Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bye Bye 2010

For me 2010 was romped along at a startling pace and I find it hard to believe it's nearly over. I didn't really want to write a retrospective of the year but I have posted the video of The Eastern for good reason. This wonderful band has made a big, albeit unwitting, impact on my 2010, and as it turns out the rest of my life. Oh yeah that's some DEEP sh*t right there my friends.

Back in June I had an idea to put together a charity gig to help raise funds for the City Mission. I'd contacted a few people and wasn't really getting anywhere until The Eastern signed up in full force - banjos, mandolins, bells and all. Their enthusiasm buoyed me along until other bands and sponsors followed suit and within a very short space of time I found I had a proper event to manage. 'Can Out' was the first event/gig I'd managed and although it was thrown together in a hurry it was a great success. We collected hundreds of cans for the City Mission and had an absolute rip-snorter of a night.

I think the amazing vibe of that evening will stay with me for ever. During 'Can Out' I discovered that I really enjoyed managing events and with the redundancy of my graphic design job staring me in the face it seemed the time was right to change my career. So that's what I did. Now I'm working as an Events and Communications Coordinator and I put this change in my life down to one band saying 'yes' to a simple idea and following it through with full force like only The Eastern could. Their guts, their hearts and their passion for what's right has inspired me and I truly thank them for that.

Right, 'nuf said.

2010 is coming to a close and I hope you all have a great New Years Eve. Mine will be enjoyed romping round with friends and whanau out in the back blocks of Okuku. Bye bye 2010 HELLO 2011!

What's on this week?

Friday 31st Dec
The Ghost of The Grand Saloon with special guest Stompin Nick @ El Santo
Supercharger @ The Dux
DJ Tony Dizzle @ Goodbye Blue Monday
Salmonella Dub Live with DJ Digital (UK) @ The Bedford

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gaps filled and Round Up Wound Up

We had a pretty music focused weekend with a giggedy-gig to play on Friday and a must-see gig to attend on Saturday. We started out playing at Gap Filler on Friday which turned out to be the perfect venue for a bunch of ol' Loafers like us. The Gap Filler crew has done a marvellous job turning an empty carpark devoid of character into a lovely homely space - the quintessential 'kiwi backyard'.
The Gap filling up - Photo courtesy of Helga Von Trollop

Next on our weekend musical spree was the Roundup Grand Final at the Dux on Saturday night. I've mentioned several times how much I love this band comp. However due to my some of the other loves, (drinking and hanging out with friends) I damn near missed the whole thing. Oops! We did manage to catch Lupus Lunar who played a smokin set - and after not seeing the other bands I felt convinced they should win the competition - funny that!

As it turns out The Guest took the top honours and after chinwagging with the judges at the end of the night it seemed they were almost unanimous in this decision - which to my mind would suggest they got it right. The Guest are a group of four likely lads from good music stock. They've already had support slots with Die Die Die! and The Mint Chicks and I imagine they will become a lot more visible on the local and possibly national scene over the coming months so I hope to see them for myself soon. In fact they'll be at El Santo on the 17th with Die Die Die! Nice.

What's on this week?

Thursday 2nd Dec
JEFF the Brotherhood / Transistors @ Goodbye Blue Monday
Modern Trash Quartet @ The Wunderbar
Jam Night at Al's
Musician's Networking Session @ Dux w How to Kill from 9pm

Friday 3rd Dec
The Eastern/Unfaithful Ways/Tiny Lies/Runaround Sue @ Al's Bar
Wet Wings/Canterbury Rams/Boy Scout @ El Santo

Saturday 4th Dec
Ashei "Shelter" single release party @ Dux
Dance Asthmatics / Palace Of Wisdom / Slammin Hot Bitches @ El Santo
Bowie Night with Hairdresser on Fire DJ @ GBM
Soulseller/Dying of the Light/Osmium/House of Capricorn/Stonehurst @ Al's Bar

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gap fillers and Round Ups

Some innovative Christchurch folk have come up with a great idea to utilise some of the gaps created by the September quake. The rather euphemistic term 'gap' describing the now vacant sections where buildings have been demolished. One such space is that which the South of the Border restaurant used to occupy near the corner of Salisbury and Colombo Streets.

Gap Filler - the creative vision. Photo courtesy Gap Filler web site.
South of the Border just prior to its demolition. Photo courtesy Sarah Ripen - Stuff.

In the words of the Gap Filler creators "Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within the central city with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant central city.

Gap Filler will see vacant sites - awaiting redevelopment as a result of the September 4 earthquake or otherwise - utilised for temporary, creative, people-centred purposes. Examples include: garden cafés, outdoor cinema, live music, dance on a temporary dance floor and other creative responses to sites by local artists."

I think this is a bloody fantastic idea. Show your support by attending the gigs that Gap Filler has lined up. Just check out their website or their facebook page for updates. Opening this Thursday 25 November with music from Ed Muzik and superb little 3 piece Devilish Mary and the Holy Rollers pictured above.

What's on this week?
Gap Filler 
2pm - Cello duo My Checkered Career Music
9pm - Film screening - Christchurch filmmaker Zoë Roland's Myth, Memory & Melodrama, packed with heritage footage of old Christchurch! (Runtime 27 minutes)
Stomping Nick's Album Release Party @ El Santo

RDU Roundup GRAND FINAL @ The Dux 
Grand Final set times!
8-8:30pm - Sandfly Bay
8:45-9:15pm - Valdera
9:30-10pm - The Guest
10:15-10:45 - Mmdelai 
11-11:30 - Lupus Lunar

If you've been watching you'll notice I've successfully predicted 3 of the finalists. Without knowing how all the bands will go on Saturday night I think Lupus Lunar will be hard to beat. LOVE that band! The Roundup grand finals are always a amazing showdown of bands playing their hearts out - and I for one LOVE that! I'll be there with bells on. I'm not even gonna post what else is on in town cos I don't think it'll matter, well not to me anyway.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Summer cutey tooties

Summer, my favourite month, is here! Ok, if you a complete stickler you'll know it's not 'official' until December 1st, but I tend to go on how warm I feel. And since I've been feeling warm all this week I believe Summer is here. Further proof is that my garden is cranking out some lovely goodies at the moment. Spinach, lettuce, celery, broccoli and spring onions are all there for the taking. I'm gonna have to wait a couple of weeks for the snowpeas but it'll be worth it.
The main garden

Snowpeas, nearly ready.

Summer always makes me think about the type of music I enjoy over this season. Strangely I don't feel the same way about particular musical themes for the other seasons, mmm I digress. My sounds of summer include guitars playing under trees, music pumping in the garden and sounds that don't distract too much from the important things like beer drinking. Actually anything with a general happy and exhuberant vibe about it works for me. Oh and cute. Don't know why but cute seems important. And speaking of cute, whilst searching for a nice little summer tune I found this wee cutie which fits perfectly into my summer soundscape.

What's on this week? HEAPS!

Dukes supported by The Unfaithful Ways (LOVE this band) @ Al's Bar
HaYne go to Teletubbyland w/ Needless Cane & Dakota's Fanny @ Goodbye Blue Monday

Jessie James and the Outlaws 'Price of Gum' album release @ Harbourlight Theatre
Phoenix Foundation with support Dear Times Waste @ Al's bar
Delaney Davidson with special guest Bad bad Evil @ El Santo
Von Klap Skanky Party @ Goodbye Blue Monday

3rd semi final of Roundup feat. 5th Day of May, Three Blind Mice, Sandfly Bay, Spacecake @ Dux 

El Santo's 1st birthday party with The Eastern, Stompin Nick, Bad Evil, Bruce Russsel T54, Sexy animals and more!!! @ El Santo
Jessie James and the Outlaws 'Price of Gum' album release @ GBM
4th semi final of Roundup feat. Duchess Swift, Laon, Mmdelai, Von Voin Strum @ Dux
Fat Sally @ Al's Bar 

Chris Gudu and Band (Afro jazz) @ Al's Bar

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ya gotta know when to hold 'em know when ta fold 'em...

As the great Kenny Rogers says, if you're a gambler "ya gotta know when to walk away and know when to run...." I'm not much of a gambler myself and therefore have little need to know when to walk away or when to run, but I have been doing ok with my bets in the RDU Roundup comp this year. It's true I'm only betting against myself, and now that I actually think about it, with nothing to lose I think that is absolutely NOT gambling... Mmmm... this train of thought is completely destroying my gambling theme for this blog.  Ah whatever... any excuse to play some Kenny Rogers AND The Muppets! Yay Kenny! Yay Muppets!

Anyways so far in this non-gambling game I've successfully picked Lupus Lunar and Sandfly Bay to get through to the semi's so now that all the Semi's are sorted who's my (monopoly) money on for the final?

These are the Semi final line-ups:

Semi Final 1 – Thursday 11th November, 8.15-11pm
8:15 Gearloose
9:00 Lupus Lunar
9:45 Coate
10:30 Bad Mouth

Semi Final 2 – Friday 12th November, 8.15-11pm
8:15 Valdera
9:00 The Guest
9:45 Masters Of Our Universe
10:30 Madfaces

Semi Final 3 – Friday 19th November, 8.15-11pm
8:15 5th Day of May
9:00 Three Blind Monkeys (formally The Sam & Eric Show)
9:45 Sandfly Bay
10:30 Spacecake

Semi Final 4 – Saturday 20th November, 8.15-11pm
8:15 Duchess Swift
9:00 Laon
9:45 Mmdelai
10:30 Von Voin Strum

My picks for the final are:
Semi final 1 - Lupus Lunar;
Semi final 2 - Valdera,
Semi final 3 - Sandfly Bay,
Semi final 4 - Von Voin Strum.

And what would I know? Fuck all. This isn't exactly an educated guess, in fact it's mostly just that second part - guess. Is your guess as good as mine? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who will be the best band in the land?

The Dux de Lux RounDUp competition for 2010 is finally getting off the ground this weekend after receiving a record number of band entries. It's great to hear that things are all set for a great competition but I do seem to recall that several months ago there was an extension for entries due to a lack of interest. (Or did I imagine that?) The event then got an even more significant extension thanks to the 4th September quake. I guess all that earth shaking and extra promotion really fired up some bands, and if you're a fan of this competition like I am, then all those delays have probably been worth it.


With past winners including such great bands as Sleepy Age, The  Klap, The Tiger Tones, Bang! Bang! Eche!, Slipstream, The  Undercurrents, Shapeshifter, The  O’Lovelies, The Deceivers, The  Insurgents, Heavy Jones Trio and P Bass Expressway it's clear that ROUNDUP is part of the recipe for a bands success in this city.


So who wants to play a game and see if we can guess who'll go through to the grand final on Saturday 27 November? Probably noone, but that's ok. I can happily make bets with myself and it won't cost me a cent that way! With 56 local bands there's a lot to choose from but my guesses for the final would be based on bands that have a good following already like Carbon Sun, HaYne and the Dance Asthmatics. I'd really like to see Lupus Lunar in there because they are a stonkingly good band, and one more - a band that I haven't seen but have heard good things about - Sandfly Bay. Yep, well I'll guess I'll just have to wait and see how I get on with those bets. That's half the fun and the other half will, of course, be heading along to the Dux to watch it all unfold. See you there!



(See Roundup Facebook page for updates.) 


10:00 Custer’s Revenge
The Shallowz
10:30 Carbon Sun
10:45 Between Two Worlds
11:00 Spacecake
11:15 Mmdelai
11:30 Radar Angel
11:45 Subrosa
12:00 Ty Williams
12:15 Coate
12:30 Valdera

12:45-1:15 - LUNCHBREAK

1:30 Digital Pedestrian
Dance Monk
2:00 The Knoxx
2:15 The Sam and Eric Show
2:30 Groove Patriots
2:45 Lupus Lunar
3:00 Blood Money
3:15 Mister Pink
3:30 Secondi
3:45 Gigglepop
4:00 Charlotte and the Thump
4:15 Sandfly Bay
4:30 Villain
4:45 Bad Mouth
5:00 Haylar
5:15 Stonehurst
5:30 Triphonics


10:00 Frankenbear
10:15 Gearloose
10:30 Albert
10:45 Masters of Our Universe
11:00 The Dance Asthmatics
11:15 The Miller Thieves
11:30 The Blue Moon
11:45 The Weight
12:00 Pandora’s Box
12:15 Neverdead
12:30 A.R.U

12:45-1:15 LUNCHBREAK

1:30 The Willow Page
1:45 The Response
2:00 Advertising
2:15 HaYne
2:30 C90
2:45 Slamming Bitches
3:00 Canterbury Rams
3:15 Loaded Victim
3:30 Thrill Collins
3:45 Hurry Up and Die
4:00 5th Day of May
4:15 Ashei
4:30 Byte Your Tongue
4:45 Duchess Swift
5:00 Supership
5:15 Madfaces
5:30 Black Sand Sprint

Semi final 1 – Thursday 11th November
Semi final 2 – Friday 12th November
Semi final 3 – Friday 19th November
Semi final 4 – Saturday 20th November
Grand final – Saturday 27th November


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Time travel - take a ride with me

As I get older I get more nostalgic. In fact I think the two go hand in hand. Actually, I think it's pretty hard, or lame, or both, to be nostalagic in your youth. I moved to Christchurch from Dunedin in the early 90's and one of the things that I was looking forward to before I got here was being able to see some Chch bands and going out to some of the local band haunts like Quadrophenia and His Lordships. I remember being really excited to go to particular gigs and loving the music but finding the Chch crowds really quiet and reserved compared to Dunedin gigs. In fact I still find the quiet appreciation of a Chch crowd a bit frustrating at times.

It's almost a complete blur looking back to this time - and without today's technology to capture every nano-second of my existence in the 90s I'm hard pushed to remember anything in particular unless someone else reminds me of it first. Ya ya lame, I know. I guess that can only mean I was too busy enjoying it to document it properly - and besides that must surely be why nostalgia exists - To travel back in time and re-remember (yes, I made that up) what we once loved. (Whoa that's a bit deep. I may have hit the rescue remedy a bit hard after today's shake.)

Turns out I'm not the only one delving into the musical beauty of the 1990s in Christchurch. Bellbird Pictures is making (and perhaps even nearly finished) a doco on Squirm. The teaser looks great. Check it out.

What to do with all this nostalgia in me brain

I'm thinking about putting a gig together that will have some of my fav Chch bands from the 1990s. It's gonna be tricky to see who's around or available to travel and what bands might be persuaded to reform for a gig. I've got a few ideas, but I'd love to hear some more, just comment below. In the meantime here's another great band from days gone by...

What's on this week?

THURSDAY 21st October
The Stash - Von Voin Strum - Casiostoner @ GBM
Devils Elbow 'Sand On Chrome' Album Release @ Dux

FRIDAY 22nd October
Von Voin Strum @ El Santo
Dean Rainey and the Roadies @ Dux

SATURDAY 23rd October
Pikachunes and Secrets @ GBM
Roller Derby @ Cowles Stadium

Monday, October 11, 2010

So what's in a band name?

Last Friday Superturtle graced our fair city playing out at El Santo with The Dialtones and Loafer. Superturtle are touring their second album 'About the Sun' and according to lead singer Darren McShane they are about 8 songs into their next album - Wow! I guess that's why this turtle is a super one. I meant to ask Darren how the name Superturtle came about, and I still will, but in the meantime it got me thinking about my interpretation of their name - and also band names in general.

Superturtle at El Santo
Superturtle's music was solid and steady  - somewhat like a turtle - and what made it 'super' for me was the beautiful harmonies and catchy hooks that gathered you up and took you for a ride at a pace you weren't necessarily expecting. Great musos and great songs. They were a fantastic band to see and word is that they'll be back touring their next album once it's completed. I'd expect them sooner rather than later if their current rate of production is anything to go by.

The Dialtones did a great support slot before Superturtle. The stand out song from them was their last one - a sonic, three part, down'n'dirty mostly instrumental number which was superbly delivered. (Sorry but I was so busy watching The Dialtones I forgot to photograph them.)

Aptly named Loafer loafin about outside El Santo.

Band Comp Catch-up
A few weeks ago I rather flippantly promised to keep you up-to-date with the many band comps around town. It completely slipped my mind so here's a quick catch up:

Rapid Storm Band Competition at Zebeedees has reached the grand final and will see Hillview in Black, Midnight in Motion, Highrise Highfall, Livewire, The Overture and Show us Salvation battling it out this Saturday. (Now there's some interesting band names!)

The Dux De Lux RoundUp Band Competition was postponed following the earthquake and has now been pushed back to November with the first heats now on Saturday - Sunday 6th / 7th November.

What's on this week?

Hera @ El Santo 
Coolies Record Release @ Media Club

Coolies Record Release @ El Santo
Disasteradio Album Release tour w Bang Bang Eche @ GBM

Pine @ Dux de Lux
The Transistors @ Goodbye Blue Monday
Golden Axe & Secrets by Crystal Magic @ El Santo
Bella Kalolo and The Soul Symphony @ Al's bar

Monday, October 4, 2010

Softly into the week I go...

Some weeks require more effort to get back into after the weekend than others. I don't know why, nor am I even going to bother to offer an explanation for my lack of enthusiasm for this particular Monday. I just simply 'could not be asked' today. Thankfully I discovered this lovely little video release from Wellington indie country folk outfit Jessie James and the Outlaws which has gone some way to smooth out the rough edges of today. Beautifully filmed, heaps of cute factor and it's in HD. Just what the doctor ordered.
Jessie Moss and Holly Beals

This band is touring around the country in November, playing The Harbourlight in Lyttelton. They are beautifully understated, and to directly rip off their Myspace page,  are ..."developing their own modern twist on 1970’s country, folk and psychedelic rock... create[ing] a sound that is familiar yet refreshing. Each member of the band, and the project’s production team have achieved critical acclaim over recent years, together creating a formidable force. This album will go a long way."
Totally agreed. Keep an eye out for them.

Jessie James and the Outlaws tour dates: 
Harbour Light Theatre on Fri 19th,
Goodbye Blue Monday Sat 20th Nov 

Albums in store on Monday 11th

Quake town is still VERY quiet

Lupus Lunar @ Dux September 30th
I was at the Dux on Thursday night to play with Loafer and was again surprised how dead town remains. It was a bit demoralizing to play to so few people but we had fun all the same. I really just wanted to mention how fabulous Lupus Lunar were. If you haven't seen them yet then you should find their next gig on their facebook page and head along. They describe themselves as 'facebook sluts' so you can be sure their page is up-to-date. Their demeanor and energy was as bubbly as their songs. They have wonderful happy tunes delivered by a very solid rhythm section, catchy melodies and sweet harmonies that will have you tapping your feet and humming along before you know it. GO SEE THEM - I can't say it enough.

Loafer @ Dux 30th September
Me and Grant enjoying Lupus Lunar... and refreshing beverages

What's on this week?

Thursday 7th October
The Cranks play "Pink Flag" by Wire @ Goodbye Blue Monday

Friday 8th October
A Hori Buzz @ Al's Bar 
Superturtle The Dialtones and Loafer @ El Santo
Sleepy Age @ 7pm New Media Club & 10pm @ GBM with Tim Moore
Alison Lake @ Dux de Lux
Johnny Possum @ Harbourlight

Saturday 9th October
GBH (UK), Sticky Filth @ Al's Bar
Magic Eye & T54 @ Goodbye Blue Monday
Annihilating Rythm @ El Santo
Gareth Thomas (Goodshirt) + Sarah Brown @ Dux de Lux

Monday, September 27, 2010

The city of rock or ghost town?

The Pickups awesome poster

I've been terribly busy and with one excuse or another I haven't been able to get out to see any live music for ages. I've been feeling sooo l-a-m-e and out of the loop that in order to get some street cred back I went out last Friday and see The Pickups on their 'Finally... An Album Release Tour 2010' with support from The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine at Goodbye Blue Monday.

The most memorable thing about this gig - and is no reflection on either of the bands - was how quiet the bar was, and in fact all of town. Deadly quiet. I would've thought that with all the bars up and running in Poplar Lane it would be business as normal, but it seems punters are staying home in their droves. I suppose it's not that surprising as people are still getting their shit together after these earthquakes but I did feel a bit sorry for The Pickups because I think if this gig was a month ago they would've packed the place out.

Finally... The Pickups
The Hit Machine played a pretty long support slot and unfortunately weren't the slick unit they usually are. The Pickups on the other hand had some great tunes and were really tight. The only problem being that I got distracted catching up with friends outside and missed a rather large chunk of their set. Oops!
They are a great band who have released this long awaited album to great acclaim.

"A quality album that is both a work of traditional integrity and a shining example of delectably inquisitive guitar pop" - Steffan Reyners, Bandwagon, Wellington, June 2010

"...this album would fit nicely alongside any number of Flying Nun bands...The Pickups have delivered an album of raw jangle pop" - Michael Flynn, NZ Musician Magazine, June/July 2010

Get your copy at Worship the Owl Records.

What's on this week?

My pic of gigs this week is going to have to be Loafer with support from Lupus Lunar at The Dux on Thursday 30th. Apologies for the shameless self promotion, but at least I know it's a gig I'll get to! This is Loafer's first gig at the Dux and we'll be playing a full 55 minute set.  Miaaow!

Thursday 30th Sep
Loafer with Lupus lunar @ The Dux de Lux - FREE!
Holly Smith @ Al's Bar

Friday 1st Oct
Dictaphone Blues Questionier Tour with Unfaithful Ways @ GBM
Oktober Onslaught @ Al's Bar

Saturday 2nd Oct
The Monotonics with Sawdust @ El Santo
Hikoikoi with support from Pacific Underground @ Al's bar

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And life goes on and on

I can't stand media overexposure of any kind and I really think the quake, the shake, the thunder from down under or whatever else you want to call it has had more than it's fair share of media attention. So for my part I'm wasting no more time on it, in the hope that like a spoilt toddler the lack of attention will cause it to hush up and disappear. Hrrumph!

Oh... ahhm... except to say that both Goodbye Blue Monday and Galaxy Records opened their doors for the first time since 4-09. Yay!

Gigs this week include:

The Datsuns with Milk Train @ Al's Bar

Anthesiac with The Stash @ Dux de Lux
Riverblind @ Goodbye Blue Monday

Primary with Permanence @ Goodbye Blue Monday
Supermodel @ Dux de Lux  (Tickets available at
Hard Lee + special guests Arte Nomade @ El Santo

There are some mean gigs next week. Details coming soon....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who's ready to Shake Rattle and Roll?!

You'd have had to be living in a cave, or possibly overseas, not to know about Christchurch's 7.1 magnitude earthquake. It was a big'un and we're still feeling the aftershocks today, and from what I hear we'll be feeling them for weeks to come.

This will be one of those events that will be indelibly etched into our minds for the rest of our lives - one of those "where were you when..." conversation pieces.

I thought it might be of interest to find out how Christchurch venues had feared after the big shake. Here's what I know so far...

El Santo - Remarkably has only one broken bottle. Business as usual at this great wee bar.

Wunderbar - Hard to get exact details but there is certainly some damage at this iconic bar. Word is the back bar will need to be rebuilt and this will take anywhere from 1 to 3 months. There is a Hold Fast Harbour fundraiser with The Eastern and friends being held at Loons to support the local rebuilding effort.

The Harbourlight - I haven't heard anything about this venue yet, but from the state of a couple of photos I've seen it doesn't look too good. 

POPLAR LANE: (all info here taken from GBMs website)
Goodbye Blue Monday - Thankfully GBM had earthquake strengthening put in when it was converted to a bar so despite all the brickwork it's got off relatively lightly. Lots of broken bottles but otherwise ok. Their FB page stating "All of our whiskey survived but I'm sorry to say the kahlua didn't make it". GBM is will hopefully open up next week - no business this weekend :o(. 

Vespa Room looks ok, hope to open on Friday.

The Twisted Hop looks ok

Mac’s and Mitchellis will survive

Bismark - the building can’t be inhabited at the moment

Dux de Lux - All ok, business as usual.  

Al's Bar - All ok, business as usual.

Cartel - Open for business as usual.

The Bedford - has postponed a gig so I'm assuming this is because of quake damage.  

Repertory Theatre - looks like good news for this lovely building. It seems the damage is not as bad as it looks and it will be restored. Yay! Check the details here.

The Empire (Lyttelton) - Not looking good for this lovely old building. Appears to be major cracks on photos I've seen. 

Liquidity, Le Plonk, and Mex Cafe - all either taken a hit or in the cordon so out of commission for the meantime.


Galaxy Records - is ok but has limited access and cannot open. 

Real Groovy - closed until further notice  

CJ's Musicworks  - This store is still in one piece with minimal damage to stock. Due to hazardous neighboring buildings and constant road closures it will be closed until Saturday at this stage. 

The Sitting Room Recording Studios - this building has just been condemned and they are moving out today. Word is they'll be back with new premises soon as they can.

I'll post more info as it comes to light.

Keep safe rockers!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tasty Thursday Morsels

Check out this awesome video from Cairo Knife Fight. This band is HOT HOT HOT right now. They are winding up their EP Release Tour at the Kings Arms in Auckland on Thursday the 2nd September. If you're in Auckland then get down there, do not miss them!

I asked Nick when they might be back in Christchurch
"Not for awhile now. Just done our EP release show the other day. Possibly in November. We're off to the USA in October and are looking to get out there into NZ again upon our return..."
Sounds good to me.

Well known music blogger Simon Sweetman had this to say about the famed duo in an article appropriated titled "The best band in New Zealand":
"I really do think that Cairo Knife Fight is a world-class act. And one of the most innovative duos working in music - and I say that not only because the band works with a singing drummer, who also provides samples, loops and bass lines while playing drums and singing, but because the dynamic between guitarist/vocalist Aaron Tokona and drummer/singer/everything-elser Nick Gaffaney is perfect."
Enough said really. 

I absolutely love that bands are so generous with their music these days. Yep, I'm love love loving it.

"Sparticus R have almost finished recording their 2nd album and to celebrate they are touring the country and giving away this 4 tracker. Its got something old, something new, something borrowed and something purple! 1 track of the new album, 1 rare recording from the Spartacus R in Octophonic show from 2007 and 2 new remix's of songs from When The Fever Takes Hold."
Taken from Spartacus Bandcamp's blurb.

Palmy Band The Nerines play the Dux tonight with support from Christchurch's Sleepy Age. Should be a good'un.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Barnard's Star Nostalgia

After a few comments on yesterday's blog I turned into the crazy fossicking squirrel and managed to dig out a couple more pieces from my Barnard's Star archive. In the interest of having a complete set online I've posted these remaining bits and bobs for your viewing pleasure.
The His Lordships gig that never happened for bstar. There was a double-booking so
Blister and the other headlining act struck a compromise and both support acts lost out..

Flyers for the first EP release at Venus Cafe.

RDU Party at Mount Hutt 1998

This set of pictures was taken at the RDU work 'do' up at Mount Hutt I can't remember exactly when it was but certainly 1998. Actually, it may have been a Christmas party...

Darius - the roaring gladwrapped man.
It's such a long time ago now, but I remember this being a pretty wild affair. The bands had a captive audience up in the mountains for the night and that atmosphere created some pretty feral performances from one group in particular. I can't remember the bands' name but lead singer Darius(?) wrapped himself in gladwrap, tinfoil and gaffer tape and proceed to scream relentlessly for about 30 minutes. There was not enough beer in the world to make that sound any good. Sorry Darius that's a trifle harsh, perhaps I just didn't have the artistic nouse to 'get it'. In fact this performance is the indelible memory I have of this party - a roaring gladwrapped man.

As far as I was concerned Barnard's Star could do no wrong and the memories I have of this set are that it was a typical one from the band. Understated, polished and sonic. Here's a few pics:

Marcus tuning up - I think the Holden was a recent purchase around this time.

Barnard's Star: Nick, Helen, Tyrone, Sound guy name?, Marcus.
Tyrone and Nick with Mike? from Beat Atlas Records.
Party Party Party

Barnard's Star playing in a garage somewhere in Ilam
Another party - this one was somewhere in Ilam - possibly at Mike's place (gosh was that his name???). The thing I most remember about this party was that we had finally stuck all the second 7" EP covers together and put the albums in them so we took them along to give to various people including the photographer whose wonderful rose photos feature on this album. Well, horror of horrors, I'd spelled her name wrong in the credits. In my defence I'd copied it from info I was given - just happened that the info was wrong. Du-oh! Poor Pip she was so cross. So for the record folks it was Pip Spice NOT Pip Spence.

AND in relation to yesterday's post about photoshop filters the cover for the second 7" EP was all Pip's work not mine. The 'radial spin' you see was from Pip spinning her camera. Now that's old school!


Pikachunes have finished their new EP and you can download it free here. Thanks Pikachunes, that's sorted out my morning listening just nicely.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back when Photoshop was a baby

The studio - what a mess!
Back in the 1990's I was working as a graphic designer in what was, at the time, the ground breaking field of digital design. The studio I worked for was one of the first to adopt the new Power Mac 7100s - the best computers available for graphic design in 1994. From memory they had a speed of 88mHz, 8MB RAM and a staggering 250MB hard drive.

The awesome Power Mac 7100 - Feel the power!

We created large magazines and had to continue to use old technology along with the new to do our job simply because what we were doing was so cutting edge. This was true of all agencies around this time. Every design team was retraining. Digital cameras were still in their infancy. I remember trialling one that took about a minute to 'scan' the object and several more minutes to put the image onscreen. It's cost a mere $12,000! Needless to say all agencies stuck with film for many more years. Photoshop was an integral part of the new design process and it didn't take much to impress people. A simple 'extrude' filter was enough to blow the mind of most folk.

Now, I'm sure you're thinking 'Hang on, I thought this was a blog about music' - well it is - in a round-about way. During this time I had friends who were in Christchurch's much loved band Barnard's Star so I became the obvious and CHEAP choice for band posters, album covers etc. Digital print was also new at this time so being able to produce short runs of full colour posters and covers was pretty fancy too.

Here's an archive of the Barnard's Star album covers and posters created when Photoshop was a baby:
A3 poster for first EP release at Venus Cafe, Lichfield Street.

The first 7" ep. Pressed in Geraldine.
About Barnard's Star

The second 7".
"A wonderful, now-defunct, 4-piece shoe-gazer band out of the garden city that put out 2 singles, along with a few college radio songs and a stunning 5-track EP that turned out to be their parting recording some 2 years later.

Comparisons could be drawn to My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and "Nowhere" era Ride but Barnard's Star took a decidedly more etheral approach - distilling the shoe-gazer sound to a fine pulsing tone, which was quite a spectacle live.

Playing coffee houses and small gigs in sporadic fashion, they became quite the cult act - especially due to their apparent lack of recorded material. So when they broke up in 2002 their recordings became as scarce as the musicians themselves.

Guitarist Marcus has gone on to form The Undercurrents, whilst bass player Helen and guitarist Nick went on to perform material with a synth-drone focus under various names . Finally their drum programmer Tyrone (who replaced original drummer Frazer) moved to Sydney, forming electro outfit Swingingtastybag. He now resides in London. "

From an article by Chris Andrews 

The 5 song EP released 1999
A2 poster

The Barnard's Star EP is available at
Read more: 
Barnard's Star

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hear that? ... It's band comp season

Oh I do love a good band competition and Christchurch seems to be veritably swimming in them at the moment. It can only mean that one; there’s enough bands working out there to warrant all the effort and two; that there’s a big enough market to support all the new sounds being produced. In fact there’s over 500 local bands currently listed on CHART the Christchurch Music Industry Trust site. How fantastic is that? Well pretty blimmin' fantastic actually - what a great environment for young bands to enter into.

It seems to me that the amount of venues with regular slots for original music has been off tha hook this year - it’s just so great to see after years of dreary covers bands being the only live music you could find most nights. Not that I have anything against covers bands but it’s great to see original local music pulling good crowds and riding high for a change.

Spring will see band competitions kicking off this month at Zebedees with Rapid Storm for bands under 20yrs and then Roundup at the Dux de Lux next month. The only problem I foresee is that the grand final of both these competitions are on the same night. But if you look on the bright side the good news is that there’s gonna be two great gigs on Saturday Oct 2nd at Zebedees and the Dux for your viewing and aural pleasure. You just need to plan carefully if you want to see both.

I’ll be heading to the Dux because, as I may have mentioned, I LOVE a good band comp and I can’t wait to see who will be in the Roundup final this year. Previous winners include Sleepy Age, Von Klap, The Tiger Tones, Bang! Bang! Eche!, Slipstream, The Undercurrents, Shapeshifter, The O'Lovelys, The Deceivers, The Insurgents, Heavy Jones Trio and P Bass Expressway - who will be next?

I should also mention that UCSA had their band comp recently which it was taken out by Von Voin Strum. Well done guys!

And this news just in - Chartfest Band Search winners Custard Bear have made the Smokefreerockquest Final. Whoop! They'll compete with 7 other bands in Hamilton on September 11.

Watch my blog and I'll keep you posted on who's entering Roundup this year, how the heats at Zebedees are going, and how Custard Bear get on at Smokefreerockquest.

Can Out - best damn party ever!

The poster
I recently organised an event called 'Can Out' to support the Christchurch City Mission Foodbank over the winter months. The idea was simple - organise a fantastic gig with great local bands and entry would be a can of food - all cans would then be donated to the Foodbank.

Here's what I posted on Myspace the day after the event

Can Out was a roaring success on Saturday night. Al's Bars was packed to the rafters. Everyone was in a very generous and jovial mood making for an absolutely brilliant night.
The bands were all top-knotch. Loafer opened and were followed by the wonderful Tim Moore. The Eastern brought the house down with an unbelievable set - praise be and thank the powers above for the Eastern family. Wow! Love love love The Eastern. And if that wasn't enough to get everyone hopping along came The Unfaithful Ways. These boys just kept the good vibe pumpin' with beaut songs, gorgeous harmonies all round fab musicianship. Love love love The Unfaithful Ways.

Loafer opens at Can Out

The Eastern get all the bands up for a rousing version of the
Carter family classic "Will the circle be unbroken"

We collected 4 trolleys of cans for the City Mission - I should've counted them but I was a bit under the weather when we picked them up on Sunday and the last thing I felt like was counting hundreds of cans. I spoke to Eli and Gareth who looked after the door all night and they said that there were only about 4 people who didn't bring a can - amazing.

Thanks soooo much to everyone involved and to all of you who came along and jammed out to support the city mission. On ya!

Can Out crew Eli and Gareth.

More pics on the Can Out facebook page.

If you'd like to read more about how Can Out was created check it out on my old Myspace blog

Welcome to my new blog

Kia ora and welcome to my new blog.

I've been blogging away on Myspace for a while now about the Christchurch music scene and it recently occurred to me that although people were happily reading my posts it didn't make a whole lot of sense for them to be tied up in amongst our band blog.

So in the interest of good housekeeping (something I'm sure to discuss in detail at some point) Loafer's blog will remain just that, and all other comments and thoughts I have on the local music scene will now be here.  Plus the Myspace blog space is quite limited in regards to content management and template styles so HELLO blogspot!