Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pacific Music Award winners

Kas Futialo. Photo: John Selkirk/Fairfax NZ 
The Pacific Music Awards were announced this evening. Congrats to David Dallas, Adeaze, Bella Kalolo and especially Kas Futialo, aka Tha Feelstyle, for winning two awards, including Best Pacific Language Album, for Good Morning Samoa.

Of course it's Samoan Language Week, AND Samoa's 50th anniversary celebrations of its independence right about now... Someone should shout Kas a plane ticket to Samoa, he'd smash it after this...

Best Pacific Female Artist - Bella Kalolo
Best Pacific Male Artist - David Dallas
Best Pacific Urban Artist - Adeaze
Best Pacific Group - Adeaze
Best Pacific Music Album - Kas Futialo, Good Morning Samoa
Best Pacific Song - Adeaze, Paradise
Best Pacific Language Album - Kas Futialo, Good Morning Samoa
Best Pacific Gospel Album - Mutalau Ululauta Matahefonua Trust Choir, Lologo Tapu Tokiofa Mutalau Niue - Taofi Lologo 5
Radio Airplay Award - Brooke Fraser, Betty
Lifetime Achievement Award - The Keil Isles
Most Promising Artist - Giant Killa
People's Choice Award - Ria

Water, water, everywhere

New tune from Christoph El Truento, for free DL. "Field Recording, water noises put to bells and chimes."

Hypnotic Brass are coming!

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble return to NZ in July, this time to play their own shows. They were last out here as part of the live line-up of Damon Albarn's crew The Gorillaz, back in late 2010, after playing at Womad in New Plymouth in March that year. They've also played as part of the band backing Mos Def. See them at Auckland's Powerstation July 20, Wellington's Bar Bodega July 21.

The band are brothers, their father Phil Cohran played with Sun Ra, and made all his offspring learn an instrument. They rebelled in their teens and formed a hiphop crew, but eventually returned to brass, moving from Chicago to New York to take up busking on the streets. There are a ton of videos of them busking on Youtube, go have a look.

Preseale tickets from 5th June, via General tickets on sale June 7 from Ticketmaster, Real Groovy, Rough Peel Music.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Remix the Orchestra tomorrow night

Here's a sneak preview, a bit of rehearsal footage for this very cool show... The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with hiphop MCs and DJs (Ermehn, DJ CXL, Frisko etc). 8pm at the Auckland Town Hall, May 31, tickets start at $20. More info here.

Bizarre country/country bizarre

Kiwi singer Aly Cook alerted Simon Grigg via Twitter to this song, which has a guitar lead break that bears a strong similarity to the one in How Bizarre. Aly has played it to Alan Jansson over the phone .. and says her understanding is that Alan feels it's a ripoff. Grigg is looking into it, telling Aly " it's a pretty obvious lift ... Almost a sample (but replayed)."

It's by Kristen Kelly, and is called Ex Old Man, released by Sony. Aly says she's been told  it has just been released as a single in Australia. Listen - live version here at Grand Ol Opry, guitar break at 2.59.

Or watch below, and fast forward to 1.58 to catch the guitar break.

Aly Cook's song Midnight sun is number 14 now on the Top 30 Aussie country tracks chart right now. Nice one. The song is co-written and produced  by Alan Jansson.

UPDATED The NZ Herald Online has picked up my story (thanks for the link), it's on the front page of their site, between a story on the Doha mall fire and a fastfood chain launching a new slice of greasiness. See How bizarre - is that OMC's guitar riff?

ADDED Saturday June 2, 2012 - Aly Cook posted a link in the comments below, from, which includes a statement from her on the issue.
See "New Zealand Singer/Songwriter Aly Cook Finds Herself In A Bizarre' Situation".

ADDED Sept 17, 2013: Audi have created an ad called 'Land Of Plenty' that has marked stylistic similarities to OMC's 'Land Of Plenty', read more on that here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shihad: Beautiful machine

I've been waiting to see some film reviewers tackle the new Shihad doco, as the only reviews I've read to date have been by avowed Shihad fanboys who lack a certain objectivity, shall we say. Here's a couple... if you're thinking of going to see it, go this week, it probably won't last another week, given Ant Timpson was reporting it was averaging 5 people per screen (over 50 screens nationwide)... gotta go check it...

  Helene Wong, NZ Listener, May 17: Shihad: Beautiful Machine " Fans will enjoy this inside look and its generous use of archive footage of both the onstage and offstage life of the band. If you’re not a fan, you’ll still appreciate the choice to focus on the personal stories, even though they track the familiar rise-and-fall arc of most band documentaries.

They’re frank about the personal highs and lows, and there’s a decent section on THAT decision to change their name when they went to conquer America. Although it would have been good to have explained why they chose as its replacement a word that Americans use for a baby’s dummy. I mean, what were they on? Oh, right. 

Overall, as competently made as it is, it never rises above mere document … except for the moment when we first clap eyes on Jon Toogood’s Mum’s splendid tat. Now there’s a story. 2.5/5 

Dominic Corry, " An impressively thorough and entertaining examination of the life (thus far) of one of New Zealand’s most popular bands, Shihad: Beautiful Machine may nevertheless have limited appeal for anyone not interested in Shihad to begin with.

The film takes a clear-eyed view of all aspects of the band’s history, most fascinatingly with regards to their ill-fated attempts to break America. The band members are all admirably frank about this and other topics, and the film brings to light certain conflicts that haven’t been discussed at length before – like guitarist Phil Knight’s drinking problem and the band’s increasing sense of isolation from lead singer Jon Toogood while in America.

The dysfunction makes for a great drama, even if it never quite elevates Beautiful Machine to the level of such iconic band docos as Some Kind of Monster or Anvil! The Story of Anvil. As a celebration of a band and their music, however, it cannot be faulted. It also does a good job of acknowledging the central role the band members’ significant others played in the life of the band.

Assessing whether or not this will play well to non-fans is difficult – I was caught up in every moment, but I love Shihad and I love documentaries about New Zealand subjects. If you have even the slightest interest in either of these topics, be sure to see this movie." 

Bill Brewster in conversation

Last Friday night, Red Bull Studio hosted Bill Brewster in conversation. He was interviewed by Nick D, who got him talking about growing up in Grimsby, discovering clubs, and ending up in New York in the early 90s. It was a fascinating evening.

Nick started by asking Bill, what took you so long to get here? Bill said he never got enough gigs down this way to make it worthwhile, only individual offers for one offs in Japan, Australia. "I was very keen to come here, I knew lots of Kiwis when I lived in New York". He just needed to line up enough gigs.

Nick "Bill  you were born in a sleepy town called Grimsby, can we call it that?"
Bill: "It's a shithole. The name gives it didn't have any record shops, which confirmed its shitness." 

Bill says there were a few electrical shops that had a box of records for sale. They also got some bands through Grimsby, he mentioned seeing Queen early in their career, and the first gig he went to was Leo Sayer.

He had a few friends, who turned out to be gay, and they were into Northern Soul, and they got him into that, which was his first taste of the club scene, in 1976. He saw the Sex Pistols in 1976 on their tour following their legendary foul-mouthed TV appearance with Bill Grundy. A lot of their shows on that tour got cancelled, and they had been scheduled to play in Leeds. That show got canned, and was shifted to the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens at the last minute, where Bill saw them. He was hooked by punk.

Bill moved to London the following year, and got a job as a chef. He had trained in Grimsby, and thought he would have to spend ten years working his way up to get a decent gig, but his tutor told him to write to the top 5 hotels in the UK, and sure enough, one of them hired him. 

In 1980 he relocated to Switzerland for work, and stayed there for two years. He moved back and started a band. They did a demo at Cargo Studio, because Gang of Four and Joy Division had recorded there. Then they sent it off to the top 5 record labels, and got signed, to Kamera (The Fall, Marc Almond, Allez Allez, Palais Schaumburg).

Bill plays a tune - Shack up by A Certain Ratio, and talks about how this tune led him to discover the original by Banbarra [listen], which led him to other music.

He started hitchhiking to Nottingham to go to clubs like Garage, with Graham Park DJing, in 1981. He used to got to Manchester for the weekend, it was a few hours drive from Grimsby. He went to the Hacienda for the first time in 1983 - it had really bad sound. Bill says the mythology of the Hacienda really started with the arrival of ecstasy.

He rattled of a string of artists he heard played at that time, like Grandmaster Flash, Schoolly D, D Train, Gil Scott Heron, The Clash, Soft Cell, early Thompson Twins, Dr John, a bunch more. 

Bill started DJing in 1986. He moved back to London at the end of 86, squatting in Hackney, signing on the dole, and writing for a football mag called When Saturday Comes. 

Bill talked about the time he heard DJ Marc Moore play nothing but house - "It felt like an assault." It was not what he was used to hearing from a DJ. He hated it. He avoided House for the next year - "It was a right old racket." He stuck with rare groove instead.

He had ecstasy at a gay club called Troll, and an hour later he was like "F*cking hell, this is the best thing ever!" He says that he didn't go to any straight clubs for two or three years - "I was a fag hag." The London gay scene is quite closed, he says - not many DJs break out of that scene. 

Bill plays another tune, a House number called  No Smoke by Koro Koro, and while it's playing he throws his hands up and says "I'm f*ckin on one, matey!"

Nick asks if he went to any of those famous nights you hear about, like Danny Rampling?
Bill: "No, I was hanging out with a bunch of fags."

Bill says the first DJ who showed him that DJing was an art was seeing Danny Tenaglia, at Ministry of Sound. He saw how DJs could come on at 230am and play til 9 or 10, and they took you on a journey, thru disco, the classics, and so on. "I was like  'wow, that's what you can do...'. Watching how they mixed and used filters and eqs was a real eye opener."

He started writing for Mixmag, doing some football stuff for them and mentioned he was into music. He freelanced for them, and when he left When Saturday Comes in 93, Mixmag offered him a job. He moved to New York to run their office there a year later - he also ran the DMC competitions in the US for them - he traveled with Roc Raida to the 95 final in the UK, which Roc Raida won.

He discovered New York House music was different to what he'd heard in the UK - they used filters and effects more. Some "couldn't keep their hands off it, like Joe Claussell, working the crossovers constantly. Y'know get ya hands off it mate!"

And then Bill plays a Joe Claussell track. Naturally.

Bill went to the Sound Factory every week, to hear Junior Vasquez play. Vasquez was the resident DJ, and he would play from 2am til 1 - most clubs there had residents, unlike the UK where you had guest DJs playing a two hour set.

Watch: Junior Vasquez at the Sound Factory in 93, interview with him at 6.28

Bill moved back to the UK two and a half years later, with three and a half thousand records. When he arrived in NYC, he had 55 records.

Bill plays a record that was big in NYC, by a British new romantic band that no one in Britain had heard of. He says "I loved that people in New York had really eclectic tastes."

Bill met Frank Broughton a week after he moved to New York. Frank was working as a stringer, writing for various UK mags.

They found there were a lot of people in NYC who knew the history of records in clubs, like you'd talk about a record, and they'd go 'oh that was big in such and such a club, so and so broke it'. They originally wanted to write about New York, as all this knowledge had never been documented, so that was the genesis for the book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life.

They did a lot of research before they started interviewing for the book. Bill later mentions he has 25 years of the NME in his loft, and all of the issues of The Face.

They found they'd interview someone, and that person would say 'you know there was this person before me...' and they'd go off and interview that person. Which eventually led them to Francis Grasso.

Grasso was working in construction, and he'd had a hard life - his face had been rearranged by the Mafia at one point. Grasso didn't show up for interviews, so Frank doorstopped (showed up unannounced at his doorstep) him and they went to a bar down the road at 10am. Eighteen months later Grasso committed suicide.

Bill says that all too often, the people that make history don't make any money. That's what it's like for DJ, guys like Kool Herc. "The role of our book was to shine a light on them. So it was tinged with sadness."

Nick throws it over to the audience for questions. I ask Bill how they decided what stories to put in or leave out of their book. He says they chose to focus on the DJs who came first, not the most famous.

Someone asks him who his favourite interview subjects were for the book. He says Fabio, who is a great raconteur and storyteller, and David Mancuso - "he was completely incoherent, damaged by drugs, and half way through the interview, the waitress dropped a plate of spaghetti in his lap." Which Bill clarifies was an accident  -she didn't throw it at him.

Bill talked about how a kid from Grimsby, or Dunedin, can get online and listen to almost every record ever made now. When Bill was 16, he says it was much harder to find music. It made you value it much more - paying money for an import vinyl rather than a download on Beatport.

Someone asked for his current musical likes. He mentioned Toro Y Moi, and a few others, what he calls bedroom bands. "The thirst for technology in dance music makes it stand head and shoulders above indie music for me."

And how many records does he have? About 12,000, but he moved house a few years back, and his record room only holds 9,500 - the rest are out in storage in his garage. He asked us if we knew of the crazy cat lady? Apparently that was Bill, before he met his wife - living with stuff piled up everywhere. But now his wife has shown him there is a another way to live, as he put it. Hence his record room. His records are sorted by genre, and alphabetical.

Someone asked why he plays off CD? He said that a few years back, airlines in Europe and the UK started clamping down on baggage allowances, and he was getting stung with big fines, so switched to CD.

He rips to vinyl on his laptop.  He described his setup for this as pretty basic, a very good needle on a Technics 1200, thru a mixer, which he said is apparently a no-no. While it's not the flashest setup, he says it still sounds good.

There was a ton of other topics Bill covered, like who he missed out on interviewing for the book  - Shep Pettibone proved elusive, apparently he'd been burnt by his experiences with Madonna and the business. But Bill pointed out they did get some of the originals before they passed away, which he was glad, that they got their stories before it was too late.

The evening came to an end - Thank to Bill, and everyone involved in bringing him out here and putting on the talk. Cheers!

If you feel like you missed out (you totally did), here's Bill being interviewed by expat Kiwi Chris Tubbs. Three parts...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Horified one

From Dam Native, 1996. Watch out for a quick shot of Tha Feelstyle in the middle of this, at 1.50, with Dei Hamo beside him. Looks like a shot from the video for Walls of Steel by Ermehn, with the Feelstyle guesting, from memory. And the closing sample is BDP.

More on the story of why Tha Feelstyle appears on 5000ways. A commenter says "If you look closely, you can see us shooting the Ermhen video in the background and if you look closely in Ermhen’s Walls Of Steel video, you can see Rongotai [Lomas] shooting this video for DN. Rongotai had taken a space in the Lister Building near Kaiun and we co-ordinated to shoot both videos on the same day. This kind of thing also occurs in some other videos as well re: Phil Fuemana and Herman."

BONUS: also reviewed on 5000ways - Behold my kool style, and The Son.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 26

A Certain Ratio - Shack up
Loose joints - Is it all over my face? Unreleased original full length version
Bee gees - Love you inside out - Beaten space probe edit
Junk - 99c strut
Keith Lawrence - Ancestral melody
Chinchillaz - L.T.D.
Matty Droid - Dirty bass dread sky
Three generations walking - Midnight bustling
Grace Jones - My Jamaican guy
Moodymann - Misled
Moodorama - Sweet toffee
Rocket juice and the moon - Hey shooter
Bobby Womack- You're welcome, stop on by - Beaten space probe edit
Roger and the gypsies - Pass the hatchet
Lee Dorsey - Yes we can can
Betty Harris - Mean man
Irma Thomas - Don't mess with my man
Kormac - Saturday tv feat Koaste
Kraftwerk - Man machine
Chic - Good times
Bongmaster - Brothers and sisters
Dionne Warwick - Zip a dee doo dah
McFadden and Whitehead - Aint no stopping us now - Noodleman rework

Friday, May 25, 2012

Brassy edit

Youngblood Brass Band edit... from Nathaniel Compton, who says "I've been listening to these guys since 2001, and never found a decent edit for DJs. Try to find a way to fit this funky number in one of your sets."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Find the audience

This looks like a cool project, launching soon.. via

" Next week the public will be able to discover new, unreleased New Zealand music on an exciting new level, not seen in NZ before.

All will be unveiled next Thursday 31st May at 8am. This socially interactive music website specifically focuses on songs that have not been commercially released, and supporting up-and-coming NZ artists.

Theaudience will create a central point for new and emerging artists to showcase their music and to connect and communicate directly with new fans.

And for fans of new NZ music, it will be an exciting and easy way for you to discover fresh local music, and support artists in a really exciting way.

If you are a musician and reading this, you should be involved! Email for more information."

Mr Homme shills for Scissor Sisters

Infomercial from Josh Homme for Scissor Sisters. Genius. New album from them out May 28, Homme calls it a "combination of rhythm and romance like you’ve never heard before".


New one from Dub Terminator and Chch's Reality Chant... free DL too....

Teremoana Rapley

Photo: Simon Young
Teremoana Rapley is a former member of Upper Hutt Posse, and Moana and the Moahunters. She currently collaborates with her partner, King Kapisi. This interview is from Pavement magazine, Dec 1995/Jan 1996, by Andrew Mann.

I take a seat in BMG Music's boardroom. I'm here to talk with Teremoana about her latest single, Four Women, an appetiser for a February album that will include tracks produced by Spearhead's Michael Franti and Babble's Allanah Currie and Tom Bailey. Teremoana enters with two large cups of Milo - three spoonfuls of Milo and a little bit of milk. I notice her interview schedule on the table.

"They ask you the same stink questions. 'What does this song mean to you? Why did you choose this song?' I don't know why I chose it. I like it, okay, and it's nothing more than that."

Four Women, a Nina Simone original, is a moving piece that explores the struggles of four Afro-American women. Teremoana describes the lyrics as "quite hardcore'' but tells me that it doesn't stop her from relating to them. She mentions the second verse: 'Between two worlds I do along, My father was rich and white, forced my mother late one night, What do they call me?' 

“I can relate to that but not in such a violent manner. My father's white and my mother's Cook Island Maori. It wasn't a fairytale relationship. What happened was, a whole bunch of bankers in the 70's went to the Cook Islands. The thing was for all these Pakeha men to go over there and find a Cook Island woman to cook and clean up after them. So that was my mother and father's relationship, and that's why my parent aren't together anymore."

Her history has left Teremoana mindful of the importance of knowing your roots and not being ashamed of them. "I was brought up in a white neighbourhood and I thought I was white until I was seven. I had a little afro but everyone around me was white. So I thought I was white until some kid at school called me a sambo and then a whole lot of kids came around and called me nigger, sambo, blah blah blah.

“I started balling my eyes out. I went home, waited for my father to come home, said 'Dad, all these kids called me a nigger. But I'm white like you, aren't I?' And he's going, 'Actually honey, you're black but it's not a bad thing. It's actually a good thing. Don't worry about people like that'. I'm like, 'Keep on doing those speeches, Dad'.''

Only in accepting and understanding one's past, says Teremoana, can a person move on to a brighter future. ''I'm not bitter. I just want things to live, to move forward. I just want to come out as an artist.'' And for an artist whose soul is so closely linked to the realities of life, Teremoana's music is a beautiful blend of passion and pain - the essence of true art itself.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Music Month Summit this Saturday, and it's free!

The Music Month Summit features a wide range of seminars where top industry experts explain the intricacies and behind the scenes facets of the NZ Music Industry. The NZ Music Month Summit is open to the public and entry is free.

The NZ Music Month Summit, Saturday 26th of May, Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street (Just up from the Town Hall), Auckland

10.00am to 11.00am - HOW TO & it the Indie Way
(sponsored by NZ On Air)
An artist development talk on how artists and bands can take control of their music and releases themselves. This session will guide you through the funding processes, how to release and distribute your products and will also give you tips, tools and ideas to enable you to leverage your music through promotions, marketing and on line avenues.

Lorraine Barry - Lorraine Barry Management
Jan Hellriegel - Aeroplane Music Services
Scott Maclachlan - Universal Music
Brendan Smyth - NZ On Air
Jubt Avery - NZ On Air
11.00 - 11.30am speed networking for MMF members

11.30am - 12.30pm - HOW TO.... create a live career
(sponsored by the NZ Music Commission)

How do I get on that festival? How can I create a sell out show or tour? What are bookers looking for? How do I make my live touring profitable?
All these questions and more are answered by a panel of experts in the live world.

Hamish Pinkham - Rhythm & Vines
Mark Wright - Homegrown & Coro Gold
John Minty - Splore
Ara Adams-Tamatea - Exodus Festival / Reggae by Nature
Dave Munroe - Brent Eccles Entertainment
12.30pm - 1.30pm lunch (speed networking for MMF Members)

1.30pm - 2.30pm - HOW TO.... write a hit song
(sponsored by APRA)

APRA presents Songwriter Speaks: An informal discussion between two APRA members. The charismatic Julia Deans will be interviewed by music reporter andSupergroove member Nick Atkinson to provide invaluable insights into the art of song writing and composing for developing music creators.

From fronting Fur Patrol's pop-rock to her electro-pop stylings with Tiki Taane; from co-conspirator with supergroup The Adults to sultry chanteuse with theChristchurch Symphony Orchestra, Julia Deans' diverse voice is seasoned. Aided by the interviewing prowess of Nick Atkinson, these experienced musicians will lift the lid on the secrets of song writing.

Julia Deans interviewed by Nick Atkinson
2.30pm - 3.00pm speed networking for MMF members

3.00pm - 4.00pm - HOW TO.... find a manager or how to manage your own band

Wanted: someone to manage my band. Must be contactable 24/7, have excellent long haul driving skills, ability to maintain two conversations at once (one on phone, one face to face), have basic relationship counselling skills, immediate start. Little pay. Inevitable tinnitus.

Our team of expert managers discuss what is a healthy model for artist management, where is the time best spent, should you be more concerned about what you aren't doing, than what you are? How do some of the most effective managers and self managed artists use their time.

Ninakaye Taane-Tinorau - Tikidub Productions
Rebecca Caughey - Funktion Music
Lorraine Barry - Lorraine Barry Management
Janette Searle - The Playground
Te Awanui Reeder - (self managed) Awa Music

Bits n pieces

The Five Most Priceless 45s In Kenny Dope's Collection, via Village Voice. Here's one of em, the hardest hitting tune you gonna hear all day....

How vinyl records & big data make Spotify sound better: "... some of Spotify’s knowledge about music is powered by data that has been accumulated by DJs and other fans of the analog music format, thanks to a new deal between the big music data provider The Echo Nest and online music resource"

Masters at 45: using albums to create spinning artwork...

Kimbra in NYT - A New Zealand Star Greets US Fans in Person, from the New York Times, This story was picked up locally, and ended up with this headline: Kimbra could be 'the new Prince'. 
The article quotes Rob Cavallo, chairman of Warner Brothers Records, saying "Kimbra's a real artist, and I envision her having a 15-to-20-year career. She has the potential to be like Prince. That's how strong her musicality is." Which isn't him saying she could be the new Prince. Slight misinterpretation, there.
The NYT article notes that "In November [last year] the label put her together with three proven American producers: Mike Elizondo, Greg Kurstin and Mark Foster, who also is the frontman of Foster the People. The United States release will have six new songs. "

Via Twitter from Simon Grigg, who says "Why did Spotify take so long to get to NZ? Blame ARIA in OZ (NZ was ready ages ago)Read more here: Kate Vale and Renee Chambers explain why they waiting so long to launch Spotify, while ARIA's Dan Rosen explains what it means for the charts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reggae artist Busy Signal arrested

Via Jamaica Gleaner... "Popular dancehall artiste Busy Signal, whose real name is Glendale Gordon, was picked up at the Norman Manley International Airport immediately after he stepped off a flight from the United Kingdom.

"The extradition warrant was executed on him," an officer told The Gleaner last night [Monday].

The Gleaner understands that the entertainer was returning from a tour in Amsterdam. His arrest came months after The Gleaner broke the story that a prominent entertainer was under the radar of the United States and was to be extradited.

According to one of the law-enforcement officers who spoke with The Gleaner yesterday, 'Busy' as he is affectionately called, has been on the run since 2002. Allegations are that he was implicated in a narcotics offence committed in Minnesota.

"He is to be extradited for failing to appear before the court to answer charges in relation to that offence," argued the law-enforcement officer, who was among the team which escorted him from the airport late yesterday evening..."

Shihad slow mo

The Shihad documentary Beautiful Machine opened nationwide last Thursday. I saw film industry type Ant Timpson (48 Hour film challenge/Incredible Film Fest) comment on it via social media earlier today, noting it was on 50 screens and had an average of 5 people per screening... which suggests maybeit should have been a film festival entry, rather than a mainstream release...

Ant says "... Where are all the Shihad fans? Your fave band's doc BEAUTIFUL MACHINE is tanking at the box office! $450 per/screen average! $25k on 50 screens. That's like 5 people per session. And the western GOOD FOR NOTHING which garnered lots of coverage & good reviews.. has barely trotted to $140k.... Want to lose all your money? Just make a film for the NZ market. Time to think global. Why would you ever release theatrically in NZ any more. Homevid is dead so why bother with a local theatrical profile? There are better ways to help your movie. "

Shihad are in talks with Jaz Coleman, who wants them to play in Egypt.

Chuck, Tupac and Biggie

Via Digital Music News... " Award-winning, former LA Times journalist Chuck Phillips was ousted from a Brooklyn courtroom last week, the latest chapter in a long-running fued involving James Rosemond, aka 'Jimmy Henchman'. 

 Rosemond was recently caught trafficking cocaine through Universal Music Group headquarters in Santa Monica, but that's just one of several major trafficking charges. 

 Phillips was removed after being named as a witness; as a tough investigatory reporter, Phillips unearthed important research related to the deaths of Tupac and Biggie before the Times fired him on highly-controversial grounds. 

Phillips offered a detailed statement to the Village Voice here." 

Cymande on de edit

Monday, May 21, 2012

R.I.P Robin Gibb (Bee Gees)

Robin Gibb has died aged 62, of cancer. More at Rolling Stone. He had been fighting cancer for several years.

Adrian Sherwood On-U mixtapes

Two great mixes of Adrian Sherwood's productions, first one is "the first half of a three hour mix by JD Twitch. This half "focuses on his more electronic wild side (Tackhead, Fats Comet, Keith LeBlanc etc.)" while the second half is dedicated to his dub work with the likes of Creation Rebel."

"... In my late teens and early 20s, Adrian Sherwood's work impacted on me more than anything I had previously heard and made me think about sonic possibilities in a completely new way. I would buy any record he had been involved with unheard and got into a lot of other artists purely because he had been involved with making their records. ... I hadn't listened to a lot of these records for many, many years and fell in love with them all over again while putting this together. It was a complete labour of love to do and a revelation to hear how fresh and wild this music still sounds."

There's a definite thread in New Zealand music that owes a ton to Adrian Sherwood and his On-U stable, from the likes of Pitch Black and Salmonella Dub, to Unitone Hifi and Fat Freddys Drop. Go check this out. Hat tip to Russ B for the links

Vinyl comeback: Charlottesville edition

Vinyl Records Making a Rapid Comeback from Charlottesville, Virginia

Vinyl Record Gaining Popularity, from WHSV, Staunton, Virginia (40 miles from Charlottesville) features on magazine seven-inch:
"It would be interesting to know whether the supposed vinyl revival is resulting in an increase in the sale of record players and styluses, or are the cool kids actually downloading the tracks to their iPhones and then just staring at the black plastic lovingly in a “wow, remember the days of vinyl; no, actually I was born in 1994″ kind of way.

Budweiser is running ‘vinyl adverts’ in various Brazilian magazines which, if you tear out the page and plonk it on your record player, will play’s new song ‘Great Times’...."

Warning: this clip contains musical traces of Black Eyed Peas. Exposure may make you infertile/impotent/insane/incredibly ill. Watch at your own risk.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

John Lydon interviewed by Stinky Jim

There's a great interview done by NZ's Stinky Jim with John Lydon over on The Listener's website, read the long version here. Well worth a read. Short version in the latest Listener, plus Jah Wobble on his and fellow ex-PiL member Keith Levene’s Metal Box in Dub concerts. Lydon also touches on that in his interview. Here's Lydon talking abut the new PiL album...

SJ: The rustic charms of the Cotswolds seems an unlikely location for recording a PiL album.

Lydon: It is, isn’t it? It’s actually financially based, I must tell ya. It was the cheapest one we could find. It’s actually a barn owned by Stevie Winwood, in the middle of sheep country… oh hello, New Zealand lamb. And you know it worked out to be perfect because the engineer there – a bloke called Jim, actually – was great. He understood everything I’ve been saying about music for ages, that we’ve all been saying… if you just set the microphones up right and let us get on with it, let us rehearse, jam and record, you’ll get a good record and you don’t need an elaborate, over the top studio for that. Most of the songs are recorded in a live format.

at the end of the interview, Lydon quizzes Jim on some local culture...

Lydon: Why on Air New Zealand do they play all that New Zealand reggae?

SJ: Oh, it’s awful, isn’t it?

Lydon: Aaaaaagh, what is that about? It’s so pony copy!

SJ: We’ve got a name for it here, which is BBQ reggae, as that is all it’s really good for, and it sums up the absence of any militancy or edge. It’s really, really, really grim. 

Lydon: They call it dub, it’s not even dub; they call it “Dub Reggae Party from New Zealand’s Finest”! Do you know, I’ve got a name for it – Dobbins. As in Dobbin the Donkey.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the AirNZ show Lydon is referring to is High Noon Tea, a version of my KiwiFM radio show which still plays on Air NZ's inflight audio. Hehe. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ms Summer edits

and then there's this story... "Donna Summer believed cause of her cancer was 9/11 attacks"

UPDATED just found this edit of State of Independence, like it much more than the one above...

Z-Trip Beasties mix

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, May 19

Hugh Masekela - Don't go lose it baby - Stretch mix
Cherelle - Artificial heart - dance remix
Chuck Brown and the Soul Searcher - We need some money
Kenny Dope - Can you handle it? Pt 1
Faith Evans - Mesmerised
Colman bros - She who dares - big band original
Cubalooba - Cubalooba
Stargard - Which way is up?
Donna Summer - I feel love (hat tip to Russell Brown for the version below)
Syreeta - I love every little thing about you
Freebass - I'll scratch
Benny Tones - On my way - Flako remix
Prince Fari - Brother Joe
Mr Vegas - Taxi fare refix mungos riddim
Lee Scratch Perry  - Jungle youth - Congo natty remix
Kas Futialo - Kaufeai le nu'u
Dalvanius and the fascinations - Love train
Myron and E w the soul instigators - Cold game
Pigbag - Papa's got a brand new pigbag
Wajeed - Funkin for Jamaica
Beanfield - Tides - Carl Craig remix

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cut Chemist disco mix

...Via Cut Chemist on Twitter "RIP to a legend. Donna Summer. She's all over this mix I did a few years back. Her music was a huge inspiration!"


Vinyl comeback: Miami edition

Dave Thorne is an avid record collector and has invested a significant amount into
his listening system.Photo: Jason Franson, Postmedia News/

From the Miami Herald: Vinyl records making a rapid comeback.

"[23 year old] Camarie Bentley walked into a Fort Lauderdale record store this dreary afternoon, head nodding to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, streaming from iPod to headphones...

A daughter of the digital age, Bentley only discovered the joy of vinyl a year or so ago... She had an uncle’s turntable at home, so the journey back to the analog era was just a matter of finding a favorite artist’s 12-inch. And then, among the crates of albums. she found Jackson’s Thriller, its iconic cover featuring the star lounging in a dapper white suit and black shirt.

“I listened to that album and that was it. I love that you can hear everything on an album. Somehow you feel like you are listening to the real thing,” says Bentley, who is military-bound and makes regular trips to Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale in search of albums by the Dazz Band, Heatwave and Stevie Wonder. “Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade.”

The Miami Art Museum is hosting an exhibit with nearly 100 works celebrating the record. The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, open through June 10, explores the LP within the context and history of contemporary art, using sculptures, drawings, paintings, photos and videos..."

It's surprisingly simple to write a vinyl comeback story, here's how you do it in 4 easy steps...

The vinyl comeback story that writes itself

1. Find a young person to say something 'cool' about vinyl.

2. Quote some statistic on the increase in vinyl sales with absolutely no context for what that means for overall sales for the music industry

3. Find a handy local record shop with a crusty old owner who can talk about the joys of LPs and the tangible experience you don't get with MP3s. Also, get them to describe their clientele and how young they are these days.

4. Highlight that it' s not just vintage vinyl that is undergoing a resurgence, but new vinyl is being released too, from 'modern artists' like Adele and Justin Beiber. 

AND YOU'RE DONE. Nice way to cover 'a passing fad', as one acquaintance put it recently.....

R.I.P. Donna Summer, aged 63

Donna Summer has passed away, at 63, of cancer. From the LA Times...

"An early fan of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, Summer sang in a Boston rock band called Crow in the late 1960s, and left home for New York City at age 18 to find work on Broadway, which she did quickly by landing a role in a touring version of the hot Broadway show “Hair.”

She spent the next three years living and touring in Europe. There she met and married the singer Helmut Sommer, whose last name she adapted as her stage name.

While in Europe she also met Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder, whose early dance tracks were making an impact across Europe. Moroder and Summer started working together, resulting in their first hit, the seductive 17-minute-long dance floor epic “Love to Love You Baby.” A shortened version of it was released by then-hot label Casablanca in 1975, and peaked on the Billboard singles chart at No. 2.

That was the first of a string of songs that not only helped bring disco to the mainstream, but predicted the rise of both techno and house music. Among those were “I Feel Love,” “Bad Girls,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “On the Radio.”

Soon after, Summer became a born-again Christian and faced controversy when she was accused of making anti-gay comments in relation to the AIDS epidemic. Summer denied making the comments but was the target of a boycott."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who ruined dubstep?

Video: Reggie Watts blames Skrillex for ruining dubstep, via LATimes

NZ music month panel UPDATED

UPDATED The audio of the discussion is up on Soundcloud, listen below...

Via Under The Radar, sounds interesting...

NZ Music Month Panel Discussion at Audio Foundation HQ

Please join us at the AF HQ for a discussion around the topic of NZ Music Month! The panelists include:

Kiran Dass, Duncan Greive and Joseph Nunweek. This discussion will be moderated by Gareth Shute.

“What' When' Why' Who' Me''” are all questions that commonly race through our brains as NZ Music Month envelops us every May. Founded in 2000, the yearly event is now an iconic national institution – but is this brand awareness coming at a price' What's been achieved' Who's being promoted, and to whom'  Please join our esteemed panelists as they shine a light through the fog.

Kiran Dass is an Auckland based writer and reviewer who has written about music, film and books for the NZ Listener, Sunday Star-Times, Metro, Landfall, Real Groove, Rip it Up, NZ Musician, NZ Herald, Dominion Post, No, Pavement and Staple.

Duncan Greive is a journalist who has written extensively about music for magazines and websites including Metro, Sunday, The NZ Herald, Volume, The Corner. He edited youth pop culture magazine Real Groove from 2006-2009, has contributed to radio programmes on bFM and Radio New Zealand and conducted a brief, unsuccessful foray into artist management.

Joe Nunweek has written about music for Craccum, Real Groove, 1972, and Volume and at some point basically resigned himself to hitting every branch on the way down as he fell off the tree of print media. He also writes for The Pantograph Punch and wrangles policy for a day job. Joe's mum bought him one of the inaugural NZ Music Month t-shirts from Hallensteins when he was in Year 9, because lord knows every vulnerable child at a new school needs a massive bullseye target on their chest. Character building!

Gareth Shute is the author of four books on NZ music and the arts. His first book, Hip Hop Music In Aotearoa, went on to win at the New Zealand book awards.

Thursday 17 May, 7pm – free entry
Audio Foundation HQ, 4 Poynton Terrace (Sub-basement of the Parisian Tie Factory,
off Pitt St or behind St Kevins Arcade), Auckland CBD

R.I.P. Chuck Brown

Via WJLA: Chuck Brown dies: 'Godfather of Go-Go' passes away at 75.... "Chuck Brown, the legendary musician who is known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," passed away Wednesday, his daughter confirmed to ABC7's Sam Ford.

 Brown's passing comes about a week after the Washington Post confirmed that the musician, considered the pioneer of Go-Go music, had been hospitalized with pneumonia. Brown's 1970 hit, "Bustin' Loose," hit #1 on the MCA charts. The song was later sampled in the 2002 Nelly song, "Hot in Herre." He had recently postponed numerous shows due to his failing health."  More soon.

ADDED: Washington Post obituary for Chuck Brown... “Bustin’ Loose” was “the one record I had so much confidence in,” Mr. Brown told The Post in 2001. “I messed with it for two years, wrote a hundred lines of lyrics and only ended up using two lines. . . . It was the only time in my career that I felt like it’s going to be a hit.”

It was Mr. Brown’s biggest single, but throughout the 1980s “We Need Some Money,” “Go-Go Swing” and “Run Joe” became local anthems, reinforced by radio support and the grueling performance schedule that put Mr. Brown on area stages six nights a week.

While rap music exploded across the country, go-go dominated young black Washington, with groups including Trouble Funk, Rare Essence and Experience Unlimited following in Mr. Brown’s footsteps..."

WATCH: July 2011 interview with Chuck Brown...

ADDED: From Stephen A Crockett Jr, WaPo... "In 1984, before Bryant St, NW would become a one way, I am a third grader in search of candy and I hear Chuck Brown’s go-go version of this song [I'm in the mood for love] blasting out of a blue Bonneville stuck at a traffic light. I slow walk up to the Sunbeam market so I can catch more of the song.

Light changes and the Bonneville bones out but the music is still in my head and it stays with me into the corner store. Later, I would run the whole way home trying desperately to hold the melody in my head. I asked my Dad about it, but he played a different version of the classic tune. I told him that it wasn’t it. “Oh, he said, knowingly. “That was Chuck.”

One name: like Madonna or Prince or Oprah. Chuck...."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shihad doco arrives tomorrow

The Shihad documentary hits  big screens tomorrow nationwide, looks bloody good from the trailer. The premiere is tonight in Wellington at the Embassy, but the director, Sam Peacocke, told the Dominion Post that "he had not been invited to speak at tonight's premiere, but would be there as a guest of Shihad lead singer Jon Toogood....

"....Peacocke was brought in to take over the reins of Shihad: Beautiful Machine at the start of last year after the original director, Graeme Tuckett, was fired [a week into directing].

Peacocke says he and producer Pacific Lightworks did not see eye to eye on aspects of the film, which profiles arguably New Zealand's biggest rock band.

"Since [editor] Cushla Dillon and I finished the edit I haven't really been involved in any of the post-production from then on. I can kind of see, I think, what Graeme may have found difficult."

Producer Grant Roa labelled Peacocke artistically exceptional but "sociably inept", and said the film had always been "purely" producer-driven. "Sam was brought in as a director for hire."

Roa said the director had in fact been invited to speak at the opening. Asked if there had been a lack of communication from producers, he said: "I think everyone is to blame but I'm not sure."

Roa reducing Peacocke's contribution to merely "A director for hire" is at odds with the official Shihad movie website where the producers extensively talk up them bringing in Peacocke, who already had a relationship with the band from directing music videos for them - "He used the trust he'd had gained and took the band out of their comfort zone and into a entirely unique space where questions couldn't be answered so automatically. This style produced a very genuine response, and from then on the story began to build in depth and honesty."

Check the Grant Roa Appreciation page on Facebook.  There's the above trailer, described as a new production by Grant Roa. And from the Shihad movie FB page, this cool photo customised by David Norris...

UPDATED: Stars turn out for Shihad premiere on Stuff, plus red carpet video....

" [Producer Grant] Roa brushed aside claims of a behind the scenes spat between the producers and the director.

"You're always going to have some disagreements. Sam is exceptionally talented."

He said having conceived of the idea of the documentary he and the other producer, Laurence Alexander, had "boundaries we had put in place that we wanted to work within".

"Both Graeme [Tuckett] and Sam [Peacocke] nurtured that as much as they could. And like creatives, they tried to push the boundaries. That's what you do. That's the story. So as a producer you just tap it back into place now and again."

RIP Belita Woods (P-Funk)

Belita Woods, Singer with Parliament Funkadelic, has passed away. She suffered a heart attack in April 2011.

"... the name and work of Belita Woods going back to her ’60s sides for Ollie McLaughlin’s Moira label and ’70s work with the group Brainstorm (she had the lead vocals on “Loving is Really My Game” and “This Must Be Heaven”). No doubt, more have seen and heard her as a vocalist with George Clinton’s P-Funk aggregations from the 1990s up until recently."

More: Belita Woods dies aged 63


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orchestra vs hiphop

Some info from the APO on a very cool concert coming up at the end of May... : "Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra brings New Zealand Music Month to a dynamic close with a concert that unites the worlds of orchestral music and hip-hop.

The 31 May concert, dubbed ‘Remix the Orchestra: Full Orchestra Meets Hip-Hop’, is the culmination of five years of collaboration between the APO and leading hip-hop musicians who have worked together to mentor young artists, and who now appear together on one stage for the first time.

Joining the orchestra for the Auckland Town Hall concert are several of New Zealand’s leading hip-hop acts: Tyree (Smashproof), Frisko (aka Alphrisk, Deceptikonz) and hip-hop legend Ermehn (OMC, etc), one of the most respected artists on the local urban music scene. The three each perform a track from their impressive catalogues.

Spinning decks throughout is DJCXL (Ill Semantics), a former NZ DMC Champion whose new album Represent recently spent time in the national top 40 and reached as high as #4 on the NZ artists’ album chart.

The concert reaches beyond music, featuring dancers and graffiti crew FDKNS. The latter will create their art on tablet computers, with the work being projected on to screens."

Remix the Orchestra: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with special guests DJCXL, Tyree, Frisko, Ermehn and conductor/composer Kenneth Young.Auckland Town Hall, 8pm, Thursday 31 May
Tickets: $20/$30,, (09) 357 3355

Wah wah bizznizz

A couple of gems from the Wah Wah 45s label, for free. Nice one.

There's the flip of the Hackney Colliery Band's single where they did a great cover of No diggity.


Also worth checking, Scrimshire's recent single, grab it just for the LV remix that's a groover and a half. That EP is pay what you like. And there's a cool re-edit of Merry Clayton from Scrimshire over here.

Both Scrimshire and Hackney Colliery Band are playing live in London May 25, alongside United Vibrations and with DJ appearances from Jazzanova, Part-Time Heroes, Dom Servini and DJ Konvex. If you're in the region, get tickets now.


Monday, May 14, 2012

“Once Upon a Time in New York — The Birth of Hip-Hop, Disco & Punk” (2007).

Via Egotrip, hat tip to Jason F. Have sen this floating round before, well worth a look. NYC covered by Tommy Ramone, John Cale, Nile Rogers, David Mancuso, Chuck D, Kool Herc and more...

Homebrew slip to #2

The Top 40 album chart is out, Adele jumps to #1, and Homebrew drop down to #2. Mothers day bounce for Adele? [UPDATED: just been pointed out to me that Mothers Day sales bump was friday/saturday, and that will be counted in next week's chart, not this one]

The other Kiwi album in the top ten is Suzanne Prentice - imagine if Homebrew had been knocked from #1 by her.

Ah, never mind. Let's watch Homebrew bump into Neil and Sharon Finn on the street and try and get him to say "F#ck Dave Dobbyn"...

UPDATED from The Corner... Off the back of their triumphant debut at number one on the albums chart last week, Home Brew have opened up a pop up store in Ponsonby where they’re selling merch and copies of their debut album. The Home Brew Take Over Store, next to Video Ezy, 160 Ponsonby Road. Monday 14 May – Sunday 20 May, 11am – 11pm daily

Len Lye talk

 Roger Horrocks (Len Lye biographer and friend) talks about Lye, one of the greatest artists NZ has ever produced. Go give it a listen.

Joel and Nathan Haines talking all that jazz

Photo: Peter McLennan

Joel and Nathan Haines in conversation with Mike Chunn was part of the recent Auckland Writers And Readers Festival (and it was free - yay!). The Composer's Life was the topic, but before the questions started, they played some music, with Nathan on sax, Joel on guitar, and their father Kevin joining them on double bass. The tune was one of Joel's called "Live at Wembley", which Nathan said they'd explain the title later, but never got round to it. 

Mike Chunn tried to get Kevin to sit onstage with his sons but he wasn't keen, so Mike pointed out there was a glass of wine onstage for Kevin which Kevin leapt up and grabbed, then headed back to his seat in the audience. 

Mike started off by asking Joel and Nathan what were their first musical memories? They mentioned names like Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, whatever their father chose to put on... Nathan said "Dad was the dark overlord of the stereo."

They grew up in Beachhaven, and went to Northcote College - they got to go to LA as part of the school big band and play some gigs, including Disneyland. Later in the conversation, Mike asks if they were good at school or did they get into trouble. Nathan says we were good, Joel mutters about being bad, and their Dad chimes in with "They were very good, it all went bad later."

Mike asked about their first time onstage. Nathan recalled their earliest gigs were at the Jazz Festival run by Tommy Adderley, at the Sheraton (now the Langham). Their father was playing with them, and they played some of his numbers, which Nathan remembers as "ridiculously difficult tunes." And that he and Joel could barely play. As Mike noted, they didn't take the easy option and just play Summertime

Mike asked what age were thay, and Nathan mentioned about 8 or 9. Mike jokingly suggested that maybe Kevin could be accused of child slave labour... Nathan says they started out playing at age 3 and 4, and he could read music by the time he started school.

Mike recalled the first Apra Silver Scrolls that featured artists covering the five finalists, and that Nathan  and Joel and their band Freebass had played one of the covers, doing a Headless Chickens number is such a fashion that it was largely unrecognisable, and split the room. Murray Cammick told Mike later that night that half the room loved it, the other half hated it. 

Talking about growing up, Nathan said that their mother was more artistic than their father, funnily enough. She was more from the visual side, their father more on the audio side. 

Mike asked about playing with your head or your heart, and Joel talked about his time playing with Human Instinct, which he said is about heart - "sometimes in that band, people are playing different songs! So it's all about heart with them."

They play another song, the title track off Nathan's latest album, The Poet's Embrace. Nathan describes the album as a "Straight to two track, wonderful analog affair." After the song, Nathan says "That's the first time we've played that one."

Mike talks about Nathan's latest album, saying he pre-ordered it, and got it on his iTunes, and asks is Nathan okay with that? Nathan says yes, it's all music. He made the album to be played on vinyl, and says the 300 copies have almost all gone. But any format is okay with him.

Mike asks Joel about his involvement in synchronisation (writing for film, tv). He says he got his big break writing music for tv series Mercy Peak. Prior to that he'd done session work for Murray Grindley on ads and so on and was very interested in that area. He talked about writing for the screen  - "To get it right, you've got to get inside the characters."

Joel says he really likes being part of a big machine where, if everyone gets it right, it becomes this incredible thing. Writing and recording music on his own at home suits him though he confesses "It drives my poor wife crazy!"

He says with his work "It's not about you, how well you are playing, it can be about the grading of a shot. I really like that. I never wanted to be a frontman."

They play one of Joel's film pieces, no song title given. 

Mike talks about choosing music for his father's funeral recently, and plays a snippet of the song he chose, and asks if they recognise it. It's Joni Mitchell's Court and spark, as covered by Nathan on his album Music for Cocktail Lovers. Mike asks would it have been a better song if Joni had used that [Nathan's] arrangement? Nathan says no. The song was suggested by Murray Thom (executive producer and financial backer of the album), from Herbie Hancock's version.

Nathan talked about his former manager Matt Coleman talking with him when Nathan got back from the UK last year about his next album. Matt told Nathan "I''ve got this great idea, you should do an album covering classic NZ songs" [or words to that effect]. Nathan thought about it for 24 hours and said no. 

Mike expressed surprise that Nathan had taken that long to decide against it, suggesting a minute's thought would have been a better length. Guessing Mike didn't think it was a good idea then. And this from the man who bought us Double J and Twice the T.

Mike asked an oddly-worded question about whether Nathan thought NZ was too small for him to  sustain himself? Nathan said no, he was grateful for the support he had here and the audience he had built up. And the hanging question over this reply was why are you moving to the UK, then? 

Nathan described his latest album as one where he decided to make the kind of album he wanted to make, and just not worry about pleasing an audience or whatever, and that it has turned out to be his most well-received album to date.  

I'm not too sure why Nathan should be surprised that an album that aimed to be straight ahead jazz,  which is a pretty conservative musical choice, would do well. Seems like a no brainer to me. 

They close the session with another song, one of their early numbers, but again a lack of song titles. Nevertheless, a very entertaining hour of conversation and jazz. Thanks to all involved. 

Nathan Haines is playing a show on May 18 at Devonport's newly restored Victoria Theatre, playing The Poet's Embrace in full, before he shifts to the UK in June. Details and booking here

Picassos 95

Photo: Karl Pierard
From Pavement magazine, 1995, by Gemma Gracewood. 

If there's a band that can preach passionately about the state of our society for hours on end, it's the Hallelujah Picassos. The five members have been key players on Auckland's music and social scene long enough to know what they're talking about when they call for unity in our community. With the release of their new EP, Gospel of the DNA Demon, a 13-track "genetic mix-up'' of styles and sounds, the Picassos manifesto is at the forefront again.

"lt's very important for us that the community that we live in right now shakes up and we start believing that the individual is worth something,'' says vocalist and guitarist Raudra Bayanaka, aka Harold aka Roland. "What we've seen in the last 15 years in the media and in the music is the deconstruction of the individual. For example, we had the grudge period where it was cool to be a loser, it was cool to be down and out, it was cool to talk about how fucked up your childhood was." Peter McLennan, keyboards and samples, picks up the thread.

"We've learnt that cynicism is a totally healthy way of thinking, which to me is extremely unconstructive.'' Johnny Pain, bass, agrees. ''It constrains people from solving problems. They wallow in trash culture and drown in self-pity. The thing is, no matter how bad you feel, there are ten million other people in exactly the same predicament, and you should take strength from the fact you're not alone,''

Continues Harold: "There's too much selfishness, too much 'fuck you, fuck you'. We've had enough of that. Evelybody's worth something again. We need unity. But the unity thing doesn't mean that everyone should be homogeneous. That's not the idea at all. You're supposed to salvage individuality. You can be wildly different and still be all pushing in the same direction.'' A bit like the Hallelujah Picassos, really.

[I remember the photographer for this article thought he had a great idea, of shooting us all with our shirts, off, then overlaying them. Catch was, Harold didn't want to take his shirt off.]

Green Onions

Sunday, May 13, 2012

RIP Donald Duck Dunn

Legendary bass player Donald 'Duck' Dunn with Booker T and the MGs/Stax Records crew has passed away aged 70.

Steve Cropper, the MGs guitarist, broke the news on his Facebook page at approximately 12:30AM Eastern time.

“Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” Cropper, his lifelong friend, wrote. “Duck Dunn died in his sleep Sunday morning May 13 in Tokyo Japan after finishing 2 shows at the Blue Note Night Club.” Source.

Booker T and the MGs were the house band at Stax and backed up Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett and many more, as well as having their own hits with instrumentals like Green Onions, Time is Tight, and Melting Pot, a popular tune with early hiphop DJs.

ADDED: obituary from Memphis Commercial Appeal, with comments from David Porter, Deanie Parker.

Miles Davis signed single

A Miles Davis 1955 signed single has popped up on Trademe. Apparently the owners tried to list it on eBay but found that process to be "...a nightmare. Trademe need to give those fellas a lesson ".

"This is very rare indeed. It has been signed by all the band members who played on this album with Miles signing by doodling a trumpet and a caricature of him playing the trumpet.
Signed by - Red Garland, piano, Phineaus Newborough (Philly Joe Jones), drums,
Oscar Pettiford, bass

We think Miles has put MD on top of Oscars but not sure. The album cover is very faded on the front and some knuckle head has sellotaped the cover up, as you can see. The album is in very good condition and the company is Metronome from Sweden. The recorded songs are - A Gal in Calico and I Didn't." See Trademe. Starts at $990.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Two sessions at the Auckland Writers And Readers Festival that may appeal to music fans... both on Sunday May 13, both at the same time. Lousy scheduling on the part of festival orgainsers...

1. Award-winning writer Chris Bourke (Blue Smoke) presents Auckland After Hours... more info here...

"Prize-winning Blue Smoke (2010) author Chris Bourke brings back to life the venues, sounds and changing dance fashions of the Auckland music scene – from the first cabarets and jazz bands of the 1920s featured at the Dixieland on Queen Street (now Real Groovy), to the arrival of rock ’n’ roll to Auckland in 1956.

The latter drew teenagers to the Trades Hall in Hobson Street at the same time that more sophisticated venues offering jazz combos, cabaret and groundbreaking liquor access were becoming established for adults.

Bourke has spent years searching out the rare archival audio recordings, photos and ephemera that vividly illustrate the sights and sounds of Auckland at play. Introduced by Josie McNaught."

Time: 01:15 p.m. - 02:15 p.m.
Price: Earlybird $20, Standard $25, Patrons $16, Students $12.50

2. Nathan and Joel Haines - The Composer's Life. More info here...

"Brothers Nathan and Joel Haines are musicians and composers of note, each having carved out successful musical careers.

The sons of an accomplished bassist, the pair spent their formative years performing around Auckland and joined the group Freebass in the early 1990s.

Nathan, who has produced seven solo albums to date, has lived in both New York and London, where his musical career has been influenced by a range of other musical genres.

Joel meanwhile has an impressive list of composing credits to his name for feature films, television series and commercials and has worked with a myriad of Maori directors and artists, including traditional Maori instrument players. They speak with Mike Chunn about the composer’s life. Supported by APRA/AMCOS."

Time: 01:00 p.m. - 02:00 p.m.

Ring The Alarm playlist, Basefm, 12 May

Outlines - Waiting in line inst
Gary Byrd - The Crown
Jimmy Bo Horne - I get lifted
Kid Creole - I'm a wonderful thing baby
Pimps of joytimes - PJTs high steppin
Homebrew - Plastic magic feat Esther Stephens
Temptations - Zoom
Ozomatli - Superbowl sundae - Peanutbutter wolf remix
Sister Nancy - Big beat bam
Pablove Black - Poco tempo
Alton Ellis - It's a shame
Jackie Mittoo - Hang em high
Vin Gordon - Steady beat
Q-Tip - Breathe and stop - TenDJiz mashup
Guilty Simpson - Man's world
Funkmaster Flex - Safe sex no freaks
Prince - Housequake
Gil Scott Heron - B Movie
Sister love - You've got to make the choice
Ike and Tina Turner - Somebody somewhere needs you
Jean Carn - Free Love - Victor Rosado re-edit
Scrimshire - Everything you say - LV remix
Mo kolours - Banana wine

Friday, May 11, 2012

Radio radio

Hat tip to Dan News. 'The History of NZ Radio' through the eyes of the Radio Awards team (NSFW, contains swearing)... As Andrew Dubber noted on Twitter, "Frighteningly accurate. The real history of radio in Auckland in the 1980s, starring everyone as themselves: "

Fela Live!

Strut have just released Fela Kuti, Live in Detroit 1986. "Previously unheard Fela Kuti live material. Need we really say more? We're extremely pleased to offer a document of the inimitable architect of Afrobeat, recorded shortly after his release from Nigerian prison. Fela Kuti Live In Detroit 1986 is out this week on 2xCD, 4xLP, and digital download." Go here to Strut's site for free download.

Via Pitchfork, tracklist:
01 Just Like That
02 Confusion Break Bones
03 Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense
04 Beast of No Nation

Official release of previously bootlegged concert from Fela's first North American tour with Egypt 80. The first album of official unreleased Fela music since his last studio album, 1992's Underground System.