Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paradise or the bag
Read Simon Grigg on the lack of funding for Kiwi electronica and more. Also a very nice hat tip from Simon about my new EP - gracias, sir. Link. "I love the joyous ska / rocksteady-ness of Ba Ba Boom and, what I describe ... as the very post rare-groove feel of the wonderfully named My Sneaker Collection Weighs A Ton."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fly, baby, fly
Worth checking out if you are in the AK area this evening. Young Mr Dwyer talks about his excellent tv show, maybe even his mishap in China where he got out of a taxi and watched it race off down the road before they got their gear out off the boot, including Nick's laptop. Actually, maybe don't remind him of that one, aye? Ask him about all the Jamaican DJs using Serato (the NZ-created DJ software).

Making Tracks with Nick D - Monday, 18 August at Auckland Central Library, 46 Lorne Street, 6pm start, FREE entry...
"Nick Dwyer from C4 talks about his experiences filming the hit TV series Making Tracks.
All welcome, intrepid explorers and armchair travelers alike."

Currently listening to this... DJ set from Rhythm and Sound's Moritz Von Oswald with Tikiman ("keep track for how many times he uses the word 'massive'. it is a truly massive amount.") 227mb, over here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, August 16 playlist
Ended up doing this show live from someone's lounge in Grey Lynn, cos the BaseFM studio is getting a new desk. People wandering into the lounge in their 'Í just got up' clothes, and watching the Olympics. Very entertaining morning. Cheers Jaz, DC, and flatties.

Ralph Myerz Band - Savannah
Guts - Living is easy (Dynamics remix)
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you (Ashley Beedle edit)
Isaac Hayes -Soulsville
Sambo - Woman
Ernie K Doe - Here come the girls (Andy Smith edit)
Tyras and the tornadoes - Hui hui
Natural yoghurt band - Soft cheese
Gregory Isaacs - Give a hand
Sugar Minott - Inna dancehall style
Chosen Few - Shaft
Congos - Congoman - Carl Craig edit
Karl Bryan and the afrokats - Money generator
Unitone hifi - Up to eleven
Mad lion - Take it easy
James Brown - There was a time (Kenny Dope remix)
Oscar Brown Jr - Chicken head
Herbie Mann - Cajun moon
Pepe Braddock - Peer pressure
Lee Scratch Perry -Train to doomsville
Nitin Sawhney -Dead man (Fink remix)
Top cat and Mungo's Hifi - Herbalist
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom!
Loopless - Pink blue hotel
Johnny osbourne - We need love
Marcia Griffiths - Feel like jumping
Quantic- Allegria en bella vista

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ba Ba Boom!
Just added a song from my new Dub Asylum digi-EP (out August 26) to the myspace page, it's called "My sneaker collection weighs a ton" (oh, I wish that were true, but sadly, no). It's a funky hiphop number, title is a headnod to Public Enemy, via Peanutbutter Wolf. Listen here.

Also spied this via twitter.. check this muxtape from Soulsides' Oliver Wang.
Delay delay delay delay delay delay
Check this out, cool documentary film out soon with Lee Perry, Sly and Robbie, Bunny Lee, Doon Letts, Kode 9, LTJ Bukem, Roots Manuva, G-Corp, King Jammy, Basement Jaxx, Thievery Corp and many more. Youtube trailer link.

"Dub Echoes" is a documentary that shows how The Jamaican dub influenced the birth of much of what we hear today, from electronic music to hip-hop.

Over 40 key names, from both the reggae and the electronic music world, were interviewed to talk about the history and the importance of the dub music.

Just follow the bass lines! For a full list of the people interviewed and more info, check:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pay what you want
How does it work for smaller artists, asks the New Times. Link.

snip... "So what does giving away music do for promotional efforts? According to Ian Rogers, former Yahoo Music VP of product development and now CEO of Topspin, a new digital music marketing platform, a good example is Saul Williams' recent release, Niggy Tardust.

"He sold about as many copies as he sold with his last release, which was on a label," Rogers says. "But [because of the free downloads] he was heard by ten times that, and that's affected his ability to tour; it's affected his entire livelihood. For him, the pay-what-you-want thing [has] absolutely been crucial to him or crucial for his career."

While Williams' collaboration with Trent Reznor undoubtedly provided ample promotion (although fewer than 20 percent of buyers chose to pay $5 for the album online rather than download it for free), it increased his chances of gaining a larger fan base.

Evidence corroborates: Lyle Lovett recently confessed to Billboard that after two decades and 4.6 million albums sold, he's "never seen a dime" in royalties and has made his living primarily off touring. That's a sure sign that business-wise musicians must find new ways to survive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dub Asylum - Ba Ba Boom! digi-EP.
Okay, finally got some new music on the way (I know, it's been a while). Here's some details of what I've sorted so far.

It's gonna be out August 26, thru Amplifier and all good digital outlets. Guests include MC Kyla, Sandy Mill and more. Listen to a sneak preview of the EP's title track here (features The WBC horns, and Scratch 22). Working on a few other ideas, also got a video on the way too. Let me know what you think of the song! Link: myspace.com/dubasylum
Roger Friedman of Fox News writes on the passing of Isaac Hayes, his poor health, and his departure from South Park.

"...in January 2006, Isaac had a significant stroke. At the time, the word went out only that he had been hospitalized for exhaustion.

But the truth was, Isaac, whom I’d seen just a couple of months earlier when he headlined the Blues Ball in Memphis, was in trouble. Having lost the rights to his songs two decades earlier, he was finally making some money voicing the character of Chef on “South Park.” But “South Park” lampooned Scientology, so the leaders wanted Isaac out.

“He said he was under great pressure from Scientology, and if we didn’t stop poking at them, he’d have to leave," South Park's Trey Stone said.

The conversation ended there. Isaac performed Chef’s signature song at the Blues Ball a week later with great delight. Although he was devoted to Scientology, he also loved being part of “South Park.” He was proud of it. And, importantly, it gave him income he badly needed.

But then came the stroke, which was severe. His staff — consisting of Scientology monitors who rarely left him alone — tried to portray it as a minor health issue. It wasn’t. Sources in Memphis told me at the time that Isaac had significant motor control and speech issues. His talking was impaired.

In March 2006, news came that Hayes was resigning from “South Park." On March 20, 2006, I wrote a column called “Chef’s Quitting Controversy,” explaining that Hayes was in no position to have quit anything due to his stroke. But Scientology issued the statement to the press saying Hayes had resigned, and the press just ate it up. No one spoke to Isaac directly, because he couldn’t literally speak. "Chef” was written out of the show.

Click here to read the March 20, 2006 FOX411

Isaac’s income stream was severely impaired as a result. Suddenly there were announcements of his touring, and performing. It didn’t seem possible, but word went out that he’d be at BB King’s in New York in January 2007. I went to see him and reported on it here.

The show was abomination. Isaac was plunked down at a keyboard, where he pretended to front his band. He spoke-sang, and his words were halting. He was not the Isaac Hayes of the past.

What was worse was that he barely knew me. He had appeared in my documentary, "Only the Strong Survive," released in 2003. We knew each other very well. I was actually surprised that his Scientology minder, Christina Kumi Kimball, with whom I had difficult encounters in the past, let me see him backstage at BB King’s. Our meeting was brief, and Isaac said quietly that he did know me. But the light was out in his eyes, and the situation was worrisome.

But the general consensus was that he needed the money. Without “Chef,” Isaac’s finances were severely curtailed. He had mouths to feed to home. Plus, Scientology requires huge amounts of money, as former member, actor Jason Beghe, has explained in this space. For Isaac to continue in the sect, he had to come up with funds. Performing was the only way.

In recent months, I’ve had conflicting reports. One mutual friend says that Isaac had looked and sounded much better lately at business meetings. But actor Samuel L. Jackson, who recently filmed scenes with Isaac and the late Bernie Mac for a new movie called “Soul Men,” told me on Saturday that Isaac really wasn’t up to the physical demands of shooting the movie. (Neither, it seems, was Bernie Mac.)

Sam Moore, who recorded those Isaac Hayes songs in the '60s and loved the writer-performer like a brother, told me Sunday when he heard about the death: “I’m happy.” Happy, I asked? “Yes, happy he’s out of pain.” It was one of the most beautiful ideas I’d ever heard expressed on the subject of death.

Read the article here.

Isaac Hayes obituary from Memphis Commercial Appeal. Snip... “The first time I saw Isaac he was wearing pink socks, green pants and a yellow flowered shirt — and he was completely bald,” said Sam Moore, of Sam & Dave. “I thought ‘Oh, my God, who is this guy?’ But, man, what songs [he] wrote for us.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes

"Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff's department said. No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement." Link

Sunday, August 10, 2008

88 drummers drummed
Pic and video from Brooklyn Vegan, if ya interested (link). Entertaining comments too.
ADDED BFM's Sunday Breakfast has a first hand account- "Our rather stoned New York correspondent, Harlan Levine, talks live from Saturday night in New York. He tells us about 88 drummers drumming for 88 minutes, at 8:08 on 8-8-08 in Williamsburg." Listen to Audio MP3, 7m35s, 6.9MB

RIP Bernie Mac. Gone at 50.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, August 9
Carlos Nino -Find a way
James Brown - The Bose (Geisha Boys remix, Gamm Doin James Vol 4)
Phillis Dillion - Rocksteady
Prince Douglas - Jam love dub
Willie Royal - General alarm
Amrals Trinidad Cavaliers - 90% of me is you
Ray Baretto - O elephante (Shh remix)
Pat Rhoden - Living for the city
The techniques - I'm in the mood
Ernest Ranglin vs Jungle Bros - Funky Bond St
Quantic - Make dub not war
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Mike James Kirkland - Too late
Reuben Bell - Superjock
Scientist - Love you dub
The nomad - Breaking rocks
P-Money - Dancing
Katalyst feat Steve Spacek - How bout us
Digidub - Conquering lion (Moody Boyz remix)
Lee Scratch Perry vs Moody Boyz - God smiled
Lightning head - Area boy
Gabriella Cilmi - Sweet about me (Ashley Beedle remix)
Romanowski - Strudel strut
Dapkings - Nervous like me
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom!
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski re-edit)
Ernie K Doe - Here come the girls (Andy Smith remix)
Music for trains
“Anyone for herbal tea?” he asks, before launching into how he and Byrne got together again. “I bumped into David in New York,” he says. “We had dinner together and I happened to say I had a lot of music I had intended to turn into songs, but hadnt got round to. He said: ‘Oh, I’ve got a few lyrics.’ It was as simple as that.”
Brian Eno on his new album with Davd Byrne, Times interview here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Am Burial t-shirts
As featured in The Sun, on their site and p19 of the paper. Gosh.

The Sun's Gordon Smart - "I feel sorry for the dubstep artist — real name WILL BEVAN — for having such humourless fans.

But my faith in humanity was restored by new website iamburial.com, which sells T-shirts, hoodies and other stuff with slogans such as I Am Burial and I’m With Burial."

But wait, there's more!

Just spied this, Rodriguez gets reissued. Yay! Very cool album, and you can go here and grab a free download of Sugarman, courtesy of Light In The Attic Records.

"It's one of the lost classics of the '60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion, and, of course, "jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane". The album is Cold Fact, and what's more intriguing is that its maker - a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez - was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working on a Detroit building site, unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution...

[His debut LP and the follow-up tanked, and he quit music] As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez's legend was growing - on the other side of the world. In South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent."

*First Official Reissue!
*Mastered from the original tapes
*Co-produced by Motown guitar god Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore
*Featuring members of legendary Motown players The Funk Bros.

Read more here.
Bloggiest day ever
I'm just saying.

Leave you with this... Seven Questions for Amy Sedaris. (online exclusive from Stop Smiling magazine) snip...

Q: You’re an established authority on entertaining and homemaking, but have you ever thrown a party that blew up in your face or completely failed?

AS: Yeah. It was a Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. And I was doing it for this girl who showed up two hours late with a frozen turkey. And then the people I invited came over too early. It just didn’t jive. It just wasn’t happening at all. I got as bored as everyone else. I didn’t pretend, I didn’t even deny it. It was pretty bad. But it’s always about the people you have. Now when I entertain, if I need something done at my apartment, I invite people to do it and we just sit around and do whatever it is.
The Beat Market was planned for last month but got rained out. Its 'back on this Saturday - come swap/trade/buy/sell your records, see em got to a good home. At Santos/Safari Lounge courtyard on Ponsonby Rd, 1pm-5pm, courtesy of Beat Merchants and BaseFM - DJs in full effect too.
Its a big day, for a few reasons - it's Ewens birthday - Happy birthday!

And, if you're in LA or New York, you can check out 88 Drummers, including expat Kiwi Hamish Kilgour (The Clean/Mad Scene).

"..Japanese psych-noise-crazy-genius-types Boredoms will once again bring the clattering of oh-so-many drums to the States this summer, in a bi-coastal sequel to last year's wildly successful 77BoaDrum event. This time out, they're calling it 88BoaDrum, and performances of the brand new 88-minute composition from Boredoms leader Eye will take place August 8 (8/8/08, you see) in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York.

The Los Angeles event will take place beginning at 8:08 PM PST at the city's famed La Brea Tar Pits, and will feature 88 drummers selected by both the Boredoms and 88Boadrum artistic director Hisham Bharoocha of Soft Circle. The New York event, conducted on behalf of the Boredoms by Brooklyn's own Gang Gang Dance, goes down at 8:08 PM EST at the Williamsburg waterfront. " Link.

from last year's event...

Youtube link.
Quote of the day
Ëvery time I see the words 'social media marketing' a little piece of me dies inside" Gina Trapani, Spotted via Twitter

I Am Burial

Get the t-shirt. (Hat tip to Dubber).

Drugs + Dubai = Hello Dad, I'm in jail
"Grooverider is included on a list of possible pardons which will be dealt with during Ramadan, which falls in September. Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, traditionally pardons foreigners caught with small amounts of narcotics during religious holidays. The pardon would have come during a period which coincided with the birthday of the prophet Mohammed.

Last November, Grooverider was arrested at Dubai International Airport after a customs search revealed he was in possession of two grams cannabis and a pornographic DVD. Though he had hoped for an early release, some speculate that the government is using him as an example of their zero-tolerance against those who attempt to bring drugs and pornography into the country." Source: Bigshot.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Don't believe the hype
A while back, the UK tabloids were foaming at the mouth, trying to unmask the identity of stencil artist Banksy. Now they've got a new target - UK music producer (and up til now, anonymous) Burial, who is nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. So what does he do? This...

"for a while theres been some talk about who i am , but its not a big deal i wanted to be unknown because i just want it to be all about the tunes. over the last year the unknown thing become an issue so im not into it any more. im a lowkey person and i just want to make some tunes, nothing else. my names will bevan, im from south london, im keeping my head down and just going to finish my next album, theres going to be a 12" maybe in the next few weeks too with 4 tunes. hope u like it, i'll try put a tune up later" He posted a photo too. From Burial's MySpace Blog.

ADDED: "... While one-named, angst-ridden, renegade folk artist Jandek has never revealed his identity over the span of 50 albums, it seems Burial’s nomination last week for a coveted Mercury Music Prize inspired Gordon Smart, a writer for UK tabloid The Sun, to embark on a self-appointed mission to discover the identity of the man he calls “the Banksy of music.”

Smart urged readers to help him “dig up the real Burial” and it was obvious that some people just messed with his head. “A reader texted me this curious puzzle: ‘Burial is not Jesus but was born of Mary. The riddle takes you to Germany where no is the Kode.’”

[then Burial revealed himself via Myspace]

... Although the cat was already out of the bag, Smart, who apparently didn’t check Burial’s MySpace page, devoted another column today wondering about the producer’s identity. Perhaps justice was served when The Guardian gloated that Burial’s identity had already been revealed in an article their paper ran about the Elliot School back in February. Does The Sun not shine on Google?"from Bigshot.

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.