Monday, April 17, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday Aril 15.
Toots and the Maytals - Bam bam
Nightmares on wax - the sweetest
Madlib - Please set me at ease
Scientist - See a dub face
Prince Fatty - The zoo
Eternals - Queen of the minstrels
Fat Freddy's Drop - Midnight maruaders (Lightning head remix)
Jstar - Bye bye barb
Seatrain - Flute thing
Parliament - P-Funk wants to get funked up
Open souls - They don't even know
Turbulence - Doesn't really matter
Fugees vs Butch Cassidy - Fu-gee-la sound system
Roy Ayers - Funk in the hole (Platinum Pied Pipers remix)
Ridlah Banton - Peace ah dat
Flirtations - Nothing but a heartache
Jackson 5 - ABC (Konishi Yasuharu remix)
DJ Shadow - 3 freaks
Sixto Rodriquez - Sugar man
Bob Marley -Stand up jamrock (Ashley Beedle remix)
De La Soul - Stakes is high (Jay Dee remix)
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Cymande - Bra
Katezenjammers - Cars
Open Souls- Falling in

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Coast on by
Check out Coast on Maori TV tonight at 9.30pm - they've got an interview with Damian Marley (Son of Bob) and the interviewer is Ahmen Mahal (Son of Taj Mahal) . Their fathers were friends, but never collaborated together. Ahmen sings with Rhombus and has a bunch of crazy-ass aliases, like Olmecha Supreme, Murk108 and Imon Star. Check it.


I spent a thoroughly enjoyable few a hours last night at the Red Bull Studio, listening to Wajeed of Detroit's Platinum Pied Pipers talk about his musical experiences. He also did some hands-on production with the MPC, and I got to talk with him about remixes, which was cool. I've got three of em coming up soon, more on that later.

You can check out Wajeed's talk at last year's Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle over here - big video file (interviewer is Fat Freddy's Toby Laing), or text transcript for you low-fi cats. Entries for this year's Red Bull Music Academy have just opened, keep an eye out for application forms at your favorite record store - it comes with a cool CDRom of some of last years interviews. If you can't find it, check the Red Bull Academy site for your local rep's contact details.

Wajeed is in town for a gig - catch him DJing tonight along with Prefuse 73 at Galatos.

SNIP... from Red Bull Seattle lecture...
"My dad said if you want to be really, really good at something, if you want to be great, lock yourself in your room and do that thing for one year. And that’s what I did. I took my MPC and all these records that I’d collected all these years. I knew what every break was because I was a DJ. I knew like Paul McCartney or The Beatles, I knew records like the back of my hand, and I locked myself in my apartment for a year.

It started almost as a dare. Jay Dee had this beat machine [an MPC 2000] laying in his basement, and ?uestlove[The Roots] had broken the beat machine. He’d got some disc tangled up in it, I don’ know. But it started as a dare. “Yo, if you can get that disc out of there you can take this machine home and use it.” So I took it as a challenge. Great, ok, I got the disc out and he was: “Great, take it home.”

So I took it home for a weekend, no manual or anything, just based on ‘alright, I’m going to make this thing work’. So I made four tracks and left a message on Jay Dee’s voicemail, saying: “This is what I did, I know it’s kind of wack but check it.” So I played them on his answering machine and he called me back immediately. “What was that?” I was: “That’s just something I was messing around with.” “That’s pretty good man, play it again.” I was thinking I might have something here, let me re-evaluate this.

So after that I had the encouragement from my crew. “Yo, you could really do some things with this.” I locked myself in my apartment for a year. No, I’m telling you man, I had this big willie lumberjack beard. It was wild! So I locked myself in my apartment for a year, every day, chopping up records. My schedule would be getting up late afternoon because I’d always be up late at night, into the morning.

So I’d say: “You knock out two beats and you can get a glass of water.” For real. I’d have this military voice in my ear telling me to knock out these two beats so I could get a glass of water. I’d be thirsty, thinking: “Damn man, I’ve got to knock out these beats fast.” So I’d knock out two tracks and before I could get up the voice would say: “Ok, make another one, then you can get the glass of water.”


Wajeed told this story last night, and added that he got that stuck disc out in about 5 seconds flat, cos he'd been to college - he went for 7 years, and studied a variety of things, including doing jewellery, so he had excellent steady fingers etc.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, saturday April 8
Dod G - Musical rights dub
Lloyd Charmers - Look-ka py py
Manzel - Sugar dreams (Kenny Dope remix)
Nightmares on wax - Damn
Jackie Wilson - Light my fire
Roy Ayers - Touch of class (Matthew Herbert Touch of ass rmix)
Jackie Mittoo - chicken and booze
Junior Murvin -Roots train
Junior Reid - Bubblin
Dilated Peoples feat Capleton - Fire power
ESG - Moody (spaced out)
Barrington levy - Dances are changing
Skatalites - Phoenix city (playing in Auckland april 21)
Bob Marley - Mr chatterbox
Scientist - No dub island
Damian Marley - Move
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Gladys Knight and the Pips - On and on (Local music journo Graham Reid recalls an encounter with Gladys Knight here... "Talent with talons")
Parlet - Pleasure principle
Ddub - The flow
Ddub interview with singer Derek Browne
Roots Combination - Spoony bill
OJays - 992 arguments
Fat Freddys Drop - Wandering eye - Fitchie's Re-rub
Bande Do role - Melo do tobaco (Atrak remix)

Friday, April 07, 2006



Welcome to Jamdown.
Man, I've seen some killer shows at the St James. Sly and Robbie with Mykal Rose, James Brown, The Roots, Parliament-Funkadelic and now I get to see Damian 'Junior Gong'’ Marley, offspring of Bob, and the man responsible for the biggest reggae song of 2005 right around the planet, Welcome to Jamrock.

You can thank the folks of the East Coast Roots and Blues Festival over in Australia for the stellar run of international acts coming our way over the next few weeks -– Sigur Ros, Skatalites, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Jamie Cullum, Public Enemy (cancelled), all sorts. Still a trip to Oz and you get all of those acts plus Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings AND Amadou and Mariam (and hats off to Cornerstone Roots and Batucada Sound Machine for getting on the bill). Me, I'm just happy a large pot of money fell out of the sky on Monday and suddenly I had the bucks to go and see Damian Marley, cos last week I had given up on scraping the dosh together.

I arrive and manage to catch the closing number of Katchafire. There was a bunch of conflicting information on who was supporting Damien Marley prior to the gig Anika Moa and band said the morning's paper and the gig posters, but the ticket said Katchafire. Marley's band then set up and arrived shortly after 9.30, and warmed up with a quick blast of Bob Marley instrumentals. Great, they're getting that out of the way,I thought. Wrong (more on that later). If I'’d arrived a bit earlier I might have caught one of Katchafire'’s 500+ Bob Marley covers, which would have allowed to opportunity for cheeky putdowns, but no.

Damian Marley bounces onstage and launches into his first tune, dreadlocks down to his waist, in a dark blue military suit. HeÂ's a little ball of energy, with his singjay-style vocal delivery. He proves himself to be a fine performer, talking with the crowd, introducing the songs, smiling at the applause, the warmth of the welcome. Mid-set he launched into a few of his dad's tunes, War, We don't need no more trouble, and a very muscular version of Could you be loved. Then the guitarist starts picking out the guitar line from Exodus, and Damian launches into his tune Move, which lifts the melody of Exodus for the chorus, then bounces into a fierce dancehall rhythm for the verse. Killer. And the audience can sing along to the chorus, so that'’s handy.

Special mention to the two female backing singers, dressed in tan army jackets, singing and swinging inna mean fashion, all attitude, no platitude. Damn! His band are tight, and he really does employ someone to walk round the stage waving a flag with Rastafarian colours for the entire set. Dread with serious arm muscles.

He finished the set, walked off, but came back for obligatory encore (still hadn'’t played Jamrock, so where was he going, aye?), and asked how many of you are Bob Marley fans, raise your hand? Well he asked, and I do like a few of his pop's tunes, so why not? Then we get another Bob medley, which draws out a big crowd singalong.

There is this strange expectation that if you say you like reggae, you must like Bob Marley, and if you don't you can't be a true reggae fan. That'’s like saying in order to say you like hiphop, you must like the most well-known artist in that genre - say, Eminem, or 50 cent. Or saying you like rock, so you must own lots of Elvis Presley, right? A lot of the crowd around me stood still for a lot of the set, waiting for the songs they knew, which I'm guessing were the singles, or his dad's tunes. Mind you, the kids down front jumped up and down most of the night, so don'’t get the wrong impression. Much dancing was had by many, even those upstairs

He may live in his father's shadow, but when he sings his father's songs, he doesn't have the voice to carry them off -– to his credit, he has his own voice, ably demonstrated on the closing tunes of the evening, Road to Zion, and Welcome to Jamrock. Exit Junior Gong, show over. Damian Marley killed it. Respect.


Extra credit: If you want to know what you missed, check the live video footage from 2004 at his website. Interview in the SMH... "You have to have something going for you when you're the offspring of Bob Marley and Miss World. Meet Damian Marley." Link and Damian Marley videos, interviews to watch on Youtube).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

London calling, Mr Strummer
"Anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said on Wednesday. Detectives halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport and Harraj Mann, 24, was taken off. The taxi driver had become worried on the way to the airport because Mann had been singing along to The Clash's 1979 anthem "London Calling," which features the lyrics "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" while other lines warn of a "meltdown expected". via Boingboing.

And on a similar retro tip, here's a nice post on the Gun Club (scroll down - audio included)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wandering Eyeballs
A few weeks back I wrote a huge piece on Fat Freddy's Drop, and never got around to posting it. I let it sit for a week, went back and re-read it, and it was a bunch of overblown fluff - MSM-bashing is so passe, I've been told. (For newcomers, I've blogged previously on FFD, most notably over here. I also followed FFD's chart progress semi-regularly last year, comparing their progress with Shihad, who released their last album the same week as FFD -Shihad dropped off the charts 14 weeks after release.) There were a few relevant facts that were worth noting about FFD, so I've culled em out and present them to you below.

1. FFD have managed to claim number one on the album charts for a total of 10 weeks. "They're now the local group with the longest running number 1 album in our chart history" says Chartbitz, written by the highly knowledgable Andrew Miller at radioscope.co.nz. The only other local group that comes close is Crowded House with 8 weeks at number one, and let's face it, the rest of the world thinks they're Australian. They have been in the album charts for 48 weeks, and are aiming for a year.

2. More from Chartbitz... "Peter Baker from the group's distributor Rhythmethod is very pleased with the set's success and sees it building further yet. He says it appears that every third copy being bought is going offshore thanks to tourists buying copies to take home with them." (An aside: the next local album coming out thru Rhythmethod is Kaleidoscope by the Open Souls, which drops here April 10. I'm guessing their album will have more staying power than The Bleeders, who released their debut April 3. Like FFD, the Open Souls have got vinyl out in Europe.)

3. FFD's album is now 6X platinum - that means they've sold 90,000 albums (platinum = 15,000 copies sold). By the end of last year they had sold 60,000 with no single or video. Since releasing Wandering Eye as a radio-edit/CD single/video, they've sold another 30,000 albums. Bic Runga's latest is 3x platinum, and the latest discs from Eminem, Coldplay and Black eyed peas are 4x platinum.

4. They have released three essential vinyl releases in the last 12 months. Flashback (Jazzanova remix), Wandering eye (Submariner remix and DJ Fitchie dub instrumental) and Roady (Nextmen remix).

5. 2005 was labelled the year of Fat Freddy's Drop (sales, awards, international recognition). It seems likely that 2006 will be their year too - can you name a NZ band with a forthcoming album that will do as well as them? Be interested to hear your thoughts.


from elsewhere...
Noted academic/BaseFM DJ Nabeel Zuberi has a new blog called Topical Ointment, have a lookee.

Elmore Leonard's got a blog, here's his ten rules of writing.

New Radiohead covers album due out on Rapster/BBE, features RJD2, Cinematic Orchestra, Mark Ronson, Bilal. Check Mr Ronson's tune here.
There's another reggae-flavoured Radiohead covers album coming too, from the clowns who gave us Pink Floyd done reggae-style; Dub Side of the Moon. Now, that's crap you do not need.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday April 1st
Fat Freddy's Drop -Wandering eye (DJ Fitchie re-rub)
Horace Andy – Problems
Slim Smith – Conversation
Scientist –Sunshine version
Sergio Mendes feat Mr Vegas – Bananeira
Skull snaps – It's a new day
Elephantman – Chapter a day
Pointer sisters -Yes I can can
The Jam – Start
Coldcut feat Roots Manuva – True skool
Jackie Mittoo – Earthquake
Dod G – Babylon dub
Quantic soul orchestra – Get a move on
Soul position – The extra mile
Errol T - Different dagger
King Tubby – King at the controls
Cornerstone roots - Forward dub
Charlie Palmieri – Cab driver
Clarence reid – Nobody but you babe
Nate Dogg feat Eve – Get up (Upstate remix)
Open souls -What you do?
Top cat – Remix the style
Pinchers – Bandolero
Damien Marley – Move
Aretha Franklin – Rocksteady
Steel image - Sunshine of your love
Leroy Sibbles - Groove me
Byron Lee - Frankenstein
Motiv/Shout – 7" special (aka reggae anthem)
Lion rock – Rude boy rock
Nightmares on wax – Damn
Lowman – Pharrel vs Hutch (get it here)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006



Ruby Suns US tour goes up in flames
Just saw this on Gareth Shute's LJ, very sad news ... send em some love, why dontcha?

"After completing a show at SXSW and 7 other shows of their 18 date tour, Ryan McPhun & the Ruby Suns' travels were brought to an abrupt end after their van's engine caught fire whilst they were on route to Seattle. All of the members of the band managed to escape from the burning vehicle without injury, yet all their personal belongings and instruments were destroyed by the fire which quickly engulfed their motor home. A photo of the burning vehicle can be seen at:
http://www.myspace.com/ryanmcphunandtherubysuns
The five members of the band - Ryan McPhun, Amee Robinson, Mark Stebben, James Dansey (from the Sneaks), and Olivia Kember (TVNZ reporter) - were given somewhere to sleep for the night by one of the firemen who came to attend the blaze (who happened to be a New Zealander!).

Amee has remarked of the tragedy: "We all literally have nothing. I was wearing a skirt and a t-shirt, my roman sandles, and a scarf. My passport, wallet, sax, keys, cameras, film, clothes etc do not exist anymore. So we had to stop at wall mart to buy some clothes to keep warm. This has meant that our tour is pretty much over - very prematurely. We might be able to pull off some shows that were booked towards the end - depending on how the insurance stuff works out. A friend is on his way here now to pick us up (we were meant to meet him in Seattle tonight - where we were going to play a show). But he is coming here - it will be good to see him. I'm glad we are all alive and unharmed."

You can read more on the tragic events in the Tri-City Herald (Washington).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Groovy bread.
Found this via random googling for stills from the new bio-pic on Betti Page... Check out the wicked syncopated dance moves from Freddie and Larry, and the killer band. Then wait for the last bit of footage, the show's presenter comes out to present the winners of the best new act for 1968 to Sly and the Family Stone, and hands over the $10,000 cheque, saying "that's some groovy bread". Right on, man. Hat tip to bedazzled. You'll need a fast connection for this; 32mb file.

SlyohiostateSly & The Family Stone at The Ohio State Music Fair 1968
"Get ready for a bunch of Sly & The Family Stone video. I just picked up a new 2 dvd "silver" bootleg of Sly stuff and there's a bunch of cool stuff I had never seen before. Here's them winning $10,000.00 at The Ohio State Music Fair in 1968. Sly & The Family Stone at The Ohio State Music Fair 1968 .mov Sly & The Family Stone at The Ohio State Music Fair 1968 .mov.m4v
Sly Stone's official website
Family Stone website
Freddie Stone's official website

http://www.slyandthefamilystone.net
http://www.sly-and-the-family-stone.com
(fixed the links now)



Comingfourth games closes.
So, I tuned in for the closing of the Commonwealth Games last night on the tele - started with some guy playing guitar way above the MCG stadium, being lowered in, flames shooting out of the end of his guitar, then that well-known Oz rock band Grinspoon launched into one of their songs which droned on and on. Then they entranced us with a second song. You know Grinspoon, they're that Aussie band you studiously avoided last time you went to the Big Day Out. With good reason.
Next we got Paul Kelly and band (from the ridonkulous to the sublime), he even managed to pull out a song that referenced the MCG in the lyrics, all class. The NZ commentators noted that Mr Kelly was a veteran of the Oz music scene and a fixture in Melbourne, and that there would have been an outcry if he hadn't been included. I started to wonder if the organisers might include some other local talent, like that up and coming Melbourne band Shihad. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Then we got fey little Ben Lee singing "We're all in this together" (did you know he used to date Claire Danes? That's the most interesting thing about him), and Oz dance act Bodyrockers and their one hit wonder "I like the way you move", which was dull as dishwater, and I gave up.

My fave Commonwealth Games TV moment had to be the tv newsreader sports guy on TV3, who intro'd his piece late last week by lamenting NZ being just out of the medals in another event yet again, with the line "If only there were medals for coming fourth."

I think they call that one the Losing Losers award for being a Big Fat Loser. It's made of tin.

Pictured above - Tony Blair's missus is bored out of her skull by the closing ceremony. Guess she's not a Grinspoon fan, then.
Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, saturday 25 March
Roots radics and King Tubby - Patrolling
Cornell Cambell - Rope in
Nightmares on wax - The sweetest
Jah screw - Juks and watch dub
Jackie Mittoo - Champion of the arena
Freddie Kruger - Simply fresh
Grace Jones -My jamaican guy
Bob Marley - Stand up jamrock (Ashley Beedle re-edit)
Thes One and Rashaan Ahmad -Doin it
Tony Allen - One tree
Jstar -Bye Bye Barb (http://myspace.com/jstarmusic)
Kraftwerk - Electro kardiogramm
Fat Freddy's Drop - Wandering Eye - Fitchies instrumental mix
DJ C and Debaser - Crazy baldheads
Kingites - Whistling in the dark
Turbulence - Doesn't really matter
Jean Jacques Perry - EVA
Cymande - Brothers on the slide
Go home productions - Alicia vs Stevie - Karmastition (get it from Myspace.com/markvidlerGHP)
Prince - Black sweat
King Floyd (RIP) -Groove me (read more about him here and here)
Border crossing - searching for Mr Manuva
Gainsboot manuva - Locaitaires Colossaux
Dod G - Trojan soap (check it here)
Yush 2K - fade away
Big Youth - Feed a nation
Candi Staton - Many moods of love
DJ Format -Here comes the fuzz (Quartertones remix)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Sarah Ulmer - heinous
Cycling's golden girl/McDonalds crack whore (take your pick) has announced that she is pulling out of the Commonwealth Games due to injury. "I am absolutely gutted. Everyone comes here to race," she said. "It is heinous, no one likes quitting but that is sport and it is highs and lows. " From NZH.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Brunettes SXSW press
Been googling for any references to NZ bands at SXSW, found this one, but not much else... From the New York Times...
"Is perky the new glum? On the third day of the South by Southwest music festival, I kept running into smiley-faced bands playing bouncy, clap-along music. There was the Boy Least Likely, an English band strumming acoustic guitars and hooting on harmonicas like some skiffle hootenanny ... And there were, even better, the Brunettes, a band from New Zealand that riffled through 1960's and 1970's pop with winsome optimism. The Brunettes had an arsenal of toy instruments (along with some adult ones like clarinet and trumpet) and a wry interplay between its two lead singers: a woman vowing love and a man who was only a little skeptical of it. They also had synchronized arm-waving and choruses that went "oooh, wah." Link.


Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday 18 March
Cedric im Brooks – Mu dun go
Mere Mortalz – Dis a boom
Butch Cassidy sound system – Rockers galore
Manzel - Midnight theme
Massive attack vs Marvin Gaye – Whats going on (symphony)
Roisin Murphy – If we're in love
Bob Marley – Stand up jamrock (Ashley Beedle re-edit)
Coldcut feat Roots Manuva – True skool
DJ Krush – The dawn
Junior Murvin – Roots train
Makossa and Megablast feat Farda P – Find it (remake)
Breakestra – Gotta let me know
Radio city feat Bajka – The hop
Boozoo Bajou feat Joe Dukie and U Brown – Take it slow
International Observer – 2 steps at a time, sweet jesus
Fat Freddy's Drop – Midnight marauders (Lightning head remix)
Jack Costanzo and Gerrie Woo – Jive samba
Mark Ronson and Alex Greenwald – Just
DJ C – A it dat
Joe Gibbs – Love the one you're with
Tony Alvoin and the Belairs – Sexy coffee pot
Betty Wright – Clean up woman
Original tropicana steel band – Yellow bird
Maxwell implosion – Grasshopper
Prince Fari – Give love (dub)
Anthony B – Time for the love
Aceyalone and RJD2 – Disconnected
Fat Freddy's Drop – Flashback (Jazzanova's mashed bag)…
Now run out and buy ya'selves some Fat Freddys remix niceness on lovely vinyl, plenty for everyone, so grab it now…

... and cheers to everyone who came down to BaseFM's 2nd Annual Shake N Bake gig at Western park on Saturday. Props to the organisers and the wicked graffiti artists who did a choice collaboration, tu meke.


If you're on Myspace, then how 'bout you get busy and add me? Also got a new Myspace up for my old band, Hallelujah Picassos, check out the photos.

ADDED: spotted via Coolfer, Youtube treats for a monday.,..
"Johnny Cash performs "Jackson" and "Orange Blossom Special" on "The Muppet Show" in 1980. Miss Piggy joins in. Surreal.
A new Arctic Monkeys song, "Despair in the Departure Lounge," live in San Francisco.
Video for Feist's "Mushaboom." This is a hundred times better than the original video for this song.
Jack White talks about (a) the limited resources of the band and its studio process and (b) indie snobs and hipsters on "The Charlie Rose Show."

PLUS... concert season continues... one for all you downtempo fans, Tosca play in Auckland June 3rd, at the St James.