Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Solomonix reggae

This album from Auckland reggae outfit Solomonix, produced by Riddim Central's Iron Will, dropped late last year, and has recently hit Bandcamp, pay what you like. Serious roots reggae from Aotearoa, tasty business. Check it.


Kimbra wins Grammys

Gotye and Kimbra. Photo: Grammy.com

Kimbra scored two Grammy nominations for her guest slot on Gotye's hit single Somebody That I Used To Know - Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and also Record of the year - and won. She arrived in Los Angeles a few days ago, saying she would be based there for the next few months, and first item of business was get all dressed up for Sunday night's awards ceremony.

Gotye won Best Alternative Album, then he And Kimbra won Best Pop Duo. She looked thrilled. Then the big one, Record of the year.

Kimbra told the NZ Herald's Russell Baillie that  she "didn't think they had much chance. Especially as unlike those fellow nominees they hadn't been asked to play the song on the night. "I kinda took that as a sign that maybe we weren't going to be main players in the awards ... but we were stoked to be at an award ceremony for the first time and we were able to relax and not have to worry about a performance."

The award was announced by Prince. Kimbra was pretty excited about seeing Prince, mentioning on Twitter earlier in the day "Prince will be at The Grammys presenting an award tonight. Breathe, breathe"

Check Prince's entrance... gif by Rich Juzwiak, who says  "Prince is still the coolest, no matter what he says."


Then Prince intros the nominees, thne says "The award goes to..." he opens the envelope, looks at the winners name., and says "oh, I love this song... Somebody That I Used To Know."

Cut to Gotye and Kimbra getting up in the audience, she looks completely stunned. They get up on stage, and Gotye makes a brief speech, and thanks Prince for his music, then Kimbra thanks Gotye and his producer, and also thanks Prince. He stands there, being all enigmatic. What a dude. Watch the clip on the Grammys site.Or watch below, if it's still up.

Previous Kiwi Grammy winners are jazz arranger/musician Alan Broadbent (7 nominations and two wins) and Flight of the Conchords.




ADDED:  Kimbra tweeted "Still can't believe this actually happened. Framing this moment forever in my mind"  - see photo below...

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Free Mr Chop


Wicked sampler of Mr Chop's mighty work, some great bleepy business...

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 9

 Johnny Hammond - Higher ground
Buddy Miles - Them changes
Idris Muhammad - Express yourself
Mantarays - Originator
Quincy Jones - Hummin
Nat King Cole - Ay cosita Linda
Eli Goulart - Meu samba - Nicola Conte remix
Thelonious Monk - Straight no chaser
Madhouse - Two
Sheila E - Love bizarre
SOS Band  - SOS (dit dit dit dash dash dash dit dit dit)
Slim - It's in the mix
Womack and Womack - Teardrops
Laidback - Get laidback
Chancha via curcuito - Vaina
Comfort fit - Nitro
Stinky Jim - Get ready to talk
Cos ber zam - Ne noya - Daphni mix
Michael Olatunji - Soul makossa
Hugh Masekela - Languta (live in Auckland, March 14, and at Womad)
Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren band - Savannah
General Echo - Drunken master
Donald Byrd - Think twice
John Davis and the monster orchestra - Holler



Friday, February 08, 2013

Aaradhna signs US album deal


Last night on TVNZ's Seven Sharp, Aaradhna announced her new five album deal with US major label Republic Records (formerly named Universal Republic). Watch that announcement here. Exciting news!

Of course, now comes the hard work to make some kind of impact in the US market, but having a great album for starters is sure gonna help. Good luck, Radz!

Catch Aaradhna on the Summer Vineyard  Tour with Opshop, Missy Higgins, and Che Fu in February, dates here. Official press release on Aaradhna's album news here.

Previous post: Aaradhna live instore, Real Groovy

RIP Donald Byrd

photo: LastFM
Posted on Facebook by Byrd's nephew, Alex Bugnon...

"Donald Byrd 1932- 2013
Donald passed away Monday in Delaware, where he lived. His funeral will be held in Detroit sometime next week. I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family ( NOT His children! We are very tight! ) who are "handling" it. I'm letting y'all know, so spread it as far as you can! Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death. That's what I try to be, everyday!!
Rest in peace, uncle!"

ADDED: from Potholes In My Blog: " His influence, as you may know, is massive, as he played with everyone from John Coltrane to Eric Dolphy to Ahmad Jamal while amassing a highly notable discography in his own right. Additionally, Byrd left a huge mark on the hip-hop community, and it wasn’t just through producers sampling his music. Fans of Guru’s Jazzmatazz albums know full well that Byrd’s trumpet could be heard throughout the first two releases.

For us here at Potholes, two of Byrd’s most treasured moments came when J Dilla and Madlib reinterpreted his tunes on “Think Twice” and “Stepping into Tomorrow”, respectively..."

ADDED Feb 12: New York Times obit:  Donald Byrd, Renegade Jazz Trumpeter, Dies at 80










Bio from LastFM:
Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II (born December 9, 1932) is an American jazz, rhythm and blues trumpeter. Born in Detroit, Michigan. He performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. After playing in a military band during a term in the United States Air Force, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. While still at the Manhattan School he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, replacing Clifford Brown. After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956 he performed with a wide variety of highly regarded jazz musicians.

In the 1970s, he moved away from his previous hard-bop jazz base and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. Teaming up with the Mizell Brothers, he produced Black Byrd, which was enormously successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. The follow-up albums, Places and Spaces, Steppin’ Into Tomorrow and Street Lady were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for hip-hop artists such as Us3.

He has taught music at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, and Oberlin College. In 1974 he created the Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of his best students. They scored several major hits, including “Walking In Rhythm” and “Blackbyrds Theme”.

Full bio at AllMusic...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Igelese - Groovalation

Iglese, from Rip It Up issue 214, 1995
Igelese Ete released the single Groovalation in 1995, on local label Papa Pacific Records, run by Manu Taylor, then working at Marbecks (these days he is station manager at BFM). Papa Pacific also released early recordings by Dei Hamo, Johnny Sagala (Lost Tribe), Stellar, and Fieldstyle Orator [now Tha Feelstyle].

Igelese moved from Samoa to Wellington when he was 7. Rip It Up's John Russell (Issue 214, 1995) writes that "Igelese began singing in the choir at the church where his father was a preacher, and wound up as both a member and conductor of several singing groups, including the National Youth Choir. At age 15, he was resident pianist at the Park Royal Hotel in Wellington." Igelese went on to complete a music degree at Victoria University, with a major in performance singing.

Igelese says Groovalation was his "plan to combine different styles of music, and by doing that I hoped to get a unifying effect. I included the Polynesian styles because that's my background,  and Maori because I wanted to pay tribute to the tangata whenua. The other reason I wanted to do Groovalation was to prove to young people that if you have a vision, not to give up."

Once he had the song recorded, getting a NZ On Air video grant proved difficult without a record company backing it. Russell writes that "Igelese was turned down three times ... for video funding. He had no initial success when he began searching for a recording contract."

Igelese : "I'm no record company, but I think most of them were too scared to take a song that had a Samoan and a Maori rapper. Maybe they just thought it was too extreme to try and sell"

He eventually got a deal with indie label Papa Pacific (distributed by Warners), and RIU reports that there was an album planned for later in the year (95).

RIU: "Meanwhile,Igelese has begun collaborating with Gifted and Brown and former Rough Opinion rapper Kas [now known as Tha Feelstyle] on what he describes as a new urban sound. Igelese  "I think the next thing people are going to get into is Polynesian fusion - mixing up a lot of different styles. That will be the thing to look out for." [which neatly points to the rise of the likes of Urban Pacifika/OMC]



Groovalation proved successful at commercial radio, earning Papa Pacific a Radio Hits funding rebate from NZ On Air, given to acts that achieved a significant level of radio airplay. The song spent 11 weeks in the NZ singles chart (and 5 weeks in the top 20), peaking at number 13 on 2nd July, 1995. Video directed by Makerita Urale (one of King Kapisi's sisters) and Simon Beaufield.

From NZ on Air Kiwi Hit Disc #13 liner notes "Groovalation started life as Tutufa'atasi (Meaning "standing together" or unity) and was written for the 1994 International Festival of the Arts' finale concert."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Haring meets Koch

photo: from Keith Haring the authorised biography

In 1984, Keith Haring was asked to design a logo for an anti-litter campaign by the New York City Dept of Sanitation, and to thank him for his efforts, he was invited to meet the mayor, Ed Koch, who was notoriously anti-graffiti.

In Haring's authorised biography by John Gruen, Haring says the campaign was called 'Don't be a litter pig', and he came up with a cartoon pig for them. He met Koch at the campaign's launch  and used the opportunity to present the mayor with Haring's book Art In Transit, which included photos of Haring's subway drawings.

Hearing about the meeting, Haring finds that "This is hysterical, because Mayor Koch is an avowed enemy of graffiti art [see below clip], but I go to the ceremony and present him with my book... [and get a snap] of the mayor looking completely horrified at this book of my graffiti art!"

Monday, February 04, 2013

Opensouls Lewis M mix n mash


" I've had this sitting around unfinished for some time now. Can't remember if it was sidelined because I was working on my albums or because my son was born - probably both! Anyways, it's far too epic (8min long!) to stay locked up so I knocked it out and here it is. Thanks to Julien Dyne for the percussion bits."

RIP Cecil Womack

Cecil Womack passed away aged 65 last Friday, Feb 1st. Via Potholes in my blog...

"Cecil Womack, who with his wife Linda formed Womack and Womack, passed away Friday, Feb. 1 at the age of 65. Soul Source reports that he died in an unknown African country, where he and Linda moved some years ago. His final request was to have his ashes spread over a river close to their house.

Cecil began his career as part of a gospel group with his brothers, including Bobby Womack, called the Valentinos. They were guided by Sam Cooke up until his death in 1964. During that time, Cecil was married to fellow soul legend Mary Wells, though they split in 1977 and Cecil later married Linda Cooke.

In the years following that, the Womack couple recorded several albums together with 1983′s Love Wars and 1988′s Conscience serving as their most popular efforts. The latter spawned their biggest hit, “Teardrops”, which charted high in the United Kingdom and New Zealand [the song hit no 1 in NZ and Australia].

They continued recording together in the ’90s when they moved to Africa and adopted the surname Zekkariya."

ADDED: From The Independent, 1994: How we met: Womack and Womack 

ADDED Feb 8: From Bobby Womack, on his official Facebook page: " I was terribly upset when I heard about my brother's passing, and I still am. We made music together for a long time, but we've had many differences over the years. Thankfully we got a chance to reunite last year after a very long separation - and little did I know that it would be the last time I would see him. I can only pass along what I have now learned, which is to not let anything - money, success, etc, come between you and your family.
- Bobby Womack"




Picassos - Clap your hands video



This video turned up on the revived Deepgrooves website, and has also surfaced on Youtube. I directed this video for my band Hallelujah Picassos, in 1989. I was at art school, and we knew Mark Tierney from BFM, where he was in-house studio engineer, prior to going to work at the Lab recording studio for Bill Lattimer. We recorded with Mark at both BFM and The Lab.

When Mark scored this tv co-hosting gig (alongside Robert Rakete and Lani Gifford), I was able to hit him up for some TVNZ film stock (16mm positive), and he got me into TVNZ to do the film to video transfer/telecine, and then scored me some editing time, all done via contra under the auspices of the tv show CV. This was how NZ bands got videos made before NZ On Air funding came along.

I hired a cameraman and his camera, we borrowed a studio to film in, and I bought fish and chips for all our mates who came along as extras. Total cost of video = $138. The other band in this clip, Drone, were also at art school, coincidentally.

from the Deepgrooves website:

"Mark's CV:  Bit of a tangent here, but note worthy none the less. Prior to forming the label in 1991, Mr. Tierney was quite a well known TV "personality" fronting, along with a couple of others, a music show called CV. We were at the time, oddly enough, fans of both of these bands.

Bob and Harold would later form the Riot Riddum Sound System (2R2S) and would go onto record a number of tracks for the label including Home Girl (produced by Mr. Tierney), which featured on our first compilation. Bobbylon would also later guest on 3 The Hard Way's Hip Hop Holiday. We currently have a number of 2R2S DAT tapes slotted in line to be digitized and uploaded. "

Como Mamas

Como Now is a fantastic acapella gospel album that came out in 2008 on Daptone Records, home to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, Charles Bradley, Antibalas, and the Menahan St Band.

"In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church [in Como, Mississippi] to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original acapella gospel from the voices of Panola County’s own families." You can read the background about that album over here.


Now Daptone are releasing a followup, from the Como Mamas. Out Feb 5th.

"There are only three instruments on this recording: The powerful, raspy voice of Ester Mae Smith, the deep soothing voice of Angela Taylor, and the energetic, spirited vocals of Della Daniels. There are no other musicians on this recording, yet the harmonies the Como Mamas create are so powerful, musical accompaniment is not missed.

"Recorded on a sweltering morning in the humble wood structure that is Mt. Mariah church, this record is sure to mirror that heat throughout your body and soul. Don't be fooled by the term Gospel for this record will move everyone from the pious Pastor to the staunchest atheist. The Como Mamas believe whole-heartedly that these songs have the power to help and inspire people in their everyday lives. As Della put it "We just want folks to listen and get an understanding." Audio previews on Daptone's site.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Feb 2



Willie Bobo - Descarga del bobo  -Masters at work remix
Chancha via circuito - Burkina
Skyy - Easy
Candi Staton - When you wake up tomorrow
Bill Withers - Railroad man
Pepperpots - Real true love
Aural exciters - Emile (night rate)
Shriekback - Lined up - disco mix
LCD Soundsystem -  45 33 - Padded cell remix
Shannon - Let the music play
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance mix
Bassomatic - Funky love vibrations - Concrete mix
Common - Come close - Boozoo bajou remix
Nitin Sawney -Dead man - Fink dub
UB40 - One in ten dub (Ali Campbell's UB40 and Toots and the Maytals at Vector Arena, sunday night)
Toots and the Maytals - Funky Kingston
Albarosie - Sound killa
Bounty killer, Bunny rugs - Down in the ghetto
East side symphony - Hot pants road
Connie Price and the keystones - Western champion
Ohio players - Fire
Orgone - I get lifted
Sign of four - Jumping beans

Friday, February 01, 2013

HMV tweetoff


Via Adam Leyton on Twitter: "Tip: If you're going to sack your social media team, it's a good idea to change the password first"

Now all deleted, with HMV posting that "There have been job losses today, but not in our stores. We are still open for business, thx for your continued support... One of our departing colleagues was understandably upset. We’re still here thou, thx for supporting hmv thro these challenging times..."

ADDED Meet the woman who took over the HMV Twitter account: Her name is Poppy Rose Cleere.

Mt Zion OST


The local film Mt Zion debuts on our screens on Waitangi Day (and Bob Marley's birthday), Feb 6 - watch the trailer below. The soundtrack is out today, some great Kiwi acts in there plus some new recordings... Golden Harvest, early Herbs, Prince Tui Teka... and look, another Tem Morrison film with Max Merritt's Slippin' Away in it.

Tracklisting

Take It Easy - Stan Walker
Mt Zion - Small Axe
Heat Wave - Small Axe
Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
(You Gotta Walk)Don't Look Back - Peter Tosh
Now That We Found Love - Third World
The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
Funky Kingston - Toots & The Maytals
Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey
I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
Hoki Mai - Prince Tui Teka
Soul Deep - Small Axe
Lion Trail - Small Axe featuring Troy Kingi
Maunga Hiona - Small Axe featuring Che-fu
Azania (Soon Come) - Herbs
I Need Your Love - Golden Harvest
Slippin' Away - Max Merritt & The Meteors
Army - Small Axe
Basket - Small Axe

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Illegal downloader fined


The first case under the new copyright act has been heard at the Copyright Tribunal. An unidentified internet user has been fined $616.57, of which "The tribunal ordered the pirate to pay the costs of purchasing the tracks ($6.57), $50 towards the costs RIANZ incurred for sending the notices and $200 for the cost of bringing the case to the copyright body. The offender was also ordered to pay a deterrent sum of $360 ($120 per infringement)."

Read the full judgement on NBR's site.

The NZ Herald reports that "The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) ... took an unnamed offender to the Copyright Tribunal last year for sharing songs on the internet - a track by Rihanna on two occasions and the other by Hot Chelle Rae.

NBR reports that "In a letter from the defendant included with the decision, she says she accepts responsibility for downloading the first song, Rihanna's "Man Down" although she had not been aware her actions were illegal at the time.

"She writes she subsequently had trouble deleting a BitTorrent file sharing programme called utorrent, which led to a subsequent inadvertent download. She did not know how another song, "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae, came to be downloaded over the connection. "It was not done by myself or anyone in this household," she wrote."

Rianz said in a statement that "It is disappointing some account holders do not take meaningful action when first advised their connection was being used to flout the law."

Its; worth noting that filesharing  programmes like utorrent generally set themselves up so they will automatically open when you start up your computer, and it appears this user didn't know it did that.

From NZ Herald:  "In a decision released today, the tribunal found in RIANZ's favour and ordered the offender (who was a Telecom customer) to pay a penalty $616.57.

The ruling was the first of its kind under a 2011 copyright law change that allows rights holders - like movie studios or music companies - to issue notices to users believed to be illegally downloading or uploading copyrighted content. After a third notice, rights holders can bring a case before the tribunal, which can fine an offender up to $15,000.

Although only two songs were involved in this case, RIANZ sent a second notice about the Rihanna song to the offender around seven months after the first.

In a submission to the tribunal, the music pirate claimed ignorance to the illegality of the offending. "The first song downloaded was a song called Man Down by Rihanna. I accept responsibility for this. I downloaded the song unaware that in doing so from this site was illegal," the submission said.

However, the offender did not claim responsibility for the Hot Chelle Rae track. "It wasn't [downloaded] by myself or anyone in this household," the submission said. While the pirate only referred to downloading the songs, RIANZ's claimed the offending was for uploading the music.

This was accepted by the tribunal, which also said it was possible the pirate only intended to download the music over the file-sharing network where the offending took place.."

ADDED Jan 31: Thomas Beagle of TechLiberty has written an interesting analysis of this test case and what it means, worth a read...

Snip: "... It seems clear from the quoted part of the respondent's submission that they have no real idea about how file sharing via bittorrent works. RIANZ and the Tribunal both also seem somewhat blind to the reality that a default uTorrent installation will set itselt to automatically restart whenever the computer is restarted, and will thus keep sharing until stopped...."

"this case once again demonstrates two of the key weaknesses of the law:

"There is no way to prove your innocence. No one in New Zealand keeps the kind of detailed network logs that would be necessary to prove that you hadn't done what you were accused of. All you can do is assert that you didn't do it and the Tribunal has just shown that they will ignore this.

"The responsibility falls on the account holder, not the people using the internet to infringe copyright. In this case the respondent admitted she had downloaded the first track, apologised and had taken steps to stop it happening again. She denied downloading the third track that triggered off the penalty and suggested that someone else might have done it. Obviously we can't know if she was telling the truth, but the reality is that most internet connections are shared and this could easily happen.

"These two points are going to come up again and again. It seems certain that in many cases justice will not be done, with the account holder taking the fall for sloppy detective work on the part of RIANZ and the ISP, or the actions of other people sharing their internet account..."

ADDED Jan 31: RIANZ MD Chris Caddick told NewstalkZB that  they "can measure piracy levels and they have not gone down over the past 12 months... we have really been waiting for this, a first decision, to send a clear message, that there are consequences..." He says he is confident that this test case will result in a drop in piracy.

ADDED: See this US report on Kim Dotcom's recently launched Mega: File-sharing site Mega fields 150 copyright infringement warnings...

"Mega, which launched on Jan. 20, allows people to store 50GB of encrypted content for free. The content, which can be shared between users by sharing a link to it, can be decrypted if a user also shares the encryption key.

Mega was developed with an eye to avoid the copyright infringement allegations that plagued Megaupload, which was shuttered in January 2012. Since uploaded content is encrypted, Mega cannot determine the content of files stored. But it will remove content upon receiving a valid notification of copyright infringement."

Menahan keep coming



Off The Crossing, the latest album from the Menahan St Band, dropped October last year.

New Dam Native video

Annie C - U soul me



Found this really cool track from Miss Annie Crummer on a vhs, nice mid-90s triphop production vibe. It was a single off her 1996 album The Seventh Wave, on Warner Music. When I posted it to my Youtube account, unfortunately Warners blocked it for New Zealand viewers, which was a bit stink.

I was able to get a contact to email at Warners NZ, and they kindly unblocked it. Why they would block an artist they released on their own label is beyond me. Especially for an NZ On Air-funded video. Let the taxpayers see it, peeps.

But this is something of a big problem with Warners, especially around the Flying Nun catalog. Although Warners no longer own the FNun catalogue, I'm guessing they clearly still have the artists listed in their database that Youtube use to source their copyright warning and geoblocking.



Russell Brown recently highlighted on Twitter the case of former member of the Headless Chickens Grant Fell, who uploaded some videos of his old band, only to have Warners block them for NZ viewers. At least their version of Abba's Supertrouper is still up!

Russell writes about this problem, noting "... Warner Music’s continued and unwarranted assertion on YouTube of copyright over the Flying Nun Records catalogue it no longer owns – each geoblocking claim needing to be sorted out on an individual basis – is probably not the only problem of its kind..." in a post discussing the launch of Kim Dotcom's new service, Mega.

At the Mega launch, Dotcom talked about his his yet-to-be-launched Megabox service, that will give artists a lion's share of the sales, 90%. That's nothing new. Bandcamp gives artists 85% of every sale. Creating an online service that cuts out the record labels is not new or innovative. Perhaps folk in the media can wake up to that and stop blindly repeating Dotcom's assertion on this like it was fact. If you asked some local independent musicians, they'd tell you they're already using Bandcamp very successfully, so why would they go with Megabox....

Anyways, the Annie Crummer video was directed by Mark Hartley. This single peaked at #21 in the NZ singles charts, and the album peaked at #5. The single also featured a rap remix produced by Anthony Ioasa, with Three The Hard Way on vocals.

New Charles Bradley single

album cover artwork

Charles Bradley follows up his fantastic 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming with a new album, Victim Of Love, dropping April 2 on Daptone's imprint Dunham Records. Here's the first single ... US tour dates here. May 16 he's hitting the Apollo Theatre, that would be a very cool show to see...
 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

El Truento bizz

Some tunes from the back catalog of Christoph El Truento, name your price, over on Bandcamp - have a listen...

Monday, January 28, 2013

R.I.P. Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner (Ohio Players)


Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner of the Ohio Players (Fire, Love Rollercoaster, Funky Worm) has passed away aged 69. Found a couple of great old live clips of the band, below...

Official Family Announcement of the Passing of Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner (source: Kiss104FM)

"Yesterday, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH. While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music, and legacy.

Sugarfoot, or Foot, or Sugar, was the founding and cornerstone artistic talent of OHIO PLAYERS and the face and sound of the OHIO PLAYERS brand, which he knit together and launched in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables. With a career spanning 56 years, he passed barely short of his 70th birthday.

Humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends. He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on. More details and an official historical perspective of his career will soon be forthcoming."

Ohio Players frontman Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner dies, from Dayton Daily News



Benjamin 7"

Cherries Records is a fresh label founded last year outta Chicago. Their latest release drops Jan 29, on 7" single and MP3, and sounds like this... damn, it's dope.... go check out their earlier releases too.



Flipside is over here, listen....

Some background... "Windy City singer and multi-instrumentalist Benjamin [Ben Pirani] has a fondness for ‘80s soul ... he cites Fatback Band producers Bill Curtis and Gerry Thomas as prime influences, and as such, the single contains two jams that channel the synth chic of the time, while adding a signature contemporary touch. “I have a bit of genuine nostalgia for that period of music,”

BENJAMIN muses wistfully, helping illuminate the audacious Jheri curl uptopianism of his formidable debut. Although, funk is just one color in this shining star’s musical palette. BENJAMIN also plays guitar and sings in Chicago Stone Lightning Band, a heavy blues rock affair who recently released an eponymous LP. He is also a founder of Chicago’s northern soul music staple Windy City Soul Club.

This broad scope of activity rests in solid foundation as BENJAMIN is from a family of pros. His mother’s opera career ran from the ‘60s to the ‘80s, while his father played piano on Terry Callier’s timeless 1972 LP Occasional Rain, as well as alongside leading lights of Chicago soul such as Charles Stephney and Minnie Riperton..."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 26



Freddie Cruger - Something good
Junior Murvin - Bad weed
Horace Andy - Jah provides
Linval Thompson - Babylon system
Risco connection - Caught up
Wabine - Sail on
Sergio Mendes - For what it's worth
Hank Marvin - Sunday for seven days
Booker T and the MGs - Melting pot
Dexter Wansel - Life on Mars
Tappa Zukie - Freak
Loopless - Pink blue hotel
Stinky Jim - Get ready to talk (free download)
Fatback band - Wicky wacky
Charles Wright - Doing what comes naturally
Kashmere stage band - I wish - Todd Terry remix
BT Express - Express dub - Kenny Dope mix
Benjamin - Not a moment too soon
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry  -Soulman - Villad b rmx
Horace Andy - Bad man - RSD remix
 Horace Andy -Cuss cuss
Konshens - She loves money
U Brown - Gal u so bad


Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reality tunes


Tasty album from 2010 from these Chch cats, and it's free... classy roots reggae stuff, have a listen.

Mt Zion, soon come



This NZ feature film debuts on Waitiangi Day, Feb 6, which is also Bob Marley's birthday. Fitting for a film about a band trying to win the opening slot for Bob Marley's 1979 Western Springs concert. Watch the trailer, above...

"In this feature film Australian Idol winner and X-Factor judge Stan Walker makes his acting debut as aspiring singer Turei. Part of a whānau of Māori potato pickers from Pukekohe, he has to choose between duty to family (Temuera Morrison is patriarch 'Papa') and letting the music play. Turei's dilemma takes place amidst reggae star Bob Marley's 1979 tour to Aotearoa and a chance for him to win a supporting slot at Marley's Western Springs concert. Mt Zion is director Tearepa Kahi's first feature, after a suite of successful short films (Taua, The Speaker)."

Clip on the making of the film from Marae Investigates, watch out for the Ghost Chips bro...and near the end they sing Tutira Mai acapella... chur!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Solange XX



Solange live in London, Via Pitchfork

Cheese On Toast reports that The xx are doing Australian live shows in early April, noting there is a gap in their tour schedule before those shows, and the band have indicated they are keen to visit NZ again, so fingers crossed.

Sam Cooke interview



Via Dangerous Minds, on  the Mike Douglas Show, 1964.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Albarosie bails on Raggamuffin

 Albarosie has pulled out of Raggamuffin, apparently due to greedy and unrealistic artist management demands. Raggamuffin announced on Facebook that "We are very disappointed to inform Raggamuffin fans that Alborosie is no longer available to perform. We are working overtime to confirm a replacement act. Details will be announced very soon."

Previous posts: 
Ali Campbell owed $ by Raggamuffin (2012)
Herbs vs Raggamuffin (March 2011)
Herbs light up the court (April 2010)

Vinyl is making a comeback #262

photo: Peter McLennan
Interesting piece, called "Vinyl Analysis: Snobbery Or Substance?" Starts off with the usual statistics on rising vinyl sales, then notes "the very fact that 389,000 LPs were sold [in the UK] in 2012 is a phenomenon worth investigating... "By Danny Wright.

"... History professor David Suisman, who chronicles the history of the commercial music industry in his book “Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music”, says, “In an age when music and many aspects of culture seem ephemeral and fleeting and, in many ways, superficial, the materiality of vinyl offers a substance.”

But is this substance or just plain snobbishness? Sometimes having a vinyl collection just seems another way for people to show their superiority when it comes to music and the chance to denigrate others.

Is there a valid reason? Yes and no. Some people just love the antiquity of the format. Some people love the large artwork (just look at the amount of vinyl art frames you now see in shops). Some people prefer the richer (better?) sound.

Yet there are more tangible reasons. The vinyl renaissance is also bringing back the actual joy of physical discovery of music. As someone who was in the queue for Record Store Day last year to get themselves a copy of 'Mclusky Do Dallas' I can attest to its popularity. It was something communal and exciting and it certainly creates a very different, and deeper, relationship between you and the artist..."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Lions go 45


The Lions are a Southern Californian outfit who play some great old style reggae vibes. Their wicked cover of  Think (James Brown/Lnn Collins) was killer, and their debut album Jungle Struttin on Ubiquity, was a well-refined effort.

They're back with a new album, this time on Stonesthrow... (and don't forget, Stonesthrow mainman Peanutbutter Wolf is DJing in Akld on Jan 26...)

"ANNOUNCING: THE LIONS - THIS GENERATION - 45s. There will be no 12-inch LP edition of The Lions album This Generation. We're going all out for 45s on this one - a box with 8 records including the album's 12 tracks, and 4 bonus dub tracks not available on the CD or digital release. Expected ship date is Feb 26.

And we have one more track: "Padre Ichiro" Dub version by Bill "DJ Prophesy" Wendt who works with Dub Club & Glitch Mob. This track will not be on the album -- available only here and our digital subscription at Drip FM." http://sthrow.com/lions

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 19

Western roots - Bogus buddy
Pavlov and Mishkin - The dog
Mike Zoot feat Laba - Spread love
Dillinger - Detention
Henry and the revolutionaries - Skanking
Pinvhers - Bandolero
Tenor Saw - Have u loved somebody dub
Nextmen feat Cutty Ranks - Silent weapon
Romanowski and Doze Green - Strudel strut
Skyy - Here's to you
Temptations - What it is
Fatback band - Do the Spanish hustle - Danny K edit
Soul searchers -We the people - Danny K edit
Gay Flamingoes steel band - Black mans cry
James Brown - Stone to the bone
Maxayn - Bailout
Wu tang clan - Gravel pit - LP version
Eric B and Rakim - I know you got soul
Grandmaster Flash - The message - Paul Nice super duty mashup
Richie Phoe feat Dangerman - First class mi run
King Everand - Kill old pan
Waldeck - Floater - Dubblestandart mix
Rhythm and sound feat Willi Williams - See mi yah
Rhythm and sound feat Sugar Minott - Let Jah love come
Rhythm and sound feat Jah Cotton - Dem never know

Friday, January 18, 2013

Breaks Co-op video



Popped up on the revived deepgrooves website, they say "We maybe shot three, possibly four videos for the Roofers album. So far we have found three, but we are pretty certain there were four. This one for SUCH THE SPOT was shot in 1997 over two Sunday afternoons in Harajuku. We will post up the other clips shortly."

Breaks Co-op got funding from NZ On Air for three music videos - Sound advice, Transistor, and Such the spot.If a fourth video did happen, it could have something to do with this....

John Oz of the band Freaker, also on Deepgrooves and recipient of two NZOA video grants, mentioned over in the comments of 5000ways that  "...Deepgrooves never produced any videos for my tracks, the money was apparently spent on Breaks Co-op. I did feel completely ripped off, I understand “Mutilator” was the first instrumental track to receive funding from NZ on Air. I am however really happy for Breaks Co-op, Zane was very supportive of me and my project. The financial decisions were not made by the artists."

Lee Fields, 56 Oldsmobile



In which Mr Lee Fields gets driven to a gig in Holland in a 56 Oldsmobile, like the one is father had. The show is in a church. Incredible acoustics, and Lee's performance is electric. BVs from Lady (also on Truth and Soul Records). Watch it. Via Rolling Stone.

".. The Dutch production company behind the video, Sensu, selected the majestic venue for Fields.  "Filming the video in an old medieval church was the most humbling and spiritual experience I have ever encountered," Fields says."

Hey Bo Diddley! 1969



Watch Bo Diddley shake. Watch him shimmy, Watch him rock out all over the show like that badass uncle you never had. Video via Surfadelic.

Now go buy some Bo Diddley tunes, cos that will make you a better person.Cos he's an original.

First time I saw him play this song on a live clip was on a vhs tape compilation of the TAMI Show, and it looked like this... and check out his band, stylish mofos to the last drop...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Awesome Tapes From Africa DJ Set in AK


Via Cheese On Toast, this sounds way cool... "Brooklyn’s unchallenged authority on rare African cassette tape jams – Mr Brian Shimkovitz who runs the very excellent blog AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA is going to be DJing in Auckland for one night only next week…
Playing at Golden Dawn on Tuesday 22 January – entry is free!

some background... via The Wire...

Collateral Damage: Awesome Tapes From Africa's Brian Shimkovitz
May 2012

Digital transparency has revealed dimensions to African music beyond Western received ideas. But how to market it sympathetically, asks Brian Shimkovitz

"I started Awesome Tapes From Africa (ATFA) as a way to make artefacts available from the cassette based music economy I have encountered around Africa. Something that began quite innocently as a means of filling the wide gaps in international music distribution – nearly every musician and producer I’ve met in West Africa wants to find a way to get their music beyond their borders – has become a spark in the often fiery debates surrounding suspected post-colonial tendencies of the Western music industry vis-à-vis the developing world.

My fascination with tape culture in West Africa led to the rather ironic activity of spreading analogue recordings via digital technology. It’s a pursuit that adds to outsiders’ appreciation of the breadth of musical subcultures in myriad African regions, many of which have been passed over by the otherwise excellent labels which have released music from the continent...."

Rodriguez live in NZ

photo: Marina Akwa/Glow Mag
 
Just announced, Rodriguez is playing live in NZ in March - Wellington Town Hall March 16, and Auckland's Logan Campbell Concrete Centre, March 17. Tickets in sale from Ticketek from Jan 29.

Stinky Jim soundz



Brand new solo bizz from the mighty stenchmiester, go grab it!

Jim sez "Well this should have happened on New Years Day, or considerably earlier considering it’s been kicking around in Maschine since 2010, but finally knocked this somewhat unclassifiable tune off and lets call it a celebration of 500 Soundcloud peeps tuning in. "

"It’s permanently available as a free download, and it also heralds the start of binging some more of my solo-dolo tunes up as they get to a stage of ..if not completion, at least some sort of finality. Next up will be something completely different and considerably fresher… keep ‘em peeled.Hope you enjoy, as ever big thanks to Mr Mo Delay for his invaluable mix assist and mastering touch…….

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lost Tribe



Lost Tribe were on Phil Fuemana's label Urban Pacifika Records. They dropped the killer single Summer in the winter (video here) in 1997 (there's no date on the cd single, so think it was then - the single charted in the top 20 in Sept 97), here's a clip of them rehearsing in 96.

Video posted by Lost Tribe's Johnny Sagala aka Jestar, who writes "Sinbad the original member of Lost Tribe from 1995 to early 1997 had made a decision to walk the Christian walk, leaving the group to find a replacement that "KD - Kilo Delta" was adopted into the crew time for the single "Summer in da Winta"


Jestar on the above video: "You'll never see Brotha D with short hair or Jestar with Long hair again or Sinbad cuz he's building Houses or SonTan cuz he's an Australian proud father of two beautiful girls ... until you've seen this classic piece of history in how Otara hip hop became the seed to kicking off Dawnraid International. Two nights before we shot this we were down at the Basement night club with Phill Fuemana introducing ourselves to each other as the new UPR rap crew that needs a new name. Then Lost Tribe was born."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Go go gadgets!


Here's some interesting numbers on gadget prices from the NZ govt statistician...

The average price of a radio [in 1949] was about £21, or about $1460 in today’s terms.

Colour TV sets were around $80 in 1975 ($7950 in today’s terms) for a 26-inch set.

Typewriters were included in the CPI basket in 1977, when the average price was $175 (about $1030 today).

In 2006, a 32-inch LCD-display TV retailed at about $2750. The same size TV in the September 2012 quarter would have cost about $680.

Source: From typewriters to tablets – the changing face and price of technology

UK music retailer HMV in trouble

Via BBC: "Music and DVD chain HMV, which employs about 4,350 staff, has confirmed it will appoint an administrator, making it the latest High Street casualty. Deloitte will run the 239-store chain while it assesses prospects for the business and seeks potential buyers ...
In a statement late on Monday the company said: "The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection...

... As its debts mounted, HMV sold off parts of the business, notably its live entertainment arm and the Waterstones book chain.

Last week, HMV announced a month-long sale with 25% off prices, sparking worries that the company needed to shift stock after poor Christmas trading. The Financial Times reported that the final straw came over the past few days when suppliers, including music labels and film companies, declined to help HMV with funding so that it could continue trading...

Neil Saunders, the managing director of retail analyst Conlumino, said he felt the appointment of administrators at HMV "was always inevitable. In the digital era, where 73.4% of music and film are downloaded, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable.

He said that although the HMV brand "certainly has some value" for potential buyers, the current business model was dead. TThe bottom line is that there is no real future for physical retail in the music sector," he said.

Updated Jan 22: Major record labels assemble rescue package for struggling HMV, via NME

Free Mo Kolours




Taken from the forthcoming OHM release, EP3: Tusk Dance. Pre-order the 12" here: mokolours.bandcamp.com/album/ep3-tusk-dance

More info: "Anglo-Mauritian pop-experimentalist Mo Kolours completes his trilogy of EPs for One-Handed Music with EP3: Tusk Dance. The most introspective collection so far, Tusk Dance is the best opportunity yet to glimpse the otherworldly visions of this unique singer, producer and percussionist.

Mo Kolours’ first two releases have established him as a singular voice as he explores the rhythmic possibilities of his mix of soul, dub, hip hop, the Sega music of his homeland, and various electronic styles."
onehandedmusic.com/artist/mokolours/

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Dawn shifts to town?

Crane next door to Golden Dawn, cnr Ponsonby and Richmond Rds. Photos by Peter McLennan.
Golden Dawn is a popular bar in Ponsonby, but it needs a new home. Only ever intended as a temporary popup bar-type arrangement, the owners have kept it open as I imagine it has proved a good money earner for them.

Redevelopment plans on that site and next door mean it will most likely have to move by the end of summer, according to their Facebook page. The lot adjacent to them has been vacated by the Mini car dealership, and is now a construction site with foundations being drilled, and so on.

Former council depot, corner Wellesley and Nelson sts,
Weighstation pictured below, with Sale St and Glengarrys behind


One rumoured new location for Golden Dawn is at the revamped City Works Depot, in the former weigh station, near the corner of Nelson and Wellesley st (photo above).

[Update, Jan 15: Golden Dawn's Matthew Crawley contacted me via Twitter to say the "Sale St rumour is popular but false + looks like we've got this spot for a while yet."]

[Update Jan 20 - the Sunday Star Times reports that Bauer Media (ex ACP Magazines) has signed up to move in to City Works, and Foodtruck Garage and Al Brown are also confirmed as taking on a lease.]

[Update Jan 30 -NZ Herald's Viva section confirmed today that Al Brown is opening a bagel bakery in City Works, along with a New York-style deli in Federal st.]

After the two previous owners failed to get major redevelopment of the site up and running - most recently with a office/apartment project called Rhubarb Lane - the site is now owned by a car parking company, Tournament Parking, who have previously been using the space for parking for several years, while developers chased finance.

Unfortunately Tournament have stripped the site of all established trees, and painted out the extensive graffiti art murals, so as not to frighten off car owners, or new tenants, like ad agency Y&R, or Brothers Brewery. Al Brown is also rumoured to be starting a new venture there, a Montreal-style bagel joint. The site has major limitations for entertainment venues, as there are hundreds of apartments all round the site, which means noise will be a problem.

It's evolving into a vibrant spot again, after previous incarnations as art gallery spaces or the cafe Deus Ex Machina. But did they have to white out the walls?

Brothers Brewery, excellent spot for a cold beverage or two.


Photos by Peter McLennan.

Wilson Parking have done the same with their upper Symond st parking spot, painting out the graffiti murals that have been there for many years. Those parking companies really love bland walls.

At the time of purchase, last February, James Brown of Tournament told the NZ Herald that "We have no plans to undertake a big redevelopment. Our plan is to restore the existing buildings and then refurbish them."

The depot was originally built for the Auckland City Council in 1968, and designed by Ewen Wainscott. They won awards from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1969 and 1970. See construction photos here.