I was driving through town, what's left of it, on this beautiful Christchurch day listening to The Buzzcocks (below) as one naturally does, when upon hearing 'Love Battery' I got thinking about all the other sexist songs in my record collection. At least the ones I could remember strictly off the top of my head, dredging the memory banks for two minutes.
So here they are, some oldies but goodies.
More suggestions welcome in comments (no rap crap)
The Recording Industry of N.Z has issued ISP Orcon the first infringement notices for illegal downloads. The notices, seventy-five in total, specifically target the heinous crime of down-loading the latest abominations by Lady GaGa and Rihanna. Regrettably The Copyright Tribunal has the right to only fine convicted copyright infringers a paltry $15,000. $15K is totally out of whack for a crime of this nature and an insult to public decency. I ask you does the punishment meet the crime? Surely just listening to Rihanna is a prisonable offence in itself, the purchase of a Lady GaGa album enough to justify the amputation of a limb? Frankly the current copywrite law is toothless unless we can see public executions by guillotine for those that flout musical decency and commit three offences (a.k.a Crimes against Humanity) in respect to Lady GaGa, Rihanna and their ilk? Say buying a DVD and 'Best Of' collection. I’m sure The Conservative Party has this as one of their ‘non negotiable’ polices.
The line-up for Laneway 2012 (Auckland) has been announced and I have already sent away for a brochure from a cryogenics lab. I plan to put my body placed in a freezer next to Walt Disney’s head and unfrozen the day after Laneway – when is the date again? I’ve forgotten already and planned to cut the lawns instead. I mean it’s not hard to be under-whelmed is it? After trolling down the performers list I was half expecting my sons Cathedral Choir to feature (no bull my son sings in a choir) Aussies Soundwave Concerts have the likes of Marilyn Manson, Limp Bizkit, Cobra Starship. Laneway has blankets for the crowd so they don’t get all goose-bumpy cold listening to Gotye and Feist. Cripes my 13 year old daughter is into Feist, as well as large doses of the Disney Channel. With the ‘High School Musical’ feel to it Laneway 2012 can no longer a bonefidi rock concert in the traditional sense of the term, parodying summer concerts you get in vineyards with bands dragged from the same freezer I’m going to be stored in. The sad thing is the most interesting artist on the line-up is our own Shane Carter. If you want cutting edge forget Lameway 2012 plan for a big day in the garden.
Once upon a time, a distant era in internet terms, 2 years ago every band under the sun had a myspace site. In a crude hark back to the infancy of social networking bands would accrue as many ‘friends’ as possible on myspace as some badge of coolness. “Wow are they really mates with The Buzzcocks?” Well no, not exactly – just some geek who set up a fan site run out of his bedroom in Birmingham. Visually myspace had a look of a Salvador Dali painting, cluttered, but bands put up with its flaws like slow-loading because it was the place to be seen and heard. The process of being heard and connecting with fans has now well and truly been superseded by Facebook and Twitter, so myspace is left pushing the immediacy of the artists music. Behind the scenes myspace was a friggin’ nightmare for those who hadn’t studied computer science at varsity or those over 30. Music fans can now by-pass myspace and go to Bandcamp, listen and download music which has a much more traditional web-site format. Unlike myspace bands can also upload and sell their music and sundry merch over Bandcamp – so artists prod their Facebook fans off to Bandcamp to listen to the latest single in the hope 1 in 10 buys a copy. Many new bands now by-pass myspace altogether and set up a Bandcamp site. Without tempting a letter from Rupert Murdochs lawyers in its current format myspace is doomed to wilt away.
In my experience per head of population Kiwi’s are amongst the most frequent uses of anecdotes. Seemingly Every 2nd person believes in ghosts, argues the ethicacy of horoscopes, herbs treat Aids, magnets cures the loss of a limb, the benefits giving birth in a 2 metre ocean swell with whales etc. Alarmingly Kiwi’s consistently embrace trends which defy common sense. Enter from stage left, the one with its own hippy commune, ‘The Mozart Effect’ which according to my wife’s good friend “increases ones intelligence”. I was too nice to point-out the fact it hadn’t worked on her. The general spiel here is listening to classic music purportedly increases the temporal areas of ones brain, resulting in an increase of brain-power, higher IQ’s. Gullible parents are playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto’s to their brats, in the same fashion as no doubt Mr and Mrs Hitler did and the world saw what great results they got for young Adolf with his love of the Austrian composer. Like most crappy trends the birth-place of The Mozart Effect is The United States of America – that in itself should ring alarm bells. A minor, later totally discredited study in a second tare medical publication was latched onto by an uncritical mass media and grows legs on its own. Before someone in the scientific community points out “it’s a load of crap” it’s too late and tea-cup anecdotes become fact. Undeterred at these wishy-washy scientific facts its proponents, the ones selling tapes and books, now seize their market advantage and embellish their unfounded claims by saying it can cure cancer as well as making bigger brains. Conveniently these spruikers fail to mention Mozart himself died at the ripe old age of 35 as well as suffering from depression, renal issues and enough medical ailments throughout his fleeting life to fill a bucket full of leeches. By the way the other rumour that “Rap music kills brain cells” is entirely true. You read that fact here first.
Side Kick Nicks debut (only?) album ‘Miscellaneous Adventures’ has been on CD rotation in my car for yonks now, yet to be honest I hadn’t done any homework on Nick, the guy behind one of the best Kiwi albums of the last five years. Seriously if you haven’t got this album you deserve the new series of The X-Factor. So thanks to the wonders of google I was able to do a bit of research which would be selfish not to share. Included is the ultimate in lazy journalism – a You Tube interview (below) Bullet Magazine provided a great interview, excellent morsels, like the project took nine years to write and complete. Music-wise that’s the time stalagmites take to form, but as they say in the cheese advert some-things take longer. His influences included 3D’s and The Beatles when I would have picked Beck and Blur. He hates bands/composers that don’t try and do something different, saying 99% of the stuff we get dished up nowadays is the same-old, same-old. Isn’t that the truth?! SKN is a sideline from Voom a band he’s in. Ironically, perhaps further evidence that N.Z is a one-horse town, I flogged a Voom song in a promo I did for The Naseby Luge (refer below, like my feet?) Oh yeah before I forget He being Nick has a surname. It’s Buckton. You need his album. Play it lots like me and get reminded it exists when you stumble on-to Karen Hay and Andrew Fagan’s evening show on Radio Live. ‘Amputee Acrobat’ is their theme-song, in case you were scratching your head wondering where you had heard it before.
Hardly a day goes by without another Rugby World Cup Music Video pouring from the bowels of You Tube.
Amidst the RWC enthusiastic (the best praise I can issue) All Black supporter videos have appeared from bedrooms/studies around the country.
These supporter videos fall generally into three camps:
(a.)JUST NOT FUNNY: This particular pervading vein of comedy has always escaped me. I’m more a Monty Python, League of Gentlemen follower than say Benny Hill. I just don’t find the ubiquitous reworked corny-song to be interesting. To the contrary I find them cringe-worthy. If you have something to say satirically – then by all means go ahead – use music, but at least be original, mildly amusing.
(b.)JUST NOT GOOD: C for effort and D for innate talent.
(c.) MELODRAMATIC TWADDLE: It's a friggin' game of sport not a ballad about a dog with cancer.
If you are brave enough, check some of these ‘creations’ below (think: the Frankenstein version of the term creation)
Health Warning: Not to be viewed by anyone with a full stomach, on heart medication.
When the Rugby World organisers came to picking a song that embodied the Kiwi enthusiasm for the game, tournament solidarity etc they fittingly choose a one-hit-wonder by a light-weight British band that crashed and burned.
But let’s face it, music and rugby in New Zealand have never mixed -so why stop a century plus of tradition?
Kiwi Music is something skinny soccer-playing poofs do - fuck em!
Real men do haka’s drink beer, eat pies, play rugby and struggle to even do a rendition of the national anthem in public.
At dances women sit in gaggles on the other side of the hall, until socially inept males get enough beer in their guts they can muster enough fortitude to start up a conversation, then proceed to dance like a McSkimmings brick on P.
Don’t you know that 'real men' in New Zealand live vicariously through the exploits of a single sporting entity, worship at their altar, in dressed and undressed states, yet by-in-large never actually play the game they claim to love.
Real Kiwi chicks dream of themselves being at the centre of an All Black gang-bang with Ritchie and Dan at the head of the line, then proudly slipping the DVD into the player to show their neurotic mates ‘over the tea cups’ their sexual exploits and lustfully pondering “I wonder who’s baby it is I’m carrying?” Little wonder Kiwi womanhood purchase more sex toys per head than any other female population on the planet.
Face it, after a century of supporting their beloved All Blacks, Kiwi fans have yet even construct a single chant, apart for the moronic, migraine inducing “Black, Black, Black” which sounds like the back-seat of a sheltered-workshop bus trip to the zoo.
So the idea of producing a Kiwi Rugby Songs ‘Rucks, Tries &Choruses: The History Of NZ Rugby... In Song’ was on par with the principal of a hip-hop album by Kyle Chapman and The National Front, inclusive of a re-make of 'Melting Pot.'
This is THE most dire, banal record to ever grace the shelves of New Zealand. It makes 100 Great Organ Hits by John Hoare (Music World) look like Dark Side of the Moon.
Here is a sample of the platitudinous load of sheep-droppings that audaciously masquerades as N.Z music:
Doug Catley & The Fernleafs - Big Bad Don
Paul Walden With Garth Young - When The All Blacks ComeMarching In
Lew Pryme With Winston Mccarthy - The Feat Of Fantastic Fergie
Black Bolt & The Silver Ferns - Give Em A Taste Of Kiwi
Miramar Chess Club - I'll Never Be An All Black
John Pike & Hop Owens & The Hop Heads - Rugby Rock
The Howard Morrison Quartet - My Old Man's An All Black
The album ‘Rucks, Tries and Choruses’ is a frankly an insult to ones intelligence & ear drums. For the radio-blurb to suggest “This is Rugby Heaven” makes me want to leap from a high diving board, plunge head-first into eternal-damnation's 'pit of fire' yelling "yipeeeeee!"
Seriously - do they supply a vomit bucket with every CD?
Still I guess this is kulture in New Zealand.
It’s not as if we produce say plastic wakas, eh?
Far be from me to criticise the countries ruling order, the Pol Pots that put-together this 'musical killing field', even if they do wear y-fronts and gumboots to bed.
It’ll probably go # 1 in the N.Z Charts.
PS: Don’t fret, there is a song by one of The Finn Brothers, isn’t there always?
Fuck I hate ‘official’ songs written especially for sporting events. Invariably they fail, a might like The All Blacks when it comes to competing at World Cup Rugby tournaments. There have only been two decent theme songs written for sporting events in my living memory (both below) Scrape below the scab of the official theme song and you’ll also find a plethora of sporting-event-induced fan-videos/songs, 99.9% of which are so sickly you puke after the first line of the lyrics, your body organs stop functioning inclusive of bowels. Moving the loss of bodily functions theme along in tandem with the Rugby World Cup, we have the piss-takers like 'The Man on The Street' (above) who make absolutely no attempt beefing-up their chosen teams credentials when it comes to penning a tune – they tell it like it is – stuff who they up-set. Can we even call this an All Blacks 'Supporter' video(?) Who gives a rats, piss-takers automatically get a 20 point head-start per my rule-book.
Got my mits on inaugural copy of the new weekly Kiwi music mag ‘Volume’ the other-day (6th Sept with Drab Doo Riffs on the cover) If # 1 is anything to go by - what a cracker addition to the Kiwi music scene ‘Volume’ will be. The format harks back to those rustic days of Rip it Up. Nifty articles, fringe cartoons, adverts worthy of inclusion based on artistic merit alone, interviews, the smell of newsprint, album reviews, snippets of wots-up in the main centres, gig guide. All the good stuff, all in a format which means it can be consumed easily with a pint of beer. Coming your way outta Auckland every Tuesday, I thoroughly recommend you seek out ‘Volume’ at your local record shop. Free is also a great price.
The Natgeo station on Sky is running a series called ‘Taboo’ featuring the eccentric, weird and wonderful habits of the planets inhabitants. Guys that dress as babies, weirdos that think they are vampires, brothers who fuck sisters etc. You get the picture. Last week’s episode (2nd video below) concentrated loosely on ‘hoarders’ and last up was a record collector from Philadelphia called Jerry Webber. For the record (no pun intended) this bloke is not one of those stereotypical deranged hoarders – Jerry is a true collector, an archivist that needs a medal. His collection is around 2 million pieces of vinyl occupying about 90 percent of the converted warehouse, come home. Fucking oath, he sleeps surrounded by his collection. What’s more he runs a record-shop called simply ‘Jerry’s Records’ which has at any one time approx a million items on sale! This guy is a friggin’ legend, enough to restore anyones faith in human nature. His shop is a massive treasure trove with vinyl ‘for Africa.’ These You Tubes will get all record-collectors salivating and thinking “if there is an after-life - this must be heaven!”
In the same week I heard some positive earthquake news, suicide-rates had dropped post quake, I came across a person who actually attended the Dave Dobbyn with the Christchurch Sympathy (sic) Orchestra Concert last night. Naturally I instructed him to remove all poisons, solvents and sharp-objects from his household, least he is overcome with dark-thoughts as a result of attending, what the uber-conservative Christchurch Press reviewer headlined ‘Orchestra can’t improve Dobbyn’. The only way of improving Yoda’s conjoined twin would be to get him drunk, strip him of his Old Testament and teleport him back to when The Dudes were doing pubs and every ‘young thing’ they could get their grubby paws on. It goes without saying last night Dobbyn played such ghastly numbers as ‘Slice of Heaven’ and purportedly as tragic as this sounds some of the audience danced, that’s to say threw off the blankets on their laps before their nurses recommended calming down for the sake of their health. Dobbyn and his legion of living-dead need reminding of Friedrich Nietzsche immortal words “In heaven all the interesting people are missing.” The actual concept of a classical/hybrid version of ‘Whaling’ is enough to produce my own wailing akin to a Middle Eastern woman at a funeral. In a city overcome with post earthquake morose Dave Dobbyn with an Orchestra is like inviting Leonard Cohen to sing at a children’s birthday party. Moving the Nietzsche theme on – this video below is what a proper ‘buck me up’ concert in Christchurch should have looked like. I’ll run the idea by the committee at The Rannerdale War Veterans Home for their stamp of approval.
This is one weird instrument, a three string bass that looks like it was constructed for a stream-punk concert. It sounds very Joy Division(ish) in parts – exactly what you would envisage when you catch sight of it. I just wish the guy hadn’t kept strumming it for the entire clip and plucked instead, so we could hear what it could do then.
Watching this You Tube on Chris Knox and The Enemy reminded me about my first ever ‘punk’ gig. Punk in Christchurch was in 1978 was, its fair to say, a fairly middleclass affair. I was mates with Mark Brooks of ‘The Vauxhalls’ through primary school and they were playing at Mollett Street (footnote: the old of Mollett Street venue has recently been pulled-down, yet another victim to the earthquake on the 22nd) one Sunday night. Yes, Sunday and it took a lot of persuading to get the ‘green light’ from the folks to take mums car into town with school the next day. Mollett Street was the epitome of what a good punk venue should be: compact, dingy, peeling paintwork, dubious sanitary facilities and with the acoustics of a large fridge freezer. Apart from The Vauxhalls there were two other bands on stage that night, neither of which I had a prior clue about. Another local band called ‘The Doomed’ and some crowd from Dunedin ‘The Enemy’. I remember little or nothing about ‘The Doomed’ except they played ‘Lowdown’ by Wire, but boy, even three decades later, do I remember heaps on ‘The Enemy’! Chris Knox stalking the stage like a twisted Charles Manson spreading his Kiwiana version of helter-skelter. The total ferocity of the groups sound, a bass wound up so loud it felt like they were giving you an enema (someone told me what one was like, in case you were wondering) Tribal drumming, guitar on max reverb. Then as if in some sort of black-mass ritual Knox began slashing his forearms. Talk about an eye-opener, up to this juncture in my life the only other bands I’d seen were doing renditions of The Sweet and Deep Purple in tie-die t-shirts. I think everyone in the crowd that night, 75 to 100 at best, was gob smacked and went home totally wired. The Enemy blew me away and I couldn’t wait to tell my mates at school what I had witnessed, left wondering 'if all punk bands were like this?' Sadly, no.
Saturday’s Christchurch Press brought a ray of sunshine to shine through the grey haze that presently permeates the lives of Christchurch live music fans.
The headline encapsulated the article, positive news ‘Dux owner sets up music venue’.
Dubbed ‘The Dux Live’ the new dedicated Music and Beer venue is being constructed in Addington, near the railway on Lincoln Road.
That’s a bonus as it hopefully means the ‘noise versus neighbours’ issue that haunted the last location, is mitigated some-what.
Could we see bands playing after ?
Speaking about noise another great bit of gossip I spotted in The Christchurch City Draft Plan was the proposal to allow select areas of town called ‘Entertainment Precincts’ be permitted higher noise thresholds. Lichfield Lanes were one area the article mentioned as a zone where it’ll likely be fine in future to pump the volume up.
Dux De Lux owner Richard Sinke is epitome of an entrepreneurial Cantabrian we need to celebrate and embrace for bringing Christchurch back to life.
‘The Dux Live’ open in a couple of months and a more relaxed attitude by The City Council to live-music in metro Christchurch – gotta be good.
Screams in to the southerly wind (for what it is worth): “why is it not possible to hold a music variety show of any kind in this god-damned country, without Dave ‘Fucking’ Dobbyn featuring on the billing?”
Earthquake Concert, Christchurch Arts Festival, World Rugby Cup Concert etc etc the list is seemingly endless.
Are there any ear-drums in New Zealand safe from this dire middle of the road drivel?
Is Dave Dobbyn ‘Exhibit A’ in prosecutions case that the music business in N.Z is one big daisy chain of mutual masturbation?
Does Dobbyn's popularity signal that middle New Zealand only cares about the welfare of overseas kids?
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only Kiwi to put my fingers in my ears and hum randomly at the mere prospect of another ghastly rendition of ‘Loyal’?
On one promo for an up and coming concert Dobbyn was described as being an iconic Kiwi, leading me to propose if idolic/icon worship is in vogue this is one graven image I’m going avoid, even if it does mean bathing in goats blood & listening to death metal non-stop for 7 days.
When Andrew Brough parted company with Straitjacket Fits in 1992 he returned home and formed Bike with Tristan Mason (bass) and Karl Buckley (drums) In a sad travisty of music history N.Z style ‘Take in The Sun’ (1996) replendent in it’s ghastly techni-colour cover, was their only major output. One friggin’ album was it. But what an album. It’s one of those rare records the more I play it the more I like it. Don’t believe what the chirlish critics have to say on this record. What were you expecting a Straitjacket Fits cover band? There was no Lennon/McCathy rivaly, intrigue between Carter and Brough going-on here either. No bones to pick over. Broughs shimmering guitars, magic vocals are best exhibited in his Bike project. This was a guy at the top of his game, on one fine,fine record. ‘Save my Life’ and ‘Keep you in Mine’ are great songs that should be on Kiwi compilations, should such compilations adhere to the novel idea of including the best songs and not the most popular. A year later there were two more Bike singles ‘Welcome to my World’ and ‘Circus Kids’ both of which were on the album anyway. Then nothing. Such a pity that was the last we heard of Mr Brough. I fervently hope the throngs reading this will trapes-out and buy the album, somehow reignite his creative passion. I remember reading somewhere he had ‘retreated from the music scene’ which is is PC term for ‘he’s had a fucking gutsful’. Regardless Andrew Brough’s legacy includes two of the best songs to come-out of New Zealand. Enjoy them below.
Footnote: I’m thinking of putting in my will “play ‘Save My Life’ at my funeral would ya.” Should get them all blubbering with a bit of luck. Morbid bastard eh?
Appearing like dapper creatures from another planet, this flippant magical mystery tour ‘You Tube’ clip from Roxy Music (1972) is an absolute diamond. Who the fuck needs special effects & large budget when a suave wardrobe is at hand? A worm hole into a period of musical/sociological history. An age when it was cool to dress pantomime and still be considered suave and cool. Speaking about cool – check out Eno’s keyboards. I bet you can play ‘space invaders’ on it as well. Hey Santa ya fat prick I want one of those suckers for Christmas! I can now die complete and happy.
Seriously how can anyone resist a You Tube gem like this? A piss-potted guy in his undies, doing an acoustic cover of Magazine’s ‘Motorcade’. What tipped it for me was his tourist t-shirt from New Zealand and an out of tune guitar. And he still pulls it off! Gotta love shit like this.
Amy Winehouse is dead, my respects and condolences go out to her family and friends.
Lazy journalists have kept telling the tabloid frenzied public Winehouse has joined a long list of rock stars that died aged 27. These include Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain etc. Is Amy Winehouse in the same class as any of the illustrious ‘dead before your time’ artists listed above? No, no. no.
Amy Winehouse was/is over-rated.
During her brief career her fame and notoriety revolved around her substance abuse, appalling taste in clothes, love-life etc more than her music, which most if not all was co-written.
She had just two albums, her debut (4 from a possible 5 stars on Allmusic) is good but hardly in the class of say ‘Electric Ladyland’ or ‘Nevermind’ etc.
The other one ‘Back to Black’ is, as my wife keeps telling me, excellent.
One excellent album from an output of two in say seven years doesn’t make Winehouse a megastar.
The last concert Winehouse gave she was booed off stage.
The U.K’s ‘Marketing Magazine’ readers voted her the most hated personality in The United Kingdom.
To be charitable she was polarising.
I can’t believe the gushing press she is now getting in death given her lack of impact on the musical universe, flimsy material she penned herself and dearth of singles – just five in seven years!
Please don’t tell me about Grammy’s either. Anyone who treats a Grammy seriously is in the same headspace which confuses The Disney Channel with The Documentary.
It is always sad when someone dies prematurely like this but please for fucks sake stop bolstering Winehouses thin musical credentials.