Sunday, December 31, 2006

yeah yeah yeah

Happy New Year to All

May 2007 rock your world

Saturday, December 30, 2006

We are the meat-packers, we pack meat

I was thinking I should put a end note on my Flying Nun box set saga, so instead of talking shite, here's the winning entry to Public Address's competition for said box set:
Favourite Flying Nun moment:

Sneaking a copy of The Skeptics 'AFFCO' music vid into a conference presentation organised and attended by meat industry bigwigs. A small revenge for making half my whanau redundant in 1986 at Whakatu, and the other half redundant in '94 at Tomoana. It was 1996, so I must've been about 15 I think.
The Skeptics are one of my all time favourite groups, strangely enough of all their songs A.F.F.C.O for which they are perhaps best known is the one I like least - or maybe not to sound anti the track, cause it is wicked good, its the least interesting thing they did.
Skeptics III, is my favourite rainy night drifting off to sleep album - on CD, flick past A.F.F.C.O set the volume of the stereo just a tiny bit quieter than the sound of the rain on the roof and let ya sleepy head do the rest.
My favourite person to discuss the Skeptics with - Alan he doesn't dig them at all.
Some links:
The winners announced at Public Address
The actual Public Address System Thread - awesome reading for them that dig this iconic little labels past!!!!

The story of the video for the song A.F.F.C.O by the Skeptics, contains the video.

Flying Nun's Skeptics page. Not much there, so save yourself the click and hum for 30 seconds instead. Just sing: June, June, June, June, June, June, June, July, August. (another Skeptics reference)
A sheep, from the video.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Mi Revalueshanary Fren

Mi Revalueshanary Fren (Penguin Modern Classics)
By Linton Kwesi Johnson Penguin Books Ltd

by Silja J.A. Talvi

"When I first heard Linton Kwesi Johnson's words, they came flowing through a nearly blown-out sound system in a Los Angeles punk club in the early '80s.

I could barely hear him, but something about the intensity of his delivery--urgent, streetwise and intellectual--over a pulsing reggae beat made me take notice.

Pressed up against the stage, I turned my small, 15- year-old frame around to watch as a handful of older punks begin to chant the lyrics, mimicking Johnson's thick, Jamaican Creole English:

it woz in april nineteen eight wan
doun inna di ghetto af Brixtan
dat di babylan dem cauz such a frickshan dat it bring about a great insohreckshan an it spread all owevah di naeshan it woz truly an histarical occayshan

That song, "Di Great Insohreckshan," tells the story of the Brixton race riots of 1981, when working-class Black and Asian immigrants teamed up with punks living economically and politically marginal lives to fight against the high rates of unemployment and rampant police brutality. Linton Kwesi Johnson's poems describing the riots--and the decades of oppression that led to them--are striking. Johnson (known as LKJ to his fans) has to be spoken to be felt and, for some, just to be understood.

Born in 1952 in the small, poor rural town of Chapelton, Jamaica, in the country's pre-independence days, LKJ moved to England with his mother in 1963, along with many other Caribbeans from the Commonwealth seeking a better life. But at every turn, most of those
Afro- Caribbeans--as well as their children and grandchildren--found that the Britain of opportunity and equality existed only in their dreams. Ghetto housing, poverty, and police and intra-ethnic violence marred and marked their lives. LKJ wrote about these people, eventually, setting many of his poems to a backdrop of reggae music in a form he called "dub poetry," a term he coined. (A later generation of political British singers also known as dub poets has included Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora, and Macka B.)

LKJ had a fire for political and race analysis from an early age. At university, he studied sociology; he later joined the Black Panther Movement--a British organization distinct from the American Black Panther Party--and worked with a number of British black radical political and musical collectives. Believing strongly in the DIY ethic and in the right to control one's own means of production, in 1980, he started his own record label, LKJ.

The musical environment that LKJ grew up in was a mix of the Jamaican musical styles of rocksteady, reggae and dub reggae (a version of reggae with heavy echo, unusual sound effects and typically languid pacing), so he gravitated toward that genre. Unlike many of his musical peers, he eschewed--but never disrespected--the spiritual framework of the Rastafarian religion, giving his songs an appeal to audiences uncomfortable with worshipful shout-outs to the deposed Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie.

In the '80s and '90s, LKJ focused on his UK audiences, occasionally touring the United States with sold-out shows packed with a dynamic mix of Rastas, punks and left-wing activists. LKJ's recorded music has been available to U.S. audience on such gems as Dread Beat An' Blood (Virgin, 1978), Forces of Victory (Mango/Island, 1979), LKJ in Dub (Island, 1981) and Making History (Island, 1983)--as well as a host of records released through his own label, LKJ Records, including Tings an' Times (1991), LKJ Presents (1996), and More Time (1998)--and most recently in the form of the Island Records CD collection, Independent Intavenshan (1998).

For the first time, LKJ's poetry has been published in the United States, in a brilliant collection entitled Mi Revalueshanary Fren. The book was released this year by the New York-based poetry publisher Ausable Press, complete with a companion CD of LKJ reading his own poetry--sans musical accompaniment.

Johnson delivers his poetry in a melancholy, matter-of- fact tone and fills it with chilling, revolutionary imagery. All that's required of unfamiliar tongues is the willingness to linger on the poem long enough to understand.

now tell mi someting
mistah police spokesman
tell mi something
how lang yu really tink wi woulda tek yu batn lick yu jackboot kick yu dutty bag a tricks an yu racist pallyticks you racist pallyticks?

(From "Mekkin Histri")

LKJ's dub poetry is written and spoken in a vernacular that has a history that few understand. In his introduction to Mi Revalueshanary Fren, Russell Banks notes, "Jamaican creole is a language created out of hard necessity by African slaves from 17th century British English and West African, mostly Ashanti, language groups, with a lexical admixture from the Caribe and Arawak natives of the island. It is a powerfully expressive, flexible and ... musical vernacular, sustained and elaborated upon for over four hundred years by the descendants of those slaves."

Take this section of "Inglan is a Bitch," an LKJ ode to the struggles of the Black working class:

well mi dhu day wok an mi dhu nite wok
mi dhu clean wok and mi dhu dutty wok
dem seh dat black man is very lazy
but if yu si how mi wok yu woodah seh mi crazy

LKJ has helped legitimize a language previously dismissed as the "pidgin" English of people too uneducated or lazy (or both) to grasp proper English, introducing it to the world in poetry. In a nod to that accomplishment, in 2002 LKJ's work was included in Penguin Books' Modern Classic series, earning him the distinction of being the first Black poet--and the second living poet--to be included in the anthology.

Still, some have mistaken LKJ's poetic linguistics as that of an uneducated man unable to speak the King's English, something that LKJ pokes fun of in the poem, "If I Woz a Tap-Natch Poet," which he introduces with a quote from the Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century
Poetry: "[D]ub poetry has been described as ...
'overcompensation for deprivation'."

LKJ goes on:

if I woz a tap-natch poet
like Chris Okigbo
Derek Walcot
ar T.S. Eliot
I woodah write a poem
soh dyam deep
dat it bittah-sweet
like a precious
whe mek yu weep
whe mek yu feel incomplete

The bespectacled, bearded and introverted poet doesn't look the part of a seasoned performed. But once on stage, LKJ springs to life, animating his lines with graceful little dance steps. In lieu of the experience of LKJ live, Mi Revalueshanary Fren is a wonderful introduction--or complement, as the case may be--to listening to him drop poetic political science over deep, throbbing bass lines:

for the time is nigh
when passion gather high
when di beat jus lash
when di wall mus smash
an di beat will shif
as di culture altah
when oppression scatah

(from "Bass Culture")

'Nuff said. Check it."

From In These Times

For more on Linton Kwesi Johnson

I defy any kiwi to hear Reggae Fi Peach and not get a huge lump in your throat, live performance of it here

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mickey Mouse is dead

The World Is Worth Fighting For: The Legacy of Joe Strummer

by Alexander Billet

"I'd like to say that people . . . people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. Show me any country . . . and there'll be people in it just trying to take their humanity back into the center of the ring . . . . And follow that for a time. Y'know, think on that. Without people you're nothing." -- Joe Strummer

Is anything left in music that is even vaguely redeeming? In the face of all the soulless pabulum being fed to us in the MTV-strangled airwaves, I often wonder if the industry has won. When rock n' roll is so full of the cynical, the snide, the intentionally ironic, it seems like record companies are signing bands that not only won't say anything but won't feel anything. Not caring is the fad of the day, and righteousness is passé, naïve, and stupid.

Antonino D'Ambrosio agrees. As we sit in a bar on the Lower East Side of New York City, we talk about the sense of collective amnesia from which many bands suffer. As the head of La Lutta New Media Collective, D'Ambrosio is aware that most of today's artists have little bark and even less bite. He is also the editor of Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer, a book devoted to the Clash front man, now in its fifth printing in two years. Almost four years after Strummer's death in December of 2002, it is amazing how few remember the seismic effect the Clash had on music. "Every band out there is a Clash imitator," the author tells me, "but half of them don't know who the Clash were."

Indeed, when the National Review claims "Rock the Casbah" as a top "conservative rock song," something really went wrong. "When the right wing starts moving in on rock n' roll, it's scary," he says. As a son of Italian immigrants growing up in Philadelphia, D'Ambrosio knows what it looks like when the right wing has its grip over a whole city. In the early eighties, around the same time the Philly police were throwing the members of MOVE into jail, he was being introduced to the sounds of the Clash's music, an experience he recalls in his book: "When I heard, really heard the Clash's music for the first time, it came by way of the song 'Clampdown.' I related to it as it seemed written for me. It became more than a song: 'Clampdown' was my own personal anthem. The Clash promised rebellion. And I was certain that they could deliver it and liberate me from a sense of hopelessness and a life of 'wearing blue and brown.'"

D'Ambrosio isn't alone. A common thing to hear from Clash fans is "that band changed my life." And it is easy to see why. "Some might say the Clash was the greatest punk band of all time," he thinks aloud. "If you'd ask me who the greatest punk band of all time was, I'd say Bad Brains. But the Clash was without a doubt the greatest Rebel Rock band of all time." What the Clash was rebelling against was clear, too. In 1970s London, where newspaper headlines screamed of unemployment, race riots, and police brutality, rebellion was the only sane thing to do. When Strummer got together with Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Terry Chimes (later replaced by Topper Headon), they knew which side they wanted to stand on. And it is no exaggeration that their musical rebellion changed rock n' roll forever.

Since Strummer's untimely death, a whole crop of books have sprung up paying homage to the Clash, each claiming to be the definitive story of the band. Some are better than others. But none highlights the importance of Strummer's own politics in his life and work like Let Fury Have the Hour. In a little under 350 pages, D'Ambrosio compiles pieces from iconic music journalists like Lester Bangs and political musicians as diverse as Billy Bragg and Chuck D. He also includes his own words on Strummer, whom he met and talked to, not too long before his death. Each piece is unique, but all of them make it very clear who Strummer was: an artist who looked at the world around him and did what he could to change it for the better. "Joe always said his politics was Marxist," Antonino tells me, "but I always thought it was humanist before anything else." Marxist or not, it is undeniable that Strummer had a deep sense of compassion and solidarity with his fellow human beings that was reflected in his life and music.

Today there are both detractors and so-called "fans" of Strummer who say that political stances can only do disservice to music and that musicians have no role in social change. Whether they like it or not, however, people listen to what artists have to say. Back at the bar, Antonino relates a story to me, obscure but poignant. In the late seventies, when far-right groups were on the rise along with unemployment in the UK, fellow punkers the Jam (known for dressing in mod-style suits) announced they were voting Conservative in the elections. While the Jam's conservative turn would dog the band throughout their career, few know Strummer wrote one of the Clash's greatest songs, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais," as a response to it:

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it's funny
Turning rebellion into money

All over people changing their votes
Along with their overcoats
If Adolf Hitler flew in today
They'd send a limousine anyway

This isn't only one of punk's quintessential anthems, it's a piece of political dialogue, and a brilliant one at that! To the "art for art's sake" crowd, a sin against music itself. But to the kids in 1970s London looking for a way out, it was a crucial warning and a call to arms.

It was moves like this that made the Clash more than mere entertainers -- active participants in the world at large. The band headlined the Rock Against Racism shows in 1978, openly supported political prisoners in Northern Ireland, and spoke out against the crushing of the British miners' strike in the mid-80s. Naturally, any major record exec cringes at the very thought! In the mind of a suit (if there is a mind in a stuffed suit), artists shouldn't think -- they should sing, dance, and rake in the dough. A clearer proof of that can't be found than the band's constant fight with CBS Records that D'Ambrosio chronicled in Fury. The company initially refused to release the Clash's first album in the States (though it would later become the biggest-selling import in US history). When the band insisted on selling double and triple albums for single album prices, the label would force them to cover the difference out of their own pockets. And when they named their fourth record Sandinista! the execs panicked. "The label heads said our music would not sell -- too political," says Joe, "especially in America where the Reagan administration was conspiring to destroy the Sandinistas."

Despite this, the band, and Joe, never backed down. After the Clash's demise halfway through the hellish eighties, Joe reemerged a few years later as a solo artist and sometime actor, appearing in films like Alex Cox's Straight to Hell and Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train. These films reflected Joe's rebel outlook, as did his music. The three albums he released with the Mescaleros, the band he played with until his death, were quintessential Joe Strummer. They are musically eclectic, danceably catchy, and thoroughly human. Now signed to independent label Hellcat, Joe embraced a wide variety of musical styles, from rock to worldbeat, from rocksteady to folk. Songs like "Bhindi Bhagee" promoted ethnic tolerance, "Johnny Appleseed" was a send-up of corporate globalization, and his cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" would prove as relevant sung by Joe as it was by Marley twenty years before.

It was during this last era in Joe's work that D'Ambrosio had the chance to meet him. And the picture he conveys in his book gives the reader a good sense of how Joe evolved in his later years. He was older and wiser, yes. But he never sold out, never compromised, and never stopped believing that the world is worth fighting for. It's this idea that prompted the author to compile Fury after Joe's death.

I talk to Antonino about the video for "Redemption Song" (the only one off Streetcore, released after his death), a sublime piece of NYC filmmaking that documents the painting of a mural dedicated to Joe not long after his death. As it turns out, the mural is close to the bar where we are drinking. While we walked to the mural through the cold winter night, I looked around New York and thought of Joe's own connection with the city. "He's a god here on the Lower East side," I'm told. No surprise.

At 7th and A, the vibrant mural is visible from down the street. It is painted in the Rastafarian colors of red, yellow, and green. At the center of the mural is a spray-painted image of Joe, his leather jacket slung over his shoulder. "THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN" is scrawled next to Joe's head, and "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS," at the bottom of the mural. The higher-ups in the music industry have taken advantage of Joe's death. We can now hear the Clash's songs being used to sell cars and cell phones. It's the sound of their legacy made safe for mindless consumption. The mural, however, reminds us of what Joe really stood for.

When Joe died of heart failure at the age of fifty, he was working on a song dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela. The mainstream music press offered perfunctory "tributes" to Joe, glossing over his passion for social justice. But, for fans whose lives were touched by his music, the sense of loss was greater than any article could express. With the US already rattling sabers to go into Iraq, the void Joe left was deeply felt by many. Four years later, it still is.

Outside the boardrooms of Sony and EMI, there are those of us who look to music to remind us that we're not alone, to help us make sense of a frightening world, and to inspire us to believe that we can change anything if we want to. Joe's music changed our lives, and we have not forgotten the truly incendiary power that music can have.

What is the best way to remember Joe Strummer? To build the kind of world he fought for. And who are the builders of a new world? "You know," Antonino says to me as the night winds down, "if anyone were to ask Joe 'who is the next Clash?' he'd say 'you are.'"

Let's prove Joe right.

I'm no Clash fan, whilst I appreciate their music it was not what moved me as a youngster, though they were a great/huge influence on most of whom did. So while not a fan of the group I understand and acknowldge the huge debt we have to this particular band and their leader.

I miss and lament the lose of much of the political missing in too much of today's music. I wish so many of them that are rebelling and singing about the things the Clash did were not so simplistic and dumb.

I wish there were acts that had the mainstreams ear that talked and sung about the sorry state of our world, with intelligence rather than simplistic slogans.

I often find myself playing my old punk albums, often over a whiskey on evening s where I am bored silly. I am still inspired and energised by so much of what these bands had to say. They can still evoke a deep seated anger within me aimed at the 'world' in which we live.

I still dream and think of change, of a better world for all whom inhabit it. Much of what I post here is testiment to this notion I hold.

I am a punk and punk rock changed my life, my world view and helped shape me as a person as much as almost anything I have experienced since childhood and still guides me in so much of what I do, think and believe.

The spirit punk lives on. It lives and breathes in so many artists and the music they create, even if they themsleves don't always realise it or see it in the same framework as I.

It is fitting that I came across this article so soon after James Brown's death, for he and Joe Strummer were both of a similar mould - both punks and both gave us more than the music for which they are known.
Tis a great time for thinking at this time of year, when the crass commercialism of christmas is still upon us I often find myself playing a old Subhumans song....

"Mickey Mouse Is Dead"

Mickey Mouse is dead
Got kicked in the head
Cause people got too serious
They planned out what they said
They couldn't take the fantasy
They tried to accept reality
Analyzed the laughs
Cause pleasure comes in halves
The purity of comedy
They had to take it seriously
Changed the words around
Tried to make it look profound
The comedian is on stage
Pisstaking for a wage
The critics think he's great
But the laughter turns to hate
Mickey Mouse is on T.V.
And the kids stare at the screen
But the pictures are all black and white
And the words don't mean a thing
Cause Mummy's got no money
And Daddy is in jail
He couldn't afford the license
She couldn't afford the bail
The kids out in the road
Their minds have all gone cold
Cause Mickey Mouse is dead
They shot him through the head
With ignorance and scorn
They believed in something new
They read the papers watched the films
And they thought they new the truth
But reality deceives
Whatever you believe
There's always another idea
And theirs is based on fear
The fear of being sussed
For what you really are
The fear of being laughed at
When you go too far
They call it paranoia
You can laugh it away
Until you come to realize
That everyone's the same
People hide their problems
Under faces of contempt
They hide them 'til it kills them
And no one is exempt
Not even you
Look what you done to Mickey Mouse

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Christmas Activities for the young and mentally infirm

  • James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", was an American entertainer recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century popular music.

  • Word for the day: teh

  • Record For the Day: Pig Out - Club Poems, loving this album at the moment

  • Game of the day: Sim City 4, Rush Hour expansion, why it is always this time of year I reinstall this puppy I have no idea... maybe its the countless hours I like to invest in a railway network. I'd have given up on this game not long after its release if it weren't for the thousands of add ons. I love to build :)

  • Monarach of the day: The Queen. Our monarch represents all I don't. Yet I still dig the weirdness of it all.

  • Picture of the Day:

Of course if this is a bit too heady, switch on the box and watch some shite.... my pick of todays telly fair Gremlins 2 or Coro, ones good the other I can't imagine being anything but rubbish... I wonder which is which (perhaps thats the quiz of the day)

Counts on his hands the days to go before I hit Hahei for New Years... gets to twenty six and feels somehow Bob may not be very clever and also rather disfigured


Friday, December 22, 2006

Tis the season...

...and its getting to me

Tired of slapping on a happy face just cause its expected, yeah call me the xmas grump

Oh well - I'm taking the next few days off blogging so have a good one people

Rock on!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Crassmass!

We are told to learn from our mistakes, its a shame and a crime against humanity that them that lead us refuse such simple advice.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Breath taking stuff.

Full image here and it really is an image that deserves as big a screen as possible:

and yep thats New Zealand below, you can almost see the famers trying to bring the thing down with their shotguns.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fresh Perspectives

I have my Brother staying - he's in town after almost two years in Japan.

Tis interesting to hear and see Auckland and NZ via his eyes - unfortunately much is embarrassing.

Our news or right now the lack thereof... the beauty of all the new buildings in the city (extreme sarcasim here)... his aversion to Adam Sandler

How can anyone not see the genuis of the Sandler

Is it cause most of his movies are crap?

Well we agree on the buildings and the lack of decent news.

I've not much to say this morning really, been a tiring weekend, a fun one and now the week awaits and the child in me is over this year, so is the adult

looks at clock

there will be a lot of that this week

Avert your eyes children

Its that time of year again, yeah I know its an old image... but it still makes me laugh

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tired is as tired does

My head hurts

a recurring Saturday theme

just how does that work?


Friday, December 15, 2006

Rude Not 2

this weeks special guests :


Bob Daktari


Jonathan Marshall


hey thats me..... :)

Sticky Pudding Anyone?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nun, nun, nun, nun

The local music magazine Real Groove's latest issue is entirely devoted to Flying Nun - pulling historic stories from itself and rival publication Rip It Up.

Not a shabby compliment to the Flying Nun Box set of which I have been harping on about.

It was straight to the pool room with both

Also for those who have been checking out Public Address's forums for the Flying Nun stories there are more stories on Public Address (links below) and resulting discussions:

John Campbell on the Flying Nun years

One for Wayne

I remember John Campbell coming into Flying Nun in the Queen Street days, he was like an excited school boy let loose in a lolly shop.... a sometimes typical fan response to the place. Theres nothing cooler than a geeky fan IMO. Hat trying to give him stuff, him trying to pay for it, a very endearing moment.

John Campbell embodies much of the warm fuzzies that labels like Flying Nun engender in oneself. He's a typical kiwi in so many ways.

Man, is it the New Year yet.... I think I've had enough of the 06... for one year.

rock on!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Five for today

Bob in Christmas party = sore head shocker

Five songs to find the energy to get up and face the day with:

The Victor Dimisch Band - Native Waiter
The Greenskeepers - Polo Club
The Reduction Agents - Waiting For Your Love
Martin Buttrich - Lazy Bastard
Fortran 5 - Heavy Clouds Building

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Well theres one for ya 'typical" books

Record company says Wednesday this week

So Tuesday I get me box set

some things never change


When Will the First IED Strike Cleveland?

Boomerang Effect

William Lind December 06, 2006
Last week, one of my students, a Marine captain, asked whether I had heard a news report about an “IED-like device” supposedly found near Cincinnati, and if I thought we would soon start seeing IEDs here in the U.S. I replied that I had not heard the news story, but as to whether we would see IEDs here at home, the answer is yes.

One of the things U.S. troops are learning in Iraq is how people with little training and few resources can fight a state. Most American troops will see this within the framework of counterinsurgency. But a minority will apply their new-found knowledge in a very different way. After they return to the U.S. and leave the military, they will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state. It will not be long before we see police squad cars getting hit with IEDs and other techniques employed by Iraqi insurgents, right here in the streets of American cities.

I know this thought -- not to speak of the reality when it happens -- will be shocking to some readers. To anyone who really understands Fourth Generation war, it should not be. Fourth Generation war does not merely work on the will of a state’s political leaders, as some theorists have said. It does something far more powerful. It pulls an opposing state apart at the moral level.

We saw this phenomenon in the effect the defeat in Afghanistan had on the Soviet Union. Just as that defeat led to the disintegration of the USSR, so defeat in the current Afghan war will bring the disintegration of NATO. We are seeing 4GW pull Israel apart today, to the point where a leaden blanket of Kulturpessimismus now oppresses that country.

We will see the same thing here, powerfully I think, as a result of our defeat in Iraq. It will manifest itself in many ways, and one of those ways will be the progression of inner-city and gang crime into something close to warfare, including war against the state.

Police will not be surprised by this prediction. I have talked with cops about Fourth Generation war, and they “get it” much better than do American soldiers and Marines. Many have told me that they already recognize elements of war in what they are encountering, especially in inner cities. Cops have been killed while just sitting in their cruisers, because they represent the authority of the state. How big a step is it for those cruisers to get hit with IEDs instead of pistol shots?

The Bush administration, as usual, has it exactly backwards. The danger is not that the “terrorists” we are fighting in Iraq will come here if we pull out there. Rather, American involvement in 4GW in Iraq will create “terrorism” here from among the people we have sent to fight the war there. Well educated in the ways of successful insurgency, they will come home embittered by a lost war, by friends dead and crippled for life to no purpose. Thanks to America’s de-industrialization, they will return to no jobs, or lousy “service” jobs at minimum wage. Angry, frustrated and futureless, some of them will find new identities and loyalties in gangs and criminal enterprises, where they can put their new talents to work.

It will, of course, be only a small minority of returning troops who will go this route. But something else they will have learned from the Iraqi insurgents, along with how to make and deploy IEDs, is that it takes very few people to create and sustain an insurgency.

The boomerang effect is a central element of Fourth Generation war. When a state involves itself in 4GW over there, it lays a basis for 4GW at home. That is true even if it wins over there, and all the more true if it loses, as states usually do. The toxic fallout from America’s 4GW defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan will be far greater than most people expect, and it will fall most heavily on America’s police.

article taken from here

Well I guess our cops & robbers shows on the telly will have some extra spice....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today bloody better be the day

Flying Nun Box set come on down

[update 6.11pm]

no Nun Box Set... call to Warners, they are having problems with the shrink wrap

FFS you muppets, who shrink wraps a bloody box set that is only CDs - vinyl I can understand, almost

Now I am used to the Nun not making release deadlines and I remember the newsprint days of Rip It Up when the Chris Knox penned Nun ad's always pre dated the physical release by wekks if not issues of the magazine - no doubt causeing some retailers to learn to hate the Nun.

But this isn't a straggling indie label with no cash, its one of the biggest record companies in the world, whilst I realise they have shite christmas priorities that dwarf that of the Flying Nun birthday release but come on, I want my box set.....

Worse is the birthday being touted by all and sundry with appearances by Roger (Sheppard) on radio, TV etc. to promote the set.... even Real Groove has an issue devoted (? - dunno how much have yet to sight a copy) to the brithday but alas where is the birthday child....

Now 25 years is a significant anniversary date but please a birthday it is not. Or does one have birthday for aborted fetus's? For Flying Nun is no more, its not a record company, it is not an entity in any other form that a logo that gets slapped on the occassional release and/or contract.

Yes there is a lot to celebrate but for a music company wouldn't it be more fitting to sign a new act, promote some new music than rake over the coals of a label that has had more than its fair share of salivating over by the NZ music industry and media in general.

Not discounting the wonderful legacy of the Nun, it is a label that has a stunning past and now a dismal future.... but they were not alone, many other bands, labels and people have also done their bit for NZ music, some were damn fine - when was the last time anyone wrote or mentioned Gisbournes F Star records, or the mulitude of cassette labels (Industrial, EST, Walking Monk et al) that were the pre runners of the digital label - ie cheap, cheerful and very DiY. The Nun is easy fodder for all, cause its there and better yet nowadays its a label run out of an office devoid of freaks, therefore moron friendly.

Blagh /rant

Got my Reduction Agents album and as soon as I stop yelling at the muppets on the news (TV), I shall retire to the deck with it on loud and enjoy a quiet beer whilst soaking up the results of one of the current crop of indie bands and labels.

So its back to waiting.... for Wednesday... sorry to them that pop by regularly, this monkey is firmly attached to me back....

On a similar note, was in Real Groovy today and saw re-released copies of PiL's Metal Box, vinyl to boot, lovely... but not for me today at least

beaut weather but :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

No nerd but plenty of grumpiness

Me internetweb connection is down....

Damn that makes one panic, like the world is passing one by or worse its come to an end.

Hell get a grip man... its a lovely day and you have things to do - better things that sitting behind a monitor indoors.

Hows that Iraqi Study group report then....

How to state the obvious at great expense and protect the interests of ya big business mates huh... oh well privatisaion of Iraq's oil assets was always one of the goals.

Time to stop calling yourself a democracy - where was the anti war voice in that report? Where was the interests of the average Amercian? Where was the interests of the average Iraqi (well them still alive)? Where was the voice of the military?

Whilst the old guard do battle with the new who will consider the American public in all this?

And well done being the only country to vote against the UN proposal to draw up uniform worldwide arms sales regulations.... you could have abstained like the other war profiteers, but nope, the only vote against....

Sahme on you leaders of the USA, shame on you oil wankers, shame on you peddlers of death

shame on you all

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I want, I want, I want.... yawn

My box set didn't arrive yesterday - not surprised but bored by the whole affair now, I had planned a slow day... and that day was designed around two things; the hangover (check), the box set (uncheck).


Still come Monday maybe I'll have it.

To compensate somewhat I've ordered me the Reduction Agents album, I hope I like it, I'm pretty sure I will. The track they are currently over playing on BFM (fucking sort ya shitty playlist out ya bastards.... YOU ARE NOT MOREFM, or dump ya innovator tag), is simply glorious, modern indie pop with a firm nod to the 60's. I expect this album Monday... so at worst I'll have something to devour Monday night.

I should also have got the Vorn album, perhaps my pick of albums from here this year, which I like a dumb thing am still debating buying. Doh!

So with my day not going to my weeks plans what to do.....

To important matters, Bob's been offered a gig.... a paying one at that - shock horror....

And now to decide what to do - go to the beach with good friends for New Year or DJ at a party here in Auckland - its almost a no brainer but I'd be playing after Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes To Hollywood fame - the perversity of such a gig is almost too good to turn down.

I shall beach it however, for even though I already have half my set sorted in my head, its not my night, tis a time for those who've been there for me when needed and a better bunch one couldn't hope for.

So the day is unfolding, the sun is out and I shall break once again my book rule for the year - finish that which one has started before starting another....

Bob's hands find a new unopened book and plunges in, leaving Confessions Of A Crap Artist mocking me and my bad habit....

Did I mention the suns out.... the tree is getting better too.

my head hurts

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Hidden Cameras

A mix of queer politics, explicit sexuality, symphonic indie pop, and theatrical spectacle that borders on the religious, Toronto's the Hidden Cameras are the brainchild of singer/songwriter/guitarist Joel Gibb. The 2001 debut album Ecce Homo — a collection of four-track demos released on Gibb's own Evil Evil imprint — introduced a stripped-down version of the Hidden Cameras' witty, acoustic-based songwriting, which drew comparisons to the Magnetic Fields and Belle & Sebastian. Ecce Homo also caught the ear of Rough Trade, whose signing of Gibb made the Hidden Cameras the first Canadian artist on the label in its 25-year history. Meanwhile, the group's elaborate live performances, which include up to 30 go-go dancers, strippers, and musicians, as well as videos, projected lyrics, and heavy audience participation, won the group a widespread and devoted following in Canada. 2003's Rough Trade debut, The Smell of Our Own, reflected some of the group's more elaborate sound more so than Ecce Homo did and spread the Hidden Cameras' subversively catchy music further afield. In 2004, the band released their long-awaited follow-up, Mississauga Goddam, named for the Toronto suburb of Gibb's youth. Awoo, which presented a slightly tamer version of the Cameras' "gay church folk music," arrived in 2006.

I first discovered the band via their album Smell Of Our Own and instantly fell for their infectious pop, over repeat listens the lyrical content soaked in - my god these guys are sick and twisted I thought, excellent. The track Golden Showers being a radio standard of mine for sometime, a wonderful piece of orchestal pop with lyrics you couldn't repeat in polite company.

They remind me in places of the Tall Dwarfs, jagged but sugar sweet indie pop/rock, one of my fave Sunday feeling rough bands to sooth the soul after a big night out.

I was fortunate to have a Canadian live with me for a large part of this year, as we sent emails back and forth prior to their arrival down under we discussed our common interests, hers lucky for me was music....

Being a proud Toronto girl she mentioned the Hidden Cameras and got a gushy reply from me. Not long after their album Mississauga Goddam turned up in my letterbox and I discovered the song Music Is My Boyfriend, fuck what a song!!!! It had Bob written all over it - I am a sucker for a I love music type track.

In the past ten days I've got my grubby hands on their latest album AWOO, which I've been dragging around with me and playing repeatedly since I got the puppy.

Its simply awesome, a bit rougher than previous album, in the perfect way. Again the pop ethic is to the fore.
I don't know what they have in the water up in Canada but by golly they have some stunning bands right now. A interesting govt funding model too for the industry geeks, of which I am one :)
Its not often a band (non electronic artist) grabs my attention to the point where I make a point fo getting all and everything they have released, except for local kiwi acts (well album wise), these guys are one of the very few.
It might sound sad, but I sometimes get excited about large night out clubbing just cause I know the following day I shall be doing nothing more than couching, smoking and listening to The Hidden Cameras and/or Able Tasmans whilst feeling old and rough as....
Tis the perfect musical marriage, house music in the dank dark confines of a club followed by a day of indie pop, preferably complimented by sun streaming into the lounge.


Me *heart* the Hidden Cameras, to use the language of the young.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

thinking, pondering, remembering

Its been a time for second comings in NZ

First the advent of John Key who is already showing signs of being just another National Politican, he could learn a lot from his deputy Bill English.

Apple's digital music download service launched here yesterday, again for some its like Jesus has graced us with his presence. Well I guess if you were a Mac person, with all the faith and passion they often display it might seem like a second coming - it certainly ain't a first as we've waited a long time for the store to open here, for many reasons the biggest of which being a with holding tax issue between NZ and Australia (where the store is hosted and run).

I've never quite got the whole obsession Mac owners have with their computers, I'm damn fond of my PC I must admit but also see it for what it is, an amazing yet still flawed tool.

Well we now have access to Apples online sotre, yippeee, now all the mac converts can go back to limewire happy in the knowledge that should they chose to buy a track they can. meanwhile them that can't work out p2ps will start using the service, perhaps. Thing is the habits for many ipod users are formed, for years they couldn't 'legally' use their ipod yet managed, quite well it seems judging by the sales figures for that product line.

The media of course are all over itunes, even if they have little idea of what it all means.... my experience with some people who work in this area is they love and sometimes live for free stuff, so the launch of a store surely isn't something they care for?

Ahhh its all been very boring, even if it is, and it is, a small step forward in the digital landscape of NZ.

Whilst staying on a musical note, in keeping with the labels history the Flying Nun Box set has been delayed - twice now, so even now when the label doesn't actually exist in anything other than a brand Warners slaps on certain 'products' they still can't make a release date - I like this even though I am not enjoying the wait.

If you read this in time Public Address are running a competition to win a copy, even if you don't want to enter the Nun stories are wonderful to read, I haven't contributed one and am unsure if I will, even though I have dozens if not hundreds of great Nun moments in my life. Its great to read stoires about an era I lived thorugh and how a silly little record label impacted on so many peoples lives, or the bands that label represented did more to the point.

Reading these stories brings back so many fond memories, most from prior to my working involvement with the label, when i was simply a punter, a fan, obsessed with so much of what the label released, bemused and confused by some others.

I remember road trips to see bands, fighting in stores with friends to get that last vinyl copy of a Clean or Chills 7", the anticipation for the Chills "I Love My Leather Jacket" 12", my obsession with the Headless Chickens and how I managed to see dozens of their shows, 6 times in a month whilst in the UK - I forgave them the inclusion of Fiona (cute, could sing but Chris lost his manic edge and that sucked) even when they had left their most creative and interesting period behind.

The first time I saw the Clean, the mulitple Knox gigs, each and every time I saw Bailter Space and or the 3Ds, my continued love for the pop ethic of the Able Tasmans, the beauty of the Skeptics, the fun pop of the Bats, the way JPSE were different each and every time one saw them, the Chills.... the Chills my most beloved Nun band - a band I went on to do a great injustice to which I will be haunted by til the day I die, ohh so many stories, moments in time and well it was my youth and if not for the Nun I would be a very very different person today I imagine, or at least my life choices would have been vastly different.

Then there are the hundreds of memories from when I worked for the label, my god we had a lot of fun, never will I experience the same weird world that was our Queen Street offices.

I wish more music fans could experience just some of what I have, so much more rewarding than any quarter acre section or talk of mortgages that one comes across far too often at my time of life.

So tomorrow I should have my box set, just in time for the weekend, which thanks to the set will be one stuck at home, listening, remembering flushed with a warm glow of knowing I was a tiny part of this thing.

Shit, I do go on.... I had planned to rant about the new Hidden Camera's album AWOO, oh well there is always tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I've been watching the coverage of the events unfolding in Fiji with a growing lack of understanding.

I realise there is a coup in progress - a rather amusing coup compared to the sort of thing we usually associate with such a political/military event.

Thankfully so, I'd rather people consider the whole affair a little 'mickey mouse' than be witnessing the carnage and casualties of a fullscale military clampdown with the shooting and lose of lives that is more the 'norm' with such things.

Its not quite the event we saw in Thailand earler this year, the Fijians are taking their time, even taking time out from the leadup to hold their annual Police vs Military Rugby match.

I do wish I'd more knowledge on the reasons for the coup - all we are getting is reportage of the actual events in the medai, no back story, no details on why the military are taking over and as such I'm a tad confused and cannot decide if in the longterm for the Fijians this is a good thing or terribly bad.

I must spend sometime huting the net for clues and information, for I won't be finding anything enlightening on the telly news or the herald it seems.... I had to laugh watching one TV3 news reporter interviewing another about events whilst standing on a Suva street last night - for fucks sake you muppets, interview someone, anyone but one of your own staffers....

This is the second times I've witnessed this sort of thing on our news in the past few weeks, the last was when Don Brash resigned, it looked comical then, in Fiji it seems to only justify what must be a rather pleasant assignment prior to Christmas, a holiday in Fiji and ensuing big booze up reporters enjoy when confronted by such a dangerious asignment.

One thing about Fiji, it seems we've now forgotten the unrest in Tonga, a country that so needs to bring about serious changes to become a democracy and the people there deserve as much.

Meanwhile Iraq slides further and further into disarry and I find myself thinking the worst I could ever have envisenged for this country is only being surpassed with each passing day and we've yet to see just how bad things could so easily and it seems are going to be there.

The middle east stands close to a large scale meltdown and confrontation of various factions and one can only point the finger of blame in one direction.... yes Mr Bush thats your cue.

After my weekends event s I think the best way to sort our differences out would be via paintball - lets stop the killing and get creative with paint.

I'm sure the Fijians would be up for it.

As we head towards Christmas and a time we associate with happiness, lets not forget that much of the world can only dream of what we take for granted.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The day after

I'm not sure which hurts more, my wounds or my legs from the fright they took for having to walk fast (run).... its the legs, running is a sickness, just say no kids!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In which Bob learns the lesson of war

What better way to celebrate a friends birthday than indulging in a mock war?
Today I survived paintball, here. It was quite a education, in pain and the things we do for fun.

Those that know me won't be totally surprised to know I was a crap soldier, I 'died' the most in our team, 11 times - unlike the real world of warcraft I got a prize for my lack of skill, I certainly think that is better than a body bag.

I have a golfball growing out of my neck, where one of the many shots I took landed, its quite sore and resembles a hicky - as if I'd had an afternoon of vacum cleaner loving.
I have similar welts on my back, my thighs and my ankle. All turning into rather colourful bruises.

Why anyone would do this sort of activity for fun I have no idea.

Yet for all the pain it was quite a lot of fun, even for a first timer and a crap one at that.

We must have looked quite a site with our visors and distinct lack of camo gear, a bunch of townies in the forest fighting for victory when most of us could only dream of the post battle beer and BBQ.

The map here is the course in which we fought.

I now have a profound new respect for those in the military, its damn hard work running, shooting and hiding (cowering in terror).

I'd happily say I'd be more than happy to repeat my experience, though preferably with less physical reminders.
War does make one thirsty and I drank a lot of beer to dull my pain...... :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The second coming... secrets and I'm confused... its saturday

So we have a new National Party leader...

You'd think the way some are talking that Jesus had risen

Its not disimilar to the talk of the impending launch of iTunes, of which there is much speculation, conjecture and well so much hot air one need not go near a towel.

So is John Key going to rescue the National Party, I think not, but he will revitalise the party somewhat, though any new leader would have the same effect. Me I don't trust him for some reason, I had more faith in Don Brash who really never showed one iota of the intelligence nor skill he must command, his naivity was his downfall.

Key's confidence and followers may be his downfall.

As will be the desire to move the party more to the political centre, no doubt forcing the more hard liners to be attracted to Act and the like and I doubt there are too many Labourites that Key can win over.

If we were still under a first past the post system, National would all but be assured of a victory at the next election, under MMP a system they still show no ability to grasp I think not.

Why the hell I am even typing about this I have no idea, it bores me silly.

As for iTunes, I know when its launching, well not quite for even Apple doesn't know that, I know the date range and its a secret I wish I didn't know for its the lamest secret and reason for being I could think of.

If this is Apples usual business mode then its no wonder Microsoft rules the earth.

If Jesus would rise this christmas I doubt he'd have a ipod, though he certainly wouldn't have a zune, strange how quickly people stopped talking of that puppy, what 30 seconds after the launch and no one cares. Not that this will stop Microsoft they have the fortitude and resources to force it to work, given time they may conquer, if only the ipod falls out of the fashionable stake.

Why the Hell I am even typing about this I have no idea, it bores me silly.

There ya go two things that to varying degrees will impact directly on my world, one more than the other and I'm bored.

Needs more PeadPR

actually no it doesn't

Friday, December 01, 2006

Summer is here


rained like a big rainy thing yesterday

looking good today

might wear a hat


twenty minutes later its pissing down