Hard News by Russell Brown


Guess that Prince thing was just a rumour ...

The Big Day Out's new "announcing via social media" thing clearly needs some work. By 10am today -- when the headliners were due to be announced -- the names had been on the Stuff and Herald websites for several hours. And … let's be honest. The earth hadn't moved in the interim.

Kanye? Yeah, well, okay. I'd have a piece of that, notwithstanding the crappiness of his recent album with Jay Z. But Soundgarden wheezing into the arena for a third BDO? I thought they were dull the first time. In 1994. Then it's … Kasabian? Really?

In truth, there are some treats on the next tier of the lineup -- Best Coast, Royksopp, Foster the People, Unknown Mortal Orchestra -- and presumably some dance acts to come, if they haven't all been snared by other certain summer festivals. But it'll need more than this.


I've been working on the themes for the discussion at next Thursday's LATE at the Museum and it's feeling good.

And much as I'd love every one of you to buy a ticket (20 bucks!), I'mma bust out some freebies. I have 10 double passes for the first 10 people to email me (click the little envelope at the bottom of this post) with LATE as the subject line. Bring friends, because that's what a friend would do.

I tweeted this earlier, but in case you missed it: a gorgeous cover of Smashing Pumpkins' '1979', by the clever Mr (and Mrs) RAC.

For Simon Grigg, Pete Darlington and other oddballs, a pretty special mix of early and mid-80s electro, not-disco and other pre-house dance music by the venerable Greg Wilson.

I was sad to hear of the passing of Dan Birch, once of Wellington three-piece Beat Rhythm Fashion. This is 'Beings Rest Finally', their debut single from 1981; a mysterious work in a dangerous year:

And, apologies if the shift from existentionalist rock to rugby is a bit jarring, but here's the video for the Exponents' 'It's Rugby'. My friends Stuart Page and Andrew Moore made it.

And finally, I've mentioned Panther and the Zoo's album More Fun before. And now I'm mentioning it again. I love this record and its handsome melodies and its wry lyrics. You can test-drive it and buy it for 10 bucks here on Bandcamp.

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