Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music! Be Square.

Here's some nice news: Auckland Live Summer in the Square is back and every day from now the end of March, there will be stuff happening and places to sit in Aotea Square. The music programme has again been put together by Matthew Crawley.

The December music lineup includes SoccerPractise and Peach Milk on Saturday the 10th and Carnivorous Plant Society the next day. Echo Ohs play on Friday the 16th and LarzRanda makes a welcome appearance on the 17th. The January lineup includes Polester, the Ruby Suns, Lake South and the nutty Aussies Borneo – and the post-Upper Hutt Posse crew Tū Crucial Sound System. Dubhead, Lucky Lance and Matthew himself are among the DJs this month and Murray Cammick and Cian are on the decks in January. March lineup is tbc.


Four Audioculture writers have collaborated on an amazing profile in memory of Ray Columbus, who left us this week. Don't forget to check the "Stories" tab. And there are plenty of images like this one.


Last Friday, Alex Behan bought some beers and he and I sat down and had a chat about music, history and the world while we played the eight tunes I'd chosen for RNZ's The Mixtape. The track listing is here on the episode page and you can play it all with this here embedded player:


No one should move into Auckland's Franklin Road without appreciating the solemn responsibility living there entails. Which is: you are expected to do your bit when it comes to the road's traditional Christmas lights. (If you don't, Hamish Keith might glare sternly at your abode on his perambulation past, and Hamish can be pretty stern.) The lights went on last night with the usual December 1 ceremony – and there was something a little different in the lineup.

Angela Bevan explained to me how the Leonard Cohen quote came to be.

We moved in six months ago and since then we've been trying to think of something interesting to do rather than the usual lights. We started to think (as the year went on in the way it did) that maybe it would be appropriate to share a message. I asked for suggestions on FB of something that holds hope and lots of people suggested or 'liked' this one which I already loved.

Our friend Mallory Allen is an artist so she helped put it together. And my partner spent about a hundred hours at Bunnings figuring out the width of fairy lights and weights of wood. And our best friend Jem used her two precious days off being a mental health nurse at an acute ward to help.

As we were putting it up, Dave Dobbyn walked past and stopped and said how great it was. I shit you not. Cool, huh.

PS: Here's a picture of how Mallory mapped out the light image with a projector. They used some science on this.


Good news for local independent artists: the NZ Music chart will now count Bandcamp sales, both digital and physical.


And just one tune this week: a nice sound system vibe Gil Scott Heron dub:

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