Fell in love with the bassist

Originally published April 3, 2013 in Capital Times.  We listened to Being There that winter it snowed so much we could jump off the balcony. One summer, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was the soundtrack at every barbeque. Sky Blue Sky took me to California and all the Mermaid Avenue volumes across the sea to New Zealand. I … Continue reading Fell in love with the bassist

Take it from the heart

Originally published March 27, 2013 in Capital Times.  The way Albert Dadon sees it, being a successful musician means being a good businessman. Fortunately, he’s both. “I’m a business musician. Music is part of everything I do,” says the man who plays jazz under the banner Albare, but signs important property development documents with the name … Continue reading Take it from the heart

Swan song for the sea

Originally published March 20, 2013 in Capital Times.  When Mara Simpson and her guitar landed back in New Zealand she made a goal to go swimming every day. Well, almost every day, she confesses to Amanda Witherell at a café on a morning before the sun’s high enough to hit the beach. When Mara and The … Continue reading Swan song for the sea

Steam is up for sci-fi

Originally published March 6, 2013 in Capital Times.  It’s New Zealand Book Month and Amanda Witherell talks to one of Wellington’s newest and smallest publishers about how to print quality books and still be able to feed the cat. You don’t, according to Stephen Minchin. “I’ve lost chunks of money. It’s kind of depressing,” says the … Continue reading Steam is up for sci-fi

Diplomatic Ladies

Originally published on January 23, 2013 in Capital Times. An affair with H.G. Wells, hidden homosexuality, undercover spies, and coups before teatime, Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand’s Unsung Envoys is a page-turning account of what really goes on behind embassy doors. Not just a chronicle of juicy anecdotes, the book details the inherent sacrifices wives and … Continue reading Diplomatic Ladies

A short ride with Band of Horses

Originally published January 9, 2012 in Capital Times.  When a band gets big – selling out shows, touring the world, opening for Pearl Jam, and getting Grammy nominations – the handlers really limit their contact with journalists. Yet, the musicians in Band of Horses have always seemed like they’re just out there having a good … Continue reading A short ride with Band of Horses

The Datsuns – Behind the wheel

Once upon a turn-of-the-century time, The Datsuns churned out cutting edge rock from the sleepy Waikato town of Cambridge. A decade later the four are scattered like sparks – living in Stockholm, London, Auckland, and Wellington. Has distance diminished the fire of this well-known and revered Kiwi band? It’s the middle of the night in … Continue reading The Datsuns – Behind the wheel

Jordie Lane – On the road again

Jordie Lane is a singer songwriter who gathers no moss. He’s been rolling over half the world during the past year, touring the North American folk festival scene, having a well-received acting debut as Gram Parsons in the theatric musical Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons, accompanying British troubadour Billy Bragg on an Australian … Continue reading Jordie Lane – On the road again

A new case of The Chills

Does I Love My Leather Jacket send you digging through the closet, searching for some long lost version of yourself? Come on out: The Chills are back in town for the first time in nearly 10 years, rebounding from failing equipment, lack of money, and headman Martin Phillips’ ongoing Hepatitis C. They aren’t touring a … Continue reading A new case of The Chills

Thomas Oliver – For the love of the lap

Thomas Oliver, front man of his popular eponymous bluesy rock band has been spending a lot of lap time with his slide guitar – a reproduction of an obscure 1920s-era instrument built in Los Angeles by Hermann Weissenborn. Oliver tells Amanda Witherell about his upcoming all-Weissenborn album and how he helped put a Weissenborn copy … Continue reading Thomas Oliver – For the love of the lap

Jon Drypnz – He’s everywhere

    You probably don’t know Jon Drypnz, but chances are he’s part of your Wellington routine. Look up, while walking down Manners and you’ll see the mad tricyclist. Have a drink at Havana Bar, beneath the green faces staring down from Tattoo Apartments. What about the vagabond rowboat navigating Majoribanks? Or the larger than … Continue reading Jon Drypnz – He’s everywhere