Monday, October 04, 2010

NZ Music Awards get Sweetman'd

Music reviewer and Stuff.co.nz blogger Simon Sweetman wrote a piece today on the NZ Music Awards and his disgust for it. It's worth noting that he was also a judge this year (and yet he claims he isn't part of the music industry - go figure). There were several points he makes in the piece which are factually incorrect - I did try to post them as comments on his blog but they didn't get published, as is their choice.

Sweetman has a go at the Critics Choice Prize, saying "the winner was supposed to be a band that did not have an album out at the time of judging. Two of the three finalists released their albums within weeks of the judging..." Wrong. This award was for bands who did not have an album out during the eligibility period  -June 1 2009 to May 31 2010, not at the time of judging (see NZMA eligibilty criteria).

He also says "There were also meant to be two showcase gigs - one in Wellington and one in Christchurch. A chance to take a part of the awards show on the road, to take it out of Auckland; in the end these shows never happened." Why was that? Because there was an earthquake in Christchurch which made them no longer viable. Left that bit out, aye Simon?

Best part - he slags off Dane Rumble, Gin, Ladyhawke, then highlights his critical darlings, the Phoenix Foundation - but fails to mention they have the most nominations of any act at this years awards.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Real Groove is goneburgers


Friday saw the demise of Real Groove magazine, as its publishers, Tangible Media, said they were merging it into the weekly free magazine, Groove Guide. Longtime contributor Gary Steel wrote a piece on it at witchdoctor.co.nz, called Real Gone.

Steel says that "it changed markedly with each successive editor. Both [former editors] John Dix and Nick Bollinger reflected Real Groovy’s roots-music bias, but it grew bigger, got a cover price, got glossier and larger in format, and eventually attempted to become a general culture bible in addition to a music magazine. It had elements of Mojo and Uncut, but reflected its smaller demographic by trying valiantly to be all things to all people."

I totally agree with him that the columns were "the real guts of Real Groove ...  it did have a bunch of specialists in different genres writing with passion and knowledge in a section of columns, and ... I think this section was really the best part of the magazine, and the one that will be most missed." I loved reading what columnists like Kerry Buchanan, Troy Ferguson, and Stinky Jim had to say every month. Fantastically opinionated writing from such hugely knowledgeable folk was a delight. 

Former editor Duncan Greive weighs in over at deadball.co.nz.  He notes that the magazine departs on its 18th birthday,with the final issue, with Leonard Cohen on the cover, hitting newstands now. Oddly enough the magazine has had a redesign, and looks a lot like Rolling Stone and Uncut. It's a strange look to go out on, but I suspect the staff probably didn't know it was the mag's swansong when they were putting it together.

Duncan talks about the magazine's circulation, and its perception in the marketplace among punters. He talks about battling the effects of the internet, and ad sales declining.

"... The final issue, with Leonard Cohen on the cover, is a pretty impressive way to bow out. It looks fantastic, design-wise, and seems to have settled into a groove (argh) which might have actually worked, had it been allowed to continue. A local answer to Uncut et al might have worked (though as others have pointed out, those publications’ ad pages are thin and unglamourous), with an equal engagement with the past and the future, targeting the people who still spend money on music.

" That was always Tangible’s plan for the publication, one which I definitely didn’t engage with beyond bowing to the suggestion that U2 grace the cover (then immaturely struggling to restrain my glee when it tanked at the news-stand). Given six more months to truly define the role and get the market to buy in maybe the story ends very differently .... But the demise itself was never in question, in my opinion, no matter what well-intentioned sales people, editors, publishers and more tried to do. It was the date which remained in play until now. Whether magazines can continue to limp on until some new technology or system makes them viable is an open question."

UPDATE Wednesday 6 Oct: More Real Groove tributes from former writers Joe Nunweek and Dan Trevarthen.

Stoppress.co.nz also carried a story about Real Groove's closure, based on some wildly  inaccurate information which I understand was a press release provided by Tangible Media. "When Tangible Media purchased the Groove titles after Real Groovy went into liquidation in 2008, the magazine couldn’t continue to be propped up by the music store."

Former General Manager at Real Groovy, Steve Richards, bought Real Groove off Real Groovy way before the liquidation and started up Groove Media as their publisher, and was successfully running nthe mags without being propped up by the stores., which were clearly doing badly then. I remember when  Real Groovy went into liquidation thinking that at least Real Groove would survive the fallout, as it was no longer part of the shops.

R.I.P. Richard Griffey (Solar Records)

Photo: LA Times (taken in 1973)
"Richard Griffey, the founder of the Los Angeles-based R&B record label Solar (Sound Of Los Angeles Records), died at the age of 71 of complications from quadruple-bypass heart surgery that he underwent last year (read more about Griffey’s life in The LA Times' obituary).

"From 1977 when Griffey founded the label, which stands for Sounds of Los Angeles Records, through its peak in the 1980s, the label quickly earned its moniker, “the Motown of the '80s,” for its stable of artists.

"Acts like the Whispers, Shalamar (featuring Jody Watley and Howard Hewett), Klymaxx, Midnight Star and the Deele (featuring Antonio "L.A." Reid and Babyface Edmonds) all have Griffey’s imprint on them. His hits are inescapable, with classics including “Fantastic Voyage,” “And the Beat Goes On,” “Rock Steady” and “Tender Lover.” The string of success led to Griffey being pegged "the most promising new black music executive," which The Times reported in 1980.

The R&B, funk and soul jams his acts crafted laid the foundation for the early-1990s G-funk West Coast flavor of Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Warren G, among others. Edmonds said it was all part of Griffey’s genius." LA Time Pop and Hiss blog

Griffey got his start in the music business as a nightclub owner and promoter. He became the talent co-ordinator on the tv show Soul Train, working with host and producer Don Cornelius. His last ten years were spent mostly in Africa, where he went to promote music but stayed because he "was touched by the poverty and felt that he could make a difference," his daughter said.

Diplo profiled

Nice little mini-documentary on DJ/producer Diplo from film maker Wing-Yee Wu... (hat tip to Duncan Blair for the link)...

Fave quote: "as a producer I still don't have a lot of confidence but I think that grows... you can grow up as a producer a lot more than you can as a dj, that's a logical progression"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Oct 2

Chaka Khan - Love of a lifetime - extended dance mix
Chairmen of the board - Life and death - Danny Krivit edit
Gwen Guthrie - Padlock - Larry Levan mix
Galaxy - Visions of tomorrow
Jackie Mittoo - Grand funk
The Topics - Louie louie
Major Lazer - Can't stop now
MIA - It takes a muscle
Western roots  - Bogus buddy
Sounds unlimited - Roadrunner
Nambo and Ian Hird - Universal horns
Lee Scratch Perry - Used to drive a tractor in Negrille
Muhsinah feat 00Genesis - Always
Mr Chop - Shut em down
Lee Fields and the expressions - Ladies
Roy Ayers - Love will bring us together
Jody Watley  -Saturday night experience
Kinny and Horne - Why me
Mario's tuna - Waste of money
Rosalia De Sousa - Maria Moita
Rebel MC - Wickedest sound - Don Gorgon mix
Ragga twins - Love talk
Rockers delight - Moments in dub
Thievery Corporation - 38 45 (a thievery number)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Buju Banton - mistrial declared

From the BBC, "A US judge has declared a mistrial for reggae star Buju Banton, accused last year of conspiring to buy cocaine from an undercover police officer.

"Jurors in the US state of Florida were unable to reach a verdict. The four-time Grammy nominee may be re-tried in December. A defence lawyer asked he be freed on a bond.... Banton has been jailed since 10 December [last year]."

His arrest and trial have been widely reported in Jamaica - his family talk on the trial here.

Two iPads and a DJ mixer

Rana Sobhany is one of the speakers at Web 2.0 conference on in New York this week - she talks about developing music apps for the iPad. She started developing this idea since April this year.
 Demo of the gear starts at 4.11 into the video.

She says shes hacked it together based on Ableton Live software, and uses an app called Looptastic. Warning - her demo uses cheesy techno (she describes it as eclectrobreakstep). It's an interesting concept, but it's not exactly Serato on iPad. The use of Ableton on iPad suggests it could be something a group like locals Pitch Black (who use Ableton in a live setting) could really have some fun with. (Wired magazine article on  Rana)





Another session at Web 2.0 that sounds like it would've been fun was Why Everything Sounds Better Auto-Tuned, Despite Auto-Tune's Alleged Death (link), presented by the Gregory Brothers, the folk behind autotune the news, and the Double Rainbow song.

"Jay Z declared the death of  autotune, and we're here to give it a proper funeral..."

And look - here it is.... awesome youtubeness...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Awards season


In this month's Metro magazine, Gary Steel has critiqued the NZ Music Awards, and picked at the bones - he's is a former judge of said awards. Hussein Moses at The Corner blog talks about his comments here, and has a pdf of the article too if you want to read it  (as Metro no longer has a website - that's the progessive thinking of old media for you).

Hussein says... "... as Steel tries to get across in his column, let’s not forget about the independent labels and artists which are the backbone of our industry. Border, Arch Hill, Muzai and countless others release superb music every year and will continue to as long as they can."

The need for some kind of recognition of the incredibly strong indie sector we have at present seems to be coming thru from a lot of quarters - maybe it's time to revive an indie awards show, similar to the B-Net awards? The indie labels have a very strong organisation in Independent Music New Zealand, who could pull it together. If it's anything like the B-Net Awards, it would be a bloody great night.

The B-Nets started out in 1998 at the Mandalay (remember the Male/Female Fox award?), and originally sprang into existence because the NZ Music Awards were so endlessly crap. They’ve kind of outlived their purpose, as many of the acts it used to highlight like Fat Freddys, SJD, Mint Chicks, Phoenix Foundation or Shapeshifter, now get recognised by the NZMA’s, which is a sign of the Music Awards evolving. The B-Nets stopped in 2007.

Steels' argument for overlooked acts highlights critically acclaimed artist SJD, and Steel claims that as long as the the music awards judging team is "loaded with radio jocks and industry honchos" with little passion for music or limited knowledge,  SJD "will continue to be roundly ignored".

SJD has won two Tui awards (in 2005), and been nominated for best male solo act. He's not in the running this year, I guess because he hasn't put out an album recently. Steel also points at the Naked and Famous as being proudly indie, but distributed by  a major label, Universal. The last three SJD albums were also distributed by Universal (as were Naked And Famous's earlier EP releases).

One of the things I like about the NZ Music Awards, it gets people talking about our music.  We're a passionate lot and that's a good thing. Now, lets bring back the B-Nets!

Rock Hall of Fame nominees

Pretty amusing list of names... First-time nominees include Bon Jovi, Donovan, Dr. John, Tom Waits, Alice Cooper and Neil Diamond. Darlene Love, LL Cool J, Donna Summer and the Beastie Boys have been nominated before. Other previous nominees include the J Geils Band; Chuck Willis; Chic and Joe Tex.

Artists must have had their first release 25 years ago. Tom Waits has been eligible since 1998 as has Neil Diamond; Dr John, since 1993. Chic have been nominated 5 times prior to this year. Go figure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Roar power

The Big Day Out lineup was announced this morning at 8am. Local media seem to have been under an NDA (non disclosure agreement) until that time, even though the BDO official website posted the lineup at 2am NZT (breaking their own NDA). The original media launch was scheduled for 7pm last night. Apparently this is the last time the BDO organisers will do the launch this way - I hope they do it next year with a dance party in the Supertop at 2am. That would be fun for the media, aye? Anyways, my two predictions were right on - Tool and Grinderman. So much for the rumoured Soundgarden/Stone Temple Pilots grunge revival. Or maybe that's in the 2nd announcement.

The lineup includes MIA, LCD Sound System (one of the best live acts I've ever seen, based on their 2008 BDO appearance), Grinderman, Deftones, The Black Keys, Lupe Fiasco, Bookashade DJs, Die Antwoord, Crysal Castles, and more. It's also slightly nostalgic, with the likes of Tool, Rammstein, Primal Scream (playing Screamadelica) and of course Iggy and the Stooges, with James Williamson on guitar, in for the late, great Ron Asheton. They are currently playing the Raw Power album, and it sounds like this. Fucken rock n roll excitement, kids.




BDO Auckland, January 21, 2011. Tickets on sale October 8.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep it acapella

Live, acapella version of Momma hold my hand, by Aloe Blacc. Incredible.



Album version of Momma hold my hand is below (nice fan video), off Good Things. Out now on Stonesthrow, produced by Truth and Soul crew (El Michels Affair etc). The album is super soulful. Don't sleep on it.

Look, it's the vinyl revival! (Story #281)

Photo: Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

It's that time again - another fabulous story about the rise of vinyl sales. Computerworld US does a bunch of number crunching, over here - "Forget digital tunes; analog music on the upswing".

"As surprising as it may sound, LP sales are up again this year, and 2009 had the highest number of LP sales ever since we started tracking them," said David Bakula, senior vice president of analytics at Nielsen Entertainment." Unfortunately the article fails to mention exactly when they did start tracking vinyl sales.

And as a bonus, here's the New York Times on record collectors at the recent Brooklyn Flea record fair, like "Bill Yawien, a 55-year-old from Sheepshead Bay whose recent move from a house to a condo forced him into the kind of difficult life decision Manhattan Mini Storage was created to facilitate. “It was time to whittle it down a little,” Mr. Yawien remarked to some browsers perusing his trove of ancient discs. “I kept about 4,000 records."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Salsa Explosion


Salsa Explosion: The New York Salsa Revolution is a compilation of some of the finest tunes from legendary label Fania Records. If you want a taster, try this free download...

Louie Ramirez- "Ahora Es El Tiempo" (mediafire) (soundcloud)

"Salsa Explosion, provides an essential introduction to the classic Fania sound through some of the label’s major artists including Celia Cruz, Mongo Santamaria, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto and the Daddy of the Fania family, Johnny Pacheco.

From: Salsa Explosion: The New York Salsa Revolution 1969 - 1979 (out Sept 28th, Strut)


Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Sept 25

Chuck Womack and the sweet souls -Ham hocks and beans - Quantic remix
Tubbs - Five day night - Fat Freddys rework
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together -Shoes edit
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Romanowski - Romjack steady
Dub Spencer and Trance Hill - Enter the sandman
Lovejoys - It aint easy
Manasseh - I-wah
Roots radics -Babylon wrong
Phyllis Dillon - Woman of the ghetto
Derrick Morgan - I'm the ruler
Big youth - Jim screechy - Smith and Mighty remix
Philadelphia allstars - Let's clean up the ghetto - Danny Krivit edit
Sleepwalker - Brotherhood - Mitsu the Beats remix
Aloe Blacc - Loving you is killing me
Budos Band - Golden dunes
Outlines - Waiting in line inst
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band - Girl from Ipanema, Express yourself, Must be your thing
(off the 5 album boxset from Rhno, only $19.99. Grab it! Every home should have one.)
Tokyo ska paradise orchestra - The Big Man still standing - Winston Hazel and Marc Woolford remix
Mad lion - Girlzzz
Dillinger - Cokane in my brain 12" mix
Lee Scratch Perry - Fire power
Keith Hudson - Troubles

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

America’s 10 greatest indie record stores


Via Flavorpill. Read it here...

" A few weeks ago, we published our list of the country’s top 10 bookstores, a response to those who browse but don’t buy and those who would abandon paperbacks and hardcovers for the realm of eBooks. It generated so much discussion it inspired us to put together another roundup of shops for culture vultures: America’s best independent music stores.

" Although, in general, they seem to be doing much better than their chain competitors in this era of declining CD sales and renewed interest in vinyl records, legendary outlets still go out of business all the time — like, most recently, beloved NY and LA hip-hop destination Fat Beats.

" This list isn’t just our opinion: It’s the result of recommendations from Flavorpill staff and readers (who weighed in via Facebook). Add to our celebration of indie music stores around the country by leaving your picks in the comments."

Push your barrow


Portishead's Geoff Barrow has a new album out December 7, via Invada/Stonesthrow. It's a collaboration between Barrow's 3 piece band Beak and a singer named Anika.  It's labelled as "political, trashy, dub, punk, funk..."

"Political Journalist isn't a credential we usually have in musician's bios, but this is exactly what Anika was doing while living between Berlin and Bristol earlier this year when she met Geoff Barrow. The producer was looking for a new singer to work with his band Beak>, and it was immediately clear they shared the same musical vision, including a love of punk, dub and 60s girl groups."

Read more about it on the Stonesthrow site, and go there to download an MP3 of the tune below.

Anika - Yang Yang by stonesthrow

The Warehouse drive a hard bargain

I bought some DVDs at The Warehouse at the weekend, and the cashier made me open the cases and check the DVDs for scratches, as she told me they no longer give refunds for them. I thought this was a bit odd, but it got even odder when she gave me the till docket. On it was printed the message that The Warehouse no longer give refunds or exchanges on DVDs/CDs because of the Copyright Act. No mention of exchanges if the disc was faulty.

It seems from the docket that they are trying to opt out of their obligations to consumers under the Consumer Guarantee Act. I asked on Twitter if anyone knew if this was legal, and got several opinions which suggest this approach by The Warehouse is clearly wrong. Lawyer Rick Shera (@lawgeeknz) told me that "Consumer Guarantees Act will override Copyright Act but TW may be responding to licensing terms by Big Music". The folks at Ampilfier sent me this, which "outlines what's not covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act http://tinyurl.com/2fczpvn."

I phoned up The Warehouse to ask them about how this worked, and were they using the Copyright act over the CGA. The person I spoke with directed me to their Returns policy online, which says...

 "Restrictions and exceptions resulting from New Zealand Copyright laws and health and safety issues mean a refund or exchange is only available for the following products if that product is defective:


Music CDs / DVDs / PC Software / Gaming Console Software / Underwear / Earrings

If a product is deemed unsatisfactory, we can offer to exchange it for another one (ie: a different colour or size) or another product for the same value."

Does anyone know exactly HOW NZ copyright laws affect this?


UPDATE 1 (Wednesday 22nd, 10.20am): I emailed The Warehouse last night, asking several questions about the above, after checking the till docket.

I asked...

"1 Why are your staff being instructed to inform customers they will not get a refund, and being made to check the discs? Clearly, if the faulty is on the disc manufacture, that wont be visible til you watch it.

2. What part/s of NZ copyright laws are you referring to in your returns policy and on your till dockets? I see on the back of the docket is a generic message regarding refunds, which alludes to Copyright infringement product as being excluded from refunds. What does this mean?

3. Will you please look at changing your till dockets to read "As a result of copyright laws, product such as CDs, DVD/VCR, gaming software , PC software are NOT refundable or exchangable unless defective?" (last two words added)."

The Warehouse replied to my email at 10am this morning - with a blank email. I'm hoping their next response is more detailed.

UPDATE II (Wednesday 22nd, 9.50 pm):
I got an email back from The Warehouse this afternoon - excerpted below.

They say that "The cashier has asked you to check the disk prior to purchase to make sure you are happy that disk is not damaged/scratched or the incorrect disk and it is not so The Warehouse will not return due to a manufacturing fault on the disks .

"The Warehouse will not refund or replace DVD’s or CD’s IF customers change their minds as this is a breach of the copyright act as customers had in the past, purchased disks, burnt copies and then returned for a refund and due to Copyright laws, we are legally not able to refund or replace disks that are not faulty where a customer has just bought back when the disk is in fact not faulty and any return of DVD’s or Cd’s is at the store managers discretion.

"On the docket, we are not trying to opt out of the Consumers Guarantee act and as stated on the docket :

Restrictions and Exceptions:
Any product covered by warranty
Hygiene product
Copyright infringement product
Unless faulty or defective."

They also pointed to their returns policy on their website, adding that "these products are still guaranteed under the Consumer Guarantees Act."

"The returns policy clearly does state that we will not refund a DVD or a CD UNLESS it is defective or faulty and this is in accordance with the Consumers Guarantee Act.

"Please note that you can contact any of our store managers in regards to a faulty product for a repair (if under warranty) replacement or refund.

"Our team members are not instructed to inform customers will not get a refund if a DVD or CD is defective. This was one team member who obviously communicated to you in a way that was not in accordance to The Warehouse policy on returns and if you care to advise which store you purchased your disks from and the team members name, we can address this with the manager of that store.

"You are not made to check the disks but it is a courtesy we do expect our team members to do in order for the customer to see if there is any damage externally to the disks and to make sure it is the disk the customer is wishing to purchase and the wrong disk is not in the case.

"In regards to the New Zealand Copyright laws, please find attached a copy of the Copyright laws in New Zealand [it was a 5 page introduction to copyright from the Copyright Council of NZ, dated Jan 2009] and as per that introduction to Copyright laws the following is an excerpt from there:-

"Owners of copyright in films, sound recordings, and communication works have the exclusive right to:
• copy their material;
• issue copies to the public for the first time, by sale or otherwise;
• in the case of sound recordings and films, rent copies to the public;
• play or show their material in public; and
• communicate their material to the public.

"This means the owner of the Copyright has exclusive right to copy their material and as such customers who purchase disks with the sole reason to copy that work are in breach of the Copyright laws.

"I have passed on your feedback in regards to the docket wording to the relevant department."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Go bang

Video from last week's Great Blend (blogged previously here)  - Russell Brown interviews Simon Grigg. Read Simon's thoughts on the event here.



Clap your hands



One of the musical projects I've been working on this year is a reissue/remaster project for my old band, Hallelujah Picassos. We've been having regular get togethers, and we've sorted the track listing, but deciding on the artwork is taking a little while - that's typical for us, the way. Same thing happened back in the day too. Arty buggers. Just look at the name.


Clap Your Hands was the first release of ours that came out on vinyl, thanks to Trevor Reekie at Pagan Records picking it for his compilation, Positive Vibrations, in 1989. We recorded this in a manic one day session at Airforce studios, along with a bunch of other tunes, which we released as a cassette only release called Taxi Driver.

Bobbylon and Roland had done some work as painters and plasterers at Airforce before it opened, and they got paid in studio time.  This song was very popular on student radio, back in the day, which how Trevor heard it, I'm picking. I've added some pics to go with the audio, watch out for the band portraits done by the late Martin Emond, which came from our second album, Drinking With Judas. I made a video for it at the time, thanks to Mark Tierney and the music show CV (RWP's replacement). They gave me some free film stock, processing and editing too. Grand cost of the video was $138 - to pay the cameraman, and buy fish n chips for cast and crew. Wish I had a copy of it.

Bassweight film on tonight

As part of the "ThisCulture" film series we are proud to present the NZ premiere of "Bassweight". 


Bassweight is the first feature documentary that gives you an insight into the birth, growth and success of Dubstep music. See the trailer below.

"From the very start in Croydon, through to a recognised global culture, Bassweight provides a timeline of information via some of the most important exponents from this ever expanding scene.
Featuring in-depth interviews with the genre’s true ambassadors around the world including; Skream and Benga, Kode 9, Plastician and BBC Radio 1 DJ, Mary Anne Hobbs. Each reflect on their personal journey and provide thought on maintaining Dubstep at the forefront of dance music. With intimate imagery from Europe, Japan and Brazil, Bassweight is a unique stylised music documentary celebrating the art form that is Dubstep."
September 16th - Khuja Lounge, Auckland - 8pm
$10 entry - DJ support from Jason Howson






www.thisculture.com & www.facebook.com/thisculture for more info.

Wellington screening thanks to Audio Cinema on Sept 25th, check Facebook for full details
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151972921487919&ref=ts

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Woop woop! It's the sound of the police


Cut Chemist has a life-size R2D2 in his home, and lots of autographed photos of his heroes, including Bob Dylan. He constructed his latest album, a mix cd called Sound of the Police with just one turntable. Read this cool interview from LA Weekly here.  Excerpt below...

"... It makes me happy that everybody appreciates DJs enough to wanna be one. Absolutely, that makes me happy. What doesn't make me happy is my perception that people seem to appreciate specific DJs less or are willing to support DJs less because they are themselves one.

Like, "Oh, I don't need to go check him out, or maybe I don't need to hire him because I hired this person to be the DJ." Or, "I can do it: I'm a DJ." So, the more DJs there are, the less demand there is. That's just basic supply and demand: The jobs have become less for me now that there are more DJs.

I don't think that's an accident, and it's harder for me to get people to listen to what my niche is because it's very different from what all these other DJs have been doing. You know, I'm not a Top 40 DJ. I consider myself more like a performance artist, and in an age when there are so many DJs, it's harder to recognize a DJ as a performance artist.

...  I'm not just behind two decks, but actually making music with different things, performing with different elements, you know, something hopefully captivating."

See sidebar: Four crucial records at the core of the Sound of the Police album.

Free sample of the album below, at Bandcamp. Bonus - go to Cut Chemist's website, and watch the video called Cut Chemist Goes Digging. Niceness. Might have to post it too.

<a href="http://cutchemist.bandcamp.com/track/adidas-to-addis">Adidas to Addis by Cut Chemist</a>

Sun aint shining


If you are a musician who is writing and recording original material, work for hire is possibly the worst kind of contract you could sign with a record company. The more money they give you, the more rights you will have to sign away to your music. The best situation is to get a contract where all the rights to your music revert to you after a certain time period. Read this story about Bob Marley and his family and learn, kids.


Bob Marley Family Loses Case Over Hit Records, from Billboard.

"Bob Marley's family lost a lawsuit seeking the copyrights to several of the late Jamaican reggae singer's best-known recordings.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the UMG Recordings unit of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group is the rightful owner of copyrights to five albums that Marley had recorded between 1973 and 1977 for Island Records.

The albums "Catch a Fire," "Burnin'," "Natty Dread," "Rastaman Vibrations" and "Exodus" were recorded with Marley's band The Wailers. They include some of Marley's best-known songs, including "Get Up, Stand Up," "I Shot the Sheriff," "No Woman, No Cry" and "One Love." Marley died of cancer in 1981 at age 36.

Friday night's ruling is a defeat for Marley's widow Rita and nine children who had sought to recover millions of dollars in damages over UMG's effort to "exploit" what they called "the quintessential Bob Marley sound recordings."

L. Peter Parcher and Peter Shukat, who are lawyers for the family, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. UMG spokesman Peter LoFrumento said the company is pleased with Cote's ruling.

Marley's family accused UMG of intentionally withholding royalties from their company Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd, and ignoring a 1995 agreement assigning them rights under the original recording agreements, court papers show.

It also accused UMG of failing as required to consult with them on key licensing decisions, including the use of Marley's music as "ringtones" on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile phones, the papers show.


But Cote concluded that Marley's recordings were "works made for hire" as defined under U.S. copyright law, entitling UMG to be designated the owner of those recordings, for both the initial 28-year copyright terms and for renewals. [my bold]

"Each of the agreements provided that the sound recordings were the 'absolute property' of Island," Cote wrote. "Whether Marley would have recorded his music even if he had not entered the recording agreements with Island is beside the point."

She added that it was irrelevant that Marley might have maintained artistic control over the recording process. What mattered, she said, was that Island had a contractual "right" to accept or reject what he produced.

Cote also denied the Marley family's request for a ruling upholding its claims over digital downloads, citing ambiguity in a 1992 royalties agreement.  She directed the parties to enter court-supervised settlement talks, and scheduled an October 29 conference.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Earliest known footage of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar

Spotted at Dangerous Minds. From 1965, the song is “Shotgun” and the TV show, televised on Nashville’s Channel 5 WLAC-TV, was called Night Train. Singing duo is Buddy and Stacy, and Jimi is part of the Crown Jewels, Little Richard’s back-up band.

You down with #ogb?


The Orcon Great Blend returned last Friday, this time at the magnificent Wintergarden venue in the Civic Theatre, a criminally underused space. The lineup included music, some collaborations (Askew vs Karl Maughan  - street art meets high art and wins) and some fine conversation. First up was host Russell Brown interviewing music impresario Simon Grigg onstage.

Simon talked about starting the Suburban Reptiles - he was originally planning on starting a jazz band with a mate, but then he saw the Sex Pistols and he told his mate "forget the jazz band, we're starting a punk band". Simon said that the punk explosion was fuelled by Mr Asia heroin too, among other drugs.

Russell asked about the huge influx of bands from the North Shore in the early 80s, like the Screaming Meemees, who Simon managed and also released their hit record, See Me Go on his label Propellor. Simon put it down to an influx of Shore kids discovering punk and new wave and coming into the city. Smart kids leave the Shore.



Simon is currently writing a book on OMC  - he's writing the story of the record How Bizarre. He says that it will probably upset some people. And Russell had to ask - Where did all the money go? Simon's reply - Pauly spent it. He was very generous, buying houses, paying off mortgages, buying cars for people. I remember hearing about Pauly getting into Brazilian music, and decided to take off to Brazil with 6 of his mates to go record buying.

Then we had a comic book collaboration between Dylan Horrocks and Emily Perkins, which they read out aloud from the stage, very entertaining (they had copeis for sale later too, and they signed them - how lovely). Karl Maughan and Askew talked about their art collaboration, with Askew complimenting Karl's newfound skills with a spraycan. Welcome to the future, bro.



Silke Hartung and her uke and friends played a few songs, and then Simon Grigg got on the decks and played some splendid tunes. I'm still shocked that nobody bothered to get up and dance when he dropped Innerzone Orchestra's classic Bug in the bassbin. The dancefloor eventually filled out, thanks to some classic funk and soul, not a million miles away from a classic night at Cause Celebre/Box.  Even Russell danced. Excellent night out! Thanks to all involved. 

Suzi also blogged about the event at Kiss My Arts. And check Askew's blog too for video of their collabration.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sept 11

Steve Stanley - Binghi riddim - dub version
Noiseshasper - Only redeemer - G Corp remix
The Maytals - Night and day
Sweetie Irie - Slim body girl
Apeanaut - Fever
Chancha via curcuito - Rio arriba
Fink - Sort of revolution - Sideshow dub
Patea Maori Club - Poi e
House party - Dangerous love - dance mix
Hugh Masekela - Don't go lose it baby - Stretch mix
Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanor
James Brown - Feelin James - Danny Krivit edit
Quantic - Cumbia sobre el mar
Wganda Kenya - Pim pom
El Michels affair - Red rooster
Keith Mansfield - Crash course
Willie Bobo - Evil ways - Karriem Riggins remix
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Better things to do
Joy Denalane - Changes
Ardijah - Which way is up
Eru Dangerspiel - Chilli moules
Oddisee - When everything changed
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Di da rog muka ja mahi - Pinch remix
RSD - Forward youth
LV - Turn away

Friday, September 10, 2010

Christchurch post-shake,rattle n roll

Spotted over at Amplifier's site, also Ed Muzik has a good roundup of how Chch music scene is doing post-earthquake.

"Its been a hectic few days around the Christchurch's venues with bands making alternative arrangements and several shows being cancelled.

Details are still coming in regarding damage but the following venues are closed or under repair:

The Bedford
The Wunderbar, Lyttelton
Harbourlight, Lyttelton
The Repertory Theatre
Goodbye Blue Monday
The Octagon.

The venues that seem to have survived are:

The Theatre Royal
Al's Bar
The Dux - update, closed tonight (wednesday) due to damge from after shocks
El Santo
The Loons
Town Hall (tbc)
AMI Stadium.

MAINZ classes have been suspended until Sept 20th.

The Uni of Canterbury is closed til 13th Sept.

The CSM and the Music Centre building have been given the all clear and re open for lessons as normal from Tuesday 7th Sept. There has been some minor damage to some parts of the roof and so pedestrian access is via the door off Ferry Road (through the gate). Also, there will be no car parking available on site until some rubble has been cleared away. CPIT is closed for a week.

For more on what venues have been damanged or remain unharmed check the Chart website

Direct links to exisitng stories:
CHART: music venues unharmed
CHART Music Venues Suffer Earthquake Damage
Ed Muzik blogpost: Music venues in the central city

Please note due to the continuing aftershocks this information could change quickly, if you're unsure of a shows status please contact the relevant venue and/or tune into your local radios stations such as RDU for updates and be safe."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

DJ Mitsu The Beats at the Turnaround


The last Japanese guest at the Turnaround was DJ Kentaro, and he was incredible. Mitsu promises to be just as exciting, Don't miss it!

DJ Mitsu, with Taro "Wassupski" Kesen (Jazzy Sport), September 24 at The Bacco Room, Nelson St. w/ support from: Julien Dyne (LIVE) ft Riki Gooch & Parks; and the Turnaround crew - Manuel Bundy, Submariner, Cian.

"Mini & Tiger Translate proudly present alongside The Turnaround for the first time in New Zealand, acclaimed Japanese DJ, musician and producer DJ Mitsu The Beats.

Fresh from releasing his third solo album Universal Force (PlanetGroove) in Japan, DJ Mitsu The Beats hits Aotearoa on his first visit down under, following in the footsteps of countryman and label mate Grooveman Spot who tore up clubs in Auckland and Wellington exactly one year ago. Having made a name for himself internationally with productions and remixes under his own name and as producer for hyped Japanese hip-hop group GAGLE, Mitsu comes correct with a special blend of deep-dug soul, jazz and funk breaks, hip-hop and future beats.

Joining Mitsu for two exclusive tour dates in Auckland and Wellington will be Taro "Wassupski" Kesen, head of Tokyo's influential record store/label/movement Jazzy Sport. Local support comes from Julien Dyne playing live with Riki Gooch & Parks, plus your hosts as always - Manuel Bundy, Submariner & Cian.

Come check one of the dopest Japanese DJ/producers of the past decade...

Presale tickets $30+bf from Conch Records, 115a Ponsonby Rd, AK
www.conch.co.nz Ph 09 3601999. Check www.conch.co.nz/word for audio and information.


My photo animation of Kentaro at The Turnaround, music from Kentaro's remix of Kunta Kinte, classic reggae tune.

Bed Intruder song



The NY Times has an interesting story on the Gregory Brothers a Brooklyn band who lifted a clip off a tv news item, autotuned it, andf turned it into a bonafide chart hit - From Viral Video to Billboard 100.

"The song’s source material could not have been more unlikely: A local TV news report from Huntsville, Ala., about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her.

But with some clever editing and the use of software that can turn speech into singing, the Gregory Brothers ... transformed an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother into something genuinely catchy.

The resulting track, “Bed Intruder Song,” has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, and last week it was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart. Its video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube.

Russ Crupnick, an analyst at NPD, said the song’s success pointed to a shift in how music is shared and discovered. Around 70 million Americans buy a CD each year, he said, which is on par with the number of people who are now listening to and finding new music on YouTube.

Some of the group’s online traction stems from the way they turn their songs into viral video franchises by posting the chords and lyrics and encouraging others to create their own versions of the songs, said Kenyatta Cheese, one of the creators of a Web video series called “Know Your Meme” that documents online phenomena.

“They made it more participatory, which increases the value of their original work,” Mr. Cheese said. “They embraced the remix culture and understood they have to contribute back in order to make it spread even further.”


The group's previous successes with videos include the Autotune the news series, and the double rainbow song (featured below, plus original)


Double rainbow- original




Double rainbow song

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

DMC visits Hollis, Queens



from The Wall Street Journals WalkAbout NY series, DMC giving a tour of his old Hollis neighbourhood... seriously cool vid.  Hat tip The Couch Sessions

Sha Rock autobiography

Sha Rock - autobiography of the 1st female hiphop MC...
You can buy The Story Of The Beginning and End Of The First Hip Hop Female MC...Luminary Icon by Sha-Rock of The Funky Four Plus One on Amazon. Hat tip to Diff Kitchen

YMO Tighten up

Yellow Magic Orchestra on Soul Train, doing Tighten up, the Archie Bell & the Drells tune. Check out the random dancing Japanese dude in suit. And the interview at the end is pretty funny. Hat tip to my fellow BaseFM DJ Nabeel for this. Killer.



Bonus - footage from YMO's first US gig, at the Greek Theatre, complete with cheesy MC's intro.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Rap map


Via Sedgwick and Cedar blog: "This new Google Maps-based web app called The Rap Map shows placemarks for major locations in Hip Hop. From Mos Def’s childhood home in Brooklyn to 2Pac’s Elementary school in Baltimore, the map is slowly expanding it’s reach as users suggest locations. The app was created by Rap Genius, a website dedicated to the history, meanings and stories rooted in Hip Hop lyrics."

Essential Mixes

From the BBC Essential Mixes show, archives going back to 1993. Search by genre, stream or download, plus full track listing. Carl Cox, Greg Wilson, Mr Scruff, Norman Jay, Freddy Fresh, Andrew Weatherall, Daft Punk, Danny Krivit... all sorts.... Check it out here.

John Morales


Just came across this cool blog called Nerdy Frames, go have a look. There's a great interview with local talent Zowie (hat tip to Trevor for the link).

They also have a very cool interview with New York DJ and producer John Morales, who had a  bunch of his edits reissued earlier this year on BBE (pictured above).

IV excerpt... "In 1975, being a DJ , I realized that I wanted to make some of the records I liked to play longer in time. It was then that I saved my money and bought my first reel-to-reel tape and cassette recorder, which I still have today. The first re-edits I did were using the pause button on the cassette.




"I learned to edit tape after many hours of trial and error. In so doing, I became an expert on how and where to cut the tape to create all the effects I wanted. After editing several records to make them longer, I realized that I could achieve the same effect by mixing parts from different records. Thus, the basis for the medley was born.

"And the place to go get the edits mixes pressed was Sunshine Sound at 1650 Broadway in NY. For the next few years this is where I met many NY DJ’s and also met Greg Carmichael & Patrick Adams who gave me my start in the studio."


 

Read Nerdy Frame's John Morales interview here. There's also a free download of Universal Robot Band’s “Barely Breaking Even (Club Version)” at the end of the IV too.

Good Records NYC

Photo: Sarah DuBoys/Wax Poetics

Jonny Sklute (alternatively known under the handle Jonny Paycheck), [is] owner, clerk, and CEO of Good Records NYC... A risk management broker turned record dealer, Sklute launched his storefront venture in 2005, right alongside the storied and busy market of East Village/Lower East Side record stores: A-1, the Sound Library, Gimme Gimme.

In keeping your inventory as sleek and clean as the store, where do all of these records that are near mint thirty years later come from?

Records are everywhere. They are the effects of previous lives and lifestyles, sometimes filed away without a thought or played heavily. Records are kept near mint because either the owner didn't care about them at all or cared about them a whole lot.

Read the interview in full at Wax Poetics. 

Soul train



Read an interview with Soul Train's Don Cornelius here, at LA Times.He talks about the release of the 9-DVD set The Best Of Soul Train.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Google Music by xmas

That's according to this report from Hypebot. "Google is in final stage talks with labels to open a download store and a cloud-based song locker that would allow mobile users to play songs wherever they are. Google hopes to open its new music service before Christmas. Some label executives believe that Google Music will become the first real competitor to iTunes."