Friday, October 07, 2005

On the telly.
Here's the blurb for this weekend's edition of Frontseat, lotsa music coverage. Hopefully it won't be too earnest or self-congratulatory - aren't you bored with the NZ music industry being in a constant state of self-congratulation?

This Sunday on Frontseat, TV One 10.20pm
FLY MY PRETTIES: Musicians across the North Island have been having their export “warrants of fitness” checked by ex-pat experts brought out by the NZ Music Industry Commission. Julie Hill gets in amongst it to find out what the secrets to successful touring are, what the new $5.4 million in Government funding is going on, and what constitutes “success” in the fickle music industry.

IT’S ALL GOOD One of the winners of the Tui award for international achievement was hip hop chart-topper Scribe, who’s become a household name in Australia and now has his eye on England. Julie gets the low-down on his Australian tours minutes after his win. Meanwhile, Oliver Driver speaks to the head of Scribe’s management company the morning after. Lawyer Campbell Smith founded CRS Management to fill a gap in the local market for decent music management and has Bic Runga on his books. He’s also the head of the Recording Industry Association of NZ at a time when global sales of CDs are shrinking while local sales grow.

RUN, RUN, RUN: Josie McNaught continues on her mission to stumble across as many New Zealanders hawking their wares on the other side of the globe as she can in one week. She catches up with the band Goldenhorse on the banks of London’s River Thames as they near the end of their 2005 tour of UK and Europe and asks “Do they care if we’re Kiwi?”

EVERYTHING IS KA PAI: There’s a revival going on around legendary Maori show-bands of the 1950s and 60s. A new book out from novelist James George and Maori Volcanics front-woman Mahora Peters celebrates the memories of these heady times and provides a decent party for the folk attending the recent Maori Writers’ Festival.

And what about those NZ Music Awards aye? God, the tv coverage was so bloody polite.

and hey grab this for your ears...
Damian Marley featuring Notorious BIG "Welcome to Jamrock" remix MP3 over at TSAKU

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Never mind the bollocks, here's the New Zealand Music Awards
Headed up to Real Groovy last night for Gareth Shute's book launch, and detoured via Aotea Square, to catch the Exciting Red Carpet Action outside the Aotea Centre. There was an outdoor PA system blaring away with a couple of excitable announcers commenting on each new arrival, as yet another stretch limo drove onto the Square... "and look, coming up the red carpet, it's Blindspott and Debbie Harwood!".

You can laugh at this all tonight on C4 from 8.30pm, with their Red Carpet Special prior to their Musc Awards coverage. That shtick may work in Hollywood, but really, these cats are musicians, not celebrities, and that whole red carpet crap is about a million miles away from the reality of the NZ music scene. The above photo is Mr Chris Knox of Grey Lynn being interviewed by Camilla Martin. Mr Knox is wearing a fetching dalmatian-patterned fur coat. Also saw Don Brash (loser) talking to some tv crew, with a blond woman in tow - not his wife (she's from Singapore, you know). Robyn thought this red carpet scenario was "... someone was trying to make like it was the Grammys. A case of "fake it till you make it," perhaps?" On the nail.

Congrats to Fat Freddy's Drop for their multiple wins - Mu's comment was "This helps Wellington's bad NPC year - this will sort of smooth it over." In a more serious vein, the band members noted that "We're more like the grand-children [of roots music] it's been going on for along time - there were the Herbs." Respect to your elders - nice one, fellas.

The Winners...
Album of the Year: Based On A True Story - Fat Freddy's Drop
Single of the Year: The Otherside - Breaks Co-op
Best Group: Based On A True Story - Fat Freddy's Drop
Breakthrough Artist of the Year: What Your Heard - The Checks
Best Male Solo Artist: Magic City - P-Money
Best Female Solo Artist: Into the West - Yulia
Songwriter of the Year: Welcome Home - Dave Dobbyn
Highest Selling NZ Album: Into The West - Yulia
Highest Selling NZ Single: We Gon Ride - Dei Hamo
Best Rock Album: Love Is The New Hate - Shihad
Best Urban/Hip-Hop Album: Magic City - P-Money
Best Dance/Electronica Album: Del Ray System - Del Ray System
Best Music Video: We Gon Ride - Chris Graham & Dei Hamo
Best Aotearoa Roots Album: Based On A True Story - Fat Freddy's Drop
Best Classical Album: The Complete Piano Music of Douglas Lilburn, Volume - Dan Poynton & Opera Arias - Jonathan Lemalu
People's Choice Award: Based On A True Story - Fat Freddy's Drop
International Achievement Awards: Scribe, Evermore, Finn Brothers

The book launch was fun - Gareth's band Ryan McPhun and the Ruby Suns played a few songs, then stopped, as Ryan said they were having tuning problems, and Gareth added that it was probably him - to fill in time, the drummer pipes up with "How about that Gareth Shute, aye?" And the bass player adds "great writer, bad tuner". Then Gareth decides to tell a joke, which makes the rest of the band groan. He's a fine writer, talented musician, but his jokes are really, really bad. Go and buy his book and perhaps we can keep him gainfully employed as a writer, not a comedian.

new toy... Akai MPC2500 sampler. Oooohhhhh...
"On August 31, 2005 I was going on a trip to Tokyo, for the labor day weekend, to buy some gear and see what's new in Akihabara, it's a town in Tokyo that has nothing but electronics, it's about 15 blocks from computers to computer parts to memory to musical gear I love that town.

"So as I always do I called my friend Mr. Nakamura to see what up, he's the head engineer and designer for AKAI. He tells me he just got back in town and to come see the new MPC 2500. So the next day I went to AKAI headquarters in Yokohama City and when I saw it all I could say was "PHATT". We sat down and I asked a lot of questions and he filled me in on everything we played with it for about an hour. It's got a 64-Track MIDI Sequencer and a 32-voice 16bit Stereo Digital Sampler. They moved the pads in the center and their rock solid with velocity and pressure sensitive..."

Find out more here.

Via Boing boing... I always thought the Doors were a bunch of overblown rock crud, but this story is alright...

"Doors drummer won't allow songs to played
Mark Frauenfelder
: The LA Times has an article about Doors' drummer John Densmore's refusal to allow Doors' songs to be used in TV commercials.
"People lost their virginity to this music, got high for the first time to this music," Densmore said. "I've had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music, other people say they know someone who didn't commit suicide because of this music…. On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That's not for rent."
When Cadillac offered $15 million for the rights to use "Break On Through," the surviving members of the band wanted the money, but Densmore held out.
"Everyone wanted him to do it," said John Branca, an attorney who worked on the Cadillac proposal. "I told him that, really, people don't frown on this anymore. It's considered a branding exercise for the music. He told me he just couldn't sell a song to a company that was polluting the world.
WTF is a "branding exercise?" Link"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Where are you gonna be on Friday January 20, 2006?
I'm gonna be watching Iggy and the Stooges playing live at the Big Day Out. How f*cking cool is that? Thank you, BDO.

Gareth Shute has a guest blog at Public Address, to coincide with the launch of his new book... worth a read...

"...Things have definitely come a long way for hip hop and now it is no surprise to see it plastered over the media in different forms. I hope that the fact that my book on Hip Hop Music in Aotearoa won a Montana Award might help to extend people' s understanding that hip hop isn't just an imported fad. However, I still a bit disappointed when I see something like "hip hop tours" used as a political football. I'm not going to try to justify the money spent on that particular piece of funding, but it is worthwhile to note that it was actually only one "tour" not multiple "tours" and that Sara Tamati was one of the people that created the strong Christchurch hip hop scene, out of which came both Scribe and the original hip hop summit (both of which have gone on to generate huge amounts of money). Perhaps it is time that the wider public started taking on some of the positive aspects of hip hop...."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don't call it a comeback, it's been here for years
" It’s been seven-and-a-half years since I started writing about the great analog vs digital debate, and things have certainly changed during that time. Back then, in 1998, I still felt like the future of LPs and turntables was ethereal at best, that at any moment it could all end, and with more of a whimper than a bang.
Now, in 2005, most audiophiles, both digiphiles and vinyl lovers, recognize that the analog market has been pretty stable for years, and it’s not going to change any time soon. Thanks to the iPod, and music downloading in general, the LP will probably outlast the redbook CD. It’s an amazing statement, I know, almost unthinkable seven-and-a-half years ago. But the more you ponder the possibility of it, the more it makes sense...."
From Marc Phillips column, The Vinyl Anachronist see Vinyl anecdotes... check out his archived columns, plus this one on LP TLC.

From BBC News... "Reggae star Buju Banton is to go on trial next month in Jamaica for his alleged role in an attack on a group of six gay men, a judge said on Friday."

via Coolfer... "The Guardian on the recording studio complex that Justin Timberlake is planning on builing in Memphis and his plans to buy Sun and Stax: " The audacious plan would revive Memphis as a creative centre in a way not seen since BB King and Booker T and the MGs played Beale Street in the Sixties. Timberlake's move is not without controversy. Smaller studios and labels that have struggled in the city for years fear they could be ruined by such a powerful player signing up local talent."

And in local news, author and budding indie rock god Gareth Shute (Hiphop in Aotearoa) launches his new book Makling Music in New Zealand tomorrow evening at Real Groovy in Auckland, at 6pm. Also featuring on the night will be a live performance by Ryan McPhun and the Ruby Suns, featuring Mr Shute on multi-instruments. More info here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Just wondering.
Jay Smooth has got the lowdown on the new Stevie Wonder album, out now on iTunes...
"The actual "A Time to Love" CD doesn't hit stores until October 18th, but Motown quietly gave it a "digital release" on itunes last tuesday, presumably as a ploy to beat the Oct 1st deadline for Grammy eligibility. I got an advance copy right before my radio show on Saturday, and will now be able to tell my grandchildren about the time I world-premiered a Stevie Wonder album. (and on the same night that I interviewed the Skullsnaps!)" More here.

something special for fans of The Roots... from OSN... (tip of the hat to Different Kitchen)

The Roots “Should I” (featuring Project Pat)

"It’s widely known (amongst Prince fans) that Prince has only totally erased *one* song from existence in his nearly 30 years of studio recording. That song, “Wally,” was supposedly so “personal” that Prince began layering instrument upon instrument on top of it and essentially ruining what was reportedly a really good song on purpose. The next day, Prince rewrote the song with less personal lyrics and recorded it. It remains unreleased to this day.

It’s widely known (amongst Roots fans) that The Roots recorded a song with Project Pat for their Phrenology album, however, no one outside of their circle has heard this song…. until today. Speaking with ?uestlove over IM today, he sent me this track and told me that he almost “Wally’d” it. He was considering it for the upcoming Roots compilations “HomeGrown: The Survival Guide for Understanding The Roots Volumes One & Two” but uhhhh… changed his mind. He’s given me permission to throw it out to the world since it’d otherwise never see the light of day.

Also of note… this may be the last recorded appearance of Malik B as a member of The Roots."

ADDED: Simon Grigg is blogging from Bali...

"...It seems pretty much business as usual along Jalan Legian, but of course it’s not at all. The shops are busy, although the Bintang t-shirt wearing Ockers, who were the fairly obvious targets of this horror, are glaringly absent from the streets and there is a gloom and despondency upon the faces of many of the Balinese. I was in Bali a couple of weeks after the 2002 bomb and again in January and February 2003 and I know what this is going to do to this beautiful, peaceful and undeserving island in the years to come..."

Ring the Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday October 1
Ernest Ranglin - Surfin
Groove Corp meets Twilight Circus feat Luciano -What we gotta do
Sunshine Soundsystem - As of lately
Jackie Mittoo - Hot milk
James Brown -Blind man can see it
Oscar Brown Jr - Brother where are you (Matthew Herbert remix)
Fat Freddy's Drop - Roady (the Nextmen - Burger remix)
Ultramagnetic MCs - Poppa Large - West Coast mix
Freddy Cruger feat Desmond Foster - Something good
Roots Combination - Spoony Bill
George McCrae - I get lifted (Mischief Brew re-edit)
Joni Rewind feat Estelle - Uptown ranking
Boozoo Bajou - 9 below zero
Turbulence - Notorious
International Observer - London dub
Kora - Politician (Paddy Free remix)
Elephantman - Chapter a day (Real Rock Return riddim)
Damian Marley - Move
Deodato - Super Strut
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - How long do I have to wait for you
Keith Lawrence feat Rodney P - Style and fashion
Nextmen feat Demolition Man - Piece of the pie
Junkyard Band - Sardines (Tittsworth remix)
Esso Trinidad Steel Band - I want you back
Recloose - Dust (Submariner remix)
Jurassic 5 - Red hot
Bamboos - Tighten up
Fugees - Take it easy