Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blogging is the new black.
Hats off to Simon Grigg for getting picked as Blog Of The Week by the Herald on Sunday. Hey kids, blogging is the new black! (Corrected)

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, January 27, 2007
Bruce Ruffin - Ooh child
Tokyo ska paradise orchestra – ABC remix
Prince Fari - Hello, love brother
Flirtations – Nothing but a heartache
Sly and the family stone – Loose booty
Count Basie – Mercy, mercy, mercy
Phase 5 – Bag juice
Adrian Sherwood – Hari up hari
Boca 45 – That’s all
Stephen Marley - Traffic jam
Boozoo bajou -Night over manaus
Antibalas – Talkatif
Tahuna breaks – Voodoo
Black nasty – We’re doin our thing
Ballistic brothers – Pophecy reveal
Clara Hill feat Joe Dukie – Flawless pt2
Taxi gang – Mambo mambo
Iggy and Peggy - Passenger fever
DJ Farrapo & Yanez – Baiano vem baiano vai
Tony Alvion and the belairs – Sexy coffee pot
Kashmere stage band – Super strut (Kenny Dope remix)
Grover Washington Jr – Knucklehead
B52’s – Planet Claire
Quartertones – Caffiene (DJ Format mix)
African head charge – Heading to glory
Robert Mitchum – From a logical point of view
Loop guru – Single orphan first year camel

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Stars are blind - so is Warners.
"One of Warner Music’s biggest mistakes last year was an album released by socialite Paris Hilton. It sold just 13,000 copies, a disaster made worse by the money spent on the heiress and her entourage.

One source claims that she brought 14 people with her to the UK including three security guards, two tour managers (despite there being no tour) and three American publicists. A week’s accommodation at the exclusive Metropolitan hotel on London’s Park Lane came to around £160,000. The entourage was flown to Britain in either first or business class." Via Coolfer. Wow, didn't see that coming!

Simon Grigg runs some numbers too, looking at the current state of CD sales.

"The number one single in the US sold 1,700 physical copies last week, based on Soundscan figures [remember when the Black Seeds hit number one in NZ with their album last year, after selling only 1,500 copies in a week? Doesn't seem so bad now]...

The number one album in the US last week was the lowest selling number one, by quite a margin, since the current chart system was inaugurated, eclipsing the new low set the week before... the current NZ number one [album], yet another hits collection by ABBA has, despite television advertising sold less than 2,000 copies. That’s less than $40k in gross return, before the marketing cost, royalties and the like." More here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, January 20
James Brown -Mind power
Specials Message to you rudy - Bombs re-edit
Prince Fari - Give love
Ozomatli - superbowl sundae (Peanut butter wolf remix)
Pete Rock - Appreciate
Charles Wright - you gotta know whatcha doin
Eddie Warner - Poppy fields
Big Bud - Bubblin dub
Suns of arqa - Ananta snake dance
George Benson - On broadway
Jimmy Jones - Live and let live
Quantic - Politick society
George McCrae - I got lifted (Mischief brew edit)
International observer - Vale bengali
Mo Horizons - Foto viva (Nicola Conte remix)
The explosions - Hip drop
Dr John - Mama roux
Donald Fagen - IGY
Rip, rig and panic - Storm the reality asylum (extended mix)
Freddie and Linn - Live 4 love
Makossa and megablast feat Farda P - Find it
Stephanie Mckay -M.o.n.e.y
Stephen Marley - Traffic jam
Jungle Bros - I got it like that (Freestylers remix)
Dynamics - Seven nation army

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ring The Alarm playlist, Base FM January 13
Ray Barretto - Acid
Jackie Mittoo - Honeypot
Roots combination - Wicked a go dub it
Breakestra - The gettin' to it
Nightmares on wax - What I'm feeling (Rae and Christian remix)
Shantel - Bucovina
Zilverzurf feat Desmond Foster - Moment is gone (Kieser Velten remix)
John Holt - Fat she fat
Beginning of the end - Funky nassau (Friction re-edit)
Rare earth - Big John is my name
RJD2 - Let the good times roll Pt 1
Lion rock - Rude boy rock
Damian Marley - Move!
Black grass - Oh Jah (inst mix)
Ultramagnetic MCs - Poppa large (West Coast remix)
Pilchard - You got soul and rock'n'roll - (Eric B and Rakim vs Ian Dury)
Herbie Mann - Push push
Cymande - Bra
Barrington Levy - Collie weed
Pioneers - Papa was a rolling stone
Salmonella dub - Wytaliba (Dreadzone remix)
Earth wind and fire - Cmon children
Definition of sound - Wear your love like heaven
Leon Haywood - I want to do something freaky to you
DJ Krush - Alpheuo

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Keeping it Sly
From La Times site, more here. "... Sly's intimates, few in number, report that he rarely leaves his isolated property, except for the occasional shopping trip. Although he is said to be taking good care of his health, he hasn't much availed himself of the equipment in his exercise room, instead working late into the night on his Korg Oasys keyboard synthesizer, in his studio.

Some of those labors may be showcased at the House of Blues on Saturday, and more completely on an album due this summer on Sly's own PhattaDatta record label. (In the meantime, Sony BMG plans to begin reissuing the original Sly & the Family Stone catalog on CD in March.)

Years of reclusiveness were part of his response to negative media attention three decades ago. His reputation for missing performances also damaged his standing with fans and concert presenters, as did his cocaine-related convictions in the 1980s. Stone opted to retreat within the walls of his Hollywood Hills mansion, work on his music and let the world go by.

Sister Vet had in mind Stone's unstoppable and prolific love affair with music when she helped him move north last year, after the Grammy salute to Sly. She positioned him not far from her own place in Vallejo, the small city where she was raised in the 1950s as Vaetta Stewart, along with Sylvester (Sly) and their three music-making siblings, Loretta, Rose and Freddie..."

AND what's up with Van Halen getting into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, ahead of Iggy and the Stooges or Joe Tex?
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, January 6
Tye Tribbet and GA – Mighty long way
Hortense Ellis – Woman of the ghetto
Horace Andy – Jah provides
Oneself -Temptation
Jose Feliciano - She’s a woman
Bombs edit - Under mi sensi
Bic Runga – Something good (Submariner remix)
Ohio Players – Speakeasy
Seeed feat Felix Banton – Dancehall credential
JB’s – 40th anniversary mix
Cubalooba – Cubalooba
Chuck Womack – Ham hock and beans (Quantic remix)
Jackie Mittoo – Champion of the arena
International observer – Vale Bengali
Romanowski - Strudel strut
Guy Pedersen – Les copains de la basse
Prince – Housequake
Daktaris – In the middle
Schoolly D and Joe Delia – The player (Ganja Kru remix)
Brian Eno – Backwater
Skatalites – Coconut rock
Nightmares on wax – Pudpot
Turbulence – Notorious
Connie Price and the keystones – Sucker punch
Idris Mohammed – Express yourself
Ananda Shankar – Dancing drums
Katchafire – Rude girl (Baitercell and Schumacher remix)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

James Brown remembered
From LA Times website... excerpt... (photo by Bob Gruen)

Ike Turner
Rhythm and blues founder
We lost a good one, man. I knew the guy all my whole life. We were good friends. We got closer as we got older too. When we were young we used to be battling on the stage. They would have Ike and Tina on the back of one truck and James on another truck. They backed the two trucks up and we'd do one song and then he'd do a song. It went back and forth like that.

James, he was a real nice guy. There were people who thought he was strict, too strict. He made his band stay dressed on the bus, during their rides. It made a good impression, though. He cared about what people felt about him and the things they said. He cared about the way he handled his thing. He didn't want any of his guys looking like a slouch. Later on, those guys came back and they said to him, 'Thank you, man, I learned a lot from you, I got a lot and I didn't even know then that I was learning.' And that's how it is. We lost a good one.

Robert Christgau
Rock critic
In 1980 I set myself the task of reviewing every James Brown album of the '70s — 23 by my count, many borrowed from my neighbor Vince Aletti, who'd had the sense to keep even the soundtracks. To add verisimilitude, I worked in order of release, playing each record until it sunk in, then proceeding to the next. Ten titles I judged good-to-great, but though I home-taped like there was no tomorrow, many of these I never played again.

That job I undertook was part of a book project. Now James Brown's death has occasioned another job, only this time I'm immersing willy-nilly, often streaming albums I still own only on cassette. And so it came to pass that I woke from a brief nap to hear ... what the hell was that? At first Brown's grunts sounded African, or more African; later I decided maybe he was speaking in tongues. The track was "Time Is Running Out," from 1973's good-not-great "The Payback." Seven minutes in it gets really crazy, Brown's tongues and Fred Wesley's trombone dueling over a typically locked-in groove. But it kept morphing and it kept staying the same. I couldn't believe how experimental it was, and how enjoyable.

Out of curiosity, I reread my review of "The Payback." Hmmm.

I had noticed it, actually: "a horn-and-voice excursion that shambles on for 12:37," I'd sniffed. What then I'd disdained, now I loved. That's how profound James Brown is. We're still trying to catch up with him. I doubt we ever will.

Marva Whitney
Former singer with the James Brown Revue
One of the scariest moments in my life I had on Mr. Brown's Lear jet. It must have been around early 1969. It's no secret that I was his girlfriend at that time.

On that particular day, we were on our way from Cincinnati to Atlanta, if I remember it correctly. It was pretty late at night and dark outside while we flew about 30,000 feet above sea level. Suddenly I heard something like a big bang, and something shook the plane. The oxygen masks dropped down, I put mine on and started to pray. Mr. Brown's personal pilot announced that both engines had failed and he was gonna try an emergency landing. I looked at Mr. Brown and noticed that he had not put on his oxygen mask. He completely froze up and stared out of the window. On top of that, his face was as white as a sheet.

After what seemed like an eternity, the engines went back on. Mr. Brown didn't say anything until we landed. He kept on staring out of that window; his shirt was soaking wet. That day I learned that James Brown freezes up when he gets scared.

Alan Leeds
Former tour manager
When I went to work for James Brown, it was a pretty difficult time for white people in the black music business. The militant end of the civil rights era was at its peak, and the black community frowned on white involvement in anything within their community.

Brown represented the antithesis of that. At the passing of his manager in 1968, he took complete control of his career. I had met Brown through a radio station and stayed in touch with him through the year, and he offered me a job as tour manager, to go out and sell the show around the country. I said, "Are you sure you wanted to hire me — is this the right thing to do?" He said, "To hell with the industry, I've got a place for you." He was as difficult a boss for me as for everyone else. He was like the tough-love father, the patriarch of this extended family of people who came through his orbit.

Oliver Wang
Writer-scholar and creator of soul-sides.com
Like many in my generation, I was introduced to Brown's music via hip-hop samples. Moving backwards to his original songs, what I discovered was the incredible intensity he could bring to just a single moment. He and the JBs could do more with a horn stab or grunt than most other artists could achieve with entire songs. My favorite example of this comes on the "Sex Machine"-era version of "Give It Up or Turn It Loose," where, in the midst of the stripped-down bridge, James yells out, "Clyde!" [drummer Stubblefield] and one heartbeat later, the funky drummer himself drops in - on the one, of course - and lays out a nasty breakbeat. It's that pause between James' command and Stubblefield's response that sums up Brown's genius - he understood that rhythm was built from as much promise as it was fulfillment.

Nelson George
Author, cultural historian
I have two memories of James Brown that are bookends of a sort.

I first saw him perform in the mid-60s when my mother took my sister and I up to the Apollo Theater. We rode the A train up to 125th Street where we joined a line of Negroes (as we were called then) that snaked around the block. We sat in the back of the orchestra where I got quite concerned that Mr. Brown was gonna have to be hospitalized because of all his moaning, falling to his knees, and the way he kept tossing off that cape. I remember that matinee show like it was yesterday.

The last time I saw James Brown was at the Hollywood Bowl about a year and a half ago. It had been a while since I'd seen him live. In fact I'd kinda of avoided Mr. Brown's show since seeing him in the mid-90s and been saddened by a listless performance. That original memory was so precious to me, I didn't want it tampered with. But the old man I saw out in L.A. conjured just enough magic moments - his vocal on "A Man's World," a shake and strut on "Superbad" - that the middle-aged me felt excited to be seeing him again. I couldn't be at the Apollo for the public viewing but I can put on "Live at the Apollo" and have Mr. Brown entertain the little boy in me again and again.

Steve Harvey
Comedian, actor, radio show host
I'll always remember one time while in Augusta, Ga., performing at a comedy club, I saw James Brown sitting in the hotel restaurant. We started talking; he knew me from my appearances at the Apollo. As we talked, I told him how my parents would feel if they knew I was sitting here talking to you, Mr. Brown! He said, "Get them on the phone." JB sat there and talked to my mother and father like they were old friends. My parents talked about those moments with JB until they passed a few years later. I was later able to thank him several times; as a matter of fact, every time I saw him I thanked him for doing it. And every time he acted like he was supposed to do it. But having a mere taste of the fame he had, I can tell you what he did was big. Thank you, Mr. Brown, for letting me see that with my own eyes. In my book, you were, are, and will always be the Godfather of Soul.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, December 30
James Brown – Don’t tell it
JMX feat Tikiman – Tikisong (Osunlade emix)
The Doors – Riders on the storm (Nightmares on wax remix)
Horace Andy – Money money
Jackie Mittoo – Chicken and booze
Quantic soul orchestra – Get a move on
Quatrertones – Caffeine (DJ Format remix)
Henry Mancini – Shot in the dark
Tyra and the tornadoes – Hui hui
Newmatics – Riot squad (for National Party leader John Key, who can’t remember where he stood on the 81 Springbok Tour - he was at university at the time. How flaky is that?)
Kitachi – Raise it up (Capoeira twins remix)
Audioweb – Faker (Justin Robertson Lionrock remix)
Joe Gibbs – Marriguana affair
St Etienne – Only love can break your heart
Global youth feat Jah Meek – The riddim (Disciples remix)
Afrodisiac sound system – Makossa saved my life
Nomo – Hand and mouth
James Brown – Funky president
(And in Holiday 'WTF?' News - anyone at the NZ Herald want to explain why the only photo they could find for James Brown's obituary was a police mugshot? That is just disrespectful - he's one of the most important musical figures of our times, and that's the best you can do? Someone at The Herald deserves to be shot, or at the very least, strapped into a chair and made to listen to the entire recorded works of Robbie Williams for 24 hours straight.)
Taffari – Water on glass
Paragons, Vegas, Uroy etc – Wear you to the ball
Meters – Look-ka py py
Gilberto sextet – Good lovin
Iggy and the stooges - 1969
Femi Kuti – Truth don die