Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Always on my mind
Congrats to Tiki for this... Press release: August 5th 2008 - "Today Tiki and his beautiful acoustic track ‘Always On My Mind’ became the first ever New Zealand single to achieve platinum sales via a digital only release.

The # 1 single from Tiki’s platinum debut album ‘Past, Present, Future’ has been all over the radio, hitting the # 1 airplay spot in the country and racking up over 258,000 hits on Youtube to date" [before getting the boot from a gorilla drumming along to Phil Collins - screw that bad 80s sheeeet]
Full Disclosure.
That's the name of a blog by a cool fella by the name of P-Money. He's the most successful hiphop producer in NZ, no contest. He's currently readying the first single off his new album, and is pondering how to release it...

"I haven't fully decided on my web plan yet. I want my tracks on the blogs so Im wondering out loud... "do I put the track up on my blog first? streaming or a zshare link? ..do I wait til its ingested and available for sale online and then link you all to that? or hold off til the video is done and debut it on youtube? hmmm..."

I ask myself this; If I want my music in the hands of as many people as possible then I should make it available for free, right? But if I want people to purchase my track mustn't I limit how freely available the track is?

Or could it be that the number of people who purchase a song are proportionate to how many have heard it? Maybe if I'm able to give away tens of thousands of copies I may end up selling a thousand?

Or should I just say fuck it and hope the single will drive people to my shows and promoters will in turn book me for higher fee's as a result of my boost in popularity? (this seems to be the most bankable theory at present).

Anyways, when I set out on my career in music I just wanted as many people as possible to hear my shit. And I still feel the same way! I want you to enjoy my music, I want radio and TV stations to support and play my stuff and I want the blogs to talk about my tracks and spread the word. I know that if all this happens then the money will come which will enable me to keep doing what I do!

The current proliferation of p2p networks, blogs and forums have provided the world with a method of music distribution that was unimaginable to me in 2001. (When I started out my biggest dream was to get a 12-inch single distributed internationally. That was such a difficult task which was only just fulfilled on my last album with the 2005 european release of '321' b/w 'Easy' on All City Music, UK). But now with the right song (and a good publicist?) you can be heard anywhere/everywhere. The music distribution networks of the internets are immediate, global and best of all FREE for all of us to exploit.

I'm a total fan of what's happening now. The fact that my laptop has become the best and most extensive record store imaginable and I can try everything for free is actually mind-blowingly awesome if you're of the generation that grew up buying music; ie. over 24(???)."
P-Money's blog here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Steel Fela
Just been listening to a steel drum cover of a Fela Kuti tune, Black Man's Cry. It was recorded in 1974 in Trinidad by a visiting German studio engineer... and is available on a cd reissue from 2002...

"Who would imagine that hidden behind the exotic and sought after band Bossa 70 stands a sound engineer from Germany? His name is Gerhard Nieckau, nickname Jeff.

In the early 60s he went to Africa, later to Peru [1969-72] and Trinidad [73-77] to explore unknown musical territory , to record music and to fit studios. His trademark is a simple recording technique without frills, resulting in a pure, almost raw sound. All compiled pearls were found in his private archive, most of them published for the first time in Europe.

The wide range reaches from Calypso to Funk, from Jazz to Roots Beats. Amongst the uncompromisingly devoted version of Aretha Franklins THINK and Baden Powells BIRIMBAO by BOSSA 70, Lou Donaldsons CATERPILLA and Fela Kutis BLACK MANS CRY interpreted by THE GAY FLAMINGOES STEEL BAND."

According to the liner notes, Jeff's first recording on arriving in Trindiad was the Gay Flamingoes Steel Band, who were the top band on the island at that time. He went to meet with the band leader at an outdoor rehearsal, and saw 70 players. He knew he couldn't fit them all in a conventional studio, and the sound would be too high.

Jeff and the band leader went next door to the rehearsal space, and then he hit on a brainwave - record it there! The space was big enough for only 40 players, so the band leader dismissed any players not up to scratch.

The recording session went on well after midnight, as the band leader and arranger insisted on stopping if someone made the slightest mistake. It wasn't a very sound-proof space - during the recording of the nine-minute-long Black Man's Cry, just as they got to the fadeout at the end of a perfect take, a motor-ped roared past. As Jeff says, "Not for the faint hearted!"

Link, Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records. Audio of Black Man's Cry here.

Read Jeff's story here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Calypso is like so.

"Strut turns its magnifying glass onto the Caribbean for Calypsoul 70, a celebration of the magnificent array of crossover calypso, reggae, latin, Afro and soul styles that emerged, often from small studio and label stables, during the ‘70s. As well as a valuable selection for diggers, the album is designed as an ultra-handy package for DJs with a host of playable tracks and rare cover versions. All in all, the perfect funky tropical Summer soundtrack for the beach, club or BBQ." Compiled by Duncan Brooker, who did the Nigeria 70 comps, with extensive liner notes and artist interviews by music historian Francis Gooding. Calypsoul: Caribbean Soul 1969-1979, Out Sept 2.

Download: Sambo- "Woman"

Streaming tracks at http://www.strut-records.com/calypsoul70

The tracklisting in full....
01. The Revolution Of St. Vincent – The Little You Say
02. St. Maarten’s The Rolling Tones – It’s Quite A Feeling
03. Juan Formel & Los Van Van – A Ver Que Sale
04. Clarence Curvan & His Mod Sounds – Calypsoul
05. Lancelot Layne – Yo Tink It Sorf?
06. Boris Gardiner – Negril
07. Magic Circle Express – Magic Fever
08. The Checkmates – Disco Groove
09. Biosis Now – Independent Bahamas
10. Tyrone Taylor - Move Up Blackman
11. Amral’s Trinidad Cavaliers Steel Orchestra – 90% Of Me Is You
12. The Hondrells – Raycan
13. Marius Cultier – Guanavaco
14. Gemini Brass – You Don’t Love Me
15. Sambo – Woman
16. Wadadli Experience – We See Jah
17. Duke – Freedom In Africa
18. One Essence – Blackness Of Darkness
19. Ophelia – Red Light Lady
20. The Goretti Group with Dennis De Souza Trio – Of My Hands

Worth tracking down just for this tune... Amral’s Trinidad Cavaliers Steel Orchestra – 90% Of Me Is You. Killer.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lee Perry vs Moody Boyz - God Smiled (Moody Boyz mix) - I went thru hell and high-water trying to get my hands on a copy of this tune, and it's an absolute corker. You might find it here, if you're quick. One of the best records of the year. (Original is on the forthcoming new Lee Scratch Perry album, produced by Adrian Sherwood, from On-U-Sound label).
From Hypebot.com (hat tip to Jay Smooth)...

"There are many reasons why corporate and artist sites should not carry advertising. But the most obvious one is that outside ads change the conversation. In one of the few places that a marketer can completely control their message; they're sharing the stage with outsiders who have a different agenda.

To prove the point, I placed this ad via Google AdWords in rotation yesterday on the front page of the main Columbia Records web site columbiarecords.com:

Major Labels Are Obsolete
R.I.P. or learn and thrive.
Music. Tech. The New Music Business

As of this morning for a mere $3.37 in click thru fees, 6417 people visiting Columbia Records flagship site were delivered the message that this company is obsolete. Could that have been worth the share of $3.37 that parent Sony BMG will receive?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Molly McAllister and her Warrior.
Next month will mark five years of this blog's existence. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, then I get feedback like this...

George Farrant has left a new comment on your post "Pet Rock (Dec 9 2003 - on the Maori Warrior down in QEII Square, now called Britomart)...

"I've only just seen this post, so sorry for the late comment.

There is an interesting story behind the 'Warrior' relocation.

In about 1967 I worked as a student architect for John Goldwater, the architect of the 'new' Auckland Synsgogue in Greys Avenue, supervising construction of the new building.

Molly McAllister was commissioned to craft the carved Hinuera stone Ark of the Covenant in the main synagogue, and I spent a couple of weeks at the Waikato Hinuera quarry helping to carve the mass of stone relief slabs - we took a third each, to Molly's detailed design, once she was confident that we wouldn't wreck the work.

During that lovely experience she related her great disappointment earlier at the then city council insisting that, having commissioned the 'Warrior' sculpture, they would regardless of her wishes mount it on a traditional pedestal on a narrow traffic median strip in the middle of Queen Street outside the Central Post Office.

I could only listen in sympathy.

Fast forward to 2003, when my role as Chief Heritage Advisor to the council gave me the decision as to where and how 'Warrior' should be placed in the revised layout of the square in front of the new Britomart underground station... well, there was only one answer, and it gave me huge satisfaction to instruct that the marble pedestal vanish (maybe it made a great bathroom floor or garden path), and the statue be relocated in the manner Molly related at the time - at ground level amongst the people - we even sank the bronze base into the paving - facing arrivals from the water, with his gaze turned gently toward Rangitoto Island, the more distant Hauraki Gulf, and ancestral Hawiiki.

Her husband George Hayden was alive at the time and was very appreciative of this belated compensation. It gave me great satisfaction as well."

Thanks, George.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Headless Chickens reunion?
"Homebake 2008 sees a special surprise reunion of New Zealand's HEADLESS CHICKENS classic line-up from the hit-making era of their 'Body Blow' album - and a welcome return of the Chickens' unrivalled brew of dastardly electronics, danceable beats and sharp pop songs.

An enormously popular touring act with a flamboyant live show, the Chickens built a huge fan base through the early part of that decade, touring with everyone from Arrested Development to Pop Will Eat Itself before they splintered apart and the band petered out before the end of the 90's.

Chris Matthews and Fiona McDonald are back to share lead vocal duties, while the muscular rhythm section of Bevan Sweeney and Grant Fell lay the base for the sonic mayhem wrought by Matthews, Michael Lawry and Anthony Nevison." Playing Dec 6, Sydney. Spotted via NZRadio list.

ADDED Just checked the Chicks Myspace (run by Chris Matthews) and he mentions "shows in Auckland and Australia in December this year and then more N.Z. shows next year."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Join the Car Crash Set

Anna Logue Records is a German label that is rereleasing Kiwi electro act Car Crash Set on vinyl. Never heard of the Car Crash Set? Listen to em here.
There's also plans afoot for some remixes of the CCS (from the likes of Roger Perry, Joost Langeveld), including a Dub Asylum rework featuring the lovely Ms Dianne Swann on vocals. More on that one when it slides into view. Link to Anna Logue Records.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rock & Roll Refugees: 10 People Who Escaped the Music Industry

From Rolling Stone - Expat Kiwi Simon Baeyertz in there, amongst folk who now work in roles such as blogging on good lunch eats in NY, managing a vineyard ("A vineyard, by definition, grows each year. Music sales do not"), and training to be a nurse.

"NAME: Simon Baeyertz
FORMER JOB: Head of international, V2 Records. "I've actually been in the music industry 23 years — my entire adult life. I was working for V2 U.S. and it went under. I thought, 'I could go back to being a manager, or I could do international consulting. Or maybe, at age 45, I could just go do something completely different.' "
CURRENT JOB: Building El Blok, a 22-room hotel on Vieques, an island off Puerto Rico. "My wife and I started going there five years ago and slowly came up with this idea. I am learning permitting, environmental assessment, contracting and designing a building — none of which I've ever done before. If God and the planning tribunal of Puerto Rico is willing, it'll open December 2009." Link.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nas tops Lil Wayne

via JaySmooth from eurweb:

Rapper Nas is about to replace Lil Wayne atop the Billboard 200 chart Wednesday when sales figures for his new untitled album hit the streets from Nielsen SoundScan.

According to the tracking firm, the Def Jam release sold 113,000 copies during its first three days of commercial availability through Thursday. The total, however, is considerably less than the first week sales of Nas' last No. 1 album, "Hip-Hop Is Dead," which arrived in late December 2006 selling 354,000 copies during Christmas week...

Most interesting to me is this note at the end of the piece.. these places are where 80% of music is sold [in the US]?

The three-day tally for Nas' album represents un-weighted sales at nine leading music merchants -- Trans World Entertainment, Apple, Best Buy, Circuit City, Borders, Starbucks, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. They account for about 80% of the U.S. album market.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 19
Didier's Sound Spectrum - Sound spectrum
Commodores - Brick house
Erykah Badu - Honey (Moody Boyz remix)
Courtney Melody - Black liberation
Phillis Dillion - Rocksteady
Steel n skin - Afro punk reggae dub
Baby Charles - Treading water
Fat Freddy's Drop - The Camel
Karl Hector and the Malcouns - Nyx
Kova and Miles - Clap Clap
Talking Heads - Born under punches
Mad Lion - Girlzz
Roots radics - Time is cold
Pimps of joytime - PJT's (high steppin)
Max Cole - Who got the keys?
Nicole Willis vs the Dynamics - Feeling free
Overproof sound system -Watch what you put inna
Super Beagle -Dust a sound boy
The Snugs - Trying
Marc Mac and Visioneers - Funk box
45 King -Two five
Ike and Tina Turner - Funkier than a mosquito's tweeter
Peak - Get Carter
Stevie Wonder - As
Yao - Imame
Lee Perry vs Moody Boyz - God smiled
Paddy Free - Wairua

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dip Dap Dive
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are playing in Los Angeles this weekend, as are the Budos Band. Oliver Wang wrote about the band members of the Dap Kings here.

"... Dap-Kings’ leader, Gabriel Roth, jokes that the current retro-soul fad “makes pop music more bearable,” but he knows that “it can always bite you in the ass. Everybody wants stuff to sound like what we’re doing right now, and then maybe next year, everybody will be tired of it.”
Link, LA Weekly.
Happy happy joy joy
Video to make you smile. Nice one. Link.

Also just read about this - Apple have lodged a patent for a music/Dj interface for the iMac. Looks like Serato, but runs off touch-sensitive screen, like an iPhone or iTouch. Interesting stuff.

Vinyl junkies - time to get your fix!

The Beat Market Record Swap
Swap records in the courtyard of Safari and Santos. From the promoter: "An old school record swap where classic collections get to see the light of day. Bring your swap-ables, mine the collective history, and find that rare masterpiece."

Saturday, 19 July 2008 at Safari Lounge, 116 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.
12 midday start, FREE entry. GENRES: downtempo, dubstep, funk, hip hop, reggae, soul.

Music provided by DJs... Chipbutty (Base FM), Junior (Base FM), Jason Howson (Beat Merchants).

Also on this Saturday...


The Auckland Vinyl Record Collectors Fair takes place this Saturday July 19 at Polish House, Morningside. Stalls include New Zealand vinyl and music posters and foreign, 60s, rare, dance, reggae etc vinyl. Murray Cammick will be selling more funk, soul vinyl, vintage music magazines etc. The event also has stalls selling turntables & accessories.

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. $3 entry fee.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Muhammad Ali vs Mr Tooth Decay
One of the epic sound battles of all time! Get it here. Bonus Ali clips here.
Tony Veitch is a coward.
He quit his high-paying media jobs this afternoon. "I would ask that people now respect the agreement Kristin and I made to keep our personal affairs private. At all times I have been honest with my employers and at all times I have tried to do the right thing for everyone."

You were honest with your employers? Yeah, right. You want people to respect the agreement you made for beating up your ex? Get bent.

I now own a limited edition Banksy
Seriously. Bought it at Real Groovy. Numbered 12-inch vinyl. Coolest ish ever (see picture - same graphic on the back cover with different text -"Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge").

Description from Turntablelab.com - "Limited edition Banksy 12"s are in the building and DJDM is on the wax. Put the needle on the "Keep It Real(1)" side and you'll hear seriously bone crushing breaks causing ruckus underneath a crunchy electro hook and some dude yelling "Make some noiiiiiise!" It's like a surefire formula that ultimately spells collectable.

Studies show that people are already paying ridiculous prices for this on eBay. The "Laugh Now" side features three tracks which are all locked grooves: the raw drum break from the other side, a pitched up Vincent Price laugh, and a normal Vincent Price laugh. I guess the artistic statement here is that this record will keep laughing forever. This one comes in 4 colorways: gold, silver, brown and green. It's a special litho print that doesn't use CMYK, giving the print a superflat feel. Get yours or start bidding."

Go to turntablelab, they might have some more in stock. But don't hold ya breath. They've got some of the beige one, but really, beige is for losers.

How not to engage with blogland
I recently got an email from someone doing publicity for an Auckland MOR rock band, wondering if I'd be interested in doing an article on them - the "angles" the PR person suggested were they've got a new album out which hadn't had a lot of print coverage, they're touring NZ, then going overseas for a tour. It seemed very odd, given that I don't write about rock bands, hardly ever; I don't write articles in print - I write blog posts on the interwebs; and the publicist didn't even bother to introduce themselves in the email. Complete waste of time. I suspect they hadn't read my blog. Mr Dubber had a similar experience too...

From New Music Strategies...

I received a press release from a fairly big record company yesterday afternoon. You’ve heard of them. The release went like this:

"Hi blogging community,

Here at [XXXXX] (name of record label withheld), we’re on a cyber-crusade, and we want you to be part of it. We know that blogging has become a massive part of the music community and an important way of spreading word of our artists, and we want to make sure you’re kept in the loop about what’s going on at our fine label.

To make sure we don’t bother you with stuff you’re not interested in, it’d be great if you could answer a few quick questions and give us a bit of feedback on how you think we should do it. Essentially, we want to know what sort of things interest you, what you would like to be sent, how you want it sending, etc etc. This should all help in that you’ll get the best from us..."

Continue laughing here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

500 guys named Osama
Blackdown is a blog I read that is focussed on the dubstep genre. This, however, is way off-topic... Link.

So Farrah, obviously you’ve sung on several of the tracks on our album “Margins Music”, but recently you’ve got yourself involved with a proper project: travelling the Islamic world for Channel 4 to find 500 men called Osama. So with that in mind, introduce yourself those unfamiliar with your voice…"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 12
James Brown - The Bose (Geisha Boys remix, off 'Gamm Doin James Vol 4')
Rob Symeonn - Chosen one - Bigga Bush remix
Fat Freddy's Drop - The Camel
The Delegates - Pygmy pt1
Michael Prophet - Been talking
Dillinger - Melting pot
J Rawls and Liquid Crystal Project - Tribute to Troy
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Stranded in your love (Cool Calm Pete remix)
Omer Saar - Woo ha! (Busta vs Al Green - off the Green Album, get it here)
Skatalites - Beardsman ska
Mungos Hifi feat Top Cat - Herbalist
Francois K and U Roy - Rootsman
Lee Perry - Special dub
Pat Rhoden - Living for the city (Stevie Wonder is coming! Choice!)
Lee Oskar - Haunted house
Flying Lotus feat Lil Wayne - Robo tussin
Benga - B4 the dual
Dod G - Trojan soap
JBs - You can have Watergate just gimme some bucks and l'll be straight
Tony Alvon and the Belairs - Sexy coffee pot
Clarence Reid - If it was good enough for Daddy
Freddie Cruger - Something good
Kolab - Innerbeat (J Brown reggae relick)
General Levy - The wig
Lloyd Hemmings - Rude boy
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardisation
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski edit)

Friday, July 11, 2008

BaseFM vs KFM Soundclash!
The little guys vs the other little guys, head to head for one night of madness! Starts 1opm sat July 12 at Rising Sun, K Rd. Be there, or miss out.

Back to back you're gonna hear it all - Soul, funk, hip hop, D'n'b, Reggae, Dubstep and who knows what else!

The game is on and the contenders are...

representing the mighty BaseFM,

Chip Butty
Dylan C
The Sandy Bay Social Club

and for the other bunch of wannabes, KFM, we have...

Morning Steppa
Obelix B
Mr Rivers

And plenty more Guest DJs and MCs.

Hosted by the mightly P-Digs of Shapeshifter - this is one not to be missed! Who's gonna be taking home the trophy after this??? Bring ya whistles.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just down the road, on Queen St, is a queue of folk waiting to be the first in the world to buy a 3G iPhone (see video). Sure, it's tied into a ridiculously expensive data plan (but hey, all cellphone plans here are generally more expensive than the rest of the planet - fact). And Luke Soules is there too.

"Soules, of iFixit, a California-based provider of Mac and iPod parts and upgrades, is number four in the queue outside the Vodafone store in Queen Street, in Auckland. He is hoping to be the first in the world to pull the iPhone 3G apart and to document this online." Link.

Still, I'm gonna rubberneck on the way home. He he.

"Vinyl has been eliminated"
From the Guardian a while back - Jamaican DJs have ditched vinyl. I was chatting with Nick D recently, and he told me that when he was in Jamaica shooting his tv show, all the DJs there were on Serato, using MP3 files. (The Jamaica episode is available to watch online at c4.co.nz.)

Hello C4, please re-screen Making Tracks!
Thank you.
That is all.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Karl Hector and the Malcouns: Sahara Swing
"Stones Throw subsidiary Now Again is out to prove that it's not just a reissue label trying to dig up yesteryear's lost gems; it's also out to prove there are still some dope sounds being constructed today. After last year's Heliocentrics release ... the label follows it up with an album of jams rooted in afrobeat rhythms with funk undertones.

Former Poets Of Rhythm guitarist and producer J. Whitefield funks out with Malcouns founders Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija along with Karl Hector and a host of others. The results may not have you doing the worm at the discothèque, but don't underestimate this music's headnod factor.

Clocking in at just over 45 minutes, the mostly instrumental disc grooves through world rhythms and nu-funk simmered with a dash of tasty rhythmic seasoning. Throughout the set, intermissions lead us from one course to the next. “Rush Hour,” which leans less on afrobeat and more toward traditional funk, hits you with a swirling organ, steady bass, and tight snares. One section even sounds like killer bees swarming!"

Eric Luecking interviews J Whitefield about the project here. There's a tune over there to download too... Album out July 8. (link)

Monday, July 07, 2008

From the weekend papers
Real Groovy is up for sale. "Managing director Chris Hart told the Weekend Herald yesterday a bad foreign exchange deal had left the 28-year-old business in need of capital. With his business partners wanting to pursue other interests, he had no option but to offer the entire business for sale ... "New sales are only 28 per cent of our business, so it's not like it's a major component. We do a huge amount of second-hand sales. That's really the core part of the business. That's how Real Groovy started, and it's also responsible for giving Real Groovy the strength that it's got."More here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, July 5 playlist
Patti Labelle - Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine
Natural self - The rising
Quantic -Cuidad del swing version
Tenor saw - Golden hen
Tommy McCook and the Skatalites - Sauvitt
Me + You - Brown paper bag (Flowering inferno version)
James Brown - There was a time (Kenny Dope remix)
Lonnie Givens - The heat is on
Pioneers - Papa was a rolling stone
Jugoe - Days in dub
Lightning head - Bokoor sound special
Ohno vs Oneness of Juju - Beats (get it from Stonesthrow podcasts)
Karl Hector and the Malcouns - Toure samar
Iva Lamkum - Kung fu grip
Prince Fatty - cow foot and gravy
Roots Manuva - Buff nuff
Rob Symeonn - Message in the music (Shanti roots dub house edit)
Fat Freddy's Drop - The camel
Horace Andy - Cus cus
War - Cisco kid
Sapodilla punch - Hold on i'm coming
King Everard - Kill ole pan
Lee Perry vs Moody Boyz - God smiled
Jackson Conti - Sao Paulo nights
The Nomad - Check the pitch
Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 - Fire dance