Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ms Summer edits

and then there's this story... "Donna Summer believed cause of her cancer was 9/11 attacks"

UPDATED just found this edit of State of Independence, like it much more than the one above...

Z-Trip Beasties mix

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 19

Hugh Masekela - Don't go lose it baby - Stretch mix
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance remix
Chuck Brown and the Soul Searcher - We need some money
Kenny Dope - Can you handle it? Pt 1
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Colman bros - She who dares - big band original
Cubalooba - Cubalooba
Stargard - Which way is up?
Donna Summer - I feel love (hat tip to Russell Brown for the version below)
Syreeta - I love every little thing about you
Freebass - I'll scratch
Benny Tones - On my way - Flako remix
Prince Fari - Brother Joe
Mr Vegas - Taxi fare refix mungos riddim
Lee Scratch Perry  - Jungle youth - Congo natty remix
Kas Futialo - Kaufeai le nu'u
Dalvanius and the fascinations - Love train
Myron and E w the soul instigators - Cold game
Pigbag - Papa's got a brand new pigbag
Wajeed - Funkin for Jamaica
Beanfield - Tides - Carl Craig remix

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cut Chemist disco mix

...Via Cut Chemist on Twitter "RIP to a legend. Donna Summer. She's all over this mix I did a few years back. Her music was a huge inspiration!"


Vinyl comeback: Miami edition

Dave Thorne is an avid record collector and has invested a significant amount into
his listening system.Photo: Jason Franson, Postmedia News/

From the Miami Herald: Vinyl records making a rapid comeback.

"[23 year old] Camarie Bentley walked into a Fort Lauderdale record store this dreary afternoon, head nodding to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, streaming from iPod to headphones...

A daughter of the digital age, Bentley only discovered the joy of vinyl a year or so ago... She had an uncle’s turntable at home, so the journey back to the analog era was just a matter of finding a favorite artist’s 12-inch. And then, among the crates of albums. she found Jackson’s Thriller, its iconic cover featuring the star lounging in a dapper white suit and black shirt.

“I listened to that album and that was it. I love that you can hear everything on an album. Somehow you feel like you are listening to the real thing,” says Bentley, who is military-bound and makes regular trips to Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale in search of albums by the Dazz Band, Heatwave and Stevie Wonder. “Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade.”

The Miami Art Museum is hosting an exhibit with nearly 100 works celebrating the record. The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, open through June 10, explores the LP within the context and history of contemporary art, using sculptures, drawings, paintings, photos and videos..."

It's surprisingly simple to write a vinyl comeback story, here's how you do it in 4 easy steps...

The vinyl comeback story that writes itself

1. Find a young person to say something 'cool' about vinyl.

2. Quote some statistic on the increase in vinyl sales with absolutely no context for what that means for overall sales for the music industry

3. Find a handy local record shop with a crusty old owner who can talk about the joys of LPs and the tangible experience you don't get with MP3s. Also, get them to describe their clientele and how young they are these days.

4. Highlight that it' s not just vintage vinyl that is undergoing a resurgence, but new vinyl is being released too, from 'modern artists' like Adele and Justin Beiber. 

AND YOU'RE DONE. Nice way to cover 'a passing fad', as one acquaintance put it recently.....

R.I.P. Donna Summer, aged 63

Donna Summer has passed away, at 63, of cancer. From the LA Times...

"An early fan of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, Summer sang in a Boston rock band called Crow in the late 1960s, and left home for New York City at age 18 to find work on Broadway, which she did quickly by landing a role in a touring version of the hot Broadway show “Hair.”

She spent the next three years living and touring in Europe. There she met and married the singer Helmut Sommer, whose last name she adapted as her stage name.

While in Europe she also met Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder, whose early dance tracks were making an impact across Europe. Moroder and Summer started working together, resulting in their first hit, the seductive 17-minute-long dance floor epic “Love to Love You Baby.” A shortened version of it was released by then-hot label Casablanca in 1975, and peaked on the Billboard singles chart at No. 2.

That was the first of a string of songs that not only helped bring disco to the mainstream, but predicted the rise of both techno and house music. Among those were “I Feel Love,” “Bad Girls,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “On the Radio.”

Soon after, Summer became a born-again Christian and faced controversy when she was accused of making anti-gay comments in relation to the AIDS epidemic. Summer denied making the comments but was the target of a boycott."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who ruined dubstep?

Video: Reggie Watts blames Skrillex for ruining dubstep, via LATimes

NZ music month panel UPDATED

UPDATED The audio of the discussion is up on Soundcloud, listen below...

Via Under The Radar, sounds interesting...

NZ Music Month Panel Discussion at Audio Foundation HQ

Please join us at the AF HQ for a discussion around the topic of NZ Music Month! The panelists include:

Kiran Dass, Duncan Greive and Joseph Nunweek. This discussion will be moderated by Gareth Shute.

“What' When' Why' Who' Me''” are all questions that commonly race through our brains as NZ Music Month envelops us every May. Founded in 2000, the yearly event is now an iconic national institution – but is this brand awareness coming at a price' What's been achieved' Who's being promoted, and to whom'  Please join our esteemed panelists as they shine a light through the fog.

Kiran Dass is an Auckland based writer and reviewer who has written about music, film and books for the NZ Listener, Sunday Star-Times, Metro, Landfall, Real Groove, Rip it Up, NZ Musician, NZ Herald, Dominion Post, No, Pavement and Staple.

Duncan Greive is a journalist who has written extensively about music for magazines and websites including Metro, Sunday, The NZ Herald, Volume, The Corner. He edited youth pop culture magazine Real Groove from 2006-2009, has contributed to radio programmes on bFM and Radio New Zealand and conducted a brief, unsuccessful foray into artist management.

Joe Nunweek has written about music for Craccum, Real Groove, 1972, and Volume and at some point basically resigned himself to hitting every branch on the way down as he fell off the tree of print media. He also writes for The Pantograph Punch and wrangles policy for a day job. Joe's mum bought him one of the inaugural NZ Music Month t-shirts from Hallensteins when he was in Year 9, because lord knows every vulnerable child at a new school needs a massive bullseye target on their chest. Character building!

Gareth Shute is the author of four books on NZ music and the arts. His first book, Hip Hop Music In Aotearoa, went on to win at the New Zealand book awards.

Thursday 17 May, 7pm – free entry
Audio Foundation HQ, 4 Poynton Terrace (Sub-basement of the Parisian Tie Factory,
off Pitt St or behind St Kevins Arcade), Auckland CBD

R.I.P. Chuck Brown

Via WJLA: Chuck Brown dies: 'Godfather of Go-Go' passes away at 75.... "Chuck Brown, the legendary musician who is known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," passed away Wednesday, his daughter confirmed to ABC7's Sam Ford.

 Brown's passing comes about a week after the Washington Post confirmed that the musician, considered the pioneer of Go-Go music, had been hospitalized with pneumonia. Brown's 1970 hit, "Bustin' Loose," hit #1 on the MCA charts. The song was later sampled in the 2002 Nelly song, "Hot in Herre." He had recently postponed numerous shows due to his failing health."  More soon.

ADDED: Washington Post obituary for Chuck Brown... “Bustin’ Loose” was “the one record I had so much confidence in,” Mr. Brown told The Post in 2001. “I messed with it for two years, wrote a hundred lines of lyrics and only ended up using two lines. . . . It was the only time in my career that I felt like it’s going to be a hit.”

It was Mr. Brown’s biggest single, but throughout the 1980s “We Need Some Money,” “Go-Go Swing” and “Run Joe” became local anthems, reinforced by radio support and the grueling performance schedule that put Mr. Brown on area stages six nights a week.

While rap music exploded across the country, go-go dominated young black Washington, with groups including Trouble Funk, Rare Essence and Experience Unlimited following in Mr. Brown’s footsteps..."

WATCH: July 2011 interview with Chuck Brown...

ADDED: From Stephen A Crockett Jr, WaPo... "In 1984, before Bryant St, NW would become a one way, I am a third grader in search of candy and I hear Chuck Brown’s go-go version of this song [I'm in the mood for love] blasting out of a blue Bonneville stuck at a traffic light. I slow walk up to the Sunbeam market so I can catch more of the song.

Light changes and the Bonneville bones out but the music is still in my head and it stays with me into the corner store. Later, I would run the whole way home trying desperately to hold the melody in my head. I asked my Dad about it, but he played a different version of the classic tune. I told him that it wasn’t it. “Oh, he said, knowingly. “That was Chuck.”

One name: like Madonna or Prince or Oprah. Chuck...."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shihad doco arrives tomorrow

The Shihad documentary hits  big screens tomorrow nationwide, looks bloody good from the trailer. The premiere is tonight in Wellington at the Embassy, but the director, Sam Peacocke, told the Dominion Post that "he had not been invited to speak at tonight's premiere, but would be there as a guest of Shihad lead singer Jon Toogood....

"....Peacocke was brought in to take over the reins of Shihad: Beautiful Machine at the start of last year after the original director, Graeme Tuckett, was fired [a week into directing].

Peacocke says he and producer Pacific Lightworks did not see eye to eye on aspects of the film, which profiles arguably New Zealand's biggest rock band.

"Since [editor] Cushla Dillon and I finished the edit I haven't really been involved in any of the post-production from then on. I can kind of see, I think, what Graeme may have found difficult."

Producer Grant Roa labelled Peacocke artistically exceptional but "sociably inept", and said the film had always been "purely" producer-driven. "Sam was brought in as a director for hire."

Roa said the director had in fact been invited to speak at the opening. Asked if there had been a lack of communication from producers, he said: "I think everyone is to blame but I'm not sure."

Roa reducing Peacocke's contribution to merely "A director for hire" is at odds with the official Shihad movie website where the producers extensively talk up them bringing in Peacocke, who already had a relationship with the band from directing music videos for them - "He used the trust he'd had gained and took the band out of their comfort zone and into a entirely unique space where questions couldn't be answered so automatically. This style produced a very genuine response, and from then on the story began to build in depth and honesty."

Check the Grant Roa Appreciation page on Facebook.  There's the above trailer, described as a new production by Grant Roa. And from the Shihad movie FB page, this cool photo customised by David Norris...

UPDATED: Stars turn out for Shihad premiere on Stuff, plus red carpet video....

" [Producer Grant] Roa brushed aside claims of a behind the scenes spat between the producers and the director.

"You're always going to have some disagreements. Sam is exceptionally talented."

He said having conceived of the idea of the documentary he and the other producer, Laurence Alexander, had "boundaries we had put in place that we wanted to work within".

"Both Graeme [Tuckett] and Sam [Peacocke] nurtured that as much as they could. And like creatives, they tried to push the boundaries. That's what you do. That's the story. So as a producer you just tap it back into place now and again."

RIP Belita Woods (P-Funk)

Belita Woods, Singer with Parliament Funkadelic, has passed away. She suffered a heart attack in April 2011.

"... the name and work of Belita Woods going back to her ’60s sides for Ollie McLaughlin’s Moira label and ’70s work with the group Brainstorm (she had the lead vocals on “Loving is Really My Game” and “This Must Be Heaven”). No doubt, more have seen and heard her as a vocalist with George Clinton’s P-Funk aggregations from the 1990s up until recently."

More: Belita Woods dies aged 63


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orchestra vs hiphop

Some info from the APO on a very cool concert coming up at the end of May... : "Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra brings New Zealand Music Month to a dynamic close with a concert that unites the worlds of orchestral music and hip-hop.

The 31 May concert, dubbed ‘Remix the Orchestra: Full Orchestra Meets Hip-Hop’, is the culmination of five years of collaboration between the APO and leading hip-hop musicians who have worked together to mentor young artists, and who now appear together on one stage for the first time.

Joining the orchestra for the Auckland Town Hall concert are several of New Zealand’s leading hip-hop acts: Tyree (Smashproof), Frisko (aka Alphrisk, Deceptikonz) and hip-hop legend Ermehn (OMC, etc), one of the most respected artists on the local urban music scene. The three each perform a track from their impressive catalogues.

Spinning decks throughout is DJCXL (Ill Semantics), a former NZ DMC Champion whose new album Represent recently spent time in the national top 40 and reached as high as #4 on the NZ artists’ album chart.

The concert reaches beyond music, featuring dancers and graffiti crew FDKNS. The latter will create their art on tablet computers, with the work being projected on to screens."

Remix the Orchestra: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with special guests DJCXL, Tyree, Frisko, Ermehn and conductor/composer Kenneth Young.Auckland Town Hall, 8pm, Thursday 31 May
Tickets: $20/$30,, (09) 357 3355

Wah wah bizznizz

A couple of gems from the Wah Wah 45s label, for free. Nice one.

There's the flip of the Hackney Colliery Band's single where they did a great cover of No diggity.


Also worth checking, Scrimshire's recent single, grab it just for the LV remix that's a groover and a half. That EP is pay what you like. And there's a cool re-edit of Merry Clayton from Scrimshire over here.

Both Scrimshire and Hackney Colliery Band are playing live in London May 25, alongside United Vibrations and with DJ appearances from Jazzanova, Part-Time Heroes, Dom Servini and DJ Konvex. If you're in the region, get tickets now.


Monday, May 14, 2012

“Once Upon a Time in New York — The Birth of Hip-Hop, Disco & Punk” (2007).

Via Egotrip, hat tip to Jason F. Have sen this floating round before, well worth a look. NYC covered by Tommy Ramone, John Cale, Nile Rogers, David Mancuso, Chuck D, Kool Herc and more...

Homebrew slip to #2

The Top 40 album chart is out, Adele jumps to #1, and Homebrew drop down to #2. Mothers day bounce for Adele? [UPDATED: just been pointed out to me that Mothers Day sales bump was friday/saturday, and that will be counted in next week's chart, not this one]

The other Kiwi album in the top ten is Suzanne Prentice - imagine if Homebrew had been knocked from #1 by her.

Ah, never mind. Let's watch Homebrew bump into Neil and Sharon Finn on the street and try and get him to say "F#ck Dave Dobbyn"...

UPDATED from The Corner... Off the back of their triumphant debut at number one on the albums chart last week, Home Brew have opened up a pop up store in Ponsonby where they’re selling merch and copies of their debut album. The Home Brew Take Over Store, next to Video Ezy, 160 Ponsonby Road. Monday 14 May – Sunday 20 May, 11am – 11pm daily

Len Lye talk

 Roger Horrocks (Len Lye biographer and friend) talks about Lye, one of the greatest artists NZ has ever produced. Go give it a listen.

Joel and Nathan Haines talking all that jazz

Photo: Peter McLennan

Joel and Nathan Haines in conversation with Mike Chunn was part of the recent Auckland Writers And Readers Festival (and it was free - yay!). The Composer's Life was the topic, but before the questions started, they played some music, with Nathan on sax, Joel on guitar, and their father Kevin joining them on double bass. The tune was one of Joel's called "Live at Wembley", which Nathan said they'd explain the title later, but never got round to it. 

Mike Chunn tried to get Kevin to sit onstage with his sons but he wasn't keen, so Mike pointed out there was a glass of wine onstage for Kevin which Kevin leapt up and grabbed, then headed back to his seat in the audience. 

Mike started off by asking Joel and Nathan what were their first musical memories? They mentioned names like Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, whatever their father chose to put on... Nathan said "Dad was the dark overlord of the stereo."

They grew up in Beachhaven, and went to Northcote College - they got to go to LA as part of the school big band and play some gigs, including Disneyland. Later in the conversation, Mike asks if they were good at school or did they get into trouble. Nathan says we were good, Joel mutters about being bad, and their Dad chimes in with "They were very good, it all went bad later."

Mike asked about their first time onstage. Nathan recalled their earliest gigs were at the Jazz Festival run by Tommy Adderley, at the Sheraton (now the Langham). Their father was playing with them, and they played some of his numbers, which Nathan remembers as "ridiculously difficult tunes." And that he and Joel could barely play. As Mike noted, they didn't take the easy option and just play Summertime

Mike asked what age were thay, and Nathan mentioned about 8 or 9. Mike jokingly suggested that maybe Kevin could be accused of child slave labour... Nathan says they started out playing at age 3 and 4, and he could read music by the time he started school.

Mike recalled the first Apra Silver Scrolls that featured artists covering the five finalists, and that Nathan  and Joel and their band Freebass had played one of the covers, doing a Headless Chickens number is such a fashion that it was largely unrecognisable, and split the room. Murray Cammick told Mike later that night that half the room loved it, the other half hated it. 

Talking about growing up, Nathan said that their mother was more artistic than their father, funnily enough. She was more from the visual side, their father more on the audio side. 

Mike asked about playing with your head or your heart, and Joel talked about his time playing with Human Instinct, which he said is about heart - "sometimes in that band, people are playing different songs! So it's all about heart with them."

They play another song, the title track off Nathan's latest album, The Poet's Embrace. Nathan describes the album as a "Straight to two track, wonderful analog affair." After the song, Nathan says "That's the first time we've played that one."

Mike talks about Nathan's latest album, saying he pre-ordered it, and got it on his iTunes, and asks is Nathan okay with that? Nathan says yes, it's all music. He made the album to be played on vinyl, and says the 300 copies have almost all gone. But any format is okay with him.

Mike asks Joel about his involvement in synchronisation (writing for film, tv). He says he got his big break writing music for tv series Mercy Peak. Prior to that he'd done session work for Murray Grindley on ads and so on and was very interested in that area. He talked about writing for the screen  - "To get it right, you've got to get inside the characters."

Joel says he really likes being part of a big machine where, if everyone gets it right, it becomes this incredible thing. Writing and recording music on his own at home suits him though he confesses "It drives my poor wife crazy!"

He says with his work "It's not about you, how well you are playing, it can be about the grading of a shot. I really like that. I never wanted to be a frontman."

They play one of Joel's film pieces, no song title given. 

Mike talks about choosing music for his father's funeral recently, and plays a snippet of the song he chose, and asks if they recognise it. It's Joni Mitchell's Court and spark, as covered by Nathan on his album Music for Cocktail Lovers. Mike asks would it have been a better song if Joni had used that [Nathan's] arrangement? Nathan says no. The song was suggested by Murray Thom (executive producer and financial backer of the album), from Herbie Hancock's version.

Nathan talked about his former manager Matt Coleman talking with him when Nathan got back from the UK last year about his next album. Matt told Nathan "I''ve got this great idea, you should do an album covering classic NZ songs" [or words to that effect]. Nathan thought about it for 24 hours and said no. 

Mike expressed surprise that Nathan had taken that long to decide against it, suggesting a minute's thought would have been a better length. Guessing Mike didn't think it was a good idea then. And this from the man who bought us Double J and Twice the T.

Mike asked an oddly-worded question about whether Nathan thought NZ was too small for him to  sustain himself? Nathan said no, he was grateful for the support he had here and the audience he had built up. And the hanging question over this reply was why are you moving to the UK, then? 

Nathan described his latest album as one where he decided to make the kind of album he wanted to make, and just not worry about pleasing an audience or whatever, and that it has turned out to be his most well-received album to date.  

I'm not too sure why Nathan should be surprised that an album that aimed to be straight ahead jazz,  which is a pretty conservative musical choice, would do well. Seems like a no brainer to me. 

They close the session with another song, one of their early numbers, but again a lack of song titles. Nevertheless, a very entertaining hour of conversation and jazz. Thanks to all involved. 

Nathan Haines is playing a show on May 18 at Devonport's newly restored Victoria Theatre, playing The Poet's Embrace in full, before he shifts to the UK in June. Details and booking here

Picassos 95

Photo: Karl Pierard
From Pavement magazine, 1995, by Gemma Gracewood. 

If there's a band that can preach passionately about the state of our society for hours on end, it's the Hallelujah Picassos. The five members have been key players on Auckland's music and social scene long enough to know what they're talking about when they call for unity in our community. With the release of their new EP, Gospel of the DNA Demon, a 13-track "genetic mix-up'' of styles and sounds, the Picassos manifesto is at the forefront again.

"lt's very important for us that the community that we live in right now shakes up and we start believing that the individual is worth something,'' says vocalist and guitarist Raudra Bayanaka, aka Harold aka Roland. "What we've seen in the last 15 years in the media and in the music is the deconstruction of the individual. For example, we had the grudge period where it was cool to be a loser, it was cool to be down and out, it was cool to talk about how fucked up your childhood was." Peter McLennan, keyboards and samples, picks up the thread.

"We've learnt that cynicism is a totally healthy way of thinking, which to me is extremely unconstructive.'' Johnny Pain, bass, agrees. ''It constrains people from solving problems. They wallow in trash culture and drown in self-pity. The thing is, no matter how bad you feel, there are ten million other people in exactly the same predicament, and you should take strength from the fact you're not alone,''

Continues Harold: "There's too much selfishness, too much 'fuck you, fuck you'. We've had enough of that. Evelybody's worth something again. We need unity. But the unity thing doesn't mean that everyone should be homogeneous. That's not the idea at all. You're supposed to salvage individuality. You can be wildly different and still be all pushing in the same direction.'' A bit like the Hallelujah Picassos, really.

[I remember the photographer for this article thought he had a great idea, of shooting us all with our shirts, off, then overlaying them. Catch was, Harold didn't want to take his shirt off.]

Green Onions

Sunday, May 13, 2012

RIP Donald Duck Dunn

Legendary bass player Donald 'Duck' Dunn with Booker T and the MGs/Stax Records crew has passed away aged 70.

Steve Cropper, the MGs guitarist, broke the news on his Facebook page at approximately 12:30AM Eastern time.

“Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” Cropper, his lifelong friend, wrote. “Duck Dunn died in his sleep Sunday morning May 13 in Tokyo Japan after finishing 2 shows at the Blue Note Night Club.” Source.

Booker T and the MGs were the house band at Stax and backed up Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett and many more, as well as having their own hits with instrumentals like Green Onions, Time is Tight, and Melting Pot, a popular tune with early hiphop DJs.

ADDED: obituary from Memphis Commercial Appeal, with comments from David Porter, Deanie Parker.

Miles Davis signed single

A Miles Davis 1955 signed single has popped up on Trademe. Apparently the owners tried to list it on eBay but found that process to be "...a nightmare. Trademe need to give those fellas a lesson ".

"This is very rare indeed. It has been signed by all the band members who played on this album with Miles signing by doodling a trumpet and a caricature of him playing the trumpet.
Signed by - Red Garland, piano, Phineaus Newborough (Philly Joe Jones), drums,
Oscar Pettiford, bass

We think Miles has put MD on top of Oscars but not sure. The album cover is very faded on the front and some knuckle head has sellotaped the cover up, as you can see. The album is in very good condition and the company is Metronome from Sweden. The recorded songs are - A Gal in Calico and I Didn't." See Trademe. Starts at $990.