Friday, September 21, 2007

its Sunday at the laundry / and you're looking out the window

Peter McLennan has a bit of a stab at the worst NZ album covers of the past year. My favorite is the Young Sid comment:

"Young Sid forlornly stares out from behind a chain-link fence, like it's 1988. See, he is from the streets. He is from South Auckland, where you gots to be packin'. In fact, he is so dangerous that the chain-link fence from which he looks *might* be jail. Or he might just be in a local school playground."

I'd not seen that one, but it truly is a shocker anyway you look at it. Most of the time, when New Zealand tries to be urban American it just makes me grimace, and this is just another bloody example of the same, slightly embarrassing cartoon street that inhabits the world of the likes of Savage (who of course the Australians quite liked...but if you've heard the Hilltop Hoods then its fairly clear that Australians don't, and never have, got hip-hop beyond the most grimace inducing level.

 Talking of shocking artwork...I've had a few moments over the years when I've been less than satisfied with, uhhh, the cover (and some which I'm rather proud of). But it's funny how time smoothes things. I had an email from some guy in the UK going ainsworthsspare (in a positive way) over my terrible (yes I did it) Doobie Do Disc album cover from 1982. Apparently it was a positive affirmation of the rawness found on the record....uh, no, it was a rather quickly knocked out thing, using the first image I could find, which happened to be a drawing a photographer called Mike had done in the far corner of our office, and the rawness...well despite our best efforts that may have been something to do with they way they were recorded.

But, to the point, what I have done is upgraded my old label pages (Propeller..hence the photo of The Ainsworths who appeared on Class of 81) into an overview, a 7" page, a 12" page and an album page. But, being several thousand kilometres away from my storage space, I'm missing a few sleeves on the album and 12" pages, so if anyone ancient out there, reading this (Chad?) happens to have a copy of any of the missing sleeves, well I'd be keen on a scan.....simon.grigg at gmail dot com dos the trick. You'll get a nice credit....



Robyn said...

Well, I've come across a few Australian hip hop groups that are rather good. My favourite is Curse Ov Dialect. They have a very Australian, very cosmopolitan vibe, which you can't really say about many hip hop groups. As well as rapping in their everyday Aussie accents, they also play around with accents - kind of rising above the fake American accent trait that pervades non-American hip hop. Choice.

Simon said...

Yeah, perhaps I was over-stating, Robyn. To be fair though, Australia has traditionally been something of a backwater for all rhythm based musical styles, aside from Rock'n'Roll, and there isn't a hip-hop or soul history to draw from in the way NZ is able to.

But I do, very much, like the way they use their own voices more and more in Australia and don't, like so much NZ "hip-hop", feel the need to weakly ape US ghetto-ism.

The rise of an alternative NZ post-hip hop scene where the same is the case is a reason to smile.

The again...I'm biased.