Category Archives: music

DocEdge 17 | Tokyo Idols

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Canada / United Kingdom | 2017 | 89 min | Japanese / English Sub | Kyoko Miyake

Tokyo Idols focuses on idol culture in Japan and is more of an overview, rather than an in-depth look at what is a facinating subject.

We are introduced to young aspiring idols (some very young), and the journey that they inevitably will take on their road to success – or not. With so many eager would-be idols striving for the top spot, the competition is fierce and truly popularity based. A dominating factor of this popularity contest is based on a superficial image constructed by and for the individual. Innocence, youth, vitality, and cuteness are all key qualitites.

The fandom (and potential to profit from ‘super-fans’) is what seemingly drives this industry; However, once you start looking closer at this, questions start arising. Why are these sometimes significantly older men so emotionally invested in these young girls? Is it obsession? How healthy or unhealthy is this obsession?

With a constructed image of innocence and youth catering so blatantly to the personal desires of these fans, one has to consider some realities, such as safety of the idols (and perhaps a few other things).

This is cleverly illustrated with the characters we are introduced to; specifically Rio Hiiragi, or ‘RioRio’, to her fans. She is paving her way to hopeful success by doing her own promotional work, and utilises her small fan-base for support; you can truly see her earnest determination to succeed.

If you have little to zero knowledge of the subject, I would  highly recommend this as a introduction or taster if you will; It provides a fantastic overview as well as an objective take on Idol culture.

Absolutely recommend.

 

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

been | Lost in Paradise tour

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Roots superstars, Common Kings returned to New Zealand as part of their Lost in Paradise South Pacific tour.  They were greeted by a packed-out, raucous crowd at the culmination of the New Zealand leg at Auckland’s Powerstation last night.

The crowd, after being amped up by Mikey Mayz, were full of energy to welcome the Common Kings on stage.  They began their set with a drum and guitar set and played all of their classics as well as tracks from their latest album, Lost in Paradise.

Their mix of uptempo rock beats, feel-good vibes and emotional riffs had every member of the audience jumping, head-bobbing and swaying.  It was a great night for all hip-hop, urban and reggae fans a-like.  Whilst performing their own catalogue, they also played a few classic hip hop tracks, with their own unique twist.

All fans were certainly Lost in Paradise last night.

Check out our photographs from the night.  All photos were taken on a #HuaweiP10NZ.

been | Milky Chance

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Folk off- it’s not folk music, if there was no tambourine in sight!

Germany has certainly come a long way since David Hasselhoff and Rammstein.  Its latest ‘folky’ export comes in the form of Milky Chance, a nu-folk electronica act whose infectious toe-tapping songs charmed a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Powerstation.  

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Their set, paired with the resonating bass and colourful lights left us feeling like we’d entered Milky Chance’s psychedelic brain. Each song was sung with perfection, every beat was tapped by feet, and several harmonica solos reminded the crowd, that folk music can be cool and a tambourine is not required!

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Milky Chance certainly have a cult-following of loyal fans here in NZ, and it showed with most of the sold-out crowd singing along to every song.  With a solid 90 minute performance, they performed tracks from all three of their albums, including Flashed Junked Mind, Cocoon and their biggest hit, Stolen Dance.  These tracks have been playlisted on several NZ radio stations and have racked up over 400 million plays on Spotify!

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If you ever get the chance to see them live, I’d fully recommend it.  Check out our photographs from the gig, taken on a HuaweiP10NZ.

humans of mac+mae: MC Bliss

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Something that is very special to me is the craft of hip-hop music.  For me, it’s a creative outlet and a form of expression that I have found, nothing else is like.  I can get ideas and concepts out in a creative way.  In a lot of ways, it’s like self-therapy.

When I have something that’s on my mind that I really want to express it; to be able to do that and tell a story but also combine it with a sonic landscape that evokes emotions of what I’m trying to tell is amazing.

The best feeling on earth is when you first create a song and you hear it back for the first time and it gives you those shivers, those goosebumps or tears, or whatever it is and you know you’ve plucked a chord, you’ve plucked a heartstring.  So hip-hop music, Love ya.

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid - available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid – available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

MC Bliss is one third of Australian hip hop trio, Bliss n Eso.  Since meeting in high school, MCs Bliss and Eso plus DJ Izm have broken records, won ARIA and APRA awards, staged spectacular live shows, and toured internationally.  

This Friday, they release their hugely anticipated sixth album, Off The Grid about overcoming personal struggles and establishing new beginnings – Pre order the album.  They’ve also just announced 4-city NZ Tour – buy tickets.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “Humans of mac+mae”.

heard | Thomas Oliver – new album + tour!

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Our favourite Wellingtonian, singer-songwriter, Thomas Oliver, releases his debut album this Friday.  

Titled, Floating in the Darkness, the album includes his Silver-Scroll award-winning hit “If I Move to Mars” as well as his single, “Shine like the Sun”.

Thomas will be on the road next month where he’ll be joined by a full band (including Sam Notman, Ed Zuccollo, Johnny Lawrence, Bella Trotter) before finishing off with a string of solo shows.

WITH BAND

Fri 5 May – Auckland, Tuning Fork

Sat 6 May – Leigh, Sawmill

Fri 12 May – Christchurch, Blue Smoke

Sat 13 May – Wellington, San Fran

SOLO

Wed 24 May – Takaka, Mussel Inn

Fri 26 May – Queenstown, Sherwood

Sat 27 May – Invercargill, Repertory House

Sun 28 May – Dunedin, Pequeno Lounge Bar

Buy tickets herePre-order the album here

**We featured Thomas as part of our humans of mac+mae series – read his story.

heard | Laneway Festival New Zealand 2017 Line-up

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Laneway Festival Lineup announcements are always great not only because of the lineup itself, but it’s a reminder that summer is just around the corner and heavy layers and brollies won’t be needed for much longer.

Laneway never fail to impress with their lineup and the first announcement surely will have something for everyone. Given the venue change for next year’s festivities (moved from Silo Park to Albert Park), it will be interesting to see how the organisers will make Albert Park their new home. Considering it is in a much more central location, almost a stone’s throw from where they have held it previously that one year at Aotea Square, it’s already sounding like a great venue. And there’s much more shade cover there, #winning so far.

The lineup in alphabetical order: AURORA, Bob Moses, Car Seat Headrest, Clams Casino, Cut Off Your Hands, DMA’S, Fazerdaze, Flight Facilities, Floating Points (Live), Fortunes, Glass Animals, Julia Jacklin, k2k, Mick Jenkins, Mr. Carmack, NAO, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Nikolai, Purple Pilgrims, Refused, Tame Impala, The Chills, The Julie Ruin, The Veils, Tourist, Tycho, White Lung, Whitney, Yukon Era.

Ticket sale deets:
Festival Members Pre-Sale: Monday 19th September, 9am – 5pm
General On Sale: Wednesday 21st September, 9am via lanewayfestival.co.nz

Jams from our favs and who we think you should be checking out on the day:

Clams Casino

Flight Facilities

Glass Animals

NAO

Tame Impala

Tourist

Tycho

Been | The Miltones – Golden Dawn

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If you’re into Americana, early Seventies rock or the blues, then Auckland band The Miltones are an act you don’t want to miss. Playing at Golden Dawn last Friday, the five-piece group did not disappoint. Known for their unique sound, solid lyrics and infectious energy, The Miltones are a band that clearly love what they do and have a real passion for the art. This makes for some great listenin’!

The show opened with Firing Way, a catchy song which set the tone for the rest of the night. Upcoming hit Pursed Lips was a highlight, but the centrepiece of the night would have to be the foot-stomping country-blues tune Bleeding Blues. This is the sort of song that can get even the most dance-opposed person out on the floor, and in Golden Dawn’s smoky interior it almost felt like you could be in some dusty Southern USA joint. The gig finished with one of the band’s early songs, Gypsy Queen. An epic and emotionally strung-out piece, it was the perfect way to end the set.

The band work seamlessly together, led by vocalist and guitarist Milly Tabak, whose raw voice you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Lead guitarist Liam Pratt keeps the energy coming with banging solo after solo, while keyboardist and trumpeter Guy Harrison adds a touch of jazz to the music. Bassist Chris Marshall and drummer Tom Broome are solid, keeping the rhythm alive. While their sound is definitely original, fans of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young would dig these guys for sure.

In sum: if you’re looking for a down-to-earth Kiwi band with a whole lotta soul, then The Miltones are it. Check them out.

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