Hard News by Russell Brown

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Friday Music: A Movement

Over the past decade and a half, Ian "Blink" Jorgensen has been an artist manager, tour manager, festival promoter, record label owner, publisher, musician and music provocateur. But before all that, and through all that, he was a photographer. And it's to that legacy he reaches for his latest project.

A Movement is a series of 10 themed art books collecting his music photography from 2000 to 2015. The work will be released at retail and via a book club: you sign up here (and you only have till Monday to do so) to receive a new book in the post each week.

I was offered the loan of the full set, and it's a remarkable work. We have discovered on Audioculture that the most compelling record of a musical heritage is often the photographs taken at the time, and the same is very true here.

Most of of the pictures capture the sweat, blood and snot of live performances by artists from Dimmer to the Phoenix Foundation, Lawrence Arabia, Shihad and Disasteradio, along with some bands famous largely amongst their friends, but there are also the moments of on-road ennui and horsing around that characterise band life. (Check out the picture of the Mint Chicks' Kody and Ruban Nielson at the 00:17 mark in the lovely promotional video below.) Still others catch the joy and madness of the crowds. 

During my brief time as an independent book publisher, I discovered that the book trade's idea of of promotion is generally very limited. But Ian is bringing to this project indie music's understanding of the importance of taking the object to the people. From next week, the release tour stretches from Dunedin to Auckland, with eight shows in six days in Wellington alone. In most cases, the release gigs are at unlicensed venues and people are encouraged to bring their own food and drink -- and take away their own refuse afterwards.

There are also a few screenings of an accompanying film, Movement:

The story in A Movement is told almost entirely in pictures and captions, But I'm pleased to say that Ian has curated a selection of his favourite images from the book and written several thousands of words about what they mean to him for Public Address, to appear next week. Despite our common interests, Ian and I have pursued separate paths over the last 15 years (his music camp almost inevitably clashed with my geek camp) so I'm very pleased to be able to cooperate with him on this thing.

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In her NPR Tiny Desk Concert last year, Courtney Barnett premiered a funny, sad song called 'Depreston', the first new tune she had unveiled since the indie rock world had fallen in love with her two EPs. It stood out because it was new, it was different and it was good.

This week, 'Depreston' was released as another taster for her forthcoming album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (out on the 23rd) along with a video that couldn't be more different to the madcap clip for the first single, 'Pedestrian at Best'. It's all empty suburban streets and mournful, mundane beauty:

Also this week, another peek at another keenly-anticipated album, SJD's Saint John Divine: 'Little Pieces', a song about everyone's foibles, with Julia Deans guesting. It's the first video Sean James Donnelly has made for himself, and as my frend Gemma Gracewood noted, it has something of the playfulness of Chris Knox or Len Lye.

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You know what's a lovely idea? Wellington's Old Hall Gigs, a series of music-and-arts events in nice old halls. The 2015 season opens with a show featuring a performance by Sheep, Dog and Wolf, at Charles Plimmer Hall in the wonderfully-named Innermost Community Gardens.

Jackson P kindly gave me his spare ticket for Neneh Cherry's show in the Spiegeltent on Wednesday night. The scene around the tent in Aotea Square was very pleasant, but the Spiegeltent wasn't really the right venue for a performance of her noisy new material with the duo Rocketnumbernine. Inside, it was all-seated, very hot and the stage lights mostly pointed outward, dazzling the first five rows. Some of the baby-boomers who came expecting some nice jazz-funk looked quite uncomfortable.

It was a lot better when we could get up to dance and Neneh herself was on fire, but I wasn't completely won over by the material, which got a bit synth-rock for me at times. Peter McLennan begs to differ in his review for the 13th Floor.

You'd have to pay me to see most of the acts at Westfest, but I'm glad it seems to have gone well at Mt Smart this week. The hard rock and metal audience deserves a festival, and being able to hang a local fest off Soundwave in Australia is a great opportunity.

Anthonie Tonnon begins a national tour in support of his album Successor tonight at Space Monster in Whanganui, a place where many national tours seem to begin. The album itself is officially released tomorrow, but you can hear it as Soundcloud playlist here:

I think you're going to hear plenty more about this record. I've had it for a couple of days and it feels like a real step up for him.

 Meanwhile, a week from today, there's this:

I think I'll go party with the kids.

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Over at TheAudience, Dead Beat Boys channel the spirit of The Datsuns. They've got their song '2' on the new NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc and they're about to play a string of shows, starting at New Lynn's UFO tomorrow night.

Boy Wulf has been blowing up on bFM lately – and he has a new track exclusively on TheAudience this week:

Another remix for Janine and the Mixtape's 'Hold Me' this one with a house groove and a guest rap from Tunji Ige. It's pretty sweet:

And finally, an absolute must for party-conscious digital DJs: The Reflex has done his trademark stems-only remix job on 'Groove is in the Heart'. Contains additional Bootsy and added Q-Tip. And it's a free WAV download:

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The Hard News Music Post is sponsored by:

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