Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Checks, Live on a soccer pitch in Albany, Saturday night
So, we're out celebrating Guy Fawkes (gotta love dem anarchists). There's a wizz-bang fireworks display happening at North Harbour Stadium, but before darkness falls, we are treated to a string of young singers warbling karaoke-style over MOR hits of the day – don't ask me to name the songs, I feel dirty just thinking about them. It starts raining, settling to a steady drizzle.

The MC for the evening comes back on stage and encourages the kids to dance – they get up on stage with the next singer, and we have the dubious delight of about 50 pre-teen girls booty dancing. The MC returns after the singer finishes and congratulates the young crowd for dancing, but points out he meant for them to dance in front of the stage, not on it. He says "We've got Check coming soon, The Check…." (some of them do actually have Czech family roots, you know, so he wasn't completely wrong) The preteens correct him and he finally gets their name right.

They bound onto the stage and blast off their fine 60's Brit-pop, under the most basic lighting imaginable – white flood spots on either side of the stage pointing inwards. The lights nicely lit up the drizzle blowing diagonally across the front of stage. The preteens even give a cheer of recognition when they introduce What You Heard and Mercedes Chldren. From a soccer pitch to supporting Oasis in Oz… a nice leap. Then a brief pause before a sustained series of loud bangs and lots of pretty colours fill the sky. The fireworks seem very low, just above us, which was pretty cool, til the wind changed and the smoke from them rolled across us. There's nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning...

MISEX NZs No 1 Band
Saw that on the back windscreen of a car on Sunday – a homemade bumper sticker, the right half with "Misex - NZs # 1 band" written in black felt pen, and the left side said "Ultravox, Visage, Human League- UK #1 bands". The car was a Japanese make of some description, not too old. Like the song said,… Living in the 80s, 80s, you're living in the 80s…

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday November 5
Johnnie Osbourne – Buddy bye
Bim Sherman – You are the one
In crowd - Mango walk
Kenny Knots – Good sensi
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Your thing is a drag
Maceo and the Macks - Cross the tracks
Keith Mansfield – Crash course (Waiwan re-edit)
John Holt – Fat she fat
Damian Marley – Move
Prince Fari - Same knife
Sunshine Soundsystem - As of lately
Rip Slyme – Blossom
Keith Lawrence feat Rodney P – Style and fashion
Booker T and the MGs – Chicken pox
Recloose - Dust (Submariner remix)
Hopeton Lewis – Express yourself
International Observer – Hip hop final
Rhythm and Sound feat Sugar Minott – Let Jah love come
The Pointer Sisters - Pinball number count (DJ Food re-edit)
Katzenjammers – Cars
Gladys Knight and the Pips – On and on
Beginning of the end – Funky Nassau (Friction re-edit)
Hallelujah Picassos – Marshall law dub
Dillinger – Detention
Morpheus Unlimited meets King Tubby – Morpheus special (Kid Loco remix)
SJD- Southern lights (Kid Loco remix)
From Southern Lights album Pic N Mix special edition featuring this remix (plus remixes from Mood Unit, Greg Churchill and more) in shops now, well worth checking
Muddy Waters – Tom cat
Dub specialist – Kampala
Rosa Parks, Sly and the family stone, Outkast, Neville Bros – Thank you Rosa (audio tribute)
Western roots – Rockers galore
Mad lion and KRS One – Double trouble
Turbulence – Notorious

Friday, November 04, 2005

The dude abides.
Interview with Jeff Dowd, the inspiration for the Coen Bros Big Lebowski character played by Jeff Bridges.
"To cult movie fans, Jeff Dowd’s greatest accomplishment will likely forever be the fact that he’s credited as being the inspiration for the character of The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.” (For the record, it only requires a few moments worth of conversation with him to determine that Jeff Bridges really nailed the impression of Dowd’s voice.) There’s a lot more to Dowd than The Dude, however. His movie career spans decades, and he’s had his hand in many classic films, from “Gandhi” to “War Games.”

Mr Britney Spears has started his rap career...
"The first song from KFed has been leaked online and its everything you might expect. Its sounds like he made it in in one of those 'Make Your Own CD' boothes at Six Flags. Keep in mind that Britney described Kevin as like Eminem but with a more postive message." Hear it over here... "Be warned, if you’re at work, you might want to bite down on a wooden spoon or something to keep from laughing."

Boo f*cking hoo

Susan Woods has got it tough, she reckons... "It feels to me that I'm being punished for a political environment that I didn't create or cause, but because other people got $800,000 salaries. I don't get $800,000 salaries." ... Wood said she felt she was a victim of the backlash at the salaries that had created the "culture of extravagance" image of TVNZ.

So, taking a pay cut of $100,000 and still getting $350,000, that's gotta be hard, aye?

Gentrifying Disaster -- In New Orleans: Ethnic Cleansing, GOP-Style. (excerpt)
... In the meantime more than two-thirds of FEMA contracts (according to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco) has gone to out-of-state firms, with a blatant bias toward Halliburton and other Texas-based investors in Bush Inc. Simultaneously, unscrupulous employers have saturated Latino neighborhoods in Houston and other southwestern cities with fliers advertising a cornucopia of jobs in New Orleans and Gulfport.

With Davis-Bacon and affirmative-action requirements suspended by executive order, immigrant workers—housed in tents and working under appalling conditions—have flocked to jobs sites in the city, largely unaware that tens of thousands of blue-collar evacuees who would relish these jobs are unable to return for lack of family housing and federal support. Ethnic tensions are artificially inflamed by speculations about a “population swap” and impending ‘Latinization” of the workforce.

From commentary by Mike Davis: Gentrifying Disaster -- In New Orleans: Ethnic Cleansing, GOP-Style. Link.

ADDED: Get your freak on...
From Popbitch... Talking Heads' David Byrne has been gossiping about Missy Elliot on his website: "Rumor has it that she works three instant message accounts simultaneously - one for friends, one for business, and one for porn."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sony CDs could wreck your computer.
"Mark Russinovich couldn’t understand how the rootkit had sneaked onto his system. An expert on the internals of the Windows operating system, he was careful when it came to computer security and generally had a pretty good idea of what was running on his PC at any given time. And yet the security tool he was using to check his PC was pretty clear: it had found the “rootkit” cloaking software typically used by virus and spyware writers.

After a bit of detective work, Russinovich eventually tracked down the source: a Sony BMG Music Entertainment CD, entitled Get Right with the Man, performed by country music duo Donnie and Johnny Van Zant.

It turns out that Sony is using techniques normally only seen in spyware and computer viruses in order to restrict the unauthorised copying of some of its music CDs. Sony’s software, licensed by Sony from a UK company called First 4 Internet, has become the basis of a dispute that once again pits computer advocates against an entertainment company experimenting with new ways to prevent unauthorised copying of its products." Link: Computerworld. More at NBR.

So, the $64,000 question is, will the new Bic Runga album be destroying computers up and down the land?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fade to black
Russell Brown was on BFM earlier this arvo, talking with Murray Cammick, and mentioned that he'd heard unofficially that FMR staff had been fired, Warners keeping only two staff on.
Murray mentioned that many majors here get pressured to focus on international roster over local signings, citing the example of when former Warners head James Southgate had three local top ten albums in the charts on Xmas, and Warners Hong Kong office phoned him up and asked him why aren't those positions taken up by foreign priorities. Murray used this as an example of how a major here with strong local roster came be too successful. Check BFM's site in the next day or two for audio of this conversation.

Popular Science tells you how to create a $1,000 vinyl-ripping station for your iPod.

ADDED: quote from Coolfer... "As bad as our DRM woes have been, the U.S. is still better off than Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald has an article that explains how Aussies pay 30% more for than we do for songs at iTunes, and they don't have a fair use exemption in copyright law to allow for making copies of CDs or ripping songs from CDs."
Ditto for NZ.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

P Money in trouble?
Just messing. Chart-topping US rapper Akon is reissuing his album Trouble, reports SOHH.com, with a bonus second disc "filled with some of his most recent chart-topping collaborations [Beatnuts, Kardinal Offishall, Baby Bash, and Miri Ben-Ari] and a few unheard gems as well." Of note for locals - P Money gets Keep On Callin in there and Savage makes it with Moonshine. Album drops Nov 22 Stateside. Nice one.

Oh yeah, tickets for the Big Day Out in Sydney has SOLD OUT already. The promoters are holding back 5000 tickets to sell off via the BDO website, 500 going on sales there everey week for the next ten weeks, to beat the scalpers. Tip of the hat to Miles for this. Ran out and bought my ticket this morning. So, don't be a typical Kiwi and leave it til the last minute - you want to miss Iggy and the Stooges due to your own slackness? More fool you.

Design like Barbara Kruger


Via Boing boing... "Here's a fun tongue-in-cheek Graphic Standards Manual to help you design like collage artist/activist Barbara Kruger. From the introduction:
Welcome to the Barbara Kruger Graphic Standards Manual. This guide is intended to service students, artists, designers, and activists that have an interest in juxtaposing text with imagery in the fashion of Barbara Kruger. This has been developed to help you accurately position your own work amongst this famous artist, designer, an/or photographer. As Barbara herself stated, pictures and words have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren't. It is through this combination that we can establish an identity, and by impersonating Barbara's own unique style, you yourself can remain anonymous--in effect being while not being. As Barbara's work evolves using typefaces beyond the Future family and the color red, this guide must evolve as well. Link

Monday, October 31, 2005

Watch B&B on Maori TV tonight, 9.30pm
Why? Cos it's bloody funny. How do I know this? Well, we scored some tickets to go along to the filming of this show yesterday afternoon, and had a ball. It's a comedy/chatshow, with Radar and Hori Ahipene as husband and wife Beven and Beverly Best, who run Best's B&B in Oneoneroa. As Radar says, "This is quite possibly one of the most exciting projects I have worked on. Ever. I always wanted to marry a wahine Māori – I just never thought it would be Hori Ahipene."

On the show they have guests along, and this week Radar managed to get an Oscar-nominated actress to ride around on a fake sheep wearing riding colours, as practise for the Oneoneroa Derby Day, the annual sheep race.

Salmonella dubbed
In last weekend's Sunday Star Times, Andrew Penman of Salmonella Dub hit out at NZ On Air and the NZMIC (I quoted some of it here) admitting that "I sound like a hypocrite, 'cause Salmonella has taken a few NZ On Air video grants, but really, I think these organisations and most major record labels encourage dependence and stop bands from devising alternative ways of working independently."

Brendan Smythe of NZ On Air responded to Penman in the letters section of yesterdays SST, saying that Salmonella Dub had in fact been the third biggest beneficiary of NZ On Air music video grants. He stated that to date they have got $205,000 in total in funding from NZ On Air.
Ring The Alarm playlist, Saturday October 29, BaseFM
3 generations walking -Midnight bustling
Yabby You -Zambia dub
Prince Fatty -School's out
Perfect -Handcart boy
Quantic Soul Orchestra feat Alice Russell - So long (playing in AKL on Nov 25)
Butta - Okwawa se
Prince Charles and the City Beat Band - Don't fake the funk
Sola Rosa feat Paul St Hilaire -Breezes blowing
David Walters - Mesy bon dye (Bigga Bush dub version)
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you (Ashely Beedle and Phil Asher re-edit)
Blackalicious - Your move (live in AKL Dec 17)
Rhythm and Sound feat Cornell Cambell -King in my empire
Twilight Circus meets the Disciples - Foundations rockers (Disciples dub)
Kora - Politician (Paddy Free remix)
Jah Thomas -Gamblin dub
Barrington Levy -Collie weed
Bumps Jackson - Funky in Jamaica part 2
Dick Hyman - Give it up or turn it loose (James Brown done Moog styles)
Idris Mohammed - Superbad
William Bell - I forgot to be your lover
Sean Paul -Send it on
Michael Prophet - Been talking
DJ C and quality diamond - Let it Billie (Jungle mix)
Blufoot vs JStar feat Infinite Livez - Intchaaa!
Jackie Mittoo - One step forward
Amadou and Mariam feat Manu Chao - Senegal fast food
Salmonella Dub - Push on thru (Adrian Sherwood remix)
Tweet vs XTC - Oops! mashup

Thanks to Big Matt for holding it down last week - nice one, fella!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Someone writes a business story on the success of Fat Freddy's Drop. Thank you Liam Dunn. This is easily the biggest NZ album of the year (forget Bic Runga). Interesting read. What took you so long?

Fat Freddy's Drop let music walk the talk
27.10.05, By Liam Dann
When Peter Baker, general manager of record distribution company Rhythmethod, sat down to talk to his new clients, Fat Freddy's Drop, about marketing plans he was a little taken aback.

The band and manager Nicole Duckworth had a clear vision - no marketing.

"It's not that I wanted to do a big marketing campaign, but there are things that you traditionally do with any new release," Baker said.

The band wanted none of them.

When Fat Freddy's released its debut studio album in May there were no street posters, print ads, music video or single. And, Baker recalls, there wasn't even a definite release date to promote.

But the plan worked - big time.

The album's commercial success is unprecedented. It was the first independently distributed album to go straight to number one in the New Zealand charts. It was a gold record by the end of its first day (10,000 sales) and has since gone double platinum.

This week, Baker is doing the paperwork on an order that will see it top sales of 40,000.

Big mainstream retailers like The Warehouse are among the album's biggest buyers, something that was unimaginable in the band's early days as part of Wellington's underground dance music scene. [NB- The Warehouse account for over 60% of all CD sales]

But the "anti-marketing" philosophy is not about nihilistic rock'n' roll posturing.

Duckworth, who knows plenty about marketing, says it's part of a clearly defined strategy.

"We've always been pro-active about establishing a marketing plan," she said. "That plan was based on a couple of philosophies."

The first was to let the music do the talking, not the advertising.

"We'd come across - and been impressed by - marketing theories like the whole 'word-of-mouth thing'," she said.

"The loyalty that a word-of-mouth recommendation creates from a fan is much more powerful than someone discovering the music or the brand through a print ad."

The idea was to encourage a sense of ownership in fans.

"Then the audience is actually out there working for Freddy's."

That audience - which grew from years on the live circuit - created a huge advance demand for the album.

"With a creative business, you must let things happen organically," Duckworth said.

The loyalty, which saw the core fan base buy the album so quickly, has in turn created an industry buzz making Fat Freddy's one of the hottest acts in the country.

It's ironic given that the original plan was to ignore New Zealand and concentrate on foreign markets.

"The whole New Zealand thing surprised us," Duckworth said. "Seven years ago, we decided to focus on the international underground dance music scene because we didn't want to have to move into commercial music to be successful in New Zealand."

The band felt it was better to carve out a niche and sell themselves in places such as Germany, where that niche was big enough to be commercially viable.

That focus has meant that until this year most of Fat Freddy's work was only available on vinyl - something that only heightened demand for the album.

Duckworth said the vinyl release strategy was deliberate.

"You promote music through the DJs. When someone buys a CD, they'll play it in the car or at home and a close network of people will discover that music. But if you put it on a piece of vinyl and a DJ plays it over the weekend, then thousands of people start hearing it."

The Fat Freddy's sound - soulful lyrics layered over a slick brass section and heavy reggae beats - is part of a local movement dubbed Aotearoa Roots.

But, unlike so many Kiwi exporters, New Zealandness is not something the band has pushed.

"We've been careful not to market or brand the band as New Zealand," Duckworth said. "There is little interest, in the European market particularly, in music being from a specific country.

"There is a lot of pride here in New Zealand that the music is home grown but, overseas, you really have to put music out there first."

Fat Freddy Facts:

* Release music through their own label - The Drop.
* Debut studio album has sold nearly 40,000 copies.
* Picked up four New Zealand music awards this month - including best album and best band.

This week's album charts have FFD at #4, no change from last week.

How freaking awesome are Iggy and the Stooges?
That's a rhetorical question, so don't be a smartarse and answer it. Got my hands on the newly reissued/remastered Stooges albums (The Stooges; Funhouse) yesterday, and man, they rock. From the liner notes for Funhouse... The record's passion, attitude, power, emotion and destruction are incalculable. A milestone so overlooked it's despicable. We live in an age where people like James Taylor are inducted into the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame before the Stooges." Jack White, the White Stripes.

FMR plugs into the matrix
from the official press release from Warners on their acquisition of FMR....
"In hiring Michael Parisi and acquiring FMR, Warner Music Australasia plugs into a global A&R matrix that is committed to developing global careers," says Paul-Rene Albertini, Chairman and CEO, Warner Music International.
(tip of the hat to Richard B for this)

Just got the latest email from ESL, Thievery Corporation's label, and noticed this...
"You can also see the video for The Time We Lost Our Way directed by our favorite Kiwi Jolyon Hoff on thieverycorporation.com, eslmusic.com and on iTunes."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Itunes is here... almost
Itunes launched in Oz on Tuesday morning, but if you type in your address as Auckland NZ Tasmania or something, you can buy tunes off the site (have heard this from a few journo mates who are doing just that). Lists over a million songs, but Sony BMG haven't signed up to it yet. Word is a deal with them is imminent.

"Tunes can be downloaded at a cost of $1.69 (Aus) per song and $3.39 (Aus) per music video. A whole album can be purchased for $16.99. That compares to US prices of $US0.99 ($1.30 Aus) for a song and $US9.99 ($13.10Aus) for an album." More news here.

Oh, and all the press releases/news reportage mentions the exciting range of current Australian bands on the site, like Evermore. Looks like we lost another one...

ADDED New Nokia 8800 cellphone with sounds/ringtones by Ryuichi Sakamoto... me want...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's a conspiracy...
Salmonella Dub's Andrew Penman, from the Sunday Star Times... they're off on a national tour soon...

"We're touring with several other bands under the Dub Conspiracy banner," says Penman. "Basically Dub Conspiracy is an attempt to bypass idiots like the New Zealand Music Industry Commission or New Zealand on Air. I sound like a hypocrite, 'cause Salmonella has taken a few NZ On Air video grants, but really, I think these organisations and most major record labels encourage dependence and stop bands from devising alternative ways of working independently."

Penman believes bands end up competing against each other for audiences, media space, record contracts and funding, instead of building "a community where bands get together to tour, to appear on each other's albums and to share knowledge and resources."

And did you hear that FMR have been sold off to Warner Music Australiasia? More here - check the fantastic spelling errors... someone forgot to spellcheck the press release...

more later.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Food for Fido
This might be of interest if you're out and about this weekend...
"Yes ya'll its Labour weekend, so its time for another Givin' Up Food for Fido
Join us this Sunday, 23rd October, at the Rising Sun for a huge night of Funk and Soul. DJ's Dunc tha Funk, Uncle Barnie, Cesar, Selecta Sam, Daniel Ward, Automatic, the Natural Disasters and Darren Souljah will be providing more Funk to bump your rump! They will be playing 30min sets to keep the party rolling til the breaka breaka dawn.

The flossatron 5000mkII will be back pumping out free cotton candy. Free entry with animal food donation. All proceeds go to the Auckland SPCA. Doors open at 10pm, be in quick if you want some animal biscuits...the iced kind for humans."

And if you're down at NZ Fashion Week today, I'm DJing in the Fashion Week Cafe from 12 midday til 2pm. Funky reggae lunchtime!

ADDED via Coolfer...
"PC World asks, "Are You Still Using CDs?" Coolfer replies, "Yes." Harry McCracken asks, "Why fuss with CDs when you can listen to an MP3 player that holds way, way more than six CDs' worth of music and provides instant access to all of it, not to mention podcasts and other audio?" I'll tell you why: Because a lot of CDs can be purchased for the same price or less than can digital downloads at online music stores. Here's another reason: Because a lot of music I buy isn't available at online music stores. Here's another: Because I like a permanent copy even though I just moved owning a large music collection can really be a pain at times. Here's another: Because CDs sound better. Here's another: Used CDs are a great way to beef up one's music collection. Here's another: In some cases, packaging still matters. Here's another: Labels like to send promo CDs to bloggers. Have fun with your zeros and ones. I'll stick with CDs and rip the songs when I get a chance."

Oh, and Damian Marley is spending a month touring as opening act for U2, before doing his own tour in support of his new album. Um, wha???

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blank generation
Been digging heaps of 70's New York punk lately - watched the killer Ramones doco End of the Century again recently (the DVD has some great extra features; interviews with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and the last filmed interview with Joe Strummer), and have just finished reading Please Kill Me, a great book that's an oral history of that scene. Also got a copy of Spurts:The Richard Hell Story CD to review for work. Just bought Punk Attitude yesterday at Real Groovy, so that's next up ( one of their friendly staff pointed out the new Sinead O'Connor album was playing instore, telling me that she recorded it with Sly and Robbie, which is hilarious. Well, made me laugh).

And then there's the latest issue of Mojo magazine, with a great free cover CD of NY 70s punk. Got the Ramones on the cover, but the article on them is less than great - it's full of historical detail, which reads well, til you get half way thru and the writer Ben Edmonds drops a clanger... he claims that two of the Ramones (Deedee, Joey) had died by the time the group was inducted in to the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. WRONG! Having just seen End of the Century again, the final scenes are of Johnny, Tommy Marky and very much alive Deedee at the R'n'R Hall of Fame ceremony in April 2002 - Deedee passed away in June 2002. How can you take an article like that seriously when someone f*cks up that badly?
Here's some covers instead....

Scans of punk and new wave LP and single covers

Mark Frauenfelder:  Nwslvs Nw101This site, chock full of scans of punk and new wave record sleeves, was a trip down memory lane for me. I had a lot of these, which have since disappeared thanks to rain damage and permanent borrowing.

FFD Chart Watch
After bouncing back to #5 last week (up 13 places) on the back of their NZ Music Awards successes, The lads move up one place to #4. They have been in the charts for 24 weeks now.

Heard of Vinyl Revolution? Discovered this via Chris Bell at NZBC...
"I’m buzzing, on the strength of an email just in from Vinyl Revolution, confirming a CD I ordered on 16 August has shipped. What differentiates a Vinyl Revolution order from those made through other online music stores is that it sources rare vinyl for you and transfers it to CD, digitally remastered, supplies original artwork and inserts, and ships you the vinyl as well as the CD..."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Howard Morrison: Girl, you fat!
Aging entertainer Sir Howard Morrison got in hot water at the weekend after labelling NZIdol finalist Rosita as too fat to be a pop star. "I'm not being cruel," he said. "She has already lost weight throughout the show and you can see that. She has gone from waddling on to the stage when she first started to being more in control of her performance, but she is still too big."
The last time Howard Morrison was vaguely relevant to pop music in this country was 1962 or thereabouts. Think he'd have the nerve to say that to Aretha Franklin? Or Ella Fitzgerald?
Ring The Alarm playlist, Saturday October 15, BaseFM
Horace Andy - Jah provides
Elephantman - Chapter a day
Jimmy London - Cathy's clown
Damian Marley - Khaki suit
Beginning of the end - Funky Nassau (Friction re-edit)
Dazz band - Let it whip
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Stranded in your love
Barry Brown - Juks and watch
Jackie Mittoo -Totally together
Keith Lawrence feat Rodney P - Style and fashion
Funkmaster Flex feat Mad Lion -Safe sex, no freaks
Cornerstone roots feat Ranking Joe - Forward movement part 2
Carol Cool - Upside down
Unification - Guru
Prince Fatty - Nina's dub
Don Pullen and the African Brazilian connection - Asseko!
Bobby Valentin - Yo
Willie Williams - Armagideon time dub
Sean Paul feat Wayne Marshall - Yardie bone
DJ Format - The place
Prince Fatty - On the run
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Simmer down
Shirley Ellis, Ms Thing, Alozade - Clapping dude song
James Brown - Blind man can see it
Wille Bobo - Fried neckbones (Dan the Automator remix)
Heaven 17 - We don't need this fascist groove thang
Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Augustus Pablo - Dub organiser
David Walters - Mesy bon dye (Bigga Bush remix)
Beenieman and Devonte - Imagination
(scored the last two tunes plus Prince Fatty from Conch Records - check out their new shipment of crash-hot tunes!)

Friday, October 14, 2005

RIANZ casts a vote both ways
Seen this apology? Spotted at Amplifier.

Recording Industry Association of New Zealand
2005 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
The board and management of RIANZ were very pleased
with the success of the 2005 Vodafone New Music Awards held at the Aotea Centre - THE EDGE on Wednesday October 5th.

We were however very disappointed at the overt political commentary from some of the show's presenters. We wish to make it clear these comments were not condoned by the RIANZ board and the views expressed were those of the individual presenters and not those of RIANZ. We are working with the show's producers to ensure that this politicisation of our premiere event will not happen again.

We warmly welcome all sides of the political spectrum to join us in celebrating the success of New Zealand music. We encourage their support for the industry and their attendance at the Tuis. We certainly do not expect any of our guests to be treated in the way Dr Brash was on Wednesday night. RIANZ has apologised unreservedly to Dr Brash and thanked him for his composure in the circumstances.

Adam Holt - President, Campbell Smith - CEO

FFD Chart Watch
Going back five weeks, Fat Freddy's album has gone from #13 to #16, then #17, then #18. This week, they bounce back from #18 to #5, on the back of their successes at the above awards ceremony. And they've gone double platinum - that's 30,000 copies, folks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Keeping it Peel
Today is the first annual John Peel Day on BBC Radio 1. Also scheduled are gigs all round the UK - more here. Also worth a lookee - this great interview with Peel's wife Sheila, on the forthcoming publication of Peel's autobiography (tip of the hat to RB)

"...Peel had been planning to write his autobiography - which he'd whimsically entitled Margrave of the Marshes - for some years, but he always had a tendency to leave things to the last minute. Sheila and the children bought him a word-processor, but John, she says, hated being taught to do anything, and for a year it gathered dust until he finally resolved to master it himself. By the time of his death he had written around a third of the book, up to the point when he first broke into radio while living in America.

It had not occured to Sheila to complete the book until she read a newspaper item, shortly after his death, saying that the family planned to do precisely that. "It was actually the last thing on my mind . . . It was the children, not me, who said: 'Come on, if we all get together, we can do it.' " What finally decided it for them, she jokes, was William's observation that John's section ends in America with an anecdote about him giving a friend a lift to a brothel. "William said we had to finish it, because they couldn't bear anybody to think that's where John and I met."

Also, I've linked to this before, but have a read...
Novelist Andrew O'Hagan remembers the magical trip when he became friends with John Peel

"... Two years ago, I was in New Zealand with him. We were there to represent British culture, a fact which made us laugh for an entire week, and I have to say I've never fallen into camaraderie with someone so quickly in my life. The first night, I went for an Indian with John and his wife Sheila, and I wasted no time in paying dues to my former self: I told him he was a god. He took it very well, saying something profound like, "You wouldn't pass me some of that mango chutney over, would you?"

ADDED: The Peel detective... A day of concerts, a commemorative album and a specially recorded single are planned to celebrate the life of John Peel - but what were the albums closest to his heart? Jon Dennis goes in search of the ultimate Peel playlist... check The Guardian

via Coolfer...
"Two articles on Jay-Z worth sharing. One is a very good article at Forbes that takes a look at Sean Carter the label executive. It's a week old, and that almost puts it past the Bloggers Statute of Limitations, but it's a good profile. ("He gives Def Jam ... unmatched credibility with the artists that will define its future.") The other is a brief article at SoundSlam reports that Jay-Z is in discussions with a major English soccer club. He is reportedly interested in purchasing a large share in London-based Arsenal F.C."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hip hop and ya don't stop (and the Hiphop Summit flops?)
I checked out the graffiti in Aotea Square (why does it always rain for this event?) and the evening concerts in the Town Hall for the Aotearoa Hiphop Summit at the weekend. Some wicked acts, but surprisingly small crowds both nights. Previous years have seen the Town Hall pack out, with downstairs, the blacony and the cricle all full. If you saw last night's Holla Hour with DJ Sirvere, he did a special on the Summit, and played the video for the Summit Anthem by Ali, Flowz, Scribe et al, which was filmed at a packed Town Hall at a previous Summit a few years back. This year, Disruptiv had stepped in to take over from organisers Sirvere and Ali, and had hooked up enough sponsorshp to allow them to offer free tickets to the evening concerts , unlike previous years when there had been a door charge.

Something went seriously wrong with pulling in the crowds though - friday night there was around 300 people downstairs, a handful of artists hanging in the balcony seats, and the same number showed up for the saturday night. Friday's headliners were Fast Crew and Nesian Mystic, and saturday's show closed with Frontline and Che Fu. None of the TV ads I saw mentioned any acts (just the event), which may have reduced interest from the kids. What went wrong? Any thoughts? Has NZ hiphop got a bit tired and decided to sit the f*ck down?

Highlights included fine sets from Ladi 6, Tourettes (dude samples 'I'm so bored with the USA' by The Clash, how cool is that?) Tyna and JB, Flowz, Soundproof, and PNC, who dropped a wicked tune aimed at wack NZ hiphop, after introing the song by saying 'the best thing about this years summit is no wack groups. No Misfits of Science, no Flow On Show..." he then invited the crowd to raise your middle finger if you don't like Misfits of Science.

Later I wandered out of the back entrance of the Town Hall, and there was a small crowd gathered round the back stage entrance. I went over and had a look, and discovered PNC having words with Flow On Show, who were not impressed at him taking those sentiments to the stage - they were claiming that they'd squashed this beef with him, and wanted to know why he'd bought it up again. Tyna was trying to mediate, but PNC was adamant that Flow On Show hadn't squashed it and had mentioned it elsewhere. It degenerated to the level of your classic kids playground argument - "You started it" - No, you started it", very mature behaviour for grown men, you might say. Ended with a security guard stepping in saying "you guys can sort this out, but not here", and hustling PNC and Con-psy back inside. I think I caught PNC making a quick apology, but I could be wrong.

Having witnessed a classic case of hiphop beef, I decided to head home. What an exciting night it had been. Hats off to Tze Ming Mok for looking so hiphop in her camoflage pants and hoodie.

Under cover
Copyright has a cover version of How Bizarre up for your listening pleasure. Described thus: "there's something charming about this cute little Canadian doo-woppy indie band's version of this one that surprisingly doesn't make me want to shove pencils in my ears." Hey Simon, whatcha think?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday October 8
Jackie Mittoo - Drum song
Francois K and URoy - Rootsman
Bim Sherman - Slummy ghetto
Brentford Allstars - Racetrack
Damian Marley - Welcome to Jamrock (Low budget remix)
Isley Brothers - Between the sheets (Steven Lenky Marsden remix)
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Watermelon man
Suns of Arqa - Whirling dub
Glen Brown - Determination skank
Leela James - Ghetto
Herbaliser - Wall crawling giant insect breaks
Mongo Santamaria- Sing a simple song
Cornerstone Roots feat Ranking Joe -Forward movement part 2
Bobb Deep - Got it twisted
Blackalicious - Rhythm sticks
Salmonella Dub - Platetechtonics (Groove Corp remix)
Che Fu - Mysterious vibes
Horace Andy - Just say who
Hugh Masekela - Grazing in the grass
Nite Blues Steel Band - Mongoose
Armadou and Mariam - Senegal fast food
Afrodisiac Sound System - Afroheat #3 (Fela vs Spider Rap)
Love Grocer - Sitting on the fence
Fugees - Take it easy
Banbarra - Shack up (Touche from Wiseguys re-edit)
Earl 16 - Trials and crosses
Recloose - Mana's bounce
DJ Vadim feat Demolition Man - Leaches
King Tubby and Roots Radics - No follow fashion
Collen and Webb - Jamaican jerkoff aka Golden (feat Jill Scott)
In Crowd - Mango walk
Lightning Head - Stilla move