Archive for the Brunswick Soundtrack Category

What Noisy Cats & Bikini Roulette at Mighty Mighty

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Unwarranted criticism on June 23, 2011 by brunswick

It’s not often that a band’s first public gig is so anticipated, but not every band contains Matt Pender. So, were Bikini Roulette going to be a Beady Eyes or a Zwan?

What Noisy Cats played their complex, mournful soundscapes until Mighty Mighty filled up, and an interesting crowd it was, too – hardcore OdESSA fans at the front and hipsters at the back, along with several ex-members of OdESSA and their former manager. The hipster tide receeded at this particular venue some years ago, and I was spectacularly unimpressed with the rudeness of the bar manager, considering the place wasn’t exactly heaving when I tried to order a drink.

Anyway, by the time WNC finished with a rousing cover of ‘Suffragette City’, the place was packed. The initial impression of Bikini Roulette was Shihad playing Oak Park Avenue, which is no bad thing. Pender’s considerable singing and dancing abilities are undiminished, although there’s a new focus on the muscular guitar solos of Adrian Win, who manipulates his instrument like Willy Wonka with a big ladle stirring up a batch of sound chocolate. Admittedly I left to take a whizz during the sole slow number, but the acoustics of Mighty Mighty means that bands often sound better in the can.

I hope this works out for everyone, goodness knows what happens to new bands in the current musical climate. Hopefully they’ll record something as soon as possible (they have about half an hour of original material right now) and we can continue to savour it for years to come.

Amanda Palmer in Civic Square

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Lovely pictures on February 18, 2011 by brunswick


That was lots of fun. Crowd-surfing with a ukulele, and the hilarious gothic accordion gurning of ‘Evelyn Evelyn‘ partner Jason Webley (pictured at top). There was a bit of a wobbly start, with Palmer having to consult a fan for the lyrics of Cuba St-plugging song ‘New Zealand’, and her cracked voice faced serious competition from an adjacent Webstock party in the Town Hall, and the tiny minority of AFP’s obsessive fans who try to get her attention by shouting at her during her performance and will not shut up.

This is why I’ve never wanted to attend one of her concerts, I don’t fancy being in an enclosed space with these damaged narcissists who are in thrall to their own numerous personal problems and don’t know how to behave in public.

‘Horse Outside’ by The Rubberbandits

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Sound & Vision on December 17, 2010 by brunswick

I hope you find this as strangely compelling as I do, from the extras trying not to crack up at the Rubberbandits’ pasty-white Thriller dancing, to the models wearing horse’s heads. Apparently it’s #2 on the Irish charts. New Zealand could do cheap yet hilarious stuff like this, if we didn’t take ourselves so seriously.

Contracts and research

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Fitz Bunny: Lust For Glory on January 18, 2010 by brunswick

I’ve signed off on the contract for the Auckland performance of FB:L4G. It guarantees me some interesting rights, including merchandising (!) and the size of my name on the publicity material. I also grabbed a copy of the 2007 issue of Playmarket News which has several photos from the Wellington production, including the mischievous insertion of a photo of Enderby the hedgehog holding a ‘SPREAD THE PINK’ sign (which is presently in my bedroom) in an article on theatre controversy.

I’ve also been researching the upcoming Super City elections. Funnily enough, the consolidation of the Auckland Regional Council, the four city councils and the three district councils is no longer being promoted as a way of saving Auckland ratepayers money. If I were a well-placed, wealthy local body politician with a high public profile and a ruthless streak, I’d be finding it very hard to keep the look of utter glee off my face until November.

Lord Mayor soundtrack:
Paul’s Boutique ~Beastie Boys
Diamonds and Pearls ~Prince
Glitter and Doom Live ~Tom Waits

Genesis. Yes, really.

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack on January 13, 2010 by brunswick

Shamefully, I’ve been listening to a lot of Genesis recently. Not the millions-selling, critically reviled Phil Collins era, the early prog stuff. I can only offer this in defence:

It’s an extremely handsome box set, and I’m a sucker for packaging.

I don’t mind Progressive Rock. I found out ages ago that if I can listen to Frank Zappa, I can stomach almost anything.

Seriously, a double-disc concept album about a street kid on a transcendental search for his soul? From a band comprised of Charterhouse schoolboys? With song titles like ‘Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist’? Puts My Chemical Romance into perspective, doesn’t it?

Actually, as I listen to Selling England by the Pound, it reminds me of early Split Enz, when Phil Judd and Tim Finn were still in charge.

I like Peter Gabriel (but that’s another story).

Jarvis Cocker & The Phoenix Foundation

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Jitterati, Unwarranted criticism on December 3, 2009 by brunswick

If you ever wondered what happened to Generation X, we were at the Town Hall tonight watching a 46-year old Brit contort himself into unnatural poses. How’s this for self-confidence – instead of playing his old Pulp hits, he stuck to his two solo albums. He could’ve pulled out “Common People” at any point, but no! He could’ve hit us with “Mis-Shapes”, “Help the Aged”, “Disco 2000”, “Do You Remember the First Time” or “This is Hardcore”. Go ahead, Jarvis, it’s okay – Pulp bassist Steve Mackey is in your backing band! He could’ve aired the songs he wrote for Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. Or “Running the World” from Children of Men, with the best chorus ever. But no! And yet, the show was fantastic, despite the appalling sound.

I felt sorry for The Phoenix Foundation, playing some great songs to a largely disinterested thirty-something audience. Even their excellent single “40 Years” didn’t raise much response. Peter pointed out that when you have seven band members playing at once there aren’t many gaps in the wall of sound they produce, and for such a popular band their stage presence was dire. It looked like a grim job, and the banter between Sam Scott and Luke Buda (looking like hairy portly Lennon-McCartneys) was barbed with their lack of enthusiasm.

Cocker, by comparison, barely stood still the entire time he was on stage. Still impossibly thin (especially compared to Scott and Buda) he treated us to his entire gamut of sighs, microphone play, wiggles and yelps. Even though the songs he performed weren’t his strongest material, it was still awesome.

I recognized lots of people. Often this wasn’t a good thing – specifically, the aloof ex who hasn’t spoken to me in seven years and the imaginary purple water buffalo, strutting around like the fat, grinning cnut he is. I was also distracted by the antics of some of my friends in their early twenties who were either extremely happy or on some very good drugs. There may have been a stage invasion. There may have been biting.

Earlier in the day Capital Times interviewed me about the Jitterati book. There’s no better way to spend lunchtime than talking about yourself while an attractive journalist asks intelligent questions.

The energy drink for when you feel like paying double for nothing much at all

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Unwarranted criticism on November 26, 2009 by brunswick

The latest imported energy drink available at Chaffer’s Park New World is Emerge. Imported from the UK, this little tube which proudly proclaims its price to be “35p” on the can has somehow been inflated from NZ$0.80 to $1.69 on its long journey, but that’s okay, because we’re used to paying double for imported goods, aren’t we?

Waaaait… this isn’t the Seventies anymore! Someone’s ripping us off!

…Wait, everyone’s ripping us off!

That makes it okay, then. Everyone back to chewing grass.

Anyway, Emerge has nothing to distinguish it from several other energy drinks. Just another yellow fizz that tastes like battery acid.

I was thinking about energy drinks again because a few days ago I walked past a ten year-old kid in Kelburn greedily slurping Red Bull from one of the large 355ml cans, which contains as much caffeine as 1.5 espressos. Although it says ‘Not suitable for children’ on the can, there’s nothing to legally prevent them from being sold to kids. Dairies can be bloody irresponsible, can’t they?

Yesterday I saw another kid in town drinking a Mother energy drink (another 1.5 espressos) who was about eleven. This is the problem when something is advertised as being ultra-masculine and giving you instant power*. What little boy wouldn’t find that irresistible?

Manly Soundtrack:
Mister Pop ~The Clean
Metropolis: The Chase Suite EP ~Janelle Monae
Love Symbol Album ~Prince

*”By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!” I never actually watched this show as a kid, it’s something else, like rugby, that I completely missed out on growing up. Despite appearances, I’m the straightest guy I know.