Sunday, March 04, 2012

Vinyl is making a comeback #261

And here's the three latest installments in this long-running saga... love it...

Vinyl records make a comeback, from The Herald, "informing Arkansas University since 1921."

snip..."My biggest turn on with vinyl records, versus a digital format, is I feel that I can appreciate the artwork and overall product better than that of digital formats," Kyle Cherry, a senior CIT major and record collector, said. Cherry has been collecting since 2006 and currently owns 817 records. Broken down into categories, 603 of his records are 7-inches, one 9-inch, three 10-inches, and 210 are 12-inches ...."


Analogue obsessives: Low-tech movement's proponents find satisfaction doing things the old-fashioned way, from Winnipeg Free Press.

snip...  "... rather than download and share MP3 files by the thousands, they flip through bins of vinyl LPs at neighbourhood record stores and make mix tapes. Instead of camera phones and Photoshop, they're [shooting] film and making prints in "wet darkrooms." Instead of e-books and Tumblr, they're keeping the printed page alive through bookbinding, 'zine publishing and letter pressing.

A recent New York Magazine article referred to "a neo-Luddite counterculture" populated by artists, tinkerers, DIY enthusiasts, hipsters, and "the merely tech-weary."

Nostalgia for yesterday's technology, From NewsTimes.com, - from pay phones to pagers, record players to VCRs.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Israel Starr - new bizznizz



From Desta Israel Buchanan (son of Mighty Asterix) and co. Fun tune, give it a spin. Free DL too.

Riddim produced by FIZZLE @ SOUL-FORCE, Germany, recorded and mixed HEART OFFISHAL @ NEWTOWN SOUND, Aotearoa.

RELATED POST: Israel Starr, Foundation

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 3

Masters at work - Nautilus (MAWtilus)
Johnny Hammond - Higher ground
Candido - Candid's funk
Chaka Khan  - I feel for you
Q-Tip - Breathe and stop - Adi Dick remix
Superspirit - We belong to the cosmos - Jugoe remix
Hortense Ellis - Woman of the ghetto
Lee Scratch Perry - Like the way you should - Mala Digital Mystikz remix
Horace Andy - Aint no sunshine
Tommy McCook - KT88
Hallelujah Picassos - Peanut butter
Shogun orchestra - Jacmel
Modern sound corporation - Safari - Greg Wilson edit
Harlem river drive - Idle hands
Mo kolours - Banana wine
Graham central station - It's alright
Chakachas - Jungle fever - Greg Wilson edit
Jose Feliciano - She's a woman
Donald Fagen - Green flower street
Blackbyrds - The runaway
Rose Royce - Sunrise/Richard Pryor - monologue
Freez - IOU

Friday, March 02, 2012

Kim Dotcom speaks

TV3's Campbell Live played a half hour interview with Kim Dotcom last night, following an earlier interview published yesterday in the NZ Herald.  Read the full transcript of the TV3 interview here. It makes for fascinating reading.

JC [John Campbell]: the FBI indictment against you alleges, and I quote, “Copyright infringement on a massive scale with estimated harm to copyright holders well in excess of 500 million US dollars”.

KD: Well that’s complete nonsense. If you read the indictment and if you hear what the Prosecution has said in court, it’s at least $500 million of damage were just music files ... just within a two-week time period. So they are actually talking about $13 billion US damage within a year just for music downloads. The entire US music industry is less than $20 billion. So how can one website be, you know, responsible for this amount of damage, it’s completely mind-boggling and unrealistic...."

Kim Dotcom says that "there are a hundred other companies out there that offer the same service like us. Why has not something happened to them?"

He then names some: "Mediafire, Rapidshare, Fileserve, Filesonic. Microsoft has their own service called Skydrive. Google is launching a new service called Drive. Everyone is in this cloud arena, in the same business, has the same problems that we had battling piracy. But we are not responsible for the problem and this is, I think, what everyone needs to understand."

NBR reports that Mr Dotcom's defence revolves around claiming "his company, Megaupload, had too great a volume of traffic to police. It made a best-effort to monitor content, and was not liable for allegedly pirated content....

"Dotcom said last night that 800 files a second were transferred via Megaupload.com... Users were asked to check a box agreeing to terms of service prohibiting copyright infringement. No music or movie company ever attempted to sue Megaupload, Dotcom said."

The wider implications for cloud storage that Dotcom talks about above could affect music services like Apple's iCloud. Or any service you use to store data. It's a fascinating case.

And then there's the aspect of watching the NZ Government bending over backwards to accommodate the US.

NZ is currently involved in secret negotiations around the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which, from the leaked documents that have emerged, could result in NZ being forced to adopt US intellectual property law amongst others.

"InternetNZ said a proposed chapter in the [TPP] agreement drafted by the US risked "crippling the internet" by preventing internet providers from caching copyright material on their servers without the agreement of copyright owners and would ban the parallel importing of copyright works [ie DVDs], extend the length of copyright and force internet providers to terminate the accounts of customers who repeatedly infringed copyright."  Source.

How TPP affects NZ artists and what the US wants our police to do next

RELATED: Prosecutors refuse to release Megaupload data, Crown claims that cloning seized hard drives would cost $200,000.
From SocialMediaNZ: Kim Dotcom’s master class in public relations "Whether Kim Dotcom is guilty or innocent remains to be seen but his performance was a masterful exercise in public relations".

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

Witness the phatness


I got the opportunity to check out Roots Manuva playing live at the Powerstation last night (thanks, Gavin!). He bought a 4 piece band with him, along with fellow MC Ricky Ranking. There was enough bass coming off the stage to rearrange your organs, it was phat. He played for an hour and a half and left the crowd well satisfied.

Roots Manuva kept his interaction with the crowd to a bare minimum, saying "Auckland city!" for the most part, but he did talk to the crowd at length at least once. After dropping a monstrous version of Witness (1 hope), he told the crowd "I've been coming here for ten years now, and you've shown me nothing but love. But Auckland, I have to have a moan. Cos I hear you had an election recently, and some of you didn't vote! Now, how can you sing One hope one quest when you didnt even vote? Sort that out. That's my moan for the night..."

His band consisted of a DJ, female keyboard player also on BVs, a rock solid drummer, and a guitarist who looked like he used to play in a White Zombie/Korn covers band - that dude was hugely entertaining. He thrashed and posed and riffed like his life depended on it. And the funny part was he was so low in the sound mix that you couldn't hear a damn thing he was playing. Which was no great loss. I heard his effects units included a Metalzone pedal. Guitarists in the house say UGH.

David Carroll from Volume Magazine interviewed Roots Manuva recently, read it here. Excerpt... "When asked if his approach to making music has changed since he first began, his answer is typically disarmingly honest - and tongue-in-cheek: "Oh yeah, I think it's just growing up as a professional, tax-paying musician, I kind of learned how to condense and compartmentalise the kind of emotional tantrums into the context of song."  He's a funny guy.

Adi Dick

When I was down in Wellington recently DJing at a very cool conference called Webstock, I met a talented musician by the name of Adi Dick. He sent me thru one of his latest tunes, a tasty rework of a Q-Tip jam. Check it, and his Electric Wire Hustle dub... both up for download too...




Keith Moon Introducing Stevie Wonder....

Hat tip to Voices of East Anglia... rare concert footage of Stevie Wonder, introduced by Keiht Moon in a ringmaster's hat...

"The 1972 Coliseum concert took place in California. And along with Stevie and Keith, other artists who performed included The Four Seasons, The Bee Gees and Sha-na-na. His set clocks in at just over twenty minutes, so take a seat and enjoy an interview, a Temptations cover, Some classic Stevie tunes, the underrated "Love having you around" and some mean harmonica and vocoder action from the genius that is Stevie Wonder..."





Thursday, March 01, 2012

Askew One - Smoke Signals art show



Smoke Signals - 16-22 March, The Australis Room, Australis House, 36-38 Customs St
Weekdays 10-6, weekends 10-4.

Slice of the pie

Not actual pie shop. Just a cool pie shop. Hmm, pie....

"In March, the UK’s first pie-selling record shop – imaginatively titled ‘Pie And Vinyl’ – will open for business [via Stool Pigeon]. You can stay up to date on all things Pie And Vinyl via their Twitter feed, or alternatively watch the store being constructed on their Facebook page. " Hat tip to Alan P, via Fact Mag.

Payola killing Jamaican music

Spotted via Dave Rodigan on Twitter... "The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) says the practice of payola in the electronic and print media is effectively crippling the entertainment industry and stifling the creativity of the country's talented artistes.

Speaking at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange yesterday, members of JaRIA complained that the practice has become so rampant in the indigenous music industry that some artistes actually include payola in their promotional budgets.

JaRIA Vice Chairman Charles Campbell said he is aware that a popular dancehall entertainer has budgeted wads of cash to be doled out to disc jockeys who are in his pocket.

"A popular deejay budgets $100,000 every month to pay out to disc jockeys. When he voices a song, he e-mails the song to his people and it is played on radio. It does not go through the system," he said....

Read the full story at The Jamiaca Observer.

Rammellzee uncovered

Photo: NYTimes

Via Grandgood/NYT....  "Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks the building on Laight Street that housed the Battle Station was sold to make way for luxury apartments, and Rammellzee and his wife, Carmela Zagari, were pushed out, relocated to a conventional, smaller place in Battery Park City. Almost 20 years’ worth of his obsessive artwork, enough to fill a large truck, went into a storage locker, where it remained unseen for years, in danger of being forgotten for good.

But pieces of it are now starting to re-emerge, in a way that Rammellzee most likely would have approved of: in fighter formation. A bunkerlike, black-lighted re-creation of the Battle Station was one of the most talked-about pieces in “Art in the Streets,” a sprawling graffiti survey last year at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, organized by the museum’s director, Jeffrey Deitch, who as a New York dealer had courted Rammellzee for years."

Read the full story at New York Times. Rammellzee  died aged 49, two years ago.

Do you love peanut butter?



Off the newly remastered collection of covers from Hallelujah Picassos, out on Monday. More audio previews on Bandcamp.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taxi Fare

Mr Vegas ft Lexxus - Taxi Fare (Dub Boy's digital refix) - free download. Hat tip to Stinky Jim for the linkage.

RBMA drops 'Various Assets' comp

Red Bull Music Academy releases 'Various Assets' compilation, tunes recorded at the most recent session in Madrid. "... features collaborations and contributions from an array of up-and-coming producers like Ghosts on Tape, Brenmar, xxxy, and many others, not to mention appearances from more veteran acts like Addison Groove and Mark Pritchard. Stream or download the 35-song compilation below."  Free download.

Greg Wilson talks


Last night Conch Records hosted a session with legendary UK DJ Greg Wilson, talking about his DJ career, his approach to edits, and showing us how he worked a Revox B77 reel to reel. It was a fascinating talk, and he has some amazing stories.

Like how he taught Fatboy Slim to scratch. That story was funny as hell. Dated back to 1983, when Greg was doing a tour round the UK called the Hacienda revue, and it stopped off in Brighton. There was this enthusiastic kid called Quentin (aka Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook) who was hanging round the DJ decks asking questions, so Greg showed him the basics of scratching.

Fast forward a few years to Beats International hitting big with Dub be good to me, and Greg is reading an interview with Norman Cook of Beats  International, and he cites his influences as Grandmaster Flash and Greg Wilson. Greg goes, what the heck's that about? He asks an old mate of his (Kermit from Black Grape/Ruthless Rap Assassins), and they remind him of that moment back in 83. Greg tells it way better than I do.




When  Greg got onto the internet, about 15 years ago, he noticed all the various dance scenes being documented, but black culture wasn't being included. He talked about that black culture in the UK going back to the 50s and 60s, even earlier with US GIs coming over to England, bringing jukeboxes with them. The dance scene there didn't start with a bunch of DJs coming back from Ibiza and suddenly inventing dance culture.

He mentioned that some folk say the northern soul scene led into rave, but he noted that there was a 7 year gap between the Wigan Casino closing and rave hitting in 88.

Discussing his edits, he said he's rubbish, technically, but he's got a mate who is really good at all that technical stuff. He put Greg onto a program that he said was prefect for Greg, called Acid, which was ideal for making loops, the basis of a good edit.

He talked about black music from the UK not being taken seriously in its country of origin, as it wasn't American. He namechecked a handful of UK acts, like Cymande and Freez.


He talked about the New York hiphop scene. I asked him about Afrika Bambaata, who used to go downtown to the record pools to get records that no one else in the Bronx had, and wanted to know how Greg went about getting records that were exclusive.

He answered by going into a story about the northern soul scene, which thrived on DJs scoring exclusives that no one else had, using an example of a record DJ Ian Levine found. The rumour went round that he had discovered this amazing, rare record called Theres a ghost in my house and was going to play it that weekend. And he was right, says Greg, it was an amazing record, and later went on to be a chart hit in the UK.

But on the way home from the casino at the end of the night, some folk had stopped off at a service station (gas station) to get a feed, and they were flicking thru the record stand in there. EMI put out these cheap compilations for a pound (records were 3  pounds then) called Music for pleasure, and on the track listing was Theres a ghost in my house.

He wanted to highlight that kind of exclusivity that riddled the northern soul scene, as he said he was not interested in it at all. He wanted to popularise the tunes he found, share his discoveries with everyone.

Don't quite know why this guy on the left was more interested in texting than paying attention to the legendary UK DJ right in front of him, but I do know that 15 minutes after I took this photo, he dropped his cellphone on Conch's wooden floor, and it landed with a resounding thud. Hilarious.


Greg talked about when he got into DJing at 16, he bought a book by a famous UK radio DJ named Emperor Rosco, called Emperor Rosco's DJ Book, and in the back were the addresses of the record companies. Greg wrote to them all and started developing contacts to send him the latest records and US imports, getting on their promo lists.

Greg pointed out that these record promo lists started in 1971, predating the arrival of the much-trumpeted record pools started by David Mancuso and co in NYC by 4 years.

He talked about with his current approach to DJing, he is always "looking for the balance between the past and the present." He mentioned DJing off laptop, but had reintroduced the Revox reel to reel in his DJ setup.

One way he uses it is to drop sound effects and samples into his mixing. He also uses it in the Jamaican dub style, dropping the reel to reel into record, then feeding it back into the mix, creating a live tape delay effect.

So, does he still make edits on tape? For the romance of it (as he put it)? "Madness! No!" He uses a computer, much easier say to make a 16 bar loop - he only has to edit it once, then enter repeat 15 times and it's done.

He talked about when he got back into DJing, after a 20 year break, which was on the back of an old mate of his, Kermit, playing him the first Black Grape album, and asking what he thought of it. Greg could hear where the edits needed to be, so he learnt digital editing using a system popular in radio, called Sadie.

He finished with a quick demo of the Revox, how to chop up tape and find the edit points. It was a very entertaining few hours. Big thanks to Conch Records, Murry Sweetpants, the British Council, and everyone involved in making it happen.

Go see Greg Wilson 1st March at Debajo, Queenstown, and this Friday night at the Nathan Club, Britomart, Auckland. 

RELATED: Greg Wilson in NZ! (Listen to his mixes)
Gregwilson.co.uk // electrofunkroots.co.uk
WATCH: Greg and his flash perm on The Tube, 1983, showing Jools Holland how a DJ mixes records, the first DJ ever to do this on UK TV. Greg talked about this event last night. The song was from David Joseph... Have added Greg's edit below, its's a free download...

"With the new Electrofunkroots site just launched a week ago [late Jan 2012], I thought this would be a good time to share this edit of David Joseph’s ‘You Can’t Hide (Your Love From Me)’, a track I’ll forever have a strong personal association with, given that it was with 2 copies of this 12" that I made my claim to fame as the 1st UK DJ to mix live on TV – on February 25th 1983 at Newcastle’s Tyne Tees TV studio, on the classic British music show, ‘The Tube’."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wax on film contest!


DJ Prestige over at Flea Market Funk has hooked up with Eilon Paz from Dust and Grooves for a very cool contest... open worldwide....

"If you have a record collection, we want to see it. We want you to get creative and show us your collection in the most creative way. It’s a photo contest. It could be a straight on shot, a collage, a digital manipulation or any other image in the medium of photography. Judges are Eilon Paz, DJ Prestige, Rich Medina, B+, Dreams in Audio.

The chosen winners will receive Wax On Film gift packages from Nixon, Tucker & Bloom, Rare Byrds, Listen Clothing, 101 Apparel, Tropicalia In Furs, Cultures of Soul, Hot Peas & Butta, and more! Go here for more details."

If you need some inspiration on ways to photograph your record collection, go and check out Dust and Grooves, where Eilon Paz shoots folk and their collections with incredible style. Get in there!

Picasso core jukebox

Newly remastered swag of Picassos covering everyone from James Brown to Greg Johnson.  Out next monday. Have a listen!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Muppets and McKenzie make award-winning music together

Bret on the red carpet. Hat tip to Gareth A for the pic via Twitter

Wellington's Bret Mckenzie has won an Oscar for his song for the Muppets movie. From The Black Seeds to Flight of the Conchords to Hollywood. Congratulations!

Just checked Bret's EGOT status - he has won a Grammy and an Oscar, but missed out on an Emmy even though he has been nominated 5 times. Still, plenty of time.

ADDED: At Bret;'s post-Oscars interview, he said "I'm looking forward to writing with Jemaine in the future again. Because I'll be able to pull out the Oscar card and say "Mmm, I think we should use this chord . . ." and "I won an Oscar!" See NME.com.

Here's a song from Bret's solo record under the alias The Video Kid. Watch out for the skate cameo from Toby Laing of Fat Freddys rocking the cool headband styles.

Tere and King Kaps



Cool interview with Tere and Kaps, talking about how they do their music independently, working 23 jobs between the two of them.

Mo Kolours

Banana wine... "a free download of the lead track from Mauritian marauder Mo Kolours' forthcoming release, EP2: Banana Wine. It's his best yet, sounding something like a dubstep record as imagined on an island in the Indian ocean some 30 years ago."



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vinyl is making a comeback #260

McKay used bookstore moving to bigger location (The Tennessean, Nashville).
“Vinyl is making a comeback,” Hart said. “We have gotten a good collection of vintage, religious and classical. And we are trying to get as much vinyl as possible..."

With vinyl’s resurgence, what goes around comes around (BYU, Provo, Utah, US)
"No, those aren’t giant black CDs. They’re called vinyl records. As digital music has become more prevalent, a counter-movement has taken place. Vinyl records, having long been confined to thrift stores and the houses of grandparents, are being embraced by listeners and musicians. While this latest trend might feel fresh to some youngsters, it’s really just a new spin on an old favorite..."

Leader: Vinyl flourishes as store opens in Huddersfield (UK)

"Is vinyl making a comeback? The reality perhaps is that for many, it never went away....

...Look no further for proof of the enduring appeal of old style records than a Huddersfield business which is arguably the country’s biggest vinyl dealer.

Vinyl Tap was founded 26 years ago by record collector Tony Boothroyd who buys and sells around the world.

The business is a haunt for music collectors worldwide and trades through 20 websites worldwide. It has existed solely online for 12 years but now Tony has reopened a walk-in shop in the heart of the town.

It seems that there is room for old and new technology to exist alongside each other and that for some, vinyl will never go out of style."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM Feb25

Meshell Ndegeocello - Who is he and what is he to you
Johnny Hammond - Fantasy
Charles Mingus - BS II - RZA remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Bohannon dub
Art of noise - Beatbox
Hank Marvin - Sunday for seven days
Eddie Bo - Hook n sling
Nina Simone - Funkier than a mosquito's tweeter
Jackson 5 - Hum along and dance
James Brown - The bose - Geisha boys remix
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Harry Beckett - Fantastic things
Konshens - She love money
Sizzla - Police oppression
Jackie Mittoo - Totally together
Richie Phoe - Sesame street dub
Dawn Penn - No no no
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Victorious dub
Manu Chao - A cosa - Prince fatty edit
Bonobo - Eyes down
Yellow magic orchestra - Computer games
Nona Hendryx - Transformation
DJ Day - Close your eyes
Clarence Thompson and the organisation - Express yourself
Dennis Coffey - Plutonius - Recloose re-dub
Wajeed - Funkin for Jamaica
Geiorge Clinton - Hey good lookin - mirror mix
Dub traffik control - Searghing for stalag

Yellow Magic Orchestra play live on Soul Train, followed by an interview with the late Don Cornelius (first clip)... he starts off with "In case you folks out there in television land were wondering what's going on, I haven't the slightest idea..."




Friday, February 24, 2012

Doug Jerebine live


Doug Jerebine pops up at the Silo Park this Saturday, 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.

Oddisee live in En Zee


US producer and beatmaker extraordinaire, Live in NZ, March 10. At the Hard Luck Cafe, below Ironbank, K Rd, Auckland. Tickets from 1Night.co.nz. 

I want my MP3...

Trying to produce or reduce your music so it sounds good on weedy iPod headphones is a challenge every musician faces these days. You see kids walking round blasting music from their cellphone's crappy speaker and think "man, my music will end up sounding like that?" It's kinda grim, especially if you love bass... I love reggae and dub, but MP3s do nothing  for those styles - the format displays a distinct lack of bass. And everyone loves a big bottom end, right?

Here's a look at what's involved mastering for iTunes... hat tip to Flying Nun via Twitter.

Ars Technica: "Mastered for iTunes: how audio engineers tweak music for the iPod age".

excerpt... "ITunes Plus tracks available from the iTunes Store use the same 16-bit 44.1kHz quality as CDs, so the same master files created for CD production are typically used to generate the compressed files uploaded to iTunes. However, the compression process can eliminate or distort certain sounds that, while most listeners may not notice consciously, can degrade the listening experience.

"Mastering for iTunes was a different challenge," VanDette told Ars. "You can't get around it—when you throw away 80 percent of the data, the sound changes. It was my quest to make the AAC files sound as close to the CD as possible; I did not want them to be any more loud, hyped, or boomy sounding than the CD."

...Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service agreed it's a bad idea to try and create masters for specific listening environments. "Most modern hits these days are sounding pretty fatiguing and less than ideal on any system to my ears," Ward told Ars. "Though that probably says much more about what is considered to sound good than the skills of the relevant engineers."

"I just try to make things sound as good as feasible for as wide a range of possible playback environments as possible," Ward said. "The only real tragedy would be to make decisions which would penalize listeners with good playback systems by making decisions to allegedly enhance enjoyment on inferior playback systems."

Read the full article here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Mayer Hawthorne Relationship Compatibility Scale

Mayer Hawthorne and his band The County return to Auckland to play their own show for the first time  tonight (at the Powerstation), after their debut at Splore City at the start of last year.

In honour of this exciting occasion, Josie Campbell and Paula Moody self-described "Lovers of eating and amusing infrographics", have created the following useful chart...

Four women



From 5000 Ways.... "Teremoana covers Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. Unlike the original, Teremoana omits the final lines of each verse which would name the woman being sung about. Instead of the song closing with the killer line “My name is Peaches!”, it meanders off with Teremoana murmuring “What do they call me?”

Teremoana’s vocals are laiden with trilling, which has the strange effect of making the lyrics hard to understand in places, as if she’s trying to disguise the fact that it’s actually quite an angry, political song.

The video sees Teremoana dressing as the four women. There’s Aunt Sarah with big hair and a floral dress, Saffronia with smooth hair and a stylish waistcoat, Sweet Thing with a 1960s updo, and tomboy Peaches with her hair in Bjork-style mini buns. All four women have long, talonous fingernails.

It’s filmed in black and white in a stylish cabaret setting with dramatic lighting. Teremoana performs with four quite distinct characters – Aunt Sarah is stressed and shy, Saffronia is confident, Sweet Thing is seductive, and Peaches is bold and twitchy.

The YouTube uploader [Teremoana] notes that the song suffered from lack of radio airplay due to its lyrical themes, but says, “Thank goodness a dope ass music video was created which gave it longer television air play.” And indeed the dope assness continues online. Best bit: Teremoana’s loooong fingernails."

Directed by Ross Cunningham. Players: Steve Harrop (upright bass), Steve (Grand Piano and Strings) and Miguel Fuentes (percussion). Recorded at York Street Studios, Auckland.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Christchurch

"A year on, beneath the superficial layer of well-meaning but ultimately empty nods towards a rebuild, this city is dying."

Today marks the first anniversary of the Feb 22 earthquake in Christchurch, where 183 people died, and the inner city was decimated. Ed Muzik (govt name James Dann) is a Christchurch musician, who has survived the many earthquakes in his city. He wrote an opinion piece for the NZ Herald, talking about how his city is now.


"Quake - a year on: Key's NZ is failing the test".


Some excerpts...

"With an event as destructive, as complex, as difficult to describe as the series of quakes that my city has suffered, it is inevitable that the message becomes one communicated through symbols....

... One of the most notable symbols of the rebuild is the renovation of Rugby League Park in Addington, to become the new home for the Crusaders rugby team, Christchurch Stadium. The government has put up some of the money for the stadium, and despite the budget blowing out by $5 million dollars, they are doing all they can to have the park open for Todd Blackadder and his boys.

As with the Rugby World Cup, this government seems to believe that the economic benefits of the sport are both indisputable and so powerful that they they don't need to talk about it; that sport is inherently a "good thing" that will lift the spirits of all in the city....

...Whether he likes it or not, his [John Key's] response to this disaster will end up defining his Prime Ministership in years to come.... For some people, contented with rugby and retail, the government will get a pass mark. But as long as we have people struggling with insurance and EQC, trying to get their heads around the rainbow of colour zones, coming to terms with the loss of jobs, or equity, or both, then Key's New Zealand is failing that test."

Ed Muzik's website, and find him on Twitter: @edmuzik.
NZH: "He's reworked a hit by The Strokes, 12:51, to capture the spirit of his damaged city."





If you're from outside New Zealand and are wondering what Christchurch looks like after the earthquakes, watch this video. One of NZ's most popular hiphop MCs (and Christchurch resident) Scribe, remade a song of his for his hometown, to raise funds for charity. He lost a relative in the quake. Take a look.

Format



DJ Format - Statement Of Intent album sampler. New album features songs with Edan, Mr Lif, Phill Most Chill, Sureshot La Rock, The Nostalgia 77 Quintet and The Simonsound. Out February 27 on Project Blue Book.

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.

Synopsis...

"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

Deadlines...

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

Checker



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

KRS NZ



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)

Tracklist:
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