Saturday, December 04, 2010

Shortland St loves Recloose?

Shortland St, our long-running soap, played a bit of Recloose, forgot who he was, and then they end up advocating piracy. Don't show this to RIANZ boss Campbell Smith, ok?

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Dec 4

Patato and Totico - Mas que nada
The Dynamites - Do the right thing
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Something's changed (Live in Auckland December 17, unmissable!)
Menahan st band - Esma
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
New mastersounds - Nervous - Kenny Dope bonus beat
Quantic - I just fell in love again
Chico Mann - Anima
Andreya Triana - Lost where I belong
Born Jamericans - Boom shak-a-tak
Coldcut - Man in a garage - King Jammy vocal
General Echo - Arleen
Yamie Bolo - When a man is in love
Freestylers - Ruffneck
Oogun - Version for version War017
Hugh Masekela - Languta
Woima collective - Woima
Luiz Bonfa - Jacaranda
Onra - The anthem
Hot 8 brass band - Sexual healing
Colman bros - El nino - GRC remix
Funk machine  -Soul santa pt 1
Grand wizard Theodore and Fantastic Romantic Five  - Can I get a soul clapp
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh heaven
Cesaria Evora - Angola - Pepe Bradock get down dub
Oddisee - Chocolate city dreaming
Naomi Shelton and the gospel queens - Trouble in my way
Cookin on 3 burners - Cars
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Universal robot band - Dance and shake your tambourine

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ghost - Orion from musicbyghost on Vimeo.

Orion is the latest single from Ghost off his third album., Postcards from the edge (hear it at Bandcamp) He hit me up via Twitter with his new video, and it's a pretty nifty tune - starts out with some wonky bleeps and fried visuals, then the rhythm kicks in around a minute and a half in and it settles into a very cool electronic groove.

Ghost made his musical debut back in 2003, and has been steadily releasing tunes since then. His bio says that "Ghost was runner up in the Glastonbury Unsigned Talent contest in 2007 and had a track featured on the Glastonbury compilation CD for that year. Since 2007 Ghost has been touring and DJ’ing all over the UK and Europe (including stints at Glastonbury, Hip Hop Kemp, The Big Chill, Bestival and The Jazz Cafe). He’s also found time to work on a number of different projects including Lingua Franca and Invisible Inc (Synth/Electronic Hip Hop with Kashmere and Verb T)."

He moved to New Zealand in 2009, and is currently based in Christchurch, where he's Programme Director for Radio RDU, and does the Friday Drive show on that fine station.  For more of his music, check out his Bandcamp page.

He's also got a collection of his remixes for free download here, including mixes he's done of P-Money, The Heavy, Bonobo, Foreign Beggars and more.


Punking Out is a film by Maggi Carson and Ric Shore, saw these clips over at Dangerous Minds, who say "these clips of The Ramones and The Dead Boys at CBGB in 1977 capture the birth of punk in all of its raw glory.Punking Out is a terrific time capsule of a time and place and really should be more widely seen. You can order a DVD copy at the film’s website.  The site hasn’t been updated in a few years, but the ‘shopping cart’ appears to still be functioning. Dee Dee’s glue rant is hilarious."

Catch Lydia Lunch being interviewed at 3.54 into the Dead Boys clip - she's standing with James Chance. She's a charmer. The crowd shots in the first clip are a fascinating insight into what that scene must've  looked like. There are some very cool looking folk in there....

Spree Wilson

Photo credit: Greedmont Park

I first heard about producer/rapper/songwriter Spree Wilson in an article in a recent issue of Wax Poetics. Story goes, last June, he moved to New York city from Atlanta, where he'd been an intern at Dallas Austin's studio. He says he felt like he'd played every music venue in Atlanta twice, so he got up one morning, sold his car and bought a one-way train ticket to NYC.

He lived in the train station for a week when he got to New York, then moved in with a friend. From Wax Poetics: "A few weeks later he was on the phone with Q-Tip - the legendary rapper was a fan of Spree's music. Now the Tribe MC is exec producing Spree's debut album The Neverending Now," due out early 2011.

He's got a fascinating mix of musical influences from hiphop to classic rock to Beat Generation cats like Kerouac and Ginsberg.  Some tunes for you to check below, and his debut EP is over here. Where do we go tonight is off his new album and is produced by No ID, and the other tune is older.

Wilson has just signed to Jive Records  - watch the video of him signing his life away here.

Where Do We Go Tonight by spreewilson

1.Pick You Apart Ref 4 by spreewilson

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sweet latin soul

DJ Timber is an ex-Manchester fella, now based in Barcelona. Check out his Sweet Latin Soul III mixtape over here (download links). Listen below....

Tracks / Canciones:

1: Joe Cuba - Baby You're Everything
2: Eddie Lebron - My Vows To You
3: Orquesta La Solución - Te Quiero (I Love You) Part II
4: Los Exagerados - Contigo Aprendí
5: Johnny Colon - Looking In Your Eyes
6: Landy Nova - Quiéreme Mujer
7: Candido Y Su Movimiento - Baby Doll
8: Cheo Rosario - Tu Querer
9: Eddie Hernandez - The Time Was Yesterday
10: New Generation - Como El Agua Del Río
11: Manuel Y Sus Estrellas Combo - Palabras Vacías
12: Lebron Brothers - Tus Recuerdos
13: Sonora Ponceña - La Puerta Esta Abierta
14: Joe Bataan - Ordinary Guy

Hecho con 100% vinilo - ediciones originales!
100% Vinyl - Strictly OG Pressings

45s galore

This thursday night, get along to Real Groovy Auckland for a bonanza of 45s...

"In Auckland we have several large collections of singles just in. The first batch of the best, most collectible discs - OVER 2000 - will go on sale at 7pm sharp, this Thursday, December 2nd. As usual it will be a Dutch auction starting at $20 each and includes 50s/60s/70s/80s Pop, Punk, Reggae, Soul, RnB, Rock'n'Roll - you name it!"

London calling

Some bright spark has persuaded members of the Clash that it's a good idea to make a bio-pic based on the making of the London Calling album. It sounds like a perfectly dreadful idea, but hey, who knows. That Ian Dury movie turned out alright. Must get a copy of that.

The BBC reports that "former Clash members Paul Simonon and Mick Jones will executive produce the film, named after the 1979 record. Playwright Jez Butterworth will pen the script, which will tell how producer Guy Stevens worked with the band to create their most celebrated disc. It will be produced by Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Film and Television.

"Fans of The Clash all over the world have been waiting a long time to see their extraordinary story played out properly and accurately on the big screen," said Owen. "We're happy that Mick and Paul have given the project their blessing and are on board to help steer the ship."

Bonus: Read Perfect Sound Forever on the making of the Clash song Train In Vain, a last minute addition to the London Calling album. Excerpted from the book Route 19 Revisited: the Clash and London Calling.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hello, Holland!

U2 and Jay-Z blew through town last week, and jetted off to Oz - I went along and enjoyed the spectacle, my review is over here. Their U2 360 tour winds up next July.

By then, according to this NZ Herald story, they are expecting "it will have generated about $1 billion in revenue." This would be great news for cash-strapped Ireland, except U2 pay taxes in Holland. Bummer, Ireland.

Mark Thomson kindly sent me a link from the New York Times which backgrounds the shift to Holland as a tax haven.  It's titled The Netherlands, the new tax shelter hot spot. U2, the Rolling Stones, EMI, Elvis Presley's estate and David Beckham also use the Netherlands now.

U2 shifted their publishing to Holland last June, as Ireland's lucrative tax breaks were about to be removed. The NYT says U2's net worth is around $US908 million.

The NZ Herald's Adam Gifford went along to the U2 show as a guest of one of the technology companies involved in the show. Some facts and figures... "the Clair sound system is billed as the largest speaker assemblage in touring history...

...On previous tours U2 cancelled shows because of weather damage to video screens. The 500,000 LED pixels in the transforming screen are weather resistant, and they're made up into elongated hexagonal segments mounted in a way that allows them to spread apart with a scissor-like motion during parts of the concert..." There's 14 cameras providing live feeds for the video screen.

"The tour's architect, Mark Fisher, told CNET News that ... the technology behind U2 360° isn't new, the way it's being used is, from the large number of computers and electric motors that control the motion of the screen and the moving lights to the computers that map the video picture on to the transforming screen. "All of this automation and programming is possible because the computers available in 2009 (when the tour started) are more powerful and cheaper than they were when we created the Vertigo tour in 2005," Fisher said.

Gil Scott Heron gets XX'd

Gil Scott Herons' recent album I'm New Here is an outstanding piece of work. So it's pretty brave of Jamie Smith of The XX to undertake to remix the WHOLE album. The project is titled We’re New Here, and will be released as a CD and special vinyl box set on February 21 next year. It sounds like a radical departure from the original tracks based on the preview, which just might work. Listen to previews on the official site here.

Sounding off

A review of NZ On Air's music activities has recently been completed by music industry veteran Chris Caddick, and has been delivered to NZ On Air. I believe it will be released in the next week or so.

Caddick wrote a previous review for NZ On Air of their offshore funding activities (see Phase 5 PDF here), which boiled down to 'send more bands to Australia, forget the rest of the world'. This absurd attitude was what Flying Nun bands faced from our music industry in the late 1980s when they said they wanted to go to England. It's utter rubbish. To date this new funding push has produced no visible returns for our acts in Australia.

Rob Mayes of Failsafe Records has very definite opinions on what NZ On Air should be doing with its music programmes (and has expressed them fervently numerous times on the Public Address forums). He's written a discussion a paper on it, which collects a range of views on the subject, mostly disparaging. You can download the PDF of the paper here. He's also got a Facebook group, Sounds Like Us.

I posted a link to Rob's paper on Twitter and had some interesting feedback on it, mainly along the lines of some good points mixed with some personal jibes.

Mayes' FB group lends its name to an article written back in May during NZ Music Month by Vicki Anderson of Christchurch paper The Press. The article was critical of NZ On Air's role in our music scene. She published a full, unsubbed version of her article with Brendan Smyth in August (according to the date on  -the full version is here. Jane Wrightson, CEO of NZ On Air joins in on the comments also.

EXCERPT: "I ask Smyth why South Island musicians are under-represented in the funding allocation. This year, 83 grants have been awarded, only four of which went to South Island-based artists. We pay taxes too.
" Perhaps their songs just weren't good enough?'' Smyth says.
We stare at each other for a moment or two. For a fleeting second I can understand the urge someone else had to wrestle him to the ground...."

Not a very pleasant sentiment coming from any writer, really.....

Andrew Dubber sent me a link to an article he wrote for a UK audience on NZ On  Air - read it here (PDF). As Andrew notes, It's a few years old now but still relevant.

ADDED Vicki Anderson's original Sounds Like Us article is here. "At an industry gig late last year, one of the [NZOA] head honchos went to shake my hand as my name was being told to him by a third party. He pulled it away so fast he caused a breeze. "Oh, it's you, you wrote that story about us," he said, turning around rather deliberately, so I was left staring at his blue-suited back..."

ADDED Hugh Sundae posted a link to a story he did on TVOne's Closeup in 2005 on Phase 4 NZ On Air funding.  As Hugh says in the comments..."I remember receiving some very upset emails/calls the next day.. and I thought it was rather tame."

Lemmy is a SOB

There's a new documentary out early next year on DVD on Lemmy from the band Motorhead, and is currently doing the rounds of some film festivals. The documentary is called Lemmy: 49% Motherf*cker. 51% Son of a Bitch. The film comes to US theatres this January and DVD (with four hours of bonus features) is out February 15 (US) or Jan 24 (UK).

Watch the trailer below. Contains swearing. Lots of it.


Stonesthrow artist James Pants, sounds like he's channeling Bill Haley via Suicide on this tune - free mp3 below - listen and DL.

Zodiac digitised

About a month ago I heard some mighty exciting news, and it's finally seen the light of day. Amplifier/DRM announced late yesterday that they have signed the Zodiac label for digital distribution. They will be digging through the Stebbings vaults.

Now, if you take a look at Simon Grigg's discography of Zodiac's 45s (which is an incredible piece of work), you'll see there is some amazing Kiwi music in there. It's almost the audio equivalent of Chris Bourke's recent book, Blue Smoke: The lost dawn of New Zealand popular music 1918-1964.

There's names like The La De Das, The Keil Isles, Peter Posa, Claude Papesch, Daphne Walker, Ray Columbus and The Invaders, Sonny Day and The Sundowners, Tommy Adderley... I really hope they get the rights to Rim D. Paul And The Quin Tikis - Man River / Poi Poi Twist (from 1963) cos I love Poi Poi Twist. It's a great NZ rock n roll hybrid that deserves to be more widely heard. I've got a different version, by the Maori Hi-Five - but I need to hear this one!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Funky Christmas

There's a million crappy CDs you can play at christmas time - this is the antidote. In the Christmas Groove dropped last November on Strut, and now it's coming out as a 2LP set. The cover is a cheeky twist on a James Brown record.

"Following in the footsteps of classic Christmas albums from the Motown stable and James Brown, Strut released the first ever Yuletide compilation on the label in November 2009, IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE, featuring 12 rare soul, funk and blues cuts rediscovered from Christmases past.

In November 2010, Strut makes the compilation available as a super-loud 2LP gatefold for the first time, featuring the album’s original sleeve notes by James Maycock of Mojo magazine. For the digital version, we add two new and exclusive tracks, ‘Back Door Santa’ by Amsterdam’s finest analogue funk fiends, Lefties Soul Connection, and a neat twist on the JB classic, ‘Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ by Gary Walker & The Boogie Kings." Audio previews here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mayer Hawthorne and Jazzy Jeff talk music

Mayer Hawthorne is coming to NZ for Splore next year, in February. Can't wait. (video HT:  Crate Kings)

Bonus -mp3 of Jazzy Jeff remixing Mayer Hawthorne here

DJ Nu-Mark mixtape

NuMark says "I was inspired to make a mix that captures funk inspired rhythms from music I’ve collected on my tours/travels around the world. The goal of this mix is to show the rhythmic similarities between Samba, Cumbia, Calypso, Rhumba, Afro-Beat and Balkan Beats in well blended mix."

Take Me With You mixtape. Free DL from Grandgood

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On to the next one.

I was a bit gutted when U2 announced their second show and I totally missed out on some tickets (as in affordable tickets, not the $350 ones).  I'd resigned myself to missing out on seeing Jay-Z's first appearance in NZ, then late last week the promoters released a bunch of $40 tickets, as the 2nd show hadn't sold out. Sure, they weren't the flashest of seats, but at least I could afford them.

Friday's papers were full of horror stories of poorly ventilated, overcrowded trains trying to get to Mt Smart (not helped by a passenger hitting the emergency stop button every ten minutes), so that plan went out the window, and we got the bus instead. Worked out fine - the driver skipped the motorway which was locked up like a typical Friday in Auckland, and went thru Mt Eden and Royal Oak. Got there in half an hour. Sweet!

Jay-Z made his entrance in fading daylight, after his band, The Roc Boys, had taken to the stage. They were a tight bunch of musicians. Bono even commented on it later, during U2's performance, thanking Jay-Z for warming up the crowd, and adding "How about that band? That band is scary." Bono, called Jay-Z "pound for pound, the heavyweight champion of the world". This may have been a subtle dig at Jay-Z, following his comments to a Sydney newspaper, where Jay said he was unconcerned about warming up for the biggest band in the world, using a funny boxing reference.

"The people don't care who goes on first, that's something the industry created. They're happy to get a great package, they're like 'I get to see Muhammad Ali and the Beatles?"  The rapper pauses for a moment, laughs and clarifies, "I'm not saying we are Muhammad Ali and the Beatles, I'm just saying it's a great package."

Jay-Z blasted thru a bunch of songs, and most of the crowd where I was - South stand, at the back of Mt Smart - got into it. That's probably cos a lot of them were last minute ticket buyers like me (and at least 7 of them in our row left right after Jay-Z) . And then he dropped it  -99 Problems, my fave Jay-Z song. It was amazing (see clip below).

He also played On to the next one, Izzo Hova, Dirt off your shoulder, D.O.A (death of autotune), and dedicated Forever Young to his lost friends, Pimp C, Biggie, Tupac, and also to the miners, who lost their lives. There was also some oddball snippets of Smack my bitch up (mashed with Jay-Z's onstage guest Memphis Bleeks' Is that your chick), and Mundian to bach ke remix from Punjabi MC. Check the full set list here.

Jay-Z closed out his 55 minute set by thanking the audience for welcoming him into our home, and said he'd like to do a song about his home, playing Empire state of mind, which was incredible. He finished with his Linkin Park collaboration of a mashup of Encore with Linkin Park's Numb, which, on record is utterly appalling. But somehow, his band managed to rip into it with such a huge amount of energy that it sprang to life and developed some teeth, which is quite an incredible feat considering how completely crap Linkin Park are.

Jay-Z finally mentioned U2 at the end of his set, saying, "there's four guys out the back, waiting to come on. Give them a chance,  think they're going places..." Cheeky git.

The stadium lights came on after Jay-Z, and then U2 made their entrance, to David Bowie. They left the stadium lights on tho, which was an unusual twist on most stadium shows, where the lights go off and the band comes on. U2 neatly inverted that, so you could see them walking out, on the video screen, and of course, they could see their audience. That must be an amazing rush, if you're in a band.

See the clip of U2's entrance  and first song below (hat tip to The Corner for video/set list - see  their review here)

U2 delivered a fantastic spectacle, and their fans adored it. They got all the big songs, plenty of singalongs, and an amazing light show. The clip below shows them setting up the stage and part of the performance as a timelapse video, which gives you some idea of the incredible scale of the show, with it's claw stage, which looks like something out of War of the Worlds.

Of course some of these fans didn't appreciate Jay-Z - go and read some of the hilarious comments on this review on U2 fans hating on Jay-Z for joining U2 onstage the previous night, adding some "Gangsta rap"on Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Messing with the classics, slippery ground, apparently. Didn't stop Bono from throwing in lyrical snatches of Dont stop til you get enough, Relax/Two Tribes and  a few others. It wasn't all rehearsed and slick - during Angel in Harlem, Bono said to Edge "Is this the middle eight?", then admitted to the crowd, "we haven't played this one in a while".

U2 also paid tribute to their friend, Greg Carroll, a Kiwi who worked for them on the mid 80s before perishing in a motorbike accident in Dublin. Bono said that Greg's families were here tonight, and went on to talk about the miners, lost at Pike River. The band played One Tree Hill, the song they wrote for Carroll. Towards the end of the song, the names of the 29 miners scrolled down the video screen above the band. It was very moving. Sure, it's a big stadium rock experience, but here was a genuine moment where the band reached out with sincerity to their audience, to share their grief. (see first photo here)

They threw in Until The End Of The World, from the Wim Wenders movie of the same name, which was a pleasant surprise. We hung in there til the band exited the stage, and headed for the free buses back to town, while they came back and encored with 5 more tunes, including Where The Streets Have No Name, and With Or Without You. A fine night out.

The pairing of Jay-Z opening for U2 still seems pretty odd. Sure, Jay-Z can carry off stadium shows - see his headlining slot at Glastonbury. But here's a guy who can sell out Madison Square Garden - he doesn't need to support another band to pull a crowd.

Groove Guide commented on this with a piece by Joe Nunweek in their latest issue, titled "Jay-Z is not a support act". They talked with some of his fans, like local rapper PNC, who said "I'm definitely going but its something I didn't get my head around since I first heard it". But local promoter Matthew Crawley noted that often the bands don't have a problem with their choice of support, it's their fans that do. He says that he thinks whoever is picking U2's supports, like Kanye West or Jay-Z, is really doing their job. "Full credit to the U2 person, whoever made that decision. You've got to look at it and think, well at least they didn't get Opshop to open." 

Groove Guide Jay-Z review.

This video below shows the setup of the claw stage. It's a pretty amazing chunk of technology, but we are talking about a band that was the highest grossing touring act in the world  last year - pulling in US$380 million. So a setup like this is within their budget, I'm picking They need 6 jumbo jets just to move it around. But check out that video wall in action as it expands, it's some seriously cool tech.

Why more New Zealand bands need to get the hell out of NZ and tour overseas

Beacuse you come back with tour stories like this one....

"I was really stoked when, in Oslo, James Mercer [of the Shins] introduced me to his friend/bandmate Brian. He said 'Brian, this is Ryan from the Ruby Suns'. Then Brian said something like 'Oh, Ruby Suns, I've got a couple of your records. Sea Lion, that's a great record.' and I said, 'Wow, thanks'. Brian is Dangermouse."

That's from Ryan McPhun of The Ruby suns, who set off touring their new record in Feb this year, and wrapped up in November. Read some of his tour highlights over at Amplifier.

The Apple

The Apple was a sci-fi musical made in 1980. The premise is it's "set in the dystopic world of 1994, when record label bosses rule the world. Considering what has actually happened to the music industry in the past decade, the premise no longer seems particularly relevant." From a great list on Flavorwire  - 10 Cult Films That Should Never Be Remade.