The Chills at San Fran Bath House

The Chills5

New Photos from The Chills concert at San Fran Bath House (26 April 2017)

Originally published at

The publicity for this upcoming tour read spectacularly well, like some long-lost lyrics from The Man Monster from the Id.  “Out on the tar sealed and gravelly roads this April and May, legendary Dunedin pop group The Chills have announced their embarkation on a vigorous and far-reaching New Zealand tour.”  And, that’s pretty much what they did.  Exactly what it says on the box. 

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My Top 100 Best Albums

thelastdogandponyshow-567x560Bob Mould – The Last Dog and Pony Show (RykoDisc)

1998’s The Last Dog And Pony Show was Mould’s ostensible farewell to his punk-rock past and guitar-hero persona. Demoralized by the whims and indignities of the music industry, Mould had decided (prematurely, it turns out) that he was finished. The premise is intriguing but ultimately too much of this material comes across as defeated rather than valedictory. On songs like opener “New #1” and “First Drag Of The Day” Mould’s approach feels perfunctory, as if not the work of the artist himself, but instead a highly lifelike simulation. It’s not a bad album, but one that ultimately seems a little bloodless.

For me, this is a very personal album.  I listened to it a lot when I was going through a break up.  It starts with Moving Trucks, a song about the end of a relationship, those final moments when you are standing at the doorway watching as your partner’s thing, and part of your life, if packaged up and shipped out.  The empty spaces it leaves are the voids you now must fill.  The album then travels through the inevitable stages of a breakup.  Sorrow, anger (Taking Everything, Who was Around? ); trying to move on (First Drag of The Day); self destruction (Skintrade – where the protagonist tries out prostitution to fill his longing); rebounding (Classifieds); and philosophy and acceptance (Reflecting Pool, Along the Way).  Yes you could argue that I’m overlaying my own experiences onto this album, that the themes and the intentions of the songs are different but that’s what makes this album so good.  It’s an ‘everyman’ effort for any situation.

Artist: Bob Mould
Release date: 25 August 1998
Producer: Bob Mould
Label: Rykodisc
Genre: Alternative rock

Tracks :
New #1 – 4:47
Moving Trucks – 3:30
Taking Everything – 3:26
First Drag of the Day – 4:29
Classifieds – 3:04
Who Was Around? – 4:08
Skintrade – 5:43
Vaporub – 4:05
Sweet Serene – 3:26
Megamanic – 3:39
Reflecting Pool -3:39
Along the Way – 4:21

My Top 100 Best Albums


Thurston Moore – The Best Day

It’s in Thurston Moore’s nature to provoke, antagonize, and push musical boundaries, and the results have rarely been anything short of thrilling over the course of his 30-plus-year career. He’s one of those guys of the rare Waits, Beefheart, and Zappa variety who have succeeded because of his flagrant disregard for pop music’s rigid rules, not in spite of it. Knowing that, it’s hard to get past the title of his latest solo effort without getting longtime Sonic Youth fans’ imaginations running and jumping to some understandable conclusions. The Best Day? Really? Doesn’t that sound a tad optimistic from a guy who’s given us 1,001 different ways to make a guitar scream for its life?

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Groove Book Report: Tell Me My Name – Bill Manhire riddles; Norman Meehan music; Hannah Griffin song; Peter Peryer photographs – Published by Victoria University Press (Poetry + photographs + music CD)

Tell Me My Name Cover
Recently, I found myself caught up in the great Nobel Literacy Prize debate over whether Bob Dylan should have been awarded it or not. The arguments came from many sides but it all came down to this: Are lyrics poetry? That is, what makes lyrics suitable to be read; or recited; or sung or quoted; or used in a wedding speech; or a eulogy; or put on a pedestal and displayed around a Harbour walkway? Or anywhere? Do lyrics need music. Is that that what defines them or determines them from poetry? I guess the Nobel panel of judges decided that lyrics could stand alone as a legitimate branch of poetry – and QED a legitimate literacy work. That begs another question, too. Must a great literacy work be in a published book? Have any text or SMS works ever been nominated? Or even Kindle only editions. And, of course, one could easily argue that Rap is poetry – set to music or just recited. It doesn’t need Hip Hop to sell it, but it helps. Don’t let’s get started on that one.

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