Thursday, June 29, 2006

Murdoch owns your ass? Billy don't think so. is the place to be, if you want people to hear your music. It's rapidly become an essential promotional tool for every musician, big or small, in the last year. As a networking tool with other musicians both local and offshore, it's unbeatable (at least until something new comes along that's even better, as is the way of the internet). Sure, you need your own website, but you gotta be on MySpace too.

However, all is not what it seems, with the glories of MySpace. In mid-May, British musician Billy Bragg removed all his music from his page on MySpace, taking issue with the site's Terms and Conditions. The problem being this tricky little sentence...

... by posting content an artists agrees to: "Hereby grant to a non-exclusive,fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the rights to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate ,publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit and distribute such content on and through the services."

Myspace spokesperson Jeff Berman said: "Because the legalese has caused some confusion we are at work revising it to make it every clear that MySpace is not seeking a license to do anything with an artist's work other than allow it to be shared in the manner the artist intends. Obviously, we don't own their music or do anything with it that they don't want." (Source:

The Register noted that "It's the return of the old favorite, the ambiguous ownership contract. Myspace is actually using a boilerplate text designed to allow it to republish the content. Five years ago Microsoft was forced to change a similar, but even more acquisitive click through contract. Microsoft's Passport sign-on permitted the company to:

Use, modify, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, publish, sublicense, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any such communication.

The terms included the right to grab trademarks and business plans. Microsoft retreated after a storm of protest. But Redmond wasn't the first to attempt this, nor has it been the last. Apple had introduced a similar click through before retreating, and two years ago Google attached almost identical terms to its Orkut service. That was in 2004, the bloggers' love affair with the ad giant was still untarnished, and very little protest was heard."

There is also the growing number of hysterical media reports on abducted children/sexual predators associated with Myspace. Visitor to our shores, danah boyd, refers to it as the moral panic surrounding MySpace. She has written extensively on the subject. Try Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace, her address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February. (her interview on TV3 with John Campbell can be viewed here)

Here's one solution for parents, as suggested by LA Times columnist Chris Erksine...

"Keeping a close eye on teens is akin to trying to watch hydrogen atoms bond. But there might be a simple solution to all this: dads.

Dads? Yes, dads.

We'll just join in. If we can get enough fathers to join, pretty soon will go from being a very cool site to being about as hip as a yard sale at Bob Newhart's house.

For, if there's anything a teen doesn't want to be seen with, it's a dad. At the mall, they'll walk 20 steps behind. In line at the movies, they'll press up against the people in front, pretending they're with them. I don't mind. Usually, teens smell like bad fruit anyway. I think it's that mango deodorant they wear.

"I think I need to be on MySpace," I tell my daughter.

"You?" she gasps, as if swallowing a wasp.

"Me," I say...

"You really want this?" my daughter asks.

"Consider it a Father's Day gift," I tell her."
(excerpt from a column titled "Maybe rename it DadSpace?")

The latest on the T&C outcry?

On June 27, Bragg announced on his MySpace page that "MySpace have changed their terms of agreement from a declaration of their rights into a declaration of our rights as artists,making it clear that, as creators, we retain ownership of our material. Having been adopted by the biggest social networking site on the block, I hope their recognition of the right of the artist to be sole exploiter of their own material now becomes an industry standard because there is much more at stake here than just the terms and conditions of a website."

He goes on to discuss how musicians are traditionally expected to sign away the rights to their music to a record company for 50 years - he prefers to license his music out to a record company for ten years, then the rights revert to him, to re-license as he sees fit.
Ive always had a problem with that arrangement, arguing that the recordings Ive made should provide my pension not that of some record company executive... Every few years, the reversion clause kicks in, my back catalogue returns to my ownership and I begin the licensing process all over again. Not only does this strengthen my hand in contract negotiations, it also allows me to take account of new technologies in a rapidly changing industry." Read Bragg's post at his MySpace page here.

MySpaces' new terms and conditions relating to music, etc are below, and in full here.

" does not claim any ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") that you post to the MySpace Services. After posting your Content to the MySpace Services, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such Content, and you continue to have the right to use your Content in any way you choose..."

And then there's the moral panic from clueless parents around the planet....
Tunes for daze
Brand new Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5) tune, off his solo debut The Audience's Listening, out July 11.
if you havent heard this, Mark Ronson feat Alex Greenwald - Just (Radiohead cover) here.
DJSussex - Gnarls Barkley vs Beasties mashup here.
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy is all over the show, here's the origins, plus covers of it by Nelly Furtado, Twilight Singers, and more.
Soulsides tribute to the late producer Arif Mardin, with tunes from Aretha, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

MySpace hysteria descends.
Campbell Live is promoing one of those "what are your kids up to on the net, and what happens to all that personal information they put up?" stories for tonight's show, have a look-see.

Official blurb goes like this... "My Space and Bebo are online social websites where your children can make friends and share interests. But how much information are they safely sharing? And could the confessions they make in cyber world come back to haunt them in the real world much later in life?"


CORRECTED Just spied at PA that dahnah boyd is on Campbell Live tonight - might not be total media hysteria, then?

Russell Brown's Public Address is hosting MySpace commentator danah boyd this Saturday...

"It's been a while between drinks, but we have a new Karajoz Great Blend for you all - well, those of you in Auckland and Wellington anyway. Our star guest this time is danah boyd of Berkeley University. She's probably the leading social commentator at present on MySpace and related phenomena. There's a Wikipedia entry for her, you may well enjoy Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace, her address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February, and her blog is here (you may care to leave a comment welcoming her to Aotearoa).

The Auckland event is Saturday, July 1, at the Grey Lynn Community Centre. Danah will be joined there by Justin Zhang, Robyn Gallagher and Peter McLennan on the panel; Matt Gibbons and his Starlords collaborator Bruce Ferguson will be in the house, Great Blend TV will screen, and SJD will round out the evening playing songs from their next album. It's likely that I'll add a panellist or two, and there may well be a surprise guest with some things to say about digital media."

Hope you RSVP'd cos it's all full up. Now excuse me, but I must crawl back into my hole to continue thinking up pithy things to say for saturday night. If you're at the Auckland event, come up and say hello. I'm very polite and well-mannered, thanks to by good upbringing. Honest.

I'll also have a new post on MySpace going up tomorrow, specifically music-related.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday June 24
Freddie Cruger - Simply fresh
Lee Scratch Perry - Jungle lion
Scientist - Rasta dub it everywhere
Lloyd Charmers - Look-ka py py
The emotions - Blind alley
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Katzenjammers - Cars
Antibalas - Makossa
Open souls - They don't even know
Scrappy - Off the lead
Reggie Stepper - Drum pan sound Bomb re-edit
Damian Marley - Move
Chuck Brown and the soul searchers - Bustin loose
Bobby Byrd - I know you got soul
Jorge Ben - Umbabaraumba
Fat Freddy's Drop - Flashback (Jazzanova mashed bag remix)
International observer - Vale bengali
Zilver Zurf feat desmond foster - Moment is gone (Kieser Velten remix)
Barrington Carey -Love u forver (Boxsaga inst mix)
Breakestra - You don't need a dance
Stevie Wonder - I wish
Shaggy & Barington Levy - Broadway
Tanya Stephens - 1-1-9
Esther Philips - Use me
Detriot emeralds - You're getting a little too smart
Christina Aquilera -Aint no other man (now, don\'t go giving me a hard time about playing a song by this trashy little tramp - this tune is absolute killer, produced by Gangstarr's DJ Premier, and if playing it makes me a pop whore, well, I don't care).
Jose Feliciano - California dreamin (The Rub remix)
Grant Phabo, Carlton Livingston, Lone Ranger - Message to you, rudy
Turbulence - Stay focus
Cut Chemist - The garden

June 17 playlist, Ring The Alarm
Joe Dukie and DJ Fitchie - This room
Horace Andy - Jah provides
Jurassic 5 - Red hot
Jackie Mittoo - Champion of the arena
J Osbourne and Burro Banton - The truth
Les McCann - Hey Leroy, your mama's callin
James Brown - Stone to the bone
Earl Rodney - Juck juck
Desmond Dekker - Bongo girl
Barrington Carey -Love u forver (Boxsaga mix)
DJ BC - Take it meany (Fugees mashup)
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Salmonella Dub - Tui dub (Mad Professor remix)
People under the stairs - Hang loose
Hot grits - Mr nice
Singers and players - Matter of time
DJ C and debaser - Crazy baldheads
Shaggy and Barrington Levy - Broadway
Border crossing - Searching for mr manuva
Reggie Stepper - Drum pan sound
Nightmares on wax - Flip ya lid
Cookie monster and the girls - C is for cookie (Larry Levan mix)
Megablast feat Coalman - Listen to rasta
Bob Marley - Stand up jamrock (Ashley Beedle edit Instrumental)
JStar - Fall in love
Zilver Zurf feat Papa Dee and Silvia Moreno - Good vibes

Friday, June 23, 2006

Working for stupid and stupid.
From Coolfer, "The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, the king of gadget reviews, put some humorous, thoughtful questions to Sony's Sir Howard Stringer in yesterday's article."

"Mr. Mossberg: You own a record company.

Mr. Stringer: I do.

Mr. Mossberg: How's that going? How is it to own of the four big entrants in one of the stupider industries in the world...?"

Mr. Stringer: And it's not true that I beat my wife either ... I think you're right about the music companies. They are like all companies that are great and are doing things really well and having a fantastic time. They want the status quo to remain long after the quo has lost any status.

The record companies, remember, were not enthusiastic about the CD. They loved plastic and when the CD came along, they said, 'whoa, look -- windfall.' They were resistant to the digital world and in a way they forced Sony to try and create a music-download system that was utterly and completely secure, and that turned outto be a dream that customers didn't want. Customers drive everything now, not the product.

Mr. Mossberg: Well, on that theme, when is your next copy-protected CD coming out that will install, you know, malicious software? How did that happen?

Mr. Stringer: Actually, it didn't go so far. Computers did not crash. Big Ben did not stop. I'm not trying to blame sombody else, but this was an attempt to do the right thing at a low level. The senior management of BMG or Sony did not know this was going on. We responded very quickly and put out patches. ... We didn't say to ourselves as a company, we're going to screw every computer in town. We made a mistake and Sony paid a terrible price."

All-singing, all-dancing, Costanza
via Franklin Ave, Seinfeld's Jason Alexander in a McD's ad, with a full head of hair.

Quote of the week...
Portishead's Geoff Barrow talks about the new Portishead album, porgressing slowly, over at the band's myspace page... spied at Drowned in Sound...

"The tracks are in a right mess but sounding like [an] album for the first time in years. It’s nice to think us old gits have a few tunes in us without sounding like coffee table Zero 7 [or] Moby chill-out shit!"

"... i wish i was in one of them rock bands that jams for about 6 hours and writes 3 tracks..........called 'mother fuker" or "whiskey woman"

[we] should hire "dangermouse" he would knock up a portishead album in about a week and the kidz would dig it .... it would sell buket loads..........get damon alburn to sing on it ......WICKED!!!!! DOPE........!!!!

fuk em.

im gonna watch the footy."

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of DJing at the album listening party for local lads The WBC - if you're out and about this evening, check them out. They're celebrating their album release, with an in-store at Real Groovy Auckland at 6pm, and gig at the King's Arms later on in the evening. Righto.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Listen to solid steel
The Esso Trinidad Steel Band are responsible for one of my fave cover versions ever - I Want You Back. And here's a handy wee music blog with a bunch of steel drum tunes for your enjoyment (check out Gary Numan's Cars done steel drum styles!). The Esso Trinidad Steel Band worked with a variety of folk, including Van Dyke Parks, and Liberace. Snip...

"... One of the band’s biggest breaks occurred during one of their performances at the Expo ‘67. Liberace, the world famous pianist, became fascinated with the band, offering them an opening slot in his show and taking them on tour for two years. Borde recalls, “He was very proud to present to the people in America, this unique type of music. He would come and play ‘12th Street Rag’ or ‘Alleycat’ with us.” With Liberace sitting in on a few songs, Tripoli recorded an album (‘Liberace Presents the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band’), that later went on to win a Grammy Award..." Link.

Listen to calypso music fanatic Van Dyke Parks about his days traveling with Liberace and the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steelband.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Insert clever headline here
If you read the Weekend Herald, you would have seen their tacky little story on the hard times of Mr Pauly Fuemana, the man behind OMC and their huge hit How Bizarre. He has been judged bankrupt, which seems rather odd, given that the song must still be a serious earner. Simon Grigg gets quoted in the Herald's story (without permission, he notes) and has written a post on his blog about it, well worth a read. Simon was closely involved with OMC thru his record label Huh.

snip... "I’m not sure what to say about this rather unpleasant little story in the once mighty but now, only-just-crawling-above-tabloid-level NZ Herald... what saddens me is the way New Zealand so happily crucifies those who it previously celebrated. He has made some financial mistakes, mainly through inexperience, bad advice (and I note that some of those to whom he owed large sums were those to whom entrusted himself for advice, and others who rushed at him as way to make a quick buck but turned) Pauly has done little wrong beyond naivety. In fact he has done a lot right. He waved the flag for his nation all over the world. He was a proud ambassador of his nation and his people...

"I sat with him in radio stations on the other side of the world when he extolled the virtues of New Zealand as a place to live to millions, and, with immense pride explained to newspaper reporters, smitten by his handsome charm, as to the significance of the tattoos on his arms. Indeed, when How Bizarre took off there was massive pressure to re-locate to the UK, and I put it to Pauly but he told me he wanted to raise his family in New Zealand, he loved it and it was home. I understood..." Read Simon's post here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Statue, bro?
There's a new sculpture going up at the top of Hobson st, just before the motorway on-ramps. It resembles a pohutukawa flower, with red stems. And of course, like everyone on the planet, it has a MySpace page. So, drop by and add Red Spiky Thing as your friend.
MySpace trivia - the site is signing up new members at the rate of 240,00 every day.

For your viewing pleasure...
Soul Shower lost several hours to Youtube... heres the results... videos of Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder on Sesame St, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and more. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Apple release new Asian Slave-girl iPod
"The Mail On Sunday visited some of these factories and spoke with staff there. It reports that Foxconn's Longhua plant houses 200,000 workers, remarking: "This iPod City has a population bigger than Newcastle's."

The report claims Longhua's workers live in dormitories that house 100 people, and that visitors from the outside world are not permitted. Workers toil for 15-hours a day to make the iconic music player, the report claims. They earn £27 per month. The report reveals that the iPod nano is made in a five-storey factory (E3) that is secured by police officers.

Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, makes iPod shuffles. The workers are housed outside the plant, and earn £54 per month - but they must pay for their accommodation and food, "which takes up half their salaries", the report observes." Via Boingboing. Link.

Apple has promised to investigate the labor conditions in its iPod factories.

This is a test
Heard the new mosquito ringtone?

"The ringtone - which can be downloaded from the internet - is proving especially popular amongst school students in the US and UK who use it in classrooms. With it, students can receive text message alerts on their mobile phones without the teacher knowing ... Mr Howard Stapleton, the inventor of the "Mosquito", claims the high-frequency pulsing sound can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30."

So, test your hearing - can you hear it? Try the link over here (scroll down). I am happy to report I can hear it, not bad for an old bastard.

ADDED: Mister Grigg drops part three of his vinyl lists over here - recommended albums. Great reading.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bobby bobbylon
"Freddie McGregor has one of the sweetest voices in reggaea cool, clear tenor that could have come straight out of Motown rather than the Jamaican countryside. McGregor turns 50 this month and he still sounds like the lost protege of Barry Gordy. Actually, McGregor did have a Gordy-like mentor in Coxsone Dodd, whose Studio One label is often referred to as the Motown of Jamaica." Grab a tune and enjoy, at TSAKU.

From the same site... "Jeff Chang points out a great piece by Peter S. Scholtes on the late Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker in this City Pages blog."

The Politics of Sampling: A Discussion with Hank Shocklee, DJ Spooky (hat tip to Mr Dubber)
"... And one of the things about sampling is it forces us to go backwards in history. It allows us to go back and seek these records out and as you’re seeking these records out you find information at the same time, for example I never knew who Clyde Stubblefield was until I started sampling James Brown. And then after sampling James Brown you find out that he also had a bass player Bootsy Collins, who was also in Parliament Funkadelic, so you start to understand that there is a historical lineage that happens between everything, so musically there is a community." - Hank Shocklee.
There's a bunch of great articles in the latest issue of Wax Poetics magazine on PE and the Bomb Squad.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

gotta love dem internets...

"I first encountered this word in a terrific jump blues by the Nelson Alexander Trio, a little-known band I know little about. Smashing song. It was released in 1948, the first year of the rock’n’roll revolution (see How Rock Really Began), but it’s not a rock'n'roll song. There’s no back beat. It’s pretty much a straight-ahead boogie woogie with a Texas-style blues guitar and a jumpin’ vocal.

But I kept wondering about that word voot. The lyrics are suggestive but vague: “It’s cool in the kitchen, it’s warm in the hall, it’s hot in the bedroom and that ain’t all. I’m gonna rock that voot, baby, all night long.” Sure, it’s about sex; that’s obvious.* But where’d it come from? Why haven’t I heard it anywhere else? So I started looking around the Internet. Eventually it became a bit of an obsession.

Here, for the first time anywhere, is your ultimate voot encyclopedia. I've tracked down every voot reference I could find. I've even included a complete MP3 discography of a dozen original voot songs, never before collected in one place (as far as I can tell). Rarely in history has so much effort been expended on something so insignificant. But it's been fun.' More here... (Tuwa's Shanty)
Quote of the week
"You mean am I happy with a doctor putting his finger up my arse?"

Neil Finn, talking about his experience as a hospital orderly (prior to becoming a rocker/millionaire), and how that applies to touring Oz with aging art-rockers Spilt Enz. Context below...

"... I think what it did for me in actual literal terms, working as an orderly, was that it cured me of any fear of hospitals. So when anyone around me is sick, I'm actually a very good nurse. [Wife] Sharon is good with needles; I'm good with vomit."

With the impending Australian tour, it's probably appropriate, then, to ask if he is as comfortable with the necessary medical demands on men of his age? "You mean am I happy with a doctor putting his finger up my arse?" he laughs.

"There are quite a lot of, maybe humiliations is a little strong, moments where a man has to confront himself in a medical sense. In terms of my general level of anxieties, my 30s were far worse than my 40s. I feel now a lot more at ease with myself." Link.

Oh, and what do you reckon will happen if the power goes out during the 2011 Rugby World Cup? Not impossible, given that upgrades to the power supply aren't due for completion til 2012. Picture it; The host nations' team, the All Blacks, have just competed their haka, here comes the kick-off and WHOOOMP! Eden Park is plunged into darkness, and this is being beamed live into tv sets around the planet. All it takes is a strong wind and ONE LONE CABLE.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday June 10
Sister Nancy - Bam bam
Barrington Levy & Beenieman - Murderation
Scientist -Dub 16
Chakachas - African Llama
Mulatu Astkake - Yegelle tezeta
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Cedirc Im Brooks - Mun dun go
Horace Andy/Massive attack - One love
Shaggy & Barrington Levy - Broadway
Oneself - Bluebird
Funky Lowlives - Bellaluna (Boozoo Bajou remix)
Mere Mortalz feat U Brown - Dis a boom
DJ Serious - The enlightenment remix
Herbie Hancock - Palm grease
Harry Steel - Dub in C minor
Aim - Just passin thru
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Jimmy London - I'm your puppet
Dancing Djedi - Body surfin
Fat Freddy's Drop - Flashback (Jazzanova mashed bag remix)
Rhythm and sound - Lightning storm (Francois K remix)
Big Youth & the Congos - Feed a nation (Mixed/edited by Rhythm and sound)
Joe Gibbs and the professionals - Love the one you're with
El gran combo - Chua chua boogaloo
Donny Hathaway - Come little children
Freddie Cruger - Simply fresh
JStar - Fall in love

Cheers toRuffian and Earl E, who invited me down to DJ at the monthly Champion Sounds night at Rakinos last night (celebrating two years of palying choice records - nice one fellas). I had a wicked time (dropped a new Dub Asylum tune in there mid-set, went down very nicely), great crowd. Big Matt dropped by and spun a few tunes too. All good in the hood!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Get back
RIP Billy Preston. Aged 59, after a long illness. "A former teenage keyboard prodigy, Preston was one of the few musicians to play with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. A prolific writer, he also wrote You Are So Beautiful, a major hit for his friend, British blues singer Joe Cocker. And he collaborated with superstars such as The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone and Barbra Streisand." (BBC)

Pitchfork notes that "Later in his life, Preston suffered several major indignities: being sentenced to a three-year jail term following a bail violation, performing on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium, and, worst of all, performing as the title character in the abysmal film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." More here, here and here.

ADDED The B Side audioblog pays tribute, and has an in-depth backgrounder on the man.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It burns! It burns!
If you feel the need, you can hear the first single from everyone's favorite ho-bag Paris Hilton over here - it's lame-ass reggae (scroll down to read the comments, they are entertaining). Think Gwen Stefani tied up in a sack with some stray dogs for company (but have a look at the photo from her music video shoot - tee hee, wardrobe malfunction!). See, I listened to that crap, so you don't have to (and now I feel dirty). Go and get some Suns of Arqa MP3s over here instead - quality all round.
Ring the alarm playlist, BaseFM, June 3rd.
Beatconductor - Hottest dub
Romanowski - Romjack steady
Jackson Sisters - I believe in miracles remix
Brides of funkenstein - Disco to go
Jackie Mittoo - James Bond
Shinehead - Raggamuffin
Thes one & Rashaan Ahmad - Doin it
Damian Marley - In 2 deep
Junior Murvin - Roots train
The techniques - Purify dub
One lung - Cinema 90
Boozoo bajou feat top cat - Killer
Al Green -I'm glad you're mine
Family of percussion feat Archie Shepp - Here comes the family
International observer - Leaf mould
Katzenjammers - Cars
Lord Kitchener -London is the place for me (Greens Keepers remix)
James Brown - Blind man can see it
Prince - Black sweat
Rhythm and sound feat Jennifer Lara - Queen in my empire
Jimmy Castor -King kong
Jacob Miller - Healing of the nation
Elephantman - Chapter a day
Joe Bataan - Subway Joe
Bondo de role - Funk de esfiha
Coldcut feat Roots Manuva - True skool
Barrington Carey - Love U forever remix
The WBC - Port royal
Jose Feliciano - Can't get next to you