Monday, December 12, 2005

Ring the Alarm playlist, BaseFM Saturday Dec 10
Mr Perfect - High grade tree
Barrington Levy - Many changes dub
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
Breakstra - The getting to it
Open Souls - What do you do?
Special guest Big Matt drops his favourite tunes for 2005, all killer, no filler..
Johnny Osbourne - Truth and rights (rerub)
Jah Warrior and Lutan Fyah - Smoke the high grade
Rodney Hunter feat Paul St Hilaire - Vampire
Recloose - Mana's bounce
Black Samurai - Information critic
Keith Lawrence and Shauny Tee - Muzic ed special
Foreign beggars feat Wildchild - Let go
RBX - Sunshine instrumental
One self -Bluebird instrumental
Shy FX and T Power feat Yush - Lovers rock
Jungle Royal feat Jimmy Riley - A1 sound
Katchafire - Rude girl (jungle version)
DJC and Quality Diamond - Let it Billie (dancehall mix)
Nextmen feat Dynamite MC - Blood fire
Fat Freddy's Drop - Roady (Nextmen's Walnut mix)
Notch - Oye Que Buena
Roberto Carlos - O Calhambeque (XRS mix)

And one more tune from me and we gone...
Floetry feat Common - Supastar

Thanks to Big Matt for dropping by!


RIP Richard Pryor
Saw a snip of him on the tv news, amusing to see them show his concert footage and talk over the top so as to obscure his frequent use of the words nigger and mutherf*cker.

"... Pryor was best known for his searing analysis of race relations. He was honored by the Kennedy Center with the first Mark Twain Prize for American humor. "I feel great about accepting this prize," he wrote in his official response, his familiar edge glinting through. "I feel great to be honored on a par on with a great white man — now that's funny!" from Newsday. More Pryor news reports here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Seasonal madness descends
Bloggage will be running at a seriously reduced capacity round these parts from now til late January. Other pressing matters to attend to - you'll just have to amuse yourselves. Will still be posting playlists for my radio show - tune in this Saturday, my special guest will be Big Matt from Bassteppa Sound System dropping his fave tunes from the year.

Also, I'm gonna be on National Radio on Dec 31, at 1pm, doing some chat thing about blogging and the internet, hosted by Hugh Sundae and Jon Bridges, will post all the details closer to the time.

And maybe a top ten list for the year. Simon Grigg has a go at some faves here...
"... I own quite a few local albums from 2005 and kinda liked the Phoenix Foundation album. Many of the uusal suspects (Roger Perry, Joost, Cuffy) were noticeably quiet in 2005 so I expect to hear things in the new year...please. Tomorrowpeople did a killer remix for Pluto, which, sticking their heads in the sand, they refused to sanction…when will these people learn about expanding their markets... Greg Churchill’s mix of SJD was seriously good but his own Automatique and the new Lesser Meaning (Techno single of the week in the UK’s influential Update and number 7 on their overall chart)are the real deal and the latter is gonna be huge. He offered to do a mix of Savage but got turned down… as I said, when are these guys gonna work out marketing 101. Greg also, despite his international success, got ignored in New Zealand outside the dance scene, especially by the recording industry and it associated agenices… Budonkadonk is probably the biggest inner city anthem of the past decade but gets ignored… its indicative…"


Never mind Oasis.

"Glen Matlock was shopping in Selfridges recently and bumped into Noel Gallagher, who was buying some shirts. They swapped pleasantries and went their separate ways. A few minutes later a fan approached Matlock, shook his hand and said it made his day to meet him. Matlock told the bloke that if he had been five minutes earlier he could have met Noel Gallagher. The reply: "Well, who wants to meet that c*nt?" From Popbitch.

Thursday, December 08, 2005



It's like that...
I'm currently reading the new biography on Run DMC by Ronin Ro (author of Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records - read an excerpt from that book here)

"The year is 1978. Saturday Night Fever is breaking box office records. All over America kids are racing home to watch Dance Fever, Michael Jackson is poised to become the next major pop star, and in Hollis, Queens, fourteen-year-old Darryl McDaniels -- who will one day go by the name D.M.C. -- busts his first rhyme: "Apple to the peach, cherry to the plum. Don't stop rocking till you all get some."
Darryl's friend Joseph Simmons -- now known as Reverend Run -- thinks Darryl's rhyme is pretty good, and he becomes inspired. Soon the two join forces with a DJ -- Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell -- and form Run-D.M.C. Managed by Run's brother, Russell Simmons, the trio, donning leather suits, Adidas sneakers, and gold chains, become the defiant creators of the world's most celebrated and enduring hip-hop albums -- and in the process, drag rap music from urban streets into the corporate boardroom, profoundly changing everything about popular culture and American race relations." Excerpt from Raising Hell over here.

They were the first rap group to break onto MTV, the first to go gold, platinum, and triple platinum, the first rap group to score corporate sponsorship. Saw em at the Powerstation in 1988, one of the best gigs I've ever seen. They were on the last leg of their world tour.

ADDED Chuck D of Public Enemy writes the liner notes for the reissue of Run DMCs album Tougher than Leather. Snip...

"... Occasionally, as I was planning my dibs with Public Enemy, I would catch Run, D, and Jay, --fresh off some tour-- prowling the offices of Rush Productions. They were tight because the timing of their next album (which we now know as Tougher Than Leather) was being thrown off by cat-and-mouse games between Profile (their label at the time) and RUN DMC’s management. RUN DMC was demanding a better deal after the success of Raising Hell. And why the hell not? Not only did they create a super-group, and make a label, but they damn near rebuilt and upgraded the whole genre of music.

You could tell that all this drama was having a twisted effect on the group. In the raging wake of Raising Hell, how could they not feel the pressure? Two years between hits is an eternity for the very radio-conscious rap market. They'd toured that record to the def. Anticipation was high all over. RUN DMC needed to make some noise.

I still consider Raising Hell, to be, simply, the greatest rap album ever recorded--because it raised the bar for all of Hip-hop. To me, that album was like Wilt Chamberlain’s 100- point game. What next? How do you top that? You don't. Instead, you go another direction.

Tougher Than Leather was like coming back to score 97 points in a losing playoff game--a spectacular performance against all odds and expectations.

By the time Tougher Than Leather’s first single, Run’s House hit radio, me and my guys had just wrapped up our second album, It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back. Our first album had been modeled after Raising Hell, but by the time we did this one, we’d had a full year to really find ourselves after bouncing off the influence of Eric B & Rakim, KRS ONE, BDP, and producer Marley Marl. It seemed that RUN DMC had also compiled all these influences. No matter how off-timed the release, the proficiency of Tougher Than Leather was amazing. When Run’s House and Beats To The Rhyme hit—they signified two things:

1.RUN DMC were back 2. They were ready to headline their 4th national tour. By the summer of 1988, Run’s House was not only a song-- but the written theme for all of Hip-Hop, and now, the name of the national tour. Yours truly, and my crew, Public Enemy were chosen to perform on the Run’s House Tour, along with; DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, fellow Long Islanders EPMD, and the all-female West Coast crew, JJ FAD— produced by Easy E & Dr. Dre. I can’t leave out the infamous Hollis Crew: DJ Hurricane , Kool E, Runny Ray, and Davey DMX (who in terms of production skills, instrumentation, and bass playing remain another of hip-hop’s underrated performers).

All in all, this was a powerful package. Run’s House was one of two tours put out by the RUSH Productions rap empire that summer. The other tour, (called the DOPE JAM TOUR) carried what seemed to be every other hot name at the time. To see it on paper, haters and speculators felt that the artists and albums weren’t strong enough to ride through the summer. How wrong they were..."

On a similar theme, B Dot C serves up the Jay Z cover story from the latest Rolling Stone.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005



Luck of the Irish
Listen to this... Eek-a-Mouse celebrating his 50th birthday in a pub in Cork, singing with a trad Irish pub band. Dodgy sound quality, but if you ever wondered what Jamaican reggae singing would sound like over Irish pub bands, here's your answer.

"for those that aren't familiar with the irish trad scene it basically comes in two flavours, one being watered down 'trad hits' usually found in temple bar in dublin and other tourist spots and the other a free for all who are musically minded to sit in the corner and drink & play whatever instrument you can, usually fiddles, pipes, whistles spoon etc.. the later being the rowdier and far more fun variety, and it was the Sine in Cork city, a particularly (in)famous trad pub that we found ourselves continuing eek's 50th birthday celebrations downing the black stuff from lunchtime till close.

here is a 6 minute recording... "

http://www.alphabetset.net/audio/t-woc/eek_trad.mp3


Bombs over Baghdad
Now, what does it say about TVNZ, when their news bulletin editor would rather take his chances working for a TV station that GW Bush has allegedly wanted bombed off the face of the planet, instead of staying with our state broadcaster?

"TVNZ has lost another senior member of its news production team. Paul Yurisich resigned yesterday for a job with Middle Eastern television network Al Jazeera in Doha. In October, Mr Yurisich was appointed as news bulletin editor after news executive producer Melanie Jones was sacked." - NZ Herald.


Lipsynching EXTREME....Videos of Non-Britney People Lip-Syncing to Britney Songs

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8809598851373701975&q=lip+sync

Monday, December 05, 2005



Top tens
That time of year again, just read a bunch of them at Australia's Triple J, Bloc Party and Wolfmother very popular with their staff, no Shihad but Fat Freddys make it in. Always a good way to see if there's any albums that may have passed you by in the last 12 months. Smackie did a Top 5 dead people, can't wait to see that one.

Speaking of which, I grabbed a copy of the new album 'Hit the floor' from California funk outfit Breakstra (pictured above) on Friday, and it is so funky my ears hurt. Audio samples over here...

Band leader Miles Tackett started the band in 97, back when bands playing funk was uncool. Their previous release was the band playing classic breaks that had been sampled by hiphoppers. There's a bunch of press on them here, my fave is the article that suggests the black fella in the band pics, Mixmaster Wolf, is in fact an alias for Stone's Throw Records boss Peanutbutter Wolf (untrue).Trivia; Tackett's dad used to play guitar in Litttle Feat.

As one critic noted "sure, it's effectively a new album in a 30-year-old style, but when the grooves are this good and the horns are this hot, who cares? Good time gold dust".

ADDED copped this from Boingboing...
"Every year, Rex compiles a list of all the year-end lists published by media outlets and the like -- top albums of the year, biggest disasters, best products and so forth. He's begun in earnest to track the 2005 lists and there are some great ones there already; his list will surely grow in the weeks to come, too."
PEOPLE (6 lists)

25 Britons Who Wield Influence In America from The Times of London (11/30)
The 10 Most Fascinating People from Barbara Walters (11/29)
Person of the Year Pre-Vote from Time (11/22)
The World's Billionaires from Forbes (11/20)
Man Of The Year from GQ (11/20)
Out 100 from Out (11/13)

Link

My fave, this list of The Best 40 Bands in America Today , compiled from over 40 music/MP3 bloggers. There's Green Day and Kelly Clarkson, but doesn't include the White Stripes. Go figure.
For extra credit - The 33 Hottest Bands in Canada, and The UK's 47 Hottest Acts. Gotta love dem indie music bloggers...

And now, the news
Don't you love it how TV One's newsreaders have become the news? First it was all about Judy Bailey, then Susan Wood, and now the weekend papers report that Weddy Petrie and Simon Dallow have been tapped as the news anchors from next year. Petrie has signed on, but Dallow is holding out, as he wants to have editorial input into the news stories. Sure, he's had a bit of experience as an interviewer, but he trained as a lawyer, not a journalist, which is why news staff are a bit concerned.


And the funkiest year ever was...
"Warning. This post has a terribly high geek quotient. If plotting the frequencies of data about hip hop offends you in any way, please do not read on. OK. I warned you. Now I will tell you what the funkiest year ever was..." more at Library of Vinyl Experience. Try taking a guess before you read it. The joys of Excel. Also has a plenty of other great posts worth reading.
Righto, get to it.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday December 3rd
Know what I love about my radio show? I can play Iggy and the Stooges and follow that up with Count Basie and get away with it. Cheers,BaseFM listeners.

Augustus Pablo - Dub organizer
Carl Bradney - Slippin into darkness
Kora - Politician (Paddy Free remix)
Breakstra - Burgundy blues
Aaron Neville - Hercules
Pete Rodriguez -Oh, that's nice
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Damian Marley - All night
Barrington Levy - Hammer
Senor Coconut - The robots
Blackalicious - Rhythm sticks
Breakstra - Family rap
Nathan Haines feat Marlena Shaw - Squire for hire
Unification - Guru
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - How long do I have to wait for you? (Live)
Ini Kamoze feat Capital D - World a reggae
Marcia Griffiths, Buju Banton etc - Stepping to Zion
Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers - We need some money
Junkyard Band - Sardines (Tittsworth remix)
Sylvia - Pussycat
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle Tezeta
(from Broken Flowers soundtrack, the new film from Jim Jarmusch, stars Bill Murray - out at the movies on boxing day)
Sound dimension - Soulful strut
Iggy and the Stooges - I wanna be your dog
Count Basie and his orchestra - Mercy mercy mercy
Reggie Stepper -Cuh oonu
Jah Stitch - Raggamuffin style (Smith and Mighty remix)
Prince Fatty - The zoo
Cornerstone Roots - Forward the sax
Marlena Shaw - California soul
Breakstra - Stand up!

Friday, December 02, 2005



Warners NZ/FMR buyout - Shayne Carter still has a job
"Warner Music New Zealand will take on the entire local/international artist roster which is signed and licensed to Festival Mushroom Records New Zealand and Australia... Ashley Page, A & R Manager at Festival Mushroom, will join Warner Music NZ as the A & R Manager, responsible for all domestic artists signed to Warner Music and Festival Mushroom." More here.

FFD Chart Watch
FFD slip from #1 to#4. Congrats to Retrun of Fly My Pretties, which debuts at #14. NZ Idol winner Rosita Vai's album has dropped off the charts just a month after release. Her single is at #19, down from #13. Is the NZIdol concept dead as far as album sales go? Idolblog notes that the album has failed to go gold.
ADDED: Idolblog lists Rosita's chart placings - 1st week: #15, 2nd week: #25, 3rd week: #33, 4th week, drops out of top 40.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is that a fact?
Just discovered Fact magazine, fulla useful stuff like Top Ten Records from Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) snip...
“I started collecting records as a 12-year-old. I’ve still got a few thousand records stashed away at my mum’s place. All my brothers were DJs and soundmen. As a result, my collection stretches right back to the early-‘70s. I had to move everything a few years back into my current house, and I said then, right ‘that’s it, this is where they’re staying’. I’ve got about 15,000 records here, and then huge, huge crates of CDs over in Antigua. My whole family are into vinyl, into collecting.

I guess the most valuable one would be a promo copy of the Jones Girls’ ‘Would You Be There’ on Paramount. Apparently, there were only 500-copies of this pressing made. I’ve been offered £7,000 for it from Japanese collectors. Funnily enough, it’s the only record in my collection that I don’t play!”

Here's a few more ten best..
10 BEST LIBRARY MUSIC Johnny Trunk hits us with his second collectors chart, this time plumbing the murky depths of T.V and Radio ballast..
10 BEST JAMAICAN SKA 45s Gaz Mayall selects ten of his favourite authentic Jamaican ska sevens...
20 BEST MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS Let Johnny Trunk be your guide to soundtracks so wonderful you could happily die to them...
20 BEST ITALO-DISCO RECORDS Fabio Carnel suggests 20 Italo-disco workouts to make you 'shack'...
20 BEST BRAZILIAN RECORDS Joe davis reveals 20 of his most treasured Brazilian beauties..
20 BEST FUNK SEVEN-INCHES Gerald ‘The Jazzman’ picks 20 of the very best and god-darn funkiest 45s ever created...
20 BEST HIP-HOP ALBUMS Peter Shapiro proudly unveils hip-hop 'golden' platters...
all linked here...


Two hits from Coolfer...
• How to convert your vinyl LPs to digital files. (Chicago Tribune)

• Dumbest line written by a journalist this year: "Downloading music over the Web is no longer illegal if you buy it," compliments of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

More stupidity from music industry... (via Boingboing)
RIAA targets mashups
MashupTown, a site that hosts and distributes mashups (two or more songs ingeniously mixed together to make a third) has taken down all of its files after complaints from the RIAA to its hosting partner.
Mashups are a really dumb target for the RIAA. There's just no universe in which someone who downloads a mashup of Prince's 1999 and the Benny Goodman orchestra performing "In the Mood" thinks, Well, now I've heard that, I have no need to buy the CDs those songs originated on.
In other words, if the RIAA genuinely only goes after its customers because it wants to keep from losing sales, attacking mashups won't and can't accomplish that. This action amounts to the RIAA saying, "This art is illegal because it displeases us."
Link

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday November 26
Prince Fatty - Nina's dance
Leroy Sibbles - Groove me
Peak - Get Carter
Mulatu Astatke - Yegella Tezeta
Talib Kweli - Right about now
Antibalas - Che che cole makossa
Tenor Saw - Golden hen
Ranking Joe - Don't follow Babylon (BAF meets Wai Wan remix)
Blufoot vs Jstar feat Inifinite Livez - Intchaaa!
Diskettes - How bizarre
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Damian Marley - Move
David Walters - Mesy bon dye (Bigga Bush remix)
DJ C - Billy jungle
Nextmen feat Dynamite MC - Blood fire
International Observer - Welcome
Aretha Franklin - Jump
(from the movie soundtrack Sparkle, written and produced by Curtis Mayfiled)
Sly and the Family Stone - Loose booty
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bitch dub
Jackie Mittoo - One step forward
Bic Runga - Something good (Submariner remix feat Feelstyle)
Born Jamericans - Boom shakatak remix
Link Wray (RIP) - Rumble
Run DMC - My Adidas (Nomadic remix)
Yabby You - Turn me loose dub
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis-a-boom
Suns of Arqa - Acid tabla remix
Emmanuel feat KRS One - My thing!! remix
Cymande - The message

thanks to Big Matt for holding it down last weekend, while I was down Taranaki.

Friday, November 25, 2005

What's the deal with Nickelback?
Seems every time lately when I've been channel-surfing, I end up catching videos by that godawful rawk band Nickelback on C4 or JuiceTV (not a problem I've encountered with Alt TV so far!). I've tried to watch them but they are just so bloody awful - no melody, no talent, no joy, nothing reedeeming whatsoever. Here's one Nickelback video worth watching - the band getting rocks thrown at them at a gig in Portugal, so they walk off after two songs. Boo hoo.

ADDED: FFD Chart Watch
Been a while since I checked on this, and lookee, last week Fat Freddy's Drop were #3, this week, they return to #1! Congrats all round, on this 3Xplatinum-selling album.
Mu from Fat Freddy's Drop is currently in Seattle, as a guest lecturer at the Red Bull DJ Academy (Toby Laing from FFD tagged along too) - see Mu's workshop on video here.
Plus, reading for extra credit - notes on Mu's coffee-making skills here... "Mu commented, there isn’t a DJ or music maker in Wellington who hasn’t been a barista at some point in their career."

random downloads... mashups...
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings live in studio, on Minnesota Public Radio (scroll down)

via Boingboing... "Me and This Army" is a collection of 16 Radiohead tracks remixed with snippets of artists such as MF Doom, Jurassic 5, De La Soul, and more. It's as if the white label gods planted sensors inside my brain; they heard my innermost mashup prayers, and answered them here. Now all it needs is some remixed Stanley Donwood cover art... Link to info, tracklisting, and torrent.

and Q Unit: Queen vs 50 Cent. Bleh. (tip of the hat to Richard)


"What happens when you mix Queen and 50 Cent together? You get Q-Unit. Oh geez. This is going to rile half of my friends, and make others go off the rail. Go here to download the album, and get high quality cover art (of above) also."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Media beat-up No 255
"By day the heavily tattooed Rigel Walshe works as a court escort in the Counties Manukau police district. But in his spare time he is lead singer and bass guitarist of the band Dawn of Azazel.

On the band's website, Walshe is quoted as saying the motivation for forming the band was to create a "dark extreme hateful metal".

It was reported on Sunday that Walshe had been warned by his superiors not to discuss his job with the media.

... a spokesman for the Office of the Police Commissioner, Jon Neilson, told NZPA that Walshe's bosses were investigating his employment internally. "The distinction is around his employment, not what he does in his private time."

Latest media beatup - "Death metal cop", "Spotlight on thrash metal cop", "Skinhead cop fronts satanic death metal band", "Police investigate constable's death metal hobby", and on it goes.

Still, could be worse...

"Rappers and rap groups in France are facing legal action after being accused by lawmakers of inciting riots in the country through their raps. 200 lawmakers signed a petition on Wed. (Nov. 23) that was co-signed by 152 Deputies and 49 Senators and presented to Justice Minister Pascal Clement, singling out seven rappers/groups. The rap groups could face legal action and are specifically accused of inciting racism and hatred."

source: Allhiphop.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2005



Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks.
Why? there's plenty of good reasons - here's the latest...

Starbucks staff plan historic strike
23 November 2005

Staff at Starbucks coffee stores in Auckland will stop work today in what is claimed to be a world first for the multinational company.

Union coordinator Simon Oosterman said the stop work was to raise public awareness of the working conditions of those employed in the fast-food sector and other low paid and minimum wage jobs. The starting wage at Starbucks was $10 an hour – 50 cents above the minimum wage – and the Unite workers union wanted it lifted to $12, Mr Oosterman said. He said Australian Starbucks workers earned about $5 an hour more than their New Zealand counterparts.

Removing youth rates, giving secure hours and other minimum entitlements were other campaign goals. Internationally, Starbucks has only 300 union members out of 80,000 workers globally. One third of the union members are in New Zealand. Mr Oosterman said Unite had been in negotiations for several months with Restaurant Brands, which owns Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut in New Zealand.

Restaurant Brands spokesman Alan Brookbanks said last night the company was surprised by Unite's plan to strike when it was aware that Starbucks didn't pay youth rates and paid above the minimum wage. "We have a good relationship with the union and have been in negotiations for sometime. We are disappointed by the action taken by Unite around this issue."

He said Restaurant Brands was not aware of Unite's claim that the strike would be the first in the world for Starbucks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


RIP Link Wray
Via Pitchfork... "The man responsible for popularizing the now-ubiquitous power chord, legendary guitarist Link Wray, passed away at his home in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 5. He was 76 years old.

Wray is perhaps best known for his convention-shattering rock instrumental "Rumble", which landed in the U.S. Top 20 in 1958 despite being banned in several radio markets for its violent evocations. A banned instrumental? How's that for punk rock?

An icon to icons, Wray's legacy stretches far and wide, with everyone from Bob Dylan, David Bowie, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Jerry Garcia to John Kerry's high school band citing the guitarist as an influence. The Who's Pete Townsend went so far as to claim he would "have never picked up a guitar" if it weren't for Wray.

The loss is no doubt deeply felt; Dylan opened a recent London show with his rendition of "Rumble", and other high-profile tributes will surely follow. Fact is, your fledgling garage band is probably steeped in the man's influence.

Three-quarters Shawnee Indian, the prolific Wray pioneered a raucous guitar-playing style that would echo down the decades, through rock, punk, and heavy metal. Revered for his formidable live show, Wray had continued to tour extensively over the years. He wrapped up a lengthy U.S. tour this July. Wray's official website attributes his cause of death to heart failure.

Despite being named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, Link Wray has not yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Wray leaves behind his Danish-born wife Olive, who was his manager and frequently drummed at his live gigs, as well as their son Oliver. He will be missed.

* Link Wray: http://www.linkwraylegend.com/

ADDED from No RockNRoll Fun...

"The death has been announced of Link Wray, inventor of the power chord.Considered by many to be the missing link between the blues and rock, Wray stumbled upon the power chord on his 1958 hit Rumble, setting the blueprint for all rock guitar, ever. He'd taken up guitar playing seriously after the aftermath of tuberculosis made it difficult for him to sing with his brother band Lucky Wray and the Palomino Ranch Hands.

When the band relocated from their birthplace of North Carolina to DC, Wray started to develop his keynote style which came together on Rumble. The song made the top 20, but not without causing some upset - despite having no vocals, it was interpreted as being about gang violence (some things, it seems, never change) and got itself banned from several radio stations.

The Wray brother's label, Cadence, wanted to distance themselves from such allegations, and asked the boys to abandon their leather-and-shades look. The boys refused, and moved on to Epic. Ironically, despite having signed them up because of their edge, and despite the band delivering another top 30 hit with Rawhide, Epic started to panic.

Link was redirected to recording orchestral songs, the sort of Danny Boy bilge which would keep Max Bygraves and Daniel O'Donnell in business.Frustrated, the Wrays founded their own label, Rumble Records, which managed to produce the Jack the Ripper hit before they fell into the arms of Swan Records - an early example of a US act being signed to a UK label as their primary contract.

Swan understood the band better than most, although that meant they gave them space to produce some records best forgotten.Wray released a solo album in 1971 which set a pattern for 'well received by the critics; poorly received by the general public' which would haunt him for the rest of his career.

In 1978, Wray married a Dane, Olive Julie Povlsen, and relocated to Denmark to raise a son. Around the same time, he was tempted out of semi-retirement by Robert Gordon, former singer with The Tuff Darts for a couple of rock revival projects. He carried on recording into his 70s.Wray died of a "tired heart" on November 5th. He is survived by Olive and his son, Oliver.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Big Day Out: good news, bad news
The 2nd announcement of acts for BDO 2006 brings heaps more hiphop - Common, Jean Grae and Edan, and throw in UK indie darlings Go!Team and it's all good. EXCEPT that M.I.A. is playing most of the OZ BDOs but not coming over to Kiwiland. Suckville!








latest from Boing boing..Latest Sony news: 100% of CDs with rootkits, mainstream condemnation, retailers angry

From the New York Times...
CD's Recalled for Posing Risk to PC's

The global music giant Sony BMG yesterday announced plans to recall millions of CD's by at least 20 artists - from the crooners Celine Dion and Neil Diamond to the country-rock act Van Zant - because they contain copy restriction software that poses risks to the computers of consumers.

The move, more commonly associated with collapsing baby strollers, exploding batteries, or cars with faulty brakes, is expected to cost the company tens of millions of dollars. Sony BMG said that all CD's containing the software would be removed from retail outlets and that exchanges would be offered to consumers who had bought any of them.

A toll-free number and e-mail message inquiry system will also be set up on the Sony BMG Web site, sonybmg.com. "We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers," the company said in a letter that it said it would post on its Web site, "and are committed to making this situation right..."

Market research from 2004 has shown that about 30 percent of consumers report obtaining music through the copying and sharing of tracks among friends from legitimately purchased CD's. But the fallout from the aggressive copy protection effort has raised serious questions about how far companies should be permitted to go in seeking to prevent digital piracy.

The recall and exchange program, which was first reported by USA Today, comes two weeks after news began to spread on the Internet that certain Sony BMG CD's contained software designed to limit users to making only three copies. The software also, however, altered the deepest levels of a computer's systems and created vulnerabilities that Internet virus writers could exploit...


AND how many of these CDs are in New Zealand stores? Anyone?


pee&poo.jpg

via Gizmodo "For heaven's sake, could it be that only a Swedish designer could get away with making plush toys that represent pee and poo, and have them called cute, cuddly and unique? Pee & Poo toys have been sold solely in the Swedish market thus far (I don't even want to know what Laura Bush would have to say about this) and coincidentally, have completely sold out. Designer Emma Megitt was obviously way ahead of her time, though I mean, who wouldn't want furry human waste hanging around their home? Plushy, stuffed furry human waste, I mean, not the real kind. We all have that lying around, don't we?"PEE & POO TOY

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony BMG want to root you
Via Boing boing - "Close examination of the rootkit that Sony's audio CDs attack their customers' PCs with has revealed that their malicious software is built on code that infringes on copyright. Indications are that Sony has included the LAME music encoder, which is licensed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which requires that those who use it attribute the original software and publish some of the code they write to use the library. Sony has done none of this.

The evidence against Sony is compelling, and this further reveals the hypocrisy of Sony's actions. Sony claims that it needs to install dangerous, malicious, underhanded software on its customers' computers to protect its copyrights, but in order to write this malware, it has no compunction about infringing on the copyrights of public-spirited software authors who make their works available under free software licenses like the GPL.

I suppose it's natural to believe that everyone is at least as sleazy as you are: for Sony's rip-off artists, assuming that paying customers are planning to rip them off must come easy. Link"

and more from Boing boing...
On the Freedom to Tinker blog, DRM researcher par excellence J. Alex Halderman dissects a second variety of malicious software that purchasers of Sony music CDs can be infected with. Sony not only uses the now-infamous First4Internet rootkit, but also uses a second piece of malicious software from Suncomm, the less-well-known but still-dangerous MediaMax. Halderman's masterful research is both lucid and alarming. If you want to have a safe experience with Sony music, you'd better acquire it by some means other than purchasing it:
To summarize, MediaMax software:

* Is installed onto the computer without meaningful notification or consent, and remains installed even if the license agreement is declined;
* Includes either no uninstall mechanism or an uninstaller that fails to completely remove the program like it claims;
* Sends information to SunnComm about the user's activities contrary to SunnComm and Sony statements and without any option to disable the transmissions.

Does MediaMax also create security problems as serious as the Sony rootkit's? Finding out for sure may be difficult, since the license agreement specifically prohibits disassembling the software. However, it certainly causes unnecessary risk. Playing a regular audio CD doesn't require you to install any new software, so it involves minimal danger. Playing First4Internet or SunnComm discs means not only installing new software but trusting that software with full control of your computer. After last week's revelations about the Sony rootkit, such trust does not seem well deserved.

Link

and still more...

"Dozens of BB readers wrote in to say that Sony is no longer putting malicious rootkit software on its CDs. Of course, the stores are still filled with infectious CDs, and untold millions of computer users have had their PCs compromised by the rootkit. And Sony's statement on the action is the lamest non-apology I've ever read:
Sony defended its right to prevent customers from illegally copying music but said it will halt manufacturing CDs with the "XCP" technology as a precautionary measure. "We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use," the company said in a statement.
Link

ADDED: Genius DNS hacker Dan Kaminsky designed a research project that has produced a count of the number of networks that have been infected with the malicious rootkit Sony distributed with its audio CDs: over 500,000 networks contain at least one infected machine. Many of these are governmental and military networks.

AND THEN...
Sony has applied for a patent that will lock a PS game to one console and one console only:

"They take the media that today lets you do everything copyright permits -- timeshifting and quotation, format-shifting and backup -- and they take away all those things. Then they painfully dribble each of those rights back as a "feature" that you pay extra for. Drip, drip, drip -- each drop of functionality painfully and expensively squeezed into your living room, every time you want to do something you used to do for free. That's not a business-model. That's a urinary tract infection."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ring the Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday November 12
Jackie Mittoo - Chicken and booze
Dancing Djedi - body surfin
Leroy Sibbles - Express yourself
Led Snoopelin - Drop it like a whole lotta love (partyben.com)
James Brown - Funky drummer (DJ Muro remix)
Ray Barretto - Pastime paradise
Beenieman and Devonte - Imagination
King Tubby - Money dub
Sean Paul - Straight up
Keith Lawrence feat Rodney P - Style and fashion
Brooklyn funk essentials - Creator has a masterplan
Rhombus - True rub-a-dub love style
One self -Temptation
Rick James -Bustin out
Cornerstone Roots -Generation dub (see em live in Auckland at Galatos
Saturday 19 November)
Western Roots - rockers galore
Floetry - Waiting in vain (bit heavy on the cheddar but not too bad)
Fabulous Counts - dirty red
Beastie Boys - Shadrach (Peanut Butter Wolf remix)
Dexys Midnight Runners - Geno
Maxwell Implosion - Follow my riddim
Prince Fatty - On the run
Son Sine feat d.e.w. - Believin
Phillip Levy - My god my king
Damian Marley - All night
Bilal - High'n'dry
Peak - Get Carter
Port Authority Soul Band - Superstrut