Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where's Captain Kirk?

Released December 1979

Spizzenergi - Where's Captain Kirk? was named Single Of The Week by the Melody Maker.

Where's Captain Kirk? has been recorded by a number of other artists, most notably R.E.M. Though 'Kirk' just bubbled under the Top 40 at the time of its release, Rough Trade's distribution caught by surprise was unable to keep up with demand, however it remained at No.1 on the Independent chart for over two months in 1980 and remained in the top 50 for the entire year.

A new version of 'Kirk' released on the Hobo Railways label in 1987 and topped of the popular Viz Comic chart. In 1996 Cherry Red Records released a Spizz retrospective CD entitled Spizz Not Dead Shock!, later repackaged with bonus tracks as The Very Best of.. in 2002.

The influence of Spizzenergi is still being felt twenty-five years on. John Peel called 'Where's Captain Kirk?' the best Star Trek song ever in a BBC1 programme on the music of Star Trek. The new wave of 90s guitar groups, such as Space, Oasis, Pulp and Green Day have
acknowledged the influence of the band



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Surfing naked... at my age

Firewall - off
Anti virus software - off
Anti Spyware software - off
Pop up blocker - off

Surfing the internet naked

It's liberating

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Empire will strike back

Slouching towards Petroeurostan
By Pepe Escobar

It was a discreet, almost hush hush affair, but after almost three years of stalling and endless delays, it finally happened. Now more than ever, it may also signal a true geoeconomic earthquake – way beyond a potentially shattering blow to US dollar hegemony.

This Sunday, the Iranian Oil Bourse – the first-ever oil, gas and petrochemical exchange in the Islamic Republic, and the first within OPEC – was launched by Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari, flanked by Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Davoud Danesh Ja’fari, the man who will head the bourse.

The bourse’s official name is Iranian International Petroleum Exchange (IIPE), widely known in Iran and the Persian Gulf as the Kish bourse. Kish island is a free zone (declared by the Shah) in an ideal laissez faire setting: lots of condos and duty-free malls, no Khomeini mega-portraits and hordes of young honeymooners shopping for made-in-Europe home appliances.

There was frantic speculation all over the world that the bourse would start trading in euros. But according to Nozari transactions at this early stage will be in Iran’s currency, the rial. Anyway the Iranian ambassador to Moscow Gholam-Reza Ansari has already advanced that “in the future, we'll be able to use the ruble, Russia’s national currency, in our operations”. He added that “Russia and Iran, two major producers of the world’s energy, should encourage oil and gas transactions in various non-dollar currencies, releasing the world from being a slave of dollar”. Russia’s first deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last week that “the ruble will de facto become one of the regional reserve currencies.”

Slowly but surely

This is just what the Iranians are calling the first phase. Ultimately, the bourse is to directly compete against London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), both owned by US corporations (since 2001 NYMEX is owned by a consortium which includes BP, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley). What Iran plans to do in the long run is quite daring: to directly challenge Anglo-American energy/corporate banking domination of the international oil trade.

There’s a lot hanging on the balance to assure the success of the bourse already in this first phase. Other OPEC members, and especially Iran’s neighbors, the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies, must be supportive, or at least “catch the drift”.

It makes total sense for OPEC member countries to support an alternative to both NYMEX and the IPE, which exercise a de facto, unhealthy monopoly of the oil and gas market, are always very comfortable to exploit volatility for profit, and are always able to wreak havoc against the interests of producer countries. An avalanche of contracts related to Iranian or Saudi oil, for instance, are still indexed to the price of the UK’s North Sea Brent oil, whose production is terminally declining.

In the summer of 2005, at the Petroleum Ministry in central Tehran, this correspondent interviewed Mohammad Javed Asemipour, then the executive in charge of establishing the Kish bourse. Asemipour stressed the road map, which remains unchanged: the bourse would start dealing with petrochemical products, and then with what everybody really craves – light-sulfur Caspian Sea crude. This was not going to be an Iranian-style exchange, but “an international exchange, fully integrated in the world economy”. The ultimate goal is very ambitious: the creation of a new Persian Gulf benchmark oil price.

Today, Minister Nozari admits Iran’s share of global oil trade is still very low. Enter the bourse, which is the solution to eliminate the middlemen. Everyone in the oil business knows that high oil prices are not really due to OPEC – which supplies 40% of the world’s crude - or “al Qaeda threats”. The main profiteers are middlemen – “traders” to put it nicely, “speculators” to put it bluntly.

The Petroleum Ministry’s immediate priorities remain the same: to attract much needed foreign investment in the energy sector in Iran, and to expand its address book of oil buyers. Iran – like so many developing countries – does not want to depend on Western oil trading firms such as Philip Brothers (owned by Citicorp), Cargill or Taurus. Enron – until its debacle – used to be one of the most profitable. Some powerful oil companies – such as Total and Exxon – trade under their own names.

The empire will strike back

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, mega-speculator George Soros was adamant, stressing we are at the end of the dollar era and a “systemic failure” may be upon us.

On February 8 in Dubai OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told the London-based Middle East Economic Digest that OPEC may inevitably switch to the euro within a decade.
 Iran and Venezuela – supported by Ecuador - are actively campaigning inside OPEC for oil to be priced at least in a basket of currencies.
According to OPEC’s current president, Chakib Khelil, OPEC Finance ministers will soon meet to discuss the possibility in depth. According to Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, a committee will “submit to OPEC its recommendation on a basket of currencies that OPEC members will deal with.”

There’s no evidence – yet – that ultra-cautious iron clad US ally Saudi Arabia would incur Washington’s wrath by supporting such a move. As for Iran, it is OPEC's second largest exporter. According to minister Nozari Iran’s oil revenue will reach $63 billion by the end of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20. Crude oil production is at 4,1million barrels a day, the highest level since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran does not trade a single barrel of oil in dollars anymore. Since December 2007 it converted all its oil export payments to other currencies. Iran now sells oil to Japan in yen. That makes sense: Japan is the top importer of Iranian oil, and Iran is Japan’s third-largest supplier. Worryingly for the dollar, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani has already announced that the tiny oil-rich emirate would abandon the dollar for the Qatari riyal before summer. There’s a strong possibility the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may also switch to their own currency.

As the Kish bourse picks up momentum, more and more oil and gas trading will happen in a basket of currencies – and more and more the US dollar will lose its paramount status. Quite a few Middle East analysts expect the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies to end their dollar peg sooner rather than later – some say as early as next summer, as their black gold will increasingly not be traded in dollars. Iranian economist Hamid Varzi stresses that the “psychological effect” of Iran’s move away from the US dollar is “encouraging others to follow suit.

Iranian officials have always maintained Washington has threatened to disrupt the oil bourse – via an online virus, attempting regime change or even the dreaded, unilateral pre-emptive nuclear strike. On the other hand, the possible success of the bourse may be crucial to signal the US’s waning power in a world evolving towards multi-polarity. The Saudis and the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies have already decided to reduce their US dollar holdings. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Washington, sooner or later, having to pay for its oil and gas imports in euros.

No wonder Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is so demonized by Washington as he keeps repeating that the empire of the dollar is falling. But even ultra-cautious Prince Saudi al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, has admitted during the latest OPEC summit in Riyadh that the dollar would collapse if OPEC decided to switch to euros or a basket of currencies. During a crucial closed meeting – with the microphones on, by mistake – Prince Saudi said “My feeling is that the mere mention that OPEC countries are studying the issue of the dollar is itself going to have an impact that endangers the interests of the countries. There will be journalists who will seize on this point and we don't want the dollar to collapse instead of doing something good for OPEC."

The trillion-dollar question is if, and when, most European and Asian oil importers may stampede towards the Iranian oil bourse. OPEC members as well as oil producers from the Caspian may be inevitably seduced by the advantages of selling at Kish – with no dreaded middlemen. If they can buy oil with euros, yen or even yuan, Europeans, Chinese and Japanese won’t need US dollars – and the same applies for their central banks.

It would take only a few major oil exporters to switch from the dollar to the euro - or the yen - to fatally bomb the petrodollar mothership. Venezuela, Norway and Russia are all ready to say goodbye to the petrodollar. France officially supports a stronger role for the euro in international oil trade.

It may be a long way away, but ultimately the emergence of a new oil marker in euros in Kish will lead the way to the petroeuro global oil trade. It makes total sense. The European Union imports much more oil from OPEC than the US, and 45% of Middle East imports also come from the E.U.

The symbolism of the Iranian oil bourse is stark; it shows that the flight from the US dollar is irreversible – and so would, sooner rather than later, the capacity of Washington to launch wars on credit. But at this early stage in the game, only one thing is certain: the Empire will strike back.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Walk A Mile in My Shoes

A glorious remake of Joe Smith's 1970 song by Coldcut featuring the legendary voice of Robert Owens.... if that wasn't enough Henrik Schwarz weighs in with a remix that is amazing... long and simply glorious.

Coldcut: Discogs, Wiki

Henrik Schwarz: Discogs, Myspazz


Coldcut – Walk A Mile in My Shoes (Henrik Schwarz remix)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oil Bourse frenzy

Iran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country's oil ministry said.

A statement posted on the ministry's Web site said 100 tons of polyethylene consignment was traded at the market's opening on the island, which houses the offices of about 100 Iranian and foreign oil companies.

Oil and petrochemical products will be traded in Iranian Rials, as well as all other hard currencies, the statement quoted Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari as saying. About 20 brokers are already active in the market, it said.

"The bourse provides an economic opportunity for Iranians, other countries and foreign customers," Nozari was quoted as saying.

Iran produces more than 20 million tons of petrochemical products per year.

Iran has already registered for another oil bourse, in which it has said it hopes to trade oil in Euros instead of dollars, to reduce any American influence over the Islamic Republic's economy.

A bourse official, Mahdi Karbasian, told the IRNA official news agency that such an oil market would begin operating within the next year.

While most oil markets are traded in U.S. dollars, Iran first floated the idea of trading oil in Euros in the early 2000s during the tenure of reformist president Mohammad Khatami. It gained new life after the nationalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.

As the fourth largest oil producer in the world, Iran has a measure of influence over international oil markets. The country ranks second for output among OPEC Countries, and controls about 5 percent of the global oil supply.

Tehran also partially controls the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil supply must pass.

Iran has sought to wield its oil resources as a bargaining tool in its ongoing standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

The U.N. Security Council is considering imposing a third set of sanctions on Iran for defying a request to halt uranium enrichment. But Tehran has expressed doubt that the world body would impose sanctions on the country's oil sector, because such a move would likely drive global oil prices higher.

The Associated Press
Sunday, February 17, 2008

The question remains - when will the US or Israel attack Iran?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Election Year

Polls... polls... polls
Only one poll counts and its months away

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Like A Child (Carl Craig remix)

Carl Craig may not have won a grammy for his remix of Junior Boys "Like A Child" and to some this seems wrong, considering the winner. But by god Carl is way better than the grammys.

This is one of the great records of the past year, hauntingly brilliant. It's long, seems to do bugger all and is simply the dogs bollocks!

Let's just reinforce what is musically obvious: C2 has spent the past 18 or so months killing young fashionistas and old heads in the name of capital-t Techno, flooding the market with a parade of straight-up classics (remixes of Delia & Gavin's "Relevee", Theo Parrish's "Falling Up", Rhythm & Sound's "Poor People Must Work") and bangers that speak to the newbies' tastes for indie-dance maximalism, while at the same time invoking the canon that Carl is such a firm part of.

His take on the Junior Boys' "Like a Child" is another in that line. Carl's aesthetic formula remains tried and true: the melodies are transmitted on wide, reedy dollops of future-soul/-jazz chords, the rhythmic tides are built on the backs of titanic arpeggio basslines equal parts Giorgio Moroder groove and Detroit tension, while the textural odds and ends embrace dub warmth, industrial cold and the constant pitter-patter of drum-machines running around making everything more grand. Pitchfork

Download (24 meg)
Junior Boys - Like A Child (original)

Carl Craig is simply one of the greatest electronic music producers ever.... FACT

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Drought, hydro lakes, big loot and summer

So before Christmas when Australia was suffering severe water shortages, our media and no doubt many of us couldn't help but feel a tad smug about our water supplies.... now we face our own water shortages, as often happens at this time of year and it is hardly surprising considering the summer we're enjoying - best I've ever had in Auckland, thats for sure.

So currently its all crisi this and crisis that, a tiny power cut here in inner Auckland yesterday morning and possibly more to come - yep the lakes are low... we get it.

Every bloody year

Once again the same organisations and leaders are doing the same thing, similar talkng heads are on the telly talking....

Talk of bailing out the farmers

Talk of this and that

We're good at talking down here it seems

I can't help but wonder if the old inefficient govt organisations such as the Ministry Or Works aren't missed these days - huge employers and back then we had huge public works, we built dams, roads, bridges and a variety of infrastructure projects that we rely on very heavily today.

Maybe having tens of thousands employed by such organisations would be preferrable to having so many answering phones in call centres - are call centres that important?

What are we calling about?

Lack of water and power probably or maybe its just a good way to practice our national hobby of moaning.

In other news great to see the Aussie about to apologise (three times it seems) to their Aboriginal population for some of the horrible treatment they have recieved in the past. As a kiwi I should perhaps say something smug here... but fuck it, bloody good on them, a small but significant step to them dealing with their collective past.

Might get meself a lotto ticket today... won't win but for a small entry price one can dream of a lifestyle that I shall never enjoy for a evening at least.... if I win... I'll splash out on some shorts and maybe a really silly hat I'd never have the guts to wear...

Living on the edge

thats me

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Tagging is endemic in parts of our society, like much of the world.
You'd think that after all these years of tagging the authorities and the various govt agencies commissioned to do something about tagging might come up with a better idea to combat the problem than; harsher sentences, education and increased money to local bodies for cleaning up and for sports (yeah taggers are so in need of organised sports in their lives)....

I'm no rocket scientist but if its not working now, why would a continuation the same tactic work in the future?

I'm not a fan of basic tagging, it is unattractive but it is not the end of the world and we must stop thinking of it as the boogyman that threatens the very fabric of our existence.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The weekend starts here

Things to do, or at least consider:

1. Bn1 at Supper tonight

2. Summer Series on Sunday

3. Eat, sleep, drink... read

4. Spontanious combustion

5. Hockey

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We Don' Know How Lucky We Are

Fred Dagg is a fictional archetype satirist from New Zealand created and acted on stage, film and television by satirist John Clarke. Clarke graced New Zealand TV screens as Dagg during the mid to late 1970s, "taking the piss" out of the post-pioneering Kiwi bloke and ‘blokesses’. From Wiki

We Don't Know How Lucky We Are... we didn't then and we still don't.

Download Link

Purchase CD

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Photo from a bloody past

Got this photo from the paintball people yesterday... we played in Nov.

Angry things take time

Monday, February 04, 2008

In their world, music is generic

Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, started targeting schools and students across America as a major element in their move to force ‘consumers’ to buy what they’re told to buy —- corporate ‘content,’ as the Big 4 call their formulaic outpourings.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, the root problem is not the artists, the fans or even new Internet technology,” wrote The Eagles’ Don Henley in a Washington Post OpEd not last week, but four years ago this month. The problem, he said, is the music industry itself. “It’s systemic,” he stated, going on....

The RIAA School Report