Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Mixed Blessings

A briefer Friday Music today. After all, I've already spent hours this week researching and writing about the very mixed blessing that is Apple Music. You can hear me talking about that some more from 2pm on Radio New Zealand's Music 101 tomorrow.

Speaking of mixed blessings: Kanye West at Glastonbury. I found a stream last weekend and watched his odd, very uneven headline show – and perhaps the victory in it was that you kind of had to watch, just to see what might happen next. There was something really gutsy about going out alone like that. And something a little joyless about how it felt in the end.

But Glasto 2015 really did deliver some delights. In keeping with the provisions of Section 42 of the Copyright Act 1994 I obtained a video of the whole Jamie Xx set for purposes of criticism and review and by the time my family came home on Monday night I was very much all raving under one roof. I didn't actually kiss the subwoofer, but I could have.

Happily, the BBC has made available the opening of the set, where he played The Persuasions' 'Good Times' before tipping into the tune on his album that samples it, 'I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)'.

And, neatly, the glorious conclusion with 'Loud Places' and a crowd of people who clearly wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the universe:

This really is my jam.

In a similar vein, Caribou played at sunset on the Friday.

Also, Roy Ayers:

While Kanye was all on his lonesome, elsewhere on the site the Mothership was Returning:

In further fishnet tights action, Perfume Genius:

I thought Spiritualised sounded pretty cool ...

Patti Smith is never not cool.

It's a bit of a shame that the Beeb chose 'Doubt' from the Mary J. Blige set and not her incredible, rainswept and emotional performance of 'No More Drama', but this is still great:

There was word that Lionel Ritchie's appearance in the now-traditional Sunday afternoon guilty pleasure slot at the Pyramid Stage drew the biggest crowd of the entire festival. And yeah, it does look that way ...

And there's a lot more to be had in the Beeb's giant YouTube playlist ...


Martyn Pepperell has a nice interview with Lontalius, who is typically thoughtful.

Music 101 interviews my lovely friend Renee Jones on occasion of her moving on from Independent Music NZ after more than a decade of looking after artists:

New on Audioculture: Peter McLennan on the Christchurch-based performing arts collective Pacific Underground.

And a really great documentary on The Saints' immortal first album (I'm) Stranded and what came before and after. There's much to relate to for New Zealanders in its themes of distance and difference:


New tracks!

The title track of the Phoenix Foundation's forthcoming album Give Up Your Dreams is the second single. It's not nearly as bleak at the title would suggest ...

Another really nice new tune from Chelsea Jade.

Flume drops a dramatic remix of a song by Sydneysiders Collarbones:

And finally, James Duncan remixes Dudley Benson's 'Muscles'. You can buy the EP here on Bandcamp and it further includes remixes by Eyeliner (aka Disasteradio) and Murderbike. Four bucks!

You have six days to help out with the crowdfunding for Dudley to complete his album Zealandia. He's at 67% of his $12,000 total.

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