Friday, February 29, 2008

RIP Buddy Miles
Passed away aged 60. Drummer for Jimi Hendrix, Wilson Pickett, the Delphonics, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Barry White, David Bowie and many more. Check Funky 16 Corners for more indepth bio and some audio from his great album Them Changes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bluenote Mixtape
Spotted at Stop Smiling magazine - "Blue Note has just released "Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples From The Blue Note Lab" - a collection of records from their back catalog which have been sampled for tracks by Dilla, Dre, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pete Rock, and many others.

J Rocc has these records and many of the records that sampled them, and J Rocc cannot stop making incredible mixtapes ...." Grab it from Stonesthrow here....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Done and dusted.
I've finished mixing and mastering the RPM Challenge album, and it's in the post right now, winging it's way to RPM HQ in New Hampshire. Yay me! The cover looks like this....

Track listing...

1. Bang bang! [2.37]
2. Brass knuckles feat MC Free [2.19]
3. Blow your horn, baby [2.02]
4. Breathing is bad for you [1.26]
5. Meanwhile, at the rollerdisco... [1.56]
6. Groovy, man, groovy [1.26]
7. Doin the bossa nova feat Word Perfect [1.22]
8. Classic 85 feat Word Perfect [2.02]
9. Sesame St ska feat Jaq Mac [1.48]
10. Debbie does downtown [2.26]
11. Quick! Alert the jazz police! [1.17]
12. BONUS - Brass knuckles instrumental mix [2.14]

You will notice that the songs are quite short. Like it says in the liner notes... "Less is more".

Also, the interview I did with National Radio's Trevor Reekie along with Dave Karlotski from RPM Challenge is up on line over here, have a listen. Its at: under 'A' for Access All Areas...

Monday, February 25, 2008

RPM Challenge - 4 days to go.
Spent last night finishing and mixing down 6 songs. Added two more songs to the Myspace page - "Groovy, man, groovy" and Debbie does downtown".
Have a listen! Enjoy! Dance! Be amused!
R.I.P Joe Gibbs
The legendary reggae producer passed away last Thursday. He was 65.

"Reggae music lost another champion of the island sound this week. Joe Gibbs, legendary producer, recording engineer and Gibbs record label founder, died of a heart attack at the age of 65. Gibbs created one of my favorite reggae tunes of all time - "Two Sevens Clash" - recorded and performed by Culture from 1977-present. Gibbs also created many of the big roots and rock-steady riddims of the late 60's and early 70's and continued to produce hit after hit into the 80's dancehall era.

VP Records President Chris Chin offered his prayers for an artist who helped put the record label on the international map, stating, "We want to take this time to remember a truly pivotal producer in the reggae business. Our prayers go out to his loved ones. His spirit and music will live on."

VP Records imprint 17 North Parade was already in the process of re-releasing the complete catalog of Gibbs' music, starting with Barrington Levy Collection on April 26th and Joe Gibbs Reggae Anthology in May.

A press release from VP Records reports that the Sirius Satellite channel Reggae Rhythms has Joe Gibbs' last interview and they will air it on Sunday March 2nd." Source. Also more here.

Farewell also to jazz producer Teo Macero.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Radio with pictures
1. Sharon Jones and the Dapkings live on Letterman, last week. Coming to NZ for Womad, March 14-16. Can't wait.

2. New Erykah Badu video, for Honey - She walks round a record store, pulling out albums, and Erykah's face appears on the covers singing her song (De La, Funkadelic, etc). Check the message at the end, very cool - "support your local record store". Love this clip.

3. Mos Def, Michel Gondry and Jean-Michel Bernard playing live at Sundance for Be Kind, Rewind screening. (Hat tip to The Playlist)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I heart Gotham
From the Helvetica Film newsletter... "Unless you've been avoiding television, newspapers, and all other forms of mass media for the past few months, you've probably seen Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's "Change We Can Believe In" and "Stand for Change" banners. The typophiles among you have realized that the "change" font Obama's campaign uses is Gotham, designed by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, originally as a commission for GQ Magazine.

Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones spoke about the creation of Gotham during our interview for Helvetica, and looking back at their description of what GQ wanted from the font, it sounds surprisingly Obama-esque. "GQ had a dual agenda of wanting something that would look very fresh, yet very established, to have a credible voice to it," says Hoefler. It also needed to look very masculine and "of-the-moment." Mission accomplished.

Watch this out-take interview from the film about the origins of Gotham."

Speaking of Gotham, New York is the home of graffiti, an artform that goes back over 35 years, a lifetime in pop culture terms. Helen Clark has decided that it must be destroyed in Aotearoa.

Some media pundits are even calling for a ban on spraycans, which would result in the sales of felt-tip marker pens (a fave with taggers) skyrocketing. Let's ban them too, and let's ban crayons while we're at it. Let's take away the means of expression, and then these frustrated youths will have to find some other outlet - like selling drugs to your kids.

As No Right Turn puts it "Helen Clark's "war on tagging" is in fact a war on kids."

Honestly, if this election year becomes about demonising the youth, it's just like Johnny Rotten said - There is no future for you. What do you think kids will do when you tell them that?

Monday, February 18, 2008

New tune alert
Finished another tune for the RPM Challenge, and its up on the Dub Setsuko Myspace page, called 'Bang bang'. Go have a listen, let me know what you think. Finished 4 tunes so far, 6 to go.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, February 16
Digging thru my records getting ready for the show, I realised I own a lot of cheese, so the first hour of today's show was Cheesy Listening. How much Sergio Mendes is too much?

Love unlimited orchestra - Strange games and things
Sergio Mendes - For what it's worth
Count Basie - James Bond theme
Getz and Gilberto - So danco samba
Dick Hyman - Give it up and turn it loose
Persuasive percussion - Miserlou
El Chicano - Viva tirado
Claude Papesch - Trini baby
Booker T & MGs - It's your thing
Sergio Mendes - Aqua de beber
Herbie Mann - Push push (check the cover above - hairy dude)
Martin Denny - Quiet village
Baja marimba band - Gnu bossa nova
Van McCoy - Funky feet
Lionel Hampton - Stayin alive
Luis Bonfa - Jacaranda
Overproof sound system - Get with it
Freddie Cruger - Running from love
Restless soul - Turn me out
Pavlov and Mishkin - The brothers
Brownout - Laredo 77
Boca45 -La bombonera
Granville Williams Orchestra - Honky tonk
Dennis Alcapone - Fever teaser
Mark de Clive Lowe - Caravan (live)
Erykah Badu - Honey (Capt Planet remix)
Radiohead - Reckonerz feat Chali 2na (Amplive remix)
Bloc party - Where is home? (Burial remix)
Lukid - Fela
Kraftwerk - Radioactivity

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, February 9
Dynamics - 90% of me is you
Fredie Cruger - Running from love
Joe Isaccs - One more time
Mo horizons - Quase nada
The lions - Jungle struttin
Trinity - Three piece suit
Freddie McGregor - Rastaman camp
Cookie monster - C is for cookie (Roy Thode disco mix)
Audioweb - Faker (Lionrock remix)
Tosca - Bossa on the boat
Youngblood brass band - Brooklyn
Clarence Reid - If it was good enough for Daddy
Allen Toussaint - Goin down
Overproof sound system - Get with it
Portishead -Key bored 299 03
Kode9 & spaceape - Bodies
Sharon Jones and Dapkings - Something's changed
Shriekback - All lined up
Muddy Waters - I'm a man
Cut chemist - Storm
Concrete puppy - The great raspberry ripoff
Restless soul - Turn me out
Tanya Stephens- U don't get it/It's a pity
4Hero -Les fleurs

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Meanwhile, at the rollerdisco...
I signed up for the RPM Challenge at the start of February (write and record an album in a month). Came up with a goofy new alias (Dub Setsuko) and started recording. Up to seven songs so far. Check out my first finished tune at

You can download it too, if you feel so inclined. Enjoy! (Or download it from here if you're not down with Myspace.)

I also did an interview yesterday for NZ's National Radio, along with Dave Karlotski from RPM Challenge (phoning in from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he runs The Wire, a weekly alternative newspaper).
Now online here - under 'A' for Access All Areas...

He mentioned that one of the first albums finished so far is from New Zealand, an improvisational album. And the amazing fact that when they started RPM Challenge in 2006, it was strictly their local town (pop: 20,000), and they had 200 bands enter. That's a vibrant pop culture right there. The interview should go to air this weekend.

Headline of the week.
"Bobby Brown almost peed on Dee Snider" Link.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Funk this
"Some of these new artists, I just want to say, ‘The post office is hiring.’ Others I just want to embrace. I would love to educate some of these kids with funk, soul and rock … as for Amy Winehouse, she’s just walking her walk.”

— Chaka Khan, winner for R&B album, “Funk This,” and R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal, “Disrespectful” More reactions from winners here.

Mike from Franklin Ave blog went along, check his craptastic cellphone snaps here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's business time!
I was checking the LA Times to see if anything vaguely interesting was happening at the Grammys, looking at the winners, thinking "I don't care about any of these artists", but then I saw this...

"America's Mexican," George Lopez
"Dirty Girl," Lisa Lampanelli
"The Distant Future," Flight of the Conchords (Winner)
"I Still Have A Pony," Steven Wright
"Songs Pointed & Pointless," Harry Shearer

Sweet as!

ADDED: has just posted up this news, noting that "The last New Zealander to win a Grammy was opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in 1984, according to the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand." WRONG! [The Herald got it wrong too - scratch that, they fixed it]
Expat Kiwi jazz musician Alan Broadbent has been nominated numerous times for the Grammys, and won in 1998 and 2000, for his arranging on albums by Natalie Cole and Shirley Horn, respectively.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Tune in
Some exciting news for youse - scored myself a new radio show - taking over from Danielle Cormack as host of High Noon Tea on Kiwi FM from this Sunday, Feb 10, 3-5pm. Tune in for two hours of dubbed out musical madness, on the FM dial, at 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury and Sky Digital Channel 500. Or listen online here.

Also, some excellent weekend reading - been meaning to point you in the direction of local author Chris Bourke's new blog, well worth a read. He's been doing some research, digging back thru old issues of Truth. Fascinating stuff.

That is all.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, February 2
Jackie Mittoo - James Bond
Frankie Paul - Anytime
Prince Fari - Give love
Romanowski - Rom jack steady
Nate Dogg - Get up (Upstate remix)
Sharon Jones & Dapkings - Stranded in your love (Cool Calm Pete remix)
St Germain - Sure thing
Magic fly - Champion mushroom
Lady Saw - Married man
Tanya Stephens - It's a pity, Need you tonight
Antibalas - Elephant
Lever Bros - Black man's cry
Dubmatix - Enter the dragon
JStar - Tooting gangster, Music time
Pepe Braddock - Peer pressure
Jean Jacques Perry - La panthere cosmique
Freddie Cruger - Something good
Round 4 feat Tikiman - Find a way
Guilty Simpson - Man's world
Joy Denalane - Change
Stovell Sisters - Hang on in there
Underground vegetables - Melting pot
Ray Darwin - People's choice
The Lions - Jungle struttin'
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Brass in Africa
Dr Tree -Eugino D

Friday, February 01, 2008

Face the music
Russell Brown looks at the music industry in his recent Listener columns...

If you can't beat em: Digital rights management is going the way of the dinosaur.

"... The industry has had its problems with DRM, most notoriously in the case of the Sony CD copy-protection that secretly installed a “rootkit” on customers’ PCs, exposing them to malicious internet attacks.

But it wasn’t consumer problems that turned the majors: it was more the fact that DRM – which they had hoped would allow them to control their markets – had in fact become a tool for others to manipulate markets in ways that stripped the record companies of power..."

Old-time music: CDs are not antiques. Yet.
"... The stark fact is that music consumption is moving away from retail purchasing, yet more music than ever is being recorded. You can hardly escape music in daily life: radio, ringtones, music TV, video games, TV ads and promos, YouTube, MySpace and the ubiquitous iPod. Meanwhile Auckland’s big new Vector Arena is regularly filling for concerts. So what’s going on?"

plus this one..

oh yeah, killed a tagger lately? Hey, let's demonise the youth, cos that's a great way to treat the future of our country. Let's alienate them. Yeah right. This is going to be a crappy year full of political hot air. Fuck that.