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Various: The Great New Zealand Songbook (Thom/Sony)

Various: The Great New Zealand Songbook (Thom/Sony)

This nattily packaged double disc with Dick Frizzell's clever twist on an iconic and familiar Kiwi image as the cover arrives in time for New Zealand Music Month -- but already has the feel of the perfect Christmas gift for those living abroad. Especially when it includes Frizzell postcards to send off-shore. There are two versions: the...

Tim Finn: Anthology; North South East West (EMI)

Tim Finn: Anthology; North South East West (EMI)

Anyone who considers the Tim Finn timeline would quickly conclude that here was a man who always did it his way: the theatrics and manic energy of Split Enz combined with alarmingly engaging and durable music; solo albums which were sometimes uncomfortable for their self-analysis; others which were snappy and poppy; soundtracks and side-projects...

ARTISAN GUNS INTERVIEWED (2010): Heart, and art, on their sleeves

ARTISAN GUNS INTERVIEWED (2010): Heart, and art, on their sleeves

The guys in the young Auckland band Artisan Guns remind me it was four years ago that I first saw them, in this very same room -- the boardroom of EMI in Auckland where the harbour views can be so distracting. When they played four years ago -- an acoustic set to maybe a dozen people on a beer-drinking Friday after work -- the room hushed...

NEIL FINN AND CROWDED HOUSE (2010): The returning son

NEIL FINN AND CROWDED HOUSE (2010): The returning son

Many, many years ago Neil Finn told me he believed bands, and he was referring to Split Enz at the time, had a natural lifespan. Some years after that – in 2001 when he was well into a solo career with the album One Nil – I asked him the question again, and specifically if he felt that about Crowded House. His answer was...

Various Artists: The Great New Zealand Songbook; Souvenir Edition (Sony)

Various Artists: The Great New Zealand Songbook; Souvenir Edition (Sony)

Well this four CD collection certainly takes the sweat out of present-buying for those Rugby World Cup visitors who will wash up on our shores, and also will fill a gap in the Christmas stockings of family and friends abroad. Here the two previous editions of the Songbook (reviewed Vol 1 here and Vol 2 here) are kicked off by the All Blacks'...

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