Saturday, May 29, 2004

Aunty Helen points the finger
I went to the Qantas Media Awards (print) on friday night, at the flash new Sky City convention centre. You enter it thru Sky City, and walk across a glass walled walkway three stories over Federal St, which is pretty freaky. The main entry hall has a floor to ceiling mural of flowers painted like on a tapa, cept they're purple and beige, which is all wrong. The carpet is random wavy stripes, black and cream - someone commented the whole theme looked a bit Lion King.

Anyways, Helen Clarke bowled up and made the introductory speech, noting that in her role as Minister of Arts she was responsible for Creative NZ, who had sponsored the arts journalism section of the Qantas Awards for 8 years now. She was pleased to see that in those 8 years, arts journalism had grown to become strongly represented in the daily papers across the nation. After patting herself on the back (and deservedly so - remember suffering 9 years of National government with zero investment growth in the arts sector?), she went on to have a go at critics, suggesting that they needed to be more supportive, as a negative review could kill off some arts companies and take away from the value of their funding.

This is one hell of a slippery slope. Simon Prast tried this one on at the Auckland Theatre Company a few years ago, and it got him nowhere. It did stimulate discussion on the role of critics in the arts and also went some way to raising the standards of arts criticism locally, which were/are sketchy at times, but blaming bad art on the critics is short sighted. Yet there's aunty Helen trotting it out, but it's still well dodgy, even if it is coming from our nation's leader.

So, hats off to Matt Nippert of Fighting Talk for winning some awards for his work on Salient.

Walking in light
National Anthem - Great show, some good music, but Jackie freaking Clarke? No, wrong wrong wrong. She may have been in vogue with tv moguls sometime back in the early 90s when Wacky was popular for some godforsaken reason, but not now! She should never be allowed on television ever again. Lifetime ban. She introduced excellent Raglan outfit Cornerstone Roots, using the work 'skanking' in her intro, and made it sound like an insult from your drunk uncle. Fiona Rae in granny Herald said no more Red Bull for Jackie Clarke, but stopped short of slagging 4 Man Bob. They are a zany ska band of not so young rockers dressed in army camouflage pants and tshirts, who jumped around a lot to compensate for a general lack of originality. They also suffered under a bad sound mix. Still, they impressed Simon Barnett. Gee. Patrick Crewdson was there, read what he thought... "On stage, a roadie made us all uncomfortable by wearing a NZ Idol t-shirt. Looking at the size of the audience – which it would be a stretch to refer to as ‘the crowd’ – I wondered aloud if the event had been adequately publicised..."

UPDATE. I have just discovered via Mister Hugh Sundae, that Southland TV had a 12 hour telethon at the weekend to raise funds for an MRI scanner, and raised $675,000 - the organisers were hoping to raise $100,000. TV2's National Anthem, collected $147,626 for 24 hours effort. National Anthem also recieved $500,000 from NZ On Air.

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Joys of Wacky Press Releases
Ant Timpson is rejigging the Incredible Film Festival as part of the International Film Festival in July ...
Timpson exclaims “What can I say? They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I do mean couldn’t (have you seen Bill angry!). Actually this pairing is the natural evolution of the Incredible Film Festival’s life cycle.... This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of Telecom New Zealand Intentional Film Festivals, a vital medium that continues to showcase the very best of International Cinema”.
Intentional Film Festival???

The Insiders Guide to Happiness is wonderfully obtuse, shot thru with dark humour, and its really top notch local drama -watch it! Thursday nights TV2 930pm. Great cast too. And just when you thought TVNZ had killed off local drama, canning Mercy Peak. Aint life grand?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Props
Thanks to everyone who came down to the Dub Asylum EP launch on Tuesday night (check the cool photos over here). It was a great night, sold lots of EPs.
Dub Asylum feature on National Radio this Saturday 6pm on the Music Mix, and on C4 next Wednesday night on Soundlab with Nick D. There's an interview and the new video, plus some footage of Dan and DLT painting the EP covers. Niceness.

Last weekend, Centro nightclub in Wyndham St was shut down by noise control officers at 3am - there is a new apartment block just opened in Wyndham St, and the poor residents have discovered that inner city life is a bit livelier than the dull old suburbs.
Centro had their turntables and mixers confiscated, but don't know who was complaining. Its pretty hard to address these problems when you can't even have some form of dialogue with the complainants. The Kings Arms had the same problems last year, until they built their huge wall outside their bar.
George FM want to do something about the noise control situation...

"Help George FM make a stand this Saturday - we want to change noise control regulations in our city to protect musicians, entertainers, music festivals, loud conversations and clubs.
Meet our crew outside Britomart from 11.15am this Saturday and walk up Queen Street with us - we want a massive show of support - so spread the word..."


Eminem wants the kids to get out and exercise their right to vote, cos he can't...
"On Saturday Eminem gave the keynote address at the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit, with hopes of encouraging young people of the hip-hop generation to register to vote. In doing so, Eminem told the media and audience of 4,000 that he'd had his right to vote taken away, presumably referencing a felony conviction in 2001 in which he was given two years' probation.

However, the star should be eligible and need only to register.

In several states, convicted felons are denied the right to vote. But according to the longstanding election laws of Michigan, the state in which Eminem resides, a convicted felon has only a temporary suspension of the privilege to vote while they are incarcerated. Those under probation do not lose the privilege, according to a spokesperson for Michigan's Bureau of Elections." Em's lawyers are looking into it, and say he will probably register. From MTV.com