For the last couple of years I’ve been turning up once a month or so and reviewing a couple of albums on RNZ’s Afternoon Show with Jesse Mulligan. A couple of times there’s been a fill-in host, but mostly it’s been me with Jesse. He’s nice to talk with about music – he seems to respect me as a critic, knows and follows my work at least. He’ll hit me up about controversies, there’s a bit of gentle ribbing, but he lets me talk – and seems interested in what I’m there to say.
It’s a dream gig – I turn up and talk. I’m good at that. No notes. No script. Just go at it…
Earlier this week I had my last go for the year – and about 40 minutes before I was set to go on (I was just about to leave the house) I got an email expressing mild panic, one of the albums I was set to talk about had been covered the week previous by anyone else. So it was back – very quickly – to the drawing board.
Anyway, that ended up fine – but I like that seat-of-the-pants aspect.
So I’m going to provide the links here – for anyone interested – to the year’s radio reviews by me.
First visit for me this year was on February 8 and I talked about a new album from American singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop and the second album from Wellington’s instrumental post-rock/ambient metal duo, Into Orbit.
At the end of that same month (March 29) I was back to talk about Semper Femina, the sixth album (and best to date) by Laura Marling as well as the third album from Father John Misty.
For June 14 it was about the Christine McVie/Lindsey Buckingham record and the new one from Roger Waters.
On July 19 I talked about an EP by Reb Fountain and an album by Courtney Marie Andrews.
August 23 I featured two Kiwi albums, two Wellington-based artists, the first album in 30 years by the Spines and the first album ever by Chris Armour.
For September 27 the theme was Africa, two of my favourite records of the year, Malian singer Oumou Sangare and Nigerian drummer Tony Allen.
And then a few days ago, December 6, I talked about Joe Henry’s magical new record and the re-record of Tracy Bonham’s debut, now reimagined as Modern Burdens.
It’s fun to talk – and I enjoyed these talks. I’m not sure I’m expecting anyone to go back and listen to them all, or to any of them, but I’ve compiled them here anyway for anyone that might be interested.
I’m looking forward to talking about a range of new music again in 2018 on RNZ.