Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boogie down

KRS One sailed into Auckland on a cruise boat yesterday and stopped for a few hours - on his way to Australia for some shows. Don't worry, he's announced he is coming back to NZ to play live in April.

He met a few locals while he was here yesterday, went up to Orakei Marae too... this is the coolest photo ever.

KRS One also did an interview with TV3 while here, watch the full interview, part one, part two.

ADDED Playing Wellington Town Hall April 20, Auckland (venue tbc) Apirl 21. Woop woop!

Photo credit: DLT

Get up, stand up

Marley is a new documentary on the life and music of reggae's first superstar Bob Marley, made with the blessing of his family. In cinemas April 20. Report from recent Berlin screening.

First shot of Bob speaking is from his interview with the late Dylan Taite, widely regarded as one of the most indepth interviews he ever gave, which may have been cos Taite played soccer with  Marley and his crew beforehand. Also spot the shot of Marley entering the stage at Western Springs.


"Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. MARLEY is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.

From Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, The Last King of Scotland) comes the story of a towering figure of musical history, whose music and message has transcended different cultures, languages and creeds to resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive."

ADDED Here's ten minutes of Dylan Taite's interview, from Youtube...

Dance, dance, dance

Fascinating infographic, hat tip to Mark Cubey for this. The suggestion that Facebook might get into audio streaming/sharing is interesting  - or the idea that you could watch movies with your friends via FB. Original here. Or full size version

INFOGRAPHIC: Dance on Demand: A Look at the Modern Social Music Revolution

Yellow snot funk

New video from Homebrew, called Yellow snot funk. Charming, fellas. Homebrew said on Twitter "Thanks NZOnAir. Please don't sue us."

Directed by Askew One, music by Dandruff Dicky. Brandon Haru. Isaac Aeisili. Fave shot - the synchronised dancing in the middle of the K Rd/Pitt St intersection. More a that.

Kickin back

I was reading this great post on record digging on the cheap from  DJ Prestige, and he mentions a cool sounding record...  from Patrice Rushen, called Kickin back. He found a copy on 12-inch while digging for bargains.

"... Out of all the records I got that day, this is my fave. I’ve never seen it on the field before, so for me it’s a good pull. A promo, and from what I have gathered, one of the first in a group of 12″ records put out (besides being a promo), this side has pulled high $200+ prices in the past. Not that that really matters to me, I just want to play the thing. A solid 7 minutes plus of Disco Funk from Patrice on Prestige." There's an MP3 DL of it here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kiwifm 60% local

Press release on Kiwifm rejigging it's 100% kiwi music format.... will it affect their NZOA funding? [answer: no]

"Kiwi FM has announced that as of Monday 20 February it will diversify its music format to include 40% international music.

Andrew Szusterman, Group Programme Director – Music Brands for MediaWorks Radio, says the move is designed to secure a wider audience for the New Zealand music that the station champions.

“We know that audiences enjoy hearing their favourite New Zealand artists mixed in with international artists, so from now on Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Naked And Famous and Kimbra, will play alongside international artists such as Radiohead, Lana Del Rey and Phoenix.

“By adding the best alternative music from around the world, we believe we’ll bring a wider audience to the station and so provide a better platform for the New Zealand music Kiwi FM plays.”

In accordance with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage licence for Kiwi FM [amended by KiwiFM and the Ministry in March 2011 from 100% to 60%], the station will play a minimum of 60% New Zealand music and will still deliver up to three times more New Zealand music than is currently heard on any other commercial radio station. The specialist music shows and announcer line-up of Kiwi music advocates remain unchanged."

ADDED: From Radio NZ: "The programme director for Mediaworks' music brands, Andrew Szusterman, says Kiwi FM has been losing money for years. He says it attracts about 21,000 listeners a week, while the music station with the most listeners has more than 400,000.

Kiwi FM gets $300,000 a year from NZ on Air to produce several New Zealand only music shows and Mr Szusterman says that funding will not be affected by the change."

[NOTE: regarding comparing KiwiFM's 20,000 listeners a week with the station with the most listeners - a better comparison would be BFM or GeorgeFM, which pull around 35-45,0000 a week. ]

ADDED:  Range of responses to the changes at KiwiFM on their Facebook page some supportive, some negative - KiwiFM has replied to several folk critical of the change, saying "We are definitely not a commercial radio station, we are non profit and will stay that way."

[ Karyn Hay, then-GM of KiwiFM wrote an open letter in 2006  where she said the aim was for KiwiFM to work towards becoming a non profit organisation. Was that ever achieved?]

Scott Muir from Dunedinmusic.com (and deputy chair of IMNZ) quoted the then minster Steve  Maharey's press release on the initial arrangement for KiwiFM's frequencies...

"From Steve Maharey's press release: "The government is committed to working with radio broadcasters to grow music," Steve Maharey said. "We support the concept of a station that plays 100 percent Kiwi music, and we're keen that it has the opportunity to develop and expand the range of Kiwi music it plays....

...As part of the agreement to use the frequencies, the station's brief will be to significantly expand its content to include a greater range of New Zealand Music....

...Steve Maharey said airplay of music had doubled since March 2002 when the government and the Radio Broadcasters Association launched a Code of Practice for music content. Kiwi FM was one of the ways the industry could build on that success.

CanWest CEO Brent Impey welcomed the announcement: "CanWest has long been a strong supporter of Kiwi Music. Kiwi FM was launched a year ago to enhance this support. This agreement puts Kiwi in a positive position for the future."

Scott then asked "So exactly HOW does this change square with the above please KIWIFM ?

KiwiFM replied"The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Ministry responsible for the administration of the frequencies we use, is fully behind the change. That of course was their decision, not ours."

Martyn Bomber Bradbury (ex Channel Z, the station that KiwiFM replaced) weighed in on the KiwiFM FB page, noting that he has a column about the future of KiwiFM in the new issue of Metro, out next week.

From Martyn's blog: "Why Labour handed over $6million worth of radio frequency ($2million a frequency) to a foreign owned media company without so much as a plan has NEVER been explained to me by members of the Labour Party. When I bring it up with them now they cringe and get flustered.

Now it's not even 100% NZ music, why this scam continues is beyond me. As someone at Channel Z, I told the managers it wouldn't work, 6 years on, surprise, surprise it didn't work."

ADDED Mon Feb 20: NZ Herald has reported on the changes at KiwiFM, using a photo of Debbie Chote of Kiwi FM - unfortunately, it's the wrong station. Chote worked at Te Puke's now defunct KiwiFM community radio station, not Mediaworks' KiwiFM.

The story also states that Kiwi FM grew out of Channel Z - that's untrue. Channel Z was scrapped and replaced by KiwiFM.

The headline for the story says KiwiFM 40% less Kiwi from tomorrow. That's also incorrect. The changes come into effect today - the press release sent out for the changes came out yesterday, saying the changes take effect 'tomorrow'. [headline now reads 'Kiwi FM not so kiwi anymore']

The story closes by saying "Fully commercial radio stations are required to play no less than 20 per cent New Zealand music."  That's incorrect. The quota of NZ music is voluntary.

ADDED Feb 20: Dom Post reports that "Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss, who found out about the change from The Dominion Post yesterday (Sun), said he would be in Wellington today and look at the situation.

"I will be asking of my officials that all existing agreements with them are being adhered to and, if not, further discussions need to be had."

Since the New Zealand music quota was removed last year, commercial radio stations continued to play a lot of New Zealand music, he said."

If this last quote is accurate, the Minister is misinformed. The quote was/is voluntary (so can't have been removed as such), and I don't recall hearing anything about it being removed.

One commenter on that story asked "how is Kiwi supposed to achieve anything when it's essentially unmarketed?" That's a good question. KiwiFM has suffered because Mediaworks has spent barely a cent marketing KiwiFM, so they get tiny ratings. No marketing = no audience.

NBR reports that "Kiwi FM's frequency deal with the government expires in June."

ADDED Feb 20, 2.20pm: Radio NZ reports that "Mr Foss says the station was required to play entirely New Zealand music under its intial deal, but KiwiFM changed that provision to 60% when it re-signed its licence with the Government in March 2011."

ADDED Feb 20 730pm: From Radio NZ:  "Opposition parties say the Government has taken the Kiwi out of Kiwi FM by allowing it to reduce its New Zealand music quota." Listen.

Broadcasting Minster Craig Foss says that ICT Minister Amy Adams is now working out what will happen to the three frequencies. "It's part of the greater discussion about this block of spectrum in particular, so no, I am not part of that discussion at the moment," Foss told RNZ.

TV3: Kiwi music industry no longer props up Kiwi FM.

ADDED Feb 21 8.00am: From NZ Herald's media John Drinnan - Concerns over secret deal to cut NZ content. He reports that Steven Joyce was involved in the deal to reduce KiwiFM's local content from 100%  to 60%. "That agreement will be renewed in July, said a spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss."

[AMENDED - the NZ Herald story had this note added to it - "This story has been changed from an earlier version that referred to a spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss saying the agreement over local content would be renewed in July. An agreement over content will instead be considered in July."]

The story also observes that "deals involving public assets and tradeoffs in regulatory oversight have become commonplace under this Government", highlighting the Hobbit law changes, the SkyCity casino deal Steven Joyce is working on, allowing more pokie machines in the casino in return for them building a major convention centre, and the 2009 deferment of Mediaworks fees for its radio frequencies, effectively a $43 million loan from the Government. Steven Joyce is the former owner of Mediaworks.

A number of commentators, like AUT Radio Lecturer Matt Molllgard (a highly vocal critic of KiwiFM, who is doing his PHD on the station) have suggested the three frequencies, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with their commercial value would be far better left to tender but instead the current arrangement is “just sitting on them”. See also NBR - "There is a suggestion that National should now be putting Mediaworks’ three Kiwi FM frequencies up for tender."

It is my understanding that the frequencies KiwiFM currently uses are a block reserved by govt for community, non profit use exclusively, and cannot be put out to tender to the highest bidder, like standard commercial frequencies.

Of course the Government could regulate to change this, and, as Craig Foss noted on RNZ, these frequencies are currently under discussion by the ICT Minster Amy Adams.

[See Karyn Hay, then-GM of KiwiFM open letter from 2006  she refers to this]

ADDED 23 Feb Indie Music NZ respond to KiwiFM format change... IMNZ hopes that "...in doing so Kiwi FM's handlers will continue to programme "a diverse and interesting range of NZ songs, not just limiting itself to a formulaic 'Nature's Best' style playlist" said IMNZ's chairman Ben Howe.

Howe says "we would wish to remind everyone that Kiwi FM's frequencies were put aside for public access radio of some sort and we advocate a radio entity that has the ability to grow a decent audience, support local music and break new artists - as has been successfully done in Australia with Triple JJJ."

Declaration of interest: I DJed on KiwiFM for three and a half years til June 2011, hosting their High Noon Tea nz reggae and downtempo show.

Friday, February 17, 2012


New band from Wellington featuring Dan and Jarney from the Black Seeds. Free EP of loud, noisy, dirty rock... their live debut is March 2nd in Welli...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Via Voices of East Anglia super dope drums. Wonder who is on the drum seat?

"This latest gem comes from Ernest Evans or as he is known to friends and neighbours Chubby Checker and the B-side to his 1973 release ‘Reggae My Way’. Ignore the A-side and flip it over for this psychedelic-drum-and-organ-heavy stomper that never fails to please. This was first released on Checker’s 1969 album called ‘Chequered!’ (geddit?) which was later renamed ‘New Revelations’.

It seems he really doesn’t like talking about this album now and hasn’t for some time which is a shame because it’s got some great tracks on it most notably Stoned in the Bathroom and My Mind Comes from a High Place. Quite what he was ingesting at the time we wouldn’t like to guess but it obviously hit the spot...."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sammy Doodle is like..

Sammy Doodle (real name; Sam Touli) sent me his bio, some beats, and a few photos recently. His bio says he grew up in Staten Island, New York, and there's the obvious influences from that place (Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, Nas), and he's also traveled beyond the confines of the US to Indonesia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Iran (his parents came from there to NYC in the 70s). But he's covered in tattoos from his punk days and has a crazy-ass dreadlocked beard. His Twitter bio describes him as a "Raw food eating, muslim, hip-hop artist."

In short, he looks nothing like you'd expect a Staten island rapper to appear. I dig that. Check out one of his tunes below, free download too...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why instrumental hiphop doesn't suck

J Dilla. RIP, Feb 10 2006

DJ Prestige over at Flea Market Funk has written a great piece - it's a rebuttal on why instrumental hiphop doesn't suck a la the SF Weekly's article.....

"I came across this article in the San Francisco Weekly by Phillip Mlynar stating that “Instrumental Hip Hop Sucks. Ban It Forever”. Now if you have been a follower of Flea Market Funk, you know that not only do we promote the vinyl from original artists that fuel instrumental Hip Hop, but support today’s producers and artists that make quality music.

Some of them are strictly instrumental Hip Hop. In his article, Mr. Mlynar rips the entire genre (except DJ Shadow, for some reason he gets a pass and “is exonerated from the crime of instrumental hip-hop by virtue of his music being more correctly in the lineage of Steinski’s witty cut-and-paste experiments.”).

He goes on to bash artists like DOOM, Diplo, RJD2, and Dilla. While this is America, and of course just an opinion of Mr. Mylnar, I am really offended, and appalled that a writer for a national weekly was allowed to publish such trash. What came across was an ill informed, horribly researched, personal witch hunt on music he doesn’t like. If you look back on the articles he wrote in 2011, they ranged from “The World’s Most Regrettable Hip Hop Tattoos” (oh wait I saw an ice cream cone on a guy’s face!) to multiple articles on Kreayshawn, some *surprise*, DJ Shadow, and a whole lot of lists that look like something ego trip list would publish. Let’s break down why this article doesn’t make sense.

“It’s music without a start or end, without peaks and momentum — it’s hip-hop without a money shot. Tragically, it also forgets what makes hip-hop so invigorating in the first place.”:

Obviously, there is no research in the this at all. Way before DOOM or Madlib released the instrumentals, way before he was on DJ Shadow’s dick (I’m surprised he didn’t refer to him as “Josh” in the article), there were instrumentals. DJ’s cut up the breaks, extended the groove, and made people dance. We all are aware of that.

Let’s take it back to mid-80′s, when Delicious Vinyl was not yet started (although it was a concept without the label really), and the Dust Brothers were making instrumental Hip Hop. These guys made sample based instrumental records and played them way before they even had a record label off the ground. People danced to this on the weekly at clubs like Power Tools, where their originals were mixed in with Funk, Disco, Heavy Metal, and underground Hip Hop of the day. These instrumentals would become the back bone for one of the best sample based record ever, the Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique....

Read the rest of the article over at Flea Market Funk.

One for Valentines Day...

Great Smokey Robinson production for later period Supremes (off the album Floy Joy), clip from the Sonny and Cher Show.... What's your favourite song for Valentines Day?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grammy for GSH

Gil Scott Heron was honoured posthumously at the 2012 Grammys with a lifetime achievement award. Here's rapper Common, writing on this event...

"Gil Scott-Heron was a leader, a leader in revolution. He had the courage, strength, heart, will, sense of sacrifice, and selflessness that few embody in this world. Gil was a leader who possessed a powerful but soothing voice, a voice that had the tone and texture of standing up for the people. He represented the people from the ghetto, the people who were oppressed and the people who were standing up for justice and equality for all. Gil Scott-Heron was the embodiment of millions; their voices and their spirits were alive in him.

I remember the first time I heard Gil as a young boy. My best friend played his record, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” I was intrigued, excited and amused by this inspirational piece. At the time, I was unaware of the mighty influence the song's empowering message would have on me not only as an artist, but as a human being. From that point on, every time I listened to Gil's music he truly left footprints on my soul. He left footprints of joy, footprints of resistance, and footprints of power and love. Gil gave us a chorus of power to chant to. And he gave us shoes of positive change and upward mobility to walk in.

What was so beautiful about Gil's gilded gift of artistry was that he blessed the world with messages that impacted the paradigms of the youth in such a dynamic way. What makes this truth so magical is that in the eyes of our youth we find our development and progress as a collective human race. We find our future. I was a member of that youth at one period of time. I represent the generation Gil influenced and crowned with his wisdom, style and musical genius.

In college, as I was being exposed to more and more types of music, I was reintroduced to Gil Scott-Heron. It was then, after having the same intrigue and excitement as hearing him the first time, that he officially became one of my favorite artists. I loved the depth of his voice, the soul he sang with, the music that he created, and the words that sparked illuminating thoughts. I loved the beautiful experience I had every single time I listened to Gil's music and felt the movement that naturally shined through the lyrics.

I found myself taking pieces of him and placing them into my own music because he represented something bigger than us and of the spiritual realm. I would quote him, sample him and use his lyrics for inspiration in my songs. On my single "The 6th Sense" I quoted "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." On my single "The People" we sampled "We Almost Lost Detroit," and it felt great to connect my work to the work of such an iconic poet and artist as Gil Scott-Heron.

To make it all even more mesmerizing, in August 2010 I was afforded the blessing to connect with Gil personally during a performance we had together in Central Park. I remember the day vividly. First, I went to Gil's home in New York. He was barbequing and we were talking about how to perform the songs at the show. We traded thoughts and I even revealed to him that I someday wished to play him in a movie. He told me all about the new book he was writing. As we exchanged stories and thoughts with one another, I thought to myself, "This is one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen," and I was honored just to share the moments we had as artists and as brothers.

I know Gil Scott-Heron shared his soul in every note, lyric and song we heard from him. I will always appreciate the influence and impact he had on me and the world. I will forever work to keep his inspiration alive."

Here's his some of his children accepting the award, noting that Bill Withers wrote a letter of reccomendation in support of their father getting this award...

Other recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award included Diana Ross, Glen Campbell (who is retiring from music due to Alzheimers), Antonio Jobim, and Steve Jobs.

Record retail blues n hues

The racks at Kristina

READ: Music loses its beat as internet competition bites. Great piece in the business section of Saturday's NZ Herald.

NZ Herald's Hamish Fletcher talked with Beat Merchants owner Jason Howson about them shutting up their Grey Lynn shop and moving to a solely online operation, and the reasons behind it. He also talks with other music retailers - Dustin Lindale at Conch Records and Chris Hart at Real Groovy - to get their impressions on the current state of music retail.

Jason Howson, Beat Merchants: "We came out of the blocks saying 'we know music is getting harder to sell, we're selling less of it but at the time my biggest seller was drum n' bass and dubstep vinyl [records] and we were still selling a lot of music but then people got short in the pocket and vinyl especially became a bit of a luxury.""

Dustin Lindale, Conch:"Generally I think retail is probably hard, I don't know many retailers who'd say the last three years [have been] easy."

One way Conch was trying to generate interest was hosting in-store events to attract people to the shop. "If you get people in the door there's a chance they're going to buy something ... [a lot] of people that do come in really enjoy the place and experiences they have, it's kind of a hub for people meeting up."

Chris Hart, Real Groovy: "The single biggest thing affecting music retailers isn't downloads, it's the fact that the big box retailers have jumped on the wagon to use CDs and DVDs as a loss-leader to sell their stereos, caneware and plasticware. It's really hard for us to compete with The Warehouse selling CDs at $19.95 when our cost price is $20.60 plus GST".

Then don't compete - no one goes to Real Groovy to buy chart CDs anyway. What's your point of difference? Where's the instores? Oh, that's right,  Real Groovy got rid of the stage. Stink. And I recall Chris Hart blaming illegal downloads and piracy as one of the reasons Real Groovy went bust in 2008.

For a contrast... From Factmag: How to… open an independent record store, by Kristina's owners.

"Kristina rejects virtually every traditional tenet of the British independent record store. It’s spacious and airy as opposed to claustrophobic and grimy; its staff are friendly, not curmudgeonly; its atmosphere is lively rather than funereal. If it wasn't for the ample racks and wall-displays of vinyl, you’d be hard-pressed to identify it as a record store at all....

[Their top tips, in brief - read the article for full version...]

Believe in your business.
Location is everything.
Support the scene, or create one.
Get fitted out nicely.
Stimulate eyes as well as ears.
Don’t run before you can walk.
Know and love what you sell.
Look far and wide for good product.
Make the internet work for you.
Have parties.
Respect the old and embrace the new.
Keep learning.
Remember what’s important.
Stay adaptable, and ignore the doom-mongers.

...which sounds a lot like Conch Records to me....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston died aged 48 on Saturday afternoon (US time) in a Los Angeles hotel room at the Beverly Hilton. Police have confirmed she was found underwater and apparently unconscious in the bathtub. She was in town to perform at a musical tribute to the man who made her a superstar, record label boss Clive Davis. He was due to hold his annual pre-Grammys party in LA on Saturday night.

TMZ reports there were no signs of foul play (via Gawker). In May last year her spokeswoman said she was going back to rehab.

Billboard is reporting Davis's party will go ahead. BET is saying that there are reports that Jennifer Hudson will perform a tribute to Houston at Sunday night's Grammy Awards.

Musician Marcus Miller remembers the first time he saw Whitney perform...

"Luther Vandross called me up one day in 1983 and said, "I'm picking you up, you have to hear Cissy Houston and her daughter. They're singing together at Sweetwater's" (a supper club on Amsterdam Ave in NY).

He sat me right in front of the stage. Cissy and her daughter, Whitney, started singing and blew me away. They would sing in perfect unison, then break into two part harmony for one ridiculously high note. It was truly breathtaking. Luther was having as much fun watching my reaction as he was enjoying the show.

After they finished, he told me, "Clive Davis just signed her and he's gonna make her huge!"...and that's exactly what happened. I would always think about that 19 year old on that small stage at Sweetwater's when, over the years, I would hear her glorious voice on the radio. She was a true gift - she carried the lineage of her mom, her cousin Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin who her mom sang backup for..."

ADDED: LA Times reports that "Houston had recently finished shooting "Sparkle," the remake of the 1976 Irene Cara film that, eerily, focuses on talented young musicians whose lives are ruined by addiction. Houston also served as an executive producer on the movie, acquiring rights to the original film more than a decade ago...

"I'm in total shock," executive producer Howard Rosenman told The Times. "I have no idea about the impact on 'Sparkle,' which I saw last night.[Houston] was unbelievably fanastic in it." Meanwhile, a spokesman for the studio, Sony Pictures, said the movie remains set for an August 17 release.

The original 1976 film [watch] had a soundtrack performed by Aretha Franklin and written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. Rosenman was the writer of the original story with Joel Schumacher.

Vinyl is making a comeback #259

Here's the latest installments of this long-running news story... first one, on a tangent...

"While the LP revival is still in full swing you rarely hear about the other 12-inch, grooved vinyl record format, the RCA VideoDisc." 

and, from Melbourne, Australia... "Just a few years ago, Mr Thomson's [owner of The Vintage Record shop] clientele was almost exclusively men aged over 30. Now the gender balance is evening up, and his market demographic keeps getting younger.

Rosie Letford, 18, a graphic design student from Ashfield, admires the album covers' art. "There's also something in the way [the sound] fills the room, it's a more authentic sound," she says. "And it's a beautiful ritual, to turn the record over and place the needle."

From The Age "Digital music backlash creates a vinyl revival."

Saturday, February 11, 2012


A few months back, it was announced that hiphop legend KRS One was playing several shows in Australia. The news story on that one mentioned he was travelling down here by boat (his preferred method of international travel) and his boat was stopping enroute in NZ.

A lot of hiphop fans went into overdrive on that news, pleading on Facebook and other social media for a promoter to lock down this one. And what do you know? KRS One is playing in Auckland and Wellington, in Apirl. BOOM!

ADDED Feb 23: Playing Wellington Town Hall April 20, Auckland (venue tbc) Apirl 21. Woop woop!

Printz Board talks about Kim Dotcom

Printz Board. Photo: Campbell Live
Printz Board - Black Eyed Peas 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, and says he has recorded 18 songs with Kim Dotcom.

TV3's Campbell Live talked with Printz Board on Wednesday. The interview is in Neil Finn's Roundhead Studio. He plays a demo of a song that Kim Dotcom wrote for his kids, called Precious. Watch the interview.

PREVIOUS POSTS: Mega what? Interview with Kim Dotcom, Youtube takedown of Megaupload song.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 11

Bjorn Taske - Dub vendors
Henry and Louis - Love and understanding
Chinchillaz - Tiger
Butch Cassidy sound system - Brothers and sisters
Herbs - Dragons and demons
Family of percussion and Archie Shepp - Here comes the family
Elza Soares - Mas que nada
Truby trio - Carajillo
Billy Larkin and the Delegates - Pygmy pt1
Jimmy Castor Bunch - It's just begun
Ananda Shankar - Dancing drums
House party - Dangerous love
The Cage feat Nona Hendryx - Do what you wanna do - dub version
Pigbag - Papa's got a brand new Pigbag
Geraldo Pino - Heavy heavy heavy
Anthony Joseph - She is the sea
Woima collective - Marz
Mr Chop - Greedy G
Boogie down productions - Bo! bo! bo!
Jacob Miller - Westbound train
The Wailers - Black progess, say it loud
Hallelujah Picassos - Rewind - Roger Perry re-edit
Dub traffik control - Fresh prince of babylon
Harry Beckett - Rise and shine
Ninjaman and Flourgon - Zig it up

Friday, February 10, 2012

My spine is the bassline...

Trevor Jackson presents - Metal Dance:
Industrial, Post Punk, EBM Classics & Rarities '80-'88

A swag of dark machine funk, as the blurb calls it. Some great tunes in here... Compiled by Trevor Jackson... out Feb 21.

Out February 21st 2012 on Strut (2CD/2LP/Digital)

CD 1
1. The Bubblemen – The Bubblemen Are Coming
2. 400 Blows – Pressure (Club Pressure)
3. Cabaret Voltaire – Seconds Too Late
4. Neon – Voices
5. Pete Shelley – Witness The Change (Dub version)
6. Executive Slacks – The Bus (EP version)
7. Analysis - Surface Tension
8. Nitzer Ebb – Control I’m Here (Clouston’s Controlled Edit)
9. DAF – Brothers (Mix Gabi)
10. Portion Control – The Great Divide (Dub)
11. Stanton Miranda – Wheels Over Indian Trails (Dub)
12. Jah Wobble – Invaders Of The Heart (Exotic Decadent Disco mix)
13. SPK – Metal Dance
14. Fini Tribe – De Testimony (Collapsing Edit)

CD 2
1. Alien Sex Fiend – Under The Thunder (Ignore The Dub)
2. Einsturzende Neubauten – Yü-Gung (Adrian Sherwood mix)
3. Mark Stewart – Fatal Attraction (Contagious)
4. Hard Corps – Je Suis Passee (Dub)
5. Naked Lunch – Slipping Again
6. Secession – Touch (Part 4)
7. The Cage feat. Nona Hendryx – Do What Ya Wanna Do (Dub version)
8. Yello – You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess (UK promo mix)
9. John Carpenter & Alan Howarth – The Duke Arrives – The Barricade / The President At The Train (Extended version)
10. Ledernacken – Amok!
11. Severed Heads – Dead Eyes Opened
12. Honey Bane – Guilty Dub
13. Diseño Corbusier – Golpe De Amistad

Can't find the dub version of this tune, so here's the original...

Re-digi vs Capitol Recs

This is a fascinating story  - what value do you place on your MP3s? Are they worth reselling, like your CDs? Or are they priced so low that they're disposable? Check out ReDigi....

ReDigi's used MP3 model assumes that people actually want to sell their old downloads, and only iTunes-purchased tracks will work in ReDigi's marketplace....

Federal Judge: This ReDigi Thing Is a "Fascinating Issue..." via Digital News

Looks like Capitol Records has to beat ReDigi the old-fashioned way: through a long, expensive, and seemingly-endless court battle. Late Monday, District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled that Capitol's case against ReDigi must be heard, based on important principles related to digital resale, cloud-based computing, and other technological and legal questions.

And guess who's sitting at the 50-yard line for it all? Sullivan has tossed a request by Capitol for summary judgment, and can't wait for the technological back-and-forth. "This is a fascinating issue," Sullivan opined while denying Capitol's request for a preliminary injunction. "It raises a lot of technological and statutory issues."

Actually, this is exactly the result that Google had been hoping for. Last week, Sullivan abruptly told the search giant to mind its own business, but Google felt that Capitol v. ReDigi needed to be heard to clarify important legal guidelines related to cloud-based computing. Now, that day is happening in court.

But wait: even if ReDigi wins, can they then win the more important battle for customers? ReDigi's used MP3 model assumes that people actually want to sell their old downloads, and only iTunes-purchased tracks will work in ReDigi's marketplace. "Our advanced technology can distinguish legally acquired online music files from those ripped from a CD or file shared, but more significantly, our use of cloud computing and other modern computer techniques makes transfer of ownership compatible with copyright regulations," explained ReDigi CTO Larry Rudolph. "Technology can now make the virtual goods feel like physical."

In a response early this morning to Digital Music News, Capitol owner EMI vowed to fight the case. "We fully expect that ReDigi will ultimately have to answer for its clear acts of infringement," said Alasdair McMullan, executive vice president of Legal Affairs at EMI Music North America.

ADDED: For those following the now-approved Capitol v. ReDigi, here's a transcript of opening arguments.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Sonics will kick your arse

Late last century, my former band Hallelujah Picassos recorded a twisted electro thrash punk medley of Psycho and Strychnine, both by the Sonics (we're reissuing that cover very soon), tunes we first encountered in the very early days of the band when we were called the Rattlesnakes, playing garage punk in dingy warehouse venues alongside John Baker and his band the Psychodaisies. Now, the Sonics are coming to town. Oh boy.

"Widely considered to be the loudest, rawest and wildest band of all the sixties exponents of garage rock, The Sonics make a unique appearance at The Kings Arms on Wednesday 18th April.

While the Beatles were singing I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Sonics concocted a savage brutal mix of raw rock and roll with paeans to poisons, psychopaths, and the evilest gals - preached by a vocalist that sounded like he had been gargling broken glass. It was an approach that defined the roots of the North West Sound.

Formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1960, The Sonics were pioneers of a rough and ready R&B which still sounds as raw and vital today as it ever did. The combination of the fevered screams and howls of singer Gerry Roslie, a pounding rhythm section and the harshest, fuzziest guitar sound you ever did hear is one of the most distinctive in rock n roll. Their influence remains as strong as ever – their hits 'Strychnine' and 'The Witch' can still be heard in garages and practise rooms the world over.

The band dissolved in the late sixties but were persuaded to reform with most of the original line-up intact in 2007 for the wildly popular annual 'Cavestomp' garage rock festival. The Sonics have been performing to packed crowds across Europe and America ever since.

Name-checked by everyone from LCD Soundsystem, The Fall, The White Stripes, the grunge scene of the 1990s, Eagles Of Death Metal and our own Mint Chicks, this legendary band's one-off NZ show is not to be missed."

Auckland, The Kings Arms, Wednesday 18th April 2012. Tickets available from www.utr.co.nz

Hit it

Hit It and Quit It (DJs Frank Booker and Recloose ) take over the Silo Sessions this Saturday midday til 5pm, free event, down at the Wynyard Quarter. Check it out.

Class of 81 vs Class of 81

There's an awful concert being advertised round the traps at present, called Class of 81, which has absolutely nothing to do with the fantastic compilation of the same name, released by Simon Grigg on his Propeller Records imprint. One of the bands playing this concert didnt even exist in 81 (When the cats away, who formed in 1986).

Simon responded to the concert on Twitter on Feb 6 : "I'd just like to say that the heinous Class of 81 being advertised on TV1 right now has zip to do with the album I released in 1981. There."

Simon told me he's had renewed interest in the compilation off the back of this crappy concert, so maybe we can finally get him to reissue it? Pretty please?

ADDED Mon 13 Feb: NZ Herald reports that "Concert drunks force bar to shut early" at the Class of 81 concert. Quote: "There wasn't real trouble ... [but] the place was filled with people in their 40s and 50s staggering around and trying to relive their youth. It wasn't pretty."

"The album as such held together fairly well, partially because there was a definite generic New Zealand sound developing, a sound not a long way removed from what, a few years later, became known as the Flying Nun sound. There was an angular quirky feel, almost jangly, to much of this. But unlike the Nun sound, the Auckland bands had a slightly more dubby, a looser and funkier feel.

"The title, a clear reference to AK79, came from my friend Nigel Russell (ex Spelling Mistakes, and later Danse Macbre, Car Crash Set, and The Greg Johnson Set) and the iconic sleeve was designed, like AK79, by Terence Hogan.

"There were a range of t-shirts, posters and a bunch of other promotional devices and it was duly released nationwide in March 1981, to great acclaim and very strong sales.

"The album entered the compilation charts at number one and a launch gig, broadcast live by the then named Radio B (now 95bFm) was a sell-out at Mainstreet Cabaret (in Queen Street). It was followed by Class of 81 gigs in Wellington (at The Last Resort) and Christchurch (at the Gladstone) over Easter 1981.

"The album, despite plans and a steady stream of requests over the years, has never made it to CD, but hopefully this will be resolved in the near future. Regardless of that, Class of 81 has attained a rather legendary status now as an album that clearly defined its era in New Zealand, and in particular, Auckland, rock and roll." (Simon Grigg)

2.Dance - BOMBERS
3.Five Miseries - THE NEWMATICS
4.The Man Inside - REBEL TRUCE
5.I'm Normal - THE KILLJOYS
6.The Day Has Ended - THE MODERNS
9.Motivation - BLAM BLAM BLAM
10.Carousel - RHYTHM METHOD
12.Let's Go To Australia - VIVID MILITIA

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Nerd discovers exactly which day was Ice Cube’s “good day”

I'm gonna repost this in full, cos it's genius... from Andrea Woo via Murk Avenue

“went to short dogs house,
they was watching Yo MTV
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
Aug 6th 1988

Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
Feb 23 1993

”The Lakers beat the Super
Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics:
Nov 11 1988 114-103
Nov 30 1988 110-106
Apr 4 1989 115-97
Apr 23 1989 121-117
Jan 17 1990 100-90
Feb 28 1990 112-107
Mar 25 1990 116-94
Apr 17 1990 102-101
Jan 18 1991 105-96
Mar 24 1991 113-96
Apr 21 1991 103-100
Jan 20 1992 116-110

Dates of those Laker wins over SuperSonics where it was a clear day with no Smog:
Nov 30 1988
Apr 4 1989
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992

“Got a beep from Kim, and she can f#ck all night”
beepers weren’t adopted by mobile phone companies until the 1990s. Dates left where mobile beepers were availible to public:
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992

Ice Cube starred in the film “Boyz in the hood” that released late Summer of 1991, but was being filmed mid-late 1990 early 1991 and Ice Cube was busy on set filming the movie Jan 18 1991 too busy to be lounging around the streets with no plans. Ladies and Gentlemen..

The ONLY day where:
Yo MTV Raps was on air
It was a clear and smogless day
Beepers were commercially sold
Lakers beat the SuperSonics
and Ice Cube had no events to attend was…

JANUARY 20 1992
National Good Day Day

Jan. 31 UPDATE: Vulture reached out to Ice Cube for comment on this fantastical piece of nerdery. His reply, via publicist? “Nice try.”

Doug Jerebine

Forty three years after it was recorded, this album finally sees official release! Out now on LP and digital download thru US label Dragcity. Doug will be performing live in Auckland late February / early March. He's also playing Owhango (south of Taumaruunui, on SH4) on February 11, apparently.

A lot of folk have pointed to the obvious Hendrix influence on Jerebine's album, but there are some tremendously funky beats bouncing round in there too. Some hiphop cat needs to sample this ish and make Jerebine a chunk of change, Quick, call Kanye... or P-Money....

"Who is Jesse Harper? Doug Jerebine is Jesse Harper. And who is Doug Jerebine? Born on New Zealand’s North Island in rural Tangowahine, he cut his teeth on guitar from the age of 12, instructed first by a half- Maori, half-Greek guitarist who introduced him to everything from George Van Eps to Hank Marvin.

Then one day, he found Doug teaching him. Even when he was only in high school, Doug was ready to play out. Throughout the early 1960s, he was hopping around in Auckland bands, including The Embers and The Brew. At the same time, Doug dove deeply into the virtuosic sitar sounds of Vilayat Kahn and Ravi Shankar, learning to play that instrument as well.

Drag City proudly presents the first official release of his remarkable album, ‘Is Jesse Harper’, transferred to tape from one of three existing original acetates.

Doug Jerebine ‘Is Jesse Harper’ is an archival release sure to resonate with fans of Jimi Hendrix, 10 Years After, Randy Holden, Merrell Fankhauser and the HMS Bounty, Spirit and other heavy sounds not truly heard and felt since the days of Gary Yoder and Kak.

The mystery of the Jesse Harper album, long rumoured and gossiped about, is finally brought to light for all to hear and enjoy, with thrilling liner notes openly revealing the man behind the myth."

Above audio clip: Reddened Eyes

NZ Herald's Scott Kara: Doug Jerebine: An unburied treasure.

snip..."In London in 1969, New Zealand guitarist Doug Jerebine, whose scorching psychedelic blues rock-style recalled the mighty Jimi Hendrix, recorded some songs in the hope of breaking into the big time.

Mind you, you get the feeling, that, even back then, the ever- humble Jerebine couldn't have cared less. He was encouraged to write and record songs like explosive psyche rocker Midnight Sun and bouncy blues-rock bopper Good News Blues, by his musical mate Dave Hartstone, who also gave Jerebine his rock 'n' roll alias - Jesse Harper.

But these songs never saw the light of day back then. One of the main reasons they were never re leased was because Jerebine became disillusioned with the music busi ness - and he was more interested in exploring Indian music and spiritu ality than playing rock 'n' roll.

As Jerebine told TimeOut in an interview in 2009: "Dave [Hartstone] wanted to make me into a rock star. I was daunted by that. I didn't like the idea ... I was searching for some thing higher."

In 1973 he left London for India where he became a Krishna monk and stayed for the best part of 30 years. He returned to New Zealand and started playing live again in 2009."

Audio previews on Dragcity's site.

Midnight Sun
Hole In My Hand
Fall Down
Ashes And Matches
Thawed Ice
Ain't So Hard To Do
Good News Blues
Reddened Eyes

ADDED Doug Jerebine pops up at the Silo Park this Saturday (Feb 25), along with The Cosbys and DJ's Johnny Baker and Matt Crawley, down at Wynyard Quarter, Auckland waterfront. DJs from midday, Doug Jerebine at 2pm, Cosbys at 4pm.


Adrian Younge DJ mix on KPFK's Melting pot show. Via Melting pot blog, hat tip to Hugh.

"Multi-instrumentalist, DJ, producer, film editor, Salon and Record Store proprietor and all around renaissance man Adrian Younge was our guest this week for a DJ set and interview we recorded at KPFK. Adrian is perhaps best known for the soundtrack to the blaxploitation revival film Black Dynamite, at least until the release of his latest project, Venice Dawn and their fantastic LP Something About April. His next release is a collaboration with William Hart of the Delphonics. 

If you’re in LA, you CANNOT miss the upcoming show Homage at Exchange LA on Feb. 23rd featuring Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn with William Hart of the Delfonics, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble with Phil Cohran, Theo Parrish and DJ Spinna!"

LINK Guest DJ Set from Adrian Younge on KPFK’s Melting Pot
LINK Adrian Younge Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 02-01-2012

Mix tracklist...

Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn – Two Hearts Combine
Bobby Caldwell – Open Your Eyes
Bernard Wright – Haboglabotribin’
David Sancious – Prelude #3
Lobo – Running Deer
Iron Butterfly – Her Favorite Style
Lonnie Liston Smith – Space Lady
George Benson – Ain’t No Sunshine
New Birth – Honeybee
The Checkmates – Aquarius
Shaft Cover Band – Bumby’s Lament
Adrian Younge – Black Dynamite/Jimmy’s Dead
Nancy Wilson – Ain’t No Sunshine
Los Angeles Negros – Tanto Adios
Giorgio Carnini – Ninna Nanna
Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang
Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn – Something About April

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Mighty Sparrow

Mighty Sparrow - Sparrowmania!
Wit, Wisdom and Soul From the King of Calypso 1963-1974

"Strut present a brand new retrospective of one of the Caribbean’s most towering musical figures, Mighty Sparrow, covering 1962 to 1974. During a career of over 40 years, Sparrow has been an unmatchable figure in the world of calypso and a constant backdrop to Caribbean life, recording over 300 albums and winning eleven Calypso Monarch and eight Road March titles at the annual Trinidad Carnival during one of the most competitive times in its history."

Liner notes by David Katz, well worth a read! Out now thru Strut

Monday, February 06, 2012


Straight back to 88... Betty and Ryan Monga and co... Think it's shot at the Galaxy (Powerstation) when the stage was at the other end of the room.

Yeaaahhh boiiiiiiii!

Half time ads during US sporting mega-event the Superbowl are always worth checking, The time slot costs $3.5 million for 30 secs, and then they throw in the big name stars. Like Clint EastwoodJerry Seinfeld, or Elton John and Flava Flav. Yeaaahhh boooiii! Flav is probably pretty happy right now - his hometown team the NY Giants won.

NYTimes: Judging the Super Bowl Commercials, From Charming to Smarmy (with links to all the ads)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Way of the Dragon Spirit

Long Shen Dao ("Way of the Dragon Spirit") are a reggae band from Beijing, China. Their sound also takes in hiphop, ska and dub.

They are in New Zealand to play at the annual Lantern Festival in Auckland's Albert Park. They have played every night of the Festival, and they are on tonight at 9.40pm, followed by closing night fireworks.

I saw them last night, very cool use of traditional chinese instrumentation mixed in with reggae. They even do a Bob Marley cover! The singer talked to the crowd in Chinese, then told us in English "This our first time in New Zealand. We very happy!". He asked us to stand up and dance please. And everyone did. It was very cool.

They are playing on Waitiangi Day alongside Katchafire, David Dallas, Ardijah, Maisey Rika, Bella Kalolo, Sons of Zion and Foundation at Family Day. Out at Barry Curtis Park, Chapel Rd, Flat Bush, South Auckland (free). And they're playing in Wellington with support from DJ Art Official on Tuesday 7 Feb at San Francisco Bathhouse.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Metallica brass

New Orleans outfit Soul Rebels perfom the Metallica's "Enter Sandman" live during one of four Metallica 30th birthday concerts. Recorded live at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California on December 5th, 2011.

Soul Rebels debut album Unlock your mind dropped Jan 31. Might need to check this one...

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 4

Kruder and dorfmeister - Shakatadoodub
Renegade soundwave - Black eye boy
Harry Beckett - Rise and shine
One blood - Be thankful for what you've got
U Brown - Gal u so bad
Sound dimension - Love Jah
Horace Andy - Jah provides
Vin Gordon - Steady beat
Lord Echo - Things I like to do
The BEat - Whine n grind/Stand down Margaret
Dub Asylum - Skatta
Chuck Brown - We need some money
Wild magnolias - Battlefield - Joe Claussell remix
Bonnie Pointer - Free me from my freedom - Special disco version
Anthony Joseph - Bullet in the rocks
Charles Bradley - Why is it so hard?
The Paragons - Tide is high
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Put it on
Pablove Black - Poco tempo
Alton Ellis - It's a shame
Lloyd Williams - Reggae feet
S Matthewman - Tempest dub
Red eyes - Can you hear it?
Fila Brazilia - A Zed and two Ls
Lee Scratch Perry - God smiled - Moody boyz remix

Friday, February 03, 2012

Do-Over Waiheke

Do-Over residents Haycock and Strong flew in from LA with some mystery guests - J-Rocc and DJ Day.

Charles Bradley doco debuts

"I've been doing James Brown since I was 14, now I'm gonna do Charles Bradley."

"Starting off on his 62nd birthday, Charles Bradley: Soul of America follows the extraordinary journey of singer Charles Bradley during the electrifying and transformative months leading up to the release of his debut album "No Time for Dreaming." The 74-minute documentary feature will premiere at the SXSW 2012 Film Festival in Austin, Texas. "

Charles Bradley released his debut album last year, at the age of 62.  His story is incredibly moving. Can't wait to see this.

The real thing?

Lana Del Rey, Exene Cervenka of X 

Last weekend, legendary punk bands X, Dead Kennedys, and The Avengers, played at an art museum in LA (the MOCA).  This article in the LA Weekly notes that punk by definition was anti-nostalgia, so the idea of dragging out some punk rock relics to play in a museum may be seem counter to what punk was about. Mind you, don't relics belong in a museum? Kidding...

"... Such questions of authenticity and identity - eternal themes in both art and punk rock - were enough to drive one crazy, but they were rendered moot within the first few explosive chords of the Avengers' set. .." - LA Weekly.

Authenticity is a word that seems to have come up a lot recently with the explosive arrival of Lana Del Rey on the music scene. I'm not sure how conjuring up a pop persona makes her any less authentic than the gazillion popsters who have gone before her. Her Dad is backrolling her career  - so what? So did Beyonce's Dad, so did Taylor Swift's Dad.

It's been fascinating following the excitement and then the backlash to Lana Del Rey. Some folk like Simon Sweetman, feel deeply offended by a manufactured pop star.

Sure, she's not the first, but she might well be the last. Here's a response to Sweetman's piece, "Lana Del Rey vs. Hipster Snobbery" from the delightfully named Unapologetically Pop! blog. 

Is Lana Del Rey authentic? Does it even matter? As Russell Brown noted in his review of her album, "For the indie chin-strokers, it's as if they saw that amazing girl they met last Saturday at the hipster bar promenading on the arm of some douchebag hunk. Grief gave way to anger as they realised she wasn't the girl they thought she was.

"Well, no. Lana Del Rey's not her real name! It was suggested by her management! She has a deal with a major label! Her father is actually a millionaire! The sooner you say it out loud, the sooner you can get over it."

Brown praises the album, saying "there's some pop gold on this record." His main issue with it? "Like much modern pop music, it's compressed to buggery. That's audio compression - making everything loud - rather than file compression..."

The Loudness wars - that's worth arguing about.

And how is Ms Del Ray handling all this? Well, her album just hit number one in 14 countries. I'm guessing she's not too fussed right now.

Authenticity ('keeping it real') is something that comes up very frequently in hiphop circles, ever since the genre emerged on wax in the late 1970s. There's even university theses on it. It has been an issue in hiphop ever since it hit the mainstream, with the likes of Fresh Prince, Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer. How do you 'keep it street' if you're not from the street?

Take Run DMC, a crew originally from the middle class suburb of Queens NYC. By dressing in their street clothes, rather than flashy show-off uniforms like most rap groups of the time (see Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five), Run DMC made a definite impression. By being true to themselves, they were keeping it real.

Rapper 50 Cent got shot nine times and then got dropped by his record label, before eventually finding success. On the question of authenticity, he says  “When I offer aggression, I offer it from an author, a real place ... It’s just a lot of the other artists, I don’t believe them. I believe hip-hop is in a struggle of being artistic or [having] authenticity—which one matters?

"Because a lot of them that write music that has a street-life theme to it haven’t actually been exposed to very much of that. It’s starting to feel like it doesn’t matter. I’m watching it, and I’m like, Okay, it sounded great, but ya lyin’.” [source: XXL]

RELATED Jessica Hooper at Spin: Deconstructing Lana Del Rey
and Sasha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker: Screen Shot: Lana Del Rey's fixed image
Hat tip to Robyn Gallagher for the links.
Under the big black sun, California art 1974-1981, exhibition at the MOCA, LA. 

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Governed by you

Wellington band Naked Spots Dance, from a 1982 release distributed by Flying Nun. NSD on this record were Kate Walker, Katherine McRae, Matthew Fisher, Stephen Norris. Produced by Chris Fleming, Ian Morris, Naked Spots Dance.

Amplifier have a Jayrem Records compilation of NZ women's music that features a Naked Spots Dance track, with Fran Walsh when she was in the band (and before she became an Oscar-winning screenwriter and film producer alongside her husband, Peter Jackson).

NSD featured on "the **** [Four Stars] album, released in November 1980, which also featured The Wallsockets, Life in the Fridge Exists, and Naked Spots Dance. These bands comprised the "Terrace Scene" - so named because a number of the band-members lived in a couple of large houses on The Terrace, near Victoria University." [source]

The band released two EPs and an album, according to Discogs.

R.I.P Don Cornelius

From Reuters: "Don Cornelius, creator of iconic dance program "Soul Train" that helped introduce Americans to black culture on TV, died on Wednesday after shooting himself in the head, officials in Los Angeles said. [He said he was dealing with significant health issues during his 2009 divorce case.]

Police discovered the body of Cornelius, 75, at his house after responding to reports of shots fired in the wealthy, hillside area of Los Angeles called Sherman Oaks where he lived.

Cornelius launched "Soul Train" in the early 1970s as a local dance show from Chicago. It relocated to Los Angeles the following year and became part of pop culture history by boosting the careers of young artists such as the Jackson Five, and older artists such as James Brown who were trying to tap into a younger audience.

"Soul Train" aired until 2006, making it the longest running U.S. series in first-run syndication.

Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, a long time friend, expressed shock and grief over the news of the death. "He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level," Sharpton said in a statement.

Composer-producer Quincy Jones said he was "deeply saddened" at the sudden passing of his friend, colleague and business partner. "Before MTV there was 'Soul Train,' that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius," Jones said. "His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched."

ADDED: Why Don Cornelius matters by author Dan Charnas (well worth a read)
Billboard: Kenny Gamble remembers Don Cornelius, origins of Soul Train theme (TSOP)
Don Cornelius, the Billboard interviews, going way back to 1970
Don Cornelius: A Smooth Operator in the Name of Soul. NYTimes

VIDEOS: Aretha Franklin, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Heavy D, Jimmy Bo Horne.... and Don Cornelius grooving on the Soul Train dance line...

Electric wire brushes

Myele Manzanza holds down the drum seat for Electric Wire Hustle. His debut album is out Feb 17, here's a free taster...

Press blurb: "The musically prolific Myele Manzanza has not only held down the drums as part of Wellington’s Electric Wire Hustle for the past 4 years but has also drummed for Olmecha Supreme, Sheba Williams, The Recloose Live Band, The Jonathan Crayford Trio as well as for his father – Sam Manzanza’s Rhythm Africa Band & countless other musical projects.

Myele only started playing drum kit at age 14 but has been hand drumming traditional African rhythms with his father Sam Manzanza from a young age.

“Growing up music and rhythm was all around me and I understood it from a very early age. Through my father I learnt the language of the drum probably at the same time as I learnt to talk! My dad was one of the first Africans to perform traditional African & High Life music live in New Zealand & he has been a tremendous influence & inspiration on my career as a musician.” says Myele.

In 2010 Myele was the only New Zealander selected to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy in London. The rest of 2010 was spent living between Berlin & New York & touring with Electric Wire Hustle with laptop in hand. The fertile breeding ground of creativity of these cities provided the musical inspiration to put together his first album aptly titled One.

“This album was a challenge to myself to broaden my own musical identity as a musician.” he says.

The guest features on ‘One’ are a diverse bunch and include Myele’s own father, Congolese master percussionist and musician Sam Manzanza, NZ’s own Ladi 6, Bella Kalolo, Mara TK, Rachel Fraser & the unmistakable Mark de Clive Lowe on keys. International guests include Charlie K from Philadelphia Hip Hop group ‘Writtenhouse’,Canadian vocalist Amenta and James Wylie’s Boston based woodwind section.

See Myele Manzanza and the Estobahn Eclectic featuring Bella Kalolo, Rachel Fraser  -
10 February – San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington
23 February – Ponsonby Social Club, Auck­land

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Nerve Ends in Power Lines

Photo: Jonathan Cameron/FairfaxNZ
Last year, I saw musician Amanda Palmer speak and perform at Webstock in February. While she was here, she was trying to track down a contact for one of her musical heroes, Peter Jefferies. He hails from Taranaki, and had a strong following on US college radio in the 1990s. She managed to get an email address for him and got in touch.

This week, as part of her current NZ tour, she visited New Plymouth, and got to play a gig with Jefferies at Vinyl Countdown (the record store opened by the former owner of Real Groovy Wellington). Jefferies hasn't performed live in over 8 years. He works as a music teacher at various high schools in the region.

"If you told me that I would ever come to New Zealand and play with Peter Jefferies I would have s.... a brick," Palmer said.

Jefferies, now a music teacher at Spotswood College, Coastal Taranaki School, and Stratford and Waitara High Schools, said he was extremely flattered to have such a talented musician hunt him down in little old New Plymouth.

"What she does is so great which is why it's special. To know someone who plays as well as her is listening to your music is just great."

Last night's performance was Jefferies' first in over eight years, and also his first time playing acoustic guitar live which he said "scared him more than anything".

"It's only because of Amanda – that's the simple reason why I'm here and why I'm doing it."

Last night, the duo each played a collection of lyrically humorous solo songs to the crowd of about 40, before combining on a number of covers including Oasis's Wonderwall and Wild Thing, a song made famous by The Troggs in 1966." From Taranaki Daily News.

Spontaneous collaboration for Amanda Palmer, Taranaki Daily News, with their footage below, of Palmer singing Creep, with help from the audience. The second clip is Palmer covering a song by Peter Jefferies.

ADDED Feb 29: Peter Jefferies talks about how he became a music teacher, after quitting live performing in 2003, and playing with Amanda Palmer, his first ever acoustic performance... From the Stratford Press.

"Peter came to a point in his life where he didn't want to perform, he needed another path. "I know all of this stuff. Now what do you do with a used muso? How am I going to do what I want to do?'' were questions [he] asked himself.

In 2003, Peter was selected to be part of the New Zealand Music Commission's Music Mentoring In Schools programme, which was life-changing, he says. Nine years ago, Peter took up a teaching role at New Plymouth Boys High School, which then led to Spotswood College, Waitara High School, Coastal Taranaki School and Stratford High School..."

RELATED: Amanda Palmer responds on her blog to Simon Sweetman's review of her Wellington gig with Dresden Dolls. Title: WELLINGTON JOURNALIST ABSOLUTELY TRASHES OUR GIG, MISSES POINT OF MUSIC COMPLETELY. ….or….. “amanda palmer looks back on her press clippings from age 73”

R.I.P King Stitt

Via Jamaica Observer, hat tip to Dubhead...

"Legendary Jamaican vocalist King Stitt is dead. King Stitt, whose real name is Winston Sparkes, passed away at his home in Nannyville, Kingston minutes after 1 this afternoon. He had been ailing for some time.

King Stitt can be described as one of the pioneers of the deejay idiom as his voice was a regular feature in the late 1960s over Sir Coxsone Dodd's Downbeat Sound System during the infancy of the now famous reggae music."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Toro y Moi - Laneway

An Interview With: Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick | CHARTattack.com from CHART attack on Vimeo.

I knew nothing about Toro y Moi before Laneway - I watched two videos on youtube the day before Laneway as part of my familiarisation course, and that was it.

Watching this interview with the band's main man Chaz Bundick, I discovered his latest album was influenced by Italian film composer Piero Umiliani (writer of Mahna Mahna) and his score for the film Il Corpo, which made him shoot up in my estimation.

They were definitely one of my highlights from Laneway, and they had the whole crowd on their feet dancing, and waving their shoes in the air like they just didn't care. Seriously. Photographic evidence below.

This clip from the 2011 Pitchfork Festival gives you an idea of the band live...

Truth and soul

Download the My World Sampler by DJ Akalepse and enjoy the tunes from T&S! My World Sampler mixed by DJ Akalepse!