Happy New Zealand Music Month! One of our favourite times of the year is here, and boy, it’s shaping up to be a busy one.
Here’s a bit of a run through of the month’s activities thanks to the NZ Music Commission…
NZ Music Month 2015 Is Here!
Today is the first day of May. That means NZ Music Month is officially underway – New Zealand’s annual celebration of homegrown music and the people who make it! With over 700 events around the country listed on our gig guide this year’s celebrations are busier than ever. And back by popular demand, NZ Music Month t-shirts are available at the nzmusicmonth.co.nz website.
NZ Music Month Manager Simon Woods says “NZ Music Month exists to celebrate our music makers and the music they create – its a thirty-one day cultural celebration where you will find local music coming through the nations speakers, online and in venues, clubs and community spaces across the country”.
NZ Music Commission Chief Executive Cath Andersen said “For the fifteenth annual celebration there are more shows in NZ Music Month than ever before. It’s a great reflection of the volume of talent and music there is right across the country. We hope people all over New Zealand get out to see local music this May.”
To kick it all off, in Auckland Play It Strange & Orbitsound are hosting three up and coming artists performing at Backbeat. Goodshirt and Ha The Unclear are also playing on K Road at the Thirsty Dog. Under Cover, a mini-festival showcase of Wellington musicians covering Wellington songs is being held at capital’s Meow. For the classically minded The NZ Symphony Orchestra presents Aotearoa Plus – an invigorating mix of brand new and well-loved New Zealand music, plus a modern brass classic at the Michael Fowler Centre. In Christchurch Martin Phillipps from The Chills, Minisnap and the Swan Sisters are at the Peterborough Street Library launch the garden cities music month activities. Later that night Princess Chelsea is playing at the Darkroom. Elsewhere, Great North and The Bads are at The Old Stone Butter Factory in Whangerei. Paper Cranes with Little Brother can be found at the Little Fielding Theatre in Fielding. Mel Parsons is at the The Boathouse in Nelson. Jamie McDell plays a school concert at Mountainview High School during the day and is at The Sail Cafe And Bar that night in Timaru. Dunedin City Libraries is launching its incredible May programme with Tahu and the Takahes with a fantastic line-up of young talent including teen band Metal Fusion and musicians from Otago Girls High and Kaikorai Valley College. Yumi Zouma and Doprah launch their national tour at Queenstown’s the Sherwood.
This is only a selection of the many events happening all over New Zealand on the first day of May, let alone tomorrow which features dozens more including A Weird Night Out at the St James, Auckland, getting NZ Music Month off to the perfect start. For a full run down of events, updates, links and info about all the fantastic music on offer this May, head to: NZMusicMonth.co.nz
@NZMusicMonth (Instagram & Twitter)
International and Industry Action
Taite Music Prize-winners Jakob tackle Europe in headlining style
Taite Music Prize 2015 winners Jakob commenced their very first headline tour of Europe last week – and rumour has it that their London show sold out. The band are touring in support of their latest new album, Sines, for which they received the hefty trophy and $10,00 cash – which no doubt will go a long way to help them around Europe.
Smokefree Rockquest 2015
SFRQ is back for another year! Regional events will start in May, with the first heat being held in Gisborne. Around 650 bands and soloists/duos are expected to enter the event, meaning a total of around 3000 people will compete over the next three months in 24 towns from Invercargill to Kerikeri. The regional events run until 2 July, then the top regional bands and solo/duos submit video footage for selection as one of six bands and three solo/duos to play off at the national final at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in Auckland on Friday 11 September. Read more from NZ Musician…
Reuben Bradley : An Amazing Opportunity
From Reuben Bradley, via the Boosted crowdfunding site: “We have an amazing opportunity. I am a jazz musician from Wellington, drummer, composer, arranger and band leader. Last year I recorded an album with two times Grammy nominated New York pianist Taylor Eigsti and NZ/NYC bass player, Matt Penman. At short notice, Taylor is coming down under with one of his bands. He has agreed to stay and tour with me to launch the new album. It’s an amazing opportunity, a dream come true, which I hope you will be inspired to make a reality. The album is called ‘Cthulhu Rising’ and is inspired by combining my love of horror literature and modern jazz. I have used some classic H.P.Lovecraft short stories and set them to music, taking inspiration from their dark themes. ‘Cthulhu Rising’ is my third album, which follows the success of ‘Resonator’ (Jazz Album of the Year 2011) & ‘Mantis: The music of Drew Menzies’ (runner up Jazz Album of the Year 2013)…Creative New Zealand have been very helpful in donating to some of the tour costs, so right now I have everything I need except a finished album and I hope that you might like to help me finish it! We need $5000 to finish the album. I really look forward to sharing this music with you.” See more about the project on Boosted.
Celebrate NZ Music Month at your local Auckland library.
There is something for every age and taste! The following free opportunities are offered to the public by the APO and Auckland Libraries, to help celebrate NZ Music Month 2015: Sistema Aotearoa Pūoru Pīrere Programme, and the Sistema Aotearoa Concert Performances at the Otara Library, Otara Town Centre. Also Remix the Orchestra - sample session demo is on Friday 29 May at the
Avondale Library, 93 Rosebank Road. Letters in Wartime happens on Thursday 7 May at the Parnell Library. Letters held in the special collections at the Auckland War Memorial museum, written by New Zealand soldiers from the front during WW1, have been set to music for singers from the New Zealand Opera and full orchestral accompaniment. To find out about programmes on offer at your local library, visit the Auckland Libraries website.
NZ On Air: Making Tracks Funding Decisions for April 2015
As NZ Music Month 2015 rolls in, NZ On Air are pleased to present the latest list of new songs and music videos that will be created over the coming months. They received 119 applications this round and have chosen 24 to fund. On Monday NZ On Air will launch a new online platform. Also, a reminder that Porirua City Council are currently taking applications for their top-up grant as part of the Bring it Home funding scheme. If you’d like to apply or have any questions please get in touch with the Senior Development Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org MakingTracks Funded Projects – Artists funded in April 2015: AWA feat. Sir T, Barry Conrad, Benny Tipene, Charity Children, Chris Hurn, Ciaran McMeeken, French for Rabbits, Husk, I Am Giant, J. Williams, Kong Fooey, Massad, Nadia Reid, Rival State, Saving Grace, Scott Mannion, Shapeshifter, The Phoenix Foundation, Tom Lark, Toni Huata, Troy Kingi, Twin Cities, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Villainy. The next funding round closes Friday 1st May at 5pm. You can apply here.
New Release Fanfare
She’s So Rad “Breakout” EP available now
Recently Cheese on Toast shared the music video (watch the behind-the-scenes video below!) for the remix of She’s So Rad’s boogie/disco track “Breakout” that now features guest raps from Grandmaster Caz, JayKin and Coco Solid. You can now purchase the Remix EP in digital format from She’s So Rad’s Bandcamp Page – and stream it in full. She’s So Rad’s Jeremy Toy explains the genesis of She’s So Rad (Special Disco Version) and it’s Remix EP in his blog-post here: “One day whilst throwing some guitar and bass at a P Money track I played Pete my track “Breakout”. His response went something like this “You should get a rapper on this”… I was like “Great idea, would love to do that.” In the past I have had trouble getting rappers to work on my music as it has, I’m guessing, been to busy, too harmonically dense or not funky enough to work with a rap. Anyways, Pete says “I think Grandmaster Caz would work great on this beat…And it was a series of two emails and I was suddenly emailing the “Robert Johnson” of Hip Hop, the guy that was there when this all began, the guy that is still actively involved in Hip Hop in NYC. And guess what? He replied to me saying my beat (Breakout) was “FIRE”. Cue good feelings and confidence in own self boosted 10 fold.” Read more and listen via Cheese on Toast…
Princess Chelsea – The Great Cybernetic Depression
Princess Chelsea (a.k.a. Chelsea Nikkel) is proud to announce her brand new album The Great Cybernetic Depression, a collaborative release via Flying Nun/Lil’ Chief Records. Building upon the success of her debut album Lil Golden Book (2011), which spawned the hit “Cigarette Duet” (which has racked up nearly twenty million hits on Youtube), part of the inspiration behind the new record it was to try to recreate the magic of childhood sci-fi moves like Neverending Story. Princess Chelsea is sharing new single ‘Too Many People’ from her new album The Great Cybernetic Depression, which is out this Friday May 1 via Flying Nun and Lil’ Chief Records. The twinkling track features guest vocals from Jonathan Bree, who is also on the road with Chelsea on her album release tour which is currently underway. Take a listen below…Head over here to read Under the Radar’s recent interview with Princess Chelsea about the new album. Princess Chelsea is currently on tour and will be performing in Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland over the next few days, visit Under the Radar to see tour dates.
El Kaptan: Trinity Roots’ new video.
Trinity Roots have released the music video for their song “El Kaptain” which comes from their third studio album Citizen. In speaking about the clip Warren Maxwell of the band said: “Like most creativity, the concept for this video came out of the ‘ether’. The villainess false protagonist spurred thoughts and images from the silent film era. The lyrics were inspired from the last NZ election result which was very disappointing from two perspectives. There is a dual narrative – Dastardly instruction from a lying leader to the apathetic masses. No good will come of it!” Watch it here and check out their tour dates here…
Radioglo »In Between Time«
Release date: May 8th 2015
Radioglo are a four piece rock band based in Auckland, whose diverse songs are reminiscent of acts such as Kings of Leon and The Raconteurs, along with Elbow and Tom Petty. The odd country lick gives a quirky energetic quality to Gene Bennett (Rubicon) and Heath Watson’s (Sour) shared melodic, textured vocal harmonies, and the acoustic guitar focused sound makes it warm and organic. This is further complimented with the laid back 70’s inspired rhythm section of Shannon Slade (Malakai) and Robert Maskell (Channelling Venus, the NZ’ers). Although there is a distinct Radioglo sound, Gene says “there are no rules to what we bring to the band, which shows in the variation of songs which range from quirky upbeat to solemn downbeat”. When questioned about the album title, he said, “It was a bit of an in-joke of the time it took to finish recording the album, (although it was a lot less than Steely Dan!). But, it also doubles as a philosophical question of what exists between matter and the frequency of waves, time being a measurement of an object and/or event. Music is like a measurement of all those things vibrating.” In-joke or not, the debut is finally available, and music lovers owe it to their ears to grab this with both hands. Hear Radioglo here via Triple A Records: aaarecords.com/radioglo/
Jordan Reyne releases the third chapter of the [MAIDEN], Mother, Crone EP trilogy
“Maiden” is the final EP in Jordan Reyne’s “[MAIDEN], Mother, Crone” trilogy and is out thisweek – you can listen to the EP here. Described by New Zealand’s National Radio as the pioneer of a new sound, Jordan’s music is a blend of Celtic rock, steam-era machine noise, and Grimms’ fairytale-esque lyrics. Imagine PJ Harvey trapped in the workhouses of Industrial Revolution era England, with only Nine Inch Nails for company. She has just played the Whitby Gothic Weekend – previous WGW headliners include Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Gene Loves Jezebel, Dead Eyes Opened, Alien Sex Fiend, Clan Of Xymox, Toyah, New Model Army, Heaven 17, Visage, and Hugh Cornwell. Prior to WGW, Jordan had just completed a European tour – which included support slots with Laibach – to celebrate the completion of the Maiden, Mother, Crone trilogy. She has also just been booked to play Wave-Gotik-Treffen, the biggest Gothic festival in Europe, which runs from May 22 – 25 in Leipzig, Germany. A video has been released for ‘Birth Ritual’, the first track from the EP trilogy “[MAIDEN], Mother, Crone”.
Sam Hunt With David Kilgour & The Heavy 8s – ‘The 9th’
“It took us so long to make this LP because we were always busy and we were determined to record Sam live with the musicians. We didn’t want it to be one of those recordings pasted together long distance with Sam overdubbing poems onto pre recorded tracks etc. Or Sam sending us recordings of poems that we could record with. We needed to be in the same room. It took a while before a gap was found. So March 2014 Sam came to Dunedin for seven days where we wrote and recorded for about 4 days in an old hotel in Port Chalmers called Chicks.” – David Kilgour
Find out more about the album here.
On the Live Front
Will Wood (Lyttelton Records/Southbound) is finishing off his tour with Hannah In The Wars this weekend – catch them at these venues: May 1: Dunedin, Taste Merchants, May 3: Lyttelton, Civil and Naval (solo), 13: and then he heads to Auckland, to play Golden Dawn with Oscar Dowling. Follow Will on Facebook.
Around the World
The Man Who Broke the Music Business: The dawn of online piracy.
By Stephen Witt of The New Yorker.
One Saturday in 1994, Bennie Lydell Glover, a temporary employee at the PolyGram compact-disk manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, went to a party at the house of a co-worker. He was angling for a permanent position, and the party was a chance to network with his managers. Late in the evening, the host put on music to get people dancing. Glover, a fixture at clubs in Charlotte, an hour away, had never heard any of the songs before, even though many of them were by artists whose work he enjoyed.
Later, Glover realized that the host had been d.j.’ing with music that had been smuggled out of the plant. He was surprised. Plant policy required all permanent employees to sign a “No Theft Tolerated” agreement. He knew that the plant managers were concerned about leaking, and he’d heard of employees being arrested for embezzling inventory. But at the party, even in front of the supervisors, it seemed clear that the disks had been getting out. In time, Glover became aware of a far-reaching underground trade in pre-release disks. “We’d run them in the plant in the week, and they’d have them in the flea markets on the weekend,” he said. “It was a real leaky plant.”
Read the full story in The New Yorker…