Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Orchestral J-Dilla: coming soon!
Last weekend a new series of concerts kicked off in Los Angeles, called Timeless. The first installment featured Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke with a 15-piece orchestra, and dj sets from Cut Chemist, Quantic And Egon.

"The next installment in the Timeless series is entitled A Suite For Ma Dukes and will feature Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Nino conducting a 30+ piece orchestra paying tribute to the legendary J Dilla with an opening DJ set by the incomparable House Shoes. There will also be an accompanying EP released with selected orchestral interpretations of James Yancey’s music. More details on that soon." More here, plus Mulatu vids. Hat tip to Sweeny Kovar.
Questlove's (The Roots) Grammy roundup
Spotted via Twitter. Follow him: @qoolquest.

highlights from the last 5 hours by Questo.

5. radiohead is so gangsta that they turn away a gazillion rock groups tryna get into their shindig. you went to a secret location and then they picked YOU up.

4. rosanna arquette is 50 and can get it. SERIOUSLY

3. diplo is hillllllllarious beyond belief. he and i were polar opposites when it came to tonight's ceremony. i was elated....he snarky

2. nigel godrich is a hip hop head. and a great dj. best moment. playing "tomorrow never knows" and mccartney walked in on CUE. and danced!

1. thom wins again. he looked at the serato the same way austin powers looked at a cd for the first time before playing it on a turntable.

his segues were a work of art. he just BLAMO!---played what he wanted. tonight was surreal and very hard to gain entry. so much love to one of my favorite bands for looking out and letting a brother show yall a taste of my world. and now i gotta pack. time to make the donuts.

Monday, February 09, 2009

FOTC miss out to late comedy great
"Best comedy album went to George Carlin [Flight of the Conchords were also nominated in this category]. George's daughter Kelly is accepting. "I was hoping to get through this without crying ... I promise to take care of this better than my dad did." Apparently, George, in a "chemically-induced altered state," took apart his first Grammy (in 1972). Carlin passed away last June." From LA Times Grammys blog

Speaking of the Grammys, after 110 categories (seriously), the finale is Radiohead with a massive brass band, the USC Marching Band. Their warm-up song? Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. Hat tip to MIA, who performed also, even though she is due to give birth TODAY - see above photo. (Will link to video of that Readiohead performance when it hits the internetz).
ADDED Watch Radiohead and USC Marching Band video here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlisyt, BaseFM, Feb 7
Dexter Wansel - Life on Mars
Al Green - Take me to the river
Ozomatli - Superbowl sundae (Peanutbutter wolf remix)
Magic fly - Play that funky reggae (JStar mix)
Erykah Badu - Honey (Grant Phabao remix)
Grant Phabao, Lone Ranger, Carlton Livingston - Message to you Rudy
Flomega and the ruffcats - Pay me right (Tiger Hifi echo mix
Bob Marley - Soul shakedown party (Aphrodisiac Sound System remix)
Issa Bagayogo - Dibi
Amadou and Mariam - Djama
DJ Hen Boogie w/ Kissey Apslund - Adore
Eli Paperboy Reed and the Trueloves - I'm gonna getcha back
James Brown - The Bose (Geisha boys mix)
Eru Dangerspiel - The holdup
Beat conductror - Caribbean path
Sean Paul - Get busy (B.cause Ticklah dub edit)
Quantic - Westbound train
Juju orchestra - Funky Nassau
Staple singers - Something aint right
Como mamas feat Mary Moore -Trouble in my way
Sound dimension - Time is tight
Mophono - The edge remix
Sola rosa -Turnaround
Tom tom club - Genius of love
Paltinum pied pipers - Go, go, go
Defari - Behold my life inst
Ayah - I reminisce
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut (Kenny Dope remix)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Henry Rollins on Lux Interior.
"Once I drove up to New York to see them in my little VW; it was me and most of the Bad Brains all crammed into my little car. It was at Irving Plaza, and H.R. from Bad Brains, he went backstage because he's a big rock star, and he came out with a slick of the album cover and the whole band had signed the back. I still have it to this day." More here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

20 best: Colombian records ever made
Will Quantic and Roberto 'Beto' Gyemant look at some great Columbian records... "The depth and breadth of Colombian music never fails to astound me; just as you think you have it covered another sub-genre shows its face. Colombia has a musical history as multi-faceted as Brazil or India but so far, in my opinion, it’s not been given the respect it deserves by the outside world..." Will Quantic. From Fact magazine.

Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes is out now on Soundway Records.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Welcome to America, Baghdad metalheads
"Acrassicauda had been through hell as a rock band in wartime Baghdad. Its practice space was bombed. Its members were branded Satan worshipers and received death threats for making Western-style music. Then they suffered through two purgatorial years as refugees in Syria and Turkey, killing time and dreaming of rocking out in the land of the free.

And on Sunday night, two days after the last of the band’s four members was resettled in the United States, they enjoyed what any metal fan would have to call heaven: bearhugs and “Wow, dude” heart-to-hearts backstage with Metallica at the Prudential Center in Newark.

It probably wasn’t necessary for James Hetfield, Metallica’s lead singer, to surprise them after the show by handing over one of his guitars, a black ESP, and signing it “Welcome to America”; their minds were already blown.

“That’s for keeping the faith,” Mr. Hetfield said, adding as he disappeared with his entourage down a corridor, “Write some good riffs.”

Acrassicauda’s rock ’n’ roll faith was traced in a documentary, “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” released in 2007. That film portrayed the members as ordinary if tenacious rock Joes amid the most extraordinary circumstances, and they continue to embody those roles in their new lives. .."

Link to NYTimes article.
Boozoo for you and you.
Boozoo Bajou drop a new album, Grains, early next month. Free remix download for you!

"More heat from Boozoo Bajou, the Votel remix is really heavy.
Boozoo Bajou- Same Sun (Andy Votel's Music Minus Music Version) get it here
From: "Same Sun" EP (Feb. 17th) / Grains (March 3rd)
Bonus download: Another Sun" (Bootleg Version)
Streaming audio & more http://www.boozoobajou-grains.com

"With Grains, the West Coast sounds of the Laurel Canyon era serve as a primary reference point. The lead single "Same Sun" will be released digitally on February 17th with remixes from Prins Thomas, Andy Votel (available above), & Quantic. Grains will be release March 3rd on K7.

"And if you missed it, check out the fantastic Grains Inspiration Mix featuring tracks from the new album alongside classics from Neil Young, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell & more."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Great news for the modern man

Eru Dangerspiel rolled into town last Friday night with his 12 piece band, and proceeded to tear it up at the monthly Turnaround club night, here in AK.

Eru Dangerspiel is the alias for one Ricky Gooch, formerly of reggae jam band Trinity Roots. I know a lot of folk are in raptures over fellow ex-Trinity Roots member Warren Maxwells' new stoner rock outfit Little Bushman, my preference is for the funky psychedelic soul of Mr Dangerspiel. His debut album Great news for the modern man dropped last year, and it's easily one of the best local releases of the past year. It's a little bit Stevie Wonder and a little Sun Ra too.

This is only the second live performance by Dangerspiel (I think), and his band is a stellar bunch of talent, featuring members of Fat Freddys, Kora, and Open Souls. Friday's show featured lotsa cowbell action, a wicked horn section and, three vocalists including the stunning soul of Laughton Kora, and the delightful sight of Joe Lindsay of Fat Freddys dancing in his singlet and boxers while furiously slapping a pair of jandals together for percussive effect. Oh, and all the band wore Zorro masks, except for the 2nd drummer seated next to Dangerspeil (Julien Dyne of Open Souls) - that fella was in a dinosaur costume. Gutted you missed it? You should be.

There's a few albums that dropped late last year that have surfaced here on local release. A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus was one of my fave albums of last year (Ethiopia meets London dubmeister), that's in the shops now. Also worth checking, the latest album from Amadou and Mariam, called Welcome to Mali is out here now too. Their previous album Dimanche A Bamako was a big fave of mine. Came out late last year overseas, and made a few best of lists.

Speaking of which, I've noticed this odd trend with CD reviews in the NZ Herald lately - they seem to have spent much of last month reviewing hiphop albums that came out last year and made numerous best of lists, like Q-Tip's The Renaissance, The Knux' Remind me in three days. or Common's Universal Mind Control. Q-Tip's album was available here in early Nov shortly after its US release, and The Knux dropped late October. Common dropped late December, so that may have only recently come out locally. Weird trend, though. That Q-Tip album is mighty good.

Oh, and who was the marriage proposal in the middle of the Alice Russell gig on Saturday night?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Audio treats
Get em while they hot!
1 Erykah Badu - Honey (Grant Phabao remix) here. Okay, so it's the gazillionth remix of this tune,but its some tasty reggae styles...
2. Sean Paul - Get busy Dapkings vs Ticklah mash (b.cause edit) over here. Fun lil mashup...
3. Myron and the soul investigators - Cold game here. Soulful Finnish cats... really...
4. DJ Hen Boogie feat Kissey Asplund - Adore here. Jazzy skippy beats with great new Swedish singer.
5. The Knux - Cappucino here, scroll down... melodies and rhymes from two New Orleans fellas now based in LA.
Death Row Records bankruptcy auction.
"It was perfect. The portrait of Nate Dogg in itself was tacky, but Suge Knight's alleged tweaks to the painting -- black eye and multiple bullet holes -- were priceless. The frameless artifact wasn't the most glamorous or even the most infamous item up for bid at Sunday's "Death Row Auction" in Fullerton, but it was the most poignant. Priceless and poignant, unfortunately, being way out of my price range. Officially dubbed "Case # 2:06-bk-11205-VZ," the day's festivities were ordered up by the US Bankruptcy Court on behalf of Suge Knight and Death Row Records."
More here, plus photos.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk after a 40-year partnership.
Only just saw this... "Last year the band were back on tour in Ireland, eastern Europe, America and Australia. Schneider dropped out of the touring line-up in April last year [didn't make it to NZ, then}. He was originally rumoured to have left the band in November. With characteristic tardiness, Kraftwerk have now made his departure official." From the Independent.

Deutsche Welle suggests that "There are plenty of reasons not to care about Florian Schneider leaving Kraftwerk. The group made its last proper record in 1986 -- and its last great one in 1981. Since then, it's been mostly remixes and one-off jingles, with Schneider declining to take part in tours....

People only passingly familiar with Kraftwerk think of them first and foremost as pioneers of electronic music, specifically synth-pop and techno. They overlook the fact that the group wrote more than their fair share of universally catchy, at times stunningly moving melodies.

Take, for example, "The Model." On first listen, the 1978 Kraftwerk original sounded like satirical ditty with a danceable beat about the cult of beauty. But it also contained a wistful nine-note central theme, whose profound sadness only became fully apparent when covered in 1992 by the classical Balanescu Quartet.

Or listen to "Computer Love" -- an homage to and melancholic reaction against electronic amor whose melody was so great not even Coldplay could ruin it when they appropriated the tune for their 2005 song "Talk."

Kraftwerk were unlikely to ever reach those heights again, and Schneider's departure is almost certainly the final nail in the creative coffin."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music lists: best of 2008, very late addition.
One of the things I love about this time of year (Dec/Jan) apart from the warm weather, swimming in the sea and long weekends, is seeing all the music lists that folks put together of their faves from the past year.

I get to see how many albums I picked up that other folk rated - for example, I bought one off the NZ Herald's top 30, and two off Real Groove's top 20 - maybe if I gave a crap about indie guitar rock the number might be higher, but I don't. Guitars are so last century.

It's also a chance to see what albums slipped by me in 2008. I've been mulling this post over for a few weeks, so, I'm gonna write this really fast and just get it out, before January disappears. So, here's The Top Five Albums I Slept On in 2008.

Read on, but there's a catch - if you're gonna read it, then you have to come clean and tell me what albums slid by you last year - please add them in the comments. Don't be shy.

The Bug - London Zoo (Ninjatune)
The Bug dropped a killer album in 08, throwing down monster basslines and heavy dubbed out beats, and bringing in some fine reggae vocalists like Warrior Queen, Flow Dan, Ricky Ranking and Tippa Irie to name but a few. He's been lumped in with dubstep, but his style really stands outside that genre, if simply for the fact he doesn't fall into the sonic cliches that have rapidly gripped that scene by the throat. Heavyweight business. He's also playing live (with Warrior Queen) in Auckland Jan 31, plus dates in Welly and Chch, alongside the excellent Rhythm and Sound crew.
The Bug (Myspace)

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Warped)
This one turned up on a lot of end of year lists, especially on The Turnaround newsletter. There was a lot of hype around this fella from LA (trivia: Alice Coltrane was his aunt), among the cooler than cool post-Dilla hiphop heads, and the zany dubstep kids too.

I also seemed to hear a new exclusive track from him nearly every week on Benji B's BBC 1Xtra radio show, and when he played in Auckland a few weeks back, the cool kids lost their nut. He put on a great live show, and spent the entire set bouncing up and down going mental, dropping everything from crunchy, dubbed out electro to mad gabba techno. Shame the sound system was cranked up so painfully loud. Slack promoters - look after your punters, don't deafen them! You want them to come back, right? Bah! Anyways...

Los Angeles is an album that I already knew a number of the tunes from having heard them on the radio, but its still a delight to hear. His tunes are jammed full of sonic ideas, and never outstay their welcome - there's seventeen tracks on here. Gorgeous, bleepy, funky, audacious hiphop/electronica. Well worth checking.
Flying Lotus (Myspace)

Santogold - Santogold (Downtown)
First heard of Santogold when the music bloggers started raving about her early last year, the next MIA, that kinda nonsense. I listened to her tune Shove It which I thought was great, and finallly grabbed the album late last year, and discovered that particular song was the only one on the album I liked. I heard her live show at Rhythm and Vines was great, but this is a disappointing debut. A mish mash of electro, some good ideas not fully explored. Doesn't do it for me.
Santogold (Myspace)

Como Now - Various artists (Daptone)
When I saw Sharon Jones and the Dapkings last March at Womad, they did an interview session with NatRad's Nick Bollinger. Gabe Roth, Dapkings bass player/band leader/Studio wizard, and Daptone Records honcho talked about their next release, which was an acapella gospel album. He wasn't expecting it to sell in huge numbers like the Sharon Jones and Dapkings records, but he wanted to put it out anyway, because it's a great record. And it is. Here's the backstory...

""Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember. In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original acappella gospel from the voices of Panola County's own families." Read more about it here.

Pure, unadorned vocal performances captured live: it's deep soul.

Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Roll with you (Q Division)
Wonderful raw soul on this disc from a US outfit led by Massachusetts fella Mr Reed. There's something very joyful in it's simplicity. Heartfelt music that goes for the gut. Reed and band played in Australia last year and return down this way later this year - I'm hoping and praying someone brings them over to our shores, cos they would absolutely go off! Similar live vibe to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, who they've opened for in the US.
Eli Paperboy Reed (Myspace)

Righto, what album's did you sleep on in 08? Let me know in the comments. Thanks.

And while we're on lists, here's Gille Peterson's Worldwide winners for 2008.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 24
Noiseshaper -Moving together
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Cedric Im Brooks - Mun dun go
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
Katalyst - Say what you feel
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski re-edit)
Dusty - Voodoo
Eru Dangerspiel- Sun again
Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Manasseh meets the equalizer - Pepper dub
Issa Bagayogo - Dunu kan
Chakachas - Jungle fever
Mophono - The edge remix
Prince Charles and city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Liquid crystal project - Tribute to TROY
Mark de Clive Lowe - Mesmerised feat Lyric L
Joe Bataan - The bottle
James Brown - Funky president
Dusty Springfield - Spooky
Miles Davis - Different blues (Applejuice kid remix)
The new sound crusaders steel band - Israelites
Courtney Melody - Black liberation
Freestylers - Ruffneck
Benga - B4 the dual
V V Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix)
Kormac - Harry's record machine

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inna soundclash
Remember that Open Souls vs Elemeno P soundclash a while back? Heres the US version: The Roots vs Antibalas. Damn! Happening in Boston, Jan 29. More here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pistol Youth demented music video
Over here. Singer's face superimposed on The Golden Girls tv show. Pistol Youth is fronted by Brad Carter from Steriogram... "Pistol Youth started as an experiment throughout 2007 when i was out on a Steriogram tour and realised that starting a new band probably wouldn't be something to happen any time soon.

So anyway i asked three of my mates from other bands around the world to help and we recorded a six track EP across the internet without the other members actually meeting..."

His band got $50,000 funding from NZ On Air in May 2007 for an album. It's been recorded in LA, apparently.

The first "Hey! Vinyl is back!" MSM article for 2009...
... is here from The Age. Sigh. hat tip to Alan P.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 17
Daktaris - It's a big hustle (Mad Professor remix)
Tenor fly - Mind weh uh say
Joe Ariwa - The train (He's the Mad Professor's son, ya know!)
Dub colossus - Shem city steppers
Jay Z at Studio One - Dirt off your shoulder
Jackie Mittoo - Mother funk
Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Take my love with you
He 6 - Dance to the music
Mr confuse - Feel the fire (Smoove remix)
Nuyorican soul - I am the blakc gold of the sun
Como/John Edwards Singers - New burying ground
Staple singers - Name the missing word
Mr Vegas - Lean wid it
Manu Chao - Politik kills (Dennis Bovell mix) feat LKJ
Bobby Byrd -I know you got soul
Julien Dyne - Truffle shuffle
Rhythm and Sound feat Cornell Campbell -King in my empire (Rhythm and Sound live in Auckland Jan 31!!! With The Bug and Warrior Queen!!!)
Visionaries -Bhutee skank dub

Back to the 80s set
ESG - Moody (spaced out mix)
A certain ratio - Shack up
Junkyard band - The word/sardines
Cherelle - You look good to me
Jeffrey Osbourne - Soweto
Rob Base - Full control (go base)
The Normal - Warm leatherette

Staple Singers - Washington we're watching you
Mark de Clive Lowe feat Lyric L - Mesmerised (DJ Spinna remix)
One essence - Blackness of darkness

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Freshness
Brand new mixtape from Platinum Pied Pipers, for their new album out soon, get it here.
New single from Koushik, MP3 at Stonesthrow Records site.
Check out Canadian singer Ayah - killer mixtape Problem Woman, beats based on Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man LP. Get it here.
Also at Stonesthrow, read the sad story of the battle over J Dilla's legacy, from Vibe mag.

And currently enjoying Jay-Z at Studio One mashups, not remotely interested in Jaydiohead (Jay Z over Radiohead).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Go check out DJ Miles Cleret (Soundway Records) at Khuja this thursday night
"Miles Cleret runs the much heralded Soundway Records, a London-based reissue label that has put out some of the finest vintage jams from around the world. Among their most famous releases are the Ghana Soundz collections.

Soundway and reissue labels of similar vision such as the Numero Group, Blood and Fire, and Light In The Attic do far more than license a random bunch of tracks. They do primary historical research on forgotten chapters of groove music and combine them with first rate graphic design and thoughtful annotation.

In these days of declining CD sales, these physical products are well worth owning. Soundway’s latest release is Nigeria Special — their second volume of Nigerian sounds with at least two more to come in the near future"

Link to full interview with the man. You might also catch him at Lilyworld stage at the Big Day Out on friday.
Iggy and the Stooges Mike Watt on Ron Asheton
"In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Times gave space for Mike Watt, formerly of the awesome Minutemen but more recently the bass player for the reunited Stooges, to recount his memories of his bandmate Ron Asheton in the wake of the Stooges guitarist's sudden death this week. [see LA Times]
Brighton Port Authority
New tunes from Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) feat David Byrne (seen the vid?), Iggy Pop and more. Album out Feb, grab a sneak preview here.