Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Still sounds good

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  • Biobbs,

    We wrote the song about a kid in the year behind us at school who looked exactly like Joe 90, so when we sing the chorus we're actually singing about him, not Joe 90.

    But Joe 90's theme is by the great Barry Gray! I'm sure I can hear echoes of this on some of the Dimmer albums. An early influence maybe...

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Pennie Black,

    The Others Way by DoubleHappys - what better line than '...if you want to know the meaning of meaningless, I'll see you on the 7th May...'

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Buchanan,

    Not wanting to sound as old and grumpy as I am, but last I went to see an old Dunedin band, the audience seemed almost entirely composed of people my age, or worse, considerably younger, who would have been happier sitting at home with a nice warm cup of tea.

    Could all those people, who stand around (unmoving) at gigs looking bored, texting and taking cellphone photos, and in particular, grumbling at anyone who dances and spills their drinks or treads on their (unmoving) toes please stay at home on the night of the Wellington gig?

    Welly • Since May 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Buchanan,

    Oh, yeah - I'd go for 'Happy Endings' by Bored Games. Authentic teen angst kind of irrelevant social commentary you can dance to. We can carry on we can carry on we can carry on we can carry on we can carry on we can carry on...

    Welly • Since May 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    We can carry on we can carry on we can carry on
    we can carry on we can carry on we can carry on...

    What!
    You mean it's not ... weekend carrion?
    another illusion shattered...
    :- )
    yrs
    Lady Mondegreen

    NB: The 7th of May is the day in 1952 on which the concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, was first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    NB: The 7th of May is the day in 1952 on which the concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, was first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer

    Well noted, sir. Celebrations shall be had.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to philipmatthews,

    Was going to come back and say “but what about these two?” But sadly YouTube has neither “Burn it up” (SJ Fits) or “Scrapbook” (Dimmer). Two very, very good songs.

    Indeed, and both seem to come from a similar part of Shayne’s muse, bottled up, ferocious and fiery. Two of his best vocals, too, keening and desperate.

    As for Dimmer, for me it’s always “Crystallator”. It still sounds like white lightening to me even after all this time, the sound of an artist not so much tearing himself from the shackles of his old band as melting them down to tiny shards. Just one, horrific drone that sounds better the louder and longer it gets, and the best version I ever heard was at a gig at Otago Uni where he played it immediately after someone requested “She Speeds”. My ears rang for the rest of the evening after that. Given that he’d already played the similarly harsh “Powerchord”, it was quite some feat to top the aural assualt of that.

    And it was in such stark contrast to the jovial spirit of the rest of the gig, which was around the time of the release to You’ve Got to Hear the Music. Anika Moa was on “backing vocals”, I’ve never seen two artists play off oneanother so well, some of the jokes were genuinely filthy and hilarious. And Shayne’s mother was in the audience too!

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    You are truly golden Mr Carter.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And Shayne’s mother was in the audience too!

    That's nuthin'. He did a gig backing up his mother last year (at what used to be the Outback in Dunedin), with the wonderful Hannah Curwood on backing vocals and lead-in act. Was good fun.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Righto – time to pick winners: and I’m giving them both to Wellington.

    RA Hurley and William Daymond, contact me asap to confirm you can still go to the Bodega show and I’ll make it happen. Your excellent posts and convincing pleas of poverty have won me over.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Sharon McIver, in reply to hayden ward,

    I know it's one of Wayne's songs (at least i think it is) but I consider the Doublehappy's 'Anyone Else Would' to be the best song ever written in Aotearoa - the abject vocals coupled with that soaring chorus are just brutal and beautiful all at the same time.... stunning...

    Also, any chance the show could come down to Chch - venues are reopening now, and I can promise that we'd be very, very grateful... it's been a bleak autumn down here in the live music stakes...

    chch • Since Aug 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Double B-side is a stunner, eh. 'Cos "The Other's Way" is pretty damn good too.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The track listing of the compilation CD available for pre-order when purchasing tickets for the Last Train to Brockville shows from Under the Radar has been announced:

    Straitjacket Fits – Done
    Doublehappys – Needles and Plastic
    Doublehappys – Straitjacket Fits
    Straitjacket Fits – She Speeds
    Doublehappys – Big Fat Elvis
    Dimmer – Seed
    Bored Games – Joe 90
    Straitjacket Fits – If I Were You
    Dimmer – Crystalator
    Straitjacket Fits – APS
    Dimmer – Dawn’s Coming In
    Straitjacket Fits – Life In One Chord
    Shayne Carter And Peter Jefferies – Randolph’s Going Home
    Doublehappys – Some Fantasy

    Wow! I'd buy that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wow! I’d buy that.

    I presume I already have. Possibly, due to over-zealous booking accident, two even. But yes, wow!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Late to this, but I am working way too much these days.

    The music in New Zealand was the most amazing thing I found when I moved here in 1988. I could not believe the degree of musical competence and sophistication in songwriting... all recorded with tens of dollars. There was a busy music scene back in Vancouver, but on the whole bands here were musically more accomplished and their songwriting more original.

    the vocal delivery of 'I Don't Want To See You Again.' All that ducking and diving over, what, 4 chords? Yes. The very best Shayne Carter material, for me at least, is where that remarkable voice is set free with only minimal instrumental supervision. In those situations, if you're paying attention, it's hard not to think: "Wait. This guy might just be one of the best singers New Zealand has ever produced…

    Absolutely. One of the things I really noticed about Straitjacket Fits was Shayne's voice - a fine, clear, flawless voice with effortless range - big, strong, sweet. That, and some of the chord progressions were entirely novel, but hugely successful. I wrote an article about SJF for the Listener in 1989 - shortly after coming here from Canada - not that I was much of a writer - and the thing I most wanted to convey in the article was how astonishing Shayne's voice was. Having come from a music scene whose sound was far harder and heavier (NoMeansNo, DOA, Sons of Freedom etc) than anything I'd encountered here, the music seemed incredibly tuneful for how hard they played. And how insane they made a crowd - I once a got a split lip from someone's head when they stage dived, making me feel even older and more timid than I already did. Only the Rolling Stones in their heyday seemed to whip up the same kind of crazy feeling in the crowd. I got their A & R guy at Arista to send some of clips of them playing live as well as their videos to MuchMusic in Canada I was so convinced their live shows were something extraordinary.

    The Listener ran a patronising, tepid review of SJF's album right under my article about them, and forever after the band and everyone at FN (unable to see someone else's tiny byline by the review) thought it was my review... which was deeply irritating.

    Re “Down in Splendor”. In 1996 I refused a date with a boy after discovering he regarded Andrew Brough to be the better songwriter in the Straitjacket Fits, and considered Bike’s album to be an absolute masterwork.

    I do not regret this. It’s a painfully dull song.

    Respect. I could never understand the appeal of "Down in Splendor" either - to me it always seemed to drag down the energy when they played it live. I always thought Andrew's song "Fabulous Things" was a better showcase for his style in the context of SJF, but they never played that live.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to dyan campbell,

    Respect. I could never understand the appeal of "Down in Splendor" either - to me it always seemed to drag down the energy when they played it live. I always thought Andrew's song "Fabulous Things" was a better showcase for his style in the context of SJF, but they never played that live.

    I like "Down In Splendour", at least when I'm alone in my room and want to hear something of that nature (plus I've always thought the avoidance of the use of first person in the lyrics was a really interesting experiment.) But then I caught myself thoroughly enjoying Bike's stuff too, so my opinion is probably suspect.

    Melt remains one of my all-time favourite albums from start to finish, anyway.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I like "Down In Splendour"

    One of the great strengths of the band was the fact that different songs had greater or lesser merit to different listeners. More formulaic musicians tend to have one or two stand out tracks on an album, and everyone agrees which ones those are.

    I always thought the name "Doublehappys" referred to a brand of firecracker that used to be on the market... but I grew up in another country and in an era when people thought that gunpowder and matches were good toys for children... my best friend's Dad had been a munitions expert in WWII in Europe and mine had been a navigator (Lancasters) in the RCAF and we spent much of our childhood reenacting (without all the immense and tedious sums their work entailed) our Dads' war experiences blowing up Barbie dolls, GI Joes and model planes with Doublehappys.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Dont have a lot of interest invested in the music involved in this thread but – “Double Happys”? Waua! You bet. That was the whole wonderful point of fireworks’ night (aka “Guy Fawkes”) – all the wonderous,little, almost controlled explosions you could buy! I’ve kept up the practise of helping kids enjoy explosions – and, awesomely more so, so has one of my brothers…

    neither of us has ever dared emulate our uncle’s feat with a tuna bomb (do not even think to ask where he got that from) and one of the old stainless steel milk-cans. "I thought it would boom a bit" he said. Instead it took off like a rocket. He learned where it did come down, and paid for the damage to the -somewhat distant- footpath…

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    So, I went along to Bar Bodega and saw the Shayne Carter Experience or whatever his band is called. It was good.

    The audience was largely the dadrock crowd, including the local MP (a genuine fan!). iPhones were waved in the air, and I realised why most live music clips on YouTube are only 30 seconds or so - after a while, the person's arm starts to ache and they can't stand to hold up their phone any longer.

    I was feeling a bit queazy, but the tropical rainforest atmosphere of Bar Bodega (seriously, warmer and more humid than the butterfly house at Otago Museum) made me feel even worse. I realised I was doomed to spend the evening sitting on the floor, slumped against a wall, caged by human legs. So I decided that I'd better cut my evening short, but decided to stick around for one more song.

    And then Mr Carter played "Needles and Plastic", proudly announced as being one of the few songs to have "cunt" sung in the very first line, which I guess makes it on par with Mobile Stud Unit's "Old Cunts". And the fact that I'd never heard the C-word in "Needles and Plastic" shows the power of the classic Carter slur.

    Then straight after that was "APS". So much better than the album version. It comes along and sneers and chimes and spurts out tension and release.

    These two songs are pretty much my favourite two Shayne Carter tunes, so I was really glad to have heard them at that point in the set. I left the steamy Bodega and went out int the cooler streets. I was sad to have left early, but glad to have heard my two face songs.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to recordari,

    Possibly, due to over-zealous booking accident, two even

    If I do not manage to get to the Auckland gig myself (like so many of late), I may be able to help take one of those off your hands, sir - if it's not spoken for, and with a suitable bribe, naturally.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Sacha,

    I may be able to help take one of those off your hands, sir - if it's not spoken for, and with a suitable bribe, naturally.

    You got mail. Hopefully.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yay! 'Some Fantasy' from Friday's Bodega show:

    More here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • GerminalPress,

    A friend of mine in Sydney - Chris Familton, a fellow NZer - told me of this blog so I've dipped in, and gratefully. I was drawn to this article more than the others, given Wayne Elsey's untimely death and the strange parallels it had to my own life. Several years previously, two of my school friends had been walking across the very same rail bridge on which Wayne died; unaware of the approaching train, they were both clipped and thrown - dead - across the side and into the river below. How sad and astonishing, then, to later learn of Wayne's accident. It's been almost 30 years since I've been back to where I spent most of my school days, but if I did return, I'd definitely drive out to the bridge for a quite moment or two. And by the way, "Joe 90" remains - to this day - one of the finest moments in Antipodean rock...

    Sydney • Since May 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to GerminalPress,

    How sad and astonishing, then, to later learn of Wayne's accident. It's been almost 30 years since I've been back to where I spent most of my school days, but if I did return, I'd definitely drive out to the bridge for a quiet moment or two.

    That sounds like the right thing to to.

    And by the way, "Joe 90" remains - to this day - one of the finest moments in Antipodean rock...

    That dude in in Wellington has uploaded it from FRiday:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=YJToTmnhXEI

    Yay!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain, in reply to Neil H,

    How I’d love to come to NZ and see these gigs. So, if you feel inclined to offer the free tickets to me, all I have to do is to work out how I’m going to get there! Failing that, somebody, please record them…

    Lucky you, and everyone who missed this show, then: Radio NZ's Andre Upston was at that Auckland show and recorded it for broadcast, I imagine it'll be archived online for at least a short time... I caught Shayno on Saturday at the KA and didn't disagree when one of my English immigrant football team-mates declared him (in an excellently stunned fashion) "a genius". On ya SPC.

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

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