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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kia Ora

I'm so out of touch with New Zealand music.

Headless Chickens - Gaskrankinstation

When I was growing up, New Zealand had a peculiar relationship with home-grown talent. Well, when I say "peculiar", I mean we didn't have much time for it. We had been spoon-fed all our media from UK and US sources. Anything not performed in an American or British accent of some description was generally considered a bit crap. We had a full-blown cultural cringe - curious for a country which is normally so fiercely, defensively nationalistic - and our music scene was all the poorer for it.

Bailter Space - Splat

Artists either struggled along in obscurity, or went over to Oz and struggled on there with at least the promise of making a living from it. There was the odd hit, and there was a thriving counter-culture around it, but on the whole New Zealand music was marginal and as such, was easily known. Regardless of your tastes, you always at least had some grasp on what bands were out there.

Supergroove - Sittin' Inside My Head

That's all different now. After a couple of decades of strong campaigning, home-grown music quotas on TV and radio and the introduction (some might argue as unfortunate) of a strong commercial music scene, the NZ music scene is thriving on all fronts. It's led, it would seem to me, by the kind of indie guitar pop that typified New Zealand music in the mid-late 90's, there are now all manner of flourishing scenes. Hip hop, metal, folk, dance and more in all their various permutations and flavours are going strong.

Head Like a Hole - Spanish Goat Dancer

And so, whenever I try to dip my toes back into the world of New Zealand music, I'm completely lost. Out of touch, like some doddery old fool. Okay, so I'm hardly cutting edge on the music front. But the lack of knowledge I have just serves to make me feel that little bit more alienated from my home country. And that's weird. Anyway, it's more just an excuse to put up some old NZ music videos that I really like. Because I can!

Dimmer - Evolution

Shihad - Derail

Straitjacket Fits - She Speeds

The following is the quintessential New Zealand yob song. Play this in a Walkabout on a Friday night and it would go off like an atom bomb. Which is my way of saying I'm not proud of this song, nor do I particularly like it, but rather put it here to give you an important insight into a particular traditional New Zealand male psyche. Mate.

Th' Dudes - Bliss

(I can't get too high and mighty: I do remember staggering about a field at the "Mountain Rock" festival in the early 90's, smashed out of my skull and singing along to this. But they're kind of taking the piss, so it's all okay...)

Oh, hell. How can I not finish with this?
Ahh, Netherworld Dancing Toys. How many New Years Eve music video shows have we shared?

1 comment:

  1. that top one's alright.
    the rest is pretty shit but that yob song is brilliantly stupid.
    and there was no sound on that last one.
    this was perfect for drowning out the horrible modern indie music and monotonous interminable monologue that my flatmate is assaulting his girlfriend with from the balcony to my room and giving me a royal bank holiday headache.
    cheers buddy. see you wednesday when we'll be singing "bag yourself more comics, forget about the last one bag yourself another"