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Wednesday 08 October 2008


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3rd October 2008

Gay couple features in winning story

Posted by: Kitten Power

An observational short story which features a gay couple has won the 2008 Katherine Mansfield Premier Award.Written by Melbourne-based writer Julian Novitz, Three Couples looks at three relationships, which are between people interconnected through family or work.

Set in Wellington, the story is dripping with hilariously dark humour and irony, with characters who are entirely original, while also surprisingly real.

It begins its look at a gay couple with “Peni is thirty-two, Chris is twenty-three. They have been a couple for seven months, though Chris still sleeps with other people.” Novitz then writes that Peni, a lawyer, wants Chris to move in with him, but Chris knows that will never happen.

This sets up a delicious look at the relationship, along with those of two other couples.  They hurtle towards an awkward group dinner, which provides a turning point for some.

Congratulations to Julian Novitz, who wins $10,000 for the story.  He has already published two books - My Real Life and Other Stories, as well as Holocaust Tours.

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25th September 2008

Peaches at the Powerstation

Posted by: Kitten Power

Peaches, The Powerstation, Auckland, September 24

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There is only one word that can aptly describe a Peaches show.  Hot.  The woman just oozes sex. 

The first lady of bisexuality, born in Canada with the unlikely name Merrill Nisker, started the show by demanding complete darkness.  When the lights hit she was revealed balancing on the drumkit wearing what looked like a giant pink puffy pumpkin and shouting “Guess Who?!”

Peaches out belted out a bevvy of new electro-pumped songs, with the highlight being a gorgeous 80s’ tastic ballad.  Someone at the front must have told her the tune was civilised, as she shouted back “I’m naked and you can see my pussy hair, what’s civilised about that?”

The Powerstation concert was at least her third visit to New Zealand so far, following two pumped up Big Day Out shows, the most recent in 2007 where she had the backing of dream girl power band The Herms, who were JD Samson (Le Tigre), Samantha Maloney (Hole) and Radio Sloan (The Need).

The band this time was Sweet Machine, two hairy guys and a hot girl from Germany.  Compared to the riled up antics of The Herms these guys seemed like they were almost asleep onstage . . . one of the guys did don a wig and fill in as Iggy Pop for Kick It, but the rest of the time it was almost as if Peaches was on stage by herself. 

There were costume changes galore, with a tight body suit giving almost the appearance of nudity as Peaches went from pumpkin, to court jester, to her pink sweaty hot pants look.

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Early on in the show she climbed speaker stacks and clambered her way up to the upper level of the venue, running through fans and stopping to shout and sing before finding her way back down to the stage.

The already eager crowd really hyped up when she whipped out Boys Wanna Be Her, with mohawked-girl couples bumping and grinding and making out across the floor.  In fact, guys were almost an endangered species at the show, as exemplified by the insanely long queues for the women’s toilets (yes, of course many chose just to sneak into the guy’s rooms).

During Lovertits a pile of girls invaded the stage and the surrounded Peaches in a dance-orgy, with her joking she was going to stop the show and have sex with them all right there.

Peaches wrapped up the show with Rock Show and my personal favourite, the shrieking You Love It, proving she has all the pipes of Joan Jett, who is the featured screamer in the album version.

As the crowd wandered out into the chilly Auckland night, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the girl who threw Peaches her shirt had a jacket or something to wear home.  It has all the hallmarks of the title for a new Peaches song . . . Biting Cold Nipples . . . anyone?

Peaches plays a sold-out show at the San Francisco Bath House in Wellington tonight.

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20th September 2008

Feed Your Ears!

Posted by: Kitten Power

Need something fresh to listen to?  Here are some tracks which have been rocking my world. 

Bringing the funk: Beck

Trivia: Beck’s fantastic new album Modern Guilt is produced by Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley - who brings the funk.

Gamma Ray:

Soundtrack to love: Joan As Police Woman

Trivia: Joan as Police Woman is Joan Wasser, who was Jeff Buckley’s girlfriend when he tragically drowned in Memphis in 1997.

To Be Loved:

Baroque harmonies: Fleet Foxes

Trivia: The Seattle band has unsurprisingly been widely compared to The Beach Boys . . . as well as Band of Horses and The Shins.

White Winter Hymnal:

Dressed down hip hop: Kanye West

Trivia: “Love Lockdown” is the likely first single from Kanye’s fourth album and has been one of the most debated pieces of music on the net since it was released.

Love Lockdown:

Sexy Rock: Kings of Leon

Trivia: The band’s fourth album Only By The Night is out on the 23rd . . . the southerners have been posting home videos on their website to preview it

Sex on Fire:

Sugar pop: Lykke Li

The lowdown: The Swedish singer, whose name is apparently pronounced like “luckily”, once worked as a TV show dancer.

I’m Good, I’m Gone:

Trippy experimental indie-folk: Black Moth Super Rainbow

Trivia: This Pittsburgh band existed under the name satanstompingcaterpillars from 2000 to 2002.

Sun Lips:

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11th September 2008

“Two yodelling lesbians from Huntly” join Hall of Fame

Posted by: Kitten Power

topptwins.jpgCamp Mother and Camp Leader have been inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Jools and Lynda Topp received the honour at the Silver Scroll Awards in Auckland last night. They are just the third act to be inducted, following Jordan Luck and Johnny Devlin last year.

APRA director Ant Healey introduced the award for the twins, outlining their busking, comedic and protesting history, saying New Zealanders, whatever their politics, fell in love with them. He described the twins as perhaps the most unlikely stars in New Zealand music history - “two yodelling lesbians from Huntly.”

Jools and Lynda were met with a standing ovation as they took to the stage to accept the induction. Jools took the microphone first, saying they had guessed they would be honoured after being told they had to be at the ceremony.  She told they crowd she and her sister were asked what characters they would play, and replied ”oh it’s going to be really easy, we’re just going to be 50-year-old lesbians . . . that’s a pretty easy character to play because that’s us.”

Jools said they have had a sensational career from the word go.  She said Lynda is her best friend and while they have had their ups and downs in the last couple of years, they have pulled through and now feel like they are now in a second coming.  Jools has battled through breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2006.

“Thank you very much, you are our audience, you’ve been beautiful the whole time we’ve been out there performing and it’s just been an absolute sheer joy and it ain’t over yet.”

Lynda paid tribute to their longtime manager Arani Cuthbert, saying they would not exist without her. “We reckon that she could probably do the show if one of us got sick, she’s seen it so many times.”

The twins said they were planning to celebrate with their partners in Auckland last night. They say they are looking forward to their documentary being released next year.

Prime Minister Helen Clark described the twins as “truly authentic Kiwi girls”. She also paid tribute to Mahinarangi Tocker, who was honoured at the opening of the show, saying “the late Mahinarangi Tocker, so tragically taken from us - and so talented. I acknowledge and esteem her.”

The emotional tribute to Tocker included a performance of her song Forever, featuring a string quartet, a school choir and the singers Shona Laing and Hinewehi Mohi. Two screens depicting Tocker with her fist raised in the air as she was performing at WOMAD guarded the stage. The crowd stood and clapped as the piece ended, with some audience members wiping tears from their eyes.

Anika Moa was a finalist in the Silver Scroll Award for her lovestruck tune Dreams in My Head, but the prize was won by Opshop for One Day.

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5th September 2008

Rihanna doesn’t wear the pants

Posted by: Kitten Power

rihanna2.jpgRihanna and Chris Brown are coming to New Zealand . . . to celebrate, my friend “Kermitguy” (who is much keener on pop than I) has checked out her re-released album, which includes a DVD featuring some live performances.  So just what might Kiwi fans expect from the pop princess onstage . . .?  Keep reading to find out!  KP

Multi-platinum Grammy winning artist Rihanna is back with her re-released album ‘Good Girl Gone Bad.’ The two-disc package includes her single, “Take A Bow” and a cover version of Maroon 5’s “If I Never See Your Face Again” (featuring the band).

Second time around, fans get a sneak preview of her live show with several performances on the DVD bonus disk.  There seems to be a trend with pop artists at the moment… record an album… if it’s deemed almost a success… add additional tracks…. throw in a DVD, repackage it and sell it all over again.  Perhaps a clever marketing ploy to capture the ipod generation of ‘free-downloaders’.

The album has a string of smash hits commercial familiar to R&B radio fans, but it’s the DVD that could take some by surprise.  In its live perfomances, Rihanna might as well be naked on stage, as she frequently dances around poles in skimpy PVC tops, minus pants, in underwear probably best sold at most adult mega stores.

The stage production is let down by tacky scaffolding pushed around on stage by over the top sexed up dancers. 

Rihanna can sing live, and her decision to employee background singers, instead of opting for the usual pre-recorded backing track, gives her performance credibility, well almost.  Her vocal ability, general matches her album, and the live band does an excellent job of dressing up the thinly produced production heard on some of her singles.

But you can’t take Rihanna seriously, especially when she sings about love, dressed in outfits more fitting for an underground strip show.

The tracks on her album produced by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are all too clear, as they have managed to stamp their trademark sound all over her singles, making it difficult to distinguish where she starts and they end.

Still, judging by the demo DVD, she puts on an entertaining high production values show, which is sure to sell out when she and her ‘rumoured boyfriend’ Chris Brown perform in Auckland and Wellington in October.

Kermitguy!!!

Rihanna and Chris Brown play Auckland’s Vector Arena on Monday, October 27 and Wellington’s TSB Arena on Wednesday, October 29.

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25th August 2008

Don’t miss this Bloc Party

Posted by: Kitten Power

bloc-party.jpgLate last week Bloc Party released their new LP Intimacy online, after keeping the recording a secret (apparently only 10 people knew about the plan).  They announced its web release just three days before it was available. 

I’ve finally had a chance to download and listen - and I love it.  It continues down the slightly experimental electronica road the band has been taking, but does not travel too far away from the essence of Bloc Party.

Singer Kele Okereke says the album is about a relationship he had.

He tells Rolling Stone “I went through a breakup at the end of last year and I guess that’s what the record’s about really. I couldn’t help thinking about it or talking about it or writing about it. I wouldn’t want anyone to think it’s the clichéd breakup record but I haven’t written about true, personal experiences all that much in the past.”

Okereke is very guarded about his personal life and it is unclear whether he is gay or bisexual, but he has made it clear that he likes men.  The beautiful song I Still Remember from second album A Weekend In The City looks at one schoolboy’s crush on another.

I Still Remember’s kind of dreamy looking back on happy times tone is comparable with my favourite track from the new release, Ion Square.  Ion Square is about a good phase in a relationship, when all you want to do is stay home with the person you’re crazy about, with the lyrics: “So let’s stay in, let the sofa be our car, let’s stay in, let the TV be our stars, I found my dancing shoes but they don’t fit, all the bright lights do is bore me, they bore me”.

Have a listen:

Intimacy can be downloaded from Blocparty.com.  It’s about NZ$10 for the download, or NZ$21 for the download plus a pre-order of the CD (which is due out in October)

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19th August 2008

Let there be breasts

Posted by: Kitten Power

I’m glad common sense has prevailed and the “controversial” Boobs on Bikes parade has been allowed.  I think it’s a victory against this backlash of dull conservatism the country is being beset with.  Ok, so Bob McCroskrie and Christine Rankin are offended by public displays of breasts, but quite frankly I wouldn’t want to hang out with them on Queen St anyway.

My girlfriend and I went to the first parade purely out of curiosity.  To be honest, it was pretty rubbish.  The breasts were so fake they didn’t even bounce when the motorcycles went over bumps in the road.  I like the real thing.  Plus the crowd was strangely quiet . . . it was like they didn’t know how to react . . . and just stood in a state of hush. 

The most interesting thing was actually the make up of the crowd.  Of course there were plenty of pimply excited young straight men, but there were also a lot of women there.  Not all were lesbians (though I must say the young dyke population of Auckland was out in force), there were also lot of straight women locked up in cuddles with male partners.  So while some women are seemingly offended by breasts, many don’t have a problem . . . and probably don’t want an Auckland City Councillor to lie in front of the bikes on their behalf.

I understand some parents are worried about the impact on children, but children should be at school on Wednesday anyway.  While any kids under five are unlikely to be too concerned, considering it was only a few years ago breasts were their main source of nourishment.

As the Auckland judge has ruled, breasts are not offensive (I worry for anyone who thinks they are!).  It is a wise decision because it is not just about breasts.  I see it as a good firm blow against this rise of loud and obnoxious conservatism that is giving me, for one, a hell of a headache. 

The women in the parade, fake breasts or not, are all adults as far as I’m aware, fully willing to take their shirts off.

So let there be breasts.  And bring on the return of the Hero Parade, especially for those of us who were too young to ever attend one.

I’m sure many of you agree and disagree with me, I’m interested in some different opinions here.  Or reviews from anyone who attends the parade.

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11th August 2008

The Breeders, Bruce Mason Centre

Posted by: Kitten Power

The Breeders - Friday August 8, Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

Kim and Kelley Deal rock my world.   I am still coming down from an amazing show.

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Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Mando Lopez, Jose Medeles.

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Kim and Kelley Deal.

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Kim Deal.

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7th August 2008

Sigur Ros - happier, but no less beautiful

Posted by: Kitten Power

Sigur Ros: Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust (With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly)

When I listen to previous Sigur Ros albums I feel I’m gently submerging deeper and deeper underwater.  This new album is more like a flying trip up to the clouds, then a slow drift back down again.

Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust is the fifth album from the Icelandic band, led by openly gay lead singer Jonsi Birgisson. 

Here, Sigur Ros retain the ethereal beauty that has won the hearts of fans worldwide.  However they also feel lighter, more fun and free spirited.

The happy first single Gobbledigook has been jumping in my headphones since it was released free online a few months ago.  Its spirited drum beats make Sigur Ros almost danceable (clip contains nudity):

The vast track seven Ara Batur begins gently, with just Jonsi’s gorgeously forlorn voice accompanied by piano.  It grows to include 90 people, including the London Sinfonietta and London Oratory Boys’ Choir, becoming a masterpiece on a grand scale.

The second half of the album slows and becomes more classical, finishing with a track entirely sung in English, All Alright, but it still doesn’t sound too much like English, making it all the more mysterious.

Recommended listening for herbalists, escapists and appreciators of beauty!

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22nd July 2008

Dear Lindsay Lohan . . .

Posted by: Kitten Power

Lohan’s lesbian lover is ‘the man’lindsay-sam.jpg

Lindsay Lohan reportedly plays the “passive wife” when she is with Samantha Ronson.

The 22-year-old actress - who is rumoured to dating DJ and singer Samantha - is said to adopt a submissive role in their alleged relationship.

A source told America’s Star magazine: “Lindsay and Samantha are totally playing house and loving every minute of it. And, yes, they share a bed!

“They both play certain roles. Lindsay is the passive one, the wife. It works for them!”

According to the magazine, the young couple also shop for sex toys together and have made a “bizarre” pact to stay thin.

Dear Lindsay Lohan,

I need some advice.  I keep reading everywhere that you have become Samantha Ronson’s “passive wife”.  First of all, what is a passive wife?  Secondly, how can I get one?

I gained some inspiration from the “Good Wife’s Guide” and gave my girlfriend a list of a few easy, beginner requests:

  • Wash and iron my socks and wife beaters daily
  • Have a scotch ready when I walk in the door
  • Be completely silent when sport is on TV
  • Just “lie there” during sex

It didn’t work - she just thought I was joking.  When I tried to convince her I was serious she just told me to F-off.  Plus she isn’t super-rich like you, so she has to work and doesn’t have much spare time to be passive.

The thing that worries me a little bit is that if my girlfriend did ever become my passive wife, then I’d have to be a man.  I mean the headline in that story says Samantha Ronson is “the man” in your relationship.  Plus the chest-beating hairy guy at work claims that Ellen DeGeneres is “the man” in her relationship with Portia de Rossi, so it’s obviously a well documented fact.

So if I become “the man” in my relationship does that mean I have to cut my hair really short and wear a sock all the time?  Or do I actually have to go through “the change”?

In which case, would I still be a lesbian at all?  As from what I understand . . . a lesbian relationship involves at least two women, but no men.

So Lindsay, I never expected you to become the poster girl for my generation of lesbians, I mean you are always in rehab or crashing cars, your movies are crap and your music could afford to lose some of its pop.  But I just don’t know where else to turn . . . so I would really appreciate it if you helped me out and answered my questions.  

You probably need something to do other than lying around being passive all day anyway, right?

Thanks,

A. Young-Dyke

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