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."


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:

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.