Friday, March 25, 2005

Let's televise the revolution........

Carl Craig is pretty damn cool.. actually I think he’s a bloody genius, but lets not get too flowery or ahead of ourselves here, and…..on Saturday night, in the upstairs bar at the Studio, in front of about 150 people he was very very cool. The whole event was..just about- I was, as always disappointed by the ever disappointing Auckland crowds. There were / are a whole bunch of excuses you could roll out…badly promoted (ssssssshocking flyers), too pricey (it was, but $45 is less than many a meal out and I’ve would’ve been happy to pay if I’d had to…whoops (although to be fair to myself it was in return for a fairly large number of plugs over several weeks)…but we did turn up cash in hand for Brigid and they wouldn’t take it…I get offered a lot of freebies but I don’t ever really like asking) blah blah blah but for gods sake, this was Carl Craig. You know….Carl Craig….and I was surprised to see how many self confessed buffs didn’t make the effort. Maybe if they’d promoted it just a little more, or even just a little bit…using the obvious hook, the “Good Life” remix (he finished with a mix of that I’ve not heard…kind of a vocal dub), that would’ve convinced the masses a little more. Sometimes Auckland is a very funny backwards little pond..actually to be honest, quite often, and it does my head in. But to that later….

And the Studio has a way to go as a venue too…what’s up with closing the bar at 4am when the lead act has over an hour to go…AND…then refusing to serve even water to customers. Maybe some one should reacquaint them with the host responsibility part of the licensing act…and the fact that in a previous life the venue was where NZ’s first E related death happened. Talking of which…what ever happened to that nasty bit of NZ Herald scaremongering… I assume people still take the stuff and global civilization remains somewhat, despite the best efforts of GWB, intact.

On the upside, how often do you get top see someone of Carl’s reputation and pure genius in a living room type situation…right in front of your face. In Europe you’d have 2000 smelly bodies in front of you.

And this no smoking in clubs is fucking wonderful………wonderful...let me say it again...wonderful. Any thought that it might’ve killed the more hedonistic pursuits is just nonsense…they should’ve done it years ago.

Brigid was of two minds about CC. The name bought to mind those noisy things I play far too loud (for her at least, not me..or the cat who likes nothing more than to wander around grinning whilst “Jam the Box” shakes windows) on the decks in the living room...and yep, there is that..but, after much persuasion, I couldn’t actually extract her from the dancefloor (just to the left of the turntables…right in front of Carl….but she swears she didn’t fancy him….honestly).

So we did the Carl Craig thing, as messy as we might have been arriving from Anthony & Toni Gold’s wedding, where there was no food but six hours of solid drinking (and where Toni announced how proud she was to be taking Anthony’s name….but Gold isn’ t his real name is it???....who cares- it was a wonderful wedding, and they're wonderful people- despite someone throwing a beer bottle down eleven stories to Queen Street which unfortunately swiftly resulted in the policeman it almost hit climbing eleven floors to do something about it and leaving in horrified despair…)

I did a set at Grant Kearney’s Legend’s night at Morrison (terrible name for a party Gee..but a bit of fun) somewhere in the midst of all that, but I chickened. I was on early, by choice, so I could see Carl, so I backed down on my plan to spin a mash of punk and early rave and did a bit of an early house thing. I realised that after twenty years I’m finally over a lot of that stuff….for a week of two at least. I guess I’m in a new music mood this week, and the two dark and dubby singles on Soul Jazz, the amazing A.Greenman thingy, and the Rekid ep, plus the gorgeous Kerri Chandler “Demo by 6.23” are spinning my world right now. And all the new DFA bits. I also finally managed to track down the Mo Wax Liquid Liquid comp but that’s on hold for Monday onwards. The other thing I’m hanging out for is the Lou Rawls David Axelrod sessions I’ve got coming complete with a replacement copy of my long lost and lamented Allen Toussaint produced Mighty Diamonds’ “Ice on Fire”…JA meets the Cresent City and produces a lost underrated classic complete with “Country Living”

The poor old NZ Herald missed Carl Craig completely as part of their relentless campaign, in partnership with TVNZ, to mediocritize NZ..I mean, he’s only the most important electronic musician on the planet right now, so why bother…sad really

And that’s what scares the living daylights out of me in New Zealand right now…the willingness and desire to celebrate mediocrity in this country, and to place averageness on pedastal. We always have to a degree but a visit to Sydney or Melbourne or Singapore vividly illustrates it. There, you can feel it in the air and the buzz of the new, of innovation, of radical thought, is everywhere. You seen Rip It Up recently?........We used to have an undercurrent….we still do but the media furiously stomps down anything which threatens to push the envelope. Lets put naked Joe Cotton stories on our mag covers for gods sake. TVNZ is a prime culprit and the appalling Close Up program really nails it. Faceless, listless and pointless as is 98% of what’s on the state broadcaster. . I used to have such a high opinion of Bill Raltson..he rocked the boat, he upset people, he got banned from old Potato head’s (does anyone actually remember who National had as PM in the 90s..what a couple of faceless no hopers they really were) press conferences. He was smart and pushed the envelope. But they got him in the end and now he’s part and parcel, if not a key element of the great blanding down machine that is most commercial TV and radio in NZ in 2005.

Joe Cotton as a celebrity....reality shows on TV One...the failure to provide any news analysis or perspective whatsoever..and lets not even start on Breakfast (who's cousin is that James McConie and how on earth did he ever get on TV)...destroy the death star..sell the fucker off I say..its serves no real purpose anymore.....


Barry said...

To be fair - the magazine that promoted Joe Cotton is such a load of tripe anyway that they didn't exactly let any standards slip in doing this. In fact, for that particular mag, it probably was a bit brave - would have been a lot braver if it had been the old pre-slim Joe.

Trakman said...

"AND…then refusing to serve even water to customers"

I walked up to the bar after 4am and asked for a glass of water. A staff member gave me a really rude look and ignored me. 45 seconds later she slammed down a glass that must have come straight out of the dishwasher (it was THAT hot).
As I stood there wondering what I might have done wrong I witnessed what was the fastest, most frantic bar clean up/closure by the 2 Studio staff members. I guess they were only paid till 4am...they definitely wanted to get the hell out of there. Regardless, it was absolutely shocking. That's the problem with Auckland bar staff, nobody gives a fuck about their jobs, they just don't want to be there, they cringe when a customer comes up to buy a drink of them. I think the Crow Bar staff are about the only exception when it comes to professional bar skills. Simon, whatever happened to The Hat?

Simon said...

Kevin The Hat...last seen running a bar in the Hauraki gulf on a cruise boat

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