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    From the Archives: Brooke Fraser’s first press clipping

    24.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Brooke Fraser

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Huge learning curve for the girl with the golden voice
    By Ross Henderson

    [Transcript]

    SHE’S got the sort of voice that can raise the roof, but 15-year-old Brooke Fraser is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

    Last month, the Naenae College fifth former won the Hutt valley regional final of the Pepsi Smokefree rock quest — no mean feat considering she was the only soloist in a competition dominated by hard rock hands.

    She also grabbed the Most Promising Woman Musician Award tor the two songs she’d written and performed.

    But she’s not letting the success go to her head. Brooke knows how tough it will be if she’s picked as one or the nine finalists to go to the nationals in September.

    “It’s been a huge learning curve,” she says or the work it’s taken so far. This has included making a video of songs, writing a press release, designing a poster and making progress reports.

    To make the finals, she still must beat two other regional finalists, who have to complete the same tasks.

    Though the selection criteria are tough, she says it gives an idea or what it’s like in the music industry.

    She’s also had to accept she can’t always live up to her own high expectations.

    ‘‘I’m a perfectionist. Every time I come off the stage I kick myself . . . but you can’t be perfect every single time.”

    Brooke, who is the daughter or former All Black Bernie Fraser, says the support of her family has been “awesome”.

    Brooke has been playing piano since age seven and performing since 13 and writes all her own material.

    “I prefer to do my own stuff instead of covers, because otherwise you’re always going to be compared.”

    The songs are inspired by different situations and feelings. One of the songs, Above, has made it on to an album, recorded in Hong Kong.

    Her musical tastes are eclectic. They include everything from Nat King Cole and George Benson to Lauren Hill and Ricky Martin – extending to classical music and American Indian chants.

    Despite her passion and talent for music, Brooke is keeping her career options open.

    Possibilities include music production, journalism or cultural anthropology. She’s currently kept busy as a presenter on Saturn TV and as photographer for the youth page of the Evening Post.

    There’s also the classical piano lessons she takes each week.
    “I’m always on the piano, but I’m never doing what I’m supposed to, I’m always fiddling with new songs and stuff,” she says.

    Since becoming a national competition in 1999, the rock quest has swelled in popularity year by year.

    This year, more than 500 bands from 18 regions entered, compared In 120 bands from five regions in 1990.

    The 1992 finalist Bic Runga is now enjoying success as an artist in her own right, with a record deal with Sony Music. Anika Moa, a 1998 finalist, has just signed a deal with Warner.

    And who knows, the Avalon teen with the golden voice could be next.

    From ‘CONTACT’, July 22, 1999.

    Grateful acknowledgement to Fairfax Media for letting us use this material.


  • General

    From The Archives: Rip It Up – The Mockers/The Man Who Would Be STAR

    24.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Mockers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Man Who Would Be STAR/Madeleine Sheahan

    [Transcript]

    It’s been a long time coming. Six years, four moderately successful singles and several line-up changes on, the Mockers have completed their first album, Swear It’s True.

    We’re entering familiar territory here. New versions of the three earlier singles are there, together with the new one (‘Swear It’s True’) and eight other equally accessible numbers.

    According to lead singer, Andrew Fagan, it’s a “mile-stone” for the band.

    “It amounts to what we’ve always wanted to achieve. In 1977 when I started out with the Ambitious Vegetables we simply could not write melodic songs. It wasn’t like we were brilliant musicians who jumped on the bandwagon when punk came along, we just could not play! Our aim was to write good pop songs and we’ve reached that goal.”

    ‘Swear It’s True’ was recorded at Mandrill and is out on the studio’s Reaction label. Fagan feels producer, Trevor Reekie, has come up with a far better sound than the band could have got themselves.

    “My only criticism, and it can be a good point too, is that the album’s down on raw live energy. With records the music is the main thing, you can incorporate live energy but it can cause problems. We don’t want to be raucous on record because that’s what we used to be – a thrash guitar band.”

    The Mocker’s career has been repeatedly interrupted by line-up changes but Fagan seems confident that they’ve struck the right combination at last.

    “To have some awareness of what constitutes a good song is really important. In the past, we had a lot of conflicts and that was our downfall. Now, everyone has the same idea. If a new song feels right, it just gels and everyone goes for it.”

    They have a new recruit on keyboards, Tim Wedde, who Fagan describes as an “18-year old whizz kid.”

    He feels the music has matured, “The arrangements are much more intricate than they used to be.”

    The lyrics are his department and his favourite themes concern the sea (probably his main passion – he lives on an 18ft yacht moored at Herne Bay) and the unsung hero.

    “The way society works is really false. The people who are pushed to the public eye are the ones people respect which is a shame because often they’re worthy of very little. It’s the lone adventurer types who fascinate me. They’re the ones people should say, ‘what a wonderful person’ about, not some drugged-out rock star who does fuck all.”

    Fagan is hopeful that ‘Swear It’s True’ will provide the big break the Mockers have waited so long for. The timing of its release augurs well, The Dance Exponents have left New Zealand and the country’s youth are hanging out for a new pop idol.

    “That gap hasn’t been there before and if we persevere with what we’re doing then we probably will start doing a lot better in terms of crowds.”

    Mention the Exponents and Fagan is instantly fighting the green-eyed monster.
    “There’s obviously an element of professional jealousy. I’ve got nothing but respect for the Dance Exponents, they’re the only band in the history of New Zealand music who’ve managed to use the industry for themselves and not get used. But they’ve had good guidance. Things fell into place, the timing was right and it all happened.”

    The Mockers somehow got left behind.
    “You get frustrated when nothing happens in terms of chart success and while it doesn’t really worry me, chart success is important to people in the industry who can further your career.”

    He clearly feels his band has had a raw deal. TVNZ’s handling of the ‘Swear It’s True’ Video is a case in point.
    “According to the powers that be, it’s quite a lightweight song so it doesn’t get on Radio With Pictures. If the single does well it’ll get on Ready to Roll. If it doesn’t you’re on a 15 minute programme called RTR Video Releases and as far as exposure goes that’s minimal.

    “You get a bit worn down dealing with that side of things, especially when you see what could be happening if you had all those elements on your side.”

    Fagan’s been forced to change his personal view of success.
    “I used to think success was to have a number one hit. Now that I see how many other factors are involved in a hit single, I realise that you have to confine your own visions of success to just writing a good song that you’re happy with and that’s it.

    “Like with this album. I’ve done my bit and I’m happy with it and if it does well the guy to pat on the back is the guy who markets it.”

    That rather despondent view of the industry aired, what keeps him in the business?
    “Partly taking for granted the music and performing … that and competitiveness. Sometimes I think ‘shit, we’ve got good songs, why aren’t ours getting played, why aren’t we drawing big crowds?’

    “I don’t think in terms of money anymore. I used to, y’know, we all have our master plan. The Dance Exponents lived mine and did it so well, the big bite from Mushroom . . . a big bite would have made it so much easier for us.

    “But if we persevere, things will definitely happen. Split Enz are the great example, you just have to keep believing your day will come.”

    And when it does, the next step has to be overseas.
    “After the album tour, beyond about August, we can’t sustain it here anymore. We’ll have toured the country so many times, had the biggest bullshit we’ve ever had from the album, after that we’ll never have that much hype again.

    “But we want some bites before we go. It’d be ridiculous to start from square one again.”

    ‘The Man Who Would Be STAR’ from Rip It Up, No. 81 Apr 1984. Used with permission.

    Phillip Schofield introduces the Mockers at this benefit concert at the Christchurch Town Hall which is later broadcast on his youth music show Shazam!. Their first album has just gone straight into the Top 10 and the band are well on their way to becoming pop stars, with Andrew Fagan, resplendent in red frock coat and bare chest, very much out front as one of New Zealand music’s great showmen. Six songs are featured including the hits ‘Woke Up Today’, ‘My Girl Thinks She’s Cleopatra’, ‘Alvison Park’ and the title track of their album ‘Swear It’s True’.

    Shazam! - Mockers Special

    Shazam! - Mockers Special


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Flix Rose

    20.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    eighth-note_

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is singer-songwriter Flix Rose, who has nearly finished working on her debut album.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    I’m Flix Rose I sing and play the guitar, ukulele and banjo. I’m originally from Whangarei and moved to Wellington 4 years ago to pursue a career in music and have been honoured to support artists such as Anika Moa and play in festivals like The Wellington Folk Festival, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Sanctuary Sounds.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    I’m currently recording my first album due mid this year then setting tour dates and I can’t wait!

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Flix Rose on FaceBook and YouTube

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Enya – Shepherd Moons
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Eb and Sparrow are gorgeous so definitely them but there are so many and I’m constantly amazed by musicians and grateful that I get to be part of Wellington’s fantastic creative scene.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Meow is great and I love meeting and talking to my audience so the streets and markets are a good “venue” too

    In your songwriting or composing how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    I improvise lyrics, melody and chords at the same time, trying unexpected notes and letting my voice free. I love being surprised in music.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    I’m organising gigs on the 25th and 26th of February in Martinborough and am touring when the album is released!


  • General

    The Eighth Note: WOMB

    19.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    eighth-note

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guests are Georgette, Haz, and Charlotte from WOMB.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    We are Womb, born from Keziah’s womb. It was a great first home; disco balls, bean bags, a spa, great decor. Womb’s music is about feeling like you’re laying your head on someone’s belly, listening to them speak, and the words sound simultaneously so close they could swallow you whole, and so far away you could never reach them.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    ;) Let’s keep it all a bit mysterious for now, but stay tuned and expect lots of music and visuals coming your way soon!!!

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Bandcamp & Facebook.

    At Meow, supporting ‘The All Seeing Hand’, Dec. 2016

    womb



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    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Haz: Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective
    Charlotte: Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, performed by Jacqueline du Pre
    Georgette: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    ALEXA CASINO

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Some of our favourite shows have been at Meeeoww.

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    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Charlotte goes out wandering in attempt to understand the nuances of life and friendships and emotions and transform these experiences into words. Then she offers them up to Hazzie and Georgette who make the songs come alive through sonorous subtleties.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    We are heading up to Auckland in a couple of weeks and will be playing a few shows there with some of our all-time favourite musicians!


  • General

    From The Archives: Rip It Up – 1 2 3 4 Mockers

    18.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Mockers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    [Transcript]
    1 2 3 4 Mockers – Mark Phillips

    One of the most inspired band names in recent times must surely have been the Ambitious Vegetables. The Veges were a bunch of young Wellingtonians who because of their age did not get the chance to play and develop the way they deserved. But that was in the good old days.

    Now, the ex-Veges, Andrew Fagan, Gary Curtis and Charlie Mannell, are with Dale Monaghan, and called the Mockers.

    Andrew takes up the story:
    “We formed as the Mockers in May 1980. We started playing in July, and our first single, ‘Good Old Days’ / ‘Murder In Manners Street’, came out in September.

    “We had no idea of how to go about putting out a single at that stage. We just took our tape down to the pressing plant and asked if they did singles for anybody. It was all very Mickey Mouse. Our major problem was distribution. We only managed to get the single into Wellington shops.

    “The best thing was the recording only cost us $350 so we covered costs after the first 200 sales.”

    So did you look for live work?
    “At that stage we hadn’t even played! We were working on the theory that if you had a good demo, you could use it to get gigs. We did get some supports, mainly at the Last Resort. It was great, because in those days you only needed to play for half an hour if you were the support band.

    “I’d hate to be starting out in Wellington now, because the only place you can really play is the Terminus. It’s very hard to have an hour of worthwhile material when you’ve only just started.”

    The Mockers have never really done any touring.
    “We’re afraid to tour until we think our name is well enough known,” says Andrew. “We don’t want to end up thousands of dollars in debt, like so many NZ bands. At the moment we have day jobs, which is why we stay in Wellington. It’s easy to play at night and work in the day, as long as we don’t have to travel. I think the best way for us to do things would be to move to Auckland and exist the way we do now.”

    Can you see yourselves turning professional?
    “Perhaps. Although in strict terms we aren’t professional now, but we do have a professional attitude. I think the necessity of turning professional is only brought about by touring.”

    Are you afraid you might go stale by staying in the one place?
    “The fact that we play to the same audience all the time means we have to work a lot harder to keep them interested. We’re continually writing new songs to combat it.”

    The Mockers’ second single, ‘Trendy Lefties’, has been out now for a few months. Despite its strong commercial appeal, it didn’t make much impression on the charts.

    Were the band upset at the reaction to the new single? “Yes,” they chorus.
    “We thought of it as our most commercial song,” says Charlie.
    “It’s really put us off releasing commercial stuff. Next time I think we’ll just do whatever song we feel like.”

    What’s the sentiment behind the song?
    “It’s about factions,” says Andrew. “It’s the way everybody accuses everybody else of being trendy, when they’re really caught up in their own little trends.”

    Maybe that’s why the radio stations didn’t play it.

    ’1 2 3 4 Mockers’ from Rip It Up, No. 52 November 1981. Used with permission.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Grawlixes

    09.01.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    eighth-note

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guests are Robin & Penelope from Wellington-by-way-of-Dunedin indy-folk band Grawlixes.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music.
    We are Grawlixes, from Wellington (by way of Dunedin). Our music is indie pop featuring accordion, guitar and a violin run through pedals (in the live version at least). We write songs about various forms of relationships mainly – the highs and lows, the ins and outs, increasingly the weird or off kilter. However, they still usually start with a verse and finish with a chorus in the good old-fashioned way.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Yes! We’re about to release an album through Home Alone Records in February, which we are very excited about. We’ve got a lot of new songs too, which we’ll start thinking about recording in 2017. And we are releasing a couple of videos in the not too distant future too.

    Where is the best place people can follow you and find your music?
    You can find us via Home Alone Records, or we’re on Facebook,
    Twitter and we have a Website.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Penelope: Tough choice. I had fingers in musical pies growing up – lucky to have a Dad who had a music section in his store. I was pretty obsessed with all things Beatles, then Smashing Pumpkins ‘Gish’, and Incubus ‘Science’. Fairly male oriented stuff oddly.
    Robin: Mine were probably Rage Against the Machine’s first album, Songs For the Deaf, and Aenima. Gaggles of angry white men paving the way for mopey relationship folk a decade late. It’s funny how influences can work isn’t it?

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Penelope: All of them – eventually if not immediately.
    Robin: I would love to work with Wellington’s fanciest classical, jazz and rock arrangers – whoever they are, I’m new to the city – to try and pick up a few tricks! Pipe dreams abound.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    We’ve played a couple of times at Moon and those shows have gone the best so that’s a tick in our book!

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Robin usually writes the songs, then he comes to me and we scalp it into something we’re mutually happy with.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    We’re going on a NZ tour in January with the Prophet Hens (Jan 12th @ Darkroom in ChCh, 13th @ Dog with Two Tails in Dunedin, 20th @ Meow in Wellington & 21st @ Freida Margolis in Auckland) and then we’re going on our own nationwide tour in February (confirmed dates to come – watch our Website or Facebook).


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Groeni

    30.12.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    eighth-note

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Al from Electronic trio Groeni.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music.
    James, Al and Mike. We make and play electronic music under the name Groeni.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Just finished mixing 2 tracks ‘Teething/Teeth’ coming out early next year on 12″. Working towards a full length which is due next year some time.

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    Groeni EP, 2012

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    RPM records on Cuba, Death Ray Records in Newtown. Or come to a show. Also the usuals, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud. Spotify if you have to….

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Deftones: White Pony
    Burial: Untrue
    Joanna Newsom: Have one on me

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    Hewn EP, 2015

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Scott Maynard (Fuyukos Fables, Zero Cool), Charlotte Forrester (Athuzela Brown, Womb) Conor McCabe (Fortunes)

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Valhalla has a good vibe and great sound. Never played at Caroline but it seems cool.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    It varies, sometimes the song stems and develops from a production idea. Other times the song is fully written on various instruments then translated via production. Production is a team effort, we each have our own home studios and often back and forth between ideas adding layers, discussing and critiquing. The new material – for the album – we have fully formed the songs and structures before moving into the production phase, testing out a new method.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    Camp A Low Hum NYE.


  • General

    The Eighth Note: k2k

    29.12.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Eighth Note

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Katherine, who makes music & DJs under the moniker k2k.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music.

    I’m Katherine, I make music and dj as k2k. I try to make house music but I’m influenced pretty strongly by 90′s pop melodies and incorporate a lot of old RnB acapellas into my tracks.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time DJing, working on mixes and making radio/putting on shows with my pals Inky Waves. I’m also intending to put out my first EP in Jan, called Sugar, so I’ve been working on finishing off a few tracks for that.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Probably Soundcloud for my music.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
    Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
    Gas – Pop

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Probably my pals, Mongo Skato and Borrowed CS. The tracks they’ve been making recently are amazing, they definitely deserve more overseas hype!

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Valhalla for sure, amazing sound system and it reminds me of my punk days back in Nelson :’)

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Normally with me playing around in Ableton. Messing around with soft synths and acapellas, hoping it turns into something. I also record a lot of song ideas on my voice memos on my phone, intending to one day turn them into songs. It never really happens but at least I have 100s of ideas to come back to if I run out of stuff to do!

    Where/when is your next gig?
    I’m playing the Camp A Low Hum new years eve gig, should be fun!


  • General

    The Eighth Note: Beatcomber

    19.12.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Eighth Note

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Jonathan from nofi/super-lofi self credited bedroom popstars Beatcomber‘.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music.
    Hello! We’re BEATCOMBER! We are a self proclaimed garage, no-fi 5 piece rock band from Wellington. We consist of Sam Young on percussion, Sophie Scott-Maunder on Vocals and Keys, Thomas King on the Druuums, Trent Thomas Drummond Williams on Guitar and Vocals and myself, Jonathan Shirley on Bass.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Playing shows at the moment! We go through motions of not having any gigs then suddenly like a couple or even back-to-back weeks of gigs. We enjoy gigging though! and I feel like its what we do best and where we get to test things live. We recently released a single called ‘Sick Breeze’ and have some other stuff cooking that we are finding time to finish. We are a pretty slow moving band, which ain’t too bad.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Most stuff of ours is on Bandcamp but we’re still repping the Soundcloud and usually post quick demos and jams on that.

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    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Lol, I am not too sure about what the rest of the band would say. If we were going to say instead something like, what 3 albums do we usually blast as a group (that may influence us)? I would say True Stories by Talking Heads, A Hard Days Night by The Beatles and I’m In Your Mind Fuzz by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Yikes! Once myself, Thomas and Sam couldn’t play a show as we were away but both Trent and Sophie were super keen to play, so they enlisted both Callum and Oliver Devlin of Hans Pucket and Emerald Rose of Draghound/Fuzz Queen to play in our stead and as a group they sounded ammmmazzzing, so I think we should work with them again hah. Otherwise I don’t think we mind! I think its pretty fun mixing it up and having like a one time member of the band or something for a show. We are open to offers!

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    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Hmm I think we all like San Fran! It has really great sound and a pretty gig oriented environment, we also like Valhalla for the mammoth sound system and Caroline is a new favourite! But I don’t think there is anywhere in Wellington we dislike playing! The sound peeps and workers are all nice and friendly at each venue.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Usually we’ll be at a band practice and most of the time Trent will bring like a riff or something or someone else in the band will play something random and we’ll all be like ‘yeaaa that sounds cool!’ and then we’ll jam that. Then we’ll all get really frustrated with each other, bang our heads and the mood will drop to a pretty grim vibe, but then one of us will try keep the energy pumping and then we’ll have a breakthrough and jam like crazy until we kind of have something. Then we have a great time and get really excited! Very mixed emotions (bill heavens reference).

    Where/when is your next gig?
    Our last gig of year was on the 15th of December for the ‘Hans Pucket Single Release + Xmas Party’, at Caroline. After that I believe we are done for the year! then we have some exciting shows lined up for early 2017 ,including some sneaky festivals, so more shows to come!


  • General

    New library ‘Wellington’ music on CD: December – Fly My Pretties/The Hopkinsville Goblins/Brooke Fraser/The Eversons/Stir It Up

    16.12.16 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    Every month, Wellington City Libraries acquires new CD’s for its large, broad, eclectic collection, and Wellington music is no exception. We regularly inspect Bandcamp, local music websites, trawl music vendors latest releases and check out independent labels like Flying Nun, Arch Hill, Rattle and Lil’ Chief for the latest in Wellington and New Zealand music. So, with this influx of mint music in mind, every month we’ll provide the latest titles and artists added to our Wellington music collection…

    Cover imageString theory.
    The brainchild of Black Seeds front-man Barnaby Weir and Mikee Tucker of Loop Recordings ‘Fly My Pretties’ (for anyone who doesn’t already know) is a collaboration of contemporary musicians who assemble periodically to record live albums in various locations. Their shared objective is to exchange ideas, then perform and record songs written by different members of the band in front of live audiences. A central part of the ethos that governs FMP is the addition of new talent and perspectives with each album. Sixth album, ‘String Theory,’ holds true to this, with the concept of each guest to explore their own existence through time and space with their own unique stories. It showcases 14 musicians and 18 new songs by Weir and returning members Iraia Whakamoe, James Coyle & Ryan Prebble from The Nudge, Jarney Murphy & Nigel Patterson from The Black Seeds, Mike Fabulous (Lord Echo), and Ria Hall; but also features newcomers to the FMP family: Bailey Wiley, Laughton Kora, Tiki Taane, A Girl Named Mo, Ills Winter, and Miloux. What’s different from previous versions of FMP is that in the past guest collaborators brought their own fully formed songs to the show. This time all new material was written in sessions a month out from the shows, and the 18 new songs were then refined and polished across four days at Auckland’s Lot23 to be performed four times in Auckland and five times in Wellington. The real talent of the endeavour lies in creating a cohesive whole from all the individual elements. The writing deadline aids this, in that choices had to be made in terms of a songs direction & elements. While the aim of performing these tracks soon in a live context adds a requirement of precision in the construction of the tracks, that will produce the most efficent arrangements capturing the essence of each songs story, but also leaving room for the flourishes and character that each individual performance brings out. With such a mix of strong male/female vocals & stories it’s hard to elevate some over others but tracks by Ills Winter, A girl named Mo, and Miloux are all highlights. Loop records here. Facebook here. Website here. 13th Floor interview here.

    Cover imagePosts from Planet Earth / The Hopkinsville Goblins.
    Electro-acoustic punky funk-rock studio only project, supposedly recorded using clapped out instruments, 2 track / 4 track tapes and outdated software in different garages, living rooms and basements around New Zealand. A weird mish-mash that has a murky Lo-Fi charm reminiscent of the Athens sound of early REM jams. Blog here. Elsewhere piece here. Spotify here.

     

     

    Cover image[A] sides.
    Signed to Sony at just 18, Brooke Fraser has proved to be one of Wellington’s most successful music exports. Her 2003 debut What To Do With Daylight made her a household name with hits like Better and the timeless Arithmetic. The title track to her 2007 follow-up Albertine celebrated her passion for Africa while the album gave us the massive singles Deciphering Me and Shadow Feet, & won an APRA Silver Scroll. Flags, released in 2010, opened the international floodgates with the worldwide smash Something In The Water, a Gold selling single in six countries. Last album Brutal Romantic recorded in the UK saw her develop her sound more in an electronic direction with the singles Kings & Queens and Magical Machine. Prefigured by IV, a collection of 4 unreleased tracks released earlier this year, ‘A-Sides’ brings together fourteen singles from Brooke’s fourteen-year career along with a brand new track ‘Therapy’ recorded with Joel Little in Los Angeles. Fraser has had a hand in many of Hillsong’s bigger hits, but this collection focuses on her shift from the early folk that had her tagged as a Christian singer-songwriter, to more fully fledged secular modern electro-pop artist. Plenty of great familiar tracks here that chart her growth as an artist. New single ‘Therapy’ hints at even further musical shifts. Website here. Facebook here.

    Cover imageStuck in New Zealand / The Eversons.
    More catchy tunes from the now London based The Eversons. The retro teenage skinny-tie power pop comes off like a cleverer version of Weezer, or Rooney, backed up with a seemingly inexhaustible knowledge of musical styles and pop culture. Novelty single Weird Year is also great fun. A great one to rock out with for summer. Lil’ Chief records.Facebook here. Website here. Elsewhere review.

     

     

    Cover imageStir it up : Aotearoa’s tribute to Bob Marley.
    Not strictly a ‘Wellington’ release but rather a New Zealand compilation, however 7 of its 15 tracks are from Wellington artists so it seems fitting to highlight it here. Universal Music commissioned New Zealand some artists to interpret songs from Bob Marley’s catalogue, and the result is ‘Stir It Up’ curated by Elsewhere’s Graham Reid. There’s no denying the influence of Reggae in New Zealand music & Bob Marley specifically. The message in his songs resonated heavily within the socio-political context of NZ in the 70s, and the timeless nature of his songs still inspires and influences, as demonstrated in this compilation as contemporary artists connect with the spirit & legacy of his music. Features Wellington artists Tomorrow People, Aaradhna, Trinity Roots, Thomas Oliver, Drax Project, David Grace (who fronted 80s Wellington reggae band ‘Dread, Beat & Blood’), and Hollie Smith. Hard to pick a fave among the Welly tracks but Trinity Roots & Thomas Oliver definitely bring it. Facebook page here. Elsewhere piece here. Website here.


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