Need audio equipment for a gig, or for recording music?

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:

AudioBox KIT:
• 1x Rode NT1-A Microphone
• 1x SM6 Shock mount & pop filter
• 1x Dust Cover
• 1x Rode 6m XLR cable
• 1x Presonus Audiobox iTwo
• 1x USB cable
$30 for 4 days/Overdue charge: $10 per day
Continue reading “Need audio equipment for a gig, or for recording music?”

New Zealand Music Month at Wellington City Libraries

nzmm-small-vertOn our Wellington Music blog we’ve been checking in with some local artists, writers & critics to get their thoughts on what makes the Wellington Music scene unique, and to get their take on some of their favourite Wellington sounds. You can check out some older posts from critics Nick Bollinger, & Grant Smithies, Blue Smoke writer Chris Bourke, and musicians Samuel Flynn Scott & Alistair Fraser, but since it is New Zealand Music Month we thought we would check in with some more people over the course of May.

So far we’ve gotten some great music picks from Grayson Gilmour, Ryan Prebble and Matt Hyde from ‘Beastwars’, Sophie Burbery with plenty more to come.

Whether offering an opinion on the uniqueness or elusive qualities that make up Wellington music, or just some of their favourite albums, the most important thing is the music itself, and we hope these posts lead you back to some favourite albums, or help you to discover something new.

New Zealand Music Month Events This Week

NZMM2014_RGB_VertTo celebrate New Zealand Music Month we’re hosting a series of free performances with fantastc Wellington Musicians.
This week we have events in Newtown and Central, here’s the low-down:

Thursday 22nd 12pm at CENTRAL LIBRARY
Amiria Grenell plays in the Young Adult area.

Friday 23rd 5pm at CENTRAL LIBRARY
Andy Gibson plays in the Young Adult area.

Friday 23rd 7pm at NEWTOWN LIBRARY
A re-united Harriet and The Matches (Amiria Grenell/Jessie Moss) play the Newtown Library.

Music of World War One

War songs cropped small

World War 1 inspired a wide range of music which evolved during the 4 years of the conflict.
You will find some good examples in our music collection, ranging from sheet music, song books or actual recordings available in our music databasesHere are some recordings of music of WW1 on Alexander Street Music. And some more in Naxos.

The songs of WW1 were at first rousing calls to arms such as ‘We Don’t Want to Lose You, but We Think You Ought to Go’, but as the number of deaths steadily grew the popular songs became more sarcastic and somewhat bitter such as ‘Oh, It’s a Lovely War!‘  This drop in enthusiasm led to a war time marching song competition held by New York publishers Francis Day and Hunter, who were giving a prize of 100 guineas for a marching song for the troops to help with recruitment and frontline morale. The winner of this competition was ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile‘ written by George Henry Powell. This song became hugely popular during the war and can be interpreted as saying that the war has ended so there is no need to worry any longer.  Here is a recording of this song on Alexander Street Music.

Although most people would have heard a gramophone at a seaside resort or park gala, these would have been unaffordable to buy for the ordinary person in the U.K. Thus, Music Hall and sheet music was the popular and affordable way for the masses to enjoy music during the era of The Great War. If a song was very popular it was not unusual for the sheet music to sell over one million copies!

syndetics-lcMarching bands were used to entertain the troops on the Western Front who were waiting for long periods in between battles, and almost every division had its own entertainment troop.
America was at first reluctant to enter the war. This reluctance was evident with the popularity of the song at the start of the  war, ‘I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier’ but after the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 America’s attitude changed, as can be noted with the song ‘When the Lusitania Went Down’.

Although the recording industry was in its infancy, many record labels were quick to jump on the bandwagon and cashed in releasing many popular songs referencing the war. As phonograph production increased the war was brought back home with recorded speeches, novelty songs and patriotic anthems.

An interesting perspective of the ANZAC’s musical contribution can be read in ‘And the Band Played On’. Many soldiers were asked to bring forth their talents to aleviate the strain of war.

New Zealand Music Month: Sam’s picks

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. 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.

New Zealand Music Month: Pauline’s picks

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!

Anika Moa – Love in motion
The Golden Awesome – Autumn
The Phoenix Foundation – Buffalo
The Wellington Ukelele Orchestra – I love you
Jess Chambers – Desire

What are your favourites? Drop us a line in the comments, we’d love to know!

Rachel Dawick – free live performances at Central & Kilbirnie libraries

follow my tears eventOn 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.”
Rachel Dawick.

Want to have a listen before the event? Check out Rachel’s previous albums in our catalogue.

nzmmFor more information on Rachel Dawick:

For more information about the “Follow My Tears” tour:

Supported by Creative NZ, Wellington City Libraries, The Interislander Ferry and Radio New Zealand.

follow my tears events

NZ Music Month @ Wellington City Libraries

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

wellington city council events poster


Wanted: Stories of New Zealand women 1820 to 1890

Follow my tears posterDo you have stories of women in your family who lived in New Zealand in the 1800’s?  If so, we want to hear from you!
New Zealand singer-songwriter Rachel Dawick is collecting stories from all over New Zealand, which will then be used to create a new album of songs and a national resource for libraries.

“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.”
Rachel Dawick.

Write down the stories and drop them into your local Wellington City Libraries branch by 18 May or email them to us at
with  ‘Rachel Dawick Stories’ in the subject line. Please note that stories provided to us are unable to be returned.

nzmmFrom 14 April – 14 June, Rachel will also be travelling throughout New Zealand, performing in local libraries, while she collects the stories.

You will get your chance to see Rachel perform in Wellington when she will be giving two free live performances on Wednesday 18 May at Central Library (12-1pm) and Ruth Gotlieb Library, Kilbirnie (3.30-4.30pm).

Want to have a listen before the event?  Check out Rachel’s previous albums on our catalogue, or listen to an interview with her via RadioNZ.

follow my tears events