Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music Machines photos.
Watch slideshow below. It was a wicked event.  Also will put up a few brief videos so you can get a sense of the wonderful noisy chaos that is a room full of synths and drum machines getting tweeked... 

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov21
Rhythm and sound - never tell you
Ticklah - Scratch to win
King Everand - Kill ole pan
Noel Ellis  - Rocking universally
Granville Williams orchestra - Honky tonk
Wackies rhythm force - Gimme back pt 2
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Don Drummond - Treasure island
Dandy Livingston and Rico - Rudy a message to you
Adrian Sherwood - Haunted by your love
Umod - On the down low
Unitone hifi - Sneeze off
Universildo - Camina
Sabres of paradise - Wilmot Pt 2
Original Tropicana steel band  -Spanish hustle (Kon edit)

'Scores for Sirveres sale' set

Original concept - Pump that bass
Chuck Brown and the soul searchers - We need money
Mountain - Long red
Wilson Pickett - Born to be wild
KRS One - Step into a world
Eric B and Rakim - In the ghetto
Pete Rock feat CL Smooth - Appreciate
Jay Z - Show us what ya got
Mike Zoot feat Labba - Spread love

Nextmen feat Betty Steeles - Whisper up
Roots manuva - Again and again (Moody Boyz remix)
Beat pharmacy  -Drifter (dub mix)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beenie Man's manager: apology published in nz media was NOT from Beenieman
I found this article while doing a google news search on Beenie Man last night:

"Beenie Man's management team has refuted Internet reports that Beenie Man apologised for his lyrics and was "heartbroken" over the furore caused by gay rights groups over his inclusion on the Big Day Out shows in New Zealand. Blue, the deejay's manager, said that "the deejay had granted no interviews about controversy" nor had they disseminated any emails.
"Reporters from New Zealand and Australia have been calling but we have not granted any interviews so I don't know where that statement is coming from," Blue told one876 a short while ago. "Beenie Man doesnt even talk or write like that so I know that is a fabrication." Source: One86entertainment
Making music, scoring wax
Here's your weekend sorted...
Saturday from 12 - 6pm at Galatos, is Music Machines, a one day event dedicated to classic synths and drum machines. Live performances, old gear, loadsa fun. It's a chance to play some vintage and modern synths, meet some of the artists and collectors and learn about the history of these amazing electronic music machines. Live performances from Tom Ludvigson, Nigel Russell (Car Crash Set), Nathan Haines, Lewis McCallum, The Analog Allstars, Tim William ...and more.

$10 on the door. Details at Mukuna.

Also... "The Auckland Record Collectors Fair takes place this Saturday Nov 21 at a new venue in West Auckland, the Kelston Community Hall. The hall is located in Awaroa Road, just off Great North Rd, just by the Waikumete Cemetery. The fair runs from 10am to 3pm. There is a $4 entry fee.

Stalls include vintage New Zealand and foreign vinyl and New Vinyl Imports. Expect all styles of music -- 60s, rare, dance, soul, rock, bargain etc vinyl. I will be selling more funk, soul vinyl, vintage music magazines etc.  The event also has stalls selling vinyl turntables, styli, cartridges and record cleaning gear. Word is Murray Cammick will be there too, selling classic soul and funk.

And of course , the Chris Knox CD launch malarkey is on tonight at the Kings Arms. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chris Knox - CD Release and Benefit gig
TV3's Campbell Live did a splendid interview with Chris and his partner Barbara this evening (watch it here), and even though Chris can only say yes or no, he was clearly moved by the generosity of spirit of his fellow musos in contributing to this album and making it happen. From the bits I've heard of it, the album sounds like a magnificent tribute to the astonishing body of songs that Chris has built up over his career - which is not over yet. He's starting to work on some new music too, according to Russell Brown.

Press release on the CD and album launch gig...
"On June 11 this year musician, artist, father, writer, film critic & jandal wearer Chris Knox suffered a life-altering stroke at his home in Grey Lynn.

Everyone wanted to do something to help. So a bunch of his muso mates from NZ and around the world have gotten together to do what they do best to celebrate Chris’ music by recording versions of his songs.

The resulting album is a chance for Chris’ many fans and friends to contribute to his future.

The double CD ‘STROKE – Songs For Chris Knox’ is being released in New Zealand on Monday November 16.

The album features tracks by such artists as Jay Reatard, Shayne Carter, The Mountain Goats, The Verlaines, Boh Runga, David Kilgour, Don McGlashan, Will Oldham and many more – 32 tracks in all.

There is a party &; benefit gig for Chris to celebrate the release of this album Friday November 20 at The Kings Arms. Get along!

The line-up is Dimmer (featuring Shayne Carter’s back catalogue), Don McGlashan, David Kilgour, The Bellbirds, & The Pyjama Party (featuring Neil Finn). Entry is $30 which includes a copy of the double CD ‘STROKE – Songs For Chris Knox’. Doors open at 8.30pm. No pre-sales.
Beenie Man apologises to NZ, Australia
Read it over here, and decide whether he's genuine or not. I've also read his statements to Jamaician media where he says that the only reason he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act was to please UK/European promoters.

From the Jamaica Observer, July 2007 (4 months after he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act)...

Beenie Man explained that the Reggae Compassionate Act ... was brokered by European promoters under fire from gay rights groups furious that they continued to support certain Reggae acts whose lyrics incited violence against homosexuals.

"It's a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fight from the Christian and "g" organisation and everything," said the self-proclaimed 'King of the Dancehall', who apparently could not bring himself to say the word gay.

At the same time, the deejay said he did not personally sign any agreement and could not promise that he would be abiding by it. "I do music," he argued. "Dancehall mi do, I can't promise nuh man dat. And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah."

Beenie Man also claims he has been misrepresented and misquoted in the media on this issue, so the above may not be accurate.

ADDED: Emma Hart of Public Adrress has a thoughtful post on the Beenie Man saga.
snip... "Despite what I've already been accused of after just one tweet on the issue, I'm a Free Speech advocate. But, it's just not that simple There's an underlying assumption in this attitude that both sides have the ability to speak. In New Zealand that's true. In Jamaica, it's not.

Stop Murder Music is the campaign that's been driving and organising opposition to dancehall music internationally. It was put together by OutRage!, the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, and a group called J-Flag - Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

In 2006, J-Flag's founder Brian Williamson was found hacked to death in his home. Coincidentally, a Human Rights Watch researcher, Rebecca Schleifer, was on the scene shortly after his murder, and described what she saw:

She found a small crowd singing and dancing. One man called out, "Battyman he get killed." Others were celebrating, laughing and shouting "Let's get them one at a time", "That's what you get for sin". Others sang "Boom bye bye", a line from a well-known dancehall song by Jamaican star Buju Banton about shooting and burning gay men. "It was like a parade", says Schleifer. "They were basically partying."

R.I.P. Derek B
Rapper Derek B has passed away after suffering a heart attack (on November 15). He was the first international hiphop act I ever saw  - he opened here for Run DMC in 1988 at the Powerstation.

"The musician, real name Derek Boland, is said to have been taken to London’s Charing Cross hospital early yesterday morning. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him, reports Mad News. He was 44. (More from BBC)

Legendary producer Simon Harris told the NME:“Derek was always a huge inspiration to me and can never be replaced, his tragic death at such a young age is a great loss to everyone who has known him and also his many fans. May I offer my love and sincere condolences to his family especially to his dear mother Jenny. Rest in peace Derek B, Bad Young Brother.” (Source: DJ

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Am I?
Scoop's Gordon Campbell (formerly of The Listener) has written an excellent piece, The selective targeting of Beenie Man,  examining the Beenieman/BDO issue. He notes that Beenie man's manager says they hadn't signed a contract with the BDO as yet, prior to the cancellation. He also mentions that Labour MP Charles Chauvel had called for him to be refused a visa to enter the country. He also contrast Beenie man's problems with hompohobic lyrics with another Jamaican performer, Buju Banton, who has been haunted by a song he wrote when he was 15.

From Campbell's piece...

"... Rap and dancehall musicians serve as relatively safe targets in that respect for gay politicians such as Chauvel and the Green Party’s Kevin Hague, and enable them to play to their constituents.. In many respects, the campaign against the Jamaican dancehall musicians is similar to the campaign waged against the rapper Ice T for his “Cop Killer” song in 1992. Chauvel’s attempt to deny a visa is also a virtual repeat of the Clark government’s barring of the Holocaust denier David Irving from entering New Zealand in 2004, which I objected to here at the time.
The activists will no doubt be congratulating themselves for their success in silencing Beenie Man. Yet what Professor Bill Hodge said of the Irving incident holds true here, too.
Freedom of speech is really the freedom to read, the freedom to hear and the freedom to listen. It is far more important to the listeners, the readers and so on than it is for the speaker. Everybody is losing. If you go back to John Stuart Mill, we might know the truth of it [the Holocaust], but it might be dead truth, if we do not allow it to be challenged.”
... The verbal extremism and heated tone of dancehall is a bit like the Internet, If dancehall was a blog, it would probably be a bit like Whale Oil...

... there has been a disproportionate concentration on dancehall and black rap musicians. I can see the political convenience for New Zealand gay politicians and activists to focus on a music such as dancehall – which has few defenders on free speech grounds, even in liberal circles. To my mind, art that is said to be ‘hate’ speech is still art. whether I like it or not. It should be engaged, not vetoed. And newsflash : it is all around us. Pick on dancehall as an easy target, but spare me the righteousness...."

Read the entire article, it's a fascinating read. Good comments section on there too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beenie Man pulled from BDO lineup.
This afternoon, the BDO organisers released this statement...

"The Producers of Big Day Out have decided not to proceed with the proposed engagement of Jamaican Reggae performer Beenie Man for the Jan 2010 show.

Although aware of the controversial nature of Beenie Man and his previous lyrics that have caused offence with the Gay and Lesbian and wider community, the Producers understood that the artist had renounced these sentiments and no longer expresses those views.

Notwithstanding claims of a commitment to the Reggae Compassionate Act which he signed in 2007 and a promise of adherence to peaceful and humanistic values for the dates here by Beenie Man, the depth of feeling and hurt amongst these groups has convinced us that for us to proceed with his Big Day Out appearances was, and would continue to be, divisive amongst our audience members and would mar the enjoyment of the event for many.

For this reason we have decided not to proceed." (Sourced from Coup De Main magazine).

The response on social media sites like Twitter was mixed, with Coup De Main agreeing with me that yes, it's censorship "but you have to admit its pretty cool that some random girls came up w/ the initiative & it actually worked." A lot of folk seemed to think it was a good thing that this homophobic singer was not coming to NZ.

One of the organisers of the Facebook group protesting Beenie Man's appearance said on Morning Report that she hoped that Beenie Man would come to NZ, so they could go along to the BDO and protest while he played.

Back in 1989, (20 years ago) rapper Ice T released and album called "Freedom of Speech: Just watch what you say". He'd been subjected to intense pressure by lobby groups like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre, led by Tipper Gore, wife of greenie Al Gore) over his lyrics.

"The album was released after Ice-T had been encountering censorship problems on tour. In The Ice Opinion: Who Gives a Fuck?, the rapper states that "People had already told me what I could not say onstage in Columbus, Georgia. You couldn't say anything they called a 'swear' word. You couldn't touch yourself. They were using the same tactics they used on everyone from Elvis and Jim Morrison to 2 Live Crew" (from Wikipedia).

Ice T's response to the PMRC was blunt: "Hey PMRC, you stupid fuckin' assholes / The sticker on the record is what makes 'em sell gold / Can't you see, you alcoholic idiots / The more you try to suppress us, the larger we get." (from the song What ya wanna do).

That last line (The more you try to suppress us, the larger we get) highlights the big point over this absurd controversy about Beenie man and a few of his songs -  his profile is at an all-time high in NZ right now. A savvy promoter would be on the phone booking him for some NZ shows over the summer.

So, where do we draw the line? When is censorship okay? How do we decide when it's okay?
Take Manukau City Mayor Len Brown. In August 2007, Brown was running as a mayoral candidate. To boost his profile, he launched a verbal attack on rapper Ice Cube, prior to the rapper's NZ show.

"Why is Ice Cube coming to the Telstra Pacific Centre on 22 August this year? We don't want him. We don't need him. He is not welcome here,” said Brown. "Ice Cube brings a gangsta message to our community via his gangsta rap. This message promotes gangs, gang violence and drugs.” Brown then stated: "We don't want this in our homes. We don't want it on our streets.”

This is the same Len Brown who was namechecked by Savage at the NZMA's, and appeared onstage with Savage at the I Love the Islands concert, where Brown professed his love for hiphop.
Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Nov 14
10" vinyl set
Frankie Paul - Worries in the dance
Twilight circus meets the Disciples -Foundation rokcers (vocal, dub)
Barrington Levy - Dances are changing
Dawn Penn - To sir with love
Kenny Knots and Bush chemists - Good sensi
Mere mortalz and U Brown - Dis a boom

Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Jo Jo Bennett - Canteloupe rock
International observer - Miss hit
DJ Center feat Samia Farah  -Tout passe
Nightmares on wax - Flip ya lid
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
VV Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall dub mix)
Andrew Weatherall - Fail we may, sail we must
Alice Russell - Living the life of a dreamer (Mr Scruff remix)
Jahdan Blakkamoore  -She said
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Julian Marley - Violence in the streets

10" vinyl set Pt II
Slim Smith - Conversation
U-Roy and Francois K - Rootsman
Mungos Hifi & Top Cat  - Herbalist
Rhythm and sound feat Jennfer Lara  -Queen in my empire
Michael Prophet - Been talking
Jah Wobble - Get Carter version
Sabres of Paradise - Underdog vs sabres feat Dominick

Queens tag team - Jump around (Big Will mix)
Mad Lion - Girlzz