Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rocksteady: Roots Of Reggae (movie trailer)

Featuring Hopeton Lewis, Judy Mowatt, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Marcia Griffiths, U-Roy, The Tamlins and more. "The premise, that the "remaining great singers and musicians of Jamaica's Golden Age of music, Rocksteady, come together after 40 years to record an album of their greatest hits, to perform together again at a reunion concert in Kingston, and to tell their story", is kind of like a reggae version of The Buena Vista Social Club."

Hat tip to The In Crowd blog
Anvil metal
I still havent managed to catch the doco on Canadian metallers Anvil (must rectify that), but this story is really rather cool. Have a read.

Via Brooklyn Vegan:
Last year's doc Anvil! The Story of Anvil made audiences fall in love with Toronto's hard-luck metal band, which never stops despite a list of misfortunes that would fill a book, including a European club owner who tries to pay the band in goulash. But last Tuesday the band - singer/guitarist Lips, drummer Robb Reiner and bassist Glenn Five - found itself playing for 40,000 people. Let Lips explain how it went:

"I was thanking him as he shook my hand saying "great show, great show!" He then shook my son's hand as he was being whisked away in his SUV. Wow! I had just met Angus Young, lead guitarist of the mighty AC/DC. It was such an honour to be able to thank him in person for his big heart and generosity for letting Anvil have an opening slot at the biggest and most meaningful show we've ever done in America..."

Get the full story here.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Jay Z opens US rock festival filling in for Beastie Boys, and drops No Sleep Til Brooklyn
KILLS IT. Watch and see. Link.

Pilooski galore
Soul vigilantes - Background noise (PILOOSKI REMIX) from Grand panda
Kenneth Bager - Sound of swing (Pilooski dub edit) from Emodring
Elvis Presley - Crawfish (Pilooski edit) from Sous...
Jarvis Cocker - You're in my eyes (Discosong) (Pilooski Remix) from Knicken

Pilooski is responsible for the absolutely killer Nina Simone re-edit Taking Care Of Business off the latest Verve Remixed. His Jarvis Cocker retweak is well grooving. Go!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Concrete jungle
The Specials finally played in Auckland last night, 30 years since they formed. Took them long enough to get here, so just as well they were worth the wait.

I saw two double-decker party buses pull up in the carpark, with ska music blasting away, and hordes of ska-happy old bastards spilled out, skanking down the aisles and off the buses. As one of my mates commented, he didn't feel like to oldest person there. I saw hardly any young ska kids - a few smattering of studded mowhawk punk teens tho.

After waiting outside for the doors to open in the Logan Campbell Centre (when will this godawful venue mysteriously burn down?), the crowd milling outside made their way in, where they were greeted my huge queues waiting for service at the bar. It appeared there were three barstaff in total trying to serve a few thousand thirsty ska fans. One of my mates queued for about 20 minutes and gave up. Bit of an organisational failure, that.

Saw Stinky Jim, in the foyer with a bag of records: he'd had the pleasure of playing a few tunes as one of the support DJs (followed by an MC chatting with Terry Hall's son Felix DJing). He made some comment about how without the Specials (and other acts), he wouldn't have become the Stinky Jim that he is today, and also something about how nice it was to hear accents for good part of England!

Check out this gent below, was wearing a shiny silver suit, and had his hat embroidered for the gig. Classy. Surprised that more folk didn't make the effort to dress up. Plenty of pork pie hats tho.

So, inside we go (after bumping into a million old faces from the past). Bang on 930pm, on come the band, playing behind a white curtain backdrop, which falls away to revel them in front of a huge SPECIALS banner. Songs - everything you could want to hear off the first two albums, plus Ghost town and a few covers (54-46 was my number, Longshot Kick De Bucket).

First impressions - they manage to jump around for a bunch of old gits. Cept for grumpy Terry Hall. He loiters at the back of stage when not singing, and checks his watch a lot. Having said that, he was in fine voice, and even managed some droll stage banter between songs. For example: "So, we've been here for three days now, and when we got here, I checked the guide book, to see what there was to do, and you've only got like two or three fookin things to do - walk across a bridge, or jump off a fookin building. So if anyone knows of something in to do here, please let me know, seriously." Later, he suggested to the audience that "I know something we can do - how about someone come round tomorrow and do my dirty laundry?"

Still, he seemed to be having a miserrable time, while the rest of the band were bouncing around and giving their all. I heard later from someone closer to the action on stage that he was constantly checking his watch, sniping at Neville Staple, and giving off a very strong "I dont wanna be here" vibe. Okay, so he's in this for the money - fair enough - the rest of the band want a payday too (they didnt write the songs, so that makes sense) but Hall made a career and built his reputation on the back of this band. He just seems churlish. At one point he said on the mic, "Fookin hell, its 5 past 10 already" but that might've been a clever intro to Friday Night, Saturday morning. Or not.

Anyways, the mirror ball came out for the intro to Niteklub, then towards the end we got Ghost town (complete with trombone solo - they'd bought a horn section with them), which was brittle, gloomy, monstrous and just stunning. It was the only song of the whole night that moved beyond reproducing the records and became something quite extraordinary. Gotta say too, Roddy Radiation is a mean guitarist.

Then the encore, Too much too young, 54-46, Longshot kick de bucket, (during which the horn section are joined by two young kids to skank alongside them - huh?) and Enjoy Yourself to close. Give the people what they want.

Then, off to round two of Sat Nite Nostalgia Fest - The Newmatics at the Bacco Room (pictured above). After DJ sets from Printor and Benny Lee, the band took the stage to a full house after midnight. They blasted thru all their records and a handful of earlier punky numbers. Some of the tunes had aged better than others - Riot Squad and Doobie Do Boy still sound fresh and vital. They threw in a handful of covers (Soulman, Land of a thousand dances, which they used to do back in the day) and a version of T-Rex's Get it on, which didn't quite come off. Still, they acquitted themselves well, giving the songs the needed vigour to make them spark. Bloody good show!

So, who's next on this nostalgia buzz? Anyone taking bets?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, August 1
Don't forget The Specials unofficial afterparty on tonight featuring DJ's Printor, Benny Lee, and the Newmatics playing live, all at Bacco Room, Nelson St. Killer night out. Details here.

The Specials - Message to you Rudy (Bombs edit)
Angie Stone/Nuffwish - Wish I didnt miss you
Roland Alphonso and the Skatalites- Guns of navarone
E's E - Scratch's skank pt 1
Don Drummond and the Skatalites - Man on the street
LKJ - Iron bar dub
Joe Ariwa - Joe sails away
Sir Jarvis - Stubborn son of Marvin
DJ Day - Close your eyes
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Ballicky bone
James Brown - Please dont go (latin version)
J Rawls - Red peppers
Jackie Mittoo - Soul bird
Myron and E w/ Soul investigators - Cold game
Lee Scratch Perry -Yellow tongue
Major Lazer -Can't stop now
Manasseh - Skenga (12" version)
DL Jones and DJ 2nd Nature - Whoa Bobby
Scritti politti - Absolute version
Aural exciters -Emile
Lignting head - Bokoor sound special
Smashproof -Ordinary life (Moody boyz dub)
Tiki - Burning fire (Oogun remix)
The Specials - Gangsters
Skatalites - Addis Abba
Jackie Mittoo - El bang bang
Baba Brooks - Special event
UKJs - Wave ya han gal

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lee Fields, Phenomenal Handclap Band, recorded live
Listen to Lee Fields and the Expressions, and Phenomenal Handclap Band, paying at Joe's Pub in NYC last week, streaming audio over at NPR. Damn!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Interview with Neville Staples of the Specials.
Next Saturday marks the first time ska band the Specials have visited NZ. They're currently on a 30th anniversary jaunt, (minus founding member Jerry Dammers). Today's Sunday News has a rather amusing interview with band member Neville Staple. He seems a tad confused.

"... Staple admits he didn't exactly jump at the chance to rejoin the guys who pioneered the 2 Tone genre. "I wasn't really bothered because I was doing my own thing and I was with my own band," Staple tells the Sunday News. "To be honest touring with The Specials will give me and my band a bit more exposure. And I need the money. A lot of people say they don't do it for the money but it does come in handy."

Hang on, this is the same Neville Staple who toured NZ with is band in 2006, billing himself as Neville Staple's Specials. Can you say Cash-In? Ha ha.

Anyway, he's written a book about his life, and will be doing an instore signing 2pm this saturday at Real Groovy Auckland. He's got 8 kids from 6 different mothers, so go help him out and buy his book.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm July 25
Cookin on 3 burners - Cars
Aim - Just passin thru
E's E - Scratchs skank pt 1
Mr greedy -Fustep version
Dubblestandart - Terrorists and inhalers (Keith Le Blanc version)
Joe Ariwa - Neeky youths
Noel Ellis - Memories
The Dramatics - Get up and get down
Esther Phillips -use me
Johnny Frigo Sextet - Scorpio
DJ Adlib fear MED - Every day
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Sankofa
J Rawls Jay Are project - Lee Morgan story / red peppers
Dub Colossus - Azmari dub
Major lazer -Can't stop now
Noiseshaper - Bushmasta
The Wailers - I'm gonna put it on
Jackie Mittoo - El bang bang
Mophono - Edge remix
El michels affair - Red rooster
Muchael Jackson - Rockin robin (Grant Phabao remix)
The revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte (DJ Kentaro remix)
Smashproof - Ordinary life (Moody boyz dub)
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Bob James - Angela (theme from Taxi)
Cookin on 3 burners - Settle the score Diesler mix

Friday, July 24, 2009

One of my favourite musical releases so far this year was from Washington DC-based hiphop producer by the name of Oddisee. He dropped the Odd Summer EP back in late May, as a free download (get it here). It's a laidback collection of wicked funky, jazzy instrumentals, check it out. Just discovered this great interview with him, talking about how he works. He's released three (partial) albums this year as free downloads, to test the market and get feedback to take to a label and get a deal for a full version of each release (he mentions in the interview that one of these releases got 12,000 downloads).

He says that if you try and work the old way - send out press copies of your album three months in advance, then do press, tour etc, you will get nowhere. (hat tip: Crate kings. Love that blog!)

Notable Quote:
"Hip hop is bootlegged more than anything else. If you go about putting it out the old way, you’re gonna be destroyed by leaking and bootlegging."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vinyl revival at PortalSpace Records
Via Crate Kings. Financial Times goes inside the PortalSpace Records, EMI’s former vinyl pressing facility, to explain the life of a vinyl record, including masters, mothers, and 100 ton hydraulic presses. (Related: Crate Kings visits United Record Pressing Plant in Nashville, where Daptone Records get akll their vinyl pressed)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dub Echoes Movie Premiere on tonight
At Galatos, 17 Galatos Street, Newton, 7pm doors
7:30pm start (75 mins) $10 door / $5 afterparty

Afterparty featuring...
Newtown Sound, Sandy Bay Social Club, Earthtone Hi-Fi

Dub Echoes is a documentary directed by Bruno Natal (Brazil) that traces the origins of Jamaican dub music and its huge influence on the development of other musical forms including hip-hop and electronica.

It chronicles the evolution of sound and bass and shows how the Jamaican invention called dub has influenced much of the music we hear today and transformed the studio into a musical instrument.

The film was shot in Kingston (Jamaica), London (UK), New York, Washington, LA (US), Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (Brazil). Dub Echoes features some of the true greats and pioneers of music from around the world including Bunny Lee, King Jammy, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, LTJ Bukem, The Mad Professor, Roots Manuva, Sly and Robbie, Congo Natty, Kode 9 & U Roy. The film was completed in 2008 and released through Soul Jazz Records (UK) in May 2009.

From Mukuna

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Say it loud.
The International Film Festival kicked off in our town this week, and there's a ton of fine cinematic treats on offer. If you're a music fan, make sure you catch Soul Power. It had its first screening this afternoon, and I can report it's a stone killer. Second and last screening in Auckland is this Tuesday night, at 6.30pm, Skycity Theatre.

Via Flavourwire:
Soul Power documents the Zaire ‘74 all-star concert that set the stage for Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s legendary Rumble in the Jungle. Originally uncovered during the editing of Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings (1996), which captured the Ali/Foreman fight, this sizzling footage has been waiting nearly 35 years to see the light. Kings incorporated just a few tantalizing glimpses of the three-day concert.

Soul Power sets the record straight by featuring complete, historic performances from legends such as B.B. King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz and the Fania Allstars, The Spinners, and an incendiary James Brown, whose 1971 single lends the film its title.

Like the Rumble itself, the Zaire ‘74 concert marked a seminal moment of cross-cultural contact, bringing together African and Black American musicians for a festival spanning geography and generations. Shot by acclaimed cinematographers including Albert Maysles and Paul Goldsmith, the verité-style doc captures the event’s political and spiritual intensity with intimacy and style.

Watch the trailer, read our exclusive interview with the director, check out video of Celia Cruz’s performance.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm July 11
Chosen few - People make the world go round
Butch Cassidy sound system -Rockers galore
Beat pharmacy -Sunshine
Jackie Mittoo - Wall Street
Tommy McCook and the Supersonics -Beriut
Trackheadz - Jah shall come
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Alyo
Phenomenal handclap band - Baby
Lee Scratch Perry -International broadcaster
Major Lazer - Can't stop now
Manasseh - Creation dub
Naomi Shelton - Trouble in my way
Orgone - Come around
Salmonella dub - Freak local
Topaz -Pharaoh
Aim - Birchwood
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Party started
Booker T and the MGs - Melting pot
Speedometer -Work it out (Beatfanatic remix)
DJ Vadim - Hidden treasure
Cooly G - Love dub
Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte (DJ Kentaro remix)
UBB - I believe in miracles
Angela Bofill - People make the world go round

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm July 4

MJ vs Q-Tip -Breathe dont stop
Guts - And the living is easy
DJ Vadim - Watch that sound JStar remix
Prince Jammy - Dub ites green and gold
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
Noiseshaper - This is not a gun thing
Freddie Cruger -Running from love
Brother culture -Warning/Warning dub
Beat Pharmacy - Strangers
Budos band -Mas o menos
The topics - Louie Louie
Staple singers -Something aint right
Emotions - Blind alley
Quantic - Cuidad del swing
Sister Nancy - One two
Romanowski -Strudel strut
Orgone - Already doin it
Nickodemus - Gypsy magic
Issa Bagayogo - Filaw (Senor Oz remix)
Jackson 5 - I want you back (Readymade 524 remix)
Phenomenal handclap band - 15 to 20
Dub asylum - Jump and twist
Dubwize and Hi Kee - Goodness gracious
Lee Perry -Yellow tongue (Kode9 remix)
Kode9 - Back sun

Can I get a handclap?

I've been listening to the debut album from New York crew the Phenomenal Handclap Band. I came across them late last year via music blogs, and got hooked after hearing their tune 15 to 20. Its catchy as hell.

"This 8-strong group of NYC-area musicians (and featuring Jon Spencer and Lady Tiga) blend space disco and smooth 60s-style soul perfectly with early hip hop, and moody, synth-soaked hooks'. Now how many bands can you say that about?"

They dropped their first single on Truth and Soul earlier this year, and their debut self-titled album came out On Friendly Fire Recordings late June. Haven't seen physical copies in this part of the world yet, but you can buy it as a digital download - I got it from Juno Download..

Go have a listen to 15 to 20 here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dam Funk
Free mp3 over here. Mad. "Dam-Funk is currently putting finishing touches on his debut album Toeachizown which will be released this Fall as 5/LP set - two and a half hours of music - with CD version to follow."
DJ Cliffy, Black Rio 2 promo mix
Via the Fader: "Look, we know how much we talk about the weather on this site, but what can we say, we’re trapped in big-windowed offices and it is perfect outside. And when it’s not perfect outside, we put on music like Black Rio 2 and think about where it is perfect outside.

DJ Cliffy, who curated the compilation of “Samba Soul” from 1968 to 1981, just made a mix of songs from it and you get the feeling these Brazilian a-holes never even think twice about the forecast, just how narrow their buttfloss is going to be that day or, like, which of their girlfriends is the most supermodelish. Jerks. Regardless, we appreciate their ability to translate that to music for the rest of us."

Download: DJ Cliffy, “Black Rio 2 Promo Mix” (zshare) (mediafire)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Harry Allen, Media Assassin
I was following a chain of posts from Harry Allen on Twitter today, and they make for interesting reading, So I strung them together, below. He talked about a seminar where he posed this idea...

"I make the illustration of someone getting a mortgage, paying it back faithfully, then, after the last payment, having a mortgage-burning party, only to find that the bank has taken back the house. Foul, correct? They listened. I then asked them, in like manner, if artists pay back advances through royalties, why do labels then take ownership of master recordings?"
Response? Oh boy.

You know who Harry Allen is, right? He was Public Enemy's media assassin. Need more? His bio is here.

from @harryallen (via Twitter)

The music business is, essentially, an interface between children and sharks.

Artists, for the most part, are distracted and pre-occupied with bright, shiny things we call "art." Put a contract in front of an artist...

...on one side, then a pretty picture, or lovely sound, on the other. 98 times out of 100, the artist will pick up the art. The music biz...

...is designed to exploit that tendency.

Two Lyor Cohen memories: 1) Him, backstage at Nassau Coliseum, egging Eric Sermon on to spit some new rhymes the Green-Eyed Bandit had...

...recently composed, and of which the rapper was especially proud. Even at that moment, I knew I was watching skillful patronizing.

Second Lyor Cohen memory: NYU, about 5 years ago. Roundtable with Russell, Kevin Liles, Lyor. I'm moderating. 500+ people in audience.

I make the illustration of someone getting a mortgage, paying it back faithfully, then, after the last payment, having a mortgage-burning...

...party, only to find that the bank has taken back the house. Foul, correct? They listened. I then asked them, in like manner, if...

...artists pay back advances through royalties, why do labels then take ownership of master recordings? Lyor made this loud, annoyed...

..teeth-sucking, displeased sigh sound, and started talking about people having other things to do, as the audience when, "Ooooooo...."

When I went there, one of the Def Jam execs sent me a note asking me to not talk about this. I don't have audio of the discussion because...

...the Grammy's, or whichever organization was sponsoring the event got pissed and wouldn't give me a tape, though they'd agreed to before.

I've been waiting for this day for years. I've been talking about the electronic dist. of music since the early 90s. See http://bit.ly/kQxSL

I did a panel in July 1994, at the last New Music Seminar, the one where I heard Marc Josephson tell an n-word joke. The title was...

"Multimedia: Will Digital Technology Make Record Companies Obsolete?" Six people from the industry, six renegades, incl. Chuck, the IUMA...

...guys, Adam Curry, who'd registered mtv.com when the company didn't know enough to care, and Free Software guru Richard Stallman.

To the thesis question, the industry guys said no, tech wouldn't obsolete the industry. The others said yes, and Stallman said that, not...

...only would it obsolete it, but the only thing that would keep it around would be in the gov't did so. Like Bear Sterns, in other word.

Not Bear Sterns: Like AIG, in other words.

[Lyor’s response?] He couldn't answer. The relationship is insane & unjust. Plus, framing it in mortgage terms made it ultra-clear to the crowd."
Source: twitter.com/harryallen

We say Ze!
New York 1980s label gets the reissue treatment from Strut/K7 crew.

"Ze 30: Ze Records 1979-2009 offers a snapshot of many of the label's most vital recordings including tracks from James Chance & The Contortions, Suicide, Kid Creole, Was (Not Was), Material, & many more. French Duo Casino Music's cover of a Sonny & Cher song (above) offers a slick yet snarling dance track that is as menacing as it is infectious. "

Casino Music- "The Beat Goes On" (zshare) (mediafire)
From: Ze 30: Ze Records 1979-2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

The great Limewire pizza robbery

Woman: “Who the FUCK are you? And why are you eating our pizza?”
Kosuke and Paul look confused.

Kosuke: "Are you joking? Is this a joke?"

Woman: "No this is definitely NOT a joke. I want to know who you are and why you’re eating our pizza."

Kosuke: "Well our friend came in and told us there was free pizza at the bar. We are. So. Sorry. It was a misunderstanding."

Woman: (with unbridled entitlement) "This is a company party our CEO is here and you STOLE our pizza. Are you from out of town? Because let me tell you, NOTHING is free in New York City. Nothing is free… well maybe except for the condoms in Times Square."

Paul and Kosuke continue apologizing. They offer to pay for the two slices.

Woman: (didactically snobbish) "We don’t want your money. No. Enjoy the pizza, but you can’t steal other people’s things. You can’t take what’s not yours."

Again the duo continues their apologies. Kosuke tries to turn the situation around and befriend them.Kosuke: "What company do you guys work for?"

Woman: "We work for Limewire."

Kosuke: Oh ok. Well I work at a record label so fuck you. You’ve stolen from us enough. (Bites pizza. Begins to walk away.)

Link. Now go read what happens next.