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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toast

I had Bovril toast for breakfast this morning. It's one of my many true loves and something I can only have when in NZ and in a slightly settled state - this time crashing with my lovely Aunt and Uncle.

Toast has played a major part in my life from a very early age. A mildly contentious diagnosis of an allergy to dairy products sent a possible wheat-bix kid future packing (after a brief and not-too-bad a fling with cereal and juice...).

SO - since as long as I can remember I have eaten 4 slices of toast for breakfast every day. These slices come always topped with a brown spread. The selection includes (where available): Bovril (the undisputed King of brown spreads), Vegemite, Marmite, Promite and Our Mate. For a good few years mad cow disease put an end to Bovril, as it was a beef product, but it returned in triumphant style as a vegetarian spread that tasted EXACTLY the same as it did before...I love genetic engineering...in this case...



I think I must be one of the toastiest people alive...I even used to race my sister, when I was little, to be the first one to eat a whole loaf of toast (these races quickly diminished in frequency after our parents were accused of malnourishing us due to our over-inflated bellies...).

I will sleep easy tonight knowing that, upon waking to the world tomorrow, I can start my day on a supreme high, the always-giving high of toast.

It's good to be back in NZ.

I want this t-shirt.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The pitfalls of singing

It's been a beautiful three days in Australia on our latest wee-trip over here. We've seen very few clouds and had some great people see a showcase in Sydney. Since then we've been in Perth with 30-degree heat and a buzz in the air around the first year of a new festival they're hosting called One Movement.

So all is beautiful, right? Wrong...

For the past 10 days I've been battling some kind of virus which my body just doesn't want to kick. I've only really had a few days out of those 10 where I was actually down and out - but the others have been plagued with a killer sore throat.

Now, that would be fine if I played piano, or any other instrument in my band - playing guitar? sore throat? All good. Not with singing though.

So I've been going to bed early while everyone else parties, not drinking, eating well and taking about 10 pills of various, promised, healing ailments. And no luck so far. Which is kinda depressing to be honest.

There is no worse-a-buzz on stage for me than struggling and worrying about where the next note is going to come from - and it has the opposite effect of adrenaline on the body. Instead of the music slowing down in your mind and your body relaxing into another world, it makes the music double-time and stiffens you into the microphone stand like ivy to a tasty brick wall. Aaaargh!!

SO, I'm going to try a few new things out today in warming up for our show here in Perth. No alcohol (haha, new!), morning warm-up in hotel gym, another quick run before the show and all that accompanied by some serious scale-humming.

So I better get to it. Just to contrast the mood of this post and to right my attitude for the day, I'm gonna pump this song! Perfectemondo!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lisa Mitchell

If Alexis Bledel (from Gilmore Girls) could sing, she'd sound EXACTLY like Lisa Mitchell.

Which is a good thing.

I'm out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Awards!!!!!!!

These be busy times.

Hence my lack of blogging lately.

A lot of that is due to preparing for the "night of my life", the NZ Music Awards (I don't think it will be quite the night of my life...).

This awards night is the flash and shiny event of the industry calendar and it lives up to its reputation - all the stars come out, the posh food and drink is served, there's scandal and drama(in a very NZ sense) and a whole lot of hype.

The main thing I'm looking forward to is catching up with other muso and industry friends and maybe meeting a few legends along the way.

The 'official program' compiled by the NZ Herald has listed a bunch of award predictions made by me which are a load of bollocks as they asked us who they thought would win before there were any nominations - and they don't explain that in the article. SO - here are my open and honest predictions(not a wish-list) of how the night will pan out for NZ music's superstars!

Album of the Year: Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
Single of the Year: Brother - Smashproof
Best Group: Fat Freddy's Drop
Best Male Solo Artist: Savage
Best Female Solo Artist: Ladyhawke
Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Ladyhawke
Best Music Video: Chris Graham - Brother (Smashproof)
People’s Choice: Smashproof
Best Rock Album: Mint Chicks - Screens
Best Urban / Hip Hop Album: Savage - Savage Island
Best Aotearoa Roots Album: Fat Freddy's Drop - Dr Boondigga and the Big BW
Best Dance / Electronica Album: Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
Best Gospel / Christian Album: Parachute Band - Technicolor
Best Classical Album: Wouldn't have a clue...

Now I know you're thinking that it's me being all Kiwi and not predicting any wins for my own group on purpose - the thing is I really believe that we won't win any of those awards. I don't think we've won the respect of the industry(the people who vote on these awards) and I think it will take another album or so before we do, if we do - just due to the style of our music and how it's perceived to be so un-Kiwi.

It's awesome that these awards don't really matter that much in determining success in NZ - the NZ public have really got behind us in buying our album and coming to shows already. However, if I have got the wrong impression from the people around me and we do win some awards then it will definitely help us in our journey, especially overseas.

All in all it's awesome just to be recognised through our nominations - we've worked bloody hard as a band over the past 4 years and have made a lot of sacrifices - so a BIG night of celebrating is ahead!

There are a bunch of NZ bands and musicians who will get no press or recognition for their work this year though (are the bNet awards still going?) and there have been some amazing releases.

Here's my Top 5 NZ albums of 2009 (so far):

1: The Mots - The Mots
2: The Veils - Sun Gangs
3: PNC - Bazooka Kid
4: Dictaphone Blues - On the Down and In
5: The Woolshed Sessions - The Woolshed Sessions

Look them up, buy them and enjoy!