Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Everybody Loves the Sunshine

More than most music festivals, Splore stages its lineup announcements in such a way that the "wow!" factor is as likely to come in the third or fourth release as the first. Well, they've outdone themselves this time, with the news that funk, soul and jazz legend Roy Ayers is coming to Splore in February.

It's not just that Ayers has such a significant body of work, it's the way that work has flowed into genres and scenes far removed from its origin. Any number of dance scenes have been enlivened by 'Running Away' and 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine' -- and dozens of his records have been sampled into even more dance and hip hop records. The sheer breadth of his presence in the dancehall is remarkable.

Normally, if you got to see someone like him in 2014, it would probably be in a nice, well-behaved all-seater theatre. The chance to dance under the stars to him and his band really is quite a thing.

The lineup also includes the Phoenix Foundation, Kid Koala, JStar, Race Banyon, SJD and Mr Scruff. This is looking good.

It's not all about the music, though. There's family entertainment, yoga and fitness activities, water ballet(!) and ... this thing I'm doing.

Having been hipped rather belatedly to the joy of Splore (I've been to the last two) I've been feeling the desire to actually play a role in the thing. And I'm not, you know, doing anything else in February. So I pitched an idea to the festival organisers and they went for it.

With the assistance of Luka Hinse, who ran the Pecha Kucha talks at the last Splore, I'm curating The Listening Lounge on the Saturday morning. It's a spoken word session that will include a half dozen short Pecha Kucha talks, Matthew Dentith doing a version of his boffo TedX talk on conspiracy theories and a concluding panel discussion called 'Imagining Auckland', featuring smart urbanists from TransportBlog, Generation Zero and elsewhere. The discussion is scheduled at the end so people can carry it on over lunch if they like.

I'm also planning a session with a kind of secular church vibe on a different part of the site for the Sunday morning, but I'm still working out that idea.

Meanwhile, a little Roy to be going on with. 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine' on Soul Train in 1977:

And thanks to Jeremy Jones for the pointer to this DJ Pete Rock hip hop tribute mix:


Earlier this year, Canadian produer Ryan Hemsworth launched Secret Songs, a Souncloud-based venture which sees him post a new tune by a promising producer every two weeks. All the tracks are downloadable, none of them suck and some of them are basically really great.

This is the current track:

And there's also an "album" culled from the first batch:

But what also happened last week was that Hemsworth was talking to Australia's Triple J about the project and shared 'Light Shines Through the Dust', the Lontalius track I posted last week. That led to the posting of this video of the song being performed live in studio. I didn't know Eddie went to school with Lorde ...


I was sad to hear this week of the passing of Neil Spence, guitar player for the late, great Androidss. Like the rest of the band, Neil was a diamond geezer with a nose for trouble, and he was always good to us when we were just kids in Christchurch all those years ago. I will forever remember him gleefully encouraging me to drink far too much kava that year at Sweetwaters. RIP Neil.

It's not like we need an excuse, but this seems like a good time to revisit the intriguing document of Queen City nightlife that is 'Auckland Tonight'.

As luck would have it, some personal history from Androidss-era Christchurch has just turned up on Audioculture. My good mate from back in the day, Gordon Bartram, took along a camera to quite a few gigs -- and it turns out the the pictures he took then and has been revisiting and scanning recently have added greatly to the very scant visual record of what was a lively time for music in the city. He wasn't a pro photographer, just a guy with a camera, but that's actually the charm of these pictures: they're a sort of folk history. His Audioculture page, Gordon Bartram's Christchurch 1980-81, features shots of the Androidss, the Playthings, the Newtones and the Gordons.


This is intriguing. A little thing with bagpipes and stuff, currently at number two on the chart at TheAudience:

Right behind that, a tinny recording but a really nice tune from 3 Guesses:

And some moody electronics from Wellington:

Further afield, I am freaking loving this taster from the Teen Idols compilation from Sydney's Future Classic label, which is out next week:

And, finally, this week's kitchen-dancing special. There's always room in the digital crate for another take on 'No Diggity' and this one from the Dutch DJ Beat Fatigue, all fuzzy bass and bottom end, is quite a cracker. Free download too!


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