Friday, May 18, 2007

DON’T MISS TE RADAR’S "HITORI"

Radar is one of the smartest chaps out there - go see his show. You'll be a better person for it. Here's some guff on it.

IN AUCKLAND, TOMORROW NIGHT ONLY
DATE: Saturday 19th May, 5:30.
VENUE: Classic comedy Bar. BOOKINGS: 09 373 4321
TICKETS only $15

ONE SHOW ONLY. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL!

"Te Radar set out to find and tell stories about some of Te Wai Pounamou’s unsung, often unhinged, heroes. He found plenty, …Hitori gallops gallantly through tales of bravery and stupidity… there’s much to laugh at and, surprisingly, to learn…" – Listener Review, Aug 20, 2005

"Hitori was all it was promised to be, a witty and off-beat ramble through bizarre stories…". – Nelson Mail, Oct 26, 2005 "Do not die a rotting death like mine, but instead pass from this world via the fragrant ovens of a battlefield". – Te Wera.

Based on this Ngai Tahu pepeha (proverb) HITORI is comedian and documentary-maker Te Radar’s investigation of the history of Te Wai Poenamu, (The South Island).

From the geological to the mythological, and from the sociological to the illogical, this off-beat look at the Island’s history focuses on some of the myriad of heroes and villains, the brave and the insane, who changed the face of the great southern land forever, or failed spectacularly trying.

Initially funded by Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu and the Christchurch Arts Festival, HITORI is based on Maori pepeha, or proverbs, which it uses to introduce aspects of the show.

As Te Radar says, "Studying history is like trying to herd drunken monkeys. Every time you think you have a story narrowed down you to discover a different version, additional facts, or a piece of trivia that alters the basis of the story. It’s fascinating and infuriating."

"The history of this island is one of passion and bravery, bloodshed and tragedy, stupidity and futility. But ultimately history is about good yarns. Our yarns" he says. It’s a history show that will guarantee you will never look at the South Island, or history, the same way again.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Head like a hole

Read the letter by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor yet?

Apparently he's not too impressed at the pricing of his latest album in Oz, which he spied while touring there recently...

"As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more. A couple of examples that quickly come to mind:

* The ABSURD retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia. Shame on you, UMG. Year Zero is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people steal music. Avril La vigne's record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 US).
By the way, when I asked a label rep about this his response was: "It's because we know you have a real core audience that will pay whatever it costs when you put something out - you know, true fans. It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy."
So... I guess as a reward for being a "true fan" you get ripped off.

* The dreaded EURO Maxi-single. Nothing but a consumer rip-off that I've been talked into my whole career. No more.

The point is, I am trying my best to make sure the music and items NIN puts in the marketplace have value, substance and are worth you considering purchasing. I am not allowing Capital G to be repackaged into several configurations that result in you getting ripped off."


Also, the first episode of Flight of the Conchords HBO series is available online at Myspace, ahead of its June 17 US debut. Go here to watch. More clips from the HBO series - scroll down on this page. (hat tip to Pop Candy)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On wax
Local band manager Campbell Smith (also CEO of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, or RIANZ) talks baout what the job invloves, in the NZ Herald's Careers section. Best quote is below...

"... despite the day-to-day details of the jobs, Smith is still an avid music fan. On a recent morning, he cranked up a copy of David Bowie's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) before heading off to the office. However, the tunes weren't on an iPod or a CD. The man who is looking at leading New Zealand music into tomorrow admits he has a preference for that old standby, vinyl.

"I listen to nothing but vinyl right now. I just think it sounds better." Link.


And if you haven't read it already, check Graham Reid's excellent response to the whoo-ha over Neil Finn's comments on NZ music.

snip... "The tyranny of a small country is that it is easy to exhaust the local touring circuit -- although bugger all bands have tried in my opinion.

So you need to go overseas -- and not just to play a couple gigs then come back home for a cuppa tea and lie down. If you do that I figure you're not that serious. You want success -- but still have mum do your laundry.

Bands or artists may need to base themselves offshore -- as an increasing number are realising. Greg Johnson is still slogging away in LA and every time I've seen him either up there or here it is always the same story: the breakthrough is just beyond reach but you have to keep trying. And you have to be there if it happens....

... My belief is that too often artists here -- and I am listening to two local albums at the moment which, while well intentioned, I wouldn't give you tuppence for -- don't have their work critiqued at every step of the process: in the writing, the recording, production, even the running order on an album.

Those who base themselves offshore are surrounded by so many more musical and cultural influences, so much more information, so many more points of reference or comparison. Music is an international game and if artists only want success in this country then that is fine. I think they, if they deserve it on merit, should have it.

But for those who see something bigger and better out there -- a career even -- then the sights must be set beyond the horizon. But not through rose-tinted glasses...

... I think [Neil Finn] was, in an off-the-cuff way, saying something that we need to hear more. The press releases about our bands at SXSW or playing a big Waitangi Day gig in London, or having a track added a TripleJ or flying to some Sydney-side MTV bash with a bunch of hangers-on need to be put into perspective."

Go read it now.