Just the other day I mentioned the closing of Puppies, a Wellington venue (yet another Wellington music venue to shut its doors). The man behind Puppies, Ian Jorgensen - known to most as simply Blink - has released a new book called The Problem With Music in New Zealand and How To Fix It & Why I Started And Ran Puppies - well as the title suggests it's actually two books in one, two sets of essays around two topics that are interlinked. Part of Blink's intention in running the venue Puppies was to show that he could implement some of his ideas around earlier start-times for gigs, around sticking - at least - to announced set-times; around treating bands right, creating a community for music. One of his big frustrations, as explained in the book, is the handing over of live music to the breweries. Alcohol dictates, venues want to make a buck from selling drinks - they need to. Most venues are bars first and foremost.
Blink's book doesn't have all the answers but it's worth your time if you're at all interested in music - and presumably, since you're reading a music blog, you are.
Blink's book is worth your time because it attempts to get a dialogue going - and it is about the sharing of experience.
I've reviewed the book here - and in that link there's also the information on where to get the book; it's available as a free download for Kindle (or via donation). It's also available in book-form, hard-copy. It's well-priced and I reckon a must-have for any musicians, venue owners and operators and for gig-goers, for music fans.
Speaking of Wellington venues - the newly re-opened/re-branded San Fran hosts Bikini Roulette tomorrow night (Thursday, July 3) at 8pm. It's an early show - starting right on the button, band on stage at 8pm - and just $5. This might be a leaf from Blink's book, advertised show time, starting early, $5 show. All good things. (Also you can check out Bikini Roulette's album for free/name your price right here).
I'll be playing some records up at the bar after the band finishes - no theme, no plan, just a few of my favourite records. Should be a good night.
Postscript: The album "Songs" by John Fullbright is an amazing collection from a young songwriter, one of the best - complete - albums I've heard in a long, long time, check it out.
You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts