Sarah Square Eye: Film File – October 31, 2014 (Film Reviews)

Sarah Bio PicSarah McMullan aka Sarah SquareEye reviews film and television for Radio NZ National every Friday afternoon. She watches them all first so you know if they’re worth your time and money. This week Sarah reviews The Dead Lands, Whiplash, Fury, Decoding Annie Parker and This Is Where I Leave You.

Click here to read the film reviews and view trailers. 

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French For Rabbits: Dream-Folk From Canterbury (Interview)

ffrpress2__largeNew Zealand self-described “dream/folk” band French For Rabbits release their debut album, Spirits, today. The Canterbury-area based act began as a duo with Brooke Singer and John Fitzgerald gaining international acclaim after releasing their EP, Claimed By The Sea. They have now expanded to a four-piece while recording Spirits in Wellington. The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda spoke to Brooke Singer just as she and the band were about to head out for a European tour supporting Agnes Obel. French For Rabbits will play dates in New Zealand when they return in December.

Click here to listen to, or read, the interview with Brooke Singer.

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The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – Be Mine Tonight (Album Review)

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra Be Mine TonightBe Mine Tonight is the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra’s first full length album, and without a doubt the best ukulele album you’ll hear all year. The tracklist is entirely covers of Kiwi songs. Artists covered range from Th’ dudes to Lorde, and take in classics like ‘Till We Kissed (Ray Columbus & the Invaders, 1965) and Slippin’ Away (Max Merritt & The Meteors, 1976), along the way. As well as a novelty ukulele album, Be Mine Tonight could equally be seen as a potted history of New Zealand pop music.

Click here to read the entire review and listen to a track from the new album.

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Tami Neilson Wins Silver Scroll Award

APRA Silver Scrolls Awards at TSB Arena Wellington on 30 October 2014Congratulations go out to Tami Neilson who, along with Joshua Neilson, won the Silver Scroll Award for their song Walk (Back To Your Arms). Tami and Dave Khan recorded a video session at The 13th Floor earlier this year. The session includes an interview with Tami and a live performance of three songs. You can watch it here. 

Read the press release announcing the Silver Scroll winners here:

Tami Neilson and Joshua Neilson have won the 2014 APRA Silver Scroll Award with their song Walk (Back to Your Arms). The soulful, retro-flavoured blues ballad was chosen as this year’s winner by APRA’s membership, made up of over 10,000 New Zealand songwriters and composers.

The award was presented at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards – a highly anticipated annual event that recognises and celebrates outstanding achievement in the craft of song writing. As is tradition for the awards, the finalists’ songs were covered in unique and inspired ways by other artists on the night. Walk (Back to Your Arms) was treated to a world-pop cover by a 16-piece Indonesian Gamelan bell orchestra, with a growling Tom Waits-inspired vocal by The All Seeing Hand’s Jonny Marks.

“Walk (Back to Your Arms) is exceptional, true to its genre and original in every aspect. It’s an honest and beautifully formed song” says APRA’s Anthony Healey. “Tami is wonderfully talented, a view obviously shared by her song writing peers and she and her brother Joshua are hugely deserving of this prestigious recognition”.

The night also saw Lorde’s Ella Yelich-O’Connor and her producer Joel Little pick up two awards. Their song ‘Team’ won the Most Performed New Zealand Work in New Zealand, and ‘Royals’ won the Most Performed New Zealand Work Internationally.

Alongside the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Award, also presented on the night was the APRA Maioha Award, for excellence in song writing featuring te reo Māori.  The award was won by Rob Ruha for ‘Tiki Tapu’, and was presented by Aotearoa hip hop pioneer, Upper Hut Posse’s Dean Hapeta.  Following the presentation of the award Wellington neo-soul heavyweights Electric Wire Hustle took the stage to perform their interpretation of the song.

Awarded since 1998, the SOUNZ Contemporary Award recognises outstanding contemporary composition.  This year the award was won by Wellington’s Michael Norris for his composition ‘Inner Phases’. Inner Phases was written to be performed by a Chinese instrument ensemble and a string quartet, melding eastern and western palettes.  The work was re-interpreted on the night by Jeff Henderson’s pseudonym Lil’ Dougie Boyne.

The awards also saw the inaugural presentation of two new awards for music composed for screen.  The APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film award was won by Victoria Kelly for Field Punishment No 01, and the APRA Best Original Music in a Series award was won by Wellington’s Tom McLeod for Girl vs. Boy (Season 2).

As well as the awards presented on the night, the evening also saw classical and electronic music pioneer Douglas Lilburn posthumously inducted into the prestigious New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. Composer and author Philip Norman honoured Lilburn with a moving tribute which was followed by performances of three of his works.  Synthesiser maestro Ed Zuccollo performed an excerpt of ‘Overture; Aotearoa’ (1940), pianist Jian Liu played ‘Sea Changes’ (1946) and Wellington’s The Labcoats reinterpreted one of Lilburn’s later electro acoustic works ‘Welcome Stranger’ (1974).

Established in 2007, The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame pays tribute to those that have had a significant impact on New Zealand life and culture through music. Lilburn’s induction makes him the 15th addition and sees him join household names the likes of Jordan Luck, Dave Dobbyn, Shihad, Herbs and more

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King Tuff – Black Moon Spell (Album Review)

King TuffFor the uninitiated, King Tuff is the main vehicle of modern guitar hero Kyle Thomas, who can also be found bending strings with J Mascis in arch-stoner metal band Witch and in avant-folk band Feathers.

Click here to read the entire review and listen to a track from the new album.

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Aqua – The Powerstation (Concert Review)

DSC_3153Who, in 2014, would turn out on a stormy Wednesday night to see Aqua, the Danish bubblegum band who hit paydirt in 1997 with Barbie Girl? To my surprise, hundreds of fans…mostly female…looking for a little nineties nostalgia.

Click here to read the entire review along with the complete set list and a photo gallery by Michael Jeong.

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Here Come The Foo Fighters!

Foo FightersGet ready Australia and New Zealand because the most anticipated rock tour of the summer has just been confirmed!  Frontier Touring are thrilled to announce that rock superstars Foo Fighters will be returning to Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015 for their biggest shows ever, with very special guests Rise Against.

Click here to read the entire press release for more details. 

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Sharon Van Etten To Tour NZ

Sharon Van EttenIt is with great delight we are able to announce that the Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist will be playing New Zealand for the first time in March 2015. In a touring schedule that has taken her most of the way around the world Sharon Van Etten has requested to include both the North and South Islands of NZ on this visit. She will play shows in Auckland, Wellington, Lyttleton and Dunedin.

TICKETS ON SALE THURSDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 9AM

ticketmaster.co.nz / 0800 111 999 & Real Groovy Records, Queen Street, Auckland.

Click here to read the entire press release for more details. 

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Last Chance Café – Herald Theatre (Theatre Review)

lastchancecafe442If you feel as though you recognise the performers in Last Chance Café, it may be because you’ve seen them before – on Auckland’s streets.

Click here to read the entire review. 

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Spiegeltent: A Bit Of Tallulah, A Bit Of Iggy (Interview)

Speigel Shot_12a_2253A Spiegeltent is large travelling entertainment venue made from teak and decorated with velvet, stained glass and mirrors. Such a tent is home to Spiegelworld, the New York-based troupe who’ve taken circus, cabaret and burlesque and given them an extreme makeover for our post-Playboy world. Kathryn van Beek spoke to Jonathan Taylor, AKA Oscar the Impresario, about the new show Empire.

Click here to read the Spiegeltent interview.

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