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For anyone who happenes to remember who I am ... [Nov. 25th, 2009|07:06 am]
I am blogging again, but here
link3 waxings|wax lyrical

(no subject) [Dec. 13th, 2007|05:20 pm]
If it wasn't immediately obvious from the complete lack of updates over the last few months, I've (mostly) decided to abandon this blog for the time being. I'll still be reading entries on my friends' list and making the occasional comment but, really, I've found that this blog has really just descended into me complaining about things.

With this in mind, there's a new-ish blog here which I hope will be more about music, and less about perceived annoyances.
link1 waxing|wax lyrical

Interruption of service [Sep. 21st, 2007|10:28 pm]
Well, it's been a while. I've most been laid up with a bunch of work-stuff, as well as sorting out details for my forthcoming trip to the UK, Denmark and the US.

On that note, just a brief thingy to say that, for anyone interested, I'll be posting all my travel photos, stories and general trip ephemera on a new blog,

You Go This Way and I'll Go Funkadelic

Why, you ask? Mainly just so that some of the people (a couple of workmates, mostly) who I may have complained about in the past can read about my travels without scrolling back to far in the past and discovering what I've thought about them at various points. Etc.

So, anyway, I'm in London for four days, followed by 10 days staying in Copenhagen with my aunt (who lives there) and my parents (who are there on holiday), followed by a week in New York City, and then back to the maelstrom that is work. Sadly, Vanessa's staying at home, studying for her final exams for her Public Health specialisation.

OK ... dull update. But stay tuned for interesting-ness soon.
link5 waxings|wax lyrical

404 [Sep. 5th, 2007|09:37 am]
[music |The Steinbecks-Morell Bridge]

Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred.

This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group.

Dear MySpace,

Given that I haven't been able to access my inbox for an ENTIRE WEEK, I'd argue that the 'unexpected error' you keep reporting is actually an expected error. Can you please fix your piece-of-shit site so I can read the messages from that small subsection of people I know who, for some inexplicable reason, use your stupid, buggy site for getting in touch with me, rather than just sending me a normal email.


linkwax lyrical

Shine on [Aug. 22nd, 2007|11:13 am]
[music |The House Of Love-Love IV]

I'd forgotten how awesome The House Of Love were in their prime.
link2 waxings|wax lyrical

It was the worst birthday ever [Aug. 20th, 2007|04:50 pm]
[music |Karl Smith-Must Say More]

I wrote this as part of a communal blog for my friend Nick, who is turning 25 tomorrow. However, I thought I may as well post it here as well.

I can probably trace the bulk of my neuroses back to one particular day: February 23rd, 1989: my fourteenth birthday and, coincidently, the day of my high school’s athletics day. Why do I hate being out in the sun? Ask me about my fourteenth birthday. Why do I hate sport with such a passion? Again, ask me about my fourteenth birthday.

A digression: athletics day was always a strange day at my school. It was a day of, if not compulsory participation, then compulsory attendance, and I could never understand why the entire school was forced to spend a day sitting in the hot sun watching the kids who liked sport run around the field. (I mean, it’s not like the entire school had to sit around and watch me at my drawing board during graphics and design, or watch the kids who were good at maths sit tests or anything.) Bear in mind that late February is probably the hottest time of the year, and that there wasn’t a single bit of shade around the sports fields at my school. To the best of my recollection, you weren’t even allowed to bring a book or a Walkman onto the sports field. For the freaks, the geeks, the nerds, the burn-outs and the generally enfeebled, it was a day of hot, boring discomfort. The fact that it would often fall on my birthday felt particularly unjust.

Another digression: the school’s groundskeeper and sometime-teacher, Mr. Findlay. Even thinking about him today makes me feel slightly queasy. He was a deeply unlikeable man, who wandered glowering around the school, lit cigarette in hand, emanating a deep hatred for all children other than those who took his 6th and 7th form Outdoor Education courses. For plump, bookish but generally rule-abiding kids like my friends and I, he was our arch nemesis –hunting our kind for sport.

It was on February 23rd, 1989 that my world and Mr. Findlay’s worlds collided for the first time. It must have been at morning tea time that, graciously given a “break” from the enforced frivolity of watching people we didn’t actually like run in circles around a field, we were allowed to leave the field for 15 minutes for our morning tea. Cheers. Taking my skateboard, I was walking up to the top car park when “Findlay” (as he was unaffectionately known) intercepted me and commented on the fact that one of socks was down. (My high school had a fairly strict dress code, and it was crucially important that our socks remained up on our journey to adulthood.) The passage of time has erased his exact words to me, but my skateboard was immediately confiscated, and I was told to report to him in a few minutes for a “job”, which I assumed to be picking up litter at lunchbreak.

No such luck.

Finding him a few minutes later, I saw he was standing next to a gigantic metal drum attached to something which looked like it was designed to be pulled by a team of oxen. “The cricket pitch needs rolling” he said matter-of-factly. And that was that. From approximately 10am until 3pm, I lumbered with this bloody great steel drum, back and forth, back and forth, crushing down the pitch in the hot sun. Whilst I certainly wouldn’t like to draw trite comparisons to Jesus’ crucifixion, whenever I watch those old religious epics and see Christ carrying his cross up the hill, the first thing that comes to mind is that day, sunburnt, sweating, carrying a heavy load and feeling utterly miserable. All through the afternoon, friends and enemies alike wandered over to watch my toil. Some expressed sympathy and outrage. Most just mocked me. I felt like Sisyphus. (Or some form of perverse entertainment in a Roman arena, circa 200AD.) God knows how I got through the day without passing out or suffering heatstroke, although the fact that I have absolutely no recollection of what happened after the school day ended suggests I probably just came home and collapsed.

I say again: It was the worst birthday ever.

For my 21st birthday, my dad gave me a photo album featuring 20 photos, one taken on every birthday since infancy. In most of them I look pretty happy. But there’s one particular one where I’m sunburnt to hell, my head is tilted on a strange angle, and I look like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Guess the year.

PS - As an addendum to this sorry tale: isn’t it weird to think that schools could force students to sit outside in the hot sun all day, and teachers could walk around the school smoking?
link8 waxings|wax lyrical

(no subject) [Aug. 8th, 2007|03:24 pm]
[music |Weezer-Perfect Situation]

Two great shows in two weeks …

The Clientele last Monday were absolutely transcendent. I’ve been a fan since I bought “Suburban Light” on a whim back in 2000 after someone on the Sinister mailing list mentioned them, but they were one of those bands I just assumed I’d never play live. (Not only did I see them play, but thanks to a strange set of coincidences I actually picked them up from the Auckland airport and stayed up drinking tea with them ‘til 2am.) Playing to a small but appreciative crowd of about 120 (including TV3 newsreader John Campbell and a bunch of ex-Flying Nun luminaries) they concentrated mostly on “God Save The Clientele” and early singles, as well as covers of songs by Television, The Go-Betweens and The Television Personalities. Al’s voice sounded great live, and the reverb-drenched guitar, coupled with James’ fluid basslines and Mel’s keyboards, violin and occasional backing vocals made for a magical night. Given how much they seemed to enjoy themselves, let’s hope it’s not too long before they’re back.

After one weeks respite from movies and gigs (and one hell of a headcold) Vanessa and I headed out with chockasunday to see Editors play at The Studio last night. Given the constant comparisons in the media between Editors and Interpol, I’d argue that Editors sure could teach Interpol a thing or two about putting on a live show. Their show was everything that Interpol’s 2005 St. James show wasn’t – intense, passionate and totally brilliant. Tom Smith’s voice was an absolute revelation live, and the band played like their lives depended on it. Much like the brilliant Franz Ferdinand show back in 2004, I felt like I was watching a band at the absolute height of their powers – the point where they’ve transcended the indie ghettos but haven’t become quite bloated enough to be playing stadiums.

A few quite nights in, and then I’m seeing Bob Dylan and The Frames on Saturday, and Ryan Adams next week.
link5 waxings|wax lyrical

We all make the little flowers grow [Aug. 6th, 2007|12:40 pm]
RIP Lee Hazlewood. If my house was on fire and I had to grab a handful of CDs, "Fairytales and Fantasies: The Best of Nancy & Lee" would be one of the first ones I reached for.

Without wanting to be too cynical, but I do hope that whatever inevitable post-death artistic reevaluation at least means that some of his more obscure back catalogue stuff (and even the two Nancy & Lee albums) get the deluxe reissue treatment. That material is just far too great to sit in a vault somewhere.

Lee, I'm going to miss you.
linkwax lyrical

The final film festival rundown [Jul. 30th, 2007|11:32 am]
[music |Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová-The Hill]

Saturday July 28th

A festival highlight. Basically “Before Sunrise: The Musical”, it was touching without being too schmaltzy, and Glen Hansard was a revelation. I can’t wait to see him play before the Dylan show in a few weeks.

My Kid Could Paint That
A documentary about the art of a four-year-old American girl, which sells for huge amounts of money in the US. Halfway through the film, the filmmaker begins to doubt the authenticity of the child’s work, and the film becomes a self-reflexive documentary about modern art. An excellent, balanced film, which never really manages to find an answer.

Honestly, I had no idea how they’d be able to pull this off. The book is so incredibly visceral, but the film was a real triumph of the senses, with great performances from Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman.

Sunday July 29th

Manufacturing Dissent
Fairly good documentary about Michael Moore, made by a couple of Canadians. Moore comes across as a bit of an arsehole, but I figure most people probably knew that anyway.

Scott Walker: 30 Century Man
Fantastic documentary with loads of interview footage of the man himself, as well as insights from Jarvis Cocker, Johnny Marr, Richard Hawley etc. For someone so allegedly reclusive, Walker came across as being very personable and interesting, and had great insight into his own creative process. The footage of his percussionist repeatedly punching a side of beef as a rhythm track, and stories about finding just the right donkey to record was priceless.

And that's it for this year. After The Clientele tonight, I think I'll have a few early nights.
linkwax lyrical

(no subject) [Jul. 27th, 2007|06:36 am]
Tuesday July 24th

Kurt Cobain: About A Son

Another dead rock martyr. Taped interviews with Kurt Cobain set to footage from Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. Surprisingly compelling, despite the complete lack of any Nirvana music or footage.

Wednesday July 25th

Eagle vs Shark

The New Zealand debut (I think) of the debut feature film from Taika Waititi, director of the acclaimed short “Two Cars, One Night”. Overseas reviews have made lots of “Napoleon Dynamite” comparisons, but “Eagle …” is a little darker (of course – what would a New Zealand film be without an underlying darkness) and a little more adult in its sensibility. The movie was shot in Wellington and around Porirua and the Hutt (what is it with small New Zealand towns and murals?) and looked really beautiful. The Phoenix Foundation provided the score, and everything came together really well. Destined to be something of a New Zealand classic.

Thursday July 26th

The Simpsons Movie

Not actually a festival movie, obviously. But everything I’d hope it’d be. The transition from TV to the big screen worked really well, and the widescreen was used to maximum effect, and the whole thing just looked really really great. Plus, you get the feeling the writers have been holding off all the best jokes from the last two seasons for this. “The Simpsons” reached a plateau a good six or seven years ago, and it’s unlikely to ever reach the peak of the mid 90s. A sequel every few years certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
linkwax lyrical

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