24 March 2010

The boys are back in town

fourmyula08 More than 40 years since their psychedelic success in coloured kaftans, looking like the Wiggles on Star Trek, the Fourmyula shuffled on stage without pomp or ceremony. The band may be legendary, but its members never seemed like stars: they were the boys next door.

(More here.)

Home taping is killing music

michaelhoustoun No it’s not – but it’s hurt a lot of spivs in satin jackets. The hills are alive with the sound of music. So are the flat-lands of Manawatu. This just popped into my mailbox:

“Santa Claus welcomes you to

FREE Music Downloads



(just click here and you're away)

Here are the first in a series of recordings made specifically for the internet.

The works are J.S. Bach's  French Suite No. 5 in G, BWV816 and S. Rachmaninoff's Thirteen Preludes, Op.32

There will be music by Prokofiev, Brahms, Chopin and Debussy to follow.

All tracks are available in MP3 right through to 24bit super hi-fi versions.

So...just as soon as you've forwarded this message to your entire address book (smile), tune in, sit back, and make those tedious emails you have to write a lot happier!” 

Prompt: Howie’s Hot Five

22 March 2010

Do the Mash Potato

frisky 2 Are we all sitting up straight? We are. The demeanour of the woman in the purple hair and glitter mortarboard insists upon it. "Welcome," she says menacingly, "to the School of Pop."

More fun than Jack Black taking over the stereo: Frisky and Mannish deconstruct pop at the Festival of the Arts, Wellington. More here.

12 March 2010

Border Radio

As a band, Calexico is perfectly named: their music is a road trip to the cinematic imagination. It takes us to Calexico, a sun-bleached crossroads where a fleapit theatre plays Sergio Leone and John Ford westerns on permanent loop. (More here)

08 March 2010

My Baby Just Cares For Me

nina Lisa Nina Simone’s daughter Lisa – who goes by the stage name “Simone” - has put together a tribute show, Sing the Truth, which played the festival in Wellington on Saturday. During the day I ran into ceramicist Christine Harris, who reported that “Simone” had just bought her entire stage outfit – frock, earrings, hair clasp – from her daughter, Carly Harris (the woman who is single handedly bringing colour to New Zealand streets). The show was a knockout (as was the frock, if I can be allowed a Hartnell moment). I reviewed it for the New Zealand Herald online …


It was destiny, it was church. Nina Simone was called "the high priestess of soul" and the musicians and audience gather to pay homage, if not worship. They leave uplifted by four exhilarating African-American singers. (More here)

Since posting this review a couple of days ago, I have been contacted by the show’s producer in Brooklyn, NY, Danny Kapilian. In fact it was Danny who conceived, produced and recruited the artists for Sing the Truth. I’m happy to give credit where it’s due, especially as he was behind the great Harry Nilsson tribute CD from the mid-1990s, For the Love of Harry.

01 March 2010

Darwinism at play

Tsu1nzh“I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky” (John Masefield). New Zealanders, feeling as lonely as lemmings, flock to the coast once again at the first hint of a tsunami warning. Mt Maunganui residents, captured by Christine Cornege, set up picnics on the sand.




Wellingtonians, Craig Simcox observes, frolic in the all together. It is only the second fine day since November, after all, and time is running out. Do these people have the vote? Or just long for a “quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over …”