Sunday, May 25, 2014

Land of the Long White Sound: day one

May is New Zealand Music Month, and I'm nearly a little bit late to the party for once. For maybe a good ten years I'd mark the month by committing to buying an album from at least one local act (I think the last time I did this was two years ago, with an iTunes purchase of the 3Ds compilation), but I have of late been remiss.

  My disgrace then becomes your viewing chore for the next seven days: a daily clip picked by me from the archives (NZ On Screen, or if my memory's a little better and social media comes to the party, You Tube) redolent of local music from the past fifty years.

I wanted to kick thing off with something from the 60s, but wouldn't you know it - most of the big numbers or personal favourites are typical of many of the standards of that era in that they were reworkings of international ditties (stand up She's a Mod, Western Union, Love Hate Revenge, How Is The Air Up There?), so straight to the Eighties we go and so a somewhat predictable choice but a personal fave: Pink Frost by The Chills.

It's cold in the Monkeyhouse tonight, and it's snowing in Dunedin as I type this, which seems almost perfect. Roll the clip!

As locals may know, Pink Frost is largely shot in and around Lover's Leap on the Otago Peninsula, a wonderfully isolated place with, apparently, a deserved name and though it's obviously degraded video here, the picture quality fits the setting and the song perfectly, picking out the skeletal pines and brittle waves of the South Pacific below, while later on Martin Phillipps' sinister scarecrow is all flickering eyelids and paleface makeup somewhere nearby - Waitati? Aramoana? I could seriously do all Flying Nun songs this week - hell, I could easily do all Dunedin bands this week, but I promise I won't. Next time: Auckland!

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