Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Hope Springs

So, as probably everyone expected, the revived Auckland Big Day Out has been granted resource consent for a show at Western Springs Stadium and surrounds for January 17, 2014 -- and, less predictably, for the four years following.

I am personally bloody delighted at the news that I'll finish my evening 10 minutes' walk from home. For others, it's about the same distance to the Baldwin Ave and Morningside railway stations on the Western line, and there's a major bus route right there on Great North Road.

The Herald team has made a graphic of the approved layout. Basically: three stages (one of them double) and plenty of grass (no, not that kind of grass, but, etc) -- and no Boiler Room or anything under cover. So we'll be hoping for nice weather. It's not immediately clear whether the concert area will be fenced off from the lake, but I guess that in the interests of the safety of human ravers and water fauna, it will be.

There's going to be a short pinch-point over the bridge between the stadium grounds and the park,  but the real question around the venue will be around sound-spill. Can the three stages co-exist? But the bigger question for the local promoters is how they go about restoring a brand that was tarnished by the way it went out last time. Perhaps the two can go hand in hand: the move away from the concrete of Mt Smart concrete to the greenery of Western Springs reflected in a shift in the feel of the festival.


Vanguard Red has a good interview with Parks, aka Brent Park, the creative and life partner of Ladi6. I worked with Parks and Ladi on three of our Great Blend events a few years ago, and I can say that he's not only highly talented, he's one of the nice guys of New Zealand music. (He does however, as he freely admits, have an unusually small head. No one's perfect.)

They're on the road here at the moment, in support of the forthcoming album Automatic, with @Peace in support (I like how the poster says "@Peace will not appear in Invercargill," as if it's a political stance). See her before they see her in Prague! And the second single from Automatic, 'Shine On', is on sale. Here's the sweet video:


 Speaking of Great Blends, there's one on next Wednesday if you're in Wellington. Lawrence Arabia plays with the assistance of Samuel Flynn Scott of the Phoenix Foundation. You probably haven't seen that before, eh? It's free, but you'll need to RSVP here.


Meanwhile on TheAudience, 8 Foot Sativa. They're back!

And from a different universe, a nice modern soul tune from a singer called Sapphire:

And this, from a 15 year-old bedroom producer in Dunedin. I swear, they get younger every week. It's not bad either:


Gary Steel really is writing some good stuff on Audioculture. His Chris Knox entry sets a standard. And, of course, there are great images accompanying it. Like, for example, this previously unpublished cartoon created for Mark Everton's Listener column in the mid-80s.

Did you see what I did there? Yep, you can now easily share individual images on Audioculture. And in another useful change, endless scrolling has been enabled on the home page -- further down you scroll, the more items are added to the page.

New this week: Chris Bourke's article on Toni Williams, a Rarotongan pop singer I recall being around when I was a kid. I'd forgotten that one of his bigger hits was the racily-titled 'Rose (Can I Share A Bed With You)'. Cor.


Photographs of the The Clean's Vehicle album -- being reissued via the deal between Flying Nun and the American label Captured Tracks -- at the pressing plant. That is some satisfyingly solid-looking machinery.


My favourite remix of Nina Simone's oft-mixed 'Feeling Good' sadly isn't available as a download on Soundcloud:

 But I like this one nearly as much:

A great Johnny Clarke-sampling bit of re-rub-a-dub for free:

But the one to get your hands on this week, is this fab RocknRolla Soundsystem edit of Ken Boothe's classic 'Is It Because' I'm Black':

Oh, yes, I really like that.


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