Monday, October 20, 2008

Make the Road by Walking
Hat tip to Brooklyn Vegan... "The Menahan Street Band is a collaboration of musicians from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, El Michels Affair, Antibalas and the Budos Band, brought together by musician/producer Tommy Brenneck (Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Budos Band, Amy Winehouse) to record hits in the bedroom of his Menahan St. apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The Menahan Street Band album ("Make the Road by Walking") is out now. Download the title track over here. You might recognize it from the sample used in Jay-Z's hit song "Roc Boys (and the Winner is...)".

Speaking of which... A few months after the release of the Jay-Z track, Brenneck was contacted by the principal of Public School 20, an elementary school in nearby Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, who had tracked down the original [song] after being blown away by the sample in the radio hit.

The school band invited the Menahan Street Band to their recital to watch them perform their own rendition of "Make the Road by Walking" and to join them in their music class the following Friday. The experience proved mutually inspiring for both the children and the band, and completed the songs poetic journey from the local community center through the national hip-hop airwaves, and back to the children of Brooklyn.

watch the video of the school band here or click below. Album should be out in NZ stores soon. Or grab it yourself online.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

RIP Levi Stubbs
Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops and the voice of Motown hits including Reach Out (I'll Be There) and I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch), has died aged 72. link. Plus, Four Tops on Sesame St.

Friday, October 17, 2008

From Real Groovy to its club members.

"You may be aware that Real Groovy is in receivership. We thought that we should let you know what this may mean to you.

The Real Groovy website is still operating - the only difference is that we cannot issue or redeem online vouchers at the moment. As always, if you place an order on the website, your credit card IS NOT CHARGED until the goods are sent, so there is no risk to you.

All Real Groovy stores are still open. However, we are not purchasing or trading your unwanted items at the moment and we are not issuing vouchers or credit notes. We are still taking special orders and our bins are full of bargains - we encourage you to keep providing your valuable support.

The Real Groovy Club is still operating - you will continue to receive points and bonuses, when they are due.

If you have an insurance claim to be fulfilled by Real Groovy, it has been temporarily put on hold. We ask you to be patient, and we will advise you by email once we have resolved the situation.

We are committed to keeping Real Groovy going and are working hard to ensure that this happens. We hope to be able to start accepting Real Groovy vouchers and credit notes again and, while we cannot make any promises, we recommend that you keep them safe until you hear from us.

We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from a lot of our customers, and our staff are really grateful for the patience, understanding and courtesy that has been shown to them in this difficult time. We're all hoping for a really positive outcome and for Real Groovy to continue well into the future.

Thank you

The Real Groovy Team

Latest unofficial word is that RG Wellington and Christchurch have been sold, and a possible sale for RG Auckland is in the air. Here's hoping that happens!

ADDED Just saw that the NZ Herald has posted an NZPA story on Real Groovy, essentially it's a news report which rewrites the above email to customers, and was posted online at 6.48pm.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Real Groovy - fallout spreads.
"A music promoter is around $9000 out of pocket after iconic music chain Real Groovy Records was placed in receivership. Matthew Crawley brought Canadian band The New Pornographers to play in New Zealand two nights ago and sold tickets through Real Groovy.

He told 3 News that when he went to collect the money yesterday for the tickets he was greeted by a businessman he didn’t know. “I said – ‘are you going to tell me that you’re not going to give me the money that I just made on these tickets?,’ and he said – ‘not immediately, but we will give it to you.’” (link, plus video)

As Real Groovy was a major ticket seller for music events, this could have serious repercussions right thru the music industry, from promoters to venues, PA companies, etc.

Also... I just watched TV3 Campbell Live and TV One News clips on Real Groovy's closure - TV One made it all about iTunes and the economy, then covered Briscoes and the retail downturn and blamed the global economic difficulties reaching our shores, and TV3 blamed Itunes and $1 downloads, and ended up discussing the cd vs vinyl debate. None of which has anything to do with Real Groovy going into recievership due a foreign exchange deal going bad (as stated by the owners).

Not so groovy
Real Groovy was a hot topic round my workplace today, with some people saying they thought it was due to JBs Hifi, and also the internet affecting Groovy's retail sales (someone will blame illegal downloading too, before long). But as the NZ Herald noted, Groovy's owners have said that new releases only accounted for 28% of their business (source).

Certainly, retail is slowing up for CDs, and has been for some time. Take this week's number one album in the US, by T.I. According to Billboard, "despite a 69% drop-off in sales, T.I. starts a second week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with "Paper Trail." The Grand Hustle/Atlantic set sold 177,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, after debuting last week with 568,000. Metallica's Warner Bros. album "Death Magnetic" climbs back up 5-2 despite a 24% sales slide to 66,000"(link).

Back in January this year, Real Groovy co-owner Chris Hart said "2007 was not the best year. In an interview two years ago he expected Real Groovy to be turning over $20 million annually by March 2006. He says it probably accomplished that, but things have flattened off. "We're not experiencing the growth we had done, and that's the same for retail in general." (link, "Real Groovy - a company adapting to change")

But really, it's about what we lose if/when Real Groovy disappears from the Auckland musical landscape. It's somewhere to go and dig around in the bins and always be surprised by what you might find (don't get that one at JBs, do you? Just stickers that scream Buy Me, I'm Cheap); a place for bands to play live-instore; a ticket seller for concerts - 70% of ticket sales for dance events are thru Real Groovy in Ak; it's a treasure trove of musical delights. It's been around for 28 years, and I can barely remember a time that it wasn't there. Now I have to face the prospect that it might soon be gone for good.

And is JBs really that successful here? An article in the Australian last month, titled "Grunge look is key to JB Hi-Fi's success" (seriously - what the hell?) noted that "JB posted a net profit of $65.1 million after tax for the 2007-08 financial year, up 57 per cent, on sales growth of 42 per cent... The result is even more impressive when you consider the $4.9 million pre-tax loss JB made in New Zealand, where sales were down 10.9 per cent.

[Chief executive Richard] Uechtritz says he regrets the company's purchase of New Zealand whitegoods chain Hill & Stewart in 2007.

"I wish we hadn't bought it, in hindsight. A few months after we did, the New Zealand economy tanked. We bought it for the support office and the relationship with suppliers but it wasn't really our type of business. At the time we thought it would give us a running start in New Zealand for our JB stores," he says. Instead, JB should have gone it alone, opening its own stores. "We would have lost money but we probably would have lost less"

Hat tip to Trevor for the Billboard and Australian articles.
RIP Neal Hefti
"Neal Hefti, the composer who wrote the groovy theme for '60s television show Batman, died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85... his son said the surf-style Batman theme was Neal Hefti's "most difficult piece, taking him at least one month to compose the driving bass and explosive trumpet bursts," according to the Associated Press.

"He threw away more music paper on this thing than any other song," Paul Hefti said. "It got down to the blues with a funny guitar hook, the lowest common denominator and a fun groove." Link.

Real Groovy in receivership
"Hard times have hit a legendary music shop.Real Groovy has been placed into receivership, after being put up for sale four months ago following a bad foreign exchange deal.Analysts say the company was probably also harmed by the introduction into the market of mega Australian music shop JB Hi-Fi, which is engaged in a price war with The Warehouse.Real Groovy's four stores around the country are still open, but vouchers and credit notes are no longer being accepted and the company is not buying any more second hand albums or CDs." from Newstalk ZB - 16/10/2008 7:32:03

Damn. What am I gonna do without that vast repository of vinyl?

ADDED, from NZPA -"Managing director Chris Hart was in his Dunedin store last night [Wed] carrying out a stocktake, which was also under way at the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch shops.

Staff referred media queries to the Auckland receivers, John Cregten, and Andrew Mckay, of Corporate Finance Ltd, who were appointed late yesterday by Westpac NZ Ltd.

Their first report on the business is due by Christmas Day, with a further report on the receivership by June 23 next year.

A new company, Real Groovy Christchurch Ltd, owned by Alison Gaye Knight and Paul Patrick Huggins, of Lyttleton, was registered with the Companies Office last week. (link)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's so wrong about Section 92A of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act
I've been thinking about writing something on this for the past few days after reading Colin Jackson's account of his torturous meeting with Judith Tizard and David Cunliffe over this insane bit of legislation. Russell Brown has summed it up nicely for you over here.

snip... "The section requires ISPs to have a plan to cut off the internet access of customers who repeatedly infringe copyright: in practice that means cutting off a customer who has been the subject of three allegations of using their internet connection to infringe copyright.

Yes, that's right: infringement need not be proven. And ISPs, who have no competence and don't want the job, are placed in the position of adjudicating over the merits of copyright claims. They'll cave and move on."

Yesterday Helen Clark defended this piece of legislation when interviewed by Sunrise's Oliver Driver, saying "What Judith Tizard's working on in getting a new business model for artists in New Zealand". Anyone buy that?ADDED Mark Harris transcribed this interview - cheers Mark,. he also transcribed music lawyer Chris Hocquard's Sunrise appearance from this morning, part one and two.

More commentary here also.

ADDED Labour have created some great initiatives for the music industry, but this is not one of them. Also, "National’s Maurice Williamson agreed it was a bad thing and said he didn’t know why he had voted for it." From Colin Jackson blog.

Bizznizz time
NZ Herald music critic Russell Baillie explains why Flight of the Conchords cleaned up at last week's music awards.

"... There are some simple reasons why they won. They are popular because they were on TV. They have got lots of coverage on their US breakthrough from the likes of us here at TimeOut, despite being ignored by major networks.

So it's no wonder from the large pool of judges - I am one and I rudely ignored them despite loving the show to bits - that the awards' organisers, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand gets to decide these things.

Here's a theory: many of the 200 or so judges are commercial radio guys (and the musicians tend to pick their mates). The likes of FOTC's Business Time has been on high rotate across many a playlist, as it sure perks up the morning show.

So when you are presented with a list of virtually all the New Zealand albums released in the past year ... it sure is easy to tick the familiar and keep ticking it. You didn't even have to have heard a copy of Flight of the Conchords to know the songs. "Link

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RIP Alton Ellis
Godfather of rocksteady passes in London, aged 70. Link.

"The Jamaican-born singer, who moved to Britain in the 1970s, achieved fame with a number of hits, including I'm Still in Love and I'm Just a Guy. He was a leading pioneer of the more laid-back "rocksteady" sound, which came out of Jamaica in the 1960s. Ellis was still performing until August this year, when he collapsed after a concert in central London. The Jamaican authorities are considering giving Ellis a state funeral, Ms De Rosa added."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, October 11
Special mention to the txter who thanked Basefm for bringing back radio with pictures (the webcam) and said that I looked as good as Karen Hay. Um, cheers. And hello to Neal in Portland, Oregon. Go, the international listeners!

Herbie Mann - Push push
Derick Morgan - Fat man
Roland Alphonso and the Skatalites - Guns of Navarone
Frankie Paul - Let's start over
Dubwize and Mikey General - Mighty Jah Jah
Dark Angel and Roots garden - Version minded
Budamunky - Wednesday
Marc Mac - Fantasy (Beat drop version)
Graham central station - Tell me what it is
Invisible Spike - No means no
Kraftwerk -The model
Benga - 26 basslines
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Mungos Hifi and Brother Culture - Ing (MJ mix) and Ing dub version
Barrington Levy - Dances are changing

Financial meltdown mix
Gwen Guthrie -Aint nothin going on bu the rent
Prince Charles and City Beat Band -Cash (cash money)
Eric B and Rakim - Paid in full
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - What if we all stopped paying taxes
Donovan Carliss -Be thankful for what you've got

Prof Oz - Waves and sun (Grant Phabao remix)
Jazmine Sullivan - Need you bad (Moody Boyz remix)
Wild Bill Ricketts/Round the bays - Mangi mangi
Gay flamingos steel band - Catapilla
O'Donel Levy -Living for the city (19 sleeps til Stevie!!!!)
Salah Ragab - Egypt strut
Pleaasure - What is slick

Friday, October 10, 2008

The top 15 songs about being broke
See LA Times blog. Know any more? Add them in the comments.

Blind Alfred Reed, "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?": Covered and topically updated by Ry Cooder and Bruce Springsteen, Reed's laments about food prices and shoddy healthcare are as contemporary as your latest premium hike.

Geto Boys, "Ain't With Being Broke": You wouldn't know it from the radio today, but rap used to be about not having money for food, let alone a Learjet. Never has not getting a toy train for Christmas sounded like such a cry for class warfare.

The Clash, "Career Opportunities": Sure, being broke is lame, but what's even worse is a minimum-wage gig where you "make tea for the BBC" or "open letter bombs" for paunchy apparatchiks. A sneering Brits' answer to "Take This Job and Shove It."

Crystal Waters, “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”: You don’t usually look to house music for heartfelt lyrical content with a pro-social message. But what few words there are on this 1991 hit put a human face on being down and out. “She’s just like you and me,” New Jersey dance chanteuse Waters sings, “but she’s homeless. She just stands there singin’ for money, ‘La da dee, la da da. La da dee, la da da.’”

The Beatles, "Can't Buy Me Love": There are some single guys recently laid-off from Lehman Bros. who are trolling New York bars and really, really hoping this song is true.

Bruce Springsteen, "Atlantic City": The Boss' preferred stimulus package involves heading to the Jersey shore and hooking up with the Mob. And we know all about "debts no honest man can pay" around these parts.

Dolly Parton, "Coat of Many Colors": Parton was a fashion maven even back when her mom could only stitch rags together. Now she has her own completely awesome theme park. Sometimes, things work out.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son": As if being poor wasn't injustice enough, John Fogerty reminds us that when the Army comes a-drafting for another foreign adventure, guess who most often has to take that call?

Loretta Lynn, "Coal Miner's Daughter": Back before "clean coal technology" was a spurious buzzword, Lynn's extended brood was up to their necks in the dirty stuff. We're glad to report that she has bought plenty of pairs of better shoes since then without having to sell a hog.

Sham 69, “Hey Little Rich Boy”: Populist British Oi! outfit Sham 69 threw down the class-baiting gauntlet with this 1978 song. It attempts to glamorize the trappings of poverty as only football chanting punk yobs can: “I don’t need a flash car to take me around/ I can catch the bus to the other side of town!”

Bob Marley “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”: Soul-stirring songs like this are the reason St. Bob is revered as a kind of Third World messiah. In “Belly,” he ponders the harsh realities he faced growing up in Jamaica’s notorious Trench Town slum: food shortages, pervasive dirt, the untenably high cost of living and poor people’s cri de coeur -- that “a hungry mob is an angry mob.”

Pulp, "Common People": Jarvis Cocker delivers the single best uppercut to rich kids fetishizing poverty in all of pop. This song should be on every art school syllabus in the world.

Erik B. and Rakim, "Paid In Full": The song finds Rakim reaching into his pockets in search of “dead presidents” but only “coming up with lint.” The song’s narrative arc is his contemplation of ways to generate income: a 9-to-5 job or robbery being chief among them. In the end, though, Rakim reaches a crucial realization: Rhyme pays.

Desmond Dekker, “The Israelites”: One of the first smash reggae hits, Dekker’s soulful classic likens the plight of a poverty-stricken working man to that of an ancient Hebrew slave: “Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir/ So that every mouth can be fed/ Poor me, the Israelite.”

Ruben Blades, "Adan Garcia": A sleeper pick that gets the nod because of the sheer wanton melodrama of its ending. A man gets laid off, robs a bank to support his family and dies in the getaway. The next day, the papers lead with "Robber Holds Up Bank with Son’s Water Pistol."

--August Brown and Chris Lee

(UPDATE: The commentariat was right, there's no excuse for not including Woody Guthrie on the original list. The entirety of "Dust Bowl Ballads" should be here. We sentence ourselves to one hour of fighting with a mangy dog for a crust of bread in penance.)

Records for sale
Okay, so the NZ$ took a nasty tumble in recent days, so buying records via the internet is off the books for a while for me. But if you live in London or close by, ex-pat Kiwi muso Mark de Clive Lowe is selling off some of his record collection, as he's relocating. 200 records, top tunes in there. He's selling them as a bulk lot, pick up only. Full details here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

NZ Music Awards random thoughts

Damn, Vector Arena is in a crappy looking part of town. Sure, flash new buildings all around it, but they lack any defining qualities that suggest character. They look like new urban ghettos. Thanks, ACC urban planning!

Seated inside by 7.30, and at 7.29, the pre-show music starts sounding strangely familiar. I turn to my table mates and say, "hey, that's my song!"And it is too - Smash Thru, off my new EP. And damn, it sounds good loud thru a PA (As the person next to me commented). So, yay me. (Thanks, Josh!)

During Campbell Smith's speech, he paid tribute to the recently departed Mahiarangi Tocker and Rob Guest. Meanwhile at the next table , a young woman was deeply engrossed playing with the g-string undies from her goody bag. Nice one.

Helen Clark presented the international achievement award, to Savage and Flight of the Conchords. Savage was there in person (dude has sold half a million singles in the US this year - read that again, and then ponder why the hell he's not on the front of the paper every goddamn day), and opened his speech by saying "Go Labour". FOTC did a wacky prerecord from New York. When they won best album, Brett did the speech, with Jemaine sitting there going "I'm not accepting this".

Oscar Kightley was one of the presenters, he observed that the event had pretty flash production values. "I feel like I'm at Destiny Church".

Kora and Opensouls backing Scribe were great, Tiki was spectacular, Cut Off Your Hands were spirited, Anika Moa was lovely, and Shihad were Shihad (shout out to my man Chip Matthews, hardest working musician at NZ Music Awards - he played in two different bands, had to go to two sound checks, but got double the rider - I'm sure).

The closer with Julia Deans and band doing Straitjacket Fits was a note-perfect carbon copy. SJF's Lifetime Achievement was presented by John Campbell. According to the speech notes he left lying on his table (which mysteriously fell into my hands), he was instructed to "Please introduce yourself, and talk from the heart about what the Straitjacket Fits mean to you for up to three minutes". If you want em, they'll be on Trade Me soonish. Campbell never even said 'marvellous', so there went that drinking game.

After-party kicked in, with expat Kiwi (Now LA-based) Dan Mancini creating havoc. I ran to the front of the venue and jumped around like a maniac when he played Psycho by the Sonics - classic 60s garage punk. He even played Forever Tuesday Morning by the Mockers, which managed to get our table up and dancing, including Mr Brett Adams (formerly of The Mockers) on air guitar. Beautiful moment. Time to go home.

Official results here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Soul Power
Hat tip to DJBrainchild at OSN, writing about a new documentary called “Soul Power.”

"What this film is, is essentially a companion piece to “When We Were Kings” which was about the Ali/Foreman fight in Zaire in 1974. To accompany the fight, a 3 day festival was put together, spearheaded by Hugh Masekela. A lot of African musicians played along with Sister Sledge, The Pointer Sisters, Bill Withers, BB King, Fania All Stars with Celia Cruz, The Spinners, and headlined by James Brown.

“Soul Power” basically chronicles the days leading up to the show and the show itself. I gotta say this sh#t felt like the first time i watched Woodstock and Wattstax.

In fact, it felt like the director kinda used the two as a template for this film. All of the onsite construction set up felt similar to similar scenes in Woodstock. And the heavy use of casual monologues from Muhammad Ali throughout the film was very similar to Richard Pryor in Wattstax.

It’s a very moving film. I’ve never seen such casual footage of James Brown ever before. There’s a scene where he’s in a hotel room with Don King talking about how money is essential to black people being liberated. At the end James Brown said a line that sent the audience in the screening howling and clapping. I won’t ruin it for you.

Other amazing scenes include, what the Director called a very random and unplanned performance by a local African r&b band on a street corner in Kinshasha, a VERY young Kathy Sledge teaching members of an African dance troupe how to do the bump, the Fania All Stars JAMMING THE F#CK OUT on the airplane on the way to Zaire, BB King eying the women as he’s walking off of the plane, Phillipe Wynn sparring with Muhammad Ali. Bill Withers’ performance of “Hope She’ll Be Happier” damn near moved everyone to tears.

After the screening there was a short Q&A with the director and he said he wants to release the full show on a series of DVDs (14 hours of performances) after the movie has its run."

Full text over here. When We Were Kings is one of the best music docos ever, so if it's half as good as that, it will blow your freakin' mind. You've seen When We Were Kings, right? No? Shame on you! Sort it out!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Soul Train
From the Chicago Reader, on the hometown phenomenon.

"...In 1967, Don Cornelius was already over 30. Born in Chicago in 1936 and raised in Bronzeville, he attended DuSable High School, whose rich arts programs also produced Nat “King” Cole, Von Freeman, and Redd Foxx, among others. An aspiring cartoonist, he joined the marines after high school and spent his 20s trying his hand at numerous jobs, including insurance salesman and cop. With encouragement from customers—and ... WVON news director Roy Wood, who remarked on Cornelius’s rich baritone when Cornelius pulled him over for a traffic violation—he took a broad­casting course and had soon become an auxiliary member of the legendary Good Guys, the influential black deejays who made Leonard Chess’s WVON (the Voice of the Negro) so popular in the 60s. He read the news, pinch-hit for sick deejays, and began reporting on sports for WCIU’s A Black’s View of the News.

In 1969, with only three years of broad­casting under his belt, Cornelius decided he was ready to launch his own TV show, based on a series of high school record hops he had hosted. Because he’d brought a “caravan” of stars from school to school, he had called this traveling event the Soul Train. He lined up Sears as a sponsor and used his WVON connections to book local R & B stars, including Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, and the Emotions, for the premiere episode. When Soul Train became a local hit, Cornelius took it to Los Angeles, where in 1971 he launched the syndicated national version, fully owned by his production company.

More here.

"Digital downloads grew 38 per cent from 2006 to 2007 to become a $1.26 billion business, making up 23 per cent of the market for recorded music, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Sales of physical music media such as CDs, cassettes and DVDs declined 19.1 per cent to $7.5 billion in the same one-year period." (Source) Hat tip to Nat Torkington

Monday, October 06, 2008

Musically Mad
'Musically Mad' is a film that dedicates itself to shining light on UK sound-system culture by taking the audience into the heads and hearts of the singers and sound-men, the backbone of the UK roots reggae scene. It follows a culture that was brought to the UK by Caribbean immigrants and which continues the tradition of providing upliftment to the people in the face of hardship and fostering community and cultural unification and pride. The film includes interviews and footage of some of the key players of the scene, including Iration Steppas, I Natural, Aba Shanti, Jah Shaka, Dougie Conscious Sounds, DJ Stryda, King Shiloh, Afrikan Simba, Channel One, Fatman Sound, Young Warrior, Joe Ariwa, Mad Professor, Levi Roots and many more!"

When: Wednesday 15 October @ Galatos (Galatos Street), 6.45pm start

Featuring: Guest speakers Ingrid Leary (British Council director) and DJ Danny Lemon (Roots Foundation). Plus selectors Paradox & Yardboy

Free Entry - limited seats available!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, October 4
Marlena Shaw - California soul (Diplo remix)
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Stranded in your love (Cool calm Pete remix)
Menahan st band - track 9
Bamboos - Tighten up
Gay Flamingos steel band - Black man's cry
Thievery corp - Radio retaliation
Bunny General - Pon mi border
Tommy McCook and the supersonics -Big, bad and bold
Sabres of paradise - Wilmot
Mr Scruff - Fix that speaker
Ray Barretto - Acid
Joe Bataan -Subway Joe
Joe Quijano - Fun city shingaling
Roots manuva - Again and again (Moody boyz remix)
Moody boyz - Jammin
The snugs - Trying
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom!
Definition of sound - Wear your love like heaven
Freddie Cruger - Something good
Jimmy Bo Horne - Let me be your lover
Jimmy McGriff - Red sails in the sunset
Tony Alvon and the Belairs - Sexy coffee pot
Cyril Neville - Gossip
Maxwell implosion - Grasshopper
Lady Saw - Jealous (Benny Hill riddim)
Dj Mujava - Township funk (Ashley Beedle re-edit)
Quantic - Make dub, not war
Al Brown - Aint no love

Friday, October 03, 2008

Backyard Parties: A Brief History of DJ Culture in Southern California
"Historically, the youth involved in backyard party planning and djing did not have the extra cash to drive to Hollywood and pay $20 bucks to enter a club.

That is why they created a party of their own, with their own rules, participants, promoters, economies and music. This sub-culture which was and continues to be emulated by club promoters in the west side and the world was built and devised by the young men and women, ages 15 to 21, who live and sometimes die in east and south L.A.

In this issue of webstories, we will explore the rise of backyard parties as we take a look at the evolution of DJ culture from the 1970’s to the present. In each decade we will explore one famous party, tracing the evolution and development of fashion, music and culture in L.A." Link.

Soulwax’s film ‘Part of the Weekend Never Dies’
"Saam Farahmand is one of the hottest directors around, and he’s also an avid dance music fan. So it’s not surprising that Farahmand linked up with Soulwax and created the excellent tour documentary Part of the Weekend Never Dies. The film captures key moments during Radio Soulwax’s grueling global jaunt, which included 120 live shows and DJ gigs (where the band’s Dewaele brothers, David and Stephen, spin as 2ManyDJs)."

Link to Big Shot Magazine, includes clip from the movie. Also from Big Shot... Free mp3: Tittsworth feat. Kid Sister and Pase Rock / “WTF”
In conversation: Debbie Harry and Santogold - "Where’s Suicide when you need them?"
Debbie Harry: There’ve always been two schools of thought when it comes to female artists. There’s the serious guitar players who have stuff to say, and they’re called “women.” And then there’s the producer-driven, girl-group, hair-toss, flaunt-your-tits-and-ass kind of act.

Santogold: The producers phenomenon is one of the reasons music has gone downhill. When I was a teenager, every hip-hop artist had their own D.J., who was their producer. From Public Enemy to A Tribe Called Quest, everyone had a different sound. Now? Now it’s only hip-hop, pop, and rock. You’ve got three producers who do everything. And as far as the women go, I think there are very few big-time women right now who are running their own show, like Bj√∂rk, M.I.A., and Karen O. It’s all American Idol.

DH: The best part about American Idol is when they have the auditions.

S: I agree.

DH: That’s all they should do.

Read it here.

Santogold playing in NZ at new years. Listen to Shove It by Santogold over here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Black, round and groovy
"Black, Round, & Groovy explores the love affair many music aficionados have with their records. Black, Round, & Groovy will introduce viewers to a variety of characters—the pack-rat whose 60,000 records forced him to rent warehouse space, the dj who attempts to free himself by selling off his collection, the punk who started collecting soul 45s—disparate people with black plastic discs in common.

"I spose it's better than being a heroin addict, cos at least i've got something to show for spending my money!" Watch the film trailer here (first one)

Check Basefm out right now

Ota (of the Open Souls), the winner of the MPC Championship of the World (read; Ak vs Welly) recreates his winning set live on Basefm, check the webcam. Slight delay between audio and pics.Awesome new Basefm website too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lars Ullrich still hates the internetz.
"The Internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice."
No, Lars will NOT listen to you complain about the sound quality of the new Metallica album, and, no, you're wrong - the Guitar Hero version of the game is not better. "There's nothing up with the audio quality. It's 2008, and that's how we make records." Link.
DJ Vadim diagnosed with cancer
DJ Vadim, has been diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer known as Ocular Melanoma / Choroidal Melanoma. He was operated on last Friday, in London. His wife, Yarah Bravo, has written about it on her myspace page.
"So many times has he had my back and lifted me up when i was down! And i wish now that we can all do the same for him! All i am asking from you, is to create a proactive boomerang….WORLD WIDE and please pray for him! Help him heal!! Send him all your energy and love, and think intensely about him surviving, recovering and coming back stronger!!!"

Here's hoping he is able to fight off the cancer and make a full recovery.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday freshness
Some tunes to get you thru the day...

TM Juke and Jack Baker trio
- 'Fortune favours the bold' (link) ... gloriously skittish funk
AFTA1 - 'Honey dip' (link) ... blunted hiphop blurred into dubstep electronics
The Bamboos - King of the rodeo (link) can you say Aussie funk?
The Phenomenal Handclap Band - Testimony (link) features members of Antibalas, Dapkings and more. They describe theur sound as "anthemic, dancefloor-oriented blend of progressive rock, disco, electro, and '60s soul with sprinklings of hip hop-styled orchestral breakbeats and moody, synth-heavy hooks."

If you like any of these, go and buy them! Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free music.

In case you missed it, Amplifier are giving away a tune off my new Dub Asylum EP, offer good til thursday. Grab it here.

Just heard that my song "Smash Thru" has debuted on the KiwiFM Weekly Top Ten at #10 -choice!

Also, got my first review of the EP, from Groove Guide. "Ba Ba Boom is the latest release for Dub Asylum and the five tracks are hiving and jiving and the perfect selection of songs to shake your booty to.

The majority of the music is written by Peter McLennan and he is also the man behind the mixing and engineering on the tracks but the EP also features collaborations with some of NZ’s finest. Musically it opens with “Smash Thru” which features the incredible vocal and lyric writing styles of MC Kyla. Such an upbeat banging track that I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make it onto indie radio stations top 10s.

The second track features the horn section of the WBC and there’s something friendly about the track that reminds me of Sesame Street in a very good way! The real dub starts to shine through from tracks 2-4 and it gets mellower and slower as it goes on finishing with a beautiful track that features Sandy Mill on vocals. Love it!" - Fleur Jack, Groove Guide #237, 17 Sept 08.
Trailer for Biggie Smalls film 'Notorious'
Watch it here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Benny Hill riddim
"Producer and artist Leftside samples Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax, perhaps best known as the theme tune for The Benny Hill Show, to create a fast-paced bashment rhythm propelled by handclaps, sax riffs and parping brass stabs." Versions from Lady Saw and Elephant Man. Silly.
Get it here.
Kanye and his crazy comb-voice
Heard the new Kanye single? Dude is all autotune... it's hideous... "On the finished single ['Lockdown'], it sounds like he’s singing through a plastic comb with some toilet paper wrapped around it. Link.

Monday, September 22, 2008

?uestlove (The Roots) interview
Link. Dude's t-shirt days "Future community organizer". Nice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ring The Alarm, BaseFM, Sept 20 playlist
Today's show was a tribute to Norman Whitfield, legendary Motown producer and songwriter.

Rose Royce - Sunrise
Temptations - Psychedelic shack
Temptations - Ma
Rose Royce - Do it, do it
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Jackie Mittoo - Chicken and booze
Brigadier Jerry - Ram dance master
Jimmy London - I'm your puppet
Bornx river prkway - Donde
Ernie K Doe - Here come the girls (Andy Smith reboot)
Dub Asylum - My sneaker collection weighs a ton (get it free from Amplifer)
Roy Ayers - Boogie back
20th Century steel band - Papa was a rolling stone
Overnight players - Shaka the great
Black seeds - Year of the pig
Ozomatli - Super bowl sundae (Peanutbutter wolf remix)
Nina Simone -Taking care of business (Pilooski re-edit)
Scritti Politti - Absolute
Temptations - War
Temptations - Ball of confusion
Madd racket - Get it (good god!)
Meters -Tippi toes
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Brass in Africa
Mungos Hifi - Ing dub
Hortense Ellis - People make the world go round
Temptations - Papa was a rolling stone
Money money money
Thanks to Robyn for posting this on the Public Address forums... It clearly explains just how the financial mess in the US came about.

"There's an hour-long special on NPR's All Thing's Considered radio show which explains the subprime crisis in simply, entertainingly yet thoroughly.

'This American Life producer Alex Blumberg teams up with NPR's Adam Davidson for the entire hour to tell the story—the surprisingly entertaining story—of how the U.S. got itself into a housing crisis. They talk to people who were actually working in the housing, banking, finance and mortgage industries, about what they thought during the boom times, and why the bust happened. And they explain that a lot of it has to do with the giant global pool of money.' There's a transcript too if you want to read it."
I read the transcript, well worth it. Made a lot more sense than the various long-winded reports in the Weekend Herald.