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... "

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

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)


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!