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.