Happy bleepings

BleepThis Wednesday night at Happy, a diverse bunch of musicians will get together for a live collaborative performance called “Bleep”. They’ve all got one thing in common: they make music with machines.

And by “machines”, they don’t just mean computers. Sure, there’s the usual brace of laptops and MPCs, but the preliminary workshop also included an electric violin, an op-shop omnichord, electronic drums, analogue tape-delays, an ancient Casiotone and what looked like a genetically engineerd hybrid between a chinese stringed instrument and a mechanical typewriter. The resulting sounds ranged from delicate to frantic, but as this is an improvised collaboration, no-one (least of all us) will know quite what to expect.

Eclectic Electric

Here are a few things to keep your mind off the weather this weekend.

The World Press Photo ’06 exhibition kicks off at Shed 11 today. It’s been interesting to see that the publicity around town has taken a very political angle this year.

Just along the waterfront at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea (I wish they’d find a shorter name!), they’re already two weeks into the month-long Wellingtonia LIVE event. The word “eclectic” doesn’t even begin to describe the range of things going on there: there’s a performances from the Tinakori Handbell Association, a Matariki celebration with Toni Huata, hurdy-gurdies, shanty singers, ghost tours, kete weaving and a debate on the controversial Marine Education Centre. My main interest will be in the series of talks organised by the Architectural Centre entitled “Why I do architecture”. These kick off at 1pm tomorrow with Anna Kemble-Walsh and Martin Hanley of Red Design and John Mills of John Mills Architects.

Poster for debut gig by The Blush ResponseFrom eclectic to electric: new synth-pop band The Blush Response have their debut gig at Sandwiches tomorrow night. The band may be new, but the musicians will be very familiar to Wellingtonians: Jeramiah Ross (aka Module), Rhian Sheehan, Raashi Malik (of Rhombus, among others) and Paul McLaney of Gramsci.

Finally, you could always try to figure out the location of the current Mystery Bar. If you do, you’d better get looking tonight because it’s closed on Saturday nights (that’s a clue). It also has something in common with Sandwiches.



Well, the flyer tells the story, really – if you want to participate in some fun electronic music-making, head along to the Wellington Arts Centre this Sunday (June 11).

Brought to you by our favourite Wellingtonian electronic music-making blogger: Frey.

Connan & the Mockasins @ Slowboat

The ‘next-big-thing’ out of Wellington (if you haven’t heard that before, then you heard it here first) Connan & the Mockasins have just released their debut EP ‘Uuu, It’s Teasy‘, and are celebrating with a free instore concert down at Slowboat Records tomorrow (Thu 25th May) from 5pm. For those who have yet to witness […]

The Hunt Brings Us Life

the hunt!More NZ Music month goodness is upon us, with the release of the Phoenix Foundation’s Samuel Flynn Scott’s solo album – ‘The Hunt Brings Us Life‘.

Those of us lucky enough to receive sneak preview copies were also amused by the very excellent accompanying press release courtesy of ‘Prof’ Russell Brown, which we recommend you go to and read in its entirety over at Public Address. If only all musical acts could approach their PR with such good humour. (Tellingly enough, the last CD that had anything remotely as good was fellow Phoenecian Luke Buda’s PR for his also recently released ‘Special Surprise‘ album, which featured photos of Luke as Rambo and Hercules (although not, we were disappointed to see, Benny from Abba (although, we did fix that))).

As if all this Phoenix Foundation members doing their own thing wasn’t enough, we get the added bonus of a broadcast of Scott’s other ‘other’ band – Bunnies on Ponies – live at Bar Bodega, on National Radio tonight (web stream available here). At 7:30pm. When … hold on … there’s something else on .. around then? Anyway, Scott describes Bunnies on Ponies as…
…hotch potch kind of folk band that combines gentle folk
songs with slightly aggressive improvised arrangements.
We know exactly what he means. And, for those who don’t, you can just tune in and find out.


Well, it’s all on tonight. If you’re not exhausted after seeing the rugger at not-the-Cake-Tin, listening on National Radio to performances by unlikely permutations of small animals, hearing the pipes calling at the Opera House or seeing some obscure up-and-coming band at what I think is still called Indigo, then Sandwiches has a party night for everyone. Electroluxxe is billed as “TechnoElectroRockHouse”, thus pretty much covering every genre other than dub, jazz and country. You know how it is: you’re with a bunch of people, all with different tastes in music, and no-one can agree: someone likes 80s New Romantic, another one goes for dirty punky electro, someone else likes indie rock and some sad bugger (probably me) prefers 90s techno. So Electroluxxe comes to the rescue with a play list that includes the likes of Duran Duran, Peaches, Bloc Party and Carl Craig. The word “mashup” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Those with especially capacious reserves of energy (and cash) could then explore the most decadent dishes and deranged decor of culinary Wellington or try to track down the latest mystery bar. Here’s a hint: one of the commenters has already got it. Here’s another: this is possibly the only bar to have actually become classier when it was taken over by Brian Le Gros.

Giblets, grooves and the guards themselves

Many Wellingtonistas have already discovered the goodness that is Kazu: an oasis of dark wood, mind-bending rice-based beverages and unmentionable innards on sticks, tastefully hidden away from the Courtenay hordes. In the unlikely event that beef tongue and chicken cartilage aren’t enough to tempt you up the staircase, Radio Active’s The Jewel School will be […]

NZ Music Month at the Library

Wellington Public Library is getting into the spirit of NZ Music Month with a series of free concerts of the course of this week. Our pick of the bunch is the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, featuring the talents of Flight of the Conchords Bret McKenzie and local songsmith Age Pryor, as well as an ever-expanding […]

Slav to the Rhythm

ever notice how much buda looks like benny from ABBA?Luke Buda – Benny Andersson (ABBA) impersonator extraordinaire, and one of the frontmen of Wellington band The Phoenix Foundation – has just released his debut solo album ‘Special Surprise‘ (following on from his 2004 release ‘The C-Sides’ mini-album, which is still available over at Slow Boat Records so we’re told).

And it sounds great. Fans of The Phoenix Foundation will know roughly what to expect: lots of nice melodies and guitar action, but with a touch more humour and a lot more synth action than the two ‘Phoenecian’ albums to date. But don’t believe us, believe the paid professional reviewers. Says Lindsay Davis of the Dominion…

Musically, the album is eclectic, mixing the gunslinging rock on the ‘Stallion’ to the Latin feel of ‘Sauerkraut Bossa’, which combines a cheesy electro-lounge rhythm with organ washes and yet somehow you are hooked. ‘Slav to the Rhythm’ updates mid-period Bowie with a slick lyric that morphs into a a driving fuzzed conclusion that would make the Tin Machine blush.

…and Lyndon Walker of Rip it Up…

With lots of soft melodies, mellow synths and a sound which is part Phoenix Foundation and part his own, this album is a great listen from beginning to end…

Any Aucklanders who happen to be reading this blog should be aware that Buda is playing up at the Kings Arms this Saturday (8th April) with SJD, and for us Wellingtonians, more gigs are apparently in

So here’s our man again…

So here’s our man again. This time I have a bit more information. His name is India Bharti (sounds suspiciously like Doderiol Fharti to me), and he is, without doubt the very best Bhartiphone player I have ever heard! No kidding. Of course, he is also the only Bhartiphone player I have ever heard, but […]