Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lucky Paul

Photo: NZ Musician

Lucky Paul is an expat Kiwi drummer, who has been based in Berlin for several years. He breezed thru Auckland recently, holding down the drumseat for Feist in her band when they played at Laneway. When Feist introduced him, the crowd cheered like crazy. He must've loved that!

There's a great interview with him in the latest issue of NZ Musician magazine. Ep out now, thru Somethinksounds. Features Mara TK (Electric wire hustle) on vocals. Listen below.

BONUS: Lucky Paul rework of Etta James - I'd rather go blind (free download)

R.I.P. Jimmy Ellis (Trammps)

Via NYTimes: "Jimmy Ellis, the soulful lead singer of the Trammps, whose 1970s hit “Disco Inferno” was immortalized in the film “Saturday Night Fever,” died on Thursday in Rock Hill, S.C. He was 74.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, Erika Stinson, his daughter, said.

Mr. Ellis’s melodious voice overlaid the funky guitar riffs and driving bass and drums of the Trammps’s dance music. He sang lead on most of the group’s songs, backed by the bass singer Earl Young, and later harmonized with Robert Upchurch, who joined the band in the mid-1970s.

The Trammps were formed in the early ’70s, according to their keyboard player and manager, Edward Cermanski. Mr. Cermanski said the second “m” in the group’s name came from the days when Mr. Ellis and his friends sang on street corners.

“The police called them tramps,” he said. “So they said they wanted to be high-class tramps, with two ‘m’s in the name.”

Their first recording was a remake of one of Judy Garland’s signature songs, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” which reached No. 17 on the R&B charts. They went on to have hits like “Hold Back the Night,” and in 1975 were signed by Atlantic Records, which released seminal disco records by the group like “Where the Happy People Go.”

The Trammps peaked with the album “Disco Inferno,” whose title track climbed to No. 11 on the Billboard pop chart in 1977. It became emblematic of the disco era when it was used as background music in an extended John Travolta dance sequence in the 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever.”

From The Guardian... "The Trammps' chart career was short-lived. A year after the soundtrack spent 24 weeks at the top of the US charts, their album The Whole World's Dancing struggled to No 184, despite a guest performance from Stevie Wonder. It was their last chart appearance.

"If their entanglement with disco curtailed the Trammps' lifespan on the charts, it undoubtedly prolonged their live career. Ellis would tour with a version of the band for the next 30 years, until his diagnosis with Alzheimer's in 2008. Two years later, he made a final appearance with the band in Atlantic City, where he had performed in talent contests five decades previously...."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, March 10

Patrice Rushen - Music of the earth - Danny Krivit edit
Sergio Mendes - Mozambique
Black blood - Chicano
Pleasure - Reality
Risco connection - Aint no stopping us now
King Tubby - King Tubbys dub
Black seeds - Pippy pip
Prince Buster - Girl why don't you answer
Winston Francis - Don't change
Barrington Levy - Under me sensi
Honey boy Martin - Dreader than dread
Cimmarons - We are not the same
General Degree - Pot cover
Erykah Badu - On and on - Adi Dick remix
Sulata - Never
Manzel - Space funk
Bobby Womack - Please forgive my heart
Mandrill - Ali bombaye pt 1
Connie Price and the keystones - Sucker punch
Rose royce - Bad mutherfunker
Manu Dibango - Soul makossa
Ikebe shakedown - Don't contradict
Scrimshire - Everything you say - LV remix
Mo kolours - Banana wine
Gil Scott Heron - New York is killing me

Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday soul

Hat tip to Russell Brown for this. Electric Guest drop their album Mondo, on April 24. Produced by Dangermouse.

Record Shop Dude #05

Sean's Guide To Why Punk Sucks - Record Shop Dude #05. Hilarious.

And from across the Atlantic, this dude...

New Bobby Womack!

Like the folk at The  Fader say, I was not expecting anything new from Mr Womack, but here it is and holy heck, it's gorgeous. Produced by Damon Albarn (who took Mr Womack on tour with him as The Gorillaz) and Richard Russell (producer of the final Gil Scott Heron album). Free download too. From the album The Bravest Man in the Universe is out June 12th on XL.

Record retails woes?

Marbecks on Lambton Quay is closing after 17 years, reports Wellington's Dominion Post. Lots of doom and gloom in the story, but no mention of the new record stores opened recently in the capital, like RPM Music or Evil Genius.

"... The closure is the latest in a slew of specialist record shops closing in Wellington including Cuba St's Real Groovy last year as well as franchises like Sounds and Tower Records and Marbecks outlets at Cuba Mall, Courtenay Place and Wellington Airport... two [Marbecks] stores in the North Island and one in the South would likely shut this year."

Marbecks are "looking at moving into second hand vinyl sales and high-end portable audio.... one of Marbecks' key growth area was in vinyl. "

Captain Planet

New out on Bastard Jazz - who recently dropped a new single from NZ's own Lord Echo - his album is out on vinyl now too - here's some cool remixes from Captain Planet, including a free download of the tune below. Nice slice of boogie funk. Taken from the upcoming Captain Planet "Remixes / Remixed" 12" + Digi Rls - out on Bastard Jazz.

"Captain Planet returns to Bastard Jazz after last fall’s debut album Cookin Gumbo with a treasure trove of remixes both by and for the slicing + dicing chef of global dancefloor delights! This brand new 12" and digi-EP features scorching remixes of Los Chicharrons (Tummy Touch) and Chip Wickham (Lovemonk) by the Captain himself, as well as the Captain's own electro-boogie take on "Get You Some", a remix of "Samba Radiante" by BBE / Music of Substance artist Chris Read, and another remix of "Get You Some" by our contest winner Aphrololo.

"Digital bonus cuts include our two contest runners up, Lil' Dave and PDF, as well as a burning dancehall remix from Bastard Jazz's own Erik The Red.

Captain Planet guestmix on Bastard Jazz Radio!

"To celebrate the release of the new 12", the Captain has returned to his radio roots and put together a special episode of Bastard Jazz Radio on for us -- lots of current favorites, some tracks off the EP plus a few new exclusive and unreleased remixes from C.P. Listen on Mixcloud or download the mix HERE. And don't forget to check out some older episodes of Bastard Jazz radio in the archive."

RELATED : Free download - Bastard Jazz meets Tummy Touch album. Well worth checking out.

Hiphop don't stop

photo: Flea market funk

Over at Flea Market Funk, one of their regular features is Ten Questions with various DJs. Its a great read. The latest one is with Noah Uman, a DJ who hosted a hiphop radio show on WFMU called Coffee Break for Heroes and Villains for seven years (and now presents the show via the net). In 2004 he started working on reissues. He produced the first four Run DMC reissues for Sony.

He says "Talking to everyone involved, going through photo and audio archives was all amazing, but the two highlights were spending the afternoon with [their] producer Larry Smith, and going to the listening party for Rev Run's solo album... Run got out of his car, looked at me and said "Noah's in the house!" That was it, I was done.

"Sadly, hiphop reissues still have a long way to go until they join the ranks of materiel that labels like Norton, Numero Group, or Sundazed release...

"...if someone is going to put something out again, do it so people will WANT it. Liner notes, tell the story of the group, get quotes from other people, dig up old, flyers and photographs, track down those radio freestyles or demos. Just make a real effort to go the extra mile."

That sums up what we've been trying to do with the Hallelujah Picassos reissues so far. Tell some stories, share some photos. Make it worth your while.

Read the rest of the Q&A here. His Best Digging Story is freaking nuts.

My fave comment from Noah - "No sense in keeping a record that does not get turntable love."

Check out Coffee Break Radio’s home online. Get all the new shows on SoundCloud.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

P-core with Wammo

KiwiFM interview with Wammo, from monday. Cheers, fella!

Tune in to Radio BFM this afternoon at 315pm, I'm chatting with Cameron about the new reissue, Picasso Core Jukebox

Taite Prize finalists

Here's the finalists for the 2012 Taite Prize... winner announced April 20th.

Andrew Keoghan - Arctic Tales Divide (Brave Beluga Records)
Beastwars – Beastwars (Destroy Records)
David Dallas – The Rose Tint (Dirty Records)
She’s So Rad – In Circles (Round Trip Mars)
The Bats – Free All Monsters (Flying Nun Records)
Tiny Ruins - Some Were Meant For The Sea (Spunk Records)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Seeing Records)

The voting panel to determine the finalists was made up of a broad section of music media/industry specialists plus all current members of Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ). There will be a second round of judging by a selected music panel to decide the eventual winner. The judges will make their decision based entirely on the artistic merit on the album(s). Sales, genres, artist recognition or popularity are not contributing factors in their decision- making process. The selected music panel for 2012 is made up of the following persons:

- Jon Bywater (Programme Leader, Critical Studies @ Elam School Of Fine Arts)
- Hugh Sundae (Entertainment Editor, NZ Herald Online)
- Stephen O’Hoy (IMNZ / Amplifier / DRM)
- Jeremy Morrow (Warner Music)
- Leonie Hayden (Editor, RipItUp)
- Richard Thorne (Editor, NZ Musician)
- Andrew Tidball (Editor, Cheese On Toast)
- Russell Brown (Public Address)
- Charlotte Ryan (95bFM)
- Glenn Williams (Wammo) (KiwiFM)
- 11th Man – John Taite (BBC America)
- The Judge Wrangler – Damian Vaughan (APRA)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I love music. I love cookies almost as much as I love music. And today is the 100th birthday of Oreo cookies. I think I first heard about Oreos when LL Cool J rapped about them in his song "I'm Bad" (watch), back in 1987 - "...forget Oreos, eat Cool J cookies, I'm BAAADDD!". Took them a long time to turn up in New Zealand though. Now they're in almost every Asian supermarket.

A flashmob in Los Angeles.  Picture: Frazer Harrison / Getty
from "... Flash mobs celebrated the centenary in seven US cities including Los Angeles, where country rock trio Lady Antebellum led a shopping-mall crowd of several hundred in singing "Happy Birthday" to the venerable comfort food.... there were fireworks in Shanghai, birthday fetes in Saudi Arabia, special playgrounds in Indonesia and pinata-breaking in Venezuela....

...They first popped out of the oven at the Nabisco factory in New York's Chelsea district ... and sold by a grocer on the other side of the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey....

Among African Americans, in the Black Power era, calling someone an Oreo - black on the outside, white on the inside - was a painful put-down, as Gerald Thompson recalled in Reflections of an Oreo Cookie, a 1991 memoir.

"This was 1970, a year of no middle ground," he wrote, remembering the day he was slapped in the face and likened to a mere cookie. "You allied yourself black or white, but I was not aware of any of this."

P-core Jukebox review

Johnnie and Roland, photo from the ebooklet that comes with the album. 

Review: Hallelujah Picassos 'Picasso Core Jukebox'
By David Carroll (aka Bro90)

"I want to educate people to the fact there are always more possibilities than the situations you have encountered. Naivety is still so strong among people. The Picassos are about social and cultural observation." - Harold 'Roland' Rorschach, Hallelujah Picassos (1992)

I remember coming to Auckland from a rather rural upbringing in Waihi Beach, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and first encountering the Hallelujah Picassos. I was gobsmacked. As a young man wanting to get my teeth into playing in a proper band, these guys blew my mind. They played reggae. They played rock. They played most everything - hard, and loud. I was sold.

What's more, they hung out at what became my local: DKD Cafe. What was curious to me was they never really received their dues. Shit, there are kids worldwide right now trying to piece together what these guys did years ago! Perhaps Picasso Core Jukebox (alongside last years' originals collection, Rewind The Hateman) might address that? Probably not. 

That's a shame, as these guys were the real deal and even now, well over a decade later, the excitement, the genine intent, the sheer passion seeps through these incredibly diverse grooves. Imagine what this sounded like to a fifteen year old kid from the country!? It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Scratch that. It was like everything I'd ever heard before, thrown together in an aggressive, vibrant, liberating whole. 

Put aside the decidedly average recording quality on some of these tracks and put yourself into the shoes of early 1990s New Zealanders as the Hallelujah Picassos tore through a set littered with these (severely) re-imagined covers alongside their own material. 

One of the criticisms these guys have always copped is that their records sounded like compilations. Fuck that. And fuck the Great New Zealand Songbook, while we're at it. If you want some proper NZ music history, and you want to pay respect to some of the actual originators in our scene, buy Rewind The Hateman, and then buy this. Makes me proud to be a Kiwi again.

4 out of 5 stars.

Available from AmplifieriTunesDigiramaMarbecks Digital, and on Bandcamp (MP3, FLAC, etc).

Safari time

Modern Sound Corporation 'Safari' (greg wilson edit), love this. Cos it's got steel drums, and is funky as hell. Free DL for you too. Thanks, Mr Wilson. Check out the story behind this, Greg explains..

"The original, ‘Safari’ by Modern Sound Corporation, [is] a track I used to play at my hometown club, New Brighton’s Golden Guinea, back in 1979. For my edit, I placed the emphasis on the superior instrumental ‘Pt 2′ version, which found favour in UK Jazz-Funk circles at the time, its unique combination of African and Caribbean flavours setting it apart as a dubbed-up percussion driven Disco hybrid.

"Arriving on import via TK’s Sunshine Sound label, prior to its UK release on Epic, it was assumed that this was hot out of Miami – but there was a strange but true twist to the tale, as it turned out to be of Swedish origin, having first surfaced in this unlikely location the previous year. It was, however, remixed by Florida’s finest, Harry Wayne Casey & Richard Finch, from KC & The Sunshine Band."

Just figured out that the steel drums on this tune were played by Rudy Smith, who recorded a very wicked album in Sweden in 1971 with the Modern Sound Quintet, called Otinku. Modern Sound Quintet later changed their name to Modern Sound Corporation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

KRS One dates and venues announced

Wellington: Friday 20th April @ The Town Hall. Tickets-
Auckland: Saturday 21st April @ The Cloud on Auckland’s Waterfront. Tickets-
Ltd $69 + BF early bird tickets on sale Tuesday 13th March at 9am

Myele Manzanza, behind the scenes

Electric Wire Hustle's drummer talks about his debut album, One. Hat tip to Martyn P.

RELATED: RBMA introducing Myele Manzanza (March 2010 q&a)
LISTEN: Myele Manzanza on Soundcloud

Off to Mars

Le Peuple de l'Herbe - Mars - Official Video by phofficial

Last time I heard from these cats, they were dropping some skanking reggae styles - that was a while back. This is on a totally different tangent, but what a great video.

Off the new album A Matter Of Time, from Le Peuple de l'Herbe. Download a track off the album free, here.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Erykah on and on

More quality tuneage from Adi Dick... "Erykah Badu has just been to New Zealand to play at Splore festival which everyone said was amazing... I couldn't go so I was inspired to create this. Respect goes out to Badu for her constant inspiration and consistent quality music!"

Ghost town soon come

BBC Inside Out tv programme celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Specials song Ghost Town. Hat tip to Murray Cammick for the link. The Specials (minus Jerry Dammers) return here to play Tuesday 10 April at Shed 10, Queens Wharf in Auckland.

Picasso core jukebox out now!

The brand new Hallelujah Picassos reissue Picasso Core Jukebox hits digital stores (try Amplifier, iTunes, Digirama, Marbecks Digital, etc) today! Very exciting. It's a collection of our cover versions, newly remastered and sounding rather splendid. Listen to it below.

You can catch Peter talking about the new reissue on the radio today (Monday) on KiwiFM at 835am, and on Radio Ponsonby at 1130am, and also on Tuesday morning, Peter will be on GeorgeFM at 7.20am, and  BaseFM Breakfast around 8am.

We've also had coverage online from NZ Musician, Cheese On Toast, and Conch Records.  Cheers! More coming. And big thanks to BFM's Stinky Jim and Andrew Tidball for giving us a spin last week.

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, - from pay phones to pagers, record players to VCRs.