Saturday, September 17, 2011

Q&A: Martin Mills, Beggars Banquet Group

Well worth a read, over here

Do you think the post-Napster challenges of the last ten years have been easier or harder for indie labels to deal with than the majors?

MM: Easier for indies because we’re natural licensors, we don’t have hang-ups about control, we’re less defensive and are more open to taking risks. Harder for indies because the four majors, or the two big ones in particular, are effectively monopolies that digital music services can’t do without. That gives the majors leverage, which can be unhealthy for the market and prejudicial to indies. Merlin was formed to address that.

Rubble Kings

RUBBLE KINGS TRAILER from shan nicholson on Vimeo.

Rubble Kings is a new doco that covers the late sixties and early seventies in New York, looking at the gang culture and the emergence of hiphop.

"From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rightsmovement lay a unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed.

Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture. Rubble Kings, the most comprehensive documentation of life during this era of gang rule to date, tells the story of how a few extraordinary, forgotten people did the impossible, and how their actions impacted the world over."

Via Voices of East Anglia.

There's a similar doco I saw recently, called 80 Blocks from Tiffanys, originally shot in the late 70s for Saturday Night Live and now out on DVD. It's based on an Esquire magazine article on gangs in the Bronx.

BONUS: Another doco from Shan Nicholson, Downtown Calling, on NYC 77-85. Watch the clip below, 0.50 in, see Keith Haring drawing on the subway walls. So dope.

"There was a lot of creativity amidst all the civic chaos..." Nelson George

DOWNTOWN CALLING TRAILER from shan nicholson on Vimeo.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sept 17

Kashmere stage band - Aint no sunshine - J-Rocc remix
Guilty Simpson - Mans world
Sparrows troubadors - Soulful strut
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance
Ikebe shakedown - The viking
Los Reyes 73 - Adeoey
Fred Wesley - House party
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st rhythm band - Brothers and sisters
Cookie monster and the girls - C is for cookie disco edit
Hugh Masekela - Dont go lose it baby
Grace Jones - This is dub
Lovejoys - It aint easy
Prince Fari - Mozabites
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Victorious dub
Lee Scratch Perry - International broadcaster
Resonators - Gold getter
Mad lion - Girlzz
Grandmaster flash - The message - Paul Nice mashup
Jurassic 5 - Quality control
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Curtis Mayfield - Make me believe in you
Kashmere stage band - Superstrut - Kenny Dope remix
Esther Phillips - Just say goodbye
Joanie Sommers - Dont pity me
Lou Ragland - Since you said you'd be mine
Sister Sledge - Love dont you go through no changes on me
Jackie Stoudemire - Invisible wind - Shoes re-edit

Vinyl amp

Paul Cocksedge's converted vinyl speaker cone

From Rolling Stone, Paul Cocksedge, an industrial designer, has developed a way to use vinyl records as an amplifier for your iPhone.

"As part of Change the Record, a live performance happening from on September 20th at the 2011 London Design Festival, the artist plans to recycle old 12-inch albums into speakers for mobile handsets. Created through the application of heat, LPs are remolded to resemble funnel-shaped accessories which, by virtue of their natural shape, cause music playing from an iPhone or similar device to be amplified when placed inside. Illustrating the principles of acoustics without sacrificing aesthetic street cred, results appear readymade to make hipsters antennae perk up."

Friday, September 16, 2011


This film looks very, very cool...

PLUS go have a look over at Stonesthrow, who reissued a ton of their music, for a free download of Kashmere Stage Band - Super Bad (Egon Extended Edit).

There's a rerelease of the previous archival collection of Kashmere Stage Band, plus a bonus DVD...

"The DVD contains the shorts “Texas Jewels: The Making of Texas Thunder Soul,” by B+ and Flying Lotus, “Kashmere Stage Band on Jazz: Yesterday, Today, Forever,” and “Prof. and his Band: A Documentary by Charles Porter.” - 2CD/DVD, 3LP/DVD. 2011. Hat tip to Alan P

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SJDK newie

A collection of soul tunes from Ms Sharon Jones and her Dapkings, out end of October. A few of these tunes have popped up on compilations or on b-sides previously... just caught up with this, via Groovement...

Side 1
Genuine Pt 1
Genuine Pt 2
Longer and Stronger
He Said I Can
I’m Not Gonna Cry
When I Come Home

Side 2
What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes?
Settling In
Ain’t No Chimney In The Projects
New Shoes
Without A Trace
Inspiration Information

The Yoots, live

Buy the Yoots over at Amplifier (CD/MP3).

Previous post... Hopepa talks about The Yoots (video)

Mulatu is coming!

Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke is playing his first-ever NZ show, Friday Novermber 25 at The Powerstation, backed by the Black Jesus Experience.

"Considered one of the finest and most inventive composers by both beat-heads and jazz-cats alike; Astatke is also a lively and vibrant performer, bringing phenomenal skills, boundless energy and a broad smile whenever he takes the stage.

For this one-off New Zealand show, Mulatu Astatke is joined by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble who fuse traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip hop. The nine-piece group supported Astatke for his recent sell-out Australian shows, having just returned from their own highly successful tour of Europe and Ethiopia.

Mulatu Astatke and The Black Jesus Experience perform at Auckland’s Powerstation on Friday 25th November, 2011.

Ticket pre sale Tuesday 20th Sept go to for all ticket and show information.
General on sale Thursday 22nd tickets from Ticketmaster and Real Groovy Auckland.

Here's Mulatu playing with Black Jesus Experience last year...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Al Teller

I was reading about Al Teller the other day, his name pops up in The Big Payback. He was the head of Columbia when the first Beastie Boys album came out on Def Jam, distributed by Columbia. Apparently he had to field an irate call for the top boss at CBS, telling him to pull the album, as the plane on the cover had similar marking to American Airlines, and the chief of American Airlines had threatened to pull his advertising from CBS tv stations. Teller refused, saying he would be the laughing stock of the record biz if he gave into this.

Frpm Hypebot...

"Al Teller ran CBS, Columbia and MCA Records, but in this interview with Ian Rogerson This Week In Music, he shares a visionary view of where the music industry is headed. It starts as a history lesson, but things get interesting around 17:30. Topics include how (sadly) mass-saturation radio play is still the most powerful way to connect with fans, and at 20:45 Rogers asks: “It seems that the music industry always relies on entities that don’t actually care about the future of music (Wal-Mart, iTunes)… Do you share that view?”.