non-fiction rock from Aotearoa New Zealand

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Burl inside a Snails Curl

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She Shreds

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A line up of some of Wellington’s best bands featuring female-identifying guitarists, bass players and drummers, including Hex, Womb, Linen, Mr Sterile Assembly, and Oonaverse. With Mean Wahine DJs from Death Ray Records!

Wellington Museum/ DJs from 7:30PM, Bands 8:30 PM/ FRI 24 MAY / $10.00 / CASH BAR

Bios:
Brimming with frustration, imagery, and verve, New Zealand-based rock duo HEX (Kiki Van Newtown and Jason Erskine) deal in subversion: a discordant, electric experience under the umbrella of sonic twilight. Since 2015 HEX have toured throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the USA, opening for major acts including Dinosaur Jr and The Kills. HEX spent 2018 touring the U.S including official showcases at SXSW, and being covered by The Chicago Tribune and NPR, who said “HEX calls its sound “witch-rock,” and damned if it doesn’t sound like, well, witch-rock: dark and sinister, gritty and ethereal, muscular and feminine. The portentous epic “Sight Beyond the Line” storms and billows with ominous intensity, driven in part by the commanding presence of singer Kiki Van Newtown.” Their next LP ‘Big Woman’, due for release in late 2019.

Part punk, part noise, math rock, free-form squall, mr sterile Assembly are not easy to box, and are quite happy about that. Described as “A jolt of pure creative spirit married to social commentary, and damn good fun!” by NZ Musician, the punk duo have toured their socially conscious lyricism and organic odd time-signature mayhem across the globe. As Nick Bollinger says, “Catch them if you can. There’s nothing else like it.”

Armed with her trusty Axe and a Peavey Rage, Oonaverse (Bek Coogan) has made an art out of breaking down the barriers between performer and audience. Described recently at the Audio Foundation’s Nowhere Festival as “NZ’s first lady of rock’ n’ roll yodelling and a veteran of counter culture,” Coogan was the only member of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra to ever jump offstage and crowdsurf at a gig (much to the surprise of the seated audience). She supported Bonnie Prince Billy on a tour of Germany with the band Full Fucking Moon, and once wrestled a person-sized replica of the Palmerston North clock tower and won, riffing over it in a symbolic victory over concrete and patriarchal linear time. Is it art? Is it music? Will it hold together?

Made up of twins Charlotte and Haz Forrester and their sister Georgette Brown, Womb creates oceans of sound – from alt-folk soundscapes to the outer boundaries of dream-pop, where swirling synthesisers intersect with tenderly plucked guitars and otherworldly singing. With two albums under their belt, the trio is set to take on a ten-date tour of China in 2019.

One of Wellington’s buzziest new bands, Acid Rock trio Linen’s sound combines beefy grooves with fruity riffs, to create a long lasting mood. Guitarist Emerald, Bassist Kate and drummer Tom are always seeking the chance to create, establishing a body of work that feels authentic and personal. They were a standout act at the 2019 Newtown Festival.

Death Ray Records’ (RIP) mean Wahine Djs will start the night off at 7:30PM.

Lifted from Facebook link


Things come in threes!

Update: all $$ collected will go in solidarity to the affected Muslim communities of Christchurch after the recent white supremacist Attacks on two mosques.

Come along to Valhalla for the converging of threes.

An evening of gargantuan goodness

The three-headed beasty of Ghidoragh pounding out epic, frenetic tunes like spitballs of sound.

Unsanitary Napkin – a three-piece power house channelling a punk fury – like serenades for the spitting heads of Trump/Jones/Kavanagh – the Axis of Deceivable.

mr sterile Assembly – 1+1= 3 for this lot, sharpening claws for an impending international trip of weirdness with a bunch of tunes looking for a place to settle, best danced with three left feet.

Get it in your ears!

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The Rock side of the Moon

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Been a while since we had a show in Wellington, and gonna be nice to be back at Moon. It’s our first show back after the Tokyo/Seoul tour so should be crackling….

Will be nice to play with Pom Pom from Palmerston North, and Good Fuck from Wellington.


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HELLo Tokyo, HELLo Seoul [archive]

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Huge thanks to Stefanus Endry Pragusta for the image for the poster… Awesome!

Tour Diary

Part 1: Nakano Rock n Roll
Part 2: First we take Waseda, then we take Nishie-Fuku
Part 3: The Han Joo-Slingshot-Nosebleed Drumroll
Intermission: Walk! This! Way! – Run DMZ
Part 4: Hongdae Homerun


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So incredibly excited about the pending excursion into Tokyo and Seoul. Both will be new experiences for the sterile roadshow. Years ago when we returned home from our first central European tour we stopped off for a weekend and Ditzy Squall played couple of shows in Osaka and Kyoto, the sterile band at that time had found itself in a reorganizing phase. So super stoked that now its happening for real.

So firstly, MASSIVE thanks to Kaori, bass player for Goofy 18 [who we are playing with twice] from Tokyo, and Ian-John Hutchinson from Seoul for all the help and assistance in support us to make this adventure possible.

We met Ian-John when the South Korean experimental music collective Bulgasari recently toured New Zealand Aotearoa. We are looking forward to reconnecting with them on their home soil.

Tour Dates


September comes before October

Got a busy few months ahead with local travel before some international travel…

First the local.

First of the plate is a couple of shows in Auckland on Friday September 6 at the Audio Foundation. Playing with us will be OKSUN OX and an O/PUS [an iteration of Olympus]

And then the following night, the 7th, playing the album launch show for The Changing Same at UFO. Also playing with be The Fuzzies and a resurrected Eight-Living Legs.

A couple of weeks later there’s gonna be a secret show in Wellington…can’t say nothing…never


DSLB in the Pyramid

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Another opportunity to experience DSLB at the Pyramid Club in Wellington.

Performing with Pumice and Jason Khan from Switzerland.

 


DSLB outing at HackedePicciotto

This weekend a very rare event indeed with DSLB, the solo project of Chrissie Butler opening for the touring duo know as HackedePicciotto.

DSLB recently release the album TwohandsTwice and will be using that format of wind-powered keyboards, electric motored or manual, to set the scene for the evening.

The tour of HackedePicciotto has been organized by the Audio Foundation:

[from the AF website] “Audio Foundation is pleased to announce a nationwide tour for HackedePicciotto, stalwarts of Berlin’s legendary underground culture of the ’80s and ’90s and giants of multimedia art and industrial music.

Both artists are legends of their own making: Danielle de Picciotto moved to Berlin in 1987 where she became the lead singer of the band Space Cowboys, co-initiator of the Love Parade, and frequent collaborator with the Ocean Club alongside Gudrun Gut. Alexander Hacke is founding member and bass player of avant-legends, Einstürzende Neubauten. Over two decades, the duo has collaborated in countless international projects in addition to regularly releasing their own compositions.

In 2010, de Picciotto and Hacke made the decision to abandon their home, forging a nomadic path from one city to the next, eschewing all sense of fixity and stability along the way. The absence of a permanent place of return has since informed their work, which they produce relentlessly in search of“external & internal clarity, archaic principles and philosophies, and the means to master the rigours of the road.” The duo describes the cause for their restlessness as stemming from “gentrification, and the annihilation of individualism, as wells as the rising cost of living and the relentless sellout by the mainstream entertainment industry.” In response, “artists need to find new ways of working … in order to upkeep integrity and autonomy. The old patterns no longer function.”

After years of live performance, the intensity of Hacke-dePicciotto shows, along with the duo’s reputation for existential angst, proceeds their arrival. de Picciotto’s Hurdy Gurdy, autoharp and kemenche combined with Hacke’s virtuosic lines on bass, guitar and percussion, punctuated by melancholic, translucent harmonies and underpinned by low electronic rumbles. The soundscapes engendered by this collage bring forth a mesmerizing universe of sound and emotion, leaving audiences both shaken and overjoyed.”


The HELLo Show on show

Huge thanks to Roger Graumeijer, of RoxPx.com, for collecting great images and the following moving pictures from our recent swift South Island tour.


Haters and Wrecking on the Radio

The three recently recent album on our skirted Records were sent to Nick Bollinger of Radio NZ for potential review. And we were wonderfully surprised when this appeared. Thanks heaps for the positive clip.


From RadioNZ:

Nick Bollinger discusses the rhythms, rants and recent releases of Wellington-based independent musician Mr Sterile.

Mr Sterile Assembly

Here’s an act that has travelled as far and wide and played to audiences as diverse as any band from this country ever has – though that hardly means Mr Sterile is a household name.

Mr Sterile is the performing alias of Kieran Monaghan: drummer, vocalist, occasional bassist, guitarist, and – for these particular recordings – virtually everything else as well.

Monaghan has been performing under the Mr Sterile banner since around the turn of this century, often in collaboration with his partner Chrissie Butler.

The General Pathetic

The General Pathetic Photo: Skirted Records

There’s a high level of theatricality about what they do. Their stage costumes are like some mash-up between Bride Of Frankenstein and early Split Enz.  At times they incorporate other musicians as well. These larger aggregations are known as Mr Sterile Assembly. Otherwise it’s simply Mr Sterile, which is the case with two new releases, which are essentially Monaghan solo works – though that doesn’t mean they are not packed to the gunnels with sound.

The music might not conform to any old-school punk-rock rulebook, still there is a punk impulse behind it – perhaps politically even more than sonically. The lyrics are like wake-up calls; warnings of the various mechanisms and instruments of oppression that threaten our lives.

But there is a satirical as well as a sinister side to the Mr Sterile aesthetic, which you’ll find everywhere from the lyrics to the handmade packaging. Sacred cows and self-congratulation are prime targets. The first of these two recent releases is called The General Pathetic, with both its title and graphics parodying a well-known Kiwi rock classic.

Monaghan’s primary instrument is the drums and this music comes at you rhythm-first. Those rhythms can be layered and complex, as in the industrial waltz of ‘Cast Adrift’, or furious and combatant – try ‘Kraschenbanger’s Return’. At other times the effect is almost folky (‘Setting Fire To Bob’).

Haters Wreckers and Other Friends

Haters Wreckers and Other Friends Photo: Skirted Records

The General Pathetic was actually recorded about six years ago, though it has only just been mastered, and is the more lo-fi of the two new releases.

The other album – Haters, Wreckers and Other Friends – is a bit more sonically refined, though sheer ferociousness isn’t compromised. This is music with a lot of sharp edges that seems to combine the sonic force of Fugazi with the angular rhythms of Captain Beefheart. Chimes of gamelan deepen the textures. Tracks like ‘Would We Be Alive’ imply a spiky kind of funk.

A third new release, also from Mr Sterlie’s label Skirted Records, could be heard as the antidote to the other two. It certainly makes for a study in contrasts.

Two Hands Twice comes out under the name DSLB (that stands for Ditsy Squalls Lunch Box) the alias of Mr Sterile Assembly bassist Chrissie Butler, and consists simply of five instrumentals played on a wheezy old pump organ. These are minimal and meditative. Built around single note drones in no discernable tempo over which harmonies are very slowly added and subtracted, it is like music in slow motion. The song of a glacier, or an organic, handmade version of Eno’s ambient music.

Two Hands Twice

Two Hands Twice Photo: Skirted Records

After listening for a while my nervous system seemed to settle to where just the addition of a second note became a momentous event. But sometimes the organ is joined by unidentified rattles and bangs – it might be a washing machine in the next room – and something almost akin to a groove enlivens the drone.

With these three releases out in the world, Mr Sterile Assembly are heading back on the road soon, premiering some brand new material. In the past they have toured extensively through South East Asia and Eastern Europe, places few New Zealand bands have ever set foot. But this midwinter jaunt takes them to Christchurch, Dunedin an Invercargill.

Catch them if you can. There’s nothing else like it.