Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: My Year in Culture

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  • Samuel Scott,

    Kind of a funny year for music. All your picks are great (especially your choice of dinner time reverie!). But as I am a list addict I will hijak the comments with my own top 5.

    1. Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti - Before Today
    Round & Round; snob rock single of the decade?

    2. Connan Mockasin - Please Turn Me Into The Snat
    The king of the new wave of kiwi psyche prog

    3. Lord Echo - Melodies
    Best NZ reggae/roots album ever, hands down.

    4. Dan Kelly - Dan Kelly's Dream
    Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam

    5. Eno & Harmonia - Tracks & Traces
    Finally released after 30 odd years of gestation. Electronique performers.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Music: The Suburbs by the Arcade Fire. So great! And the videos are like woah!
    TV: Community. Boardwalk Empire was pretty, but not nearly as awesome.

    Anything else? Umm, I don't go to the movies anymore. Or gigs, really. The Wellingtonista Awards were fun, but I would say that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK, please listen to the last Public Address Radio of the year where I do my own cultural top three:

    Yes, Outrageous Fortune was there. And so was Boy, for the pleasurably embarrasing flashbacks to my own misbegotten yoof.

    But my big cultural winner of the year has to be Chris Bourke's sublime Blue Smoke: the Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964 -- scholarly and comprehensive without being a pretentious chore, loaded with wonderful anecdotes and drool-worthy archival pictures, Bourke's obvious love for a highly unfashionable and neglected area of our cultural history shines through every page.

    Mad props also due to Auckland University Press for a very tasty piece of book design, and committing the serious amount of money needed to make a hefty book with lots of well-reproduced photos on good paper. Good book design is an art in itself, but seldom noticed (let alone given due credit) unless its done badly.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11931 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Parks & Recreation might be my fave tv show of the year. Aziz Ansari!!!!

    Hey thanks for the David Dallas link. I freakin love that tune, it's been rattling around in my head since seeing it 5 times in a row at the Teletext Music Awards soundcheck.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    I subscribed to the Silo this year (a joint Christmas pressie with my beloved). It was the best present I have got myself in years. Actually got us off our backsides into the theatre every few weeks and the Silo had a brilliant, brave and varied season. Will do again.

    Also the ATC production of Cabaret was super rude and absolutely wonderful. I was mystified as to why the whole audience (except yours truly) was over 55?

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You probably haven't seen it yet, but the second series of Misfits is even better than the first. It's stylish, funny and constantly surprising.

    I've got to say Misfits narrowly edges out The Good Wife as the most pleasant surprise of the television year -- because let's face it, " Heroes with ASBOs" sounds about as appealing as the proverbial bucket of cold sick.

    On the geek front, Misfits -- along with Being Human, Sherlock and Steven Moffat's simply glorious debut season as showrunner of Doctor Who -- has taught the Yanks that a good actors with great material trump glossy production values.

    (Sorry, but I'm suspending judgement on The Walking Dead until we get a full 13 episode season next year. What I liked about TWW, I liked a lot; but there was just as much that got on my last nerve. Perhaps it wasn't the smartest call rushing production to make a Halloween debut.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11931 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    My cultural thing of the year(-ish) is the Discourse Weekly Podcast.

    Ben Gracewood and Morgan Nichol have joined forces to produce a smart, lively and funny weekly podcast (but don't call it a comedy podcast. Or a tech podcast.)

    With a fine line-up of weekly guests (one of whom may or may not be me), the lads produce a weekly show that is a pleasure to listen to.

    #biasedasbro

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1857 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . bust through the viewer’s intellectual fourth wall and let us feel what the characters feel.

    Those sticks could really get on your tits.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    On the geek front, Misfits -- along with Being Human, Sherlock and Steven Moffat's simply glorious debut season as showrunner of Doctor Who -- has taught the Yanks that a good actors with great material trump glossy production values.

    The irony there being that all the above are treasures in the sea of rubbish that is most current British television.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    While we're talking television -- and this might be a question for Fiona -- any news on when Mad Men season 4 plays here?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Modern Fables is my favourite album of 2010.

    +1

    hey, but next year -- how good is that looking?

    Fucking. Awesome. RAMMSTEIN! RAMMSTEIN! RAMMSTEIN!

    (um, that's probably not what you meant, is it?)

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Not a lot of culture this year but best film was "Boy"
    Funniest/strangest TV show was something seen in Italy that seemed to be about the sexiest Grandmother,unbelievable
    And if you think free to air TV in NZ is crap (and that is a fair call in my opinion) wait to see what the rest of the world (minus the UK and the USA) watches

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Why this sudden obsession with "purity" of beer. It doesn't make it taste nice and it won't stop you getting a hangover.

    I remember when Gales were rumoured to throw a dead rat in the vat of HSB (available in replica form from some New Worlds) to start the fermentation process.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4447 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Rammstein are playing here?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4447 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Why this sudden obsession with "purity" of beer. It doesn't make it taste nice and it won't stop you getting a hangover.

    Word. I've finally found a beer that is worse than Birra Peroni: the NZ Pure lager. It tastes 100% as bad as the bottle looks.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I feel so culturally left behind - I've spent this year catching up on things I didn't have the time/income/opportunity to see when they were actually new. Sherlock's the only one I can vouch for.

    (OTOH, Iooking very much forward to trying all these things once I get through the backlog.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Rammstein are playing here?

    Assuming this is a serious question, yes. As part of the BDO lineup.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    the (seems like) hour long (really maybe 5 minutes?) advertorial for their new beer playing in cinemas at the moment left the audience stunned wondering if that might have been the main feature – possibly the longest ad I’ve seen – there’s only so many farmers self consciously outstanding in their fields that one can take

    Our German visitor was quite mystified

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Fucking. Awesome. RAMMSTEIN! RAMMSTEIN! RAMMSTEIN!

    (um, that’s probably not what you meant, is it?)

    No, but if you're happy, I'm happy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r,

    Gary Sullivan - dimmer/ solid gold hell/ jpse ,on the fall at the power station the other night - "best gig I've seen in years, a very long time since I've felt that from a band"

    ps - you missed best movie - exit through the gift shop - genius

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I saw Julia Deans live earlier this year - bugger me, she's got a voice on her. And she played "Lydia" for an encore - legend. I've always been a fan of Fur Patrol, and it's interesting to listen to their old stuff and see how she's gotten even better over time.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Josh Addison,

    And she played "Lydia" for an encore

    What, the tattooed lady?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    Among my joys this year have been “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” and “Have I Got News For You”. I don’t know if these are available on any New Zealand TV channels, but they’re certainly available on YouTube.

    Local musical acts that I’d recommend to anyone are Beyondsemble and Hot Club Sandwich. Delicous treats, both. Don McGlashan’s solo concert was splendid, too.

    A friend told me that the Dave Dobbyn gig she saw in Antarctica was great.

    Since Nov 2006 • 202 posts Report Reply

  • Dale Griffiths,

    Movie of the year was Boy. Funny, insightful and showed a side on NZ that many of us look on with fondness;but don't see what goes on behind the scenes - it's not all fun and laughter. My 13 year old son yelled out fairly loudly as the cyclists rolled through the shot of Boy on the bridge "Dad-there go all your mates" A great movie to share with your kids, though the "egg" theme has done its dash at home for now.
    Not being much of a filmgoer I haven't seen heaps more. However I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Rialto/Bridgeway showed last week of "A Prairie Home Companion". An October 2010 live show demonstrating the best of America. Sara Watkins was brilliant http://www.sarawatkins.com/ and the Old Crow Nedicine Show are coming back to town next year according to Bernie Griffin. A must attend.
    Merry Xmas to all and a great 2011.

    Te Wai Orea • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I was given the XX in January this year and have listened to it (checks iTunes) roughly 50 times since then (not including plays on my iPod). So I'm happy to call it my album of the year.

    On a beer note: I call 2011 the year when every brewery decides to make their factory processed beer seem like it's craft micro-brewed genius. I tried the single source at a tasting a few nights back. They served it too cold to taste anything, when it warmed a little I thought it was... alright, but probably not worth the price of admission. Then again free beer is free beer.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

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