Hard News by Russell Brown

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Friday Music: Old, New, New, Old

Alongside more formal music heritage efforts this year there have been some fun fan projects online. The people behind the Twitter and Tumblr-based "DIY Digitisation" project RIU Classic have beeen steadily scanning and posting pages from the bottom of what I presume is a big, found stack of back issues of Rip It Up magazine. They're up to September 1979.

I'm not sure if this is the same stack that's feeding Flying Nun Story, but that project, too, is revisting musical history through the back pages of Rip It Up.

But the really big project is the Facebook-based "Unofficial" Flying Nun Vault (the quote marks are theirs), which publishes several pieces a day of Nun heritage. It's the work of Dunedin's Andy Ellis, who, in the words of the Audioculture profile on the project, "owns and curates the biggest collection of Flying Nun images, posters, audio, video, ephemera and anything else in the world, a collection which he willingly shares as he digitises."

Andy came up with something pretty special this week: a live recording of Bird Nest Roys in their pomp, playing 'Jaffa Boy'.

Bird Nest Roys are one of the most intriguing fronts of Flying Nun fandom: a bunch of West Auckland oddballs who never played outside New Zealand, but who to this day have fans in far-flung places and among indie nobility like Pavement.  And this is fantastic. It's what they sounded like like, it's what their records should have sounded like.

There's quite a bit more to explore in the Vault's Soundcloud trove, but this one has brightened my week. And given how difficult parts of this week have been, that's no mean feat.

Bonus: good find by Graham Reid: over at Elsewhere, he has the audio of Tall Dwarfs covering T Rex's 'Ride a White Swan' for an obscure tribute album. It sounds like what you're already hearing in your head.

Meanwhile, Audioculture has pubished my article on Entrain, the Nelson outdoor dance party that came before The Gathering and before Splore and in many ways set the template for both. There are lots of photos and some great video to go with the words. Thanks very much to Jamie Larnach for his help with this.

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The Scott Maclachlan-managed next-big--thing Thomston has been releasing free tracks via his Soundcloud account over the past couple of weeks. I felt like I really wasn't market for the pop of 'Anaesthetic' and 'Burning Out', but I'm a bit keener on the emo ambient R&B of his latest:

Auckland-based Beach Pigs have a name that makes them sound like a messy punk rock band, but their actual music is melodic and quite often outright sunny indie rock. Their new album Grom Warfare (heh) came out this month and I rather like it:

I reckon mini-albums and EPs are a winning format for digital sales. A clutch of five or six songs is a nice place between a taster and conventional album length (which, let's face it, is an artefact of the compact disc) and the price is usually appealing. Case in point -- Doprah's eponoymous five track release, which is $US5 on Bandcamp. It includes the treat of a Race Banyon remix of 'Stranger People':

And from TheAudience's blues and folk charts (and climbing up the main chart), this tune from Wanaka's Anna van Riel, who really does have a lovely voice. This is the title track from her current album.

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On another tip entirely, Canadian duo Love Thy Brother's remix of Daughter's 'Youth' was one of my favourite tracks of 2012. And now they've done it again with a take on Banks' 'Drowning'. Yay for big, deep, housey pop  (click through on the embed for a free download):

Need some reggae loving? We all do. Here's a new little number from Sandringham's Stinky Jim:

And here's a really very tasty reggae mixtape from DJ Vadim, which showcases tracks from his forthcoming album alongside classics and contemporary jams (track listing here). It's mastered for bass:

Disco? Disco, you say? You'll be wanting Joey Negro's well groovy dub of the Sylvester classic. Get the download while it's there for the getting.

If you like a little more of a retro-soul vibe, The Apple Scruffs have posted a free download of their edit of Electric Empire's 'Baby Your Lovin'':

And this tricked-out edit of Marlena Shaw's 'Woman of the Ghetto', with pleasing acid additions:

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And finally, a couple of new videos. This pretty, simple clip for the L.E.D.s' 'Travelogue':

And this pretty freaky one for the Phoenix Foundation. Put the band in a tunnel!

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