Hard News by Russell Brown


Sweet Rocksteady

I have one copy of the very tasty compilation Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, to give away (thanks to Rhythmethod) and one double pass each to tomorrow's Auckland and Wellington screenings of the much-praised film of the same name, as part of The World Cinema Showcase, at Auckland's Academy Cinema Sat tomorrow at 6.15PM or Wellington's Paramount, next Saturday April 3 at 1.15PM.

Post a comment – a killer reggae video (remember, just pate in a YouTube URL and it'll auto-embed), a love letter to reggae or whatever -- and I'll pick winners early afternoon. Best one gets the CD and the movie. If you're not in either city, you can nominate a friend to go.


Speaking of reggae – sort of – Massive Attack were a mixed bag last night. We had to sit through a few chuntering dub-rock efforts (oh, another song featuring Tricky muttering darkly about capitalism!), but they certainly nailed the hits. Every time Horace Andy came to the mic was a particular highlight.

It was also nice to experience Vector Arena's accessibility offerings, with Fiona out of her cast (only three months on from busting her Achilles) but still on crutches. They were organised and the staff were alert. Good show.


You may recall talk that Independent News and Media would seek to address its awful debt problems by dumping its holding in APN, the owner of the New Zealand Herald and Herald on Sunday. Sense has prevailed, and the company has flicked the assets that have been costing, rather than making money.

So the Independent and Independent on Sunday were sold overnight to Russian billionaire – and former KGB agent -- Alexander Lebedev. It seems to be regarded as a good result.


Last night's Media7 – focusing on the state of the internet in New Zealand – should be online for your information and entertainment, but there appears to be a delay. I'll update the post when it becomes available.

Note also that Jose live-tweeted the show on the Media7 Twitter account. Quite a nifty thing to do.

I'm already looking forward to next week's show, which takes the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Female Eunuch as a kick-off point. We have Marilyn Waring and Gemma Gracewood with one more panellist tbc, and Sarah Daniell is interviewing Marcia Russell about memories of Thursday magazine. But more on that next week.

People with Friends in England may be interested to know about the BBC4 doco Women, a three-part history of the modern feminist movement by Vanessa Engle. I've watched the first episode and it's fascinating. As she was with Lefties, Engle isn't afraid of showing her subjects as flawed, and that underlines the honesty of her work.


A killer tune for grown-up lovers of the disco: Omar feat Stevie Wonder – I'm Feeling You (Henrik Schwarz remix). Hat-tip to Simon Grigg.

On a completely different note, so to speak, pianist Michael Houstoun is using Bandcamp to offer free downloads of some of his performances, in formats from ordinary MP3 to 24-bit FLAC. Well done that man! (Hat-tip, Chris Bourke's excellent Distractions blog)

NZ On Screen has a clip of excerpts from Taika Waititi's new film, Boy:

And there's a new mash-up of the well-known Will.I.Am 'Yes We can' video, featuring Rep John Boehner losing the plot over healthcare reform:


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