The Skeptics – Sheen of Gold

The Skeptics [Photo © Stuart Page]
The Skeptics [Photo © Stuart Page]
Hey so the New Zealand Internal Film Festival is on at the moment, and of particular interest to NZ Music fans is the Skeptics Doco ‘Sheen of Gold’, put together by film-maker Simon Ogston.

The Skeptics were a one-of-kind New Zealand group, and had a particularly interesting lifetime which came to an end with the passing of their vocalist David D’Ath’s from leukemia in 1990.

Under the Radar did an interview with Ogston here, you can watch the trailer here, and you can buy tickets (for the solitary Christchurch screening) here.

Cabin Porn: Phil Elverum

Nothing to do with New Zealand music (though I reckon Phil would fit right in in New Zealand) – but a friend of mine alerted me to this link on the Cabin Porn website (don’t worry, its not porn, but rather amazing photos of awesome secluded cabins in the wilderness).

Phil Elverum from the (US) bands The Microphones and Mount Eerie lived here for a year in Anacortes, Washington. Phil’s description:

There were squirrels inside in the mornings yelling for us to get out because the cabin had been so deeply reclaimed by the forest. Still, there were some excellent times here. Watching Law & Order on a laptop, mid-winter, and the computer shutting down because the battery was too cold. Knife throwing into a tree trunk for hours. Firewood rambles. Did the artwork for “Live In Japan” in there. Fried a weird fish on the outdoor campstove kitchen. Played Monopoly by kerosene lantern. Weird semi-pioneer time.

I’m a HUGE fan of Phil’s music, plus also his artwork and photography – all of which seem to ruminate around the outdoors, seclusion and the nature in general.

Christchurch Cycle and Recreational Network

Christchurch Cycle and Recreational Network
New blog dedicated to sharing ideas about how Christchurch can rebuild with Cycling and Recreational ideas in mind. A great cause and well worth checking out, with heaps of links to important information about cycle culture and improving cities.

Christchurch Cycle and Recreation Network

King Loser Clip

Awesome old clip of King Loser, interviewed before the release of their 2nd album ‘You cannot kill what does not live’ (so it’d be 1994 or 1995?):

King Loser Interview / Surf Lost Video

Our Favourite Stores!

With the big earthquake in February a whole heap of the best Christchurch businesses which were located within the CBD (or not) have become either inaccessible or have even been demolished. My local shops spent two months as a half-demolished pile of rubble; but within a couple of days of being cleared the site is pumping with new building activity – I’ve been making visits to Red Chili Thai food and can’t wait for the T-Bakery to re-open…

Some of Christchurch’s class-leading stores were caught up in the quake – Photo and Video in Merivale narrowly escaped being completed crushed like so many other Merivale stores, but after a substantial clean-up NZ’s absolutely BEST Photo and Camera store is once again trading at their old location.

Both Piko Wholefoods and the Canterbury Cheesemongers weren’t quite so lucky; Piko’s gorgeous historic brick building and the Cheesemongers entire block both torn down post-February. However Piko is now back and going strong just a km or so away though on Stanmore Road in Richmond, and the Canterbury Cheesemongers are now the sole company trading from the Christchurch Arts Center, next to where the Dux de Lux was previously trading on Montreal Street.

Lastly my very favorite store – Canterbury Cycle Trading; was unfortunately demolished after the quake made their historic, high-ceiling premise too dangerous to enter. Keith Guthrie has been trading for over 30 years and had a simply amazing collection of bicycles within the store, a one of a kind in New Zealand as it was the only store south of Taupo that specialized in Cycle Touring, and comfortable, practical bicycles… plus they have a top-notch repair and service team. Word on the street is that they did actually manage to save all the stock and have now relocated to 24 Bath Street; which is just behind the Warehouse South City.

There’s so little information about were some of these stores have gone – so if there’s a favorite store you’d like to mention, please PLEASE comment on this post.

“The Dux de Lux: The Unofficial Cultural Centre of Christchurch” by Dr. Sharon McIver

The Christchurch Eathquake Community Journal have posted an article by prominent local music journalist Dr. Sharon McIver on her experiences at the Dux de Lux, in light of their current plight. It’s a good read for those that can (and/or want to) remember the 90’s!

“The Dux de Lux: The Unofficial Cultural Centre of Christchurch” by Dr. Sharon McIver

TV3 cover the Archive / Gap Filler

Along with the ‘Sugarloaf Shakedown’ event up in Auckland (a fund-raiser from ex-Christchurch musos), TV3 covered the recent opening of the Archive, plus had some old footage from Gap Filler – cool stuff! Theres some video of Valdera plus some of my pics from the other night, and a pretty sweet interview with T-Nealle. Choice!

TV3: The Sugarloaf Shakedown

Volcano Cafe RIP

Volcano RIP 01/01/1988-22/2/2011 from Jason Larraman on Vimeo.

Beautiful but tragic time-lapse photography of the Volcano Cafe being destroyed.

Rose Quartz: Christchurch EQ Relief Comp

RQ EQ '11
RQ EQ '11

Awesome blog Rose Quartz have put together a compilation to raise funds for Christchurch in the wake of the earthquake. Rose Quartz have a couple of ex local lads on their writing team, so this is all jolly good stuff. Plus the comp features material from local outfits like Wet Wings, the Canterbury Rams, Mount Pleasant, Shocking Pinks etc, plus the mighty Thurston Moore. Keen! here’s the blurb, and click the link for the download at the bottom: Continue reading Rose Quartz: Christchurch EQ Relief Comp

Christchurch Venues, Part 2

Al’s Bar – 31 Dundas [Feb 27th] [Feb 28th] [March 2nd]

[March 6th]

Justin Townes Earle was scheduled to perform at Al’s Bar on March 24, Michelle Shocked was due to play at The Bedford on April 15 and Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama were scheduled for the Town Hall on April 30.

All of these shows have been cancelled.

A week later, as the enormity of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch has well and truly sunk in, Steve Marshall and his bandmates in Left Or Right are in sombre mood as they reflect on that city’s loss.

“That was absolutely crazy, eh?” Marshall says. “Who would have thought just as you rang that had happened up there?

“I’d forgotten that Logan (Hampton, brother of Left Or Right guitarist Callum Hampton) and (flatmate) Crispy were both up there during it.

“They were just about to load out their lighting rig from Al’s Bar after doing lights for the Melvins show the night before. They never got their gear out but managed to get back to Dunedin that night. They were very spooked and in shock.”

Christchurch Art Gallery – Worcester Boulevard

Was being used as the Earthquake media center. Appears to not be damaged.

COCA Gallery – 66 Gloucester St

Staff from the Centre of Contemporary Art are optimistic about the extent of damage to their collection. Established in 1883 to promote the arts in Christchurch, CoCA has a collection of about 200 works, mostly paintings, dating from the early 20th century to the present. The centre’s 1968 building is intact, but about 25 per cent of works in both the permanent gallery collection and the dealer gallery have fallen off the walls, says business manager Tony Dann.