And just to shift away from writing about dead people, K7 Records is giving away a free sampler for download, you just have to register your email with them. Some top tunes from this year and sneak previews of upcoming releases...
But Levin repeatedly stresses the importance of fostering a local community when milling over the loss of Earwax and the ominous threat of encroaching chain stores.
"You have to buy local," he says. "If you want your potholes fixed and the police to come when you're in danger, you have to put your money where your house is." Link. Hat tip to Coolfer.
"Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit, Michigan. He recorded Cold Fact - his debut album - in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It's crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late '60s inner-city America. "Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer," says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues.
But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez's more idiosyncratic behaviour, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. Cold Fact producer Mike Theodore remembers how he would only play at "hooker bars, inner city dives, and biker bars." When the follow-up, 1972's Coming From Reality, also tanked, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He'd never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, philosophy, a job in a petrol station and, eventually, hard labour." Link.
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).
"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.
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)
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.
"... 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.
"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."
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.
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.)
“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!
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.