Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: A beat is more likely to get things done than a ballad

25 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh look: Micronism's Inside a Quiet Mind re-release is album of the day on Bandcamp.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • andrew r,

    Almost only stream now via paid subscription and offline (the later is super handy on the road). Solid collection of vinyl fun to have though not recently updated and mostly sits there. Stream into solid old school big speakers and via old school amp in living room. Head cans I lv (pretty decent ones) when occasionally flying. They're on the whole time for the whole flight, ambling through tunes and reading. And yes small blue tooth speakers cheap and cherry I use a bit when away on surfin roady or somethin.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 100 posts Report

  • TurtsPaulTaylor,

    I love getting lost in music in the gym. Blue tooth buds. Gangster Rap, fast and heavy rock and roll for the boxing bag, and a definite King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Moon Duo psych vibe currently for the monotony of the rowing machine. Random iPod headphone mix for walking the dog – which is a solid hour and half – though i have started listening to whole albums in order as well. Then there’s being lucky enough to do the odd border radio show on b, although it’s hemmed in genre wise – that’s really nice way to get quite involved in what I’m listening too. ’Cos if I’m playing it, I’m listening to it – which is why i don’t answer the phone. And like so many I’m sure, sides of vinyl at home for 20 minute blocks of housework.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2015 • 2 posts Report

  • Rob Stowell,

    I like the car, but mostly, on my own, tend to listen to the RNZ. So handing the ‘aux’ cable to the teenagers has been fun – and a great way to hear new stuff. Thankfully they are done with K pop. At the moment, some lovely 60s tinged pop (eg summer salt ) and Billy Eilish
    and much more but that's what I can remember. They find playlists on spotify, get recommendations and follow people whose taste they like - so new music is always popping up.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2120 posts Report

  • Ken Double,

    We've recently bought a car than runs on electrickery and I've gotta say its near silence makes it a brilliant place for music. Certainly better than my charming but rorty old Prelude. In that respect the future is shade-wearingly bright.

    I've always hankered after one of the old school Lexus LS400s - champagne metallic of course - where Toyota went all out on the refinement and installed a fantastic audio system as standard.

    I too refuse to bike with buds in. It's attempting suicide.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,


    This just in: Stuart Page has posted a picture showing exactly how the Builders are fitting two drumkits on that Golden Dawn stage tonight :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand,

    oh, if only my daughter was over K pop! When she was home last, before she set off for Japan and was playing relentless K pop, Josephine had to have a quiet word with her for the sake of my sanity.
    I favour my iPod, with top quality earbuds, and was a little dumbfounded when someone referred to it as 'old-fashioned technology' recently. On occasion, I drag out my HMV portable gramophone and play a 78 from my garage sale-acquired collection of 1930/4os jazz,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

  • bob daktari,

    do most of my listening on my computer which has a cheap set of speakers and sub connected, youtube mainly - has all the house/techno/electropnic stuff that no one has licensed to any digital platforms

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Hugh Wilson,

    My consumption habits have changed a bit in recent years.

    My old bachelor pad had a good setup, although the lounge and kitchen were at opposite ends of my flat, so two systems required. The kitchen one was hooked into my computer, and I used to listen to that a lot (with late 90's sony mini-system type speakers, that were actually pretty good), so much so that I even set up an itunes playlist of with songs with a playcount of zero (it was ~4000) and I got through it on shuffle deleting the stuff I didn’t like as I went (of course everything I added to the library automatically went onto it as well). The lounge set up had the records and a perreaux power amp, which was a beast but hasn’t been used since in a quest for more inputs really.

    Fast forward and the kitchen and living area are closely connected in our home now, but I have twins under 1 so its usually only one record a day or thereabouts. My amp is only 60w (but does have a USB/ Bluetooth port and both a CD player and internet radio unit connected, and the mixer and 1200s), but it can be connected to another amp nearby and the 4 speaker sound >> the 2 speaker sound. I plan on getting some outdoor speakers and connecting them to the second amp (which also has a USB port) for the upcoming summer. I like the USB ports as I can put some mixes onto a stick, plug em in, and go for hours. My car stereo has a USB port too, but in honesty I hardly ever drive. Don’t get to the old mp3 library much anymore, but its still there. I’ve never got into streaming services like Spotify, and can’t see that changing anytime soon given the sheer volume of things I already have on one format or another.

    Given the limitations on tunes at home – hopefully easing soon – I’ve started listening to music much more on my ~45 minute door to door commute (walking/train). My choice is mixcloud, and its usually rocksteady mixes – there are tons, and I am always discovering new stuff and building familiarity. Like others here I would never use ear buds when riding, and am perplexed at how many people do …

    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 168 posts Report

  • Alan Perrott,

    argh, Bill Direen, and I’m on bleeding kids duty.

    listening-wise; with great difficulty. I’ve got a t/t into the kitchen which helps – I made the call to go vinyl-only a few years back (to force myself to to play them rather than any hipster cred – otherwise after bedtimes and then it’s on headphones.
    listening gets way more intensive if there’s a gig in the offing, but that’s a different thing to recreation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report

  • Gareth,

    Over the last ten years I have become, to all intents and purposes, deaf in my left ear. Thus my views on listening to music have changed, as have my preferred methods. There is a certain irony in all this, given that for a good chunk of my younger years I wrote about, published about, obsessed about hi-fi. And then there's the tinnitus...

    These days, being deeply rural and possessed of much grass that requires mowing, I spend a lot of summer time listening via a recently obsoleted iPod Shuffle, wishing it would do mono.. In the office, the iMac provides music via some slightly better than average computer speakers, and in the kitchen an old radio and an old Apple Airport serves John Campbell while cooking, and occasionally something more outrageous via AirPlay. But the recent revelation, and remember I can no longer opine on stereo imaging, is the Naim Muso Qb, which does TV sound, streams my iTunes library, and annoys SWMBO, even though she be asleep at the other end of the house...

    Works wonders with your veg chopping

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report

  • Vivid,

    Sennheiser HD-25's and an iPod Classic for years - they're both ancient. The headphones are a little like grandads old axe. so many replacement parts - are they still the same headphones.

    Wairarapa • Since May 2015 • 43 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Gareth,

    Over the last ten years I have become, to all intents and purposes, deaf in my left ear.

    Life with 'dextear'
    a lot less 'sinistear'...
    :- )

    ear today, gone tomorrow..
    My (ears) are deteriorating as well, I have this 'cilia' image in my head of the inner ear represented as a telegraph pole, with someone shooting off the insulators which are the various audible frequencies ...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment Attachment

    Making a good impression!
    Chchch Print junkies rejoice
    The Ferrymead Printing Society has a showing
    of this recently released US movie

    Pressing On:The Letterpress Film
    Friday, August 11 at 6:30 PM – 10 PM (Next Week)
    Student Atrium, ARA / Polytech (yellow building)
    Christchurch Campus 130 Madras Street


    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Gareth, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It's a deaf sentence (David Lodge book - very funny).

    Apparently they can trigger the little hair cells to regrow in mice. And the recent progress in linking cochlear implants with iPhones is encouraging. I think computational hearing is going to be very interesting - think hearing aids that can do sound sculpting on the fly.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report

  • bob daktari, in reply to Gareth,

    I've been revisiting Hardfloor of late... you might appreciate their remix of Yeke Yeke

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Duh. I left one thing out of my listening practices – my computer speakers.

    I bought the basic Bose Companion 2 multimedia speakers several years ago and it was $200 very well spent. I’d recommend them to anyone. They're what I hear most music first on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    three articles of interest from Stuff today:

    Dave McLennan's book on the Wellington music/punk scene in the '80s.

    A new bike & ebike shop and the traffic mix in Chchch:

    A story on Pacific Underground and the family that started it in Chchch:

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • linger,

    Also worth noting: an upcoming series of Radiotopia Showcase podcasts under the heading “Ways of Hearing”, on the theme of how digital technology has changed the way we listen to music. (The first one, on “Time”, appeared last Tuesday on 99 Percent Invisible.)

    Ways of Hearing is a six-episode series hosted by musician Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi), exploring the nature of listening in our digital world. Each episode looks at a different way that the switch from analog to digital audio is influencing our perceptions, changing our ideas of Time, Space, Love, Money, Power and Noise. In the digital age, our voices carry further than they ever did before, but how are they being heard?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Gareth, in reply to bob daktari,

    Well, I could hear that with my deaf ear, so it must be good...

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report

  • Hugh Wilson,

    The guy behind this comp is from NZ – thinking it’ll be a good one for the warmer days to come

    Annoyingly it won't embed, but click thru


    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 168 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,


    I had to work and missed the big-screen premiere of Simon's film on Friday afternoon, but I'm very happy about my Builders-at-Golden-Dawn evening out that night.

    Lots of odds and ends early on (including a version of WH Auden's 'Death of a Fascist') and then, with the band, what seemed like quite a few CONCH3 songs, which were really funky. I spent most of the gig on an old-man stool at the bar down the front, having a wonderful time. Personal highlight: a prowling 'Inquest'.

    I was obliged early on to note to two separate sets of dudes that it was rude to stand three metres from the stage and loudly talk over the music. It worked, but don't make me be the fiftysomething-guy police, people. No one cares how long it takes you to get to Raglan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Vivid, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the basic Bose Companion 2 multimedia speakers

    I scored a set of those for $80 at a second hand shop a few years ago, they're brilliant. This, however, leaves them in the dust for anything requiring full bass or volume (also scored cheap when apple was transitioning to the lightning cable).

    Wairarapa • Since May 2015 • 43 posts Report

  • Murray Pawson,

    30 yo LINN LK1/LK280 & LINN Nexus speakers piped through an Airport Express from iTunes for my lounge. As I move around a lot I gifted my Linn Sondek and 30 year collection of vinyl to my niece. She was crazy happy with that.

    JBL GO for the bathroom piped through Poweramp on my Samsung with iTunes playlists loaded via EasyTunes onto a microsd card.Also useful to pack when on business trips.

    Marshall Kilburn via bluetooth for outside in the garden or the campervan, also fed though Poweramp. The sound from that is delightful.

    I only use Sony head phones when I'm working in a too loud office. Earbuds I loathe.

    Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report

  • Thomas Lumley,

    Often I sit down to listen to music and then get distracted from really paying proper attention. But, judging from when I've been trying to learn songs, even the background music is getting in. Oh, and judging from the earworms. Right now, it's bits of Hamilton.

    For at-home listening I do find that every time I upgrade my speaker system it turns out to be worth it -- but I haven't gone very far yet. Most of what I listen to doesn't need much bass, which seems to be where quality speakers make the most difference.

    For travelling, I like my Shure noise-isolating earbuds a lot more than I expected to -- and it helps that plane flights give me time to listen without much distraction.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2013 • 50 posts Report

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