Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 21

The Jets - Crush on you - extended version
Afrodisiac sound system -Soul makossa mashup
Pointer sisters - Yes we can can
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Billy Preston - I want to thank you
Quincy Jones - Hummin
Kas Futialo - Kaufeai le nu'u
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Alyo (playing live at the Powerstation tonight, Wellington sunday night)
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters (feat Joe Dukie of Fat Freddys Drop on vocals)
Hopeton Lewis - Sound and pressure
Matic horns - Beware
KC White - No no no
Tokyo ska paradise orchestra - Bg man still standing - Winston Hazel and Marc Woolford remix
Jet Jaguar - Ton - James Skylab rerub
Cotillion - If you give a dance
Meshell Ndegeocello - Who is he and what is he to you
Antibalas - Dirty money 45 edit
 Grover Washington Jr - Inner city blues
Rose royce - Put your money where your mouth is
Concept neuf - The path - Sofrito edit
Hypnotic brass ensemble -Party started

Thursday, July 19, 2012

R.I.P Ms Melodie

Complex Music reports that " Several sources have confirmed that rapper Ms. Melodie from Boogie Down Productions has died, the Urban Daily reports.

The MC (real name Ramona Parker), who was once married to KRS-One in 1988, released her first single in the same year called “Hype According To Ms. Melodie.”

The following year, Diva, was released in 1989 on Jive Records. Her biggest video was “Live On Stage” and gave a memorable performance on the single “Self Destruction.” Ms. Melodie also had the opportunity to appear in Queen Latifah’s video “Ladies First.” The cause of death is unknown, but we will keep you updated as the story unfolds."

ADDED: Washington Post obit. She is survived by two sons. Her maiden name was Ramona Scott, before marrying KRS One (Kris Parker) in 88. They divorced in 1992.

The enemy is US

Judge Harvey has stepped down from handling the Megaupload extradition case, following his reported comments at last week's NetHui conference. The news broke late yesterday afternoon.

"The district court's chief judge Jan-Marie Doogue said Judge Harvey had made the decision to step down from hearing the case.

"He recognises that remarks made in the context of a paper he delivered on copyright law at a recent internet conference could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case.

He [Harvey] referred to a tweet which had played on a reference to cartoonist Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S." NZ Herald.

There has been much discussion on social media on what exactly Judge Harvey said. The reason for this is he said it twice, on the opening day of NetHui. 

Once, in a session led by Judge Harvey, called 'Regulating bad behaviour online'. See notes of that session here

Harvey said "The problem is not technology. The problem is behaviour. We have met the enemy and he is us", referencing cartoonist Walt Kelly.

Russell Brown (@publicaddress) then reported that comment on Twitter as: "Judge Harvey: "The problem is not technology. The problem is behaviour. We have met the enemy and he is us."#nethui" See that tweet here.

Later in the day, at the session on TPP, Judge Harvey said "if I may use Russell's tweet from earlier, we have seen the enemy and he is U.S." Listen to Judge Harvey on this podcast, at 11.10. That's not what Russell wrote, but Harvey's reworking of it.

So, strictly speaking, Judge Harvey rewrote Russell's tweet, and then attributed it incorrectly to Russell, even tho Harvey rewrote it, not Russell.

I asked Russell about this chain of events on Twitter last night as I thought Russell had 'remixed' Harvey's words (switching us to U.S.), and he told me "no, he said it, I tweeted it, *then* he remixed it." 

It's a shame that Judge Harvey won't be involved in the Megaupload proceedings, as he is widely regarded as our most internet-savvy judge, as witnessed by his insightful contributions to the discussions at NetHui.

UPDATED Russell Brown has written on this on his blog, noting that "...In making a play on his own words, Judge Harvey had created a perception of bias that has eventually led to him opting to stand aside from the Kim Dotcom case. He has done the right thing. But it bears reiterating that he was not discussing the Kim Dotcom case at the time..."

ADDED Nat Torkington has written on Judge Harvey's comment, saying the judge is stepping down "Because newspapers took his comments around the potential for more punitive copyright measures in the trade deal, and connected them to the Dotcom case. Once the scandalous connection was made and the implication that the Judge in the Dotcom case was biased, he was screwed. It is newspaper gold: scandal and Dotcom celebrity go hand in hand. So the lie sped around the world and the truth never had a chance to get its pants on." 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rise and fall of The Clash

 New doco directed by Danny Garcia and co-produced by David Mingay (Rude Boy) and Robin Banks, that tells the story of the collapse of one of the most influential bands of the punk era.

Do not buy

Chicago record store Laurie's Planet of Sound have had their Do Not Buy list leaked via Twitter, up now on Stereogum.

"... it makes sense for shops to have guidelines helping to clarify for employees exactly what music to avoid from patrons hoping to trade in old CDs. Still, it must have been embarrassing for Chicago’s Laurie’s Planet of Sound when their “Do Not Never Ever Buy” list leaked to Twitter, even if it is few years old.

The list is stocked with clearly unsellable detritus. Come on, if you have to be told that Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Big Head Todd albums won’t move, should you really be working in a record store?"

Fun supreme

Ja Ja Jackal band photo off single, back cover. From far left, Paul Casserly, ???,
Greg Johnson, ???, Joost Langeveld, ???
Last weekend I went to the Record Collectors Fair at Freemans Bay Community Hall (next one there is on Nov 17) and scored a few cool records. Got a nice album by Undisputed Truth, and a rare slice of Kiwi vinyl from Ja Ja Jackal, and early outfit for Greg Johnson, more on that in a minute.

I saw some even rarer Kiwi vinyl - a copy of the Skeptics first album for $120, and a release I'd never seen before for myself: the Suburban Reptiles - Megaton 12-inch, going for a mere $400. I talked with the seller about it and told him of the Spelling Mistakes single getting reissued by a US label, and he said that a lot of overseas collectors were much more interested in our vinyl history than many NZers were. Sad but true.

Back in 1984, Greg Johnson was in a band called Ja Ja Jackal, alongside Paul Casserly (later of Strawpeople), Joost Langeveld (later in NRA/Greg Johnson Set/Unitone Hifi), Mark Hatherly, James Charlton and Gordon Goodison.

They recorded a 12-inch single for Ode Records at Mascot Studios with Phil Yule engineering and mixing in May 1984 - Fun Supreme /w Back and beyond.  The music is picking up on the whiteboy funk coming out of England at that time from the likes of A Certain Ratio and others.

I've digitised the vinyl for you to check. Listen below. Back and Beyond is available to buy as an mp3 from

Following Ja Ja Jackal, Greg was drafted into another band. He says that "At some point Rafer [Rautjoki] asked me to join [his band] Diatribe. He was tres mellow and also very charismatic. His mother was a pretty radical film-maker called Merita Mita. Auckland’s Polynesian world opened up to me at that point and I met many great people and players."

Diatribe eventually split in two and changed into Seven Deadly Sins. I think the other half of the band formed Soul On Ice, can anyone confirm this or fill me in?

"Rafer and Ross France started the original band and recorded a wonderful self-titled EP [as Diatribe]. Then I joined, followed soon after by Fiona McDonald." She was recruited after a member of Diatribe phoned up BFM and asked who was singing their jingles - source.

"There were quite a few versions, which is why I’m a little vague. The music was essentially a blend of Pacific, ska, reggae and soul with Rafer and Ross doing most of the songwriting. We played everywhere from the Rumba Bar and Mainstreet Cabaret to the Black Power nightclub in South Auckland." From NZ Musician.

Compulsory Allies - No Oppression, off We'll Do Our Best compilation, from 1983.

Before Ja Ja Jackal, Greg was in Compulsory Allies. He says he played his first gig with them, opening for the Instigators at the Uni Cafe at the University of Auckland (source: NZ Musician). This tune is squeaky ska with a very earnest lyric, reflective of that grim post-81 Tour era when NZ was still under the thumb of then Prime Minister Muldoon.

From Simon Grigg: "The sequel to Class Of 81 - [this was] a compilation of new bands put together with Radio B's management. The album was far more experimental than its predecessor with several tracks representing the wave of new electronica sweeping Auckland - a direction Propeller would likely have followed if I hadn't wound it down.

Released March 1983. Recorded at Harlequin, Last Laugh, Mandrill, Progressive, Innovation and Mascot Studios. October 1982 - February 1983. Complied by Simon Grigg, Paul Rose for Propeller; and Andrew Boak, Andrew Hawthorne for bFm. Artwork by Simon Grigg."

 Related: Jules Issa, Dangerous game and Diatribe.

ADDED 9 April 2013: Ja Ja Jackal live, Sweetwaters 1984, 2nd Stage — from left to right: Gordon Goodinson, Mark Hatherly, Joost Langeveld,Greg Johnson and Paul Casserly (behind Greg). Photo from Gordon Goodinson.

Sole Project

Sole Project is on now at Artstation, 1 Ponsonby Rd, til August 4. There's some awesome art worth checking out. A very cool collaboration between artists acting as mentors to teenagers, put together by Sarah Longbottom and Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative....

from the exhibition catalog, one of the young rangatahi talks about the project... Eroni Vesikula: "... working with Darryl [DLT] has been mean. It's the first time for me doing art with spray cans. He's taught me heaps. He's cool and he's honest. He makes me feel valued.

'" I've learnt when doing tapa designs, especially from your culture, to put all of your heart into it. I don't really think about my future much but listening to Darryl is making me think about things."

Darryl DLT Thomson: "This week has been like being with my family, laughing, joking and being serious all in the same breath. It's like going home, really. In a city full of upstarts, it's good to connect, y'know." Their collaboration is pictured below....

 Art by Eroni Veikula and DLT
"Come check out the ka rawe works created by our amazing rangatahi and their mentors, incuding Otis Frizzell, DLT, Dan Tippett, Cerisse Palalagi, Shona Tawhiao, Rongotai Lomas, Joah Paki, Salome Tanuvasa, Chris Ryan and Cora-Allan Wickliffe.

This week Artstation is buzzing with creativity - all works are created over 25 hours of one-to-one mentoring, you will be blown away by the mahi that has been done.

All artworks will be for sale for under $500. Proceeds of from the sale of the artworks are reinvested back into Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative to help fund future projects and assist our rangatahi transition into tertiary art study...."

L-R: Otis Frizzell, DLT, Dan Tippett. Photo by Peter McLennan

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

R.I.P Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

Motown bassist and Funk Brother Bob Babbitt dies at 74, From The Detroit News

"Bob Babbitt, a bass player for Motown's studio band the Funk Brothers, died Monday morning in a Nashville hospice, according to his son, Joe Kreinar. Babbitt was 74.

The veteran musician, born Robert Kreinar in Pittsburgh, had been battling brain cancer for some time.

"He was a tough man — strong," said his son, Joe. "He could take pain. Right now I miss him deeply, and it's only been a few hours."

Although Babbitt's musicianship was always known to other players, his fame spread to a broader audience after the release of the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

Babbitt's bass solo on "Scorpio," the 1971 international smash by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band, propels the song along so memorably, that, as Detroit bass player Ralphe Armstrong once said, every bass player in Detroit had to be able to play it or they couldn't get a gig.

"His bass solo on 'Scorpio' has not been equaled, when you get right down to it," Coffey said. "That set the bar pretty high for bass players."

It was Babbitt's bass providing the funky bottom on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye, among many others.

Yusef beats

Yusef is from Washington DC, and makes some tasty instrumental hiphop beats, have a listen, free download. Check out No Cares Allowed or Mellodrama, nice piano work.  In similar ballpark to his fellow DC resident Maverick, who I posted about here.