November sees the 30th anniversary of my favourite record label, Flying Nun Records.
Records from this Christchurch label were a breath of fresh air for me as a teenager growing up in Palmerston North during the mid 1980s. Here's a rare test pressing? of Tally Ho (1981) by The Clean, which was the first or second (depending on your mood) release from the label. But my favourite Flying Nun records remain The Clean's second single Getting Older (1982) and the Doublehappys ep Cut It Out (1985) – the latter because it features one of the best songs ever written in New Zealand, Wayne Elsey's 'Some Fantasy'.
Christchurch City Libraries has a collection of Christchurch posters from the early 1980s Flying Nun scene online. Many of these were designed and printed by Ronnie van Hout who also hand-printed several record covers by Flying Nun bands including 25 cents, Pin Group and Sneaky Feelings. Band members also often produced their own artwork and a number of other artists also collaborated including Stuart Page, Varina Sydow, Robin Neate, John Chrisstoffels and Jason Greig.
Flying Nun are planning a series of gigs throughout New Zealand to celebrate their 30th – a big birthday bash and you can check out events near you at the Flying Nun website.
Fifteen is our birthday party (guess how old we are…) and it’s less than two weeks away! It’s also the opening event for Tony de Lautour’s US V THEM, which is our big winter exhibition. We asked curator Peter Vangioni and visitor programmes coordinator Amy Marr what they’re most excited about in the incredible line-up for this grand birthday bash.
Now’s your chance to help create a cool event for you and your friends!
The Mix is Christchurch’s Art Gallery bi-monthly late-night event – an interactive mix of art, music, film and good people. We want to run a Mix designed, curated and for under 18s – ReMix.
New Zealand artist Laurence Aberhart is internationally regarded for his photographs of unpeopled landscapes and interiors. He photographs places redolent with the weight of time, which he captures with his century-old large-format camera and careful framing. But he’s always taken more spontaneous photographs of people too, particularly in the years he lived in Christchurch and Lyttelton (1975–83) when he photographed his young family, his friends and occasionally groups of strangers. ‘If I lived in a city again,’ he says, ‘I would photograph people. One of the issues is that I even find it difficult to ask people whether I can photograph a building, so to ask to photograph them – I’m very reticent. I also know that after a number of minutes of waiting for me to set cameras up and take exposure readings and so on, people can get rather annoyed. So it’s not a conscious thing, it’s more just an accident of the way I photograph.’
In early March we were lucky enough to have the incredibly talented Grayson Gilmour performing at the Gallery, supported by the equally talented Purple Pilgrims and New Dawn. I love these gigs, but there is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes to make sure that, by the time the public walk in the door, the foyer is gig ready. The process normally feels like a long, slow marathon with a sprint at the final corner. So here’s a guide to how you too can get the NZI Foyer gig-ready in five (or six) easy steps.
J.G. Thirlwell is man of many monikers and even more projects: from the epic avant-garde electro-rock of his thirty-five-year Foetus act to scoring orchestral work; creating sound installations to writing cartoon soundtracks. Fellow sonic artist, Jo Burzynska caught up with the Melbourne-born but long-time New York-resident composer/producer/performer at the Gallery before the opening performance of his first ever New Zealand tour.
Answer: No one cries when you chop up a piano.
Apparently that's only the third worst piano joke of all time...
The 2011 Christchurch Arts Festival has been full of highlights, from theatre to dance to the visual arts. However, it's been the music that has made the biggest impression on me.
Finally, the chance to listen to some loud rock music!