Libraries are no longer just places to get books. Need a PA system for a party, a speaking engagement, or a wedding? Playing a live or studio gig? Need to do some recording in the field, or hook up some gear to your laptop and make a new album at home? The new Library Music Equipment collection has what you need. We love Wellington music at Wellington City Libraries and we are here to help you make it.
We have five new Music Kits for people to borrow as part of our new Equipment Lending Service:
To mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about local music memories, albums and artists. Here’s what Svend had to say:
If you’re looking for an introduction to a bunch of good New Zealand music at the electronica/dance/dub end of the spectrum, the LOOP compilations are a great place to start. They were released around the turn of the century, but many of the artists featured on these albums are still making cool music, and the library has a fairly good selection of them; it can be interesting to look at how they’ve changed over time, and interacted with each other.
But they haven’t stayed still. For example, if you listened to their recent albums, like Find Me Before I Die A Lonely Death.com, you’d find the expected tracks that menacingly whir and click along, like “Run Run” (with the awesome opening line, “I’m not so brave; I’m just surrounded by cowards…”); but there are also stripped back, almost folksy tracks like “Vampires”:
Or there’s the unstoppable Rhian Sheehan, whose dreamy electronic soundscapes are all over the various LOOP compilations. He’s ended up doing a lot of film and television work (and, thanks to an agreement between LOOP and the 48HR Film Competition, can be heard over the credits of a surprising number of ramshackle short films). Here’s a live version of the first track from his album Standing In Silence:
Or how about the rambling but funky supergroup Fat Freddy’s Drop, who’s first album Live at the Matterhorn (with the iconic Bucket Fountain on the cover) manages to make four tracks jam for an hour. Their album Based On A True Story is slightly less meandering, but no less soulful, as the track “Wandering Eye” demonstrates:
Of course, the other nice thing about Fat Freddy’s Drop is that it’s a springboard into a whole constellation of bands… but it might be better if that was another post.
To mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about their favourite local music memories, albums and artists. Here are Sam’s favourite releases of the current decade:
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Rising unexpectedly (and for a time, mysteriously) from the ashes of the Mint Chicks, Ruban Nielson’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra provided not only my favourite New Zealand (via Portland I know, but still) release of last year, but favourite musical release period. Every song is packed full of the kind of earworm-y hooks that linger long after the album’s play time and count as Nielson’s best work yet. The video for standout track Bicycle is at the bottom of this post for a preview.
Please turn me into the snat – Connan Mockasin
Connan Hosford’s wide-eyed, psychedelic gem signalled a coming of age as a songwriter, even as the music looked back towards childhood for its’ themes and feel. The sprawling ambition of the record has earned Connan a support slot for Radiohead on their upcoming Australasian tour, and I’m told he’s huge in Paris, well-deserved accolades for one of this quality.
Autumn – The Golden Awesome
Wellington based shoegazers The Golden Awesome played a couple of album release shows over the weekend to celebrate the release of this, their debut, were you there? You should’ve been, because the four of them are making some of the best noise currently coming out of New Zealand. Beautifully hypnotic shoegaze that works equally well up loud at a party, or down low on some headphones as you drift off to sleep.
Bad Luck Man – Delaney Davidson
I first heard the songs off of this album on an incredibly wet and windy night at a show that I nearly skipped for fear of being blown off my feet on the way. Boy oh boy was I glad I went! A masterful blend of folk/country/blues/whatever, all tied together with a perfectly world-weary voice. Standouts include You’re a loser, which was recently nominated for a New Zealand Country Music Award and I’m so depressed, an excellent Abner Jay cover.
To mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about their favourite local music memories, albums and artists. Here are some of Monty’s favourite recent releases:
Happy heartbreak! / the Sami Sisters.
Infectous, singable, hummable, danceable pop fun with Auckland’s Sami sisters. Mixed by NZ music scene recluse and eccentric legend, Ed Cake, so lots of bittersweet lyrics and happy music!
The Vietnam War.
Touchstones might be alt-country groups like Son Volt or early Wilco but Vietnam War are a distinctly memorable and authentic NZ country/folk act. Songs like the brilliantly lethargic and chugging ‘Heavy on my mind,’ couldn’t be from anywhere but New Zealand, I reckon. See the video below:
Hits and love songs.
The man, the music, the hits. You’ve got to give respect to a man who can cover Sexual healing and MacArthur Park on the same comp and I haven’t yet mentioned Cheryl Moana Marie, Tania and, for a man meeting middle-age, the increasingly stirring If I only had time. Not a dry eye in my house, anyway.
To mark New Zealand Music Month our librarians have been thinking about their favourite local music memories, albums and artists. Pauline has whittled down a long list of favourites to compile a top 5 list of New Zealand albums. Fun fact #1: four of them are from Wellington, go Wellington! Fun fact #2: all of them are in our catalogue, available to be issued for just $1!
Sadly, it’s the end of New Zealand Music Month ! We have been collecting up a few reviews from staff – here are some from John, one of our librarians:
Ghostplane – Beneath the Sleepy Lagoon: ‘Southern gothic’ was a genre name coined especially to describe the sound of Wellington’s Ghostplane. They only made this album and one EP in their short career but left a highly distinctive memento. A dark, moody ambience, punctuated by searing guitar lines, pervades these lovely textured songs that carry a NZ flavour not often explored. In their own idiosyncratic way, this band rock.
Mestar – Shut the Squizwot Factories Down: In a more just world John White would be ultra famous. His Mestar project carries the original classic Dunedin indie guitar sound into the future. Huge fuzzy guitars under his distinctively twee sweet vocals create songs that represent the pop music of an imagined parallel Earth.
Sola Rosa – Get It Together / Get It Together Remixes: Starting out as a solo laptop artist, Andrew Spraggon has unrelentingly pursued his musical vision to finally emerge at the helm of a large band of fine musicians, and this record represents the pinnacle expression of his vision so far. It is a record that includes a variety of influences – dub, lounge, jazz and soul – and the inclusion of international vocalists such as Bajka and remixers such as DJ Vadim herald a truly international sound.
The Haints of Dean Hall – The Haints of Dean Hall: A record of haunting post modern lullabies and possibly one of the gentlest records I have ever heard. This trans-Tasman duo create an ambience with electric guitar and vocals so sweet and gentle that it is hardly there at all, yet listen carefully and these are lovingly crafted songs about love, sorrow and experience. “They are trying to recall something but it is like passing shadowy figures in a hallway”.
The Bats – The Guilty Office: When a band can release an album 20 years into their career that matches or even tops anything else in their back catalogue then you know there is something very special going on. In 2008, The Bats very quietly released this record that was like a reminder to indie kids the world over just what ‘indie’ truly means. Great songs, slacker grooves, elegant understated guitar and laconic yet heartfelt vocals – The Bats – a national treasure!
As previously mentioned, up-and-coming young artists are performing free afternoon gigs at Wellington Central Library and at the Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Johnsonville and Karori branch libraries this week, from 4PM to 5PM.
Here’s the roster of performers for each event:
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) : Monday 16 May 2011
Te Aihe Butler, Harriet Emily Hill, Lukas Jury
On Wednesday 18 May, Wellington City Libraries is delighted to have New Zealand singer/songwriter Rachel Dawick give two free live performances as part of her “Follow My Tears” tour. Rachel will perform at: Central Library (65 Victoria Street) – 12-1pm
Ruth Gotlieb Library, Kilbirnie – 3.30-4.30pm
For 60 days Rachel will be touring New Zealand performing and collecting stories of New Zealand women in the 1800s on her journey.
“Researching into the songs written in the 1800s in NZ revealed a large gap in terms of those by women. It was a musical history dominated by men and therefore providing only half a story. If there weren’t the songs then the next best thing would be to discover the stories and write the songs myself.”
Want to have a listen before the event? Check out Rachel’s previous albums in our catalogue.
It’s May! So once again it’s New Zealand Music Month. What’s the Library doing this year to celebrate & profile Wellington musicians? Well…
This May, Wellington libraries will turn into temporary concert venues – showcasing young local talent. Up-and-coming young artists will perform afternoon gigs at Wellington Central Library and at the Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie), Newtown, Johnsonville and Karori branch libraries. These free events will take place Monday 16 to Friday 20 May.
– Kilbirnie on Monday 16 from 4 to 5pm
– Newtown on Tuesday 17 from 4 to 5pm
– Johnsonville on Wednesday 18 from 4 to 5pm
– Karori on Thursday 19 from 4 to 5pm
– Central on Friday 20 from 4 to 5pm
There will also be evening performances at ZEAL and The Jimmy Bar at the St James Theatre.
Wellington City Council is organising these live performances in partnership with Play It Strange, a trust established in 2003 to encourage young New Zealanders to develop interests and skills in songwriting and musical performance.
Other Music Month events include a series of Music Workshops.
On Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 May Toi Poneke Arts Centre will hold free workshops for independent musicians. The workshop on Monday is for musicians who want to break into the Australian market and will be full of hits and tips for people who have already crossed the Tasman.
This is followed on Tuesday with the launch of the Instrumental’s Musician’s Publicity Toolkit – with a live performance from Mara TK. The toolkit is a musician’s essential guide to self-publicity and online marketing.
A full list of events, times and venues in Wellington for New Zealand Music Month can be found on the Toi Poneke Arts Centre’s Facebook page
Ninety people or so piled in through the door to attend a New Zealand-themed ukulele story-time recently during NZ Music Month. Marg, Odette, Ellie and Monty performed, read and improvised their way through 30 minutes of great fun!