Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, November 8
Herbie Hancock – Wiggle waggle (Mr Scruff club mix)
Dusty – Voodoo

Big ups Barack Obama...
The Pointer sisters – Yes we can can
Skullsnaps – It's a new day

Jackie Mittoo – Totally together
Brother culture and Mungos Hifi – Ing
Lester Sterling -Afrikaan beat
Beats International -Invasion of the estate agents
Sharon Jones and Dapkings -How long do I have to wait for you? (Ticklah remix)
Ladi 6 – Dark brown
Eru Dangerspiel -The hold up
OJays - Backstabbers
Lee Oskar - Haunted house
Ballistic Brothers -Peckings
Dub colossus – Azmari dub
Lee Perry – Special dub
Metrophonics – Latin racer
Fred Leslies Missing Links -Got so much trouble on my mind
Roy Ayers – Running away
Miles Davis – A different blues (Applejuice kid remix)
Roxanne Shante – Have a nice day
John Gibbs and US Steel orchestra – Spanish hustle
Paul St Hilaire – Office
Mike Fabulous - Wang east
Jimi Hendrix -Foxy dub (Rob Tex edit)
Dub colossus – Shem city steppers
Al Green – Love and happiness (Shoes edit)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Say it loud
James Brown -I got the feelin' DVD out now. Soulsides has a clip from it here.

"I Got the Feelin': James Brown In the '60s, a 3-DVD set comprised of two concerts (Boston Gardens, 4/5/68 & the Apollo Theater, 3/68), plus a documentary, The Night James Brown Saved Boston.

The latter is in reference to one of the astounding cultural moments of the turbulent late '60s: the day after MLK's assassination, Brown came to Boston and it was decided that not only would the show go on, but WGBH would broadcast the show throughout the city as a way to "keep the peace." To that degree, it was successful as Boston did not suffer the same levels of rioting or arrests as other major American cities."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Freshness
listen to these...
Bass Nectar (straight outta SF -thunderous dubstep biz)
Dub Colossus (London dub meets Ethiopia)
Elvis Presley - Crawfish (Pilooski edit) - fave Elvis tune ever.
and Herbie Hancock - Wiggle waggle (Mr Scruff club mix). Funky dopeness.

And all you Kiwis - get out and vote tomorrow! If you don't vote, no one gives a crap what you think. Put up or shut up.

That is all.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Patrick Moberg:  Today is a big day.

Obama-lama-a-wop-bam-boom
Today's picture (hat tip to Matt B)

and the soundtrack....
Parliament - Chocolate City (link or link)


This via twitter from Jay Smooth in New York... "Uma Thurman is hanging out of the side of her escalade, riding down 125 screaming and high fiving everybody"
Cadillac Records trailer.
Film based on Chess Records story, I wrote about it a while back - heres the trailer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Free stuff!
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...
track listing...

Hot Chip- My Piano (dub)
Carl Craig- Brainfreeze (edit)
Quiet Village- Circus of Horror
The Herbaliser- You're Not All That (edit)
Milosh- Awful Game
Bomb The Bass- So Special
Matthew Herbert Big Band- The Story (edit)
Circlesquare- Dancers (edit)
Boozoo Bajou- Flickers (edit)

RIP Yma Sumac
Famous Peruvian singer with an incredible vocal range passes, aged 86. Link.
Listen.. Yma Sumac - Bo mambo...



and Yma Sumac live (from 1987, on the David Letterman Show, click to watch)...

Monday, November 03, 2008

RIP Studs Terkel
"The author, activist and oral historian who provided a voice for the voiceless has passed away at his home in Chicago at 96. “It is hard to imagine a fuller life” (Chicago Tribune); view Terkel’s bibliography (”His bookshelf spans a century”); profiles and remembrances from In These Times, The Atlantic, the New York Times and The Nation; reactions from the campaign trail by Barack Obama; reflections from his longtime editor and friend Andre Schiffrin; a letter from Roger Ebert; and click here to read Terkel’s conversation with STOP SMILING, published in 2005 in our Chicago Issue. “Was he the greatest Chicagoan?” Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times. “I cannot think of another. For me, he represented the joyous, scrappy, liberal, generous, wise-cracking heart of this city.” From Stop Smiling.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ninja Tuna
Mr Scruff has just dropped a new album Ninja Tuna, and he's giving a way a free mixtape, download info here. Everything from A Tribe called Quest to Roots Manuva to Herbie Hancock.

And for guitar nerds... A Half-Century of McCabe's Guitar Shop "Hanging from the walls are a saz, a charango, a bouzouki and dozens of djembes, didgeridoos and kalimbas, along with hundreds of ukuleles, mandolins, banjos and guitars variously stringed, shaped, amplified and not. A couple of harp guitars (the baroque axe Robbie Robertson played in The Last Waltz), a 19th-century varietal, and electric guitars with Hello Kitty stickers, oddly popular with young boys."
Something's happening here...
Over 20 million Americans have already voted. "David A. Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, said the states with the largest increases in early voting had been those where the black population was proportionally the highest. In Georgia, for instance, blacks represented a quarter of all voters in the 2004 presidential election. So far this year in early voting alone, they make up 35 percent of all voters"... from the New York Times - Obama-Inspired Black Voters Warm to Politics.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Songs in the key of Stevie

One word Stevie review - DAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMNNNN!!!!!!

a few more words on Stevie......

8.45 pm, the lights suddenly go off in Vector Arena, and Stevie comes out to his 11 piece band grooving on a laid-back funky version of a Miles Davis tune (All Blues), and he's playing harmonica as lead and it's wicked. Then it was off into Master Blaster, Stevie flips a verse and sings about Obama, and kills it. And he's only two songs in. Damn, this is gonna be good. Gotta say, the sound was really good - bit muddly in the bottom end, but you could hear everything.

After a few more songs, the pattern of the evening is set - funky song, slow song, funky song, slow song. Was talking after with a friend, and we both noticed that his slow ballads seem to get big cheers of recognition from the crowd right from the opening bars, but we didn't even know the songs in question. Maybe I gotta study up on Stevie ballads? Pass.

You want songs? Okay, we had Higher Ground, Superstition, Sir Duke, I Wish, Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing, Signed Sealed Delivered, Living For The City.... plus some cheese -I just called to say I love you, My Cherie Amour... those two, everyone in the place sang every word. Who knew that Stevie's 80s cheese was his most popular stuff? Probably every karaoke bar in the country. Heard from a friend in London that at a show he did there earlier this year after a 10 year absence he felt compelled to close that show with a 10 min medley of ALL his cheesy hits. Glad he skipped that one tonight.

Question - why do people feel compelled to text during a concert? I was seated up near the back, and was looking down at the main floor seating, here, approximately 40-50 cellphones were glowing in the dark at any one time (yeah, I counted em - nerd). Maybe we need to ban cellphones from concerts so that people pay attention?

At one point in the evening, I was grooving out to Stevie dropping the 2nd chorus of Higher Ground, and looked over at the young guy sitting two seats over from me - he was head down, intently texting. Why would you choose to do that, when one of the greatest musicians alive today is onstage RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU dropping a stone-cold classic? That's is just deeply wrong.

My better half suggested that it's this mass neurosis, that people think there's something better happening somewhere else, and you have to find out where that is. Put that phone away, and be in the moment. It took Stevie 21 years to return to our shores, and he might not come back again. Rant over.

During one slow number, Stevie did his talking to the crowd about needing love in our hearts, and peace and unity and other hippie sentiments, but then he got onto talking about how things have got to change, and that's why he's voting yes for Obama (cue crowd cheers). Stevie said "you know, a lotta people say 'oh, but you're just voting for him just cos he's black', and well, to me, McCain and Obama look exactly the same. But that's just, some people get stuck on stupid. So, when you're watching TV or reading the papers, and people are going on about stuff, just say to yourself, Dont Get Stuck On Stupid. Can you say that for me?"And we all said it for Stevie. Cos that's damn good advice in an election year.

He introduced his daughter Aisha (one of the four backup singers), sang Happy Birthday (his Martin Luther King Jr tribute) for one of his other singers cos it was her birthday (she got cake onstage too); some local contest winner came out and sang with him. Stevie also threw in a medley of some of his fave tunes, like Heard it on the grapevine, Papa was a rolling stone, More bounce to the ounce (Zapp!!!!) and Billie Jean, all done thru a talkbox. That was cool and all, but he's got a deep catalogue to trawl thru. Play your own stuff! And don't make us sing it for you! Hate that.

Early in the show, Stevie took a moment to pay tribute to Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, who passed away last week. Stevie told us that Stubbs taught him a lot about singing, helped him out, sang on Uptight, and so Stevie sang a Four Tops song for him - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). His band delivered it with style - they were a stellar lineup of unknown musicians (although Stevie did have the incredible talents of Mr Nathan Watts on bass, who goes back to Stevie's classic 70's albums. When he jammed out on the last part of I Wish, it was jaw-droppingly good).

Stevie closed with As, one of my fave tunes of his, and then he was gone, after over two and a half hours onstage. The house lights came on, we filed out, and I ended up bumping into a bunch of fellow BaseFM DJs outside, all still buzzing. Daaaammmnnnn!!!!

He said he's going to come back soon. Don't miss it.


ADDED Official reviews from NZ Herald's Scott Kara, and Waikato Times' Jeff Neems, both very positive. Both got the Miles Davis song wrong - the album is called Kind of Blue, the song is All Blues. [But I got the second song title wrong - it wasnt Hotter than July, it was Master blaster, which features the lyric hotter than July]


Bonus - Stevie Wonder on Sesame St (1970s), dropping Superstition - wait for the end where he starts singing about Sesame Street. Love this clip. Link

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It’s thrive or die for Atlanta record shops
Worth a read, in, light of recent events here with Real Groovy. Heard that the Wellington shop has been sold, deal close for Chch. Any word on AK store?

snip....

"If somebody said to me, 'I'm opening a record store in 2009,' I would look at them like they were out of their damn mind! After 15 years of successful business I'm at square one," Smith says. "Starting over now doesn't make sense."

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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Womad line-up announced
Immediate highlights - Seun Kuti, and Dengue Fever. Check Graham Reid's Elsewhere blog for detailed notes on performers, plus soundbites.

Arte Kanela (Australia/Spain)
Bedouin Jerry Can Band (Egypt)
Brendan Power (NZ)
Dengue Fever (Cambodia/USA)
Dona Rosa (Portugal)
Fat Freddy’s Drop (NZ)
Geoffrey Gurrumul (Australia)
The Gyuto Monks (Tibet/Australia)
Hinemoana Baker (NZ)
Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara Trio (UK)
Little Bushman (NZ)
Lo Cor de la Plana (France)
Mercedes Sosa (Argentina)
Mihirangi (NZ)
Mikidache (Mayotte/France)
Moana and the Tribe (NZ)
The Mobile Sewing Company (Netherlands)
Natacha Atlas (Egypt/UK)
People In Your Neighbourhood (NZ)
Rachel Unthank and The Winterset (UK)
Russ Jones - Future World Funk (UK)
Sa Dingding (China)
Seckou Keita SKQ (Senegal)
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 (Nigeria)
Shona Laing (NZ)
Ska Cubano (Cuba/UK)
Speed Caravan (Algeria/France)
U Shrinivas (India)

For further information on the artists performing, please see attached or check out www.womad.co.nz
Miles and miles
One of my favourite vinyl purchases this year has been a 12 by re-edit master Shoes, who chopped and diced up some Miles Davis into several musical flavours, including a dub version of So What (audio snippets here). Dub-Miles is some sweet tasting ish, I'm telling ya. Horrifies the jazz purists too, which is always a good thing - screw the purists. On the same tip...

"Apple Juice Kid is foremost a drummer from Chapel Hill NC however he’s shining as a producer and versatility is the best way to describe him from crunk, R&B, reggae dancehall and he even drops some downtempo, electronic jazz in there, he’s one of those producers we should pay attention to."
Get Miles Remixed by the Apple Juice Kid over here.

Shout to Charizma on BaseFM for dropping it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, October 25
Mr Scruff - Get a move on
Gwen Guthrie - Ticket to ride
Mighty diamonds - Identity
Jackie Mittoo -Mother funk
Bill Withers - Harlem
Didiers sound spectrum - Sound spectrum
Jimi Tenor and Kasbu kabu - Black january
Julien Dyne -Mad dingos
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Katzenjammers - Cars
Bluevibe studio - Holdin on (Magowl remix)
Joy Denalane - Change
Parliament - Chocolate city

Wonder-full tunage
Stevie Wonder - Living for the city
Pat Rhoden - Living for the city
Churchill stage band - Superstition
Ray Barretto - Pastime paradise
Stevie Wonder - Signed, sealed, delivered / I Wish

Love Unlimited - Theme from King Kong (Danny Krivit edit)
Ian Dury - Spasticus autisticus (version)
Cutty Ranks - The stopper (Richard Dorfmeister mix)
Yami Bolo - Freedom and liberation
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom!
Ernie K Doe - Here come the girls (Andy Smith edit)
Ice T - Colors
Romanowski - Party in my pants
Roy Ayers - Running away
Herbie Mann - Muscle shoals nitty gritty
Kraftwerk -Radioactivity
Kenny Dope - Supa
Random reading for the long weekend
Why is the Boulder Chamber Orchestra filled with scientists? (Boulder Weekly)
Re-emerging soul - taking stock of the new Stax (Memphis Flyer)
Waaaazzzuuuppp!!! tv ad reinvented 8 years on... link
"The disadvantage of being an "actual college student" while covering CMJ is that you have to, you know, go to college."Read more here.
For the year ended March 31, 2008, EMI lost £757 million (US $1.204 billion at today's rate) for private equity firm Terra Firma ... Most telling was EMI Music's loss of global market share - to 9% from 12% a year earlier. More at Coolfer.

and finally, a quote - "I was gonna pull my dick out but because I know for a fact mine is a lot larger than Jim Morrison's, but I thought, 'I'll let history stand.'" Nick Cave reflects on his recent performance at the Hollywood Bowl [Spinner]


Chess Records hits the big screen

Cadillac Records is a movie based on the story of famous Chicago label Chess Records, and has a promising cast -Beyonce as Etta James, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, and the wonderful Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. Out in the US Dec 5, soundtrack looks good too. Read more over here. Will try and hunt down the trailer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Rodriguez
Click here to listen to an excellent interview that aired recently on National Radio with Rodriguez, where he talks about being rediscovered 38 years after his first album. He even knows we say 'mate' down here! What a dude.

From Light in the Attic records, who have reissued his music..

"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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

RBMA
Here's a snip of what Kiwi's Coco Solid and Will Ricketts (Phoenix Foundation) are experiencing as participants in the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona.

"So I’m peering through the glass into a studio decked out with priceless ex-BBC vintage mics, where Jamaican reggae legends Sly & Robbie, along with their aging but still ludicrously capable band, are jamming out a dub rhythm, occasionally accompanied by the excitable vocals of upcoming Croydon MC GoldieLocks. Nodding appreciatively next to me is Mala from Brixton dubstep posse Digital Mystikz, while plugging in the cables is one of the men behind the greatest drum’n’bass tune of all time, Ganja Kru’s DJ Zinc. This is the bizarre scenario conjured up by the Red Bull Music Academy–a kind of fantasy band camp for technoheads that’s been taking place in Barcelona for the last month. " Link. Video here.
Phenomenal Handclap Band
Another band playing at the CMJ Fest is the Phenomenal Handclap Band - I posted a link to their tune 'Testimony' a while back (grab it here) - played that song on my radio show on BaseFM last weekend and someone phoned up the studio asking about it, and said it sounded like Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie. There's also a video clip of the band live over on that link too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vicious, you hit me with a flower...
"Thirty years ago this month, the death of Nancy (of Sid &) effectively ended New York’s early punk scene. It’s been easy to hate her since—maybe too easy.

Legs McNeil never slept with Nancy Spungen, but he knew her. Everyone on the punk scene did. “There were only, like, 200 people,” he says. “So you met everyone pretty quickly. It wasn’t a scene that anyone wanted to be a part of. There was no velvet rope at CBGB.”
Read the full story The Day Punk Died from New York magazine.
Sugarman
Last month Fader magazine had a party to celebrate it's 56th issue. Part of the night's festivities was Rodriquez, playing only his second show EVER in New York. Spotted the video at Light In The Attic Records, who reissued his two albums recently. Freakin' awesome!

Speaking of Fader magazine, NZ band Naked and Famous are in NY playing today at the Fader party for the CMJ Music Festival this week. Nice one.

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

Vote for Lawrence Party
"When you go into the polling booth on November 8, there is one name that deserves your tick. Lawrence may not be written on the ballot paper, but if you write it in with pencil your vote will count." Link to EMJ - watch their campaing ad below.

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.

WEBSITE
The Real Groovy website www.realgroovy.co.nz 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.

REAL GROOVY STORES
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.

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

INSURANCE CUSTOMERS
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.

THE FUTURE
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.

YOUR SUPPORT
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."