Recently I asked you all to put forward submissions to Right This Blog! With that in mind please welcome today's guest post from Crummy
I trust you are well. Remember that time when you did that whole Right This Blog thing? I do, it was a week or so ago. I told you that I would like to write some drivel, then you said to me that you would like that also. I occasionally check out the mediocre website you write for (which is becoming trashier by the day) and enjoy reading your musings on the world of music. It's hilarious seeing people getting their panties in a twist over the things you say. It gets a bit ridiculous sometimes, but in receiving death threats it shows that people do care about music and that is a good thing.
I promised to write some words about people from/in New Zealand who make music that doesn't receive much media attention. You might be wondering why I'm subjecting you to this torture. Well I'm 26 years old, live in Wellington and regularly try and take in some local music. I'm also in a band called DIVING (self-serving I know) and have met lots of musicians that are really passionate about the music they make, rather than the image they are projecting or the attention they receive.
There's so much s**t New Zealand music out there, Kids of 88, Tiki Taane, Midnight Youth and your personal favourite Six60. The list seems to be endless. But when it comes to anything creative and interesting not much seems to see the light of day unless it's a 4/4 love song with a cut-and-polished recording quality. The basic idea is that there is a load of great sound being made in New Zealand and we don't have to put up with the usual rubbish. So if you don't do it enough already, go out to more local gigs and support local musicians rather than emptying your wallet and surrendering your mind to the Big Three.
Prepare yourself for some facts, if you don't like them you can berate me with your comments below, that would be super lovely. Here are five music makers.
David Khan is someone I'm not that familiar with. I hope that his work raises a few questions about what we think of as music and how we listen to and experience sound. I have enjoyed his improvised creations from Clearing and Lacuna the last couple of evenings. For ambient music his works have a lot of narrative and an innate ability to shape vivid and colourful drone-like scapes. For me this is the heart of music, no words, no rules, no expectations. Although this kind of music is usually reserved for art installations and film scores, I don't see any reason why it can't be listened to in other contexts. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't crank it up in my car on the way to work, but it's good for a listen when you're in the mood to devote some time and thought to it. There must be more people out there doing this sort of thing, I'm hoping I'll hear about more of them.
Like their name implies, Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing will make you feel warm, sticky and content. It's likely that you will feel slightly ashamed afterwards, but while immersed in their sweetly sadistic and dissonant songs it's easy to revel in a splendour of discontent. Most of their songs are quite slow, which gives their take on punk an eerie and empty sound. Although the themes they cover are pretty dark, there is a charmingly playful side and good sense of humour to what they do. It's easy to see why Flying Nun have recently picked up frontman Casey's other band, Sharpie Crows. Obviously they are not going to be everyone's cup of tea though, but don't pooh pooh it until you've given it a listen.
AKA "The Sugarface Baritone", Daniel is just about to release his third full-length album. Lo-fi recordings, a DIY ethos and keen interest in roots and blues have shaped his sound over the past few years. I luckily had the pleasure of touring with Daniel a couple of months ago and was able to enjoy his tunes night after night. I get the sense his songs fall right out of his skin, however they have a very considered quality given the amount of material he has written in a relatively short space of time. The title track from his latest album Time Killed the Clock is a beautiful little number, check out the video shot and processed by the man himself on 16mm film. Don't be alarmed he's "shoeing" not "shooting" the pigeons. Also, his first album Dripping With is an impressive collection of 18 songs recorded with a wide range of techniques including an old crappy cellphone.
I thought it would be good to branch out of my usual preferences and have a listen to something else to mix up the genres a bit. I see Loui The Zu is on the recently released The Other People compilation, so I gave a few of his recordings a go. Thoughts... It's definitely not my kind of hip-hop/electronic/pop music, seemed more like hip(ster)-hop to me. I got the feeling that it was not very honest music and that it was geared more towards building an image and a fan base, something I'm not so keen on. Tracks like Stranger and Broken Mercedes have a feeling sorry for yourself feel to them, I'm sure the radio stations will be able to jump all over that along with the Americanised package he presents. Some good points though, best being there are a couple of tracks with nice beats. He's got a remix up on his Bandcamp site which got me thinking...what the f**k is a remix? If it's not your music leave it alone and write your own s**t. Maybe I'm being a bit narrow minded; I do like the occasional cover every now and then.
The Shocking & The Stunning are a two-piece act from Wellington who meld synthesisers and drums together to produce epic build-up/breakdown walls of noise. I first saw them at San Francisco Bath House about a year ago, and since then they have grown to be one of my favourite acts in the country. Their live performances have loads of energy and coupled with their overwhelmingly intense sound it makes for some good (or uncoordinated if you're like me) dancing. They have two EPs out and I hear there is a third on its way. It will be interesting to see how they continue to develop their sound as they have a very consolidated approach already. Based on their musicianship i'm sure they will keep pushing the barriers. Definitely a band to watch out for.
So there. You have some words from me now. I am sure that you have been stunned by my literary incompetence, and hopefully one or two of the above acts. Now that I'm finished I have just realised that not one of the people I have mentioned is female - it's probably because I'm subconsciously sexist and want to suppress women's creativity. More seriously, I'm browsing through my iTunes and it's pretty clear that the artists I find the most inspiring are generally female; PJ Harvey, Bjork, Karen O, Alison Mosshart, Kaki King. Maybe that's what New Zealand music needs more of right now. Well it's late and past my deadline - enough drivel for now.
P.S. Would you rather have to listen to one of Kenny G or Kenny Rogers' albums?
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