Monday, November 12, 2007


Ok so some great artists are coming to little old NZ shortly. PJ Harvey, Jon Bon Jovi, Kiss, not to mention all the BDO artists so far announced...

But the most underrated international act of the season, coming to the North Island in December, is The Gossip.

This queer punk-soul band comes from the US, where they've been knocking the socks off people for some time now. Finally they're coming to play for us, and most of the country still have never heard their kickass sound!

I shouldn't pigeon-hole them as queer- they're as queer as the Scissor Sisters, Le Tigre, Bloc Party or Tegan & Sara: ie they have openly-gay band members, but they don't sing all their songs about "life as a homo muso". "Standing in the way of control" is, however, a lovely ditty about homophobia in US politics.

The reason why every man woman and child should wrap their ears around The Gossip is that they are fantastic. Beth Ditto's huge, sexy voice makes the band sound like Janis Joplin in leather pants. Funky leather pants. With hot pink stilettos... they have been likened to The White Stripes if it was fronted by Aretha Franklin. Ditto was also voted NME's coolest rock icon of 2006.

One of the great pleasures of living in New Zealand is that from time to time, we are visited by a huge, stunning and influential rock band, and we get to see them someplace intimate for just a few bucks because they're not mainstream-big enough to have made it on to our radar yet. Let's not forget even Christchurch was once visited by Nirvana, they played the Dux De Lux...

The Gossip are playing December 8th at the King's Arms Auckland, and December 9th at the SF Bathhouse Wellington. It should be something like this:

check out these little mp3s as well :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Living in a cave (but it's nothing like the Flinstones)

I'm living in a cave at the moment. That sounds so glamorous- like I should have a dinosaur waste-disposal machine and read a newspaper etched in stone.

But actually it's not like that at all. I'm living in a series of small dark rooms. I work during the day in a small dark room lit by computer and tv screens, and I work during the night in another small dark room lit by computer and tv screens. It's fun, taking on work on-the-side, but I really feel like what sunlight I do see burns my eyes...

The best way to make peace with this existence is with the right sounds to keep me going. I'm listening to a lot of Ed Harcourt, particularly his album "Here Be Monsters". My former music-guru once handed me a copy of this album, promising me it would forever more be an essential cd in my collection. He was right. It's beautiful, timeless, and it's never the wrong time to put it on.

I have since gifted it to many of my friends. If you ever see it in the store, buy it!

I've also been listening to lots of Breaks Co-Op. Their first album "Roofers" is one of NZ's great classics, and their second album "The Other Side" is another- despite having been thrashed in one too many cafes right after its release.

As well as breaking out the classics at times like these, I like to find new stuff and make up a playlist of delicious new discoveries and re-discoveries.
Here are a few choice MP3s to add some sparkle to your day, they've sparkled up mine! They're going straight on to my iPod playlist.

They are: Bloc Party- Like Eating Glass
Cat Power- Metal Heart
Gomez- Don't Let Me Down (Live Beatles cover)
Joan as Police Woman- The Ride
and the very random
CocoRosie- Madonna

Thursday, November 1, 2007

crazy for mash

For as long as music has existed, less-talented-but-better-looking musicians have re-released sure-fire-hits by more-talented-but-not-so-hot musicians. I hate that.
What I do love however, is creative and respectful reuse of great tracks. NOT "ibiza remixes" where a song is sped-up and butchered with a casiotone, draining it of all soul; but great samples, mash ups and covers that capture the original and use it for good, not evil.

I used to think that mash ups in particular were gimmicky until I travelled to Nepal and found that although sometimes it can get horribly lost in translation, the gangsta-rap vs. bollywood mash up is truly fantastic.

Then the Grey Album was released (and quickly banned), which was such a beautiful little marriage of music that renegade bloggers still host it and try getting it out there. Like here.

Check out "What More Can I Say", it's fantastic.

I love great covers of great songs, too. I've said that before.

But if there's one thing that truly excites me in music it's the beautifully executed sample. Like this one:

mmmm. and this one:

and my new favourite: here's the original track, sampled heaps and heaps of times by many different artists. Listen, see how many you can pick! I found this on a wicked site:


Monday, October 29, 2007

shiny new music makes happy little people

I love that lead-up to Christmas where artists are releasing stuff and announcing they're releasing stuff. It's cool. Goldfrapp have just announced they're bringing out another wee gem in February, which is exciting.

Here's one of my faves from their last two albums, and it has a pretty cool vid too:

Other than that exciting bit of news, I suggest y'all head down to your local music store and wrap your ears around the new Bettye Lavette album called "the scene of the crime". It's fab. This woman can definitely sing and she's so incredibly underrated. Her last album was a collection of covers. Check out her doing Dolly Parton :

PJ Harvey's new album "White Chalk" is one I suggest you don't really bother with. I am a big fan of Polly, always have been. But apart from a few exciting experiments with interesting sounds, and a couple of cool singles, I certainly wouldn't waste my money on an album that sounds alot like all those tracks on her previous albums that you would usually skip.

I have to make mention right now of the coolest thing PJ Harvey ever did though: Desert Sessions. They're a supergroup, made up of various rock stars including PJ Harvey, Josh Homme, Chris Cornell and Twiggy Ramirez. Having gifted the world with the Desert Sessions, I forgive PJ Harvey for any shit that she puts out, ever.

Let's not forget Flight of the Conchords, the comedy duo that New Zealand gave no attention to until they got discovered and made it big in the US. They've released an EP, with their full album coming up shortly. They're very very clever boys, although we have to admit they've been recycling the same stuff for as long as we can remember... it's fun to hear their tracks on the radio at the moment though! Their HBO show rocks. Check it out

and of course there's Kylie to look forward to, although I'm afraid I might be a bit disappointed by her album "X"...

we'll see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For My Homegirl

I did a little road trip recently last weekend, it was great. I love driving long distances, because it gives me an excuse to make great mixtapes, and listen to them uninterrupted for hours. On this recent roadtrip, I actually resurrected some old mixtapes, which made it even better. It's so fun to listen to all my favourite songs from a few years ago.

I was going to make a big, shiny blog post dedicated to my awesomeness at compiling roadtrip mixtapes. Actually, I thought I'd share some of the awesome roadtrip mixtape tracks from those old CDs (2003-2004 vintage) I was listening to in the car on the weekend.

Until I was reminded that I am a bum who drives long distances, while my homegirl is a legend who runs long distances instead.

Personally, I don't want to use my legs when I have a perfectly useful motor vehicle. But some people like using their legs, and my homegirl is doing a roadtrip of her own this weekend, in the form of a half-marathon.

I am so humbled by her innovation to use her body for something more useful than just sex and eating, that I want to dedicate a little blog post to her.

here's a little mini-mixtape for those who like to run. Yep, it's a tacky little taster...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

He's coming down in a blaze of glory!!!

Oh yeeeeahhhh.

The man who rocked my childhood is coming to visit! He's going to play a few tunes, pull a few sweet moves and maybe even rock my world one more time to make it last.
That's right, it's my secret man-crush...
Jon Bon Jovi.
Oh yeeeahhhh.
Thanks to a few crazy fans out there who put together a petition asking Mr. Bon Jovi to please come play for us here in Aotearoa, the man himself will be playing one show in January.
Why he's only coming to Christchurch I don't know. I suppose it's a great way to filter out the hard-core fans from the kids who want to go 'cos he was cool in the 80's and 80's retro is so hot right now...
Only a true hard-core fan would subject ones' self to the city of Christchurch in order to be rocked. I intend to be rocked- I know I can cope with at least two days in Christchurch. I've been acclimatising gently over the years. Most people can barely cope with passing through- but I'm tough. I'll do it for the man who rocked me as a child.
Oh yeeeaaahhhh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007