Category Archives: Reviews

Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs (Nonesuch)

neko-case-kd-lang-laura-veirs-case-lang-veirs-supergroup-atomic-number-new-album-listen-640x640-640x640This self titled collaboration between Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs is a coherent, harmony laden surprise that plays to each members strengths while still managing to forge a group identity over it’s 14 tracks. Continue reading

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Felice Brothers – Life in the Dark (Yep Roc)

FeliceBrothers_LifeInTheDark_COVERThe wonderful Felice Brothers (2 real and several ‘adopted’) are back again, and the world is better for it.  Bringing with them is their own fairy tale version of America, a place that can no longer exist in this bitter world of shopping mall terrorism and the shakier foundations of a country bleeding pus in the Trump-era.   Continue reading

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Kongos – Egomaniac (Epic)

Kongos EgomaniacKongos are a family affair.  Brothers, in fact – the four sons of South African Sixties rocker John Kongos, who’s best known for his 1971 top 10 hit single, He’s Gonna Step on You Again.  Yes, the very song that was remade in the 90’s by Manc tripsters Happy Mondays (re-labelled Step On).   Continue reading

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Helen Henderson – Café One2One July 9, 2016

Helen Henderson 23Invercargill-born songstress Helen Henderson has recorded in London, LA, Nashville and Muscle Shoals. For this Saturday evening she and seven other musicians were perched one the tiny stage at Ponsonby’s Café One2One, playing and singing the songs that comprise her nearly-40-year career. Continue reading

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Gareth Thomas – Whammy Bar July 8, 2016

Gareth Thomas - Whammy Bar 8July16 (2 of 28)Goodshirt member Gareth Thomas introduced his new solo album, Fizzy Milk, to an enthusiastic crowd at Auckland’s Whammy Bar this Friday night.

Helping out Gareth was Fazerdaze frontwoman Amelia Murray, who played electric guitar and Jonathan Burgess (bass) and drummer Scott Mason, all of whom played on the album. Continue reading

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Willie Watson & Joshua Hedley Tuning Fork July 7, 2016

 

Willie Watson 28It was a dark and stormy night…but that didn’t keep the music lovers away from Auckland’s Tuning Fork as Joshua Hedley and Willie Watson each brought their distinctive takes on what can loosely be called Americana to New Zealand. Continue reading

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The Gotobeds – Blood//Sugar//Secs/Traffic (Sub Pop)

gotobeds-bsst-900Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic is The Gotobeds’ sophomore album, and their first album released through Sub Pop Records. The album title sassily throws some shade at the Red Hot Chili Peppers, announcing pretty clearly that even though they’re continuing to break out of Philly, they’re not here for your rock star bullshit okay? The follow-up to their 2014 debut album Poor People Are Revolting does what The Gotobeds do best, jumbling the juvenile with the intellectual in a tour de force of ruckus, with varying amounts of structure. However, enjoyable as Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic can be, it’s reliance on its influences stifles creativity, plenty of pith not enough vision. Continue reading

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Broods – Conscious (Capitol)

broods-consciousTheoretically, I should like Broods, as I find the glittery grime and smart smaltz of  synth pop appealing. Like all genres, it has its tropes- artists such as Eurythmics, CHVRCHES, Phantogram, and Purity Ring have all created fantastic albums that are exercises in aural chiaroscuro. Each of these bands have the commonality of darkly angular beats colliding and intertwining with sweetly pure vocals. However, be it through something as simple as a rhythm change or as deep as lyrical content, each of these aforementioned bands have managed to maintain a sense of musical individuality. Continue reading

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Air – TwentyYears (Warners)

Air Twenty YearsNicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel are more than just the hippest foreign exchange students in the dorm.  Air’s clever hybrid of downbeat electronic, 1960s pop, and Gallic kitsch is in it’s own helium bubble of coolness.  Always has been.  And they’ve brought us all along for the ride, re-introducing us to long out of style musicians like Serge Gainsbourg, the antic electronic experimenters Perrey and Kingsley, the evergreen loungemeister Burt Bacharach, and synth wizard Tomita. Hell, they made skivvies and polonecks cool – if worn with a tweed jacket and good quality nylon beige slacks – ‘sansabelt’ and ‘action gusset’ compulsory.  Continue reading

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Jake Bugg — On My One (Virgin/EMI Records)

Jake-Bugg-On-My-One-500x500There’s a very fine line between an artist on the one hand evolving and on the other completely reinventing himself. On My One is the sound of Jake Bugg straddling that line, to intriguing effect. Continue reading

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Totally Stripped – The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock Blu-Ray)

 

Totally Stripped Blu RayTwenty years ago The Rolling Stones released Stripped, their own version of an “Unplugged” album. Now, as part of their massive archival project, comes Totally Stripped, an updated version of the documentary that accompanied Stripped in 1996. Continue reading

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Oyawa – Whammy Bar June 30, 2016

Oyawa - Whammy Bar 30June16 (8 of 30)Oyawa, an up and coming band who has been making waves on indie radio with their new song, Heads On Fire, graced Whammy Bar’s dimly lit basement of a venue with their unique brand of alternative rock. Continue reading

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Motörhead – Clean Your Clock (Warners)

Motorhead Clean Your ClockLemmy Kilmister’s untimely death left a huge hole the music world, that’s for sure.   Since I first saw them playing Ace of Spades on an episode of The Young Ones they’ve been a  joy to behold.  With his handle bar moustache, warts and high tilted mic and hard drinking, womanising grunt machine Lemmy was the sort rocker every 13 boy wanted to be.  In his late years he hadn’t changed a bit, perfectly preserved in the formaldehyde of the late 70’s metal. He was unique alright, with a larger-than-life persona who had legions of fans and friends.  This album is more than a testament to all that. Continue reading

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Helen Henderson – London (Ranui)

Helen Henderson LondonHelen who?  If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the only one.  Like many ex-pat Kiwis, Helen Henderson is one of those who’s lived life of a unique and enviable moments.  She’s now LA based but originally grew up in the Deep South. She’s best known for her album The Sonora Sessions, an urban country affair which came out in the early 2000’s and the dark but catchy Twisting Wind, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Her music career has taken her to many places but it was her first big OE, in the late 1970’s, when she arrived in London with $20 in her pocket and a dream in heart, as the saying goes, that set it all going.  This month the songstress prepares to release an album of original songs material written and initially recorded between 1978 and 1980, when as a wide-eyed Invercargill teenager she first set foot in Old Blighty. Continue reading

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Steel Panther – Powerstation June 26, 2016

Steel Panther 37It’s a joke in itself when a band becomes as big as those who they parody, but that is exactly what has happened to Glam Metal rockers Steel Panther who were so convincing during their performance at The Powerstation last night, it was 1981 all over again. Continue reading

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