Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ba Ba Boom is CD Of The Week in Sunday Star Times!
In case you missed it, let me draw this to your attention... check this out... "A punchy mix of skanking reggae, tongue-in-cheek techno and retro hiphop, this five-track EP from Auckland's Pete McLennan arrives just in time for summer. The horn-heavy title track is a soulful speaker-shaker of rare brilliance, while Smash Thru with MC Kyla brings a bulging trunk of funk to the party. Shake that hotel room indeed!" - Grant Smithies, Sunday Star Times, Nov 16, 2008

Listen to it at reverbnation.com/dubasylum or myspace.com/dubasylum
Buy tracks from Amplifier.co.nz or itunes.com/dubasylum
Yakety yak
"I’m a strange dude. My life is very unusual. I mean, I think if you were to walk down the street in Denver and take a poll of the first hundred people you saw, I would be surprised if more than two had any idea who I was. But at the same time, I was recently portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley in a video. That’s fucking weird." Ian MacKaye’s current solo tour isn’t musical, and true to form, it breaks with convention. He’s dropping by various bookstores, high schools and colleges for Q&A sessions, or, as he calls them, “public interviews.” Link

He's not promoting a book or a new album , he's just going out and having unfiltered conversations with his audience. Genius.
Did you ever find anything unusual in a used record you bought?
Spotted at WFMU's blog, very entertaining.

"... Inside my (used) copy of the first Celibate Rifles LP, I found a hand written note from their guitar player, which he'd clearly left for the first owner of the album after crashing with her on an early U.S. tour. It thanks her ("Judy", I think) for her hospitality, graciousness, and for introducing them to The Long Ryders and the Dream Syndicate. (I'm guessing Judy lived in L.A. and unloaded her LP collection on a trip to San Francisco, as I purchased the record at Amoeba Records some years ago.)

You ever found anything like that?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ex-Beatle says "Look! We made weird crap too!"
"For Beatles fans around the world, it has gained near-mythical status. The 14-minute improvised track was recorded in 1967 and played once in public. It was never released on record because three of the Fab Four thought it too adventurous.

Paul McCartney: "I said to the guys, this is a bit indulgent but would you mind giving me 10 minutes, I've been asked to do this thing. All I want you to do is just wander round all of the stuff and bang it, shout, play it. It doesn't need to make any sense. Hit a drum, wander to the piano, hit a few notes ... and then we put a bit of echo on it. It's very free." Yes, they did inhale. Way more on some days than others, apparently... Link
Funk, it's monday again
Cheer yourself up with these splendid tunes...
WAR - Spill The Wine / Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady / The Meters - Ease Back / The Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park over here, and this gem from Rare Earth, the only successful white band on Motown... "This version of the Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You” has it all — driving wah-wah guitar, trippy slide guitar, echoed vocals, extended high-hat drum breaks, killer conga lines and some cookin’ Hammond organ.ot surprisingly, it was produced by the great Norman Whitfield. The single edit reached No. 7 in the pop charts in the summer of 1970 … one spot higher than the Tempts’ version at this time of year in 1966."Get it here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 15
Cutty Ranks -The stopper (Richard Dorfmeister remix)
Dennis Brown/Big Youth - Money in my pocket
Jackie Mittoo - James Bond
Sly n Robbie - Freedom and liberation version
Dub colossus - Azmari dub
James Brown - The bose (Geisha boys remix)
Slide five - KC Doppler (Thievery corp remix)
Sono rhizmo - My house
Sun Ra - Twin stars of thence
Scratch 22 - He keeps you
Eru Dangerspiel - Sun again
P-money and Rodney P - Untitled
3 generations walking - Midnight bustling (Francois K version)
Bunny general - Pon mi border
In crowd - Mango walk
Q-tip feat Norah Jones - Life is better
The hitch hikers - Mr fortune
Menahan st band - Esma
20th century steel band - Shaft
Bill Withers - Harlem
Rhythm and sound feat Cornell Campbell - King in my empire
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardisation
Me and you - last night (Bass nectar remix)
Collie budz - Hustle
Mr Vegas - Must come around
Mungos hifi - Mexican bean riddim
The Lions- Cumbia del leon (Toddy Ts mix)

shout out to my New York listeners, esp CanelaNYC!

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.

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."

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?


"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

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.
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.