may be too gifted for the marketplace," an executive suggested. "He is so talented and so willing to be daring that he might be more interested in making great records than commercial records. That's why I would also not put the White Stripes on my list, though I love their music."

Via Ms Behaviour... "Justin Sane, TMet Recordings' A&R guy has written this comprehensive guide for DJs on modern technologies, including the advantages and disadvantages of using CDJs, a list of good digital download sites for DJs to purchase tracks legitimately, the lowdown on file formats and bitrates, and DJing software..." Read more.

And can I get a "Hell yes!" to the restorative power of a nice hot bowl of udon noodles on a cold winters day? Thank you.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another hour on Earth with Brian Eno
Just been listening to Brian Eno guesting on Charlie Gillett's radio show on the BBC. The show starts with Amadou and Mariam, a blind couple from Mali, with a wicked little tune called 'Senegal fast food' featuring Manu Chao guesting (he also produces their latest album Dimanche a Bamako).
Gillett follows this up with a Bo Diddley number, marvelling that this tune is now over 50 years old, although it doesn't sound it. Eno mentions he's recently been producing for Grace Jones, Paul Simon and Travis. Great radio.
Playlist is over here. To listen, click on 'Saturday night on BBC London' then click on 'latest show on demand'. Should be 16 July.

Gillett recently had expat Kiwi author Garth Cartwright on the show, talking about his book Princes Among Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians - more here.

ADDED Best Rock Cover Songs of All-Time from Blogcritics. Cheers, Trev
Tricky wipeout
Via Boingboing... Surf music vs hard rock "Sounds For The Sun-Set: 2005 is a concept mash-up album from RIAA (Really Interesting Audio Adventures) that combines hard rock with surfer music. There are some really inspired tracks on this one:RIAA (Really Interesting Audio Adventures)

1. HOLIDAY INN: CAMBODIA - Martha & the Vandellas "Heatwave" vs The Dead Kennedys "Holiday In Cambodia" and plenty of thrift-store record sound bytes
2. BOP DON'T RUN- The Ramones "Blitzkreig Bop" vs The Ventures "Walk Don't Run"
3. TRICKY WIPEOUT - Run-DMC "It's Tricky" vs The Surfaris "Wipeout"
4. SWEET CALIFORNIA GIRL O' MINE - The Beach Boys "California Girls," The Beastie Boys "Brass Monkey," Guns n Roses: "Sweet Child O' Mine," intro-The Surf Coasters, beach movie bits" Link

"Norman Whitfield might be spending a spot of time today trying to flog stuff from a small table in his front yard as he gets to work trying to settle his massive tax bill. The IRS had claimed that Norman had been hiding his songwriting royalties from them for four years - presumably they'd heard that through the grapevine (I know, I know, we're killing you here) - and to avoid a spell in chokey, Whitfield had pleaded guilty, accepted home confinement for six months, and agreed to hand a million bucks over to the tax people". (via No R'N'R Fun)

Laurel Aitken - the man known as The Godfather of Ska - has died aged 80. More here.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Christmas in July
Just back from a weeks holiday - can I just say that taking off from work the same week as the Film Festival is a damn cool idea, if you like going to the movies.

FFD chart watch.
Last week they slipped just out of the top ten to #11, and Shihad dropped one slot from 29 to 30. This week Shihad at number 32 on the back of their current tour, and FFD are at number 12. It used to be that bands would do the tour to promote the CD; now they put out the CD to promote the tour. Although, that logic hasn't worked for Shihad, so far. May yet make a turn tho.
The Fat Freddy's Drop has just come out in Europe via Sonar Kollektiv, on CD and double vinyl, which will eventually filter down this way for all you vinyl junkies.
ADDED July 21 - this week FFD hold steady at number 12, Shihad slip to number 35.

88 Keys on sampling, interview in Dork magazine. Well worth a read.

"DM: How do you think the game has changed from when you started till now?

88: Oh that's simple... PRO TOOLS. It was a great invention but at the same time, it's hurting some parts of this industry. It has made it harder for us non-"super" producers to get front end checks cut before we set foot in the studio or the day of because artists are recording ALBUMS with your beat tapes. [Really beat cd's but I'm from the mid-school so I still call 'em "beat tapes"]. Also, most a&r's lately don't seem to have the "vision" like a&r reps had back in the day. No a&r really wants to take chances & gamble on something new in fear of losing their jobs. They don't realize that it's the new shit that revitalizes this game."

Attention Donna Marie Lever - your life is a fiction
TV One reporter Donna Marie Lever was covering the grisly discovery of the body of Katrina Jefferies on last Thursday night's news, and said that "the Police are treating it as a murder mystery". What the hell? Donna Marie, this woman is not a fictional character in an Agatha Christie crime novel, she was a real living person, and the Police are treating it as a homicide. Perhaps a career change is in the wind, Ms Lever? Bottom line - don't play with language at the expense of truth. It doesn't make you look clever, and it doesn't make you a better reporter. Might get you a job with Paul Holmes.

Speaking of journalists, here's a handy link to current pay rates for freelance magazine writers in NZ. Instructive.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, Saturday July 16.
The Kingites - Kingite dub
Waireka Hill Sound - Sweet incense
Cedric Im Brooks - Shaft
Helene Smith - You got to be a man
Mckay - Rising tide
The Fabulous Counts - Lunar funk
Colour Box - Baby I love you so (Radikal roots re-edit)
Freddie McGregor - Rastaman camp
Romanowski - Why?
Supergroove - For whatever reason (DLT remix)
Sly and the family stone - Remember who you are
Gainsoot Manuva - Locaitaires Collosaux
(Roots Manuva is playing here live on Sept 21, with full band, tickets from Real Groovy and Ticketek)
Dub Specialist - Kampala
Antibalas - Gabe's new joint
Brooklyn funk essentials - The creator has a masterplan
The Jam - Start!
Pitch Black - Ape to angel
Kymani Marley - Lion a roar
Black Samurai feat Ragga Twins and Daddy Freddy - Information critic
MIA - Hombre (Xerox soundsystem re-tug)
DJ Format - Separated at birth
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardization
Sugar Minott - Inna dancehall style
Tubbs feat Dallas - Five day night (Fat Freddy's remix)
Antony B - Time for the love (Shantytown riddim)
Sizzla - Can't keep us down (Shantytown riddim)
Zagu Zar - Welcome to England
Shirley Ellis, Beanieman, Ms Thing - Clapping Dude song (Noisybunch mashup)
Sly and Robbie - Pretty baby
Jose Feliciano - She's a woman

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, Saturday July 9 playlist
Loo and Placido - Kidf rock (Queen vs Althea and Donna)
Singers and Players - African blood
Junior soul - Super love
Hortense Ellis - Woman of the ghetto
James Brown - Blind man can see it
Common - Testify
Billy Larkin & the Delegates - Pygmy part 2
Scientist - When I love dub
Asian Dub Foundation - New way new life Audio Active remix)
Fat Freddy's Drop - Little one (Live on K Rd, 2001)
Roberta Flack -Go up Moses
P Money feat Sauce Money - Easy (just come out on 12"" vinyl)
Snoop Dogg - Dejlacear (Drop it like its South American?)
Quantic feat Alice Russell - So Long
Sola Rosa - Sleepwalker
Danse Macabre -Web
Linval Thompson - Babylon system
Zagu Zar - Welcome to England
Jackson 5 - ABC (Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra remix)
Roy Richards - Another thing
Prozack Turner - Wonderful life
Paul Murphy - Soul call
U Roy and Francois K - Rootsman
Sunshine Soundsystem - For the love of it - Deck n FX remix
Geraldo Pino -Heavy heavy heavy
Lennie Hibbert - Go for yourself
Tubbs feat Dallas - Five day night (Fat Freddy's Drop remix)
Ms Thing, Beanieman - Clapping dude song
Capleton -Step 2 the fire (messer banzai riddim)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Totally wired.
the latest issue of Wired magazine has the subhead "Remix now! The rise of cut and paste culture", and throws up a cool timeline plus an interview with The Gorillaz by Neil Gaiman and William Gibson connecting the dots between Lee Scratch Perry and William Burroughs (niceness). Plus Rip, Remix, Burn, and remix tips from the Avalanches, remixing Nikes, iPods, all sorts. Have a look.
The latest issue of Giant Robot has a bunch of excellent interviews and features on reggae and Chinese-Jamaican music producers, including Clive Chin, Herman Chin-Loy, Randy's Allstars, and more. Available in AK from Borders Queen St and maybe Magazzino Ponsonby.

Holy Moses!

Author and music industry veteran Moses Avalon is in Australia at present, and has supplied an advance chapter from his updated version of his book "Confessions of a Record Producer: How to Avoid The Scams and Shams of the Music Business" to Title of the chapter is
"Digital Deceptions and iTunes Scams--A Cautionary Note on Doing DigiDeals". His site is also worth checking.

Ring ring - New income stream for musicians...
From the Guardian... "Andy Cato, one half of the dance music act Groove Armada, has signed up with O2 to be the first independent artist to regularly release new tracks specifically for mobile phone customers to download." More here.
Plus, Russell Simmons on ringtones.

Oh yeah, heard Martha Stewart's prison nickname? M Diddy. Nice.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One drop
Sony BMG's president of global digital business Thomas Hesse was interviewed in Tuesday's NZ Herald's by Peter Griffin. Hesse talked about DualDisc releases, and also their plans to introduce copy protection to all Sony BMG releases by the end of the year." Users can burn three additional CD copies for their own use and store the music files on their computer in a protected format from Microsoft." Thanks, Bill Gates.

But already the technology has fallen victim to that constant bugbear of the industry - disagreement on technical standards. "There's a slight wrinkle to it in that currently the Apple Fairplay digital rights management isn't connected to this system," Hesse said. That cuts users of the iPod music player, out of the Sony BMG picture."

But is it the same copy protection software that EMI have been using? As reported in Australia, there are some problems with that... see Sunncomm or Sunncon? article (scroll down). Tip of the hat to Jesse for that one (via the NZM forums, my new addiction).

Speaking of EMI's copy protection, Salmonella Dub (who are licensed to Virgin EMI NZ) have just reissued their One Drop East + Remixes 2 cd set (originally released nov 04 with copy protection) but without copy protection. Did the band persuade EMI to drop the copy protection for this reissue, or is it off the agenda for all EMI releases?

ADDED: From The Register (UK) on June 21. "
Both Sony-BMG and EMI have made statements this week that most of their CDs for their major markets will have copy protection placed on them. Sony BMG is a customer for SunnComm while EMI is using the Macrovision CDS 300 technology."

PLUS... Russell Brown interviews Thomas Hesse for his column in the Listener. "... Hesse visited recently as a guest of the Record Industry Association of New Zealand to talk about the music industry's quest to exploit the possibilities of the networked, digital world while defending itself from illicit copying and piracy. And, in the words of one local industry figure, "to say the things we can't say".

Beat Rhythm Fashion
The latest issue of Macguide magazine features editor Mark Webster ruminating on long gone local band Eight Living Legs. He recalls their brief recording career, which amounted to a few songs on an split EP (which featured Mark's band Flak on the flip, something he modestly leaves out of his editorial). Now Failsafe Records have included 2 CDs by that band as part of its mammoth reissue of NZ music - 30 CDs in 30 Days.

Mark notes that Failsafe main man Rob Mayes has used a Mac with Protools and Photoshop to salvage the audio/pics for this release. One that I'm looking forward to is a CD from Wellington band Beat Rhythm Fashion, who released one of my top five all-time great NZ singles, Turn of the century way back in 1981, when the turn of the century seemed like a long way off. There's aCD of studio recordings, and two CDs recorded at live gigs by the band.

Other reissues include YFC, Children's Hour (both of whom are reforming for a few live shows), Pop Mechanix, and Dolphin.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Serge gets dubbed

Ring the Alarm, BaseFM, Saturday July 2 playlist
Junior Murvin - Bad weed
Al Brown - Aint no love in the city
Thievery Corp - Warning shots
Kraftwerk -Vitamin
(off the fantastic new Minimum/Maximum double cd live set)
Bobb Deep - Get it twisted (Bob Marley vs Mobb Deep)
Gainsboot Manuva - Locaitaire Colossaux (Serge Gainsbourg vs Roots Manuva - the Gainsbourg music is from an album he did in Jamaica in 1979 with Sly and Robbie, well fruity)
Sly and family stone - Same thing makes you laugh can make you cry
Juse feat Shayne Carter - Heart attack (more on the impending Juse album at Woodcut)
Maestro Fresh Wes - Another funky break from my pap's crate
Mahlon Stewart - Dem girls - Emo remix
Augustus Pablo - Jah rock
Eminiem vs Manu Chao - Bongo ass like that
Ranking Joe - Don't follow Babylon - BAF meets Wai Wan remix
Barry Brown - Jukes and watch
International Observer - Flip flop cemetery
Kora - Burning (playing this Thursday as support for Shihad at the Powerstation)
4th St Sista - Can you feel it? (Messer Banzai riddim)
Ripple - I don't know what it is, but it sho is funky
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Who is she and what is she to you
Joe Gibbs and the Professionals - Run around
Collen and Webb - Golden aka Jamaican jerkoff (feat Jill Scott)
Zed Bias feat Juiceman and simba - Jigga up (Ring the alarm)
M.I.A. vs Amerie - MIAs thing (1 thing meets Pull up the people, ace!)
Bounty Killer, Swizz and Freddy Mckay - Bounty is a treasure
Zagu Zar -Welcome to England
Fred Wesley - House party
TSU Tornadoes - Getting the corners
African head charge - Animal law

Lotsa mashups this week, couldn't help myself.

RIP Luther Vandross.

Friday, July 01, 2005

danse macabre posterr

Danse Macabre - back from the 80s!

Nigel Russell first rose to prominience in the AK music scene with punk outfit the Spelling Mistakes, then launched Danse Macabre.

Here's a handy blurb flogged from Club Bizarre... "A very dark, and rather English sounding band from Auckland in the early part of 1980 following closely in the styles of bands like Joy Division and The Gang of Four.
Featured members Nigel Russell (Previously from THE SPELLING MISTAKES and later on to become one of the leading members of CAR CRASH SET) Ralph Crump on bass, Wes Prince on guitar and Roddy Carlson on the drums. In their three or so years of existence they released two vinyls: The “Between the Lines” 4 track EP and the fantastic “Last Request” mini album."

The band are reforming for a gig at the Kings Arms, Friday 22 July. catch it. I only ever got to see these cats live once, at the now demolished His Majesty's Theatre, and they were choice.

Russell's later outfit Car Crash Set have a bunch of unreleased live tunes available over at Amplifier.

"The trax were compiled from (very) old cassettes and mastered onto CD with Pro Tools. Car Crash Set were a leading New Zealand band in the mid 80's pioneering 'electronic' music that was in many respects ahead of their time. The band founding members consisted of Nigel Russell ex Spelling Mistakes / Danse Macabre, Dave Bulog and Trevor Reekie. Taking their influences from New Order, Suicide and DAF the band employed cutting edge electronic sounds, guitar overdrive and feedback..."
Also at Amplifier, check Soundworker, featuring Wes and Roddy from Danse Macabre.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

George Clinton - the big payback
Got a call from Ticketek yesterday - they are offering refunds to people who bought $100 tickets for the George Clinton show held in early April. Closer to the date of the show ticket prices dropped to $80 - I moaned bitterly about this at the time. Ticketek apparently made this decision to do a refund a few weeks back, which is surprising, given the gig was so long ago. Wonder what happened? Still, nice one. That's $20 bucks I didn't have last week.

I played Amerie- 1 Thing (Sikk remix) on my show last week, and Tam kindly put me onto the MIA vs Amerie mashup, it's wicked - cheers, Tam. If you want your own copy, get it here. And while we're on the subject of mashups... Gainsboots manuva - Locataires colossaux métamix Serge Gainsbourg - Dub locataires VS Roots Manuva - colossal insight. Think the Gainsbourg is from his album with Sly and Robbie - anybody got that? And Crookair - John Legend's "Number One" vs. "Under me Sleng Teng" here. And this gem, Eminem vs Manu Chao, "Ass like that" on "Bongo Bong".
ADDED: Someone just hipped me to this... Tricky Sharona (My Sharona with Run DMC's Its' Tricky) and did I mention Primal Scream Remixed? Here you go - Screamixadelica.

FFD Chart Watch - album still in the top ten, but only just. Got some interesting comments to yesterdays posts, including someone who suggested they were surprised FFD had done so well with that album, as it wasn't the killer album they'd been waiting for... "[it's] an awesome achievement which begs the question as to what would have happened if it HAD been the album they are capable of..."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

john butler, hippie

Somewhere, over the rainbow...
John Butler of award-winning, multi-platinum selling, Aussie musical outfit the John Butler Trio was interviewed in the Sunday Star Times, talking about, music, politics, and his appearance at the upcoming Rainbow Warrior Tribute gig, alongside the D4, Che Fu, Rhombus, Don McGlashan and others (on Sunday July 10, St James, Auckland).

Proving he's not just some dreadlocked eco-hippie, the interviewer noted that Butler is "also comfortable dropping financial lingo into the conversation... speculating on what might have caused independent Kiwi band Fat Freddy's Drop to beat the pacifier out of Shihad on the local music charts. "There must have been some serious strategy behind it, these things don't just happen and even if their reggaeish-dubby sounds are as good as I remember them to be, there had to be more than just word of mouth advertising" [says Butler].

Well, lets break this down. Did Fat Freddy's do any print ads? No. TV ads? No. Live gigs to push the album on its release? No. Videos? No (tho there is one on the way for Wandering Eye). If you run through those categories for Shihad, the answer to all those (bar the album tour, which is coming next month) is yes.

So, Shihad's record company has spent some serious bucks promoting the album, whereas FFD's independent distributor has been low key, as you might expect for an album as highly anticipated as theirs. They spent much of the last 2-3 years playing some blindingly good live shows, and I think it's fair to say that their success with their album (top ten in the album charts since release in early May) is almost purely word of mouth. They've generated a fair bit of press coverage, via interviews and reviews which has also helped them in getting their name in front of a lot of folks who may be unfamiliar with their work

It's pretty amusing that Butler can't fathom FFD's success without being tied to a serious promotional budget from a major record company. I'm assuming that's how he built his own success. (Hang on - just read this interview quote from, Butler: "For the last five years we've just been on the road touring and playing live" explains Butler on why he decided to release the live disc. "And that's how we've built our reputation." So he can't translate his own experience to FFD?)

If there was any clear strategy for FFD with their album, it was restricting their previous releases to compilations and 12" vinyl, making it difficult for the average punter to get a decent fix of them apart from the live setting (and of course their earlier 4 song live CD).

Monday, June 27, 2005

Ring the Alarm, BaseFM, Saturday June 25 playlist
Vin Gordon - Steady beat
Jigsy King meets the Viceroys - gimme da weed
Hortense Ellis - Woman of the ghetto
James Brown - untitled instrumental
Jablonski - Soul makossa
BT Express - Express - Kenny Dope remix
Jackie Mittoo - In cold blood
Butch Cassidy Sound System - Butches brew (take two)
Aim - Just passin thru
Dj Vadim - Leeches
Augustus Pablo - Pretty baby
Barry Brown - Peace and love
Fat Freddy's Drop - Ray ray
(why do they leave out the apostrophe on the album cover? Tsk tsk)
Boozoo Bajou - Camioux melodica cut
Timobe Lockhart - Mr johnnie walker
Spanky Wilson - Sunshine of your love
Junior Reid - Rappa pam pam
Western roots - Bogus buddy
Beenieman - Who am I?
Michael Prophet- Been talking
Dam Native - behold my kool style
(dedicated to Michael Campbell, cept I played the wrong song - doh!)
DJ Format - The turning point
Cornell Campbell - Rope in
Sly and Robbie - Softcore curge - Ashley Beedle remix
Amerie - 1 thing - Sikk remix
Isley Bros - Its a new thing - D-net and Onda fet De la soul remix
Sizzla - it's appropriate (messer banzai riddim)