The first year I went to Splore was the year Erykah Badu played. My memory is of arriving on the Friday afternoon to an idyll where everyone was smiling, the sun shone and children frolicked. I felt like the 5000th person to find paradise.
That evening, as the diva wound into her set, the heavens of paradise opened. I mean, really opened. It was a tropical cloudburst. Everyone who wasn't too wasted to move bolted for shelter and I wound up in the falafel stall, helping the owners tip gallons of water off their tarp every couple of minutes. In its way, it was quite a fulfilling community experience.
About half an hour later the rain stopped and everyone was happy – apart from the people at our campsite who'd decided it might be nice to air out their tent and toddled off down the hill leaving all the windows open.
The Auckland region's summer pluviality looks like being on show this year too. I went and bought some $20 gumboots at the No.1 Shoe Warehouse this morning, and discovered I was the fifth Splorer who'd been in for wellies in the half hour the shop had been open.
It'll be fine, even if the weather isn't. It's not like it's Glastonbury. Tapapakanga Regional Park is not Worthy Farm, there aren't a hundred thousand punters, the promoters are prepared and the sandy soil drains well. Most of all, it looks pretty sweet for Saturday night, when Dub Pistols bring the party to the main stage and a remarkable lineup – Tall Black Guy, Courtesy, John Morales and Frank Booker, in that order – commands the DJ stage.
So yes, that's where I'll be. You can check my Twitter for rain jokes and silly pictures.
I was pleased yesterday when new vinyl from The Nudge turned up in the post.
"Oh," I thought, counting three tracks on it. "A new 12" single."
Turns out, Dark Arts is more of an album and all of side two is the 24-minute prog-funk epic 'Bring Me Your Love'.
There's a video for the title track, the shortest of the three:
It's a shame it had to happen over his dead body, but Prince's catalogue (or a fair chunk of it) is available for the first time on Spotify and Apple Music – and even better, it's remastered. FACT mag has a guide to the 10 greatest Prince albums.
Over at Audioculture, David McLennan tells the story of almost-forgotten feature of the Wellington punk scene: the Cuba Mall Sesssions of 1979.
And Redmer Yska digs even deeper to find the totally forgotten weekly entertainment magazine published by the owners of the Truth newspaper in the 1950s: Joy.
Because we live in strange times: Michigan Republicans have suggested Kid Rock for the US Senate.
And on the other side, Moby claims the inside word on what intelligence agencies have on Trump.
The particular art of reggae music has a feeling all its own. And you can own some of that feeling via a new set of silk-screened prints from the Soul Jazz-aligned Sounds of the Universe store. I just love this Tubby one.
Oh my, this is awesome. Wellington's Lord Echo has busted out this fluidly funky track from his forthcoming album Harmonies as a straight-up free download. More info and preorders here.
From Auckland's A Label Called Success, this electronic, ethereal taster for the Space Above album that's out tomorrow (ie: Friday).
And finally, Greg Wilson has mixed together 20 of the hard-to-find edits and reworks he played in his 2016 sets. Track listing and separate embeds here.
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