Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Other, man-made Tsunami

The west's crusaders, the United States and Britain, are giving less to help the tsunami victims than the cost of a Stealth bomber or a week's bloody occupation of Iraq. The bill for George Bush's coming inauguration party would rebuild much of the coastline of Sri Lanka. Bush and Blair increased their first driblets of "aid" only when it became clear that people all over the world were spontaneously giving millions and a public relations problem beckoned. The Blair government's current "generous" contribution is one sixteenth of the ?800m it spent bombing Iraq before the invasion and barely one twentieth of a billion pound gift, known as a "soft loan", to the Indonesian military so that it could acquire Hawk fighter-bombers.
This and a whole lot more here from John Pilger

A Hunting we will go...... I think there is something odd in my need to buy copies of records that I already own when I see them second hand. I did it again last week, I saw a copy of the Unit 46's "Swing It" and Sound Of One's "As I Am" in the Real Groovy one dollar bin, and thought "killer singles, wicked, only a buck", then I did it half an hour later with The House Sound of Chicago, Vol 2 (of which, more later) for a fiver, which is slightly more justifiable as, although I own every track on it on 12", I've never had this that's alright then, isn't it.

There is also a thought that at my grand old age I should be sitting at the bach with my feet up over summer, rather than scouring dirty old record shops looking for that lost not-so-classic tune that I don't need..As Brigid says though, if you are going to have an obsessive habit, being swamped with vinyl isn't a bad one (and it only applies to vinyl...I mean, CDs, unless otherwise avoidable are for burning stuff for the car, and record company promos...nasty little things that I rarely use at home). Of course the gold is always in the cheapie bins too. Always.... So trad Chicago House circa 84-89..this weeks obsession (along with the Beach Boys, but that's more a case of trying to get the sun to come out and wondering if I could get away with playing "Breakaway" on George this week)....actually that's not really true, its never really gone away (and it makes a change from the early Carl Craig, then the German techno obsessions of recent weeks which were fast turning me into a social outcast). I remember handing Roger Perry a copy of "Love Can't Turn Around" at the Asylum and asking him to play it. The response was electric and immediate. Roger disliked it (he really didn't get house until quite a few years later, but if anyone had the nouse and the skills to mix house back then it was RP), the hairdressers screamed "this is amazing", and the South Auckland posse asked "what is this shit". As far as I know it was the first time a house record had been played in a club in NZ and the long standing house-hip hop / soul divide that continues to plague AK started at that moment. But twenty years on, Fingers, Adonis, Silk, Bam Bam, Tyree (Cooper, the producer, awesome, supa dupa trooper....sorry couldn't help it), Marshall, Farley, Knuckles etc still sound as raw, sexy and as vital as they did when they tried to fuel the black gay clubs of Illinois with machine created disco way back when. It was, along with the Detroit & NYC take on the same thing, the bridge between then and now, probably the last major revolution in pop (everything since has been either technological or (grunge) America catching up to what happened to the rest of the world a decade earlier) and those crucial moments in popular musical history, be they the beginnings of hip-hop, early punk, classic ska or Sun country / r'n'b fusions, will always sound completely timeless to me. Essentially every major theme in house or techno that exists today was developed by about 12 people over a five year period in Chicago, New York or Detroit. The odd thing is watching it (the house that is) all come back around again (which makes me more comfortable thrashing it as if I really cared), the sounds, the tension and the minimal dirty groove is evident in so many records right now...but..getting misty eyed now, can anything come close to that first time you heard those Salsoul pinched opening notes to "Jack Your Body"

Friday, January 07, 2005

Sun please....

what happened to our bloody summer?..from my balcony there is usually a clear and direct view of Auckland's Skytower....last night this was the best I could do through the fog and rain....I can't deal with this anymore, and not being of a religious bent, I can't find anyone to blame....

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A Blogging we will go..... since I taught myself to type in the last few weeks (and stopped biting my fingernails-both things I've meant to do for decades and both things I'm boastfully proud of), sitting at a keyboard has become almost obsessive (the two books I've been writing for years are actually taking shape at last) and blogging, both the creating of, and the reading of are, fuck it.....trying to think of a clever word or phrase and I can't...lets, say, time consuming and fun (almost as much as my ten year old, Isabella's fixation with The Beatles-she sent Paul McCartney an email today-and Greek philosophers-true!) blog for me right now (now that's almost a song..well, maybe not), apart from the likes of Dubber (whose show on George, where he plays fucked up Coltrane and the like to confused rising clubbers on a Sunday afternoon, is bloody essential) and Mr Mclennan, who finds the stuff that the rest of us need to know but just don't, is The Smacked Face, an expat Kiwi blog out of London which has reminded me of something I'd forgotten...just how much I loved London for those three short years I lived there. I've been back many times, twice with a pop star, Paul Fuemana, as his record label, which was and cold running limos and Top of The Pops, but often couldn't get out fast enough,usually to NYC. What SF has allowed me to revisit is the joy of adventure and the sensory overload of Londontown when you live in the dirty rundown dump, the sense that you are surrounded by so much that has happened over time immemorial and is happening right now. The excitement that the Face and ID used to illustrate so well in their day and is captured by the superb, unequalled journalism of the British press on a day to day level. I used to walk the length of the Thames from Tower Bridge to Hammersmith regularly, just to revell in it, or take a map to a tube location I'd not been to, get thoroughly lost and try to find my way out... Check out the iPod piece or the killer NYE in Glasgow thingy... Fucking superb.......someone give this girl a job......

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Extended Play 050105 on George FM

MFSB-Mysteries of Love-Philadelphia international-1980 Mass Production-Cosmic Lust-Cotillion-1977 Average White Band & Be E King-What is Soul-Atlantic -1972 Coldcut -Beats & Pieces (mo beats mix)-Ahead of our time-1987 LL Cool J-I Need A Beat-Def Jam-1985 Rene & Angela-I’ll Be Good-Club-1985 Cameo-Candy(Extended mix)-Atlanta Artists-1985 Scritti Politti-The Sweetest Girl-Rough Trade-1981 Lillo Thomas-Settle Down-Capitol-1984 Gruzone-Film 2-Slam Jam-2004 Grace Jones-Pull Up to the Bumper (Larry Levan mix)-Island-1982 Loose Ends-Hanging On a String (Frankie Knuckles Reprise)-Ten-1990 A Guy Called Gerald-Voodoo Ray (Frankie Knuckles Paradise Ballroom Mix)-Warlock-1988 Fingers Inc-Mysteries of Love (dub)-DJ International-1985 Leon Watts Project-Swing It (harmonica cowboy mix)-USA-1992 Closer Music-1 2 3 No Gravity (Ewan Pearson 2004 mix)-Out of The Loop-2004 Adonis -Rocking Down The House-Trax-1987 Incogdo-Symply just a ventege (Derrick May & Carl Craig mix) -Spiritual-1996 Blake Baxter & Abe Duque-What Happened (deep house mix)-Duque-2004 Herb Martin-Soul Drums-Ibadan-2004 LCD Soundsystem-Daft Punk is playing at my House-DFA-2005 Lopazz-Blood (Tiefschwarz)-Output-2004 Starship 727-All Depends on You-Pigna -2004 Bunny Sigler-By the Way You Dance-Salsoul-1979 Sound of One -As I Am (Farley & Heller Fire Island mix)-One-1993 Gemini-If You Got to Believe-Cajual-1995 Absolute feat Suzanne Palmer-There Will Come A day (Black lozenge mix)-Tribal-1995 Patti Labelle-More Than Materiel (Shelter vox)-Restricted Access-2004 Disco Elements-Feel the Flame-Azuli-1992 Altered Images-Don’t Talk to me about love-Epic-1981

Clowntime is Over I wonder how much time and money it's taken for these clowns to parade around south asia spouting stuff about

The opportunity for Muslims to see "American values in action" is a welcome byproduct, he said. "The United States is responding the way it is because this is a human catastrophe," the secretary said at a news conference after his arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia Tuesday. "but I think it does give the Muslim world -- and the rest of the world -- an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action, where we care about the dignity of every individual and the worth of every individual.
whilst the rest of the world seems willing to help unconditionally, to the US administration it's become a political opportunity, and little else. Was there any real need for bro Jeb and poor old Colin (who's become little more than a comi-tragic figure since he was caught lying to the UN in February, 2003) to fly in to grandstand over the suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands. Slow to react, until it seemed he had to to save face, that Bush et al have seen the bright side of this is somehow predicable, and, if it wasn't for the horror of it all, there would be some sort of bizarre comedy in their behaviour. but there isn't..... what the US miliary is doing in Aceh is amazing and the generosity of it's citizens, wonderful, but the attempts by the US government to put a tag on it's aid is shameful. Then again what else would you expect.

Monday, January 03, 2005

When do the helicopters leave the roof? Vanity Fair's James Wolcott posted this rather depressing piece about a recent story in The Economist on his blog...

"[W]hen America's well-drilled and well-fed fighters attempt subtler tasks than killing people, problems arise." Their contempt for Iraqis is undisguised and dramatically expressed: a soldier, confronted by "jeering schoolchildren," fires canisters of buckshot from his grenade-launcher at them, and marines busting down doors in Ramadi scream at trembling middle-aged women: "Bitch, where's the guns?"

There's a Peter Cook-Dudley Moore routine, one of their woolgathering dialogues, where Dud asks Pete, "So would you say you've learned from your mistakes?" and Pete replies: "Oh yes, I'm certain I could repeat them exactly."

That seems to have been the Bush administration's approach to Iraq. Take the mistakes of Vietnam and repeat them exactly.

And at that you can't say they haven't succeeded.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Onward Christian Soldiers Whoaaa, this is very scary stuff......

he's still with us...Lovina, Bali, July 2004 (taken by me)

I guess I'm a bit remiss in not plugging the recent compilation I did for NZ Fashion Week 2004, Off The Cuff. The brief was fairly simple- to create an album of NZ music that fitted with the style of fashion week, and I was only limited by the necessity of having to include a few tracks owned by Antenna (who put out the resulting album)...but that was not a problem as I would've included a couple of those anyone. The idea was to try to create a flow, starting with the Nathan Haines & Joost Laneveld track "Avenue Dreams", recorded on a cassette in New York City in the mid nineties but overdubbed at Uptown by Alan Jansson, and only released briefly in NZ on a bonus disc; finishing with the extremely edgy but magnificent "Let it Go" from Concord Dawn, NZ's biggest selling electronic artist. In between you get exclusive tracks and remixes from the likes of Rob Salmon, Tomorrowpeople and Greg Churchill amongst others. I also threw in a few tracks I like which need more attention from the likes of Soane & Dub Asylum.

I was also keen to illustrate the music coming out of New Zealand that really is going around the world, and largely ignored by the mainstream media and the sad excuse for an electronica award that the Tuis present (I mean....Salmonella Dub? Best Dance album?...sorry but unwashed UB40 is not even eligible). There you go....shameless plug over