Hard News by Russell Brown


Kids: Still alright

Quick little media roundup.

Last night's Media7, featuring Ken Douglas discussing his media persona, journalists and the new biography, Man for all seasons: The life and times of Ken Douglas; and Ken Mair on the story behind I Am the River is online here.

I can recommend that you take steps to see both I Am the River (8.30pm tomorrow evening, Maori Television), and the Ken Douglas documentary Ken Douglas - Traitor or Visionary, which gets another airing on the heartland channel at 9am tomorrow.

Last week's Media7, on the Auckland Super City election campaign, was a little slow getting to the wires, but is here now.

Uploaded to NZ On Screen this week: an interview compilation from 3.45 Live in 1990, featuring a pre- Amazing Race Phil Keoghan and a pre-Holmes Hine Elder. Clip 1 is notable for Hine's really quite good Judy Bailey impression, Clip 2 features Martin Phillipps, and Clip 3 has then rapper-of-the-moment Redhead Kingpin.

After we wrapped Media7 on Wednesday, a group of us went up to the Critic's Choice event at the King's Arms. It's a companion event to the main Music Awards, sponsored by Gravity coffee, and the idea is to identify and reward promising new acts.

There were 13 unnamed "industry figures" in the crowd who would pick the winner on the night from the three finalists: Street Chant, Home Brew and last week's Silver Scroll winners, The Naked and Famous.

Sir Vere asked me if I were one of the judges. Nope. But I liked all three of the acts – and I approved of the final decision of the judges themselves. Even if it was pretty much a done deal from the moment that Street Chant took the stage and started tearing it up like this:

They even tore off a cover of the Naked and Famous's 'Young Blood', just because they could.

"Street chant are pretty awesome band. Cant figure out if they guys or girls tho," tweeted one punter who stood down the back. "Neither can we," they tweeted back. Heh.

Home Brew were, as ever, like a great big party on the stage. You could relocate them to your lounge and the party would just be on. People bawled along lustily when they finished with 'Bad Bad Whiskey':

The Naked and Famous played last, and, in comparison to the other two acts, clearly aren't a pub band. But the way the fickle indie hipsters (it was definitely an indie hipster crowd on Wednesday night) seem to be turning on them now they're all, er, famous seems pretty silly. Their debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, is very good, and extends way beyond all the inevitable comparisons they've been fielding. (Although let me toss in another one: 'The Sun' sounds a lot like the L.E.D.s. Freaky.)

They're all over the social music sites at the moment – not least with this massive great cheesefest of a Euro-dance remix, which was news to coifounder Tom Powers when Damian and I interviewed him for Public Address Radio this week. You can hear than on Public Address radio on Sunday, from 7pm on Radio Live.

Righto. It's Friday. Post what ya got.

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