Thursday, May 27, 2010

Top 5 NZ female alternative musicians I most want to be

"You are the best thing that's happened to me since I fell on my face on Tuesday..."
- 'Beautiful' by Fur Patrol

Putting this list together I have realised 2 things about myself. I am either a stalker from way back in the day OR (and this option I like better) I really enjoy music. So much so that of the 5 musicians/bands listed below, I have seen 4 live. Some of them multiple times - in fact, Fur Patrol, Elemeno P and Stellar* I probably chased all around the North Island. I would blush but who'm I kidding? I have no shame! These guys were that good I wanted to see and hear them over and over again. I imagine a lot of it had to do with where I was/who I was at that point in time. Listening to them recently leaves me with a rather bittersweet feeling of nostalgia for that version of me, and a reminder of exceptional friends, good times, awesome road trips, great parties and a general feeling that the world was waiting to be explored. Music has that effect.

All of the alternative female artists below are ones who made me think, at one time or another, that if I were ever to have a music career, I would want it to be like theirs. They seemed to be fierce, independent, determined and talented. In short, they got mad skillz. There a couple of artists whose work I would really like to have listed below but, unfortunately, we do not hold their albums - you'll find them in the 'Honourable mention' section. Enjoy the list! And feel free to leave your own version as a comment :)

Honourable mention:
Renee Brennan - Tadpole
Fleur Parker - Foamy Ed

Mix [compact disc] / Stellar*
Boh Runga - lyricist, vocals, guitarist
All tracks written by Boh Runga. CD-ROM contains: music videos for Violent, Every girl and Part of me; an 8-minute documentary featuring interviews with the band; 3 exclusive remix tracks; hotlink to the band's website with the latest news, info and lyrics. Stellar (Boh Runga, Andrew Maclaren, Chris van de Geer, Kurt Shanks).

Tracklist: Violent -- Part of me -- Every girl -- Nerve & consequences -- Undone -- Tenderhook -- What you do (bastard) -- If you lied -- Slowburn -- Breather -- You.

Tosca's note: Boh, as far as I was concerned, was the IT girl for NZ female alternative music during the late 90s. She was my idol. My ultimate live gig (beating all other national/international acts I've ever seen) was a 3-in-1 concert featuring Stellar*, Garbage (Shirley Manson - wow) and Alanis Morissette. What a great night that was. Oh, to have that again! Also, Boh had pink hair. 'Nuff said.

Pet [compact disc] / Fur Patrol
Julia Deans - vocals & guitarist
Alternative rock music written and performed by the group.
Group members: Simon Braxton, drums, percussion, theramin, vocals ; Julia Deans, vocals, guitars, keyboards, violin ; Steven Wells, guitars, vocals ; Andrew Bain, bass, keyboards.

Tracklist: Andrew -- Holy -- Now -- Loaded -- Lydia -- Hauling you around -- Not your girl -- Spinning a line -- Two days -- Brightest star -- Short way to fall -- Man in a box.

Tosca's note: Julia's hair, voice, guitar playing - heck yes, I wanted to be like her. That raw, angsty, raucous sound pretty much summed up my headspace at that time. I saw Fur Patrol live so many times during my 20s and each time was better than the time before that.

Love & disrespect [compact disc] / Elemeno P
Lani Purkis - bass guitarist
Lyrics included. 9814829 is a special collectors edition. Rock songs written by group members Dave Gibson and Justyn Pilbrow and performed by the group.

Tracklist: Nirvana (2:29) -- Verona (2:47) -- Goodbye (2:33) -- Urban getaway (2:11) -- The Benjamins (3:01) -- Fast times in Tahoe (3:10) -- Claim to faim (3:22) -- I don't know (3:17) -- Hold on (2:02) -- On my balcony (3:25) -- Every day's a Saturday (2:51) -- Weed out (4:46).

Tosca's note: In short, Lani Purkis is awesome. Bow down! Plus she got to hang with the guys from Elemeno P and the women from Foamy Ed (who, by the way, were fantastic live).

Chickenshits [compact disc] / Headless Chickens
Fiona McDonald - vocals
Group members: Chris Matthews, Johnny Pierce, Michael Lawry, Grant Fell, Bevan Sweeny, Fiona McDonald, Anthony Nevison, Rupert E. Taylor, Bevan Larson, Flex, Angus McNaughton, Rex Visible, Rachael Wallis, Celia Church, Brett Orams.

Tracklist: CD One. Cruise control -- George -- Gaskrankinstation -- Choppers (Helibator mix) -- Expecting to fly -- Donde esta la pollo -- Juice -- Mr Moon -- Slice -- Monkey jar -- Do the Headless Chickens (original) -- Magnet (single version) -- Dark angel -- Second time virgin -- Donka (original) -- Smoking big ted -- Fish song.

CD Two. Expecting to fly (Magik's back to the 80's mix) -- Gaskrankstation (Der Keine Kopf remixen) -- George (Magik's electrix mix) -- Cruise control (Willa Jean's disco mix) -- Juice (P & G tips mix) -- Chicken Little (player one remix) -- Inside track (1993 'Sushi' mix) -- Cruise control (1994) -- Juice (1994) -- Cruise control (1994 dub remix).

Tosca's note: I will always remember her voice. My favourite song? Probably Cruise Control with the dub music and her vocals over the top. Genius.

Holy smoke [compact disc] / Gin Wigmore
Gin Wigmore - lyricist, vocals
Pop-rock music written and performed by New Zealand musician Gin [i.e. Gin Wigmore], with additional musicians including horn and string arrangements by Tony Buchen. Lyrics included in pamphlet, inserted in container. All songs written by Gin Wigmore.

CD 1. Holy smoke: Oh my -- Hey ho -- New revolution -- Don't stop -- I do -- Too late for lovers -- Mr Freakshow -- One last look -- Golden ship -- Dying day -- CD 2. Extended play: These roses -- S.O.S. -- Hallelujah -- Under my skin -- Easy come easy go.

Tosca's note: A recent artist and one I have not had the pleasure of hearing live. Gin's husky voice, quirky lyrics and very unusual tunes have my vote. Plus she gets to be in a music video with a merman. What do you mean there's no such thing as a merman? Pfft.

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