New Classical CDs at Arapaki

We have recently added some new classical CDs to our small collection at Arapaki (Manners Street). Come in and flick through them the next time you’re in town! The new additions include some compilations by notable singers.

Lise Davidsen. Songs and arias by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Performed by Lise Davidsen.
“‘The young Norwegian soprano’s voice, silken at the top, rich with deep mezzo colours, pours forth flawlessly as if in one clear, stupendous breath. It’s one of the greatest voices I have heard'” (Observer review, printed on CD cover).

Si j’ai aimé. Performed by Sandrine Piau with Le Concert de la Loge.
“[Sandrine Piau’s] new project is a recital with orchestra celebrating French songs from the period when they moved from the private salon to the concert hall. Planned in partnership with the Palazzetto Bru Zane, this programme evokes all the vagaries of love experienced by a romantic heroine.” (amazon.com)

Lieder, Brahms, Schumann, Mahler. Performed by Renée Fleming.
“Four-time Grammy winner Renée Fleming presents her first full-length Lieder album in almost two decades, featuring a selection of favorite songs from Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, including Brahm’s “Lullaby” and a breathtaking performance of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic.” (amazon.com)

Staff Pick DVDs: July Part Two

With the closure of the Cemtral Library our AV loving staff haven’t been sitting idly by. Our first pop up at Arapaki has been open a couple of months and we have been digging into the DVD collection there, watching some old favourites and checking out some new releases. There is a bit of everything here, from modern classics to new docos and TV shows, as well as some brand new titles hot off the processing trolley. Our staff have been watching so much that we’ve had to split it into two lists, part one is here!


Shoplifters
One of the most consistent filmmakers of today, Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda has never made a bad film but his latest work is an exceptional work even by his standard. He questions what family really means by gracefully portraying vulnerable people who live in a shabby house in the edge of society. The narrative is gentle and atmospheric but it’s, in fact, almost Ken Loach-like social realism drama. (Shinji)

Kusama : infinity : the life and art of Yayoi Kusama.
The history, evolution and development of Kusama’s core themes, concepts and the ideas behind her work are well covered. While her conservative upbringing and her life story are covered in this documentary, for me this is one of the film’s weaker elements. By end of this well made and highly informative movie we know a lot about Yayoi Kusama’s art and practice and her position in the modern art world but perhaps a little less about the artist herself. (Neil J)

Ngati
Director Barry Barclay theorised a “fourth cinema” that would be made by indigenous film-makers, from an indigenous perspective with the primary intended audience being indigenous peoples. He achieved his goals with the beautiful Ngāti, the story of a young Australian doctor exploring his Māori heritage. The first feature film to have a Māori writer and director is one of the masterpieces of New Zealand cinema. (Joseph)

Bohemian Rhapsody
This is the biographical story of the life of Freddie Mercury from his youth through to Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance (of which this movie contains the entire performance). As a matter of course, this has all the wonderful Queen music that we know and love. Giving a wonderful ‘behind the scenes’ look at how they came to write their songs, Raimi Malek is wonderful as Mercury. (Brigid)

Informer
Tense drama as Raza Shar, a young charismatic second generation Pakistani from East London, is coerced by a Counter-Terrorism officer’s DS Gabe Waters (Paddy Considine) and DC Holly Morten’s into going undercover as an informer. As the stakes get higher Raza’s life slowly spins out of control, while Considine’s new partner begins to probe his undercover past and drag up some secrets he’d prefer to stay buried. (Mark)

Annihilation.
The husband of an ex-soldier now biologist goes missing on a deep secret mission in the Shimmer (a mysterious part of the world where strange things happen). Lena’s husband suddenly returns sick and minus his memory, so she and her team must enter the Shimmer to find out what happened. A good story. and reminiscent of The Fog. (Brigid)

Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde isn’t just set in cold war Berlin. It’s set in the end of days of cold war Berlin. Which is different. Something is about to happen. I can’t remember if this movie actually features the song Atomic by Blondie. But it doesn’t matter because the whole situation oozes Blondie and Atomic and crumbling trust, following crumbs, spies, hair follicles and sun bleached Charlize Theron as the most powerful American spy. (Tim)

Instant family
A great comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, and Rose Byrne, a professional couple who suddenly realise they are missing something in their lives. Children. After a discussion and doing a course they are all set to become foster parents! When matched with a Spanish-speaking rebellious teenager, they find out she has siblings and Pete and Ellie suddenly go from 0 to 3 children overnight. (Brigid)

The little drummer girl.
Adaptation of the novel by John le Carré, set in the ’70s in which Charlie is recruited by charismatic agent Gadi, to play a part in operation to ensnare a serial bomber for Mossad spymaster Kurtz. A Palestinian terror cell has been responsible for the killing of a number of prominent Jews in western Europe, and the aim of the mission is to embed Charlie within the cell so she can draw out its elusive leader. (Mark)

You were never really here
Lynne Ramsay is a poet of the visual cinema with a distinctive vision – You Were Never Really Here is a real departure in some ways from her previous films. In places it feels like a modern day Taxi Driver and as such it is a powerful, brutal, visceral and violent watch not for the faint hearted. Yet Ramsay’s trademark visual style is still there, only this time it’s the harsh neon city or the sheen of light on blood. (Neil J)

American honey
Shot on warm, saturated film, the viewing experience is an absolute pleasure. The soundtrack rattles with dance pop, 21st century hip-hop and country. The narrative rises and falls, resembling life; full of risk, sorrow and joy. Sasha Lane proves her acting chops in the lead role and Shia LaBeouf delivers his best performance. Director Andrea Arnold has bottled the spirit of youth in these economically precarious times. (Joseph)

The old man & the gun
Based on the story of Forrest Tucker, who had a unique leisurely style of bank robbery and escaped from prison 16 times, director David Lowery turned it into a witty laid-back outlaw tale. The centre of the movie is, of course, Redford who plays Tucker, and it is obvious that he loves playing this character. The chemistry between Redford and legend Sissy Spacek, who plays his love interest, is simply wonderful, and lifts the whole thing to another level. A perfect swansong. (Shinji)

The Happytime Murders
Melissa McCarthy stars in this Brian Henson alternative production about a place where puppets and people live and work together. A detective (McCarthy) is teamed with her ex-partner, a puppet, to investigate a series of murders of puppets from the Happytime movie series. Don’t be fooled by the puppets as this movie is very definitely R rated – most definitely NOT Sesame Street. (Brigid)

Bad times at the El Royale
A group of mysterious strangers show up at a once posh but now slightly run down hotel in the late 1960’s, but it soon becomes apparent that not everything or everyone are who or what they seem. There is much to be enjoyed about ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ as it has a twisty, compelling plot, it is very stylishly filmed and sports a stellar cast. (Neil J)

Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers are always a directing duo to watch, and this Oscar Isaac starring feature is one of their finest. Set in the early 60s folk music scene in Greenwich Village, the snow and solemn environments provide the backdrop to the road rambling of a failing folk musician. (Joseph)

Staff Pick DVDs: July Part One

With the closure of the Cemtral Library our AV loving staff haven’t been sitting idly by. Our first pop up at Arapaki has been open a couple of months and we have been digging into the DVD collection there, watching some old favourites and checking out some new releases. There is a bit of everything here, from modern classics to new docos and TV shows, as well as some brand new titles hot off the processing trolley. Our staff have been watching so much that we’ve had to split it into two lists!


Unforgotten. Series 3.
When human remains are found on the central reservation of a motorway near London, DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker), DI Suni Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and their team of detectives are assigned the case. A doctor, a television presenter, a failing salesman, and an artist are a close-knit group of old school friends who hold the key to what happened. (Mark)

First man
First Man is a film centred round the build up to the Apollo moon landings and in particular Neil Armstrong. It is a film that both aims to show simultaneously how we touched the stars through these missions and also be a close examination of Armstrong’s personal life. These two cleverly interwoven threads show that his domestic life and his historic role as first man on the moon are in fact part of the same thing. (Neil J)

Wildlife
“I feel like I need to wake up, but I don’t know what from or to”, a housewife named Jeanette, played by Carey Mulligan who is the anchor of the film, tells her son. The actor Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) has turned director, and his debut feature ‘Wildlife’ is a quiet portrait of the painful process of an idyllic young family gradually falling apart. (Shinji)

Broken
This is based on an early Maori story from the 1800’s when a young girl was murdered by a marauding tribe. The girl always carried the gospel of Luke with her and the book was stolen by the murderer, who read it and was then filled with remorse. Our story starts in present day New Zealand with an ex-gang leader who has pulled out to raise his daughter after the death of his wife. (Brigid)

Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a marvellously sensitive portrait of teenage-hood, self-discovery, friendship and family. Saoirse Ronan performs excellently in the lead role of a disaffected high-schooler who dreams of going to college in New York. One of the greatest coming of age films to be made, whilst never falling into the traps and tropes of the genre. The dialogue is true; believable, relatable and piercing. (Joseph)

Counterpart. Season one.
Howard Silk is a low-level bureaucrat in a Berlin-based UN agency called the Office of Interchange, where he works exchanging coded call-and-response messages with another agent. However one day all this changes, as he is drafted into an urgent meeting… and finds himself face to face with his double. The ‘other’ Howard now needs this worlds Howard to help with a new mission. (Mark)

The breaker upperers
This is a funny New Zealand movie starring Madeleine Sami and Jackie Van Beek. It is set in Auckland and features many cameos of famous New Zealand actors. The two ladies in question discover they are being two timed by a man, but instead of getting bitter they become friends and set up a company which helps people break up with each other. Great for a laugh. (Brigid)

Vice
If there was ever a movie award for the most perfectly named film then Vice must be a strong candidate to take that prize. It is the story of the unassuming Vice president Dick Cheney and his terrifying and amoral pursuit of power, money and influence ably assisted by his wife Lynne Cheney (the Lady Macbeth of the piece). It is described as a comedy and if you like the darkest type of satire that holds but for many people it will watch as a shocking indictment of American politics. (Neil J)

Summer 1993
Watching the Catalan writer-director Carla Simon’s debut feature ‘Summer 1993’ is like watching the most exquisite home video; very personal yet universal. Based on Simon’s childhood experience, it follows 6-year-old Frida who is moved from Barcelona to Catalan countryside to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother’s death. Avoiding dramatization, it’s a sensitively crafted, beautiful filmic memoir. (Shinji)

Searching
After David Kim’s (John Cho) 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened. 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet…online. A thriller told exclusively via screen shots seems like a total bore, but this hyper-modern thriller utilises character dialogue recorded through webcams, apps, security camera footage, as well as key moments portrayed through YouTube clips to generate as much suspense as a traditional narrative. (Mark)

Finding your feet
Great movie with a superb cast including Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley. When Lady Sandra Abbot discovers that her husband has been having a long term affair with her best friend she leaves and renews her friendship with her sister (Celia Imrie). These two make an unlikely pair and with time, love and lots of laughs Lady Sandra starts to discover herself and life and love again. It is a funny movie but does have some sad and poignant moments in it. (Brigid)

Ryuichi Sakamoto : CODA
How do great artists face their own mortality? These huge questions rather than a career overview is what you get in this poignant documentary about the iconic Japanese musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto. This film is almost a meditation on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s current creativity, a powerful and moving piece delivered in a gentle and sad way. (Neil J)

Lean on Pete
This film is about a 15-year-old boy, Charlie, who lives in poverty and runs away with a racehorse he takes care of to save it from the slaughterhouse. Blending a human-animal special bond story with a road movie and a coming of age tale, the movie shows a harsh slice of America; a dysfunctional family, poverty, placelessness etc., and a lot of events – mostly unfortunate, tormenting ones – unfold. (Shinji)

Sorry to bother you
This is an unusual story set in an alternative reality version of Oakland, where a poor but ambitious salesman starts working as a telemarketer. Cassius Green finds he has a real gift for sales and has a meteoric rise in the company. However, Cassius discovers his workplace is not what he thinks it is when he accidentally enters the wrong door. A very unusual story. (Brigid)

Frances Ha
Greta Gerwig stars as the loveable and exasperating Frances as she rambles through New York, facing technical homelessness and creative frustration. A tale of optimism in the face of adversity. The black and white cinematography is virtuosic and deeply satisfying. (Joseph)

The guilty
Alarm dispatcher and sidelined police officer, Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) answers an emergency call from a woman, that he soon ascertains has been kidnapped. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman, but soon realises that there is more to the situation that first appears. (Mark)

Our most recent DVDs

New DVDs for July include dramatizations of the lives of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and war journalist Marie Colvin, as well as female-fronted Marvel action, a romance told through famous New Zealand songs, and a remake of Norwegian black comedy In order of disappearance.

A private war
“In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin is one of the most admired war correspondents of today. After being hit by a grenade, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Her mission to show the true cost of war leads her, along with war photographer Paul Conroy, to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives.” (Catalogue)

Pick of the litter : a dogumentary.
“Meet Patriot, Potomac, Primrose, Poppet, and Phil – five determined puppies who, from the moment they’re born, begin an incredible journey to become guide dogs for the blind. It’s a rigorous two-year process that will take them from the care of selfless foster volunteers to specialised trainers to, if they make the cut, a lifelong human companion.” (Mightyape.co.nz)

Captain Marvel
“Set in the 1990’s, the film revolves around Carol Danvers, a crack air force pilot. Her membership in the Kree military team puts her in danger when Earth becomes hopelessly stuck in battle between two other alien worlds, forcing Danvers to take on the role of Captain Marvel and use her new powers for the greater good.” (Catalogue)

Cold pursuit
“Nels Coxman is a family man whose quiet life with his wife is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’s search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking, a drug lord he believes is connected to the death. As one by one Viking’s associates ‘disappear,’ Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing, and no one, get in his way. (Catalogue)

On the basis of sex
“Inspired by the powerful true story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, On the Basis of Sex depicts a then-struggling attorney and new mother facing adversity in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a ground-breaking case, she knows the outcome could alter the courts’ view of gender discrimination.” (Catalogue)

Marjorie Prime
“In the near future, a time of artificial intelligence: 86-year-old Marjorie–a jumble of disparate, fading memories–has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember and what would we forget, if given the chance?” (Catalogue)

Daffodils.
“Leaving her dying father’s bedside, singer Maisie rushes to perform at an indie music gig in town. But as she sings the opening song, it’s hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she’s just been told – the story of how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart.” (Catalogue)

Five feet apart
“Life as a teenager is hard. Life gets even harder when you’re a teenager suffering from a life-threatening illness. Compound illness, adolescence, and the fact that you’re spending most of your time in the hospital; life can get very lonely. When two critically ill teens met at a hospital, only time will tell if they will become friends or even fall in love?” (Catalogue)

Wajib : the wedding invitation
“This movie explores the lives of Palestinians living in Israel and stars real-life father and son Mohammad and Saleh Bakri. The title of Wajib translates as duty and it is duty that brings architect Shadi (Saleh Bakri) from Rome back to Nazareth, where his sister Amal (Maria Zriek) is to be married. Local tradition dictates that Shadi and his divorced dad, Abu Shadi (Mohammad Bakri), must drive around town delivering wedding invitations. Friction is in the air even before the duo clamber into Abu Shadi’s beloved and beaten-up old Volvo. Shadi thinks the exercise is outdated and meaningless. For his father, it’s about maintaining important community rituals.” (Catalogue)

First reformed
“From Golden Globe® Nominee Director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Affliction), FIRST REFORMED is a brooding, thriller-drama centred around Ernst Toller (Academy Award® Nominee Ethan Hawke), a troubled priest of a small, historical church in upstate New York, who starts to spiral out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with Mary (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband Michael, an unstable environmental activist. Consumed by thoughts that the world is in danger and motivated by the church’s lack of action, Toller embarks on a perilous self-assigned undertaking with the hope that he may finally restore the faith and purpose he’s been longing for in his mission to right the wrongs done to so many” (Summary from Amazon.UK)

The Clovehitch killer
“A shocking revelation turns a teenage boy’s world upside down in this chilling look at the evil that can lurk below even the most wholesome surface. Tyler Burnside is a Boy Scout, a volunteer at his local church and the dutiful son of an upstanding community leader. Only one thing troubles the quiet town he lives in – the unsolved murder of ten women who were brutally tortured and killed by a psychopath known as Clovehitch. When Tyler discovers a cache of disturbing images in his father’s possession, he begins to suspect that the man he trusts most in the world might be Clovehitch, and that his deadly rampage may not be over. With unrelenting tension, director Duncan Skiles crafts a picture-perfect vision of the all-American family–and then piece by piece rips it to shreds.” (Catalogue)

The split.
“Hannah Defoe is a brilliant divorce lawyer. With her formidable mother Ruth and headstrong sister Nina she takes on cases for London’s wealthy and well-known. Following a bitter argument, Hannah leaves the family business to begin a new job at a rival firm, where she unexpectedly reconnects with the only other man she could have imagined her life with. And when Hannah’s estranged father returns after 30 years, the toxic feud between her parents is re-ignited. As the Defoe family is forced to confront their fractured past, Hannah begins to question her own marriage. As a lawyer, Hannah always gets what she wants for her clients but can she get what she wants for herself? A powerful series that explores family, love, loyalty and the messy business of divorce.” (Catalogue)

Transit
“In Christian Petzold’s brilliant and haunting modern-day adaptation of Anna Seghers’s 1942 novel, Georg, a German refugee, flees to Marseille assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer whose papers he is carrying. There he delves into the delicate and complex culture of the refugee community, becoming enmeshed in the lives of a young mother and son and falling for a mysterious woman named Marie.” (Catalogue)

Staff Pick CDs: July

Here are some Staff Picks CDs from our collection at our new Arapaki Branch on Manners Street.

Anoyo. / Hecker, Tim
If you read Carlo Rovelli’s incredible book, ‘The Order of Time’, you will learn that the force that drives the universe is not energy but entropy, and ‘Konoyo’, the ninth record from Canadian electronic artist Tim Hecker, is a sublimely beautiful work that could be heard as a soundtrack to that ever inexorable process of decay. Like lifting a veil to expose atomic and sub atomic processes at work, this grand, complex and absorbing music is quite unlike anything else, including previous Tim Hecker records. The source material is provided by a Japanese Gagaku ensemble playing some of the most ancient instruments known, and it’s highly appropriate that this was recorded in Japan, as, if one closes one’s eyes, it is almost possible to see the cherry blossoms drifting away on the spring breeze. A few months later he released the accompanying ‘Anoyo’. Konoyo translates as ‘this world’ and anoyo as ‘the other world’ and the second release reflects that meaning, featuring six spacious and ambient pieces titled “That World”, “Is But A Simulated Blur”, “Step Away From Konoyo”, “Into the Void”, “Not Alone”, “You Never Were” if you get the drift. (John)

>>>. / Beak>
This is the third record from the krautrock project of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow (the first was ‘>’ and the second ‘>>’) and features music quite unlike any other. Metronomic drumming, ominous synths, glitchy electronics, deep vocals, throbbing basslines, processed strings, sci-fi keyboards and much more all feature in various combinations across ten tracks to create something otherworldly and quite engrossing. (John)

Coltrane ’58 : the Prestige recordings. / Coltrane, John
This release features all 37 tracks (across 5-discs) that saxophonist John Coltrane recorded as a leader or co-leader for the independent Prestige Records label in the twelve months of the year 1958 – which when released would comprise 8 albums in his discography. After finally cleaning up his drug & alcohol addiction in 1957, the period that followed saw him working and recording with pianist Thelonious Monk, whose unique compositions were an influence on Coltrane. Spilling over with new musical ideas and possibilities, Coltrane choose a series of old ballads & standards to see how far his new style and improvisational techniques could push against the traditional structure of existing tunes. The Prestige years are one of the distinctive periods in his career in which he honed a beautifully full & rich style, fast and slashing, yet tender and poignant, which Jazz journalist Ira Gitler would famously dub “sheets of sound”. These tracks are all remastered from the original analog tapes and the box includes extensive liner notes by Grammy-winning American music historian Ashley Kahn. A great box containing some of Coltrane’s most iconic albums. (Mark)

Bitter sweet / Ferry, Bryan
Bryan Ferry is a clever chap and a genuine artist and here he recreates a selection of tunes from his extensive back catalogue in the big band style of the 1920’s. What could too easily be regarded as a gimmick turns out to be anything but as these tunes take on a strange and mysterious new lustre when interpreted via Duke Ellington style trumpets, Sidney Bechet style clarinet and the Kurt Weill homage of the title track that even includes a line in German. Bryan Ferry’s voice has matured into that of a classic crooner and carries this project off perfectly. As the cover notes state: “This art recognises that the past was once our present, even our future, and this moment too shall melt away into the past”. (John)

Double negative. / Low
This really should have made it to the library ‘2018 Best of’ as it featured on pretty much every other best of list, and rightly so. After maintaining cult status for 25 years, the US indie trio appear to have now become famous on the strength of this, their 12th album. Ironically, this is the record on which they have taken things a step beyond, slowing their famous minimalist ‘slowcore’ sound down a notch even further and incorporating glitched out dissonant electronics and loops to produce the distorted, frazzled edges of things dissipating into the ether – an approach that has been recognised by both critics and audiences as highly appropriate for our current times. There are still lovely songs here to be found though within a superb, audacious, and deeply atmospheric contemporary indie record. (John)

Why hasn’t everything already disappeared? / Deerhunter
Bradford Cox leads his band through their eighth album with a collection of thoughtful and confident songs, building on the radio-rock direction of their previous release ‘Fading Frontier’. Co-produced by Cate Le Bon, who contributes some guest vocals and instrumentation, this album finds an excellent balance between the experimental sounds of their early releases and the slightly more user friendly approach of the later albums. The result is an excellent take on, for want of a better word, pop, but a distinctive and mature version of that genre, incorporating all of the elements one may expect from this highly creative band. (John)

Some rap songs. / Sweatshirt, Earl
Among the Tswana people of South Africa, the composition of the “praise poem” in honour of chiefs and important figures has traditionally been a part of the ritual initiation of boys. On Some Rap Songs, Earl Sweatshirt reflects on his recently deceased father, the South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile. In many ways, this album constitutes the 25 year old Earl’s praise poem to his father. The album is a sprawling journey through Earl’s psyche as he grapples with his recent grief and also his past experiences with anxiety and depression, seemingly finding cathartic closure. Earl’s voice is magnetic and mesmerising with its often simple cadence and bouncing syncopation. The album is built around tightly-looped soul and jazz samples by the likes of Curtis Mayfield. Far from its ironically self-effacing title, Some Rap Songs is an innovative masterwork. (Joseph)

DJ-kicks : Robert Hood.
The Detroit techno veteran, a founding member of Underground Resistance and who pretty much laid down the template for minimal techno with his 1994 release ‘Minimal Nation’, finally gets around to a DJ Kicks entry. Discretely acknowledging that interest in the minimal sub-genre is on the wane, here the sound is bigger and more banging than may be expected as he seamlessly mixes from one well curated driving floor filler to the next, including Berghain favorites such as Truncate and Marcel Fengler, in addition to U.K. techno mainstays like Slam and Mark Broom. Listeners either enjoy techno or they don’t, and for fans this is a solid, focused and satisfying mix, while for the curious this would be a good introduction. (John)

Future ruins. / Swervedriver
The UK band that sat on the rockier edge of the early ‘90’s shoegaze movement made a welcome return in 2015 after an 18 year hiatus, receiving favourable reviews for their fifth album, “I Wasn’t Born To Lose You”. “Future Ruins” is their sixth and the second of their ‘comeback’ albums and finds them in an assured mode, forging their warm, driving, melodic rock with great confidence. Its great hearing a band regaining their stride after such a long break and with this record they could very well find a fresh audience for their lovely harmonies, propulsive rhythms and vast guitar swathes. (John)

Echoes in blue. / City Calm Down
For some odd reason OZ bands rarely bridge the Tasman very well, which is unfortunate because, well, everyone misses out. City Calm Down are pretty big in OZ, headlining festivals and selling out tours, and this, their second album, is a great introduction. They are an obviously ‘80’s influenced band, which is not necessarily a bad thing, paying homage to Ian McCullough’s heartfelt vocals for Echo and the Bunnymen and New Order’s upper register bass lines and brooding synths. Their songs are suitably morose reflections on 21st Century life that potentially offer similar comfort that the early ‘80’s indie bands offered the first wave of indie rockers. (John)

You’re the man. / Gaye, Marvin
Marvin Gaye’s ‘lost album’ between two mega hit masterpieces ‘What’s Going On’ (1971) and ‘Let’s Get It On’ (1973) should excite a lot of music fans. Although some of the songs here have made it out in various forms before, the full album (plus some extra tracks) appears for the first time. He was at his peak after the success of ‘What’s Going On’ but very apprehensive at the same time, and a lack of the cohesion on this CD may show it. However, the quality of the songs and his distinguished vocal style are nothing short of brilliant and timeless. 47 years down the line, “You’re The Man’ can only emphasise how great Marvin Gaye is. (Shinji)

A tree with roots : Fairport Convention & friends and the songs of Bob Dylan. / Fairport Convention
An interesting compilation that gathers all of the cover versions UK folk rockers Fairport Convention performed of Bob Dylan songs. Including live recordings, John Peel Sessions and studio recordings, the songs are all from the ‘70’s and most feature Sandy Denny. The cover notes are comprehensive and clearly illustrate what a surprising influence Bob Dylan had on the UK folk revival. The performances are great and it is fascinating to hear these songs, firmly placed as they are in Americana, performed by a band that were central to the UK folk revival. This not only shows that cultural boundaries are far more fluid than often perceived but is also a keen reminder that the distant roots of Americana were actually folk songs taken to the USA by early settlers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. What goes around truly does come around. Track 7, “Percy’s Song” is a great illustration of this. (John)
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From Award Winners to Popular Detectives: New Arrival DVDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued DVDs, including new detective series based on much-loved books such as Grantchester and Agatha Raisin. The award winning movies Green Book (Oscar for the Best Picture) and Shoplifters (The Cannes’ Palme d’Or) have also arrived. They are must-see!


Green book
“When Tony Lip, a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on The Green Book to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger, as well as unexpected humanity and humor, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime. Inspired by a true friendship.” (Catalogue)

Colette.
“After marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy”, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel, about a brazen country girl named Claudine that becomes a bestseller and a cultural sensation.” (Catalogue)

The happy prince
“In a cheap Parisian hotel, Oscar Wilde lies on his death bed and recalls his past with wit and irony. Was he once the most famous man in London? He reviews the failed attempt to reconcile with his long suffering wife, the ensuing reprisal of his fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and the devotion of Robbie Ross, who tried and failed to save him from himself.” (Catalogue)

Shoplifters
“After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets.” (Catalogue)

The little drummer girl.
“This six-part miniseries, based on John le Carré’s best-selling novel of the same name, is a passionate love story set in the late 1970s that weaves a tale of espionage and international intrigue. It follows young, idealistic actress Charlie, whose relationship with the mysterious Becker, an Israeli intelligence officer, leads her into a complex, high-stakes plot devised by spy mastermind Kurtz.” (Catalogue)

Agatha Raisin. Series two.
“Ashley Jensen reprises her role of city PR turned country sleuth in six new episodes of Agatha Raisin. Adapted from the bestselling books by MC Beaton, the first series was an instant hit on Global TV creating a strong fan base around the world.” (Catalogue)

The alienist. [Season 1]
“The Alienist opens when a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitues grips New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper illustrator John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret. They are joined by Sarah Howard, a headstrong secretary determined to become the city’s first female police detective.” (Catalogue)

Grantchester. Series 3.
“Still unresolved from last season is Sidney’s love life. Handsome, worldly-wise, and virtuous, he should be an ideal catch. And at least one very promising female companion turns up in the new series. But will Sidney scare her away with his unconventional taste for jazz, blood-splattered crime scenes, and a married woman? The new season’s cases include a shocking charge of sexual assault that turns into a homicide investigation implicating a pillar of the community; an apparent suicide from the college spire that takes on Cold War overtones and more.” (Catalogue)

Better call Saul. Season four.
“His brother’s death catalyses Jimmy McGill’s transformation into “Saul Goodman”. Now Jimmy steps into the criminal world, putting his future as a lawyer–and his relationship with Kim Wexler–in deep jeopardy. Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut’s work for Gustavo Fring throws the cartel into chaos with tragic results.” (Catalogue)

Atlantic Records on the Naxos Jazz Library

One of the most important and influential record labels in soul and jazz music history, Atlantic Records produced a number of masterpieces in the 50s and 60s. They had jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, and the Naxos Jazz Library offers some of their finest recordings. They are part of the Warner Music Group now and there is no ‘Atlantic Records’ in the label search. Click the link to go straight to their discography and search the artists or titles. Check our picks below and start streaming now!

Cover from Naxos COLTRANE, John: Giant Steps
Performed by: Chambers, Paul; Cobb, Jimmy; Coltrane, John; Flanagan, Tommy; Kelly, Wynton; Taylor, Art
“Coltrane’s 1959 Atlantic Records debut became his most influential album, and helped bring jazz to the mainstream. It remains one of the all time great jazz albums.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos MODERN JAZZ QUARTET (THE): Complete Last Concert (The)
Performed by: Modern Jazz Quartet, The
“This two-disc live set features the Modern Jazz Quartet in its final concert (at New York City’s Lincoln Center in 1974). Though the group would later reunite in the early ’80s, there is the distinct feel of retrospective here, looking back on a career of remarkable invention and artistry. Both qualities are in ample evidence during this performance, which showcases the remarkable solo and ensemble playing of John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Percy Heath (bass), and Connie Kay (drums).” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos MINGUS, Charles: Clown (The)
Performed by: Hadi, Shafi; Knepper, Jimmy; Legge, Wade; Mingus, Charles; Richmond, Dannie; Shepherd, Jean
“Mingus is a true original, and THE CLOWN is an album on which his genius for melding tradition with experimentation is particularly pronounced. THE CLOWN boasts outstanding compositions, superior musicianship by four members of the artist’s Jazz Workshop and what is arguably some of Mingus’s best recorded bass work.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos KONITZ, Lee: Inside Hi-Fi
Performed by: Bauer, Billy; Fishkind, Arnold; Ind, Peter; Konitz, Lee; Mosca, Sal; Scott, Dick
“This excellent recording features altoist Lee Konitz with two separate quartets during 1956. Either guitarist Billy Bauer or pianist Sal Mosca are the main supporting voices in groups also including either Arnold Fishkind or Peter Ind on bass and Dick Scott on drums. The most unusual aspect to the set is that on the four selections with Mosca, Konitz switches to tenor, playing quite effectively in a recognizable cool style.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos CHARLES, Ray / JACKSON, Milt: Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting
Performed by: Best, Skeeter; Charles, Ray; Jackson, Milt; Kay, Connie; Mitchell, Billy; Pettiford, Oscar
“Originally released separately as SOUL BROTHERS (Atlantic 1360) and SOUL MEETING (Atlantic 1279). These records are “cool” in the classic sense of the word: they swing, groove, whisper and discuss with the sophisticated yet down-home relaxation of a late-night session.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos COLEMAN, Ornette: Change of the Century
Performed by: Cherry, Don; Coleman, Ornette; Haden, Charlie; Higgins, Billy
“Change of the Century is the fourth studio album by jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman, released on Atlantic Records in 1960, his second for the label. Recording sessions for the album took place on October 8 and 9, 1959, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California. Lou Reed considered it to be the best album of all time.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos ART FARMER QUARTET: To Sweden with Love
Performed by: Art Farmer Quartet
“In 1964, The Art Farmer Quartet; Art Farmer (flugelhorn); Jim Hall (guitar); Steve Swallow (bass); Pete LaRoca (drums), was touring in Sweden and felt inspired to record traditional Swedish folk songs. Featuring Farmer and Hall’s lyrical sophisticated solos, the band turns old songs into jazz without losing their essence, and make it a memorable recording” (Shinji)

Cover from Naxos LLOYD, Charles: Forest Flower – Charles Lloyd at Monterey
Performed by: DeJohnette, Jack; Jarrett, Keith; Lloyd, Charles; McBee, Cecil; McClure, Ron
“Featuring the rising stars at that time; Keith Jarrett and Jack Dejohnette, who both joined Miles Davis’ band soon after, Charles Lloyd gave the epoch-making performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966. Pushing the boundary of jazz idiom, It became history.”(Shinji)

Cover from Naxos JARRETT, Keith: Somewhere Before – The Keith Jarrett Anthology (The Atlantic Years) (1968-1975)
Performed by: Brown, Sam; Burton, Gary; Goodwin, Bill; Haden, Charlie; Jarrett, Keith; Keith Jarrett Trio; Motian, Paul; Redman, Dewey; Swallow, Steve
“2008 two CD set that focuses on the Jazz great’s years with Atlantic Records (1968-75). One of the most significant pianists in Jazz to emerge since the ’60s, Keith Jarrett’s musical career spans across four decades, during which he has been continuously growing as a powerful improviser. This double disc set includes selection from landmark albums like Life Between the Exit Signs, Somewhere Before, Birth, the Mourning of a Star and El Juicio (The Judgement), with the best of his live and studio work.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New DVDs at the Libraries

Glass DVD cover

DVDs at our new Arapaki branch and across the library network for May include Peter Jackson’s acclaimed WWI documentary as well as his adaptation of ‘Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve, M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to 2001’s classic ‘Unbreakable’, a new horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, historical drama with ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, the award winning ‘The Favourite’, and some female centric sci-fi with ‘Annihilation’.

They shall not grow old
“Marking the centenary of the First World War, internationally renowned director Peter Jackson uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized and transformed with modern production techniques to present never-before-seen detail.” (Catalogue)

Aquaman
“An action-packed adventure that reveals the origin story of half-human, half- Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime–one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but also to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be: a king.” (Catalogue)

Glass
“For one special security guard, tracking people down is a paranormal sort of hobby. Able to use his rare abilities to find people, David Dunn is suddenly given a job that seems more daunting than all the others before it. He’ll need to find Kevin Wendell Crumb, and time is of the essence. But part of the problem is that Crumb is an extremely disturbed man and with 24 personalities, he’s a lot more complicated than the others Dunn has found.” (Catalogue)

Castle Rock. The complete first season.
“A psychological horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, it is an original story that combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock.” (Catalogue)

Mary Queen of Scots
“Queen of France at sixteen, widowed at eighteen, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry and instead returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. By birth, she also has a rival claim to the throne of Elizabeth I, who rules as the Queen of England. Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both Queens, driving them apart, as each woman experiences the bitter cost of power.” (Catalogue)

Mortal engines
“Hundreds of years after our civilization was destroyed, a new world has emerged. A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw leads a band of outcasts in the fight to stop London, now a giant predator city on wheels, from devouring everything its path.” (Catalogue)

The favourite
“Early eighteenth-century England is at war with the French. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her friend Lady Sarah tends to her ill health. When a new servant Abigail arrives, Sarah takes her under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become time-consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps in to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their growing friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions, and no one will stand in her way.” (Catalogue)

The mule
“Earl Stone, a man in his 80’s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well – so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.” (Catalogue)

Annihilation.
“Biologist and former soldier Lena is shocked when her missing husband comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone from which no one has ever returned. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.” (Catalogue)

New Popular Music CDs at Arapaki

It’s very good news that physical CDs are back on our shelves. Our first pop-up library Arapaki offers a small but varied range of music including new releases by our very own Aldous Harding and Vampire Weekend. Come on down to Arapaki at 12 Manners Street and check them out!

Designer. / Harding, Aldous
“An artist of rare calibre, Aldous Harding does more than sing; she conjures a singular intensity. Her body and face a weapon of theatre, Harding dances with steeled fervor, baring her teeth like a Bunraku puppet’s gnashing grin. Her debut release with 4AD, 2017’s Party (produced with the award-winning John Parish) introduced a new pulse to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where the likes of Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside. In April, Aldous Harding returns with Designer less than two years after the breakthrough album.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

I am easy to find / National (Musical group)
I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s GRAMMY-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released. The film was directed by Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, and the album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

U.F.O.F. / Big Thief
“U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief. Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Father of the bride. / Vampire Weekend
“Father of the Bride is the highly anticipated new album from Vampire Weekend, and is the band’s fourth full length release. It is the follow up to 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, which won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014. Father of the Bride is produced by founding band member Ezra Koenig, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna etc.). The album features 18 songs, including “Harmony Hall,” “Big Blue,” “2021,” and “Sunflower.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Why hasn’t everything already disappeared? / Deerhunter
“What they spend their time doing instead is reinventing their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth. The result is as thrilling, haunting, and unpredictable as anything in their roughly 15 year career.” (adapted from amazon.com)

On the line. / Lewis, Jenny
“Jenny Lewis’ fourth solo album, featuring 11 original songs written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B. Lewis is joined on the album by such legendary artists as Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner and Ringo Starr.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Ripples. / Brown, Ian
“2019 release from the former Stone Roses vocalist. Ripples is Brown’s first solo album in 10 years and serves as the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s My Way. Brown self-produced and wrote a majority of Ripples, as well as created the artwork and played most of the instruments heard throughout the record. His sons have co-writing credits on three songs and provided additional instrumental contributions.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Riverside Records on the Naxos Jazz Library

One of the most important and beloved labels of all time in jazz history, Riverside Records was founded by Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer in 1953, and produced many masterpieces by jazz giants such as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and Wes Montgomery. Although no physical CDs are available from our libraries at the moment, you can stream some of their finest albums on the Naxos Jazz Library. Riverside Records was short-lived and all their masters were acquired by Fantasy Records, making them difficult to locate in the Naxos Jazz Library. Instead, click the link to go straight to their discography and search the artists or titles. Check our picks below and start streaming now!

Cover from Naxos WYNTON KELLY TRIO AND SEXTET: KELLY BLUE
Performed by: Kelly, Wynton; Wynton Kelly Sextet; Wynton Kelly Trio
“Kelly was an original stylist, who had a lyrical and economical approach and a way of insinuating the blues into everything he touched. You can feel it here in the moving “Willow Weep for Me” and the bright takes on “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” and “On Green Dolphin Street,” just getting established as standards in the jazz repertoire and getting distinctive treatments here.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos THELONIOUS MONK: BRILLIANT CORNERS
Performed by: Henry, Ernie; Monk, Thelonious; Pettiford, Oscar; Roach, Max; Rollins, Sonny
Brilliant Corners is regarded as one of the finest albums in Thelonius Monks catalogue. The supporting musicians include Paul Chambers (better known for his work with Miles Davis), Max Roach, Clark Terry and Sonny Rollins, but it is Monks own work on piano that dominates the proceedings. An important and vital album, not just for Thelonius Monk, but for any serious jazz collector.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos BILL EVANS TRIO: WALTZ FOR DEBBY
Performed by: Bill Evans Trio
“The legendary last recording of Evans’ brilliant trio (with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro, who died days after this was taped at the Village Vanguard). Invigorating freedom and deep emotion meet and cast a powerful spell.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos WES MONTGOMERY: FULL HOUSE
Performed by: Chambers, Paul; Cobb, Jimmy; Griffin, Johnny; Kelly, Wynton; Montgomery, Wes
“Recorded live at the the Tsubo in Berkeley, California, the back of the original album proudly proclaims ‘the top jazz guitarist, recorded in actual performance.’ It’s a rather undertstated introduction to an album that showcases to perfection Wes Montgomery’s abilities, a talent that no other jazz guitarist has come even close to matching.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos KENNY DREW TRIO: KENNY DREW TRIO
Performed by: Kenny Drew Trio
“Kenny Drew brings a pure bop angularity to this 1956 session, with driving single-note lines that clamber over one another to get at a new rhythmic detail, along with splashing chords that find the joy in the blues. He’s joined by a rhythm section that virtually defined the mid-1950s ethos: bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos CANNONBALL ADDERLEY SEXTET: IN NEW YORK
Performed by: Cannonball Adderley Sextet
“This excellent live date from the Village Vanguard was the recording debut of the Adderley sextet, with Cannonball waxing eloquently and swingingly on alto, brother Nat charging ahead on cornet, and the versatile Yusef Lateef adding a bit of an edge on tenor, flute, and unusually for a jazz wind player, oboe on the odd. Also, this was the first recorded appearance of pianist Joe Zawinul in Cannonball’s band.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos RANDY WESTON: SOLO, DUO AND TRIO
Performed by: Blakey, Art; Gill, Sam; Weston, Randy
“Randy Weston’s distinctive compositions and pianism have long mined the music’s African sources to enrich the idiom. This CD presents Weston at the very beginnings of his recording career, combining his first two LPs. The earliest is a selection of eight Cole Porter tunes from 1954, played in duet with his regular partner, Sam Gill, a little-known bassist who provides solid and sympathetic foundations. The second combines a 1955 trio session, with Gill and Art Blakey on drums, and a series of solos from 1956.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos BLUE MITCHELL SEXTET: BLUE SOUL
Performed by: Blue Mitchell Sextet
“A session from 1959, BLUE SOUL finds Mitchell cooking in front of a band including bop aces Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones, and Wynton Kelly of Miles Davis fame. The program mostly consists of bright, earthy originals with plenty of hearty soloing. A delight for classic bop supporters.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Cover from Naxos NAT ADDERLEY: WORK SONG
Performed by: Adderley, Nat; Betts, Keter; Hayes, Louis; Heath, Percy; Jones, Sam; Montgomery, Wes; Timmons, Bobby
“Released in 1960, Work Song finds cornetist Nat Adderley at his artistic peak with this bluesy, hard-bop gem. Numerous critics throughout the years have praised Adderley’s lyrical work on this album, which includes his own writing (his biggest hit, ‘Work Song’ and ‘Fallout’).” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS: CARAVAN
Performed by: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
“One of the great Jazz Messengers recordings, Blakey’s 1962 debut for Riverside featured Wayne Shorter, Curtis Fuller, Reggie Workman, Freddie Hubbard and Cedar Walton.” (adapted from amazon.com)