28 April 2014

Road Trips

Early 1970’s childhood trips from Christchurch, through Arthurs Pass and Otira Gorge, over to the West Coast town of Ross to visit the Grandparents, meant up to 9 of us jammed into the Blue Morris Oxford II (or III?). Parents and eldest sibling in the front, perhaps the youngest sitting on a knee there too; 4 or 5 in the back, elbows, knees and voices competing for space. An overweight corgi on the floor; and possibly overweight trailer behind completed the cargo. The safety aspects perhaps not as frightening as it seems today- the vehicle apparently could get from 0-60mph in 28.9 seconds. With the load in ours, I suspect it may have taken a good 5 minutes to get to such dizzying speeds. And possibly as long to come to a complete halt- by which time, undoubtedly a car-sick child would have stalled the journey anyway. No wonder it took more than 6 hours to do the trip that now takes three and a half.

No car radio meant either endless games of “I spy”, or singing ourselves. Or trying to make barley-sugars last an eternity, thus bringing silence for a while.
Innocent times.

Today, of course, there are endless opportunities for music while on the road. Which can mean competing choices amongst travellers, or the closing off of everyone into their own musically cocooned world of ipods. Finding a middle ground when a 15 year- old wants to listen to self proclaimed “shit-rock” noise band TFF, while his 10 year-old sister wants to listen to “High School Musical” is rather difficult.

4 Years on from that 2009 tension, the 2013 xmas pilgrimage to Riverton found a more acceptable musical equilibrium for all. A few whanau favourites from that trip follow . . .

First I heard this song was a 2am awakening from the fall-asleep-in-front-of-the-tv daze which occasionally occurs at the end of a long week’s work. Momentarily disorientating; flickering black and white screen; aggressive, thumping, propulsive beats- and a favourite of the 14 year old on this trip.

Kanye West- Black Skinhead

Another frequent choice of hers was this from David Dallas, (featuring Ruby Frost)- which could well have been the ubiquitous NZ track on the Solid Gold albums from days past.

David Dallas feat. Ruby Frost- The Wire

The mightily talented Lisandru Grigorut (once part of the Communist Rainbow Relationship as well as other acts) has another new musical persona, but this is from his excellent 8-bit and house influenced “concept album” of last year. In recent years, $noregazZzm have been a bit of a feature on car trips where the (on-this-trip) 19 year old has been with us- check out any of his stuff- there are another couple of cool clips here and here.

$noregazZzm – Computer Whatevers


Sun breaking through rain clouds over the undulating plains of Southland. Only a cold heart could not find some joy and a smile listening to this lovely debut album towards the end of the 2 and a half hour drive. Gorgeous stuff.

Trick Mammoth- Delphine (With a Purpose)

The Puddle were a regular feature for us at the Cellars Bar in Dunedin in the early 1990’s. The efforts in recent years of Fishrider’s Ian Henderson (current drummer for the band), combined with the musical and lyrical genius of George D. Henderson, has delivered new albums and gigs, as well as ensuring the great talent of this – over time- widely and interestingly populated band. GDH also featured in excellent Mink for a period of time.

(A recent Puddle release features guest vocals from Millie Lovelock (Astro Children/ Trick Mammoth)and Adrian Ng (Mavis Gary/ Trick Mammoth))

The Puddle- Southern Man

This post is already too long, so Vol 9 song will have to wait till next time.

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