Nina Nastasia

Nina Nastasia is an accomplished musician, songwriter and performer who currently makes her home in New York, but she’s playing at the Bar Bodega on Friday night with Jim White (out of Aussie week-long-musical-wake post-rockers The Dirty Three).

More info after the jump.


Wellington public transport has made another great leap forward. From the margin of a local community newspaper:

Bus users across Wellington can use their cellphones to find out when the next scheduled service will arrive. The service allows prospective passengers to find the times of the next three buses due by txting a four-digit number — the bus-stop ID number, displayed on bus-stop signs — to BUS (287). A reply will arrive within seconds.

Now note that this will not tell you when the next bus will actually arrive, but (presumably) give you the next three buses due as per the timetable. So not hugely helpful when your bus has not shown up for no apparent reason, and nor is it as cool as the digital signs I’ve seen in Auckland’s inner suburbs, but still a start. Now can they just sort out integrated ticketing? Kthxbai.

Exhibition: Cameo Appearance

The exhibition Cameo Appearance at Mary Newton Gallery brings together eight artists working in the area of the portrait – Tony Bond, Gavin Hurley, Anna-Marie O’Brien, Gary Freemantle, Tanja Nola, Octavia Cook, Areta Wilkinson and David Cauchi.

And then my magical art powers failed me, 2007 by David Cauchi

And then my magical art powers failed me, 2007 by David Cauchi

Jo Russ’ photo diary

On a recent visit ex-Wellingtonian photographer Jo Russ used her artist’s eye to snap a set of images which share a certain group characteristic; I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I feel like I’m looking at the mundane and the familiar from an outsider’s fresh perspective.

More after the jump.

Hamish McKay Gallery reopens

(via White Fungus News…)

The new Hamish McKay Gallery is now open at Level one, 39 Ghuznee Street.

More info after the jump.

Why Science Fiction is the only legitimate artform of the 20th and 21st centuries

Local artist, writer and intellectual David Cauchi is giving an address at the Film Archive on Saturday afternoon.

David is a right old character, and also the painter of one of my favourite works of art — entitled The fab four (Tasman, Cook, Du Fresne, De Surville) (above).

More info after the jump.

Pop Levi

Hey I’m excited. Liverpudlian nu-glam and ex-Ladytron bassist Pop Levi is bringing his hyperactive T. Rex-isms to the Bathhouse.

More info after the jump.

Wellington Music Month 4: Gettin’ Serious

Some favourites:

The Avengers
For a time in the late sixties The Avengers were one of the highest profile rock bands on the New Zealand scene. Their song Waterpipe is one of the greatest songs to ever glorify the joys of using water in your bong. The 1968 debut LP Electric Recording has possibly my favourite album cover art ever — look how cool they are — as well as being a damn good record. They went to try their luck in Australia and broke up in ’69.

Bailter Space
Look — we have to let Christchurch have The Gordons, and The Skeptics were undoubtedly from Palmerston North, but I’m going to have to insist despite them beginning in Christchurch and ending up in New York, that Wellington be allowed to claim shoe-gazey atmospheric noise rockers Bailter Space as its own. They were an incredible live band, known for being one of the loudest of their era. Their gigs were few and far between, and many people still speak in hushed, reverential tones about the week in 1993 when there were TWO Bailter Space gigs. And their albums still stand up as being some of the best music to ever come out of New Zealand.

Birchville Cat Motel
a.k.a. Campbell Kneale. As Wikipedia sez,

although largely unknown in his home country, Kneale has toured many times throughout Asia, America, Europe, and Australia.

Daft name, and yet this one-man trancendental drone/noise act is surely the closest thing Wellington and New Zealand has ever had to a global music superstar.

Eight more, after this…

Getting serious at St. Andrews

An unprecedented weekend double-header of delectable contemporary music (a.k.a. “modern classical”) is about to go down at St. Andrews on the Terrace, featuring two of New Zealand’s premier modern music ensembles.


The evening of Friday May 4 sees Auckland’s 175 East in The Sleep of Reason…, a concert featuring newly commissioned works by Phil Dadson and Ross Harris, and the world premiere of Aaron Cassidy’s solo soprano sax lung-twister asphyxia.

Then on Saturday night Wellington’s Stroma present Gnarly Buttons, described as a “cornucopia of contemporary clarinettists”.

This is going to be superb. Programme details after the jump.

Let Me Lose My Mind Gratefully

Hold onto your hat and get ready for one of the most over-the-top rock n’ roll bands of all time.

Hailing from Japan, the King Brothers (Myspace page here) make it their business to somehow mash-up the elements of every vital era of rock n’ roll music and then utterly demolish it. They approximate the sound of the Germs backing Howlin’ Wolf — with his hand caught in a garbage disposal unit.