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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PSA - 100 Years Strong

The PSA is 100 years old this year

The PSA launched its centenary celebrations in Auckland on April 17 and the celebrations will continue around the country until 31 October.

To mark the centenary, the Dan Long Memorial Trust commissioned a biography of  Dan long.

Dan Long was general secretary of the PSA from 1960 to 1976, and saw it transform from a gentlemanly professional body into a well resourced and highly effective trade union. He was also directly instrumental in broadening the range of PSA activities beyond immediate issues of pay and working conditions into the fields of human rights, internationalism and the social revolution of the late 60s and 70s.

Listen here as author Mark Derby talks to the CoffeeBar Kid about the project.

Click here to read more about the book (from a previous show):

The PSA grew out of the New Zealand Civil Service Association in 1913 when three young Education Department clerks decided to form an association to provide ordinary public servants with the support they needed.  Their actions followed the passage of the 1912 Public Service Act which created a politically neutral, career public service.

New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid was off air for two weeks - on vacation but he blogged away with lots of news and book reviews. Check it all at

Starting with...

Notes from the launch of the New Zealand Festival of The Arts

I've just got back from the Launch of the 2014 New Zealand International Festival Of The Arts at the Opera House.  Shelagh Magadza took us through the highlights which for Groove listeners will include Jazz singer Madeline Peyroux, Punk/Electronica artists Yo La Tango, The Tiger Lillies, the "Screamin' Eagle of Soul" Charles Bradley and nu-Amercana/singer song writer Neko Case - We at Groove are very excited!  For Groove Book worms there's Jung Chang (Wild Swans) and Duncan Sarkies (Demolition of the Century, Two Little Boys, Scarfies) and Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton plus international stars.  And get ready for an invasion, as New Zealand welcomes the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular to Wellington for a musical celebration of the iconic BBC series.  There's Ainadamar - Soloists from the Grammy Award-winning recording star alongside the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in this exceptional contemporary opera by the “saviour of classical music” (The New York Times).  Rhythm and Reels - Join the talented band from Rian - including Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlaí for a night of lively music and Irish folk sounds.  Also cheep symphonies! Experience the drama and excitement of five of the world’s most impressive symphonies – short enough to fit into a lunch break and priced to match ($20-$25- yes really!).  Plus - Cabaret noir comes to the James Cabaret as Kiwi rock stars Jon Toogood and Julia Deans join singers Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Tama Waipara to interpret Jacques Brel’s infamous Songbook (Brel - The Words and Music of Jaqes Brel).                                                        

Of course there's a  whole range of dance, theatre etc - head to

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tonite - Get Happy with Pink Martini - on The Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

Tonite we feature PM's new album 'Get Happy'.

Pink Martini is probably the finest small orchestra playing today. They play beautiful, lush jazz of the 40’s dance era, international songs, again in the big band style and plenty of enchanting orchestral, cinematic pieces that would sit perfectly on the shelf with the great 40’s movie scores – many from the Disney and RKO production houses. The new release, Get Happy, demonstrates their amazing versatility, beyond simply just playing the standards. Although they've never really just done that. Even a simple and well known tune like 'Perhaps' is subtly reinvented into a Spanish version, adding an additional layer of sexual tension and mystique.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Congratulations to Eleanor Catton – winner of the Booker Prize for The Luminaries

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton's novel The Luminaries has won the Booker prize for English language literature.
Catton, who’s only 28, is only the second Kiwi to do so, and the youngest author ever, to win this, the most presitigious literary award ever.
Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones (which has just been released as a film, starring Hugh Lauriw), was shortlisted in 2007, and The Bone People by Keri Hulme, won the Booker Prize in 1985.

Catton is youngest in the Prize’s 45 year history to be short-listed. The prize, announced at a ceremony in London, is worth $95,000, enogh to keep her in typewriter ribbons for some time! .
RNSZ quotes Catton who said that her book has been a publisher's nightmare from the very beginning, so winning made it all worth while: "The shape and form of the book made certain kinds of editorial suggestions not only mathematically impossible, but even more egregious, astrologically impossible”. The judges said her book, which beat five other contenders, is an exuberant and dazzling homage to Victorian sensation novels.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

This Thursday the CoffeeBar Kid Gets Hot in the Kitchen

This Thursday the show is all about food.  The Kid is in the kichen and he reviews four books: Jo Seager's new book A Bit of What You Fancy, Laura Vincent's Hungry & Frozen and Simon Gault's homemade and Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall's The River Cottage Cookbook. 

Click here for more on three of these books -

Tune in from 7.30PM  on