Monday, April 28, 2008

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, April 26playlist
Salmonella dub - Lightning (Spot remix)
Barrington Levy - Here I come
Sound dimension - Drum song
El Michaels Affair - Ocho rio
Fred Wesley - House party
Platinum Pied Pipers - Now or never
Julien Dyne - Scissor hands
Sharon Joens and the Dapkings - Nobody's baby
Junior Murvin - Cool out son
Gabriella Cilmi - Sweet about me (Ashley Beedle remix)
Bronx river prkway - Aqua con soul
Hot 8 brass band - Rastafunk
Sergio Mendes - Aqua de beber
Xaver Fischer trio - I sing this song for you (Nicola Conte remix)
Orgone - I get lifted
King Tubby - Dark destroyer dub
Unitone Hifi - Up to eleven
Yes king - Love revolution (dub mix)
Sesame St -One to twelve
Fred Wesley and the JBs - Blow your head (undubbed version)
Tony Benson Sextet - Ugali
Popular Cooper and his All Beats Band - Arraino
Little dragon - Constant surprises (go have a listen to em here)
Eric Lau - Final chance
Erykah Badu - Honey (Moody Boyz remix)
Katalyst (feat Stephanie McKay) - Say what you feel
Gamm doin' James pt 2 - You're dead wrong (Red Astaire mix)
Jimmy and Taurus Riley - Pull up selector


Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, April 19 playlist
Jimmy and Taurus Riley - Pull up selector
Gabriella Cilmi - Sweet about me (Ashley Beedle dub)
DJ Vadim - Watch that sound (JStar remix)
Kutiman - Escape route
Leftie soul connection - Chop it!
Medeski Martin and Wood - Lets go everywhere
Carlos Nino - Find a way
Dillinger -Melting pot
Junior Marvin - Roots train
The Beat -Mirror in the bathroom
Beat pharmacy - Mental universe
Stevie Wonder - As
Dizzy Gillespie - Matrix
King Tubby - Money dub
Muhsinah - Construction
Erykah Badu - American promise
Eric Lau - Final chance
Bronx river prkway - Deixa la pra
Tommy McCook and the Skatalites - Savitt
Bruise n cuts - Down the road
DJ Spinna - Abyzmal
One million dollars - Four easy steps
Might Mo - The next message (version)
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd St Band - Move on up (live)
Leon Haywood - If you're looking for a night of fun (look past me, I'm not the one)
Gabriella Cilmi - Sweet about me (Ashley Beedle remix)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lykke Li
I know nothing about her, but damn, this is a cool tune...



Youtube link or you can watch the official music video for the song here. Check her at myspace/lykkeli. She's currently touring the UK, then off to the US for more shows.

She's Swedish, she's friends with Robyn, and I found this enchanting clip of her via a Russian music blogger... tune is "I'm good, I'm gone".

Wikipedia tells me this: "Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson (born March 18, 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden), better known by her stage name Lykke Li, is an indie singer. She was raised by artistic parents (her mother was a photographer, her father is a musician) and lived in Portugal for five years, and spent winters in Nepal and India. At one point, she worked as a dancer on Swedish TV shows.

She released her first album, Youth Novels on LL Recordings in the Nordic region on 4 February 2008 and it will receive a wider European release this June. The album was produced by Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John and Lasse Mårtén. It will be released in the United States on 6 May 2008."

And here's Little Dragon (also from Sweden) with 'Constant surprises' off their debut album...



Dizzy
So, I was standing outside the Powerstation last night, just gone outside for a breather between bands - Salmonella Dub were setting up. There's a handful of people milling outside, fagging on, and then this black dude in a green baseball cap and green sweatshirt bowls up, with a TV camera crew in tow. I'm thinking "What's Dizzee Rascal doing standing outside the Powerstation? Aint he from England? Long way from home, bro."

Turns out it was Dizzee Rascal - he's doing some gig on a plane for MTV NZ. Dude went inside and hung out upstairs, watching Salmonella Dub. who did a mighty fine show too, joined by Paddy Free and his shiny pink day-glo mohawk on keys for this tour. Ran into Andrew Penman from the band earlier, he gave me a copy of their new remix EP - thanks Andrew!


On another note, read this story about the local Indian wheat shortage? Roti in AK is going bad. The cost of rice has doubled in AK in recent months. Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin, meltdown expected...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fade to Gray.
Simon Grigg responds to musician and promoter Gray Bartlett's rant against NZ On Air and government funding, here. Snip... "Gray says it should be about the artist, not the songs which

New Zealand can't hope to compete on a world market with

Tell that to Neil Finn whose had several million plays of Don’t Dream Its Over world wide, or to Alan Jansson, who has two US BMI Million Play certificates on the wall of his office for a song he wrote with Paul Fuemana in Freeman’s Bay. To my mind, where NZ on Air has fallen over in recent times is because it no longer encourages the sort of individuality these songs represent…it doesn’t go far enough."


My fave snip from Mr Bartlett - "I am angry because when the opportunity is there to apply for something to help an artist, I can't. I'm angry because they will waste money on absolutely ludicrous things. They will give grants to friends of the Labour Party - I find it disgraceful."

His solution? The government should "support him, he says, and help him put together an annual tour of New Zealand and to key overseas markets, showcasing the country's talent." Sounds like sending a bunch of NZ bands to something like SXSW. Don't we do that already?

NZ Herald - "Govt off-key with music support says Bartlett"



Meanwhile, here's some free Manu Chao, remixed by Dennis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Sweet! Manu Chao - Politik Kills w/ LKJ (Dennis Bovell Dub Vocal Remix) (MP3 download)

"Fans can now visit the new website, www.PolitiKills.com, to preview tracks from the remix EP and watch the new Politik Kills music video. The site also features online-exclusive remixes from Bostich + Fussible of Nortec Collective and DJ Mexican Dubweiser with the band, Kinky. Fans and DJs can also access PolitiKills.com to download the different parts of the song and create their own remix." Hat tip to BV.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two vinyl junkies walk into a bar...
"Professor, writer, record collector, DJ and proprietor of the always-wonderful blog Soul Sides (and, ahem, Stop Smiling contributor), Oliver Wang, sat down for an enlightening chat with Chairman Mao, co-founder of ego trip magazine, legendary record collector and music scholar in his own right.

From the sousaphone to racism to The Beatles to the new ego trip show, Miss Rap Supreme, the interview is not only a humorous look into the mind of one of hip-hop’s most impressive voices, but sums up much of how many of us aging hip-hop fans feel these days. (Bonus - check out two of the other ego trip collective, Brent Rolling and Gabriel Alvarez, on the Sound of Young America podcast here)." Hat tip to Stop Smiling Mag. Nicked the title from them too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lay it down
Al Green's new album (out May 25) is produced by Questlove Thompson of The Roots and James Poyser. Check this clip...



"The Lay It Down album is ... set to feature apperances by Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, Corrine Bailey Rae and The Dap Kings horn section." Hat tip to In The Crowd.

Friday, April 18, 2008

MMW
Was listening to Gilles Peterson's radio show online (available for 7 days after on demand), and he dropped a Medeski Martin Wood tune, very nice, then he mentioned that you could download it from their site, MMW.net (cos he's good like that, is Gillles). Seems they've got big schemes for the coming year...

"Medeski Martin & Wood are planning 3 tours, plus 3 albums in 2008. Each tour and subsequent album will consist of all NEW MUSIC. The plan: Write > Tour > Record > Repeat. Bucking the traditional process of recording an album, THEN touring after its release. On Feb. 14, MMW will get together for 5 days to write new material for their Northeast tour, Feb. 19 - 29."

They also are running their own musicians (northern) summer camp in August. What cool cats.


O-Dub has written the liner notes for a new Charles Wright and 103rd St Band reissue,
called Live at the Haunted House - May 18, 1968 - read all about it here, and there's some audio goodness to listen to as well. Link.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Paul Simon - Disgraceland
Jambase via Stereogum ran an interview with Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, recounting his band's horrible experience with Paul Simon on the Graceland album. Seems Simon basically stole one of their songs, and took the credit. When they called him on it, he responded by saying "Sue me. You'll see what happens".

snip... "We go into the studio, and he had quite literally nothing. I mean, he had no ideas, no concepts, and said, "Well, let's just jam." We said, "We don't really do that." ... Not by accident, not even at soundcheck. We would always just play a song.

... Paul was a very strange guy. Paul's engineer was even stranger than Paul, and he just seemed to have no clue -- no focus, no design, no real nothing. He had just done a few of the African songs that hadn't become songs yet. Those were literally jams. Or what the world came to know and I don't think really got exposed enough, is that those are actually songs by a lot of those artists that he just approved of. So that's kind of what he was doing. It was very patrician, material sort of viewpoint. Like, because I'm gonna put my stamp on it, they're now my songs. But that's literally how he approached this stuff."

Dude couldn't even pronounce Zydeco properly, after recording with some zydeco musicians. Kept calling it zy decko. Read the whole piece, especially for the labels' motivations to persuade Los Lobos to do it - "It's for the family..." Hat tip to WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

"We have the dumbest President in the history of the United States and you're worried about record stores?

"INeedthat record blogspot says, " 'I Need That Record The Death (or Possible Survival) of The Independent Record Store,' is a documentary feature examining why over 3000 independent record stores have closed across the U.S. in the past decade. Are they going to die off? Will they survive?

The documentary features music luminaries and voices such as Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Mike Watt (the Minutemen, fireHose), Ian Mackaye (Fugazi), theorist Noam Chomsky, punk authority Legs McNeil, crotchety New York noisenik Glenn Branca, Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Chris Frantz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club), Pat Carney (Black Keys), BP Helium (Of Montreal), and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) lamenting the fact that their industry - and the record buying one - is going straight down the tubes (if it isn't already in the bowels of the toilet as we speak).

Legs McNeil, the author of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk says,
"We're at war with most of the muslim world, we have the dumbest President in the history of the United States and you're worried about record stores? That's a danger?"

Hat tip to The Playlist, watch the trailer here - INeedthat record blogspot.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 12
Jackson sisters - I believe in miracles (re-edit)
Menahan St Band - Track 9
James Brown - Don't tell it
Romanowski - Rom jack steady
Jimmy Riley and Taurus Riley - Pull up selector
The Lions - Flugin' at Dave
Augustus Pablo -Dub organiser
Al Green - Thought it out (off the new album produced by Questlove Thompson of The Roots, out May)
Fatback band - Wicky wacky
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
Lack of Afro - The outsider
Eric Lau - Let it out
Groove armada - Tuning in (dub)
Belleruche - Drum at dusk
Dubmatix - Champion sound
Manuu Dibango - Afro soul (Robn Mello remix)
Antibalas - Che che cole makossa
BT Express - Express (Kenny Dope remix)
James Brown and the JBs - 40th anniversary mix
Estelle - The magnificent
Little Dragon - Test
Peiro Umiliani - Mah na mah na (Karminsky Experience remix)
Jingo - Fever
Albarosie - Kingston town (Roma-an melodica mix)
Super Cat - Ghetto red hot (hiphop mix)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wax Poetics is the coolest magazine in the world


Video clip from Current TV - "It's our way of saying thank you..." Editor Andre Torres.

Monday, April 07, 2008



Busted
Flight of the Conchords are gonna get even bigger this year - here's a US magazine cover with them on, for Bust mag ("Men we love") and a hilarious vid of their photo shoot for Maxim mag. Link.


Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost (Rock Steady Crew), RIP
"Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, a hip-hop pioneer whose acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie "Flashdance" helped set off a worldwide breakdancing (B-BOYING!) craze, has died. He was 44.

Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center after a long illness, said Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, a senior vice president of the crew where Frost and other so-called b-boys (for beat or break boys) made their name performing complicated and daring dance routines.

"He was one of most charismatic b-boys that ever lived," said Benson Lee, director of the new documentary film "Planet B-Boy"...

Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost was known for his energetic style, intricate choreography and fearless moves including back flips and head spins. One was even dubbed the "Suicide."

Frosty Freeze got his start in 1978 with the Bronx-based Rock City Crew. In 1981, he became part of the legendary (hey you the) Rock Steady Crew, joining such acclaimed breakdancers [B-BOYS!] as Ken Swift and Crazy Legs.

Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost toured the world with the Rock Steady Crew and many other pinoeering hip-hop artists.

Frosty Freeze's appearance with Rock Steady Crew in "Flashdance" spread the breakdance [B-Boy!] phenomenon globally, said Joseph Schloss, a visiting scholar in the music department at New York University. "He was one of the first B-boys that most people ever saw," Schloss said."

(Via JSmooth quoting the LA Times, who insist on calling it breakdancing, hence the BBoy references in brackets)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, April 5
Mighty Mo - Next message
Komac - Scratch marchin'
Scientist - Dub 16
In crowd -Mango walk
Horace Andy - Prophecy dubwise
Muhsinah - Construction
Ray Barretto - Acid
Ponco Sanchez - Watermelon man (Dan the Automator remix)
Roy Ayers - Red black and green
The Lions - Hot no ho
Lightning head - Abysinnia rising
Lack of Afro - Pure filth
Manzel - Evil, wicked and nasty
Rufus Thomas - Memphis train
Alton Ellis - Dance crasher
Derrick Morgan - Forward march
Joe Gibbs - Angola crisis
MArk Ronson - No one knows
The unstoppable S Robinson and his Marvelaires - Waiting for the juice
J Rocc - Supersound
Mr Scruff - Get a move on
Benga - B4 the dual
Nick Holder - Natty dread dub
Les Gammas - Servus Mr Bond remix
Bad Brains - Leaving Babylon
Junior Murvin - Cool out son
Restless soul - Turn me out version
Erykah Badu -Honey (Moody Boyz remix)
Belleruche - Drums at dusk

Friday, April 04, 2008

Give it up or turn it loose
"When James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006, he left behind a fortune worth tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars. The problem is, he also left behind: Fourteen children (pending DNS tests); Sixteen grandchildren (and counting); Eight mothers of his children (that’s a low estimate); Several mistresses (the man was a rock star); Thirty lawyers; A former manager; An aging dancer; A longtime valet; And a sister who’s not really a sister but calls herself the Godsister of Soul anyway. All of whom want a piece of his legacy. And when the dust clears, there might be nothing left of the (supremely talented, extremely careless, and massively troubled) Godfather of Soul."

Click here to read an extended excerpt from the article by Sean Flynn, the full version of which can be found in the April 2008 issue of GQ magazine. (Hat tip to Different Kitchen)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Heart Sneakers
Further evidence that my kicks obsession is going to pay off one day... "Got a passion for buying sneakers? It could be a good sign, with a poll finding that people who buy three pairs of sneakers or more a year are far more likely to be a leadership type that other people." From Reuters.

Speaking of obsessions, I signed up for Emusic.com yesterday, and have discovered digital crack. Got legal downloads from Horace Andy to Little Dragon to Loose Joints to Cymande to Benga to Peanutbutter Wolf to Hot 8 brass band to Sugar Minott to Sun Ra. So easy, so good. Like I need another way to access more music.... sigh...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Womad 2008 - random notes... [belated]



Arrive Friday afternoon, check out the Govett Brewster Gallery for my Len Lye fix. Hang with my NP rellies and give Friday night a miss - hear later that Sharon Jones joined Mavis Staples for one song on Staples' Friday set. Damn.

Arrive Saturday arvo on the festival site, after a pleasant stroll thru Pukekura Park. Check out Kora, grooving and moving. They sounded great, apart from a brief lapse into Eurotrash techno - their influences may be broad, but do they have to explore every single one? Still, the crowd loved em, and they looked like they were having a great time onstage.



Hung round after Kora played, had dinner (butter chicken and naan) while watching a kapa haka group, with Mt Taranaki in the distance. Nice.

Watched the Dapkings set up and soundcheck, while on the grass in front of the stage Zac Condon and Beirut try and get to grips with playing cricket. The overarm bowling thing got em, kept bowling like it was baseball.



The Dapkings hit the stage at 7pm, all snappy suits and funky grooves. MC and guitarist Binky Griptite warms up the crowd, welcoming us to this special Womad edition of the Daptone Super Soul Revue. After a few tunes, he bids us to welcome Ms Sharon Jones to the stage, and this little ball of dynamite blasts into view and tears the stage apart for the next 45 minutes. No gaps between songs, just the band leader (and bass player) Bosco Mann calling the changes (found out later they never use a setlist - damn they tight) .




Then Ms Jones and the band exit. The crowd goes nuts, then Binky Griptite comes back out, holding a glass of red wine, dead casual, and asks the crowd if they want some more? The response is yes please. "Do you want some more?" Yes! "So, are you telling me, we could have a crowd-control situation of you don't get some more?" YES!!!! So the band and Ms Jones return to the stage and rip thru a few more numbers before departing. Sharon sings about all the difficulties she has faced as a singer, from people in the music industry telling her she was too short, too fat, too black, too old. And how she stuck with it, and look at her now. The crowd loved her to bits. And the response to their show on Sunday night was no different.



Sharon Jones and Bosco Mann (Gabriel Roth) took part in an event they had on a small stage set up with lounge chairs, called Artists In Conversation, an interview-format session with different performers. Sharon talked about how she was a prison guard at Rikers Island before joining up with the Dapkings. She was playing in a wedding band, and Bosco was DJing at a wedding she was playing at. He played the instrumental flipside of a single he had, and Sharon sung along, and no-one could believe she wasn't lipsyncing. Later, Bosco was doing some recording on a tune and they needed three backing vocalists, and the sax player he was working with suggested his girlfriend, which was Sharon. She came in and said well, I can sing all three parts, so why don't you just pay me instead?



The interview was conducted by the very able Nick Bollinger (Listener /National Radio - pictured above, on the left), and near the end they opened it up to questions from the audience. I got in a question to Bosco, asking about whats involved in producing vinyl. He talked a little about mastering and so forth, then got onto the pressing plant they use, which is United Record Pressing in Nashville. He's had a tour of it, when they've been down that way playing. He said it's like something straight out of the 70s, especially the offices. There's an apartment above the offices, which was built to accommodate the like of Motown's Berry Gordy when he'd come to do business with the plant, as none of the motels in Nashville would let him stay. (Photos here)



Bosco also mentioned the printing shop down the street, that prints their record labels. "They don't print flyers, stickers, posters - just record labels". He said that you phone up the owner, and say "Hey how's it going?" and he has a standard response - "Printing em square, cutting em round".

Bosco's enthusiasm for vinyl was evident in the way he talked about getting home with a new record, putting it on the turntable, then listening to the first side - he likes to listen to it 5 or 6 times before turning it over and listening to the second side. He said that albums used to be about 20 minutes a side, but now, you have artists filling up 80 minutes on a CD with nonsense like comedy skits, which he suggested was not really their area of expertise (or word to that effect).

Mid-conversation, Bosco stopped for a moment and sniffed the air, as some smell wafted by. "What's that, some food?" said Sharon. "No, I think it's something else," said Bosco, grinning (it was herb). "And thats another thing, you can't roll a joint on an MP3".

He also noted that the whole downloading/MP3/iPod culture seemed to be about quantity - "So, you've got 80,000 songs on your watch - so what?"

(And I got my latest Dapkings album signed, and got a photo of me with the lovely Ms Jones - ADDED below. And I bought the t-shirt).









Also saw Mavis Staples, Tibetan throat singers, Neil Finn, Beirut ("This is the first time we've ever played in front of a moat!"), Terem Quartet, some crazy gypsies, Cambodian guitar god Master Kong Nay & Ouch Savy, SJD, so much more. Very inspiring weekend. And scored four stellar vintage shirts from the Pio Pio opshop - $5 fill a bag. Awesome.








kongNoy

womad6

Further reading - NZHerald's Steven Shaw Sharon Jones steals the show, Full Womad report. NZH's Alan Perrott - See Womad and dye.