Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan16
Ian Dury - Hit me with your rhythm stick
Sly Dunbar  - River Niger
Dub Colossus - Return to Addis dub
Dubblestandart - I do voodoo (RSD remix)
Colourbox  - Baby I love you so (Radikal roots re-edit)
Tarrus Riley - Start anew
Outlines - Waiting in line
Roy Ayers - Running away
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Stranded in your love (Cool calm Pete remix)
Roxanne Shante - Have a nice day
Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde - Doing the do
Jean Jacques Perry and Luke Vibert - You moog me
K'Naan and J Period - My country/Small axe (Messengers remix)
Alice Russell - Hurry on now (Boub mix)
King Midas Sound - Darlin
The Clonious - Bugs n fools
Shirley Bassey - Light my fire (Kenny Dope remix)
Inez Foxx - Circuit's overloaded
Steppah huntah - I don't know (Mitsu the beats remix)
Dub asylum - Ba ba boom
Manasseh - The next step
Jah Wobble - L1
Brentford allstars -Greedy G
Willie Miitchell - 20 75
Ann Peebles- 99lbs
Al Green - I can't get next to you
Pepe Bradock - Peer pressure
DJ Babu feat Rakaa - Ends to means

Friday, January 15, 2010

 Still Bill doco screens in NZ next month

I put up a clip from this a while back, and it's been doing the rounds of film festivals overseas and finally hits our shores next month. Watch the trailer below if you aint seen it yet... ladies and gentlemen, Mr Bill Withers...

Still Bill Trailer from B-Side Entertainment on Vimeo.

"As part of the NZ Soul Alldayer event we are holding the first NZ screenings of the new movie “Still Bill”.
You know the music – now meet the man
Still Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics Aint No Sunshine, Lean On Me, Lovely Day, Grandmas Hands and Just the Two of Us. With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that have and always will resonate deeply within the fabric of our times.
Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man.
Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace, interviews with music legends, his family and closest friends, Still Bill presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs in our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Time: 8:00pm – 10:30pm
Location: Academy Cinema, Auckland
Tickets now available from Conch records (Ponsonby) and

Wellington screening is Feb 9 at the Paramount.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Matakana Bush Party with Mad Professor, Open Souls, RhombusFirst gig of the year coming up for me - I'm DJing at Music Mountain Matakana Bush Party on Jan 30, mean lineup too, incl Mad Professor, Open souls, Katchafire, Rhombus and more.

I've also got a DJ gig on Waitiangi Day (Feb 6), called Soul Sessions. A free outdoor art/music event featuring Cut Collective, Bobby Brazuka, Peter Mac (Dub Asylum), Cinzah Merkens + more. At Little Shoal Bay Reserve, Northcote, midday til 6pm.

"Music Mountain Matakana is stoked to announce the 2010 Bush Party, all set for Anniversary weekend, Saturday the 30th of January.

Headlining this year’s collection of Reggae, Dub, Blues and Dj acts, Aotearoa’s finest;
Katchafire. The full on version of Rhombus is in there too, along with Open Souls and from the UK, Dub’s legendary Mad Professor. MMM welcomes back dDub and introduces the Knights of the Dub Table. DJ sets from Dub Asylum, Koa Williams, Julian Dyne, Isaac Aesili & DJ Automatic.

Virtually twelve hours of nonstop  Bush Party beats on a long weekend, choice !

Tickets for this boutique, organic venue are limited. The early birds are on sale from Monday the 7th of December, online exclusively from Eventfinder. On the streets from Real Groovy in Auckland and Liquor King in Whangarei.

All you need to know about  charter coaches, accommodation, local camp spots, refreshments and show times are on the web at
Beastie Boys live on NYC public access tv show, 1984
On The Scott and Gary Show. Beastie hardcore punk.

New album from Sharon Jones and the Dapkings on the way!
Out May 4 (Miss Jones's birthday), it's called I learned the hard way.

"I Learned the Hard Way was produced by Bosco Mann and recorded on an Ampex eight-track tape machine by Gabriel Roth in Daptone Records' House of Soul studios, the record drips with a warmth and spontaneity rarely found since the golden days of Muscle Shoals and Stax. Sharon's raw power, rhythmic swagger, moaning soulfulness, and melodic command set her firmly alongside Tina Turner, James Brown, Mavis Staples, and Aretha as a fixture in the canon of soul music. From the lush Philly-Soul fanfare that ushers in "The Game Gets Old" at the top of the record, to the stripped down Sam Cooke-style "Mama Don't Like My Man" at the tail, the Dap-Kings dance seamlessly through both the most crafted and simple arrangements with subtlety and discipline."

From the look of the cover photo, they shot it out the back of Daptone Studios - as it looks just like the locale they used for the music video for Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens too (watch it here).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Doing the numbers
The music industry says it is going through tough times. How tough?

From Simon Grigg's blog...

The primary reason revenues are down is because the primary target for recorded music are people under 25. And they no longer buy albums. Mostly they don’t even know what they are. They buy MP3s..the new singles.

They don’t want albums. They want tracks. And the evidence to support this is voluminous. Last year in the United States there were 1.16 billion (yep, billion) digital tracks sold. That is the equivalent of 1.16 billion singles purchased, because that’s what the MP3 is..a single..a 45, in the old language.

Add to that just under 400 million albums (of which some 3.2 million were actually 14 album box sets by The Beatles, so add another 40m or so to that figure!) and you have a very, very large number of units purchased by customers in 2009…far higher, in fact, than at any time since Soundscan began recording accurate figures in 1991.

Throw into that mix two other factors, firstly that the digital figure removes the cost of manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, and secondly the huge drop in recording costs over the past decade as digital became the norm, and a rather different picture emerges...

Oh, and one more figure to toss into the mix: the decade long rise in performance income received by performing rights organisations as many different income streams, driven by technology, plus the massive advances in collection techniques and the sad story that both the media and the lawmakers happily trumpet without question, looks increasingly shaky."

New comp of music jnspired by Fela Kuti
From the folk at Now Again Records. Free mp3 for ya over here - Dan Satch and his Atomic 8 Dance Band - "Woman Pin Down". More info and tracklisting here. Out Feb 23, or get it on pre-release from NowAgain right now.

BONUS POINTS - Check out Egon's Top Ten African Reissues for 2009...
"There were so many, from the Ghana Special comp on Sound Way Records to a reissue of Ofege, from our Picks section. While we’re at it, you can grab an extra mp3 there… So check it out, dig into some of the Zambian and Nigerian sounds we’ll be reissuing next year, and support some of the fine labels represented in the list as you’re doing your Christmas shopping.
Link: Egon’s Top Ten African Reissues at"
New King Britt collab.
Grab the demo mix free below. ..

A few years ago, I received a call from my publishing company, Universal, about collaborating with a new 'singer' named Ruth Ann Cunningham.
She was from Dublin and had been a pretty famous writer, doing hits for JoJo, Katherine McFee and Pixie. She also won the ASCAP writer's award. They were about to embark on a collaborative situation and she wanted to work with me. They flew her to Philly and we met at the studio. I
hadnt heard her voice yet, but was up for whatever the universe says.

She was I think 21 and tiny. I had no clue what to expect. I made 3 tracks in a day and she was writing full songs in a matter of an hour or so. She had most of the vocal arrangements done in her head. So the moment came where she was to sing. I was in the control room like, oh
sh*t, this girl is unreal. She really put it down. Her management weren't really into the tunes for her pop album, but we made an amazing musical connection.

Two songs will be on the new SYLK130 album, due out in fall 2010. The song Be Free is here for you to enjoy. This song is a preview of whats to come. (demo is...)
Get free y'all!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Arch Hill Records potentially teaming up with revived Flying Nun
Arch Hill Records boss Ben Howe wrote a revealing post at the Arch Hill blog [post deleted?] talking about his behind-the-scenes involvement in assisting Roger Shepherd reclaim the FNun back catalogue from Warners. It's a fascinating read, going from Ben's early involvement in the label with his band Superette , to writing his university thesis on Flying Nun, and more recently, his label becoming home to ex FNun artists like David Kilgour and Jay Clarkson.

When it was reported just before christmas that Shepherd had bought the label back off Warners, I was surprised to read that Warners would be distribution partner (given they've paid scant interest in any of the FNun catalogue to date), and that Shepherd seemed to be going into this alone.

He's been out of the music industry for most of the past ten years, and it has changed dramatically in that time. The last time he ventured into the music industry was to add his weight to the RIANZ's support for S92a of the Copyright Act, which subsequently got struck out by John Key and revised to a more sensible position. However, he has been working with Howe since early 2006, and has developed a number of ideas...

"... Out of these discussions a plan started to emerge. Roger and I were going to start a new record label. Actually, we decided we were going to start two new record labels. One for new emerging artists and the other for re-issues and re-releases of the old good stuff. I would also keep Arch Hill going and the three labels would work together, complimenting each other.

For the new artists label our focus was going to be overseas. We had a couple of good acts in mind. I wrote up proposals and met up with the head of Sony/BMG Michael Bradshaw and with A&R man Malcolm Black. I also met with Adam Holt at Universal. Our plan was to look for some kind of backing to help try and make this new label happen.

For the re-issues label we also had a few things in mind. One of these was a band formerly on Flying Nun. They were one of Roger’s favourites. The band were keen to release a re-mastered compilation. Of course our first question was, legally could we do this? Was the band still contracted to Flying Nun (now owned by Warners, who had bought Festival Mushroom, who had bought Mushroom)? After some back and forth we quickly figured out we could. The band had never actually signed a contract and had paid for all the recordings themselves. Flying Nun/Warners legally had no rights to any of their songs and had to concede this fact to the band.

At about this time, in mid 2007, I was back at the Powerstation attending a gig by US band the Shins. Charlotte Ryan – who was then the sole (and last) person responsible for Flying Nun at Warners – was there. We were discussing the re-issues label idea and she said “you know, at a staff meeting the other day Phil Howling [Head of Warners NZ] said they should probably sell Flying Nun”....

Howe goes on to say that "Arch Hill had a successful and functioning label infrastructure in place. We had physical and digital distribution and pretty much everything a contemporary record label needs. In fact, many artists on Arch Hill were once on Flying Nun. It all made good sense...." Read the full post here.

Hat tip to Hussein Moses of The Corner for the Arch Hill link. Go read his story about Jason Kerrison of Opshop building an ark to survive 2012 - "...he plans to survive the “transformative changes” by building a multi-million dollar ark (or “monolithic dome”) that can house 300 people."

Monday, January 11, 2010

R.I.P. Willie Mitchell
Passed away last Tuesday. Legendary Memphis producer for Hi Records, most notably with Al Green.

"Willie Mitchell, 81, a celebrated trumpeter, arranger and producer for Hi Records who launched the careers of Al Green and other leading soul performers of the 1970s, died of cardiac arrest Jan. 5 at a hospital in Memphis.

In a career spanning six decades, Mr. Mitchell proved a hitmaker as a producer for singers such as Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson and Denise LaSalle. He also worked with a wide range of rock performers including Rod Stewart and John Mayer.

Mr. Mitchell first made an impression as an instrumentalist. His 10-piece rhythm and blues group signed with Hi Records in 1959 and recorded a string of successful soul instrumentals, including the funk groove "20-75" (1964) and a remake of King Curtis's ballad "Soul Serenade" (1968).
Mr. Mitchell took over as the label's staff producer in 1970. With the Hodges brothers -- guitarist Mabon (known as "Teenie"), bassist Leroy Jr. and keyboardist Charles -- and drummer Howard Grimes, Mr. Mitchell had a crack recording unit that gave the label an instantly identifiable sound. Through his efforts, Hi Records competed with Stax Records as the main purveyor of the driving, funky Memphis soul style." From Washington Post.

Also worth a read, the New York Times obit. And 'Remembering Poppa Mitchell' from the Memphis Commercial Appeal.