Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Insert clever headline here
If you read the Weekend Herald, you would have seen their tacky little story on the hard times of Mr Pauly Fuemana, the man behind OMC and their huge hit How Bizarre. He has been judged bankrupt, which seems rather odd, given that the song must still be a serious earner. Simon Grigg gets quoted in the Herald's story (without permission, he notes) and has written a post on his blog about it, well worth a read. Simon was closely involved with OMC thru his record label Huh.

snip... "I’m not sure what to say about this rather unpleasant little story in the once mighty but now, only-just-crawling-above-tabloid-level NZ Herald... what saddens me is the way New Zealand so happily crucifies those who it previously celebrated. He has made some financial mistakes, mainly through inexperience, bad advice (and I note that some of those to whom he owed large sums were those to whom entrusted himself for advice, and others who rushed at him as way to make a quick buck but turned) Pauly has done little wrong beyond naivety. In fact he has done a lot right. He waved the flag for his nation all over the world. He was a proud ambassador of his nation and his people...

"I sat with him in radio stations on the other side of the world when he extolled the virtues of New Zealand as a place to live to millions, and, with immense pride explained to newspaper reporters, smitten by his handsome charm, as to the significance of the tattoos on his arms. Indeed, when How Bizarre took off there was massive pressure to re-locate to the UK, and I put it to Pauly but he told me he wanted to raise his family in New Zealand, he loved it and it was home. I understood..." Read Simon's post here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Statue, bro?
There's a new sculpture going up at the top of Hobson st, just before the motorway on-ramps. It resembles a pohutukawa flower, with red stems. And of course, like everyone on the planet, it has a MySpace page. So, drop by and add Red Spiky Thing as your friend.
MySpace trivia - the site is signing up new members at the rate of 240,00 every day.

For your viewing pleasure...
Soul Shower lost several hours to Youtube... heres the results... videos of Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder on Sesame St, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and more. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Apple release new Asian Slave-girl iPod
"The Mail On Sunday visited some of these factories and spoke with staff there. It reports that Foxconn's Longhua plant houses 200,000 workers, remarking: "This iPod City has a population bigger than Newcastle's."

The report claims Longhua's workers live in dormitories that house 100 people, and that visitors from the outside world are not permitted. Workers toil for 15-hours a day to make the iconic music player, the report claims. They earn £27 per month. The report reveals that the iPod nano is made in a five-storey factory (E3) that is secured by police officers.

Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, makes iPod shuffles. The workers are housed outside the plant, and earn £54 per month - but they must pay for their accommodation and food, "which takes up half their salaries", the report observes." Via Boingboing. Link.

Apple has promised to investigate the labor conditions in its iPod factories.

This is a test
Heard the new mosquito ringtone?

"The ringtone - which can be downloaded from the internet - is proving especially popular amongst school students in the US and UK who use it in classrooms. With it, students can receive text message alerts on their mobile phones without the teacher knowing ... Mr Howard Stapleton, the inventor of the "Mosquito", claims the high-frequency pulsing sound can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30."

So, test your hearing - can you hear it? Try the link over here (scroll down). I am happy to report I can hear it, not bad for an old bastard.

ADDED: Mister Grigg drops part three of his vinyl lists over here - recommended albums. Great reading.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bobby bobbylon
"Freddie McGregor has one of the sweetest voices in reggaea cool, clear tenor that could have come straight out of Motown rather than the Jamaican countryside. McGregor turns 50 this month and he still sounds like the lost protege of Barry Gordy. Actually, McGregor did have a Gordy-like mentor in Coxsone Dodd, whose Studio One label is often referred to as the Motown of Jamaica." Grab a tune and enjoy, at TSAKU.

From the same site... "Jeff Chang points out a great piece by Peter S. Scholtes on the late Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker in this City Pages blog."

The Politics of Sampling: A Discussion with Hank Shocklee, DJ Spooky (hat tip to Mr Dubber)
"... And one of the things about sampling is it forces us to go backwards in history. It allows us to go back and seek these records out and as you’re seeking these records out you find information at the same time, for example I never knew who Clyde Stubblefield was until I started sampling James Brown. And then after sampling James Brown you find out that he also had a bass player Bootsy Collins, who was also in Parliament Funkadelic, so you start to understand that there is a historical lineage that happens between everything, so musically there is a community." - Hank Shocklee.
There's a bunch of great articles in the latest issue of Wax Poetics magazine on PE and the Bomb Squad.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

gotta love dem internets...

"I first encountered this word in a terrific jump blues by the Nelson Alexander Trio, a little-known band I know little about. Smashing song. It was released in 1948, the first year of the rock’n’roll revolution (see How Rock Really Began), but it’s not a rock'n'roll song. There’s no back beat. It’s pretty much a straight-ahead boogie woogie with a Texas-style blues guitar and a jumpin’ vocal.

But I kept wondering about that word voot. The lyrics are suggestive but vague: “It’s cool in the kitchen, it’s warm in the hall, it’s hot in the bedroom and that ain’t all. I’m gonna rock that voot, baby, all night long.” Sure, it’s about sex; that’s obvious.* But where’d it come from? Why haven’t I heard it anywhere else? So I started looking around the Internet. Eventually it became a bit of an obsession.

Here, for the first time anywhere, is your ultimate voot encyclopedia. I've tracked down every voot reference I could find. I've even included a complete MP3 discography of a dozen original voot songs, never before collected in one place (as far as I can tell). Rarely in history has so much effort been expended on something so insignificant. But it's been fun.' More here... (Tuwa's Shanty)
Quote of the week
"You mean am I happy with a doctor putting his finger up my arse?"

Neil Finn, talking about his experience as a hospital orderly (prior to becoming a rocker/millionaire), and how that applies to touring Oz with aging art-rockers Spilt Enz. Context below...

"... I think what it did for me in actual literal terms, working as an orderly, was that it cured me of any fear of hospitals. So when anyone around me is sick, I'm actually a very good nurse. [Wife] Sharon is good with needles; I'm good with vomit."

With the impending Australian tour, it's probably appropriate, then, to ask if he is as comfortable with the necessary medical demands on men of his age? "You mean am I happy with a doctor putting his finger up my arse?" he laughs.

"There are quite a lot of, maybe humiliations is a little strong, moments where a man has to confront himself in a medical sense. In terms of my general level of anxieties, my 30s were far worse than my 40s. I feel now a lot more at ease with myself." Link.

Oh, and what do you reckon will happen if the power goes out during the 2011 Rugby World Cup? Not impossible, given that upgrades to the power supply aren't due for completion til 2012. Picture it; The host nations' team, the All Blacks, have just competed their haka, here comes the kick-off and WHOOOMP! Eden Park is plunged into darkness, and this is being beamed live into tv sets around the planet. All it takes is a strong wind and ONE LONE CABLE.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday June 10
Sister Nancy - Bam bam
Barrington Levy & Beenieman - Murderation
Scientist -Dub 16
Chakachas - African Llama
Mulatu Astkake - Yegelle tezeta
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Cedirc Im Brooks - Mun dun go
Horace Andy/Massive attack - One love
Shaggy & Barrington Levy - Broadway
Oneself - Bluebird
Funky Lowlives - Bellaluna (Boozoo Bajou remix)
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
DJ Serious - The enlightenment remix
Herbie Hancock - Palm grease
Harry Steel - Dub in C minor
Aim - Just passin thru
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Jimmy London - I'm your puppet
Dancing Djedi - Body surfin
Fat Freddy's Drop - Flashback (Jazzanova mashed bag remix)
Rhythm and sound - Lightning storm (Francois K remix)
Big Youth & the Congos - Feed a nation (Mixed/edited by Rhythm and sound)
Joe Gibbs and the professionals - Love the one you're with
El gran combo - Chua chua boogaloo
Donny Hathaway - Come little children
Freddie Cruger - Simply fresh
JStar - Fall in love

Cheers toRuffian and Earl E, who invited me down to DJ at the monthly Champion Sounds night at Rakinos last night (celebrating two years of palying choice records - nice one fellas). I had a wicked time (dropped a new Dub Asylum tune in there mid-set, went down very nicely), great crowd. Big Matt dropped by and spun a few tunes too. All good in the hood!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Get back
RIP Billy Preston. Aged 59, after a long illness. "A former teenage keyboard prodigy, Preston was one of the few musicians to play with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. A prolific writer, he also wrote You Are So Beautiful, a major hit for his friend, British blues singer Joe Cocker. And he collaborated with superstars such as The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone and Barbra Streisand." (BBC)

Pitchfork notes that "Later in his life, Preston suffered several major indignities: being sentenced to a three-year jail term following a bail violation, performing on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium, and, worst of all, performing as the title character in the abysmal film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." More here, here and here.

ADDED The B Side audioblog pays tribute, and has an in-depth backgrounder on the man.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It burns! It burns!
If you feel the need, you can hear the first single from everyone's favorite ho-bag Paris Hilton over here - it's lame-ass reggae (scroll down to read the comments, they are entertaining). Think Gwen Stefani tied up in a sack with some stray dogs for company (but have a look at the photo from her music video shoot - tee hee, wardrobe malfunction!). See, I listened to that crap, so you don't have to (and now I feel dirty). Go and get some Suns of Arqa MP3s over here instead - quality all round.
Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, June 3rd.
Beatconductor - Hottest dub
Romanowski - Romjack steady
Jackson Sisters - I believe in miracles remix
Brides of funkenstein - Disco to go
Jackie Mittoo - James Bond
Shinehead - Raggamuffin
Thes one & Rashaan Ahmad - Doin it
Damian Marley - In 2 deep
Junior Murvin - Roots train
The techniques - Purify dub
One lung - Cinema 90
Boozoo bajou feat top cat - Killer
Al Green -I'm glad you're mine
Family of percussion feat Archie Shepp - Here comes the family
International observer - Leaf mould
Katzenjammers - Cars
Lord Kitchener -London is the place for me (Greens Keepers remix)
James Brown - Blind man can see it
Prince - Black sweat
Rhythm and sound feat Jennifer Lara - Queen in my empire
Jimmy Castor -King kong
Jacob Miller - Healing of the nation
Elephantman - Chapter a day
Joe Bataan - Subway Joe
Bondo de role - Funk de esfiha
Coldcut feat Roots Manuva - True skool
Barrington Carey - Love U forever remix
The WBC - Port royal
Jose Feliciano - Can't get next to you

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Film Festival is due to announce this years lineup any day now, cross your fingers for this gem making an appearance...

"Mild-mannered, 55-year-old Arthur Kane endures Los Angeles’ bewildering public transportation system each day to and from his job at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint’s Family History Center library. Though a tad frayed-at-the-edges Arthur is neatly dressed in a suit and tie. Thirty years later, and a lifetime removed from his former alter ego, “Killer Kane,” the one time statuesque bassist of 70s gender-bending, glam rock pioneers, The New York Dolls, Arthur blends effortlessly into his current environment, despite the fact that he’s speaking to a camera crew who tags along with him on his daily routine..." Link to info, trailer, etc.

RIP Desmond Dekker -the first reggae star to hit big on the international scene, with his hit The Israelites, back in 1969. His self-penned debut single hit number one in Jamaica, back in 1963.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Give it up for...
Prince, who turned up as a guest on the American Idol final that screened in the US last night. Franklin Ave noted that as he exited, ".. he earned even more of my undying respect by completely dissing Ryan Seacrest. (Seacrest came over to shake Prince's hand - but Prince turned and exited the stage before the host had a chance. Love it!) "
Video over here (or search youtube). Other guests included Al Jarreau and Meatloaf. Can't win em all.

Speaking of youtube, check out Chaka Khan playing drums back in 1976. Funky drummer.

The Clash - US tv debut, 1980. London Calling... and live in Tokyo , 1982, same song, but with Japanese subtitles. Paul Simenon is unfeasibly cool.

The 50 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Music
, from Blender mag.

and EW's 25 Best Music Websites. Ignore the Mariah Carey pic, it's just there to test you.

ADDED: via PopCandy... "And finally, since I'll be squeezing babies in Tennessee this weekend, I can't make it to the opening of the Andy Warhol Museum's exhibit about the New York art scene. However, I can read this interview with Richard Hell and pretend I'm there."
... and Suicide -Ghost Rider, live in 1978.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Random notes

- Vinyl may outlast CDs... story from Seattle Times

- A profile of Warp Records and its founder, Steve Beckett. (Japan Times)

The B-Side visits legendary soul producer Willie Mitchell at Royal Studios in Memphis. Check the pics.

ADDED MP3 blogger drops Mojos 50 Greatest British Tracks Ever... listen in...