Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Jale - Nebulous

If Jale weren't Canadian and if their songs weren't owned by Sup Pop, this song would be prime fodder for my Tiny Idols '90s comps. It's definitely obscure enough. Formed in 1993 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jale was made up of four talented songwriters named Jennifer, Alyson, Laura, and Eve. Take the first letters of each bandmembers' name and you have Jale.

I've only heard their first CD, Dreamcake, which I think is spotty, but occasionally brilliant. The follow-up, So Wound, is supposed to be more consistent. Jale broke up in 1997.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Mareko - Here to Stay

While New Zealanders adore the whole American hip hop culture, right down to the Nikes and Allen Iverson jerseys, they also have their own homegrown rappers, almost all of whom are Maori. Local rap has existed in New Zealand since the '80s, but it wasn't until recently that it really broke through to the masses.

The song that forever changed New Zealand radio was Scribe’s “Stand Up,” which stormed to the top of the charts in 2003. Scribe's basic message was “I am unable to quit rapping. Seriously, I can’t stop. I also reside in New Zealand. Perhaps you have seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy. You have? Cool.”

I’m completely misrepresenting the song here. It’s actually a cute little call-to-arms that tells the locals to give up the Fat Joe posturing and represent their home turf.

Around the same time that Scribe dropped this single, a crew called the Deceptikonz also garnered a lot of attention. Two of that group’s most talented MC’s, Savage and Mareko, have recently become stars on their own. Mareko’s White Sunday sold a shitload of copies in 2004 and Savage just blew up in May when I was there visiting my sister. I downloaded Mareko’s “Here to Stay” when I got back to the States and it now resides at the number 3 slot in my iTunes Top 25. That’s pretty impressive for a New Zealand rapper that no one in America has heard.