Henry hadn’t wanked in a while. When he told his mate Fred this exact fact Fred replied, “go on mate, pull the other one”. And Henry gasped. For that is exactly what he had been doing.
April means Record Store Day and in fact we’re a month away from RSD as of today; the 10th Birthday for Record Store Day too – a day which many record collectors/retailers have mixed feelings about now since it was started as a way of generation interest/sales/community to the indie stores and is now yet another way for the major labels and the chain stores to sniff a buck… Read More »
I first became aware of Daniel’s Curse in 2004. I had travelled to Sydney to visit some friends and was combining this trip with the chance to see PJ Harvey. It was a great gig – she announced shortly after that show a mini-retirement and didn’t perform again for three years; when she returned she had ditched her then-signature sound. I love what she does now too but it was certainly great to see her in that particular prime.
In preparation for the Friday night Sydney gig one of my friends took the day off work and we went to the movie Festival Express. We played a couple of games of Air Hockey. We had a pint in one of the local bars. And then, having caught the train back out to the ‘burbs, we did the natural thing you might do before a 2004 PJ Harvey concert: we listened to tracks from To Bring You My Love and Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Read More »
It was a couple of years ago, but I remember being in the local record store when a customer was inquiring about Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. He wanted to know if it was available on vinyl and was shown a sealed copy of the latest reissue; a double LP. The price? $59.99. The customer – well, he can’t really be called that anymore since he baulked at the price – turned his nose up, “$60! – pfff…”
The way I figure it that’s a pretty decent/standard deal. We can decide that vinyl is expensive – it’s almost never discounted. Or we can decide that vinyl is the price it is – and there are a lot of factors involved in landing that LP from England or America or Italy or Germany or Australia to a store in Wellington or Auckland or wherever. We can decide to buy it – or we can decide to not buy it. Read More »
Director: Shannon Hartman
Norton made his name on being filthy-minded, filthy-mouthed and relentlessly anti/un-PC – so if that sounds like the ultimate turnoff and nowhere near woke enough for you back away before entering. What Norton manages here, with this special is pretty brilliant – it’s one-note, he riffs on his own perversions, largely, but through that he manages – in an almost Doug Stanhope way – to call out hypocrites. Read More »
People talk about David Bowie’s phenomenal run of albums across the 1970s – and it really is (almost all) great. So much of it is wonderful, sublime, so near to perfect. And depending where you stop on the scale you have the absolute cut-off of Scary Monsters or tolerance/appreciation for Let’s Dance. From there it’s usually agreed there’s little of merit; little that is required/necessary.
I’ve collected almost everything by Bowie. I’m not a completist – I’m just talking original studio albums, the official live material and standard compilations. Read More »
Saturday, March 18
Midge Ure played an amazing show just a couple of years ago – rolling through all the hits and a few obscurities, charming and funny with his banter. Sometimes, the repeat visit is a tall order, tough to match up to that first experience. But the fans were certainly happy to see him again – this time flanked by Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe of India Electric Company (also the evening’s support act).
The aim of this tour – as with the last – was to offer the veritable “Something From Everything” – or thereabouts; something from almost all of the studio albums Ure has been involved with across the years. More simply this means music from his solo career, from Visage and of course from Ultravox. His time in Thin Lizzy was briefly referenced but not represented, a song in tribute to Phil Lynott, and written in the style of the early Lizzy – Midge Ure was only fleetingly part of the group. Ditto, his time short-lived group, Rich Kids.
It certainly wasn’t a case of just repeating the songs in the same order – clearly the setlist changes night to night, but also it was very different to the previous tour. Solo smash hit If I Was, a crowd favourite and obvious singalong, was trotted out as the third song of the night. And hugely appreciated.
The use of mandolin meant there was a rhythmic thrust to many of the tunes and the violin draped the melodies across Ure’s under-pinning acoustic guitar.
Maybe there was a mid-set lull, maybe. But most of the audience were dangling on the end of the hook still – and as we heard from Visage (The Damned Don’t Cry) and more from Ultravox (Reap The Wild Wind, Lament) the energy never really faltered. Ure was self-aware, self-effacing at times and as great as the banter was he also knew when to sit back and just roll out a few songs in a row.
Though it was never going to be as exciting as seeing him the first time there was something very clever about the use of the supporting musicians. Particularly in the recreation of those new romantic gems. The one-two of Vienna and Fade to Grey was impressive last time, handled just on solo guitar – two songs you’d never think would wow crowds in such a stripped-back arrangement but here the violin sought to recreate – with replicating – the synth lines on the original recordings; a nice twist given the synths on the recorded arrangements where there to approximate the feel of string parts.
Alison Moyet’s just announced World Tour in support of her new album will see her visiting New Zealand for the first time in many years – with three shows, Wellington’s MFC, October 13, Auckland’s ASB Theatre, October 14 and Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre, October 16.
It’s been 30 years since the former Yazoo member and solo star has performed in New Zealand. Read More »
New Morning is one of my favourite Bob Dylan albums. This wasn’t always the case – and maybe it won’t always be the case but I can say I’ve always liked New Morning – right from when I first heard it (some 25 years ago). For right now though it’s pretty much my favourite.
Re-reading Chronicles Volume One where Dylan offers plenty of thoughts (and information) about the recording of this album helped, the Bootleg Series touching in on this helped too – but it wasn’t just those things that got me thinking about the album; at least not as far as I’m aware. At any rate it’s one of the few Dylan albums I’ve always been able to listen to. Read More »
The West Coast Get Down collective really made their mark with Kamasi Washington’s triple, The Epic. Famously, the sessions for that album resulted in a handful of other albums – in fact they’re still coming; the group set themselves the goal of wasting no time, so every day they turned up and worked on several albums simultaneously. Thundercat was already known, already releasing strong solo works as well as being a high-profile session star, but you really get the feeling that here, with Drunk, he has released his masterpiece; his mini-Epic, 23 songs in 51 minutes. Read More »
Bic Runga had forgotten there was to be a video shoot at her house that morning – the place was a mess. She tried calling to cancel but – no luck. A mild panic, and then, ‘fuck it, we’ll just dress the house as it is and deal with it’. They put casks of wine out under the fireplace, they made streamers out of toilet paper, piles of clothes were fashioned into makeshift beanbags. A blanket stretched between couches was a tent…Later in the year the resulting video won an award. Hilary Barry was doing the presenting. She declared that both Bic and her video were ‘Woke as fuck!’
I’m playing some records down at the San Fran this Friday, March 24th – billed as “The Greatest Music In The World” (hey, no pressure) it’s going to be a night of classic funk, soul and R’n’B, you know the Stax and Motown labels, you know some Philly-soul, you know maybe a little bit of jazz and blues, and the start of hip-hop but basically it’s an old-school funk and soul show, the 50s and 60s, maybe into the 70s too. All the names you’d expect from Aretha and Sam & Dave to Dr John and Ray Charles, Al Green, Albert King, B.B. King, Ashford and Simpson, M/F/S/B, The Spinners, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder…and on…and on… Read More »