Monday, December 19, 2011

Mega what?

Torrentfreak is reporting the latest development in the Megaupload vs Universal saga. The video is now back online (see below), but Torrentfreak quotes court documents that say   “The UMG-YouTube agreement grants UMG rights to effect the removal of user-posted videos through YouTube’s Content Management System (‘CMS’), based on a number of contractually specified criteria that are not limited to the infringements of copyrights owned or controlled by UMG,” the record label states in its filing.

Torrentfreak says "What that means, in case the preceding paragraph wasn’t clear enough, is that UMG has a private outside-the-DMCA agreement with YouTube that it can take down other people’s content from YouTube even when it doesn’t infringe their copyrights."

ADDED the founder of Megaupload is a man named Kim Dotcom, who was busted for computer hacking in his native Germany in 1997. These days he lives in New Zealand, and had originally planned to use Gin Wigmore for the Megaupload Song, but her manager and label (Universal) nixed that idea after the recording session took place (at Neil Finn's Roundhead studios).

Gin was replaced by Macy Gray. The video has now had over 2.4 million views, which suggests that Gin may have missed out on some valuable international exposure, alongside the likes of Kanye West, Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am of Black  Eyed Peas. Read an interview with Kim Dotcom here.

ADDED: NY Times Media Decoder blog on the Youtube/Universal stoush is worth a read:
A YouTube takedown raises questions over media influence

ADDED: CMU: Universal has no special takedown privileges says YouTube.

CMU also reports that the original takedown notice from Universal was done as they claimed they were acting "against the song on behalf of one of its artists, Gin Wigmore, who said she was featured in the promo video without her permission." Except she isn't in it, according to Kim Dotcom.

ADDED Jan 20 2011 Megaupload has been shut down by US Federal prosecutors, who have charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws. Via NY Times

AP reports that founder Kim Dotcom and three others has been arrested in New Zealand at the request of US authorities. "The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and three others were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Two other defendants are at large ... The Hong Kong-based company listed [hiphop producer] Swizz Beatz, a musician who married Alicia Keys in 2010, as its CEO."

ADDED Jan 27 MTV reports Kim Dotcom is releasing an album, produced by Printz Board.

ADDED Feb 8: Video - TV3's Campbell Live goes inside Kim Dotcoms's mansion with his bodyguard, sees  panic room where he was Dotcom was hiding

ADDED Feb 11 - Printz Board - BEP and Kim Dotcom's producer (Megaupload Song) - talks to GeorgeFMs Nick D about the case. He's been hanging with PNC and Vince Harder while in NZ.

ADDED Feb 22: Kim Dotcom has been granted bail after new evidence came to light.

RELATED:  Bail updates on Kim Dotcom

RIP Ralph MacDonald

Grammy-winning artist wrote ‘Where Is the Love’ and ‘Just the Two of Us’ passes aged 67.
From NY Daily News.

"Born in Harlem on March 15, 1944, MacDonald was a working musician as well as a writer and producer. Until health problems sidelined him a year and a half ago, he continued to tour regularly as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.

The son of legendary Trinidadian calypso performer MacBeth the Great, MacDonald began performing as a small boy when his father would have him dance on the drums.

At 17, he landed a job in Harry Belafonte’s steel band, where he remained for the next decade. After telling Belafonte that the singer needed more authentic calypso music, he wrote an album of songs that Belafonte recorded as “Calypso Carnival” in 1966.

Soon afterwards, MacDonald launched his own publishing company, Antisia Music, with his friends Bill Salter and William Eaton.

They gave the company two years to establish itself, and MacDonald later recalled that the time had almost expired when he started working with Roberta Flack. He pitched her a song he had written with Salter, “Where Is The Love,” and her recording with Donny Hathaway became a multi-million-seller.

Through Antisia and as an acclaimed percussionist, MacDonald worked with a who’s who of artists, including Amy Winehouse, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and Grover Washington Jr., for whom he wrote the hit “Mr. Magic.”

ADDED Soulsides has a great post paying tribute to MacDonald, highlighting some of the songs he helped craft...

It's here!

My brand new Dub Asylum digital EP is out today! Available on iTunes, Amplifier and Bandcamp, and all good digital stores. Have a listen below, and grab it! Cheers.

Chin chillaz

Out today, on Babysteps Music, run by the Morningsteppa (happy birthday, bro!) You can catch Morningsteppa back on KFM this arvo, 12-2pm, dropping freshness and beats.

"Almost a decade after releasing quite an influential mini album (called "Peas in Basmati“) on infamous Vienna imprint DOPE NOIR, owned by legendary downtempo popster WALDECK, comes the long overdue 'Paws' EP from Northern Gemany's CHIN CHILLAZ. On this release Fe Wolter (aka PFL released on ROCKERS HIFI's imprint Different Drummer) and George Solar (Rubbasol, Solar Moon) put forward 4 tracks picking up where they left off in a 'slo mo' type style."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spinna vs MdCL

A huge swag of MdCL productions and remixes, check this out...

"The Best of Mark de Clive-Lowe mixed by the legendary DJ Spinna includes 34 tracks of MdCL productions, remixes and collaborations with Kenny Dope (Masters At Work), DJ Spinna, Phil Asher (Restless Soul), Zed Bias and more. The mix takes you on a journey covering an array of genres including downtempo, soul, breaks, and house. Mark de Clive-Lowe's ninth solo album, 'Renegades' is out now on Tru Thoughts Records."

R.I.P Cesaria Evora

Cesaria Evora has passed away in her native Cape Verde, aged 70. 

From The Guardian... "The singer Cesária Évora, who has died aged 70 after a long period of ill-health, rose from absolute poverty on the Cape Verde archipelago to achieve worldwide fame in her later years. She put the islands – off the coast of west Africa – on the world music map by performing their distinctive morna ballads with a serene mix of sweetness and melancholy.

When she first came to European attention in 1988, Évora appeared an unlikely candidate for international stardom, yet within five years she was selling hundreds of thousands of CDs, with concert audiences to match. Grammy nominations, critical adulation and the praise of famous singers quickly surrounded the chain-smoking, barefoot grandmother, yet Évora remained remarkably blasé about her newfound celebrity.

She was, she always emphasised, a good singer, and thus it was natural that people would enjoy hearing her. That she had had to endure decades of obscurity was, she would add, frustrating. Eschewing false humility and proud of her heritage, Évora knew her own standing among the world's greatest vocalists..

...Though success brought Évora considerable wealth, she remained a barefoot, chain-smoking stoic who shrugged off fame's affectations and retained Sao Vicente as her home. Even after her health began to decline in 2005, she continued to work hard. Three years later, a minor stroke before a Melbourne concert caused the tour to be curtailed. In 2010, a heart attack after a Paris concert necessitated open-heart surgery, and last September she retired from performing."

Evora was scheduled to appear at Womad in New Plymouth in 2008, but, as mentioned above, a minor stroke in Melbourne caused her to cancel, with Neil Finn stepping in to fill her slot.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

JB Hifi launches streaming music service

JB Hifi announced back in August that they were launching a music streaming subscription service. They launched it this week with a month's free subscription as a hook. They have got into the market ahead of plans to launch Spotify in Australia and NZ next year.

Via Billboard... "Australia's leading music retailer JB Hi-Fi has taken a leap into digital music with the beta launch of its Now streaming music service.
The month-long trial started this week and means JB has almost certainly beaten Spotify to the punch.

"Monthly subscription starts at $6.67 Australian ($6.59) across a 12-month plan, giving users unlimited streaming access, according to the company, across PC, notebook and Mac.

Details regarding Now were first dropped in August, when JB told investors its service would go live with 6 to 8 million licensed tracks from some 100,000 artists. JB now boasts 10 million licensed tracks, of which some three million titles are currently loaded into the system. More repertoire will be signed and loaded in the coming year, according to the Melbourne-based company, and further down the track Now should evolve to offer digital downloads.

"At an unspecified date early next year, a Now app for smartphone and tablet will be available for Apple iOS, Android and Windows devices, allowing listeners to store songs and playlists to their devices when not connected to the Internet...

"... According to industry sources, digital music sales in 2011 are more than 30% ahead of where they were in 2010. Down Under now accounts digital revenue for 40% of all sales, up from 27% in 2010."

Prince Paul’s musical mystery tour

Prince Paul and his cohorts cruise round checking out music scenes all over the US for Scion: this episode has them visiting Garage Fest in Kansas, rocking out with the freaks. Check out the wrapup at the end (10mins) where they meet a goth-looking busker with a flute, who asks 'any requests?" So they bust out a freestyle rap while the busker plays a riff that sounds like the Beatnuts - Watch out now. Other episodes take in NYC, New Orleans, Coachella pool parties, Metal Fest in Pomona, all sorts... and Prince Paul is a funny cat too.

Official blurb for this ep: " Musician Impossible: Prince Paul’s Adventurous Musical Journey follows the hip-hop pioneer and his friends Mr. Dead and Soce on a cross-country quest for new inspiration. Featuring Best Coast, Municipal Waste, Big Freedia, Win Win and many more."

Watch more episodes here.

"After the storm, it was so depressing, all you could do was dance, to keep a smile on your face..." New Orleans kid talking about bounce. Watch below.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 17

Audioweb - Faker  -Justin Robertson remix
Primal scream - Higher than the sun
Dub asylum - Point blank
Ras Stones meets Dub terminator - Love you so much
Beat pharmacy - Sunshine
Fink - Sort of revolution - Sideshow dub
Grace Jones - Devil dub
Lee Scratch Perry - Devil dead out - Adrian Shewood remix feat Little Axe
African head charge -Throw it away
Keith Le Blanc/Malcolm X - no sellout
The cage feat Nona Hendryx - Do what ya wanna do - dub version
War - Me and baby brother
Pointer sisters  -Yes we can can
Gil Scott Heron - B-movie
Prince Tui Teka - Let's stay together
Charles Bradley - Why is it so hard?
Common - Come close - Boozoo Bajou remix
Fat freddys drop - Hope - Mkl vs Soy sos dub
Cesaria Evora - Angola - Pepe Bradock get down dub
Esso Trinidad steel band - I want you back

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron's memoir out Jan

"The late Gil Scott-Heron's memoir, The Last Holiday, is set to be published by Canongate on Jan. 16, which just so happens to be Martin Luther King Day. It's a fitting release date for the book as the poet/rap progenitor was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. But the book isn't solely about his activist side.

There's also plenty of discussion of his tour with Stevie Wonder in 1980-81, when they played 41 cities and campaigned to make Martin Luther King Day a federal holiday. You can listen to Scott-Heron read an excerpt from the book at Canongate's website.

And in case you happen to reside in or around London, Wilton's Music Hall is putting on a tribute to Scott-Heron's life and his memoir on Jan. 19. The event lineup features Jamie XX, Gilles Peterson, Kate Tempest, and Ben Mellor. [Wire]" Via Prefix Mag

Poi dance

Poi Dance by KillaManRARO

Tasty mashup from Killamanraro (Ned Ngatae) of Kiwi classic Poi-e by Patea Maori Club. DL too (wav file).

Minnie Riperton meets a lion

Talkshow hosted by Sammy Davis Jr, interviewing Minnie Riperton, talking about her album cover with a real live lion on there. Clip includes her tv ad based on the cover, wait for it. Other  guests include Richard Pryor. Hat tip to Wax Poetics.

Bonus clip - Richard Pryor on Sesame St...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Turntable Thursday

Fat City top 50

Fat City Records top 50 for 2011, as chosen by their staff, with guest Gerald Jazzman Short. Grab em from them online too.

Best of 2011 - Gerald 'Jazzman' Short.

The Greg Foat Group : Dark Is The Sun
UK : Jazzman

Jef Gilson : Jef Gilson
UK : Jazzman

Gold : Gold
UK : Jazzman

Various Artists : Jukebox Jam
UK : Jazzman

The 6 Degree South : Loving You (Is To Far Out) Pts 1
UK : Fryers

Jeanne Demetz : Calypso Daddy / Everything Will Be Alright
UK : Jukebox Jam

Sir Guy : I Need You Baby / Let Home Cross Your Mind
UK : Soul7

The Divetones : Peters Fun
UK : Mocambo

Luther Ingram : If It's All The Same To You Babe / Exus Trek
Austria : Hib

Bobby Boyd Congress : Bobby Boyd Congress
France : Vadim Music

Best of 2011 - Orsii

Tino Contreras : El Jazz Mexicano de Tino Contreras
UK : Jazzman

Hackney Colliery Band : No Diggity / House Arrest
UK : Wah Wah 45s

Oddisee : Rock Creek Park
US : Mello Music Group

Camille Howard : Please Don't Stay Away Too Long
UK : Jukebox Jam

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings : Soul Time!
USA : Daptone

Cal Tjader : Mamblues
UK : Jazzman

Darondo : Listen To My Music - The Music City Sessions
UK : Omnivore

Michael Kiwanuka : I'm Getting Ready
UK : Communion

Zara McFarlane : Chiaroscuro/Night
UK : Brownswood

Fatima : Follow You EP
UK : Eglo Records

Tall Black Guy Productions : The Return Of Here
UK : First Word Records

L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti : Kanaga De Mopti
EU : Kindred Spirits

Liquid Crystal Project : Tribute To De La
Euro : Polar

Various : Those Shocking Shaking Days
US : Now Again

Martyn : Ghost People
USA : Brainfeeder

Little Esther : Hollerin' and Screamin'
UK : Fryers

Roc Marciano and Gangrene : Greneberg
USA : Decon

Honey B's : What Love Can Do b/w If You Didn't
Finland : Timmion

Paul White : Rapping With Paul White
UK : One Handed

Mr Beatnick : Synthetes
UK : Don't Be Afraid

Best of 2011 - Dom

Various Artists : Bossa Jazz Vol. 1
UK : Soul Jazz Records

Syl Johnson : Mythological
USA : Numero

Arthur Verocai : Arthur Verocai
Euro : Kindred Spirits

Cravo & Canela : Preco De Cada Um
UK : Mr Bongo

Late Bloomers : Three Shades Brown
US : Tres Records

The Mighty Mocambos with Afrika Bambaataa, Charlie Funk : Zulu Walk
UK : Mocambo

Innersection : I'm In Debt To You / Let Me Love Yuh
UK : Sonic Wax

Chimp Beams Vs DUB Nomads : Behind The Moon
US : Concent Productions

Georgie Anne Muldrow : Heaven Or Hell
USA : Label

Mizz Beats : Are We The Dictators?
UK : Eglo Records

Mr Chop : Switched On
US : Five Day Weekend

Theo Parrish : STFU
US : Sound Signature

Soundsci /Oxygen : In a Flash / Class in Session
UK : Skyline Recordings

Stax : New York Computer Breakdown
US : Get On Down

Peabody & Sherman : Dubsploitation
US : P&S

Various Artists : Americana - Rock Your Soul

A.G. of DITC : The Pianos Companion EP (feat. Roc Marciano)
US : Red Apples 45

Ye Mighty : Beyond Cairo
UK : First Word Records

Debo Band : Gedawo b/w Kiddid Remix
US : Electric Cowbell Records

Nickodemus feat. Sadat X : Gimme The Music / New York Minute
USA : Wonderwheel Recording

Stereo freeze preview

Stereo freeze, the new Dub Asylum EP, is out December 19. This ep is a collection of my brand new and way old tunes, pulled together to get them out into the world. I had originally planned to do a melodica ep, then my music hard drive had other ideas and started misbehaving, so I rescued what I could, and this is what you have here.

Jumping Jack Skank is a brand new melodica tune that stomps along, while Get It Together another fine melodica number, originally recorded in 2002 and was intended for inclusion on the debut Dub Asylum album. It didn’t fit with the other tracks, but I came across it recently and it’s still pretty groovy.

Skatta and Skavoovie are two well-solid brass-driven tunes, the first with sampled horns, the latter with splendid trumpet work from Olly Harris (WBC/Kolab). Point Blank also features Olly, alongside his former cohorts in the WBC, Oliver and Maitiu, with the bottom end being held down by legendary bass don dada, Chip Matthews(Open Souls/Anika Moa). This was recorded around 2006, and has been hanging round waiting to escape out into the world.

Jump and Twist emerged in 2009, wrote it in one session and shared it round some DJ mates for NZ Music Month that year. It has been specially remastered for this release. Enjoy!

Preview the tunes below...

R.I.P Carmen

Carmen at Miss NZ Drag Queen Ball, Auckland 1975. Photo: Fiona Clark

Carmen has passed away this morning in Sydney, of kidney failure, following months of poor health, reports GayNZ. "The word 'icon' does not quite encompass New Zealand's most-loved tranny, who over her 75 years achieved everything from belly dancing with a snake in Kings Cross to running for Mayor of Wellington."

ADDED Jan 17: A memorial service in Auckland has been announced... February 11, at 530pm, at St Matthews in the City. Maori Television will screen a profile of Carmen in Takatapui the following evening at 10.10pm.

From GayNZ: Obituary: Carmen Rupe - "Rest well my darling".

From "Carmen, the founder of Carmen's International Coffee Lounge, was a flamboyant personality. A transsexual with a colourful past, she returned to Wellington from Sydney in 1967 ... Carmen decided she needed her 'own stage' on which to star. She took the right of first refusal on a clothing factory with a four-bedroom flat on the upper floor. It was, ironically, located at 86 Vivian Street, next door to the Salvation Army.

In many ways Carmen's was like other coffee bars of the era. The opening hours were long, initially from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., and later from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. The menu was straightforward but adequate - coffee, tea, soft drinks and a great variety of toasted sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones. The difference was in the décor, the staff and the availability of sex. Carmen referred to her waitresses as hostesses: 'that is what they were, and with the exception of the lesbians, all my girls were boys or had been boys at some time. They had to be beautiful. That was the mark of my establishment.' While she gathered around her people of all sexual persuasions, it was never a rule that her entertainers and coffee shop workers had to be prostitutes.

Staff were encouraged to sit and talk with the customers to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. A ritual known as 'the cups' was devised whereby a customer could signal his sexual preference without needing to engage in a potentially embarrassing conversation. Regular customers were also able to liven up their coffee by purchasing a nip of brandy."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


New signing to Stonesthrow, Homeboy Sandman... check this....

Homeboy Sandman - New York Nights by stonesthrow

"Homeboy Sandman has already made a name for himself with a series of self-released records - Nourishment, Actual Factual Pterodactyl and The Good Sun. And now we start something new: His track "New York Nights" will lead off the forthcoming Stones Throw/Serato collaboration, and his debut Stones Throw EP will be released in late January 2012. "

Brown Study remixes

"Last year Boog Brown released her debut album Brown Study produced entirely by Detroit star Apollo Brown. ITunes called her one of the 10 best new hip-hop artists of 2010 alongside Nicki Minaj, Drake, B.O.B., Roc Marciano, and J. Cole.

"Since then Boog has honed her live performance into one of the most vicious and exciting in Hip-Hop. Now, Boog Brown has brought in some of the best producers in the underground Hip-Hop scene to remix her debut album [listen here], including Georgia Anne Muldrow, 14 KT (Red Bull Big Tune National Champ), Dunc of DTMD, Def Dee, Has-Lo, and Illastrate, among others. Then Apollo Brown and Boog created an all new track just for the album: "Detroit". The Brown Study Remixes will be available on CD & Digital releases. Additionally the original Brown Study album will be released on collectors edition brown vinyl in the new year!"

Free download of Boog Brown remixed by Georgia Anne Muldrow....

Marvin aint mad

Mad Professor does a live dub mix of Marvin Gaye's What's goin on. Genius.
Via Boogie Banger.

Plus, interview with Mad Professor on dubstep... "Aint nuttin new about dubstep, man, it's just new people into it!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's like that

photo: Volume, supplied.

There's a great story in this week's issue of Volume magazine. It's writer/actor Oscar Kightley recalling Run-DMCs show at the Powerstation on 18 November 1988. I was lucky enough to be at that show, it was incredible.

The support was UK rapper Derek B with DJ Scratch as his DJ, who pulled off some mind-blowing tricks that had never been seen here.  The Volume print edition has the original ad for the gig, which was scheduled for the Logan Campbell Centre, with a lineup that included Eric B and Rakim. The show was shifted to the Powerstation, and sadly, Eric B and Rakim didn't make it. I remember Run DMC saying it was the last night of their world tour, which explains how loose they got. They were having a ton of fun onstage.

Oscar's recollections take me right back to that night, it was so exciting. And also what it was like, being a rap fan at that time, when you had commercial radio blasting "No rap, no crap" on billboards across the city. It was rebel music. Thanks, Oscar...

"At the time I was 19 and working as a junior reporter at The Auckland Star. This was back in the days when there were all these stations that used to play ads on TV that said ridiculous shit like "no rap, no crap" - bFM was the only station that was flying the flag for hip hop. That was the music we'd come up on, so it was weird to see that kind of stuff. It was kind of like a statement on what the country was like at the time.

Run-D.M.C. came here in their prime and at a time when no other hip hop artists were coming to New Zealand. I was walking down Queen St before the show and I saw Jam Master Jay walking down the street. No one else around me knew who he was, but I was like, 'F**k - that's Jam Master Jay!' He caught my eye and I tentatively threw up a peace sign in greeting, 'cause that was what we did back then, and he did it back.

I will never forget that moment.

Being an impressionable young man, it was amazing to see Jam Master Jay onstage scratching - he was my favourite. And, the thing is, Run-D.M.C didn't just stand there and rap - they had a show and they rocked it.

Back at that time, hip hop was in its infancy in New Zealand, and the culture wasn't the same after that show. We had three kings of hip hop on that stage in Mt Eden, rocking it and getting the crowd involved. Back then, no one did that so it was pretty cool.

It wasn't at all what you'd expect a hip hop gig today to be, which would be a lot of baseball caps and brown people. It was packed and sweaty, and I remember being upstairs and looking down at this sea of young New Zealanders behaving like I'd never seen young New Zealanders behave at a concert, with their hands in the air, throwing them like they just didn't care.

It really wasn't about where you were from, it was where you were at, and that night everybody felt like they were at the same place."

Poi-E disco mix

I played this song on my radio show a few weekends ago. I pulled it out to play as it had come up in conversation online, with the folks at Kiwi digital distributor

Last week I posted a video clip I'd come across of Dalvanius talking about the origins of the song, and mentioned it on Twitter. Amplifier then linked to the 25th Anniversary Edition of the album with bonus remixes. I replied, telling them I had the 12-inch of Poi-E with some disco mixes. Funny thing - they'd never heard of this release. Didn't know it existed.

P-Money joined in the conversation, mentioning he had a mint condition copy that he'd picked up this year. Amplifier checked with Jayrem Records, and they hadn't heard of it either, and didn't have any masters on file. So Amplifier have arranged to borrow P-Money's copy so they can get it digitised at Stebbings, ready for a digital reissue.

From Amplifier: " It started with a question on Twitter. Peter McLennan (Dub Asylum, Hallelujah Picassos) asked "Any plans to release the Poi E 12"). That was news to us and Jayrem Records, we didn't even know it existed.

A quick search was done through Dalvanius's archive at Jayrem and a mention of the 12" was found in his recording notes, but frustratingly there were no master tapes.

Once again Twitter came to the rescue, with P-Money getting in contact to say that he had a mint condition copy of the 12" that we could borrow.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks Stebbings in Auckland transferred the tracks from the vinyl and carried out a restoration to bring them back to life.

And now, for the first time since 1983, here is the Poi E 12", released digtially, with 4 versions of Poi E and a live version of the haka, Taranaki Patere."

Stereo freeze

New Dub Asylum EP, out December 19. Six songs, lotsa melodica, see snippet below... Here's the cover...

Augustus rock by dubasylum

Monday, December 12, 2011


Via Boing Boing: "Found at the "Boombox" entry on Wikipedia, this is a soundystem built from fourteen of the 1980s classic Sharp FG-909 boomboxes. The photo is labeled as from the "Zushi Beach Electro Old School Party 2005."

Zushi Beach is in Japan, which probably the last country on earth where you can still find boom boxes. Hat tip to Chad for the link.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 10

Deodato - Superstrut
OJays - 992 arguments
Patti Labelle - Most likely you go your way...
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance remix
P-bass expressway - Easyride - Downtown Brown remix
Dream warriors - Ludi - dropout mix
Morgan Heritage and Bounty Killer - Guns in the Ghetto
Toots and the Maytals - Bam bam
Augustus Pablo - East of the river Nile
Tiger ranks - Party wit me
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Spottie
Quincy Jones - Walkin
Booker T Jones - Walking papers
Esther Phillips - Catch me I'm falling
Cajun Hart - Got to find a way
Loraine Ellison - Got my baby back
Mr Chop - Greedy G
Fat freddys drop - Bohannon dub (free download here)
Three generations walking - Midnight bustling - Midnight rockers mix
Scritti politti - Sweetest girl
Million Dan - Dogz n sledgez
Rebel MC - The wickedest sound - Don gorgon mix
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle youth - Congo natty remix

Muppet space funk

Raquel Welch and the Muppets. Just because. Funky as soundtrack too.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mission Bay music fest postponed

Mission Bay Jazz and Blues Streetfest just posted this to their Facebook page...

"Unfortunately due to ongoing, and the threat of further, High Court action by the Mission Bay Business Association, Retail Holdings Limited and Drive Holdings Limited against Auckland Council in an attempt to stop the iconic Mission Bay Jazz and Blues Streetfest from proceeding, next year’s 11th annual Streetfest event is regrettably postponed until further notice.

"Despite the event’s support from tens of thousands of Streetfest fans, the majority of whom are local Mission Bay residents, the event organisers feel that it is untenable for the Streetfest to be staged when such legal proceedings continue to force the City to defend its right to permit large scale public events in Auckland at considerable cost to all Auckland ratepayers.

"This is the Event Organiser’s view and not that of Auckland Council. Thanks to all the event patrons & fans, awesome bands, suppliers, regulatory authorities and volunteers who all make the event happen and who have loyally supported the Streetfest."

ADDED Some background from a news item in February...
Mission Bay Jazz and Blues Streetfest raises concerns

excerpt: "... a sponsorship dispute before last year's festival resulted in the businesses being excluded from the streetfest with a fence covered in black scrim being put up between the hospitality strip and the festival.

"Our overall problem is the nature of the event has changed," Retail Holdings general manager Darryl Henry says..."

808 brass

What Time Is Love, played live at the Tate Modern...

More on Williams Fairey Brass and this release...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dam spiritual


DāM-FunK's ~ Spiritual Flight [The full un-edited presentation] by DâM-FunK

Dam Funk says "In 2009, I quietly recorded an all Gospel based, Boogie-Funk' mix for Stones Throw. That mix was released as one of their many podcast (Stones Throw Podcast #49), but was 'cut down' due to bandwidth rules on the record labels site. Well, here as I always promised (as a gift for all & after being repeatedly asked by many friends whom connect with my creativity, while on the road, about this full version) is the entire 'un-edited' recording to coincide with your holiday seasons festivities & listening pleasures.

| DāM-FunK's "Spiritual Flight" |

1. NEW JERSEY MASS CHOIR - "Yah Mo B There" ~ 1984 LP | Prelude Records
2. THE MICHAEL JOHNSON SINGERS - "Just A Little Talk" ~ 1984 LP | Plumbline Records
3. TONY COMER & CROSSWINDS - "Part Of You" ~ 1984 LP | Vidcom Enterprises
4. THE RAPPIN' REVEREND DR. C. DEXTER WISE, III - "I Ain't Into That" (Short Version) ~ 1986 12" | Fantasy Records
5. THE RANCE ALLEN GROUP - "I Can't Help Myself" ~ 1984 LP | Myrrh Records
6. KENNY SMITH - "Trust In Him" ~ 1985 LP | Message Records
7. MICHELLE & FAMILY LOVE - "Happy Song" ~ 1987 LP | Glenn Records
8. RICKEY GRUNDY - "Make Way For Jesus" ~ 1986 12" | S.W.E. Records
9. MINISTER JEFF JACOBS And The International Praise Gospel Music Workshop Group - "When It's All Over" (Instrumental) ~ 1988 LP | GosPearl Records
10. ANDRE CROUCH - "Got Me Some Angels" ~ 1984 LP | Light Records
11. EDWIN HAWKINS - "(Reprise) You Gave Your All" ~ 1981 LP | Lection Records
12. GABRIEL HARDEMAN DELEGATION - "I'm Givin' It Up" ~ 1983 LP | Birthright Records
13. MARY LOVE-COMER - "The Price" ~ 1988 LP | Love Records
14. JON P. KEE - "Happy" ~ 1987 LP | Tyscot Records
15. The DeBARGE FAMILY - "Coming Home" ~ 1991 LP | T.M. Records
16. WATSON BEASLEY - "Dimensions" ~ 1980 LP | Warner Bros. Records

*All original wax pressings were used for this mix. No mp3's whatsoever. Peace & with love I humbly present 2 U: "Spiritual Flight".

We need to make a change

Charles Bradley on WNYC's Soundcheck.

I've read three lists of Top 50 albums for 2011 in the past few days, and have come across a total of 3 albums on them that I own. Then again, most of those lists were very indie/hipster with a token hiphop artist thrown in.  Need to find some dance top 50s or something.

One of the best albums I picked up this year was a slice of solid soul from Charles Bradley. No Time For Dreaming, his debut album (at the age of 63), dropped on Dunham Records (via Daptone), an imprint run by Tommy Brenneck, leader of the Menahan St Band, who back up Bradley. 

Charles Bradley is playing dates in the US during February next year, then returning  to Australia in March (tour dates here).

Can someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring him to New Zealand? He is an incredible singer. I need to see him.

Here's the latest video from Mr Bradley, a song about the loss of his brother. Available for free download at Rcrd Lbl, registration req'd.

Gilles Peterson dropped

Gilles Peterson outside Conch Records.

Via Fact Mag, Radio One  has had a reshuffle and dropped Gilles Peterson, Grooverider, Judge Jules and others, and added Skream, Benga, and Toddla T. Peterson is in talks with Radio 6 Music, so here's hoping he gets a new slot. Easily one of the best broadcasters on the planet.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Israel Starr

Israel Starr - Foundation by Newtown Sound

Copped this mean local tune a while back, it's a collaboration from Welli reggae DJ Art Official and vocalist Desta Buchanan, son of Aotearoa reggae legend Mighty Asterix.

You can read a great interview with the fellas over on Niceup. They were selected to perform at the Byron Bay Reggae Festival in Australia in September.

Wicked tune, gents. More please!

Here are download links to the wav files.


"So Desta, as you said, your dad is The Mighty Asterix, a legendary NZ reggae vocalist. What was it like growing up and having your dad as a mentor?

"Yeah having Dad around has played the biggest part in who I am as an artist. I mean in every way, from hearing him sing every day to listing to the tunes he was getting from all the top selectors around Aotearoa. So all the music that was hitting my ears from day one was the best of the best, and now I've acquired a taste for the finest high-grade music.

Dad would always listen to a lot of other types of music, especially gospel, P-funk and all the greats, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on. So he provided me with an immense knowledge base of all types of music, which has made me more of a versatile artist.

Dad lives the lyrics too - I don't think I know anyone more ital living then Pops. I could go on about Pops but I'd have to write a book hahaha! Bless up Pop!"

BDP: Taxi Gang


But wait, there's more..

Red Hot Mittoo - Lowe1 & Jordinary K by Deejay Lowe1

DL here

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Be like summer

Long Hot Summer from local producer Soul Chef. Beat for Be Like by @Peace is in there too (see Mellow)...


Home Brew - Electro Magnetic Prod. INF by homebrewcrew

Very cool, laid back tune. Homebrew say "This isn't a girl song. It's a song for my girl." Go grab it.

Every time Wu-Tang says "Wu-Tang"

Via Village Voice. Some serious work went into this!

"... compiled by one Conor Lastowka: An audio supercut of every time the Wu-Tang Clan shouts itself out—by its collective name or individually—across the group's five studio albums. Lastowka spent "a few hours" putting together the clip, and he came to this conclusion, which might not surprise you: "They say Wu-Tang a lot. .."

Dub thriller

Tasty dub take on MJ classic, from Richie Phoe. Link on his Soundcloud page for a download too. Niceness!

Thriller dub style - free track! by richiephoe

...and a brief snippet of his Sesame St dub.

Richie Phoe 'Sesame Street Dub' by richiephoe

Monday, December 05, 2011

You got the funk?

I love a good cover version. Here's a cool new comp that's just loaded with them...

From Cultures Of Soul, The World's Funkiest Covers (CD/LP)...

that's a pretty grand claim in the title, have a listen and see what you think...

1. Johnny Jones and the King Casuals – Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
2. Mighty Mo and the Winchester Seven – The Next Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five)
3. Afrosound – Jungle Fever (chakachas)
4. Fruko y sus Tesos – Bang Bang (New Swing Sextet)
5. Nostalgia 77 – Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
6. Ray Barretto – Pastime Paradise (Stevie Wonder)
7. Mongo Santamaria – Cloud Nine (The Temptations)
8. Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra – I Turn My Camera On (Spoon)
9. Ebony Rhythm Band – Light My Fire (The Doors)
10. The Johnny Frigo Sextet – Scorpio (Dennis Coffey) * (CD bonus track)
11. Antibalas – Rat Race (Bob Marley) * (Cd bonus track)

World's Funkiest Covers Preview by Culturesofsoul

R.I.P Philip Fatis Burrell

I saw a bunch of rumours of Burrell's passing on social media over the weekend with contradictory reports that he was dead, had a stroke but was still alive...  Jamaica Observer has now confirmed his passing.

"PHILIP ‘Fattis' Burrell, CEO of Xterminator Records, has died.

Fattis, as he was called by most persons in the music business, made his transition last evening after slipping into a coma early that morning.

The producer and artiste manager had been a patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Mona, where he was admitted two weeks ago after suffering a mild stroke.
Burrell took a turn for the worse last Tuesday when doctors discovered a blood clot near to his lungs.

The family of Philip ‘Fattis’ Burrell wishes to thank friends, well-wishers and the staff at the UHWI for their care and support and asks for prayers at this time.
At the time of his death, Fattis was the manager for reggae artiste, Sizzla. He has played a major role in establishing the careers of Sizzla Kalonji, Luciano, Pinchers, Thriller U and Sanchez on an international level.

Fattis has also worked with several of reggae’s greatest artistes including Beres Hammond, Frankie Paul, Gregory Isaacs, Charlie Chaplin, Capelton, Cocoa Tea, Gentleman and Ini Kamoze."

DJ Dubhead describes Burrell as "a huge force in the conscious roots renaissance, producing artists like Luciano, Cocoa Tea, Sizzla, Capleton, Prince Malachi, Turbulence and Ras Shiloh at a time when Rasta and one-drop rhythms were not fashionable in Jamaica."

ADDED: NY Times obit for Burrell. He died of a heart attack, according to his wife. Burrell had recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe with the singer Cocoa Tea.

It's Monday - take five

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Fakery and bass

Today's Sunday magazine (in the Sunday Star Times) has a story on dubstep, written by Grant Smithies (not online yet). "The dubstep divide" talks to a variety of folk, like producer Jay 'Bulletproof' Monds (who appears to have changed his surname to Roland, if Sunday mag is to be believed), Jeffrey Stothers of Southbound Distribution who has sold 5000 copies of Ministry of Sounds latest dubstep compilation, and a few folk from GeorgeFM, including radio DJ Thane Kirby. The latter expresses his deep dislike for dubstep in no uncertain terms.

"When the Maui gas pipeline blew out a while back, I said that was the reason there'd be no dubstep on air that day. Another time, I invited people to bring dubstep CDs to the station and we set fire to them in a big metal bin on the deck. People were overjoyed to have an opportunity to torch the stuff".

That reminded me of another radio DJ by the name of Steve Dahl. He had a huge hatred of disco (perhaps because he got fired when his previous employer switched to a disco format), and in 1979, organised a disco demolition rally. in Chicago.

It took place at half time at a baseball game and resulted in a riot, which led to the game being forfeited  The stadium had a capacity of 52,000 and apparently 90,000 people turned up, for a weekday game.

Nile Rodgers of Chic told the Independent in 2004 that the disco demolition rally "...felt to us like Nazi book-burning. This is America, the home of jazz and rock and people were now afraid even to say the word 'disco'. I remember thinking - we're not even a disco group."

That  article also notes that "By the turn of 1979, the disco industry was estimated to be worth US$4bn, more, according to Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton's book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life..."

Read Panic at the anti-disco rally, written on the 30th anniversary of the riot, which says "Did you know that Nik Cohn's 1976 New York article "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" -- the basis for Saturday Night Fever, and thus probably for everything you think you know about disco - was a fabrication? Instead of investigating the discotheques of America, the Brit writer conjured up a story inspired by his homeland's Mod subculture. So Saturday Night Fever is really Quadrophenia."

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Dec 3

Masters at work - MAW expensive (Tribute to Fela)
Boca 45 - La bombonera
Patti Jo - Make me believe in you
Mayer Hawthorne - The ills
Eddie Palmieri - My spiritual Indian
Miriam Makeba - Lumumba
Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle tezeta
Patea maori club - Poi-e -disco mix
Prince Charles and the city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Max Coles - Who got the keys?
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle youth - Congo natty remix
African head charge - Some bizarre
Bim Sherman - You are the one
Ticklah - Si hecho palente
Sound dimension - Man pon spot
Sister Nancy - Only woman DJ with degree
Yellowman - Nobody move nobody get hurt
James Brown - Time is running out fast
Booker T and the MGs - It's your thing
Banbarra - Shack up - Wiseguys edit
George Clinton - Do fries go with that shake? Extended mix
Cookin on 3 burners - Cars
King Erisson - Conga man

Let's go

Youtube poster Southwonnie says "Filmed by me on standard 8mm during a rehearsal of Let's Go in 1965. Location was NZBC WNTV1 studios in Waring Taylor Street, Wellington, New Zealand. Those people I can identify are Bruce 'Crud' Anderson (camera), Peter Morritt (lighting), Ian Cumming (floor manager), Pete Sinclair (presenter). I've no idea who the artists are. The cameras are Marconi Mk. IV (4.5 inch image othicon)." Hat tip to Simon Grigg for this.

plus, more Pete Sinclair...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Some light reading

From the Village Voice... "Da Capo's Second-Best Music Writing 2011: 112 Of Last Year's Most Notable Music Stories"

"The 2011 edition of Da Capo's annual anthology Best Music Writing— which this year was guest edited by The New Yorker classical writer and The Rest Is Noise author Alex Ross; Daphne Carr has been the series editor since 2006—contains 32 essays and is augmented by a a jumbo-sized "Other Notable Music Writing" section. This year's honorable mentions list (or at least the galley for it, which sometimes differs from the final version) contains 129 further recommendations, for which we found links to 112, presented below. (All are from 2010.) Happy reading."

Stacey Anderson, "The Jazz Evangelism of Woody Allen" (Village Voice, July 1)

Noah Arjomand, "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran Style" (PBS Frontline, April 22)

Jake Austen, "The Woman on the Right" (Chicago Reader, Feb. 11)

Zach Baron, "Flux = Rad" (Slate, March 18)

Mike Barthel, "Scissor Sisters, 'Night Work': Yay for Sex and Drugs and Pleasure" (The Awl, June 28)

Angus Batey, "The Hip-Hop Heritage Society" (The Guardian, Oct. 7)

Trish Bendix, "The 'If I Was a Boy' Trend in Music" (After Ellen, Nov. 16)

Larry Bluemenfeld, "How Treme Can Get It Right" (Village Voice, March 30)

Jonathan Bradley, "Just Being Miley" (American Review, April 21)

Norman Brannon, "So, hey Nicki Minaj. It's real talk time." (Nervous Acid, Nov. 24)

Frank Bruni, "An Ageless Diva of a Certain Age" (New York Times, Nov. 21)

Brett Campbell, "Gonzalo Ruiz, Oboist, Restoring Bach" (Wall Street Journal, July 15)

Jon Caramanica, "Seeping Out of Houston, Slowly" (New York Times, Nov. 4)

Rodney Carmichael, "The Making of OutKast's Aquemini" (Creative Loafing, June 24)

Conor Christofferson, "About a Grandson" (Seattle Weekly, Aug. 18)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, "Travelling Music" (The Atlantic, Feb. 19)

John Colapinto, "New Note" (The New Yorker, March 15; subscribers only)

Alex V. Cook, "The Ozzy Osbourne T-Shirt" (Offbeat, Nov.)

Sergeant D, "The Final Word on Metal Drumming" (Metal Sucks, Dec. 3)

Jane Dark, "Vomiting Up Tequila & Glitter: Pop 2010" (Lana Turner, Dec.)

Dessa Darling, "Dessa Reflects on Her Artistic Journey" (City Pages, Aug. 18)

Jonathan Dee, "New Orleans's Gender-Bending Rap" (New York Times, July 22)

David Dennis, "Curren$y: the new high life" (OffBeat, Sept.)

Rachel Devitt, "Justin Bieber Cracks Up" (Village Voice, Aug. 18)

Camille Dodero, "Live from Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos" (Village Voice, Sept. 8)

Sady Doyle, "Rivers Cuomo Messes You Up Forever" (The Awl, April 27)

Baz Dreisinger, "Reggae's Civil War" (Vilage Voice, March 2)

Andrew Earles, "Jay Reatard Remembered" (Spin, Jan. 28)

Chuck Eddy, Frank Kogan, Michaelangelo Matos, Katherine St. Asaph, John Seroff, Al Shipley, and Martin Skidmore, "Far East Movement ft. Cataracs & Dev--Like a G6" (The Singles Jukebox, Sept. 28)

Gavin Edwards, "Dr. Luke's Awesomely Trashy Pop Sound Is Ruling the Airwaves" (Rolling Stone, April 29)

Jeremy Eichler, "There Is Magic in the Music" (Boston Globe, July 11)

Tom Ewing, "Shiny Shiny: A Future History of the CD Revival" (Pitchfork, March 5)

Jonathan L. Fischer, "Our Year in Moombahton" (Washington City Paper, Dec. 24)

Sidik Fofana, "Refugee for Prez" (Corner Boy Jazz, Nov. 7)

Mick Foley, "The Wrestler and the Cornflake Girl" (Slate, Sept. 28)

Tad Friend, "Sleeping with Weapons" (The New Yorker, Aug. 16)

Yoav Fromer, "Message" (Tablet, Nov. 23)

Leor Galil, "Everything's Coming Up Kittens" (Chicago Reader, Oct. 14)

Luis-Manuel Garcia, "Showdown in Spreepark" (Resident Advisor, Nov. 26)

Gus Garcia-Roberts, "Scott Storch Raked in Hip-Hop Millions and Then Snorted His Way to Ruin" (Miami New Times, Aug. 22)

Rachel Kaazdi Ghansah, "He Shall Overcome" (New York Observer, Nov. 30)

Sarah Godfrey, "Private school go-go goes public" (, Aug. 12)

Thomas Golianopolous, "Jay Electronica: Man or Myth?" (Spin, July)

Peter Gordon, "Teenage Days with Captain Beefheart" (Nedslist/The Daily Swarm, Dec. 20)

Joe Gross, "In Praise of the Vuvuzela" (Austin American-Statesman, June 29)

Matthew Guerrieri, "Complexity Wars" (New Music Box, Sept. 8)

Jack Halberstam, "What's Paglia Got to Do with It?" (Bullybloggers, Sept. 14)

Shirley Halperin, "Who Destroyed Epic Records?" (Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 18)

Steve Haruch, "Women Account for Less Than 5 Percent of Producers and Engineers" (Nashville Scene, June 3)

Eric Harvey, "This Is Not a Photograph" (Pitchfork, Sept. 13)

Dave Heaton, "A Mexico State of Mind" (PopMatters, Nov. 9)

Virginia Heffernan, "Sound Logic" (New York Times, Feb. 19)

David Hepworth, "When the Last Recording Studio Goes, What Will Go with It?" (The Word, March 13)

Monica Herrera, "The Year That Went Pop" (Billboard, Dec. 10)

Geoffrey Himes, "Hillbilly Heaven" (Baltimore City Paper, May 26)

Marc Hogan, "What's the Matter with Sweden" (Pitchfork, March 29)

Hua Hsu, "The Passing of a Record Store" (The Atlantic, Sept. 7)

Steve Hyden, "Part 5: 1994: Kurt Cobain Is Dead! Long Live Soundgarden!" (The A.V. Club, Nov. 30)

Ethan Iverson, "Interview with Gunther Schuller" (Part 1; Part 2) (Do the Math, Sept. 19)

Vijay Iyer, "Theonious Monk: Ode to a Sphere" (JazzTimes, Jan./Feb.)

Maura Johnston, "Dirty Projectors, Solange Knowles, and the Perils of Music-Racism" (Village Voice, Jan. 19)

Maura Johnston and Christopher R. Weingarten, "The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #1: Train, 'Hey, Soul Sister'" (Village Voice, Dec. 22)

Rich Juzwiak, "A Collage for a Collage" (Four Four, July 15)

Aryan Kaganof, "Aryan Kaganof Interviews Johnny Mbizo Dyani" (Kagablog, April 7)

David Kastin, "Fred Ho and the Evolution of Afro-Asian New American Multicultural Music" (Popular Music and Society, April 7; paid .pdf)

Lenny Kaye, "Dennis Wilson: Like the River to the Sea" (eMusic, Sept. 3)

Frank Kogan, "Ke$ha Day 2" (Koganbot, March 4)

Dan Kois, "Tickets Out!" (The New Yorker, Sept. 20)

Toshitaka Kondo, "Making Minaj" (Complex, Oct./Nov.)

Chris Kornelis, "Marco Collins Picks Up the Pieces" (Seattle Weekly, Dec. 29)

Molly Lambert, "In Which John Mayer Is a Douchebag for Possibly the Last Time" (This Recording, Feb. 11)

David Lowery, selections from 300 Songs)

Fiona Maddocks, "Bayreuth Festival 2010" (The Guardian, Aug. 1)

Sharanya Manivannan, "The Venus Flytrap: In Song and in Silence" (Sharanya Manivannan's Wordpress, June 12)

Chris Martins, "Flying Lotus Rising" (L.A. Weekly, May 13)

Michaelangelo Matos, "Three Singles Featuring 3OH!3" (The Stranger, July 13)

Erik Maza, "Cuban Punk Rockers Gorki and Gil Used Music to Take on Castro" (Miami New Times, June 24)

Anne Midgette, "Is Anybody Listening? American Opera Faces Crossroads as Audiences for Performing Arts Slide" (Washington Post, June 27)

Barbara Mitchell, "December Boys Got It Bad" (Blurt, March 24)

Larry Mizell Jr., "Taste That Crown" (The Stranger, Jan. 5)

Evie Nagy, "Devo: How to Get Ahead with Advertising" (Billboard, July 11)

Tavia Nyong'o, "Lady Gaga's Lesbian Phallus" (Bullybloggers, March 16)

Ben Patashnik, "A Day to Remember: The New Sound of Sacrifice Rock" (Rock Sound, Nov.)

David Peisner, "When the Bottom Fell Out" (Spin, July)

Matthew Perpetua, "At the End of the World with Gauntlet Hair" (The Awl, Dec. 28)

Chris Randle, "Curtis Jackson and the Jeweled Skull" (Social Text Journal, Oct. 1)

Gillian Reagan, "on Rap and Rape and Dudes in a Room" (Shield Your Eyes, Nov. 11)

Eugene Robinson, "Lena Horne: A glamorous revolutionary" (Washington Post, May 11)

Lisa Robinson, "Lady Gaga's Cultural Revolution" (Vanity Fair, Sept.)

John Roderick, "Chucked Profit: Benefit Shows Can Be Bad Business" (Seattle Weekly, Nov. 23)

Jody Rosen, "Joanna Newsom, the Changeling" (New York Times, March 7)

Katrina Stuart Santiago, "The Charice Challenge" (GMA News, Sept. 20)

Scott Saul, "Off Minor" (Boston Review, Sept./Oct.)

Rebecca Schmid, "To Teach the World . . ." (BBC Music Magazine, Aug.; .pdf)

Solvej Schou, "Hanging at Lemmy's Virtual Castle in ROCKTropia: Watch Out for the Demon Spawn" (L.A. Times, May 10)

Shea Serrano, "Out of the Box" (Houston Press, June 24)

Ben Sisario, "Looking to a Sneaker for a Band's Big Break" (New York Times, Oct. 6)

RJ Smith, "Debasement Tapes" (Spin, Nov.)

Deborah Solomon, "Straight Outta Wesleyan" (New York Times, Dec. 5)

Sam Stephenson, "Dorrie Glenn Woodson" (The Paris Review, Dec. 22)

Lisa Taddeo, "The Ke$ha-Loving, Command-Defying Army Auteur" (New York, Aug. 1)

Stephen Titmus, "Boy's Own: A History" (Resident Advisor, Jan. 12)

Aidin Vaziri, "Big Stage Exposes Justin Bieber's Limitations" (San Francisco Chronicle, July 19)

Gabe Vodicka, "Why the Caged King Sings" (Creative Loafing, Dec. 13)

Jesse Walker, "2010: The Year John Cage Broke" (Reason, Dec. 30)

Theon Weber, "The Iceberg Songs of Taylor Swift" (Village Voice, Nov. 3)

Christopher Weingarten, "The Life and Death of Alan Carton" (Village Voice, Jan. 22)

Jeff Weiss, "The Madlib Mystique" (L.A. Weekly, June 24)

Carl Wilson, "Busby Madoff Dreams" (Back to the World, Aug. 26)

Zach Woolfe and Seth Colter Walls, "Renee Fleming's 'Dark Hope': June Cleaver Does Muse" (The Awl, June 16)

Bill Wyman, "Please Allow Me to Correct a Few Things" (Slate, Nov. 5)

Rob Young, "Cloud of Knowing" (The Guardian, June 12)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FNun sound and pictures

Henrietta Harris is the talented artist behind the splendid collage artwork for the Flying Nun compilation Tally Ho: Flying Nun's Greatest Bits. She also was involved in the cover for Volume magazine's Nun tribute issue, using this artwork. Read an interview with her here, talking about the process of putting this cover together.

source: Chillblue on Flickr

I recall meeting another artist who was involved closely with Flying Nun when I was at Elam art school in the late 1980s. Lesley Maclean was from Christchurch, and she'd played in a few bands down there and in Akld (The Letter Five, with Richard James from Mainly Spaniards, an early FNun outfit - soundclip at bottom).

There is a ton of great art as well as music that was associated with Flying Nun over the years, like Chris Knox's art, or David Mitchell's magnificently twisted, gothic drawings for his various bands (Exploding Budgies, 3Ds etc) to name just two examples. There's a coffee table book in there somewhere, with all the FNun art.

Maclean had done a lot of poster designs for Flying Nun bands, and is most famous, I reckon, for designing the distinctive label (above) for Flying Nun's vinyl releases. I vaguely remember Lesley working on it as a holiday project during a term break at art school. Prior to that, every Flying Nun vinyl release had its own unique/messy label.

Below is Lesley's cover design for the very influential Tuatara compilation, which was important in exposing Flying Nun's stable to the world.

The current revival, helmed by the label's founder, Roger Shepherd, came to fruition in 2009, with the financial help of Neil and Sharon Finn, and Graham Cockcroft ex Netherworld Dancing Toys among others.  It's great to see some of the label's leading lights re-emerge, and its back catalog being revived and introduced to a new generation, along with new signings.

Flying Nun was part of the sale of FMR (Festival Mushroom Records) to Warners in late 2006 (see NZ Musician) and it can be argued that it spent most of the 2000s as a less than vital imprint and little more than a logo on the back of Mint Chicks releases. The Mint Chicks may have always claimed they signed to Flying Nun, but when they ditched the label in early 2010, they said they were leaving Warners. The irony being that Roger Shepherd had regained ownership of the label by then, once again making it independent (albeit tied to Warners for distribution).

Conventional wisdom is that Warners neglected the FNun back catalog, failing to even note the label's 25th birthday. Not true. There's a 17-track compilation  to commemorate the 25th anniversary available on iTunes, released in Feb 2007 (drawing on the 4 CD boxset malarkey from that year, compiled by Shepherd). Of course that date sounds wrong, but hey, Flying Nun's own website says they celebrated their 21st birthday in 2003, which aint right either. There was the release Under the Influence – 21 Years of Flying Nun Records, from 2002. They just love celebrating, so who's to stop them?

The Nun's 21st anniversary wasn't without controversy though - Gary Steel wrote a piece in the NZ Listener decrying the label's roster at the time, among other crimes. Numerous folk in the press and the music scene rounded on Steel - Chris Knox even performed a song about it entitled "The Late Gary Steel".

Russell Brown also responded in a robust fashion to Steel's comments (Brown recalls the song in question as being called "In memory of Gary Steel").

But that was 9 years ago, and a lot has changed with The Nun since then. Why, only yesterday Mr Steel was praising Flying Nun on Twitter. "It was very gracious of Flying Nun to gift me a pack of their delicious 30th anniversary ale. Has the disser been bought? More, please."

So, does time heal all wounds? Yes. That, and beer.

The Nun's connection with Mushroom Records (which was later sold to Festival Records) started in 1990, with them buying a 50% share in Flying Nun, helping to give that label some financial stability, and decent recording budgets for its acts such as Straitjacket Fits and JPSE.

I recall reading an article from  the early 90s where the JPSE were talking about their album budget, which was $60,000. That's a long way from Chris Knox hauling his four track reel to reel down to Dunedin and he and Doug Hood setting up in a hall to record The Clean.

Festival Records was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, and in 1995 a 23-year-old James Murdoch took over as chairman at Festival. He reportedly dropped out of Harvard to start hiphop label Rawkus Records (source). I know John Peel was quite surprised to discover that Rupert Murdoch owned half of Flying Nun when he visited NZ in the early 2000s!

Now then, where's the Skeptics boxset?

Here are some of Maclean's poster designs from 1985-86, via National Library.

Below, a poster for the first two Flying Nun releases 
From the Christchurch Library's online poster collection, numerous FNun posters