This is an extraordinary issue of our newsletter... not only is it our first issue to go out during NZ Music Month, and our 8th issue for 2011 which happens to be going out on 8 May, but for the very first time ever you will have the exclusive opportunity to meet some of the amazing and outstanding people who make up the muzic.net.nz team of reviewers, interviewers and photographers.
The muzic.net.nz is currently made up of 15 members (along with a couple of casuals) and I can never thank them enough for all the energy and time they put into their work. Given that these people volunteer to work for the site for very little reward speaks loud volumes about what fantastic individuals they are. They are definitely a very integral and important part of muzic.net.nz. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, muzic.net.nz would not be what it is today without these people.
On 18 April, my amazingly dedicated Grandma passed away suddenly. It has been, and still is, a very difficult time for myself and my family as we come to terms with this unexpected loss. Moments like this are made that little more easier when you know you have the support of friends and family and I would like to thank all those people that did not hesitate in showing their support, especially those in the muzic.net.nz team, including River, who wrote the editorial for our last newsletter.
- Lisa and the muzic.net.nz team
Amanda Ratcliffe – also known as miss nz on muzic.net.nz - is a band photographer based in the North Island of New Zealand. She likes to go ‘on tour’, and you’ll usually find her in either Auckland, Hamilton or Wellington depending on who is playing, where and when.
The ‘user name’ miss nz originally came from her days on MySpace, but due to the number of requests and hideous messages from people in the likes of Abu Dhabi and such, the lass decided to go by her real name which is kinda’ catchy anyway.
Amanda Ratcliffe is a Capricorn who enjoys cats, baking, My Little Ponies and doodling on walls in bars. You will also find that the way to her heart is through sweet treats – in particular, chocolate and coffee – the heart palpitation makers.
Describe your surroundings
Right now I’m sitting at home in my favorite room – my office. It’s where I do all of my writing and process most of my photographs, and is filled with the things I love. Well…that last part is a bit of a lie – you see, it currently needs a tidy-up as there are frames and photos covering half of the floor space, so I’m kind of pressed up close to my desk so that my chair doesn’t squash anything that is supposedly precious to me. But other than that, this room is amazing!
In front of me I have a pin board, which is covered with images that I’ve taken along with a couple that I wish I’d taken. Then there’s some cute little rabbit money box / ornament type things that I have had since I was about five, some book holders from Smiggle filled with Vice magazines, and a couple of randoms like Frankie, and the most incredible book I found in New York called Happy Kitty Bunny Pony. I believe you can also purchase it online, but it holds many fond memories and inspires me on days like today which are rather dreary outside my window.
I’m also looking at a pile of images to my left from my exhibition called Shooting Spree which was held way back in March that still need to go up on my wall, and some CD’s that need to be filed away neatly in my lounge. I can also spy a bunch of business cards behind my laptop that I’ve collected
over the past few months, which need filing. Hmmm…something tells me that
this is going to give you guys the impression that I am terribly unorganized.
What can you never leave home without?
Well…I quite like my little brown handbag, which I picked up from the Salvation Army, so perhaps I’ll choose that. And all of its contents. Poking out tongue face.
If there was one thing that I had to choose out of that bag though, it would mos def. be my iPhone. A hand held device that makes / takes phone calls, takes photos, stores music and has internet experience all in one is pretty damn exciting if you ask me.
What is your favourite venue in NZ?
It’s a pretty obvious choice for me and I can see some of you will probably roll your eyes at this one, but I love love love the Whammy Bar down K Road in Auckland. I still remember the first time I went there which was late 2007, I think? I had just been to one of The Electric Confectionares and The Earlybirds’ performances at the Masonic Tavern in Devonport that afternoon, and was pretty stoked to be heading along to catch Motocade that evening.
There weren’t that many people there which was probably a good thing coz’ that meant I could soak in every little detail of the venue. The animal paintings on the carpeted walls in the booths are a true winner in my books, and while we’re on the subject - the carpet on the staircase is also incredible. Yup…pretty much want to live there, and if that didn’t work, I
would happily settle for the Wine Cellar next door.
In saying all this, the Whammy is pretty dark and it’s hard to get decent photographs down there, so if I had to choose a favorite for photographs I might say somewhere like the Mighty Mighty in Wellington or the Kings Arms in Auckland which generally seem to have pretty good lighting. I am also quite the fan of the Auckland Town Hall, and had a blast shooting SploreCity there earlier in the year. So that’s five. Perhaps I am a little bit greedy, but I like variety.
Who do you admire in NZ music at the moment?
There are many bands and musicians at the moment that I admire, but the first to come to mind would have to be The Twitch. They are so incredibly dedicated to their music, and I love their enthusiasm towards (I guess what
you would call) their ‘brand’. They’re always ready to put on their best show
and have gained quite the name for themselves over the years with their
rock n’ roll attitude toward life.
If you’ve ever taken a look through my photographs, you’ll find that I’m also quite the fan of Devonport lads – The Checks, who I’ve shot on numerous occasions over the years. I remember the first time I saw them was when they opened for Muse in 2007, and from then I’ve not been able to say enough good things about them and how awesome their shows are.
Then there’s Die! Die! Die!, who always seem to be gigging somewhere around the world. These guys are amazing, and it’s safe to say that I have a wee bit of a crush on them and their enormous amount of motivation and love for making music. I spose when I think about it, I’d say the same about any band or musician who is 100 percent dedicated to doing what they love and truly making something decent of their talents.
What’s in your CD collection?
I hope that you guys appreciate this, because I now have to leave the comfort of my favourite chair in my favourite room in the house to go and sift through my collection for these treasures: (You can have one from each letter of the alphabet – if I’ve got all letters in my collection) Alphabethead, Beastie Boys, Collapsing Cities, Dick Dynamite & the Doppelgangers, The Earlybirds, Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, Garageland, The Hives, Jimi Hendrix, Kasabian, Lily Allen, Minuit, The Naked and Famous, Outkast, Pluto, Queens of the Stoneage, Rocket Jocks, So So Modern, The Twitch, The Upbeats, The Veils, White Birds and Lemons and Zowie.
Photos taken by Amanda, from top to bottom, are An Emerald City, Castlecliff Lights, Heart Attack Alley, John The Baptist, Minuit, The Checks, The Drab Doo Riffs and The Twitch.
Kate McCarten - also known as sidvicious on muzic.net.nz - is 22 years old and based in Auckland.
Who are your favourite NZ musicians and bands?
The Naked and Famous and Shapeshifter are definitely my all time top two. But I love The Checks, The Earlybirds, Avalanche City, The Veils (I'll always consider them a New Zealand band), Cut Off Your Hands, Homebrew, Motocade and The Ruby Suns. And I'll always have a soft spot for Goodnight Nurse.
What can you never leave home without?
In theory I'd say my phone, my wallet, my keys and my iPod. But I'm a very forgetful person so that's not always the case.
What is your favourite music venue in NZ?
Well it used to be the St James (R.I.P.) and to be honest, there aren't very many good venues in Auckland anymore. I guess for a lack of better options I'd say either the Kings Arms (if it's not too packed and not raining) or the Powerstation.
What is your favourite place to be in NZ?
Auckland is always going to be where my heart is so I have to say that home is my favourite. But my favourite places to go outside of Auckland would be Wellington if I want a city or pretty much anywhere in the Coromandel if I want a beach.
What is in your CD collection?
My CD collection is all electronic now, I don't even know where my old CDs are. But my music collection is pretty gigantically huge. My all time favourites include Architecture in Helsinki, The Maccabees, The Beatles, Born Ruffians, The Smiths, Joy Division, The Drums, Hot Chip, The Rifles, Eminem, The Libertines, Shout Out Louds, Hellogoodbye, Say Anything and Vampire Weekend. And recently I've been listening to Darwin Deez, Angus and Julia Stone, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone on repeat.
Besides music, what other hobbies and interests do you have?
I love movies nearly as much as I love music. I'm obsessed with Harry Potter and Survivor. Yeah, people do still watch it. I also love traveling, my friends, writing, gigs, reading, partying and Karl Pilkington.
Janise Kumar - also known as miss_jukebox on muzic.net.nz - is based in Christchurch.
What is your day job?
I am a student, just about to complete a BA(hons) in Media and Communication & Cultural Studies at the University of Canterbury. I have very much enjoyed this course. It has allowed me to study areas of the media which I am very interested in, which is primarily popular culture. To be honest, it means that I can watch films and television for homework, which is great! And I hear you ask, "where is your BA going to take you in the future?" Well... I am part of the masses of BA students who have absolutely no idea. All I know right now is that I love to write, and I love music and film. That is as far as I have got with my future plans. I will have to get back to you on that.
Favourite NZ Musicians?
To put it simply pretty much every musician that features on the Great New Zealand Songbooks! But I will mention a couple of bands that I feel were monumental in my journey as a NZ Music fan. Gosh, I have liked everything from True Bliss to 8 Foot Sativa with P Money and Ray Columbus and the Invaders along the way.
'Nil By Mouth' by Blindspott was my anthem at 12 years of age. I recall a very strong following of Stylus and receiving the 'Painkillers' album was the greatest 14th Birthday gift. I declared that Connan & the Mockasins were ultimate geniuses at 16 years of age.
But I have to mention two more bands; Undercarriage and a Christhchurch band called Rezin. I have no idea where or what the members of these bands are doing. But let me say, 'Daylight' by Undercarriage and I think it was 'God Dog' by Rezin are brilliant songs. I wish I could hear them again. If anyone can find these tracks I will... be a very happy girl :)
What is In your CD Collection?
The last CD's that I listened to were, Slipnknot's 'All Hope is Gone' and Backstreet Boys' 'Greatest Hits: Chapter One.' Yes, that is right. I listen to boy bands, openly. I do have a diverse taste in music. I am happy to listen to anything and everything. A great Kiwi band were Eight. I love their album 'Moving' to this day, and the video for 'Moment's Gone' remains one of my favourite NZ music videos ever.'Psyence Fiction' by UNKLE is amazing. I own all the albums by The Beatles. And all of Michael Jackson's albums, plus most of his Greatest Hits collections. This means I have at least four copies of 'Beat It' on my iPod. And that is not a bad thing. I also have a secret passion for 80's synth. My latest Birthday wish was that Falco would be resurrected and 'Rock Me Amadeus' would be #1 on the charts, right where it belongs.
What Can You Never Leave Home Without?
My iPod. I do admit to having iPod withdrawals when I have not listened to him for a few hours. And I basically breakdown every time his battery dies. We are connected to the hip. I would definitely take a bullet for my iPod. My iPod is my BFF.
Favourite Place in New Zealand?
Christchurch is my heart. I love this city. I love my fellow Cantabrians. As much as we have been through recently, has much as we have been shaken, our heart and spirit remain firm. I think creatively there will be a renaissance of Christchurch artists in the future. I am sure there will be a lot of new talent and new material being developed as we speak.
But I was born in Havelock, and spent my first decade of life in Blenheim. I have to mention them because they played a huge role in my formative years. Growing up in a small town, I turned to music for comfort and excitement from a very young age. And here I am today, still loving, and still LIVING music!
Peter-James Dries - also known as petros on muzic.net.nz - is based in Palmerston North.
Yea, G’day. I’m Peter-James Dries and if you don’t know me, you still don’t, but I’m here to help you with that, so I shall tell you a little more about myself. Those of you that read the reviews on Muzic.net, more specifically the authors of the reviews, may have encountered a reviewer calling themselves Petros. Yeah? Well that’s me, I’m that reviewer but I’m also so much more than that. I’m also a composer of bad poetry and egotistical prose, an aspiring musician and one of the men behind the band AmosAnon (we’re pretty much Ministry, but we dream of being Nirvana) and a painter/sketcher/doodler. I also enjoy cups of tea and off colour humour.
Technically I’m a Bogan (well, reformed Bogan), and, by extension, a Metal-head. In saying that though it would be hard to pin Metal, or any other specific genre of music, as my favourite. I began my musical journey enjoying whatever was on the radio, so appreciated anything. At college I began refining my taste, swimming deeper into the engulfing cloud of obscure Metal acts. At university I emerged from my cloud with a strange attraction to the softer textures of acoustic folk and since then have filled the gaps between the two polar extremes with all other kinds of interesting aural experiences.
As a reviewer for the site I have encountered an eclectic mix of the talents New Zealand musicians have to offer and picked up a few new favourite bands / albums along the way. I recommend the opportunity to write for the site to anyone that can string a sentence together and appreciates good kiwi music.
There’s nothing I like more than good music and writing about it is an enjoyable challenge. The bonus being it adds to my musical understanding and reasonably diverse music collection, which can never be too extensive. I’ve trained in contemporary music as well as graphic and web design and have been slowly building up my recording and production studio. I’m primarily a drummer but play a number of other instruments and I’m currently working on my seventh solo album, which will be released in early 2012.
My favourite venue has to be the Powerstation in Mt Eden and I’ve enjoyed many fantastic concerts there over the years, most notably the Shihad and HLAH gigs back in the 90’s. I’m presently living in the Bay of Plenty but prefer West Auckland, which is where I grew up. In my opinion the best place to be in New Zealand is Piha Beach, without the crowds. My hobbies include but are not limited to: classic vehicle restoration, fishing, painting and electronics. I spend most of my spare time composing and producing music.
The music event of the year is set to kick off for 2011 – with nominations for the 46th annual RIANZ Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards opening this week and a new award announced.
Organiser the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand says it is introducing a new category this year for Best Alternative Album.
“With the introduction of this new genre award we are recognising a category that has long been a cornerstone of New Zealand music,” says RIANZ managing director, Chris Caddick. “The Best Alternative Album award inherently broadens the range of artists who can potentially take home a Tui in November.”
Details on how to submit a nomination can be found at http://www.nzmusicawards.co.nz/. Unless otherwise specified, awards are open to New Zealand artists who have had recordings commercially released between 1 June 2010 and 31 May 2011. Nominations stay open until 5pm on Tuesday 31 May, 2011.
The finalists for the RIANZ Best Country Music Album 2011 have been announced today.
Also announced are the finalists for the APRA Best Country Song Award for 2011.
They are Jackie Bristow for ‘Freedom’, Donna Dean for ‘What Am I Gonna Do?’ and Tami Neilson and Lauren Thomson for ‘No Good for my Soul’.
Both awards are to be presented on Thursday June 2 at the New Zealand Country Music Awards in Gore.
After 22 years at the helm of New Zealand’s most loved rock band, Shihad frontman Jon Toogood has built up a treasure trove of musical connections. Lucky for us they have now collided, resulting in one hell of a project.
With a vast collection of musical ideas and a bit of downtime, Jon began work on a project which has now become The Adults, a celebration of his work with some of New Zealand’s brightest talents and an iconic Kiwi album in-the-making.
The Adults are Jon Toogood (Shihad), Tiki Taane, Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits/Dimmer), Anika Moa, Ladi6, Julia Deans, Gary Sullivan (Jean Paul Sartre Experience/Dimmer), Nick Roughan (Skeptics), Ruban & Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks), Warren Maxwell (TrinityRoots/Little Bushman), Ricki Gooch (TrinityRoots) Redford Grenell (Shapeshifter) and Steve Bremner.
NZ band Darklight Corporation is leading the way in music delivery in this country by using a new system to deliver music to their fans. The CD is dead, the public do not want to pay $25 for an album anymore but they are consuming more music than ever before. How do you make it attractive to buy an album these days? Well these guys have sourced a solution that is cheap and convenient and caters to the new breed of music fan.
The Dropcard is a credit card like product that features the bands artwork and on the back has a website destination and a one off code for that card. The customer goes to the site and is prompted to enter their code which gives them access to download all the content for the album. They get the choice of full resolution CD files, Mp3 files and the artwork and lyrics, they can choose what they need or download everything. All for $5.00
The following musicians were added to the muzic.net.nz website during the last fortnight:
|Lynfield||The Harbour Union|
|Miss Black & The Light||Ghost Wave|
These reviews were added to the site in the last two weeks, check them out at the links below:
You can check out every single interview and review in our Articles Page.
Every feature we have ever had on the site can be viewed here.
We have feature space available in our newsletters from 5 June onwards.
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The next muzic.net.nz gig mail out is going out on 15 May.
- The muzic.net.nz team