Hard News by Russell Brown


Greetings from the Garden City

The people have been demanding answers; they have made their wishes clear, and their will won't be denied. And so, it happens: the most-requested programme in the short history of NZ On Screen. Count Homogenized in the very first episode of A-Haunting We Will Go. Don't say we never do anything for you.

Moving on, I know I wasn't positive about MGMT's merits as a live band (and I wasn't alone), but it's pretty neat to be seeing them covering The Clean's 'Anything Could Happen' at the All Points West Festival in New York:

(Hat-tip: Under the Radar, who also have details on The Clean's forthcoming new album, and a free download of one track, 'In The Dreamlife You Need A Rubber Soul', which has been lighting up the bFM playlist recently.)

And purely because it's Friday, a clip from the seriously trippy 1990s Japanese kids' TV show Ugo Ugo Lhuga:

More clips and info here.


Less trippy, but hopefully diverting: this week's Media7, covering youth in the media (good panels!), and the argument that the Film Commission should return to funding lo-fi digital features.


The impending Apple http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2009/08/10/daily4.html" target="_blank">whatever-it-is tablet came up yesterday when I gave my annual talk to Broadcasting School students here in Christchurch. It seems likely to be a device that comes with content -- content to which some price might be attached, thus calming the nerves of distraught newspaper publishers.

One of the kids told me afterwards that some convincing-looking video purported to feature the much-anticipated device had just hit the wires. And it has. There one clip here:

And some more video and commentary on Gizmodo. I'm inclined to think it's a particularly elaborate fake, but it's a bit of fun.

There's been frenzied speculation that the Apple ad shot this week in a retro diner is for the new device, but it seems more likely to be for iTunes 9, which looks like it will see the belated arrival of social features.


The talk itself went well: I enjoyed it, and the students seemed to as well. Morgan Stanley research note confirmed: young people don't do Twitter, and lots of them operate more than one mobile phone.

The rest of the day was given over to a pilgrimage to Whisky Galore (where I spent more than I intended, to put it mildly: damn you, Brora 1981 25 year-old, for being so complex and entrancing) and dinner with Emma Hart and Ian Dalziel, and their respective significant others, Karl and Sally. That was highly enjoyable. Christchurch has been fun.

This morning, I'm writing a blog post (obviously), not answering calls from radio producers who want me to come on their shows and talking about KidsCan and preparing to shop (younger boy's birthday tomorrow), experience art (Ronnie van Hout retrospective) and hang out with Blair from the L.E.D.s. A parting thought about the new 161 Hereford Suites' cheapest offering: thin walls, noisy heating, noisy pipes, a microwave and fridge but no sink … seriously people, this is not a five-star room and you shouldn't be calling it that. OTOH: free internet.

PS: I've been in contact with Rick Shera, and he will be answering readers' questions about KidsCan in a blog post, but not until next week. He's been fronting this thing as a volunteer independent chair, and I do appreciate that he needs to attend to his legal business. You can still discuss the issue, but keep it seemly.

PPS: Just post any old thing you like in the discussion. It's Friday.

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