Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Station ... New Site

Waiheke Radio took a significant step forward this week when Auckland City Council agreed to offer a community lease on a studio in the Artworks complex to Waiheke Community Radio Trust. It’s taken a while to pull this all together and we are really appreciative of the support we received from the Hauraki Gulf councillor, Denise Roche and the members of the Waiheke Community Board. We hope to move into our premises soon. A key feature of the studio will be a production suite that can be used to record a wide variety of programmes by individuals and groups from the community. If you are interested in making, or contributing to, a show please contact us. If you would like to be informed of what is happening with Waiheke Radio join our mailing list.

We are also going to be discontinuing blogging from this page and have moved most of these posts over to So please change your bookmarks and keep in touch on our new site.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Podcasts Launched

Two Waiheke Radio stalwarts, Country Mike and Chris from Counting The Beat, have launched podcasts so now you can get a regular dose of their musical choices and comments.

Son of Country Mike continues where the Hauraki Hoedown radio show left off, with a focus on alt-country, new weird america and americana. You can read all about at Casa De Country Mike.

Counting The Beat is all kiwi, showcasing an eclectic mix of NZ Music. Recent episodes feature new releases, kiwi covers, and our very own awards show, The Alternatuis.

The downloadable installments of Son of Country Mike and Counting The Beat are hosted at BigPod. You can download show by show or sign up to BigPod and subscribe, and the shows will be delivered right to you by the wonder that is RSS.

For your convenience, the RSS feeds are posted in the sidebar, so you can subscribe right here. If you haven't subscribed to a podcast before you can check out this tutorial . It shows you how to subscribe with iTunes or any other podcasting software.

We hope you enjoy the shows.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The 2nd Annual Alternatuis

By now you'll know who the winners were of the 2007 NZ Music Awards, The Tuis. Congratulations to The Mint Chicks who picked up the awards for Best Group, Best Album and Best Rock Album. Of course, we named The Mint Chicks best group last year - it's great that the rest of the music industry is finally paying attention to what we say. Now that the mainstream awards are out of the way it's time for the fame and the glory, the triumph and the tears that mark the accolades that really count - proudly brought to you by Counting The Beat and The Beach - The Alternatuis 2007. (Download or stream the 2007 Alternatuis radio broadcast or play the winning songs in the player at the end of this post).

Launched in 2006, The Alternatuis differ from other awards in two ways - firstly they are a way of recognising great New Zealand artists and songs that aren't getting the recognition they deserve, secondly there is no pretence of democracy or objectivity in this show. You get an award because we like what you do - any dispute with the judges decision will be treated with disdain (but we would love to hear your comments). So, drum roll please,

onto the awards.

Single of the Year
A tough choice this year with lots of bands putting out songs that were around three minutes long, were catchy as hell and, most importantly, if you heard them on a juke box at the pub, they'd make you feel like jumping. Contenders were Surf City - Headin' Inside, The Situations - Hey Sister, and Pine - Hosanna, all songs that you should check out and buy. But at the end of the day there can only be one winner (we're not afraid of cliches around here, oh no). Alternatui for Single of the Year goes to Collapsing Cities for No Plans. It was the "weee -ooo"s that clinched it in the end.

Best Female Artist(s)
Last year there was a slew of great albums from solo female artists such as Flip Grater and Reb Fountain. This year, not so many, but still a couple of standouts. We're really quite taken with the teenage trio The Teacups, who, while they can be a little more enthusiastic than accomplished, are still one to watch. An outfit that are on top of their craft is Ragamuffin Children, two women from Christchurch who have put out a lovely album of folky tunes entitled Werecat Lullabies. They take out the Alternatui for Best Female Artist of 2007.

Best Male Solo Artist
Who's your favourite one-man band multi-instrumentalist psych noise outfit? Well ours is Pumice, the pseudonym of Stefan Neville. With his latest album Pebbles, Stefan has produced probably his most accessible work to date. The album has also won considerable international acclaim with one critic even declaring it amongst his albums of the decade. There is an on-line comic to accompany the album here.

Best Rock Album
The Demiwhores are fronted by Ed Gains, a prolific artist who exhibits a true DIY spirit, home recording and self releasing more than half a dozen albums. To be honest much of his back catalogue could have done with some prudent editing but this self titled band collection is great. We love the crunchy guitar sound and the "rock and roll is the devil's music" attitude but the main thing is that the songs are good - there's more going on than you pick up on the first listen. Take Coffin Car, the albums catchiest tune, a real toe tapper with a sing-along chorus, but take a listen to the lyrics and you realise it's about a driver of a crashed car watching his friends die around him. Also recommended is an acoustic set The Demiwhores recorded for National Radio. The songs translate well to a different interpretation, a true test of songcraft.

Breakthrough Act of the Year
Is 2007 the year roots music broke? A number of very promising nu folk acts such as The Teacups, Needles and Bees and Bear Cat have emerged in the last 12 months. The roots revival also encompasses country and blues influences. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to catch a live performance by a six piece outfit featuring pedal steel and fiddle, going by the unlikely name of The Vietnam War. They somehow meld hokeyness with a noughties indie sensibility. That night, admittedly a little drunk, I declared them my new favourite band. That still stands - The Vietnam War win the Alternatui for Breakthrough Act of the Year.

Instrumental Actof the Year
We're fond of instrumentals on Counting the Beat. In fact, some time age we did a special called Lost For Words. We've only heard two tracks by An Emerald City, both instrumentals that develop and then soar, in a manner not dissimilar to the great Australian band, The Dirty Three. But on the strength of Qing Song and A Thousand Stars At Night we have no hesitancy in awarding An Emerald City the Alternatui for Best Instrumental of 2007.

Album of the Year and Band of the Year
The Whipping Cats have been a revelation in the past year, a faultless EP, a cracking album and a hugely energetic live show. They draw on the blues, but given their age it's hard to tell if their influences are early Stones or the White Stripes. They are a three piece, playing drums, guitar, and harmonica with organ augmenting the sound on the recent album as well. The 4 track EP, The Gruesome Numbers is a great starting point for anyone wanting to hear this band, but the album, The Last Ditch Dance really delivers the goods. It has songs with the immediacy and pace of the EP, such as Lightning Savage Children, but also a broader range of tracks that reveal their appeal with repeated listens. Keep your eyes on these guys - they well deserve their two Alternatuis, but remember - when they win Best Band at the Tuis - that we championed them first.

And finally, honourable mention to Clench, now, sadly, defunct. Over recent months this foot-to-the-floor down and dirty rock 'n' roll outfit has brought a breath of fresh air to the Waiheke live scene, for so long dominated by solo bluesman. They weren't around for long but they'll be missed - Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma'am.

Congratulations to all of the artists who have picked up awards. While an Alternatui doesn't come with cash or prizes it is a true indication that we value and appreciate the music you are creating. Thank you from Counting the Beat and The Beach.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sad Demise of THE BEACH

The seventh anniversary of this once wonderful little radio station, has passed earlier this month, without any fanfare this time round. There's more sadness now than there has ever been in these past 7yrs, and looking back now it is obvious that the demise of this unique little soundbyte in the Sth Pacific actually started 3yrs back when the new owner took control......
At that time there were some of the then current volunteer announcers that knew of this new owner from thirty years earlier. Because back then he became the face of music television in NZ, on a show called Radio With Pictures, and accordingly picked up the title of Dr ROCK from this stint in front of the camera.
Coming back to 2007 and this same person has all but destroyed The Beach in the short space of 3yrs of control, he came with an hidden agenda, and it has wreaked havoc.
One could dive into all sort of lurid details here but there's really no point in digging up the dirt on a garden that has lain fallow for far too long. All you supporters of The Beach over these past years only need to know that The Beach as it has been will no longer be. It's been destroyed by a one time hero of the music industry, who went to sleep in the early 80's and just like Rumplestiltskin forgot to wake up!
The website seems to have disappeared into the ether and the radio studio at Artworks is no more, its now based in the back room of a garage in Blackpool, and in case you didn't know it's not been streaming on the net since May 18th 2005.
A classic case of the crew rebelling against their Captain Bourbonne has evolved and he's been left to sail his ship on to the nearest rocks somewhere around Cape March.
Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stunned Mullet: Silver Scrolls Special Available to Download

Last week the 2007 Silver Scroll Awards were held. You've probably all heard by now that the winner was Brooke Fraser for her song Albertine. Not what we here at The Beach would have chosen, but there you go.

The awards themselves are a pretty glamourous affair but one of the nice features is that almost everyone there is actually a musician, rather than an industry hack. That's because the Silver Scrolls are the awards of a songwriters and performers organisation, APRA. In fact the winning song is voted by the members of APRA, the songwriters themselves.

A special feature of the award show is the performance of the five nominated songs by other musical artists. The idea behind this is that if the song is really good it should stand up to different interpretations, and not be completely bound with its original form and performance.

Also at this years awards there was the inaugural induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. While he might not have the cool factor of, say, Shane Carter, or the gravitas of Don McGlashan, the inductee, Jordan Luck, (pictured) has written songs, pop songs, that have endured and become part of the social fabric of our country. The announcement took many by surprise, not least of all Jordan, who described himself as a 'stunned mullet'. However, most felt the accolade was truly deserved.

You can hear interviews with the nominees, the performances of the nominated songs from the award ceremony and excerpts from the awards show (including a classic quote from Helen Clark) in the Counting The Beat Silver Scrolls Special available for streaming or download.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dylan, Mark Ronson, Simon, El. Who could possibly ask for more?

Go to to check out the new Mark Ronson remix of Dylan's 'Most likely you go your way (and I'll go mine)' - Bloomin' marvelous!!! Almost makes you want to go out and buy the new Dylan album doesn't it!!! Not quite tho eh!! ;-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

This Year's Best Record: Yeah Right

The nominees for the NZ Music Awards, best known as The Tuis, have been announced and they're not a bad bunch. And while Hayley Westenra is amongst those nominated there are several acts that are favourites of us here at The Beach who also get the nod. Liam Finn is up for breakthrough artist and single of the year for Second Chance, The Tutts K is also in the single of the year category while (imagine trumpet fanfare here) The Mint Chicks are nominated for four awards - Album of the year, Best Group, Rock Album of the year and Best Album Cover Art.

It's at this point that we get to jump around thumbing out nose at the organisers of the The Tuis, RIANZ, shouting "We knew them before they were big", "told you so" etc, etc. That's because it was around this time last year that we first declared the Mint Chicks brilliance here on the Beach Radio Blog. Then in October, in the inaugural Alternatuis, we gave them the Best Group award, stating
"The Mint Chicks are the stand out group of the year by far. Their album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! is superb. These guys write pop songs full of oddball structures and tangential ideas. Live, they go off like the Energiser bunny. As previously heralded here on the blog the Mint Chicks are currently the best band in the land."
You can download a Counting The Beat awards special here (Counting The Beat 16 /09 / 07). The show looks at the upcoming Silver Scrolls, the Tui nominees and revisits the 2006 Alternatui winners.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The remix playlist - 8 Sept 07

...and rather fine it was too!!!

The Chems are still making a mark with 'We are the night' both as an album and a track, I can't stop playing The Gossip 'Listen up' track and this latest (of many) splendid remixes is plure pleasure!!!

More of the same from the Go! Team (which has to be a good thing in anybody's book with their new single 'Grip Like A Vice' and Mark Ronson's re-work of the Kaiser Chiefs single, Oh my god , is (9 months into the year) rapidly heading into my single of the year (closely followed by - New Young Pony Club - The Bomb) but, ofcourse this can always change in an instance!

I played an excellent remix of the LCD Soundsystem's - Us vs Them from Go Home Productions who recently decided to hang up his booties!!! Pervauer of many a quality remix and mashup since 2003 he's decided enough's enough after recieving (justifiably) poor reviews of his recent CD release!!!

Here are the reviews:

"Your sister will love it" IDJ
"Utter Rubish" (4 out of 5) DJ Mag
"Vidler's still a genius but I can't help preferring it when he was
giving away knocked off gear" Word Mag.

and my personal favourite "If You'd been around in 1972 and someone had promised to
hand stitch you a pair of bell-bottoms, then delivered them in 1977,
how would you feel?" Time Out - Priceless!!

Truth is he was way too late with this release and it clearly was aimed, as the review said, 'at your sister' but none-the-less he has produced some excellent work over the years which, bless him, he is now making available to download for free. His entire back catelogue!!! Go to the website above!!

Look out soon on this blog for mp3s of tunes listed on this playlist!!! Just as soon as Country Mike gets his shit together with the webserver!!!! ;-) - Live streaming coming soon to an internet near you!!!

Hour 1 Part 1 -19:46

00:00 Chemical Brothers - We are the night
05:23 The Gossip - (ATOC remix) [sting]
12:28 Mark Ronson ft Lily allen - Oh my god (kaiser chiefs cover)
15:31 Groove Armada - Song 4 mutya (out of control)
19:21 The Go! Team - Grip Like A Vice

Hour 1 part 3 - 21:40

00:00 Tom Middleton - Shinkansen
06:54 LCD Soundsystem - Us vs Them (Go Home Productions Remix) [Sting]
12:12 New Young Pony Club - The Bomb
16:10 TeddieBears - yours to keep ft annie

Hour 2 part 1 - 24:11

00:14 Dan le sac vs scroobius pip - Thou shalt always kill
05:47 Klaxons - Not Over Yet
08:52 M.I.A - Paper planes [Sting]
12:16 Amy Winehouse - Tears dry on their own
15:18 Kate Nash - Foundations
19:06 Unkle - burn my shadow

Hour 2 part 3 - 18:30

00:00 Smith n hack - falling star
05:41 Hard Fi - Suburban Knights (Angello & Ingrosso Remix)
11:56 The Chemical Brothers - The Salmon Dance (Crookers Wow Mix)