Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Keep Warm With Music

Last Friday was bloody busy. I got up, wrote two blog posts, went to the airport, flew to Wellington, spent the afternoon in a meeting, flew back, quickly made a pizza and then went to join my friend Andy and his crew to celebrate his birthday.

Apart from me becoming confused on arrival and accidentally ordering a bloody apricot wheat beer, we had a wonderful time at the Portland Public House hearing Voom. Two things about Voom: 1. Buzz Moller has a brilliant, ageless catalogue of songs. 2. Their gigs seem invariably to be happy, soulful events. Here's the end of 'Marawannabe' from last Friday.

And for those of you who know Andy, yes, we made sure he got up on stage to sing the high part of 'Beth'. He is one of those people who genuinely sing well -- nay, better -- with a bit bit of beer inside him. It is no accident that he is the new sensation of karaoke evenings at the Pt Chev RSA.


Today's a busy day for local album releases. The big one is Fat Freddy's Drop's long-time-coming Blackbird. The grooves are heavier this time around, and I find myself preferring the funk numbers, 'Bones' and the prowling instrumental at the end, 'Bohannon'. I still wish, as ever, that the collective included a poet or someone with a genuine lyrical gift, but I can imagine this new material being storming live.

Speaking of which check out the band's album tour dates on the home page of their website.  That's a hell of a tour. They're not back here till September, and then only for Auckland and Wellington dates before heading back to Britain. But you can get a look at them next Thursday morning, when they're doing this impressive project to launch the album in Europe:


Also out today, The Primrose Paththe new album from former Brunette Jonathan Bree. It's sort of gothic pop, Scott Walkerish, perhaps. And given that it's at name-your-price download on Bandcamp (there are also CD and LP versions), it seems like an entirely apt accompaniment for winter evenings:


Of note on TheAudience at the moment, this stately, shimmering work from 16 year-old Wellingtonian Ted Bartley:

Click through for the free download on that.

In a more traditional singer-songwriter vein, this delicate lament from J Turner:


A friend in Australia recently raved to me about Jagwar Ma: "best band ever to come out of Sydney," he reckoned. I dunno about that, but I certainly don't regret buying their album Howlin' on iTunes. It's quite an entrancing record -- a bit pop, a bit psychedelic, a bit Madchester, a bit techno. Here's the video for 'The Throw':

They're playing the King's Arms in Auckland in August, but on a Wednesday night, which is a little disappointing. Tunes like 'Four' from the album sound like something you'd want a big piece of on a night when you weren't working in the morning. But I'll be unemployed by then so what the heck?


Peter McLennan put me on to Catching Flies, the 22 year-old London producer whose Long Journey Home EP is freshly out and really worth having from iTunes or Bandcamp:


Two new items for your musical viewing pleasure on NZ On Screen ...

A 1988 Radio With Pictures report on "women's music", centered around a show at The Gluepot and highlighted by a beautiful performance from the late, lamented Mahinaarangi Tocker.

And also from RWP, an amazing 1981 bit of self-reporting by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate, not long after becoming Tall Dwarfs. A bit of a must-see, this one.

And on Audioculture, a fresh entry on Shaft, which includes pics from the gig they played at Golden Dawn but a couple of weeks ago.

And the big kahuna -- Adam Gifford's excellent Audioculture piece on John Rowles -- with bonus awesome album covers.


UKTV will be simulcasting BBC coverage of the final night of this year's Glastonbury Festival -- but that means it's on on a Monday morning morning here and it's not even the best night of the festival. There may be more to come, but it looks like the official Glastonbury mobile app -- here for iPhone and here for Android -- will stream all the BBC's coverage.


A couple of Soundclouds ...

Best Busnach in a while. Hurry for the download ...

 Love this Joey Negro/Thelma Houston remix:


And, finally, the making-of video for Pretty Lights' forthcoming album, A Color Map of the Sun. I think this thing is going to be huge.


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