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New Gum Sarn are relative newcomers to the local scene as vocalist Oscar Dowling & guitarist Durham Fenwick confide ‘they’ve been playing together for two years’, they’ve also been busy carving out a name for themselves with their animated live shows garnishing word of mouth around the country building anticipation for their just released debut record New Gold Mountain
In their familiar haunt Karangahape Road’s iconic Revel café, it’s a bohemian milieu that has inspiration written all over it. We wait upon bassist Dave Weir (He also plays guitar in The Nightshades with Durham) he slips in casually stating he’s at ‘band practise with his band The Nightshades’. “Where’s my allegiance? Just with music, definitely with music” he says earning the nod of approval of all at the table
2015 been a rollercoaster ride that has seen their debut album New Gold Mountain just dropped and are in the middle of their nationwide tour to coincide with its release. The Auckland four-piece, made up of Oscar Dowling, Durham Fenwick, Sophia Lawler-Dormer and Dave Weir, are all from Auckland – funny that considering Oscar is somewhat of a recent migrant to Auckland he recounts how he ‘grew up around Puhoi area in the countryside’, it’s a geographical reach that has attributed to their unique band name
“We were originally called Small Boys which was a bit of a take on our thin not very impressive stature as men” says Durham. “We were like ‘that’s kind of lame’ there’s a girl in the band as well, we’re not all boys ‘let’s change the name’. We were sitting in the food court one day and I was like ‘New Gum Sarn’ and Oscar was like ‘yeah that’s it, that’s a real good one’ and so we just decided to roll with that and finding out it that it means ‘New Gold Mountain’ which is what the Chinese called New Zealand when they came here for the gold rush– it kind of ties in nicely”
Their infectious pop singles ‘Money Talks’ and ‘Bad Soy’ are creating a bit of stir in the market, however Durham is quick to point out the relevance of its meaning which may come as a surprise to some. “Bad Soy just came out of growing up and being confused about everything h
13A Mariposa Place
ow to spell words and feeling not so great sometimes. I felt like writing a song about it, I felt like it’s something a lot of people could connect with”
“Me and Durham have been playing together for two years or something” picks up Oscar. Dave plays bass writing songs and we’ve been jamming together and as a band with Dave and Sophia on drums for about 18 months, we’ve been playing together, yeah its cool”
New Gold Mountain was recorded live in Puhoi by Sam Hamilton with mastering by Rohan Evans and is due out now through Spunk Records as Dave remarks it’s ‘a year capture’ of the band’s chronological musical journey
“Yeah it’s an album it’s a pretty short album but I’m kind of into that right now” says Oscar. “It’s kind of nice to be able to be able to listen comfortably to an album of like around half an hour kind of length, some people would go ‘that’s an EP’, nah it’s an album.. It’s a solid little recording yeah, we definitely want to record again real soon, all of us just want to tour that’s what we want to do”
“There’s so many so many good bands around” He continues. “It kind of amazes me sometimes just how much there is, I don’t know if it’s maybe a good time for it but it seems like there’s a lot going on now”
This week we jump into Yahoo TV, Freeview Plus, Car Hacking issues for Chrysler/Jeep, new tech at MacDonald’s, Angus Norton’s journey from Microsoft to Xero, Drone Law changes, Android fragmentation and its impact on security, Windows 10 cometh.
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It was a good night to take shelter from the wintery elements and head to Tyler St Garage to check out the buzz of producer Cymbol 303 and Indie-Folkster This Pale Fire (Shivnesh Sumer & Corban Koschak). It’s an interesting marriage of EDM break beats from Sumer who is known for his outlandish remixes of Lorde’s Tennis Court or Avalanche City’s latest twee radio hit Inside Out, combined with Koschak’s Indie leanings it’s a formula that hits all the right notes, and we get to hear songs off their new EP The Cycle live
Warming up the crowd with a healthy dollop of Drake mixed with some Odesza plus current faves, Sumer was in his element, a bobblehead behind the decks you kind of get the feeling this is what he’s like when he’s at home, the freedom of playing whatever to his brethren. He managed a solid job of getting the crowd to their feet as the place started packing in, the familiar sight of an acoustic guitar took to the stage, it was time to hear some of the hit songs that have brought attention to these two melody makers
Burst of Colour with its annoyingly catchy intro is a superb tune that deserves all the attention it gets, its penned and tweaked to perfection to fit the pop formula, if you’ve heard this song on the radio you’ll know what I mean. It’s an interesting dynamic having an acoustic guitar and vocalist upfront stage in front of the keys but it works, visually and sonically. Better Than Me has this insane beat after the vocal intro that doesn’t quit, its simple melody lending itself to the lull of Koschak’s relaxed vocal style. If you’ve heard This Pale Fire‘s previous outings like the brilliant tune The Night you’ll love this EP. Don’t Rob Me is also a great conclusion of a song, its euro-esque sound a treat to listen to with Sumer’s beats breathing life into the dance hit that has hit written all over it
If these guys are the new saviours of NZ music then we are witnesses to a bold new world. Its crisp, it’s got gumption and makes good pop sense. I took the advice from the fortune cookie handed out to me at the gig, on one side it told me where to download The Cycle e.p. for free and the other side to listen to my ‘rice bubbles talk to me’ – all I heard was snap crackle and pop
The Cycle is available for free download from TheCycle.co.nz for a limited time, or pick it online from all usual outlets.
by Bruce Mitchell
The Emperor’s New Clothes (which starts off with the age old tale of the same name) is a political documentary presented by the eccentric comedian Russell Brand on the ever expanding wage Gap between the wealthy and the rest of us.
Comedian Russell Brand and filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, 24 Hour Party People) collaborated with this documentary, tackling inequality and the growing gap between the rich and the poor. In a way only Russell Brand can, he challenges us to not only question why this is happening but to protest it and rally change. Much of this involves corporate tax evasion and unethical (but still very legal) business practices by some of the biggest and wealthiest companies which we are all too familiar with.
While I’d class it as a ‘doco’, it’s one of the best with Russell acting as a sort of “man out on the street” style journalist who goes around pestering bankers and CEOs of the companies in question about their behaviour and why they think they can get away with it.
Great entertainment if you’re a fan of Brand’s rhetorical humour so I’d give it a solid 3.5/5 over all.
NZ Tech Podcast 240: Apple Watching NZ launch, Intel and IBM vs Moore’s Law, NZTA’s ‘BlipTrack’ Big Brother sensors
This week we discuss NZTA’s ‘BlipTrack’ Big Brother sensors, hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison, Apple Watch NZ launch, Intel’s sad news about 10nm chips and Windows 10 gets finalised and ready for release.
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This episode Jarred goes missing to make things worse the mobile number that Wal has for Jarred goes through to Starbucks – Wal interviews Dave Baxter from Avalanche City and we also review the new Marvel Ant-Man film. To download use any good podcast app and search for NZ Entertainment Podcast then subscribe – or listen here:
Words & Photos Wal Reid
Singer/producer Vince Harder is holding a cuppa as I stroll in for the interview. We try to connect the ‘dots’ figuring out who we know from our past backgrounds, cackling like a couple of old ladies in a hair salon, well not exactly but you get the drift – the conversation is flowing with no awkward pauses which is good thing especially when approaching an interview as I find out he has a new E.P. ‘Rare Vision’ and he’s playing tonight currently nursing a sore throat
“I just have to have heaps of tea right now I’ve got honey and tea just heaps of fluids and suck it in” He laughs. “I’m getting into my own music which is really cool, for the last couple of years I’ve been working on trying to produce and song write my own music, and I guess that’s what this E.P.’s all about and being able to put my own hand to it”
The New Zealand R&B/pop recording artist and producer most well-known for his smash number one hit with P-Money Everything has just released his new single & music video for “Find Love”, however not many people would know he use to dance with Aussie superstar, singer Guy Sebastian
“Oh yeah a while ago” he muses. “Yeah Guy’s cool, I auditioned for it years ago. This is straight after I did my intern I was kind of looking for an in-between job I was looking actually auditioning as a singer and I didn’t get the job they had already fulfilled the position so I decided to audition as a dancer and I got in to that, but earlier this year I ended up going on tour with Guy for a month and sung with him and played guitar it was cool. Being a recording artist and being in the industry you do a few things and put on a few hats and that’s just been me my whole career”
He’s been busy over the years, I mean who can forget his coming third in the Aussie X-Factor beating a tonne of Aussies in the process ( and probably the odd Kiwi too) headlined and supported countless bands and artists including RnB artist giant Teddy Riley and of course playing the lead role as ‘Simba’ in the Australian stage production of The Lion King
“Lion King that was definitely a huge one” says Harder. “I’ve said this a few times, but that one came as a surprise to be honest because before I did Lion King I was doing a performing arts group called Jireh and back then when you’re young and fit you kind of feel like you can do a whole lot of things, so I was just auditioning for everything you know, I was with Jireh everything was just working really well at the time so when I got to the Lion King audition it was kind of like… I don’t want to say this in a bad way, but it was a lot easier for me to audition for the Lion King than doing a Jireh show to be honest”
His music is straight RnB Pop but if I think back to his days with P-Money and his hit Everything with its house beat nuances it’s quite different from the smooth pop style Harder is known for, as a producer and singer and without the risk of sounding formulated his tastes are shaped by his environment, it also helps being up to date with latest trends and music
“I think I’m not being real cliché about it but I think my taste in music is quite eclectic” says Harder. “I get into a lot of different things and I guess just whatever floats my boat at the time you know because I’ve got lots of friends who are musicians and they’re all awesome and their different styles you know, so I get into everything from Dance to Hip-Hop, Latino to Rock and I just try to be creative in different ways but I’ll always go back to RnB because RnB was always my first love”
Harder is a worker, dedicated to his craft and is always present in the industry together alongside his wife, I mean with all this talent something has to give, leading me to think with this colourful musical CV we must be due to see Harder on the world stage cutting it with the best, Harder approaches this with a somewhat more holistic view
“To be honest I don’t really know” he ponders. “The last trip that I had in America I got to work with a really good friend of mine who is also a producer for Black Eyed Peas with Fergie and all these other people and he’s an amazing guy his names Prince (Printz) Board and he gave me some really good feedback about my music and he wants to work with me which is really cool because he’s always been one of those dudes who I’ve looked up at that level. I grew up learning Black Eyed Pea songs you know, it was just cool getting feedback from someone like him is huge. In terms of going to America I definitely want to do that – I’ve been looking at hopefully doing something at the end of the year over there so we’ll see what happens”
Damian O’Carroll and Paul Spain visit Ford’s Research + Innovation Center in Silicon Valley to learn where transport tech is headed. Also included are chats with Ford guests Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Getaround’s Padden Murphy.
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NZ Tech Podcast 239: Urban Sherpa, Xperia M4 Aqua, Google Deep Dream, Spotify vs Apple, Hawaiki funding
We discuss the launch of delivery service Urban Sherpa with its founder. Plus Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, Google Deep Dream, Spotify vs Apple, Twitter opening in NZ, Hawaiki funding progress, Mega IPO progress and the untimely passing of Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata.
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