Wednesday, March 29, 2006

wish I was there...

Damn coming back home after a lovely weekend away. I could happily have hung out in Martinborough for a couple of weeks, no problems. The little cottage we stayed in was great (apart from the neighbours having a shindig till 4am - grrr). Anyway, the rest of the time was perfect - lots of wine, nice food (Saturday night at the French Bistro) and lots of reading. There was a big old clawfoot bath there that was wonderful to lay around in and a fireplace along with a huge stash of firewood right outside the back door. Brilliant! I did a little bit of drawing too. Here's my map of a dismal country. What do you call it SOD? Pychogeography. Or something. There was another drawing I did that I like better but I think it's a bit pornographic for this blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

it's getting to THAT time of year again

Listening to: Beans, various (now defunct band from Canada - thanks to fellow blogger and Canadian music afficionado, Rube Lubener, for the tip on these guys)

Oh my. Only around 5 weeks to go till it's that crazy old time of year again - the Film Festival. For those who don't know, around two months of my year are spent working from the office of the New Zealand Film Festivals. It's fun, but it's hard. The nice thing is being part of a team. Usually it's just me on my own (and the dog), hanging out at home, working busily away in the solitude of my sunroom/office. So for two months I get to hang out with other people. Not that there's much chat! Oh no, we all work hard and for long long hours. But it's all worth it, even if I do feel completely shattered for most of the time. For most of the time I don't really get to do much else except work, eat and sleep. That's NO exaggeration.

So, I have now, over the next few weeks, got to get stuck into the projects I have on the go now and get as much done as I can. Plus, I'm going to try to make sure I get some "me" time as well and keep myself well and happy. I'm heading off this weekend for some R&R to a cute little cottage over in - log burner, claw foot bath - lots of books and wine and food. Nice.

Still downloading like a crazy MF. Got the new Pretty Girls Make Graves, Élan Vital (not yet released). Yet another band that has played in Australia lately and not made their way across the ditch. Along with Les Savy Fav, Broken Social Scene and countless others. Shame.

Monday, March 20, 2006

ohhhh new music I love you

Finding new music is like exploring another world. I've been trawling the net, following leads, downloading. Soulseek window on one screen, browser in the other. Stumbled upon Do Make Say Think and thought, hello, these guys sound a lot like Broken Social Scene only to check and find that indeed, there are common band members involved. There's so much good good music coming out of Canada (Broken Social Scene, Feist, Do Make Say Think) and Scotland (Boards of Canada, Mogwai). It's so easy to find new music that you like on the net. Which transversly (sp?) makes it easier for the makers of music to reach an audience. Doncha love it? Okay, I've just downed a bottle of wine and I'm raving. It's time I went to bed.

[Just check my downloads first... still queuing...]

I've been obsessing over Broken Social Scene now for over three months. Where will it end?!

Oh, just downloaded early Dntel and it's so so making me happy. Soulseek is making my world go round.

I'm going to be hungover tomorrow.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What Post Punk band are YOU?

You scored as Throbbing Gristle. Throbbing Gristle are probably one of the most notorious and controversial bands of all time. Their proto-industrial music is self-consciously confrontational and alienating whilst their lyrics often deal with disturbing subject matter. Their best album is probably 1979's deceptively-named Jazz Funk Greats.

The Slits


Throbbing Gristle


The Fall


Cabaret Voltaire


Joy Division


Public Image Ltd.


Gang Of Four




The Teardrop Explodes


The Pop Group


Which Post Punk band are you?
created with

Rebirth of a Nation

Listening to: Pajo, Pajo
[Loving this album - seems almost a homage to the late great Elliot Smith (RIP)]

My last festival event last night - DJ Spooky with his re-/de-construction (he says remixing) of D.W. Griffiths' Birth of a Nation, 1915, Rebirth of a Nation. He's a bit cool, old DJ Spooky (that subliminal kid). His wry intellect comes across whenever he speaks. He has these smiling eyes that have that laughing look like the Dalai Llama. Like he's found his place in the world. Maybe I read too much into people. I dunno. But I think he looks he knows what he is about, in a general sense. If he does, then he is a lucky man.

Anyways, the gig. It was brilliant. He had three screens - one main one and two slightly smaller ones on either side. The two side ones were generally showing the same image although not always in sync. He layered up the images and closed in on some, added filters, deconstructed, pixellated, slowed down, degraded, coloured, moved the time structures - all the things a DJ does with sound. (I'm interested in the way software approaches sound and image - I was thinking about this a while ago and the way Spooky remixed the film has brought me back to it. There's a similar approach and language with both sound and image on the computer. Getting rid of "noise"; layering; reversals; distortion; loops; adding filters; opacity; transparency; adjusting curves; overlays. I could go on.) Added to that, the soundtrack, mixed live, was wonderful. I had never seen the original film - depicts the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the southern states of the US after the Civil War. It was a contentious film - the KKK shown as the heroes of the day. Very nasty stuff. I'd like to see the original. It starred the divine Lillian Gish.

Here's an article about Rebirth of a Nation from the Harvard University Gazette.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blog housekeeping

Just been tweaking some of my links on the right hand side over there. Added an excellent film review site that I stumbled across as well as a new blog I've been reading as well as hauling out one blog that seems to have come to a standstill.

film society

Just been checking out the lineup of films that the Wellington Film Society are offering this year and I think that I just might join up. 6.15pm every Monday night at the Paramount for most of the year. Oh, first up are two films that I really want to see, both by surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel. Some time ago I watched The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) which I loved. So getting to see some more of his work on the big screen will be cool. Diary of a Chambermaid and Belle de Jour.

For five weeks after that there are films by Jean-Luc Godard to look forward to. It's all looking good. Worth the year's $85 subscription, I tell you.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am a giant moth!

Cheers Lilly (and before that, Adam)


is a Giant Moth that spits Ice, Fears Nothing, has Very Sharp Fangs, and Screeches when Angry.

Strength: 3 Agility: 7 Intelligence: 5

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Rose, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Rose using

Discover your inner spammer

My spammer name is Dogfish W. Monocotyledon.
Enter your name to get yours:

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Is this guy for real? It's a funny read anyways. Including the comments.

entertainment glut

Man, I've been a lucky one lately. Last night it was Talvin Singh, the night before it was Holy Sinner (both Arts Festival envents) and last week I got to see David Pajo (ex-Slint and Tortoise and many other connections).

Talvin Singh was good. I'd describe his music as ambient bhangra or India-infused electronica. He plays the tabla - a traditional pair of Indian drums - and teams them with electronic instruments and a nice sparing dose of vocoder vocals.

Holy Sinner - well, it was gorgeous to watch and had amazing staging values which were really very beautiful. But the story was kinda weak. The first half was good, but the story lost the plot especially at the end. Glad I went though. It was worth it for the visuals. And of course, to support our local theatre.

David Pajo - awesome. His solo work is reminiscent of Nick Drake and Elliot Smith. He had some funny pooh jokes. You had to be there.

I've still got another Festival event to go to on Saturday night - DJ Spooky with Rebirth of a Nation. Should be good.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Three facts about Brian Eno

I didn't know that Eno wrote that startup sound for Windows. This is one of the things I found out today on Wikipedia about one of my heroes of music, Brian Eno. But there's more!

1. The Windows 95 startup sound (not the faster melody in later versions) was composed by Brian Eno.
2. He once guest appeared as Father Brian Eno on the television sitcom Father Ted.
3. He reportedly has a passion for word games. A song on his album Before and After Science is entitled "King's Lead Hat", which is an anagram of "Talking Heads", a band that he has worked with. (His own name, "Brian Eno", is an anagram of "One Brain".)

India Bharti

I saw this guy a few weeks ago busking in Wellington. He was really intrigung. I kinda liked his music (not really the new-agey lyrics, but the musical content). Didn't have any cash to buy a CD so I asked him if he had a web site. He does. I loved the pics on his lyrics pages of him hanging out with his fellow Hindi devotees all painted up and doing yoga and shit with their matted hair and skinny bodies. I feel like being one of them. Strict vegetarians, meditating and practising yoga and singing and whatever else they do with their days. Sweet. I'm hankering for that kind of simplicity. I'm getting really tired of making money and spending money.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Just when I thought I was "coping" along comes reality to shatter the illusion. I've been keeping busy, going out, working hard, then check my balance today to find that I'm completely skint until I get some cheques coming in which won't be until the 20th. And I still have the family to feed.

I didn't go out last night - I had something I was meant to go to but decided a night in was a good idea. Feeling a bit tired after going out nearly every night. Then my world felt like it was crashing in. I'm not happy with the situation I'm in. It's not how I want things but it doesn't look as though my world is going to change so I guess I will have to get used to it. Soldier on and all those other interminable platitudes. What does my mother say? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on. Oh yeah, it's so easy. Well, it isn't.

Okay, today I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better. If I can keep saying that to myself, maybe the illusion will seep in...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006


Just heard on National Radio that Fairfax have just bought Trade Me (now the most visted site in NZ) for $700 million. They're keeping on founder Sam Morgan for "some time". I wonder if it will last? Will they keep all the facets of the site? It won't feel the same using it when it's owned by a multinational.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Watch out where the huskies go...

Listening to: Hollie Smith E.P.

Just got home from the Film Archive - went to see Nanook of the North, an Inuit "documentary" from 1922 with live music performance by Mike Cooper. As explained by Mike Cooper, it was not quite what we would consider a documentary. Surveyor and prospector Robert Flaherty came to live amongst the Inuit and was so taken with their way of life that he wanted to capture it on film. Along with normal day-to-day activities (hunting and building igloo), he had them re-enact many of their old customs that were no longer practiced. Mike's electronic accompaniment flowed alongside the iceflows with it's chilly organic pings, pops and drones. Real nice. Finished the night with a nice Thai dinner and now home with the rain on the roof.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cézanne to Picasso

Popped in briefly today to Te Papa to check out the small exhibition of paintings from the Julian and Josie Robertson collection from New York - Cézanne to Picasso. There were only fourteen works but it's always brilliant to see original works like these. My favourites were the Braque and the Redon. Redon is one of my favourites, being a symbolist and all. I've just been looking at some of his work online - amazing. Unfortunately the piece in the show was one of his vases of flowers - not as engaging as his other work. Here's one I love.

stop playing with your food

Tonight: the opening of the Contemporary New Zealand Photographers (including Mr Ben Cauchi) then on to dinner at Satay Kampong where I rearranged my delicious and colourful Nasi Lemak. Isn't it a cute looking dinner? Then I ate the little fucker.
We took a trip to Boogie Wonderland and drank more wine and danced to silly 70s and 80s music. I dropped my poor dear Angie on the floor during a Fame kind of moment. I hope she recovers.