Friday, May 23, 2008

Moron Says What?
I had the pleasure of attending BFM's Fancy New Band Showcase at the King's Arms last night, and damn it was good. Got to see some bands I'd never heard or heard of, and it was great stuff. 20 minute sets, lotsa energy.. especially enjoyed Mean Streets, a taut three piece banging away, and I finally got to see the wonderfully-named Moron Says What? who were every bit as good as their gloriously cool name would suggest. Four young women grooving away, kinda CSS/ESG 80s NYC dance vibe. They finished with a song called Sleep, which they said matched their song Eat (cos everyone likes to sleep and eat, right?).
You can check out both the bands I mentioned on the free CD with this months excellent Real Groove magazine. Cheers to BFM for putting it on, and cheers to Real Groove for profiling em. (Moron Says What? on Myspace, Mean Streets on Myspace)

The second installment of the Fancy New Band Showcase is on tonight at the King's Arms. And it's free. So there. Get along. Line-up follows...

Teacups – 7.00-7.25
Seth & Merle – 7.40-8.05
Turning Tricks – 8.20-8.45
Bionic Pixie – 9.00-9.25
Wilberforces – 9.40-10.05
The Randoms – 10.20-10.45
Side Kick Nick – 11.00-11.25
Clap Clap Riot – 11.40-12.05

Also there's a new FREE Nokia 5610 Xpress Music Phone to be given away on the Friday night – you must be there to pick it up. If you can't make the show, make sure you listen out for the LIVE broadcast on 95bFM with Aroha Harawira from 7-9pm.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New doco about Arthur Russell (Dinosaur L/Loose Joints)
Reviewed at The Playlist, excerpt...
Chances are pretty good that, some possible BBC4 venture aside, "Wild Combination" will be the only Arthur Russell documentary to be made in my lifetime. And while I am thankful that a good one exists, I can’t help but feel that a few of this story’s chapters, the very ones that make Arthur an underappreciated giant of late 20th century music, were given short shrift by filmmaker Matt Wolf.

To be sure, it’s not like Wolf gets anything wrong ... but there’s also the very real sense that Wolf is learning the story - and the music guiding it - as he’s making the film; and this makes for a missed opportunity in the narrative of a cellist-composer born and raised in Iowa, who came of age on a Buddhist commune in San Francisco, relocated to mid-‘70s New York where he played conduit between the downtown minimalist music scene, the early art-punk scene, and the gay disco scene, became a great (semi-) reclusive obsessive composer/songwriter, and died of AIDS in 1992.

Generally speaking, "Wild Combination"s deepest flaw is how little play the disco side of Arthur’s legacy gets ... Some minor insight into the film-maker’s disco/not disco decision was given by Wolf at the Q&A that followed last Thursday’s 9pm screening, when he spoke of not wanting those passages to be portrayed in the shadow of the hedonistic Studio 54 cliché. His explanation made it seem like he himself entered the film-making process under the spell of such cultural biases. That’s too bad – ‘cause those biases show through, and continue to under-estimate the power and repercussions of New York’s great disco story."

Read the full review here. Trailer for the film here. Official movie site here, which lists the film as screening here in the NZ Film Festival circuit in July.

There's a great article in Wax Poetics issue 23 on Arthur Russell (scans by the article's author Stuart Aitken, here), and author Tim Lawrence (Love Saves The Day) is currently writing a biography of Arthur. The image above is from Audika Records, a company dedicated to reissuing Arthurs' recordings. It's takne by Arthur's father, with Arthur playing cello, sitting by the lake near his family home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Corporate Beanbag Extravagance
Chris Bourke has some tales of the old days at EMI here...
"For a long while EMI was based in my home town, perched among some very unsalubrious light-industrial buildings in Petone. And of course there were EMI record stores in most New Zealand towns in the 1970s and 80s. I thought I’d share some images from EMI’s heyday, the 1970s. I remember reading somewhere that the success of the Beatles was so massive that their sales alone brought this massive international corporation a profit all the way until 1975. Plus, of course, there were the enormous sales of Fred Dagg’s Greatest Hits."
The photos are great! (Hat tip to Simon)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, May 17 playlist
Natural yoghurt band - Voodoo
Love unlimited orchestra - Theme from King Kong (Danny Krivit edit)
The lions - Ethiosteppers (Wilderstyle dub)
Willie Royal - General alarm
Nicole Willis - Feeling free (Dynamics remix)
Michael Rose - Better mus come
Opotopo - Belema
Mulatu Astatke - Yekermo sew
Heliocentrics feat Percee P, MF Doom - Distant star
Dub connection - Knokoder
Horace Andy - My heart is gone
OG - Bam bam
Lil Buck and the top cats - Monkey in a sack
Phil Cohran - Frankiphone blues
Roots Radics - Lovers mood
Nicola Conte - Bossa per due

Soundtrack set... (inspired after reading the King Britt interview talking about his fave soundtracks in the latest Wax Poetics mag...)
Lalo Schifrin - Bullit (Black Dog mini driver jam)
Vladimir Cosma - Sentimental walk (Diva)
Neal Hefti - Rescue from ritual (Duel at Diablo)
Issac Hayes - Cafe Reggio (Shaft)
Curtis Mayfield - Little child running wild (Pusherman)
Curtis Mayfield - Feak freak free free free (Short eyes)
Aretha Franklin - Jump (Sparkle)
Rose Royce - Sunrise (Carwash)

Dub traffik control - Fresh prince of babylon
Miles Davis - So what (Shoes reggae edit)
Jasmine Sullivan - I need you so bad
Cornerstone roots - One fine day (Kartika Leng remix)
Santo Gold - Your voice