The world of WORD: Dan’s picks of the 2018 festival

WORD Christchurch is back for 2018 and the programme is full of quality experiences of the written word!

Once again there’s everything from poetry sessions, confessional sessions, author and book-related panels, and even a whale-watching tour to beautiful Kaikoura!

But for me, the biggest excitement surrounds the sheer diversity of options available to us, the reader/audience…

  • As stated above, you can take a Whale Watching (Tues 28 Aug) trip to Kaikōura. Hosted by authors Philip Hoare and David Neiwert, and travelling from Christchurch to rendezvous with Whale Watch Kaikōura for an early afternoon cruise out into the mighty ocean, you can encounter the ocean giants first hand, all the while having the author/hosts regale you with knowledge and stories.
  • Then there’s A Cabinet of Curiosities: Tiny Lectures on the Weird and Wonderful. (Fri 31 Aug – Sun 2 Sept) A series of quickfire 20min lectures on some of the more unusual aspects of our world; UFO’s, sexbots, mermaids…. you get the idea! These will be a great way to fill in some downtime between bigger events, such as…
  • Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting to Dead Men’s Trousers. (Fri 31 Aug) What an exciting opportunity to hear from the mind of the man who burst onto the scene in 1993 with what is now a modern classic! Welsh has written quite a few books centred on the characters featured in Trainspotting, but is this to be the last one…?!? He’s also a highly opinionated and politically-minded individual so there’s sure to be some Brexit talk during his talk.
  • Diary of a Bookseller (Sat 1 Sept) gives us an insight into the highs and lows in the life of a Scottish second-hand bookshop. It’s hosted by Shaun Bythell who will also be running Book Collectors Old and New (Fri 31 Aug) – a 3 hour interactive workshop on all things book collecting. Shaun co-hosts with Brian Phillips as they will impart all the knowledge you could want on the world of book collecting.
  • And how about a panel discussion with authors presenting readings of new writing on the music that has shaped them as artists and people. Soundtrack or, Dancing About Architecture (Sun 2 Sept) will see authors Philip Hoare, Pip Adam, Chris Tse, and Nic Low do just that. Musical styles and experiences will be as wide and varied as the work of the authors presenting.
  • And finally, the story of the editor-turned-bestselling author. A.J. Finn: The Woman in the Window (Sun 2 Sept) introduces us to the next big thing in thriller writing. Dan Mallory, writing under a pseudonym, is getting huge accolades from some big names in the genre and The Woman in the Window is already getting the silver-screen treatment. This will fascinating to hear him speak about how his years of editing set him up for the best possible crack at his own bestseller!

So there are my pics for this year’s festival – wide, rich, and varied. See you there for literary-themed goodness!

Matariki – Māori New Year 2018

Matariki – the Māori New Year – will take place on 6-9 July 2018. During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.

Matariki 2018 at Christchurch City Libraries continues the theme of ‘Te Iwa o Matariki – the Nine stars of Matariki’, this year with a focus on Toitū Ngā Mahinga Kai o Matariki – Sustainable natural resources of Matariki: Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Ururangi.

During June in the lead up to Māori New Year we’ll be offering a range of whānau-friendly celebrations and activities at our libraries.

Matariki promo image 2018

Matariki Toi – Community Art Project in the Library

Each year a community art project runs in our libraries for all to explore their creative side. This year the project is create a replica manu tukutuku (traditional Māori kite). Materials are supplied, all you have to do is bring your creativity.

Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes

In addition to our normal Storytimes we have Matariki Storytimes. Come celebrate and welcome the Māori New Year with stories, songs, rhymes and craft activities. All welcome, free of charge.

See our list of Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes.

Matariki storytimes
Matariki storytimes at Lyttelton Library, June 2017. File reference: 2017-06-Matariki-Matariki – Community Art Project LY 6

Matariki Whānau Fun Days – Saturday 9 & 23 June

Matariki StarsCelebrate Matariki at our two free whānau fun days! We’ll have art activities, colouring competitions, storytelling, exploring the stars with Skyview and much more!

Aranui Library
Saturday 9 June
10am-1pm

Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre
Saturday 23 June
10am-1pm

Matariki Connect

Our Learning Centres are offering special Matariki Connect sessions for schools, introducing students to the key concepts of Te Iwa o Matariki, and involving a range of fun activities. This programme is now fully booked.

Find all Matariki events at the library

Other Matariki events in Christchurch

Matariki Celebrations: The Arts Centre – 8 June – 22 July

The Arts Centre invites you to come together as a community / whānau to celebrate Matariki 2018 with a variety of activities including a talk by Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua, kapa haka, music and themed storytime sessions.

Matariki Celebration – Ara: Institute of Canterbury – 11-15 June

Ara will be having a whole programme of celebrations and activities 11-15 June across all of their campuses, including waiata, games, speakers, and food.

Matariki Celebration at Bromley Community Centre – Friday 15 June

Pop along to the Bromley Community Centre to celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year)
Free entertainment, free activities, free tea and coffee, free fruit, plus affordable, yummy Māori kai available to purchase! Bromley School Kapa Haka Group will be performing at 4:30pm

4-7pm
Bromley Community Centre
45 Bromley Road

Matariki Star Craft – Saturday 16 June 11am

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū – Listen to a new story, The Stolen Stars of Marariki by Miriana Kamo and Zak Waipara, and then make your own Matariki mobile to take home.  Ages 4-9. $5 per child, book online.

Matariki in the Zone – Sunday 17 June

Organised by Avebury House, Avon-Ōtākaro Network and Richmond Community Garden.  Guests are encouraged to contribute produce from their own garden or pantry, dropping off at Avebury House at 11am to contribute to the shared meal from 12 noon to 2pm. Please RSVP to let them know participant numbers and harvest contribution at: www.aveburyhouse.co.nz

  • Māori crafts (wood carving and flax weaving)
  • Live music
  • Fun things to do for kids.
  • Shared kai of soups by Richard Till, and a hangi
  • blessing and opening of the Native Edible Garden in the Richmond Community Garden

Avebury House,
9 Eveleyn Couzins Ave
Richmond

Te Whare Roimata & the Linwood Community Arts Centre presents “Te Whare Maire O Nga Punawerewere” Festival of Maori Art & Culture Monday 18 June to Friday 6 July

Beginning on Monday 18th June at 5pm with a powhiri, this exhibition showcases contemporary and traditional art works by local Māori artists. Free Kapa haka classes will be held throughout the exhibition and follow the theme of the seven stars of Matariki. The classes offered this year are kite making, movies, waiata and a concert on the final night of Friday 6th July at 5pm.

The children’s activities will be held Tuesdays 4.30pm – 6.30pm & Fridays 5pm onwards throughout the exhibition.
Tuesday 19 June Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 22 June Traditional Games
Tuesday 26 June Movie night
Friday 29 June Whānau movie night
Tuesday 3 July Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 6 July Concert night.

There is no charge for classes however registrations are essential. Call 981 2881 to book. Children and families most welcome.

Eastside Gallery
388 Worcester Street
Gallery Hours:
Monday to Friday 11am – 4pm
Saturday 12pm – 3pm
Most art works will be for sale

Subscribe to the Facebook event.

Light Up Matariki Lantern Making Workshop – Sunday 24 June

Create nature inspired lanterns this Matariki at the Gardens. Combine twigs, leaves and paper to make LED candle lanterns and light up the chilly nights of Matariki. Limited places and parents and guardians will be required to help with construction. Please note that we will be using hot glue. This workshop is most suitable for 7 to 12 year olds, but all ages are welcome. Cost $5 per child.

10am to midday
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Visitor Centre and Ilex Cafe
Rolleston Avenue

Matariki at the Hub – Sunday 24 June

Celebrating Matariki at the Phillipstown Community Hub!
A family day with lots of activities, bouncy castle, face painting, carving, music, waiata, traditional sports, photo booths, arts & crafts, kapa haka, and – of course – kai!

11am-2pm
Phillipstown Community Hub
39 Nursery Road
Christchurch

Rehua Marae Matariki Whānau Day – Saturday 30 June

Matariki celebrations at Rehua Marae – subscribe to the Facebook event.
Kai and craft stalls, entertainment from local kapa haka and Maori musicians, free workshops. Entertainment: Kaitaka Tupuna O Rehua, Nga Toi O Te Rangi, Lisa Tui, Nga Manu a Tane, Mahina Kaui, Te Ahikaaroa, Te Kotahitanga, and the Koro Band. Workshops (start at 11.30) include star weaving, miniature kite making, tiki making, lantern making,and poi making. Some workshops have limited spaces.

The mobile library van will also be on site.

11am-3pm
Rehua Marae
79 Springfield Road
Christchurch

Matariki at Rehua Marae
Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014. File Reference: 2014-06-28-IMG_0501

Matariki Market Day – Thursday 5 July

A student led market with stalls, performances and lots of fun. All welcome.

2pm to 4pm
Haeata Community Campus
240 Breezes Road

Matariki Night Makete / Markets – Friday-Saturday, 6-7 July

The Matariki Night Markets will include:

  • Kapa Haka performances and NZ music from singer songwriters
  • Traditional kai and New Zealand favourites such as fish and chips and pavlova
  • Art, crafts, jewellery all with a New Zealand feel/twist

4-10pm
The Arts Centre
2 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch Central

Matariki Dawn Planting – Sunday 15 July

Join rongoā practitioners as they celebrate Matariki the Māori New Year with a dawn karakia and tree planting as a symbol of new beginnings. The dawn planting will be followed by a hui with kai (bring a plate of food to share) and discussion of the plans for the next 12 months for this new park.

There will also second planting event at 10am. This planting event is suitable for families.

Rongoā Garden – Styx
565R Marshland Road
Ouruhia
Christchurch

More on Matariki

 

Win tickets to the NZSO’s An Evening With Simon O’Neill

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 season continues next month with internationally renowned tenor Simon O’Neill returning home to perform a special series of concerts a concert featuring works by Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner. The Christchurch concert will take place on Wednesday 13 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

An evening with Simon O'Neill poster image

An Evening with Simon O’Neill will be the singer’s debut orchestral performance of Richard Wagner’s famous song cycle the Wesendonck Lieder.

Wagner wrote the five songs to poems by his muse and lover Mathilde Wesendonck, while he was also working on his great romantic opera Tristan und Isolde.

Hailed by critics as “the Wagnerian tenor of his generation”, O’Neill has recorded Wesendonck Lieder with New Zealand pianist Terence Dennis, but has never sung the song cycle with an orchestra.

This performance will also see the NZSO perform Wagner contemporary Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. Known as the ‘Romantic Symphony’, it is one of Bruckner’s most popular works and his first symphony to achieve significant public acclaim.

The NZSO will be led by acclaimed Dutch conductor Lawrence Renes, who has a long association with O’Neill and NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart. When O’Neill first performed with the San Francisco Opera in 2012 in John Adams’ Nixon in China, Renes was the conductor.

We have 2 double passes to give away to library members. All you need to do is tell us what the name of the new central library is and complete the competition entry form. Entries close at 5pm on Tuesday, 5 June and winners will be announced on Wednesday 6 June.

Find out more

用图书馆资源开发您的音乐潜能: Becoming musical with library eResources

每年五月是新西兰的音乐节。人们在庆祝本土音乐的成就之余也会想到存在于不同的历史时期、不同社会、不同形式的音乐。音乐作为人类情感的表达,是任何文明社会不可缺少的。孔夫子曰:夫乐者,乐也,人情之所不能免也。 Confucius said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”. 尽管不是每个人都有天赋成为一名音乐家,但都能通过发展音乐欣赏的能力,成为一名业余的音乐爱好者或专业的音乐人。尤其对华人移民和他们的子女来说,学会赏析西洋音乐和来自其它文化背景的音乐能丰富在远离故土的生活,甚至开启一个职业的领域。在这方面,基督城图书馆的电子音乐资源能助您一臂之力。

图书馆有两大类音乐资源可满足您的需求:

发展音乐爱好的资源:

您喜欢听美国歌曲和音乐吗?American Song数据库拥有源于美国社会各阶层、种族和各个时期的超过十一万个音乐曲目。涵盖像民谣folk蓝调blues乡村country, 福音gospel摇滚rock 等众多的音乐类别。如果您不知道怎样欣赏这些类别的音乐,可用图书馆的百科全书Britannica Library Adults键入相关音乐类别的英文单词获得背景知识。

 

古典音乐的爱好者可从Classical Music Library数据库中找到您的最爱。该数据库拥有从格利高里的圣歌Gregorian Chants到近代的九万多个曲目。Naxos Music Library数据库云集了在线串流式古典音乐。流行音乐的粉丝们也不会失望。Popular Music Library数据库让您“畅游”在流行音乐的殿堂。如果您对世界各地的音乐都感兴趣,Contemporary World Music数据库是不错的选择。该数据库拥有超过二十万的曲目。您能在其中找到雷鬼reggae, 世界的节拍worldbeat, 柴迪科zydeco雅乐gagaku等不太熟悉的音乐类别。当然,其中也有中国的二胡、古典民乐等音乐曲目。同样,Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries数据库的收藏也是包罗万象。其中不仅包含世界各地的音乐曲目,还拥有各种动物和自然界各种声音的录音。Music Online: Listening Plus包含上述多种数据库,集结了各种音乐专辑、曲目于一体

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另外,您如果喜欢听音乐会,看歌剧和芭蕾舞剧,Naxos Video Library数据库能提供超过2560个完整剧目。Naxos JazzJazz Music Library两个数据库提供9000多个爵士乐专辑和最完整的在线串流式爵士乐。

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发掘音乐潜能的资源:

图书馆的音乐资源也能用于开发个人的音乐潜能,音乐专业学习和教学。Busy Things是一款适合于三到十三岁孩子的寓教于乐的软件。其获得了 英国教育培训和技术展大奖BETT (British Educational Training and Technology Show) award。该软件中的音乐学习素材可训练孩子们在游戏中辨认乐器、发展对音乐的节奏感、认识音阶和懂得五线谱。在此基础上,Fine Arts and Music Collection, Bloomsbury Popular Music, Oxford Music Online, Rock’s Backpages 等数据库收集了大量有关音乐研究、学习和教学的材料。为学习音乐提供了丰富的素材。Naxos Sheet Music提供四千五百多个音乐作品的乐谱供下载打印。有小孩学习乐器的家长可充分利用这些材料来发展孩子的音乐潜能。

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以上音乐数据库只提供在图书馆注册申请了借书证的顾客使用权。如果您希望使用这些数据库,请按要求申请借书证。当您点击该文章中的链接时,系统会让您输入借书证号(card number)和密码(password/pin)以便进入特定网页。希望图书馆的音乐资源能帮助丰富您和您家人的生活,发展兴趣爱好,修身养性,发掘您的音乐潜能。

Hong Wang, Network Library Assistant

Library sounds – a mid-year review

I’ve been exploring the CD collection available through Christchurch City Libraries this year and I’ve found some absolute gems!

There’s a mix of styles and eras in this list and quite a representation of New Zealand music – and it just so happens to be New Zealand Music Month.

So sit back and get some sonic stimulation from some quality musicians from around the world of music…

2018 – The Best of Music

List created by DevilStateDan

Music highlights for the year. Some are brand new, some are decades old but new to me, all are great!

Versatile – Van Morrison doing jazz interpretations backed by a very slick big band. It’s really well produced and if you’re new to the American jazz standards then this is a great way in!

Utterance – I love this album! It’s a collaborative effort between three on NZ’s finest musicians; David Long (banjo w/effects), Natalia Mann (harp), and Richard Nunns (taonga puoro). These flavours blend beautifully to create haunting soundscapes that are textural and dynamic – truly beautiful sounds from Aotearoa!

The Jazz Messengers – The first album from the group that went on to be the band that every jazz player wanted to be in. They’ve had some huge names in jazz through their ranks over the years and this is a great way to start their 40+ album recording career!

The Kitchen Table Sessions – Beaut, home-cooked alt-country from NZ’s favourite adopted daughter, Tami Neilson. Great country grooves and a lady with a voice of gold – what’s not to love!?

Preservation – Some more beautiful, lyrical, melodic songwriting from NZ’s Nadia Reid.

Second Nature – This is just how I like the Blues; stripped back, acoustic, you can just imagine it on the porch on a hot summer day… This father and son team recorded this album in single takes with no overdubs whilst they were touring Finland in 1991, and it’s a timeless and solid an blues album as you’ll find.

Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band – Charlie Watts (drummer for the Rolling Stones) gives it his jazz side on this album, featuring the big band of Danish radio. Some great jazz music here particularly the ‘Elvin Suite’ numbers. After that you get the obligatory big band arrangements of some Stones songs, beautifully arranged and executed but nothing terribly exciting musically.

Dog – Stripped back acoustic blues doesn’t get much better than this album of what I like to call “porch music” from Charlie Parr. Solid songwriting and a very real connection with the blues makes this a great addition to the genre.

Don’t Let Them Lock You up – New Zealand music is in good shape these days and I really like the creativity and superb musicianship that is on display on this album. They usually perform as a duo but the recording process has allowed them to expand on their ideas and grooves, implement new harmonies and percussion lines, and get really solid and funky! Great album!

Black Notes From the Deep – A great jazz album from the British multi-instrumentalist jazz legend Courtney Pine. Brilliant small ensemble playing and solid musicianship on display. I really liked the instrumentals – not so much the vocal numbers – but that’s just my preference. It’s good compositions played really nicely without arrogance or naff-ness. Jazz fans should have a listen.

View full list

Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival 2018

Frosty mornings, the threat of snow, and midwinter blues might be a couple of months away yet, but Christchurch is about to be hit by a different type of blues when the Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival comes to town later this week (May 23-27).

Returning to the city for its twenty-third year, this festival is a treat for lovers of jazz and blues, and offers a range of experiences showcasing local and international talent, and up-and-coming stars to watch out for in the future. Here are a couple that really stand out to me.

Kurt Elling, Grammy Award-winner and 8-times winner of the Jazz Journalists Association’s ‘Male Singer of the Year’ title, is headlining the festival, playing with the Kurt Elling Quintet at the Piano on Saturday, May 26. His is a voice that is an absolute pleasure to listen to, and with the backing of a live quintet, this is sure to be a magical evening.

Listen to Kurt Elling’s music in our collection (includes streaming music as well as CDs)

Whenever I think of jazz and blues, Billie Holiday is one of the first names I think of. Although we won’t be graced by the great singer herself, we will be able to experience the power of her repertoire when Mary Coughlan sings Billie Holiday in two concerts at The Piano on Wednesday 23 May. This show was first performed in Christchurch at the Jazz & Blues Festival fifteen years ago, and I’m hoping I get to it this time around – I was trying to decide whether to go see it back then, and didn’t, and have been kicking myself ever since.

Listen to Mary Coughlan’s music in our collection. 
Listen to Billie Holiday’s music in our collection (includes streaming music as well as CDs)

Having played clarinet when I was younger, I have always enjoyed hearing what Kiwi Nathan Haines has been up to in the music world, and am excited to see him here in Christchurch with Jonathan Crayford. With violin accompaniment, this duo will be reinterpreting the works of well-known classical composers to fit the jazz and blues style of the festival. Both Haines and Crayford have won the Best Jazz Album of the Year award here in New Zealand, and with this amount of skill on the stage I am really excited to see what they create.

Listen to music by Nathan Haines in our collection.
Listen to music by Jonathan Crayford in our collection. 

Of course, all the big names need to start somewhere, and the Jazz & Blues Festival supports these young up-and-comers and Christchurch locals. Georgie Clifford and Alice Tanner are two such ‘noteable young women’, and Christchurch local Kate Taylor, front-woman of the All-Girl Big Band, is also one to watch. On the festival’s last day, five Christchurch high schools will show off their jazz skills in the Festival High School Jazz Band Concert at Christchurch Boys High School on Sunday 27 May.

For something a little different, join chef Richard Till and local band The Eastern for an evening of Southern Fried Chicken and music at the Lyttelton Arts Factory on Friday 25 May and Saturday 26 May.

As you see, with so many different artists on the programme, there really will be something for everyone. I recommend getting your tickets now so that you don’t miss out on this wonderful musical experience. And, once the festival’s over, check out our jazz and blues resources to stay in the swing of things.

Jazz and blues in our collection

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Jazz and blues eResources

Naxos Music Library Jazz streams over 9000 jazz albums, from jazz legends to contemporary jazz. It covers a wide range of jazz music with recordings from over 32,000 artists. Labels include Blue Note, Warner Jazz, EMI, Enja, Fantasy and more. New albums are added weekly.

Jazz Music Library includes material from Concord Records, including New Zealand pianist Alan Broadbent, major jazz figures such as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and more. There are also recent jazz figures such as Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, and even Michael Bolton singing Sinatra standards! The collection includes works licensed from legendary record labels, including Audiophile, Blue Note, Concord Jazz, Jazzology, Milestone, Nessa Records, Original Jazz Classics, Pablo, and Prestige. Also included are Marian McPartland’s Peabody Award winning Piano Jazz Radio Broadcasts and never before released performances from the Monterey Jazz Festival and great jazz venues. Jazz Music Library is part of Music Online: Listening Plus.

American Song provides online access to over 100,000 tracks from  every genre and music period of American history.

I hear dead people – Rock’s Back Pages

No, I am not a psychic, I have been listening to dead musicians. Big deal you say, you can hear dead musicians all the time by turning on the radio or just listening to some of the music on Spotify. What I have been listening to is audio interviews of musicians on Rock’s Back Pages, (there are also audio interviews with musicians who are still alive, if listening to people beyond the grave is not your thing).

Here’s my list of audio interviews from Rock’s Backpages (all deceased)

Rock’s Back Pages has a huge variety of articles from heaps of different music publications like New Musical Express (NME), Real Groove and Rolling Stone. You will find artists (both dead and alive) like Ella Fitzgerald, Lorde, Joy Division and the White Stripes and so much more. Check out this fantastic eResource – it’s like going through a record collection in a second hand store, you never know what you will find.

Bloomsbury Popular Music

We are proud to present our newest eResource Bloomsbury Popular Music. This eResource has a huge amount of information on music from 1900 to present. It includes all eleven volumes of Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Popular Music of the World, over 120 titles of the widely acclaimed 33 1/3 series, and an expanding collection of scholarly titles.

Use it to:

  • Explore the historical origins and cultural impact of popular music from almost every country in the world;
  • Discover more about influential artists and albums, and local music scenes and subcultures;
  • Learn about everything from musical form and instruments to the workings of the music industry;
  • Research the social, political and economic context of different musical genres.

Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Popular Music

The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music of the World, over 20 years in the making, is a landmark reference work in its field. Each volume, authored by top contributors from around the world, includes discussions on cultural, historical and geographic origins; technical musical characteristics; instrumentation and use of voice; lyrics and language; typical features of performance and presentation; historical development and paths and modes of dissemination; influence of technology, the music industry and political and economic circumstances; changing stylistic features; notable and influential performers; and relationships to other genres and sub-genres.

33 1/3 Series

33 1/3 is a series of short books about popular music, focusing on individual albums by artists ranging from James Brown to Celine Dion and from J Dilla to Neutral Milk Hotel. Each album covered in the series occupies a specific place in music history, so each book-length treatment takes an individualized approach. 33 1/3 is widely acclaimed by fans, musicians, and scholars alike.

 

Scholarly books on Popular Music Studies

The Bloomsbury Popular Music Studies list consists of an expanding range of scholarly books ranging from edited volumes to biographies to historical overviews, and that span genres, including rock, pop, hip hop, and punk. Titles include and David Boucher’s Dylan and Cohen, James Braxton Peterson’s Hip Hop Headphones and Kevin Dunn’s Global Punk.

The Killers bring Vegas to Christchurch

On Tuesday night at a sold out Horncastle Arena, the Killers took the stage in the most spectacular, Vegas-style fashion. They started off with their first single Mr Brightside (cue several audience members paying up on their bet that this would be the last number), the audience got to their feet, and remained there for the rest of the night. Immediately after, the arena went dark, a fantastic show of lights began, and the band launched into a fantastic repertoire of old favourites’ like ‘Human’, and ‘Read My Mind’, along with some great new songs such as ‘The Man’ and ‘Run For Cover’.

Brandon Flowers owned the stage, firstly in a fabulous pink jacket, then in the most glittering of gold suits that Elvis himself would have envied. If you were worried you wouldn’t be able to hear the show over the loud suits – never fear. Brandon Flowers voice was as powerful and on form as ever.

He was also backed up with a great band including 2 guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and 3 backing vocals. To be very technical about it, the noise was loud, and the Killers sounded bigger and better than ever. There were some great touches of flamboyancy too with giant confetti and streamers pouring from the ceiling at a couple of opportune moments. The band seemed to be stoked to be there, and Brandon Flowers smiled, pranced, and made love to us all. He said it had taken fourteen years for the band to get to Christchurch but assured us  it wouldn’t take that long again. The entire audience will no doubt hold him to that.

The programme was truly packed, and pauses for applause were very small, almost as though the band were worried we wouldn’t applaud. There was a nice hat tip to Kiwi music, with a rendition of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and the band went out with a true bang, on ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’.

Not all of the Killers were there as guitarist Dave Keuning has left touring to spend more time with his family, and bassist Mark Stoermer has likewise paused touring to take up study (as my brother in law observed, this is ‘in true rock star fashion’). How unusual is it to hear of rock stars halting their careers not for rehab reasons but rather for study and their bubs? This is just another reason to love this band. Brandon Flowers in particular just comes across as a heck of a nice guy, thrilled to bits that you’re having a good time.

If you’re gutted you missed the concert, well, this blog probably hasn’t helped. Happily though, the library does have plenty of Killers albums you can borrow, and like Brandon Flowers said, it won’t take fourteen years for the group to come back. Judging by the love for Brandon Flowers bursting from fans on Tuesday night, the group are no doubt aware that Christchurch has already started the countdown.

Auē! Me tangi noa ahau ki muri nei

My grandfather’s brother never came back from World War One. He’s buried in Armentières, France. My grandmother’s brother lost his leg, so the family farm in Southland had to be sold – he couldn’t take up his inheritance. My great aunt’s fiancé returned a shell-shocked alcoholic – PTSD, they’d call it these days. They parted and she never married.

In the retellings of the larger stories of war it is often these vignettes of personal loss, the consequences felt by loved ones, that speak quietly but with a universal relatability.

I found myself thinking of those members of my family, and the war that changed their lives, when listening to the beautiful lament E Pari Rā.

Written by Paraire Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Te Whatu-i-āpiti leader) for his relative, kuia Maku-i-te-Rangi Ellison, E Pari Rā gives a lasting voice to her pain and grief over the loss of her son Whakatomo Ellison, who died in the battle of the Somme. Its beautiful metaphor for grief as the surging tide is both deeply personal, and universal.

E pari rā

E pari rā e ngā tai ki te ākau. / The tides surge onto the seashore
E hotu rā ko taku manawa. / with each throb of my heart.
Auē! Me tangi noa / Alas! Weeping without restraint
Ahau i muri nei / for I am left behind, 
Te iwi e he ngākau tangi noa. / everyone is utterly heart-broken.

Tēnā rā! Tahuri mai! / So please come back, return
E te tau! te aroha. / my beloved, my love
Tēnei rā ahau te tangi nei. / I weep here
Mōhou kua wehea nei. / for you now far away
Haere rā! mahara mai. / Farewell! And remember, 
E te tau! kia mau ki au. / Beloved! Be true to me
Haere rā! ka tūturu ahau. / Farewell! I will be true to you
Haere Rā! / Farewell!

Haere rā e tama / Farewell young man
Haere rā. / Farewell.
Haria rā te aroha i ahau / Take my love with you
Auē! Me tangi noa / Alas! Tears fall
Ahau ki muri nei / as I am left behind here
Te iwi e he ngākau tangi noa. / the hearts of your people weep openly

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