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As myself and Jarred pull over to the shoulder of Auckland’s motorway, we are primed after listening to Ash Grunwald’s eclectic Blues tunes to interview the man himself. “I hope it was a pleasant experience” He jokes down the phone line
The Australian Blues musician sits somewhere between eccentric rocker Hani El Khatib the electric mayhem of Ben Harper while sharing a passion for surfing like close friend, musician Xavier Rudd; albeit without the strong eco leanings, he’s certainly not shy of a political cause. “I’m in the most Sharkie bloody area in the world at the moment” he says. “In the Byron Bay area, it’s a big issue. It’s absolutely beautiful but shark, shark, shark at the moment”
Grunwald’s colourful ethnicity is a varied musical tapestry that has him joking about his ‘blackground’. With a slightly disguised Dutch sounding surname it’s hard to pick his roots. “Coloured South African” he says. “That’s my dad’s side and Aussie on the other side. I even have the local mob saying ‘Have you got black brother?’ “Yeah, I’m boring I’m boring”
Make no qualms about it, Grunwald is all about the Blues. He has released eight albums and in 2005 received an ARIA Award, our equivalent of the Tui’s. Grunwald drew attention as a solo artist with the release of 2002’s Introducing Ash Grunwald, a collection of originals and blues standards that included a mix of traditional & modern songs “Smokestack Lightnin’” (Howlin’ Wolf) “The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James) and “Rolling And Tumbling” (Robert Johnson) recorded live with only acoustic guitar and foot percussion consisting of a stomp box and tambourine. With such a strong musical pedigree, it’s no surprise he was destined to sing the Blues
“You know what? It might have a slight heritage vibe” he concludes. “My grandad use to teach me guitar as well and I grew up in a very Anglo kind of area and I just identified with black music in particular. I love that jive Black American culture and I just really got into Blues music for whatever reasons and I just love its soulfulness”
“Across my career I’ve always tried to do different things with that which is essentially changing the backing, changing the way that it’s made, but I always try to keep it as soulful as I can”
Talk turns to surfing, well the best spots in Auckland courtesy of local yokel Jarred. We think Ash meant Piha Beach on Auckland’s West Coast but we can’t sure, all we can think of is ‘that beach that Eddie Vedder nearly drowned in’. “Well I’d love to be surfing every day if possible” he tells us. “That’s something I love to do, that’s another massive passion I have. I like everything on a board I like to go snowboarding as well which I haven’t done in New Zealand yet, I wish I had”
“I think I’m playing Auckland Wellington I think and Raglan has been added” he continues. “I can’t really indulge too much because I’ve got this really great opportunity to make an album and I’m just launching my album. This guy in America is flying me out to make this album, I couldn’t say no and its kind of stressing me out a bit but I’m stoked. And he’s going to get special guests on it, fairy tale business for me. I’ve never really had anyone do that before”
Grunwald’s latest album NOW, sports a photo of Grunwald without his trademark dreadlocks, which he has worn for the past 20 years. The album was released in September but the process around making the album and song writing still remains the same
This week we review the big encryption debate, a 4-year US$35,000 Internet troll search, Facebook and forgetting your ex, MyRepublic update, Aura’s $10m Kordia sale, Tesla’s disappearing autonomous mode, 30 years of Windows plus Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016.
This NZ Tech Podcast episode produced with the support of Gorilla Technology, hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guests Paul Brislen and Vaughan Baker. Published by Podcasts NZ – home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.
You are invited to our end of year events: 27 November – Auckland (in conjunction with Geekzone and sponsors) and 4 December – Wellington (in conjunction with Geekzone, Access Granted and sponsors)
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December 9-19, 2015
A stellar line-up of New Zealand’s finest entertainers at Q Theatre’s Get Your Jingle On season, guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. The series kicks off with legendary poet Sam Hunt on December 9 and includes performance poetry, jazz, new-soul, retro rock and cabaret showcases.
This quality series has been tastefully curated to deliver the very best entertainment Auckland has to offer including Nathan Haines, the Modern Maori Quartet, Jackie Clarke and Julia Deans, plus many more.
Multi-instrumentalist jazz maestro Nathan Haines, recently returned home after living in London for many years, brings to Q a specially curated performance, this time taking to the vocal mic with the backing of an 8 piece Little Big Band, including some of New Zealand’s top musicians and Nathan’s close friend and collaborator Tama Waipara.
From the suave crooning boys of the Modern Māori Quartet, who offer a fresh take on the classic Māori show-bands of yesteryear, to the all-diva line-up with stand-up comedian Michele A’Court opening for the Lady Killers (Jackie Clarke, Tina Cross and Suzanne Lynch) and a full Band: with their signature cabaret rock show, singing all the classics from the 80s and 90s, it will be a guaranteed party, as will every night. Some of New Zealand’s most exciting new musical talents will also feature, including neo-soul diva Bailey Wiley, critically acclaimed as one of New Zealand’s most vital and current emerging artists and Silver Scroll nominee Anthonie Tonnon.
Come along and celebrate the festive season with a memorable musical feast sure to sell out.
Shows start at 7pm each night and tickets costs $35+ booking fee.
For tickets visit: www.qtheatre.co.nz
What would you fight for? Are you ready to build your own legacy or you are caught in a shadow? If you are looking for answers to these questions, Ryan Coogler has them all lined up in his boxing film, Rocky VII: Creed. It’s more than just about boxing, and it’s definitely creating a lot of buzz among audiences. The film chooses not to follow the journey of legendary Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), but instead the path of a young and ambitious Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) who learns everything the hard way.
The movie takes you back to a juvenile detention, there is a little boy the world will soon discover, the son of the great boxer, Apollo Creed. Apollo’s widow played by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) cared enough for him by taking him away from those ‘dark forces’ and raising him as her own son. He was born to become a fighter and had that burning feeling inside. I’m sure most of you can relate to this. Imagine every day you lived as somebody else, but not as your own, he could quit everything he has achieved so far in order to grow his passion into something more real
Adonis arrives in Philadelphia to rent a cheap apartment for the sake of meeting boxing legend Rocky. Their connection is entwined closely together, when we see the old and exhausted Balboa training Adonis, son of his friend and opponent Apollo Creed, his soul strives to succeed to win. Rocky gives him guidance and advice, both are facing their own fight and Stallone gives it his all when face to face with Jordan. The dialogue between Rocky and Adonis is key factor in this film and the breakthrough for both characters
Finding who you are in life and winning in your mind are major highlights I took with me walking out of the movie theatre. It’s all about how strong you are to stand back up, and fight again. You won’t discover anything new and different if you go to watch Creed. However, if you are after a good storyline, it’s a real golden nugget. Creed mirrors Rocky’s story, it’s an old school classic film projecting real life questions
Not being a pro boxer or supporter of brutality, Creed was worthy of my time that’s for sure. Warner Bros Pictures haven’t disappointed me in the past, nor with this Hollywood blockbuster drama. We can all be proud of the young Creed
Its episode 50! Wal & Jarred go James Bond and review Spectre, Will Fleming host of My Kiwi Life podcast is in the house and we chat to Aussie Blues musician Ash Grunwald
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Well it’s the film all Mockingjay devotees have been waiting for – Real or not real?
Basically, the film picks up from Mockingjay part one and the viewer hurled once again into the dystopian world of Panem, a country where the gap between rich and the poor is vast and a futuristic tundra divided into 12 districts, all ruled by President Coriolanus Snow fantastically played by the flamboyant Donald Sutherland
Ok, well we know stretching out three novels into four films was a coup no doubt for the film’s makers as this looks to be another worldwide hit, but how does it stack up?
Surprisingly it’s not that bad a film. I say that pensively after the last couple in the series and also the latest bump of dystopian movies of late like The Maze Runner and The Giver. It’s certainly more entertaining I thought than the Divergent series
Lawrence turns in a solid performance as the reflective hero, while Woody Harrelson and Julianne Moore reprise their earlier roles with passable conviction. What I liked about this instalment is that Katniss’s character is explored more, focusing on her reactions with her personal struggle and we also see a darker grittier side to Peeta Mellark than previous Hunger films that helped pique my interest watching the movie
MJ2 doesn’t skimp on action either, heightening the movies gingerly pace in certain scenes. The love tug of war between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) Peeta and Gale becomes apparent, who will she choose – argh too close to call
If you’re a Mockingjay devotee then you shouldn’t be disappointed, if on the other hand you know nothing about the books or couldn’t care less, approach with caution if not for sheer entertainment value
The Great Britain Ukulele Orchestra albeit with a hint from their namesake, sound like they play instrumental accompaniment with the treasured adapted Hawaiian taonga – the ukulele. To my surprise, this was nothing further from the truth, as the talented English septet entertained with banter, wit and song (shit they can sing well too) for a couple of hours that would make the local X-factor TV show cringe in comparison
Pony tailed soprano ukulele player Dave Suich was quick to forge a bond with the Kiwi crowd as he offered a prize pack to a woman in the front row which included a couple of ‘ukulele plectrums made from his hotel key’. ‘Good news for you, but not for me’ he quipped as the group ripped through a generous two sets of loved favourites including Prince’s Kiss, Pharrell Williams smash hit Happy and group member Leisa Rae with a powerful performance of fellow Brits The Zuton’s world-wide hit Valerie as popularised by the late Amy Winehouse
New Zealanders love affair with the ukulele is entrenched in our childhoods (well most of us anyway) as the Orchestra caressed the crowd, wooing them with a set formulated to engage and get the crowd foot tapping along. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a crowd play up to a band, although the call ‘Hawaiian’ did wear thin after the first couple of times, the crowd chimed in responding on cue
Founding member George Hinchliffe was instrumental directing the band, his stories had an old school charm, his humorous sense of timing spot on. Bass ukulele player Jonty Bankes ‘the baby of the group at 25 years’ according to Suich, held the groove down pat. His fat bass licks nicely balancing out the stringed ensemble while his version of Bowies Life On Mars was deserving of accolade. Funnier still was his uncanny resemblance to actor John Simm who plays the lead in the TV Show of the same name, while the finale number held the crowd literally spellbound
The group are currently touring the country ending up in Wellington at the end of the month. Forget your phobia of the words ‘orchestra’ or ‘ukulele’, if you get your grandchildren and grandparents to go along, chances are Dave Suich’s offer to buy a beer may still stand, but you didn’t hear that from me. The Great Britain Ukulele Orchestra finished with a standing ovation and deservedly so, make sure you get along to see one of this year’s most entertaining musical spectacles
We do a hands on comparison between the best from Apple and Microsoft as we look at iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4 vs Surface Book. Also discussed is MyRepublic’s $500 1Gbps Business UFB, Netflix Tax, UltraHD Blu-ray, the All Dock, and Uber NZ’s 10% price drop.
This NZ Tech Podcast episode produced with the support of Gorilla Technology, hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guests Damien O’Carroll. Published by Podcasts NZ – home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.
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007 James Bond is back. Spectre is a bombastic spectacle, amazing action set pieces, and a rollercoaster ride of fun to behold. The three previous Daniel Craig James Bond instalments has grown the Bond mythology, looking into the make up of the man, adding to the dark side drama of Bond while fighting in a sophisticated political underworld of corruption
Spectre is full of nostalgia from Bond films of past, not wanting to add too many spoilers, lets just say it is a warm welcome. The fun shines back with hammy humour, one liners, and silly over the top situations. Spectre has Bond pushed further into a Superhero character, fitting as the cineplexes are now flooded with comic book super hero movies
Daniel Craig Bond embodies the Sean Connery Bond of coolness, and the Roger Moore Bond of fun. Sexy beautiful Bond girls are no exception, Monica Bellucci brings age, grace, beauty and shares a hot scene with Bond. Lea Seydoux a Bond girl that is an equal and possibly the one that could penetrate Bond’s heart. As with any Bond Film you need a great villain, Christopher Waltz does a great job, I only wish he was more ambiguous than being tangible as a human. Jaws villain of past film ‘Moonraker’ makes a teasing comeback in the skin of Dave Bautista. This time around, Q (Ben Whishaw) gets into the action, which is a pleasant surprise
Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) has brought a intelligence with style in his direction to his two Bond film outings Skyfall and Spectre. Working with incredibly skilled directors of photography, adds a level of top class. The opening one shot in Spectre is a marvel. Out of all the Bond films of past, my mind reflects on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with George Lazenby, a Bond film showing his vulnerability, directed with a def hand of style
I for one really enjoyed Spectre, maybe more than I should, but I am a fan of James Bond, and I soaked in the nostalgia that filled the screen