Friday, February 27, 2004

Flying under the radar
Some genius at the NZ Herald decided to give local comedian Radar a weekly column in that esteemed paper - Hoo - bloody - rah! His first effort involves the invasion of his lounge by the compost raiders, and is highly entertaining. I suggest you to investigate this talented chaps fine wit. He spent last Xmas in Jerusalem, looking for the Intifada (Israeli/Palestinian conflict) - he didn't find it, but he did meet Yasser Arafat. Look out for the documentary film of his travels sometime later this year.
The pic in the paper has him smiling and looking all user friendly (scrubs up well, he does), however the pic on the Heralds website is Radar's 'serious young man' face. Scary.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put up a legal analysis of the Grey Tuesday protest, which strongly supports the protesters fair use rights, noting that EMI do not have federal copyright protection as the White Album came out prior to 1972 ....

"Are the Grey Tuesday protesters protected by fair use?
... There are a number of characteristics of the Grey Tuesday protest that would likely weigh in favor of those who post the Grey Album:

1 the posting of the Grey Album is for a noncommercial purpose;
2 downloads of the Grey Album do not substitute for purchases of the White Album;
3 the Grey Album is a transformative use of the White Album, not a wholesale copy; and
4 the posting of the Grey Album is intended as part of a commentary on the use of copyright law to stymie new kinds of musical creativity."

From Creative Commons site...
"For some people, the future of copyright law is here, and it looks a lot like Gilberto Gil. The Brazilian singer-songwriter plans to release a groundbreaking CD this winter, which will include three of his biggest hits from the 1970s. It isn't the content of the disc that makes it so novel, though -- it's the copyright notice that will accompany it." Read more here.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Flattering, says Danger Mouse.
DJ Danger Mouse's official response to Grey Tuesday is here. For some background on Danger Mouse, check out this interview at He's been doing the mashup thing for a while now.. "I put out about three other 12” of things I did where I was mixing like Suzanne Vega with 50 Cent, Nas and Portishead and stuff like that...."
The New York Times reports that "By yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) some of the web masters of the protesting sites said they had served 85 to 100 copies of the album, while other reported as many as 1,000 downloads." So, its gone from 3000 cds to potentially 75,000 to 100,000 copies in circulation in one day by my estimate. Grey Tuesday say that "we are certain the Grey Album was the number one album in the country yesterday (by a huge margin). Danger Mouse moved more 'units' than Norah Jones and Kanye West, and the Grey Album easily went gold in a day, with well over 100,000 copies downloaded. That's more than 1 million digital tracks."
EMI could have licensed the record, got it in the shops and be making money off it, instead of making money for their lawyers. 'Cept the Beatles are well known for saying no to anyone wanting to sample their music.

More from the NYT... "Jonathan Zittrain, a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, said the issue is indeed a gray one. "As a matter of pure legal doctrine, the Grey Tuesday protest is breaking the law, end of story," Mr. Zittrain said. "But copyright law was written with a particular form of industry in mind. The flourishing of information technology gives amateurs and home-recording artists powerful tools to build and share interesting, transformative, and socially valuable art drawn from pieces of popular culture. There's no place to plug such an important cultural sea change into the current legal regime."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Props to Alan Oakley.
Raleigh have just announced they are bringing back the 70s classic Raleigh Chopper. Hits the streets in the UK on April, costs just under 200 pounds.
"The bike’s original design by Alan Oakley, the then Chief Designer at Raleigh , remains largely unchanged on the new version. Available only in the original Infra Red, the materials in the bike’s production are taken from the original Chopper concept, even using the original tyre mould from the 70s.... the original Chopper (or The Hot One as it is affectionately known) was launched in America in September 1968. The film ‘Easy Rider’ was released here in 1969; Raleigh saw the opportunity and released the Chopper to the discerning UK audience. The Chopper frenzy exploded taking the Hot One to cult status. " Me want.

And guess what? Just phoned a few cycle shops, and discovered that Raleigh NZ is not connected with Raleigh UK, they make a totally different range for NZ, and these new issue choppers won't be appearing here any time soon. Bummer. If you know of how I can get one, or if you have contacts in a cycle shop, please help me get my hands on one! (And yes you can get one online - BUT the UK online sellers only sell to the UK).

The latest issue of Mysterex magazine hit the stores recently - issue three contains excellent articles on 80s NZ bands such as Riot III, Danse Macabre, Wellington punk scene in late 70s, Fifty 45s Kiwi Rock Dribblers Shouldn't Be Without (very entertaining),and Shayne Carter writing about his high school band, Bored Games. Available from Real Groovy, Slowboat, Records Records, or email Essential reading for any serious Kiwi music fan.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Tuesday Dischord.

" can't sell music because music is free. I'm serious about that. I really believe that. Music is like air, you can't sell it. I know that people have, not to fall back to my oft-used metaphors and analogies, but this is the way I process things, but I see music as a river, and the water in a river is there for everyone and anyone that wants to have a sip can have a sip and have some water.
Now somewhere along the line someone came up with the idea of putting the river water in bottles and selling the bottles of water. That's the record industry. Music is a river, music is water, and the bottling company is the industry, and it's not inherently evil, because it's frankly, convenient to have water in a bottle, so if you're driving in your car and you're thirsty you don't have to drive to the nearest river and take a sip, you can just reach down and take a sip out of your bottle.
The same way if I'm driving in my car and I want to hear a song, I don't have to drive over to the people's house and ask them to play it for me, I can put the CD in and listen to it, or turn on the radio. Where it gets ugly is that when the bottling company, since their aim is to make money-- at some point they may have thought like, "Let's bottle this water and that way we can share the healthful qualities of water with all the people."
At some point it becomes, "This is our industry, we need to make money, and how can we increase profits?" Well, the way to increase profits is to try to discourage people from going to the river, and having to buy the bottled water. And they'll start with that but eventually what they're going to get into is they're going to start blocking the river or they're going to poison the river.
But water is always moving, and it's very difficult to poison a river, very hard indeed. And that's the good news about music, it can't be stopped, it will always happen, people will always make music, and regardless of whether or not there's money to be made form it or not, it's still going to happen, it can't be stopped. So in my mind with the sales of records, the industry has done their best to claim ownership of music but they don't-- they only own the things that they sell, so when people who are songwriters say, "That's my property and if you give it away for free then I lose my incentive," then, well, good riddance."
Ian MacKaye of Fugazi/Dischord Records, interviewed on Downhill Battles site (people behind Grey Tuesday).

Also worth reading is the interview with hiphop MC Sage Francis of crew Non Prophets - his crew are currently on a 41 city tour of the US called the Fuck Clear Channel Tour. Clear Channel Sucks backgrounds this radio giant. "...They are in 248 of the top 250 radio markets, controlling 60% of all rock programming. They outright own the tours of musicians like Janet Jackson, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Madonna and N'Sync. They own the network which airs Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Casey Kasem, and the Fox Sports Radio Network. With 103,000,000 listeners in the U.S. and 1,000,000,000 globally (1/6 of the world population), this powerful company has grown unchecked, using their monopoly to control the entire music industry. If you find this alarming, is the place for you."

Reality tv has hit new lows..... Celebrity Detox Camp, currently on repeat in the UK. Celebrity enemas, two a day for seven days. Yuck.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Fade to Grey
What do you get if you cross Jay Z's latest CD the Black Album with the Beatles White Album? Answer: The Grey Album, a bootleg by US DJ Danger Mouse (real name Brian Burton). Highly illegal, very entertaining. Hiphop vocals from Jay Z's latest, plus beats and samples all taken from the White Album. Its intriguing, and some of it even works.
Not surpisingly, the Beatles label EMI has jumped all over this, as its been out on cd, limited to 3000 copies worldwide. "It's illegal, I know that and it may get me in trouble, but if I had thought about that I would have never made what I thought turned out to be one of the best things I ever did," Dangermouse said. Read Reuters news report on it here.

"Danger Mouse said he's complied with the order not to distribute any more copies of The Grey Album. [Ebay have pulled it from their auctions also] Because of the small number pressed, he didn't expect any further legal action to take place." But once it hits the net it will be downloaded all over the show. Grey Tuesday is about just that... "Tuesday, February 24 will be a day of coordinated civil disobedience: websites will post Danger Mouse's Grey Album on their site for 24 hours in protest of EMI's attempts to censor this work." 138 sites are currently listed as taking part.
I'm not suggesting you download it, that would be illegal. I heard some short sound samples over at Turntable Lab. Will the Grey Tuesday kids all get sued by EMI?
Andrew Baio at had the files up on his site for download briefly, but was CC'd on an email to his ISP emailed by EMI's lawyers, ordering him to stop unauthorized distribution. A copy of the email from EMI is on his site.

"I love the Beatles, but nobody knows that there's breaks in there," said Chad Hugo of the Neptunes, who produced two songs on The Black Album. After hearing The Grey Album for the first time, he nodded in approval. "This is dirty," he said.
Rolling Stone called it "the ultimate remix record" and "an ingenious hip-hop record that sounds oddly ahead of its time"
the Boston Globe called it the "most creatively captivating" album of the year.
"Appalling, simply appalling. The Beatles and Jay-Z? Disgusting. How could he do this? Danger Mouse has some serious issues. What was he smoking? Drugs, booties, and hoes over tracks like "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and "Piggies"????? It's just not right!!" said one disgruntled old bastard/Beatles fan.
Andrew Dubber over at the Wireless says "Legitimate art or piracy? Well, strictly speaking, it's both - but it's only piracy because both the law and EMI are wrong. Grey Tuesday is a campaign to protest narrow and self-interested interpretations of copyright law that limit and erode creativity, thereby destroying the very industry the major labels should be supporting and depend upon for their livelihood... This could, in fact, already be the most important record of the decade - and you can't buy it."

"I'm just worried ... whether Paul and Ringo will like it. If they say that they hate it, and that I messed up their music, I think I'll put my tail between my legs and go," DJ Danger Mouse recently told The New Yorker.

Hey Ya...
Outkast own their own studio in hometown Atlanta, Georgia... Heres how they got it...
"...bought at a knock-down rate in 1999, after it was seized by the IRS from its previous owner (a cash-strapped Bobby Brown), and re-christened Stankonia." Excellent interview, worth a read on the Guardians website here. Big Boi's cellphone ring is a Kate Bush song, one of his favorite artists of all time, he says. They are so way ahead of the game when it comes to hiphop.

Friday, February 20, 2004

If Chad Taylor was still blogging over at the now defunct Muse Lounge, he'd no doubt be joyously spouting forth on the return of the new series of 24 to our tv screens (instead he's busy doing his dayjob or something). The third series kicked off with a double episode. Lots of juicy setups; Jack and a wee smack habit, Mexican drug lords, the daughter Kim now working at CTU, played by Elisha Cuthburt - her new movie is called The Girl Next Door, dodgy trailer is here. The setup is she is, oh, go and read the synopsis on the site, its stunningly stupid. She plays a one-time porn star.
Back to 24, there was some discussion of the President in our house; to the effect that what takes a whole series for Palmer to deal with generally only lasts half an episode on the West Wing. Comparing fictional Presidents is lame, though. Especially when one of them is Martin Sheen. Palmer is too soft.

And for some light relief....

From Antipodean Records website, a variation on the usual dj top ten charts

DJ Recloose's Top 10 reasons to leave USA/Detroit and live in NZ

1. Being in love (awwwwshux...)
2. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, neo-conservativism, new imperialism, the Patriot Act, code orange, Fox News etc. etc. (no-brainer here...)
3. Good clean living in NZ.... except for the pies
4. Rugby is far superior a sport to American football
5. Being woken up by the wind is better than being woken up by gunshots
6. The scenery
7. Its about the best place in the world to be reclusive
8. Lots of musicians in Wellington
9. Good vibes, man
10. Sheep

Recloose is playing in AK this friday night...
Friday 20th February / Khuja Lounge (AK) $10
Recloose [Planet E/!K7]
Chris Cox + Isaac Aesili [ThisInformation]
Halogen Girl.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Funky good time
James Brown is playing live in Auckland, one night only, March 31!!! Tickets go on sale Monday Feb 23. So you're thinking, he's an old cat now, will he still be any good?
Heres a review from Public Enemy's Chuck D, who caught a show in Spetember last year...

"Indeed, I made sure I caught the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown, live and in concert last month. The plan was for myself and KYLE JASON to head east on Long Island on Friday, August 29th, to catch his show. Earlier in the week DJ Johnny Juice and I tripped out to Indianapolis to do an ad for Klipsch audio speakers, and my plans were to head back east from Chicago to catch it.

Coming outta Chicago that Friday my flight was delayed, thus I arrived at LaGuardia late. Kyle made sure he left with Bones, a bass player/journalist buddy of ours. I prepared myself to hear that I missed the show of the decade and, true to form, Kyle came back and was speechless. One and a half hours of pure dynamite stick. He told me that the same James we had seen on our video tapes from the past 20 years, sped up super medley “Living In America,” was not the same James he’d just witnessed in action. He had just seen Jaaaaaaames in all his glory. Complete from the MC DANNY RAY intro at the top. He told me that I had to see it, and the band was the actual funked timed thang that the records bore, even more. Damn! I missed it.

Immediately we went to the web,, and peeped a concert schedule. On that great site it showed that he was gonna be at Chastain Park in the ATL that Sunday. Whoa! But first I had to get up north of the border to Toronto to keynote at their urban music conference, which I spent my day doin. Thus jetting to ATL on Sunday was a later transition whereas I just got to the venue in the nick of time. Running in at 9:15pm the lights had just gone down for DANNY RAY to intro the hardest working man still in show business.

When Mr. Brown took the stage the ATL immediately roared for their Georgia son. The very first cut was “Make It Funky” signifying that James and the Soul Generals were gonna pull some joints out the bag. Highlights included JB doing two microphone stand tricks that left the crowd stunned as if MIKE JORDAN threw it. Bursts of dance energy came at the crowd and wowed them. At 70 he moved, grooved, and cold sweated us to death. He had a dance spotlight for a lady he’d known ever since she was a young girl. Dressed in high white boots and hot pants they proceeded to rip the same cut. SOUL POWER, PAYBACK and even a funked up LIVING IN AMERICA banged the crowd. This was JAMES BROWN in his 70s doing it like he did it in the 1970s. No doubt. The double drummers even played high speed funk thru the finale of SEX MACHINE when the venue cut the power, as it’s known to do. The point is that it was more turbo energy than cats twice his age using multimedia crutches."


Monday, February 16, 2004

Fun and games in the music industry
Lil Flip has started Clover G Records & said that he is no longer signed
to Sucka Free Records. "Flip is still signed to the label," Sucka Free CEO Duane 'Hump' Hobbs told "The only way I will let him go is if Sony [Lil Flips label] buys me out. Go grab your lawyer & let's get cracking." The falling out revolves around financial disputes. "If you say that we spent a million dollars on something, I want to see that," Flip retorted. "If we cool and you my homey, show me everything."
Bring on the accountants....

oh yeah, did you read about that talented cat Nathan Haines in the Sunday Star Times? He used to be a junkie (like some of his jazz idols) but he's all right now. No more Class A drugs, says our Nate. Glad to hear it. You aint gonna be around long on that stuff.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Whipped Cream and other delights.
This week's Listener has some great stories by Steve Braunias on LP cover art, from local fella Jack Thompson, who put out 1 LP a year for about 20 years thru EMI (they've just reissued a few of them), and England's Mrs Mills. Unfortunately the Listeners website deprives you of these glorious covers, so you'll just have to buy a copy. Braunias notes that the reissue cd covers "are bland; and in any case, a mere CD could never do justice to the original Thompson LP sleeves. This is a man who needed the big picture, a big canvas, to work his unholy art."

I remember once seeing a copy of an album by Mrs Mills that was a copy of the cover of Herb Alperts Whipped Cream and other delights, which featured a curvy young woman by the name of Delores Erickson naked, and covered head to toe in cream, which was pretty saucy back in 1965. Now, Mrs Mills was a rather solid English lass, so I really want to find this record! (Extensive Googling produced nothing.)
There was a number of other parodies of this cover; this site has a few of them linked if you scroll down the page.

The cover model for Alperts cover was interviewed by the Seattle Times in 2000 (link here - requires registration).

"The only whipped cream was on my head," Erickson recalls. "The rest was shaving cream on cotton. And the shaving cream kept slipping."
She was also three months pregnant.
Photographers routinely give models rejected prints for their portfolios. When Woorf sent the copies, Erickson was shocked at how much the slipped shaving cream revealed.
"I called a girlfriend and took them to her house. We hid them behind her refrigerator because I didn't want my husband to see them," she said. "I still have them, and now they look tame."
There's an alternate shot from the cover shoot here. Dolores also garners a mention at
Reading the messages posted by various American record collectors, it seems that you will find a copy of this record in absolutely every thrift shop and flea market in the States (quote: "there isn't a charity store in the world that doesn't have at least two copies of this"), much like every junk shop in NZ will have a copy of the soundtrack to South Pacific. One fellow asks if anyone can help him collect multiple copies of it, as he is covering an entire wall in his house with it! Ah, wacky Americans.
Mary Tyler Moore also featured on a number of LP covers - take a look here. For more ridiculous covers, check Franks Vinyl Museum, including Muhammad Ali vs Mr Tooth Decay.

One of my local favorites in wacky cover art is Howard Morrison Quartets album Potpourri, that features Howie and the lads wearing chefs hats and throwing veges and pots round a bright orange studio set. (scroll down to see it). Got any local gems I should look out for?

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The pun never ends
Heres a few Janet Jackson headlines...

The boob tube
A little show and no tell
Breasts of Mass Destruction?
'Breast Bowl' outrage is just tempest in a D cup
Janet wins titillation booby prize
Bush sleeps through Janet's 'boob show'
Any boob is good news
The Breast and the Brightest
Boobgate Broohaha Builds
MTV not a bust for Viacom
Tit for tat
'Right Breast Stole My Thunder' Says Super Bowl Streaker

Hey is Janet's breast a weapon of mass distraction?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Get your freak off.
Janet Jackson succumbed to a "wardrobe malfunction" according to Justin Timberlake ("I'm sorry if anyone was offended... It wasn't intentional and is regrettable"), who 'accidentally' ripped off part of her top during the Superbowl halftime show on Sunday, exposing her breast. He was singing a duet with Ms Jackson; Rock Your Body, the song in question, ends with the line, 'Cause I gotta have you naked by the end of this song.' Surprised?
So, MTV claims it was an accident, so does Timberlake, CBS apologises, the NFL are very disappointed, and you still think it was unplanned? Look at the Heralds photo; Jackson is wearing some kind of silver nipple ring over her nipple. So, she wears that all the time? I don't think so. Check this photo sequence. Why has no one in the media discussed this nipple ring? There is a story there, probably too kinky for mainstream media. Someone will pick it up.
The Drudge Report claims CBS execs knew about the stunt beforehand. Check the pic of that pierced nipple. Yep. It was staged. Still, Janet did a great job of taking the media spotlight of her wayward brother, Michael.
And there was a streaker. He had the name of a gambling website written on his chest. This foolish Englishman was levelled by a New England linebacker. Naked Pom vs heavily padded athlete.

Shame it detracted from a great game; predictions before were it was going to be the dullest Superbowl ever. There was no points on the board til the end of the second quarter, the longest a game has gone without points in Superbowl's history.
The third quarter was scoreless, then the fourth quarter it all happened. The lead swapped twice, then the Carolina Panthers tied the score with 68 seconds to go, at 29 all. Four seconds from full time the New England Patriots kicked a field goal, and won 32 - 29. Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning goal; he did the same stunt two years ago in the Superbowl. He's Evel Knievel's cousin. I don't fully understand Gridiron, but the BBC have a useful primer on it here. The Beeb compared Vinatieri's last minute kick to Johnny Wilkinsons performance in the Rugby World Cup final, noting that Wilkinson "has confessed that he finds the possibility of an eventual move to the NFL appealing" something to do with a $US2-3 million salary?

UPDATE: MTV (affiliated to CBS thru Viacom) promised 'Janet's shocking moments' before the game. MTV has wiped the page from its site - see googles cache for the page. Drudge says that Janet now claims that the nudity was deliberate, saying that Timberlake was supposed to rip away only the top layer and leave a bit of red lace behind... Mr and Ms Stupid dancing like fools....

Brash, or just plain foolish?
Don Brash continues to divide his own party, telling National's only Maori MP Georgina te Heuheu to toe the party line after his dubious speech, which he now claims is National party policy - Te Heuheu dryly observing on TV3News last night that if it was indeed party policy, it was sorely lacking. Today she's been stripped of her Maori Affairs portfolio, and been replaced by a honkie, Gerry Brownlee. While this might seem ridiculous, if National ends up in power and follows thru on Brash's contrversial speech, they will abolish Maori Affairs, hence appointing a honkie won't look so silly - his post won't exist, under a Brash-led Government. And the only reason Brash got away with the speech playing the race card is that Winston Peters, who usually has that bag sewn up, was otherwise engaged in dodging free dinner allegations.