Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All about pizza

I was having this random conversation via Twitter today with a fella from LA (Jon from LASnark) - he asked the question "Anyone know that LA pizza place that supposedly imports their water from NY to make authentic NY pizza?" I've heard many great things about NY pizza from places like Lombardi's, so, what is the deal?

So, bit of searching uncovered some stories which I fired his way, including this article from the LA Times on the best place to get NY style pizza in LA (turns out the importing water story is urban legend).

Then I found this link to an LA pizza place that import Massachusetts water, which led to this story about a recent blind taste test where three pizzas were made, one with LA water, one with Chicago water, and one with NYC water. All four of the tasters preferred the NYC pizza (read the comments there for more on the special qualities of NYC tap water, the special ingredient in NYC pizza).

So, that's great and all if you live in LA, but I'm in Auckland. So where is the best NY style pizza in our burg? Looks like I'm gonna have to check out Sal's Pizza in Commerce St. Ciaran, a former resident of Queens, NYC, has opened up Sals - he based it on his favourite local spot back home, also called Sals. You can read all about it over here, on Frank Liew's blog.

Excerpt: "10 years ago he approached his favourite local joint in his neighbourhood - Sal’s Pizzeria in Queens to talk about opening up shop outside of NYC

For one reason or another it didn’t happen back then, but over the years he kept the thought in the back of his mind - and last year when he was back home he went back to Sal’s with his idea, who ended up giving him their original recipe, the same recipes they’ve used for all their pies since they opened in 1975.

Funnily enough, they didn’t want anything for it, just to share good pizza with the world, so in return he named his own joint after them. Sal’s Pizza, Auckland New Zealand."

Ciaran added this to the comments on Franks blog', talking about how he got started with Sals... "Nick (my business partner who I met playing tennis in the south of France 15 years ago) came to visit NYC for New Years 08′ and has always loved the pizza in NY. After downing a couple large 18″ pizzas (on consecutive days:) he kept saying how good it would be to have pizza like that in Auckland. After that conversation, we did a bit of research and decided to go for it…"

Photo credit: Sal's Pizza from Frank Liew's blog.
ADDED: Sal's Pizza, 4a Commerce St. Auckland City, phone 09 379 7257. Open Mon-Sun, Midday until late

Liquid Liquid live in NYC

Legendary 80s outfit Liquid Liquid played in New York a few days ago, at the Lincoln Center alongside a performance by Rhys Chatham with 200 guitars, more here. If you know Melle Mel's 'White Lines', you know Liquid Liquid - thats their tune that got sampled by Melle Mel (with no subsequent credit or monies...)

review snip... "The members of Liquid Liquid haven’t been playing together regularly for more than 25 years. They reunited at NYC’s Knitting Factory in 2003 and got together again last October at the Barbican Centre in London. But they sounded amazingly tight and the crowd responded enthusiastically.

All four band members seemed energized and totally engaged — thrilled to be performing before an appreciative hometown crowd. The sound was crisp and the beats were just as hypnotic as the day they were created. People in the audience who saw Liquid Liquid in the Eighties were amazed that the players had barely aged and hadn’t lost a bit of their drive." review and photo from Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? Blog.

Heres a 30 min video interview with Liquid Liquid's Sal Principato, via Red Bull Music Academy.

Friday, August 07, 2009

DJ Spinna on the mix

Two beauties from NY-based DJ, his Sade mix, and a Quincy Jones mix. Ace! "Having worked with Temptation Eddie Kendricks, famed jazz artist/vibraphonist Roy Ayers, and prolific Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes, Spinna’s not your average DJ/Producer & his musical prowess covers a few genres."

DJ Spinna's Tribute to Q (Quincy Jones) mix here; DJ Spinna's Best of Sade here. Hat tip to the Smoking Section.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Horse Meat Disco - bonus mix
The official blurb sez "
inspired by the halcyon days of New York nightlife including Mancuso’s Loft, Nicky Siano’s Gallery and late lamented DJ Adam Goldstone, Horse Meat Disco's legendary parties attract a discerning mix of old time disco heads, club kids, bears and naturists and has become renowned as a space where heterosexual disco fans can party at a gay disco club without feeling out of place. The club's open-minded ethos has secured them bookings worldwide with international crowds keen to sample the Horse Meat Disco party energy." So there ya go.

Horse Meat Disco- Bonus Mix (zshare) (mediafire)
Debut mix CD out Aug 5 on Strut Records

Hot Chocolate - Disco Queen
Queen - Dancer
World Premier - Share The Night
Empire Projecting Penny - Freakman
Cerrone - Hooked On You
Charanga 76 - Music Trance
Fonda Rae - Heobha
Melba Moore - Standing Right Here

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.