A youthful heart
a heart filled
But it hurts
twice as much
Or so it seems.
As I said here, recently I’m a fan of the show Later…with Jools Holland, not always, and not every performance, not even every episode, but I love the format of the show – and that it exists. It’s been a good way to find new music, to be reminded of great artists that you either forgot about or that have made a bold comeback. Some brave performances too. A great showcase for all types, it’s never about gender, race, genre – it’s about music. And so I love it for that. Just recently there have been some amazing performances – so for this edition of Five Songs For Friday I wanted to share some must-see/must-hear/must-dig musical performances from the Jools Holland show. Well, of course you don’t have to dig them. That’s entirely up to you… Read More »
I did a bit of writing for Rip It Up in the early-mid 00s, mostly reviews and a weird little column called “Wellington Rumours” and every now and then they’d get me to write a longer essay or interview someone. One of my favourites was talking to Pete Yorn. I was glad to find this interview again and wanted to republish it for a couple of reasons. It’s a perfunctory piece, as far as my input – but it’s stayed with me for many years, a lot of Yorn’s sentiment. I was a fan of his debut album, then the follow-up was dull, the album he released at the time of this interview was good, but I quickly forgot about it. Anyway, it wasn’t about his music or fandom, it was about finding a very self-aware, sometimes self-effacing musician. He was honest. A rare thing in interviews. The thing I crave. He admitted to not caring about things he was perhaps ‘supposed’ to care about, he geeked-out when talking about the music that wasn’t his; he was a guy finding his way, almost baffled by the “overnight success” stuff. And then he just nailed it at the end of the interview with a line that I’ve heard other musicians say since, but I’ve never quite believed it from most of them. I wonder what Yorn is up to. I never kept up with his music. I hope he’s doing well in this word. Wherever he is, whatever he’s up to. I might go listen to that debut album again now…anyway, here’s the interview (from around 2006/2007, I guess?) Read More »
For about a decade Annable Alpers was Bachelorette. Under that moniker she made great music. She made three studio albums, an EP and a single. She was signed to Drag City (US label), she toured with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Low, Bill Callahan (Smog), Animal Collective, Magnetic Fields and Stereolab. She put on hypnotic shows as Bachelorette.
She has been collecting sounds for a new album – and she needs your help. Read More »
There he is
at the crease,
no runs on
but he won’t be
ignored – as he aims for
and never heads too
far down the pitch.
He is always able,
just, to dig it out from
best foot forward,
which is obviously
right. He’s left with
the bat, since
Mr Key retired
His feelings, presumably.
(We were all amazed to
know he had any).
Mr English will
remain just as long
as he can.
Well, that would fit
He’ll play it on,
play it as it lies,
realise – eventually –
that we’ve seen through
And he’ll get stumped.
That’ll be the reason,
that – and a change of
season, come September.
(Come as quickly
as you can – run
him out please!)
1 – “Somebody Has Written Something With A Capital Letter To Start Each And Every Word…And We Are, Like Grace Jones Before Us, Slaves To The Rhythm, Except We Are Not Forced To Do Icky Manual Labour Without Pay, We Are Simply Loving It And We Want More And Then Even More And More!”
2 – “We Can’t Stop Seeing Lizzie Marvelly As A Real Life My Little Pony And It’s Cute And Adorable But Also Comes With Millennium-Wisdom. So Damn the Neigh!-Sayers!”
3 – “Ten Times Kevin Bacon’s Film Choices Reminded Us Of The Musical Career Of Scott Walker!”
4 – “We Tried Masturbating To A Dave Grohl Interview For 30 Minutes But Couldn’t Pull It Off!”
5 – “Where There’s A WILL There’s A WAY – I Refused To Acknowledge My Father That Never Acknowledged Me And Then He Left Me Millions Of Dollars Which Gave Me One Good Reason”
6 – “Where There’s A WILCO There’s A WACO – When Dad-Rock Takes Itself TOO Seriously?!”
7 – “What A Fool To Believe: A Desperate Writer Hides His Block Between A Few Sets of Air-Quotes And A Pointless Doobie Brothers Reference”
For a while there, many years back now, I wrote a series of reviews and interviews for an Auckland newspaper under a fake name. I needed a generic-sounding – safe – pen-name. I chose ‘Mark Reid’. A little tribute to Chopper eh? Something like that…In fact it just seemed like a safe/boring name that couldn’t be connected to me. I then dashed out copy weekly – CD reviews, film reviews, profiles, interviews. And I did it in exactly the same way as I did when writing my blog posts and reviews for a Wellington newspaper and website. I didn’t try to write differently. No one ever asked, or guessed, or…cared…
It was sad to hear of the passing of the great jazz drummer, Mickey Roker. He was 84, he died of natural causes, he played drums his entire adult life – Roker worked with so many of the greats. He was a force, as a progressive bop drummer, as a legendary sideman.
I have records in my collection that feature him playing with so many of jazz’s great names. He had a long association with The Modern Jazz Quartet. I first heard him on a Dizzy Gillespie album. Not long after I heard him nailing it with McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver, with Stanley Turrentine and on a couple of my favourite Sonny Rollins albums. Read More »
The great punk supergroup Me First + The Gimme Gimmes (featuring Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the rhythm guitar, Australian rock legend, Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall of Frenzal Rhomb on lead guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, with bass duties occupied by Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley, and rounded out by incomparable crooner Spike Slawson) touch down for two shows in New Zealand in October.
They’re kings of the novelty-cover – it’s a good-fun party-time, they’ll tackle just about any genre going and speed it up, strip it back and deliver it as a new anthem. Read More »
I just found a setlist from when I played some records before and after and between sets for Wellington’s old favourites, The Boomshack Band. These guys and girls would roll through so many great songs from the 1950s and 60s, rockabilly and rock’n’roll – one time they backed Wanda Jackson as a pick up band but most often they’d trill crowds of their own. More than once I was lucky to be invited to set the tone for before and after and fill the gaps between their sets. This setlist here must have been one of the first times I played records in public. Some good tunes here for all occasions I reckon – so have at it. Read More »
I still remember my first gig. DD Smash. Napier. Marine Parade Soundshell. 1984. I was at primary school. I loved DD Smash. Well, I liked them. Well, I knew that one song ‘Outlook For Thursday’. But more importantly my brother liked DD Smash. And mum and dad did too. They didn’t like them enough to pay – so we sat outside, on the concrete, with a blanket. Just staring at the tent wall as the cacophony of muffled sound spilt out on to the street. Just us. And one hundred other families that weren’t keen to pay. At the end of the show they let us in for free to have a look. My dad lifted me up to see the band – and right as I got a glimpse of Dobbyn, a bottle was thrown on the stage. It wasn’t a plastic pump bottle; it wasn’t a coke bottle; nor was it one of those modern plastic stubbies they sell at the cricket. No. This was the 1980s. And this was a 750ml quart of Tui, tossed – half full – straight from the crate, and aimed right at Dobbyn’s curly strawberry-blonde afro. He did the done thing, moved in time and promptly screamed out “you pack of bastards”. Or something like that. The front row was taken up with Mongrel Mob members. Needless to say, there was more than one bottle thrown that night. It was an ugly end to my first concert. I was hooked. Read More »
I started this thing a while ago where I decided I was going to name ten albums important to me (and important for me) in a particular musical genre. I started with hip-hop (see here). And then I decided to do my list of seminal and sentimental metal albums (see here). And most recently it was a tricky task picking ten electronica albums (see here).
Each time I write one of these lists up the aim is to create a series of lists. My list – obviously. And then you get to add your list. It’s not about one list being correct – it’s about all of them being correct for the individual that created them. The point of it, I guess (and I hope), is that it gives people a chance to compare and contrast. And from there to discover and/or re-discover classic albums from a genre as well as antecedents, reference points…
Each time I write one of these lists up there are comments about how safe it is or arguments over the genre definition and whether the album belongs. And I would expect it to be no different with this attempt – given that I’m going to try to pick my ten influential/important Country albums.
And each time I write one of these lists I quote the opening paragraph from the first Ten Important Albums post – so I’m going to do that again now: Read More »