Archive for the Brunswick Soundtrack Category

The Circle of Lunch

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Utter Trivia on October 14, 2009 by brunswick

Okay, when I made a grilled chicken salad I had some tahini left over, so I made hummus and now I have dukkah spice left over… so I’ll make something else using the dukkah spice, and eventually – maybe several years from now – I’ll use the final leftover ingredient to make another grilled chicken salad.

Overdue Soundtrack:
Five Guys Walk Into a Bar… ~The Faces
Actor ~St. Vincent
The Stone Roses ~The Stone Roses

Probably depends how many toddlers vanish into thin air

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Unwarranted criticism, Utter Trivia on October 9, 2009 by brunswick


ME: What? What did I do?

THE WEATHER: Oh, you know.

ME: Obviously not, or else I wouldn’t be aski- Hey! Stop that!

THE WEATHER: Not until you apologise.

My displeasure at this extremely awful weather (was there any time today when it wasn’t raining?) is checked by the knowledge that other Pacific Islands are suffering a lot worse from the same movements. I wonder if the national mood will lift once it starts getting warmer?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Flying Nun bands from the early ’90s recently, the talented ones that came and went too early to benefit from the astonishing national embrace of all bands New Zealandy, one of the biggest culture shifts we’ve seen. It’s hard now to remember a time when the only local bands played on mainstream radio were those who had given up trying to get anything done here, (faced with prejudice, inertia, lack of recording facilities and no infrastructure, never mind funding) and instead headed overseas to achieve some sort of validation. How the survivors of the indie ’80s and ’90s bands must gnash their teeth when they look at the local music scene of the past decade.

Anika Moa is a goddess

Posted in A Good Whinge, Brunswick Soundtrack, Unwarranted criticism on October 8, 2009 by brunswick

After watching the NZ Music Awards, all I can say is thank god for Anika Moa. Barefoot, sweary, and funny as hell, she was the only person taking the piss out of this pompous, shambolic affair. Traditionally New Zealanders are very good at doing a half-arsed job. It’s only been in the past ten years we’ve started expecting effusive congratulations for this.

Smashproof and Gin Wigmore did an okay run-through of their all-conquering hit, but hilariously Wigmore was stranded on a plinth for much of the number with nothing to do except wait for the chorus, and they had this strange thing at the end where a bunch of kids wearing pink ribbons and black T-shirts lined up on the stage – except that when they turned around, the TV camera was too far away to read whatever slogan they had printed on their backs.

Poor, awesome, stooped, daggy Ladyhawke. Never put someone with Aspergers in a situation where they have to be hugged and kissed a lot, and then address a large group of people, say… the whole of Vector Arena.

I also had to stop shouting “Fuck off!” whenever Midnight Youth won something, as they won a lot of awards. My god, it takes most bands decades to become that dull. I didn’t realise how tiny the lead singer is, perhaps he is Woody Allen from the ’70s. They were totally blown away by the Mint Chicks, who are a far more interesting band, covering ‘She’s A Mod’.

I’m also slightly depressed that Ray Columbus & The Invaders formed at the end of the ’50s, yet their big hit is a transparent Beatles pastiche, complete with headshaking, Beatles suits and haircuts, and “Yeah yeahs”. It was hard being a band in the early ’60s unless you could do stuff like that. Ask the Kinks.

2009 NZ Music Awards

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Unwarranted criticism on October 2, 2009 by brunswick

It’s been emphasised that the upcoming NZ Music Awards isn’t like the APRA Silver Scroll Award, which is all about the quality of the songwriting. After listening to the finalists I can say that’s probably for the best. The finalists have all sold a lot and are very popular, and none of their albums are exactly terrible, but there’s a depressing mediocrity to some of them, and if they weren’t local albums they probably wouldn’t have achieved release here. I’m not saying this to be mean, and as someone in their mid-thirties I’m way out of their target market, but I do listen to a lot of music and I recognise blandness when I hear it.

A fortnight after listening to You And I by Cut Off Your Hands, all I can recall is that I enjoyed it. I can’t actually remember any of the songs. Giving it a quick runthrough again, it has some of that appealing indie-’90s NZ sound (see any classic Flying Nun album), with rather a lot of The Smiths and The Cure thrown in. It’s scrappy and a lot of fun.

Fat Freddy’s Drop are professional and consistent, and Dr Boondigga and the Big BW is as solid as any of their releases. It’s about as exciting as a really good cup of tea, but they seem to be going for the older stoner market anyway. It’s what account managers in their late twenties who are just starting to develop massive potbellies put on the stereo while getting dressed for Sunday brunch at the Matterhorn.

Ladyhawke’s self-titled album is easily my favourite of this bunch. It’s been criticised for riding the whole ’80s revival wave (see also the excellent La Roux) but I like her influences and her whole high-functioning Aspie seriousness, which I believe is something she shares with Gary Numan. She reminds me of the excellent, underrated British electropop band Robots in Disguise, but without the associated Mighty Boosh wackiness.

Midnight Youth are truly dreadful, full of empty, earnest gestures cribbed from Coldplay and early U2. They are immensely popular amongst the easily impressed. Everyone in the band is super-handsome except for the lead singer, who looks like a tall, balding ’70s-period Woody Allen. The nicest thing I can say about their album The Brave Don’t Run is that it’s very well produced. The songs say absolutely nothing. They come from nowhere, and I don’t believe they’re going anywhere after this… although, depressingly, The Feelers have just celebrated their 10th anniversary of being completely fucking awful, haven’t they?

Again, the production of Smashproof’s The Weekend is impressive, and you have to give them credit for trying to express something in their songs. Even if the album is extraordinarily derivative and pleads rather too hard for its own staunchness and authenticity. For some reason, although all of these albums are sung with American accents, it really grates on this particular one. For a nation who hates poseurs so much, we tolerate a lot of this in our popular music. Still, this is the most identifiably New Zealand album of the bunch. I also like how Gin Wigmore looks and sounds like an querulous duck.

So, where were Minuit? SJD? Dimmer? Ah, it’s just a popularity contest.

They can’t all be zingers

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack on August 2, 2009 by brunswick

Slow Day Soundtrack:
For the Roses ~Joni Mitchell
Black Monk Time ~The Monks
Vento De Maio ~Elis Regina

“Does it work?” “Uh… yeah! Yeah!”

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Jitterati, Utter Trivia on July 27, 2009 by brunswick

An interesting Grauniad article about Shaun Tan, author of The Arrival.


One of those days where you wait around for ages and then everything happens at once. Like WWI without the shrapnel. Our new fridge arrived at the precise moment that I was trying to make my deadline for Jitterati. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried helping a Japanese couple manoeuvre a 25-year old fridge down dark steps to the sound of “Tora! Tora!”

Expansion Valve Soundtrack:
Followed by a Trail of Sparks ~Good Laika
Live at AL’s ~Hera
Pot Boiler ~The Verlaines

Public whizzing

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Utter Trivia on July 10, 2009 by brunswick

This week, for some reason, I’ve walked past three people pissing in the street. The first was drunk and using a doorway at night, the second was using the side of Victoria University at a time when it was still open and several hundred toilets were easily accessible (at least he had the grace to laugh with embarrassment), and the third I encountered at 4:30 this afternoon on Plunket St, in broad daylight. He was trying to make it look as though he was texting, but his failure was absolute. No wonder Wellington reports so many cases of swine flu – the men never wash their damn hands.

No closure on Condomgate, unfortunately. There were about five people in the flat at the time, but everyone denies involvement. Maybe it was a prophylactic poltergeist, like the ghost cat of Hawera.

Wellington Community Law Centre is a wonderful resource.

It’s About Time For Another Soundtrack:
Wrestle Poodles …and Win! ~Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Love is a Moron ~Phil Judd
Junior ~Röyksopp

Slivers and chemicals

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Utter Trivia on July 4, 2009 by brunswick

I was supposed to help a friend move flats today but I was informed that I was surplus to requirements, which nonplussed me somewhat, but it’s probably for the best that I stayed home because it allowed me to clean more bits of the flat and take calls from new prospects. We’ve got someone coming over tomorrow who has a friend looking for a second room in a few weeks, so I hope she likes what she sees.

I tried cleaning the front of the flat to make a more presentable first impression when people come up the path, but I discovered that if I scrub hard enough to remove lichen, it also takes off most of the paint. And chunks of the actual wall.

I’m listening again to Fripp & Eno’s 1973 album No Pussyfooting, which is basically two long tracks of Robert Fripp playing guitar while Brian Eno messes around with the recordings. This new edition has extra tracks recreating a John Peel session where the entire album was accidentally played in reverse over the air without anyone noticing, the audio equivalent of hanging a piece of modern art upside-down. Apparently when Eno, polite as ever, called in to point out that the music sounded as though it was being played backwards, the BBC wearily responded with “that’s what they all say”.

Tedium averted… or merely delayed?

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Cartoon stuff, Jitterati, Lovely pictures, Shameless Namedropping on June 22, 2009 by brunswick


Righto, I didn’t do a Jitterati about the smacking referendum (although I wrote an okay script I might use in a few weeks) but I did one about Chris Knox instead. I also had an idea for a project which involves… stickers.

It’s Late & I’m Tired Soundtrack:
Submarine Bells ~The Chills
Circa Scaria ~An Emerald City
Free Fall ~Jimmy Giuffre

Jackson St odyssey

Posted in Brunswick Soundtrack, Utter Trivia on June 16, 2009 by brunswick

Interesting place, Petone. Lambton Quay is pretty much upmarket chain stores now, with that particularly nasty bit at the Willis Street end filled with expensive clothing and accessory stores. Their combination of high price, middling quality and essential uselessness makes them the closest thing Wellington retail has to a House of Romanov.

Anyway, Petone’s Jackson Street is much more interesting, like Cuba Street used to be. I went on safari yesterday with the refulgent Coco, and we took about four hours to cover three-quarters of the street. We made an extended detour to Mitre 10 Mega, which sells a fascinating selection of materials to make things out of, and tools to shape the materials, but there’s no section for instruction manuals or design ideas or anything which tells you how to use these things. I imagine the most devoted customers would be insulted at the suggestion that they were anything less than experts, but can you imagine a computer store with no how-to guides or a gourmet store with no cookbooks?

They also sell a range of branded Mitre 10 products, from playing cards to rugby balls, just like the Hard Rock Cafe.

By the time we emerged it was after 5pm, so we had to skip the Spice Shack and the Dutch Shop and other singular Petone attractions. I’d grabbed a second-hand washing machine pipe for a dollar, which proved to be an awkward thing to carry around the central city, like a ferret or a theremin.

Dust Motes in the Screaming Turtle Cafe Soundtrack:
Vain, Erudite and Stupid ~The Dead C
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George & Ira Gershwin Song Book
Don’t Do Anything ~Sam Phillips