Friday, August 19, 2016

New Music on Groove

Groove has new music on its playlist.  Here's what we've loaded up.


Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker will release their debut album for Rough Trade, ‘Overnight,’ on October 14th, 2016. The album which is self-produced, follows their Rough Trade debut, the ‘Through The Clouds' EP, which was released earlier this year.

‘Overnight’ is their most ambitious record to date, focusing on Clarke’s extraordinary voice and lyrics, and Walker’s prodigious guitar-playing and arranging; the album features panoramic orchestration by an eclectic core of acclaimed musicians, including strings, horns, piano, double bass, and drums. The twelve songs – ten originals and two covers - recorded almost entirely live at Rockfield Studios in Wales - serve as a snapshot of the endless cycle of night into day and back again, morning light, into dusk, into black midnight, into greying dawn, and on, and on.

The album’s lilting first single, “The Waning Crescent,” is almost an answer in ballad form to the portrayal of the moon in traditional and popular music as a soothing, confessional, companion (i.e. “Blue Moon”). Coming at the darkest and stillest point in the album, the song – like the moon – brings a reassuring lightness.

Clarke explains, "I started to think about if I was the moon, what I might think and feel, and what the moon might sing back,” adding, “I’ve given it a slightly whiny, self-pitying quality because it’s whimsical and a bit funny.” 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Jonathan Crayford is at it again.

Teaming up once more with the same killer rhythm section on the critically acclaimed Dark Light (2014), Jonathan Crayford returns with another beautiful album. Recording again with engineer Mike Marciano at Systems Two Studio in New York, East West Moon takes the concentrated minimalism of the previous release a step further, this time with an even greater impressionistic spaciousness.
Jonathan composed the music for East West Moon while living in Berlin. The title is a comment on enmity and commonality, with 'East-West' denoting opposing positions and boundaries, and 'Moon' denoting that which is commonly shared, unpossessed, and freely available.
"It's a marriage of two hemispheres," says Jonathan. "East-West refers to the vast differences we think we see and feel between each other, our different cultures and approaches to living. We are perpetually in conflict over our take on life and someone else's. We form groups, and we want to be identified with the group, but we also want to be individuals. We look out at other groups and say 'Oh, that's a different group, but I'm not part of that, I'm in this group'. But we also see ourselves as 'different' from others in our group, so we have this perpetual fight with who or what we think we are and what we are becoming, which is always in change. Berlin is still haunted by the separation of 'east' and 'west'. People still live with the residue of that in their lives, which I found quite surprising."
"The moon has been meaningful for me for years, as it is for all of us. We can all be different, but we all share the moon. We all share the need to breathe. Instead of holding fast to our presuppositions, we need to look beyond philosophic intransigence and formulate a way forward that is devoid of conflict."
”On this album I tried to dig deep. If you’re not facing your own vulnerability, fragility, and bullshit, then you’re not really writing. It’s a bit like, if you haven’t fallen off a bike then you haven’t really ridden. I put so much work into these pieces, and it was hard some mornings to face another day of self-doubt, but that’s what it takes – those are the depths, but of course you also have wonderful heights. The pieces on this album are all about being alone – we share that aloneness, but we experience it alone.”

Link to Rattle Records

Monday, August 01, 2016

It's Harry Potter's world. Fast-forward 19 years.

When we said goodbye to Harry, Hermione and Ron at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the magical trio were sending off their own children to Hogwarts. Now, a new play picks up where the series left off: The Cursed Child is the eighth Harry Potter story.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lawrence Arabia - Live at Crystal Palace, Auckland

From Friday night’s performance at the Crystal Palace with a harried looking Sean Donnelly on the undercard.  "He’s right up there amongst the best this boy Lawrence", reckons photographer Trevor Villers.  "Not only is he a damn fine musician he’s something of a patriot too, exhorting us all to stand for the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of his set.  Lots of flag waving and patriotic fervor!  All good stuff!"  

Photos by Trevor Villers;  Email:  / Web:

Photos by Trevor Villers;  Email:  / Web:

NZ International Film Festival - NZ’s Best Short Film Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the fifth annual New Zealand’s Best short film competition. The winning shorts were announced on stage at the Civic Theatre in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2016 was awarded to Wait, directed and written by Yamin Tun. The jury noted in their citation that they were particularly impressed with the film’s authorial vision and use of visual language to carry the emotional story. Writer and Director Yamin Tun receives a cash prize of $5,000.

Wait was also selected as the recipient for Wallace Friends of the Civic Award. The finalists for this award were assessed by Sir James Wallace and ​Associate ​Producer/Director Grae Burton. The filmmaker receives a cash prize of $3,000 and is the recipient of the re-introduced Golden Elephant, formerly a tradition when receiving the Friends of the Civic Award at the Festival.

The 2016 Audience Award, which will take home 25% of the box office takings from screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, was awarded to The King. In 2015 the prize was valued at $4,800.

Carthew Neal, producer, Emily Perkins, author, and Buffy McKinnon, representative for donor, Madman Entertainment, judged the six short films selected by Lee Tamahori.

The six short films in the competition were Spring Jam (dir: Ned Wenlock), Cradle (dir: Damon Duncan), Wait (dir: Yamin Tun), Shmeat (dir: Matasila Freshwater), Judgment Tavern (dir: Dean Hewison), and The King (dir: Ursula Grace Williams). The New Zealand’s Best 2016 shorts programme will screen around the country with NZIFF.

NZ films at NZIFF are proudly supported by Resene.

Read more about the jury's notes on our website.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Ugly Bagels are Cool! - Al Brown's Best Ugly Bagels hit Cuba ST (Swan St, to be precise)

Parked in a former workshop just off upper Cuba Steet, behind the Floridita’s is Al Brown’s latest venture – Best Ugly Bagels. This is the Wellington version of his successful business modeled on the legendary bagel bakeries in Montreal  Until recently the site had provided storage for a second hand bookseller.  Gone are the shelves and ephemera and instead the space has been increased to a cavernous size incorporating a 12 tonne wood fired oven.  In homage to it’s former life, the restaurant sparsely decorated in an industrial style, walls painted but not fixed.  Even the toilet still looks like a garage WC, albeit much cleaner and no grease stains on the hand towel. The bagels are made by hand, boiled in honey water and laid out to cook in a massive stone oven like pizzas being paddled into a basket and sold almost immediately.  Fresh is key. To get the technique just right, Brown and team actually legged it all the way to the  St Viatuer, a store in Montreal,l to train with local bakers and learn the craft.   

Brown got the idea for these sweeter styled bagels from an early OE visit to his Aunt in Toronto many years ago.  The story goes that the Jewish bakers of the city could not get hold of enough kosher salt, essential in the baking process.  The result is a slightly more cake-like texture, softer on the inside, than the traditional chewy New York style bagels, but with a crunchier exterior.   Brown knows his market, too, and as a point of difference off a number of ‘Kiwi’ toppings including organic peanut butter, hazelnut butter, jams and Marmite alongside more exotic offerings such as banana, nuts and maple mars alone or cream cheese, tomato and lemon fennel oil (known as a White Rabbit).

Today, at a private opening for friends and whanau I got to try the schmeer, a bagel with Moera’s Zany Zeus cream cheese, which highlights to light texture and the crunch factor, emphasized by plenty of tasted sesame seeds, providing a wonderful long-time memory on the palate.