Jakob is set to return – in just a couple of weeks – with its best album and a tour to follow. This would be news anyway – it is news. Jakob is one of New Zealand’s greatest bands, despite, still, being a hidden weapon of sorts, a secret – a special story: three guys who live in Napier, with their families, running their lives in the normal way: day jobs, the usual responsibilities…they just happen to come together to make truly beautiful, awe-inspiring music. Music that is about so much more than them as just three people – but music that could only ever come from these three people. Read More
Harry Manx is on the line from Australia. He knows Australia well – has what he calls “repeat offenders” – people who have seen him and know what they’re going to see and go again. Sometimes they bring along someone new to check it out for the first time. “That’s always nice; that’s a good deal!”
But Harry Manx – guitarist, harmonica player, singer, stringed-instrument virtuoso across cigar-box guitars, six-string banjo and the Mohan veena (we’ll get to that in a bit) has never been to New Zealand. This week marks his first trip. Read More »
Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth believe the key to their film – 20,000 Days on Earth – a hybrid feature-film/documentary, an impressionistic glimpse into Nick Cave’s world (for a day) – is trust. Nick Cave trusted them. They trusted him. They trust each other.
Pollard and Forsyth met at art school and have a partnership that’s been active for some 20 years now, and though this is their first full-length feature film they’ve moved beyond their visual arts background through various video and film installations and design projects. The couple has worked with Cave before. In fact they have a working relationship with Nick Cave that goes back, as Forsyth says down the phone, “some seven or eight years now”. Read More »
When Yes plays an Auckland show on its current tour in November of this year it will be just the second time the band has played to a New Zealand audience. But Alan White, the band’s drummer since 1972, says they’re “well aware” of a New Zealand audience, of “huge support” for the band from “down that way” and he tells me that they’re grateful for that support and “thrilled to be coming back so soon”.
The 2012 show was “great” as far as White can remember. He adds, frankly, “it’s hard these days to remember individual shows – we’ve played so many, you tend to remember the really bad ones I guess, they might stick out, but we’re playing as well now as we ever have. I truly believe that. This band is well honed and we’ve all kept at it enough to just know how to do it”. Read More »
Nigel Regan didn’t always like Kickstarter – he was dubious about “those people that raise money to take their kids to Disneyland or whatever” but then he saw that if Head Like A Hole was going to get another record out, their new one, the one they’re working on now, they would need some help. They’d need to ask the fans for support – actual financial support.
“And”, he tells me, “it’s really hard to do that, especially the younger ones, there’s this generation now that’s just raised expecting everything for free, they don’t want to pay”. But Kickstarter – and Head Like A Hole has its own Kickstarter campaign going, they’re just over half-way toward their $10k target with less than a month to go – is really just “getting people to pre-order the album, to pay in advance; we’re grateful for the support – any – but once you get your head around the fact that you’re just asking people to buy the album in advance you can start to feel comfortable asking”. You have to feel comfortable asking. That’s what Regan has learned. Read More »
Berlin-based Kiwi filmmaker Florian Habicht isn’t even a fan of music docos or concert films. He’s not well-versed in them at any rate, whereas you might assume going in to his latest movie, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets that he was a fan of the genre. Well, he didn’t grow up with them – as might be the case with a lot of the audience that attends his latest film.
“We watched a few, quite quickly actually – in the lead up to making this, there was a list of recommended titles, but I think not knowing all that much about concert films and music documentaries was very freeing, it allowed me to make the sort of film I wanted to make”. Read More »
Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea, named after his musician father, is a living legend of jazz. One of the few that remains – he’s worked with Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan, with Stan Getz and Herbie Hancock. You will find him on a stage playing solo piano, or composing for full orchestra. You will find his music in various sub-genres of jazz and classical – there are flamenco-infused and fusion-influenced/influencing albums. You can hear him playing with a trio or quartet or in a duo – he’s playing in Wellington early next month with Gary Burton; they’ve worked together on and off across 40 years, they’re one of the headliners of the Wellington Jazz Festival. Read More »
Joshua Redman is coming to Wellington with his quartet, a group comprised of Aaron Goldberg on piano, Gregory Hutchinson on drums, Reuben Rogers on bass and Redman on tenor, alto and soprano saxophones. It’s one of many musical projects that Redman juggles; the group first started playing together “around 15 years ago”.
The “reunited” Joshua Redman Quartet will play Wellington’s Jazz Festival, Thursday, June 5 at The Opera House. The program for the evening will feature “all sorts of things”, according to Redman. “We’ll do our best to offer a wide range – I do a lot, so we’ll try and play a few things from here and there. We’ll go back to the early records, we’ll play some old, old stuff and some new stuff – repertoire is important. I like to cherry-pick but the whole thing with playing live is the dialogue, it’s about creating this space to engage with the audience, to improvise, to show your creativity, so it’s as much about where we take the tunes as it is about the actual tunes we pick. It’s what we do with them”, he breaks off here for a wee chuckle. Read More »
When Don Walker writes a song – it stays written; it stays writ. He gets it right. What he writes says with us. This has been the way across his various careers – as solo artist, as member of Catfish, as one third of Aussie songwriting supergroup, Tex, Don & Charlie and of course back where that reputation was cemented, with Cold Chisel.
The difference between Don Walker’s solo career – well, the first difference – and that of Chisel is that when Walker writes a song for himself (as on wonderful recent solo record, Hully Gully) it is for himself, with Chisel he’s writing for other voices, he’s writing for Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes. Read More »
Jason Isbell is very happy with the response to his latest album, Southeastern. The album might make you think he’s miserable. But he’s not – he’s in a really good place (Nashville – he loves it). He’s newly married – to musician Amanda Shires – and he’s at peace with his old band. You might have heard of them – Drive-By Truckers.
“Things are good”, Isbell explains down the line from his home. And then, partly for comedy, partly for honesty he adds, “…now!” He laughs a little and reiterates, “things are good. I’m busy. This new album isn’t all that new now but we’re finding a lot of life in it so I’m just happy pushing this stuff about while people are interested”. Read More »
I’m chatting with Dan Baird, an interviewer’s dream – he’s funny, polite, passionate, wise, and perhaps rarest of all, honest – he puts over, so hugely, that he’s just a big ole fan of music! But of course he had a hand in shaping a version of rootsy, rockin’ country music when it was entirely out of fashion. He fired up The Georgia Satellites – wrote a couple of pretty big hits too. And now he plays as a solo act and with the group, Homemade Sin. He’ll tour Europe later this year with the Sin after an American jaunt in the middle of the year, but for Baird, for this interview, that’s all just small change. You see Dan Baird is playing in Auckland later this week as the singer and guitar player for Bobby Keys and The Suffering Bastards (due to the postponement of the Rolling Stones show the Suffering Bastards gig has been moved forward a week, it’ll now take place at the Powerstation, this Saturday, March 29). Read More »
Martha Davis isn’t being defensive when she points out that her current band – billed as Martha Davis & The Motels has been around, been treading the boards, longing than the original group – The Motels. It’s just a fact.
“I don’t get upset at people thinking this is some cash-in, I understand that. But when they’ve seen us – when they’ve seen these guys I’ve got with me now, then they understand. We’re a great live band. And I’ve got guys with me now we’ve been doing this for over a decade, these guys have got chops, ya know. Hey, Frank Zappa had 200 Motels, I’ve had over a thousand!” Read More »