Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Pat On The Back Time

As NZ Music Month comes to an end I heave a (slight) sigh of relief. Presenting the "Live On The Beach" series has its challenges, not least overcoming the technical issues that arise when you're trying to broadcast live music from a studio that could be charitably described as rustic and no-frills. And then there are the musicians. Actually this years line-up gave me no problems at all, but in the past it has been a little like herding cats.

What makes it all worthwhile are the performances, and this year for the first time (causing even more headaches and anxiety) these are posted on the internet for you to download or listen to again. There's a podcast list in the sidebar to the right.

I want to thank all of the musicians - Chris Orange; Ian Simpson; Mamacan; and Rattleshack. Also, thanks to the Gulf news for the great ad, Dave T, Chris, Ian & Andy for the use of gear and the family for putting up with me spending so much time on this.

Series 5 of "Live On The Beach" concluded with Harry Nicklin and Andy Lewis, who together are Rattleshack. Take a listen to their performance here.

And now, as promised in an earlier post, I have a historical "Live On The Beach" post for you. This one's for the obscurists amongst you and has a little back story.

Fatal Jelly Space were a great Auckland band who released one great EP, titled Hole, on Flying Nun in 1990. They were a staunchly feminist outfit and a ferocious (if not somewhat scary) phenomenon live striking fear into the hearts of many.

In the early years of the twenty first century Bob Dylan played the god-awful North Shore Events Centre in Takapuna, Auckland. Ordinarily that wouldn't have grabbed me, but supporting him was none other than Patti Smith. As soon as I heard that I was there. She was better than I can describe here and I went away very happy but that's another story.

Anyway, on the way back into town to catch the last ferry to Waiheke we saw someone hitching we recognised as coming from the island. We picked her up and got chatting and it turned out this fellow Patti Smith fan was Frankie Bodi of Fatal Jelly Space.

In 2003 I was putting together the first series of NZ Music Month live-to-air performances on The Beach and I was trying to put together a line-up. I remembered that late night hitch-hiking encounter and approached Frankie about performing. She agreed, playing a short solo set of originals. To my ears the highlight was one of the tracks from that Hole EP, Miseriah.

Take a listen, Frankie Fatal, Live On The Beach 99.4fm, May 2003

Look out for more "back catalogue" posts in coming weeks. For now, however, I'm looking forward to going in on a Sunday night and just playing CDs

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Live From Our Oneroa Studio

The Beach's NZ Music Month Special continues to roll throughout May. Waiheke musicians playing live in our studio every Sunday at 6pm. Coming up this week is Rattleshack featuring Harry Nicklin and Andy Lewis. I saw these guys play at the library a couple of weeks ago and they sounded great. Harry is a great word smith and his voice and guitar interplay nicely with Andy's mandolin. I'm really looking forward to their performance.

In the meantime here are links to two more of our Live On The Beach performances.

Ian Simpson played a solo set on May 13 while Mamacan played May 20. Mamacan are a four piece featuring Lou Rix (vocals), Ange Munns (guitar, vocal), Liz Ross and Andrea McIntyre (both percussion). Being a four piece meant a real headache for me trying to set up and monitor all those inputs and get it to air. It was a great performance and I hope that the recording does it justice. I need a producer! Any way, both sets are well worth checking out if you didn't catch them live. You can either download or stream from the Internet Archive site.

Also keep an eye out for some historical Live On The Beach posts coming soon. I've got recordings going back over the entire five years the series has run and if I can track down the musicians I'll put up some of the stuff from the first series. Incidentally, when Harry plays next week it will be his second Live On The Beach appearance, he played a Benevolent Evelyns set way back on series one.

Chris - Counting The Beat, Sundays 6pm

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

DJ Simon - The Remix - May 2007

Has been a while since I blogged to the (Beach Radio) station site but I'm back with a vengence!! :-) A cracking show this week with some brand spanking new tracks and a couple of old classics to boot!! Great to hear the LCD soundsystems' 'Losing my Edge' again, that song kicked off a whole new listening genre for me personally back in 2002 and as their recent release 'Sound of Silver' proves it was definately the right track to be on!! :-)

Two new tracks from two new acts 'Dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip' and 'Battles' stood out for me this week!! Both have been creating a buzz on the internet of late and you can see why!!

Check out Dan le sac vs Scroobius pip - Thou shalt always Kill!

Good to see the Chemical Brothers back on form with their latest single 'Do it again' aswell as a welcome return from Groove Armada, but my track of the week has to go to the brilliant Mock n Toof remix of the Scissor sisters - My man

Hour 1 part 1 - 25:15

LCD Soundsystem - Losing my edge
Dan le sac vs scroobius pip - Thou shalt always kill
Battles - Atlas

Hour 1 part 3 - 20:18

Lily Allen - Alfie (CSS Remix)
Prince - Kiss (Daft Punk Mix)
Chemical brothers-do it again extended mix
Switch - A Bit Patchy (Original Mix)

Hour 2 part 1 - :20:27
Groove Armada - Get Down (album version)
Amy Winehouse - Rehab (Hot Chip remix)
Hot Chip - My piano
Teddybears - punkrocker

Hour 2 part 3 - 25:15
2000 and one - Pak pak
Scissor sisters - My man (Mock n Toof remix)
Dusty kid - I love richie
Mr Ozio - Patrick122 (Extended saxophone break)

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Bix Box Of Cassettes For You To Listen To

The thing with radio is that it's so of the moment; comments, discussion, music, thoughts, are here and then, quick as a wink, they're gone. (Country Mike has a great post you should check out on this below). That's fine when it's a straight music show but here on The Beach it's a little different; it's all about community man! As I'm fond of saying "The Beach isn't just radio on Waiheke, it's Waiheke radio".

On The Beach the interviews, the performances, and even the DJ banter are telling the stories of our little island. And if you gather these stories what you've got is a slice of social history. But, like I said, on radio once the words are uttered they're gone. Sure you can record them - I've got boxes of cassettes downstairs with documentaries, live performances and special feature shows I've recorded from radio over the years but if YOU want to hear them, you've got to come to my house.
What we need is a repository where we can store recordings in a way that is readily accessible to the general public. What's that I hear you say? The internet? Now there's an idea.

Podcasts have been around for a while, and are becoming part of everyday life for many - in fact there are a couple on the sidebar that have been there for a while so you can sample what The Beach is all about. But we've been thinking that we might try something a little different. What if we could start to build a record of the social history of Waiheke as reported, discussed and broadcast on The Beach. And what if in ten years, or twenty years, or even fifty you could access it to gain an understanding of island life as it is now.

Country Mike has another great post below on The Internet Archive, a project dedicated to the ideas I've discussed above.. From now on, some of the interviews and live performances from The Beach will be recorded and posted on the The Internet Archive. Whether you want to catch up with something you missed, or you want to learn a little about life in the gulf in the early years of the 21st century, we hope these posts will be of interest.

Our radio station is pretty rough and ready, the gear doesn't work that well and we're all volunteers - we're not offering hi-fidelity or regularity. But every once and a while we'll put stuff up and we'll point to it from here on the blog.

To kick things off we have posted one of the great live-to air performances we've presented on our specialist NZ music show Counting The Beat to mark NZ Music Month.

This is the fifth year we've featured the "Live On The Beach" series. Every Sunday in May a Waiheke musician plays live. Kicking things off this year was Chris Orange who plays in local outfit, Chocolate Fish. Here he talks about his musical background and performs solo, playing original material and covering The Scavengers True Love. Take a listen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Digging thru the Archive.org

A few weeks ago a friend of mine challenged me to do a show that consisted entirely of freely available, downloadable songs. By "free" he also meant songs that were covered by one of the variety of Creative Commons licenses. The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to legally to build upon and share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one chosen, restrict only certain rights (or none) of the work.

So I gave it a shot, and from 9 to 10pm last night I played only songs that I downloaded from The Internet Archive Open Source music section. They are all covered by versions of the Creative Commons licenses or are in the Public Domain.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections, and now includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in their collections. There's some amazing stuff in there ... and as the show attested to, there's also some absolutely horrible stuff. I played a bit of the horrible stuff I found as well; it's a bit like the auditions for American Idol -- some stuff i just so bad, that it's good.

Here's a list of what I played, and links to most of them.

I Hate Country - Trey Kulp
Near the Cross - Lucas Gonze
Passing Through El Paso - Adam Hayes
She's the One - Bob Powell
St. James Infirmary - Ticklepenny
Le Waldo Blues - Sylvain Piron
Country Woman - Will Batts
Context Clues - Beak
Fish Without Eyeballs & Whatnot - Snot Patties
Can't Tune a Guitar at All - Lord Open
Hallelujah! I'm a bum - Harry McClintock
What the Devil - Not Daniel Johnson

Image: The CC Glow