Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Festival Furores

It's been a bumpy week on the festival scene. First it was Blur's unexpected and rather angry announcement that they wouldn't be playing the Big Day Out, on account of their inability to get satsifaction from the "challenging" promoters. Not us, said the promoters, noting that it's not the first time the band have done this. Who knows? And was there a signed contract?

Over at Laneway, it has now occured to some journalists (credit to Joanna Hunkin, who first actually reported it) that Lorde seems likely to have a clash of commitments in January. She's on the bill for Laneway Auckland on the evening of January 27 -- but is likely to be nominated for the Grammy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on January 26.

She can't do both. Officially, she's still playing the show, but officially she's not yet a nominee. I would certainly expect an amicable resolution if she can't do Laneway.

In the case of Splore, the problem is, unusually, car parking. There were problems two years ago with queues at the gate and additional space having to be opened up on the day, further from the festival site than anyone wanted to be. So this time, there will be a compulsory pre-purchase $50 pass per car, with the $50 refunded on arrival if the car contains three or more people. They have a carpool scheme and are also undertaking to improve bus, shuttle and coat options. On a sensitive site, and for a festival that places an emphasis on sustainability, this doesn't seem unreasonable to me, but some punters are very unhappy.

So this was presumably a good week to also make their final lineup announcement, which includes Stone's Throw artist Jonti, Brazilian guitar/electronica artist Luiz Valente (who has a tasty deep house set here on Soundcloud) and ... THE ORB!

And, as previously announced, DJ Shadow is also playing the main stage. Kind of excited about this, just quietly.


I spent the early part of this week interviewing people for a web video project that you'll see in mid-December. And one of those people was Shayne Carter, who's nearing completion of a self-recorded album that's unlike anything he's done before, for the simple reason that he wrote it on the piano. Indeed, he not only taught himself to play piano so he could make it, he spent quite a lot of time listening to classical music while he did. I've only heard a brief, atmospheric snippet of the record, which was enough to make me look forward to hearing more.


At this week's Cannabis and Health Symposium, Rio Hunuki-Hemopo performed and spoke about culture, family and getting straight. Happily, this is also the week that Audioculture has published its profile of the band for which he is best-known: Trinity Roots. There's some lovely stuff there, too: photos and clips of an unplugged performance of 'Little Things' and a lovely pre-show warm-up session from 2011. Well worth a visit.


I had a great time playing some records at the recent Flying Out record fair at Lucha Lounge . It was tghe kind of gig where a DJ could go from 'One Nation Under a Groove' to Steve Allan's 1974 Commonwealth Games song 'Join Together' to the Sex Pistols' 'Did You No Wrong', so that's what I did. And then I happily made way for Mr Graeme Humphreys to play the Flying Nun his on his Farfisa. Here he is going from 'Point That Thing' to The Chills' 'Satin Doll':


Some tracks ...

It wouldn't feel right to have a Friday Music Post without a killer Lorde remix. So here's the Lost Empire rework of 'A World Alone'. Many remixers speed up her husky voice, but these guys seem to have downpitched it a little:

Slightly troubled by the "Spring Break" tag though ...

No word on that mooted collaboration between Lorde and Aussie wunderkind Flume, but Flume's been very busy anyway. Earlier this month, he released a for-sale mixtape which sees the likes of Freddie Gibbs and Ghostface Killa rhyming over his tracks:

And this week there's his Lockjaw EP with vocalist Chet Faker. So chilled it could be Wellington ...

On TheAudience, another track from the very talented FFFRRANNNO:

Also, the first single from The Roulettes' new album, which was "largely recorded in the bucolic setting of a Mercer woolshed":

Good tune. You can buy it here on Bandcamp.

Hopefully, this Bobby Busnach remix of a house classic will still be on download by the time you see this. Because it's quite the banger:

 The Australian DJ Copycat has one more of something you can never have too much of -- a take on Aretha Franklin's 'Rock Steady', which can be purchased from his Bandcamp:

And, to finsh, something a little different. Abba's 'Dancing Queen' is a great pop record, but can sound a little odd in your hipster wedding DJ set. Well, this guy's kind of fixed that with this sweet, subtle edit that includes an updated rhythm track. I might have to get in touch and ask him for a copy. And no, I'm not joking ...



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