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?":


Monday, April 24, 2017

Record Store Day 2017

Groove photographer, The CoffeeBar Kid, went down to Slow Boat Records to snap up in-store performances by 'French For Rabbits' and 'Teeth'. (Teeth are a new collaboration between Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), David Long (The Mutton Birds), Ant Donaldson (The Labcoats) and Tom Callwood (Phoenix Foundation).
Brooke Singer, French For Rabbits signing records
French For Rabbits 
French For Rabbits
French For Rabbits
Teeth (?)


Live Photos: The Darkness + Push Push - The Powerstation, Auckland April 20 2017

Yes, it's a little outside our brief but our friend, the wonderful Trevor Villers sent us photos of the concert featuring the return of Mike Havoc's bogan band Push Push and the return of the jumpsuit rockers The Darkness.

English hard-rockers The Darkness played the first show of their three-date New Zealand tour last night at The Powerstation in Auckland joined by recently reformed rockers Push Push. Flamboyant frontman Justin Hawkins brought his A-game for the show, squeezing himself into a skintight electric purple jumpsuit and while the rest of the band weren't as sartorially outlandish they were no slouches on the stage, going guns blazing for the energetic live performance.

The addition of the reunited Push Push to the bill was a small stroke of genius. Mikey Havoc and his crew don’t take themselves too seriously either.  After all, they are everyone's favorite High School joke.  The looked and sounded like they were having a ball. Their lack of stage experience caught up with them when they were forced to wait while a malfunctioning computer was made to behave…leaving both band and audience silent for a few moments. But other than that, a good time was had, and they left the stage trippin’ (LOL).

All Photos by Trevor Villers

Friday, April 21, 2017

Groove Book Report- The Thirst - Jo Nesbo

To me, at least, there are very few decent thriller writers that can maintain that happy balance between creating a fast, readable story with up to the minute relevance and still surprise me with a plot that is refreshing and new.  Surely, every scenario has been done to death?  Nesbø is not only the master of Scandinavian crime fiction, but he's also a TV pundit.  Sometimes reality reflects his books (as at the time of the Breivik massacres, as Nesbø had written so persuasively about the rise of the far right in his country). While enjoying steady, prodigious sales, his last few books have been favourites with the critics, myself included.  However, The Thirst (brilliantly translated by Neil Smith) could well correct the imbalance. It’s a big-boned, big-paged, technicolor epic in the current Nesbø style, starting adagio and ending accelerando.   It's entirely up to date.  There are nods to hipster musicians Sufjan Stevens and Father John Misty and plenty of Tinder dates with young modern 'f**k-and-run' neo-feminists.  One of these is the main lead, a young female inspector. She's been given her first major case, only to have it snatched from her later by a politically hungry Police Chief.  His 'baddie', on the surface at least, is a bit cliche'.  Really, a killer with iron teeth? How many novels have featured some kind of pscho character like that?  Images of the protagonist in The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, who hones her teeth, also pop into my head. Because of the political power situation we get the return of detective Harry Hole, Nesbo's wonderfully flawed 'hero', who is reluctantly co-opted to track down a vicious murderer who has killed a woman after an internet date. And when a second victim is found, Harry realises, against all other odds and advice,  that there is a connection with the one case that defeated him. Both justice and closure may be within his grasp – as well as a return to his lost childhood.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

The Beat Goes On – The BeatGirls’ Turn 21!

There is a party in town and all of Wellington is invited! The BeatGirls’ will return to Circa Theatre in April with their latest show The BeatGirls’ 21st – All Grown Up, celebrating 21 years entertaining audiences the world over.

The group has a long and successful history with Circa Theater which began in 1999 and has continued over the years with 'The BeatGirls’ 21st – All Grown Up' marking the trios unprecedented seventh show at the theatre. Their back catalogue of shows include the popular 'It’s My Party' (1999), 'It’s My Party 2' (2000) and 'Beatcamp' (2010).

The BeatGirls’ 21st – All Grown Up is not only set to be another stand-out show from the girl group, but a chance to reflect and look back on 21 years in the entertainment industry – a truly remarkable accomplishment and very rarely seen in NZ.
Initially only performing music by The Beatles, the repertoire now spans 8 decades incorporating many styles from Swing and Bossa Nova, Girl-group to Glam Rock, Soul to 70’s and 80’s to current songs by popular contemporary artists topping the charts.

“We’ve really re-invented ourselves over the years with new rep and costumes and kept the energy fresh and the show exciting” Founder of the BeatGirls’ (and The BeatGirls’ 21st – All Grown Up creator) Andrea Sanders stated when reflecting on the groups success over the years.

Circa One
Preview 31 March
1 – 15 April
Tues – Thurs 6.30pm, Fri – Sat 8pm. Sun 4pm
$25 – $52
Devised and choreographed by Andrea Sanders Featuring Andrea Sanders, Kali Kopae &
Carolyn McLaughlin.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Groove Book Report: Tell Me My Name - Bill Manhire riddles; Norman Meehan music; Hannah Griffin song; Peter Peryer photographs – Published by Victoria University Press (Poetry + photographs + music CD)

Recently, I found myself caught up in the great Nobel Literacy Prize debate over whether Bob Dylan should have been awarded one or not. The arguments came from many sides but it all came down to this: Are lyrics poetry? That is, what makes lyrics suitable to be read; or recited; or sung or quoted; or used in a wedding speech; or a eulogy; or put on a pedestal and displayed around a Harbour walkway? Or anywhere? Do lyrics need music. Is that that what defines them or differentiates them from poetry? I guess the Nobel panel of judges decided that lyrics could stand alone as a legitimate branch of poetry – and QED a legitimate literacy work. That begs another question, too. Does a great literacy work have to be in a published book? Have any text or SMS works ever been nominated? Or even Kindle only editions. And, of course, one could easily argue that Rap is poetry – set to music or just recited. It doesn't need Hip Hop to sell it, but it helps. Don’t let’s get started on that one.

The debate will rage, no doubt. In the meantime, here in New Zealand, there’s a world-famous poet whose writings often end up set to music, although he doesn't intentionally set out that way. In the case of poet and National Treasure, Bill Manhire, it was poetry. More to the point the poetry of Riddles. Manhire should know a thing or two about poetry as he founded the International Institute of Modern Letters, home to New Zealand’s leading creative writing program. He is now Emeritus Professor of English and Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington. Riddling entered Manhire's life when he was very small child. In the introduction to his new collection Tell Me My Name, he reveals the first riddle his mother ever sang to him. He might not have really understood then what the nonsense all meant but it created a strong memory and he sings it still:

 “A wee wee man in a red red coat
Staff in my hand and a stone in my throat.”
(Answer: a cherry)
 From the traditional English Riddle, The Cherry Song.

As a university student he was introduced to Old English and Norse languages and Anglo Saxon riddle poems. "Objects like a cloud, a swan, an iceberg, would be described in slightly oblique, misleading ways.” This has affected the way he writes this new collection. Oblique but ultimately transparent references are important to this sequence of thirteen riddles. To add another dimension jazz scholar Norman Meehan has composer and plays some very atmospheric piano accompanied by Jazz vocalist Hannah Griffin. What’s interesting about the compositions is that none of them give any clues as to the answers to these riddles but they are revealing once you do know the answers. There’s one about ice that Manhire has peppered with tiny cluesin the lyrics. But musically Meehan gives little away save for the opening few notes of a melancholy violin, slowly groaning like and iceberg.

Manhire’s worked with Meehan and Griffin before, on Buddhist Rain, Small Holes in the Silence (Rattle Records), These Rough Notes (VUP) and the acclaimed Making Baby Float – poems written by Manhire about growing up in 1950’s New Zealand. Griffin’s voice is just as lush and warm on this new CD as it was on that earlier project. It’s almost a maternal angelic presence. Calming and soothing. She could sing the phone book or the US presidential results and still make the world seem alright. What’s abundant here is the space between lyrics and music. Like Manhire’s reading voice, it is slow, relaxed and measured. It is also slightly monotonic, with Griffin holding fast her course. Again giving away little but surprisingly it’s still seductive and enticing. You want to solve these. Or at least try.

The little hardback book that comes with the CD includes the full texts and eight photographs by celebrated artist Peter Peryer – none of which truly give the game away, either. They’re actually red herrings – images that provocatively lure you one way, and then another but ultimately have little obvious conections to the subject of the riddle. This is yet another layer of playfulness. I approached this as a CD review but it’s as much a book review – or a poetry review – as well. Upon my first reading, I looked at the ‘riddleness’ of each poem – what lies within the rhyme. I was looking for the word-smithing and the echoes, the enigma, and because of the rhymes the sweetly crafted melody. As poems, along there is an openness, as if you are walking through a wide-open paddock – endless green stretching to the horizon to meet the blue skies. No wind. Calm. Slow. Sensually sun kissed skin. A vast plain that could generate both movement and stillness. This is a bit of a trade mark for Manhire. He likes to leave the doors open and for the poem to breath. You can hear his soft, gentle voice in these lines. With him, it’s always what he doesn’t say that is important. Take this poem. Simply numbered ‘1’. I won’t spoil it by telling you the subject of the riddle but if you put yourself in the mind of the speaker you will travel with him to the destination:

The road goes by the house
the wind sings in the tree
we sing the travelling worlds
we sing quietly
(we sing quietly)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

GroThe Chinese Proverb - by Tina Clough

Army veteran Hunter Grant thought he had left war behind in Afghanistan – a conflict that left him with physical and psychological scars. But finding an unconscious girl in the Northland bush and gradually untangling her story involves him in a war of a different kind in his own country.

Hunter sets out to find and punish the man Dao calls Master, but he soon discovers there is more to this than enslavement. Before long he himself is being hunted by the boss of a drug empire whose sole objective is to kill Dao – she knows too much.

Protecting Dao and waging war while trying to keep the police from stifling his enterprise takes all Hunter’s ingenuity and determination and exposes him to deadly jeopardy. He enlists his old army buddy Charlie and her helicopter to help him, but things become complicated when Dao disappears.

Tina Clough grew up in Sweden and lives in Napier, New Zealand. Her crime novels are character-based with the emphasis on how ordinary people react when faced with danger – an exploration of what we might all be capable of when faced with threat and brutality.
Tina divides her time between translating and editing science research papers and writing crime novels.

Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 Wellington Jazz Festival

Click to see more
In the meantime here's a quick overview of the main acts coming to the festival.

Wednesday 7 June

Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
The most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years.
Experience the quicksilver sound of “guitar genius” (SPIN magazine) Bill Frisell, performing his first-ever New Zealand show. A shining light of Americana, Seattle-based Frisell is “the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years” (The Wall Street Journal) and has collaborated with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, including Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Bono and Marianne Faithfull.

With Frisell joined by vocalist Petra Haden (The Decemberists, Beck, Foo Fighters), Thomas Morgan (double bass) and Rudy Royston (drums), you’ll revel in a sweetly dark and dreamy evening of reimagined cinema and TV soundtrack music from his 2017 Grammy Award-nominated album When You Wish Upon a Star.

Conjuring favourite memories alongside less-familiar moments of magic – from a brush with Bond to the drama of The Godfather and a love-laced Moon River – Frisell imbues these screen gems with a new sense of wonder and joy.

Sure to be an opening-night knock-out.

Thursday 8 June

Dave Weckl & Tony Lindsay
Dave Weckl & Tony Lindsay
Catch the jazz beat with one of the world’s greatest living drummers.
A regular performer with jazz great Chick Corea, Dave Weckl delivers every time, creating an “explosive” (All About Jazz) fusion of funk, rock and blues.

He’s joined by Grammy Award-winning Santana vocalist Tony Lindsay, Down Beat rising sax star Adam Schroeder, Mingus Big Band trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, and concert openers the New Zealand School of Music Big Band – Aotearoa’s premier student ensemble.
Friday 9 June

Dianne Reeves
Dianne Reeves
Make some soul time with one of the most-awarded female jazz vocalists of our time.
A sultry and soulful storyteller, her unique jazz stylings reflect a pure and heart-felt love of music. From R&B to pop, folk and rock – she owns them all with her lush, crystal-clear voice.

Experience the charisma, power and beauty of this five-time Grammy Award-winner, joined on stage by Peter Martin (piano), Romero Lumambo (guitar), Reginald Veal (double bass) and Terreon Gully (drums).

With collaborators ranging from all-time greats Harry Belafonte and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis to new guard Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway, Reeves is the true heir to Ella Fitzgerald’s queen of jazz throne.

A sure-fire Festival favourite in the making.

Saturday 10 June

Seoul Jazz: The Jac & Black String
Seoul Jazz: The Jac & Black String
Wellington meets world jazz in this exciting international premiere.
Cheer on home-town jazz heroes The Jac as they’re joined by South Korea’s Black String in the culmination of a year-long collaboration. This powerful night of in-the-moment magic melds Black String’s electrifying and explosive play on Korean musical traditions with the cinematic sound of these award-winning New Zealand talents.

“Triumphant” (London Jazz News) in their own right, four-piece Black String are making waves on the world music scene for their fresh and fiery jazz sound.

Meanwhile, “spine tingling” (New Zealand Musician) eight-piece The Jac are a freight train of pure musical energy, featuring members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, The Troubles and the Richter City Rebels.

Be there as they forge a new Korean-Kiwi jazz genre.

The Comet is Coming
The Comet is Coming
Brace for impact with these futuristic space-jazz pioneers.
Fusing jazz, Afro-beat and electronica, The Comet is Coming are your Saturday night soundtrack to an imagined apocalypse, with members King Shabaka (Sons of Kemet, Melt Yourself Down), Danalogue and Betamax your cosmic guides.

These one-time Snarky Puppy openers are charting their own path in the spirit of legendary freestyle funksters Sun Ra, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix, making last year’s prestigious Mercury Prize shortlist.

Book fast and get ready to dance like it's the end of the world.

Sunday 11 June

Bach Beat
Bach Beat
Master musicians blend the best of classical with the best of jazz.
Marvel as master musicians Michael Houstoun, on piano, and Rodger Fox blend the best of classical with the best of jazz. From a big band take on Bach to original music by Grammy Award-winning composer Bill Cunliffe, a swinging Sunday afternoon awaits.

Also featuring special guest appearances by American guitarist Chris Cain and Kiwi vocalist Erna Ferry.

Harold López-Nussa Trio
Harold López-Nussa Trio
Feel the heat in this upbeat Festival closer.
Globe-trotting Cuban charmer Harold López-Nussa brings the heat in this upbeat Festival closer.

A classical piano prodigy and Cuba National Symphony Orchestra soloist, López-Nussa made a late switch to jazz and has never looked back. He’s since collaborated with musical legends Chucho Valdés and the Buena Vista Social Club, and been picked up by New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival.

Come sway the night away, and feel the energetic rhythms and magical melodies of this next-big-thing performing with Ruy López-Nussa (drums) and Julio César Gonzalez (guitar).

Click to see more

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WOMAD Scrapbook

WOMAD 2017 Scrapbook

Hit & Run - New book about the SAS atrocities in Afghanistan

Jon Stephenson
“On 22 August 2010 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) elements, operating as part of a Coalition Force in Bamyan province, Afghanistan conducted an operation against an insurgent group…
Nine insurgents (not 12 as reported) were killed in the operation which targeted an insurgent group in the area where Bamyan province borders neighbouring Baghlan province...
Following the operation allegations of civilian casualties were made. These were investigated by a joint Afghan Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and International Security Assistance Force Assessment team, in accordance with ISAF procedures.
The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded.”
New Zealand Defence Force - Media Release – 20 April 2011

Six years later, to the day, investigative reporter Nicky Hager and war Correspondent Jon Stephenson have released a book (Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour).  It reveals what they believe to be the truth behind the “tragic and disastrous SAS actions” and allege that “at least 21 civilians were killed or injured – many of them women and children.”  They have even recorded their names and documented their lives in the book, including 3-year-old Fatima, who was killed as her mother, carrying her, tried to dive for cover.
‘Although Fatima was only three years old she was already attending school,’ a local said. ‘She was very beautiful and intelligent. She was in her mother’s arms when a piece of shrapnel hit her head.’
‘Although Fatima was only three years old she was already attending school,’ a local said. ‘She was very beautiful and intelligent. She was in her mother’s arms when a piece of shrapnel hit her head.’

Fatima's house (central house in picture), which was badly damaged at the same time she was killed. Fatima had been carried a short distance behind and to the left of the house before she was killed in her mother's arms.
Fatima's house (central house in picture), which was badly damaged at the same time she was killed. Fatima had been carried a short distance behind and to the left of the house before she was killed in her mother's arms.
They also claim that the attack went further, leading to the blowing up and burning of at least a dozen houses by SAS and US forces and then later, a second village raid destroying more property before one single insurgent was caught.  He was handed over to the Afghan secret police and tortured. 
Hager also claimed in his press conference, held after the launch that the real insurgents, still very much alive, had actually attended the funerals of the civilians (from that 21).  This he said was recorded on video and sold to authorities.  He hadn’t seen the tape, he conceded.
This book, he said, was an investigation into the truth behind the story of these raids and the cover up that was conducted not only by the NZDF but also by The Defence Minister at the time, Wayne Mapp and the Prime Minister at the time, John Key, who had actually authorised the attacks by telephone. 
He made no bones about linking the connection between the raids and the recent death of a New Zealander, Lt Tim O’Donnell, who was killed by a roadside bomb in August 2010.  One journalist asked if this was a revenge attack that he was alluding to but he was careful not to answer this conclusively. 
Nicky Hager and the press
Hager said that he and Stephenson had been given the story, they hadn’t sought it out.  And that was one of the compelling reasons to pursue it.  Both Hager and Stephenson emphasised several times during the book launch that the book was based on ‘numerous and extensive interviews with people involved in these events, including New Zealand and Afghan military personnel as well as residents of the village.”  Hager did also add that he had not approached Key or Mapp for comment because he believed that although they may have known the truth they were not likely to reveal anything or even to reply in any way. 
Hager’s book was released today and will be available through most of the usual retail outlets including Unity Books.     

For more information go to

Article by Tim Gruar.