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).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Attention Scribe: watch out son, they'll be after you next.
"AMERICAN IDOL judge SIMON COWELL has urged the British Government to outlaw hooded tops, in a bid to prevent gangs of youths congregating on street corners intimidating passers-by.
"Ban hoodies," says Cowell. "These are white kids trying to be gangsters and it's pathetic. It is becoming a sign of intent. It's gang clothing. It hides their faces so they feel more confident." Hooded jumpers were recently banned in several British shopping centres, with owners claiming wearers were anti-social and more likely to commit crime." from Contact Music

"The Bluewater complex in Kent won praise for the ban from Prime Minister Tony Blair last month - and the Deiniol shopping centre in Bangor (Wales) also claims it led the way in the ban after having trouble identifying youths on CCTV." Link

India Knight, writing in the UK's Sunday Times on this issue, suggests that "Hoodies say different things in different places. In Australia and New Zealand they say that the wearer — the hoodee — is either a surfer or a skateboarder or both and therefore smiley, benign, probably a bit stoned in a friendly, dolphin-loving sort of way."

Unfortunately, Knight is mistaken on the smiley, benign part (okay, so she's kidding round a bit) - last night there was a story on the TV evening news about a local shopping mall in NZ banning hoodies and baseball caps, for security reasons, and to stop other shoppers feeling intimidated. See, shoplifters frequently wear hoodies with the hood pulled up, which makes identifying them on security cameras difficult, as the hood obscures their face. There were soundbites from shoppers, mall staff, and hoodie wearers, both for and against.

Hoodies and baseball caps are of course the fashion domain of hiphop fans, and as hiphop becomes more and more popular in this country, so does its fashion. Hence, now it seems that if you are a young male teen who loves his hiphop and dress in the hiphop fashion, then you must be a potential criminal. Bummer, huh?

And what does our most famous hood-wearer think of all this? Scribe has been in the UK recently trying to break that market. Wonder if being offside with Tony Blair will help his cool status at all.

Check Google News for the latest - ban hoodies.

And now for some light relief...

Tom Cruise: the Jung and the restless.
"Psychiatry is a pseudo science," said Cruise. "She [Brooke Shields] doesn't understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn't understand in the same way that you don't understand it, Matt. "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," he added. Via BBC News.

From Chicago Sun-Times ...Tom Cruise; movie star or pod person?
The "auditioning" of girlfriends: Before he settled on Holmes, Cruise reportedly ran through a wish list of potential significant others, including Jennifer Garner, Kate Bosworth, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba. And Scarlett Johansson supposedly "ran for her life" when Cruise tried to interrogate her at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.
As Rick Ross of told MSNBC's Jeannette Walls: "Is this Tom Cruise's version of a first date? It's becoming increasingly difficult to make distinctions between his personal, professional and religious life. Tom Cruise and Scientology seem intent on recruiting a hot young star. Apparently, Scarlett Johansson flunked her test, but Katie Holmes passed."

Cruise also lost his cool at a War of The Worlds press conference when a reporter asked him if "the fact that the aliens in the film have been on Earth for a million years waiting for the invasion resonated with him due to Scientology’s belief in aliens." More here.

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)