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.