It's a testament to the power and control of Nadia Reid's singing and playing that matching her studio recordings in session seems to hold no fears for her. And thus was the case with her BBC 6 Music Live Room session, recorded last week for Marc Riley's show during a 12-date European tour that finishes this weekend:
You can listen to the rest of the session here on the 6 Music website
The song is one of two previewed from her second album, Preservation, which is out next Friday (and can be pre-ordered here on Bandcamp and here for the LP and CD). The other is 'Richard', which, as she acknowledges in this Otago Daily Times interview, is about a former beau. She's been playing it live for some time, but on record it's a demonstration of the unusual sounds producer Ben Edwards can create in his Sitting Room studio in Lyttelton. ('Reaching Through' on her first album is another example, although when I win Lotto I'm going to bankroll her to go to Nashville and re-record it with an orchestra and five guitarists.)
Her New Zealand tour in support of the album begins in Port Chalmers on March 30 and finishes up at the Tuning Fork in Auckland on April 8.
You can never hope to catch more than a a fraction of the music at Splore, and that's okay. There's always more than music happening and sometimes the right thing to do it just hang with your friends and enjoy each other's company. But I did hear plenty I liked: Blackalicious were vibrant on Friday night, Dub Pistols were 100% party-time on Saturday night and Fat Freddy's Drop, with a memorable cameo from the mud people of the audience, were perfect for Sunday Splore.
But the big discovery for me wasn't a band, but a DJ. Denmark's Courtesy fired up on Splore's DJ stage shortly before midnight on Saturday – and she was wild and amazing. I'm not sure I've heard anyone mix like that with vinyl. As Pitchfork's Philip Sherburne observes, her intense, physical style "gives the set the kind of life and spirit you simply don't get with automated beatmatching".
And guess what? She's playing Whammy bar in Auckland tonight. If that's past your bedtime (it certainly is mine this weekend), there are a few mixes available on her Soundcloud. They don't entirely tally with what I recall of Saturday night – that seemed more house and less techno – but they offer an idea of what she's about.
One thing I did miss at Splore was Pitch Black's performance. I obliged myself to be back at camp in bed by midnight because I needed to be up and running the Listening Lounge talk programme the next morning. As it transpired, I lay in my tent and heard them loud and clear – and they sounded brilliant. They're playing Neck of the Woods on Karangahape Road next Friday along with International Observer, Deep Fried Dub, Digital Playground and DJ Dubhead. International Observer is on at 10pm and Pitch Black at 11.30.
If you can't make that, here's a look at the extraordinary digital projection they deployed at Splore:
And finally on the Splore tip: I posted some pics I took there.
The remarkable Newtown Festival has revealed its lineup for Sunday week and it includes Hex, Salad Boys, Mel Parsons, Peach Milk, SoccerPractise, French for Rabbits and and a lot more.
And Cut off Your Hands have been announced as the support for all three of The Pixies' forthcoming NZ dates. Good match: COYH are unabashed about their new wave roots – enough to toss in a blazing cover of Talking Heads' 'Crossed and Painless' in their Laneway set just after the release of their own distinctly Talking Heads-ish new single:
One thing I've really been enjoying in the past few months on 95bFM is the new, earlier timeslot (7-10pm) for Stinky Grooves on Tuesday nights. If you're not in broadcast range, you can catch Stinky Jim's round-up of all manner of rhythms here on his b-casts page (being podcasts, they're wickedly downloadable) – or here on his own website, where he provides the full playlists and more.
Also on the b tip: The Phoenix Foundation headline 95bFM Bands in the Park, Albert Park, Friday March 10 from midday
Audioculture has dug up a Mockers story I wrote for Rip It Up way back in 1984.
And on the same site, Michael Brown offers 10 riffs on the Māori strum.
Elsewhere, the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack is fun.
Depeche Mode are unimpressed by Richard Spencer's claim that they are "the official band of the alt-right".
A new Shazam-like product that could lead to public performance rights revenue being dsitributed more accurately and fairly.
And an interesting Annie Mac-fronted short BBC doco about the fate of Britain's nightclubs:
Auckland's A Label Called Success is as busy as ever. Newish, this chilled little number with parping digital horns:
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