Hard News by Russell Brown


After the Charter

Last night's Media7, featuring the Minister of Broadcasting, Jonathan Coleman, interviewed one-on-one and then as part of a panel, is up for viewing now on TVNZ ondemand. I think it's a useful show, and the minister deserves credit for opting to join the panel after the interview. It got quite lively.

The key question is whether it's possible to have public broadcasting without a public broadcaster, and National's policy hasn't been thought through in that respect. It's all very well to take the $15 million in Charter funding away from TVNZ and make it contestable -- but you're asking commercial broadcasters to screen non-commercial programmes. The issue isn't the cost making the programme: it's the opportunity cost of showing it in a commercial timeslot.

Leo has a new review posted on his blog. He approves:

Fallout 3 strapped my expectations to a box of fireworks. I was positively blown away at how vast it is. If you're looking for a great sci-fi.. No, not even sci-fi - Post-Nuclear RPG, this is one to pick up.

Leo and I also attended our first product launch -- for the Nintendo DSi -- together this week. He asked the first question ("Can we expect to see virtual console servers for this product?") and was generally awesome.

Speaking of new products, LG has spilled the beans on Apple's plans for later in the year. The Korean company will be making OLED screens for a new iPhone, a notebook of some sort and perhaps a media box. Cool.

Must-see YouTube clip of the week: Extreme Sheep LED Art (hat tip: Nat Torkington). Choose the high-quality option, go full-screen and just watch …

Are you in Nelson, or Nelson-adjacent? Boy, do we have something for you. The top chaps at Marchfest have made available for Public Address readers six Marchfest goodie packs, which contain:

Two free tickets to Marchfest
Two free beers (one per person)
Two free souvenir glasses
Access for two to the exclusive sponsors' area in the music marquee with waitress service

Just don't say we never do anything for you. Click the Reply button (or the envelope next to my name) and email me with "Marchfest" in the subject line. First in, first served. The festival itself is on Saturday March 28. I hope they have better luck with the weather this year!

But wait! There's more! If you're in Sydney this weekend -- would you like to attend the final of the Women's World Cup of cricket, in which the White Ferns will surely conquer England? PA regular Paul Williams has some free tickets for his fellow readers. You'll need to email him asap at siesta@internode.on.net and he'll sort you out.

In my post earlier in the week noting the NZ On Screen collection in tribute to Kevin Smith, I mentioned the music Kev made with his friends, which isn't widely known or easily available these days.

I'm delighted to say that Steve Watson, Say Yes To Apes' bass player/accountant (you don't get to put out New Zealand's second-ever rock double album without a good accountant) has sent me some tracks from the archive, and reminisced a bit:

I often see or hear things that remind me of the big fella, which leads on to some random memory of some really dumb thing we did; for instance, when driving past an old shed south of Ashburton I always remember the hot summer's day we were ejected from the freight train we'd picked up in Christchurch doing our Woody Guthrie thing (tho' I suspect he wasn't reported to the Railways by alarmed citizens as he pirouetted and brown-eyed on a steel cable-laden carriage thundering at 25k's through Ashburton). Then the long, sorry walk to Hinds and on to Timaru by whatever means possible. Ah, those were the days, eh?

Sheer gold. Anyway, the tracks: there's 'This Is Your Lucky Night' from The Immortal Say Yes to Apes (the same performance as the one on the Knife EP, but remixed). That's the one I referred to in the original post, and I'd have simply posted that. But last night Steve sent a couple more -- including, from a 1986 performance by SYTA offshoot Hyphenears at Auckland's Cascade Bar, a version of 'River Deep, Mountain High', a la The Saints. And I just knew the world needed to hear that guitar playing.

This Is Your Lucky Night

River Deep, Mountain High

Right-click to download the MP3s. Play them and think of the big fella. Oh yeah.

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