Monday, October 31, 2011

New record store in AK

A mate sent me this pic (thanks, Walter), from 69 Mt Eden Rd, where it looks like a new record store is opening. It's run by Southbound Distribution, who handle some great labels. Apparently it's opening soon.

UPDATED, Nov 14, 2011: Store is open now, tues to sat 10-530, more details here.

Picassos retrospective out now!

It's finally here! Very exciting.

You can buy the digital downloads from Amplifier (320k MP3), iTunes, and other digital stores. Amplifier has a special bonus tune - Marshall Law Dub [listen], which we recorded with Mike Hodgson (now of Pitch Black).

ITunes has a bonus track too  - our cover version of Head Like A Hole's song Air [listen].

You can also grab the digital versions in any format you want from our Bandcamp page.
Also available at  Marbecks DigitalDigirama.

If you want the CD, Amplifier ship it across NZ and worldwide too. And the CD is in all good CD stores.

Cheers! Hope you like it.

Raggamuffin adds new acts

Raggamuffin Festival has added some acts to the lineup for next year - Arrested Development, Sly n Robbie, J-Boog, and Katchafire.

"Organisers have also announced Chad Chambers, winner of Maori Television's singing competition Homai Te Pakipaki will join other New Zealand performers Kora and Three Houses Down on the main Saturday stage. Chambers' inclusion in the world-class line-up came after thousands of fans petitioned Raggamuffin organisers via Facebook."

From Rotorua Daily Post: Raggamuffin 2012: More big names added to line-up

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Music from Saharan Cellphones

This is pretty cool...  digital artifacts from Saharan cellphones... hat tip to Stinky Jim for this.

Also from same label, Gulls - Mean sound EP, got this a while back, very tasty dub, free tune below..

from the liner notes...." In 2010 returning from extensive travel in Mali and Mauritania, Chris Kirkley (Sahel Sounds) presented “Music from Saharan Cellphones”. The music on the compilation was collected from cellphones in the Northern Malian town of Kidal.

In much of West Africa, cellphones are are used as all-purpose multimedia devices. In lieu of personal computers and high speed internet, cellphones house portable music collections, playback songs on tiny built-in speakers, and swap files through peer-to-peer Bluetooth wireless transfer. The songs collected in Kidal range from DIY Tuareg guitar, auto-tuned Moroccan chaabi, Malian coupé décalé, and fruityloop hip hop.

Originally released as a limited run cassette tape by Mississippi Records in Portland Oregon, the cassette was uploaded to blogs and online media hubs, and quickly became a viral source of new and inspiring sounds.

On Oct.10 2011 Boomarm Nation and Sahel Sounds present: “Music For Saharan Cellphones”. Drawing on gifted producers and musicians from a variety of stylistic backgrounds and nationalities, each artist selected and re-interpreted a musical moment from the source material.

From bass laden sound/clash ventures, abstract re-creations, and even an amazing autotune cover, the end result holds a rich assortment of well informed musical statements. Reflecting the energy and fidelity of its origins, these versions take on their own rare and exciting form. Using the mp3 as the medium, the Music and the Musicians become the diplomacy.

This compilation will be available in 3 formats: 1- FREE digital download via bandcamp and our website. 2- A limited edition cassette tape. (released by Mississippi Records.) 3- MicroSD card. (limited to 30- hand numbered cards, which we will be shipping to Kidal, Mali where they will be redistributed and uploaded into the vast web of digital musics.)

In addition, a limited edition 7” single of Mdou Moctar’s autotune masterpiece “Tahoultine” b/w Gulls remix, will be co-released by Boomarm Nation and Sahel Sounds in November 2011, followed by a 12" LP of "Music from Saharan Cellphones" by Sahel Sounds."

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Oct 29

Loopless - Pink blue hotel
Boozoo bajou - Camioux - melodica cut
Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Lord Echo - Thing I like to do
Monguito Santamaria - Hey sister
Doris Troy - Get back
Sister Sledge - Love dont you go thru no changes on me
Jackie Stoudemire - Invisible wind  -Shoes re-edit
Soul searchers - We the people - Danny Krivit edit
Ikebe shakedown - Asa-sa
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - Keep on looking - Kenny Dope remix
Ladi6 - Burn with me
The Yoots - Tutira mai
Omegaman - Skankin riddim - Thomas Blondet remix
Augustus Pablo - East of the river Nile
Barrington Levy - Many changes in life/dub by Scientist
Delroy Wilson - Get ready
King Tubby - This dub is ready
Lee Scratch Perry vs the Moody boyz - God smiled
Timmy Thomas - Why can't we live together - Shoes house mix
Dutch rhythm combo - Bonaire
Nina Simone -Taking care of business - Pilooski edit
Harlequin fours - Set it off - US 12" mix by Walter Gibbons
John Edwards singers  -New burying ground

Friday, October 28, 2011

R.I.P. Eric Marsden (The Androidss)

Eric Marsden (The Androidss) has passed away. Heard that via Chris Matthews (Headless Chooks) on Facebook. His brother Steve passed away in early March 2009.

I was lucky enough to catch this tribute gig in 2009 to Steve's memory, featuring the remaining members of the Androidss (including Eric) performing, alongside The Spelling Mistakes, The Newmatics and Chris Matthews and his band Robot Monkey Orchestra.

ADDED 1 Nov - saw this via Robert Southon on Facebook - "For friends of Eric and of the Androidss, there is a wake on Nov 9th at the Tabac Bar in Auckland."
ADDED 2 Nov  - via Loriah in the comments - A memorial wake for Eric is to be held at the Richmond Working Mens Club in Christchurch on Friday Nov 4th from 4pm.

"This band [had] a great and large repertoire of songs that were most unfortunately lost to history. A contributing factor to their history and lack of recordings was due to a couple of members doing jail time. However, "Auckland Tonight” and “Getting Jumpy" were the only two songs to have been recorded/documented/saved, thanks to Ripper Records." [source]

ADDED: Eric Marsden of the Androidss outside the Media Club, Christchurch before the band's gig 23/10 2008 (more info on the gig here, apparently it was a fundraiser, and there is mention of their planned album). Photo by Robin Mcilraith (and cannot be reused without Robin's permission). Thanks for sending me this, Robin.

Photo by Robin Mcilraith

Photo from Robin Mcilraith. Apparently Eric used to give out this photo to his female fans!

Here's some words that Mark Wilson of the Androidss wrote on Steven Marsden's passing ...[source]

Mark Wilson formed The Androidss with Stephen and remembers him accordingly...

"Raging at the Gresham Tavern with The Basket Cases when Zephyrs and Cortinas were polluting the atmosphere was cool but nothing compared to The Androidss! In 1978 the party hit the road. Stephen and Eric Marsden (identical twins), Mark and Neil Spence, Arthur Manawatu, Frank Stenjes and I threw together some tunes. Armed with pot, alcohol, guitars and attitude we created a repertoire of Iggy, Bowie, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Blondie, Magazine covers mixed with my eclectic soul searching originals. Arthur left so Steve and I fronted the band. Playing around Christchurch to small audiences soon led to us play support for NZ touring bands such as the Dudes, Toy Love and The Swingers. Iggy Pop saw us perform his songs at the British Hotel in Lyttelton. Stephen and I sat with him and drank whisky. The press quoted him: "they're tough as bitches but they're beautiful!"

Next we headed for Auckland. "Androidss suck" was the cry from local punks, skinheads and boot boys; fagends flicked in our faces as we forged our way into the Auckland scene. Shaving off to create a new image, we fitted in to the punk scene and the arty new wave culture. This inspired Stephen to write Auckland Tonight. Packing out the Rhumba Bar, photos in magazines and posters catapulted our popularity and after touring back to Christchurch headlining gigs we recorded our one and only record. Stephens' Auckland Tonight and my song Getting Jumpy went to number 18 on NZ charts! Steve's song was put to video for the popular show Droppa Kulcha. We had sort of made it!

Living the rock'n'roll lifestyle took its toll and we disbanded. The party was over. Mark split to London, I got married and the others stayed in Auckland eventually coming back to Christchurch, except Steve who lived the rest of his days devoted to his wife Andrea.

I am grateful to have had these experiences with Steve. His incredible enthusiasm and energy coupled with his humour gave me something to hang off; flanking him on his right with my guitar while he sang and I played my solos. I will never forget those times. Last year Stephen got up and sang with the new millennium Androidss. Liberate The Androidss!

For Stephen, May God Bless him - Mark Wilson

ADDED : Bryan Staff talks about the photo below, with NZ Musician's Trevor Reekie..."It was at David Gapes’ birthday party at the King’s Arms in 1992. I don’t know who took it – but it was on my camera." There's another photo of Eric and Steve there too, with Greg Carroll.

King of the bongo

Was reminded of this song earlier, here's a cool version, live at Abbey Road, from Manu Chao...

Thursday, October 27, 2011


From LA Times, Snoop Dogg and crew in the studio working on two tunes for Snoop's next album, and two tunes for the much anticipated Detox from Dr Dre... there's a bunch of messing round, and then they get into the beat making, which is some pretty awesome music...

"...Though Snoop is often portrayed as the goofy avuncular stoner, this is the side of him as the true artist, surrounded by lauded producer DJ Quik, who arrives with a black box that he describes as "every drum machine you ever wanted in your life, rolled into one." Beaming, Snoop picks it up and tells the camera: "This is the cheat sheet, straight from DJ Quik's living."

.... Like most Dre-related work, there are live guitarists and drummers, mixed with machines both analog and digital. In between the blunt smoking and conversations with members of Guerillas in Tha Mist (!), there's the ineradicable emphasis on topping the past.

Snoop readily references "Still D.R.E" and the wild reaction it continues to get from crowds even a dozen years after its release. He describes it as the "[last stuff], it was perfect. We need to find something flawless for Dre and he ain't listening past the first 10 seconds."...


Cheese On Toast did an interview recently with Peter and Roland about Hallelujah Picassos retrospective out next Monday, watch it below. They've also got the album stream up too.

ADDED You can now pre-order the CD from Amplifier, they ship internationally too. More here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Womad 2012 lineup

Introducing: Staff Benda Bilili from Glen Milner on Vimeo.

The lineup for next year's Womad Festival in New Plymouth (March 16-18) was announced this evening. Highlights include Mad Professor, Staff Benda Billili, Master Drummers of Burundi, Groundation, The Yoots, Black Seeds, Paul Urbana Jones, Pajama Club, and more. More info at the Womad site. Full lineup below.

Adam Page
Amiria Grenell and Band
Anda Union
Batucada Sound Machine
Bombay Royale
Chapelier Fou
Diego Guerrero y El Solar de Artistas
Dobet Gnahore
Gurrumul Yunupingu
Le Trio Joubran
Lo' Jo
Mad Professor
Mahala Rai Banda
Mama Kin
Master Drummers of Burundi
Minuit vs. Gamelan Taniwha Jaya
Narasirato Pan Pipers
Paul Ubana Jones
Sharon Shannon Big Band
Shivkumar Sharma
Staff Benda Bilili
Te Mātārae i Orehu
The Black Seeds
The Yoots
The Nukes
Pajama Club

Related post: Womad 2008, random notes (including that time I got my photo with the incredible Miss Sharon Jones)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Picasso core

Hugh Sundae of the NZ Herald has posted a great piece on the forthcoming Hallelujah Picassos reissue, out next Monday. There's the new video, and an excerpt from the CD liner notes, written by Simon Grigg. Here it is...

Extract from Simon Grigg's liner notes for Rewind the Hateman

"The Picassos arrived in 1988 and Auckland, and indeed, New Zealand, had seen nothing like them.

Whereas most of their influence-mashing contemporaries combined two, or at most, three of the above musical revolutions together, Hallelujah Picassos took absolutely no prisoners and slammed them all together in an almost violent and ruthless amalgam of joy.

And you either loved them or hated them. There was no middle ground. Harold's performance and Bobbylon's sweet noise didn't offer you the non-committal option.

I loved them, and found that it was both exhilarating and exhausting to be in their presence. You thrilled at the energy and seductive melody, but found yourself utterly shattered as they walked off... and I'm not a dancer. I can but try to imagine how the band felt.

In almost any other nation they'd likely have been adopted by the fringes of the mainstream and done quite well given their look and sound, but in an era when airplay for their sort (y'know: NZ bands) on any radio stations outside of student radio was non-existent, their sales remained steady but unspectacular, driven mostly by live shows.

But their influence was undeniable, and a generation of local acts who refused to accept the boundaries that those Pink Floyd and Dire Straits-loving critics defined owe massively to the Picassos, often without realising exactly how much they broke down the barriers of musical conservatism in Auckland and beyond.

However their catalogue has languished since then, being largely unavailable, aside from a track here and there, throughout the 21st century.

Until now... and this, I guess, is as good a place as any to encourage you to take a leap into the recorded work of one of the most important New Zealand acts of their time.

Enjoy. I will."

See Hallelujah Picassos to release retrospective album. There's also a link at the bottom of the Herald story to a 1992 interview with the Picassos, by Graham Reid

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homebrew defend NZ

Homebrew Crew - God Defend NZ remix from Augusto on Vimeo.

Homebrew take on our National Song for David Farrier's journey into the history of New Zealands National Anthem, God Defend NZ. Screened on TV3 Saturday 22nd Oct at the matinee time of 2.30pm.

and Streetchant...

Street Chant - God Defend NZ Cover from Augusto on Vimeo.

RIP Edmundo Ros

"The seductively orchestrated Latin-pop songs that set British feet tapping in the 1940s and 50s made the Trinidad-born bandleader Edmundo Ros a household name. But beside such musical success, Ros, who has died aged 100, made a remarkable reinvention of his life: the mixed-race "outsider" successfully challenged the British class system, to become, as he put it, "a respected gentleman".

When he went to London in June 1937 to study at the Royal Academy of Music, he felt racially categorised by being sent to lodgings for colonial students. A tall, strikingly handsome man, he was determined to crash through such restrictions. Within five years, he had deployed his talents, charisma and charm to good enough effect to find himself performing for the future Queen of England – and was himself developing a cut-glass accent." 
Read in full: Edmundo Ros obituary, The Guardian

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Che Fu and Tigi Ness on TV

Che Fu and his father Tigi Ness feature on Maori TV tonight, at 830pm. It's a documentary called Sons Afar, about Che and Tigi travelling to Tigi's homeland, Niue. While they're there, they put on a performance for the locals at the Niue Arts and Cultural Festival.

Che and Tigi have rarely played together  -their most recent joint outing was at the Christchurch Arts Festival. Nick Bollinger wrote about that in The Listener back in September, read it here.

Excerpt... "father and son have also teamed up for occasional family events and festivals, including this week at the Christchurch Arts Festival.

The most significant of their collaborations was in April when they headlined at the second Niue Arts and Cultural Festival. It was the first time either had been to the island. “I’d been talking for years about taking my son to Niue,” says Tigi. “And then he goes, ‘Dad, I’ll take you to Niue!’”

With a sound and lighting rig shipped from New Zealand, Che’s crew provided the technical support for the week-long event, which included films, exhibitions, dance and workshops as well as music.

For Che, seeing his grandparents’ village helped him appreciate their courage. “There’s less than a hundred people. Coming from there, Auckland must have been like an alien world.”

For Tigi, returning to the home he had never seen made him think about today’s immigrants. “Look at people coming to New Zealand from the Middle East, or wherever. You don’t know what the law of the land is. It’s so far away. You’re going to the bottom of the world.”

The music Che and Tigi performed there mixed the influences they have picked up on their respective journeys, from rock to reggae to rap. Che says: “To me, music is a language, a way to communicate stuff, but the stuff is me. I use all these different mixes, but the stories are mine.”

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Oct 22

Noel Pointer - Living for the city
Candi Staton - When you wake up tomorrow
House party - Dangerous love
Mr Chop - Giving up food for funk
Cochema Gastelum - Dark city
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls - main mix
King Tubby - Bag a wire -Avatars of dub remix
Hallelujah Picassos - Rewind
Lester Sterling - Afrikaan beat
Nardo Ranks - Burrup
Lightning head - Bokoor sound special
Joe Cuba sextet - Sock it to me
Mo kolours - Biddies
Mr Chop - Greedy G
Mophono's halftone society - Sinicism - Natural self remix
David and Reuben - I love her so much it hurts me
Esther Phillips - Catch me I'm falling
Ella Fitzgerald - Get ready
Fitz and the tantrums - Money grabber
Soul providers feat Sharon Jones - Switchblade
Dusty - An exotic breed  - Umberto Echo's dub
Jackie Mittoo and Brentford rockers - Sidewalk doctor
Karl Bryan and the afrokats - Money generator
Clarence Thompson and the organisation - Express yourself
Wilson Pickett - Get me back on time - Danny Massure edit
King Errison - The magic man
Lord Echo - Long time no see
Gwen Guthrie - Aint nothin' goin' on but the rent  -club mix
Mayer Hawthorne - Dreaming

Friday, October 21, 2011

Akld Record Fair tomorrow

Auckland Record Fair at Freeman's Bay Community Hall, 10am - 3pm
General admission: $4.00

"We had a fantastic turnout at our last Record Fair in March and we hope you enjoyed it as much as Klaus, Jonathan and Peter enjoyed putting it on! The next Record Fair will be held in the Freemans Bay Community Hall on the 22nd October 2011 and we look forward to seeing you and your friends there.

As always there will be a full vintage system playing vinyl, plenty of stalls and an exhibition tables dedicated to helping you clean and care for your vinyl collection using the fantastic Knosti disco-antistat record cleaning kit.

The fair will be open to the public from 10am to 3pm. Please remember entry is payable by cash only.

In terms of keeping you informed we are making some exciting changes! The Record Fair Newsletter will now be sent from our new platform at We will also start posting updates regarding the Record Fair on Facebook."

Neil Young goes to Soulsville

Was listening to Charles Bradley and the Menahan St Band on repeat yesterday (love their album), and came across this track...

The Budos Band, live from earlier this year, joined onstage by Mr Bradley, who proceeds to dance up a storm, then brings the band to a dead stop and takes off for Soulsville with Mr Neil Young's song Heart of gold.

There's also a recorded version of this available too, on vinyl/digital.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beats in our backyard - Ghana

New project from Nick D (Making Tracks)... check it out.

from beats in our backyard ghana

"Yaw Boetang is from Accra - the capital city of Ghana. I visited Ghana last year and met with Yaw over there and i've got to say it's one of the craziest places I've ever been.

Ghana is a former British colony in West Africa and it has a reputation for some of the greatest music in all of the continent. Yaw, who was a teacher back in Ghana came out to New Zealand to further his studies and once he arrived he noticed a lack in the music of his homeland, so almost immediately made it his mission to take the sounds of Afro-beat to New Zealand with his band Zoh-Zoh. 

Yaw is one of the most unique people i've ever met, he's got a charm and a warmth like no other and seeing him perform onstage is like nothing else. He's a true showman

About Beats In Our Backyard with Nick Dwyer

Beats In Our Backyard is an exploration of New Zealand's multi-culture through music. All my life I've been all consumed with the discovery of new music and over the last ten years I've been traveling the world in search of new and exotic sounds from all around the globe - especially in the last 4 years with a TV series I present and direct called 'Making Tracks'. 

Last year I was given the opportunity to host at the Auckland Cultural Festival and it was really then that I realised the extent of our ethnic diversity. From Burundi and Somalia in Africa to Mongolia and Nepal in Asia to nearly every Caribbean island nation - New Zealand is home to over 150 different nations - each of these people has an extraordinary story to tell, and for alot of them the best way to do that is through their music, which they are all incredibly proud of. 

The idea behind Beats In Our Backyard is to shine the spotlight on these communities and their music, and hopefully as a by-product you'll learn a little bit more about your relatively new neighbours along the way."

Watch the bonus features in this series: Yaws Human Percussion, Yaws Balls and Singing, Pidgin Lesson (below)

Smart Network has a range of contributors, 14 in all - only two women tho. Project is from Telecom NZ.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Picassos video!

About a year ago, I was digging round in my archives/boxes of random stuff looking for some old Picassos press clippings, when I discovered a box of super 8 film labelled "Picassos - Powerstation". Thought to myself, "Cool, some footage I can use to make a new video for the reissue." I filed the film away carefully..  fast forward to August 2011.

I decide to dig out the roll of super 8 film and digitise it, ready for editing. Can I find it? No. Searched all my boxes, twice. Still couldn't find it. Searched them a third time. Found it. I remembered only one roll of film tho  - when I eventually relocated where I'd carefully stashed it, there was three rolls. Score. Two colour, one black and white roll. Some of the footage originally appeared in the video for Rewind, back in 94, so I'm guessing it was shot by Clinton Phillips.

So, with the generous assistance of video editor Justin Redding (thank you!), here's a suitably grimy clip for the noisy punk blast of God gave us Boom Boom Washington. Enjoy, and please share it round.

Oh, and the tracklisting for the reissue is up over at Picassocore. Go have a look.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mr Chop

Mr Chop dropped a very tasty album a while back of instrumental covers based on the production work of hiphop producer Pete Rock -  called For Pete's Sake. Free download of his version of TROY here.

His latest effort came out recently, and is called Switched On. It's inspired by famous Moog albums by the likes of Dick Hyman. There's a killer version of Studio One reggae jam Greedy G in there too [listen below], amongst the funky JBs/Can covers. This is a delightfully twisted album full of dirty drums and squelchy synths.

From Now Again Records site: "We’re pleased to present – in association with Five Day Weekend – Mr. Chops’s Switched On over the course of a 9” single and a 2×10” LP. By now you know all about the man – but, in case you need a primer: Chop is a producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist and the proprietor of Cheshire, UK based Ape Recording Studios, one of the finest analog studios in the world…. and a repository for vintage synthesisers, guitars, drums and gear sourced from the world over.

Thus, Switched On is a natural album: Chop’s homage to the great Moog-lead albums that proliferated in the wake of the synthesizer’s invention in the late 60s and early 70s. Unlike those records – like Dick Hyman’s Age of Electronicus, which contained one great synth-funk track [listen] amidst a series of soft pop hits – this album is all killer, and no filler. Mr. Chop tackles songs by the likes of Can, the JBs, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Smith via a still-futuristic blend of heavy drums by The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto and his own fuzzy guitars and cosmic keys."

LP and CD presented in a thick cardboard “tip-on” sleeve. Colored-vinyl 9” presented in a clear, heavy vinyl jacket." Listen/buy it here.

Free download of Mr Chop - Happy Birthday here.

01. Hung-Up
02. Root Down (& Get It)
03. Breakthrough
04. Givin’ Up Food For Funk
05. Blow Your Head
06. Deep Gully
07. Greedy G
08. Happy Birthday
09. Vitamin C
10. Cortex

UB40 declared bankrupt

Via Prefix mag: A British judge has declared reggae outfit UB40 bankrupt in a Birmingham County Court, according to reports fromNME. The court order apparently lasts for 12 months and means that officials could potentially seize property to make up for the band's debts. This news comes after the group already saw their record label and management company fail in the past few years.

As UB40 fans likely know, the order only applies to four of the group's members as former frontman Ali Campbell quit the band in 2008 over a financial dispute. Looks like he made the right move. He said the following in a statement regarding his former band's woes: "This is the very reason why I left the band. This was my biggest fear when I was with them, that bankruptcy was going to happen and no one can say I didn't warn them."

In 2008 Ali told NME that “References to Ali Campbell leaving UB40 to pursue a solo career are erroneous and misleading,” [he] said in a statement. “Ali Campbell has been requesting financial and other information from the business managers of UB40 for a number of years through appointed representatives and now through Hextalls.

"There has been a complete failure to supply any adequate financial information, causingAli Campbell to question why it is being withheld particularly when so much time has passed. It is this failure that has led to the breakdown between Ali Campbell and the business managers of UB40 and ultimately to Ali Campbell’s departure.”

Ali Campbell is headlining next year's Raggamuffin Festival, which has cancelled its Australian leg, but will go ahead in NZ.

Previous posts: Raggamuffin cancels Aust shows, Raggamuffin rumblings, Herbs vs Raggamuffin

Monday, October 17, 2011

pon da re-edit

Found this chap via Morgan, cheers fella. Ladies and gents, Danny Massure of Los Angeles, and his many fine re-edits.

Booker T. & The MG's - Hip Hug-Her (Danny Massure Edit) new DL link by Danny Massure

 The Budos Band - Aynotchesh Yererfu (Danny Massure edit) by Danny Massure

Billy Preston - Outta-Space (Danny Massure Edit) by Danny Massure

Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions (Danny Massure edit) by Danny Massure

Joe Bataan- Chick-a-Boom (Danny Massure edit) by Danny Massure

okay just one more.. hiphop vocals from Naughty By Nature over a reggae beat from Tommy McCook...

Heatwave Jamboree (Naughty by Nature & Tommy McCook) new DL link by Danny Massure

Born scrappy

Labour announced their ICT policy today (it leaked yesterday, via Whaleoil). Some of its ideas include expanding the role of NZ On Screen, and reviewing the Copyright Act and scrappng the provision that allows the introduction of internet account suspension as a penalty. More here.

"Labour would investigate making New Zealand music, TV shows and music available on an online platform funded through a small copyright levy on internet access, if it forms the next government ... The party has released its information and communications technology policy ahead of the election next month.

Key points include combining the regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting – with potential ramifications for SkyTV – a greater emphasis on open source software in government and more resources for developing IT skills and for schemes to take technology to lower socio-economic areas.

Technology and communications spokeswoman Clare Curran said it would consider expanding the online film and TV archive NZ On Screen to become a platform for accessing New Zealand-made content such as movies, TV shows and music. Consumers could pay a small copyright levy on internet access, which would provide funds for the digital platform and for content creators.

"The idea needs more work, but in the absence of a mechanism to aggregate New Zealand content that seems like a good place to start," she said.

Most of the commenters on that story seem resistant to the idea of an internet tax, funnily enough.

Noel Pointer, Livin for the city

Back in the 70s there was several fruity cats in the jazz flute world who liked taking their shirts off on their album covers, see Grover Washington Jr or Herbie Mann. Today I discovered a new variation on that, while digging in Real Groovy - jazz violinists who also follow suit. See above cover.

This fellow is Noel Pointer, from his debut album, Phantazia, released on Blue Note in 1977. According to the liner notes, Pointer was born and raised in Brooklyn NY, and started playing violin in the fourth grade. He made his solo debut performing Vivaldi with the Symphony of the New World Orchestra at 13 years old (source), followed by guest solo appearances with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Killer jam is Pointer's version of Livin for the city. Listen below.

Dusty Grooves describe the album as "Sweet electric fusion from violinist Noel Pointer – a player so great, you'll forget that he's using an instrument you normally associate with sleepier music! Like others of the 70s generation, Pointer plays the violin in a way that's clearly heavily influenced by keyboards of the time – electric in amplification, and worked in a mode that uses the instrument to create waves of sound that flow out amongst the tighter fusion rhythms of the set. Dave Grusin arranged and produced the set – in his best lean soulful mode of the time – and other players include Earl Klugh, Ralph MacDonald, Steve Gadd, and Grusin himself. Titles include "Mirabella", "Night Song", "Living For The City", "Phantazia", and "Wafaring Stranger".

Pointer played in concert with everyone from the Jacksons, Barry White, to Sammy Davis Jr and  Thelonius Monk. He recorded on sessions for the likes of the Jones Girls, Patrice Rushen, Norman Connors and many more.

He died of a stroke in 1994, a few days short of his 40th birthday. The Noel Pointer Foundation was established in 1995 in his memory, providing scholarships for aspiring violinists.

From the album Direct Hit, from 1981... cool disco funk jam...

Youtube playlist for Noel Pointer (28 tunes)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Oct 15

Sunlightsquare combo - I believe in miracles
Myron and E with the Soul Investigators - Cold game
Colman bros - She who dares - lounge mix
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Ease back
SOS band - Take your time (Do it right)
Dr rubberfunk's fantasy band - Rubberfunk
Isley Bros - That lady pt 2
Will Tang - Your love bites - Andy Votel remix
The Clash - Rockers galore... UK tour
Turbulence - Notorious
Stephen Marley - Traffic jam
Tanya Stephens -It's a pity
Superbeagle  -Dust a soundboy
Yami Bolo - When a man's in love
Perfect - Handcart boy
Tenor fly - Mind weh yu seh
Anna mystic vs Mishkin - 
Jurassic 5 - Unified rebelution - Soul food remix by Upstate
Beverly rd allstars - Murder she wrote
Scrappy - Off the lead
African head charge - Release the doctor
Mungo's hifi feat Kenny Knots - Rock inna dancehall
Jah Wobble - Get Carter
Belleruche - Drum at dusk
ESG - Dance
Frente cumbiero - Pitchito
Guy Pederson - Indian pop bass
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - What if we all stopped paying taxes?
Billy TK - Move on up pt 1
Pete Rodriguez - Pete's boogaloo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oh boy!

Just got a copy of the Picassos reissue, damn it looks good! Check out the cover, below. Out October 31, more info at Picassocore.

Everything fades

[I wrote this a few months back, just dug it out...] Over at Deleting Music, Andrew Dubber has posted about a piece from The Vine on an Australian record label that has been operating sicnce 2005, painstakingly restoring and reissuing out-of-print albums...

"... Gil Matthews is probably best known as the drummer for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, but he has also built a solid business giving many classic Australian albums new life on CD. Since 2005 the label Aztec Music has released about 60 titles, each with high-quality packaging and a 28-page booklet, creating a business with a yearly turnover of about $250,000. ”There are an incredible number of titles we could release if we had the time,” says Matthews. ”If we had a catalogue of 300 titles, this would be close to a million-dollar business.”

Each release is a painstaking process, requiring Matthews to go back to the ageing master tapes — or even vinyl if tapes are unavailable — and restore them for the digital format. ”Sometimes it can take 40 hours alone to remove all the clicks and pops from the original source — it’s almost a labour of love,” says Matthews.

There's a huge amount of music that is out of circulation and will never, ever get reissued. That's why I still go digging for records, because there is always good music to be found on vinyl that will never turn up on iTunes in a million years.

Supersoulsisters is a blog started by Nosi, a music fan to share some singers he loves. He's digitising his vinyl, photographing the covers and researching the history behind these singers to share. He ran this blog from Feb to Dec 2009 before shuttering it.

Take this post on Della Reese and her album Black Is Beautiful from 1969. He gives some background, talks about the album, and who should pop up in the comments but Della Reese! Is she mad that he's giving away her music for free? No, she's glad someone remembers her and cares enough to write about her music.

There are a wealth of music fans who are digitising their old vinyl, photographing the covers (front and back, plus inner sleeves and labels) and uploading them to the internet via blogs. Clearly, they don't have the legal rights to do this, obviously. But the labels that do own the rights, if they still exist, mostly have no interest in reissuing them. There's no financial reason for them to do so. They do of course still own the rights to that recording.

An exception would be say Warners, who have done some good work with their extensive archive (or at least allowed some clever folk at Rhino access to their vaults), like the Rhino 5 CD boxsets (got the Charles Wright boxset? It's awesome, only $20) or the exquisitely packaged What It Is box set. But it's really only scratching the surface.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Onra - Chinoiseries Pt.2

Onra returns with Chinoiseries Part Two (pout Nov 15). I'm guessing you're familiar with the first installment of this incredibly funky trawl thru Asia. If not, I urge you to check it out (sample below).

ADDED: Just saw via Conch that Onra is playing live in Auckland at Khuja Lounge, 11 November, with locals Julien Dyne, and Funkommunity in support.

From Stink Inc: "The Vietnamese-French producer and DJ caught my eye with his 'Chinoiseries' album, earlier this year [2008]. For starters it looked the part, and the briefest of spins on the decks confirmed it was something a little special. Comprised of 32 beat vignettes, most barely troubling the two minute mark, it's a response to a visit back to the land of his grandparents where he picked up a bundle of comfortingly scratchy Vietnamese/Oriental vinyl... There's a whole other fandangle with Coke and the Olympics to do with [The Anthem], which you can read about at the excellent Pinglewood blog..."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gil Scott Heron + Wu-Tang = The Gil Scott Heron [EP]

Via Potholes in my blog, cool three-song EP. Wu Tang acapellas over Gil's music. Sweet as, bro.

Gil's Pinky Ring (pt.1) by DJ 2-Tone Jones

Download: DJ 2-Tone Jones – The Gil Scott Suite [Mediafire]

Black Joe Lewis, live in AK

These cats look kinda fun, give em a listen...

"Black Joe Lewis was the Friday highlight. They were probably booked off their live rep, and the astonishing spectacle of the slight Joe screaming curse words like a modern day Howlin’ Wolf was a sight to behold. With a swaying Honey Bears horn section (swaying!) and a tinny, but still brutal, double-guitar attack, any "modern-day pastiche" fears were put to rest with the call-and-response on ‘It’s Alright’ getting louder as it went on. A raucous ‘Booty City’ (see above) followed, featuring the band screaming together into the one mic as Black Joe stretched his wail to breaking point — they were that good." The Vine

"Hard hitting, funking, raw soul with swagger that will leave you sticky and dirty ....
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears bring their sonic soul review to the Powerstation on Wednesday 7th December.

With two rock-solid albums – Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is and Scandalous under their belts , Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are set to get you rocking!

Having toured with the likes of the New York Dolls, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm and drawing influence from Elmore James, Howling Wolf and Lightnin’ Hopkins, Black Joe Lewis delivers a sonic assault of dirty blues, rock and soul delivered with his inimitable bite, backed the grit and raunch of the Honeybears - it’s a trip baby and not for the faint hearted!"

With Tyra Hammond & The Bluebirds - Powerstation , Wednesday 7th December 2011
Tickets available 11th October from Ticketmaster, more information –

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry

The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry, doco released in theatres March this year. Wonder when it will get there?

Watch: Deleted scene: "Lee Scratch Perry teaches children how to sing "Walking in the Jungle" in the burned out remnants of his Black Ark Studio, circa 1980. Deleted scene from The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry." The song also contains extensive swearing. Funny old Lee Perry.

Also on the way, On U Sound release Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Nu Sound & Version, a set of remixed and reinterpreted classic tracks from Perry. It features versions by Kode9, Digital Mystikz, Bullion, Congo Natty and more - out Nov 7.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

MdCL live jam

Mark de Clive Lowe and Sy Smith playing live at The Shrine in Chicago - on the fly live production and performance of their collaboration 'TRUTH'.

Alos, check out MdCL's Church Vol 3 Mixtape. Nearly an hour’s worth of tracks from cats like Sonny Rollins, Ahmad Jamal, and Sun Ra...

MdCL presents Church vol.3 mixtape by mashibeats

Quantic vs J-Rocc mix

Best Of Quantic Mix by J.Rocc by Tru Thoughts

This mix by J.Rocc is a taster for The Best Of Quantic album (collected from twelve albums over ten years). It is out now on double CD/vinyl/digital thru TruThoughts. Hat tip to Voices of East Anglia blog, track listing over there too.

BONUS: interview with Will 'Quantic'Holland over at Revivalist.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Tourettes: vandalism 101, an educational video

Way back in May 2010, Real Groove wrote a major piece on the state on NZ On Air music funding. One of the artists who was very vocal in their criticism of NZ On Air was Tourettes (see this transcript). He had dealt with numerous funding rejections (going back to 2001), and was so fed up, he had decided to up sticks and move to Oz to further his career.

Fast forward to 2011, and Tourettes has got a record deal - with a NZ label, and has moved back here. And wonders of wonders, the revamped NZOA funding scheme now has room to accommodate his talents. Its a topsy turvy world.

So what does Tourettes do with our tax dollars? Makes a video where he give a bunch of kids hammers and baseball bats, dresses them up as thugs, and teaches them how to trash a car. Genius. Give this man more money right now, NZOA.

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Oct 8 this tune!

Mr Vegas - Lean wid it, Heads high
Resonators - Gold dub
Barrington Levy - It's not easy
In crowd - Mango walk
Jay boys - I can't get next to you
Betty Harris - Mean man
Wendy Rene - BBQ
Dixie cups - Iko iko
Mary Wells - Keep me in suspense
Sisters love - Now is the time
Ann Peebles - If this is heaven
Dennis Edwards - Dont look any further
 Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
Shogun orchestra - Jacmel
Liquid liquid - Optimo
Ikebe shakedown - Tujunga
Candi Staton - When you wake up tomorrow
Steel image - Shango
Tokyo ska paradise orchestra - The 'Big Man' still standing - Winston Hazel and Marc Woolford remix
Dub asylum - What the funk feat Sandy Mill - dirty mix
Grace Jones - Love you to life dub
45nm - Biscuits
Dubblestandart - Terrarists and inhalers - Keith le Blanc remix
Improvisators dub meets iration steppas - Youth man
Cochemea Gastelum - Carlito
King Errisson - Back from the dead
Scratch 22 - Nothing to lose
Mr Scruff - Champion nibble

Friday, October 07, 2011

R.I.P Charles Napier

Charles Napier appeared in numerous films and tv shows, from his favourite role as a judge in Philadelphia (Tom Hanks), to frontman for the country band the Good Ole Boys in The Blues Brothers, Rambo, Silence of the Lambs, Rockford Files, Star Trek, Curb Your Enthusiasm and others (see the clip below). Napier was 75.

NPR noted that "He also made several films for schlock director Russ Meyer, including "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," "Supervixens" and "Cherry, Harry and Raquel." He said the latter provided him his most embarrassing Hollywood moment, when Meyer had him run toward the cameras wearing nothing but a hat and boots." If you've ever seen any of Meyer's films, they are downright hilarous sex romps. Napier's character generally are tough, mean bastards, who get plenty of sex. See the trailer for Russ Meyer's Cherry, Harry and Raquel (NSFW, contains nudity). Napier plays a cop fighting marijuana drug runners across the Mexican border. Nuts.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Waititi meets Wu-tang

Taika Waititi directs promo for new Method Man song. Wow. More info here.

King Errisson

Legendary Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey is featured in a recent issue of Wax Poetics magazine,(#47, EWF) talking about some of the recordings he worked on over the years, including releases for Rare Earth, Edwin Starr, Wilson Pickett, The Parliaments, and Rodriguez (the fantastic Cold Fact album, reissued by Light In The Attic).

One record Coffey talks about caught my eye. The Magic Man by King Errisson came out on Westbound in 1976. Coffey says that Errisson "got discovered because he was in one of those James Bond movies [Thunderball]... playing the congas, and that is what led to his eventually getting a deal with  Westbound."

Coffey recorded the album with Errisson in Detroit and LA; his approach to the record was "we built it around King Errisson, so we put the conga at the centre of it. However, what I think really took it up a level was that we had Robert Greenidge on the steel drum. We also had a lot of weird percussion instruments from Asia that we used on that record, so that helped give it a unique feel."

Coffey says that since that record, Errisson went on to be Neil Diamond's percussionist for many years. I managed to track down a copy of the record, it's a marvellously funky collection, with the added bonus of steel drum. Imagine one of Dennis Coffey's groove-ridden jams with steel drums and you're on the way.  Digging it a lot.

2006 interview with King Errisson: He stands behind the star and is proud of it (USA Today)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


So, turns out The Black Seeds were actually a band of US soldiers stationed in bases across Western Germany, who eventually found Jah and moved to Wellington and played reggae (kidding)...

"Now-Again Records is proud to present Hell Below: faithful reissues of the three albums released by the winners of the US Army’s First and Second Annual Original Magnificent Special Services Entertainment Showband Contests. Packaged as LP and CD box sets, Hell Below presents nearly two hours of heavy funk and soul music played by United States Army soldiers enlisted during the politically turbulent early 1970s.

East of Underground, SOAP The Black Seeds and The Sound Trek were bands comprised of soldiers stationed in bases across Western Germany during the height of the Vietnam War. While little is known about the bands, the players, and the milieu they came from - other than what can be pieced together from a handful of photos and documents found in a box in the New York Public Library, and the vague recollections of some of those involved – we at Now-Again Records have worked diligently with the United States Army and researchers the country over to present this important document, and some damn good music to boot.

Each of the two double-billed albums contained in this box set is presented as an exact reproduction of the original United States Army issue. The extensive, full-color booklet features essays, annotation and a collection of Army ephemera from the creation of these albums. Also included is a full-color, exact reproduction of East Of Underground’s 1971 tour poster."


Aloe's green light

Aloe Blacc | Green Lights | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

In which Mister Aloe Blacc croons his way thru his song Green Lights for La Blogotheque's Take Away Show. Shot at MichelBerger Hotel in Berlin, during MMM Festival, August 2011

Aloe Blacc returns to New Zealand for a series of shows alongside John Butler Trio next February. Local support is Annabel Fay.

Picasso core

The remastering for the Hallelujah Picassos retrospective is finished, cover art done, it's all go!

We've set up a website for the release, with a bunch of old photos, a discography, and so on. Go have a look.

I posted up some old tunes today, our cover of Head Like  A Hole's song Air, and their Picassos covers. The idea to cover each other's songs came about as we did some live shows together in 1994. Read more over at Picassocore.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Boogie woogie bugle boy part two

Dalvanius Prime, The boogie woogie bugle boy of Patea
By Murray Cammick, Real Groove magazine, December 2001... continued. (part one here)

"Back in New Zealand, Dalvanius started to have an impact as a record producer. In 1982, 'E Ipo' by Prince Tui Teka reached No.1 on the sales charts and another 1982 Dalvanius production, 'Maoris On 45', by the Consorts, made it to No.3 on the single chart. Dalvanius put 'Maoris On 45' together for a fee.

''When our parents had parties at home we would bring out the ukulele and sing our Maori medley. We put together our medley of songs we did as kids. I was asked whether I was going to put my name on it and I said 'fuck off'. When it got to No.3 I nearly dropped dead.”

To release his next project, Dalvanius started his own label, Maui. To Rip It Up he spoke of his envisaging a ''Maori Motown''. A collaboration with Ngoi Pewhairangi, started in 1982. Ben Pewhairangi recalls: ''In 1982, Maui Dalvanius Prime walked into my home in Tokomaru Bay. On that day l knew our lives would never be the same. I watched my late wife Ngoi; once again she was the tutor, her student wide-eyed and eager to learn about Maoritanga. I recall their days and nights together, Kaiako [teacherl and Tauira [student] immersed in their work, oblivious to the existence of anyone.”

Their collaboration lead to the No 1 song 'Poi E' In 1984, by the Patea Maori Club.

“I have worked with people who had a command of the old language that was dying. Working with Ngoi Pewhairangi was such a blessing. She'd write words as I sang her the melody lanes. With 'Poi E' I wasn't going to compromise with an English version. If the beat doesn't sell it, nothing will.”

Poi E went on to gain praise as Single of the Week in UK music magazine NME, and the touring - Patea Maori Club played New York's Irving Plaza with the Violent Femmes.

Ngoi and Dalvanius

With your embracing of Maori language did people see you as a Johnny-come-lately? “Of course. Better to come late than not at all. Particularly from my own brothers as they were deeply immersed in the Maori culture. They were singing at the National Maori Culture Competitions but my audience is bigger.''

Did your upbringing as a child educate you about Maori culture? ''Every weekend we went to the Pa. I wasn't interested. I didn't want to be in the haka. I was into doo-wop groups and Phil Spector. At school we weren't allowed to speak the Maori language. 'We won't have that language here, thank you very much.' In the 50s Patea was such a redneck town.''

Dalvanius gained some allies in the music industry for his Maui label. “Hugh Lynn gave us his Mascot Studio for below mate's rates. Something like $15 an hour. I still made sure Patea Maori Club were totally rehearsed. Hugh was great. Maui would not have got off the ground without him. Tim Murdoch at Warner Music was great. What I loved about Warners was Patea Maori Club always got their royalties on time and to this day they always do. Their promotion team was always behind us.''

Why is there no Maori Motown? "What's the use of having a Maori Motown when you haven't got the vehicle by which it's going to be played, which is Iwi radio.”

Dalvanius claims Iwi radio is not making the contribution it should to Maori music. "Maoridom lives in this incredible luxury of having Maori radio funded by a state agency, yet they don't bloody play our shit. It's not happening because too many of these Maori programmers are all little cloney black Americans.

“A perfect example was when I went to the APRA Silver Scroll Awards. I was really pissed off when I drove through New Plymouth and I had the radio on and our local Iwi station, in one hour, played one Maori language record and two Kiwi artists. The function of Iwi radio was, one, to promote Maori artists and two, was to promote the Maori language. For me, Iwi radio stations are dysfunctional.

"I did these radical recommendations for the Arts Council and for NZ On Air. If you play 20 percent Maori content or Maori artists you get 20 percent funded. If you play 80 percent then you should be 80 percent funded, right? The biggest problem that Maori artists face is that they have to sing in the Maori language to get funded by Te Mangai Paho, and few Maori artists get funded by NZ On Air. 

"I think that the New Zealand Music Commission should have funding for music productions. The Government should allocate funds to the commission, as you only get funding from both NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho if you have a broadcaster. I think that is unfair.”

To support that idea, Dalvanius names artists who you don't hear on the radio, such as Mahinarangi Tocker or the Topp Twins, ''whose records sell''. Dalvanius regrets that high profile Maori artists miss out on funding.

'Te Mangai Paho, which is the funding agency, it's the Maori version of the tall poppy syndrome. You have Te Mangai Paho giving out grants of $30,000 to do an album. The acts do great, incredible albums in regards to Maori language, yet Iwi stations won't necessarily program them.''

Why did you start up the Maori & Pacific Island Recording Industry Association of New Zealand? "We formed the Association so that Maori cottage industry could have a voice. We've been doing huis for the last two years. The Maori music industry is hard to coordinate, we're all fighting for the same dollar.''

Dalvanius is keen to see further collaborations between Maori and Pacific island musicians, and is a big fan of Urban Pasifika Records boss Phil Fuemana.

"Phil's stuff is brilliant. Fuemana is the greatest indigenous record producer this country has. Herbs have only scraped the surface of the fusion of Pacific Island and Maori music."

Referring to Hawaiiki, from where his Maori ancestors migrated, Dalvanius quips, ''Last time I looked it was in the middle of a bunch of coconut trees''.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Zoo Music canned

Last Friday I heard via promoter acquaintance that Auckland Zoo's annual Zoo Music concerts had been canned. I asked Auckland Council via Twitter, who referred me to Auckland Zoo to see if this was true and why. They replied this afternoon, telling me it was true, but failed to say why.

The folks at Amplifier jumped in (on Friday), telling me via Twitter "Just spoke to the Marketing and Comms Manager for Akl Zoo and yes, Zoo Music won't be happening this year.... that it was a saturated market and that they'd left it too late to do anything to revamp it this year. Hence a next year return."

The other report I heard on why Zoo Music was canned for 2012 was that it had proved unpopular with respondents in a recent Council survey on events. Never mind that this event had attracted big crowds for the last eight years. I also heard that they had changed event management for the event, and the new company in charge had managed to run the event at a huge loss this year.

Still waiting for official comment from Auckland Zoo.

ADDED 458pm Monday 3 Oct: Auckland Zoo responds "After review, Zoo Music in its current form doesn't stack up in this financial environment, so we are investigating what else we can offer to our visitors over summer."

Further response from Auckland Zoo, via Twitter: "On the whole it's been successful, and we have been really proud of what we've achieved over the past 8 years with our supporting partners and artists. Now we are looking for new ways to provide innovative zoo experiences."

ADDED Tuesday 1.15pm 4 Oct: Here's 5 pages of feedback on the Ticketmaster site from ZooMusic concert goers, all raving about what a great event it is/was. If you want the event to be revived, let the Mayor know. His contact/email details are here.

ADDED Friday, 7 Oct: Auckland Now's Bridget Jones wrote a story on the cancellation of ZooMusic for 2012. She got a statement from the Zoo about it...

"For 2012 we have made the decision to focus our energy and resources on delivering other innovative Zoo events. However, we have not ruled out having Zoo Music as part of our events calendar in future years," a statement from the zoo said.

"While Zoo Music was initially part of the new-look events calendar, a number of factors have led to the decision not to hold a Zoo Music series in 2012."

The zoo cites a number of similar events in the Auckland events market, the availability of suitable artists and "the challenge in finding a mutually beneficial ticket price point for the Zoo and its visitors" as contributing to the decision.

The revolution will not be televised

A lot of folk have been going on about how the media are failing to give any serious coverage of the Occupy Wall St protests. Why? Dangerous Minds blog nailed it in one - go listen to Gil Scott Heron, cos he knew what was going on. As the late poet said, the revolution will not be televised - the revolution will be live. 

"So I’ve been trying to sum up how I feel about Occupy Wall Street and the media coverage (or non-coverage) of the demonstrations the last few days, when I found this clip and realised that one of the most brilliant poets of the last hundred years had already summed it up perfectly. Of course.

"I was gonna say that the oldstream media has been over for me since 2000, when I saw some peaceful protests badly misreported on TV and in the papers. I wanted to mention how my obsession with this summer’s “Murdochgate” sprang from a desire to see the established news channels I detest so much crumble, to lose all respect with their audience through their refusal to cover a story with such huge significance. I’ve been struggling to express how we don’t need validation through a mainstream that has always ignored us or deliberately misrepresented us, that people shouldn’t worry too much, the message is getting out there loud and clear.

But fuck it. Gil Scott Heron beat me to the punch (hard) thirty years ago.

This incredible recording of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (as a spoken monologue with no music and some ad libs) is from 1982. It was performed at the Black Wax Club in Washington DC, as part of a documentary film on Scott Heron called Black Wax. His voice is a thing of rich, easy-going beauty but his words are like dynamite. Yeah, the times and technology may have changed, but this is still so prescient and just so damn relevant it’s amazing..."


Boogie woogie bugle boy part one

Love train, from the compilation Waiata: Maori showbands, balladeers and pop stars, recently released by EMI NZ. Well tasty comp it is too. I recently came across this 2001 article from Murray Cammick, on the late Dalvanius Prime. Have scanned it and converted the text. It's a great read. Republished with author's permission.

Dalvanius Prime, The boogie woogie bugle boy of Patea
By Murray Cammick, Real Groove magazine, December 2001

Early 1976, at the seedy Great Northern Hotel, corner of Queen and Customs Streets, downtown Auckland, Dalvanius and the Fascinations were strutting their stuff disco style, like a downunder Labelle, playing an earthy mix of soul and dance hits like 'Respect yourself', 'Love Train', 'Lady Marmalade' and 'Shame Shame Shame'. Although they had singles released across the Tasman and won countless awards from the Australian Soul Appreciation Society, Dalvanius could not get his recordings released in his home country. At the time he was blunt when speaking to student magazine, Craccum.

“We're with a record company but their New Zealand branch is just a bunch of idiots. They've got a selection committee and they won't release our new single here and they've told us it's shit-house. They're literally sitting on it.”

Dalvanius grew up loving music and grows older loving music in Patea, In the 50s and 60s, he loved doo-wop, the Beatles, Dusty Springfield, Motown, Stax soul and country music. In the Craccum interview it was clear Dalvanius was enjoying recording soul music, but he showed some awareness of the cultural alternative. ''People say ‘you're just a rip-off of a Negro group', but to us that's like telling the Average White Band to pick up the bagpipes or having the audacity to tell Charlie Pride to sing 'Funky Chicken'.''

Always part prophet and part profit, Dalvanius was blunt about the bucks too. “I've been in this business about four and a half years, about four years of that making money ''.

And how did Dalvanius get that Dr John voodoo meets glam look back In 1976? Was it the feathers?

“I found a dead hawk on the road. I cut its wings off, dried them, but it still stunk to high heavens. On tour I used a whole bottle of Old Spice aftershave!''

Dalvanius Prime first got started in music arranging the 60s hit, 'Beat the Clock', for the Shevelles. After two years in Wellington as the Fascinations with his brother and sister, Dalvanius moved to Sydney, in 1970. When his 15 year old sister, Barletta, got an offer to join the Maori HiMarkeys show-band on a two year tour of bars in Vietnam, Dalvanius made Sydney's Kings Cross his home.

When Barletta returned, the first of many line-ups of Dalvanius with two female singers, often his sisters, took to the stage in 1973. Manager John Lamb soon had his R&B act working the clubs, doing recording session work (including Renee Geyer's first album), touring as backing singers and releasing two singles, 'Love Train' and 'Respect Yourself', on the Reprise label. The biggest break for Dalvanius and the Fascinations was working with Sherbet, the Australian pop group

''Sherbet manager Roger Davies saw us up the Cross and he went, '0h wow, way out. I've heard some of the bv's you do, do you want to do a Coke ad'?' And I say, 'anything for money!'. We did it and then he says, 'We've got this tour coming up.' We ended up becoming Sherbet's doo-wop group, their backing group for three years.”

Roger Davies, who went on to mastermind Tina Turner's solo career, scored Sherbet a No 4 UK hit with 'Howzat' and pioneered the arduous national rock tour with Dalvanius and the Fascinations in tow, opening the show and joining the headliners for a few songs.

''Sherbet's Clive Shakespeare and Kiwi keyboard player Garth Porter said, 'We want to record you guys doing your own single'. They listened to 'Voodoo Lady', they loved it and so we put it down with producer Richard Batchens. Then they said 'Listen, we've got this song that we want you to have a Listen to'. It was 'Washington We're Watching You' by the Staple Singers. Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam had just got sacked by the Governor General and then Garth said, 'Right, we're changing the song.' They called It 'Canberra We're Watching You'. They rewrote the lyrics, they localised it.”

''We did the 1975 Sherbet Life as For Living tour and [a] Countdown TV special. We'd go on stage and Sherbet would play 'Canberra We're Watching You', backing us. Then we did all the bv's for their entire set and then when it came to the Christmas show, we joined them for rocked-up versions of 'Santa Claus ls Coming to Town' and 'White Christmas'. Sherbet were doing the Sydney and Perth Entertainment centres and 50,000 at the Myer Music Bowl In Melbourne.”

On tour with Sherbet, Dalvanius got invited to the right parties. ''We'd meet people like Billy Thorpe, all the idols that I used to listen to down in Patea on the radio, when you'd listen to 2SM Sydney on the shortwave radio. I learnt all about APRA through Sherbet. I knew how much money you could make from recycling your songs. I have Roger Davies to thank for learning about the music industry.''

By the end of 1977, Dalvanius and the Fascinations were family, with younger sister Cissy joining her older siblings, and new manager Ian Riddington, making sure his local soul act were kept busy opening for the many USA artists he toured in concert or in cabaret, including the Pointer Sisters, Tina Turner and the Spinners.

While on tour in New Zealand in 1976, Dalvanius discovered Maori funk band, Collision, and took them on a nationwide tour, before getting them to move to Sydney where they worked live with Dalvanius and the Fascinations, and recorded one album for Festival Records, acclaimed as a rare funk classic on the bFM's last NZ Music Week. In 1977, the group released the 12,' single, 'Voodoo lady', and 'Checkmate on Love', both songs written by Dalvanius.

“When we brought 'Voodoo lady' out, Molly Meldrum [Countdown TV show] rung me up and he said, 'Dalvanius, what's this shit record you've got? How come it's the a-side? I think it's the worst record I've ever heard you do and you've had some bad ones'. I just went, 'Oh, thanks Molly'. And then he said, 'The other side's better than that, how come Festival haven't pushed that?' I thought I'd try it out on the Isaac Hayes and Dionne Warwick tour and it just killed them, so we threw 'Voodoo Lady' on the back burner and started featuring [re-titled live] 'Chessboard of love'."

The 1978 record company biography for the single, 'Ecstasy', describes Dalvanius as 'a culinary expert of some repute who once wanted to be a lion tamer, but now his ambition is to be a record producer'. By late 1979, the group had left Festival and Cissy Prime had departed due to illness.

PART TWO tomorrow... Dalvanius talks about Poi-e, Iwi radio, and Phil Fuemana. Read it here