Dan Deacon with Golden-Axe at Dux Live

Dan Deacon at Dux Live
Dan Deacon at Dux Live
Baltimore, Maryland based electronic performance artist Dan Deacon has been touring New Zealand for the past week as a lead-up to the magnificent Camp A Low Hum festival in Wainuiomata next weekend, followed around the country by Auckland-based DIY synth-nuttos Golden-Axe.
Golden-Axe at Dux Live
Golden-Axe at Dux Live
Golden-Axehave been quite visible in past year, with their latest release ‘Liquid Bacon’ and accompanying tours up and down the country receiving praise. Monday’s performance was one of their best; the duo costumed as usual in day-glo outfits adorned with CD’s, natty wigs and surgical masks. They sounded terrific, pushing fuzzy synthesizers and distorted vocals through the Dux’s wonderful PA system to a small but intrigued crowd.Multi-Instrumentalist Deacon – who had previously enticed crowds as a solo performer in New Zealand back in 2009, is this time accompanied by an ensemble that includes two additional keyboardists and the thrilling sight of two syncopated drummers (which Deacon himself christened ‘Sushi Boy’ and ‘Pancake Boy’ during the show).

Although Deacon has spent much of the past year producing contemporary classical pieces (such as ‘Ghostbuster Cook: Origin of the Riddler’ – a piece he scored for New York quartet So Percussion), his Christchurch show displayed many of his signature traits. Electric, pulsing and dance-orientated songs, silly high-pitched vocals with addictive melodies and of course the one element that defines a Dan Deacon show – heavy audience participation.

Crowd Dancing at Dux Live
Crowd Dancing at Dux Live
After coercing 2nd-level crowd dwellers down to the ample ground-floor space he set about creating a dance circle to entice the revellers out of their shells. Deacon maintained this approach through-out the night, leading the crowd through dance moves and creating formations in, about and even outside the venue as his talented band flew through a driven, punch set of songs which pulled from the likes of the critically acclaimed ‘Bromst’ [2009] and ‘Spiderman of the Rings’ [2007] albums.
Deacon sets a high-water mark for performance. His infectious positive enthusiasm, catchy songs and accomplished, snappy live band really created a memorable, engaging evening – and I for one cannot wait to see his larger scale festival show. I thoroughly recommend catching one of his shows, or checking out the superb ‘Bromst’ – one of my favourite releases from the past few years.
Click here for the rest of the photos.

Stinkfest 13!

Ok so I only got the chance to attend one night of the Stinkfest 13 celebration, but it was a beaut at the Darkroom. Opening with the latest one-man all-vampire showcase that is I Drink Your Blood, I knew it was going to be a fun night.

I Drink Your Blood!
I Drink Your Blood!

Playing with reel-to-reel backing and cool creepy organ sounds, the cape-cloaked bogey-man threw down some cool songs, touched with bone-chilling hoots and hollers!

Ritchie Venus
Ritchie Venus

Next was the return of local legend Ritchie Venus, playing a karaoke set of his best songs (like the stunning Forbidden Planet, and scene-setting number My Beretta), to an enthralled crowd. Playing an especially down-and-out flavoured repertoire of songs, perfect for his unpopular-Elvis persona.

Planet of the Tapes
Planet of the Tapes

Planet of the Tapes really stepped it up a notch from the previous show i’d seen of them, playing with aggression and fury. All 3 err… tape-people seem to be really firing at the moment, channelling their inner surf-music gods!

Golden Axe
Golden Axe

Golden Axe are touring their latest album ‘Liquid Bacon’, and unfortunately their show was cut short by closing time. They were rough around the edges but fun, as always. Playing garbled electro-pop in a DIY fashion.

For the rest of the photos click here.

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

Real Groove Magazine

So apparently thebigcity.co.nz got mentioned in RealGroove magazine this month as Top 10 distractions from work or something to that accord. Sweet! Still Im on a bit of a downer about the current status, theres just not enough updating being done outside of gig listings and photos.

I need help!

Disasteradio! performing at A Low Hum

Bios, Discogs, Album and Gig reviews; photos, you name it. The new setup should make it fairly easy to post or at least comment on the material on the site, and Im really keen for user involvement, Ive even been considering converting it into a wiki-style content driven by the masses type setup; but Im kinda wary of spam comments and the like.
Oh and talking of RealGroove; their CD comp this month is choice; ChCh-town is represented by Frase+Bri, Not So Experimental, the Tiger Tones, Pig Out Its basically a homage to the fabbo Camp A Low Hum due to the mighty Stevie Kaye and Chris Cudby (aka Dancing Stevie and Super-Force / Half of Golden-Axe) who are prevalent writers for that lot now. Yah for the return of relevant indie music journalism in New Zealand!

Stink Magnetic

Fantastic DIY record label formed by Dylan Herkes in 1999. Originating in small town Manawatu, Stink Magnetic released hand-made Cassette Tapes by a diverse array of underground New Zealand acts: “NZ garage, surf, Hawaiian industrial, experimental country disco, Spaghetti Western, esoteric trash, rap and stone-age punk bands”.

Herkes has himself been a member of many Stink Magnetic bands such as Pro Drag, The Chandeliers, and his solo project turned reborn band the Tape Men. Stink Magnetic had a studio in Rutland Street, Whanganui, and the various acts on the label were notable for their extended DIY Nation-wide tours – ‘The One-Man-Band Tour’ was documented in a great DVD release. Herkes relocated to Christchurch in 2009/2010, but the label continues to release new music and promote acts across the country.

Acts associated with Stink Magnetic include: Golden Axe, The Side Effects, Space Dust, Hot Swiss Mistress, Boss Christ, High Plains Drifters, Full Fucking Moon, Double Ya D, Knifefight, The Damned Evangelist, Cortina, Star Factory, Wrongdoings, Made For Chickens By Robots, The Hi-tone Destroyers, Pro-Drag, The Raskolnikovs, Delaney Davidson, I Drink Your Blood, Voodoo Savage & His Savages, Mr. Slackjaw, Bad Evil, Sheville, Sets and the Mysterious Tapeman / Tapemen.

The label was strongly tied to Andrew Tolley’s also-excellent Kato records, plus Whanganui venue Eye of the Night, run by the late (great) ALC5.

Compilation Discography
Picks in Bold

  • Wolf Party [2010 MAG47]

    Contact Details

  • Golden Axe

    Bizarre Auckland synth and vocal duo (Chris Cudby and Daif King) who play a gritty, distorted and, err, wiggly take on drone-pop. I had an unfortunate habit of missing each of their sets on a recent excursion up north, caught between being witness to the Shocking Pinks shedding members during their Eden’s Bar show, and rushing to see Sonic Youth as the duo busked outside. But i did pick up their debut cd-r, a rambling and chaotic mix of blurred vocals, white noise and…. catchy melodies! All recorded in sub-atomic ultra-lo-fi goodness and packaged in unique sleeves. Made for a positively jolly ride to the airport, surrounded by a bus full of chart-pop fan swedes.

    As A Low Hum‘s Blink will attest (one of their first releases graced the 2nd edition of his excellent fanzine), there’s something magnetic about their Casio-tone driven grind and junk-shop music mentality. Kinda like if the Tall Dwarfs indulged in a little more La Monte Young action (huge distorted walls of droning lo-fi – in their case in keyboard form) while wearing live squid strapped onto their faces. warped.

    Late in 2004 the duo finally made it south, touring as part of the A Low Hum collective, this time carting CD-r’s of Hypercolours – their third release, an album-lengthed EP. Its bit more cohesive and full-formed than the debut, its a pretty twisted, but enjoyable sunday afternoon headphone piece.

    Discography (picks in bold)

    • Golden Shakehands CD-r [2004 Self-Released]
    • Yum CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
    • Hypercolours CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
    • Party Alarm Bells [2006 Stink Magnetic]
    • Peaceful Planet Live Cassette [2008 Crystal Magic]
    • Fabourite New Machine (Thought Creature) Remix CD-r EP [2008 Stink Magnetic / Crystal Magic]
    • Best Of Both Worlds Cassette [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ Digital Single [2009 Crystal Magic / Cheese On Toast]
    • Hot And Cold EP [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • We Walk In Circles (Computers Want Me Dead) Remix CD-r [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • Golden Axe Ampler CD-r [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Free Time Digital EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Fantasy Footwork [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Telephone EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Sexual Angel (Featuring Princess Chelsea) Digitial Single [2011 Crystal Magic]
    • Liquid Bacon [2011 AMDiscs]

    See-Also