Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Screen gigs

One of the nice things about new New Zealand films is the way they're drawing out good work by New Zealand composers. I was delighted to attend the crowdfund backers' screening of David Farrier and Dylan Reeve's Tickled documentary on Tuesday (the official premiere is at The Civic next Wednesday, tickets still available).

Not only is it a funny and surprising film, it's quite a brave and moral one. It's really worth seeing. And the music is really cool. It comes from several sources – some is taken, with permission, from America director Shane Carruth's art film Upstream Colour and some is library music, but the greater part was crafted by Rodi Kirkcaldy, aka DJ Scratch 22, who is now resident in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople has smashed the first week box office record for a local film and boasts a soundtrack crafted by a group called Moniker, who are Samuel Flynn Scott, Luke Buda and Conrad Wedde out of The Phoenix Foundation. This catchy little number is the single.

The soundtrack album is out today (only $11.99 on iTunes) and, as you might expect, most of it is more soundtracky, but it's a really nice collection of atmospheres in and of itself. I particularly dig the krautrock-ish 'Milestone 2 (Skuxx Life)'.

The addition to the Silver Scrolls of the APRA Screen Awards (one each for feature films and TV) two years ago would seem to have been a wise move.


Staying with the fim-music crossover, Lawrence Arabia, Liam Finn and Connan Mockasin perform together at the Crystal Palace theatre in Mt Eden (tickets here). The theatre is now under the management of a production company called Monster Valley, whose principal, Tayor and Karl recently talked about their plans for both film and music at the venue with Cheese on Toast's Jade Paynter:


I'll be trying to get my bearing in New York City next weekend – and that means you'll have to go and see Ed Kuepper for me. He's playing at the Tuning Fork in Auckland (Saturday 16th) and Meow in Wellington (Sunday 16th) – and is also the support at the long sold-out shows by The Stranglers.

Frankly, when Ed came here for the first time in years to support Television, he blew the academic New Yorkers off the stage. Tickets here from Under the Radar.

 Here's a track from the ex-Saint's 50th(!!!) album, Lost Cities:


Not exactly music, but there will certainly be a soundtrack. My buddy Andrew Moore is putting on another Satin Lives event from 2pm tomorrow at the New Lynn skate bowl. The formula is simple enough: a bunch of old skaters (and their children) convene to skate like they were young again and possibly enjoy a beer and a barbecued sausage. There will be one or two legends in attendance, but it's very much an open, fun event.


Kanye West finally released his much-teased new album Life of Pablo to streaming services that aren't Tidal – and it's set to become the first number one album with virtually zero sales.

A really intriguing listicle from The Guardian: The 50 most amazing moments in pop history (that never actually happened). I like this one:

7 Earlier this year country star Dwight Yoakam – of all people – claimed David Bowie once told him that six months prior to Elvis Presley’s death, Presley had asked Bowie to produce his next record. “It has to be one of the greatest tragedies in pop music history that it didn’t happen,” notes our reliable narrator. “One of the biggest missed opportunities.”

8 Separately, Bowie also claimed to have offered Golden Years to Elvis. Without wishing to extrapolate too wildly, could Bowie’s presence have steadied Elvis and saved his life? Well, it was the mid-70s, so almost certainly not.

Here's something that's good to talk about: from last weekend's Music 101, Melody Thomas explores The Secret Life of Gig Etiquette. Twenty-five intriguing minutes ...

I'll try and find time to round up Record Store Day more thoroughly next week, but for now, Tito at Rebel Soul Music in Samoa House Arcade, Karangahape Road, already has a lead-up sale with some excellent bargains. I popped in and got the Mary Jane Girls' 'In My House' 12" (because I'm like that) for only $5. And the lovely folk at Southbound Records will be hosting live performances on the day (ie: Saturday the 16th) from Tami Neilson,  The Leers and Delaney Davidson. They'll also have some of the 300 vinyl copies of Delaney's album Devil in the Parlour.

And Audioculture has a profile of one of the great characters of New Zealand music over the past 30-odd years: New Plymouth's mighty Brian Wafer.



Miloux - aka singer songwriter Rebecca Melrose – is now with Loop Recordings and today sees the release of her debut EP. She first showed up on TheAudience as one of a cluster of women writing, performing and producing electronic pop, and I think EP1 delivers on her promise:

That's $5 to old-fashioned buy on Bandcamp.

Soccerpractise have dropped their second single – and it's all in te reo Maori. Nice:

I missed Avoid Avoid playing last week, but I'll have to get along and see them soon, I think. They're Sonya waters with a couple of former Subliminals and their new album sounds like this:

I'd kind of drifted off Pretty Lights, but this is his new one and it's pretty chill. I like it:

Free download and/or iTunes purchase here.

And finally, an Outkast/Tribe Called Quest mash-up record? That happened!

Details here.


The Hard News Friday Music Post is kindly sponsored by:

The Audio Consultant

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