Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'll Say Goodbye

Good people,

Due to falling listenership – I’m going off the air as at 1st March 2009.

Basically I’m floggin’ a dead horse, wasting too much of my own time & money, in, it has to be said, largely a thankless fashion.

I failed to solicit the necessary support & feedback from the N.Z Bands I expected.

After all it is the bands, that were the main beneficiaries of my efforts to promote N.Z Music to a worldwide audience.

So my philanthropy is at an end, and I can re-invest my monthly outlay & royalties to more deserving causes, such as the N.Z Totalisator Agency Board.

If you would like to contact me, kindly do so to the left.

This blog will continue to function, be it, in the current infrequent fashion.

Good-bye and thanks for all the fish.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Zealands Worst Music Videos

At first you are half expecting to hear narration about other tourist destinations in New Zealand to come in over the song - when up pops this gorky guy in a denim top, wearing ghastly gloves who then begins the most God awful exhibition of break-dancing imaginable. This begins a downward spiral of cringe-worthy ‘miss matched’ cultural identifiers placed together in sequence.

That’s a great idea & sure winner there Noel! Let’s produce the worst video imaginable to accompany the worst Kiwi song ever penned. Who needs Neil & Tim anyway?

Try and remember this was a hit single in 1978, back when you were labelled zany by wearing costume-hire on two nights running & there was no internet or play-stations. In other works the public was easily amused. Exhibit A; Mother Goose.

I’m picking there was a limited budget here. Could have been those plastic plants in the background, or may be it was the authentic leopard-skin waist-coat? The church-dance lighting may also be another indicator. On the plus side it goes and shows you – Hawaiian shirts never go out of style.

Look everyone our ‘How to be Punks Kit’ has just in the post all the way from the U.K. Unfortunately it was sent surface-post and arrived two years too late. Rumour has it The Reptiles made a blood pact never to smile & the lead singer Zero actually has a wardrobe full of dodgy old rain-coats. She wasn’t adverse donning a rubbish bag or two in her day, best place for this.

The title of the song is Cactus Cat so the creative team came-up with the novel idea of interspersing the miming L.B.G.P with cactus plants and a black-cat. Wow! Mind you not even Speilberg himself, could have rescued one of the worst Flying Nun singles ever. Pets may work for commercials, but patently not so with music videos.

Shoot me your horrors!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Zealand’s Scariest Music Videos

I came across the topic line ‘Scariest Music Videos’ on another blog, which tickled my fancy – so being a good Kiwi lad, I flogged it!

Then I got thinking about scary music videos from New Zealand bands, I’d come across.

By the way I’m using the term ‘scary’ in the broadest definition of the word, I guess you could also extend this banner to include ‘dark’ as well.

So I searched my memory banks, put my balding thinking-cap on, and came-up with some local videos I personally believe are worthy of consideration, for the lofty mantle of (uses booming, deep announcers voice to herald) ‘New Zealand’s Scariest Music Video’.

You of course may think differently, this being a very subjective subject.

So tell us your own fav’s via the comments section.

For your viewing pleasure we have……

Childrens Hour - ‘Carolines Dream’
Headless Chickens – ‘George’
Fetus Productions – ‘Flicker’
Skeptics – ‘AFFCO’
Head Like a Hole – ‘Fish Across The Face’

Next on my agenda 'New Zealands Worst Music Videos'.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Kiwi Songs you won't be hearing on the National Programme

In case you missed, it back in March I scanned my record collection, in an effort to formulate what I considered to be ‘The Top 10 most Offensive Kiwi Song Titles’ ever.

At the end of the process, I came-up with 15 songs, all worthy entries in their own right. Either that or I’m an indecisive prick, unable to make hard choices and curb it back to ten(?)

Any way since then, I’ve come across a number of ‘juicy’ titles which I missed in the initial research, and I feel it’s only fair they too achieved the lofty mantle amongst ‘the most offensive’ ever (yep, I’m employing that tacky tactic of putting ‘ever’ at the end, as if to deride other such lists, and at the same time emphasise what bloody good titles I’ve rooted out)

Here’s hoping the bands involved, will enjoy this dubious distinction.

If not – tough!

So here we go folks, six more tunes to avoid playing when mums in the room:

Hi-Tone Destroyers: ‘Deep inside Teenage Pussy’
The Users: ‘Arseful of Fist’
Steffan Van Soest Hit Machine: ‘Hey Mother Fucker’
Palace of Wisdom: ‘Eat You Out’
Peter Gutteridge: ‘Fuck Your Mother to Hell’
Chris Hazelwood: 'Wankfest'

This list is obviously ‘a work in process’ so be sure to send me your songs for inclusion, eh.
Oh yeah, the picture at the top is The Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine. No, it wasn't taken at his Granny's 70th.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do Offal and Music Mix?

How does one adequately submit a dissertation,on arguably New Zealand's most eclectic & satarical band??

Well let's try, by starting with the lead guitarist, who at one point used the pseudonym 'Gaylord Jesus'. Then there's the duet of 'Tennessee Pussy' & 'Bi-Curious George' (imagine the two chicks out of the B52's, but with attitude and a more liberal application of the both the English language and body art) A hyperactive rhythm section that's currently masquerading under the names 'Doghart' and 'El Grinlound Frajillo' – well at least that's the names they used last week anyway. Then into the stage presence: ball-room dress's for the fellas, and for your added viewing pleasure a selection of dubious super 8 films. Include the occasional bucket of offal for crowd control, and a musical style that ranges from country to prog rock. Kind of Blerta meets The Mothers of Invention with a hint of Coney Island Freak Show,but not exactly.

And what we have got for dinner mum?

Not again, we had it last night.

Their musical 'piesta resistance' has to be that grand ol' piss-taking anthem 'I've Got a Hard-On for Jesus' (not to be confused with a song with the same title by 'The Dandy Warhols', which is also worthy of a check-out)

This knees-up ditty is deserving of a wider audience, so you have the chance to play it here and sing & dance along with the family at the same time.
Ask yourself - has blasphemy ever been this much fun and been so damn catchy?!

"I've got a Hard-On for Jesus" by Meat-Bix.

I went down to the church, to have myself a pray
On the cross was my Saviour and Lord
Well he was lookin' 'bout as naked as a jaybird
And I felt somethin' growin' in my shorts.

I've got a hard on for Jesus
It's bulging 'gainst my leg, can't you see?
Yes, I've got a hard on for Jesus
And Jesus has his hard on for me

Yeah, Jesus has his hard on for me.
I felt the devil pull me asunder
These thoughts of mine, they filled me with such shame
Well he was looking so right fine and perty
I fell on my knees and wanked off in his name
Yes, I fell on my knees and wanked off in his name.

'Cos I've got a hard on for JesusIt's bulgin' 'gainst my leg, can't you see?
Yeah, I've got a hard on for Jesus H. Christ
And Jesus has his hard on for me
Yeah, Jesus has his hard on for me.

His bedroom eyes were burnin', they were searin' my soul
He didn't have to say any words
I felt the hand of Jesus give that final downstroke
And I shot my load and shouted Praise the Lord (PRAISE THE LORD!)
Yeah I shot my load and shouted PRAISE THE LORD!!!

More about Meatbix here:

Buy Meatbix's seven track debut EP here:


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Top 10 Kiwi Albums

Ask say 100 Kiwi Music fans to name their Top Ten Albums and you’ll get 100 different lists.

As the great bard once said: “Opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one”.

With such lists they’ll always be a divergence of entries, reflecting the demographics, race, social structures, music of that time etc.

Peoples taste also change although for the most part we are ‘slaves’ to the music we listened to in our teens.

New artists come on the scene and replace what was once considered ‘treasured material’. Your favourite album from your teens is likely to now be buried in the back of your collection. Playing it 20 years on is likely to produce more nostalgic warm-fuzzies than adulation.

Everyone also is has bias, whether they advertise the fact or not.

This bias is referred to in sugar-coated terms as ‘taste’.

Thus we hide behind ‘taste’ when in reality we are simply covering-up our innate bias.

I for example have an unashamedly love of alternative Indy music – thus my list comes minus any submissions of ‘the hip-hop kind’.

Objectivity is never a part of any individuals own choice in music. Each of us is presumptuous enough to declare our own list ‘better’ for reasons which we justify on the same indignant tones as someone else defending their choices.

On seeing someone’s else’s opposing list we’ll automatically and defiantly state “how the hell could you miss [insert your album]!”. Let’s take this as read.

Hey, that’s the great thing about music and of course there is no ‘Official Top Albums’ and never can be. ‘Rip It Up’ comprised a Top 100 Albums in their December 2001 issue, drawing opinions for rock music aficionados and muso’s alike(39 odd of these are in my own collection in one form or another).

Annually, December signals the time in which musical scribes pick their Top Albums of the Year. So they’ll always be such lists and ensuing arguments as to their merits.

My Top Ten Kiwi Albums is what it is.

MY Top Ten.

No justification or elaborations necessary.

That’s after all, the very nature of a blog!











Have fun making your own.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

An interview with Failsafe Records el-supremo Rob Mayes

To coincide with the FAILSAFE RECORDS MUSIC MONTH , the great saviour of local Indy Music, Failsafe label owner, producer, musician, writer, rock historian, mollycuddler to the musically unwashed, the inimitable ROB MAYES has the blow-torch applied to his y-fronts.

Q.) Starting from square one, how does a band/artist go about getting recorded on Failsafe? Do they come to you? Or do you approach prospects?

Failafe's a hobby label, most releases don't break even so if I'm going to put a lot of time and money into something it has to be because I think its a worthy project, or cos I'm into it personally.

There is the odd release on the label that I'm not that invested in where I've put something out cos I know and like the people, but I try to keep that to a minimum and certainly in recent times its all personal projects. If you want to draw my attention to your personal project that fits within the music tastes that the label clearly follows then I'm happy to hear from bands but I don't take kindly to being approached by blues rock outfits wanting me to release their latest jam because it shows the band clearly hasn't taken the time to investigate my label and what I do, and blues rock would be one of the many styles of music I don't do, along with hip hop, soul, r & b etc.

The label is specifically a post punk, post rock, alternative melodic indie guitar label.

Q.)What's the future looking like for Independent Labels in New Zealand?

Harder to break even or generate any money to cover costs without compromising your art.

Q.) How's pirating affecting you guys?

Its pretty hard to find any of our stuff on limewire or bit torrent, but cd copying is definitely making it difficult to continue to do releases,when there are reduced sales in an already small market its going to be harder for any label or artist to do the next record. Music fans should acknowledge this issue and make a conscious effort to channel money to their favourite artists, or not be surprised when they stop making music and get a job in a fast food joint.

Q.) What's your favourite Failsafe band of all-time?

I've got favourite tracks. I love:
substandard - global research system
YFC - most of the ricochet album
Eight Living legs - don't do that near me
147 Swordfish - love (off avalanche)
Beat Rhythm Fashion - most of the album

I also really like some of my own music, cos I make music that I would want to hear so I don't see it so much as being egotistical to like it. I made it cos its what I was missing in available music.

I'm very proud of The Throw albums, particularly the track softly off Dreambaby goodbye. The middle section of that song is one of my favourite bits of production.

Likewise The new Kimo album, some really good moments on that puppy which people will be able to sample for themselves soon.

Q.) And your fav Failsafe Album?

See above. A little hard for me to choose. Like asking me to pick a favourite child (if I had kids)

Definitely some important albums for me like the YFC and BRF ones, and the Kimo Throw and dolphin albums.

Q.) The undisputed best local band you've had the pleasure of seeing live, are or were?

I really enjoyed "how to kill" who supported Into the Void twice at the Dux in 2006. I'm hoping to pursuade them to record something soon.

Q.) The Failsafe band that should have 'made it' but didn't ,was?

There's quite a few there, and I feel semi guilty about not going all out for some of them, but in reality Failsafe is a one man label and I do as much as I can, more than I should possibly, ie slightly obsessively not putting enough into other aspects of a healthy life :)

Throw were a pretty good live band. We had song ideas worked out which were often simple riffs and hooks, but we left the length and dynamic of the piece open so sometimes you could blow yourself away with the power of a version. A lot of that came from my relationship with Drummer Steve Birss from our 6 years of music together and we'd drag Taylor along for the ride.

YFC were ground breaking and still were on their 2005 reunion gigs. They may play again.

BRF wrote some amazing songs and their gigs in 82 still ring clear in my mind.

But really a lot of the failure to make it of these bands was of their own doing, or undoing. it takes a lot of effort with no reward before you start to see even a little of what you need to see to justify attempting to make it. And NZ really isn't that good at recognising or supporting its art, notable wasters of good public funding which could go to making it easier for artist to make art are NZ on Air who now routinely divert money to the least culturally significant sounds around (i.e. the stuff that sounds like overseas trends). They should be ashamed of themselves for an organisation who's logo is "our voice, our country".

Q.) Granted one wish and the opportunity to join any group, past or present, what band would you be in?

Well I was already lucky enough to play with Children's Hour on their reform tour of '05 so I wouldn't want to push my luck wishing for anything more, but YFC or Joy Division or Cure, maybe Killing Joke or Comsat Angels guest spots would be nice.

Q.) The coolest guy in the band is always the?

I really don't notice things like that. I do admire talent (the unthinking ability to produce inspirational sounds) above skill (the planned and practiced) though, and a great emotive musical drummer always gets my attention and appreciation. You can get a bad band with a good drummer, but you very rarely get a good band with a bad drummer. the drummer makes or breaks it for me.

Some of my favourite drummers have been:
Steve Birss - Dolphin and Throw Drummer.
Chris Spark - Degrees K, exceedingly musical in his drumming, you could almost hum his drum lines.
Michael Daly - YFC, Eskimo. No denying his drum parts are integral to YFC.
Bevan Sweeney - Children's hour, Headless Chickens. The drum pattern to gaskrankinstation is one of the best sculpted pieces of writing I've witnessed.
David Toland - Playthings, Expendables, Springloader. another extremely expressive player.

On the Children's Hour tour I had the chance to complete the set of playing with my favourite drummers of the early eighties. Birss, Daly and Sweeney. a great honor, although I wouldn't say that to their faces cos you got to keep drummers in their place :)

Footnote: Tune to Pure NZ Alt Radio in April and you'll have the pleasure of listening to Rob's labour of love. It's 100% Failsafe music 24/7.