Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Nov 20

Sly n Robbie - Boops
Nas - Bridging the gap
Lefties soul connection - Have love will travel
Shawn Lee and Beibei - East
Aloe Blacc - Loving you is killing me
Billy Preston - Right now
Orgone - I get lifted
Resonators - Sweet dub affair
Roots manuva vs wrongtom - Butterfly crab walk
Augustus Pablo - Cassava piece
Jah Batta - Informa
Prince Jammy  -BQE dub
The Marvels - Rocksteady
Fitz and the tantrums - Moneygrabber
Belleruche - 56% proof
Colman bros - El Nino - cha cha mix
Pitchito - Frente cumbiero
Chancha via curcuito - Puente
7A3 - Drums of steel
Wreckx n effect  -Wreckxshop - Jamaica mix
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance remix
Chaka Khan - Love of a lifetime - extended dance version
Snap -  Sidewalk city - dub mix
J Period and K'Naan  -My country/small axe
Bigga Bush  -Sound and blues
Ruts DC  -Whatever we do  -RSD remix
Trackheadz - Jah shall come
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skills  - main mix

Friday, November 19, 2010

Loopstation fun n games

Loop box fun, way more interesting than Liam Finn's use of it.... hat tip to Andrew Spraggon for this

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EMusic: Win a little, lose a little

EMusic: Win a little, lose a little is the optimistic title of an article on the LA Times site. It details the reasons behind the recent moves at Emusic, noting that "getting Warner and Sony's releases on the same day they go to iTunes could make eMusic significantly more appealing to mainstream music fans, especially given that the former charges [US]99 cents to $1.29 for those tracks, while eMusic has said it will charge no more than 89 cents. Granted, Amazon and Walmart charge less than iTunes too, and neither of them has been able to make much of a dent in Apple's dominant market share. But eMusic's subscription approach yields larger discounts."

"[Emusic CEO Adam] Klein said in an interview in September that the service was hovering around 400,000 subscribers - essentially unchanged from its level two years before, and not quite where it needed to be to sustain its business."

Clearly, staying with indie music fans is not a long term sustainable business plan for Emusic. 

Screaming Jay Hawkins

Screaming Jay Hawkins - I put a spell on me is a documentary about the legendary rock n roll singer, made in 2001. Cam Gordon put me onto it via Twitter (thank you, sir!), and the whole doco is up on Google Video, see below. Gotta watch ti!

Still Bill

Was reading something about Bill Withers the other day, and came across this great interview with the man in the UK Telegraph from August this year. It's a fantastic read.

"... So why has Bill Withers not released any new music since 1985? A fascinating new documentary, Still Bill, offers clues without quite getting under his skin. In one of the film’s candid moments, he plays a few sombre chords on the piano, turns to the camera and says, ‘Thoreau said most men live lives of quiet desperation. I would like to know how it feels for my desperation to get louder.’

"... Songs like Grandma’s Hands brought warmth, intimacy and simplicity to a bombastic music scene. Withers recalls A&R men telling him he should copy James Brown, and use some horns, female singers and a driving backbeat. In short, they were telling him to sound more ‘black’ if he wanted to sell records. ‘Blaxperts, I call ’em. That’s the white guys who are supposed to have some kind of tap into your black psyche.’

Equally, he is under no illusion about the Back-to-Africa pose certain artists adopted during the same period. Withers was part of the star-studded cast that travelled to Kinshasa, Zaire, in October 1974 to give a pre-fight concert for the Ali-Foreman ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. His performance is one of the standouts of the resulting documentary, Soul Power. Did it feel like a historic event? ‘No. It was two big guys going to fight each other at four o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t this great intellectual pursuit. And there’s a certain reality to going someplace where there’s a dictator. You notice the disparity in the wealth.’

Well, I say, at the time there was a lot of hype about African-American artists discovering their roots. He chuckles. ‘Awwww, come on, man. It wasn’t a great historical moment. Interesting, but that was that. No great spiritual experience. Mostly what everybody found out was: we had been shaped and transformed by American culture and the history we had here, and they had been shaped by whoever colonised their place. They weren’t speaking any African languages. We were speaking English and they were speaking French. How African is that?’

Expressway thru your skull

Bruce Russell is in legendary Dunedin (or was it Port Chalmers) band The Dead C, and was behind the label Expressway. Flying Nun has posted a radio show he did recently on their blog, go have a listen. There's tracks from Fetus Productions, Playthings, Swingers, Herco Pilots, Naked Spots Dance, Wasp Factory....

As Bruce notes, his selections aim to highlight "... how there was a lot of stuff happening in that decade [1980s] in NZ ‘around’ what in retrospect seems like the ‘prime’ imprint of the decade (Flying Nun), but which at the time was just one (the biggest) among a number of like-minded outlets for the burgeoning music scene of the time, in what was a golden age of creativity and talent investment....

"... I think I can honestly say that back then we hardly knew how lucky we were to be so spoiled for choice. I actually did have a rather crazy inkling that The Clean were quite literally the best band in the world in 1981. And ever since then I’ve felt I was right. What I didn’t know was that within my lifetime such music would become almost impossible to make with the same degree of passion and commitment..."

Bruce Russell - interviewed (in 2000).

Wah Wah 45s

Go grab this wicked EP from UK label Wah Wah 45s. Especially like Sweet Dub Affair from the Resonators, UK reggae outfit produced by Manasseh. Only available til  Nov 27. Get em! Listen below...

Also from Wah Wah 45s, top UK producer Ashley Beedle interviewed here.

Don't stop the music

Emusic recently announced it was adding 250,000 new songs from Universal to its catalogue. They also said they were changing the pricing structure. The bummer for Kiwis using Emusic was that none of the new catalogue will be available here, but we still get the price hike. Suck!

Now comes the news that Emusic have lost the rights to music from Domino, Merge, and Beggars Group (XL, 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade) and music from those labels "...will no longer be available on eMusic as of Nov. 18, 2010 pending further discussions."

Emusic has sent out an email to its members urging them to petition the labels mentioned, but fail to explain why they haven't been able to renegotiate with them. has more detail on this... see "Emusic’s rift with indie labels"

"Gerard Cosloy, head of Matador Records, explained the departure in a post on the Matador blog: “[A]s eMusic has brought more major labels into the fold, they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans.” Merge Records wrote: “Unfortunately, eMusic’s unilateral changes in an effort to bring on the major labels has created a situation where it would be harmful to the interests of Merge and our artists to continue our partnership at this time.”

Emusic built up its user base by catering to indie music fans, so signing up major labels doesn't really add anything of value for those existing customers. Losing access to the likes of Arcade Fire, The National, Vampire Weekend, The xx, Cat Power, Caribou, The Pixies, and more sounds like a death blow to me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jewel School

If you're in Wellington, Tiger Translate is putting on a mean gig down there on Nov 26 - check the free e-magazine here, with a free mixtape download from Dan Aikido of the Jewel School, on Radio Active. Includes tunes from Electric Wire Hustle ,and Julien Dyne, both playing the event.

Serious as a heart attack

Once upon a time Karl Stevens was in a pop group called Supergroove. These days he's in a few bands, one of which is called Heart Attack Alley, and they are a 3-piece raucous rock n roll act, with Karl on harmonica. Dude can blow, seriously. Free download from them below.

Hello Alice

Very tasty free DL from Tru Thoughts, of Alice Russell. Get it!

"Compiled by Tru Thoughts A&R Robert Luis, Shades 10:02 is set to feature 30 tracks, a big bulk of them exclusive or previously only released as limited 7” singles. Just like you would expect from Brighton’s ever-prolific quality imprint, the sampler features everything from vintage deep funk to the elegant post-garage riddims of newly-signed production vet Maddslinky, reggaefied club classics, and even a full-fledged psych jazz combo working their magic on an early ‘90s rave classic." Out Dec 6. Via RBMA.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Nov 13

Had some guests doing the show this weekend, Coopa Blu and friends. I joined them later on Saturday night at Jam, a monthly night at Grand Central on Ponsonby Rd. It's a mad concept - you take 5 DJs, let em play two records each, then switch to the next DJ. Two for two, the whole night, from 8pm til 5 in the morning. It was hilarious. I even got to play Poi-e, and people danced and sang along. How cool is that? Anyways, here is the playlist from Coopa Blu,...

Turn it Out - Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band
Fools Gold - Calvin Law
King Charles - Budos Band
B For My Name - Beastie Boys
After Midnight - Sharm
Night Air (Ramadanman Refix) - Jamie Woon
Bi-Cyles - Greyboy
Manteca - Cesars Salad
Manila - Seelenluft
King of Darkness (Swell Session Stateless Remix) - Susuma Yokota
Tabaco y Ron - TM Juke
Exit Routine - Ras
Cocan - Patchworks
Babyback - Ron Buford
Older-Shawn Lee&Miles Boney
Eye to eye-Amp Fiddler
Saturday - Home Brew
From The Drop - Wiley & MJ Cole
This Is A Jam - Demon Boyz
Barrio - Lopez
Bath Music - Greyboy
70mph Isn't Fast Enough To Get Out Of Nebraska - Shawn Lee & Clutchy Hopkins
Pain(It's Gonna Come Heavier)-Silhouette Brown
Version for Version - Oogun
Razor Sharp Dub - Cessman vs Joe Ariwa
Step It Up (Dan Donovan For Dons Letts Dub Cartel) - Scientist