May 28, 2007

The New Zealand Scene

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May 2007 was New Zealand’s Music Month, and although I did notice that there was a week of bands playing on campus in the Quad, it never seemed to catch the imagination, or even attention of a lot of people I talked to.

Maybe I was talking to the wrong people (I mean, engineers entertainment is usually in alcoholic liquid form), but maybe it wasn’t all that good? In the last fortnight or so, I set out about gathering some tracks from NZ bands in the attempt to gauge what was going on, and if there was a ‘scene’ at all…

If I asked you to name a New Zealand band, I suspect a lot of people would go ‘uh?’, I’d mention Crowded House and you’d go ‘really?’, or The Datsuns and you’d go ‘who?’, or maybe even mention some Australian bands that probably get mixed up now and again. I mean the accent’s the same, right? Wrong.

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to educate you about what I’ve found about NZ music. So…

Motocade, who I went to see last week live and who have been getting a lot of good blog hype (for good reason), one of the national music magazines, Real Groove, which conveniently had a showcase of NZ bands on its cover CD, and of course the local university band scene, of which I have also been to see a few bands and ‘obtained’ a compilation CD. If I have time, you may also get a post about some of the more the mainstream NZ music, the Australian/NZ crossover, the dub influence and a reminisce about Drum ‘n Bass clubbing in Dunedin (or maybe not).

And in answer to the question of a scene… here’s the opening couplet from Motocade’s My Friends

Let’s pretend to be part of the scene,
They can show you, what fucked really is… oh!

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  1. Dan

    When I was in Kiwiland the only local stuff I really heard was dodgy white reggae. In November there was one example of this that I literally couldn’t avoid – it sounded a bit like George Michael and had a refrain of “slow me down” or “turn me down” or something, repeated. Any idea what it is?

    28 May 2007, 18:01

  2. I would say Fat Freddy’s Drop, but I have no idea of the song you’re talking about. Another alternative might be Katchafire. I’m gonna get the albums off my friend and have a listen, the description does sound familiar :P

    28 May 2007, 23:12

  3. There’s also the Black Seeds, who have a song called Cool Me Down on their last album (out in 2006). I guess that’s it. I’ll track that down as well…

    28 May 2007, 23:25

  4. That’ll be the one.

    Is Bro Town as good as everyone says it is?

    30 May 2007, 20:05

  5. If you asked me about New Zealand music I would probably say something tribal and drummy with shouting ooga ooga singing.

    01 Jun 2007, 11:55

  6. Jim

    Don’t forget about New Zealand’s finest live dancepunk band Pig Out!

    02 Jun 2007, 13:11

  7. I think they might be DJing at one of the gigs I want to go to next week… we’ll see…

    And about Bro’ Town. It is essentially a New Zealand take on the Simpsons/Family Guy make-fun-of-our-own-country type of cartoon and for the most part it does it pretty well.
    There were some cheesy to the point of cringeworthy moments though that keep me from saying it’s brilliant. Then again, I’m saying all this only based on a couple of episodes.

    02 Jun 2007, 13:33

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