Friday, October 31, 2014

Top ten kiwi post-run craft beers



Here's a guest post from Vera Alves, who blogs about running at Super Generic Girl and keeps track of her craft beer addiction enthusiasm over at Untappd. Here are her top ten kiwi post-run (and pre-run and - sure, why not? - mid-run) craft beers.

"I first discovered that beer was my favourite post-run beverage when I started running the Xterra races and getting the free Speights at the end of each of them. I’m pretty sure the beer sped up muscle recovery and all that other stuff.

(This is probably a good time to let you know I’m not a doctor.)

Fast forward to the beginning of this year when, while catching up with a fellow trail runner and beer lover over a bottle or three, I downloaded a smartphone app called Untappd. 

From that day onwards, I’ve made it my mission to try as many delicious craft beers as I can. I’ve been dedicating far too many hours to this new, hmm, “skill”, which I’m hoping one day will be more valuable than my education (that’s not saying much - I’ve got a journalism degree).

Last week, while in Wellington to speak at a kickass running event, I took the opportunity to visit a few craft beer spots I keep hearing about. There, I hit my 500th distinct beer tried this year, with many of them having been celebratory beers after particularly good runs (or particularly bad runs or, you know, just any run).

My running stats will never look as good as my beer drinking stats but you take what you can get.

It wasn’t until I discovered Untappd and turned my phone into my Untappd device which occasionally receives calls (but please don’t call me - it wastes battery that could otherwise be used to log beers) that I left the realms of mass produced cheap chemical stuff and entered the beautiful naturally-flavoured universe of craft beer. 

I’m now one of those snobs who wouldn’t be caught dead with a bottle of Heineken (unless it’s free because I’m a freelancer and can’t afford higher standards).

I’m pretty sure beer is the perfect recovery drink after a long run. If you don’t believe me (and you probably shouldn’t), believe science. A number of studies have shown the same thing. Beer has electrolytes, carbs and deliciousness - everything you need to recover from a strenuous workout. Sure, alcohol dehydrates you a bit and slows down the recovery time - but at least you’re recovering with a beer. (Again, remember how I’m not a doctor?)



If, like me, you love both beer and running, you might also be always on the lookout for a new post-run beverage to try. There’s some seriously good stuff out there and you don’t even need to look further than New Zealand craft breweries to find some pretty perfect post-run beers.
In no particular order, because I love them all probably more than I should, these are my current top ten kiwi craft beers to enjoy after a long run:


Epic Hop Zombie
The Epic Pale Ale was my first craft beer so I have a soft spot for any Epic beers. It helps that they’re all delicious. I wouldn’t recommend some of their stronger ones straight after a run but if you haven’t had an Epic Imperium, you have not lived.

Hallertau #2 - Statesman
The Statesman is my favourite Hallertau post-run beer because it’s really (dangerously) easy to drink. Hallertau gets bonus points for having the brewery located right near Riverhead Forest, one of the best places to run in the universe. And they know that beer and running are a match made in heaven, which is why they sponsor local trail running event Riverhead Rampage.

Liberty C!tra

The good folk at Liberty Brewing are yet to release a beer I haven’t loved. This Imperial IPA is a 5-star beer with lots going on. The citrus aroma could almost fool you into thinking you’re rehydrating with fruit juice but then the explosion of hops kicks you in the gut and reminds you that nope, there’s no juice here. Just a damn fine beer.

Tuatara APA

I’m getting really thirsty writing up this list. Tuatara is another one of those reliable kiwi breweries. You can pick up any of their bottles and be sure you’ll be adding another beverage to your list of favourites. Their Double Trouble is a 5-star beer but too strong as a running beer so I’m going to recommend the APA because you should drink their APA, before and after any workout. And even if you don’t work out at all.

Garage Project Texas Tea

There’s a special place in heaven for the people who started Garage Project. I actually just want to tell you to drink all of their beers because they’re all amazing but, since I have to choose one, I’m going to go with Texas Tea. I tried it recently and was amazed by the subtlety of flavours that you never even expect to be subtle (stuff like habanero chilli and pears). It comes in a can so gets extra cool points for that. But, seriously, drink all their beers. Drink them now.

Croucher ANZUS IPA Nuclear Free

Croucher Brewing always brings back memories of training for the Tarawera Ultramarathon in Rotorua and heading to the pub down there for a few locally brewed drinks. Their ANZUS IPA is, by far, my absolute favourite, brewed with New Zealand, American and Australian hops - a beer to unite us all. Cheers to that.

Yeastie Boys Digital IPA

Ah, Yeastie Boys, where do I start with these guys? Their name takes me back to teenage years (I can’t be the only one who gets “Intergalactic” stuck in her head when she sees their name). It is a seriously good combination of all the right malts and hops (by now you’ve realised I’m partial to IPAs) and, bonus, it’s a beer that these fine people dedicated to Joseph Wood from Liberty Brewing. I love that shit. And, like with everything else, I think this is where craft beer and trail running have a lot of crossover - everyone in the area helping each other, regardless of competition. I’ll drink to that any day.

Panhead Supercharger APA
Back when I ran my first ultramarathon earlier this year, I asked Nick at Brothers Beer to suggest an appropriate beer to drink at the finish line of the event. He told me to drink a Panhead Port Road Pilsner and that started my love affair with this brewery. None of their beers have disappointed me since then (go try a Black Sabbath right now and then come back and tell me if I’m not right in my love for them). Their Supercharger is definitely one of those how-can-anyone-not-love-it brews.

Mata Manuka

The only golden ale to make the list is another one of those really good session beers that won’t knock you out. The manuka flavour makes it slightly sweeter than your average ale and makes for a super smooth easy-drinking beer.

Behemoth Chur!
Chur! is another one of those trustworthy beers you can drink without fear. It’s got just the right amount of hops to be the perfect session beer and enough fruitiness to make it interesting. If you finish your run at a pub that stocks Chur!, order it. Actually, order two.

There are so many amazing kiwi craft beers out there, sticking to ten is really difficult and I’m sure I’ll be wanting to update this list very soon.

Do you have a favourite New Zealand craft beer I should try? TELL ME! And are you running the Auckland Marathon this weekend and celebrating with a beer? You should. Also, if that’s the case, good luck, you badass mofo."

Early Clover & The Georgia Soul Drifters

Early Clover and the Georgia Soul Drifters

"Record Kicks proudly presents 2 incredibly hard to find and super hot deep funk & cross-over soul pearls out of Macon, Georgia on a super limited edition 45.

Recorded at Phil and Alan Walden's Capricorn Studios and produced by Tad Bush, "Freedom" and "Think it Over" by Early Clover & The Georgia Soul Drifters were originally released in 1977 on a super scarce 45 by legendary "northern soul" label Dove Records.

The original 45 is simply impossible to find and currently is a super in-demand spin on both rare soul and funk dancefloors. 

Born in 1953 in Dublin Georgia, Early Clover formed his band at the age of 16 and later went on to become the opening act for some of the hottest names in the south of USA, such as Betty Wright, The Temptations, The Marvellettes and Tyrone Davis. 

In the 70s became the road band and back up for William Bell, Rufus Thomas, and Joe Simon to name a few and collaborated with James Brown in writing techniques of songs. Currently relocated in Las Vegas, Early Clover is still very active. This is a strictly limited to 600 Copies so don't sleep on it... essential spin!" 

Out November 10 on 45/digital, preview below...


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Soulfest snapped

I arrived at Soulfest at Western Springs Stadium last Sunday (Oct 26) to the sounds of Wellington's Bella Kalolo, and managed to catch the last half of her set. She was in fine voice and her band was tight - in short, she killed it. She told the crowd how happy she was to be there - "I'm so excited to see the other people! I see myself every day, y'know, so that's not so exciting!"

Soulfest. Photo: Grant Apiata. Click on photo to enlarge

DJ TDK stepped up to play some tunes, then Aaradhna and her band took to the stage. She chose to start with a slow ballad, which sapped some energy from proceedings. Then she introduced the song 'Downtown', saying she put it out when she was real young, like 19. She said "If you know the words, sing along, and if you don't just pretend, you do!"

She covered Take another little piece of my heart (Janis Joplin) and funked it up - it grooved, in  a pleasant enough way. And then her band flipped it to a reggae skank - clever move. Aaradhna closed with Wake up, her band rendered P-Money's crisp production into something a bit bland, really. Then they skank it up at the end.

DJ LoKey steps up and gets on the mic and tells the crowd he's gonna play some of his favourite soul records from his collection, and drops Sade - Love is stronger than pride. Nice one, bro!

Musiq Soulchild, Soulfest. Photo:Grant Apiata

Musiq Soulchild and his band hit the stage, ten minutes later than the scheduled time. The key thing I got from his set was how much he got the crowd to sing his songs for him. He even started one song and got the crowd to sing most of the first verse. Do some work, bro!

He used his own music videos as a visual backdrop on the video wall at the back of  the stage. He ripped into some long, sustained, soulful notes mid-set, incredible range. He picked up the tempo late set and raised the energy. The crowd loved him.

A word about the crowd - everyone there seemed really happy to be there, to get to see their favourite artists. I didn't see any aggro all day, everyone was super excited. It was an excellent vibe.

DJ Reminisce cut and scratched up a storm, the crowd dug him A LOT. KC and the Sunshine Band, George Benson, Billie Jean, Midas Touch, all the jams.

Angie Stone, Soulfest. Photo: Grant Apiata. Click on photo to enlarge

I was really looking forward to seeing Angie Stone, and she did not disappoint. She arrived seven minutes late (none of the international acts hit the stage at their scheduled time), and played I want to thank ya, and then she started rapping! Damn, Angie B! Then she went to a break down, with some mad funky keyboard bassline, a la P-Funk.

She played a song off her latest album, for the 1st time on this tour, called Guilty. Both her female backing vocalists (Paula Champion and Shameia Crawford) took solo spots and were amazing. She dedicates a song for all the brothers, and thanks the kings (Maxwell, D'Angelo, Common, etc) sharing the tour with her.

Stone closes with I wish I didn't miss you - she starts the song, then tells her band to hold up, and says she met this young woman backstage (Pani), who was crying, as she was supposed to sing backing vocals for one of the earlier local groups, and she'd arrived late, so Angie said "Let's bring her on out. In fact bring the other girls too."

So, Pani, Bella Kalolo, and Aaradhana, all join Angie Stone onstage and gather round a mic, doing extra BVs. Angie then beckoned them to join her centre stage. She then told off Radz and Bella for taking selfies while up there.

Angie says shes going on vacation, and asks the crowd and Radz and co if they want to come? Cos she's going right now! So Angie says we're off to Jamaica, and her band slip into a reggae skank, while Angie sings "Me can't sleep, me can't eat anymore..." So dope.

Next vacation destination, says Angie, is... Puerto Rico...and then her band salsa it up, which inspires some great spontaneous dancing from Pani, see the clip below... incredible set.





DJ09 followed, and then we got Anthony Hamilton and his band (15 minutes late). He had a hard act to follow, as his three backing vocalists ran onstage, hyping the crowd. The first 30 seconds only had the onstage sound, til someone turned on the PA out front.

The first couple of songs were high energy, lots of super cool choreographed stage moves from Hamilton and nearly all his band. They were hugely entertaining.

Hamilton wrapped up with a stomping uptempo gospel number, featuring stunning solos from his backing vocalists, and extra tambourines from Angie Stone and band, watch below.





Hamilton thanked the crowd and makes his exit, then the band wrap up the song, and stay onstage, looking at each other. Hamilton comes back out - turns out he had time for one more song. He and his band had such great energy, they were a joy to watch. True showmen.

DJ's Hudge and T-Rice filled the next DJ slot, while we waited for Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def. His stage set took hardly any time to set up - two DJs - but he still arrived 15 minutes late.

While his DJs played a funky afrobeat tune, Mos Def casually strolled onstage scattering red and white rose petals onto the stage, from out of his hat. Freaky.

He rapped, sang, and crooned, and used the video wall to show the classic hiphop film Wildstyle. He played Ms Fat Booty, Travellin Man and Umi Says, and even threw in some Biggie. Not particularly engaging as a performer, but the fans in the crowd loved him. He closed by coming back out with bunches of roses to throw to the crowd. Flower power.

DJ Manuel Bundy played next, and did a utterly superb job holding it down between these two hiphop heavyweights. Respect to the don.


Common, in the middle of the crowd, Soulfest. Photo: Grant Apiata. Click on photo to enlarge

Common came running out, spitting rhymes as if his life depended on it. Dude meant business. He was joined by two DJs, a female backing singer, and a keys player.

He told the crowd he was very glad to be here, and it was his first time in New Zealand. Ah, hang on bro, I saw you at the Big Day Out back in January 2006, you even did some breaking and pulled off with a backspin. But the BDO organisers did put you on mid afternoon, so no surprise you may have forgotten it [Fat Freddys Drop came on after].

What about your surprise guest spot with Kanye West in March 2006 at the St James, ring any bells? Nope? Ah well... good to have you back, bro.

He jumped into the crowd, climbed up on the barrier, he was into it. Then he called a young lady named Talita out of the audience up onto the stage and sat her on a stool  and leaned in and sang Come Close to her, while every female in the crowd shot daggers at her. Then he danced with her. She swooned.

His set took in The Corner, Go, The Light, and he brings out Anthony Hamilton for a few songs. I spied Mos Def watching Common's set from the DJ booth, standing by Che Fu, who was readying himself for his DJ set.

Then next thing, Mos Def casually strolls onstage, and starts rhyming with Common. Damn, it was good. Mos Def seemed more lively than during his own set, like having another rapper to work off energised him - his own set never got past laidback, energy-wise. Then Common drops a freestyle, and manages to mention Queen st and K Rd, and Soulfest approves, loudly.

Common, Soulfest. Photo: Grant Apiata

Common tells the crowd "It all started with the DJ, the DJ..." and gives his two DJs their own spot, to cut and scratch up a storm, on Billie Jean, and then Ten Crack Commandments.

He wraps up his set by introducing each band member, as they then exit the stage, preceded by an elaborate handshake with Common. Then it's just Common and the backing beats, and that abruptly gets cut off. How rude. He tells the crowd "Even tho they cut our music off, you can never turn off the music in our hearts. Thank you."

Then as he exits, I see him walk back out, grab a mic stand and turn round, and it gets heated side of stage for a second, terse words appear to be exchanged, before Common's crew hustle him away from the stage crew giving him heat. He may have finished 25 mins late, but cutting his music off was disrespectful.

Che Fu DJed next, playing Team Dynamite's Coconut Lime, and singing his part too. He dropped Dam Native's The Son (and sang that), and Chains (sang that). Great songs, great singer. Shot, Che! Shame you had to listen to D'Angelo's drummer soundcheck over your set.

D'Angelo, with Jesse Johnson far left, Soulfest. Photo:Grant Apiata

D'Angelo's band started 27 minutes late - his crew seemed to take a long time soundchecking all the mics. D'Angelo entered and went and sat at a keyboard at the back of the stage, and sang into a mic that wasn't working. The sound eventually came right, and he hooked into some jazzy, soulful numbers, after a dreadful sludge psychedelic rock workout, featuring his guitarist, Jesse Johnson (The Time).

He played Left & Right and One Mo Gin, and finished the set, then came back out fro a brilliant version Untitled - How Does It Feel, with band members exiting one by one and D'Angelo back behind the keys, playing, not singing, as the BVs carried the song.

Finally it was just D'Angelo and his bass player Pino Palladino left onstage (shout out to my bass don dadas who went to Soulfest just to see Pino), and then Pino exited and it was just D'Angelo, who then sang a few more lines, and said good night (see 2nd clip below for how that unfolds  I found two clips but both have been taken down by Sony). It was a stunningly intimate moment for such a big scale event. And he pulled it off.

D'Angleo finished at 9.29, one minute before Maxwell was scheduled to play. He hit the stage at 10. DJ Reminisce was due to play after D'Angelo and was standing behind the turntable ready to go, but the organisers left the bro hanging, choosing instead to play some piped low volume, low energy dirge music thru the PA, which killed the vibe a bit. Bad call.

Maxwell hit the stage, coming on after a remix of Aint No Sunshine from Bill Withers played out over the PA. He was super slick, in his sharp white suit. The rain that had been threatening all day finally made an appearance, and started a light drizzle.

I managed 4 songs, then took that rain as my cue to bail. Hard to top D'Angelo, really. Saw a clip of Maxwell telling the crowd at the close of the set, "I really liked being down under ... It doesn't smell as bad as I thought it might!" Cheeky sod.

It had been a great day. Thanks, Soulfest. Let's do that again next year! The food selection was good and quick, the bar queues were long but seemed to move reasonably quickly, and the venue wasn't oversold.

For a first time, it worked pretty well. Apart from the problematic timing/scheduling issues, with acts starting late. That needs addressing. Feeling like you are missing out your fave songs by an artist cos it's running late is a bit crap. And no sign of the free CBD buses, despite a large sign outside the venue pointing to where they were supposed to be. Just a line of taxis, blocking the road.


General feedback I saw on Twitter and Facebook after the event seemed overwhelmingly positive, with many folks raving about what a great day it was (unlike the Australian shows, which attracted a raft of criticism online from attendees). And this person...


Good news - her Dad let her go to Soulfest. Winning!


I was standing not far behind this girl with her sign, but only ever saw the back of it. Turns out the front said this...

photo: Mya

Via MiaFM, from the end of Soulfest: "Watch as Stan Walker, Wairangi Koopu, Ria Hall and more come together backstage with a haka for Angie Stone, Anthony Hamilton, Mos Def, D'Angelo, Maxwell, and Common." Apparently Stan Walker later admitted that he split his trousers during this, and was going commando at the time. Doh.




MORE: 
Smooth premiere for Auckland's Soulfest - Stuff.co.nz review by Shabnam Dastgheib
Concert review: SoulFest, Western Springs - NZ Herald review by Lydia Jenkin
Soulfest: ayebro.co.nz review
Soulfest: thewireless.co.nz review


Both NZH and Stuff reviewers commented on Common's set getting cut short, and on D'Angelo's physical appearance.

The Stuff reviewer also apparently didn't read the schedule, failing to notice there were DJs between acts, claiming there were "such long and silent set changes between a few of the acts ... A lack of MCing between artists left the crowd to entertain themselves - it would have been good to see some music or some activity on the stage during the set-ups to keep the energy going." UM, WHAT? 

I heard DJ LoKey on the mic several times, an MC from MaiFm came onstage to do some giveaways to the crowd at one point, and Che Fu was on the mic during his DJ set. Maybe the reviewer was too far away from the stage to see the DJs?

From Australia, a report on the chequered history of Soulfest's Australian promoter, John Denison. 


I pulled together a playlist of Soulfest Akld live clips...  enjoy!

Nathan Haines x P-Money



Nathan Haines drops a new album 5 A Day, on November 28. This tune is a P-Money beat. Other producers on the album include Marc Mac (4Hero) and Mike Patto. Guest vocalists include Vanessa Freeman, Tama Waipara and Kevin Mark Trail.

5 A Day will be available on CD, vinyl and digital. Haines will be playing the album live at The Tuning Fork in Auckland on Thursday, December 4.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Havana Cultura documentary




New from Brownswood Recordings: "In 2009, there was ‘Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura’ followed by a remix album. After that ‘The Search Continues’ (2011) and then ‘Mala In Cuba’ (2012). Now we have ‘Havana Cultura Soundclash’, a compilation of collaborations between Cuban vocalists/musicians and unsigned artists from around the world.

All projects have brought musical exchanges to Cuba — with its illustrious yet traditional music scene — a nation where rhythms (salsa, rumba) exist as the lifeblood of its people; where access to new music is limited, barely any broadband internet service and decent home studio technology is rarely affordable.

Despite this, Havana boasts a solid homegrown hip-hop scene and vibrant nightlife ruled by reggaeton, with house, techno, EDM, dubstep, trap and moombahton breaking through."

You can watch the full Havana Cultura documentary above. Album out now. 

Brand new, from Scratch 22



New music from Rodi Kirk, aka Scratch22, recorded in the winter of 2012/13. Solms is the first solo release since this New Zealand-born artist relocated to Berlin. These songs follow on from Rodi’s 2011 LP 'Distance from View'distancefromview.bandcamp.com

John Gibbs - Steel Funk reissued, remastered



From Em Records: " Following the appetizer of the two 12" singles "Trinidad (Disco Mix)" [EM1128TEP] and "J'Ouvert" [EM1129TEP], we now serve up the main dish, the fine 1977 album Steel Funk by John Gibbs and the Unlimited Sound of Steel Orchestra, a new addition to our 'EM Steel Pan Series'.

Trinidadian steel-pan player John A. Gibbs studied science at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees and formed The Jamaica All Stars Steel Band. This was the start of a dual career in science and music that eventually took him to the United States.

He moved to Philadelphia in the mid-70s and met Philly arranger/producer Louis A. deLise, with whom he collaborated to create a new steel pan music, welding Trinidadian steel music to Philly soul. He researched and advocated a new style of steel pan music, describing the steel pan as an 'omnivibraphone' in his 1978 book The Unit Steel Band, in which he combined his scientific and musical backgrounds to illuminate the physics of the steel pan.

Gibbs' innate musicality comes to the fore on Steel Funk, where he compiles several years of experience with deLise into an appealing Trini-Philly groove union, with the five steel pan players of the Unlimited Sound of Steel Orchestra working in sync with a 30-piece studio orchestra of brass, strings and rhythm.

The songs range from Calypso to film theme [Shaft] to pop standard, covers and originals, but Steel Funk is not a chintzy pastiche, it's a glorious unity. We offer this re-release as 'the 2014 version', newly remastered, with improved sound quality, a different track order and new cover art drawn by Yoshihiro Tsuyama/2Yang.




NOTE: All tracks are NOT duplicated on the two 12" singles "Trinidad (Disco Mix)" [EM1128TEP] and "J'Ouvert" [EM1129TEP].

CD version:
Standard jewel case. A booklet including liner notes written by Louis A. deLise. English & Japanese text.

LP version:
Liner notes & pics.

TRACKS:
=LP version=
Side-A
1. Steel Funk (vocal)
2. Brazil
3. Street Cries
4. Cast Your Fate to the Wind
5. Trinidad & Tobago
Side-B
1. J'Ouvert (TEC 12" version) *
2. Theme from Shaft
3. Guantanamera
4. Steel Funk (instrumental)

* LP bonus track

=CD version=
1. Steel Funk (vocal)
2. Brazil
3. Street Cries
4. Trinidad & Tobago
5. Theme from Shaft
6. Guantanamera
7. Cast Your Fate to the Wind
8. Steel Funk (instrumental)
CD bonus:
9. J'Ouvert (TEC 12" version)
10. Trinidad (Disco Mix) (Sold Steel 12" version)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Budos Band x Burnt Offering the beer



The Budos Band have just released their latest album Burnt Offering, and they got a brewery to make them a special beer for the occasion. Then they had a bar crawl, as you do...

From Daptone Records: "Last weekend The Budos Band welcomed fans to join them for a bar crawl at their favorite Brooklyn bars where Burnt Offering the beer, made by Singlecut Brewery, was also on tap. We captured it all on video and you can watch it above."

Sly Stone's label re-emerges



MonkOne over at Wax Poetics writes: "Is it possible that this is really the first compilation to focus on Sly Stone’s short-lived but influential Stone Flower label? Leave it to Light in the Attic, now a venerable dozen years into their thoughtful, idiosyncratic, and highly respected reissue program, to bring this gem to light.

Stone Flower operated for a mere two years, 1969 -70, and released only five singles. Insignificant, perhaps, until it becomes clear that this space of time was essentially a period of cultivation for the musical ideas that would come to fruition in Sly’s 1971 masterwork There’s a Riot Goin’ On

The quirky use of the Maestro Rhythm King drum machine, the spacey wah-wah guitar and organ, the almost unhinged bass rumblings—all these elements first showed up in these productions, made for a handpicked series of frontmen (and women) who were led by Sly’s sister Vaetta Stewart.

Little Sister, as Vaetta and her group were billed, had the only “hit” for the label, “You’re the One,” not coincidentally the most conventionally Family Stone–sounding tune Stone Flower released.



Light in the Attic’s superb collection includes all the official Stone Flower releases, plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives (including early versions of Riot favorites “Just Like a Baby” and “Africa”), all benefiting greatly from a fine remastering job—from the original reels, as the ample liner notes point out.

A hefty 40-some pages, the CD booklet is essential reading for the Sly aficionado, including as it does interviews with many of the main players in the story, including the “incredible, unpredictable” Sly Stone himself. The collection is available in all formats, including a deluxe 2LP set in a heavy-stock gatefold jacket."

MORE: audio samples, and background on the label over at Light In The Attic.
CD/digital put now, LP out Nov 4.





Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ring The Alarm playlist, Oct 25



Bjorn Torske - Dub vendor
Observer allstars - Sir Niney's rock
The music doctors - Bush doctor
Jackie Mittoo - Dr Ringding
Studio sound - Give me some more
Pioneers - Papa was a rolling stone
Hypnotic brass ensemble - Sankofa
Excelsiors - Cold as steel inst
Common - The corner
Sola rosa - Right on time
The Clash - Magnificent dance
Stinky Jim - Molotov bellini
Cesaria Evora - Angola - Pepe Braddock get down dub
KSB - Misaluba
Brenton Wood - Some got it, some don't
Ella Fitzgerald - Get ready
Linda Jones - Just can't live my life
The Marketts - Stirrin up some soul
Little Sister - Stanga
6ix - I'm just like you
Ray Baretto - Acid
Pete Rodriguez - I like it like that
Roy Ayers - Everybody loves the sunshine
Aretha Franklin - Get it right
Atkins - Super kisses
Taka Boom - Dance like you do at home
Red Astaire - Mambo el b-boy
MAW - Zoe

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Record fair in Auckland this Saturday, get along!



Record fair happening in Auckland this Saturday, October 25, Freeman's Bay Community Hall  ... amongst the folks selling vinyl include Stinky Jim, Jubt & Kris Holmes (BaseFM's The Boilup Show), and a few other notable DJs. Get along!

press release...

"The next vinyl collectors fair falls on the Saturday of labour weekend in October. If you have friends and relatives visiting from out of town, please, bring them with you! On at Freeman's Bay Community Hall, corner Wellington and Hepburn St, Freemans Bay, 930am to 2pm, entry fee $5.

See the Knosti record cleaning device on continuous demo throughout the day, and ask the many experienced people at the fair your technical questions about turntable setup, cleaning and maintenance.

Music will play from vinyl sources continuously during the day, and as many genres will be covered as we can fit into the time, including Country AND Western

Your hosts are Klaus, Lothar, Peter, and Alex. Want to be a vendor? Got questions that need answers now? Contact Klaus through the website. "

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soulfest: D'Angelo




In May this year, D'Angelo sat down with Nelson George for a rare extensive interview as part of Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York.

It's a fascinating insight into his career - my fave moment is at 34 minutes in, when D'Angelo is talking about how he met Questlove, and Questlove pipes up from the audience, so D'Angelo says, "Y'know Questlove tells this much better than I do" so calls him up onstage, and Quest tells the story. Damn it's funny.

D'Angelo is part for the lineup for Soulfest, currently making its way round Australia, before hitting Auckland this weekend. Don't miss out! D'Angelo is on from 8pm til 9pm, with Maxwell closing the event. Set times below.

SOULFEST featuring Maxwell , D'Angelo, Common, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Angie Stone, Anthony Hamilton, Aaradhna, Che Fu (DJ set), Bella Kalolo and more. Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, Sunday 26th Oct (Labour Weekend). Tickets from www.ticketmaster.co.nz

Soulfest Auckland set times

Monday, October 20, 2014

RIP John Holt



Veteran reggae singer John Holt has died, aged 69, reports the Jamaica Observer.

"Copeland Forbes, Holt’s manager since 2006, confirmed the entertainer’s passing. “John died at 2:40 am English time. His [John’s] nephew informed of his death,” Forbes told OBSERVER ONLINE. The cause of death is yet to be confirmed."

Holt collapsed onstage back in August, after recovering from an operation the month before.





Changing fortunes of Messrs Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne



Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne both blew up in 2010, off the back of great albums (Good Things, and A Strange Arrangement, respectively) for the Stonesthrow label, an indie outfit run out of Los Angeles. Both artists played well received live shows here in NZ following that, cementing their popularity in this neck of the woods. So what happened since then?

In short, both made the jump to the major labels, and Aloe Blacc ended up getting songwriting tips from Dr Dre and a hugely successful single ('The man', as featured in a Beats By Dre TV ad aired during the 2014 Superbowl, with a hook via Elton John).

Mayer dropped two albums that had pretty much zero visibility down here, despite his ongoing popular live shows. Switching from an indie to a major label is not always an easy transition.





When I heard Hawthorne's follow up album "How do you do" in 2011, it sounded like he was mining the exact same styles as his previous album, but without any of the hooks that made those songs stay with you. He was repeating himself. It was an easy option, but didn't make for a great record, or even a memorable one.

Hawthorne's latest album, according to Stonethrow's site "Where Does This Door Go (2013, Universal Republic), features production work from Pharrell Williams, Greg Wells [Adele], Jack Splash, John Hill, and Oak (of Oak & Pop)."

Aloe Blacc took a while longer to follow up his breakthrough album "Good things", dropping "Lift your spirit" in Europe in late 2013, with a major US release happening off the back of the single's success post-Superbowl in March 2014.

The album got released here around the same time, with big promo posters going up around Auckland city, plugging the album and a show at the Auckland Town Hall, on October 21. The current posters for that show now say 'new venue', as the show has downsized to The Powerstation. Same for the Wellington show, now at James Cabaret, Oct 23.

On first listen, while "Lift your spirit' has Blacc's distinctive soul croon, the production is leaden, unimaginative, and lacks all the charm that made 'Good things' such a  great listen. That was thanks to the restrained musical contributions of the Truth and Soul team, who added tasteful flourishes from their horn section, and kept the rhythm section tight.





What else? Pharrell Williams contributed production to both Blacc's and Hawthorne's latest albums. Unlike his first two albums, Hawthorne gives up the producer's seat.

This seems to have been a sharp move on his part, as his A&R/label folk have hooked him up with some sympathetic producers, much like the pairing of Aloe Blacc and Truth & Soul for his Good Things effort. [sidenote: Truth & Soul are currently working on the new Aaradhna album. Can't wait to hear that!]

Where Does This Door Go makes for a satisfying listen. Hawthorne has pushed his blue eyed soul into encompassing styles like Hall & Oates, and Steely Dan, and it works. Would love to see Hawthorne back down here to play these songs live!

Rick Rubin goes way back....



Via Fader; "Rolling Stone enlisted director Josh Swede to shoot a mini-documentary in which Rick Rubin visits 712 Weinstein at New York University, 30 years after the dorm room served as Def Jam's first office.

Rubin, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Adam Horovitz, and more all reflect on how Rick piled drum machines floor to ceiling, shipped white-label vinyl from the dorm's mailroom, and threw parties with the biggest rappers in the country next door to kids studying for finals."

Read Rubin's 2004 FADER profile.