Wednesday, May 24, 2017

James Bond is dead - Long live James Bond! - Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond 007 Times, Dies at 89

Roger Moore, Who Played James Bond 007 Times, Dies at 89

Roger Moore as James Bond in 1981
Roger Moore, the dapper British actor who brought tongue-in-cheek humor to the James Bond persona in seven films, eclipsing his television career, which had included starring roles in at least five series, died on Tuesday in Switzerland. He was 89.

The death, attributed to cancer, was confirmed in a family statement on Twitter. His family did not say where in Switzerland he died.

Mr. Moore was the oldest Bond ever hired for films in the official series — although David Niven was in his 50s when he played Bond in the spoof “Casino Royale” — taking on the role when he was 45. (Sean Connery, who originated the film character and with whom Mr. Moore was constantly compared, was 32 when the first Bond film, “Dr. No,” was released.) Mr. Moore also had the longest run in the role, beginning in 1973 with “Live and Let Die” and winding up in 1985 with “A View to a Kill.”

When he became 007, the author Ian Fleming’s sexy secret agent with a license to kill, Mr. Moore was already well known to American audiences. After playing the title role in a British medieval-adventure series, “Ivanhoe,” shown in the United States in syndication in 1958, and starring in “The Alaskans,” a short-lived (1959-60) ABC gold-rush series, he replaced the departing James Garner in the fourth season (1960-61) of the western hit “Maverick.” His decidedly non-Western accent was explained away by the British education of his character, Beauregard Maverick, the original hero’s cousin.

Mr. Moore in the Bond adventure “Moonraker” (1979).
He was the oldest Bond ever hired, taking on the role when he was 46
From 1962 to 1969 Mr. Moore was Simon Templar, the title character of “The Saint,” a wildly popular British series about an adventurous, smooth-talking thief. It did so well in syndication in America that NBC adopted it for its prime-time schedule from 1967 to 1969. Two years later, Mr. Moore and Tony Curtis starred in ABC’s one-season series “The Persuaders” as playboy partners solving glamorous European crimes.

Jacqui Chan and Mr. Moore in “The Saint,” a wildly popular British series about a smooth-talking thief. He played the title character from 1962 to 1969
Mr. Moore in the Bond adventure “Moonraker” (1979). He was the oldest Bond ever hired, taking on the role when he was 46. Credit United Artists
After surrendering the Bond role to Timothy Dalton, Mr. Moore appeared in a half-dozen largely unexceptional movies, made a few television appearances and did voice work in animated films. Mostly, however, he turned his attention elsewhere, becoming a Unicef good-will ambassador in 1991. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1999 and was knighted in 2003.

Roger George Moore was born on Oct. 14, 1927, in Stockwell, South London, the only child of George Alfred Moore, a London police officer who dabbled in amateur theater, and the former Lily Pope. Early on Roger expressed interest in becoming a commercial artist and worked while a teenager at an animation company. But he fell into movie extra work, was encouraged by a director to pursue acting and entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1944.

He was drafted during the final year of World War II, serving as a second lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps. After the war he did stage work in London and Cambridge, England, and appeared in mostly uncredited movie parts. He left for the United States in 1953.

Mr. Moore made his American television debut that year playing a French diplomat on an episode of NBC’s “Robert Montgomery Presents.” His first credited film role was a small one as a tennis pro in “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (1954), starring a young Elizabeth Taylor. His second movie was the romantic melodrama “Interrupted Melody” (1955), with Eleanor Parker. But he soon returned to Britain and spent the rest of his career doing a mix of British, American and European projects.

Mr. Moore and Barbara Bach at a screening for “The Spy Who Loved Me” at the Cannes Film Festival in 1977.Credit
During his tenure as James Bond, Mr. Moore played almost a score of unrelated acting roles, most notably “The Cannonball Run” (1981), the car-race comedy with Burt Reynolds, and the television movie “Sherlock Holmes in New York” (1976), in which he starred as Holmes and John Huston played Professor Moriarty.

Mr. Moore’s only visits to Broadway were brief and, in different ways, unpleasant. In 1953 he had a small role in the British drama “A Pin to See the Peepshow,” which opened and closed on the same night. Exactly 50 years later he appeared as the mystery guest star in Hamish McColl and Sean Foley’s comedy “The Play What I Wrote” and collapsed onstage. He received a pacemaker at a New York hospital the next day. (He was already a 10-year survivor of prostate cancer.)

His last film appearance was a supporting role in “The Carer” (2016), about an aging and ailing British actor (Brian Cox).

Mr. Moore married four times and was divorced three. He met his first wife (1946-53), Doorn Van Steyn, at acting school in London. He married Dorothy Squires in 1953 and left her in the early ’60s for Luisa Mattioli, whom he had met making an Italian film, but their divorce was not final until 1968. He married Ms. Mattioli the next year and had three children with her. They divorced in 1996, and in 2002 he married the Swedish-born Kristina Tholstrup, who survives him.

He is also survived by his sons, Geoffrey and Christian; a daughter, Deborah; and grandchildren.

Mr. Moore had definite opinions about playing heroic adventurers long before he became Bond. “I would say your average hero has a super ego, an invincible attitude and an overall death wish,” he told The New York Times in 1970. “He’s slightly around the twist, isn’t he?”

“In theatrical terms, I’ve never had a part that demands much of me,” he added. “The only way I’ve had to extend myself has been to carry on charming.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Announced: Ockham 2017 Book Awards.

A quick history

Before 1996, there were two major New Zealand literary prizes, the New Zealand Book Awards (1976–1995) and the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards (1968–1993). Montana took over the sponsorship of the Wattie Awards in 1994, and thus became the Montana Book Awards (1994–1995). In 1996, the two awards merged to form the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (1996–2009). In 2010, sponsorship of the awards was assumed by New Zealand Post, which had been supporting the Children’s Book Awards for the previous 14 years. In 2015, the governance and management of New Zealand’s national book awards were assumed by the new New Zealand Book Awards Trust. Ockham Residential Limited became the principal sponsor, and the name of the awards was changed to the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. The award categories were streamlined: the Book of the Year Award and the Booksellers’ Choice and People’s Choice awards were discontinued, and a fourth Best First Book Award and a longlist were introduced. From 2016 on, the awards are held each year in May, as part of the Auckland Writers Festival, in a partnership between the New Zealand Book Awards Trust and the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival Trust.




The Wish Child

Catherine Chidley
Published by: Victoria University Press

The Wish Child subtly examines territory unusual for a New Zealand writer with this original exploration of the edges of a much-written about historic time. Exposing and celebrating the power of words – so dangerous they must be cut out or shredded, so magical they can be wondered at and conjured with – Chidgey also exposes the fragility and strength of humanity. Elegantly written, there is an innerness to the book’s narrative which gives it authenticity and even authority. The fey, mysterious voice of the Wish Child, and the very human voices and activities of the book’s other children, are compelling and memorable. You’ll be caught by surprise with its plumbing of depths and sudden moments of grace, beauty and light.


Fits & Starts

Published by: Victoria University Press
Andrew Johnston

The judges’ admiration for Andrew Johnston’s remarkable collection grew with each rereading, as its rich intellectual and emotional layers continued to reveal themselves. Fits & Starts is a slow-burning tour de force, each image, metaphor, theme deeply, fully imagined. It draws on a complex amalgam of sources, including the King James Bible, the radio alphabet, Ovid’s Metamorphosis and, and rewards the reader’s intelligence, attention and patience. Using a minimalist couplet-form, the collection is at once philosophical and political, witty and moving, risky and grounded, while maintaining a marvellously varied singing line. To reward Fits & Starts with the overall poetry prize is to reward New Zealand poetry at its most impressive and its most promising.


A History of New Zealand Women

Published by: Bridget Williams Books
Barbara Brookes

Putting women at the centre of our history, this sweeping survey shows exactly when, how and why gender mattered. It combines deep research, an immensely readable narrative, superbly well-integrated images and it is distinguished by close attention to both Māori and Pākeha women. General changes in each period are combined effortlessly with the particular, local stories of individual women, many not well-known. A wider sense of women’s experiences is beautifully conveyed by the many well-captioned artworks, photographs, texts and objects.



Can You Tolerate This?

Published by: Victoria University Press
Ashleigh Young

Ashleigh Young’s Can You Tolerate This? is a collection of personal essays that sets a high bar for style and originality in a form that has very little precedent in this country. Young takes the events in her life, including her family, her jobs, and all the emotional complications of living in this world and with remarkable honesty delivers a shrewd and honest reckoning. Always an acute observer, it is in Young’s commitment to writing as an art that the true miracle occurs; she tells us her story and somehow we get our own.

Best First Book

About the Best First Book Awards

The Hubert Church Award for Fiction was awarded from 1945 by PEN NZ (later the New Zealand Society of Authors), and named for Hubert Church, a poet, novelist and critic who died in 1932.

The Jessie Mackay Award for Poetry was awarded from 1940 by PEN NZ and named for the first locally born poet to achieve national prominence.  The Judith Binney Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction is named for the late historian Dame Judith Binney, whose several ground-breaking books demonstrated her lifelong commitment to researching and writing about the history of New Zealand.

The E H McCormick Award for General Non-Fiction is named for the late Eric McCormick, the eminent historian and biographer of Frances Hodgkins.



Black Ice Matter

Published by: Huia Publishers
Gina Cole

Gina Cole’s short stories are vivid and compelling; this is a new, assured and vibrant voice in Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika fiction. Exploring the extremes of heat and cold, peopled with strong, interesting characters you want to know more about, these stories alternatively burn you down, freeze you in your tracks, comfort or cool you. Cole’s precise and elegant writing startles and delights, and it's exciting to read.



Hera Lindsay Bird

Published by: Victoria University Press
Hera Lindsay Bird

Hera Lindsay Bird’s eponymous debut collection is sassy, funny, seductive. It charms as it dares the reader to be shocked by its sexual frankness and revelations, by its insouciant dismissal of the past, its enjoyment of its own verbal and conceptual conjurations, its sheer performative energy. A particular pleasure is the exuberance of the metaphors and similes, where the pop spear-tackles the antique, the louche the romantic, the trivial the grand. There’s a hymn to hate, an elegy to ex-girlfriends, a paean to bad taste, a rejection of poetry, a celebration of poetry, an invitation to ‘slap yourself in the face with a mohair glove’ and to ‘say true-sounding things and never mean them’. These poems take no prisoners.



A Whakapapa of Tradition: One Hundred Years of Ngāti Porou Carving, 1830-1930

Published by: Auckland University Press
Ngarino Ellis and Natalie Robertson

A careful re-tracing of the evolution of the Iwirākau School, which reinvigorated carving in the Ngāti Porou iwi after it became dormant in the 1830s, this book builds on earlier scholarship with extensive new research. Ngarino Ellis mounts an absorbing argument about tradition, innovation and how culture is transmitted. Natalie Robertson’s magnificent photographs of meeting houses, carvings and landscapes are integral to the narrative. Together they demonstrate the enduring role of carving at the heart of community and rangatiratanga.


My Father’s Island

Published by: Victoria University Press
Adam Dudding

My Father's Island is a triumph of narrative, prose, and the great Kiwi yarn. Readers come so uncomfortably close to memories of joy, tension and mystery — a testament to Adam Dudding's skill as a prose stylist and a storyteller. Yet My Father’s Island is more than just its aesthetics — it’s also an important piece of cultural history with Dudding approaching his subject, his father Robin Dudding, as only a journalist would and could, uncovering family secrets never told. Yet My Father’s Island remains, above all, a memoir, an enthralling account of life and family.

2017 Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction Winner

A Whakapapa of Tradition: One Hundred Years of Ngāti Porou Carving, 1830–1930, by Ngarino Ellis with new photography by Natalie Robertson, has won the Judith Binney Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

‘The Auckland University Press team is enormously proud of Ngarino and Natalie’s best first book win for A Whakapapa of Tradition,’ said AUP Director Sam Elworthy.

‘It’s work that embodies so many values that really matter and that we embrace – a commitment to long term research, a deep engagement with Māori tradition and history and the power of images and text working together. We congratulate author and photographer.’

A full list of all the winners can be found here:

More about the book:

The chieftainess Te Ao Kairau lived in the north of the Waiapu Valley. Desiring carving for the meeting houses that she was having erected, she chose her nephew Iwirākau to travel to Ūawa to learn the arts of carving at the Rāwheoro whare wānanga. Iwirākau had a studious nature and practical bent, and many close connections to major lines in Ngāti Porou. Upon his return from his studies, Iwirākau added new details acquired from Ūawa to the designs and styles of the Waiapu, and became a leader of carving in the Waiapu area. When the whare wānanga later declined, such was the strength of the passing down of knowledge that the style of carving associated with them continued. And one of the strongest to survive was that of the Iwirākau School.

From the emergence of the chapel and the wharenui in the nineteenth century to the rejuvenation of carving by Apirana Ngata in the 1920s, Māori carving went through a rapid evolution from 1830 to 1930. Focusing on thirty meeting houses, Ngarino Ellis tells the story of Ngāti Porou carving and a profound transformation in Māori art.

Beginning around 1830, three previously dominant art traditions – waka taua (war canoes), pātaka (decorated storehouses) and whare rangātira (chief’s houses) – declined and were replaced by whare karakia (churches), whare whakairo (decorated meeting houses) and wharekai (dining halls). Ellis examines how and why that fundamental transformation took place by exploring the Iwirākau School of carving, based in the Waiapu Valley on the East Coast of the North Island. An ancestor who lived around the year 1700, Iwirākau is credited for reinvigorating the art of carving in the Waiapu region. The six major carvers of his school went on to create more than thirty important meeting houses and other structures.

During this transformational period, carvers and patrons re-negotiated key concepts such as tikanga (tradition), tapu (sacredness) and mana (power, authority) – embedding them within the new architectural forms whilst preserving rituals surrounding the creation and use of buildings. A Whakapapa of Tradition tells us much about the art forms themselves but also analyses the environment that made carving and building possible: the patrons who were the enablers and transmitters of culture; the carvers who engaged with modern tools and ideas; and the communities as a whole who created the new forms of art and architecture.

This book is both a major study of Ngāti Porou carving and an attempt to make sense of Māori art history. What makes a tradition in Māori art? Ellis asks. How do traditions begin? Who decides this? Conversely, how and why do traditions cease? And what forces are at play which make some buildings acceptable and others not? Beautifully illustrated with new photography by Natalie Robertson, and drawing on the work of key scholars to make a new synthetic whole, this book will be a landmark volume in the history of writing about Māori art.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Entertainment News/ MTV MOVIE & TV AWARDS - MONDAY!


MTV has this year reimagined the format of its awards show by breaking down the gender wall with exclusively non-gendered categories. 

Additionally, MTV is adding TV to the traditional movie awards and blending nominees across film and TV, so actors from all screens will compete for the Golden Popcorn in the same categories.
Dillon, a series regular on Showtime’s Billions is the first gender non-binary identifying actor ever to be cast in a major television series.
"I grew up with MTV.  It was the pop culture voice of my generation. MTV continues to be a voice for the culture it represents.  I am honored to open the show as a presenter as MTV makes strides once more by doing away with binary acting categories, celebrating television and film in a truly inclusive way," said Dillon.
Asia recently sent an impassioned letter to the TV Academy, questioning the gender-specific classifications of the acting categories in the Primetime Emmy Awards.

The MTV Movie and TV Awards premiere LIVE on Monday May 8th at 12pm from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
MTV today announced that Fast & Furious,one of the most popular and enduring motion-picture franchises of all time, will receive the 'Generation Award' at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, marking the first time that a film franchise will be honoured instead of an individual actor.

Star and producer Vin Diesel will accept the award on behalf of the groundbreaking franchise, alongside his Fast & Furious franchise co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster.

Hosted by comedian Adam Devine, the MTV Movie and TV Awards will air LIVE on Monday May 8 at 12pm from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise and its global contribution to pop culture,” said Amy Doyle, General Manager, MTV, VH1 and Logo.  “From the diverse cast of beloved actors, to the music and fashion, we are honored to present the Generation Award to a franchise that continues to entertain millions of fans across the world."
J Balvin and Pitbull will take to the MTV Movie & TV Awards stage with Camila Cabello to perform their steamy hit single, 'Hey Ma' which is featured in The Fate of the Furious - which recently achieved the biggest global opening in history. This marks the first televised performance of the track since its release in March.
For more than 25 years, the 'Generation Award' has been dedicated to honouring talent who have had great achievements in their movie careers. The distinction is given to artists who have shown a variety of impressive roles. Past recipients of the award include: Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey.

MOVIE OF THE YEAR (Presented by Toyota C-HR)   
Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)      
Get Out (Universal Pictures)    
Logan (20th Century Fox)        
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)      
The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment)      
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out (Universal Pictures)  
Emma Watson – Beauty and the Beast
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)       
Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment)   
Hugh Jackman – Logan (20th Century Fox)
James McAvoy – Split (Universal Pictures)      
Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)   
Atlanta (FX)   
Game of Thrones (HBO)  
Insecure (HBO) 
Pretty Little Liars (Freeform) 
Stranger Things (Netflix)      
This Is Us (NBC)       
Donald Glover – Atlanta (FX)   
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones (HBO)   
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin (The CW)      
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead (AMC)    
Mandy Moore – This Is Us (NBC)  
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things (Netflix) 
BEST KISS       
Ashton Sanders & Jharrel Jerome – Moonlight (A24)      
Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling – La La Land (Summit Entertainment)  
Emma Watson & Dan Stevens – Beauty and the Beast
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) 
Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard – Empire (FOX)      
Zac Efron & Anna Kendrick – Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
(20th Century Fox)  
Allison Williams – Get Out (Universal Pictures) 
Demogorgon – Stranger Things (Netflix) 
Jared Leto – Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)      
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead (AMC)   
Wes Bentley – American Horror Story (FX)       
BEST HOST       
Ellen DeGeneres – The Ellen DeGeneres Show (NBC)        
John Oliver – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) 
RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) 
Samantha Bee – Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)     
Trevor Noah – The Daily Show (Comedy Central)  
13TH (Netflix) 
I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia Pictures) 
O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)     
This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (YouTube|Red)
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story (Spike) 
America’s Got Talent (NBC)     
MasterChef Junior (FOX) 
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)  
The Bachelor (ABC)     
The Voice (NBC)
Adam Devine – Workaholics (Comedy Central)     
Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson – Broad City (Comedy Central)     
Lil Rel Howery – Get Out (Universal Pictures)   
Seth MacFarlane – Family Guy (FOX)     
Seth Rogen – Sausage Party (Sony)
Will Arnett – The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)    
BEST HERO        
Felicity Jones – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)    
Grant Gustin – The Flash (The CW)       
Mike Colter – Luke Cage (Netflix)      
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things (Netflix) 
Stephen Amell – Arrow (The CW) 
Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)   

Game of Thrones – Hodor’s (Kristian Nairn) Death (HBO)  
Grey’s Anatomy – Meredith tells her children about Derek’s death
(Ellen Pompeo) (ABC)       
Me Before You – Will (Sam Claflin) tells Louisa (Emilia Clarke) he can’t stay with her (Warner Bros. Pictures)  
Moonlight – Paula (Naomie Harris) tells Chiron (Trevante Rhodes)
that she loves him (A24)      
This Is Us – Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Randall
(Lonnie Chavis) at karate (NBC)       
Chrissy Metz   
Daniel Kaluuya 
Issa Rae        
Riz Ahmed       
Yara Shahidi   
BEST DUO         
Adam Levine & Blake Shelton – The Voice (NBC)   
Daniel Kaluuya & Lil Rel Howery –
Get Out (Universal Pictures) 
Brian Tyree Henry & Lakeith Stanfield – Atlanta (FX)   
Hugh Jackman & Dafne Keen – Logan (20th Century Fox)   
Josh Gad & Luke Evans – Beauty and the Beast
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)      
Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg – Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (VH1)     
Blackish (ABC) 
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)       
Jane the Virgin (The CW)       
Moonlight (A24)
Transparent (Amazon)   
Get Out (Universal Pictures)    
Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)      
Loving (Focus Features)
Luke Cage (Netflix)    
Mr. Robot (USA)

Monday, May 01, 2017

Released today: The Anniversary Edition of 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9)'

– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

This June 1st marks 50 years since The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album.  In anticipation of the album release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9) [the lead radio track taken from the forthcoming Sgt. Pepper’s 50th Anniversary sets] has been released.

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It was 50 years ago this June 1 st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/USM). The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than 34 previously unreleased recordings.

“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.  ..Sgt. Pepper seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967.

Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then
considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.

This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with
additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.

A little bit of history.... this is the eighth studio album by English rock band the Beatles. Released on 1 June 1967, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States. The album was recognized for its innovations in music production, songwriting and graphic design, bridging a cultural divide between popular music and legitimate art, and symbolizing the 1960s counterculture. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.

In August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring and began a three-month holiday from recording. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian era military band that would eventually form the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. Sessions for what was to become the Beatles' eighth studio album began on 24 November in Abbey Road Studio Two with two compositions inspired from their youth, Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, but after pressure from EMI, the songs were released as a double A-side single and were not included on the album.

In February 1967, after recording the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band song, McCartney suggested that the Beatles should release an entire album that would represent a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band. This alter ego group would give them the freedom to experiment musically. During the recording sessions, the band furthered the technological progression they had made with their 1966 album Revolver. Knowing they would not have to perform the tracks live, they adopted an experimental approach to composition and recording on songs such as With a Little Help from My Friends, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Day in the Life. Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick's innovative recording of the album included the liberal application of sound shaping signal processing and the use of a 40-piece orchestra performing aleatoric* crescendos (*i.e. relating to or denoting music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice -sometimes using statistical or computer techniques - during their composition, production, or performance). 

Recording was completed on 21 April 1967. The cover, depicting the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by the British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.

Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the use of extended form in popular music while continuing the artistic maturation seen on the Beatles' preceding releases. It has been described as one of the first art rock LPs, aiding the development of progressive rock, and credited with marking the beginning of the Album Era. An important work of British psychedelia, the album incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. In 2003, the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry, honouring the work as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".That same year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number one in its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". As of 2011, it has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Professor Kevin J. Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, described it as "the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded".It is the best selling album worldwide of the 1960s.

A little bit about the cover... The album’s vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate, illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. 

The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

Below is a movie about the making of Sgt Peppers...

For all those trainspotters out there, here's the 50th Anniversary Release track listing: 

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition tracklists:

(‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix)
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8. Within You Without You
9. When I'm Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life

Deluxe [2CD, digital]

CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album, plus various versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]
8. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
9. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
10. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
11. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
13. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
15. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
16. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
17. Penny Lane [Take 6 - Instrumental]
18. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
Deluxe Vinyl [180g 2LP]

LP 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1. Within You Without You
2. With A Little Help From My Friends 2. When I'm Sixty-Four
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3. Lovely Rita
4. Getting Better 4. Good Morning Good Morning
5. Fixing A Hole 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. She's Leaving Home 6. A Day In The Life
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

1. Within You Without You
2. With A Little Help From My Friends 2. When I'm Sixty-Four
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3. Lovely Rita
4. Getting Better 4. Good Morning Good Morning
5. Fixing A Hole 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. She's Leaving Home 6. A Day In The Life

LP 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]

1. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
2. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
3. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
4. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
6. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]

Super Deluxe [4CD/DVD/Blu-ray boxed set]

CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 1]
2. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 4]
3. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
4. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
5. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
6. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
7. Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
8. Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
9. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
10. A Day In The Life [Take 1]
11. A Day In The Life [Take 2]
12. A Day In The Life [Orchestra Overdub]
13. A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 1 – Instrumental]
16. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
17. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 1 - Instrumental, Breakdown]
18. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]

CD 3: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1. Fixing A Hole [Take 1]
2. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
3. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End]
4. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 7]
5. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
6. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1 And Speech At The End]
7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
8. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
9. Getting Better [Take 12]
10. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments Only]
11. Within You Without You [George Coaching The Musicians]
12. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
13. She's Leaving Home [Take 6 – Instrumental]
14. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]
CD 4: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and bonus tracks in Mono
(Tracks 1-13: 2017 Direct Transfer of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Original Mono Mix)
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Original Mono Mix]
15. Penny Lane [Original Mono Mix]
16. A Day In The Life [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Unreleased Mono Mix - No. 11]
18. She's Leaving Home [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
19. Penny Lane [Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single - Mono Mix]

DISCS 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)

Audio Features (both discs):
- New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and “Penny Lane,” plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
- High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix and 2017 “Penny Lane” stereo mix, plus 2015 “Strawberry Fields Forever” hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)

Video Features (both discs):
- The Making of Sgt. Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
- Promotional Films: “A Day In The Life;” “Strawberry Fields Forever;” “Penny Lane” [4K restored]

It's New Zealand Music Month!!!!

NZ Music Month is an annual event managed by the New Zealand Music Commission Te Reo Reka o Aotearoa.  The purpose of NZ Music Month is to celebrate and grow awareness of home-grown music.

“NZ Music Month has a way of throwing up the unexpected; that song, artist or event that you experience that captures you in a way that only music can. There are plenty of opportunities for people to experience local music this May, so make the effort and see what new musical adventures await.” said NZ Music Month Manager, Simon Woods.

Music Commission Chief Executive Cath Andersen says “This year the focus of NZ Music Month is music discovery – most people now have a favourite local artist, so we think May is the perfect time to try and find your new favourite New Zealand band.”

There is a huge volume of events nationwide to cater for every musical taste.

Again libraries from across New Zealand are hosting concerts, exhibitions and showing films that celebrate local music with over a hundred events featuring an amazing array of artists scheduled nationwide.

The Christchurch Music Trust CHART has a programme including the NZ Music Month CHART Showcase on 11 May at The Darkroom; and Wanaka will again play host to the YAMI Sound Summit, a weekend of music industry workshops, panels, and showcases for anyone aged from 10 to 110 years.

Levin is having its fourth annual NZ Music Month Day, a community event with local performers playing at a dozen locations across the Horowhenua township.

The Carter Observatory in Wellington has four special NZ Music Month concerts, featuring live performances by some of the capital’s best artists.  Also in Wellington is a special NZ Music Month Mothers Day show Takitimu Karanga, hosted by Toni Huata with special guests including Betty-anne Monga and Mara TK

The Otara Music And Arts Centre are holding a free workshop series every Saturday in May, including hip hop music production and a Drummers Day Out; and the Official NZ Music Month Summit will be held by the Music Managers Forum and NZ Music Commission at the Auckland Museum on 20 May, coinciding with the final weekend of the landmark Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa exhibition.

Prime TV will be playing New Zealand music documentaries in the Tuesday evening Prime Rocks slot throughout May, and the Rialto Channel are back with their 13th Floor NZ Music Month sessions every night in May, featuring exclusive performances filmed for every evening at 8:30pm.

Not only will there be events happening throughout the country, but New Zealand artists are performing across the globe this May.

“We know that people all over the world are listening to New Zealand artists, and this May we will also be highlighting some of the amazing achievements and in-roads our musicians are making internationally.”

What is NZ Music Month?

Firmly entrenched as part of our cultural landscape, the month of May has gone from a period of encouraging radio to play more local tunes, to a 31 day celebration of homegrown talent across the length and breadth of the country.

NZ Music Month is a promotion run by the NZ Music Commission that takes place each May, in association with other organisations including NZ On Air, Recorded Music New Zealand, APRA, The Music Managers Forum, and the Radio Broadcasters Association. And obviously NZ Music Month could not succeed without the support of the country's labels, media, the general public, and, most importantly, the artists themselves.

Here at NZ Music Month HQ we can still remember back to the year 2000 when it all kicked off. There was plenty of great music being made but not enough people got to hear it, see it, or have it on their shelves. It's bloody marvellous to see how far things have come.

With local music of so many different kinds blasting through our airwaves, soaring off stages, webpagesand apps, and rumbling out of ludicrously lowered cars at the lights these days it is hard to fathom why things weren't like this earlier. Well, along with the vast amount of talented musicians responsible for all the great songs, and the hardworking folks who support them professionally and personally, we'd like to think that NZ Music Month has played a part.

We want to help you get to great gigs, make new musical discoveries, and get excited about your faves from the past. With a bunch of new releases looming over the horizon, hundreds of gigs around the country, and media of all kinds gearing up to get behind NZ Music Month you won't be able to miss it.

NZ Music Month will also be spreading the word about everything else that's going on around Aotearoa, so stay tuned for our personal picks throughout May and dig deep into our comprehensive gig guide to find gems that tickle your fancy.

Catch you out there... For more info go to:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New tunes on Groove FM

Hey Groovers

We've recently added fantastic tracks from Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox including their Swing versions of 'All about that bass', 'Creep' and 'I will survive'. We also have an amazing Barbershop vocal version of 'Happy' (Pharrell Williams) by 'Straight no chaser', Galdys Knight & The Pips doing the 'Sesame Street Theme' and some nice new Jazz grooves. If you haven't listened to Groove for a while the time to tune in is now. Don't forget we're on the (free) Tunein app on mobile devices.

Other new grooves:
La La Land soundtrack.jpg

Sunset Lover - Petit Biscuit
Shake ya Boogie - Mocean Worker Feat. Steven Bernstein
Toxic - Postmodern Jukebox
Swing You Winners - Bart & Baker feat. Tape 5

Adding this week: Tracks from the Amazing 'La la land' movie soundtrack.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reflecting on ANZAC Day

Yesterday was ANZAC day, commemorating 102 years since New Zealand and Australia's involvement in WWI.

At a service at the National War Memorial Pukeahu Park in Wellington Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy thanked veterans for their service and commitment to the country:
"A hundred years ago most of our troops were on the western front in northern France and Belgium. As the war progressed, the names of obscure villages, towns and ridge-lines where so many of our men lost their lives, became part of our national memory."

Below is a small selection of responses to the day, from various sources on the web.

Reflecting on the Legacies of War on ANZAC Day:
The second recognizes women's contributions in the wartime:  See the Australian media site SBS:

This is a Kindergarten's perspective:

The RSA's approach:

Not every one agrees, though - Anzac Day is our day - RSA tells protesters 'not on our Cenotaphs'

And a response to that article: "If this 12yr old 'NZ First' war apologist is the result of kids at ANZAC Day, should we ban kids from ANZAC Day?":