Thursday, May 26, 2005

Extended Play 250505 on George

Blackjoy-La Stache-Art of Disco-2005 Plantlife-We Can Get high-Gut-2004 Carol Williams-Can’t Get Away (Club Dub)-Vanguard-1983 Mellow Man Ace-Mentirosa-Capitol-1990 Art of noise-Beatbox-ZTT-1983 Bassomatic-Fascination Rhythm (Claudio Canigga mix)-Guerilla-1990 Cashflow-Party Freak (Latin Rascals Edit)-Atlanta Artists-1986 Alyson Williams-Sleep talk-Def jam-1989 Joe Smooth-I’ll Be There-DJ International-1988 Powerhouse-Kenny’s Jazz (Dope mix)-Nu Groove-1989 Deee Lite-Build The Bridge (Cross Cultural mix)-Elektra-1990 Sandee-Notice Me (club vox)-Fever-1988 Michael Jackson-Can’t Help It (Tangoterje edit)-Gamm-2005 A.Greenman-Sunday Love of Kind-Soul Jazz-2005 Ballistic Brothers-Tuning Up-Soundboy-1997 Papermusic Issue One-Downtime-Paper-1995 Lindstrom-Paaskeyld-Bear Ent-2005 Alden Tyrell-Disco Lunar Module Remix-Clone-2005 Play Paul-Lalaland-Gigolo-2005 Darkman-Annihilating Rhythm (Destruction mix)-Strictly Rhythm-1992 Echo & The Bunnyman-The Killing Moon (12’ version)-Korova-1983 Adamski-NRG-MCA-1990 Kerri Chandler-Coro (dub)-King Street-1999 Designer Music-Good Girls-Planet E-1994 Roxy Music-Angel Eyes (12” mix)-Polydor-1978

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

This is what the onset of winter does to a soul….

Okay, okay…time to be a miserable old git. After god knows how many decades surrounded by black and silver bits of plastic and having paid for countless record company lunches at Prego out of my purchases, I’m going to indulge in a bit of negative self gratification by naming the artists I unreservedly hate. I’ve paid for the right. Not only financially but by the virtue of having suffered a lot as the likes of Radio bloody Hauraki rotate endlessly much of this guff, or having involuntarily been put in a position where my senses are viciously assaulted by the below acts and records. There are lots of records I don’t like which is neither here nor there. There are lots of records I love too and I get a massive buzz mumbling on about those, as I do. But these are the acts I hate, without rhyme, reason, or logic. I can see nothing that redeems their existence.

Its not all bad..out of some sort of respect for New Zealand Music month, I’ve not mentioned any local acts…..actually I’m lying here..there are no NZ acts that fit the bill. As I mentioned in my last ramble, Wayne Bell and I had tossed around a worst of NZ (which has now been honourably named “Nature’s Worst” by an anonymous commenter below…..a wholly appropriate name as there is a fair crossover between our list and the “Nature’s Best” top 30) but that is song based rather than artist based. Let’s face it, most NZ acts, no matter how lousy they are, don’t get to make enough albums to reach a truly despicable rating, a career F-; although The Narcs came close. And Mi-sex almost qualified but they were more indescribably average than awful, something we in NZ have always celebrated.….These guys just make or made records you simply don’t notice.

This being incredibly negative thing is quite a release actually.

So….to the venom…in no particular order apart from numero uno. I almost can’t bring myself to type……

  • Dire Straits: there, I did it. My god I hate Mark fucking Knoffler and his whinging bunch of low rent money-for-nothings. I’ve never been able to figure out the appeal of these soulless, rhythmless, tuneless, faceless twats. Some acts develop a kitsch appeal from a distance. No such luck here. If the National Party were a band, they’d sound like this.
  • Sting & The Police: Who in god’s name buys this stuff. Actually no one these days. Universal advertised a Sting album on TV for about a year and still didn’t manage to chart it. Not bad in a country where selling 20 copies nationwide in a week gets you in the top 30 for much of the year. An odious little school teacher with no obvious talent or charisma. No wonder his band mates hated him. Mark Knoffler is his mate……
  • Bruce Springsteen: yep, I know he’s an icon and all that and he’s worthy, an artist and the working man’s poet but really, it’s all verbose pretentious crap. The working class man with millions in the bank, a model on each arm and too much to say. He almost redeemed himself when he came out publicly against GWB, but, lets face it, you’d have to have an IQ below that of the average piece of coal to vote for Bush…so, Bruce…sorry, no offence meant, but fuck off…..
  • Bob Dylan: Up to about 73, Bob was cool…he was the man. He looked like nothing on the planet, wore shades better than any man ever has and he wrote sharp songs, funny fuck-you sort of stuff, culminating in the peerless “Blood on the Tracks”. But then it all went to shit. He became the nauseous, eccentric voice of an aging generation with nothing to say. Yep, I know he wins Grammies (nuff said) but seriously Bob…shut up.
  • Fleetwood Mac: the first albums were okay (the Peter Green era), but, honestly, since then its been a black hole. Actually..more like an endless nasal cavity with a missing membrane. The cocaine addled soundtrack to suburban mediocrity. And now they’re hailed as “Balearic”. Makes you a bit ill really…
  • Steely Dan: beautifully played, beautifully produced soulless crap. Miles Davis hated them and that’s good enough for me…
  • Supertramp: largely forgotten now which is some sort of justice, but in my youth you couldn’t escape this nasal fluffy shite. The reason why large slabs of the seventies are best forgotten.
  • U2: I’m eternally grateful for the massive bar tab these buys ran up at Cause Celebre all those years back, and I have a quiet soft spot for the first album “Boy”. But seriously, since then it’s been a spiralling descent into an ever growing void. To be honest, I feel more sorry than anything for this talentless foursome. Well I would if they didn’t have a higher GDP than most African nations. The sad, desperate, re-launch of the band with every album makes me cringe...remember the “Discotheque” thing…oh dear. Bono is a truly embarrassing self important dickhead and the rest are not a lot better. What sort of grown man calls himself “The Edge”.
  • Coldplay: somebody give these guys a spine
  • Bob Marley: now I’m in trouble. Bruce might be an icon but Bob is now celestial, especially in a country where the national day and his birthday are one and the same. Big, big fan of the Wailers and Bob up till about ’75 but the corporate machine after that leaves me cold and does my head in. Good gig though…..
  • Bootlegs / Remixes: the dance variety where some old rock or soul track gets a four on the floor treatment from some hack like Grant Nelson or such and gets picked up as a floor filler by DJ no-hope. See Fleetwood Mac & Dire Straits above. Also Funky House.

And talking of whingeing: over at The Life of Riley, Myk has a fair old go at Auckland on a return visit and gets a bit of flack for it. Fair enough I reckon. How dare you have an opinion on the country that god chose as the anointed one, bro. What the fuck do you mean, heading overseas for a while, trekking around the planet, widening your horizons and then coming back with an informed view? How dare you you like it or not. If not..on yer bike yer pommy wannabe…

To be fair Myk, the drinks are somewhat cheaper than Londontown in my experience..$7.50 is only $1 more than the clubs were charging a decade or so ago, and the ciggies in clubs ban gets my vote. But musically, bang on I la revolution. Fuck knows we need it.

And buy the Fat Freddy’s album Myk…its fairly representative of where independent music is at in NZ right now. It’s not my cuppa…it’s pleasant enough, and its hit a nerve in NZ, but it still sounds to me like a feral (what is it with the feral thing in NZ right now…can musicians no longer afford soap) UB40 infused with a touch of Stevie Wonder, which is better than The Black Seeds, who remind me of UB40 with Nick Kershaw on vocals. But I think its bloody fantastic that it’s number one, with all that implies for independent music and the future of musical expression in this country. You don’t have to like a record to support it..

I don’t think that last line is enough to keep me out of trouble sadly…I guess the dark side may’ve got me

I promise the next post will be really really positive……

so i'd better get to it pronto

The Positive Post


Six months into 2005 and its been a pretty astounding year for music. A pretty astounding year for debut albums too, despite the doom and gloom and depression that allegedly is swamping the music industry. The iPod and all the other players, and the ongoing online revolution, both legal and illegal, has given popular music a thriving new currency. So much music being listened to with so much passion by so many people.

I love the Plantlife album and can’t for the life of me see why it’s not the biggest record on the planet right now. The most exciting pop-hop record since the first De La Soul. Funny, sharp and that rare beast..a record that works from beginning to end…over and over and over again. Right now, its album of the year..this week

The Tussle album is a funky (a much abused term sadly) twisted left field disc that evokes the spirit of ESG and Liquid Liquid (Dennis Young is on the record), and the 12” mixes on one of my favourite labels, Rong, are simply the shizz. Big gnarly basslines and banging grooves that twist your spine.

And why are so many good records coming out of Norway. Todd Terje’s Jacko twist is pretty amazing, especially the middle bit and the way it bumps back in with the vocal at about 8 mins (question: if he’s (MJ, not Todd Terje) guilty..and I have my doubts…can we still play his records?), but it’s the Lindstrom and Prins Thomas stuff which does it. The ghost of a thousand amyl fuelled all nighters thirty years ago, mashed with Teutonic electronica and a lot of warm humour. Check out the amazing journey that is the Plague The Kid EP Pt 2, especially “Paaskeyld”.

The new Kraftwerk double live is one of the best soul records I’ve heard in years, and “Numbers” is still one the most sensual four minutes and 28 seconds ever committed to tape…

The fifth season of the Sopranos is out on DVD this bloody last…I missed the second show in the series and pointedly saw no more in it, preferring to wait for the DVD since I’ve not missed an episode to date and wasn’t about to start. I know all the guff about whether each series is as good and the last and all that, but, really, who gives a monkey’s…it’s the Sopranos…the best TV to come out of the US small screen vacuum since Twin Peaks.

It’s a bit like Star it as good as the last one..isn’t it cool to pretend you don’t care about Lucas….you’re above that thing. Bullshit...every man, woman and child on the planet, from the third world (who already have it on pirate DVD) to the first, is gagging to see Anakin turn to the Dark Side (good on him I say..that Jedi Council would turn anyone….and….when you think about I do, with a bit of help from my Force obsessed ten year old…the ancient prophecy was right...Anakin was the chosen one (of course you care) was Darth who tossed the Emperor over the edge in “Return of..” (does anyone else think the new pope..the Hitler Youth one..looks like the Emperor?)). “Sith”…I loved it. Romeo and Juliet on an X-Wing.

This week there are two NZ pop singles in the Australian top thirty and an album in the top 30..this has never happened before. It really makes Don Brash's mumbling on about hip hop tours look like the silly out of touch ramblings of an old man that they are. I thought Don was supposed to be an economist...I wonder what sort of tax return to NZ this success will bring?

And, after close to a decade, Alan Jansson and Paul Fuemana started work on a new OMC album this week. Any act (and these two were OMC) that sells four million records deserves the right to make a second album. It just took this long to get rid of the baggage……

On a completely different note, but positive in a sad way…wasn’t George Galloway good? The best first line ever in DC:

Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.

He completely nailed his inquisitors, so much so, that they've pulled the testimony off the Congressional website. But you can find it here. It was just bang, bang, bang, one after another and they couldn’t stop on nationwide US TV. Home truth after home truth..the sort of thing that no-one on Capitol Hill has ever had the guts to say. 100,000 plus dead and getting worse by the day. One of history’s great fuckups, and those sitting in judgement are totally complicit.