Hey hey hey....
This week I'm Djing like this....
TUESDAY 20 APRIL 6-8PM on George FM for Quay Street Social Club Radio Show
TUESDAY 20 APRIL 9-VERYLATE - POP PANIC at Cassette Nine (pop music set)
WEDNESDAY 21 APRIL 12.30-VERYLATE - TEENAGE KICKS at Cassette Nine (indie set)
also it should be noted that along with my esteemed colleague and friend Matthew Crawley I'll be hosting The Eavesdrop Listening party at Wine Cellar from 7-11pm on Wednesday - it's not exactly Djing - but we do select some very lovely brand new music for your listening pleasure and give copies of albums away!
ON SATURDAY JUST PAST....
I was honored to be asked to open up Real Groovy’s In-Store Deejays on Saturday 17th April for International Record Shop Day, and be on the same line-up as people like Roger Shepherd, Roger Perry, Nick D, Phil from the Datsuns, Liam Finn and Ladyhawke. Real Groovy had asked we each select 30 minutes of records that have ‘inspired and influenced’ us – I took the task one step further and decided it’d be fun to compile a 30 minute auto-biographical set.
Here’s what I played and why…
Blondie – Picture This
Parallel Lines was the first album I ever owned – I was turning 10 years old and asked my older brother to get it for me for my birthday. In order to fully explain this album’s importance I need to add some personal context: when I was five, my father and mother split and my older brother took on a father-like role for me; and he left home about fours later – and soon after this I moved back to the UK with my mum and her new partner while my older brother and sister moved to Sydney. For a long while Parallel Lines was really the only record I owned and it had become, in fact, my only real connection to my older brother who I missed so dearly. This song, in particular, with the lyric “all I want is a photo in my wallet / a small remembrance of something more solid…” became to mean something quite different to perhaps it was intended – but nonetheless it was the beginnings of my emotional connection to music; the desperation in Debbie Harry’s voice captured how I felt; I was angry and alone and I’d have given anything; my finest hour; to change that.
The Smiths – I Want The One I Can’t Have
So I was an adolescent growing up in England. I really felt isolated and alone – it felt like no-one at school liked me or understood me. I was bullied a lot for being weird and probably a bit too sensitive. I really thought I was the only boy in the world who was feeling like me. Then, and I don’t even remember how exactly, I suspect evening Radio 1, I discovered The Smiths – and I soon realized that there wasn’t anything actually wrong with me at all – I was just different to the kids who liked to play football – but not so entirely different to everyone in the world – and Morrissey made it okay to be that different. I started to write (very bad) poetry and shut myself in my room a lot more; watching the world go by my upstairs window – but it made me happy. I’d put flowers in my room. I think my mum started to worry that I might like boys.
Prince – Raspberry Beret
This black kid moved in across the road – well, his dad was black, but in our sleepy little seaside town there were no other black kids around. He lived with his (white) grandmother. He never told me about his actual mum and dad, only that his mum was dead. There was a great sadness about him and I liked how he didn’t fit in anywhere either; he and I became friends. He introduced me to Prince and to Chaka Khan. He also introduced me to something much more exciting – girls. I went to an all-boys school so was socially crippled in that regard until David and I started hanging out. It was through hanging out with David that I started to go to a youth-club and I met Julie.
My parents did not approve of Julie. They were probably right. But I was full of young hormones, I thought she was amazing. “I could tell when she kissed me, she knew how to get her kicks…” It was, sadly a short-lived affair – “But I tell ya, if I had the chance I’d do it all again / I wouldn’t change a stroke….”
The Jesus & Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
Shortly after any sensitive young man discovers girls, he’s bound to discover heartbreak. I was blessed with the perfect cliche heartbreak when David and Julie got together. Luckily, my parents had decided to move back to New Zealand so i didn’t have to face them. Also luckily, I discovered Jesus and Mary Chain – it was evidently very cool to be sad and angry. I did my hair the same way as the Reid brothers.
The Chills – Pink Frost
Upon returning to New Zealand Radio With Pictures soon became a must-watch fro me – I had to video-tape it because there was no way I’d be allowed to watch it in the family room on a Sunday night – so it wasn’t until Monday afternoons after school and before my step-dad got home from work that I could watch Dick Driver present what I think was the best music television show ever. I remember seeing the music video of this song and going out the very next weekend to buy Kaleidoscope World; it was dark and moody and difficult to understand; everything I aspired to be.
Paid in Full – Eric B & Rakim
On a holiday to Sydney visiting my brother and sister – I went nightclubbing for the first time at a place called Site. I heard this song – It was the Coldcut Remix, actually, and it was at that point that I realized that I wanted to be a DJ. Nightclubbing and music at such an all-encompassing volume seemed so exciting. I remember this song surrounding me in every sense of the word. My brother took me to a record shop the next day and I bought the 12″ and I returned home and starting saving to buy myself a pair of Technics 1200s and a mixer. My brother sent me cartridges and slip-mats. I’d go into town every Friday night and visit all the record shops and spend about a $100 a week on new vinyl.
Baby Wants To Ride – Frankie Knuckles
It was still a time when we’d read about new music in magazines well before we’d actually get to hear it – there was no internet! I remember reading about this new movement in music coming from Chicago – being made by DJs – so naturally it excited me. I begun to pester the shops who’d import records to start geiing in this “acid house” that I had heard about. I remember when Grant Kearney and Sam Hill were working at 256 records on Queen Street – and they’d set aside records for me to check out on my weekly pilgrimage and they’d tease me for all this “weird House shit” I was into while they were still liking New Jack Swing. There were so many house tracks that could have been selected to play homage to this part of my life but I settled on this one since it really was one of the originals; and it was naughty.
Hello Operator – The White Stripes
The more astute reader will notice that there’s over a ten year gap here. I guess, for a number of reasons, music took a bit of a back-seat for me. I became dis-engaged from the DJ and night club scene; I focussed on a career (not in music) and a couple of relationship. Of course music was still part of my life, but not so central. But circumstances changed and some friends starting taking me out to live gigs more in the late nineties. In 2000 I heard this track on bFM and had to own a copy of it myself – I found it on 7″ at Crawlspace Records (RIP) and in 2000 The White Stripes came to play here. I went and saw them, first at Kings Arms and then some days later at Pizza Pizza which was upstairs opposite the library on Lorne Street. It was fucking incredible – and I finally felt buzzed about music yet again.
Golden Path – Chemical Brothers feat The Flaming Lips
When I was still working for the government department I was very lucky to have been sent on a week long personal development course in Wellington. While I could have done the same course in Auckland I really wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone for the exercise and my boss agreed provided that I pay for and/or arrange my own accommodation – so I stayed with an old friend in Lyall Bay – he started work really early so i had the house to myself each morning. I found a CD single of this song in his collection and I played it really loudly on repeat every morning before going to the course. It became my mantra for the course, somewhat. For me, it’s a song of rebirth and re-creation, and it was during the course that I came to the realization that I needed to start the Cheese on Toast website and stop working for the government.
Witness – Roots Manuva
“‘Cos right now, I see clearer than most / I sit here contented with this Cheese on Toast”. Yep that’s where I got the name from.
Fuck The Golden Youth – The Mint Chicks
The Mint Chicks were already a personal favorite by the time I had started Cheese on Toast and I had been blogging about them before we even knew what a blog was and before Cheese on Toast was launched on my personal website called Geekboy. I remember buying Octagon, Octagon, Octagon and opening up teh sleeve when I goy home and seeing that they had thanked “Geekboy” in their liner notes – I was so very excited, having never, at the time met them.
When their debut album Fuck the Golden Youth dropped and being sent an advance copy by Flying Nun and inviting some friends to come around and listen to it. It was very cool and exciting. We were lucky enough to be invited to their invite-only launch party and film for the TV show we made that was played on Triangle TV – Something On TV – it was at the old Shanghai Lil’s at the bottom of Anzac Ave and a magician performed as support act – apparently he had previously performed as support for Siouxsie & the Banshees here in the 1980s.
This clip is from that Shanghai Lil’s show – its quality isn’t the most wonderful but it’s still pretty cool.
(I Think Maybe I) Miss You – Tourettes
My good friend Matthew Crawley first put me onto Tourettes and gave me a copy of a spoken word mixtape of his and it totally blew my mind. When I finally saw Dom perform live both as spoken word poet and as rapper I got chills up and down my spine – and I still do sometimes when I see his shows. I love the honesty of his lyrics – they are so fucking disarming. So I was honored that when i was presented with an opportunity, last year, to press and release some 7″ singles, Tourettes agreed to be on the first one I released with this song, which was written to and for his girlfriend – who kindly offered to do the artwork for the single cover as well. It’s a beautiful song and I get a lump in my throat whenever I hear it.