Rob looking forward to hearing your list. I hope Hogsnort Rupert isn't on it! :)
Brave Words, Craig, brave words....
Oh, c'mon! The best albums evah were the Loxene Golden Disc Awards compilations. Trash'n'treasure all lumped in together. Who knew we had it in us?
For anyone wondering about Sweet Dreams its on Youtube.
Songs this weird don't usually have such a singalong chorus...
oh, the link:
I'm strictly a mainstream kind of woman, music wise, mostly. So I have no stunningly obscure personal best NZ albums to share. My favourite NZ album of all time is a toss up between Hello Sailors' Last Chance to Dance (1982), and th' Dudes' Right First Time (1979) Th' Dudes win marginally, because I was 15 when they burst on the scene, and that record was the catalyst for the start of my 30 year love affair with the music of Dobbyn. I went to the St James show last year, and they were even better this time around.
My favourite NZ album of all time is a toss up between Hello Sailors' Last Chance to Dance (1982), and th' Dudes' Right First Time (1979)
That makes you about the same age as my brothers, and all that stuff was stacked in towers of vinyl in the corner of our lounge. I grew to appreciate it more when I was a bit older.
For me, though, it'd be the first album I owned on tape, that went everywhere with me in my walkman: The Mockers' Culprit and the King. In particular, the first song on side two was called 'New Day Dawning' and no matter how bad things got (in a 13yo sort of way) that song could make me feel better. Now, that's poppy.
I remember taking a taxi from Lyttelton to the square with Zita and Rachel, and the entire trip consisted of a voluble and carefully referenced exegetical debate over which was better, Hallelujah All The Way Home or Bird Dog.
I guess we were fairly liquored, but the trip seemed to take, seriously, like two minutes. And as we got out of the cab we looked at each other and said in unison, as the thought concomitantly came to us: “God, that guy must’ve thought we were real pretentious dicks.”
While the opening chords of Bird Dog (the needle still scratchingly settling into place) have got to remain a particular moment in NZ music history, these days I’m happy to concede that the earlier, rawer, more challenging and diverse album is the winner.
I spent a lot of time with dead-shit people,
So I could learn to read and write.
I still move within those circles….
On reflection, that directness lasts better than the slightly more abstruse
If there’s poison in your cup,
Well, you’ve picked your tree, now bark it up
which really appealed to my younger self.
I’d never have thought that pop lyrics might actually stay with me as far as the grave, but they will, they will.
And if this is a conversation about what we couldn’t get enough of at a certain, critical period of our adolescence, probably around the time we were learning to smoke, for me it was early Verlaines.
And dickishness aside, yes, goddamit, when I was a bewildered child, it was good for me to see these folks, who didn’t look too different from me, writing about a world I knew (__the dirty midnight drunk walk, fucken know-it-all pub talk__); who I could look at on stage and feel startled by, who made me think, made me dance, made me say to my mate: “Hey, you’ve got to listen to this.”
Cheers Graeme et al..
Bored Games- Who Killed Colonel Mustard.
yes it is just an EP, and yes 2 tracks are significantly better than the others. But Joe 90 is a perfect pop pop song.
And these guys were rocking. Much less that they were just out of school.
It is unfathomable that Shayne didn't go on to become world famous.
Interesting to see what years evoke memories ...for me a couple ... The Builders - beating hearts late at night or early in the m orning it is always a pleasure.
Snapper - buddy ...rock on NZ anthemm if there ever was one.
If I could throw on more in there it would have to be the Needles and plastic ep by the double happys...gawd so many albums/ep's rate!
Interesting to see what years evoke memories ...for me a couple ... The Builders - beating hearts late at night or early in the m orning it is always a pleasure.
In which case, you absolutely need to get your ass to Mighty Mighty next week. I can wholeheartedly recommend Bill Direen's new Builders lineup. It might never happen again, so go, just go ...
Arc Cafe, Dunedin. Friday 23rd November 2007.
The Penguin Club, Oamaru, Saturday 24th November 2007.
Al's Bar, Christchurch. Sunday 25th November 2007.
Mussell Inn, Takaka. Monday 26th November 2007.
Mighty Mighty, Wellington. Wednesday 28th November2007.
Ward Lane, Hamilton, Thursday 29th November2007.
The Masonic, Devonport, Auckland. Friday 30th November 2007.
Just reading what Creon was saying about the Verlaines brought back a very poignant memory: A very cold August 1992..driving late at night through thick, eery fog into Fitzgeralds Glade just before getting into Rotorua for the 'romantic' weekend that was supposed to be saving a dying and hastily entered marriage.
I knew it was over. He was too thick-skinned to realise. The Verlaines 'Ready to Fly' on the tape deck of the mitzi Sigma (loosely quoted) 'you got love in my heart, I got nothing in mine...and you dont even know why I'm telling you why..I'm ready to Fly..if I gave my soul to you you'd lose it'
followed by throbbing guitar outro.
One of those uncomfortable moments when there really is nothing else to say....
I don't think there was any band more personally special to me in the early 1980s than Bird Nest Roys.
They were a bunch of oddballs from West Auckland who just moved into town one day, playing this gorgeous, billowing pop with guitars and vocal harmonies.
I think I first saw them on the same bill as Goblin Mix at the Windsor Castle one night, and the two bands, and their wider social circles, were closely associated from then on. Me too, for that matter. We all weathered the Great Wine Glut of 1985 together, supporting each other in our efforts to consume the $7.50 casks of rough red that crowded the shelves that summer.
The group developed its own patois, revolving largely around the word "beast". An entire sentence could consist of the word" beast" in different intonations. "Empty animals" meant "lust", as captured in the lyric "I've got empty animals for you".
Alongside their own songs, they played a couple of notable cover versions: The Hollies' 'Bus Stop' and Golden Harvest's 'I Need Your Love'.
Like Goblin Mix, they bristled a little at the suggestion, frequently made, that they sounded a bit like a Dunedin band. But all that was sorted out after both bands travelled sound to play in Dunedin for the first time. Indeed, there was a sense of homecoming. Roy Colbert wrote to me marvelling that he had never heard this band before, and that such a great group could come from Auckland.
Their sole eponymous album sounds pretty terrible now: the recording, that is, not the songs. The songs were strong enough to establish a Bird Nest Roys cult that persists to this day.
When Pavement came here, someone I know was talking to a member of the band and mentioned the Roys: "You know Bird Nest Roys?" came the incredulous reply.
The album is out of print now, but Failsafe has one Roys song, 'Love Your Alien' on a compilation via Amplifier; you can see a video on Amplifier too. 'Bus Stop' and 'Jaffa Boy' are on a site of dubious legal status, so I guess you'd have to promise to buy drinks for any members you meet in future if you went there.
In 2005, the band got back together to play Big Ross's wedding. It was solid-gold wonderful and my heart sang for joy.
With Phil Judd, on Mental Notes and Second Thoughts, they're way, way more out-there and far, far more original; like a sinister marriage between Eno-era Roxy Music, Eno's early solo albums and the (English) Canterbury scene (Soft Machine, Henry Cow, etc). The Beginning Of The Enz comp of early singles is also excellent, too. Overall, it's some of the most warped, truly unique music you'll ever hear.
I'm with you here. Mental Notes was so revolutionary when it first arrived. It's hard to overstate just exactly how much the Judd era Enz redefined the Auckland rock'n'roll landscape in those first years. I remember (says the old bugger) a bunch of us sitting around Taste Records in High Street (its a convenience store opposite the carpark now but in 75 it was almost too cool to go into) waiting for that box to arrive from PYE on release day. The simple fact is that after Mental Notes anything seemed possible, before that it was all Studio One, all so very safe.
Parts of MN sound a bit overwrought now, especially Phil's talking bits..very 7th form, but it changed things.
Myself, I liked their albums less and less after that..nice pop but the edge left with Phil IMO. That said, what I did like tended to be be Neil's and there was a depth and darkness in some of the earlier Crowded House stuff that hinted at Mental Notes.
On a different tack, I've had a copy of the remastered Car Crash Set compilation due out in Germany next year for a while now..incredible stuff and so underrated
It's my first year at Vic Uni, and I am rooming with a short Maori bloke from Gisborne called Rez. He's into The Cure and I'm studying to be an opera singer. It shouldn't have worked, but it did and one of the main reasons was a gig we went to at that year's Orientation.
Ostensibly we went to see The Able Tasmans but we got to the bar early to, well, get pissed. That's how we blundered onto the support act - The Inhalers. Their lead singer was short and scrawny. They had two girl backing singers, just like the B-52's but they didn't do "Loveshack." The bass player looked a little like Slash. Oh, and they were all dressed like cavemen. Rez and I loved them - they were funny and crazy and on that February evening they were the perfect thing. We bonded over them, how there wasn't any band like them where we came from (I grew up in Waipawa where there weren't any bands at all so admittedly they didn't have a lot of competition from my experience). We were amped up to see the Able Tasmans, who then proceeded to play their unique brand of drone rock. We were disappointed, and left the gig early to catch Otis Mace in the bar downstairs.
A couple of days later I went to Slow Boat records and sought out a cassette copy of The Inhaler's album, Holy Family Three Pack. It had to be a cassette because the only music player we had in out hostel room was my ancient tape deck. We played the tape to death, particularly "Nudist on the Beach of Love" and "This Is Not An Encore." Later on my own band would cover the latter song to general bemusement, but we did always enjoy shouting "Life! Fluff!" at the top of our lungs.
The scrawny lead singer was Henry Nigel Beckford. He wrote most of the songs too, and also wrote a book. I sought it out, "Weet-Bix Emperor", and it still has a proud place on my bookshelf. I drunkenly ran into Henry-Boy when I was out on the piss in Wellington. I ranted to him about how much I loved the band, and the album and the book. He took it as well as could be expected, with magnanimous patience.
Now he is a "media commentator" on breakfast television and I have updated my cassette copy of Holy Family Three Pack to a CD and transferred that CD onto my ipod and I still enjoy shouting "Life! Fluff!" when This Is Not An Encore comes on. And every time I hear the songs it makes me recall those early university days when me and Rez from Gisborne stumbled onto the time of our lives.
I'm only 66 but have to confess that I'd have a hard time coming up with a golden NZ recording. Spent the 60's with three little kids and couldn't stand any more noise than they provided so missed the Beatles. Spent the 70's in the Pacific Islands and I guess 10 Guitars was pretty hot in those days. Spent the 80's trying to catch up with the 70's which I think still was the best music, so actually missed the 80's. Missed the 90's because I developed a huge resistance to advertising on commercial radio and listened to Concert FM. Still listening though it's now RNZ Concert which must have cost a bomb to come up with as a title. Have developed an affinity with the more avant garde NZ music and enjoy Sound Lounge on Tuesday evenings now. Ditched the TV a couple of years ago so if I'm not told about it on RNZ Concert or on this blog I don't know it happened. However ... for me Nina Simone is Queen and yes I know she isn't at New Zealander.
Ostensibly we went to see The Able Tasmans but we got to the bar early to, well, get pissed. That's how we blundered onto the support act - The Inhalers.
Some of my happiest live music nights out in Hamilton in the early '90s involved seeing local bands that I'd just stumbled across. Some of them never even recorded anything, but they'd play live heaps and get a small following who'd treat them like rock gods. Captain Higiz!
Plus, I'm really enjoying this thread. I have a post-it note that is filling up with bands I want to look into some more (though it's hard when old stuff is unavailable to buy).
ah I have many fond recollections of the years spent living in a dilapidated downwtown warehouse, flying just below the Auckland city council radar in terms of legality, with Big Ross and the remains of the Bird Nest Roys....the best bits of the story undoubtedly include the one about the 0900 Trivia Quiz scam we ran so successfully that Big Ross was able to give up his day job and use the cash to set up Globule Records...kept our recording studio and young family going through many a shaky week too ;-)
This is so not going to get me down with the cool kids but...
The Exponents - Something Beginning with C
It's not my favourite NZ album (I'll leave that internal debate for another day), but I can't think of any I have more association with.
It was 1992, I was working in a music store in the Hutt when we got the call. Jordan and the boys were coming in. I don't think our shitty little suburban music store ever had ANYONE come in, let alone the Biggest Band in NZ.
Because that's exactly what the Exponents were in 1992. They'd dropped the Dance and were topping charts and rocking pubs all over the country. And before you'd heard them sung a million times at every rugby match and drunken student party, songs like 'Why Does Love Do This To Me?' and 'Who Loves Who the Most?' were quite likeable and catchy. Which is why they went on to be sung at every rugby match and drunken student party from then on.
But I digress. So Jordan and the crew eventually came in to the store. They signed a CD and a poster for me, and wrote down the chords for 'I Loved You' - my favourite track on the album - on the inside sleeve. Jordan rifled through the bargain bin CDs and bought a few. Possibly one of them was Patsy Cline, but I reserve the right to be wrong.
Eventually they left and things returned to their humdrum normality. Until an hour later the phone rang. It was Jordan. He'd left his CDs at the shop, would I mind bringing them in, hang out if I wanted and go along to the gig? Would I?!
(Of course if I'd been an 18 year old girl such a phone call from a rocker would have been extremely dodgy. But I wasn't, and it wasn't.)
So I got on the train, met up with the Exponents and had some beers with them. Not Jordan though, he wasn't drinking. He'd had a bet with the band, I think it was $1000 each, that he wouldn't drink for a year. From what I recall, Jordan later won the bet, collected the money and immediately reacquainted himself with his old friend alco-ma-hol.
Anyway, so I'm drinking with the Exponents. You've got to realise, I was 18, and living a sheltered life in Upper Hutt - this was pretty much the coolest thing that had ever happened to me.
We went along to the gig - at the Carpark - and because I'd told him it was my favourite song, Jordan introduced 'I Loved You' by saying "This One's For Damian". Which again, if I'd been an 18 year old girl. Actually, it was still pretty dodgy, but that's cool, I was hanging with the Exponents. I recorded the gig on my recording walkman, but the sound quality was shit so I later wiped it.
And that's kinda it. I still have the CD and the poster somewhere.
the best bits of the story undoubtedly include the one about the 0900 Trivia Quiz scam we ran so successfully that Big Ross was able to give up his day job and use the cash to set up Globule Records...kept our recording studio and young family going through many a shaky week too ;-)
Oh man. Big Ross and 0900 trivia quizzes deserves its own thread. A movie, even.
Not really being the hang out at gigs, nor the really into NZ music type, I wouldn't have thought I would have a story for this one. It hasn't turned out to be a golden album or EP story, but blame the band more than me.
In 1993 I moved out of home up in Auckland, and happily moved down to Dunedin, where I got a basic introduction to the Music Scene. Like every other spotty first year I got my orientation ticket (the Lemonheads played that year, but I remember thinking The Muttonbirds topped them) and saw Supergroove (still a sentimental favourite), Head like a Hole (who I actually owned an album of, but didn't know anything about, so I was quite surprised when they wore very little onto stage) and a heap of Dunedin bands.
And Munky Kramp. Munky Kramp seemed to be the defining line in the music scene at the time. You either liked them or you didn't, and I suspect if I'd been more 'in', liking them would have pushed me back out with a heap of people. The hand towel container just outside the Radio One office has graffiti on it where the writer had rewritten their name to express their feelings on the matter. The one I can still clearly remember is "Frunky Manur". For I loved them. Variously described as ska/skate/punk, their music simply rocked, and music didn't rock me often.
To try and get into my new student life in my new city, I tuned my radio to Radio One, and took to recording music that I liked off the radio, in lieu of actually being able to afford it. So there, on this eclectic mix of music, proudly entitled "Music off Radio One B" (tape A, I think has long since died), sits Munky Kramp's 'Eyes that Cry', easily one of my favourite songs, amongst King Missile's 'Detachable Penis', some precious Pixies B sides, a Bob Marley song, Bats, the Fits, Look Blue Go Purple, and a poem that I found quirky about a guy who collected used teabags, dried them out, and used them to make a 'recycled teabag duvet'. Radio One were great then, they opened my eyes to music I'd never heard before (you couldn't get bfm where I grew up, so student radio was something I'd never encountered before).
I only got to see Munky Kramp twice. Once at orientation, and once at Sammy's, now a pool hall, but then still a rocking venue with big speaker stacks (I also saw Faith No More there around the same time). The Sammy's gig was their final outing, they were splitting up. For me it was just like discovering the Pixies at 16, just after they'd pulled the plug, except with the Pixies, I could buy all their recordings. "How can this be finishing just as I've found it?" I stood on the right as they finished the gig, Demarnia was sitting on the stage barely two metres from me, singing while tears flowed down her face. Guitarist Andrew Jamieson threw leftover band posters into the crowd - the ones with a box at the bottom to write in the venue and date/time.
And then it was over. To Mink, and Cloudboy, and the Dark Beaks. And not an album or EP or even cassingle to my name. Just a Radio One version of Eyes that Cry and memories of the singer doing just that on stage.
yeah - I've often thought about writing a book about those years, so many hilarious stories - would make a great movie too. And its all 100% true - we really did live off those trivia quizzes for months at a time....
Damian ..great! I remember reading abpout that bet on an earlier PA thread, $2K I believe... Jordan and his mental agility!
Surprised no one has mentioned Chris Knox yet ... so I will. Waiting for the Nothings going to happen album/EP 45 on one side and 33rpm the other. It came in to the shop, I bought it quick smart (along with a Lee Dorsey album) and headed off to what ever Friday night demonstration was on (Homosexual Law Reform Bill??) and me and my mates chanting and seeing what lttle extras were contained in the sleve ...a cardboard turntable mat ...great.
Some of my happiest live music nights out in Hamilton in the early '90s involved seeing local bands that I'd just stumbled across. Some of them never even recorded anything, but they'd play live heaps and get a small following who'd treat them like rock gods.
Something about this sent out a ping in my brain, and a swift google later, paydirt! An actual recording of Daggy and the Dickheads. Man that brings back memories. They were from Taihape! And so were we, so we HAD to listen to them.
pretty sure Nothings Going to Happen was '81 - I remember seeing that weird video on Radio with Pictures when I was still living with my folks.
<irony mode>Wonder what the demo was in '81, then???? /<irony mode>
Someone else has mentioned the Daggys....Still got their single, 'sometimes Nothing' - they did an EP as well but it wans't so good.
Saw them live at Welly Polytech in '82, they were damn good live, in a meat and potatoes rock sort of way.
Rob ...possibly you were home for Sunday night dinner and a bit of bonding over the late night horrors? I'm sure it was later than '81 but I'll have to do the geeky label check tonight.