Watch Out! It's AlexisOnFire...



It's an exciting time for punk and hardcore kids young and old (read, me) lately in Auckland as the bands we grew up singing along to regroup, reform and re-visit our stages.  The Bleeders before Christmas and LA's post hardcore outfit LetLive tonight are being followed up by AlexisOnFire, all the way from Canada next Monday the 23rd of January. The much loved group are playing their first show in New Zealand in ten years, at the iconic Power-Station, and tickets are still available online. It's hard not to sound over-hyped and use all the tired old adjectives when describing a show, but having seen them play a couple of times, I promise it'll be a high-energy emotionally charged performance.  

The band first formed in 2001, and released four full length albums (Alexisonfire, WatchOut!, Crisis and Old Crows/Young Cardinals) ,  before breaking up in 2012, only to reform in 2015.  Some readers will know the beautiful voice of vocalist Dallas Green from his solo work as City and Colour, or guitarist and backing vocalist Wade McNeil as the singer of Gallows. Throughout their work, the band delves into  both the personal and political, with songs such as Sons Of Privilege   critiquing American policy and well, privilege,  while Rough Hands is one of the most heart rending break up dirges you'll ever hear.  

I've a couple of tickets to give away, check out my instagram, for how to win 'em!


Speed dating with letlive!


So I had dope time chatting this morning with Jason Aalon , founding member and vocalist of LA based post-hardcore band letlive.  Today's interview quickly got interesting, as Jason talked about society, and  growing up mixed race in America and indeed what that experience was like in the hardcore scene, which, for all it's often progressive politics is very white and male dominated.  

I want to create confronting art that challenges people in various ways, obviously sonically, but also ideologically, intellectually..

It was refreshing to have a conversation of depth after a few minutes, and having been involved in the hardcore scene and punk scene for over nearly 20 years myself, it never ceases to make me smile that more often than not people who've never met before quickly find common bonds through music and the message in it, in this world wide community.  

I feel like for so many years I’ve felt foreign in my own country

letlive's latest, and fourth,  album If I'm The Devil...came out on Epitaph Records in June of 2016, and I have to say it's a refreshing listen. While keeping lots of the punk aggression letlive are known for, it takes elements of new wave, rock and even some hip hop production elements to create something sonically interesting and adventurous and I totally recommend it. 

 letlive are touring Australia, starting in Brisbane on January the 8th 2017, and hitting New Zealand for one show only at the Kings Arms on January 18th. You can buy tickets to the New Zealand show here.  Come through and dance to music you can think to. 

Goldie - Drum and Bass MBE


This one's for lovers of drum & bass. Today I was pleasantly surprised to be paid a visit by Metalheadz label head Goldie on my George FM Grind show before his 3 date tour of NZ with Artificial Intelligence, Ant TC1 and Scar.

In the below interview he talks about being awarded an MBE from the Queen, his new album 'The Journeyman', his ARTA graffiti art app and giving out free hugs to Kiwis!

Partying For Grown Ups


If you want to keep the  party going after New Years you've no shortage of options over the coming months especially if you happen to live in Auckland. This weekend alone has back-to-back events; Anno Domini, Jamie XX (one of my faves) and Kurt Vile (I've never listened to him). The jewel in the crown of all this  musical awesomeness  is of course going to be Laneway Festival out in February, on the 1st.

 I'm obv late getting this post up, but the cleverly named series  Anno Domini (It's Latin for advancing of old age)  kicks it all off on Sunday, January 10th, right about now actually, the time of writing being 2:35pm on said date.  Described by co-promoter Mark Kneebone as an event that's 'not a fucking munt fest', Anno Domini brings to Auckland what's been going on in other cities for years, civilised roof top parties.  Hosted at The Auckland Art Gallery, the series is using public space in an innovative way. Food for  the series, which fall on the January 10th and 24th and February 14th, Valentines day,  is taken care of by my dear friends and wonderful team at Coco's Cantina.  For those who like to imbibe, drinks are provided by Mea Culpa . I'm feeling the  Roman vibe that's going on with all the Latin being bandied about and with Coco's delicious Italian cuisine. Well played fam. 

Amazing food and drinks and clever use of Latin aside, what's a party without music? The series highlights some of the best in left of centre electronic music. January 10th is headlined by Ninja Tune's signed,  Seven Davis Jr.  His house influenced experimental electronic productions are perfect for a lazy Sunday party. On the Jan, 24th, Californian Dam Funk shall be laying down the modern funk sounds, and the soundtrack to Valentine's Day is bought to us by Sydney's super dreamy Seekae  and  Roland Tings playing respective DJ Sets, along with Wellington lad Race Banyon.  If you're looking for  way to impress an exisiting or potential lover on Valentine's day, I'm backing tickets to this as a gift.  If all this wasn't enough to have a mild level of interest about (no one seems to get that excited this day and age of hipster indifference), there is a fourth date yet to be confirmed, and no doubt the line up shall be similarly great. 

Sweet Place To Party

On Monday the 11th, Jamie XX, of The XX fame plays at Auckland' Vector Arena. His solo album, In Colour, was a favourite release of mine in 2015. It's an intricate album full of beautiful melancholy you can dance to, offset by  party jams with features from Young Thug. Mr XX will no doubt be bringing an amazing set to perform, so if you want to party on a school night, this will be a trill time. 

Jamie XX

I won't bullshit you and say I'm a huge fan of Kurt Vile, but if you're into chilled out alternative rock stuff in the vein of Pavement or Beck, then he's great at what he does.  Since the Echo Festival he was scheduled to be a part of fell to pieces, he's playing Auckland at the Saint James on Tuesday and Wellington at the San Fran on Wednesday. Tickets to Wellington are sold out but still available for Auckland at the time of writing. 

Laneway is going to be such an amazing time, I think I'll give it a write up all of it's own, so stay posted. If you do go and check out any of these shows, let us know what you thought of them!