Last night my Twitter feed was full grainy pics of a giant beardy face hovering over the Civic audience.
I've gone back to learning French, after many attempts over the past 25 years. I've found what really helps is having cool music and TV and films to watch. Stuff to obsess over on its own terms, with the language acquisition being a bonus.
But is there stuff like this with Maori? I know there's content in te reo on Maori TV and there are no shortage of musicians writing lyrics in te reo, but to work for me it would have to be stuff that I can fangirl over, not just tolerate.
The past six months I’ve been visiting many cafes and restaurants and much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, moaning about how the music they are playing is not reflected on any radio station I am aware of – rock, easy listening, pop, student etc.
This is so true. In fact, I'd say that music that works on radio is generally not music that works in a cafe. Cafe music needs to be cool background music that isn't going to interfere with your coffee, lunch or chat. I'm sure there is a bit of crossover, but it's almost its own genre, far removed from the more engaging music of pop radio.
I fondly remember the day I heard the 1974 song "Swahililand" by American jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal playing in Espressoholic in Wellington. I Shazaam'd it and happily downloaded it. This is not the sort of thing I'd expect to hear on an FM radio station.
I've also read Blink's book and it occurred to me that it should be more accurately titled "The Problem with Live Music in New Zealand..." as most of the book is about the ins and outs of the live music scene.
I like that Blink has written it and there are a lot of good ideas in it. From what he's written, it seems that there are a lot of easy improvements that could be made to the NZ live music scene, so I'm hoping that it inspires people to make changes. I'm with him on the crazy low admission prices bands charge. $5 for a gig? That's what I was paying in the mid '90s, - and even that was cheap student prices. It's nuts that a band wouldn't charge at least $15 today.
I have no issue with the Silver Scroll awards. The performances are usually quality and APRA always put videos of the night online. And it's not just the one Silver Scroll award - there's also the contemporary music and Maori composition awards, the most performed awards, the Hall of Fame award - as well as the three genre awards presented earlier in the year.
Dammit. This line-up looks so good but I'm going to be away on a tropical island. Please record the panel discussion for those of us who can't make it!
In recent months, I've seen the Herald do something very interesting. When there's a story involving a suicide they can't mention, the article proceeds as per usual ("no suspicious circumstances", etc), but at the end there's a list called "Where to get help" with the contact numbers of various agencies such as Lifeline and the Suicide Crisis Helpline. Here's one example, here's another. The list is also used in follow-up articles where the coroner has ruled the death a suicide, and in articles where the topic of suicide is discussed (like this one with Don Brash recounting a painful relationship breakdown, or the many articles discussing the Charlotte Dawson situation).
In one sense, it might seem like a sneaky way of the Herald mentioning the S-word without directly using it in the article, but this does also seem like a very helpful thing to do for readers.
Seriously? The term “correctional facilities” is creeping liberalism now?
Actual lolz. Does Mr Wang know that the government department responsible for prisons is the Department of Corrections?
The idea of prisons being used to "correct" the prisoner is a centuries old idea. And isn't it, ideally, what we'd want? That rather than going back to their old ways upon release, instead the prisoner has have learned to be a better person?
Does... not... compute.
Ah, so I was 10 in 1985. I remember watching the Young Ones involved the ritual of programming our crappy Beta video, so it must have been a Saturday morning treat for my brother and I. Better than What Now!
I was about eight years old when I first saw The Young Ones, and like a lot of kids, I loved it, literally rolling on the floor laughing and memorising lines. And the magic of the show was how its comedy appealed to different audiences, with there being more to appreciate and laugh at as I got older.
As I got older, I began to explore the UK alternative comedy scene and other projects from Mayall and pals - The Comic Strip, Filthy Rich & Catflap, Bottom, Rik Mayall Presents - if it wasn't on TV, whatever United Video in Hamilton East had in their large comedy section. And I'll tell you what, if there's any great source of inspiration for the lolz in my life, it's Rik Mayall.
His death is terribly, awfully sad, but one bright thing has come out of it. This morning Twitter is full of people sharing their favourite Rik moments, a flood of lolz and love.
Damn, I miss living in the (non-posh part of the) Epsom electorate. Election time was always madness. I once had a pretend polling phone call where all the questions were worded to be pro-ACT propaganda, a voicemail where a recording of Rodney Hide pretended to be leaving a casual message, and a full set of the Brethren pamphlets.