CH 27 MAR
28 2012 #0
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There’s an STA Travel billboard that until recently hung high on Auckland’s Hobson St, sounding a warning to office workers walking that bland stretch of the inner city and thumbing its nose at the date of birth on my passport. Spitting distance from my apartment, it reads “Before you hit 35, hit the world”. It seems only right then that the good folks at STA came to the party and slammed me and Hugh onto the streets of Austin Texas, as SXSW once again took over the city in a riot of sounds, smells and discussion, and free beer and tacos to go with. SXSW HAS BEEN calling my name for a decade, and every year the buzz sounding from downtown Austin has rung in my ears as more and more musicians head there to make a noise, spearhead a campaign or launch an album. SXSW is a giant marketing exercise where Jay-Z gets in bed with American Express to launch a Twitter partnership and Lil Wayne makes Mountain Dew a trending topic with a #DEWeezy assault, but it’s also where that band that’s about to have the internet going nutz bangs out unofficial guerilla gigs in the hope of being heard above the din. And to watch this unfold from the distance of New Zealand is a tough ask, with Twitter feeds only amplifying SXSW
FOMO, offering real-time play-by-plays of what we’re missing out on in Austin. This time, though, we made it there. As this year’s keynote speaker, Bruce Springsteen joined SXSW’s boomer pantheon that includes Robert Plant, Neil Young and Pete Townshend, and he began his address by making it clear that there is no one “key note” to define the conference’s mindboggling dimensions. “When I was invited to do the keynote speech at this year’s conference I was a little hesitant because the word ‘keynote’ made me uncomfortable – it seemed to suggest that there was a ‘key note’ to be struck that sums up whatever’s going on out there in the streets. Five days of bands, hundreds of venues from morning to
night, and no one hardly agrees on anything in pop anymore. There is no key note, I don’t think. There is no unified theory of everything.” Amen to that, Boss. In lieu of a Grand Pop Theory, SXSW is the ecumenical church that has the scope to house the lot of it, as a city heaving with bars and live venues opens its doors to a congregation of every stripe and hue. And with so much competing for attention, SXSW giveth and taketh away; there is simply not enough time to do any more than dip your toes into what’s on the menu. I could rattle off names I was able to catch in a mad six-day-dash across the city’s pubs, clubs, parks and arenas – artists like Fiona Apple, Timbaland, Andrew Bird,
Facebook.com/volumemag Big K.R.I.T., Sleigh Bells, ASAP Rocky, Gary Clark Jr, 50 Cent performing Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with cameos from Eminem and his Shady 2.0 co, plus a local contingent that included Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cairo Knife Fight, Electric Wire Hustle and King Kapisi – but what I missed out on is more telling. I made the cut in the lottery for tickets to see Springsteen give a masterclass in performance alongside Arcade Fire, Jimmy Cliff, Tom Morello and The Animals’ Eric Burdon, but I didn’t catch the other Bawse, Rick Ross, tear down the Fader Fort with Black Hippy, Santigold and TheDream. I witnessed Nas return to Illmatic with DJ Premier and Pete Rock riding shotgun, but I didn’t make it past the bouncer at a small club called The Belmont while the crowd inside lost their collective mind as Kanye took the stage. I caught Anthony Bourdain discuss social media, Billy Corgan whinge his way through a panel, and Al Gore and Sean Parker talk “Occupy Democracy”, but I missed out on throwing up a
“whoop-whoop” with the Juggalos and Juggalettes at the Insane Clown Posse Q&A session, and I wasn’t at the Third Man showcase where fellow Juggalo Jack White divvied up his songs between all-male and all-female bands. But there’s always next year. In this week’s issue we take you inside our experience of a trip Hugh and I are still getting our heads around – and we’ve got platefuls of more SXSW content to serve up in print and online in the months ahead. A great big thanks to STA Travel’s Sarah Bedford and Natalie Sharod for getting us there, Gary Fortune and Alan Holt from the New Zealand Music Commission for their invaluable local knowledge and help on the ground, and the New Zealand musicians who let us trail them with microphones and cameras over the week – y’all the best. See you next year in Austin for more of those tacos.
@__volume__ EDITOR: Sam Wicks firstname.lastname@example.org WEB EDITOR: Hugh Sundae email@example.com DEPARTMENT OF VOLUME SALES: John Baker firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN: Xanthe Williams WRITERS: David Carroll, David Dallas, Nick Gaffaney, Duncan Greive, Jessica Hansell, Kody Nielson, Joe Nunweek, Hugh Sundae, Aaron Tokona, Aaron Yap ILLUSTRATION: Lopeti Tu’itahi PHOTOGRAPHERS: Ted Baghurst, Leilani Momoisea, Hugh Sundae AN APN PUBLICATION
KING KAPISI How does it feel to have been to your second SXSW? Last time me and Teremoana [Rapley] were really overwhelmed, but this time we knew what to expect and the pace of the whole thing. We’ve had a chance to play with some of our bros from back home like Electric Wire Hustle and Cairo Knife Fight, and these are some of my favourite musos from Aotearoa – playing with them here in Austin Texas is incredibly dope. You caught up with Dilated People’s Rakaa Iriscience for a feed in Los Angeles on your way to Austin. What was on the menu? We ate chicken and waffles at Roscoes. I said to bro, ‘Chicken and waffles don’t mix,’ but when you put the syrup on the waffles and the chicken, it tastes incredible. I think me and Che Fu should bring the idea to New Zealand and be the ambassadors – it’s like Island soul food. Any celebrity sightings in LA? I actually saw Rob Lowe outside Roscoes so I went and took a photo with the bro. Tere was like, ‘Don’t take a photo with him,’ but I had to do it – it’s not every day you see Rob Lowe! At the New Zealand SXSW showcase, you were soliciting for a US agent. Any bites? Yeah, we talked to two or three cats who came and talked to us after the show. We got some bites so it’s good. King Kapisi releases his fourth album, Hip-Hop Lives Here, later this year.
SEND ME A POSTCARD Opossom’s debut album Electric Hawaii will be released by Dark Summer Records on Saturday 21 April.
GARY FORTUNE – NEW ZEALAND MUSIC COMMISSION EXPORT MANAGER
I run a funding programme called Outward Sound which people can apply to go overseas to go on tour or do business. We also run trade shows around the world including SXSW. There were 35 bands that applied to play this year – 15 were chosen, and we’ve ended up with five acts here, and our role is to connect the dots. We’ll get a marketing company on board to work with the individual promotions companies that the bands have already got – that helps lift their profile above the din so that when they arrive in Austin, people know their name. We have a trade stand here promoting New Zealand music, and then we hold an official SXSW showcase and we use it to make noise for our artists and get them in front of our guest list of people we’ve made friends with over the past few years. There are
instant successes that come out of this – bands do get signed – but they are not the norm. SXSW is a place to lift your profile, make new fans and come home with some new contacts.
My eyes were definitely bigger than my belly. I’d studied the menu as best I could in the time provided and was looking forward to trying new things as well as some old faithfuls in a new setting. I guess I knew I’d ordered too much but I thought I’d just be leaving a bit on my plate, rather than having to forgo entire courses. But I’d never been to SXSW before – Hugh knew?
WELL, FORGO ENTIRE courses I did. Entire meals even. Actually, I can’t keep up this bands-as-food analogy anymore. With thousands of acts across hundreds of venues I realised I wasn’t going to be able to see a drop in the desert of what I wanted. The Jesus and Mary Chain, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Niki & The Dove, Mobb Deep, Pharoahe Monch, M. Ward and Dr John all thrown out along with the other half of my wish list. Those hardworking Kiwi bands I was there to cover just kept playing too bloody much. Actually it was hard not to feel proud of how hard those local bands
welcoming art-installation you’d expect at Splore. It all takes place in a relatively small area of the CBD. If you were in Auckland it would be a bit like seeing Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the Wine Cellar before wandering down to DOC to catch Electric Wire Hustle, then maybe catch a cab to the Town Hall to see Bruce Springsteen. Actually that last one is based on A: being able to get a cab, and B: winning tickets in the lottery. Like Sam did. And I didn’t. worked. Over recent years you hear That whole cab thing was one of the the odd line about these events being bigger disappointments of the week, junkets or government agency funds but that was only because we booked going towards bands having a holiday, so late. The smart thing to do is book but I don’t buy into any of that. Even your accommodation and accreditation just going through the comparatively easy process of getting a journalist visa in August to get any chance of staying in the CBD. As it was we were six and getting my camera gear through miles north up the freeway. The days US air travel gave me a new respect started and ended with cab-waits of for bands that can pull off ANY tour, anywhere between 40 minutes and let alone SXSW. three hours. As a venue, Austin turns it on. Luckily Gary Fortune and Alan The city fully embraces the event and Holt of the New Zealand Music piggybacks on its success. You feel Commission had rooms in the city different the moment you get off the that were given over to any of the plane and see giant model guitars New Zealand contingent for use as a on the baggage carousel – the sort of
base, edit suite, toilet, shower, internet connection, ahem, minibar. They spent the first few days of the music festival over at the trade show, peddling New Zealand music to anyone who’d listen, at their stand directly opposite the much larger Australian
“With thousands of acts across hundreds of venues I realised I wasn’t going to be able to see a drop in the desert of what I wanted.”
stand, in a scene reminiscent, and possibly the inspiration for, that Flight of the Conchords episode where the duo perform at the expo. The evenings were spent lugging my wheely bag of cameras, lenses, lights and microphones from venue to venue. Trying to show up an hour before the performance to get a good spot and get onside with the sound guy
(PC clarification – they WERE all guys) to get a desk-feed. Some performances were packed and some were empty. But at the very first show I went to – Electric Wire Hustle at Swan Dive – a potential tour deal was struck. There are also rumours of another local act having interest for a UK album release. I’m told Kimbra was in the top 10 searched-for acts on the SXSW website. I’d have asked her about that in an interview but her schedule was, quite rightly, full of international press interviews. SXSW isn’t for every band. You can’t be precious about soundchecks or personal grooming, and not being vegetarian is advantageous. If you’re eyeing up next year you should already be saving and be making it one stop of a bigger tour. I doubt I’ve even touched the sides of what SXSW is here. Luckily this whole issue is dedicated to getting the point across. If you want to see footage, interviews and more from the week – and there will be more going up over the next couple of weeks – head to nzherald.co.nz/sxsw.
Beck’s has worked with local artists and up-and-coming designers to create special labels inspired by musicians, and the limited-edition bottles available in bars and specially marked packs are the result of this project. For Talking Heads, Beck’s collaborators Andrew McLeod and Cut Off Your Hands’ Nick Johnston talked about their partnership. Photography Ted Baghurst The song that Andrew responded to and in fact all the bottles that were done in the Cut Off Your Hands one is a song called ‘Hollowed Out’. We basically chose it because it was our favourite song on the record. When we recorded it, it spoke to the project in the most apt way – we felt it was a summation of what this thing
NICK JOHNSTON: It seemed like the brief was really loose, which is quite cool but quite daunting in a way as well. When I’m given a design brief or something or even songs for publishing or whatever, it’s always good to have some parameters. So I was quite interested in the scariness of how that would translate into this final product, and also because we’ve always worked quite closely with artists and designers and in particular the Special Problems guys since we started, that’s quite important for us. So we were like, ‘Yeah, that’s a cool thing – we’d be happy to be tied to something that’s visual’.
“If we were to choose one song to give to an artist or a designer to make a label for, we thought that’s probably it.” – NICK JOHNSTON
ANDREW MCLEOD: I mean, a brief is a foreign idea to artists, and so it was actually better the less said. Painting and fine art is a very ‘unpopulated’ thing compared to pop music and graphic design and stuff, so the [Beck’s collaboration] was like a fun side-project.
I listened to it three or four or five times. I mean, if you’re thinking
was about. And so if we were to choose one song to give to an artist or a designer to make a label for, we thought that’s probably it. And it also meant that it’s awareness for that track, and we didn’t really release that as a single at all, and so perhaps people might check it out.
about visuals, I mainly thought about genres, sub-genres and all that stuff, so then you think of the visuals that go with those different things. I’d seen [Cut Off Your Hands] play and I’d seen one of their T-shirts – and I think I’ve seen a video – so I had some ideas about visual territory. [‘Hollowed Out’] sounded a bit different to the older stuff so then I thought about what differences there were and what visual differences go with that. [The label’s] like abstract geometric… I extracted it from a painting I did which is pretty classic Bauhaus constructivism, early 20th Century and the roots of modernism. That’s a point in design and painting history that is the roots of topography and design now and it’s also the roots of a lot of painting – El Lissitzky and Malevich and Josef Albers. That’s a nice common ground, isn’t it?
we weren’t, like, cringing – which often happens with any visual response to a music thing. It was interesting to see this and take a bit of a hands-off approach in that respect and get given something, and to enjoy it and to like the result. I’m intrigued; I’m interested by your response to that.
That’s something that drew me in particular to this design because when you’re talking about early modernists being such a huge influence on, say, Factory Records for example – Peter Saville did some of my favourite covers for some of my favourite records. So I was immediately drawn to that – like, ‘Wow, that looks like something that could have been in our canon of work’ – it might look like an EP that he did which might have just got released in England or a T-Shirt that he might have done. We got sent through a bunch of ideas that were floating around. You normally have this thing of going back and forth, but we were interested in staying a little bit more hands-off, so from the start we didn’t give any direction or anything and we were lucky enough for it to work out where
I think there’s a simplicity to that label as well and to the design that you’ve come up with that perhaps speaks to the simplicity of the band. Like, we’re just a three-piece band with a singer, you know. We make no mistake about it – we are quite nostalgic at times and unapologetically so, and I feel like that’s there as well. You got that, and that’s cool.
I know with visual culture people, it’s such an unconscious thing. You know whether the cover is inappropriate for the music – people just know, they just feel it. I love all that stuff. It’s such a relief when everyone’s going to understand it. When I do a painting most of my own friends don’t understand it but when I do a design sideproject…
ck McLeod and Ni audio of Andrew ld.co.nz/ ra he nz To listen to the to ad nversation, he Johnston in co y. m 2pm Tuesda fro e liv – volume Andrew McLeod is online at andrew mcleod.co.nz an Cut Off Your Hand d s is at cutoffyourh ands.com.
Tooled up with an arsenal of drums, guitar, synth bass and loop pedals, Cairo Knife Fight brought the noise to SXSW for a week of shows and Texas barbecue, and survived to tell the tale. Here’s their blow-by-blow account of one week in Austin. Text Aaron Tokona/Nick Gaffaney Photography Hugh Sundae FRIDAY 9 MARCH – CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND AARON TOKONA: Tonight was the last gig of a tour supporting I Am Giant – we fly out at 4am tomorrow morning to San Francisco en route to Austin. I can start to feel our little band connecting as there are more and more people showing up to our gigs with our T-shirts on, and there are lots more girls up the front on Nick’s side and even more sexually-confused people on my side. The band is red-hot for this whole Austin buzz. One Maori and one Pakeha fulla, ready to go. SATURDAY 10 MARCH – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA AT: There are a few signs you’re on the way to rock’n’roll stardom, and flying on American Airlines is not one of them. Having been dropped at Christchurch Airport at 4am by my amazing wife, I leave her again with the hope that one day I’ll make some coin outta this whole buzz. San Francisco customs was a breeze – the guy at the counter asked us if we knew Katchafire, stamped our shit and let us through! San Fran is a choice town. We went out to some bars around the corner, drank beers, whisky and shots. That sorted out the jet lag buzz. My highlight – I brought my 10-year-old an iPad. Awesome, she will love it – she already blazes me on computers. MONDAY 12 MARCH – AUSTIN, TEXAS NICK GAFFANEY: I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that airports engender a special kind of anxiety. Especially American ones. Every musician knows the rage of the excess baggage lottery, but it only cost $160 to get all this ridiculous amount of shit we take with us onto the plane. Twoperson band, twice the gear. Into Austin and straight out to meet our mates Gary Fortune and Alan Holt (from the New Zealand Music Commission) and Hugh Sundae and Sam Wicks (local tabloid phone hackers). We’re out in South Austin, a
few miles from downtown. Gary and Alan are at the Hilton downtown. Government types! Gary and Alan are old hands at this SXSW thing so they show us the buzz. Barbecue is the name of the game here so we hit this True Blood-looking place and I order this whole cow in rib form. Next level. All Aaron can get out between mouthfuls of pork ribs is how his cuzzies would LOVE this place. WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH AT: Gig day. Our US manager Kirk Harding flies in today. The last time he saw us play was in New York – he saw one gig, we had one Chinese meal, and that was the deal done. En route to our first gig, we walk our gear through thousands of people in what feels like 1000-degree heat. We get into the venue and the band on stage sounds horrid, which immediately makes me feel better! Next minute we’re playing to five people and sounding unbelievably awful! I take a momentary glance at Kirk and can’t help but think he’s thinking, ‘Oh no, what have I done?’ Well, we lost our
SXSW virginity and it was a lame lay, but we blew the PA up – true story. Our second gig is our one official SXSW show so there’s lots of SXSW crew on hand to help. They couldn’t believe the gear we had and kept asking me, ‘You’re a two-piece, right?’ We sounded good and I think we nailed the gig. THURSDAY 15 MARCH NG: Up early. Kirk picks us up and we head in to meet Sam and Hugh for a photo shoot. Getting your photo taken on a street when it’s obvious that no one knows who you are can make you feel like a bit of a cock, but that kinda thing is going on all over this city this week. Poor Hugh had been up all night sitting in the lobby of the Hilton (which isn’t even his hotel) editing footage for the Herald online so he’s absolutely shattered. What ever you pay him, it’s not enough! We picked up a last minute gig at this place called ND’s. Killer space and great PA. The set is genuinely enjoyable and as quick as it starts it’s over. There’s virtually no time to get into the show so you have to hit the ground running. The New Zealand showcase is the other main focus here for us along with our B.D. Riley’s gig so we get there early to sort it out. It’s in a great spot, the weather has held out and there are loads of people. Electric Wire Hustle is setting the pace when we arrive. These guys have some great things going on over here and in Europe and it’s easy to see why.
Aaron’s busting out his new Gretsch White Falcon guitar so this gig is pretty raucous. I love shows like this where it seems that the walls are caving in and an aircraft is going to land on stage. The highlight of the week occurred too when the daughter of a friend from New Zealand got onstage to dance with us. It kinda felt like home for a minute. SATURDAY 17 MARCH AT: I think we are both starting to feel the tiredness now. Everything about this buzz is hectic and relentless. We have one show to get through today – the Australian Barbecue showcase. In the spirit of the ANZACs we lock and load and head to the venue. Next minute we’re back at the barbecue joint eating ribs again. They are so good at the start of the meal, but by the end of it you actually feel sick. I thought about turning into a vegetarian after that one, and I’m a Maori! SUNDAY 18 MARCH NG: There is NO way in hell Aaron will ever become a vegetarian. That needs to be addressed before we go any further. The festival is basically over now so we get a cab straight to the last venue we’ll play – that’s been unheard of this week. We drop the gear and head to dinner with the last of the New Zealand crew. The margaritas are flowing and it’s a great way to see out the week. This last gig was really a celebration of the week and all the incredible people who made it happen. And just like that, it’s over. This festival is one that defines you as a band; it requires teamwork and strategy combined with a hefty output of sweat. I think we came through it fantastically well. What I’ve come away from SXSW with is a renewed awareness that there are some incredibly talented people from New Zealand working at the very top of the international music industry. We met some on this trip and it’s extraordinarily inspiring to spend time with them and listen to the stories and take on the advice. Play SXSW again? Never! Unless we’re being paid to. Once was perfect and the most I could handle. Visit SXSW? Definitely, best experience possible for a punter. Special thanks to our mate Justyn Pilbrow who travelled from NYC to tech for us. It would’ve been a nightmare without him. Thanks bro! See you soon! Check out the video for Cairo Knife Fight’s ‘The Violence of Action’ at eflyer.liberation.com.au/cario_ violence.
Each week Duncan Greive performs some low grade analysis on the week’s New Zealand Singles Chart and reviews a few new release pop singles. To submit or suggest a track for review email singles@ volumemagazine.co.nz or tweet @duncangreive.
THE X FACTOR TAKES THE TOP SPOT AGAIN
Chris Rene swoops from the US X Factor to go straight in at number one (see adjacent “review”), with Carly Rae Jepsen breathing down his neck, a prospect he should love but probably finds deeply uncomfortable Chris Rene because her dress isn’t made from fair-trade organic cotton. Such a pissweak song. Jepsen should roll him by next week, hopefully. The big gainer is “DJ” Havana Brown’s ‘We Run the Night’, rising from 30 to five, giving lie to my poorly founded predictions of an end to pop trance’s chart domination. The big moves don’t end there, with last week’s number one single, K’Naan’s ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ dropping to number seven, and the week prior’s a slot behind it at eight. The only new entry aside from the chart-topper is Taylor Swift’s ‘Safe and Sound’ from The Hunger Games soundtrack, in at 22. Given how wowed the crowd was at her shows last week that could go a little higher, and she’s also got three albums in the long trousers chart, including her cute debut album finally entering a mere five-anda-half-years after it was released. Other charts of note include the US, where One Direction’s debut album just debuted at number one, and the UK’s singles chart, where Kimbra and Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ has its fourth week at number one, and is the best-selling single of the year so far. Who knew it would run like that, huh?
RIANZ TOP 10 NEW ZEALAND SINGLES CHART 1 Chris Rene – ‘Young Homie’
2 Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘Call Me Maybe’
3 Fun. ft. Janelle Monae – ‘We Are Young’ 4 Nicki Minaj – ‘Starships’
5 Havana Brown – ‘We Run the Night’ 6 Emeli Sande – ‘Next to Me’
7 K’Naan ft. Nelly Furtado – ‘Is Anybody Out There’ 8 Reece Mastin – ‘Good Night’ 9 Train – ‘Drive By’
10 Cher Lloyd – ‘Want U Back’
SINGLE OF THE WEEK LANA DEL RAY – ‘Blue Jeans’ I was trying really hard not to pay attention to all that Lana Del Ray stuff that was going around. Are we really still worried about whether someone’s “indie” or whatever? Jesus Christ. Anyway, this song has a few things which are great, namely the slow-burning immensity of the production and the deepseated longing of the chorus. I’m also okay with the r’n’b affectations of the lyrics (“fresh to death”, “gangsta”, “ride or die”) – that’s the world we live in, or we’d want to, right? I do have a problem with that “You were like/ James Dean” line, though. I mean, seriously, does anyone think she’s seen anything other than a Rebel poster? THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER HANDSOME MEN. What’s with continuing to venerate these boomer icons? That cannot be all we’re good for, endlessly repeating the falsehoods handed down to us by that most self-obsessed generation. That stars and sex and drugs and music and everything were never so good as when they were growing up. It crushes us, diminishes our power and makes the future a game of “who can do the most with what tiny fragments of uncharted cultural territory are left,” Um, no. Still, it’s a neat song. B.O.B. – ‘So Good’ I’m sure this guy used to be good. Like he came out and people would talk about him. Now he’s just some schmuck, maybe the least credible rapper this side of Flo Rida. It’s like he’s been taken into a room and told you can have hits, or be great, but not both. Maybe there are some people who still believe that, but a large percentage of the biggest rappers of the last 10 years (DMX/Jay-Z/50 Cent/Eminem/Game/Outkast/Lil Wayne/ T.I./Kanye West/Drake et al) have been untouchably great at some point in their arc. I’m certain that B.o.B. had it in him to be more than what he has ever been. Instead we get this bouncy, empty petrol station forecourt rap produced by OneRepublic. No fun at all. If you’re going to listen to a song named ‘So Good’, let it be by Electrik Red, okay? CHRIS RENE – ‘Young Homie’ Bruno Mars’ new single ‘Young Homie’ features the trilby king singing about happiness and good times over a lush, piano-led production. This is his third number one single, following that one where he wears a trilby and plays with a cassette tape, and that one where he wears a trilby in a convertible (a dangerous game, but Mars has never been anything but a “crazy guy”). ‘Young Homie’ should cement Mars’ place in the hearts of hip dads everywhere. Oh damn. Just realised this isn’t by Bruno Mars. Eh. Same diff. STAN WALKER – ‘Music Won’t Break Your Heart’ Ironic title alert! Stan Walker’s approach is basically a neutered version of late-period Chris Brown. Which wasn’t the most teste-heavy music ever created to begin with. It’s sort of Ne-Yo’s fault, all this stuff. While ‘Because of You’ was a killer single, it basically invited all the erstwhile r’n’b singers to the club, and they just got smooth and curiously unsexual (for such a nominally arousing environment). As I said last week, the charts appear to be tiring of this stuff, and this only enters at 17 in the New Zealand singles charts, so probably sold somewhere in the region of 12 digital downloads. Party on!
known for Barenaked Ladies and Mrs Springsteen’s albums. Second and notso-good move: using a pickup band on a Wrecking Ball record that bellows for Little Stevie, Roy, (Columbia) Nils and the old firm. At least Clarence Clemons is here: musically just when and where he’s needed, spiritually all over the disc. There’s no doubt that there’s an occasional note of “stop me if you’ve heard this one before”, particularly on BRUCE IS BACK and, man, is he pissed. the opener ‘We Take Care of Our Own’, its sound and spirit reworking ‘Born in They’ve taken his (characters’) jobs. the USA’ to question America’s welcome They’ve taken his sub-prime mortgaged mat. And from the second track on, ‘Easy home. They’ve taken his American Money’, there’s a recurring drop of Irish Dream. Hell, they might even take his that might have strayed out of a Pogues baseball stadium. record. ‘Jack of All Trades’ is a workingSpringsteen’s 17 th studio album class waltz of a couple’s resolve and traverses much of the musical territory resource; the pun-titled ‘This Depression’ from Asbury Park to Nebraska, much the bleakest moment, and a hat-tip to of the emotional content from Human the Nebraska or Tom Joad era. ‘Wrecking Touch to Tunnel of Love, despite the Ball’ and ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ are promises and predictions of loops, Springsteen in full-blown stadium-rock electronic percussion and hip hop. Oh, mode before Michelle Moore takes over they’re here – just not quite as upfront or obvious as you might expect. As Time to rap ‘Rocky Ground’, which probably magazine neatly observed, “Springsteen doesn‘t sit easily with Springsteen’s long-held and well-honed persona. Tries Something New, Ends Up As he nears SuperGold Card age Sounding like Springsteen”. the Boss is still clocking on, still on the First and best move: sacking side of the Everyman and his wife, still longtime producer Brendan O’Brien, wearing his blue collar. Still on fire. Can’t whose muddy and muddled mix wait to hear his Ports of Auckland album. made Devils & Dust and Magic Review Ewan McDonald unmistakable; hiring Ron Aniello, bestTHE SHINS Port of Morrow (Columbia) It’s The Shins and not Broken Bells, but with most of the original lineup goneburger, you’d never know it. Antiseptic production – clean strums spun from purest ProTools, rhythm tracks that are patient and obedient to a fault – hampers James Mercer’s latest, even though these songs themselves are probably stronger than most of those on 2007’s Wincing the Night Away. OF MONTREAL Paralytic Stalks (Polyvinyl) Having never really been superenamoured of Kevin Barnes’ super-synthy psych-pop celebration of the Id when it was all the rage a while ago, I don’t get the equally intense backlash on this one. Seems like he’s just offering another platter of the same up to a niche of fans. This doesn’t suck at all, the way umpteenth Jonathan Richman or Robyn Hitchcox albums never sucked. ‘Wintered Debts’ is mad and great. WILLIS EARL BEAL Acousmatic Sorcery (XL) Weirdest X Factor contestant album release by so far it’s not even funny. Beal appeared on the Simon
Cowell shitshow last year as one of the outlandish early-round talents – this landed him on XL with a virtual no-fi, pot-banging Captain Beefheart strum-along of an album. There’s something bracing about the spooky atonality of this as a major release, and Beal himself is a commanding presence. MESHUGGAH Koloss (Nuclear Blast) Not going to even pretend to be a technical metal fan – it leaves me wanting for any kind of groove, but my understanding is Meshuggah have more or less taken the game for a decade or so now. Has the odd effect of inducing you into a lock-groove trance with its more pummelling and precise passages. WZRD Wzrd (Wicked Awesome Records) Kid Cudi’s couturerap gets the vanity guitar project treatment here, and the patchy results sound like if a boardroom had designed TV on the Radio by committee – some bits of nice atmosphere, drags and feels super-trite elsewhere. MASON CLINIC Prisoners (Hell Is Now Love) Aucklanders use their prettiest melodies as a sort
HUGH SUNDAE’S TOP FIVE SXSW FEEDS
1: Roaring Fork – The waiter knew we were hungry and made us order an entrée. Then he brought out the complimentary corn breads. OMG. The spicy pulled pork soft taco was incredible. Followed up by the best burger I had on the whole trip. 2: Ironworks – My introduction to Texas barbecue. An Austin-regular friend tells me its reputation comes from being close to the centre of town and musicians are inherently lazy. I did not eat any vegetables. 3: Serranos – Oh, you inconsistent beast. Early in the week Sam and I were taken by its outdoor fairy light charm and tex-mex cheese dip. Their decision to have a skeleton staff the day after SXSW ended meant our second attempt was more like El-Faulty Towers. 4: 24 Diner – When you order thickshakes do you watch as they make it to see if they actually use ice cream? You don’t need to at 24 Diner. The beef and caramelised onion sandwich may have been the death of me, but the chocolate thickshake puts this place in the top ﬁve. 5: Chipotle – Technically we had Chipotle in LA, but they’re all over the show including Austin so it makes it in. Think of it as a gourmet Mexican Subway – you choose what does/ doesn’t go in. One bite and I ended my relationship with Mexican dinner kits.
of bruised defence-mechanism in between seconds of rowdy cowboy post-punk workouts and surprisingly dextrous drumming – so yeah, we might have a local Minutemen on our hands. When the yodels ring out in the background stop-start ‘Shirts’, they’re as apt to recall Bressa Creeting Cake. Superb. VARIOUS ARTISTS Pasifika Festival: 20 th Anniversary (Dawn Raid) The towering classics on this (the songs by Upper Hutt Posse, OMC, Sisters Underground, Smashproof) make you long for a box set à la the Flying Nun one, but doing the archival job on New Zealand hip hop. This isn’t that document – which is not to disparage the Pasifika Festival’s broader church, celebrated here with pretty obvious but also pretty natural choices. ALIZARIN LIZARD The Weekend Went Without You (Banished From the Universe) Hard-touring Dunedinites have their moments – though songs like ‘Filthy House’ and ‘Biscuits and Broken Bits’ technically go through several offbeat moments, often conjuring some sort of prog version of, say, Supergrass (ie cheeky and
Anglo but still okay). I’d like them to rein in the vampy jams a bit next time – sometimes the songs lose track of what made them winners and simply meander. CHARLOTTE JOHANSEN Upon Waking… Dream (Self-released) I dig the late-’90s era mature AOR sound of West Auckland-based Johansen’s album – it evokes that weird post-Trent Reznor moment when people like Ani DiFranco tried to get edgy and sustain ballads with woozy samples. ‘Maybe It is You’ sounds like ‘A Forest’ by The Cure mixed with the Shortland Street theme! Lyrics are a little cheesy. JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT Here We Rest (Lightning Rod) Former Drive-By Trucker Isbell’s most recent album (nearly a year old) is getting some local reappraisal after he opened for Ryan Adams at the Civic. His serene meat-and-potatoes countryrock isn’t a patch on the Truckers’ many transcendent moments, but it’s to-the-point and free of airs – so basically, Adams should have been opening for Isbell and not vice versa. Reviews Joe Nunweek
Fresh out of their first SXSW experience, Electric Wire Hustle – Mara TK, David “Taay Ninh” Wright and Myele Manzanza – will be basing themselves in Berlin for six months with three main goals: getting more shows in Europe, releasing their second album and having a decent crack at America. This is a seriously driven group of young men – who are building a serious global following. Text David Carroll Photography Hugh Sundae “First I miss JayZ. Now I’m going to miss @E_W_H … que puneta.” “Sometimes the best @SXSW experiences are the least expected. Follow @E_W_H Electric Wire Hustle from NZ. Not to disappoint.” “Our favourite act last night at #SXSW was Electric Wire Hustle, Kiwi-soul purveyors from NZ. Check ‘em out!” “SF! ATTENTION! RT @ HipHopCoolAgain: Electric Wire Hustle (@E_W_H) live at @yoshisjazz SF 3/22/12!! #newzealand” MUSIC HAS ALWAYS been about connecting. Connecting with your audience and with other like-minded folks. Independent artists will acknowledge genuine connections are vital to continuing any kind of career, particularly when negotiating the sharks and trolls that inhabit the music industry. Individually and collectively, Electric Wire Hustle’s ability to connect with people from across the globe – allied to their vibe-heavy psychedelic soul sound – sees them standing on the verge of big things in 2012.
“That was one of our goals for SXSW, trying to find a good agent or some decent representation.” – Myele Manzanza
For a group of young men making music that is distinctly fresh and forward-thinking, their pragmatism is fitting. Speaking about the next six months of their lives, each of the band members is clear-headed about what they want to achieve. “It costs a lot to go and do this,” says singer and multi-instrumentalist Mara TK. “It requires big investments of time and resources, but it is an investment and we’re still in the investment stage of building our business.” “Part of basing ourselves in Europe is to try and get over to the States if any other possibilities pop up,” continues multi-instrumentalist David “Taay Ninh” Wright. “Now that Europe’s starting to build into a good
thing for us, we’re hoping we can get to that stage in the States as well, and try to establish ourselves with an agent and get some more shows.” “That was one of our goals for SXSW,” adds drummer Myele Manzanza, “trying to find a good agent or some decent representation, someone who’s on the ground and a bit more connected than we are.” “We’ve met people who were following us since pretty much day dot!” says Wright excitedly, “which just goes to show how quickly the music can travel. People are finding it. While music may not be selling as many units as it used to, the cycle’s still working – just in a different way.” EWH is well aware of the “cycle” and they’ve been working hard on having new music to perform, record and release. After spending six weeks together in Wellington prior to SXSW, they’d amassed a wealth of material, which they’re looking at filtering through while living in Berlin. As for encountering problems with the closequarter living arrangements? Their pragmatism shines through once more. “It’s a good unit,” says Manzanza, matter-of-factly. “I guess the trick is just to allow everyone their space when it’s time for that, and when it’s time to be sharp and be on the ball, then be on the ball!” “This will be the longest we’ve been away collectively focused on the band,” says Wright. “I’m excited about getting to Europe and concentrating on all of this, and working through the musical ideas we threw down for the album. It’s pretty eclectic!” “A couple of people have said it’s fruity,” says TK. “I don’t think it’s fruity; it’s more like three distinguishable styles. Myele’s producing more on this album and I think all three of us have been listening to quite different things for the last little while, so that has certainly seeped into the sound.” “We don’t have any guidelines to follow,” explains Wright. “It’s instinctual and at the same time it comes out in our discussions: ‘Is this us?’ But even asking that question’s a bit abstract because we feel that we’re evolving. We haven’t moulded it to the point where we’re like, ‘okay, cool, this is us’… Yet!”
FIVE SXSW SHOWS IN THREE DAYS (IN THEIR OWN WORDS) “SXSW is crazy, there’s no doubt about that,” states David “Taay Ninh” Wright. “It really feels like the centre of the musical universe for the period that it engulfs Austin. And Austin seems to wholeheartedly welcome being engulfed!” SHOW ONE – First up is the Yours Tru.ly showcase (our fam from San Fran). We’ve been warned of potentially small crowds, but it’s packed and the reception is warm. See B-Bravo and The Starship Connection live and meet Coultrain (Hawthorne Headhunters, PPP), which is dope. SHOW TWO – Our friends Mint Collective and Grown Kids Radio (Bay Area). Amazing setting in a beautifully designed space. I’m distracted by the view and the handmade T-shirts we’re given. There’s a good vibe here and the lineup is tight. We try to perform the hell out of our show after Alice Russell smashes it with San Fran’s legendary The Park. SHOW THREE – The Couch Sessions. Now we’re out in a tent on the other side of town. Some big names on the bill with us. We put on a good show and convert some new fans. Hang out with The Step Kids after and talk donuts and a get-together in New York. SHOW FOUR – New Zealand showcase. Feels like home. King Kapisi slays it and so does Cairo Knife Fight and Avalanche City after us. We put on a tight show, and while the crowd is more industry it feels good as we walk off the stage. Shout out to Gary Fortune and the New Zealand Music Commission. SHOW FIVE – The plush Driskill hotel and the Style X showcase. With under an hour before start time things run really tight – too tight – and a keyboard is caught in traffic. We have to make do with one. Maybe it’s the last show. Maybe it’s resigning yourself to the fact it’s not going to be perfect and that’s just the nature of SXSW. Maybe it’s the body seeing the finish line and some potential rest? We give it our all and let go of all the rigmarole that’s surrounded getting here and being here. We play the hardest we’ve played and it’s acknowledged by the whole audience, which is rewarding. Meet some great people afterwards and there’s talk of more things to come, including yet another Miller Light (much to everyone’s delight).
ATTACK THE BLOCK Director Joe Cornish Starring Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail J.J. ABRAMS COULD PROBABLY learn a thing or two from Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block. Whereas Abrams’ similarly youthcentred creature feature Super 8 struggled to liberate itself from fastidiously worshipping the altar of Steven Spielberg, Brit comic/radio personality Cornish’s directorial debut bristles with a fresh, youthful, vibrant energy of its own. It ranks alongside his buddy Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead as the sort of uncommonly smart genre romp that rejuvenates musty conventions while reminding us why we love these films in the first place. The premise, about a group of teenage thugs fighting off aliens that have landed around their South London apartment block with the help of a nurse (Jodie Whittaker) they’ve
Of the three adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not, Howard Hawks’ 1944 film, which paired Bogie and Bacall for the first time, is the best known. But the 1950 version, The Breaking Point (Warner Archives), from Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) and starring John Garfield, is the best, and the one Hemingway preferred. Garfield’s hard-bitten performance as a skipper turning to crime to support his family and Curtiz’s crisp, punchy direction make this a crackling noir that’s due for reappraisal (it’s been out of circulation for years). The closing shot is arguably the most daring of its era.
mugged, is set up with an accomplished Carpenter-esque sense of economy. The film’s wicked sense of humour allows for plenty of quick-witted, quotable dialogue (“Go out there and try feeding them some Pedigree Chum! They’re ALIENS, luv!”). But it’s not at the expense of the action, which arrives briskly and thrillingly, unafraid to knock off a few of its younger characters in the process. The creature design is hands-down one of the best and most innovative I’ve seen in a while. Without revealing too much, it’s a masterclass in suggestion and stylisation: no elaborate slaved-over CG of scaly skin or gooey tentacles, and all the more memorable, unique and menacing for it. I mean, who can honestly remember what the alien in Super 8 looks like? Review Aaron Yap
During the making of Attack the Block, director Joe Cornish looked at a number of movies for inspiration. In addition to referencing ’80s monster/alien ﬂicks like E.T., Gremlins and Critters, he also studied gang movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish and The Outsiders, particularly for the visual way they presented the gangs on screen.
At the recent Nickelodeon Upfront presentation, Michael Bay revealed that the turtles in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot that he’s producing will be from an “alien race”. Jonathan Liebesman is directing the film, which will come out in December 2013. The long-gestating 24 movie that Kiefer Sutherland has always reassured will happen has been put on hold once again. It seems that Fox wants to spend a lot less on the production than Sutherland and producer Brian Grazer would like. In head-scratching remake news, WWE and Lionsgate are planning to remake Leprechaun, the schlocky 1993 B-horror which starred preFriends Jennifer Aniston and Warwick Davis as a 600-yearold leprechaun terrorising her.
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NEW ALBUM OUT MARCH www.justintownesearle.com www.lovepolice.com.au www.muchmoremusic.co.nz
LOVE POLICE TOURING & MUCH MORE MUSIC PRESENT
David Dallas and Cut Off Your Hands’ Nick Johnston and Brent Harris
AUSTIN, TEXAS 18–22 March 2009 Photography Leilani Momoisea David Dallas travelled to Austin Texas in 2009 to play SXSW. I’VE BEEN TO SXSW three times now. Last year was definitely different because I was hooked up with Duck Down Records which meant way more access. But 2009 was really eyeopening because I didn’t know what to expect, and it seemed like a real turning-point because there was a big contingent of hip hop acts going, names like Clipse, The Cool Kids,
Kid Sister, Wale and Kid Cudi. It was pretty much everyone that was on the XXL Freshman cover issue that year – I saw Blu, Charles Hamilton, Mikey Factz, Curren$y, K’Naan, veteran dudes like Bun B, Erykah Badu. It went on and on – it was ridiculous how many dudes I saw that year. I’d been invited to play but at the time we didn’t have any people on the ground to help, so it was hard work going through the formal process of applying to be there. I got my music in order and I got business cards and stuff, and then I just tried to roll with it. I was there with P-Money, and people had been telling him to go to SXSW for ages – he was sceptical
about it but after the first day we were sold. There’s nothing like it. There’s the official SXSW which is what gets you your pass, and they schedule you once you get invited, but that’s only half of what the festival is. The other half is all these unofficial parties, and often those are the main event – MTV will be having a party and they’ll have whoever their hot acts for the year are, or something like the Fader Fort which is as big as SXSW itself. It was like the Big Day Out but it took over the entire city and it goes for days. Imagine if you blocked off Ponsonby Rd for foot traffic only, and that’s only the epicentre of the festival. Basically every bar in the
Austin’s 6th Street
David Dallas and P-Money
Registration at the Austin Convention Centre
Leilani Momoisea and Quincy Jones
Bang! Eche! was another buzz band at the time, and those two were going off. I met a lot of the hip hop bloggers – that’s where my relationship with the Smoking Section dudes started. “Cut Off Your I met a bunch of artists like Blu, but I think the most important thing I Hands were got out of it was knowing that I could one of the HOT stand on stage with these people bands at SXSW and hold my own. Another thing that tripped me out was a lot of these that year – they emerging acts are completely untested were the shit.” and they’ve never performed in front Cut Off Your Hands were one of the of a crowd. My music sounded huge – I was playing songs like ‘Indulge hot bands at SXSW that year – they Me’ and material that was mastered were the shit. They were playing the for radio, so dudes were tripping coolest parties, and it was real sick out. Because we have to to see the buzz around them. Bang! city – and Austin has more bars per capita than any other city in the world – is packed and you’re constantly bombarded by live music.
compete on radio here with songs from artists like T.I. and 50 Cent which is mixed and mastered in million-dollar studios, we really have to go in on the sonics of the song so it stands up in a live environment. When I returned to SXSW in 2010, I knew the codes – I knew what to do, where to go, knew who to talk to – it was an easier transition. But I still think the most fun I’ve had was that first time I went – it was sick. It’s just like a festival taken to epic proportions.
W/ DJ PREMIER AND PETE ROCK – ILLMATIC ACL LIVE AT THE MOODY THEATRE AUSTIN, TEXAS Saturday 17 March Review Sam Wicks
“SMARTEN UP, NAS.” With one line from ‘Takeover’, the savage takedown of the Queensbridge native who arguably still held New York’s rap throne in 2001, Jay-Z leveled a charge that has been aimed at Nasir Jones throughout his post-Illmatic career. For every presidential move made by his former nemesis, Nas made uneven production choices, stumbled over lyrics live, mumbled his way through interviews, and struggled to stay “on message”. First it was Nasty, Nas the Esco to Escobar, then he was Nastradamus, leaving his fan base unsure of which Nas they were getting with each new project. In a patchy back catalogue of nine albums, only Illmatic reigns as an undisputed classic, marrying razor-sharp storytelling to immaculate production from DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Large Professor, and it was the five-mic perfection of his 1994 debut that Nas returned to at SXSW, backed by Premo and the Soul Brother themselves. The tone for what would be the closing night of SXSW was set earlier in the week when Nas and his former manager Steve Stoute appeared in conversation, candidly chewing over the details of their careers in music and advertising. With Premier, Pete Rock and AZ in attendance and a carafe of red wine at the ready, Nas was unguarded and willing to touch on everything from fatherhood to life beyond hip hop. And when he took questions from the floor and was asked why he needed to tour with Damian Marley for two years following the release of their Distant Relatives collaboration, he was quick to confirm what many suspected: “I got divorced”.
The road-honed confidence Nas gained from this touring stretch was written all over his return to Illmatic, which was performed at Austin’s Moody Theatre, a venue that played host to Jay-Z on SXSW Music’s opening night and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band just two days before. For the final night, though, it was Nas’ house, as the 2700-seater was reimagined as the mean streets of his youth, complete with a steaming subway entrance, street lights, standard issue NYC rubbish bins, and a bus stop tagged up with “RIP Ill Will”, a tribute to childhood friend Willie Graham who was shot dead two years before Illmatic was released.
After Illmatic’s ‘The Genesis’ set the scene, complete with Wild Style footage, Premier and Pete Rock took their positions behind two sets of turntables on either side of the stage,
“Then the man himself emerged from the subway station, a bottle of DOM PéRIGNON in hand.”
their baby photos projected behind them to match the image of Nas as a boy on Illmatic’s cover. Then the man himself emerged from the subway station, a bottle of Dom Pérignon in
hand, and ripped into a word-perfect reading of his debut. Premier and Pete Rock cued up their own contributions to the album, introducing them with some of the original records they built the songs from, a format which saw Pete Rock spinning Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’ before its sublime intro made way for ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell’. When Nas called for a battle, his two longtime collaborators went toe-to-toe, trading gems from their crates. “Oh, it’s like that?” Premier asked, as Pete Rock upped the ante, answering Royce da 5’9”’s ‘Boom’ with ‘They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)’. And with AZ in the building, he followed up his guest
feature on ‘Life’s a Bitch’ with The Firm’s ‘Phone Tap’. All we needed was Q-Tip and Large Professor to make the cypher complete. Pausing to reflect on the history being made that night, DJ Premier reminisced on his first meeting with the prodigal rapper, telling Nas it was back in 1992. “It was 1991 – I was 16!” Nas shot back, before he launched into his verse from Main Source’s ‘Live at the Barbecue’. With Illmatic wrapped up, Nas debuted his new single ‘The Don’, taken from his 10th album Life is Good, as an image of the late Heavy D – Pete Rock’s cousin – was thrown up behind them. The premiere
was followed in quick succession by Stillmatic’s ‘One Mic’ and ‘Hate Me Now’ from I Am..., before Nas closed out the show with ‘Made You Look’ taken off 2002’s God’s Son. As the trio took to the front of the stage to salute a capacity crowd that had just rhymed back every lyric to every song in the set word-for-word, Nas took stock of their triumphant return to an 18-year-old album that continues to throw shadows over what followed it. “That was Illmatic. Peace – I love you.”
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Dead Meadow (USA) w/ Pink Mountaintops (Can) – Kings Arms, Newton, 8pm Gerry Rooderkerk Alive & Acoustic – The Fiddler Irish Bar, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free Superstars of Westlynn – The Lucha Lounge, Newmarket, 9pm Thursday Night Live – Young Lyre – 1885 Britomart, Auckland CBD, 9pm, Free Franko – QF Tavern, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free Bernie Griffen, Alan Meharry, Brendan Turner & Callum Gents – Wine Cellar, Newton, 8pm The Nudge – Titirangi Festival of Music 2012 – Titirangi War Memorial Hall, Titirangi, 8pm, $20-$30 2Five9 Jazz Trio – 1885 Basement, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free John Key & Band – Masonic Tavern, Devonport, 7:30pm, $10 Nikola Memedovic Jazz Duet – C.A.C. Bar & Restaurant, Mt Eden, 6:30pm, Free Sally Stockwell – Titirangi Festival
of Music – Titirangi Theatre @ Lopdell House, Titirangi, 7pm, $15 Strange Fruit – Masonic Tavern, Devonport, 7:30pm, $10 Chance – Cosh Bar, Ponsonby, 8pm, Free Kiwi Singer/Songwriter Showcase – Shadows Bar, Auckland CBD, 7pm, Free Petra Rijnbeek & Paul Voight – The Lumsden, Newmarket, 6:30pm, Free Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Here We Are Again Tour 2012 – Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, 8pm, $37-$65 Greg Tell – Auckland Fish Market, Auckland CBD, 5pm, Free Ramon Liddell – Papatoetoe RSA, Papatoetoe, 6:30pm, $5 These Automatic Changers One Fifty Six Single Release Party – Juice Bar at The Windsor Castle, Parnell, 9pm, Free
Hollie Smith Acoustic Tour – The Tasting Shed, Kumeu, 6:30pm, $45-$70 Pseudo City, These Guys & Chung Lao – Masonic Tavern, Devonport, 8pm, $5 The Comedowns – The Fiddler Irish Bar, Auckland CBD, 11pm, Free Two Cartoons – Jelly Tip Lips Tour w/ Yolanda – Wine Cellar, Newton, 9pm, $5 Webb Page – Sawmill Cafe, Leigh, 9:30pm, $10 Brett Polley – De Post, Mt Eden, 8:30pm, Free Dave Clark Revival – Howick RSA, Howick, 7pm, Free David Shanhun – Moretons Bar and Restaurant, St Heliers, 8pm, Free Dean Te Paa – Florrie McGreals Irish Pub, Takapuna, 9:30pm, Free The C2 – GBS Bar & Restaurant @ The Prospect, Howick, 8:30pm, Free JamesRAy & The Geronimo Band – Silverdale RSA, Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 7pm Treat Yo Self – Be Club, Auckland CBD, 10pm, $5 Fleur Jack & The Jandals – Titirangi Festival of Music – Titirangi Theatre @ Lopdell House, Titirangi, 7pm, $15 The Nukes & Paul Symons Band – Titirangi Festival of Music – Titirangi RSA, Titirangi, 7:30pm, $20 Mason Clinic, Shoutin’ Preachin’, Sex Pest & Black Science – Khuja Lounge, Auckland CBD, 10pm, $5 Fridays at Trench Bar – Trench Bar, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free Denise Gunson – Spencer on Byron Hotel, Takapuna, 6:30pm, Free Havana Club Presents Latin Fire Night w/ Cuban Accent – Havana Club, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free AutumnMatic 80s – Juice Bar at The Windsor Castle, Parnell, 9:30pm, $15-$20 CLEO Cruiser Bachelor of the Year Winner Reveal Party – Studio, Newton, 7pm, $25-$280 Peta Si’ulepa & Musika Club – Hardware Cafe Jazz Club – Hardware Cafe, Titirangi, 7pm, $10 Eddie Manukau – Glen Eden RSA, Glen Eden, 8pm, Free Feral Vessel w/ the Nikki Ngatai Band – Artworks Community Theatre, Waiheke Island, 7pm, $10-$12 King Cannons – Kings Arms, Newton, 8pm, $26.50 Luger Boa & Clap Clap Riot – Titirangi Festival of Music – Titirangi War Memorial Hall, Titirangi, 7:30pm, $20-$30 Singles Live Music & Entertainers – Pt Chevalier RSA, Pt Chevalier, 7:30pm, Free The Kavalliers – a Rocking
Great Band – Hobsonville RSA, Hobsonville, 7:30pm, Free
An Intimate Evening w/ Hollie Smith – Juice Bar at The Windsor Castle, Parnell, 8pm, $25-$160 Cornerstone Roots – Sawmill Cafe, Leigh, 8pm, $20-$25 Bridey – The Fiddler Irish Bar, Auckland CBD, 11pm, Free Funkommunity w/ Latinaotearoa and Homebrew – Kings Arms, Newton, 7pm, $20 Thatta (Japan) New Zealand Tour w/ Guests – Wine Cellar, Newton, 8pm, $10 Riverhead Slide – Masonic Tavern, Devonport, 7pm, Free Brett Polley – Florrie McGreals Irish Pub, Takapuna, 9:30pm, Free Mitch French – De Post, Mt Eden, 8:30pm, Free Pat 4 President – Blacksalt Bar & Eatery, New Lynn, 8pm, Free Super System – U2 and Green Day Tribute Show – Edinburgh Street, Pukekohe, 8pm, Free Kiwi Express – Birkenhead RSA, Birkenhead, 7:30pm, Free Club House ft. Dougal Swift, DJ Lucas, Wade Marriner & More – Trench Bar, Auckland CBD, 10pm, Free Partouze – James, Parnell, 8pm, $25 Ben McNicoll & Lance McNicoll – Jazz Brunch – Vevo Foodstore, Titirangi, 10:30am, Free Free Jazz in the Vines – Passage Rock Wines, Waiheke Island, 12:30pm, Free Maria O’Flaherty & Ben Fernandez – Jazz Brunch – The Fringe Cafe, Titirangi, 11:30am, Free Neville Chamberlain – Spencer on Byron Hotel, Takapuna, 6:30pm, Free Spiral – Titirangi Festival of Music – Hardware Cafe, Titirangi, 7pm, $10 Salsa Night – Atico Cocina, Auckland CBD, 8pm, Free Music For Life – The Bay at Matiatia, Waiheke Island, 12pm The Night Markets – Westﬁeld Pakuranga, Pakuranga, 6pm, Free After Midnight – East Coast Bays RSA, Browns Bay, 7:30pm, $5 Goodbye Light – Late Night Club at Titirangi Festival – Titirangi Theatre @ Lopdell House, Titirangi, 10pm, $10 Iva Lankum, Paddy Free, BlackSandDiva – Titirangi War Memorial Hall, Titirangi, 7:30pm, $20-$30 Jason Mohi – Malt Bar, Grey Lynn, 8pm, Free Soul Pit Orchestra – Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club, Manurewa, 8pm, Free Gerry & Jono – The Clare Inn, Mt Eden, 9pm, Free Rangi & Judy – Papatoetoe RSA, Papatoetoe, 6:30pm, $5 Richard Raine, Mason Clinic, The Dirty Sweets & Imploder – The Thirsty Dog, Newton, 9pm, $10
Yes – Vector Arena, Auckland CBD, 6:30pm Josephine & the Alcyone Systems – Soul – Centre of the Body and Mind, Titirangi, 4:30pm, $20 Shae Snell – The Fiddler Irish Bar, Auckland CBD, 6pm, Free Wooden Shjips (Seattle) w/ Guests – Kings Arms, Newton, 8pm, $40 A Summer of Free Music in the Market – Artisan Wines, Oratia, 1pm, Free David Shanhun – Goode Brothers, Botany Downs, 3pm, Free Pat 4 President – The Merchant Bar & Kitchen, Albany, 3pm, Free The Lazyboyz – Huapai Tavern, Huapai, 3pm, Free
JamesRAy’s Acoustic Country Sunday – Bar Africa, North Harbour, 12pm, Free JamesRAy’s Encore Acoustic Country Sunday – Bar Africa, Highland Park, 5:30pm, Free Music in Parks 2012 – The Culture Garden – Auckland Domain Wintergardens, Parnell, 6pm, Free Brian Peters – The Bunker, Devonport, 8pm, $20 Thirsty Dog Folk Club – A Song for the Wharﬁes – The Thirsty Dog, Newton, 3pm, $10 Chicane Duo – Bill Fish Cafe, St Marys Bay, 1pm Coopers Creek Summer Sunday Jazz – Coopers Creek Vineyard, Huapai, 1pm, Free Brazilian Night – Cosh Bar, Ponsonby, 4pm, Free Sunday Sessions – Slipp Inn Pub, Birkenhead, 3:30pm, Free Sunday Jazz, Rock, Reggae Session – Shooters Saloon, Kingsland, 2pm, Free
Traditional Irish Music Session – The Clare Inn, Mt Eden, 7pm, Free Viva Jazz Quartet – The Windsor Castle, Parnell, 6pm, Free
THE COROMANDEL FRIDAY 30
Brendon Ham and the Nitro Rockers – Whangamata Club, Whangamata, 8pm, Free John McGough – Trumpeter/DJ – Mercury Bay Club, Whitianga, 7pm, Free The Rock ‘n’ Roll Allstars – Oceana’s Restaurant, Whangamata, 8pm, Free
Brendon Ham and the Nitro Rockers – Whangamata Club, Whangamata, 8pm, Free Brendon Ham and the Nitro Rockers – Outdoor Stage 3 , Whangamata, 2:15pm, Free The Rock ‘n’ Roll Allstars – Oceana’s Restaurant, Whangamata, 10am, 8pm, Free
HAWKE’S BAY / GISBORNE SATURDAY 31
UV Party feat P.Digsss (MC/DJ Set) – Shipwreck Bar, Gisborne, 10pm, $10-$15
Joy Adams at The Gatheround – Taradale RSA, Napier, 4:30pm
The Exponents – Altitude Bar, Hamilton, 8:30pm, $42-$45
NRG Rising Fundraiser – Sharing the Music Spreading the Love – Altitude Bar, Hamilton, 7:30pm, $20-$100 The Rackets, John the Baptist + Guests – Static Bar, Hamilton, 9pm
Rocky Rhodes – Huntly and District Workingmen’s Club, Huntly, 7pm, Free
BAY OF PLENTY WEDNESDAY 28
A Journey Down An American Music Highway w/ Ruth Wyand – Rotorua Arts Village RAVE, Rotorua, 7:30pm, $25
The ABBA Show – Civic Theatre, Rotorua, 8pm, $27-$51 The Paepae Soundsystem
presents Spawnbreezie NZ Tour – Kalah Bar, Rotorua, 6:30pm, $30
Jimmy & Perry – The Pheasant Plucker, Rotorua, 7pm, Free
TARANAKI FRIDAY 30
The Exponents – Butlers Reef Hotel, New Plymouth, 7:30pm, $42-$45 The Paepae Soundsystem presents Spawnbreezie NZ Tour – Matinee, New Plymouth, 7pm, $30
MANAWATU / WHANGANUI THURSDAY 29
The Paepae Soundsystem presents Spawnbreezie NZ Tour – Feilding Civic Centre, Feilding, 7pm, $30
Party, Prevail w/ So So Modern + The Shocking & Stunning – The Stomach, Palmerston North, 7:30pm, $10
In The Pink – Pink Floyd Tribute Show – Levin Club, Levin, 5pm, $20
WELLINGTON REGION TUESDAY 27
Live Music – The Library, 5pm, Free
Dead Meadow (Los Angeles, USA) Pink Mountaintops (Canada) – San Francisco Bath House, 8pm, $35 Thatta (Japan) New Zealand Tour w/ Guests – Mighty Mighty, 9pm, $5
Karaoke Dick – Mighty Mighty, 8pm, Free Rough Church (US) Tour – Bar Medusa, 9pm In Like Flynn – Molly Malones, 6pm Meech Brothers – Poco EP Release – Meow, 7pm, $5
A Dead Forest Index (MelbourneAus) – San Francisco Bath House, 8pm, $10 Captain Sergeant Major & Force Fields – Bodega, 9pm, $5 Kittyhawk and Killing Bear – Mighty Mighty, 9pm NZSM Friday Lunchtime Concert: The Hired Sportsmen – NZSM Concert Hall, 12pm, Free Mtown – Horse & Hound Bar & Cafe, Lower Hutt, 9pm, Free
The Exponents – Bodega, 7:30pm, $42-$45 Music For Food w/ The Raskolnikovs & Ten Thousand Mixtapes – Mighty Mighty, 9:30pm Hurricane vs The Blues – The Lido Cafe, 8:30pm, Free In The Pink – Pink Floyd Tribute Show – Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club, Upper Hutt, 8pm, $20 King Cannons – San Francisco Bath House, 8pm, $26.50 What Happened to the Techno – Sandwiches, 11:45pm, Free
Queens Birthday Jazz & Blues Festival Launch – Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt, 3pm, $10 The Boptet – The Lido Cafe, 7pm, Free The Sunday Jazz Club – Public Bar & Eatery, 7:30pm, Free
NELSON / TASMAN FRIDAY 30
The String Contingient – The Boathouse, Nelson, 8pm, $20 BT Groove – Sprig And Fern,
Nelson, 8:30pm, Free In The Pink – Pink Floyd Tribute Show – Nelson Suburban Club, Nelson, 8pm, $25
One Vibe – Liquid NZ Bar, Nelson, 9pm, Free
MARLBOROUGH THURSDAY 29
In The Pink – Pink Floyd Tribute Show – Clubs of Marlborough, Blenheim, 8pm, $20
CANTERBURY THURSDAY 29
The Black Velvet Band – Becks Southern Alehouse, 8pm, Free Salsa On Thursdays – Salsa Latina Dance Studio, 8:45pm, Free
Rough Church (US) Tour – Dux de Lux, 3pm Sherpa Album Release – Dux Live, 8pm Lincoln Drive w/ djDmand – Pierside Cafe and Bar, 8:30pm, Free Optimus Gryme & Organikismness – The Bedford, 8pm, $10-$30 Division St – Becks Southern Alehouse, 9pm, Free The D’sendantz – Christchurch Casino, 11pm, Free
Chris While and Julie Matthews – CPIT, 8pm D n D Showband – Becks Southern Alehouse, 9pm, Free Captain Jack – Ferrymead Speights Ale House, 10pm, Free Kittentank – darkroom, 9pm, Free Studio 54 – Christchurch Casino, 11pm, Free
Freestylers (UK) – Mint Bar, Wanaka, 9pm, $25-$35
Rough Church (US) Tour – Chicks Hotel, Dunedin, 9pm Jo Little – Till the Blue Skies Come Tour w/ Jared Smith – The Church, Dunedin, 8pm, $10
Alizarin Lizard – The Weekend Went Without You Album Tour – Feastock Grounds, Dunedin, 12pm
Julia Deans / Seth Haapu – Summer Playground Series – The Winehouse, Gibbston, 3pm
Jo Little – Till the Blue Skies Come Tour w/ Jared Smith – Tillermans, Invercargill, 8pm, $10 Jo Little – Till the Blue Skies Come Tour w/ Jared Smith – Zookeeper’s Cafe, Invercargill, 2pm, Free
Jo Little – Till the Blue Skies Come Tour w/ Jared Smith – Buster Crabb, Invercargill, 1pm, Free
Jo Little – Till the Blue Skies Come Tour w/ Jared Smith – Redcliff Cafe, Te Anau, 8pm, Free has teamed with Eventﬁnder for gig listings. To get your gig considered, go to eventﬁnder.co.nz and submit your show for publication. Due to space constraints, we can’t guarantee that every show will be listed.
Heart Attack Alley’s fundraiser went off – a great success – expect a seven-inch single from Voodoo Rhythm very soon… PNC is set to release his brand new street album Under the Influence on 30 March. PNC, along with VOLUME and clothing label Crooks & Castles will make the new street album available for free download from PNC’s official website pncmusic.co.nz. From an idea spawned from an old school mixtape concept, PNC and up and coming producer Matt Miller have included sampled pop chart-toppers
Gotye, Justin Bieber and Adele, and chosen contributing artists like Midnight Youth’s Jeremy Redmore alongside more likely collaborators such as David Dallas, Pieter T and Awa (Nesian Mystik)… Artisan Guns have finished their first fulllength album – go to their Soundcloud page for a sneak preview… Gaytime album release show WENT OFF at Lucha Lounge – track ’em down and get their LP… King Kapisi is still in the US following his SXSW shows and is about to head off to France and the UK… Dave Rhodes’ new band Static Era new recording So Sore on the Rock… Toy Love Live at The Gluepot in April… All-girl death metal group Sanitation’s LP pressed in the Czech Republic has sold out… Dolf from The Datsuns’ Swedish group Imperial State Electric have just released new album Pop War
which has hit the Swedish charts… Steve Earle selling well, as is The Specials show… Chromatics and Glass Candy rumoured for later in year… Dictaphone Blues and Tono and The Finance Company will play shows together soon. Nat Walker has just offered up a new tune ‘Counterpoint’ for free download – hulkshare.com/9d4relf67fqq... St Vincent was transcendent at her recent show at San Francisco Bath House – great to see such a skilled guitarist completely losing it to her own music live… With Happy Bar and Fred’s having both now closed, Wellington is experiencing an artistic urban renewal of sorts. New venues to rise from the ashes include gallery/ performance space Russian Frost Farmers at 2 Eva St, and a not-yet named gallery/performance location at 19 Tory St. Also, check out the very cool new bar next door to the Opera House... Rumours of a new multilevel nightclub space at the bottom of 175 Victoria St… Longstanding sound explorers Montano aka Jet Jaguar and Octif have just released a new album Subtitled. Check it out online at montano.bandcamp.com... Friday 30 March, Captain Sergeant Major and Force Fields play Bodega. You can check out Captain Sergeant Major’s sonic pop and angular rock’n’roll at hellisnowlove. bandcamp.com, the sister imprint to Muzai Records. While you’re there, listen to Algebra: A Concise History of The Postures, the definitive record of Wellington noise rockers The Postures… Saturday 2 March, Evil Mule bring their illuminati conspiracy-riddled rap music to Fast Eddie’s Pool Bar – support from Cold Rock Da Spot’s DJ Jaz, a legendary selector/blogger and hiphop nerdologist… Thursday 12 March Steve Earle plays Bodega. This will be special… The next night, downstairs in the Bodega Burgundy Room, a #SEAPUNK party is happening – Atlantis to Interzone!… Hipster favourite Star Slinger will be playing at the Red Bull Thre3style event in Wellington in April. More details soon. For now though, check out his music at starslinger.net... Legendary American MC Slug is headed to Wellington with Atmosphere in early May. Very essential… On Thursday 29 March at Meow, the Meech Brothers will celebrate the release of Poco by
performing songs from both of their EPs (and more) with special guest Claire Terry. Door charge only $5. The Lyttelton Wunderbar reopens next week for the third time since September 2010. This will be a welcome addition to the live music scene which is still suffering from a lack of venues. Friday night features Runaround Sue, Lindon Puffin and The Eastern, while Saturday has Tiny Lies, The Unfaithful Ways and Delaney Davidson. We wish owners Andrew and Deb all the best and hope this is the last time they have to pick up all that wonderful trash that decorates their wonderful establishment… Sawdust is the new band for Keiran George, Paul Hubbard, Craig Ellern and Grant Provost. Previously they were punk covers band Lunger but now they are playing all originals… Sexy Animals played the Cosmic 15th birthday party and have an album coming up soon. If it’s as fun as their live act then we are in for a big sexy treat… The Bedford has been well supported and Wendy has to be congratulated for bringing the big acts back to the city… Delaney Davidson is off to Europe for a few months and is spending his last days mixing the songs he recorded with Marlon Williams from The Unfaithful Ways… Runaround Sue have finally got their album ready for release. Titled Tonight Expect Delays after a sign that is frequently displayed at either end of the Lyttelton tunnel, the album features the awesome singing and songs of Anthea Struthers. Which band member got dropped on his head by which scenester at the Alizarin Lizard end-of-tour show?... Another Friday night A+E casualty John Cooper Clarke, Johnny Green and Martin Phillipps filled the stately Sammy’s with around 500 punters. It was a meeting of Dunedin’s literati, punks and musicians of all generations... Ded Sparrows (new album out soon) and Grandfather Alps debuted at ReFuel to a capacity crowd… Opposite Sex continues to get international recognition, especially for the earworm track ‘La Rat’, and almost all vinyl of this now sold out... Osmium album recently reviewed on dunedinmusic.com… Feastock fever hits Dunedin... Paul Winders’ (ex Verlaines) new album Boy Dust out now.
Got some news for More Volume? Email us at email@example.com.
THE TRUSTS STADIUM, AUCKLAND SATURDAY 24 MARCH Review Gary Steel Photography Ted Baghurst THREE OUT OF FOUR of my work colleagues had never heard of them. To anyone growing up in post-punk New Zealand, or any time thereafter, Crosby, Stills & Nash were merely an anachronism, forever stuck in the cozy communal haze of that first, 1969 album cover, perhaps the ultimate exponents of flawed hippy ideology. Their first-ever concert was, after all, at Woodstock. But hey, if even the much-despised intricacies of prog-rock can wend their way into contemporary affections, then the creamy harmonies and fingerpicked acoustic guitars of Laurel Canyon’s folkrock utopia are also ripe for picking up, dusting off and hitting the lost highway. CS&N, it turns out, were never easy to peg, and tonight’s gig – a kind of late-late reschedule after their cancelled appearance back in 2007 when Crosby’s health took a turn for the worse – demonstrates why. One of rock’s first supergroups, each of the trio had experienced fame (Crosby in The Byrds, Stills in Buffalo Springfield and Nash in The Hollies) prior to CS&N, and while they made
a blueprint that bands like America carbon-copied and The Eagles poisoned, they were always an uneasy and often brilliant commingling of three very different writers and players. As Crosby says tonight (but not for the first time, natch): “Stills is the rock’n’roller, Nash writes the anthems, and I write the weird shit.” One great surprise tonight is that Stills’ innate guitar-mangling skills are still intact, and he lets those electric sound sculptures fly through the air with abandon. Another is that Crosby, when impassioned on ‘Almost Cut My Hair’, can sing with amazing power and pitchperfection. The best songs are invariably Crosby’s: small slices of genius like ‘Wooden Ships’ and ‘Guinevere’ in which mantra-like repetition and odd tunings and timings make for a magical riposte to Nash’s rather pat pop ditties, like the sing-along ‘Our House’ and ‘Teach Your Children’. It was also great to hear renditions of songs Stills wrote outside the context of CS&N, like golden oldie staples ‘For What It’s Worth’ and ‘Love The One You’re With’. But. And it’s a big, fat “but”. These guys are all pushing 70, and showing it. Songs like ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’ – which they played tonight for the first time in 20 years – require splitsecond timing and perfect harmonies,
and too often, they botched it. Mark it down as the perils of the very first date on a worldwide tour, perhaps, but they’re incapable of hitting the notes in unison, or meshing the voices together anymore, which puts a rather big dint on proceedings. While Nash is svelte, both Stills and Crosby are portly and often look breathless, and perform erratically. Stills in particular, behaves oddly, wandering around the stage as though
“Stills’ innate guitar-mangling skills are still intact, and he lets those electric sound sculptures fly through the air with abandon.” he’s lost in some personal oblivion. Understandable, given their age? Maybe, but the tickets weren’t halfprice to acknowledge deterioration of performative ability. On balance, the show was worth seeing, and the crack five-piece backing band gave the sound enough oomph – replicating the blue-eyed funk grooves that occasionally surfaced on those early recordings – to gloss over any senior moments.
FESTIVALS CALENDAR SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS MUSIC FESTIVAL BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (JULY)
Hop across the ditch this winter for the three day Splendour in the Grass music festival in Byron Bay. Last year saw musical heavyweights Coldplay, Kanye West, Jane’s Addiction, The Hives and dozens more take to the stage, and while 2012’s line-up is still a secret (look out for an announcement in April), you can guarantee it will be legendary. Our package will get you tickets, tents, hot breakfast daily and transport from Sydney or Brisbane. Register your interest with us now by calling 0508 STA TRAVEL
RUNNING OF THE BULLS PAMPLONA, SPAIN (JULY)
4 DAYS FROM $375
Throw on some red and white and celebrate with one million people on the streets of Pamplona, with the legendary San Fermin festival. Work those muscles at stone lifting, wood cutting or hay bale lifting or take in a deep breath and literally run for cover from the bulls. Our packages give you campsite accommodation, breakfast daily, sangria party and return transfers from London.
PAMPLONA & BBK LIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL SPAIN (JULY) 6 DAYS FROM $699 Where in the world would you find Radiohead, The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Bloc Party, Garbage, Noah and the Whale, The Kooks and more rocking out over three days to 40,000 sweaty music lovers? Bilbao BBK Live, that’s where. Grab one of our awesome packages and enjoy all the perks from Pamplona, with an added three day pass to BBK Live and accommodation.
OKTOBERFEST MUNICH, GERMANY (SEPT-OCT) 4 DAYS FROM $349 See how we Kiwis measure up at the world’s biggest beer festival – Oktoberfest! For two weeks in September and October, you’ll be expected to don your dirndl or lederhosen, grab a table at the beer tents, down brews and stuff yourself full of German wurst. This year’s festival runs from 22 September through to 7 October and with our packages, you’ll get guaranteed accommodation, breakfast daily, free coach transfers to festival sites and an Oktoberfest t-shirt – so at least you’ll remember you went…
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