Thursday, January 24, 2008

29 Days
"February is just around the corner (already?!), which means it's time for another RPM Challenge. While National Novel Writing Month asks participants to complete a novel each November, this challenge dares musicians to record an album during the month of February. Last year, more than 850 albums were recorded and posted online.

Head to the official site to sign up and hear 8,500 songs that were submitted during last year's event. The site also includes participant blogs, photos and more, and you can go here to watch a video introduction. If you join the festivities, let us know so we can hear your tunes!" Via Pop Candy.

I might just have a go at this.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Big Day out is not gay
There's a bunch I want to tell you about BDO 08, but the main thing you need to know is this. LCD Sound System are the best live act in the world right now.They were phenomenally good.

-Random overheard conversations Part 1
On the bus to the BDO:
Dude A: I can't wait to see that mosh pit jumping for Rage. It's gunna be awesome.
Dude B: I tell you what was awesome - Mr Brightside by the Killers, seeing 45,000 people jumping to that.
Dude A: Yeah, I've got that on video.
Dude B: Me too.

-The Aesthetics, winners of the BNet Opening Band competition, rocked out in classic Dunedin junkie style. Unashamedly trashy.

-White Birds and Lemons reminded me of Franz Ferdinand meets early Rolling Stones.

-First band to dedicate a song to Jesus Christ: All Left Out (I didn't catch that Muslim hip-hop crew dedicating a Jihad on Shihad, or maybe I imagined that bit...)

-Random overheard conversations Part 2
10.03am, waiting in the line outside the gates.
Dude to his mate: "Hey Mike, Cyrus is already drunk!"

-BDO has a chequered history when it comes to hip-hip (just ask DJ Sirvere), and this year was no different. You had Aceyalone in the Boiler Room, with him and his DJ shoved to one small corner of the stage (Think of the width of two turntables and a DJ mixer and that's about how much room they had).
Doctor Octagon and DJ Kutmaster Kurt had the whole stage, as did Dizzee Rascal, who had the Boiler Room jam-packed. I had no idea he was so popular. Hat tip to the NZ Herald writer or sub (hang on, they outsourced that, didn't they?) who picked DJ Octagon for Best False Beard of the Day. Nice call, but Dr Octagon was the dude in the cape rapping, his DJ Kutmaster Kurt was in the beard. I did like the Herald's list tho.

-Fave T-Shirt of the Day - Young blond girl in yellow singlet that had the catchy slogan "Fuck off. Come here." Mixed messages, anyone? Close second to Dam Native in 'Lick My Patu' tees. Scary.

-Stopped off to look at Arcade Fire on the way to Lady Saw. Holy crap - how many people are on stage? Standard band line-up plus two violins, accordion, horns, and a pipe organ? And they're all rocking out? Sweet Jesus, that is impressive. Must check them out some more.
The lead singer commented that "We're really glad to be here. Sometimes I say that and I don't really mean it, but I really fuckin' do this time!" Aw, bless.

-Lady Saw delivers lyrics that they call slackness in Jamaica. That means she sings about sex A WHOLE LOT. It kinda gets a bit much after a while, but then she intros a song by telling the crowd "This is for the ladies who can't have babies. I've had two miscarriages and I've got three adopted children, but in Jamaica, people look down on you if you can't have kids. I just want to say, just because you can't have kids doesn't mean you don't have a lot of love to give. This song is about infertility." Heavy stuff.
Mark Sainsbury was in the crowd, watching Lady Saw do her bump and grind (which she did a lot of). He even sparked one up ( a cigarette, that is. We all know TV presenters don't do drugs - cough Mark Ellis cough). I heard some fellas in the crowd had a hard time with Lady Saw's upfront lyrics - how is it different from some male rapper talking about screwing bitches and ho's? Weird.

-Random overheard conversations Part 3
Two girls talking with a friend, trying to figure out what to do - they had both lost a shoe each. "Go to lost property, see if they can help you." Yeah, good luck with that. One of the girls had Stewie from Family Guy tattooed on her ankle.

-Unkle were freaking loud, but mighty impressive.

-Billy Bragg dedicated Power in a Union to Robbie Williams. I laughed my head off - you know Robbie Williams is on strike from making any new albums, right? And the world is a poorer place... not.

-The Exiles showed some spunk, serving up a bouncy cover of the Cure's 'Close to me', and it wasn't at all gay, although those legs-apart rawk poses from guitarist Sean Sturm were a worry (kidding, Sean. Love your work). God, there are some humorless local bands, and a lot of them were playing at BDO this year. Where's the showmanship?

-Ate dinner to the sound of Shihad. Their music may be many things to many people, but I regret to report it does not aid digestion.

-Random overheard conversations Part 4
Overheard during Bjork.
Guy "Speed was such a good idea."
His girlfriend "Yes, well done, honey." Bonding over drugs, how sweet.

Bjork was strangely underwhelming. Several songs with no drums or percussion, and a grand spectacle that got lost in the stadium (admittedly, I didn't stay for the whole of her set). She would have been great in the Civic or St James. Not a BDO act, methinks.

-LCD Sound System. Great front man, great band, incredible drummer. Played a song to warm up, then BANG - hit you with Daft Punk is Playing in My House, one of their most well-known songs. Boiler Room goes nuts. Thankfully, the munters are all down watching Rage, doing exactly what's expected of them while shouting "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." Ho ho.

James Murphy was so polite - he even said sorry for taking so long to get here, blaming himself for dicking around about coming. He also noted that it was hot, saying that it was like being inside a dog's arse. "Years from now, you'll look back on this and remember, that was that time I was inside the arse of a dog". Ah, the Boiler Room. Burn down you shithole. Sorry, dunno where that outburst came from. But really, how many crap live experiences have you had there?

Some other stuff happened, but I left after LCD (apologies to Supergroove). In closing, the Big Day Out is not gay. The Big Gay Out is gay. Now you know.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sly Sly Sly
The Mike Douglas Show with guest Sly Stone - In the world of the internet, footage previously sought after for decades can suddenly make an appearance out of nowhere. The teenage Frank Zappa appearing on The Steve Allen Show to "play the bicycle" is a good example. Then just as fast, in the world of the internet, that footage can suddenly disappear, usually at the behest of lawyers, never to be seen again. Not quite a year ago, there was some marvelous footage of Sly Stone appearing on The Dick Cavett Show, his coke nose glistening under the bright studio lights, while he spoke nonsense in a drug-induced haze. Another clip of Stone on Cavett had him sharing the panel with Muhammad Ali who at one point told Sly to shut up because, "You're making [Black people] look bad in front of millions of white folk." This clip comes a few years later and Douglas asks why he never sees Sly Stone on any of the talk shows. Stone refers to having "a reputation." Stone has things more together in this interview, making the footage slightly less fun than the aforementioned, but it is entertaining regardless. (From WFMU's blog)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, January 12
Grant Phabao - Message to you, Rudy
Pressure drop - Knok knok
Main ingredient - Don't you worry bout a thing
Tony Allen/Salah Ragab - Ole
Ticklah vs Axelrod - Si hecho palente
Augustus Pablo - Dub organizer
Scientist - Babylon fight dub
Inifinite livez - Intchaaa (Jstar remix)
King Cry Cry - I had a talk
A certain ratio - Do the Ducasse
Calypso king and soul investigators - Damper down popcorn
Lumidee - Uh oh
Supergroove - Next time (DLT remix)
Che fu - The mish
Lukid - Fela
Joe Tex and U Black - Standardization
Krafty kuts - Snatchit
Pepe Braddock - Peer pressure
Iggy and the stooges - Raw power
RJD2 - Let the good times roll Pt 1
Solomonic sound - Children of Israel (Blakdoctor remix)
Nick Holder presents Rockers delight - Natty dread dub
Me'shell Ndegeocello - Who is he...
Meters - Just kissed my baby
Budos Band - Budos rising
Mystic moods - Cosmic sea
Wreckx n effect - Wreckxshop
Fred Wesley and the horny horns - Four play

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, January 5
MC Lyte - I can't make a mistake (Upstate remix)
Al Green - Love and happiness (Shoes re-edit)
Manuel Bundy - What's my dub?
One self - Paranoid (JStar remix)
Sergio Mendes - For what it's worth
Romanowski - Why?
Budos Band - Origin of man
Tito Puente - Take five
Border crossing - Rhumba medly
Daktaris - Its a hustle (Mad Professor remix)
Sir lord comic and his cowboys - Ska-ing west
Guilty simpson - Make it fast
Bob Dylan - You go your way...(Mark Ronson remix)
Massive attack - I spy (Mad Professor remix)
LCD sound system - All my friends
Morwell unlimited meets King Tubby - Morpheus special (Kid Loco remix)
Nightmares on wax - Ease jimi
Cornell Campbell - Rope in
Jackie Mittoo - P Cafe
Ethiopians - I'm gonna take you over
Prince Jazzbo - Crabwalking
Rae & Christian feat Pharcyde - It aint nuttin like
20th Century steel band - Heaven and hell is on earth
Lee Fields and the explorers - I'm the man
Lalo Schifrin - Bullit (Underdog remix)
Pavlov & Mishkin - The brother
Kraftwerk - Tour de France (Francois K remix)

Friday, January 11, 2008

35%. Thats the number total turnover at NZ music retail dropped between 2001 and 2005. From very informative article in NZ Herald's Business section (which has been serving up the goods over the holidays, despite the rest of the paper filling with seasonal dross). Online article is titled "Real Groovy - a company adapting to change" while the print version was called "Shops change tune to battle downloads." The three big xmas sellers at the Warehouse featured one Kiwi act - Prince Tui Teka. Classy.

$US80 million. That's how much cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony is costing the Los Angeles region - they're holding a press conference instead. Exciting. So far the writer's strike has cost US$1.4 billion in lost wages. The Oscars organisers have said they will go ahead with the TV show (on Feb 24) regardless of the strike, even tho the Screen Actors Guild says its members will not appear. The Oscars is the second most popular TV show in the US, behind the Superbowl. Look for a resolution to the strike early Feb.

27 international acts. 15 festivals. That's the rough total for gigs and events in and around the Auckland area from Jan til late March. That's a huge number of punters out and about (even if Timeout is whining about the lack of pre-BDO shows by the big acts). There must still be a lot of folks with some dosh after Xmas to be spending up large on that many gigs.

$18.00. Last time The Police played here, it cost $18 a ticket. Of course, they earned $212 million last year from gigs. Shame they came out number one in a recent poll of bands with large carbon footprints - not very green of ya, Sting!