Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: You're all fabulous

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  • Russell Brown,

    That Gui Boratto track. Yeah baby.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • philipmatthews,

    Roger Shepherd and Flying Nun -- to make this truly authentic, he needs to shift his label office back to Christchurch. We all know that everything went downhill when things shifted to Auckland.

    Records of the year? 2009 wasn't a big year for me, but this is what I bought (all on CD) and liked, only some of it actually released this year ...

    Stroke, of course. Especially the Will Oldham and Bill Callahan tracks.
    The Clean -- Mashed. Makes me ashamed that I've somehow never managed to see them live.
    UnicaZurn -- Temporal Bends. Electronic psychedelia, or Tangerine Dream on weirder drugs. A side project of the excellent British electronic group Cyclobe.
    Pelican -- The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. Art-metal continues to be a big one for me. The trick is getting rid of the vocalist -- why didn't metal bands think of that earlier? See also: Mogwai -- The Hawk is Howling, Sunn O))) -- Monoliths and Dimensions, Black Boned Angel -- Supereclipse.
    Portishead -- Third.
    Patti Smith -- Twelve. A very patchy record but bought really as a delayed souvenir after seeing her live in Melbourne last year. It's a covers album and, no, I didn't need Patti doing Tears for Fears or Paul Simon but her "Are you experienced?" and "Smells like Teen Spirit" are worth it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report

  • Danielle,

    Bullion Pet Sounds, In The Key Of Dee

    Thanks for letting me know about this earlier in the year during my J Dilla discovery phase, because it's wonderful.

    Also, there will be no giving-you-shit about Lily Allen from my corner.

    I never catch up on one year's music until the next year (or even after that) because I have omnivorous-back-catalogue-devouring issues which mean that I'm constantly behind on everything. I'll let you all know my 2009 list in about 2012. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • pollywog,

    cheers russell. up your bum as we like to say down south when toasting bevies...

    heres some musical things that have stood out for me this year. if you like your electronic beats hard, fast, dark, aggy, mostly sans vocals, guitar and any of that girly angsty stuff then you'll love...

    king cannibal - let the night roar
    reso - temjin ep

    if you like em stripped back and dubby. go for rob smith from bristol's classic 90's remix outfit smith and mighty's latest incarnation...

    RSD - good energy (a singles collection)

    on the poppy side of things.

    N-dubz - against all odds

    on the local front. you gotta like what pieter-t is doing in the fine tradition of polyfunk'n' r'n'b.

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report

  • Peter Darlington,

    It's been great over the last 2-3 years sharing the love via Hypem on PAS and amongst other friends. Whatever did we do before?

    My honourable mentions for 2009 are:

    King Midas Sound. The 2 EPs and the new album well worth checking out, definitely one of the sounds of 2009 for me.

    Mungolian Jetset- 'We Gave It All Away...Now We Are Taking It Back'- As we chatted about the other day on Twitter. Strange, banging and awesome 2 disk set of originals and remixes came from nowhere to be possibly my favourite release of 2009.

    Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Yeh, brass bands bring the funk, it shouldn't work but it does, with teh awesome!

    Andrew Weatherall - A pox on the Pioneers- House man goes indie in an inspired set that recalls Sandinista era Clash and 'The Good The Bad and The Queen'.

    Electric Wire Hustle - Deep and interesting debut album from Wellington. Part Welly, part Detroit, part Berlin.

    Bjorn Torske- Feil Knapp Beautiful, elegant dubby house from another of the Scandinavian Telle people.

    Mos Def- The Ecstatic Thinking person's hiphop from a very cool dude.

    Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information- Black as pitch jazz from the Ethiopian master

    Shit there's loads of it, all the cheesy house and d&b as well. I also loved many of the NZ albums you listed, especially Stroke and I thought The Freddy's came back real strong with Big BW, good on them, excellent NZ summer album.

    And finally, I can't even begin to estimate the amount of good shit I've heard on Peter Mac's Base FM show 'Ring the Alarm'. I wish Base FM did podcasting or that Peter did an afternoon slot as I miss him during the winter football season but that show is a treasure for soul, funk and reggae fans. Well done sir!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report

  • 3410,

    In other news, I think we can officially say that 2009 has marked the beginning of the end of the Loudness War.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • recordari,

    My latest discoveries include;

    Matt Kanelos and the Smooth Maria, Silent Show thanks to the B.
    David Kilgour & Sam Hunt Falling Debris and the latest Clean album Mister Pop. Instant classics, IMhO.
    Also loved Dimmer's latest.
    Hope Sandoval & the Warm Intentions is great. Her latest with Massive Attack is also mind numbingly good. NSFW Video here, for those who missed it elsewhere.
    Minuit is fantatsic, and Stroke is probably my album of the year.

    Glad, without thinking, that most of this is Kiwi stuff. Damn we're awesome!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report

  • Matt Swinson,

    Thank God you just said it. I get regularly paid out for my open regard of Lily but her record is just a great piece of pop... not even a guilty pleasure.

    Similarly, The Horrors' album is fantastic - probably my album of the year. Where did that come from? It's kraut / shoe gazer heaven, and I'm in love. The Stroke album... just a fucking great collection.

    Single wise, Bones from A Mountain Of One is getting better with each listen. Nice!

    london • Since Mar 2007 • 17 posts Report

  • Andrew G,

    Thanks Russell for another year of great writing. I wouldn't consider myself a lurker (sounds a bit creepy) but I am an avid PA reader.

    As for best music of 2009. While there has been a number of great albums and live shows this year, it's a couple of unexpected highlights that stand out for me.

    Grant Hart - Hot Wax.
    The sort of album that may normally have passed me by, my expectations weren't high. An aging punk rocker who's been quiet for a long time, you might think he would have lost it by now. Well this is better than anything Bob Mould has released IMO. He's touring NZ in Feb too.

    Steve Abel and the Chrysalids - The Cabana (Napier)
    Only about 25 punters showed up for this show but most of them purchased a copy of Flax Happy on the way out. A spell binding performance.

    Enjoy the break

    Napier • Since Mar 2007 • 53 posts Report

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    This was the track of the year for me. Long, harrowing, unsubtle, unpredictable, and loud, but kind of ... transcendent. That was 2009.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    Thanks Russell and all the PAers for a enlightening wonderful 2009.

    Enjoy the hols with friends and family.

    I have a recently acquired Goons collection to fill the ears with over Xmas.....Before the family shout "He's fallen in the water".

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg,

    Whilst it was a chore to narrow it down, I blogged my best albums of 2009 here. There have been a couple of late comers since but they can slip into 2010's list.

    Tracks of the year? To many I think for me to list as I tend to go through tunes at a heady rate and they likely number in their hundreds, so I won't even try.

    Roger re-asserting control over FN is a wonderful thing (and I note, not being privy to the deal, that the release is carefully worded to sidestep who still actually owns the label, and I'm guessing Warners still have a share) and you'd hope that the potential of what could be achieved with the catalogue and the slight mess it's become in recent years, will be resolved by that personal touch.

    What a convoluted journey that's been, though.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My music discoveries have all been local this year, my money has largely been going into DVDs and debt, so I've only picked up bands that have come through Dunedin.

    The Eastern: Great twosome from Lyttleton, but I believe they also play with more. Played lead-in for Steve Earle when he played here earlier this year. Country rock and a great live act.

    A floating group of bands which seems to be everyone playing in each other's bands:

    Sam Prebble who goes under the name Bond Street Bridge, plays mandolin and guitar but primarily fiddle, uses a pedal to loop music over so he builds up instruments and percussion over the first couple of minutes of a song. Fantastically talented.

    Reb Fountain, of American origins but been here for a while. Her album Holster, which came out last year has been on high repeat on my car stereo. Lovely song writer, beautiful singer. My favourite song of the year:

    Also in the mix, Broken Heartbreakers, Dylan Storey and band, Sleepy Kid (ex Shortland St serial killer).

    Best live act I've seen all year: Beyondsemble. Folky swing. Four incredibly talented musicians with foot thumping music.

    The keyboardist always makes me think he's playing a fin heater, and the percussionist like he's playing his seat.

    And their guitarist, Mark, has an album entitled Acoustic which I'm buying for my mother for Xmas.

    Best TV discovery - The Wire. Thanks for everyone who recommended it here. Fantastic TV, started watching Generation Kill the other night. Seven Days was also very good.

    Cheers PAS for another year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Alan P,

    Thanks Russell. And thanks everyone else.

    I was a lurker for a long time on PA. I started reading right from the beginning, and was a Bfm Hard News listener before that. I'm probably still something like 90% lurker. What can I say? I like to read.

    I've taken a lot of good things from Hard News and Public Address over the last few years. One thing that stands out for me around here is the firm grasp of reality displayed by most people.
    I love that the internet has enabled this type of communication. And for free!
    It's a beautiful thing..

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 35 posts Report

  • recordari,

    Just thought I'd jump back in for a backslap, and a couple of extras. I'm new here, but have so far found this to be a vibrant, engaging and heartfelt house kept by RB and others. Thanks for being here, and hope for more goodness in the New Year.

    Telepathe. Song Can't stand it reminds me of late 80s, early 90s 4AD, but has a freshness also.

    School of Seven Bells Half Asleep Love it.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report

  • Scott A,

    Some favourites of mine for this year include:

    Rosy Tin Teacaddy The Homeward Stretch. Gorgeous, sumptuous, folksy melodies, the aural equivalent of snuggling up under the duvet on a cold winter's night with someone you love. Beautiful.

    Rhian Sheenan Standing In Silence. Now, I'm not a great devourer of instrumental and/or electronic music, or film soundtracks, but this soundtrack for a film that has never existed swooped in earlier in the year and stayed on high rotate ever since; drenching with it's soaring guitar whirls and organic noodlings amongst the electronic grounding. Profound.

    The Decemberists The Hazards of Love. Not a popular album, it seems, but I loved this prog-folk concept album from first hearing. Musically and thematically it's like one of the secretly awesome concept albums of the 70s but there's also enough simply amazing songs to remove any residual cringe factor. One to savour and ignore what those "cool" people say about it; leave them to their Animal Collective murk.

    Killswitch Engage Killswitch Engage. Hey. I like to rock out now and then. In fact, in recent years I've begun to acknowledge that the NWOBHM music I listened to as a teenager is still hugely enjoyable; now that I don't have to be all "cool" about it like I was in my twenties. And Killswitch Engage are a band who clearly love the same era of heavy metal, but bring it forward to the noughties. And not with introducing pointless bits of hip hop or electronica, rather by mixing in the lessons of nineties hardcore both lyrically and vocally. But this album, self-titled as a bit of self-invention, smooths some of the rougher edges from Killswitch's metalcore sound and lead to an album most metal fans will enjoy as a stonking positive riff-raging double-kick drum marvel.

    Dimmer Degrees of Existence. My only regret about this album is that it could've been better. All the tracks are great, and the title track is probably my favourite song of the year, but I think the album is poorly sequenced. Too much rocky stuff at the start, leaving it trailing off towards the end; especially after the grooving instrumental pops up two thirds of the way through. Juggle the tracks around a bit this could be an album for the ages; as it is it's just a collection of great songs. But still very very worthwhile.

    The Felice Brothers Yonder the Clock. This band just keeps getting better and better; and with this third album I think they know it too. Their raw cajun-country-bluegrass-rock'n'roll... f*ck, just call it american music has culminated in an album of astounding confidence where they happily swing from one track to the next changing pace, genre and feel as they go and feeling in charge of each one. The Zydeco Stomp of "Run Rabbit Run" is ther notable highlight, but throughout the album you'll hear a band who seemingly asks "can we play X" and joyfully discovers they came. Washboard blues, maudlin country ballards, even a bit of Tom Waitsian croon; they master it all.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg,

    recalls Sandinista era Clash

    And for we ageing ex punks, it's 7 years today:

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    Strangely for me this has largely been a year without much new music - I used to buy a lot, wandering through record stores and buying actual CDs - something like 1 in 10 makes it to my mental play list - but Dunedin lost that sort of record store after RG bought them all up and then collapsed, all I get is the occasional wander thru Rasputin's/Amoeba and that's a little too far for a weekly wander - iTunes is useless for us linux people and I don't download stuff I haven't paid for - I'm annoyed and frustrated and without a sound track.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    Alan P......are you from Paeroa?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Jan Farr,

    Call me old-fashioned but I can't stop playing 'Stroke' - thanks so much for drawing my attention to it - most of my family will (I hope) be similarly grateful at Christmas. Also loved Rosie Tin Tea Caddy, who we were lucky enough to see in the flesh at The Lounge in Carterton.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    iTunes is useless for us linux people and I don't download stuff I haven't paid for - I'm annoyed and frustrated and without a sound track.

    Paul, you need to sign up with emusic.com. You can probably also give them a US billing address and get access to the full catalogue (including lots of Sony back-cat stuff), rather than the leaner selection we get here.

    Indeed, you may have to do that, because I've heard tell of eMusic not taking NZ subs any more.

    However I might moan about eMusic's licensing confusion or its crappy metadata, it has revived my music fandom. The back-cat funk and reggae, the new indie and dance stuff. By comparison, I hate the iTunes Store, and will be in and out as quickly as possible if I have to use it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah I have to look further afield I guess - I do really like the challenge of buying something off the wall just based on the CD cover and making the effort to listen to it long enough to see if it jells I've found so much stuff I'd never have imagined I'd like over the years

    I guess I just need to figure out how to do that online

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    We're sorry, eMusic is not available in your country.....

    Unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions we are unable to offer service in your country at this time. We understand that you are currently in Taiwan (your IP address

    Well I am in Taiwan right now - I'll have to try it when I get back home - looks like they have IP based blocking in place though.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    I guess I just need to figure out how to do that online

    The recommendation system works really well on eMusic -- I've found tons of things through, the site's own matches, the download charts, and other people's playlists and reviews. I'll spend time there auditioning stuff -- something I never do at the iTunes Store.

    Hype Machine is even more fun now I've discovered that I can have an influence on the Twitter charts there. A bunch of us retweeted and hyped the Phoenix Foundation's 'One day' (posted on a German blog) from #37 to #7 the other weekend. That was fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Peter Darlington,

    I blogged my best albums of 2009 here.

    Oooh yes, forgot the DJ Hell album, Teufelswerk, that would be on my list as well. I was hammering that over the middle of the year. Looks like a lot of other good stuff to check out there Simon, thanks!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report

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