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Halogen in NY

The next day we are in the big apple, fingertips almost icing off, nose froze, streets dotted with dirty ice floes.

22 Dec 2002

Hi from Brasilia..

Chris and I are starting to get into the nittygritty of music now, getting right down to the nuts and bolts. that´s after an initial week of nonstop getting hammered and eating way too much meat. from now on it´s all music and no meat.

we´ve had some really amazing lecturers, including Storm who was great to see as she talked about what you´ve got to prove as a female dj. though as someone from Ireland put it, she has a big chip on her shoulder , or make that a sack of potatoes.

Tony from Attica Blues has been one of the main hosts, interviewing some of the guest lecturers, showing us trix of logic , eating crisps at the football and so on...

One of the most amazing components has been watching people like Mad Lib and Carl Craig in the production suite, with a smaller group of us viewing, and watching their working process which in both cases was on abother level.. yet do-able.

One of the interesting points that Mr Craig made was that you should just pick one sequencing system and stick to it and get to know it really well in your life time, just like a musician generally does. he cited people like djPremiere who has used an SP 12
for his whole career, almost everybody has stressed that it´s important, not to waste time learning programming on a bunch of different platforms or whatever. that u should just get in there and start making music and learn your platform inside out.

This is also evident in their programming technique, he, Tony, and Mad Lib all just jam, delete, jam, delete.. they so clearly use their ears over their eyes. this probably sounds simplistic, but i like the attitude that you don´t have to know every trick of Logic (and Carl Craig says he doesn´t). he said that he himself spent a year getting into learning Logic, and still feels more comfortable with his old hardware.

The other thing they´ve stressed is that randomness is important, and they almost always have to scrap ideas or concepts once they get into the gear. so the idea is that it is better to just jam and feed off of whatever glitches or coincidences happen along, and just let the bassline talk to you or woteva. just do it. don´t talk about it.

Mad Lib was amazing to watch on his Dr Sample, making the phattest beats and just hacking them into this tiny sampler which is what he mainly works off (apart from playing a bunch of live instruments)

Simplicity, action, musicality would be keywords...

ok that´s enough for now, just wanted to share with anyone that´s interested.. will keep u posted/it´s all good


hey yo, how are we all?

One minute Ko and I are in the Japanese quarter of Sao Paulo, full of crumbling Portugese mansions, being served fresh passionfruit juice by african people in kimonos, eating skewers of fried prawns for one nz dollar each , and redbean paste in hot pikelets.

The next day we are in the big apple, fingertips almost icing off, nose froze, streets dotted with dirty ice floes.

It has been a crazy transition!

Things about new york:

It is exactly like u would imagine. there we are, all the oscar grouch trash cans, steaming manholes, dreadlocked taxidrivers playing jazz as you drive over the bridge. a gazillion yellow- and brownstone tenement apartments with black fire-escapes and stoops onto the street for sitting on in summer and chewing the breeze. big stone majestic officeblocks.

Supercold. lots of guys in black puffas and black skullcaps, lots of girls with hoop earrings and foxhunting hats, lots of little dogs in wooly sweaters.. a consumer paradise, it's just buildings and shopfronts forever.

Having pledged to each other that eating was to be prioritised on our travels, we had vietnemese pork chops for lunch yesterday (entire meal for six US dollars) and Ukrainian stuffed cabbage and borscht with a chocolate egg cream last night, for eleven US dollars. Today i had a cup of chilli for one US dollar..

So overall it's not so expensive. even at the exchange rate you can get decent clothes for half the price of comparable gear in NZ.. don't have money for shooping, but have scoped nice beige satin bolero jacket, pink adidas sweaterdress.. slouchytopped pink boots. no buy.

Overall it is not an intimidating city (apart from sheer consumer orientation) -- i thought it would be snarly, hard to get around and teeming with people-- but maybe due to the cold, Broadway is probably less busy than Queen St in AK. All of the essential neighbourhoods are within easy walking distance, like ten minutes in between Soho, East Village, Tribeca, Meatpacking District, Chelsea, etc etc. There of course exists an underbelly of perfection and money, but so far we haven't seen it. the people are an easy mix in all shapes and sizes. The atmosphere is in fact quite peaceful..

It's only when you catch scraps of cellphone chats, that you remember where you are. that punchy, nasal New York drawl makes evrything seem lifted from script. "I'm having a luncheon with ten of the guys. I'm having a LUNCH" "My parents will NEVER let me move in with you!" "Oh my god she's a HOOKER!" (laughter)

I think i could live here.

The legends about coffee are all true though. it all truly sucks. Even the famous Dean and Delucas is like a dressed up Starbux, same counter system, probably the worst coffee i have ever drunk. every cafe has a plastic trough full of muffins and queasy danishes, and tall paper buckets (no chinaware to be seen). Have committed myself to filter coffee from pizza stores because it tastes better and only costs 89 cents..

This is not the end of the world of course.

Well we are off to a Toy Drive party with Macky that will be hosted by Susan Sarandon (we give toys for charity).. today he has been styling a shoot with Anna Nicole..

more soon!

New York New York..

The underbelly of perfection? well last night we glimpsed it. the Toy Drive at the gym was a chaos of trannies of all hights and widths, bare hairy legs, bad jeans held up by suspenders, russian hats, and Amanda La Mar with her huge silicone mouth and bared perfect breasts and rounded silicone ass.

The rest was very grown up, an odd mix of people who looked like merchant bankers in teal crew neck sweaters, and all the fabulous folk, mostly gay, looking gorge as they like to say around here. The theme was Drink, Drink Drink. Nobody pays for booze around here .. The owner of the gym used to be Mr Universe, but he's about 5 feet high. scruffy razored blonde 80s hair like on 90210, and staggered around in a trenchcoat ...

We went on to the bowery bar, also gay, where muscle-bound boys writhed on podiums while people chatted sedately in their booths. all are healthy, in clean Ralph Lauren, and look corn-fed.

Macky works for Heatherette, the main guy Richie Rich (his boss) used to be a proffessional iceskater and personal assistant to Michael Alig. He was discovered by Alig at a talent contest in San Fran, where he was dressed in only boots and a hat shaped like a treaure chest, seated up above the pool, and he tipped his head and showered candy and 200 dollars of cash onto the crowd.

Now he makes these fabulous trash/hello kitty designs with Macky and his businesspartner Travar, who used to work on a stud ranch in Montana and would neuter a cat by sticking it into a cowboy boot and biting the balls off.

They have this cosy cluttered and spraypainted studio in the East Village where they watch videos all day and prepare the next season and shows (they're doing one in Japan soon).

Richie is SUPER nice. That is something he would say. "Oh he is So cute I LOVE him. Oh she is gorge, she's so nice, I love her, she's adorable. Isn't he cute? Yay! I love that!!"

He loves everything. It's true. He really does. He has been so nice to us. But alot of people like to state their pleasure a lot of the time. "That's cool right? I love that."

Superwet, but love pounding pavements of big cities and drinking free booze with trannies and travesties.. I have a gig at some crazy bar tomorrow, team from Heatherette organised it, must buy fruity hits asap..

Today we went to a cafe below street level filled with glittery lights and jewelled alcoves, old paintings in gilt frames and lampshades; we ate hummous and tahini and drank carrot juice. Around East Village and University Place is a glut of healthfood stores, make that barns. trucks outside unloading organix. like i said, consumer paradise.

The only thing i don't miss about Sao Paulo is the piss-tissues. I found out in our last week there that you are not supposed to flush toilet paper because it clogs the drains, the city system can't handle it. ... it was with a mixture of guilt and relief that i considered i had been happily flushing awaythe whole time in blessed ignorance. and great great relief that i hadn't seen any seriously dirty tissues in the waste baskets if u know what i mean..

Miss the Redbull crew, and streetcorner thunderstorm drums, thankyou all for being so It, and let me know if you could meet in Berlin between December 20-28th.. much love.

Tonight I'm meeting up with Karla and hopefully gonna track down this DJ Spinna gig where he is playing all Michael Jackson and Prince obscurities, it's sooo wet so if we find it i'll be sloshing up the dancefloor..

That was NYC folkx

More Reports.

New York was nice.. full of things to buyand check. managed to eat many of the things that we had hoped to eat, including a ridiculous serving of pastrami from the 2nd Ave deli, that came with a big bowl of pickles, served by a feisty old woman in a very short skirt. Not much to it; just meat, bread, pickles.

Saw Karla's room-mate (of Si-Se) sing with a string quartet, and SiSe label boss David Byrne looking dazed but quizzical in a corner. Was that Spike Lee that left with his minder? There were lots of dark-rimmed glasses, clean oiled braids, glossy lips and tidy, fizzy afros.

We were staying in Williamsburg; and evry minute expected Simba to lean out a taxi window. Are u secretly livng the life of a rapping New York taxi driver Simba? The signs on the local hairdresser read Praca! Praca Praca!$$ Zarobki!

Mowimy po polsku. paszporty. There was even a Polish rap group, DJ Jan Marian and the Lordz of Brooklyn on a poster. we should of checkd it outski.

Thursday was reasonably uneventful.. we just checked Gagosian gallery, Bloomingdales and went to the 2nd Ave Deli. Isn't it funny? That's the cultural brandingof New York. I can say a few words (Gagosian, Bloomingdales, Deli) and you can get this picture. Well, I want to tell you, Bloomingdales is nothing special. Just a bunch of expensive crap. Tiffany and Macky told us we should have gone to Wal Mart instead.

To them, the appeal of being able to buy goldfish, sportswear and pretzels under one roof is irresistable. I didn't try to explain the effect of bulk goldfish-buying and discounting on small business owners in middle america. How can i deny them their WalMart? This is one of their rights as an American citizen. To buy all their cheap junk under one roof.

Anyway, it's weird travelling and seeing all these shops or massmonster entitys , like Tescos, Wimpy, Sears, Bloomingdales, Hostess cupcakes, twinkies, and it's like,

how is it that I am so familiar with these names and brands? these things do not exist in NZ. What is the romanticism i feel? Am I sick?

Only Starbucks has yet to be immortalised in popular literature and b-grade movies.

To deal with this, I bought a book called No Brow, about the marketing of culture. I haven't read it yet, but I feel better all the same.

I'll miss the Tom Waits-style accordion players in the subways, the old guys looking like Lee Scratch Perry jamming on shitty plastic electric guitars with their freinds beating on plastic buckets. some good music in the subways. The Lee Scratch guy even did a Kraftwerk cover.

better go, more soon, hope all is sweet,

xxx emma jean