Another diverse open-mic with 15 poets performing, everything from sing-song and an actual song from a musician to balladry, haiku, comedy, politics – the works. That’s what I like about going along to these sessions; always a range of ideas and styles. Read More
FANE presents In Conversation with Margaret Atwood live on stage across New Zealand in collaboration with Andrew Kay, Phil Bathols and BBC Studios Australia. The dates are a celebration of the global publication of The Testaments, Atwood’s highly anticipated sequel to her seminal work, The Handmaid’s Tale. The evening will also feature Atwood’s remarkable career, her diverse range of works and why she has returned to the fictional world of Gilead 34 years later.
This momentous touring event commences in Wellington on February 10, 2020 and travels to Auckland and Christchurch. Read More »
Yeah, I know
any time something
new is pointed out
I know all that
I know all that
I knew it
before you were
born and I knew it
before you even
said it just then. I know
all that. And what’s more
I know more too.
I know more than
you. So I just won
There’s really only one view to have with awards for artists and the arts: They’re all totally shit. Until you win one. Or in this case, until the team you’re backing wins one.
I haven’t cared about the NZ Music Awards for a lot longer than I ever cared about them – and though not by plan, I was easily as far as you could be from the awards last night (attending a concert by tribute act, The Bootleg Beatles). Read More »
number of lines
that the female
not have in
movie, a better
move might be
to watch Nicole
Kidman in the
movie Destroyer, or
Natalie Portman in
Vox Lux, or Maggie
anything, but most recently
The Kindergarten Teacher.
There are many other
examples of course.
And there’ll be many more.
And finding those might be
a better way to compete in
what should never be
but always is.
It always is.
When Steve Gunn was in town last week I recorded a conversation with him for a future episode of Sweetman Podcast. You’ll get to hear that soon and it was a lovely chat. By the end of it we were geeking out over The Beatles and many other things to do with music. And then Steve told me about this game he plays with some of his musician friends (Ira from Yo La Tengo, Meg Baird, William Tyler et al…) They take the White Album by The Beatles and they make their own version. You are not allowed to remove any songs but you re-order it. You make your own version based around putting your favourite song from the album first, and then following the order down from best to worst. So if you think Revolution 9 is a misunderstood classic put it high up the list. If you’re kinda sick of Birthday or never really dug Back In The U.S.S.R then drop them down the list. Read More »
that’s something I always
There’s a power, a grace
and a majesty in that song –
and I think it comes from walking
so close to being hackneyed.
But you feel the truth sneaking through
between the lines.
Everyone pegs it as an Elvis tribute because
he sings about boarding the plane in his
blue suede shoes, mentions the King and Graceland
but actually it’s more about place than person, and
if it’s about any one person at all it’s
about Marc Cohn.
This was him searching for a song, while searching
for himself – or maybe it was the other way around.
He jumped a plane to Memphis to go and see and
hear and feel the music his dad loved. He was also
aware that he needed to write a good
He hadn’t written anything that was up to much and
he knew it – he was embarrassed to be on a publishing
deal and with nothing to publish that felt very real.
But seeing Al Green in a church in the home of the
blues and being invited up to sing with the woman that
played the piano at the Hollywood Café every Friday
night (Muriel Davis Wilkins) – that meant something;
meant he had a song to sing and a reason to believe
and a place to go, as well as somewhere he’d just
When Walking In Memphis first hit the airwaves I
was a kid. Well, a teenager, just. And it was a strange
song, and a brave song and I loved it – it was deeply
unfashionable and felt a couple of decades old straight
I love the little hint of gospel, the hint of blues, the
trace of soul – it’s a musical autobiography. And it
must have been hard to compete with this song, Marc
Cohn wrote a few other gems but nobody seemed
to care too much.
But I care.
I check in now and then and enjoy some of the other
work he’s done.
But Walking In Memphis is one of those songs, man.
Okay, it’s not quite Wichita Lineman. But then again
you know what, man it is…tonight!
Give me a name-tag and I’ll hide it. Lanyards. They go in my pocket. Backstage passes…even more cringe. And something with “VIP” on it. FUCK OFF!
But – as you can see – I hold onto this shit. I keep the lanyards along with the ticket-stubs; I haven’t kept every single one, but a few of them. A bunch of them were hanging in my son’s room – they were (sorta) parts of his dress-ups for a while, but weren’t really used. So I’m binning them. Read More »
There I am with
my pen in my
hand, with my
ear to the ground,
with my heart on
my sleeve, with my
phone at the ready,
with my computer
always on, with my
words lining up in
little rows, with my
list piling up and up and
spilling over and then over
and again, with my
hopes dashed, with my
hype somehow remaining,
with my spirit waning, with
my eyes dimmed, with my
my rhymes running out, with
no end in sight (and not just
because my eyes have dimmed).
Next Saturday, November 23, sees the Spines return to the stage at the San Fran in Wellington.
Not only that, they’ll be bringing new songs – from a new album. The band’s latest recording, Dreamboat, will be launched. So it’ll be a set of brand new songs as well as some back-catalog favourites.