Posts by R A Hurley

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 Older→ First

  • Hard News: And we may never meet again ...,

    Oops. I actually came in here to post some Australian music videos. Here are two of my favourites. One from the actual, sun-blasted Australia where everything is poisonous... Venom P. Stinger's classic "Walking About"

    And one from the more mythic Australia of Dave Graney. Somehow, this song seems to capture something fundamental about Australia for me. Although I haven't the faintest idea why.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And we may never meet again ...,

    Oh wow. I LOVE this thread. I just watched the video for James Reyne's 'Motor's Too Fast.' What a lift! I knew the song well enough, but the video is stone cold brilliant... While it's ostensibly a bog-standard entry in the Corey Hart 'Sunglasses At Night' oeuvre (enigmatic women, immaculate yet somewhat over-ambitious hair, people running for no readily apparent reason) it turns into something truly excellent near the end. Initially Reyne spends all his screen time looking like he's got to go tell a mother of four her husband is dead the moment the director calls "cut." But they must have been using marginal one-step-above-the-blooper-reel footage or something, because when Reyne is standing in the swimming pool trying to look all serious-like, just before they cut away, you can see him start to smirk. Or when one of the enigmatic women kisses him on the neck, and his Seventh Seal grimace starts to dissolve into laughter. As if to say, "It is 1987, and Men In Suits still run the music industry, and they seemed to think this muscle shirt was a good idea. Trust me, I think this is as ridiculous as you do..." Just that tiny glimpse behind the otherwise po-faced exterior was enough of a humanising touch to make the whole enterprise awesome. It went from cloying nonsense to an episode of Yacht Rock.

    Who knows. Maybe this is how it was done before the internet. Maybe artists had to send coded messages embedded in their own goddamn work. "I'm in here. I'm OK, but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Send help."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Asking for a Contribution, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just to make your day, I should note that Shayne emailed me to say your comment was "really quite perceptive. stuff i'd never really considered/thought myself but probably actually quite on the money."

    SQUEE!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Asking for a Contribution,

    Done. Student poverty aside, I couldn't live with myself if I did nothing and the only reasonable place on the local internet went howling into the abyss. Plus, Russell did just score me sweet concert tickets. Thanks for everything, Russell. (Also, my Mum has a huge crush on you).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A welcome return - and pirates!, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Makings of a meme there

    Oh dear. I apologise in advance!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A welcome return - and pirates!,

    In all seriousness, though. Does this billboard campaign seem more than a little sad to anyone else? Like an attempt to cash in on the cutting edge science of electioneering circa 2005?

    OK. Last one, I promise.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A welcome return - and pirates!,

    Yup. Get it while they’ll let it.

    I agree. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A welcome return - and pirates!, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    This would be an appropriate time to present a billboard I prepared earlier. How's that for foresight!

    Oooh! This is fun!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Still sounds good,

    OK. Having just run out of funding for what little is left of my PhD - and thus contemplating 3 months of little more than rice with vegetable stock and the bruised, forlorn fruit still left at the vegetable markets by the time I get there - here is my effort to win a ticket to the Bodega show this Friday:

    For me, the very best Shayne Carter material is the very early Dimmer stuff from the mid-90s, when you couldn't be entirely sure that Dimmer even existed for more than a couple of weeks a year. Admittedly, it's a points decision. 12 rounds with The DoubleHappys in my mental boxing ring resulted in no knockout. What I love about this era's Dimmer - and about The DoubleHappys at their very best - was the beautifully minimal quality of the music when contrasted against the vocals. Consider 'Dawn's Coming In' from the B-side of the 'Crystalator' single. I remember when I first heard that track, heard that snare beat. "WHACK," it said. Then again, twice in quick succession: "WHACK/WHACK." And I remember thinking to myself "Wait, are you ALLOWED to do that? Won't someone come to your house and take your super special musician's club membership badge away unless you flash it up a bit?" And the WHOLE track was like that. It had a creep to it. It was obviously oh-so-carefully composed, yet it felt so minimal and delightfully simple. As a rather over-serious young man with a cheap Fender copy of his own, who had somehow acquired the belief that unless you could two-handed fret-tap you weren't really a musician, it really was a revelation. "YOU could do this," it said. "But you can't just be minimal, you'll also have to be CLEVER."

    And Dimmer were certainly that. For against the often deceptive nature of the music was set Carter's remarkable gift for hooks. But if the hooks weren't in the music, where were they? I'm glad you asked! The intellect and craft evident in early Dimmer tracks like 'Dawn's Coming In' and 'Don't Make Me Buy Out Your Silence,' not to mention DoubleHappys songs like 'Big Fat Elvis' and 'I Don't Want To See You Again,' is, I think, best perceived in the way that the vocals carry earworm melodies that aren't explicitly signposted by the music. Indeed, the music often seemed so minimal as to have permitted almost anything. Compare the pulsing bass of 'Dawn's Coming In' with the quiet ups and downs of the vocals. Or the almost ornate vocal delivery of 'Big Fat Elvis' compared with the relatively simple guitar chug which animates it. Imagine, for instance, what The Datsuns might have done - for the Lay-Dares, no doubt - with a guitar chug like that. (I'm sorry to have done that to you… but you do see what I mean, right?) The same is true of the vocal delivery of 'I Don't Want To See You Again.' All that ducking and diving over, what, 4 chords? Yes. The very best Shayne Carter material, for me at least, is where that remarkable voice is set free with only minimal instrumental supervision. In those situations, if you're paying attention, it's hard not to think: "Wait. This guy might just be one of the best singers New Zealand has ever produced… Tell The People!"

    Oh wait. Was I meant to choose just one? Umm… got to go with 'Dawn's Coming In.' For the above reasons. OK. Carry on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: Testing, 1 2 3,

    i would also like to just briefly agree with Matthew and Kate... this wonderful piece NEEDS to be published somewhere or otherwise given as wide a readership as is practically possible...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Older→ First