All entries for May 2007

May 30, 2007

Motocade Live @ Crow Bar, Auckland (24th May)


It’s not hard to describe what sort of music Motocade play. Press that little triangle above and you’ll be under no illusions about them using blank and blank no.2 as inspirations through to the inevitable blank no.3. Only I’d like to think there’s something different here. There’s a distinct lack of pretension, just an emphasis on making lots of cool melody lines intertwine between three guitars (two electric, one bass, no less) and yet somehow the songs don’t come across as sounding the same.

I dragged some friends along to the Crow Bar club in Auckland, where they were playing a free gig for all interested. After an opening act that couldn’t decide if they were Depeche Mode or Interpol before giving up and playing a danceable tune, Motocade squeezed past the crowd on the tiny dancefloor to make it to the even tinier stage (or more accurately, other floor). Eden Mulholland, the singer, didn’t look like he belonged, looking a little shorter in real life™ and a bit unassuming taking up the mic. But when he started belting out the lines to opener State and Maine, it became obvious how everything clicked into place and well… everything clicked into place. Guitars were as tight as many of the jeans in the vicinity, the basslines physically forced the people to move and there was occasionally that ubiquitous cowbell…

I swear thatSetlist

Most of the set comprised of recent EP Into The Fall, but they delighted us with two new tunes that everyone bounced along to, in the absence of knowing any of the words. Which is how it all sums up really, they are an entertaining band, no doubt, all of their tunes would definitely be at home next to blank or blank no.2 and especially blank no.3. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t completely original, in the same way that something like Howl Howl Gaff Gaff was just a good collection of indie rock tunes, Motocade’s Into The Fall EP is also a good, nay, pretty great, collection of indie rock tunes. If there’s anything I could possibly have against it, it would be the occasional daft lyric, but I could hold that against anyone.

So yeh, if you’re wanting one of New Zealand’s catchiest bands, start here, watch their take on Outkast’s Hey Ya from NZ television and I’ll bring along some more bands with the next post…

UPDATE: New photo, and also, hopefully I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow at the Kings Arms, along with new favs Cut Off Your Hands!, but more on that and them later!

Motocade - Into The Fall EP

Motocade – Bomb Squad
Motocade – Goodnight Boy
[buy Into The Fall EP]

Motocade – Psycho
[buy Motocade EP]

[Motocade MySpace]

May 28, 2007

The New Zealand Scene

Writing about web page

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!

May 26, 2007

Wolf Parade

Wolf Parade are a Canadian rock band who I have heard some tracks by recently and enjoyed. I like that jaunty, putting-on-silly-and-slightly-unhinged-voices style of singing with the usual borderline-generic indie sound.

Is that a beard or a scarf

They’re a fun band. I don’t know much more about them than that and that I’ve enjoyed the tracks I’ve listened to recently. I’m not good at this ‘exhaustively explaining a band and forcing you to listen to them’ thing, ok?

If you like Wolf Parade then post here and tell me more about them.

Here are a couple of the tracks I like:

Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts

Shine a Light

May 23, 2007

The Damn Coolest Mixtape in all the land


Lately, I’ve got into more and more music that is the epitome of cool as hell funktronica. Here, I share with you some of the funkiest. Buy these albums, players.

Hot Chip – The Beach Party [Buy Coming on Strong]
Maroon 5 – If I Never See Your Face Again [Buy It Won’t Be Soon Before Long]
Calvin Harris – Vegas [Buy I Created Disco]

May 17, 2007

Exam psyche up music

It’s exam time again which means another excuse to listen to trashy, cheesy, inspirational, and invariably hilarious music in a pathetic attempt to relieve stress and imbue oneself with hollow confidence.

Yeah! Powerful Transformer!
You’ve got the touch! You’ve got the PO-WER.

Here’s my current “exam psyche up” playlist:

Kenny Loggins – Footloose (from the film Footloose)
Joe Esposito – You’re the Best (from The Karate Kid)
Stan Bush – The Touch (from Transformers, and Boogie Nights)
Desmond Child – Last of an Ancient Breed (from The Warriors)
Survivor – The Eye of the Tiger
Kenny Loggins – Highway to the Danger Zone (from Top Gun)
Paul Engemann – Scarface Push It To The Limit (from Scarface)
Van Halen – Dreams


Push it to the limit, yeah?

For some reason, The Touch seems to be playing at a slower speed than it should (I’ve checked the mp3 I uploaded and it’s fine) – most odd! Download it here, if you like.

May 01, 2007

Actually found on film

Writing about web page

It’s amazing what you find on soundtracks.

Look a bit closely at the Spiderman 3 soundtrack past the obvious Snow Patrol lead single and The Killers leftovers (and the trash from Jet) and you find two new efforts from The Walkmen, and Rogue Wave. On a CD boasting so many original songs (and a few good ‘uns as well), it just seems weird to see ‘Spiderman 3’ on the front of it.

The Walkmen track, Red River, doesn’t hold any new ground, but it has them finding their footing again after some of the relative missteps in last (proper) album A Hundred Miles Off. It mixes the relaxing groove of Louisiana with the explosions of Danny’s At The Wedding without veering off to the unlistenable territory of All Hands and the Cook. I was really at odds with the last record, skipping a fair few of the tracks, like I’m wont to do with Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me…, as if they’ve regressed back to going for some avant-garde style over substance (does anybody play Roll Down The Line?). Some of the tracks have grown on me, but even lead singer, Hamilton has admitted to being a bit lax with song selection in a recent interview. Hopefully it points signs to decent new album.

The Rogue Wave song, Sight Lines, is much more pleasant. Zach Rogue might resemble James Mercer with a stranger accent (with the same amount of reverb, naturally), but he restrains the calculation of his words and gives the song a bit more breathing space than a Shins song generally allows. The instrumentation is looser, as the bright chorus that breaks out between the verses lets drums, slide guitar and piano all tumble over each other. Unfortunately it doesn’t build much further, but the journey is a better experience. If you haven’t picked up Descended Like Vultures, you should.

Then again, these bands would never give their best tracks away to a soundtrack, regardless of the film. Right?

The Walkmen – Red River
Rogue Wave – Sight Lines
[Listen to and buy the whole album here]

May 2007

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