May is the Month for Music Madness

I made a pact with my husband this year.  We would go to as many live gigs as we could get to and afford, and so far this year has been very rewarding. NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries

With New Zealand Music month upon us, there are a wealth of local and wider New Zealand based acts to catch up with at your local library in addition to the usual offerings around town, and no matter what your tastes, you will find some great music to listen to.

With a range of venues in the city, and lots of musicians keen to entertain, there’s something on every day of the week. We have become the unofficial stalkers of a few local acts we love, such as Vintage Blue, a mellow polished duo that perform anything from jazz and old standards to the latest pop hit, with great arrangements.

We’ve seen The Johnny’s twice this year. They are a Nelson based, all  girl, Johnny Cash tribute band that really rocks, with a show that leaves you exhilarated. Runaround Sue is a local band, with the famous music legend Al Parks on guitar. Their high energy mix of originals and covers is well worth looking out for. Tami Neilson is an award winning musical force. She has the most amazing voice and channels such country greats as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. But her own songs are the real standouts, ranging from honky tonk to blues and country through  a 50’s rockabilly filter. Her latest album, Dynamite, is yet to grace the library shelves, but keep an eye out, it’s truly awesome.

Devilish Mary and the Holy Rollers are another local combo we’ve fallen in love with. I love their passion and energy. The local live music scene is certainly alive and well and many of the suburbs are seeing a resurgence in bars and other music venues to offer people a great night out in our ever transforming city. Addington has The Pedal Pusher and the Cargo Bar along with The Dux Live, and  there is The Miller Bar and the addition recently of Sullivans, who have decamped from their pre-quake Manchester street site. Riccarton’s  Trevinos and Fox and Ferret are popular haunts, as is the Fox and Ferret at The Palms. Revival Bar and Tequilla Mockingbird on Victoria Street, The Darkroom on St Asaph Street, Barretta on St Asaph Street and The Monday Room on Moorhouse Avenue and the new and flash Carlton on the Carlton Corner are a few that are close to the CBD and offering anything from quiet duos to rock and roll and trip hop dance music. The Bog Bar has reopened on Victoria street recently too. The Eastern

Lyttelton’s iconic Wunderbar is a funky wee venue and The Lyttelton Yacht Club has proved to be a wonderful location for Al Park’s talented finds, after his iconic bar bit the dust. Great Christchurch musicians such as The Eastern and Lindon Puffin, who will be both performing at Linwood Library at Eastgate during May Music Month, have been known to perform in the seaside town.

Find out more about Christchurch music venues online. So head to your local, or go to another suburb and check out the offerings.

Make sure you check out the live music at a library near you as well in May.

If you have a local haunt or great band you love to listen to, do share!

A Puffin in the library

Lindon Puffin is one of those names that’s hard to forget.  It has a great ring to it and it’s totally unique, much like the man himself.  Lindon Puffin, for those who haven’t heard of him, is a local lad who calls Lyttelton home.  He’s been part of the Christchurch music scene for years, starting off in the glam rock band The Puffins, before starting a solo career and releasing Stuff Like That in 2003.  His music is described as  ‘a blend of heartfelt acoustic, country, rock and folk music,’ and his performances are always entertaining.

If you want to catch Lindon Puffin you can see him this Wednesday (12 May) with performances in Central Library at 12:30pm and the Christchurch Art Gallery from 7-8pm.   You can find out more about Lindon by reading his profile on the library website which also has links to his website and MySpace page.

The Original Branch Manual

Catalyst 7: The Original Branch Manual offers 7 poets, 7 artists and 7 musicians in a neatly packaged DVD case with CD and booklet. Providing an answer to my earlier query about the relationship between the different groups of poets that seem to have gravitated towards the peninsula, it turns out that Catalyst’s featured 7 are a diverse group, spanning a range from current university student Rachel Douglass to follicle-minding Irish stand-up Sean Joyce and including Bernadette Hall, a poet who is also represented in Land Very Fertile.

The 7 musicians are present not only on the CD, as musical collaboration for spoken word, but also in the booklet, their lyrics in print alongside the non-sung poems, really foregrounding Catalyst’s editorial drive to include not only poetry but also song lyrics, theatrical texts and experimental writings of other types.

The launch event at Al’s Bar included readings by 4 poets and live music from Lindon Puffin and Le Mot Cafe. Jody Lloyd, whose recording label, “She’ll Be Right Records,” produced the CD, was also present and probably performed after I left – a pity to miss his incredible brand of wordsmithery.

Tonight Catalyst is running a mini Poetry Idol competition in the upstairs bar at the Dux de Lux … your last chance for a dose of local poetry before the end of the festival. Catalyst runs a monthly open mic night, however (which has been running on and off for several years), so it isn’t your last chance ever…

No one trick pony – Lindon Puffin

PuffinI recently had an interesting and very entertaining night out watching local performer Lindon Puffin. It was a refreshing mix of folk music and stand-up comedy. He is one talented Puffin! (Actually one of two talented Puffins. As it turns out he has a brother who is big in the dance world). He was touring to promote his latest offering Show Pony.

The album is produced in a studio with a band so has a bigger sound than seeing Lindon perform solo but not by much. It is not every day you get to see someone play drums, guitar and harmonica simultaneously. Continue reading