Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Music: The Homecoming Queen

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  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Sometimes, he’s like a wild 13 year-old boy, and it’s honest and appealing, even unto the culturally-acquired American accent.

    Whoa! I had always assumed that Randa was American- or Canadian-born. His accent sounds so authentic that it didn't seem possible it was just a performance gimmick. His speaking voice sounds mid-Pacific, kind of like Rachel Hunter.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Whoa! I had always assumed that Randa was American- or Canadian-born. His accent sounds so authentic that it didn’t seem possible it was just a performance gimmick. His speaking voice sounds mid-Pacific, kind of like Rachel Hunter.

    I did wonder, but nothing in the bios says he was born in North America. I figured it was just a matter of "you're soaking in it", culturally-speaking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I always assumed Randa was a woman. Interesting.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    I always assumed Randa was a woman. Interesting.

    Born female, identifying male.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    In this post-Lorde year, all three finalists were solo artists with minimal or no accompaniment.

    About five years ago, when Lady Gaga was at her peak, pop became very extravagant, all about lavish costumes and complex performances. Now it seems to be going the other way, fully embracing minimalism, both sonically and visually. Kanye West went for that style on his Yeezus album (he didn’t invent it, though), and that style continues with Pure Heroine and Lorde’s performance style. And as well as being on trend, it’s always going to be a lot cheaper touring with a two-piece band than a giant entourage.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Yep, all that. I think it’s no coincidence that she talks up Kanye so often.

    And as well as being on trend, it’s always going to be a lot cheaper touring with a two-piece band than a giant entourage.

    Yeah, this too. It’s much more viable these days to be a solo artist who can draw on collaborators as required.

    I think it's quite significant that Janine Foster (aka Janine and the Mixtape) has just signed a deal with Atlantic Records in the US. It makes sense for labels too to sign individuals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Is there anywhere else we can see/hear the Critic's Choice material. I'd love to hear what they presented? I went to Elbow on Saturday night which was outstanding. A real fan's show with lots of sing alongs and general enthusiasm, and the Powerstation was perfect for seeing what is a stadium act anywhere else in Europe.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Attachment Attachment Attachment

    A few photos of Elbow.

    I went to Elbow on Saturday night which was outstanding.

    I went last night, and was equally impressed. There is something about Elbow, which IMO puts them in a unique spot in the rock world. Intelligent rock? That sounds wanky, but Guy and his band sure are performers, and the crowd would have done a back flip with a half twist, had he cared to ask.

    The Take Off and Landing of Everything is definitely in my top albums of the year category. I can listen to it end to end several times a week, without getting bored. For a fussy bugger like me, that’s not so common these days.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson, in reply to JacksonP,

    Thanks Jackson. Yes, he is the consumate front man and with the voice of an angel. Bones is still my favourite all time track of theirs so I was so excited when they played it as the second number of the night – a treat for me considering how many songs they have to choose from.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell,

    It was plenty loud, but at times the bass was overwhelming

    Ditto the Chc show which I attended. I can’t recall any reggae act I’ve witnessed being that bassy. Like Vector, ASB Arena not the best sound quality. Relatively speaking, one could hardly hear Yumi Zouma in support but they nevertheless packed a lot of intensity into their half hour set.

    A coupla a days prior to Lorde, Lawrence Arabia was in town – albeit a much smaller venue (!) – highlights (of an excellent show anyway) were storming versions of Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Eno’s Needle in the Camel’s Eye

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 385 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Bones is still my favourite all time track of theirs so I was so excited when they played it as the second number of the night – a treat for me considering how many songs they have to choose from.

    It's interesting, before TTOALOE (good god!) I would have said Grace under pressure, or even the earlier (2001) Powder Blue, which was my intro to the band. But I have got hooked on New York Morning and My Sad Captains, both which they played brilliantly last night.

    Like you say, there's a lot to choose from.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S,

    Went to the Lorde show with my wife and a 12 and 14 year old and saw a lot of similar groups which reminded me of the last parent teacher meeting I went to. I always feel like an imposter at the parent teacher whatsits for some reason.
    I do like her music but it didn't seem to be that danceable as from where I was sitting half way up at the rear [quite a good spot for viewing] I didn't see much dance action going down.
    One of the first gigs I've been to where I didn't notice any weed being lit and where they probably sold more ice cream than beer!
    Did our Mr Sweetman review her show or did his stay at home parent gig preclude that?
    Thoroughly enjoyed the light show which probably blew my kids minds it being their first gig and all.
    + 1 for the bass being overdone.

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    A coupla a days prior to Lorde, Lawrence Arabia was in town – albeit a much smaller venue (!) – highlights (of an excellent show anyway) were storming versions of Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Eno’s Needle in the Camel’s Eye

    Damn, he and his band knock out some great covers. Last tour it was the Velvet Underground's 'I Found a Reason' (which actually sort of made me cry a little bit) and ELO's 'Livin' Thing'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've just added Herald video of the Silver Scrolls Lilburn tributes to the post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Sundae, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Hi Luke, I'm publishing the full replay tonight but if you can't fold on here is a private link http://bcove.me/iq4uoz23

    Please me tidy up the name and info etc before you share anywhere though!

    cheers

    Hugh

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    Eno

    Just in case ya hadn't heard it was on...

    Sound Lounge
    10:00pm Brian Eno: Eno Now (Prog 6 of 6)
    on the Concert Programme

    or start here in the replay section
    eno pt 1

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Damn, he and his band knock out some great covers

    At the Wine Cellar gig Laurence told the crowd that the band were doing a residency as the house covers band at the Golden Dawn in December.

    So much yes to this.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Sundae,

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    At the Wine Cellar gig Laurence told the crowd that the band were doing a residency as the house covers band at the Golden Dawn in December.

    So much yes to this.

    Such yes!

    But does that mean they'll still have to play indoors? A cover band outside, replacing the DJ, would surely be the caper.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Oops....the message I posted about missing you at the Elbow concert was meant for you, Jackson ( not Jos). Talk about confusing ....!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Yes, I did see that Geoff. Think we had different nights too. Sorry you couldn't make it. 'Twas a goodun.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • paddy free, in reply to Rob S,

    Went to the Lorde... I was sitting half way up at the rear... + 1 for the bass being overdone.

    Putting on my sound engineer hat for a second: bass frequencies "pool" or build up in corners and against the walls in an enclosed space, and the bass will sound artificially louder in these areas. The best sound at any concert will theoretically be heard standing right in front of the sound-desk (thats where you'll always find me at parties) since the sound engineer will be doing their best to make the PA and room sound as good as they can - to their ears, from that position.
    Thats one reason the sound is usually so clear and compelling at outdoor gigs/dance parties, because there is no "room" factor in the equation - the sound shoots out of the loudspeakers in a single direction, never bouncing back-and-forth and muddying itself up until the sound energy has dissipated. Outdoors, the sound wavefront passes thru you like a dose of salts - the pure, uncut waveform. :-)

    Check out David Byrne's great TED talk about the relationship between music and the venue it's performed in.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/david_byrne_how_architecture_helped_music_evolve?language=en

    piha • Since Dec 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to paddy free,

    Putting on my sound engineer hat: bass frequencies “pool” or build up in corners and against walls in an enclosed space, and the bass will sound artificially louder in these areas.

    Yep. We were up along one side a third of the way back and I’ve experienced the sound getting pretty nasty in that part of the room before – at the Massive Attack show it was unbearably loud, while people on the floor at the back of the room were calling for it to be turned up.

    It was tolerable for Lorde, but certainly could have been better. And I can’t believe there’s no way of remediating the problem.

    Check out David Byrne’s great TED talk about the relationship between music and the venue it’s performed in.

    That's one of the central theses of How Music Works and it's insightful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • paddy free, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I can’t believe there’s no way of remediating the problem.

    You really can't. In a huge, high-roofed tin-and-concrete shed (ie most "arena" venues) maths and physics are simply against you. The sound travels a _long_ way up before it bounces down, in multiple out-of-time copies of itself (reverberation). Higher frequencies can be absorbed by lining the venue with soft, deep, absorbent materials - very, very expensive, and not really practical in huge spaces - but there is no comparable way of absorbing bass frequencies, other than architecture/design.
    Think of that noisy party down the road, what drives the neighbours crazy? THE BASS! Bass frequencies have more energy which is why they're harder to contain/control. The only way you can absorb bass is with mass. A box with feet-thick concrete walls which will stop the bass getting _out_, but it'll still be bouncing around inside the box.
    If the architectural brief is for a high-ceiling, enclosed space made of concrete and steel that can hold thousands of people, you're plum out of luck. As Byrne says in the talk and the book, large spaces made of stone such as cathedrals are inherently better suited to elongated notes and slow changes of sound, not repetitive beats, and certainly not that new-fangled electrical amplimification!

    piha • Since Dec 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

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