Saturday, May 05, 2012

Trinity Roots vs taxman

Photo: NZ Musician/Sarah Hunter

The Dominion Posts reports that Trinity Roots owe the taxman $100,000.

"Liquidators appointed this month have assumed control of Trinity Roots Ltd's finances, but say it has virtually no assets and any unsecured creditors are unlikely to be repaid.

The company's listed directors are founding members Rio Hemopo and Warren Maxwell. Maxwell also played with Fat Freddy's Drop and is the front man of Little Bushman.

Former members Riki Gooch and Darren Mathiassen are listed as former directors.

The band was formed in 1998 but disbanded in 2005. [They reformed in 2010, but original drummer Riki Gooch departed soon after and was replaced by Jean Pompey in mid 2011.]

Trinity Roots Ltd was fined $1560 in 2006 for 22 charges of failing to file tax and GST returns over three years. Its lawyer at the time told the court the returns had simply been overlooked.

Liquidator Paul Bartley said yesterday at least part of the current debt – totalling $99,140.59 in unpaid taxes and penalties – was linked to the historic charges.

Trinity Roots' co-manager Ange Kalogeropoulos – Maxwell's partner – said the financial troubles had a long history.

"It all [harks] back to when they were originally all together. The management they had completely failed them in the end.

Ms Kalogeropoulos said the tax debt was not the reason the band broke up.

"But after they did break up there were a lot of things that came to light that had been going on that the guys were completely oblivious to. In a business sense, they were directors of that company, they were responsible in that regard."

She declined to name the band's previous managers...."

A quick search reveals the band's manager prior to the 2005 split was Toby Larmer, who also managed Hollie Smith, Kora, Cornerstone Roots, and Phoenix Foundation. 

Sam Scott of the Phoenix Foundation, told me via Twitter that their manager at that time was  "Way too casual. [he was] disorganised, not into the details. Awesome dude though, being a bad accountant doesn't mean you're a dick."

Check your head

The Beastie Boys toured to NZ a lot - they played here in the early 1990s at the Powerstation, and later tours called in at the Logan Campbell Centre with Helmet, the North Shore Events Centre, the Big Day Out....

I remember when my old band Hallelujah Picassos got the opening slot for the Beastie Boys show at the Powerststaion, we were hanging round waiting for soundcheck and one of the band was skateboarding round the dancefloor of the Powerstation, so we gave him a copy of our album. Wish I could remember which band member it was.

On that visit I also remember seeing the Beasties around central Auckland a bit, up on Victoria st by the offices of Stratford Productions, the film company that shot their music video in Rotorua for the song Gratitude , watch it here.

Here's Yauch talking about his debut feature as a director, a b-ball documentary called Gunnin' for the #1 spot... at 1.10 he talks about how he got into film making, shooting super 8 film to project behind the band... he had his own film  production company Oscilloscope Laboratories, who were getting into film distribution too....

Download: Mick Boogie’s Beastie Boys: Grand Royal Mixtape "In honor of the Beastie Boys being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...I thought it’s finally the right time to do a Beasties mixtape. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… something people have asked me to do for a long time, actually...but I wanted it to mean something. Now, it’s finally the right time. 

I present to you Grand Royal. 80 minutes of my favorite Beastie Boys rarities, remixes, demos, live versions, out-takes, and more... I called my friend Jonathan Mannion, the legendary photographer (8 Jay-Z albums, 3 Eminem albums, Lil Wayne, Nas, Aaliyah, the list goes on and on), and we decided to re-shoot the iconic cover from the Beastie’s 1989 classic Paul’s Boutique...."

The Beastie Boys put out their own magazine Grand Royal, from 93-97 - Grand Royal was also the name of their record label. It was an intermittent thing - the second issue came out a year late. I've got 4 of the 6 issues, they are great reading. From interviews with Lee Scratch Perry to Robert Moog... read Remembering Grand Royal magazine, from Atlantic Monthly...

Plus photographer Glen E Friedman has posted some previously unpublished photos of his of the band... hanging with David Lee Roth, Billy Idol and others... 

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM May 5

A celebrate the start of NZ Music Month, a ton of fine Kiwi reggae and downtempo, and a Beasties tune.

Fat Freddys Drop - Hope - Sonsine remix
International observer - Vale
Jefferson Belt - Creeping tings of the earth
Lord Echo - Thinkining of you
Fredericks Brown - Betrayal - Dusty remix
Snap - Sidewalk city dance mix
DJ Vee feat Mighty Asterix - The best in me
Eru Dangerspeil - Sun again
Joint force - Static - Mario Bros remix
Kas Futialo - Good morning Samoa
Cornerstone roots - Forward the sax
The Yoots - E papa waiari
Dub terminator and Ras Stone - Love you so much
Dub connection - Dub skuffle
Black seeds - Make a move - Downtown Brown version
Tiki - Burning fire - Oogun remix
Lost tribe - Summer in the winter
Ermehn - Don't be late
Che Fu - Misty frequencies - Submariner remix w Hype The Native
@peace - Home
Scratch 22 - For walking faces
Manuel Bundy - What's your style?
Dub Asylum - Ba ba boom
Herbs - French letter dub version
Beastie Boys - Hey ladies

The Beastie Boys - Gratitude, shot in Rotorua, early 1990s...

R.I.P Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys)

Adam Yauch has died of cancer, aged 47. Very sad news.

Yauch was involved in directing the group's videos, as Nathaniel Hornblower. Read a letter he wrote to the New York Times in 2004, regarding their negative review of their video - 'CH-CHECK IT OUT'; One Goat, on Account.

RIP MCA: Vintage Ricky Powell Photos From the 'Paul's Boutique' Sessions

ADDED New York Times reports "he died at 9 a.m. on Friday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan with his parents, his in-laws, his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and his 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch, at his bedside. He had been admitted to the hospital on April 14 after a three-year battle with cancer of the salivary gland. He was conscious until the end."

Expat NZer Kirk Harding on the Beastie Boys..."...pauls boutique was monumental, but it was so different that it took me a minute to catch up. but check your head was whole other story. it was another leveling bomb-blast to my musical universe. it turned me on to a whole new world of music and for that moment the beasties couldn’t get any cooler. their magazine, clothing line, record label all spoke to me and hipped me to artists as diverse as lee scratch perry, jorge ben & at the drive in.

i recently sat with lyor cohen and asked after adam. lyor had just returned from the rock’n’roll hall of fame ceremony, where the beasties boys had been inducted. i could instantly tell by the look on lyor’s face that the news was bad. he responded by simply saying “he’s not well”. i knew at that moment that this day was coming and i was gutted. "

Bill Adler, formerly of Def Jam Records, remembers Yauch. Source.

“My first impression of the Beastie Boys—they were little punks, they were brats. That was my first impression of them. They certainly weren’t interested in making nice with me although I didn’t really take it personally, that’s just the way they were at a time. They got pulled into the Rush artists family and they started going out on tour with Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Houdini and the rest of our guys, and they relaxed a little bit. Not just with me, but with all of us who were working with Russell Simmons at the time, so became closer then.

Adam struck me as the angriest [member] of the Beastie Boys. He really wasn’t a happy guy and he didn’t mind expressing his unhappiness, and I don’t mind talking about it now because he really transformed himself. It was quite a long time ago, 20 years ago or more, that he found Buddhism and he managed to transform himself and calm himself down, so the last 25 years of his life were much more peaceful than the first.

Licensed To Ill came out in 1986 and that was everybody’s first taste of the Beastie Boys, and they lived up to their name. Then they came back three years later in 1989 with Paul’s Boutique and it was a very different album, it was very much in tune with the times, in terms of what was going on with hip-hop at that time. It was really a conscious rap album and it was deliberately that way. After Licensed To Ill, they felt some regret about the sexism on the album, and they really were regretful. It’s not like they apologized for it on Paul’s Boutique but it was going to be a lot more woman-friendly than Licensed To Ill had been.

The thing to remember about the Beastie Boys is that they were a punk rock band before they started making rap records. They started making records, I believe, in 1982 and a quasi rap record in 1983 with Cooky Puss. In 1984 they signed with Rick Rubin and Def Jam and they started to release rap singles produced by Rick, so that’s when I started working with them. I worked with them in ‘84, ‘85 and in ‘86 here’s comes Licensed To Illand in ‘87 Licensed To Ill was the biggest record in rock 'n' roll.

The whole idiom was so new, rap was so new, hip-hop was new, it’s not like there were rules about how one was supposed to compose himself. Nothing was set in stone at that point and they were unique—these were three white kids, they weren’t trying to use the model of some of the great black rappers who had preceded them. They were very much who they were and they brought their punk rock sensibility into it and they rhymed about the things that mattered to them, and in that way, they were precursors to somebody like Eminem. When Eminem came out he didn’t sound like Jay-Z and he didn’t sound like Snoop Dogg and he wasn’t writing about those kinds of things, he had his own personality and it was the same thing with the Beastie Boys then.

The thing to understand about the Beastie Boys is that the music itself was so magnificent and it was so effective. I remember the Beastie Boys go out at the bottom of the bill on the Raising Hell Tour in 1986—It’s Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and Houdini—and the Beastie Boys scampered out for 25 minutes at the beginning of the night every time. They were playing nothing but arenas and the crowd was about 95 percent black, so you’d imagine that that’d be a tough crowd for the Beastie Boys, but they went out and the music was strong and the performance was strong and they made friends every single night all summer long. It was not a problem, they were accepted because they were wonderful.

Their biggest contribution as a group might not even have been the effect within hip-hop. To me, it’s more about their effect on the rock mainstream. They emerged at a moment when rock ‘n roll, in the early-to-mid 80s was terribly bloated and self-important—it was decadent truthfully—so they brought a punk energy back into the rock mainstream. They were funny, they were smart, they were quick. The songs were well-shaped and hard-hitting and they were not pretentious at all. Their entry into the rock mainstream, I’d say really revolutionized things. There were many bands that followed in their wake and took inspiration from their example.

Yauch was the best conventional rapper of the three guys, he’s the one who sounded most like a “rapper” as far as I’m concerned but he was also a musician and he was a producer, so he always had a strong hand in the production of the band’s recording and I think his personal journey must’ve had its affect on his two partners as well. That transition from a Beastie Boy into a post-Beastie Man, somebody who grew up a little bit and had a better idea of how to treat women, because Adam himself went through that transition and it undoubtedly had an effect on his partners and on the group’s music."

Friday, May 04, 2012

R.I.P Lloyd Brevett (Skatalites)

Skatalites bassist Lloyd Brevett has passed away, aged 80. Story via

"Lloyd Brevett, the upright bass player and founding member of the seminal Jamaican ska group The Skatalites, died this morning at Andrews Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica where he was being treated following a stroke and a series of seizures. He was 80.

The Skatalites were the preeminent collective in popularizing ska, an early 60s creation melding R&B, jazz, calypso and Cuban musical influences, and characterized by its distinctive emphasis on the after beat, as opposed to the down beat of R&B.

Together for just 18 months between 1963-1965 The Skatalites recorded many timeless instrumentals including "Eastern Standard Time" and "Guns of Navarone" for a variety of producers, most notably Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd.

Backing virtually every singer of note during that era, including teen sensations The Wailers on their 1964 hit "Simmer Down," The Skatalites' pioneering efforts at the dawn of the island's recording industry laid the groundwork for the development of rocksteady and reggae later in the decade and the subsequent international embrace of Jamaica's various indigenous genres..."

Happy birthday Keith Haring

One of my favourite artists... there was a fantastic show of his art in Wellington a while back. I got to interview Tony Shafrazi, his art gallery dealer for the show, read that interview here.

Watch part one of the doco about him below.


 Some NZ 80s electro from Wellington outfit the Body Electric, this release now long out of circulation, but you may find it with a bit of searching. From Club Bizarre blurb on the band...

"One of the first electronic bands from New Zealand to break the alterno-mainstream, The Body Electric were formed in 1982 by Alan Jimson (aka Alan Jansson, formerly of 1980s band The Steroids) and Andy Drey.

During their initial rehearsals, they were then joined by actor-turned-singer Garry Smith. The group's debut single, Pulsing, was picked up by radio programmers and spent 27 weeks in the charts. Not entirely indicative of their sound, the track has a novelty quality to it, coming across as a parody of emotionless electronic groups like Kraftwerk. 

Following the success of Pulsing, Andy Drey was replaced by Spines bassist Wendy Calder and the group released two more minor hits (Dreaming In A Life and Imagination) and a full length album before fading into obscurity."


German site Tonspion has a very cool Strut Records Sampler up for free download, go here to read more. Track listing...

1. Ebo Taylor - Kruman Dey (Radio Edit)
2. Dr Victor Olaiya's International All-Stars -Kinrinjingbin
3. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo - Pardon
4. Fania All-Stars - Descarga Fania (Live)
5. Ugly Custard - Custard's Last Stand
6. Dennis Coffey feat. Kings Go Forth - Miss Millie
7. Section 25 - Dirty Disco
8. Naked Lunch - Slipping Again
9. Julian Jonah - Jealousy And Lies
10. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - We're Rockin' Out Tonight

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mr Lee Fields

 The brand new video for "You're The Kind Of Girl", taken off Lee Fields & The Expressions - "Faithful Man" album out now on Truth & Soul Records.


From Truth and Soul's site: Check out the video that Stolen moments put together of Lee Fields talking about everything from the first heartbreak to playing a show with 2 Live Crew in 80′s... "It was the nastiest thing I've ever seen in my life" - Lee Fields.

Hawkins and Hazard

I get sent some pretty random music for this blog sometimes. This popped up out of the blue, from two young fellas from the US. And it's damn tasty instrumental bizznizz.... like this track, some abstract, blunted hiphop...

"HxH, the musical duo composed of Kareem Hawkins and Rodney Hazard is a young musical group that blends their love for Hip-Hop with sounds and vibes that are unexplored amongst most genres. After essentially developing a love for music at a young age in two completely different regions of the US, the two came together during their freshman year of college to pursue a career in the music industry. Years before even releasing music, the two honed their music production skills and more recently have become lyricists after only starting to write months ago..." // HxH Bandcamp

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

C'est Chic 1978 tv ad

R.I.P Charles "Skip" Pitts

Charles "Skip" Pitts (left) with Dennis Coffey, 2009. Photo: Ed Mata
Charles "Skip" Pitts, Stax Records guitarist, has died aged 65. He was best known for the classic wah-wah sound on Shaft by Isaac Hayes. 

"Though nominally a "sideman," Mr. Pitts was a star among fellow musicians and dedicated fans of R&B. "His guitar style was very unique," said producer/musician Scott Bomar, Mr. Pitts' band mate in Bluff City R&B group the Bo-Keys.

"He took a little bit of the Bo Diddley rhythm, the Northern soul of Curtis Mayfield and the Memphis sound of Steve Cropper and Reggie Young and somehow came up with his own thing, a style that no one had."

A Washington DC native who grew up in the shadow of the city's famed Howard Theatre, as a child he rubbed shoulders with musical royalty, getting friendly with Marvin Gaye (who dated his sister) and Bo Diddley (who was a neighbour).

Mr. Pitts got his start professionally in the mid-1960s. As a teenager he backed up R&B stars the Coasters, Gene Chandler (he played on the live hit "Rainbow '65") the Isley Brothers, Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett.

But it was a move to Memphis and a nearly 30-year collaboration with Isaac Hayes that yielded his greatest legacy, including the immortal guitar riff on the Academy Award-winning "Shaft" soundtrack.

Mr. Pitts' use of the wah-wah effect pedal on "Shaft" resonated for several generations. His work would be sampled by numerous hip-hop and rap acts over the years including Dr. Dre and the Beastie Boys, among others.

Deeply identified with the effect, Mr. Pitts is featured in the new documentary film "Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World" alongside guitarists Slash, Buddy Guy, and Eddie Van Halen...."  Read the full story at The Commercial Appeal, Memphis. 


 From Kas Futialo (Tha Feelstyle) off his 2008 album Lokokasi.
PLUS: Interview: Kas Futialo: The Making of Feelstyle

Pic from ColdRockDaSpot interview with Kas

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Too much static

Joint Force (DLT, Slave, Otis Frizzell aka MC OJ) from their mid 90s release. I liked this track so much I borrowed the name for a tv fanzine I started in 98 called Too Much Static, which eventually became a monthly column in Lava Magazine.

This version is off the Static single, from memory. This is the Mario Caldato Jr remix. He was out here in the mid 90s as part of the Beastie Boys touring lineup, which is when he probably hooked up with the Joint Force boys. Prior to that, he'd recorded the debut albums from Tone Loc and Young MC, among others. Have to go and dig out my cassingle of this....

Happy birthday Dirty Rec!

Local hiphop label Dirty Records celebrates its tenth birthday this month, with a special party on Friday night, featuring the label's leading lights - P Money, David Dallas, Scribe, PNC, Frontline and more.

Dirty Records was founded by P-Money with Kog's Callum August in 2001. He'd made a name for himself on the DJing scene, after winning a bunch of DJ titles at various competitions - he won the ITF NZ champs two years in a row.

He wanted to move into production, and I interviewed him for the February 2001 issue of NZ Musician - read that interview here. excerpt..."I got a Boss Dr Rhythm DR660 drum machine, after much persuasion of my father - 'Dad, I want a drum machine for Christmas!' It was that and my birthday present and half my own money. That was in my last year of high school. I was fully into making beats and I had a good turntable set-up by then." P-Money left school, got a job in a fish and chip shop, and saved up to buy a Tascam 07 four-track. He also had a toy keyboard from when he was a kid...

P-Money has written a piece on the start of his label, over on his blog... here's an excerpt...

"... Enter ‘The Professor’, one of the Drive show DJs at BFM who would often play and support my tracks. He spoke of a local independent record label by the name of Kog Transmissions that specialized in electronic music whom he thought I should meet with. Truth be told, at the time I had little knowledge of or care for local electronic music (my head was firmly stuck in hip-hop, funny how things change!) but on The Prof’s advice and encouragement we had the meeting.

I played my music and pitched them the idea of putting out an album of tracks similar to the demo’s I had been recording and successfully spinning on the radio. The crew at Kog were receptive to me but more skeptical of the potential of local rap music. They knew little of the genre and feared that Kog was not the right label to release such a project. I detected their reservations and pitched an even bolder idea. Which was to let me release the record through their company but under a different brand, in a sense creating a ‘sub-label’ scenario.

I’m sure there was a lot of debate as to the validity of my proposal but fortunately I had one champion inside Kog who would become my greatest ally and a life-long friend, Mr. Callum August. Callum was a lanky, weed smoking, skate board riding employee (read: mostly unpaid volunteer) at Kog who by some twist of fate or naive confidence was able to convince the rest of the board to take a chance on this album project and establish our yet unnamed rap ‘sub-label’. And they did..."

RELATED: Vinyl flashback #1 - P-Money - I interviewed P-Money about his favourite records (that's him pictured above with a few of them) and the record stores he got them from. It's a fun read.

Remix bizz

Some very tasty remixes from Adi Dick, up for free DL too. My faves are the Q-Tip one and the Opensouls one. Have a listen.


Black Keys make it up to NZ

After ditching us a week before their 2011 Big Day Out show due to exhaustion, and then recently announcing a run of Australian shows with no mention of NZ, the Black Keys finally make it up to us with two shows in November - Auckland, Vector Arena Nov 3, and Wellington, Nov 5 TSB Arena.

Tickets on sale now soon, on sale from midday May 1
November 3: Vector Arena, Auckland
November 5: TSB Bank Arena, Wellington

Here's their 2011 Coachella live performance in full....

Monday, April 30, 2012

Toy Love hit top 20

Toy Love - Live at the Gluepot has landed at #11 in the Top 40 Albums chart this week, on the back of its release for Record Store Day. There were only 400 copies pressed up as limited edition vinyl, and the record was only available from one store -real Groovy, on Record Store Day.

It's great to see Toy Love back in the charts, but now you know that if you can sell that many albums, or a maybe few more, you could crack the top ten. Toy Love's debut album peaked at #4 in the album charts on release back in 1980. The reissue of that album, as Cuts, made it to #23 back in 2005.

Fat Freddy's Ebb

Early recording from Ebb featuring Iain Gordon from Fat Freddys Drop, Reuben Sutherland and Lisa Tomlins, off an ep from 2001 released by Dental Records/Loop. DL up for 24 hours.

Volume mag silenced

The Corner is reporting that Volume Magazine, published by the NZ Herald's owners APBN, has been shut down. Their last issue (The Homebrew takeover issue) comes out tomorrow. The closure has been confirmed by Volume via Twitter.

Killing off a magazine that provided a lot of great unique content for the NZ Herald's website doesn't make any sense, especially after only 33 issues. There was some very talented people behind the mag, who put a huge amount of effort into making it special, and local. We need more of that, not less.

I remember going to the launch of Volume, down at Lucha Lounge in Newmarket. I ended up chatting with an APN sales rep, who told me all about how APN had researched the market and felt very positive about developing the title, that there was a niche there that was sustainable. I was a bit surprised to hear such positive sentiment coming from a corporate type, but apparently it was just a passing fad.

From The Corner: " Tomorrow’s issue of APN street press publicationVolume will be its last, with the magazine calling it quits after 33 issues.

The Drab Doo-Riffs graced the cover of the first issue back in September 2011 and subsequently we saw a whole bunch of local artists, including PNC, Lawrence Arabia, UMO, Rackets, The Checks and David Dallas, find themselves in that same position. This week that will continue with the Home Brew “takeover” issue which will see the band on the cover ahead of the release of their debut double-album this Friday.

Regardless of all that though, this is just another blow for local music journalism and we’ll be sad to see the magazine go. Rest in peace Volume, you were great."

ADDED in last Friday's NZ Herald, their media reporter John Drinnan said that the NZ Herald and its website were undergoing review by its owners APN, and they were looking at reducing the format size to a more compact one, as part of a proposed wider review of Herald titles. No mention of killing off Volume, but does report "a 7 per cent fall in all newspaper industry revenue last year and a big shift in media habits and marketing trends affecting the sector around the world."

UPDATED: John Drinnan tells me via Twitter that he wasn't in the loop on Volume's closure

ADDED Russell Brown has blogged over at Public Address about the closure, noting that the reason given was "...Volume’s failure to perform online... the nearest thing to an actual website has been Volume’s lively, well-stocked Facebook profile. When the best way into your content is a Facebook page, you’re basically failing at web publishing...

"...It appears that Sam, who is bright, creative and organised, will find work within the Herald’s growing online Entertainment division, and will take some of Volume’s regular features with him, but there seems to be something particularly inept about what has played out here. Having taken an interesting punt on a street press music mag, APN launched its new magazine without an online strategy – and then killed it because it wasn’t working online."

UPDATED: Audio - Sam Wicks talks with BFM's Charlotte Ryan about the closure...
Sam Wicks, BFM interview: " We didn't have the advertising dollars in there to keep an organisation like APN satiated... features like Talking Heads will tick over, so there's more room to build that [online]...

The execution wasn't there in terms of how we marketed this... if you found Volume content on the Herald's website there was nothing that screamed out Volume, it just looked like other stories that were in there...

"We never had an iPhone, and iPad app. We definitely had content that was used online but I think if there had genuinely been this 360 degree presentation of that content we had, it would have been a different thing, you know... the artifact aint going anywhere, it just has to be done better and smarter."

New Home Brew video

 Home Brew feat. Esther Stephens - Plastic Magic, produced by Christoph el Truento, video directed by Tom Gould

Swifty and PB workshop

UK designer Swifty will be blessing Conch Records front and back with his signature Typografik Art style, creating some unique artwork on the walls of the store. Come and relax, drink coffee and browse through some records as it unfolds. May 16-18.

Also, Swifty and Paul Bradshaw are giving a workshop (11am-4pm May 15-17) while they're out here. Swifty is speaking at SemiPermanent.

"Since his debut at Face Magazine, Swifty has held the role of creative designer for magazines such asStraight No Chaser (The Magazine of World Jazz Jive) and Area, designed covers for countless preeminent musicians through his work with labels Talkin Loud, Mo Wax and Source 360, produced animation for television, designed a camo clothing line, as well as founded his own company Swifty Toypographix through which he has published several books.

Paul Bradshaw is the man behind the iconic London magazine Straight No Chaser, as well as being a journalist and modern day UK music and culture consultant.

Join both UK mentors for an exclusive three day workshop exploring publishing technologies, UK cultural history, Music and fanzine production. To register please contact – places are strictly limited. This is a creative commons FREE event.

We are also holding an industry meet and greet with Swifty and Braders at Conch Records on Friday evening May 18th from 6pm, where some seminal UK tunes will be played, as well as a little chat from the two UK guests, and the completion of some artwork that Swifty will be blessing the Ponsonby shop with during the week..."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lee Oskar

Lee Oskar was the harmonica player for the band War, and he also dropped some very tasty solo joints. My favourite tune of his is Haunted House, one that Cian (Conch Records) put me onto.

Oskar's self-titled solo debut came out in 1976 and featured a number of members of War backing him, plus Greg Errico (Drummer  for Sly and Family Stone) on several tracks. Errico also produced part of the album, and held down the producer's seat for Oskar's second solo effort, Before The Rain (1978), which features Haunted House.

Oskar left his native Denmark at 18, landing in New York to make it big, with his harmonica in his pocket. Following his success with War (out in LA), he later developed his own line of harmonicas.

If you want the full story on War, get hold of Wax Poetics Magazine issue #44. That details the highs and lows of the band. They eventually had a falling out with their management (record producer Jerry Goldstein), who owned the band's name. They still tour, but are not allowed to call themselves War - they're known as The Lowrider Band, while another lineup (with one original member) tours as War.

UPDATED Just pulled out my copy of Lee Oskar's debut album, still got the price sticker on it from the record store I got it from, Open Mind Music in San Francisco, a store Cian worked in when he lived in SF in the early 2000s.