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)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Local People, Local Knowledge

Waihekepedia is a new initiative of a group of islanders who have set up a wiki that aims to be the "encyclopedia about Waiheke". Like that other wiki you've probably heard of the idea is for the content to be user generated. Rather than a site that's trying to sell you accomodation or wine tours or real estate this site aims to collect information on the island from those that live here, with the aim of being an information source, but also a way of telling our stories.

Greg Treadwell is an editorial advisor on the Waihekepedia team. He came into the station to talk to Chris on Island Life. Greg explained something about the genesis of the project (a nice little slice of island life in itself), the aims and objectives, and how it works. We recorded the interview and as well as being able to listen to it here, you can find it on the Waihekepedia site itself. How's that for a piece of cross-platform digital wizardry?

Check out the Beach Radio Waihekepedia page

Waiheke Coastguard: Born To be Wild

Every Saturday morning on The Beach our current affairs magazine show Island Life takes a look at Waiheke news, events and people. In recent months we have started to talk regularly to some of the volunteers involved with the Waiheke Coastguard. Our chats are usually pretty relaxed; sometimes we'll talk about safety tips, at other times training they are offering, and sometimes they recount rescues they've performed. Those are the best ones. They want "Born to Be Wild" to be their intro theme tune but I figure if you've got to have an early seventies hard rock track "Smoke On The Water' would be better suited.

The coastguard crew and supporters are all volunteers and they work really hard on and off the water to keep boaties on the Hauraki Gulf safe. I asked them once if they ever go fishing when they're out on patrol. They claim they don't but I don't know, wouldn't you?

Last Saturday the crew skipper Robb Henry came in. He talked about a rescue that saw them get a nomination for a coast guard award and about how they need to raise $800, 000 for a new boat that will mean they have better response capability. The Waiheke Coastguard need our support. If you can help out they would love to hear from you - email

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Long time no blog

Yeah I know, it's been a while but what with moving house, an overseas trip to the UK for three and half weeks and conceiving twins it's all been a bit hectic!!!

Anyways the show will be back with a vengance soon! Look out for a new show coming soon featuring ofcourse the latest significant releases with an added twist!!!

And I think we're streaming now too!! Check out this blog for an update on the great streaming debate coming soon and a big up to Brent and Chris for keeping the blog fresh of late!! I promise to do my best - Dib dib dib.etc...

Anyways to the blog in hand. As I mentioned earlier, I was back in the UK last month catching up with family and friends!!! One particular bunch of mates formed a covers band, Snoggin' the Dog (affectionately know as the STDs) a couple of years back and, bless 'em, they organised a gig for my return and subsequently asked me to sing a tune..... This was my choice!!!

Et voila...

P.S Please note raptuous applause and whooping at the end of the track!!! :-)

Friday, August 31, 2007

City Scenes

One of my favourite tracks at the moment is City Lights by The Vietnam War. That got me thinking about another fantastic song, City Scenes by The Features . And before I knew it a theme show was born.

This week Counting the Beat will feature New Zealand songs that either have City in the title or are by bands with City in their name. It's a silly idea I know, but someone had to do it.

To whet your appetite I've gathered together a few videos including Vietnam War performing City Lights live. Just scroll over the pictures to see which videos are featured.

Also included in the show are The Nudie Suits, Loves Ugly Children, Lucid 3, The Sneaks and more.

By the way, the bass player in The Features was Chris Orange, now a Waiheke resident. Check out a live radio performance on The Beach from Chris recorded earlier this year.

UPDATE: You can download this episode along with other Counting The Beat shows at BigPod.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Silver Scroll Nominees Announced

Shockwaves were felt throughout the NZ music scene today when it was learnt that neither Don McGlashan nor Dave Dobbyn were amongst the five finalists for the 2007 Silver Scroll Awards. Within living memory it has been common practice for the two to take turn about for top New Zealand music awards, with the occasional concession to the third of the great Kiwi music triumvirate, Neil Finn.

A clearly shaken McGlashan, bathing in a river of tears, was unable to comment, but is said to be counting the cost of a now unnecessary mantle piece extension. Dobbyn, meanwhile, has put away the welcome mat at his comfortable Grey Lynn home and may be considering applying to Algeria for refugee status. When asked for his opinion on the matter Neil Finn flew into a rage and could be heard muttering, "It's all that b**** Helen Clark's fault".

New Zealand music fans now face the prospect of having to come to terms with a whole new generation of musical talent receiving acclaim and airplay. Music scene commentator and high profile DJ, Barry Jenkin, made a statement summing up public feeling on the scandal, "Everybody knows there's been no decent new talent since 1984, what are they playing at!"

What do you think? Cast your vote in the Beach radio poll - "Which song should win the 2007 Silver Scroll?" The poll can be found in the sidebar to the right.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rock on the Rock - Clench

A few weeks back I went to see Clench at Malones in Surfdale after having missed them a few weeks earlier at the Dirt Track. The show was reviewed by a couple of the local rags who didn't really seem to know what to make of them ... which was a good sign in my book. A couple of the Clench crew are (or were) DJs on the station so supporting them and seeing whether Waiheke can actually rock was on the cards for the night. Rock bands on 'the Rock' are few and far between; we seem to attract more of the singer/songwriter types than you'd ever really want to meet and I must admit that I went down without too many expectations, just to have a few beers say hello to some mates, listen to some music then walk home. Surprise! First song hooked me right away and reeled me in for the rest of the night - Clench were the real deal. Original numbers, riffs!... good ones too, rock'n'roll with an attitude and some real grit to it had landed in Malones of all places. I've been thinking about the band and what a great show they put on that night ever since so if you want to see some fine local rock head on down to Malones again this Saturday. I'm going to try to get some tracks by Clench on the site as soon as possible so check back. See you on Saturday.


Listen to Clench's Live set on bFM here...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What The Folk!

Bill Whall is a Waiheke Island folk muso. On Saturday 28 July he popped in to Island Life to have a chat about a monthly Waiheke Folk Club jam night he's starting up. Club night is the first Wednesday of each month, starting August 1. The jam will be held at the Sports Club, down on the Causeway, staring at 7pm. Bill explained that the format of the evening will be open mic from 7pm through to about 8.30 - 9.00. After that there will be a feature act, this coming month it's a bluegass outfit called Shotgun from the Titirangi Folk Club featuring former islander, Alan Lewis. The evening will finish with a jam. Whether you want to play, or just listen, all are welcome for a modest charge ($4 for members, $6 for non-members). The bar and kitchen will be open and the music will be great.

Bill brought in his banjo and played a couple of numbers. He picked up quite an audience from those passing through the artworks courtyard. Take a listen on the player below or visit the Internet Archive for downloads.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For Your Listening Pleasure

Last week we broadcast a special on songs named after New Zealand place names. The audio for this show is now available. Either click on the flash player here or visit the Internet Archive for a range of download and streaming options. We're sure you'll enjoy this show, the audio for last years Place Names Special has become one of our most popular downloads.

Also, keep an eye open for an upcoming announcement of weekly podcasting of some the radio shows here on The Beach 99.4fm.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Out with the Old, in with the New(old)

Well the big news last week was the storm which ravaged Waiheke with 100+ km winds and rain, knocking down trees and casting most of the island into darkness for varying amounts of time. One of the casualties of this wrath of nature was the old Beach Radio broadcasting desk which got fried by an electrical spike or some such anomoly when the power eventually did come back on. Like most things in this station (including some of the DJs) that old desk was held together by chewing gum and spit but it did the job and its departure will be met with a mixture of sadness and relief. The good news is that due to an earlier donation by another island resident we had a backup desk ready to go. The new-old desk, pictured above, while not quite of the same caliber as the old desk and not technically a broadcast desk seems to be humming along quite nicely. We've chucked a bit of #8 wire into it plus a bit of the old Kiwi DIY ingenuity and the needles are hopefully bipping along nicely bringing the island the high caliber of volunteer radio that they've come to expect.

Viva la new/old desk!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've Been Everywhere AND BACK!

A wide range of Download and Streaming options of this show are available at the Internet Archive

The idea behind this show (and post) is to focus on musicians who are celebrating or commenting on their country through their songs. Each song featured is named after a NZ town or location. As you'll see and hear, there is a diverse bunch, from traditional country to indie pop/rock. I have run a previous special of the same sort. Back then I traversed the country from North to South so this time I figured I better head bottom up. Putting the special together has given me the opportunity to play with a couple of new internet toys so below you'll find a map, click on the markers to get track info, links and even the odd download. And underneath the map a slide show to give you something to look at as you listen to the show. After all, we all love seeing people's holiday slides don't we.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Repost: I've Been Everywhere

About a year ago I ran a Counting The Beat special on songs that were named after New Zealand towns and locations. I recorded the show but a few technical problems meant the sound wasn't great. I've finally had a bit of a tinker and got it to a passable standard so I decided it was time to re-run the posting that accompanied the show, but this time you can listen too! This is a show I'm particularly proud of, I hope you like it. Working on this has also prompted me to turn my attention to a sequel - that should be coming in a few weeks. Listen into the show at 6pm on Sundays for details. You can listen to a stream of the place name special on the player below or download it from our friends at the Internet Archive.

Here is the long promised place name special. The deal is that all songs on the show have a New Zealand place name as their title. As you may imagine the result is an eclectic array of musical styles, from folk, to electronica, to punk and more. This post highlights a few of the artists, songs and locations featured.

Auckland Tonight - The Androidss
One of two songs about Auckland comes from The Androidss (sic), a band that actually hail from Christchurch. You can read a short bio on the excellent thebigcity site, an essential for your favourites list if you are into alternative kiwi acts.

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu - Peter Cape

One of the reasons this show took so long to put together was because I had to learn how to say the name of this place. The song is by Peter Cape, a cleric, broadcaster, and folk singer with a very interesting history. Believe it our not the song title is an abbreviation of the actual place name.

Cape Turnagain - The Warratahs and Sam Hunt
Named by Cook on his inaugural visit to these shores, Cape Turnagain became the subject of this fantastic song written by Barry Saunders and Sam Hunt. Here's Barry with the Cape in the background.

Otaki - The Fourmyula
Not much to say about this one. All you need to know is here on another essential kiwi music website.

Wellington - The Mutton Birds
Don McGlashan has a new solo album out called Warm Hand. I haven't heard it yet, but reviews are good. The Mutton Birds still have a site you can check out.

Christchurch (In Cashel St I Wait) - The Dance Exponents
Brilliant, Naming not only the city, but the specific street. Are there any kiwi songs with an actual address? If so, I want to hear about them.

Purakanui - Jetty
One of my favourite places in the world. I was very excited when I discovered someone had recorded a song about this beach on the Otago coast. Incidentally the band Jetty are also named after a place. The band name came about because their practice rooms were on Jetty St, down by the wharf area in Dunedin.

I've Been Everywhere - John Hore
John Hore gave John Denver his name. He later changed his own name to John Grenell. Who knew? More info here.

There you go; a musical journey from North to South. Keep a look out for the sequel.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Give Peace A Chance

The 8th of June 2007 is the 20th anniversary of the passing of legislation to make New Zealand nuclear free. To get a local slant on this historic occasion The Beach 99.4fm invited Waiheke woman Maynie Thompson onto our Island Life magazine show to discuss her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement in the 1980s. (Use the flash player below to hear the interview. To download or for higher quality streams see the link at the end of the post.)

Maynie is an amazing woman. In this interview she discusses the inspiration for her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement and some of her adventures as a front line activist.

Waiheke became a hotbed of activism in the eighties and Maynie and other local women found they had plenty of support from the island community as they took their message of peace to the world. In 1983 she participated in a march to Wellington calling for the New Zealand government to take a stand on the nuclear issue. Enthused by that experience, a year later Maynie visited Britain to join the women’s camp at Greenham Common protesting the deployment of American nuclear missiles on British soil. She wasn’t merely a passive participant in this protest, she was involved in cutting the fence and raiding the Greenham Common military complex.

Two years later Maynie again ventured overseas to participate in the Great Peace March across the United States, walking much of the way from Los Angeles to Washington DC, again calling for peace and an end to the nuclear threat.

Maynie’s activism continued into the 1990’s with her participation in the 1995 Peace Flight to Tahiti. This action was to protest French Nuclear testing on the Pacific atoll Mururoa and to lend support to the indigenous people of Tahiti and other Pacific nations who were in the region were the French chose to carry out their nuclear dirty work.

It was a real pleasure talking with Maynie. She has dedicated many years to the campaign for peace and wanted to emphasise the overwhelming support she had received from the Waiheke community over this time. She justifiably looks back on her involvement in the peace movement with pride.

You can download or stream the interview with Maynie here.

A music track featuring excerpts from Davis Lange’s Oxford Union Debate against Jerry Falwell on the morality of nuclear weapons is available for download here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Pat On The Back Time

As NZ Music Month comes to an end I heave a (slight) sigh of relief. Presenting the "Live On The Beach" series has its challenges, not least overcoming the technical issues that arise when you're trying to broadcast live music from a studio that could be charitably described as rustic and no-frills. And then there are the musicians. Actually this years line-up gave me no problems at all, but in the past it has been a little like herding cats.

What makes it all worthwhile are the performances, and this year for the first time (causing even more headaches and anxiety) these are posted on the internet for you to download or listen to again. There's a podcast list in the sidebar to the right.

I want to thank all of the musicians - Chris Orange; Ian Simpson; Mamacan; and Rattleshack. Also, thanks to the Gulf news for the great ad, Dave T, Chris, Ian & Andy for the use of gear and the family for putting up with me spending so much time on this.

Series 5 of "Live On The Beach" concluded with Harry Nicklin and Andy Lewis, who together are Rattleshack. Take a listen to their performance here.

And now, as promised in an earlier post, I have a historical "Live On The Beach" post for you. This one's for the obscurists amongst you and has a little back story.

Fatal Jelly Space were a great Auckland band who released one great EP, titled Hole, on Flying Nun in 1990. They were a staunchly feminist outfit and a ferocious (if not somewhat scary) phenomenon live striking fear into the hearts of many.

In the early years of the twenty first century Bob Dylan played the god-awful North Shore Events Centre in Takapuna, Auckland. Ordinarily that wouldn't have grabbed me, but supporting him was none other than Patti Smith. As soon as I heard that I was there. She was better than I can describe here and I went away very happy but that's another story.

Anyway, on the way back into town to catch the last ferry to Waiheke we saw someone hitching we recognised as coming from the island. We picked her up and got chatting and it turned out this fellow Patti Smith fan was Frankie Bodi of Fatal Jelly Space.

In 2003 I was putting together the first series of NZ Music Month live-to-air performances on The Beach and I was trying to put together a line-up. I remembered that late night hitch-hiking encounter and approached Frankie about performing. She agreed, playing a short solo set of originals. To my ears the highlight was one of the tracks from that Hole EP, Miseriah.

Take a listen, Frankie Fatal, Live On The Beach 99.4fm, May 2003

Look out for more "back catalogue" posts in coming weeks. For now, however, I'm looking forward to going in on a Sunday night and just playing CDs

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Live From Our Oneroa Studio

The Beach's NZ Music Month Special continues to roll throughout May. Waiheke musicians playing live in our studio every Sunday at 6pm. Coming up this week is Rattleshack featuring Harry Nicklin and Andy Lewis. I saw these guys play at the library a couple of weeks ago and they sounded great. Harry is a great word smith and his voice and guitar interplay nicely with Andy's mandolin. I'm really looking forward to their performance.

In the meantime here are links to two more of our Live On The Beach performances.

Ian Simpson played a solo set on May 13 while Mamacan played May 20. Mamacan are a four piece featuring Lou Rix (vocals), Ange Munns (guitar, vocal), Liz Ross and Andrea McIntyre (both percussion). Being a four piece meant a real headache for me trying to set up and monitor all those inputs and get it to air. It was a great performance and I hope that the recording does it justice. I need a producer! Any way, both sets are well worth checking out if you didn't catch them live. You can either download or stream from the Internet Archive site.

Also keep an eye out for some historical Live On The Beach posts coming soon. I've got recordings going back over the entire five years the series has run and if I can track down the musicians I'll put up some of the stuff from the first series. Incidentally, when Harry plays next week it will be his second Live On The Beach appearance, he played a Benevolent Evelyns set way back on series one.

Chris - Counting The Beat, Sundays 6pm

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

DJ Simon - The Remix - May 2007

Has been a while since I blogged to the (Beach Radio) station site but I'm back with a vengence!! :-) A cracking show this week with some brand spanking new tracks and a couple of old classics to boot!! Great to hear the LCD soundsystems' 'Losing my Edge' again, that song kicked off a whole new listening genre for me personally back in 2002 and as their recent release 'Sound of Silver' proves it was definately the right track to be on!! :-)

Two new tracks from two new acts 'Dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip' and 'Battles' stood out for me this week!! Both have been creating a buzz on the internet of late and you can see why!!

Check out Dan le sac vs Scroobius pip - Thou shalt always Kill!

Good to see the Chemical Brothers back on form with their latest single 'Do it again' aswell as a welcome return from Groove Armada, but my track of the week has to go to the brilliant Mock n Toof remix of the Scissor sisters - My man

Hour 1 part 1 - 25:15

LCD Soundsystem - Losing my edge
Dan le sac vs scroobius pip - Thou shalt always kill
Battles - Atlas

Hour 1 part 3 - 20:18

Lily Allen - Alfie (CSS Remix)
Prince - Kiss (Daft Punk Mix)
Chemical brothers-do it again extended mix
Switch - A Bit Patchy (Original Mix)

Hour 2 part 1 - :20:27
Groove Armada - Get Down (album version)
Amy Winehouse - Rehab (Hot Chip remix)
Hot Chip - My piano
Teddybears - punkrocker

Hour 2 part 3 - 25:15
2000 and one - Pak pak
Scissor sisters - My man (Mock n Toof remix)
Dusty kid - I love richie
Mr Ozio - Patrick122 (Extended saxophone break)

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Bix Box Of Cassettes For You To Listen To

The thing with radio is that it's so of the moment; comments, discussion, music, thoughts, are here and then, quick as a wink, they're gone. (Country Mike has a great post you should check out on this below). That's fine when it's a straight music show but here on The Beach it's a little different; it's all about community man! As I'm fond of saying "The Beach isn't just radio on Waiheke, it's Waiheke radio".

On The Beach the interviews, the performances, and even the DJ banter are telling the stories of our little island. And if you gather these stories what you've got is a slice of social history. But, like I said, on radio once the words are uttered they're gone. Sure you can record them - I've got boxes of cassettes downstairs with documentaries, live performances and special feature shows I've recorded from radio over the years but if YOU want to hear them, you've got to come to my house.
What we need is a repository where we can store recordings in a way that is readily accessible to the general public. What's that I hear you say? The internet? Now there's an idea.

Podcasts have been around for a while, and are becoming part of everyday life for many - in fact there are a couple on the sidebar that have been there for a while so you can sample what The Beach is all about. But we've been thinking that we might try something a little different. What if we could start to build a record of the social history of Waiheke as reported, discussed and broadcast on The Beach. And what if in ten years, or twenty years, or even fifty you could access it to gain an understanding of island life as it is now.

Country Mike has another great post below on The Internet Archive, a project dedicated to the ideas I've discussed above.. From now on, some of the interviews and live performances from The Beach will be recorded and posted on the The Internet Archive. Whether you want to catch up with something you missed, or you want to learn a little about life in the gulf in the early years of the 21st century, we hope these posts will be of interest.

Our radio station is pretty rough and ready, the gear doesn't work that well and we're all volunteers - we're not offering hi-fidelity or regularity. But every once and a while we'll put stuff up and we'll point to it from here on the blog.

To kick things off we have posted one of the great live-to air performances we've presented on our specialist NZ music show Counting The Beat to mark NZ Music Month.

This is the fifth year we've featured the "Live On The Beach" series. Every Sunday in May a Waiheke musician plays live. Kicking things off this year was Chris Orange who plays in local outfit, Chocolate Fish. Here he talks about his musical background and performs solo, playing original material and covering The Scavengers True Love. Take a listen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Digging thru the

A few weeks ago a friend of mine challenged me to do a show that consisted entirely of freely available, downloadable songs. By "free" he also meant songs that were covered by one of the variety of Creative Commons licenses. The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to legally to build upon and share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one chosen, restrict only certain rights (or none) of the work.

So I gave it a shot, and from 9 to 10pm last night I played only songs that I downloaded from The Internet Archive Open Source music section. They are all covered by versions of the Creative Commons licenses or are in the Public Domain.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections, and now includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in their collections. There's some amazing stuff in there ... and as the show attested to, there's also some absolutely horrible stuff. I played a bit of the horrible stuff I found as well; it's a bit like the auditions for American Idol -- some stuff i just so bad, that it's good.

Here's a list of what I played, and links to most of them.

I Hate Country - Trey Kulp
Near the Cross - Lucas Gonze
Passing Through El Paso - Adam Hayes
She's the One - Bob Powell
St. James Infirmary - Ticklepenny
Le Waldo Blues - Sylvain Piron
Country Woman - Will Batts
Context Clues - Beak
Fish Without Eyeballs & Whatnot - Snot Patties
Can't Tune a Guitar at All - Lord Open
Hallelujah! I'm a bum - Harry McClintock
What the Devil - Not Daniel Johnson

Image: The CC Glow

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The DJ is a transmitter!

There few times in life when you really, really get to experience each moment to it's fullest. We'd all like to live by the mantra of grabbing each of one of them as they pass by blah,blah, blah... but for the most part they're lost in the mundanity of paying the mortgage, trying to relax, or stopping the kids from hurting themselves. I feel pretty lucky because on Monday night between 8 and 10pm I get two hours when all the moments are mine. In those two hours each moment is slowed down inside a pair of headphones just long enough for me to put my spin on it, and in between a small, stinky room in the Oneroa arts complex and any number of radios on this island the moments that go out on the air waves are in the order that I want to put them. I am not the artist (my musical ability is sorely lacking), but in this pursuit I am the jigsaw maker, I decide which piece will be cut from the larger matrix of music to fit in with the other peices around it. And for those two hours I can live each moment, not only can I live it, I can make it what I want. If I want to make it sad -- easy (I do have a country music theme going on after all), if I want to make it rebellious? easy.... feel like drinking? You get the picture.

Why do I and a whole bunch of other Beach Radio DJs do it? We don't get paid for the time, or all the hours doing things like gathering new music, loading it on to computers, blogging playlists, making stings, etc. Not speaking for the rest of them, but I do it because I really like the feeling of making a show up, of getting into the groove and pulling one out, because a "show" becomes more than the sum of it's musical parts. This is why listening to the station's computer play music just doesn't really do it for most people. It's the DJ that really makes this thing hum, because the DJ is a transmitter. S/he is the soul of radio.

If you're reading this blog you probably already listen to the Beach and you may have heard a bit of the rumour or press of our somewhat troubled existence. The one thing about this station seems to be that it's bloody resilient! This island needs a radio station. That's all there is too it; and it seems to know it, because it would appear that the place has been on the brink more than a few times, but it's still here - transmitting. Keep listening, cause we're doing our best to keep thing going to keep the soul of the DJ what it's all about.

And maybe it just is the best little radio station in the world.

Who knows?

Image: Unhindered by Talent

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hauraki Hoedown - Kirk Rundstrom Tribute

One of my all time favourite live Alt-country bands was Split Lip Rayfied. They were one of the most original, hard working, nose-to-the-ground musical units you'd ever hope to see and their live shows were always sweaty, high-octane, beer feuled affairs that often left me contemplating buying a crappy old van and following these guys across the beaten musical pathways of the USA. I was shocked when last year I heard that Kirk Rundstrom, the tattood guitar player and one of the main songwriters in the band had been diagnosed with Esopheagal cancer. Kirk looked kind of mean while on stage; his guitar playing was ferocious and I often wondered how the hell he kept it up for a whole show, but afterwards he was a humble and down-to-earth guy with a wife, a couple of kids and a strong passion for the type of music SLR were creating. On February 22nd, 2007 Kirk lost his battle with cancer. He had quit the chemo 'cause he was sick of laying around in bed and he got the band back together and they did what they did best - went on tour. Kirk's last show was December 8th, 2006 at the Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas. This show has fortunately been captured for airing on TV and you can watch it in 6 parts on YouTube.

I still can't believe that I will never see another Split Lip Rayfield show again ... that sucks! I'd always hoped that maybe one day we'd get them down to NZ and I think they would have liked it. I would have sold my house to see a SLR show in NZ; to have stood in front of Eaton's weedwhacker strung gastank bass, 2-fingered salute ready to go and a gut full of beer ... i'd have bought that van!

R.I.P. Kirk (but keep playing guitar!)