Hard News by Russell Brown

121

Heard any good tunes lately?

The APRA Silver Scrolls finalists have been announced. My record in guessing the feelings of the APRA members who vote for the overall best song of the year is dire, but I think Liam Finn must surely be a deserving candidate for 'Gather to the Chapel'.

I also like the Phoenix Foundation's 'Bright Grey' (I think it was Nick Bollinger who pointed out the tension between its bad hair day lyrics and the exuberant tune behind them) but I have a feeling that the members might be more inclined to plump for Op Shop. I bear Op Shop no will-will, but there's never been one of their songs that has stayed with me. I don't get it, basically. But good luck to all. The Silver Scrolls is one of my favourite evenings of the year.

Meanwhile APN is trying hard and royally missing the mark with its contest (staged along with Sunrise) to find a "star blogger" for its non-APN-branded events site The Hive -- with free tickets in exchange for gig reviews promised to the winner. They made quite a palaver of it all -- the five finalists appeared on Sunrise -- and then readers voted a winner.

WTF? The winning post is a short review of the Little Bushman show with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Unfortunately, the star blogger couldn't get the name of the band right. It's not "Little Bushmen" or "The Little Bushmen". The name of the band is Little Bushman. Perhaps this stuff should be left to the amateurs.

Unreconstructed lefties and fans of cocktail piano should have a look at Songs for Mickey Joe, a mini-album of songs crafted by Bill Direen (music) and Alan Brunton (words) for Brunton's play Comrade Savage in 1990 and packaged up by Bill and Powertool Records this year. It's an intriguing work; unlike any other local release you'll hear in 08, I'd wager.

Fans of Bill should also stay posted for the first Builders album in what must be two decades, recorded with the new Builders band Bill has been playing with in the past year. I've heard one track, '2 Reasons', and it's just how you'd want it to be.

The Auckland gig guide Mukuna now has

a mobile version of its website.

And I don't know what to make of the collaboration between The Streets and Muse that has leaked out onto the internet.

Heard any good tunes lately? And are there any good parties in Wellington? I may be available this evening …

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