Friday, August 22, 2014

Rodriguez returns to NZ, for two shows

Rodriguez returns to New Zealand for two shows in October, Auckland and Wellington. Rediscovered after the 2012 Oscar-winning doco Searching For Sugarman by audiences worldwide, his career revival  really kicked off when Seattle label Light In The Attic reissued his two albums  - Cold Fact (1970), and Coming From Reality (1971), in 2008.

Monday 13 October -Auckland – ASB Theatre, Auckland Aotea Centre (Ticketmaster)
Thursday 16 October Wellington – Wellington Opera House (Ticketek)

Light In The Attic on Cold Fact: " Rodriguez recorded Cold Fact – his debut album – in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It’s crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late ’60s inner-city America. “Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer,” says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues.

But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez’s more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. When the follow-up, 1972’s Coming From Reality, also sold poorly, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He’d never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, gaining a degree in philosophy, factory work and eventually, hard labour.

As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez’s legend was growing – on the other side of the world. In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma – not even the label knew where to find him – and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture... " Read the full story here. 

Shocking Pinks Mixtape: EWH, Karl Marx Project and more

Shocking Pinks (Stars and Letters, ex Flying Nun, DFA), aka Nick Harte serve up a cool mixtape with a ton of NZ kids, including Electric Wire Hustle, Karl Marx Project (Isaac Aesili), She's So Rad remixed by Kutcorners, Die Die Die, Emily Edrosa (of Streetchant) AND brand new music from Scott Mannion (Tokey Tones). Less said about that awful Dragon remix the better tho. Free DL

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kiwi brewers set to expand, says bank. Cheers, banking dude!

ANZ Bank's New Zealand Craft Beer report was launched yesterday at Beervana in Wellington, shedding some light on the growing popularity of craft beer here.

Via Stuff: "It shows that just 2 per cent of beer consumed in New Zealand is craft beer, unless you include those labelled as craft beer by one of the country's three big brewers, which grows the market to 10 per cent [which nobody does, cos it's mostly mass produced brown water].

New Zealanders are the 27th biggest beer drinkers in the world, downing 64.7 litres per capita a year ... craft beer is the biggest-growing segment of the local brewing industry at about 25 per cent a year.

The number of beer firms has grown from 39 in 2008 to 110.... Auckland, Nelson/Marlborough and Canterbury were listed as having the most craft brewers at 16 each. Wellington was sitting just behind on 13."

ANZ expects demand for Kiwi brews to triple over the next decade, partly as a result of increasing Asian demand... 

via NZ Herald "John Bennett, ANZ's general manager of the central region for commercial and agri, said Asia's fast-growing middle classes were beginning to develop a taste for boutique beer.

The potential for New Zealand exporters in countries such as China was huge, he said, but brewers and local hops growers would have to lift production significantly in order to fully grasp the opportunity.

"These consumers are increasingly looking for premium products that are authentic, high-quality and were made by a craftsman, not a factory production line," Bennett said. "The challenge for craft brewers is to grow production quickly and without compromising quality or uniqueness."

NZ Herald: "Ralph Bungard, president of the Brewers Guild, which represents craft firms, said he expected craft's share of the domestic market to grow to around 10 per cent - which would bring New Zealand roughly in line with the United States - over the next five to 10 years.

But it was challenging for small-scale breweries to create the brand recognition required to break into export markets, said Bungard, who owns the Three Boys Brewery in Christchurch...

...The founder of Auckland craft brand Epic, Luke Nicholas, said securing suitable brewing capacity to meet demand had always been a challenge for local firms. "I think that's going to be the case for at least a decade," Nicholas said.

New Zealand's beer exports were worth $26 million in 2011, when much of that product went to Australia."

OMC: How Bizarre album remastered for new tv doco on Pauly's life

OMC - How bizarre album cover

Via Amplifier: "OMC needs no introduction to New Zealanders. It was the title track from the debut album "How Bizarre" which catapulted Pauly Fuemana to international fame in 1996. On the back of the million selling single, Pauly went on to sell over a million copies of the album worldwide.

To mark the premiere of the acclaimed OMC documentary about the life of Pauly Fuemana that has been commissioned by Maori Television, Universal and Huh! are pleased to make Pauly's classic New Zealand album available again on CD.

This reissued version of the original album has been fully remastered by Pauly's co-writer and producer Alan Jansson and includes 2 bonus tracks - the 1996 single version of "Land Of Plenty", and the 2007 track featuring Lucy Lawless, "4 All Of Us".

Also, tune in to Radio NZ's Music 101 this Saturday, when Trevor Reekie interviews Stuart Page, director of the doco, producer and co-songwriter Alan Jansson and Simon Grigg from huh! Records about OMC’s worldwide success.

Maori Television's documentary "How Bizarre", directed by Stuart Page, screens Monday 25th August, 9.30pm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Frankie Teardrop goes looking for the perfect beat

Legendary NYC duo Suicide get their tune Frankie Teardrop remade by Xeno and Oaklander. Suicide's Martin Rev comes along to the session with the original drum machine, a Seeberg Select-A-Rhythm 601B.

"No sacred cow was safe from Suicide. Reviled and revolutionary, Alan Vega & Martin Rev used a cheap drum machine, fevered screams and a murder to create a classic. In this episode, more than four decades later, Martin Rev meets Xeno and Oaklander to talk about the track and watch the Ghostly International duo reimagine "Frankie Teardrop."

On the same electro tip... Afrika Bambaataa - Looking for the Perfect Beat revisited, with Arthur Baker and John Robie. Talking 808 beats.  Check out more in the series over at Red Bull's Youtube channel. Mtume - Juicy fruit, Blondie - Heart of glass, Peech boys - Don't make me wait....

Gluten-free beer labels a no-no

Scott Anderson over at Buzz And Hum picked up on this story earlier this week, go read his excellent backgrounder on it here...

Radio New Zealand covered it yesterday.. "Gluten-free beer labels to be banned"

"Gluten-free claims will be banned from beer bottles under new regulations - frustrating brewers and people with gluten allergies.

From January 2016, it will be illegal to sell alcohol using health related claims, which regulators have said will include statements asserting products are gluten-free.

Chris Mills from Kereru Brewing, said if the rule came into effect his company would probably stop selling gluten-free beer altogether.

Mr Mills said he was considered appealing against the rule, but it would cost tens of thousands of dollars and the small market for gluten-free beer was not worth the cost.

President of Coeliac New Zealand Terry Hoskins said removing gluten-free labels was bad news for the 65,000 New Zealanders who could not consume gluten.

Both the Ministry of Primary Industries and Food Standards refused to be interviewed by Radio New Zealand about the new labeling rules."

Thomas Lumley, Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland, wrote about this on, noting that "It’s true that 'gluten-free' has become a trendy bogus nutrition claim, but it’s also vital health information for some people, particularly those with coeliac disease. In that context, 'gluten-free' is more like an allergen warning ..." He suggests it may still be possible however, for Coeliac New Zealand to endorse gluten-free beers.

From Society of Beer Advocates: Ludicrous Gluten-Free Rules Unfair to Brewers and Consumers

UPDATED 320pm August 20: Kereru Brewing report on Twitter that "Scott Gallacher, DDG of MPI has just phoned to say they are working on a solution for gluten-free beer in NZ. Twitter FTW!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tell the new prohibitionists: dancing is good for you!

Protest in Chicago

Michael Donaldson writes a fantastic column on beer for the Sunday Star Times. Sadly, he wrote his final column for them last weekend (before shifting to another publication - damn, one more paper I need to buy at the weekends), rounding up some of his experiences writing about beer, and also touched on the current state of play around alcohol consumption in NZ...

excerpt: " Biggest issues in beer: 1) The new prohibitionists from the health lobby trying to curb what we drink, when we drink, how we drink. Yes, binge drinking is bad but it's been around since Bacchus went on his first bender and sometimes drinking a little more than recommended is actually fun. It makes us happy. 2) Men who run beer companies failing to understand women also like beer and often buy it for themselves or the men in their lives. Wise up and get much better advertising.

Non-issues in beer: Defining craft. Don't know, past caring, as long as it tastes nice it's fine by me... " 

I agree with his last point there. It's beer, enjoy it. Stop overthinking beer!  

On his mention of the so-called new prohibitionists... The new liquor licencing laws, aimed at curbing our binge drinking culture and its negative effects, saw the Government switching to mandatory 4am closing for all licenced venues - that is going to have a detrimental effect on nightclub culture in Auckland, especially if the Auckland Council's preferred closing time of 3am comes to pass. 

The Auckland Council is currently considering public submissions on its LAP (local alcohol policy), and will announce its provisional policy in Oct/Nov - that can then be appealed, and will then come into effect early 2015.

The Council's preferred position is 1am closing for suburban bars, and 3am closing for CBD/ Ponsonby/ Newton bars/clubs, which seems to suggest you would end up with a mass, drunken exodus from suburban bars to the city at 1am. Because driving to town is a great idea, aye. 

It has been noted that clubs and bars aren't the biggest problem in central Auckland - the huge growth of off-licences/bottle stores is incredible - for the past few years, every time I have walked past a new store opening in the CBD, it's been a bottle store. About four years ago, it used to be dairies/convenience stores popping up. Now, its liquor stores. Alcoholic convenience.

From  Dance Til Dawn FB: " Did you know, off-licences sell 40 times more alcohol between 9 and 10pm than bars/nightclubs do between 3 and 4am in Auckland? Where do you think most harm reduction is likely to be found? (source; "Restriction on Hours of Trade for Alcohol Licensees in Auckland" - Economic Impact Assessment for Auckland Council, 2013).

The Police have a catch phrase they've been using, about Auckland's CBD - "Nothing good happens after 3am". It's catchy, but has little basis in fact.

As local DJ Rob Warner, one of the organisers for the Dance Til  Dawn FB group [and my cousin], wrote in a piece for the NZ Herald, "Next time someone suggests closing a few clubs at 3am will cure the ills in the CBD, consider this: the peak period for night-time street offences is around 2am. Those problems are not caused by people who are inside nightclubs at that time and through to morning."

There are definitely problems with our drinking culture and its worst manifestations in the early hours of the morning, but killing off club culture is not a sensible solution. Dancing is good for you!

Raggamuffin Fest add to lineup, announce venue

Latest news from Raggamuffin Festival: "Cypress Hill join Raggamuffin line-up alongside Che Fu & The Kratez, Sons of Zion, DJ Sirvere & Jafa Mafia crew + Special Guests & will take place at The Trusts Arena, Henderson Auckland.

Pre-sale tickets on sale from 9AM Tuesday 19 August  over on Ticketmaster New Zealand (check your inbox for full details in the morning waitlisters). Early bird tickets available from Friday.

Captain Planet - In The Gray

Off Captain Planet's sophmore effort, ESPERANTO SLANG, due out on October 7th on 2xLP, CD, Digital and Vinyl Deluxe Pack w/ Custom Tote Bag. Out on Bastard Jazz (Lord Echo, Mophono)

" Esperanto Slang further illuminates the “Gumbo Funk” producer’s fluency in breaking boundaries between genres and bridging continents through rhythm. Steeped in finely-tuned collaborations with artists from across the map (Chico Mann, Alsarah, Paco Mendoza, La Yegros, Brit Lauren, Samira Winter, ChigiyoMaster).

The album documents the Captain’s continued musical travels in the wake of his critically-acclaimed 2011 debut album Cookin’ Gumbo and subsequent ‘Mystery Trip’ beat-tape (heralded “Best Music of 2012” by Sasha Frere-Jones in The New Yorker)." 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, August 16

Wajeed - Jeedo suave
Rusty Bryant - Fire eater
Idris Mumhammad - Don't knock my love
Discolettes -Yes we can can
Lee Fields - In the woods
Whitefield Brothers - Yakuba
Jimi Tenor and Kabu Kabu - Higher styx
Geraldo Pino - Heavy heavy heavy
Hugh Masekela - Languta
Warsaw afrobeat orchestra - Only now - Bosq remix
The Controllers - Hello - Simon S re-edit
Bohannon - Do the everybody get down
Ray Mang - Running on moonshine - Ray Mang edit
Zap Mama - Bandy bandy - Carl Craig remix
Mala - Como como - Theo Parrish remix
BluRum13 - Futuristic b-boys inst
Machinedrum - Stirrin
Ragga twins - 18" speaker
Richie Phoe - Thriller
Johnny Osbourne - Time a run out
Jackie Mittoo - Hot milk
Barry Brown - Far east
Illmatics feat James Brown - Get up and get down - Soulmates remix
Erykah Badu - Bag lady - cheebah sac remix
Marc Rapson - The kalimba
Boozoo Bajou - Hirta
Misled Convoy - Critical mass

New Sun Ra collection: In The Orbit Of Ra

Via Strut: "Sun Ra is one of the most respected and unique creative minds in jazz music. To commemorate what would have been Ra's 100th birthday, we've teamed up with Art Yard for a very special release. In The Orbit Of Ra is a new collection presented by the longest serving member of the Arkestra and current bandleader, Marshall Allen.

Bringing together Sun Ra highights from over 25 years of music, the album is the first internationally released compilation to provide an introduction to the music of Sun Ra, all mastered from the original tapes.

Out September 22nd, In The Orbit Of Ra will be available on 2CD, 2LP and digital formats. As always, vinyl copies ordered from the Strut store will ship on limited edition 180 gram vinyl while supplies last, and will include a CD copy of the album. 

Physical formats feature full interview with Marshall Allen along with rare and previously unpublished photos by Val Wilmer.Hear the pristine master for one of our favorite Sun Ra tracks, 'Plutonian Nights', below.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Peanut Butter Wolf interviewed about Stonesthrow doco

Bongmaster, live!

"Paekak's Kanikani crew present supergroup Bongmaster on their second outing in seven years. The guys had so much fun smashing it at the James Cabaret a few months ago (with Trinity Roots) they decided to have a follow-up party in Paekakariki. Interstellar jam guaranteed."

Bongmaster are:
Aaron Tokona (Ahoribuzz)
Dallas, Mu, and Iain (Fat Freddy's Drop)
Andreas Lepper (Wellington Batucada)
Maaka McGregor (Wai)
Warren Maxwell (Little Bushman/Trinity Roots)
With very special guest DJs: Koa (Roots Foundation/Rhombus) and Small (Kanikani)

Sat 6 September, 8pm - 12am. Strictly limited tickets. Door sales$35. Doors open 7.45pm
Presales $30 at , Slow Boat Records, Rough Peel Music RPM
BYO. Kanikani's world famous in Paekakariki non-alcoholic cocktails will be available, cheaper than chips too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Updated: Planet Key song vanishes off the airwaves

Still from Planet Key video

Wellington musician Darren Watson released a song on August 4th via iTunes titled Planet Key, poking fun at our Prime Minister, and yesterday the Electoral Commission clamped down on him, saying radio stations who were playing it, such as Radio Active, were breaching electoral law.

Yesterday the NZ Herald reported that "Guitarist singer and songwriter Mr Watson's song and its animated video by Jeremy Jones released last week pokes fun at the Prime Minister and his Government.

It features Mr Key playing a stinging blues guitar solo on an endangered Maui's dolphin while an oil rig explodes in the background. It also depicts Finance Minister Bill English carrying Mr Key's golf clubs and the Prime Minister plays golf with Barack Obama.

But Mr Watson posted on Facebook this afternoon that he had just had a "super interesting chat with The Electoral Commission just now. "It appears we may be gagged."

He later posted that "the story is the Electoral Commission have advised a Access Radio station not to play Planet Key as it may be a contravention of the act."

The commission this afternoon confirmed it had banned television and radio broadcasts of the song and said it was also considering whether it was an election advertisement which would require a promoter statement to be carried in online video versions.

... Mr Watson said he had spoken with the Electoral Commission this morning [Tuesday] and they had indicated they believed the song crossed the line into being a political advertisement.

However the woman at the commission he spoke to had admitted "she hadn't actually heard the song, this was all based on hearsay".

The controversy attracted extensive mainstream media coverage... which managed to make the song more widely known... 
NZ Herald: Electoral Commission orders musical dig at Key off the air
It also featured on Prime News at 530, and TVOne's Seven Sharp

UPDATED 16 August 2014: Darren Watson says via FB that "we are going to challenge the Electoral Commission's advice on a total lifetime airplay ban and effective forced removal from sale of Planet Key all the way to the High Court if we have to. The way Jeremy and I see it this is a simple issue of the fundamental right to freedom of artistic expression."

The NZ Herald reported today that the Electoral Commission will prosecute Watson if he continues to sell the song on iTunes, and has instructed him to stop selling or promoting it. It is currently sitting at #8 on the NZ Singles chart.

Watson put out a press release late yesterday, which said "The Electoral Commission is also threatening that the sale of the song through i-Tunes without a promoter statement is "an apparent breach of section 204F of the Electoral Act", which is an illegal practice punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.

"I object to the suggestion that I am some sort of political promoter. I am a musician and I feel very strongly about this kind of censorship", says Mr Watson. "I believe in artistic freedom."

Lawyer for Mr Watson and Mr Jones, Wendy Aldred, says she has asked the Electoral Commission to reconsider its opinion, saying the Commission's letter is incorrect in its approach to the law, fails to take into account Mr Watson's right to freedom of expression under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, and is heavy-handed."

UPDATED 19 August 2014: Darren Watson says he has been instructed by The Electoral Commission to remove Planet Key from sale on iTunes by 5pm this Thursday, and to remove the video from Vimeo and Youtube.