Monday, December 22, 2008

Great, Great Songs Number 7. Merry Xmas From BlackLOG

The Ghetto by Donny Hathaway 1970.

The first single off Donny Hathaway's debut album Everything Is Everything (which actually came out in 1969) The Ghetto is a legend, as a song, all by itself. Not particularly famous at the time - it peaked at number 87 on the Billboard charts in 1970 - the song went on to become an all time soul classic most famously loved and rolled by George Benson. The Ghetto has been covered, cloned, clipped and sampled by anyone and everyone with the soul, the jazz, and the fonk in the bones. The covers are numerous, but Donny's original is the business - a trailblazing groove. R.I.P The Don. Thanks for staying tuned to BlackLOG.

Merry Xmas to all our friends and whanau...Love Black...

It became the ultimate soul jam here:

Here's the original masterpiece:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welli Welli Two - It's A Jazz Thing!

Roy Ayers

Not wanting to be typecast...(sorry)...the Wellington City Council and peeps behind the International Art Festival will follow TypeSHED11 with The Wellington Jazz Festival. The inaugural festival runs from 5- 8 March 2009 and the stage 1 announcement suggests it will sensationally snazzy. Among the artists confirmed to play at the Pacific Blue Note, a purpose-built jazz club in the Wellington Town Hall are thought-provoking bluesman Otis Taylor; legendary vibraphonist/vocalist and pioneer of jazz/funk Roy Ayers (wahoo!); the adventurous jazz, classical and rock pianist Brad Mehldau; blues troubadour Eric Bibb; and the ‘Polish Miles Davis’ – classic and cool trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. It is the first of the confirmed headline acts though that suggests this will be a special festival - the Mingus Big Band, direct from New York will perform at the Michael Fowler Headliner Series. The knockout 14-piece band is devoted to continuing the legacy of Charlie Mingus, the late great jazz composer and virtuoso bass player.

Eric Bibb

Speaking ahead of a full programme announcement on 21 January 2009, Wellington Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Lissa Twomey, said “our inaugural Jazz Festival is for everyone, from the passers-by to the dedicated hard-core jazz enthusiasts. Over four days, we’re offering a wide musical palette of traditional and contemporary jazz, Latin, rhythm ’n’ blues, gospel, soul and more. The programme is designed so that audiences can discover how far the roots of jazz stretch into so many of the musical styles and genres we enjoy.”

Brilliant! We can hear it now...everybody loves the sunshine..the sunshine...

Welli Welli One - TypeSHED11

David Bennewith Suggestions poster
A0 (841 x 1189mm), 4 colour process (CMYK), white lithopaak 115 g/m2 paper, printed by Mazon Screen, Maastricht, edition: 75, 2007

Listen up you jazzy typographers! There are a couple of events hovering on the Wellington arts calendar which should have your mouths watering. First up, TypeSHED11 is a five-day international typography symposium organised by Typevents Italy and Catherine Griffiths, New Zealand. Wellington has a proud history of typographic excellence - including the achievements of one Joseph Churchward - so the event held at Shed 11 from February 11-15, 2009 is sure to be well attended by knowledgable types - pun intended. TypeSHED11 will host typographers and designers from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Pacific, Australia and New Zealand for five days of workshops, lectures, exhibitions and experimental installations focusing on typography across the disciplines - graphic design and advertising, photography, film, literature, architecture, music and the visual arts. “TypeSHED11 has stimulated enthusiasm across New Zealand and the international design communities, and is a unique opportunity for New Zealand to locate its typographic feet,” says organiser and NZ-based designer and typographer Catherine Griffiths.

Leonardo Sonnoli
Tribute to Gianfranco Grignani, 2001

Key speakers include: New York’s Christian Schwartz, awarded the prestigious Prix Charles Peignot in 2007, and considered one of the world’s most influential contemporary type designers, Melbourne typographer Stephen Banham, described by Eye Magazine as a ‘typographic evangelist’; Japan’s Masayoshi Kodaira, recognised for pushing into three dimensions with his large-scale typographic installations; Austrian Walter Bohatsch, regarded by Wolfgang Weingart as “one of the best designers we have today”; and influencial Amsterdam trio Experimental Jetset, who starred in ‘Helvetica’ the movie, and whose work was recently acquired by MoMA.

It all sounds like the ultimate excursion for New Zealand's Type Set.

Registrations for the symposium and workshops are open online:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thom's Tastic!

When Thom Kerr first stumbled into our office his quiff got caught on the top of our front door frame. The 6 foot something twenty year old arrived in 2006 from Queensland saying "I love Black. Can I work for you?" "Yes" we said putting him straight to work on the coffee machine. Thomas stayed for about two months as the best wrok experience guy a magazine could wish for and in the two years since has become a regular visitor to Aotearoa. He has also made great leaps in Australia having shot for Oyster, Duke, Cream, Poster and Kurv among others. Look out for his work in the upcoming issue of Black we think he is really going places. In the meantime check out his work at his website.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Music Is The Answer

Right now, the recession is not the world's biggest concern. War, pestilence, poverty, famine and disease, climate change, overpopulation and the welfare of the world's children probably should be, one would think. And, in a year when possibly the most important change in political history has taken place with the American people giving a black man the mandate to rule the most powerful nation on earth - as the year closes, we should all be celebrating the potential global goodness and not stressing too much about why the office Christmas party was crap this year. What better way to celebrate this climate of change than with music. Playing For Change is a foundation, born out of a documentary series based on making music around the globe and filming it. Similar to One Giant Leap, Playing For Change is now in its 10th year and in early 2009 will release a new CD and DVD - Playing For Change Peace Through Music. So, if you are feeling the pinch, we strongly advise you watch this clip, the people of the world playing a simple, utterly uplifting tune together, Stand By Me.

Band Of Gold

Spoken Word/Vocals - Paul Amlehn

Guitar/soundscapes - Robert Fripp

Viola - Joan Jeanrenaud

Piano - Mike Ganson

Drums - Jim White
You have to hand it to NZ artist Paul Amlehn. The multi-media artist doesn't tend to do things by halves so when we heard about his latest art project, effectively a band, we were intrigued to find out more. The 'band' has no name as yet and is really a multi-media performance created online and curated by Amlehn himself. So who is in the band then? First up, Robert Fripp, the founder of King Crimson who has collaborated with artists such as David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, and Brian Eno. Fripp has already recorded his part - over 60 minutes of soundscapes at this stage. Amlehn has now sent those soundscapes to Joan Jeanrenaud who was a founding member of The Kronos Quartet, and has worked with composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Philip Glass. Once Joan has done her thing, Amlehn then forwards the composition to Mike Garson, David Bowie's long-serving piano player, who has also collaborated with NIN, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Once Amlehn has received that back he will record his spoken word and singing onto the recording before sending it on to drummer Jim White. White is a member of The Dirty Three, and has played with the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.The music project will be finished in early to mid 2009.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hoother That!

We received this picture from New York photographer Tom Linkens who asked us if the cover of the latest Black Magazine featured the one and only Hoother? "Sorry?" we enquired..."Hoother' he said referencing the lovely Heather Marks " Is that issue still for sale? I've been one of her fans & partners in crime since NYFW Spring/Summer 2008, and this is a candid pic I took of her..." Thanks Tom...

A Sign Of The Times - All Hail Hailwood

Oh bugger! Another one (shop that is) bites the dust. Today, Adrian Hailwood, one of New Zealand fashion's brightest stars has announced that his retail operation is to close in February 2009. Hot on the heels of a number of other rising stars turning the lock, the news is symptomatic of the difficulties facing emerging designers here and abroad. Hailwood says he will now focus on web-based sales - his t-shirt line can be viewed and ordered at and the current Hailwood Summer 09 collection can be viewed at

Although he’ll miss the daily interaction had with his customers, Hailwood says, “It’s not been a hard decision – retailing from this location in this market is simply not sustainable. To continue to do what I love doing I need to focus on keeping ahead of the current climate." Well said.

We can't help but notice interesting parallels to other industries too, that are not so much indicative of the recession encompassing the world but simply of a change in global behaviour. We know only too well that hard copy publishing faces an uncertain future - the online options are manifold, far-reaching, cost-effective and sustainable. The music industry no longer relies on CD and 'unit' creation to light the industry furnace, instead we see the rise of management companies, production companies and an explosion of live performance coupled with a direct and responsive online market.

The similarities? Online and 'live'. Perhaps, and we think this could be a good thing, this might mean a greater commitment to kick-ass fashion shows or events, coupled with a strong online strategy as the way of the future for fashion business. Of course, retail will always have its place, but surely, the times, they are achanging...

So all power to Adrian, may Hailwood online live long and prosper!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Summer's Here. Honest! Win NIVEA skincare...

Given the temperature outside today it might feel like the sand on your local beach has turned to snow but don't worry, Ken 'The Weather God' Ring says we're in for a hot one. Best then to get some quality skin care sorted. The good folks at NIVEA have given BlackLOG 10 packs of sunshine seeking superbness to give away. 'My Silhouette!' is a bio-slim complex body refining gel which helps to refine your contours and provide a feel-good silhoutte. NIVEA body Sunkissed Skin is a firming gradual tan body moisturiser which will leave your skin with a sunkissed glow and smelling delicious. It all sounds suitably dreamy doesn't it? You can almost hear the sea...

All you have to do to win a pack is be one of the first people to email the word "NIVEA Dream" in the subject line of an email - with your name and postal address in the body - to:

First 10 in, first served. And don't worry, the sun is still coming....

Ready To Roll? Vote For NZ's All Time Music Clip

The New Zealand Film Archive houses thousands of New Zealand music clips and they want us to help choose the best of all time. The archive have chosen an eclectic and rather fascinating top 100 from which you can watch and then vote - including one called Gaskrankinstation (nudge nudge) - and the winner will be announced as the People's Choice during NZ Music Month next May. There will aslo be random spot prizes for people who vote. There are quite a few classics in here that you would be hard pushed to find even on You Tube but some of our favourite hard-to-finds include:

Skeptics - A.F.F.C.O
Space Waltz - Out On The Street
Dam Native - Behold My Kool Style
Marching Girls - First In Line
The Avengers - Love, Hate, Revenge
Misex - Computer Games
Sisters Underground - In The Neighbourhood
John O'Donaghue - Pelorus Jack
Suburban Reptiles - Megaton
...and many more...

Here's the link to NZ Film Archive

Panda To Your Own Backyard

Kowtow are a Wellington-based sustainable clothing company who create "100% Certified organic Fairtrade Threads." This week they announced their support for the World Wildlife Fund with a T-Shirt design "Panda Suit" a cool take on the long-standing Panda image positioning of the WWF. The clever Kowtowians are not only donating $10 from the sale of each and every T-Shirt sold across New Zealand but also ensuring that the money goes into local WWF coffers to aid and assist the WWF team in New Zealand and inspire our people to "love and look after Aotearoa and protect our native habitats and animals." Noble stuff but more than that, it's a hot T-shirt! In store now or at

Sweet Chrissy Concept!

One of our favourite household creatives, the artist known as Sweet Pea, is joining forces with a bunch of young artists under the banner of The Ministry Of Art & Design to offer an alternative Christmas shopping experience this Saturday in Kingsland. Twelve artist and designers will be setting up at the Trinity Methodist Church in New North Road between 10am and 4pm with a selection of their own art, design and wares. Sweet Pea herself will be selling Sweetpea for Karen Walker stock (from 'Karen to the Rescue' and 'Lucky'), Sweetpea Christmas decorations and other samples at discounted prices. So support local artists and give creativity for's better than ties!

Monday, December 8, 2008

One Of These Lady Tings Is NOT LIke The Other

When it comes to music we can't help but notice that some Australians have real trouble differentiating things - like where a band comes from - whilst others seem to find yawning chasms of difference between what appear to be relatively similar acts. Take Ladyhawke (above). The New Zealand singer is big news in Australia, France and particularly the UK where she rates alongside the Ting Tings and MGMT as one of the hottest new faces of the year. In Australia she is largely considered Australian having lived in Melbourne for a few years, and is continually enshrined as the new queen of Aussie cool. This strange paradox was particularly evident in this weeks The Brag, a free music broadsheet distributed in the the inner city suburbs of Sydney. Reviewer Jacob Stone at least makes a trans-Tasman concession when he describes Ladyhawke as "the coolest, most savvy ANZAC pop singer of the last decade" before reverting to "our premier zeitgeist lightning rod." He has no problem awarding her song My Delirium single of the week status and 4 out of 5 stars.

He then very humourously slates The Ting Ting's (above) admittedly average Shut Up And Let Me Go with NO STARS out of 5 and says "This is music for stupid people, the absolute nadir of 'Ting Tings vapid brand of garish low brow nonsense" before continuing 'the singer is a chip shop slag and her ramblings barely qualify as lyrics. It's the soundtrack to binge-drinking in high heels, and if you empathise with this song at all, we can't be friends, because you are a moron." Phew....just how different these two acts are is obviously a matter of opinion!

Stolen Scholarship

We'd like to extend the hand of congratulation to the Stolen Girlfriends Club who, on Thursday night at the annual FINZ Xmas party, won the inaugural DHL Fashion Export Scholarship. DHL is considered the world's leading express and logistics company and is a prime mover of fashion business around the globe so the award had far reaching potential for a young designer keen on global domination. The 'Girlfriends' won the award ahead of runners up Salasai and Jimmy D who were both meritorious according to Geoff Ross - one of the judges - but didn't show the overall strength of SGC "As well as a strong design, SGC had good financials, good success off shore already and a team of three, which adds horse power to their business." said Ross, founder of 42 Below. The prize package includes freight to the value of NZ$10,000 and coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express as well as an individually tailored export mentoring package from FINZ and annual FINZ membership. It seems apt then to see the boys climbing a ladder in the promo photo below....up, up and away.

Gidday from Sydney...

Sorry we have been a bit quiet here on Blacklog over the past week or so - we have been trapped in a Chicken coop - firstly here at The Powerstation and over the past week in Australia, culminating in a performance at the Homebake Festival in Sydney which was all rather massive and headlined by these guys the Crowdies...Will pop up some posts shortly but in the meantime ponder the picture above. Yes, in Australia they create musicals about um, er...bad-boy cricketers, albeit legendary ones. Just where the song comes into spin, or the beat into batting we really don't know. Going to see a musical about Sir Richard Hadlee would be about as exciting as eating a cold porridge sandwich. Only in Australia...