Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a long project....
Turn of the Century is one of the greatest singles ever produced in this country. Released back in 1981 by a Wellington three piece called Beat Rhythm Fashion, their output amounted to a trilogy of singles, before disappearing across the ditch. Over 20 years down the track, they hold their own easily alongside the likes of The Cure, Joy Division and Young Marble Giants, all reference points for their sound.

In the early 1980s, the turn of the century really did feel like a long way away - New Zealand was in the grip of a short little thug named Muldoon, who delighted in dividing the nation (see 1981 rugby tour or hey - kids, ask your parents to explain Car-less Days) and the USA was run by a former actor Ronald Reagan, aka Re-Ron, as Gil Scott-Heron called him, who cracked jokes like "We start bombing the Russians in 5 minutes". Nuclear war didn't seem impossible, thanks to Reagan dragging out the cold war.

"The long awaited disc of finely crafted songs from this much respected and greatly sought after Wellington band. Brothers Dan and Nino Birch made sweepingly beautiful and thought-provoking intelligent music. Part of the Wellington terrace scene that gave us the four stars compilation BRF grew past their edgy post punk beginnings to create open melodic soundcapes like the classic "Turn of the Century".

This disc collects all three singles all lovingly restored and remastered, plus 9 tracks from the band's later live set to complete the album BRF would have made if life had played out differently." Get it here or here.

Also on the local tip, electro-jazz duo Trip To The Moon (Tom Ludvigson and Trevor Reekie) have a new album out, called Welcome To The Big Room. It's full of laidback beats, jazzy piano noodling, and some dubbed-out guitar riffs that drift by effortlessly. Cool music for a chilled out day at the beach, or just hanging in the yard with the barbie on the go... you know the one. Graham Reid described it as featuring "an electronica element, but as with Brian Eno's work the sheer melodicism and warmth of the music makes this very human and engaging - and very headphone friendly." Get it here.

And more lists... Amplifier lists their Top 20 NZ albums for 2007. You own a few of these, right?

Hope you have a great christmas, and see you in the new year. Be nice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, December 15
Tony Allen - Sankofa (Hynotic Brass Ensemble rework)
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Bob Marley - Sun is shining (DJ Delores remix)
Prince Fari - Give love
Joy Denalane - Change
Budos Band - My girl
Junior Mance - Dontcha hear me callin ya
La Belle - Moon shadow
James Brown - Soulful xmas
50 cent vs Sharon Jones - Get dap money
Kissey Asplund - With you
Jackie Mittoo - Ska shuffle
The Clash - Rudie can't fail
Lee Dorsey - Operation heartache
Cut chemist - The garden
Sa-ra - Sa-ra space theme
Maxwell implosion - Doughie step
Groove armada - Tuning in (dub)
Ernie K Doe - Here come the girls
Collie Buddz - Come around (K-Salaam remix)
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - How long... (Ticklah remix)
Lukid - Fela
OJays - 992 arguments
Jackson 5 - Santa Claus is coming to town (Ready Steady Drew remix)
Queens tag team - C'mon yeah
Junior Reid - Bubblers
Alicia Keys - No one (reggae remix feat Junior Reid)

Friday, December 14, 2007

• I went to Junior Reid last night - wicked show, splendid voice, but the number of punters I talked to complaining about the ridiculously late start-time was high - word was he was coming on at 12, and he hit the stage closer to 1am. Wake up, promoters, that's just shabby. I was talking with a mate who told me about going to see some hiphop MCs in New York, and they heard the show started at 9pm so they rolled up at 10, and discovered to their dismay that they'd missed one of their heroes.

• What does Bill Murray say at the end of Lost In Translation? Or don't you want to know? (Link) Best use of a Jesus and Mary Chain song in a movie ever.

•Heard Santogold yet? Listen over here - the chorus for her tune Shov It is one of the funniest things I've heard all year. (Photo credit: Fader via BV)

•Kristen Schaal (Mel from Flight of Choncords) gives her top ten of the year (link BV)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

RIP Ike Turner
Passed away aged 76. (link) the former husband of Tina Turner, died at his home near San Diego, California. He rose to fame in the 1960s, and is best remembered for his musical partnership and stormy marriage with Tina Turner. (BBC)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Alicia got the goods
Just came across this insane clip of Alicia Keys performing live at the AMA's recently, doing her big hit 'No-one' with Junior Reid (playing tonight in Welli, Thurs in AK, get ya tickets) just like on the remix, then Junior drops One Blood, then Chaka Demus and Pliers come out (Murder she wrote), then Beenieman (Who am I), its nuts. Watch it here.
Pay what you want
Radiohead are guaranteed to be one of the end-of-year talking points in music round-ups, over their latest album In Rainbows and its distribution method. A lot has already been written on the subject, but no-one has covered exactly how they came upon this idea. Thanks to the excellent work of Jon Pareles of the New York Times ("Pay what you want for this article") , now we know.

"Radiohead is not the first act to try what one of its managers, Chris Hufford, calls “virtual busking.” But it’s the first one that can easily fill arenas whenever it tours. “It feels good,” said Thom Yorke ... “It was a way of letting everybody judge for themselves.”

Radiohead’s pay-what-you-choose gambit didn’t just set off economic debates. It should also establish 2007 as two kinds of tipping point for recorded music. One is as the year of the superstar free agent. After fulfilling its contract in 2003 with its last album for EMI, “Hail to the Thief,” Radiohead turned down multimillion-dollar offers for a new major-label deal, preferring to stay independent...

...Mr. Hufford said that he and Bryce Edge, Radiohead’s other manager, had come up with the pay-what-you-want plan during a stoned philosophical conversation about the value of music. They had initially proposed releasing only the download and the deluxe box, but the band overruled them, noting that many of its fans are neither downloaders nor elite collectors. On Jan. 1 — a day when few albums are usually released — the single-disc “In Rainbows” is due as a retail CD and vinyl LP, in joint ventures with the independent labels TBD (part of ATO Records, partly owned by Dave Matthews) in the United States and XL in most other countries."

Yep, another great idea hatched over a shared joint. That's how Microsoft started, right? Or was that Apple?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, December 8
Stevie Wonder - Masterblaster dub
Gussie P - Have you loved somebody dub
Tony Allen - Ole (Salah Ragab & Afro-Egyptian ensemble rework)
Salah Ragab & the Cairo Jazz Band - Egypt strut
Saul Williams - Scared money
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Nobody's baby
Jay Electronica - My world (Nas salute)
King Everand - Kill ole pan
Brigadier Jerry - Ram dance master
Lord Tanamo - I'm in the mood for love
International observer - Cellphone dub
Kolab - Inner beat
Gloria Jones - tainted love
Santogold - Shove it (Switch remix)
Lukid - Fela
Magic fly - Champion mushroom
Maze - Colourblind
BT Express - Give it what you got
Sugarman 3 - Cherry pickin'
Cut chemist - A peak in time
Katzenjammers - Cars
Overnight low - The witch doctor
Rhythm and sound - Let jah love come (Sweet substance remix)
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Brass in Africa
James Brown - Merry christmas, I love you
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Stranded in your love (Cool Calm Pete remix)
Parlet - No rump to bump

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, December 1
Pointer sisters -Pinball number count
Dynamics - Brothers on the slide
Stephen Marley - Traffic jam
Tommy McCook & the Skatalites - Shockers rock
Al Green - Love and happiness (Shoes dub edit)
Sugarman 3 - Take it as it comes (Afrodisiac sound system remix)
James Brown - Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto
DJ Spinna feat Phonte -Dillagence
Oneself - Paranoid (JStar remix)
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Brass in Africa (Bulljun remix)
Kenny Knots - Good sensi
Barrington Levy - Many changes in life
Le peuple de l'herbe - Reggaematic
The Pioneers - Sweet inspiration (Justin Robertson remix)
Commodores - Brick house
Blackbyrds - The run away
Supergroove - Platinum blonde (DLT remix)
Kora - Delivery man
Supercat - Don dada
Horace Andy - Just say who
African Brothers - Hold tight
Wu tang clan - Take it back
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Look-a-py-py
Lukid - Fela
Top cat - Champipn DJ
Rebel MC feat Tenor fly - Comin on strong
Tony Allen - Ole (Salah Ragab & Afro-Egyptian ensemble rework)

Monday, December 10, 2007

The bestest of 07.
Its that time of year when ya get inundated with 'best of' lists. There's the Guardian, Mojo, and then you have LAist, who asked their fave local (LA) bands to name their top albums. Brooklyn Vegan asked some comedians for their top tens. I might ask the girls at my local dairy.
What's your fave album/s of this year?

ADDED: Top 15 albums of 2007, as voted by NZ's indie musicians here. With handy mp3s.
Ernie and Burt in 'Sesame St Death Metal Drum Solo'
Best video I've seen in ages. Watch here.

And cheers to the folk who came down to the Beat Market on Saturday and bought my records -I now have enough dosh for a Jr Reid ticket. Sweet!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Junior is coming.
"One of the world's most celebrated Reggae artists - Junior Reid -will be performing live in New Zealand for the first time.

Delroy "Junior" Reid is well known as lead vocalist for the famed group Black Uhuru and as a successful solo artist. Always at the cutting edge of Reggae creation, Reid has collaborated with Hip Hop artists such as Wu Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and T-Pain. He recently worked with MIMS on the worldwide smash hit, 'This is why I'm hot'.

Junior Reid will be joined by well known Canadian DJ/ Producer, DJ Power. With local support from: Jafa Mafia, Jugglin Crew, Rebel Bass and Tommy Flowers at Galatos on Thursday December 13th from 8pm (and Dec 12 in Welly). Presales $38 plus booking fees. $45 at the door. Get em quick!!"

Saturday arvo, check out the Beat Market, at Santos/Safari Lounge courtyard on Ponsonby Rd, bring along some records to swap/trade/or sell, hang out and listen to some DJs (Tommy Flowers, Double 00 Afro, Dan Paine, Jason Howson), and indulge your vinyl addiction. Beat Merchants will have a bunch of stuff on sale too. From 12 midday til 5pm.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Josh Homme is a straight-talking bad-ass
"F%ck the labels man, they suck. The last thing they're stripping down is their own expense accounts and shit. I mean, Jimmy Iovine of Interscope records takes a private jet or rides first class to tell a band they don't get tour support..." read his comments in full over here. It gets even betterer.