Tag Archives: Auckland

Simon & Garfunkel: Auckland bridges troubled sound system

A show to remember, indeed.   And when the sound goes down, the Auckland audience spontaneously breaks into song to fill the silence. 

This vid gives a wee clue to what it was like to be there, and from all accounts, a memorable gig from legendary masters of their art, Simon & Garfunkel

If it wasn’t for the tone deafness of the man singing his brave wee heart out in extreme proximity to the camera, this video would’ve sprung me some tears.  Apparently the sound of silence (oh yes, I went there) was more pronounced at the back, making the united audience participation all the more moving.


Fush-n-Chups: Tongue-n-Cheek

Tis only a blog, people.  Relax.  If I had a dollar for every time I made a stupid, stinky joke about beautiful, unique, sulphurous Rotorua, I’d have like $49 or thereabouts.

An Australian couple has upset Kiwis with an online expat guide which warns that Auckland is a “horrible soulless city” and its inhabitants are “hobbits” who cannot dress properly.

The anonymous duo have used their website, fushnchups.co.nz, to attack their new home across the Tasman, rubbishing everything from the country’s beer to its major cities and lack of worldliness.

The couple also trashed Rotorua, a popular tourist destination famed for it sulfuric activity, saying it “absolutely stinks”.

“It smells like the whole town let rip at once,” they say on the site, set up as a guide for Australians contemplating making a move over the ditch.

“Can blokes (in Rotorua) get away with letting out a silent-but-deadly in bed next to the missus?” they ask.

Admit it.  That silent-but-deadly joke about Rotos has made you snigger since 1984.  Hardly an “attack” on our nation.  Who are these upset Kiwis that the media raves about, and where is their sense of humour slash ability to ignore trivial stuff they don’t like?

To the bloggers at Fush-n-Chups: kia ora and welcome to New Zealand, but how very dare you mention what we all know anyway.  You radicals.  Who do you think you are … foreigners with an opinion about your travels, prepared to share and blog in a semi-humorous manner?  Well, far be it from us Kiwis to greet you with anything other than contempt and label you “pathetically rude”.   Apparently, according to our media, and the 14 or so freaks who bothered to leave you minor hate mail in your comments section, we don’t agree with you.  Oh no, it seems we don’t like the cut of your jib.

I wanna know who you’ve shagged over in the tight-knit fuckcluster that is NZ mainstream media, cos you managed to upset them in only 11 posts.  Jeesh, you’d have thought it was a slow news day or somet.  Well, ka pai, I say.  Hope the traffic passed your way gets you mucho sponsorship and revenue. 

In no way have you upset or angered me, quite the contrary.  Your blog made me smile and semi-chortle whilst waving at hobbits.  I get you, so a very haere mai to you, we should share fush-n-chups one day (read: you buy).

These reactions make out like we live in a big bubble; refusing to acknowledge, or heaven forbid, laugh at our unique smallness.  Well, we don’t. Tis a bubble free zone. We all know Rotorua smells farty to the uninitiated, and that most folk driving on our motorways drive like asses.  And those of us who make it to other parts of the world understand only too well how our beer does taste slightly less beery than others.  Who cares?!  Take a joke N to the Z, welcome the Australians who seek to live here, either that or ignore their blog posts. 

As for Auckland tourism CEO, Graeme Osbourne, is he threatening our new Aussie immigrants?

“Maybe they’re just envious that Auckland recently rated ahead of every Australian city as a tourist destination,” Osborne said.

“They should get in touch with me personally and I guarantee I’ll change their impression.”

I wonder what revelationary Auckland tourist destination he guarantees will impress.  Anyone else think it’s about time Auckland had a thriving tourism industry beyond the Sky Tower, some penguins and a fabulous museum?  There isn’t even a hot hangi restaurant or Maori cultural event in this city to recommend to visitors.  Don’t get me started on the appallingly poor signage and lack of day pass public transportation options.

I may not agree with Fush-n-Chups on all points (aloha, we are the short trousered wearing cousins?!?!) but I don’t think the blog warrants a media onslaught with Kiwi ‘outrage’ based on the rants of a few.  Tis only a blog, people.  Tongue in cheek. Tis only a blog.

Kraftwerk: Godfathers of Techno

I went to see Kraftwerk this week at A-land’s beautiful Town Hall.  Not being a major fan of the group from Dusseldorf, known as the pioneers of electronic music – as in, I don’t recall anything specific that they ever released – my expectations were medium to low, but my mind and ears were open.  (FYI – the ears bit is tres important when gig-going, thank me later.)

Like any right minded soul does these days, I asked Uncy Google for some pre-gig lovin’ – I wanted to make sure I could drop a few totally irrelevant, but completely correct facts about the funkmeisters to my musically-trendii companions, but instead, I came across this amusing clip. 

British comedian Bill Bailey created a tribute band, Augenblick, who rather amusingly performs ‘Das Hokey Kokey’.

It’s always interesting to read the reviews from our mainstream news folk after attending the actual gig, especially when they are distinctly mixed.  Who to believe?  Stuff didn’t really care for it, considering the break to be the highlight.  NZ Herald says it was “all killer, no filler”.  Lucky I was there for myself, or it would all be so tricky.

Here is mostly what went through Lita’s head before, during and after the Kraftwerk gig on Wednesday:

  • If My Ride mentions “German efficiency” or “timely precision” and checks his watch one more time, I’m gonna demand I be dropped off here.
  • Jeez, Aotea Square looks weird without those dated sculptures and fountains.  And what have they done with all the homeless? 
  • What a varied bunch of gig-goers; punks, geeks, goths, rockers, suits, grandpas, teenagers, robots, Germans, librarians, moustaches, nzlebs (some model from some reality show), bike riders, grandmas, strange-hat-lovers.
  • Much debate amongst companions about the age of attendees and whether the gig was purposefully held during daylight hours (due to start promptly at 8pm – German precision failed on this occasion, and it kicked off nearly 30 minutes later) to allow us old folk an early night.
  • How entirely quaint is the olde worlde bell hung and rung from the top level of the foyer by the enthusiastic events staffer?  I correctly guessed she grew up on a farm. Outside Hamilton.  High five Lita.
  • Seriously cool and cheery crowd, with an average age of 43*.
  • Ok, hang on a sec, give me a sheet, a few reading lamps and time to create a cool PowerPoint presentation, I’m almost there.  I could play a Kraftwerk CD in the background, con 3 friends into standing equal distances apart from me, and I swear, you wouldn’t know the diff.
  • Oh, they aren’t going to just show shadows behind a sheet for the whole night, phew. I may try and stop rolling eyes at My Ride over the $90 ticket charge. Nein.
  • The crowd is lapping these guys up. Ja.
  • Kraftwerk are obsessed with moving vehicles, computers and machinery.  Totally obsessed.  Like, should-see-a-psychiatrist obsessed. Ja.
  • Oo, the one on the left just moved. I swear, I just saw him move, his leg kinda flicked out for 1/53258th of a second.  High action, my neck is sore from trying to peer over tall old people to watch four men attempt to not move.
  • Is that Michael Laws 2nd from the right?  WTF is the Mayor of Wanganui doing moonlighting in a German electronica band?  Not much.  Emailing?  Jeesh, now I can’t stop craning my poor neck to triple check that really is Laws.  It’s blimmin Michael Laws, I kid you not.


Continue reading

Spring’s sweet tunes

If you are looking for something to do on Saturday arvo, you could always check out the Spring Series, every Saturday from 2pm – 4pm at the Art Lounge on Lorne St Auckland, through till end of November.

Enjoy refreshments while listening to visual artists, poets, writers, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights and arts facilitators talk about and demonstrate their work. Emerging as well as established artists will be showcased. Free, gold coin koha requested for the artists. $4 all day parking vouchers for CBD.

This Saturday (18th Oct), the talented Sarah Marlowe is performing with Matthew Coburn (Driftwood Messenger) and plan to share their unique musical journeys.

I’ve been fortunate enough to hear the gorgeous Sarah Marlowe live from my office cubicle, she really has a beautiful, haunting voice.  Go along and check them out this weekend.

Click after the jump to see the rest of the Spring Series lineup for October and November. 

Continue reading

Aucklandista Anecdotal

I came across this fabulous and funny post on Aucklandista.  Totally sums up the big A-land.

Hello, Auckland. You seem nice, but you can take your bloody hand off my leg.

I have five questions. Riddle me these, and then we can all go home. Slowly.

one: how come, having spent ten bajillion dollars on a central city makeover, it still only looks like your designers had a spare eighty bucks and spent half an hour in Bunnings?

two: how come you hate pedestrians so much? Can’t cross the road without waiting for a long while, in a blitzkreig of rain, with nothing to cower under. If lucky, will skidd A-over-kite on one of those yellow things by the cross lights.

three: where are all your street signs?

four: what’s so nice about Parnell? It looks to me like Parnell is going out of its way not to have a personality.

five: a lot of animal statues. Are you primitive heathen spellcaster fetishists? That’s only incidentally sexy.

Auckland hasn’t answered yet – probably still choking over it’s double mocha choca latte.   Snap.

Outside In at The Secret Garden

Here’s something to do on le weekend.   

Outside In is a unique concept for a dance music event. The idea is to create an outdoor event atmosphere in a unique indoor venue during winter.

This years event is set to be exceptional with one of the finest venues in the country booked; The Secret Garden.  Nestled in the Auckland CBD, it’s a venue that truly lives up to the idiom ‘it must be seen to be believed’.  The Secret Garden is located at the corner of Wellesley and Nelson Streets.

This is a unique event that runs from 6pm till midnight- use it as a warm up for your night out or have a whole evening of music and be home in bed by 1am!

The Secret Garden is the best kept secret venue in Aucks.  Open fires, trees growing inside, tiles and tinkery, shiny stuff all over the place.  I absolutely love it, but beware the tree roots trip up hazard on the dance floor.

Up FM rock my socks.  I love listening to them on Sunday arvos, dancing about whilst cooking the roast.

Rain, much?

A couple of the rocket scientists at Lita’s office spent 18 hours without electricity over the past weekend.  Imagine, no telly?!  Who cares about hot water and kai, they had no friggin telly!  None, nada, nien, no way, zip zop on the televisuals. 

Another work colleague had to contend with falling trees as he navigated a dangerous drive home during the worst of the storm.   Only to get home to … no telly!  Ugh.  When good rain turns bad. 

The bus lane is quicker, but wetter.

All of these dramatic anecdotes and pictures make Lita’s story about the wonky fence falling down seem minor and tres trivial.

Word of the week: Weatherbomb

Keep warm and dry folks.  Ride the storm.  Make love, not puddles.  Or, make love in puddles.  Say no to weatherbombs.  Avoid ferries and boats.  Gumboots are the new black.  Black gumboots however, are tres LY, avoid.  The wet look is the new gumboot.  Kia kaha.