In a recent Counting The Beat Episode I featured The Ponsonby DCs classic 'G'Day Mate'. Now, 22 years after their debut album the DCs have just been released a second long-player, "That's What All the Girls Say!". The band serve up another helping of quirky tongue-in-cheek pop but open the album on a more serious note with songwriter Gavin Buxton contemplating his place in the universe, citing 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the demise of the dinosaurs and Pluto's loss of planetary status. Taking 'Pluto's Not A Planet Anymore' as a starting point for this episode I've charted a musical course around our solar system.
Drone were active from 1988 to 1996 playing moody, atmospheric music that will probably appeal to fans of An Emerald City. Nowadays Darryl Hocking is playing in the electronic soul funk outfit Snake Salvador but I would recommend hunting down any of the Drone releases in particular the 1989 self titled LP that opens with 'Moonsong', sampling Kennedy's iconic speech, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard". You can download Drone's Land of The Free single courtesy of Kiwitapes.
Many years ago now I used to co-host a radio show on Radio One in Dunedin with Baden French. The name of the show, Bad Baden and Crazy Chris Wander the Industrial Wasteland, will give you a sense of the type of music we played. But baden also had a love of dub and electronic music and he went on to record two albums under the name Laughin' Gas. On 2003's The Red Sessions Baden brought in some guests, including Demarnia Lloyd of Cloudboy and Mink who adds her trademark wistful vocals to 'Sunset on Saturn'.
Like The Ponsonby DCs, The Terminals returned to recording after a long absence. The band boast a strong alternative and experimental music pedigree with members having played in the Victor Dimisch Band, A Handful of Dust, The Renderers and The Pin Group (who put the first ever release on Flying Nun). The music of The Terminal has been described as rough and tumble with tuneful yet dark songs with an undercurrent of buzz and fury. Their 2007 album Last Days of The Sun has been heralded as up with their best.
Of course there are many more kiwi songs about the planets of our solar system so keep an ear out for a solar sequel some time soon.
Download the Counting The Beat - Solar podcast