Hard News by Russell Brown


Music: All this and some choice Mongolian jazz-rock

I'm still not tired of the continuing flow of interesting Bowie things filling social media, and this is one of the best. Bowie played the annual Bridge School Benefit Concert in 1996. The clip below really comes to life with the lovely accompanying text posted by the organiser Pegi Young with the higher-quality Facebook version of the video:

My first impression of David Bowie as he walked through the front door of our home for the annual BBQ fiesta that traditionally kicks off the Bridge School Benefit Concert weekend was how slight he was. His music and his persona were so large that I was struck by the contrast. As I approached him and his band to welcome them to our home and to thank them for coming to play for our kids, the next thing that stays in my memory is what an absolute gentleman he was. He was an enormously talented yet humble man who was content to just hang out with the kids and other guests who were attending that night’s party. 

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him, to welcome him into my home and to have him grace the stage over that weekend in 1996 to offer his unique and innovative talent for our organization. 

He was an original in every senses of the word. On behalf of all of us who have been associated with Bridge School, I offer our sincere and heartfelt sympathies and wishes for peace to his many close and dear loved ones. 

Love and light.


There's a YouTube playlist with the audio of 16 songs from Bowie and his band's two performances at the benefit.


I'm away visiting family this weekend, but if you're in Auckland this Saturday, you might want to swing by the new Real Groovy Records store at 369 Queen Street for their opening fete.

From 11am, the courtyard in front of the shop will host performances from Thomas Oliver, Rackets, LarzRanda, Lydia Cole, Paquin and local DJs. There'll be food, drink and face-painting for the kids.

Further details and set times will be posted on the Facebook event page.


Here's another nice thing. The people behind The Unofficial Flying Nun Music Vault came into possession of a bunch of vintage New Zealand music videos on VHS, did a really nice job of digitising them and are now sharing them via the Lost New Zealand Music Videos Facebook page.

Those there already include the Freudian Slips' 'Deviance' from 1985, Suburban Reptiles, Scavengers, Let's Planet, The Front Lawn and a great live clip of Toy Love doing 'Sheep' – which comes from a 1980 concert with the Swingers filmed at Rock Theatre, Wellington.


Ahead of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings' show at The Civic on Thursday next week, Marty Duda has kindly granted me the use of his interview with Rawlings, about being on the road with Gillian, what he's been doing in the studio (including tidying up Old Crow Medicine Show live recordings) and more. You can listen to it here in two parts:



You know how I said at the top I've been enjoying all the Bowie ephemera being shared? Well, there's one thing I haven't been digging: all the shithouse remixes of 'Let's Dance' knocked out by no-name DJs last week. It's just a bad idea, guys.

But Peter McLennan did point me to this studio acapella of the song, which adds (or leaves in) little snatches of percussion, keyboard stabs and guitar to underpin the lead vocal and harmonies. It's cool. As Peter says, it would be interesting to hear someone play it out at a bar or club:

This also does not suck: Leftside Wobble has made a pared-back version of a rework he did a while ago of 'Sound and Vision', in tribute to Bowie and "created with love and respect for the source material". It's quite beautiful. Free download:

My new favourite Australians Cup & String have an EP of their housey-garage sound coming soon and they've posted some tracks on Soundcloud. I'm possibly too old to like this sort of bass music, but like it I do:

Perhaps because I've been looking at the Splore lineup, I've been thinking a bit this week about the British dancehall and its vitality. And I think this is an example. East London rapper Frank Gamble, in collaboration with Kojey Radical. He's apparently a bit of a mystery man:

My friend Keegan put me onto that – and also this. It is the Bayan Mongol Variety Group, from 1980, and I might have to find out a bit more about these geezers. From this Soundcloud account of all kinds of Mongolian music, from traditional to reggae.

And finally, another one from the A Label Called Success house of hits. A bit heavier on the kick drum than last week's, but pretty cool:


The Hard News Friday Music Post is kindly sponsored by:

The Audio Consultant

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