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Laneway 2015 acts reviewed with uncharacteristic brevity.

February 7th, 2015 by

In this weblog communiqué I review every single act at Auckland’s 2015 Laneway Festival so you don’t have to. You can do something else. Like make a list of Sabaton songs, and which historical wars their lyrics make reference to. In the interests of brevity, they are all 140 characters or less. So you can Tweet them. If you are so inclined. Bespin – shoegazey kids that look like they’d have been ID’d getting in. Kids today. Look, they’ve made me spill a Vodka Cruiser on myself! Princess Chelsea – In my head sounds like Tracey Thorn formerly of Massive Attack. I mainly hear music in my head, so this is a good thing Angel Olsen – moody soulful sometimes heart wrenching songs. Which is how I’m feeling because I dropped another Vodka Cruiser. Also, a Kiwi? (It was at this point I was informed by my girlfriend that the act I … Read more

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Laneways, Here We Come. Or in this case, went.

February 7th, 2015 by

The Auckland leg of the Australian-based Laneway Festival has rapidly become New Zealand’s best show-case festival of indie music.  Pretty much every year the line-up in of guitar-pop cooks, and each year the range of acts has expanded to encapsulate a lot of interesting music. Notable has been the expansion of the array of electronic music and hip-hop heavy-hitters. As well as having a hot line-up Laneway is probably one of the better organised festivals, especially for one that’s slap-bang in the middle of downtown Auckland where nothing usually works properly.  With an array of actually edible foods on sale and almost enough porta-loos, it sets in apart from most other rock festivals I’ve attended. The crowd is usually pretty chill and relatively shirtless-douchebag-free.  Sure, the ‘drink buying’ exchange-your-cash-for-tickets-and-your-ticket-for-drinks carry-on is fucking idiotic but I think this has more to do with the pearl-clutching, Tutt-Tuttarati at the Council than it does … Read more

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Posted in Awesome Shit, Gigs, Reviews
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Best Songs of the Year 2014

January 30th, 2015 by
842

Our best songs of the year just gone, complete with playlist and podcast. Read more

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Posted in Awesome Shit, Best New Music, Lists, Reviews, Top Songs
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Best Albums of the Year 2014

January 19th, 2015 by
wu-tang-clan-a-better-tomorrow-608x6081

It’s been a weird year for music. There’s been plenty of really great stuff, but nothing that really smacks you over the head and screams “instant classic” like there was last year: no Days Are Gone, Howlin’ or The Bones Of What You Believe. But that’s not to say it’s been a bad year for music: just one that’s been a lot different from last year. The rewards have still been there, just hidden in different places, more subtle. Indie rock and electronica weren’t quite as exciting as they have been in previous years – what was once new and exciting is beginning to get tired and in need of a refresh. As a result, hip hop, garage rock and rootsier genres – country, blues, folk – took up the slack. And sometimes having to dig a bit to really appreciate something is half the joy. Also, check out our … Read more

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Posted in Awesome Shit, Best New Music, Lists, Reviews
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Best Albums of the Year 2013

January 12th, 2014 by
RTJ

So, 2013 eh? Maybe it was just because it was the year I finally got round to getting a paid Spotify account, but it seemed to me that there was a ridiculous amount of great music in 2013. It definitely felt like an album year to me, so hopefully you’ll find a few on this list that you really dig. As with the songs, we didn’t set a limit to the albums on this list – there were as many great albums as there were great albums, so setting a fixed limit seemed to defeat the purpose. We’re joined by Dave and Bren and you can hear our Egonomist podcast of the year in music here. We’ve also got a Best of 2013 Spotify playlist here. Enjoy! Later… When The Tv Turns To Static – Glasvegas Mike: Glasvegas’ 2008 debut album was a true classic:t song after song of anthemic … Read more

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Best Songs of the Year 2013

January 10th, 2014 by
crocodiles crimes of passion

2013 was an amazing year. If you didn’t hear any music you liked then you simply weren’t listening. It definitely felt like more of an albums year to me though, which is why you’ll find that a lot of the songs on the list are from otherwise disappointing albums or are from one-off single releases – we didn’t want to double up too much with our albums list. This year we roped in some mates to help us through our critique of albums: meet Dave and Bren. You can also hear us talking about the year in music on Dave and Dan’s Egonomist podcast, and check out our Best of 2013 Spotify playlist. Enjoy our best songs of 2013! (Albums coming soon) “Bullet” – Franz Ferdinand Mike: Any year with a new Franz Ferdinand release in it is a good one. And while Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action was … Read more

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Posted in Awesome Shit, Best New Music, Lists, Streaming, Top Songs
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In defense of the new Pixies

October 13th, 2013 by
Pixies EP-

We live in an age where music journalism – this blog included – is increasingly irrelevant: the discerning music fan has all of the tools available to them to make their own decisions and musical discoveries. Want to know if you like a band? Look ’em up on Spotify and decide for yourself. (Don’t have a Spotify account? It’s free, you jerks). Want their backstory? Wikipedia. Similar artists? Last.FM. And so on. So I guess it kind of fucks me off when music that is clearly not awful on any level (in fact is rather excellent in this writer’s humble opinion) gets a slagging off in the music “press” (whatever that means in 2013). I am talking, of course, about the new Pixies material. So, twenty-two years after their last album, ten years after their reunion began, and nine years since their last new material the Pixies finally chose 2013 … Read more

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Posted in Awesome Shit, Best New Music, Conservative Music Journalism, Reviews, Underrated
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Music is doing fine, you’re the one that’s stagnant

May 19th, 2013 by
The "good old days"

It seems to be a common gripe from people my age (early 30s) that music is somehow not as good as it once was. As someone who listens to a lot of new music, this attitude really fucking annoys me. For a start there is arguably more great music out there today than at any point in popular music’s history, and it’s more readily available than ever. Sure, the music industry as a business may have collapsed in on itself but believe me, that is not a bad thing. If you feel bad about music executives not getting $35 a pop on the music that you’re now getting for free then I’m sorry, you don’t deserve good music anyway. We don’t need your pity. Some people are quite happy to listen to nothing but old music, and I find that really sad. Have you noticed that it’s almost always from … Read more


Posted in Conservative Music Journalism, Rants



Top Songs: The 1975 – ‘Sex’

May 18th, 2013 by

Wow. I somehow missed Manchester band The 1975’s Sex EP when it came out late last year, which is a shame cause it’s fucking amazing. I’ve caught up now though, and I have to say that “Sex” is one of the best songs I’ve heard for ages. I just can’t stop listening to it. The band have two EPs out at present – the aforementioned Sex and the more recent Music For Cars, which is also excellent – and a third, IV, on the way later this week. There’s also an album due in September which based on everything else they’ve done could be a contender for album of the year. “Sex” is admittedly a bit of a departure from the band’s usual sound which is more upbeat dreampop, but all of their tunes are pretty amazing regardless of style. “Sex” sort of reminds me of Glasvegas at their finest … Read more


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The Strypes are fucking great

April 13th, 2013 by
The Strypes - Blue Collar Jane

I wasn’t too sure about the hype surrounding Ireland’s The Strypes the first time I heard them.The return of UK* guitar pop has been falsely heralded more times than Pete Doherty’s had hepatitis scares. But occasionally its worth investigating further than the hype (the Arctic Monkeys anyone?) and sometimes it takes a live performance to really understand what a band is “about”. The Strypes first few releases were covers of rhythm and blues standards by the likes of Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters, and although undoubtably brilliant, it wasn’t until I saw a live performance of their first original single “Blue Collar Jane” on the Jools Holland show earlier this week that I really fell in love with this band: Fucking magic. The fact that they’re only 16 years old and hail from the Irish equivalent of Palmerston North makes them even more special. I can’t wait to hear more … Read more


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