Blog Archives

Believing you are a star, Nick Bollinger

Dead People I Have Known Shayne Carter Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776562213 Rock odysseys can start in obscure places. Shayne Carter’s began in Brockville, a state-housing suburb of Dunedin, a city at the southern end of a country that…
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Posted in Autobiography, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Melody slithering through the misery, Martin Lodge

Good-bye Maoriland: The Songs and Sounds of New Zealand’s Great War Chris Bourke Auckland University Press, $60.00, ISBN 978869408718 For both civilians and the soldiers alike on active service during WWI, music proved a significant and enduring element of New…
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Posted in Māori, Music, Non-fiction, Review

A continuum of community, Chris Bourke

New Zealand Jazz Life Norman Meehan (Tony Whincup photographer) Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN  9781776560929 In the 1984 “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap, the fictional rock band was positive about its declining fan base. “We are more selective about our…
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Posted in Music, Non-fiction, Review

National anthems, Andrew Schmidt

In Love with these Times: My Life with Flying Nun Records Roger Shepherd HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781775540892 A Road Tour of American Song Titles: From Mendocino to Memphis Karl Du Fresne Bateman, $40.00, ISBN 9781869359382 Flying Nun Records, the small…
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Posted in History, Music, Non-fiction, Review

“Pure, straight sound”, Elizabeth Kerr  

Peter Godfrey: Father of New Zealand Choral Music Elizabeth Salmon Mākaro Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780994106582 On the book’s cover a young boy stands a little uncertainly before the camera. He’s wearing the Eton suit of a King’s College chorister, complete…
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Posted in Music, Non-fiction, Review

A music of our own, Peter Walls

Douglas Lilburn, Memories of Early Years and Other Writings  Robert Hoskins (ed) Steele Roberts, $40.00, ISBN 9781927242476 This is the Lilburn centenary year. Concerts are being branded with a special logo – a way of marking the pivotal contribution that…
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Posted in Music, Non-fiction, Review

Outrageous fortune, Chris Bourke 

Gutter Black Dave McArtney HarperCollins ISBN 9781775540397 Hello Sailor were New Zealand’s most convincing rock stars. They acted like pirates, and managed to look menacing and foppish at the same time. It wasn’t a pose; it was a lifestyle. They…
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Posted in History, Memoir, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Opening the ears, Ross Somerville

How to Hear Classical Music  Davinia Caddy Awa Press, $26.00, ISBN 9781877551000 At the end of June this year in Wellington, Michael Houstoun presented the centrepiece of his Beethoven Recycled series of piano recitals, in which he was playing the…
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Posted in Music, Non-fiction, Review

Pressing on, David Eggleton

On Song: Stories behind New Zealand’s Pop Classics Simon Sweetman Penguin Books, $65.00, ISBN 9780143568162 Any anthology is a work of exclusion, constructed to emphasise or establish a particular narrative. In the case of anthologist Simon Sweetman’s On Song: Stories…
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Posted in Music, Non-fiction, Review

Tickling the ivories, Edmund Bohan

Piano Forte: Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand  Kirstine Moffat  Otago University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 978187737797 What a welcome book this is. Music has been neglected shamefully for far too long in our historiography, either because most of our…
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Posted in History, Music, Non-fiction, Review
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