Entries tagged with: New Zealand
The Year is 1984, and on the rural East Coast of New Zealand "Thriller" is changing kids' lives. Inspired by the Oscar nominated Two Cars, One Night, BOY is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about heroes, magic, and Michael Jackson. BOY is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother ROCKY, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy's other hero, his father, ALAMEIN, is the subject of Boy's fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson (he can even dance like him). In reality he's "in the can for robbery". When Alamein returns home after 7 years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along without the hero he had been hoping for.BOY was written and directed by Oscar nominee Taika Waititi (Flight of the Conchords, Eagle vs Shark) who also stars in the film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. It since has done really well in New Zealand, where it was released to much acclaim. It will get an American release on March 2, but you'll be able to see it a bit sooner than that.
BrooklynVegan is proud to present a free screening of BOY at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Tuesday, February 28. The movie starts at 8 PM and will be followed by a Michael Jackson dance party in the front bar at 10 PM.
Taika Waititi is also funding the American release of the film on Kickstarter. As of this post, there's 8 days to go and the $90,000 is just under halfway met.
Watch the film trailer below...
by Bill Pearis
Here we go again, folks! I'm still not used to this CMJ starting on a Tuesday thing, even though it's been this way for a few years now. Personally, I'm going to ease into things today and tonight and save my energy. Luckily, there aren't a lot of day parties on Tuesday because five days and nights is just too much for locals, and visitors are just rolling into town and getting settled. But there are some... and it's eerily like last year.
Day parties are free unless noted otherwise, ok?
The Music Slut throws their annual day party at Pianos, with two floors of fun, including the hotly-tipped bands Chad Valley. Also: We Barbarians, The Beets, The Forms, Prussia, Jonquil and more. The action starts reasonably at 2PM.
A few doors down at The Living Room, Paper Garden Records is showing off its roster: Big Tree, Tall Ships, Pree and more.
Snowmine, Secret Mountains, Archie Powell & the Exports, and more play Spike Hill.
And Le Poisson Rouge is again throwing a CMJ kickoff party, somewhat in-between a day party and night showcase, with a bunch of New Zealand bands, including new Flying Nun signees Popstrangers (who have definitely studied their label's classic roster), returning band Street Chant (one of last year's highlights I thought), the shoegazy sounds of The Golden Awesome, Cairo Knife Fight and more. It's free with CMJ badges or if you RSVP to email@example.com (no +1s).
Flyers for some of the above shows are after the jump.
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Zowie @ LPR
"Lawrence Arabia opened with an easy confidence, nurtured by months on the road supporting Crowded House, despite not having played together for a couple of months. Apple Pie Bed was a hit.This is course was Tuesday night's New Zealand CMJ showcase at Le Poisson Rouge. More pictures from the show below...
Street Chant followed, and it's fair to say they were the darlings of the night. Scowling college radio DJs emerged with smiles after the fierce and flirty set by the trio, who entertained with between-song banter like "We're Street Chant from New Zealand and we're ready to get sexy", "This song's New Zealandish" and "We're the biggest rock band in New Zealand!"
Fresh from her first offshore gig at LA's Viper Lounge, Ruby Frost performed competently and though she was tagged as "a baby Florence and the Machine" the crowd rewarded her with polite applause.
Kids of 88 got the hard-to-impress CMJ crowd moving. And flirting. "Come back to my apartment!" someone in the crowd yelled. "That's a very good segue into the next song," said singer Sam McCarthy, as they launch into My House. Zowie impressed, and Electric Wire Hustle brought the bass." [New Zealand Herald]
by Bill Pearis
Kiwi popsmith Lawrence Arabia (real name James Milne) is back in NYC for CMJ (last here with Crowded House), playing a few shows -- the first of which is today's (10/19) early evening New Zealand showcase at Le Poisson Rouge. He's on at 6PM and the show is FREE but you do need to RSVP if you don't have a CMJ badge. (Free booze of some sort too, apparently.) The rest of the NZ line-up is Zowie (who is also playing the Fader Fort and Fat Baby on Friday), Kids of 88, Street Chant, Ruby Frost and Electric Wire Hustle.
Lawrence Arabia also plays Thursday, Oct. 21 at Bowery Electric (11PM) for the Bella Union/Yep Roc showcase with former Lucksmith Darren Hanlon, Savoir Adore, Jukebox the Ghost, Drink Up Buttercup, Alessi's Ark, and Heidi Spencer.
Lawrence Arabia's excellent second album, Chant Darling, was released early 2010 on the Bella Union label and ranges from gentle folk to ELO-style orch-pop. You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. It's really charming, tuneful stuff. In addition to his solo work, Milne has also spent time in the Brunettes, Ruby Suns and as a touring member of Okkerville River.
Some Lawrence Arabia music videos, the flyer and stuff, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
I snuck this picture of the t-shirt...
"Chris Knox (born September 2, 1952) is a New Zealand rock and roll musician, cartoonist, and DVD reviewer who emerged during the punk rock era with his bands The Enemy and Toy Love. After Toy Love disbanded in the early 1980s, he formed the group Tall Dwarfs with guitarist Alec Bathgate, much loved for their honest, unpolished sound and intense live shows. His 4-track machine was used to record most of the early Flying Nun singles." [Wiki]Jeff Mangum played a set of Neutral Milk Hotel songs for the first time in nine years at the benefit for his friend, musician Chris Knox, last night, Thursday, May 6th. From opener "Oh Comely" to encore "Engine," and "A Baby For Pree," "Two Headed Boy Pt. Two" and "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" in between, Mangum's voice was clear and strong as he sang from a chair into microphones set up a few feet away. Most of the audience looked somewhere between giddy excitement and shock. Some quietly sang along, others broke out into tears - one person choked on frantic, shallow breaths as "Oh Comely" climaxed, another stood with his hand over his gaping mouth, unable to move.
A few photos were furtively snapped in defiance of the posted signs, but most were content to just listen. Though "just listen" doesn't really describe the gasps, tears and unending applause. Mangum played with his eyes mostly closed, neck vein tensed, rocking and swooping to the contours of the songs. His eyelids fluttered open on the chorus of "A Baby for Pree" to reveal eyes rolled back into his head. Between songs Mangum gulped down water and was gracious, bordering on triumphant as he popped up at the end of "Aeroplane." He encouraged the crowd to contribute to the encore, "Engine." After the set, someone caught his attention with a book to sign, which he did. Most people up front looked anxious and ready for a post-show smoke.
It was fitting maybe that the bill for Mangum's last show, in 2001 in New Zealand, was with Chris Knox, who suffered a stroke in 2009. Though Jeff Mangum was a clear pinnacle, the rest of the benefit gig was an engaging, full evening which covered 12 bands and 2 comedians, and ran more than five and a half hours (though at least 1/3 of the venue cleared out after Mangum's 8:50pm set). The show ended at 1am, amazingly, exactly as scheduled.
Coasting (set time: 6:20pm) opened up with appropriately coastal guitar sounds and surefire drums, Sharon Van Etten played three songs with nuanced dynamics on electric guitar. The Magnetic Fields' Claudia Gonson played only one song as a trebly synth trio to cover "Beauty" which the band does on the Chris Knox tribute CD Stroke.
Robert Scott (of the Clean) and TVOTR's Kyp Malone (aka Rain Machine) both played solo guitar sets. Kyp, who told the crowd they should check out the new Devendra Banhart video (he checked it out in a cafe because he doesn't have internet), was joined by Emilyn Brodsky for what he said was a Bob Marley cover. Rachel Feinstein did raunchy comedy.
After that, there was New Zealand band Dimmer (who are in town for a while), The Mad Scene (Hamish Kilgour of the Clean's other band), David Kilgour of The Clean (backed by Yo La Tengo and one other band member) and comedy from John Mulaney (who killed it) (and who you may have seen doing a bit about girl scout cookies on a recent episode of SNL).
"Portastatic" was Mac backed by Yo La Tengo. They closed with Superchunk's "Slack Motherfucker" complete with windmill guitar moves and pogoing from some of the crowd (even though the concert was going into its fifth hour at this point). Yo La Tengo, with extra member David Kilgour on guitar, covered a Chris Knox song, said many kind words about Chris and closed with two songs from their 1993 album Painful, which Chris Knox contributed art work to.
The Clean, who Ira introduced as the greatest band in the world, and who'd already been up several times as their solo bands, closed the night right, both jangly and poppy. And despite the mass exodus after Jeff, a respectable amount of people were still there right until the last song. Catch the Clean again (if you have a ticket because it's sold out) at The Bell House tonight (5/7).
Editor's note: Ben Goldberg did an amazing job organizing the event, keeping scalpers away, and making sure that pretty much every person in that venue (except maybe the bartenders) paid their $75 donation to Chris Knox to get in the door (or $20 if you showed up after Jeff went off). Ben did less of an amazing job during his pre-Yo La Tengo stand up routine, but nobody's perfect!
Illegally shot (not by us!) audio and video from the event, and the new Devendra Banhart video, and Jeff Mangum's setlist again, below...
by Bill Pearis
Most people (well, ones reading this blog) know that New Zealand indie rock icons The Clean are in town this weekend, playing tonight at Le Poisson Rougue as part of the enormous Chris Knox benefit, and then tomorrow at the Bell House (both sold out). But what seems to have slipped under the radar is that another Flying Nun band are here as well: Dimmer. It may be because, though forming in the mid-90s, the band didn't release an album until 2001 (on Sony). They then released another three years after that on Flying Nun, a bit past Flying Nun's heyday, but they've got a long pedigree with the label. Dimmer is fronted by Shayne Carter who used to lead the mighty Straightjacket Fits, whose first two albums, 1988's Hail and 1991's Melt are both Flying Nun classics.
While still including the indie guitar heroics of Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer are a groovier affair. At times almost funky. After one album on Sony and two back on Flying Nun, Dimmer's guitar-heavy fourth album, Degrees of Existence, was self-released last year. You can listen to it (and buy it) at their Bandcamp site. There are a couple cool videos at the bottom of this post too.
Pavement in New Zealand - March 1, 2010 (via)
The band continues to Australia and Japan, plays what's currently their first US show at Coachella on April 18th, then goes to the UK and Europe. They'll play more North American shows this summer - those include Pitchfork Fest, Sasquatch Music Fest, Broken Social Scene's Toronto Island Fest and finally, four nights in Central Park.
Two versions of the set list from the inaugural show, two pre-tour videos, and all tour dates are below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Surf City brought out the most photographers of the night [at Cake Shop] it seemed, and were introduced by Ted Schumacher of Viva Radio and one of the showcase organizers who told a story about how one time a couple years ago he had sex. Okay, okay, there was more to it than that, but still I can never understand why people tell stories in public forums about having sex. They just end up sounding like Tucker Max but with less lies. Though, the moral of this story was that he (BJ Rubin) had sex with lesbians and made them straight, but this was probably not true.Two down, four to go. Surf City played their first 2009 CMJ show at the Red Bull Space last night (10/20). It was part of an all New Zealand showcase which they played before heading to Cake Shop for another show. Tonight it's at The Bell House, and Saturday during the day you can find them at Pianos. All dates, and more pictures from from the New Zealand show, below...
Anyhow, Surf City's sound is really big, and really loud. With two guitars and a bass, the lead sometimes gets lost as the other two chug along together (except for really high register surf licks), but this could have just been levels. Their drummer was possibly the best of the night, or at least, played the fastest and with awesome crescendos. Overall it was really tight, they jammed a lot with different variations, and I was able to dance to it, which means it had a solid groove." [CMJ]
by Bill Pearis
Surfer Blood @ Bruar Falls
Florida's Surfer Blood went from being ignored to super-hyped overnight. One night in particular, actually: August 27, 2009. The band had been in town playing a string of woefully attended gigs. The last was to be at the Surf Bar, only to get a venue change to Bruar Falls that night. Thanks to the Internet, they manage to play to 30-40 people at Bruar that night and I think just about everyone who was at that show felt at least a little like I did:
It's not very often you go into a show blind and leave wowed but that what my reaction to seeing West Palm Beach, Florida's Surfer Blood last night at Bruar Falls. I think I was expecting a slightly poppier take on the shambolic noise skuzz that blows through smaller Williamsburg venues these days. But, despite reverbed vocals and echo guitars effects that would sometimes seize and glitch like an episode of Tim & Eric, Surfer Blood make accomplished, hook-filled indie rock with clever arrangements and great harmonies, as performed by four guys who can actually, you know, play. You hear so little music like this anymore from new bands -- Seattle's BOAT come to mind -- that is this catchy, skilled but not polished. It's not going to change your life or anything (yes, they do sound a little like the Shins), but it'll have you humming and awaiting the next time they come through town.If you were following Twitter that night, you could actually watch the buzz from the Bruar Falls show to the Pitchfork 'Forkcast' the next day. If they'd had one more night in NYC after that, who knows what would've happened.
Their upcoming debut LP, Astro Coast, is choc-full of super catchy indie rock. And soon back for CMJ, if you miss Surfer Blood this time, it's because you're actively trying to avoid them -- according to their MySpace, they're playing 10 shows (announced so far) here next week. If there's a band playing more shows, I haven't heard about it. All dates below including the free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos on Thursday, October 22nd (noon-6pm) (full details TBA).
Giving them a run for the money is New Zealand's Surf City, easily one of my most-anticipated bands of CMJ 2009, who are playing three official CMJ events and a bunch of day parties. They had a full schedule posted on their MySpace last night including eight area shows...which has since been taken down. Guess things are in flux. It's been a long time since a new Kiwi band so evoked the classic Flying Nun sound, and had such good songs to boot. Not that they've released much to date -- an EP and a song for MORR Music's tribute to Flying Nun is about it -- but everything so far is pretty great, especially if you're a fan of The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, and The Bats. Check out "Records of a Flagpole Skater" and the especially good "Kudos" at the top of this post.
Official CMJ shows: There's an opening night Giant Step party on Tuesday at the Red Bull Space (40 Thompson) where Surf City are part of an all-Kiwi line-up, including Die! Die Die!, Bang Bang Eche, Kingston, Motocade, Kidz In Space, David Dallas, and Smashproof. The show is FREE with RSVP, and you can check out videos and MP3s from all the bands at the RSVP page.
Surf City play again later Tuesday night at Cake Shop with ZZZ, Moi Non Plus and more ($8 without a badge) and then Wednesday (10/21) at The Bell House with Pete & The Pirates, Let's Wrestle, The Love Language, and Dawn Landes. ($14 without badge; advance tickets are available.) Surf City are also on the bill of the other free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos that is happening on the afternoon of Saturday, October 24th (in partnership with Bowery Presents). Check the band's MySpace hopefully soon for full day party schedule.
All scheduled dates for Surfer Blood (who are also playing a bunch of dates with Art Brut including the November Brooklyn Bowl show) and Surf City, plus videos, below...
DOWNLOAD: Bachelorette - Mindwarp (MP3)
"Annabel Alpers's debut album for Drag City (as Bachelorette) seems wholly devoted to her first uttered ground rule: "Daydream: Make sure it's good stuff." But though New Zealand's leading lady of bedroom pop is given to fanciful frolicking through lo-fi meadows, Alpers never mistakes daydreaming with checking out of reality entirely.Bachelorette has arrived in NYC. Shows are June 15th (tonight) at Cake Shop, and tomorrow (June 16) at Union Hall. The Cake Shop show is with Lichens who we recently mentioned appears on a new Arthur compilation CD put together by Al from Om. Both shows are also with Pikelet who comes all the way from Australia.
Quite the contrary: My Electric Family, even with all its electronic doodaddery, is a record concerned with locating something real in an increasingly virtual world. That its textures simultaneously subvert and enhance this hunt only attest to Alper's often witty stripe of smarts. The seething drone of "The National Grid" ramps sluggishly up, only to crest into a pistonesque march that's a lot more mechanical and plodding than its burgeoning energy would have you bracing for." [The Phoenix]
If you miss these shows, Bachelorette is not going anywhere anytime soon. Annabel will continue touring the United States at least until July 3rd when she is back in NYC to play a free show at South Street Seaport. All dates and some videos below...
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: DIAL - "Always At The Border" (MP3)
DIAL A for Awesome
If you were to ask about my favorite bands fifteen or so years ago, the answer would be simple: Helmet, The Jesus Lizard, and Snapcase. Now go ahead and tell the 1994-me that there was a band that incorporated elements of all three, then stand back and watch my head literally explode into a thousand pieces.
Enter New Zealand's DIAL, whose new self-titled EP that once existed as a demo (they rarely sound this good) is set to detonate on June 9th via Robotic Empire. Hardcore is a definite influence for this trio, but so are the start-stop rhythms of prime Page Hamilton, math rock, Unsane, Jesus Lizard, and the great AmRep. Listen to "Always At The Border", downloadable above, and stream a few others at their myspace.
DIAL currently has no plans to get on the road, down-under or otherwise, so cry yourself to sleep and pray that these three change their minds... or at least get back in the damn studio!
by Bill Pearis
While perusing the internet for my next 'Week in Indie' column (or whatever you call it) my jaw dropped, just a little, when I saw that bailterspace was playing Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (8/23). Missed that listing before. I can't say that I've followed the New Zealand band's long career all that closely lately (their last album was in 2004 which is the last time they played here I think), but their '90s records on Matador/ Flying Nun got a lot of plays in their day on my stereo. A mix of postpunk, noise, shoegaze and electronics, Bailterspace were pretty fearsome live... and really f-ing loud. Bring earplugs.
"The current lineup consists of Alister, Brent and new recruit Ian Ljungquist on bass - all amped and ready to sonically reprogram your biorhythms." No openers are listed. 18+. $15 tickets are still on sale. Oh, and according to their MySpace (which lists their home as New York and New Zealand), "Alister and Brent are working on new material which will be released really soon!"
In other New Zealand indie-noise-rock-pioneers-playing-Bowery Ballroom news, The Dead C have shows and releases lined up too.
FOC @ SXSW 2006 (CRED)
If you've been to SXSW, this documentary is hilarious. If you like Flight of the Conchords, this documentary is hilarious. If you haven't been to SXSW, this documentary is still hilarious, but also educational (in that it will give you some idea of what it's like to go). If you hate Flight of the Conchords, maybe don't watch...