New Releases Dec 08

This episode is my final round-up of new and upcoming releases for 2008.

First up is Bill Direen, long regarded as as an important and influential, if not somewhat underground, figure in the New Zealand music scene. He's probably best known for his 1980's classic, 'Alligator Song'. However, whenever he reappears on either record or the stage he receives rapturous acclaim from his loyal fanbase. Direen has just released a new album with the Bilders, his first with the band for over 20 years, on Powertool Records. Chrysanthemum Storm is from the more straight-forward indie rock end of the Bill Direen spectrum, and stands up well against his back catalogue. Direen also has a collection of songs out called Songs for Mickey. They were written to accompany a stage show on the life of Michael Joseph Savage. For newcomers to Direen I would recommend giving that set a swerve and heading for Chrysanthemum Storm.

Video for Chrysanthemum Storm track 'Rosko Votes Right' on video page
Interview with Russell Brown on Public Address Radio

National Radio interview with Direen and members of the Bilders

Dear Time's Waste is the musical project of Claire Duncan. She is has been out and about on the live scene, including support slots for Cut Off Your Hands, some of whom sometimes play with her live. Dear Time's Waste will release an EP early next year, but in the meantime their are two songs doing the rounds. Claire's vocals are laid back and somewhat melancholic, her voice reminds me a bit of American Laura Veirs. On Clandestine, which is on the podcast and has also received some radio play from discerning stations, she is backed by layers of chiming guitars. Room For Rent, available on her myspace page is a bit more murky, reminding me of My Bloody Valentine. I'm looking forward to that EP.

When I first heard of Yule I thought I was going to be hearing Christmas songs, but luckily the eight tracks of his debut release Aaaarrrggh!!! give that genre a miss, although the collection is really diverse, ranging from indie-folk to post-punk guitar crunch, with some electronic sounds, and a light-hearted ukulele ditty about eating vegetables thrown in. Aaaarrrggh!!! has been described as being all over the place, but that's a good thing and in that way this EP sits nicely alongside another eclectic local release from earlier in the year from The New Telepathics. Aaaarrrggh!!! is available from Amplifier.
Lumiere Reader interview and profile

Onanon are a Dunedin band striving to uphold that city's fine tradition of 80s and 90s alternative guitar bands - you know the likes of The 3ds, The Clean and all who followed in their wake. Together since 2001 they have released an album and a few EPs and are now releasing a second album titled Home Baking which delivers more raw guitar mayhem and catchy tunes and melodies. The album has also been released in a limited edition vinyl pressing with vary nice artwork that differs from the CD (which you also get if you buy the record).
Onanon Youtube channel
Older Onanon videos

Finally, The Mantarays, an instrumental three piece from Wellington, who on their debut, self-titled EP, deliver groovy goodness a la Booker T and The MGs, with some Bo Diddley and Latin vibes thrown in. A great summer party record from former members of The Black Seeds, The Chandeliers and Six Volts. Highly recommended.

Download the Counting The Beat - New Releases Dec 08 podcast


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