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UTR's 2019 Favourite Music Moments

UTR's 2019 Favourite Music Moments

UTR Team & Contributors / Wednesday 18th December, 2019 12:39PM

We're almost wrapped up for the final year of the decade, but before we bounce from the office and hit the beach, it's time to unveil our 2019 Favourite Music Moments. We've invited our contributors who've generously leant their talents to the site over the past twelve months to share their personal highlights from a massive year in music. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the site in any way this year! Dive in, explore and enjoy the selections below, and (if you haven't already) take in our 2019 End Of Year Playlist and 2019 New Zealand Video Highlights features...


This one June Jones lyric

I was in Forte Convenience on Symonds Street looking through the hot food cabinet for something vegetarian when I first heard June Jones sing “How can something feel so boring and yet so violent?” And right on beat, I started ugly crying, right there in the corner behind the shelf with the fancy breads. The whole album is achingly and brutally lovely, but there have been few weeks since that morning in the dairy that I haven’t thought about this one lyric.

Sports Bra - Talk It Out

There must be something in the estradiol over there, because Australian trans musicians put out my two favourite albums of 2019 [or does this really say something about me? Nah]. Aside from June Jones’ aforementioned Diana, Talk It Out by Sydney emo punks Sports Bra has been on high rotate in my headphones since January. I had this big wordy thing written out describing emotional arc of the album but, y’know what, it kicks ass and it’s very gay and I don’t think you can really sum up Talk It Out any better than that.

Girls Rock! Tāmaki Makaurau
Girls Rock! is a very cool musical holiday programme for women / intersex / transgender / GNC youth, and in January I was lucky enough to be a mentor at the Tāmaki Makaurau camp. The experience was revitalising, uplifting, joyous, it gave my hair a luscious body and shine, and let me tell you, the next generation of NZ musicians are already killin’ it. You can check out the music from this year’s camp, donate a bit of cash, or maybe even just get involved yourself! [Sorry this one has a call to action but some moments are ongoing, y’know?]

Repulsive Woman live at the beautiful Wine Cellar
I don’t know if anybody aside from the woman herself was expecting Millie from Astro Children to put out a delicate glass tempest of an album this year but she did. Even after falling in love with the album though, I found myself quite unprepared for the Repulsive Woman live experience. There was the suit of course, and the brooding intensity, but there were also jokes (!), and the arrangements were beautiful and sideways, and really, I spend the whole set pleasantly in awe.

SWIDT’s video for 'BUNGA'
In a year notable for Auckland University refusing to act against white supremacy, Jacinda Ardern refusing to visit Ihumātao, the militarisation of NZ police, this whole thing, and the white supremacist terror attack on Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque, in 2019 SWIDT spoke with clarity, power, and purpose on BUNGA. Watch the video again.


Soccerpractise visual album
Te Pō was a breath of fresh air in 2019. It’s not often I find songs empowering, let alone make me want to quit my job, become an assassin and burn off my fingerprints. Every track is a huge mood, and every surreal clip situates the song in an alternate reality. I want to see Soccerpractise score the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi film set in a digital dystopia.

Silver Scrolls Tiny Ruins cover
I got the chance to attend the Silver Scrolls again this year, having last had the honour in 2009 when The Bats cameoed in Scribe’s performance of ‘Not Many’. From this experience, I had high expectations for another wacky collab, but instead had the air knocked right out of me when the Takadimi Ensemble and Chelsea Prastiti put their own magical twist on Tiny Ruins’ ‘Olympic Girls’. The second ever time live music has made me well up.

Pine at the Christchurch Arts Fest
I used to work at an Indian restaurant in Christchurch called Bombay Butler and my boss would let me choose music to play from the CD collection, to which I seamlessly slipped in Pine’s Twelve Hour Collision amongst the Bollywood soundtracks. Having listened to that album on repeat while handing over delicious curries and receiving takeaway order via fax(!), it was a truly beautiful Christchurch Arts Fest moment to hear those songs I’ve adored for more than a decade played live at the Town Hall. Bonus fact: Every morning I wake up to an alarm that is their song ‘Track Of You’.

Tom Scott calling out Jacinda Ardern at the music awards
An important and ballsy moment. In November, Avantdale Bowling Club’s Tom Scott used his allotted New Zealand Music Awards acceptance speech time to call out Jacinda Ardern on live nationwide television for her inaction concerning Ihumātao - which conveniently lined up with an ad break, what are the chances! More than a month later, and still no visit, but I hope at least Scott’s words set an example for Pākehā. Māori must not be left to do the heavy lifting. Pākehā, put in the mahi to decolonise! “We just flushed it, kinda like the history they hushed with the musket kinda like the ancient Māori customs they crushed it.”

Caroline Polachek video ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’
My New Year’s resolution is to bring the same energy Caroline Polachek brings to the ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ video to every aspect of my life. I aspire to create choreography this effortless hot, simultaneously pulling off jelly bracelets, a tartan skirt and cowboy boots. Tbh, the entirety of Polachek’s solo album Pang is an absolute gift to pop music, and unapologetically thirsty. Caroline Polachek, you are so hot you’re hurting my feelings.


Hand Habits

While I was in LA I went to see Aldous Harding playing a brilliant show at the Lodge Room in Highland Park. She and her band were spectacular and it was exciting to stand in a room filled with strangers who were totally enraptured by her music and to see how far she has come since early shows in Lyttelton. The opening act was Hand Habits who has been part of the LA scene for awhile now performing their own music and as a guitarist for many others. Their show was intimate and raw, and the album is similarly evocative and searing. Highly recommended.

Secret Knives
I was very excited about Ash Smith releasing his new album SNUFF this year. It came nearly ten years after the release of his last full length record Affection. The new album doesn't disappoint. It's intricately detailed with yearning lyrics, and viscerally explosive guitar moments. Put on some good headphones and go for a long walk to fully immerse yourself! I like listening to the album as a whole, but one of the highlights is 'Fall':

Jess B (Live at Meow)
Jess B released her EP New Views earlier this year, and followed it up with her debut headline tour of New Zealand including a sold out show in Wellington. It felt like a real celebration of female artistry as Jess also brought Vayne, half.queen, Silva MC on the road. The audience was into it, and dancing all night which was a refreshing change from some of the more reserved indie audiences.

Alexander Biggs
I wrote a song with Alex in Australia back in June. I hadn't heard his music at the time, but then he released two of my favourite songs of the year Madeleine and Miserable. He details life so beautifully. Besides, I'm a sucker for a sad song on acoustic guitar.

Ria Hall's speech at the APRA Silver Scrolls
We still don't have equality in the New Zealand music industry, and one of the places where this is crystal clear is on the festival stage. Ria Hall gave a great speech about her experiences and a call to action at the 2019 Silver Scrolls.


Carnivorous Plant Society - The People Below The People Below graphic novel

Released as an accompaniment to Carnivorous Plant Society's latest album The People Below, helmsman Finn Scholes' graphic novel The People Below The People Below is a wonderfully illustrated cartoon fever dream that will absolutely change how you listen to that record. The tale of a wrinkly man navigating through a world of weird sex, horrific violence and "unimaginable luxury," I'll be cherishing my copy for years to come – you can nab yours via Carnivorous Plant Society's Bandcamp page here.

Shiraz & LSJ - Rap For Sport & Imported Smoke

Okay I put them on my 2018 list as well but fuck it, Tāmaki Makaurau's Shiraz & LSJ brought their 'A' game with the back to back drops of Rap For Sport and Imported Smoke in early 2019. Shiraz's dizzying yet always on point lyrical flow and LSJ's artfully sliced n diced loops shine on such killer cuts as 'CLUb-SPORtZ', 'Dwayne' and 'AKLTown' – keeping it real with tonnes of local flavour. These boundlessly creative records make evident that some of the best music on the planet is happening right here in Aotearoa.

Dark Mofo 2019
I finally made it over the ditch to Hobart's mid-winter Dark Mofo festival, for the final weekend of gallery MONA's three week multi-venue arts and music programme, and caught a wide-ranging bill including Junglepussy, Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))), Striborg, Mary Lattimore & Julianna Barwick, Gabber Modus Operandi, Rafael Anton Irisarri and Author & Punisher over an ice cold long weekend. Watching Puce Mary deliver a devastating industrial noise / techno set in a packed space the size of an aircraft hanger with seisure-inducing strobes courtesy of Berlin Atonal, it struck me how refreshing it would be if our local institutions threw their full weight behind recognising and celebrating such uncompromising visions in sound.

The Big Fresh Collective
Speaking of uncompromising local sonic visions, Canterbury electronic dance crew The Big Fresh Collective's musical output was unparalleled in 2019. Highlights from a productive year included the JUKE AID: Footmahi For Ōtautahi fundraiser compilation (in support of the victims of the 15th of March terror attacks), solo joints from PAPLOCO and label head honcho Liam K. Swiggs, multiple Nintendo 64 remixes / edits collections, and my favourite of the bunch, the ongoing REDWOOD PATROL TAPE series - which casts the producers as devil may care lawmen, committed to cleaning up the streets and getting up to shenanigans in their beloved home town.

Aroha Bridge
Coco Solid's animated series about a twin musical duo's triumphs and challenges with whānau and their multicultural community of Aroha Bridge was fiercely hilarious and unflinchingly scathing. Voiced by Coco Solid and Rizván Tu’itahi as Kowhai and Monty Hook – alongside Madeleine Sami, Frankie Stevens, Scotty Cotter, Julian Dennison, Oscar Kightley and more – the show was co-directed by video wizard Simon Ward, animated by Showbag Entertainment (of which Disasteradio is a member) and features super catchy tunes by Tim Checkley (Jizmatron, Go Nuclear). Aroha Bridge points out music doesn't live in a bubble, but always exists as part of a broader world of ideas and political issues to engage with, while dishing up some of the funniest gags of 2019. You can watch the full third season via Māori Television On Demand.


Blush Juliet - 'Slide Into View'

Best surprise track.

Water playing 'Alligator' at The Others Way
Instant repeater. Hard to Google.

Beastwars at Galatos playing 'Like a Storm on Mars'
The heaviest delivery of the year.

The Dead C at Laneway 2019
Somehow, Dead C in the sun works.

Milk - 'Signal Me in the Mirror ' from milk Album


Fav album of 2019: Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell

I don’t listen to many new albums, there’s just too many people making music to keep up. And I find end-of-year lists pretty reductive – I always feel for the artists who make great records but who don’t have managers and promo machines behind them to propel their work into the kinds of hands that generate widespread acclaim. (This is so true of New Zealand artists too, and how Auckland-centric our industry is.) So it’s with regret that I admit my favourite record this year was one on a major label by a major artist. I think of it as kidnap songwriting – you're swallowed completely by this collapsing world of failed men and dreams.

Fav indulgent experience: SOPHIE live at Meltdown Festival, London
I toured in Europe this year and managed to get to a few shows by artists I’ve loved for a while. SOPHIE (PC Music) was a headline artist at the Nile Rodgers’ curated Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre in London. It was like listening to the gym Top 40 drenched in queer hydrochloric acid. The show was an experience that made me think about resources – so much lighting design, huge bass, and somehow always remaining at arms’ length from the audience, like SOPHIE herself who refused to be the front-person for her own show.

Fav touring moment: Danny Brady + Charlie OPI, live in Berlin

People in different parts of Europe responded really differently to my show. Probably the most demonstratively wild audience was in Berlin, where I shared the night with Australian ambient artist Mike Majkowski, and Aotearoa electronic pals Danny Brady (Death & The Maiden, Elan Vital) and Charlie OPI. Danny & Charlie crouched on the stage, hidden by fog and blue light, and surrounded by samplers and drum machines. They built a show on a growing beat, Aotearoa birdsong, and Charlie’s incredible wordless singing. It was industrial Enya. I felt so proud to be presenting my show with theirs, pretty far from home.

Fav NZ moment: Tubertechno’s 5th Birthday

In my mind there’s The Misfits, The Holograms, and Tubertechno. Sometimes I wish I was wealthy just so I could give enormous money to my favourite artists and projects, so that they can produce more and do it in any way they like. Tubertechno deserve this, and I think in other countries they would have been snaffled up by now. A label that puts out beautifully forward-thinking pop-electronica by a stable of low-key incredible producers, I’ve had the total pleasure of my own work being remixed by Tubertechno artists Alcs and Jerry Watts. Check out their end-game compilations and support a beautiful thing!

Fav song of the year: Róisín Murphy - 'Incapable' 
Incapable represents that classic chemistry when dance music is produced with such simple sophistication, and a succinct idea – in this case, that Róisín can’t love. Such a problem, and best resolved on the dancefloor.


Community Gardens shows

The disarming air of effortless embracing of humans of all persuasions witnessed at LSDXOXO’s Aotearoa appearance was an absolute breath of fresh air to my showbiz-weary brain. The sweaty, surrounding dancefloor destruction of Scarlett, Princess Worm Baby and DJ Snakelegs perfectly rounded out the boogie-dense occasion. Bring on Air Max ‘97 in January!

Christchurch’s The Big Fresh Collective
A quick scan of their Bandcamp reveals nine releases from 2019 alone - and I’m convinced there’s more that I’ve misplaced in the vast data ocean of the world wide web. This along with a sizeable score of radio shows + mixes available via their Soundcloud has helped cement them as a musical force of nature, providing both quality and quantity in our era of non-existent attention spans, fed beyond full with limitless entertainment options. Big ups to this ragtag gang (along with the genius that is Amamelia) for making breakbeats cool again outside the ominous gates of Northern Bass.

The Experiment at The Studio
Five stages, uncountable art installations and innumerous good times were had at this collusion of cultures hosted by K Rd-based content creators (and lesser known record label) Monster Valley. My favourite acts for the evening were New Farben (who are also, arguably my favourite in the country), Ounce, Bobandi x Keith, Ratso and Star Control - the lattermost flanked by a leviathan sized decapitated bunny and industrial layers of hazer.

Troy Kingi - Holy Colony Burning Acres
I absolutely cherished Kingi’s 2017 opus Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron, which opened my previously uneducated eyes to all manner of soul, funk and r ‘n’ b releases from decades gone. Likewise in the same year of the occupation of Ihumatāo, Holy Colony Burning Acres opening my eyes to the deep politics and dissenting lyricism which can be expressed via the vehicle of the humble guitar skank, as well as offering a kaleidoscopic vision into the breadth and depths of the scope that the time honoured musical tradition can be spread to.

The absolutely thriving hip hop scene in Aotearoa
Where to begin when all of our beat-riding, rhyme singing locals are absolutely dominating musical spheres here and abroad? From JessB’s regal New Views EP, to Melodownz signing to renowned New York hip hop label Def Jam and dropping the steel-beam melting single ‘No Mercy’ featuring Denzel Curry, to the meteoric rise of Church & AP, due in part to the infectious hooks of their debut full length Teeth to Shiraz & LSJ’s incomparably smooth and underrated flows on Imported Smoke, to the jazzy, saxophone-augmented beats of Ryan Hendriks’ Quintessence to the star studded features on Raiza Biza’s Bygones to local glow up of Leaping Tiger’s ‘Screwface’ single and Dam Native’s iconic appearance at 95bFM Gold. You’d be hard pressed to argue that we aren’t currently in the midst of the most exciting era of hip hop that Aotearoa has ever witnessed.


‘New Windsor’ by Hans. (prod Imugi)

I’ve always liked the ultra-laidback flows of Hans., but wondered how he’d follow up his breakthrough track with Clairo (‘Froyo’ - 4 million streams and counting). Since then he’s created some great poppy tracks - ‘Honeysea II’ and ‘CBU’ - but I’m drawn to the conscious lean on this one (and having Imugi in the mix is cool too). Especially lyrics like: ‘I came here on my boat / at least I didn’t know until they told me so / push me in the deep end and watch me float.’

Two Hands and U.F.O.F. by Big Thief
There was a time a few years back when I was sick of guitar bands, especially the idea of someone earnestly plucking a guitar and waxing lyrical. It was probably local acts like Tiny Ruins and Nadia Reid that brought me around, but Big Thief had a big effect too. After a heavy playlist of hip hop and pop, it’s nice to hear a band where the guitars sometimes drag behind the tempo, the singer’s voice strains, and the drums try to follow the rhythm of the top line melody.

Urge Surfing by Dead Little Penny
I’ve always been a sucker for atmospheric, distorted guitars and it’s been great to see elements of that shoegaze sound returning through local acts like Water, Bespin, and Fazerdaze. Dead Little Penny’s debut album is drowned in fuzzy guitars and also has a dark sense of humour (one track is called ‘Talk Show Goth’), while electronic drums and synths occasionally added to the mix to give their sound more drive. ‘The Heat’ shows how this miserablist vibe can also create a sound that’s uplifting and expansive.

Church and AP at Other’s Way 2019
I thought I’d allow myself one obvious pick. Part of me was hoping Church and AP might follow up ‘Ready or Not’ with more of the same (I mean, if it’s working right?), but seeing the crowd bouncing to their new tracks at Other’s Way showed the value of expanding the scope of their sound before bothering to repeat themselves. Their workrate is impressive too, given they’ve released two ten-track albums this year and it makes picking out a track difficult, but even though ‘Down in the Mud’ or ‘Fun + Games’ would’ve been my picks earlier in the year, let’s just go with this more-obvious banger.

‘Boom’ by Somber (prod Saya) on Wicked Sounds

It seems redundant to claim that SWIDT’s video/track ‘Bunga’ is the best video of the year (though I think it is!), since they’re hardly young unknowns. Surprisingly the video I did pick - ‘Boom’ by Somber - is on par with any of the vids that SWIDT have released in terms of views (it’s currently at 572k on YouTube). Partly this is due to the video making it look like Auckland is a scene from a manga movie and the track matches this mood perfectly, though it’s also helped by the YouTube account, Wicked Sounds (1.3 million subscribers), which draws together the best of modern hip hop worldwide but which has also given a boost to hot young local acts like Lil Rae, Somber, and IVY RED.



Arguably the best musical & visual piece to come out of NZ in all of 2019 - Don't think I've come back to any youtube video more times than this in my life.

Listen In 2019
Watching multiple punters climb on top of the marquee at Listen In 2019 was both a highlight & a lowlight - would not recommend.

Bailey Wiley performing songs from her award winning self titled EP with a special guest appearance from MeloDownz
A standout performance from 95bFM's monthly Drive Island series held at Ellen Melville.

The Others Way 2019
The Others Way is my favourite night of the year and this year was no different - these pics manage to help me relive the night & some of the best performances of 2019 from top tier local artists.

Waiata / Anthems
Waiata / Anthems is one of the best initiatives that came out of 2019 and I really hope it gets a repeat in 2020 - there are a ton of songs that would sound great in te reo - personally I'd love to hear a rework of UMOs 'Hunnybee'.



SWIDT’s video for ‘BUNGA’ has been one of the most powerful statements in music this year. In the age of streaming, it’s expected for musicians to put every single song on Spotify, Apple Music, etc. SWIDT made the right and bold move to keep this song off streaming platforms; directly encouraging people to go watch the video and engage with the message.

Automatic - Calling It
Automatic’s debut album, ‘Calling It’ (via Stones Throw), has been on rotation for me since it came out. Based in Los Angeles, the new wave trio have a distinct devil-may-care attitude and striking sound. They’re a band that knows they’re cool and don’t need to prove anything. I don’t need to say much more either, just listen.

Alec - Alec
Before the release of Alec’s debut self-titled album, he only had one song, 'For A Shine' on the internet since 2014. As 'For A Shine' was circulating around Auckland’s indie scene, Alec became more and more of an enigma as time went by and nothing else was released. For those who have been listening to Alec’s one song for the past few years; it hit like a meteorite when Alec released a whole album this year. If you’re a fan of (Sandy) Alex G and/or My Bloody Valentine, then you have to listen to Alec.

Green Grove - ‘B (A Poet)

‘B (A Poet)’ is the opening track of Green Grove’s sophomore release, Machine Music. I adore the whole album but this song in particular puts me in a chirpy mood. With the rounded, bouncy synths, tinkling chimes and warpy cartoon-like sounds, it feels like you’re tumbling into an Wonderland-esque world.

Perfection - 'Beautiful'
Perfection is the project of Los Angeles-based musician, Patrick Nolan. They were one of the first acts I saw live when I first moved to LA and I was completely blown away. Infused with 70s funk vibes, 'Beautiful' is one of the first singles released by Perfection that features on his EP, Clean Greed.


Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia

If you’ve been anywhere on Instagram this year, or just on social media in general, you’ve probably noticed that indoor house plants have been making a huge comeback. Our leafy, lovely potted friends had their first big moment in the 70s, with the arrival of indoor plant shops like Mother Earth Plant Boutique in Los Angeles. In 1976, they had the foresight to release Moog synthesizer pioneer Mort Garson’s ode to the plants, Mother Earth’s Plantasia as a store giveaway. Over the decades, it became a cult classic and was reissued to a rapturous response by Sacred Bones this year. You can read my feature about Mother Earth’s Plantasia for Dazed & Confused here.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland, live at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush 13th November 2019
In another timeline, the ambient torch songs of Canada’s Beverly Glenn-Copeland, in particular, the music found on the 1986 rarity Keyboard Fantasies might have been one of the most significant, most inspirational forces in the global underground during their era. Sadly, however, it wasn’t to be, until the album was reissued in 2017. Since then, Glenn-Copeland has been playing select live shows around the world, and on the 13th of November, brought their live band experience to London’s Bush Hall. I saw New Zealand’s Nadia Reid play in the same venue two years earlier, and it has an ambience which really rewards music with a dreamy touch. Glenn-Copeland’s performance was mercurial and ecstatic, the sort of experience which gently rolls around your head for weeks afterwards.

Sui Zhen - Losing Linda
Sui Zhen is a singer-songwriter, producer and multimedia artist from Australia. To paraphrase myself, as I observed in my Bandcamp Daily feature on her, “Losing, Linda, [Sui Zhen’s] third album… is a suite of delightfully skewed and airily sung pop songs about love, loss, and disconnection, where swirling lead synths, washes of pads, and subtle percussion conjure up a sense of atmosphere as vivid and unreal as watching a holographic sunset from the balcony of a haunted luxury hotel somewhere in the Balearic Islands.” Brillant songs, brilliant music videos, high-concept thinking, and a lush, superbly expressive live show. Hopefully she performs in New Zealand again in 2020.

Laurel Halo at the Sydney Opera House Studio Room, 24th May 2019
Two hours of artfully blended and presented techno and abstracted beats from one of my favourite DJ’s, and a producer’s producer at that. Fierce and beautiful sounds, songs, rhythms and grooves mixed together with a delicate touch and an undeniable dancefloor drive. This was one of those late nights where - for a time - you really go somewhere else.

Church & AP - ‘Roulette’
After the monstrous success of their singalong single ‘Ready or Not,’ emergent Auckland rap duo Church & AP keep throwing curveballs. When you have a smash hit, you’re probably not going to get another one by replicating the same formula - you have to do something different. ‘Roulette’ is the two young rappers paying homage to the jiggy, bling-bling sound of hip-hop in the early 2000s, but set against a striking visual influenced by slacker comedies and classic horror films. It’s a lot of fun.


Patti Smith in Conversation and Concert at the Westminster Central Concert Hall, London

A friend said, she’s a consummate artist. I always come to Patti with the expectation that she’ll open me right up and take a look. Obviously, I spoiled my silk dress crying through 'Pissing in a River'.

Adelaide Cara - 'Weary'
I first heard this song in the back of a car, driving back to Dunedin from Christchurch at sunset. You’d be hard pressed to find a more dedicated artist in New Zealand at present. Adelaide’s sincerity is resonant and when she is involved in a project she doesn’t leave a stone unturned.

Liam Gallagher - 'Why Me? Why Not'

You never think you will want or ever need to hear Liam Gallagher telling you to stand your ground and defy anyone that tries to tell you you ain’t beautiful, but then you move to Manchester. Some Mancs blast him outside your window a few times and before you know it you’re down the pub toasting our kid (LG) with all the rest.

PJ Harvey / Seamus Murphy - A Dog Called Money (film)
I want to ball Patti, Adelaide and PJ up in the same fist. There are some artists who are magic to watch in action, and Harvey is one of them. This film is beautiful and striking in a number of ways, not least because it is a glimpse into how one of our most truly brilliant musicians picks and writes her way through the world.

Girls Rock Camp Aotearoa
I was honoured to be a mentor at Camp earlier this year and I am in constant awe of the incredible team who facilitate it. Music can be a rough ride but Girls Rock is something to hold onto. If you can, you might consider donating so our community can continue to benefit from this fantastic initiative.



Stellar* played at Powerstation last week and they are amazing and it was the most beaut show of all time. My favourite moment was when Boh Runga did all her main and backing vocals and still could breathe - she is a superhuman!


Scored a ticket from my cuzzy down in Wellington - thanks Damian! All my mates were giving me shit for wanting to go - but I was like a stadium band in a stadium! And all the classics! Kept singing 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' to convince people I was stilll cool for wanting to go to U2. And then... the first song, the drums and then the edge walking down with the riff - SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY. Fantastic opening and also, I appreciated that this massive band played all their hits! Also their tribute to Greg Carroll before 'One Tree Hill' was very special and made me cry for his whanau. Even though Bono is annoying and preachy at times man do they have hits and great singalongs.

The Others Way
The coolest thing in the world is being ask to play in someone else's band - for me, it's Dateline. We played at 8pm and it was an early moment but Wine Cellar was packed - WITH DADS! We played to a full crowd of dads and it was brilliant and it felt good. Playing Katie's music is really really choice - she's pretty genius. Hurry up with the album already.

Fred Armisen
Played support for Fred Armisen's comedy for musicians. Best moments were his drum solo in Phill Collins 'In the Air Tonight' and his impression of the session drummer that has never heard the song before... recording 'I'm Coming Out' Diana Ross.

Aldous Harding

I love seeing people killing it and Aldous Harding is killing it. Her live performance at The Powerstation was polished, dynamic and just perfectly weird enough. I loved every moment she stared silently at the audience - it's refreshing to see a NZ artist not being self-deprecating and just relishing in that awkward silence - it cracked me up even though maybe it wasn't supposed to but geez Louise she is cool and clever and sounds great. 10/10


Best Christmas single: '7 O’Clock News / Silent Night' by Phoebe Bridgers, Fiona Apple & Matt Berninger

I tweeted earlier this month expressing my feelings towards artists doing Christmas songs and how it kind of made me want to be stabbed in the face. Then I listened to this song and got chills. This cover is scary and makes me feel uneasy. I listened to this song while I walked around Newmarket Westfield in a mild state of panic.

The day of every year that I hate the most: Christmas Day

There is nothing worse than getting your divided family together in one place for an entire day. It will probably involve some extended family members you don’t like much and perhaps just some horrible human you literally hate. Let’s overeat a hot roast meal on a summers day and get drunk enough to tolerate each other while I fantasise about different argument scenarios where a table gets flipped and everyone is crying while Uncle Garry fights a two by four.

Funniest TV advert: The Ink Beneath the Blue by The New Zealand Police
A new police recruitment video that is seriously a bunch of cops with Batman tattoos trying to attract other potatoes with Batman tattoos to be narcs too. 10/10 funniest thing I’ve ever watched, will probably watch again to distract myself from the fact we have armed patrol units in this country now. Lmao, please don’t shoot me!!!!!

Best Album: Purple Mountains - Self-titled
This is a really beautiful album which I felt I really related to. I don’t really want to explain why I have chosen this as my personal best album of the year. It’s just a great record and if you haven’t listened to it already then go listen for yourself.

Favourite new album to listen to on the bus: 1000 Gecs by 100 Gecs
It’s 100% a true fact that 100 Gecs are the greatest modern punk band who have also released the greatest modern punk album this year and probably decade. I like to listen to this album on full volume on the bus while I have unwanted thoughts of the double decker smashing through the puny Harbour bridge barrier then nose diving into the water where I fucking die. Have a safe and fun summer everybody xo – Roy Irwin 



The Pōneke / digital gallery DIRT's monthly MESH series of mixes (from Kaishandao, Motoko Kikkawa, Strange Stains, Alexa Casino, Waterfalls, Zozo, Georgette Brown, Emi Pogoni, Big Fat Raro, Charlotte Parallel and ENT) have gone from strength to strength in 2019, with something for everyone - bangers'n'anthems, droney field recordings and improvised jams, blissed out mixtapes, and more.

Ron Gallipoli by Candlelight
Even if we hadn't had the Xmas-stocking-stuffers of new album Prisnarchitect and book Gripes & Apocalypses dropped on us last week, the recasting of his clattering tropical-industrial songbook into a voice'n'piano duo with the peerless Hermione Johnson (Ogadon, Drorgan, et al) at two Audio Foundation shows was revelatory - the flushed supper-club unease of his performance congealing into abbatoir Bryan Ferry croon. Fingers crossed audio documentation of their collaboration.

i.e. crazy - Women In Love live
The followup to non compos mentis has so far only seen the release of 'Country Justice', but anyone who's managed to catch her live shows has seen the switch to entirely new material and aesthetic - thrilling, unsettling and genuinely wrestling with the implications of the material - I'm not sure anything else I've seen this year has had the impact of a song with the refrain 'As it stands'. One to watch out for in 2020.

Eris Drew - Raving Disco Breaks Vol 1
Disco-inflected breakbeat house inna choppy rave style, this mixtape from Eris & Octa Octa's T4T label is like a funfair inversion of DJ Sprinkles.

Ocean Wisdom x Dizzee Rascal - Blessed
Aww, bless - warms the cockles of my heart to know Dizzee still has it, and Wizzy's double-time dialtone rapping finds a sturdy framework to rattle around.

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