Saturday, November 10, 2012

Who shot rock n roll?

Photo: Ian Dickson, The Ramones at Eric's Club, Liverpool, England, May 1977

I just got back from a great talk at the Auckland Art Gallery, listening to Gail Buckland, the curator of the Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present photo exhibition. 

She talked about how the show is themed, and how she wanted to uncover some of the people who took the photos - we all know the famous people in front of the lens, but what about the person behind it?  She made an effort to track down as many of the photographer she included, and go and meet them and see their work. It's an incredible feat. 

At the end of her talk  I asked about what happens to all these photographer's work when they pass on, and she talked a bit about archival efforts she'd been associated with, but said just because something has been digitised doesn't mean its been preserved, so she said she didn't really have an answer for me. She said its much easier to get your work archived say if you're a famous photographer like Ansel Adams or similar. 

Photo: Henry Diltz, of Tina Turner, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, 1985
Buckland talked about the above photo of Tina Turner, saying when she found it among the photographer's slides, he didn't even recall taking it, and had never used it. She asked Diltz to store it somewhere safe, til she needed it for the show. 

Later, her book publisher liked it after they saw a lowres scan, and wanted it for the book cover. Now, of course this rock n roll photographer was unorganised, Buckland says, and couldn't find it. It eventually turned up at the 11th hour, and features on the cover of the book cataloging the show. More photos at the bottom, see Wilson Pickett, backed by Jimi Hendrix...

The show is on now at the Auckland Art Gallery ($15 entry), til March 2013. There's a bunch of great activities going on around the show, live gigs, talks, a record fair, and heaps more... 

NOV11 Rockumentary film screening: The Stones in the Park

NOV11, 3pm Who Shot Rock & Roll: Graham Reid on Shooting the Beatles and creating the Sixties
Join well-known music reviewer, journalist, travel writer and music lecturer Graham Reid for a personal view of how photographers of the Beatles, Stones and others...

Open Late: Tuesday 13 November DJs (Shayne Carter), talks  (Tim Finn on his fave photo in the show)  food, drink and live music from Watercolours.

Sunday 2 December - 10am - 4pm, North atrium - free entry Who Shot Rock & Roll: Record Collectors Fair

Sunday 2 December 1pm Chris Mousdale on the design of rock and roll Chris Mousdale presents an illustrated year-by-year run down of the era's most relevant record covers.

Sunday 2 December 3pm Nick Bollinger, Murray Cammick and Milana Radojcic
Join music reviewer and writer Nick Bollinger in conversation with music journalist, photographer and record label founder, Murray Cammick and music photographer Milana Radojcic

Open Late: Tuesday 11 December DJs (Shayne Carter), talks, food, drink and live music from The Libres.

Wilson Pickett, with Jimi Hendrix as one of his backing band. May 1966

Open Late: Tuesday 22 January DJs, talks, food, drink and live music from Dear Time's Waste.

Open Late: Tuesday 5 February DJs (Murray Cammick), talks (Dj Sir Vere on his fave photo in the show), food, drink and live music from The Eversons.

Open Late: Tuesday 19 February, 6-9pm DJs (RIU editor Leonie Hayden), talks (Otis Frizzell his fave photo in the show), food, drink and live music from SJD.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Nov 10

Freddie Cruger-  Boogie down stureby
Johnnie Clarke - Bad days/dub
Courtney Melody - Bad boy
Singers and players - A matter of time
Yabby you - Conquering lion - Smith and Mighty remix
Lightning head - 2nd line stomp
Rhythm and sound feat Sugar Minott - Let Jah love come
Frente cumbiero - Pitchito - Sonora remix
Hugh Masekela - Languta
The emotions - I like it
Gladys Knight and the Pips - On and on
The Meters - Hey pocky way
Madhouse - Six
Alyson Williams - My love is so raw  - Baby love mix - remixed by David Dorrell and CJ Mackintosh
The Orb feat Lee Perry - Hold me upsetter

Jigsy knig meets the Viceroys - Give me the weed
George Faith - I forgot to be a lover
 The inversions - I can't stand these lonely nights
Seawind - Free
Manzel - Midnight theme - Dopebrother 7" mix
Fat Freddys Drop - Silver and gold
Eddie Kendricks - On my way home
Headshock - Land of jazz
Urban disturbance - No flint no flame
Jimi Hendrix - Foxy dub
African head charge - Dobbyn joins the head charge
Junior Murvin - Roots train
Skuff - The Jamaicans vs the good foot
Richie Phoe - Twilight chime

Friday, November 09, 2012

FFD new single

Free download, off the forthcoming album, Blackbird, due out early 2013. Get in quick.

FFD's Scott Towers told the NZ Herald that "The feeling we seem to be coming back to ... I guess, to me it feels like a dance record. I keep thinking about Grace Jones records with Sly & Robbie in the rhythm section [such as 1981's Nightclubbing], they are songs but they could really be dance tracks too. There is a crossed line there and Blackbird is a bit like that." Silver and Gold will be released with bonus instrumental track Bohannon Dub on limited edition 12" vinyl in December.

SJD - new album out Nov 16

From RTM HQ: "Like an early Xmas present, all wrapped up and ready for receipt, SJD's sixth album Elastic Wasteland is hitting stores and legit download locales as of Friday November 16. We'll furnish you with links to the physical, the digital as well as the possibly stratospheric and almost definitely imaginary, on the day, but in the meantime swoon at the cover above(r) and get ready to count your chickens - because this one is positively hatching.

Entirely penned, performed and produced by Sean himself without a single guest, and focusing on just synthesisers, drum machines and the human voice this is the purest, possibly deepest SJD experience yet. The certifiably legendary Angus McNaughton is the mastering maestro, Cherry Sprinkles designed the artwork from Sean's own images and with songs like The Lizard Kings, Lena, These Are The Names, Make Love Ask Questions Later, On The Driveway and Empty World this one is going to fry some minds and sear some synapses.

To celebrate the release Sean will be performing (again completely solo… it's the new style) at Golden Dawn on Wednesday 21st of November. Stinky Jim will be spinning a selection of the very finest from Round Trip Mars and elsewhere, before and afterwards - and admission is free."

ADDED Album is streaming in full over at NZ Herald.

First single below, pay what you like...

Phil and his phone

Phil Fuemana, photo by Greg Semu, Stamp, 1994.

Loud and Proud 
Stamp magazine, issue 45, 1994. Interview By Emma Farry

It's hard to miss Philip Fuemana – he's a big Polynesian brother. His size is matched only by his voice – he has been singing and producing music in South Auckland for the past decade. 

At last the work seems to be paying off with the release of the album from Fuemana ''New Urban Polynesian", released through Deepgrooves (we're not into self promotion, honest!) and the nationwide tour of Proud, a group of seven South Auckland based musical groups who will be touring the country to promote their compilation CD.

The musicians on the Proud tour make music described as "Urban Pacific." A new sound in the increasingly popular world music genre fusing Maori and Pacific rhythms with solid dance beats.

Names range from the more well known acts like the Pacifican Descendants, Semi MC's and Fuemana, to Sisters Underground, Otara Millionaires Club, acapella group Vocal 5. Radio Backstab and DJ Payback.

"Basically the idea behind the Proud tour and CD is to celebrate our colour. The music is mostly hiphop tinged - we call it street soul in the urban Pacific tradition." 

The tour kicks off on February 19th and 44 will travel the country pedalling their wares from Auckland to Invercargill and everywhere in between.

The Proud artists will perform at theatres and underage venues and the aim, apart from the altruistic ''sharing of musical culture" is to promote the CD released in March thru Second Nature Records According to the promotional material, Urban Pacific music is receiving "considerable interest'' from the record industries in Australia and the USA.

So some major record labels are riding the Polynesian cool wave and that's fine by Fuemana who believes his time has come. ''The whole Proud thing in like a modern version of Motown - taking the talent and travelling around the country with it. It's about time this kind of music was taken seriously, the whole Pacifican thing is set co take off," Fuemana says with an authority few would want to contradict.

''The Pacifican influence can be found in the beats we use, our accents our singing inflections and language . We sound like Polynesians and we're proud of it. I hate that whole mimicking of America thing - we've got our music scene which is really strong."

Fuemana jokes that he gives good friend and sometime musical partner Matty J a hard time for rapping in an American accent, The unusual couple met first on the Christian music scene. Both wanted to be the best so they eventually got together with Fuemana's sister Christina to form Houseparty and took the music to the city.

The band had some local success but things really started to happen when Matty J left to go solo and Fuemana changed the name of Houseparty to one he found more culturally appropriate. Matty J now appears regularly with the band but is no longer a permanent member.

The Fuemana album. due out in late February, brings together the experiences of the brother and sister who have struggled to make their future secure through music. 

''We saw music as one way of getting out of Otara. The music is about survival and creating a future where my family and their kids can be comfortable.''

A rocky start in life bound the siblings of the Fuemana clan tightly together. It sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of, The kids were ''kidnapped'' back and forth between mum and dad uncle they finally ended up with their father who found it hard to cope with a young family.

''My mum would come and get us screaming and bundle us into a taxi - and then the next week the same thing would happen with my dad. I was the oldest and the whole thing made us really close," Fuemana says.

Things weren't always easy in the Fuemana household though. Growing up with violence took its toll and in his younger days Fuemana was not scared to throw his weight around.

At the age of 18 though Fuemana's life changed. It's the conversion story that's been round forever, but it never loses the drama.

"I had this weird experience and discovered Jesus, I didn't quite know what was happening to me at the time. My family were all really scared of me and someone had broken the strings on my bass and they thought I'd kill them - but it was like a turning point in my life and I just cried. It was like I could feel for the first time in many years. I felt like I'd been woken up."

Not one to clap hands and preach on street corners Fuemana is quietly grateful for the change in his life which he attributes to Christ. "I don't make a big deal about the Christianity thing but I was turned around and my whole life changed.''

For a few years his church thought Fuemana would be the great Polynesian convert who would lead the masses to the faith. (he toured New Zealand spreading the Good News four times) but now it seems his face has led him elsewhere although he is still active as creative director for Manukau Christian City's 'Colour Blind Ministries.'

''None of the songs on the album are Christian based. I don't think I need to put my faith into every song because everyone who knows me knows what I think anyway." 

Fuemana is proud of his roots and he is fiercely loyal to South Auckland and is always promoting local talent. He is aware though that talent needs to be mixed with innovation.

''So many talented people just copy exactly what they hear on the radio and don't play any of their own stuff. There's women in Otara who can mimic Mariah Carey to the note but we'll never hear of them - people need to use their own ideas to get anywhere. I'd rather be poor and do original stuff."

Fuemana is critical of the fact that more Polynesians haven't become involved in the music industry.

"It's not Flying Nun's fault that there is so much white music around, we're to blame for it. We should have our own label - Flying Coconuts or something - we'd all be bloody rich by now. It's a typically Polynesian thing to sit back and say 'oh well'. but its now time for us to make our mark. We have to change our priorities,'' Fuemana says.

He hopes that by his example and involvement he can inspire others in the Polynesian community to follow their dreams.

"I really wanna get other people involved. I feel that I can be a leader and that other Polynesians may see what I've done and say 'yeah, I can do that' '' . 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lion Rockers soundsystem

This local crew have built that incredible set of speakers you see on that poster above. Can't wait to hear what kind of bass pressure comes outta that!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

DLT - One love

I found this video on a vhs compilation of nz music videos called Screenage Kicks, released by BMG and put together by Chronic/Stuart Broughton, around 1997 (no release date on the vhs or cover pictured below).

DLT featuring the splendid vocal talents of Mighty Asterix, who appears on a few tunes on DLT's classic album The True School, which is sadly not currently available. This needs a reissue! 

The video is directed by Marcus Ringrose / V8. Spot the cameos from Tame Iti, Kirk Harding, and a couple of Gregs and a few Supergroovers and a Headless Chicken....  some nice shots down Tuhoe country too...

Screenage Kicks cover art

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Resonators album out

UK reggae outfit The Resonators drop their debut album today on WahWah45s, have a listen below... They are also touring the UK over the next month...The Resonators have opened for the likes of Lee Perry, Derrick Morgan, and Fat Freddys Drop.

"A return to dub music of rare subtelty and imagination - qualities that confirm this band as the UK reggae act to watch" (John Masouri, Album review in Echoes magazine)

 "The Resonators are easily one of the best live dub-reggae bands around, in this country or any other...The Constant is a great reggae record, fans of the band will be happy with it, new listeners will be drawn in by it." (Adam Tait, Shout 4 Music)

She Dubs Me interview

I've been doing a few radio interviews in the past week for the Dub Asylum - She Dubs Me remix digital reissue, chatted with Chip Matthews on Basefm, Nick D on Georgefm, and Murry on Radio Ponsonby - you can listen to that last one below.

Also, Ba Ba Boom (Oogun Remix) by Dub Asylum is Tune Of The Week on Basefm this week, read about that here. Thanks, Base peeps!

Out now thru Amplifier, iTunes, etc

Monday, November 05, 2012

Toy Love wax arrives

I went to Real Groovy on Saturday (took some photos, see above), got a copy of the incredible Toy Love vinyl, which comes in a double gatefold sleeve, all colour printing, with a huge booklet with extensive liner notes, AND a free bonus 7". Hats off to John Baker and co for pulling this together. Well done.

The live bands during the day were great fun, have found a few clips and added below, including the raucous punk delight of Grrlfriendz, and Delaney Davidson, who also did an amazing, spooky, slowed-down blues take on Snapper's Buddy.  The groovy organ-driven sound of Wellington's Manta Rays was mighty fine, and Heart Attack Alley were very enjoyable, their album has just come out too, on vinyl. Each band was asked to do a Toy Love cover as part of their set.

I also picked up Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam - Head  to toe ($2), Madhouse - 8, which is Prince doing a jazz album ($2), Isaac Hayes - Juicy fruit LP ($8), and Nathan Haines - Shift Left cd ($6). Fun day out! Thanks to everyone involved in making it happen, and shout out to all the music heads I ran into at Groovy.

ADDED I caught up with Simon Grigg at Real Groovy, he blogged a bit about Toy Love over here.

Also, the NZ Herald report the new Toy Love vinyl hit the album charts, debuting at #15 on the back of around 1000 copies selling.