Monday, September 11, 2006

Every home should have one
"In 1999, Atomic Magazine ran a great tongue-in-cheek guide to building your own tiki bar (I used to have one in my old apartment in Toronto - every household is improved by tiki bars). Here's the scanned pages from the article. Link (via Negatendo, Boingboing)

I visited a tiki bar in San Francisco, in the Fairmont Hotel (where the inaugural meeting of the UN was held in 1948, and the marbelled lobby stairway was in the movie Gone With The Wind). It's called the Tonga Room, and it has a rectangular pool in the middle of the room with a boat on it, which floats out into the middle of the pool nightly. There's a band set up on the boat, playing. And every half hour, thunder and lightning starts up, and it starts raining on the pool. Great cocktails too.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Will Holland is one busy mo-fo

From Coollhunting: "Known for deftly blending a wide range of multi-ethnic sounds, calling Brighton-based DJ Quantic a consummate crate-digger is almost an understatement. With that in mind and with the impending North American release of the 26 year-old's fourth solo album, An Announcement to Answer, we tagged along with Quantic on a recent visit to a Brooklyn record store. There and in an interview, he shared some tips and gave us a little insight into his current collecting habits, which naturally show up on An Announcement.

The disc—a laid-back journey through jazz, funk, hip hop, and soul—are what you'd expect from a musician who's traveled throughout Africa and Puerto Rico, creating and recording much of his album on the road. From playful beats laced with trumpet samples and warm guitar loops to guest appearances by labelmate Ohmega Watts and LA-based chanteuse Noelle Scaggs, the eclectic lineup is well-balanced, never boring, and plenty lively."

Watch now: Quicktime or Podcast

Holland is 26, and has released 2 albums as Quantic Soul Orchcestra, and the above-mentioned title is his 4th as Quantic, plus putting together several compilations. Bastard.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Banksy is a genius.

Why? Read this...
Sources: Wikipedia/Radar blog

"-At London Zoo, he climbed into the penguin enclosure and painted 'We're bored of fish' in two metre high letters.
-In August, 2005, Banksy painted 9 images on the Palestinian side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a ladder going up and over the wall and an image of children digging a hole through the wall
-In May 2005 Banksy's version of primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife whilst pushing a shopping trolley was found hanging in the British Museum.
He smuggled a dead rat in a glass case into the Natural History Museum in London
-In June 2006, Banksy stencilled an image of a naked man hanging out of a bedroom window on a wall in central Bristol, England. The image sparked some controversy, with the Bristol City Council leaving it up to the public to decide whether it should stay or go. After an internet discussion in which 97% (all but 6 people) supported the stencil, the city council decided it would be left on the building.

You can buy a cheap Banksy of your own here, although they're currently sold out.

Banksy is hugely popular – he has released numerous books (from which I learn that his first name is Robin, of course) designed the Blur album cover for Think Tank and has been acclaimed by art historians for placing unauthorised artworks in galleries. He's got a well-designed website and has been interviewed by Wired and The Guardian."

I've got a great book of his work, which I bought in Urban Outfitters next to a canal with gondolas floating down it at The Venetian, a casino in Vegas. its all indoors of course, fake sky ceiling and all. The copyright warning on the book, which all authors are obliged to include, starts off with "Against his better judgement, Banksy asserts his rights as the author..."
Now, go check him out. That is all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Banksy vs Paris Hilton

Banksy is a genius. Here's why...

From Dork mag: "Street artist, Banksy, has done it again. This time his subversive antics strike against Paris Hilton's debut album. His social commentary, which focuses on the world's obsession with fame, continues to be astute and clever. Banksy replaced Hilton's cds with his own remixes and cover art.

As reported by BBC: "A spokeswoman for Banksy said he had doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK. She told the BBC News website: 'He switched the CDs in store, so he took the old ones out and put his version in.' But he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realising it had been interfered with. Banksy is notorious for his secretive and subversive stunts such as sneaking doctored versions of classic paintings into major art galleries."

Photos here, or here.
BaseFM - Ring The Alarm playlist, September 2
Boozoo Bajou feat Top Cat - Killer
Patti Jo - Make me belive in you (Phil Asher/Ashley Beedle re-edit)
Nostalgia 77 - Seven nation army
Little John - Joycie
Quantic - An announcement to answer
Joe Bataan -I'm satisfied
Dexys - Geno
Joe Isaacs - One more time
JStar - Fall in love (Ms D)
Bill Wolfgramm and his islanders - When my Wahine does the poi
Bo Diddley - Hit or miss
Isley Bros - Its a new thing remix (feat D-Nat, Onda and De la soul)
Betty Harris - Mean man
OJays vs Wutang - Cream
International observer - War memorial museum peace
Tyra and the Tornadoes - Hui hui
Ripple - I don't know what it is, but it sure is funky
Barrington Levy and Beenieman - Murderation
Tanya Stephens - Need you tonight
Sergio Mendes and New Brasil 77 - Mozambique
Wayne McGhie and Sounds of Joy - Dirty funk
Prince Fari - Same knife
Bernie Worrell - Insurance man for the funk
Fabulous Counts - Lunar funk
Shantel - Bucovina (Haaksman and Haaksman soca bogle remix)
Roisin Murphy - Ruby blue
Breaks Co-op - Sound advice

Had a great time at the Record Fair on Saturday - a room full of diehards and hold-outs, all pretending vinyl isn't a dying medium. Real Groovy were there with a dozen boxes from their recent US shipment (there's 80,000 LPs sitting in the basement at Groovy Akl), a crowd called with some tasty reissue soul/jazz/funk, Cian from Conch Records had a few boxes of sale goodies, Murray Cammick was there selling off some old soul and funk, and the find for me? Well, Latin Steel by Amral's Trinidad Steel Band - Guantanamera on steel drums, just makes me smile. And a copy of Jukebox Drury, Ian Drury's best of. Me mate found a copy of Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul, which was his sole purpose for tagging along, so that's all good. Next one is pencilled for November 11. Later.

Oh, anyone know where in Auckland I can buy some coloured laces for some sneakers?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Heads up, vinyl junkies/DJs

"The Third Record Collectors Fair takes place in Morningside, Auckland on Saturday September 2. The event has stalls selling NZ and international vinyl albums, 45s, Turntables & Accessories and tapes.
The venue is the Polish House Hall, 1 McDonald St, on the corner of Ethel Road, off Sandringham Road, opposite Eden Park. The fair runs from 10am to 3pm. There is a $2 entry fee."
Word is Murray Cammick (BFM/George FM DJ and legendary soul fiend) will be there selling some goodies from his collection - expect rare soul gems and classic 70s/80s disco in abundance.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, August 26
Al Brown - Here I am baby
Lightning head - Stilla move
War -Cisco kid
Tony Alvon and the Belairs - Sexy coffee pot
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Who is she...
Quantic feat Ohmega Watts - Ticket to know where
Ultramagnetic MCs - Travelling at the speed of thought
Frankie Paul - Anytime
JStar vs Blufoot - Intchaaa
Harry Toddler - Simmer down
Loopless - Pink blue hotel
Open souls - Moving on
Jay Z - Lucifer
Freddie Kruger - Something good
JBs - You can have your Watergate...
Salmonella Dub - Loop 7 (DLT remix)
Parliament - PFunk wants to get funked up
Rosalia De Souza - Bossa 31 (Geraldo Frisina version)
Trinidad Oil Company steel band - Soul limbo
Mr Perfect - Hi grade tree
Nightmares on wax - Pudpots
Herbie Hancock - Palm grease
Specials - Message to you Rudy (Bombs remix)
DJC and Debaser - Crazy baldheads (Mashit mix)
Big bud - Bubblin dub
Tomtom Club - Genius of love (long version)
Breakestra - Seesawing

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, August 19
James Brown - Don't tell it
Undisputed truth - Smiling faces sometimes (Futureshock Entertainment remix)
Elaine and Romax - Am leaving
Butch Cassidy sound system - Butches brew take 2
Sister Nancy - Big beat bam remix
Kenny Dope - Get on down
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together
Scrappy - Off the lead
Quantic feat Noelle Scaggs - Politick society
Feelstyle - Leave it at that
Helene Smith - You got to be a man
JStar - Fall in love
Pharoah Sanders - Astral travelling (Boozoo Bajou remix)
In crowd - Mango walk
Medium sound - Occupation dub
Tyra Hammond and the Tornadoes - You got me thinkin
Horace Andy - Jah provides
Joe Dukie and Dj Fitchie - Midnight marauders (Lightning head remix)
Deadbeats - I can break it down
Man Dibango - Afro soul (Rob Mello re-edit)
Brentford Allstars - Racetrack
Desmond Dekker - Bongo girl
Original Tropicana steel band - Calypso rock
Quantic feat Ohmega Watts - Ticket to know where
Mulatu - Yegelle tezeta (got a great text message up via the studio computer after playing this tune - "Yeah boy, Mulatumeke!" I nearly fell over laughing - I love a good bit of clever word play. Nice one!)
Lee Oskar - Down the Nile
Malcolm's locks - Get up stand up
Reggie Stepper - Drum pan sound (Bombs re-edit)

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, August 12
Lowman - Pharrel vs Hutch
Jackie Mittoo - Get up and get it
Meters - Just kissed my baby
Ballistic Bros - Peckings
Wayne Mcghie and Sounds of Joy - Cool it
Sound dimension - Soulful strut
Breakestra - Stand up
Eddie Bo - Hook and sling
The Clash - Rudie can't fail
Damian Marley - Welcome to jamrock
Nomo - If you want
Ray Baretto - Mercy, mercy baby
Afrodisiac sound system - Soul makossa saved my life
Sole survivor - Family
One self - Temptation
International observer - Hip hop's final
Bobb deep - Got it twisted
Shaggy and Barrington Levy - Broadway
Diplo - Newsflash
Nightmares on wax - Flip ya lid
Syros - B what I wanna be
George Benson and MAW - The ghetto/El barrio
William Bell - I forgot to be your lover
Junior Murvin - Give me your love
Roots combination - Spoony bill
Boozoo Bajou feat Joe Dukie and U Brown - Take it slow
Wild Magnolias - Battlefield (Joe Claussell remix)
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together (Shoe Re-edit dub mix)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Winter Warm Up
"Musically, it's like a giant George FM/BaseFM smorgasbord across four rooms. Perhaps you'll sample some soulful, jazzy house courtesy of DJ Philippa, a dollop of chunky breaks from Page 3, some sweet funk rhythms from Selecta Sam and Uncle Barney, take a sprinkling of all round musical goodness from Cian, and then tuck in to a healthy serving of quality beats from Breakfast host Peter Urlich alongside DJ Bevan Keys.

The list goes on and on, with about 75 George FM and Base FM DJs playing a set, starting from 9pm, and heading well into the night. George FM's little brother station Base FM takes over Brooklyn Bar with a hefty lineup of everything from reggae to hip-hop, to drum and bass, thanks to Shot And Go energy drink.

We'll be closing off Lorne St at the back of the St James to create a Winter Wonderland complete with fake snow, visuals, and a Nokia mechanical snowboard. Listen in to George on the night, as we'll be going live to air from the event, bringing you the tunes from the main room, interviews, and general reporting of the happily chaotic proceedings, thanks to Jameson's Whiskey.

The George FM/BaseFM Winter Warm Up, at the mighty St James Theatre on Queen St, and Brooklyn Bar on Lorne St, Saturday August 19 th. You can only get tickets by winning them on George or Base! Entry to venues via Lorne St."
From GeorgeFM website. You can catch yours truly DJing at the BaseFM zone in the Brooklyn Bar from 9.45 til 10.30pm. Spot ya there!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Seedy fiction/CD non-fiction?

(first published at Observation Post on

"Say hi to Sandi Thom and Lily Allen, this week's internet superstars. Now say bye, writes Michael Dwyer, as they drown in a pop bitstream in full flood."

The Sunday Star Times carried an article on August 13 that was taken from the Melbourne Age ("One-week wonders" written by Michael Dwyer, Aug 4 - in the Age it was titled "Bit pop overload"). Some subeditor at the SST had done a sloppy job of altering the copy to fit the New Zealand market.

The original story has this snippet...

"... You can't blame the old bosses for tapping a new cash cow. The old one does appear to have strayed perilously close to the butcher's.

Last week, a digital music forum at the Victorian State Library heard that Australia's current number-one album, Black Fingernails Red Wine, by Eskimo Joe, had sold a meagre 7200 copies to pip the pack. Hardly surprising, then, that major label releases have dropped 40 per cent in Australia since 2001. Local signings have dropped 50 per cent."

The SST's version had replaced the sales figures for Eskimo Joe with the following quote

"New Zealand's current No 1 album, the Black Seed's Into The Dojo, has sold just under 10,000 copies." Now, there's a myriad of things wrong with this spurious claim...

One - claiming that selling only 10,000 copies of a CD here by a NZ band is a bad showing is incorrect. Many local indie bands manage to sell only a few thousand copies of their album, so doing sales of 10,000 is a very healthy result.

EXCEPT the Black Seeds album has only been out for three weeks and has not been certified by the official RIANZ Music Charts as having gone gold (industry-speak for achieving sales of over 7,500), in spite of having been at number one since its release. At the time of printing the article, the claim is inaccurate, and the numbers are wrong.

First week sales for the Black Seeds were less than 1,500, which suggests that the rest of the albums on the top 40 charts are selling even less - has the worldwide music industry downturn hit even harder here?

Industry pundit Simon Grigg wrote on this topic recently, quoting an industry friend who said that "... sales of NZ music are in, and I quote, “complete freefall” and unlikely to improve in the near future. That, coupled with other informed comments on National Radio recently mentioning drops of some twenty percent or so this year, raises one big question. At least from where I’m sitting, several thousand miles from the action.
Namely, what in gods name happened? Of course I’m absolutely aware of the on-going global downturn in sales of compact discs and the inevitable flattening out of digital sales. Especially from acts represented by the major industry organisations such as the RIAA, or their equivalents. But the percentage drop in sales, from labels represented by RIANZ (and that is a major qualifier) of NZ music, far exceeds the global trend and the word why flashes in neon rather brutally."

Simon's full comments are here, with a follow up post here. Well worth reading.

But back to the SST debacle, for all the excitement NZ music generates in the media these days, the quality of the reporting is consistently lame. Why?