Friday, February 25, 2011

To my friends in Christchurch and Lyttelton Harbour

Christchurch and Lyttelton friends: I know that some of you take a look at this blog occasionally (Google analytics is watching you sleep), so I thought you guys might be interested to know what the underemployed waster community in Auckland is doing to help you out, as far as I am aware.  Just so you know that we've got your backs as far as we're able and that we care about you.

I was heading off to the studio today and I noticed that the old villa by the Grafton bridge has turned into some sort of cafe, the kind where eventually they're going to probably have some noise problems with the neighbours and so on but right now it's early days and everything's peachy.  I don't know whether they're doing a roaring trade or not, but they told me that everything they make this Friday is going straight to earthquake relief.  So you'll get that.

I've got a couple of shows this weekend, and I'd like you guys to know that all of the money I get from CD sales at these shows will go straight to the Red Cross.  An Emerald City have also announced that they'll be giving money from the next few shows on their tour to earthquake relief, and on Sunday at the Wine Cellar and Whammy there's a fund-raising show with an almightly lineup that should hopefully get some money coming your way as well.  People have been busking.  Ms. Millicent Crow is going to give all the money she makes from her felt shop until the end of March to the cause.  Musichype have a thing going on where you give a donation and get a bunch of downloads, and a lot of us have sent them songs to use for that. People without a lot of ready cash are trying to figure out how to raise some to send south.

Friends with bigger houses and less violent pets than ours have been offering accommodation for refugees - we though that maybe our place was too small, but I look on and see that people down your way are saying things like 'we don't have power or water yet but the roof is still up so come stay in the lounge' and I wonder if we should reconsider that position.  People are collecting food for displaced pets, and blankets, and analogue telephones and all of those sorts of things.  Materially it doesn't amount to very much maybe, but it's all done in the spirit of showing you that you aren't alone here. Mainly we're all trying to find ways to remind you that we care a lot, and we want to do what we can.  We don't know what it's really like down there, but we are thinking of you and we want to help you to get through it, so hang in there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some announcements: Next week just got more exciting

Next week was already going to be quite fun, because I'm playing at the Leigh Sawmill Cafe on the Saturday supporting An Emerald City.  They're in the middle of a massively epic tour of New Zealand to promote 'the fourth' which is their new album about things like Mars and the fourth dimension and all those sorts of good things.  I'm looking forward to that.  Shows at Leigh are always a good time because you're just down the road from a marine reserve, so you can do your soundcheck and then go and have a swim with lots of shiny snappers and stingrays.  Then you get back to the Sawmill and quite often they give you a delicious pizza, and if you're lucky the pizza also has snapper on it.  Presumably it's not the exact same snapper you were swimming with just before, but if you want you can pretend it was and so feel a little bit closer to your dinner than you might usually.  Also for some reason they close the bar at about midnight and kick out all of the people, so then the bands and stuff can all go upstairs and sing 'Up On Cripple Creek' as late as they want so long as they don't wake up the other guests too much, and for some reason the beer doesn't run out up there. Also there's this cat that's only got three legs or so and she's really good at snaking through the crowd without getting trodden on.

This happy snapper lives at Goat Island marine reserve so I won't be eating him.  Snapper snapped by Travis Wiens, original here:

So that's something I've been looking forward to for a while, but then I found out today that also on the Friday I'm going to be opening for The Books at the King's Arms as well. I saw them play I think it was last year when they came, and it just about 'blew my mind,' as we used to say back in the seventies.  There's two of them up there on the stage with cellos and laptops, and one of them back in the crowd playing with a real-time video editing suite, and altogether it's a thing of rare beauty and very close to how I always hoped the future would turn out.  The abiding impression I got from that show was that if I ever was to open for these guys I would definitely need to get somebody onstage with me rocking a laptop pretty hard, otherwise nobody in the room would possibly take me seriously.  Being taken seriously is obviously quite an important goal of mine, so fortunately, now that the occasion arises, I know just the laptop person for the job.  Mr. Nigel Wright does a most excellent line in staring intently at a laptop and creating vast waves of hauntingly beautiful reverb and droning synth echoes, which is basically exactly what you need for this kind of show, I would say.

So, in the spirit of using my blog to announce things ahead of time, some announcements:

1) I'm opening for An Emerald City next week at Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Saturday the 26th of February, and I will get to eat a snapper and hear the new music that they honed and polished in the chill Berlin winter after I left them last year for balmy summer climes.

2) I'm also opening for The Books on Friday the 25th of February at the King's Arms, and I'm really quite tickled about that.

3) I'll be joined onstage for the Friday show by Mr. Nigel Wright and His Remarkable Laptop, which will cause your face to melt right off of the front of your head if you happen to be at the King's Arms at the right time.

4) And, completely unrelated to the other announcements, there are a couple of new videos on the video page, depicting me playing the same song in two different glittering European capitals.  The song is called 'Beartown' and we've just finished mixing the version that's going to be on the album, which I will definitely tell you more about in the coming weeks.  Gosh!

Actually, just in case you hate clicking through to new pages, here's the videos right here.  Who says I never do anything for you?

Beartown in Paris and London:

Brixton Sessions #020 - Bond Street Bridge 'Untitled' from Blindeye | Films on Vimeo.