Music – Zig Zags

In my effort to avoid Christmas as much as possible, I’ve been wandering the streets listening to random music from a mix tape I got made when I left my last job. On it is a band called Zig Zags and their lo-fi sound reminds me of sitting in a garage in West Auckland listening to a band from high school in the best kind of way.

The good: It’s beer drinking music – and it’s grungy punk. And I like it. Especially this track with Iggy Pop (yeah, THAT Iggy Pop). Interesting fact about this song: it’s a cover of a Betty Davis track of the same name. It was made for Light In The Attic Records anniversary and they said of this combination:

Digging deep into the grooves of the original, Zig Zags discovered a secret heavy Sabbath vibe lurking just below the funk surface. Mixing that with their usual sludge-punk leanings, the god-like Iggy Pop was brought in to sing. A natural choice.

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The bad: I may be walking the streets of London trying to find a Christmas present for my sister for under a tenner but all I want to be doing is sitting on the couch listening to this way too loud and drinking a cheap beer.

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Best for: drinking, dancing.

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Japan

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to go to Japan with the JENESYS programme which is run by the Japanese Embassy for Future Business Leaders. I know, I didn’t think I’d count either. But, it was an amazing trip. Around 30 people under the age of 30 went over, and believe me when I say NZ has got some super great talent.

Highlights:

  • hanging out at the New Zealand Embassy in Japan.
  • Loads of great nights out including the best karaoke sessions ever.

Sad and important highlight:

  • Visiting the Minami-sanriku in the Miyagi Prefecture. It suffered horrible damage in the Great Eastern Japan Tsunami, with over 10,000 people dying from here alone. You can read more about the town here. If you click on the images with a * below them, I’ve added a comment or backstory. We got to talk to some of the people from the area as well as local business owners. Seriously, our group was dumbfounded by what they went through.
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The Goonies

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Aside from that moment (which for those of you who don’t know, is called the Truffle Shuffle), The Goonies is a classic film of adventure, romance, and awkward teenage rebellion. And Chunk is quite simply the best character. He’s always hungry, he can smell ice cream through the freezer door and then there’s this confession that just seals the love:

Francis Fratelli: Tell us everything! Everything!

Chunk: Everything. OK! I’ll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max’s toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog… When my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then they served lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out… But the worst thing I ever done – I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa – and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.

Jake Fratelli: I’m beginning to like this kid, Ma!

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The Best Things About Being a Kiwi


I’m in the middle of compiling a mix tape for a friend at the moment. She’s just moved over from Britain and on a night out during the Sevens, realised she didn’t know the words to The Exponents so I’m fixing it. And really what this is doing is reminding me how much I love being a kiwi. These are the top five reasons:

Our music kicks serious ass. All right, so there’s probably better than this out there but I challenge a Kiwi to not know the words to this song. Or at the chorus. Brings back so many memories of hanging out in pubs, summer BBQs, winter BBQs in the garage and almost burning the house down, and long road trips of singing loudly (and badly) to this song. So many happy times.

There’s more to our film industry than Hobbits. I promise! I was summing up why I love NZ film today in a skype conversation and basically came to the conclusion that I love and adore it because we do so much for a country of 4 million people. From Peter Jackson’s work to Ant Timpson’s general amazingness to the passion displayed by our filmmakers with no major backing to all those people who work behind the scenes making shit happen. This just makes me grin and stokingly happy.

We’ve got crazy weather in NZ. From tornados, to lightening storms, to sunshine. But the best times are hanging out on beaches in the sunshine listening to good beats and arguing about whether dubstep is really music.

Long roadtrips = summer. I love driving around NZ. Usually in a madcap mission to visit friends from all over the country in a matter of days. The trip where we did almost 5000kms in seven days stands out as really the best NZ road trip of my life. Also the late night missions from Auckland home to Wellington home to catch up with my favourite people.

Bland Bay

The alcohol. OK so this might make me seem like an alcoholic but seriously, NZ kicks ass in the drinks brewing. Beer – like Tuatara (a family owned and run brewery from Wellington that is some of the nicest drops on tap) to Stonyridge who produced one of the most delicious wines I’ve had tried. Accidently drinking the $190.00 bottle instead of the $30.00 one was a mistake. But a very good one to make

Other honourable mentions:

Number 8 wire, pavlova, summer weddings, summer loving, camping, tents, trailer driving, attitude, fight to the death, culture, food, fresh crayfish, smoked mussels, Coromandel, Wellington, Taupo, Queenstown, gorgeous sunsets.

Also, sometimes my patriotism makes me feel ill as well.

 
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The Force of Feeling

I had this epiphany the other day. It had to do with fun things. I’m really into fun things – I basically think that everything you do should have an element of enjoyment. If it’s not enjoyable at all, why are you doing it??? Sure, there’s parts of everyone’s life that are pretty bad, and nothing is rosy all the time. But the majority of your time should be spent doing things you enjoy doing.

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Why I’m killing it

So a month ago, things were pretty rough. I’d done some stupid things, had some stupid things done to me, and lived to tell the tale. Actually, I lived to hibernate for a good few weeks and avoid leaving the house as much as possible. But like all terrible things, that’s coming to an end. Forcing myself to move back to where I feel most at home, plotting up my plans to take over the world, it all makes a difference. The thing I learnt over the past few months can be summed up in one really simple sentence:

Don’t treat people like shit.

Basic stuff right? Trust me, there’s people in the world who have no freaking idea. Good for them, I wish them all the best. But, if you can get through your life and not treat people terribly, it’ll make everything in the world a much brighter place to hang out.

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Voguing

In the middle of procrastinating from packing my life up again, I found this from The Pet Fanclub – a very awesome website full of great music and assorted cool stuff. Anyway, this entire post grabbed my eye. I WANNA GO THERE.

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Ambition, Miranda July, and a bit of my opinion

When Miranda July tried to explain why she and Brownstein had stayed friends since their riot-grrrl days, she began to say the word “ambition,” but hesitated. Instead, she said that they shared “a steady focus on what we are going to do next. We’re always asking each other, ‘What’s the next project?’ And, that being the throughline in our lives, more than relationships, that becomes pretty meaningful, at a certain point. Because it’s something that potentially can feel kind of shameful in the details. The world we started out in—it was not, like, the point of doing what we did was to become famous. That whole revolutionary riot-grrrl kind of spirit—it was very community-based.”*

I found this quote on Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, a website I’ve followed for awhile. There are two things I love about this quote. The first is that their idea of success hasn’t been based on that awful word ‘ambition’.

Ambition isn’t a bad thing (it always makes me think of ‘potential’ though and I really do hate the word potential). Ambition to me always makes me think of the things I should be aiming for, not the things I want to be aiming for. My dream is that actually I can go out and screw up a lot, do a lot of crazy things, and then suddenly bring it all together into complete awesomeness. 90% of the time, this works.

Having a plan, having a goal, having a dream: that’s all important stuff. Necessary stuff. Almost as necessary as fish fingers and custard.** What’s dangerous is ambition without a plan and when ambition takes over everything. So while you’re reaching for that massive dream out beyond anything you’ve done before, take a little time out to enjoy a cup of tea of the porch of your best friend.

Which nicely leads to my next point: the community you build while building your dreams is the best tribe you’re ever going to get. Sure it’s going to change sometimes, people changes, things change. But that core group of people that are constantly on a ‘yeah you can do that, why not’ buzz, that’s your community. Cherish them, they’re your best asset.***

* Go here to read the full article on The New Yorker

** If you don’t get this reference, congratulations, you’re not a complete geek. If you do, can we be friends?

*** Can you tell I’m on a massive ‘love everything’ buzz right now?!?! I promise it’ll end eventually.

I just really like pohutukawa leaves…

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Music – Lana Del Rey

The official album is being released on January 30. I have to say, I’m getting inpatient. She’s so freaking amazing and I’m in love with her. January has definitely been a month of listening to her over and over again.

The good: Her lyrics are seriously some of the best, and most moving, and most ‘true to life’ I’ve heard in a long time. This girl has a song for everything. Broken hearts to new affections. And her voice is actual silk.

The bad: I don’t think there’s much. Some of her song go off on weird tangents that I don’t quite get and there’s a few songs that take a couple of listens to really get into the groove of. Below are a couple of my favourites.

Best for: chilling out, making out, driving, hanging out, dancing (well some of it). Drinking (not at the same time as driving, that’s bad).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYxsyHLdgZo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQD_SUTJA_0

Disclaimer: I have no idea what the difference between her and Lizzie Grant is. They’re the same freaking person. So if any of these songs aren’t from the ‘Lana Del Rey’ branch, apologies.

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Music – Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street

This may just be one of my most favourite albums. Ever. I grew up listening to The Stones, my parents never really got into the pop crap that was everywhere. I clearly remember making my father listen to Backstreet Boys and being laughed at. Oh man, if only I knew. Anyway, The Stones are a huge part of my musical life.

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