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What do you get when you cross a guitar with a firefly?

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Justin Clarke. Ahem, make that Justin ‘Firefly’ Clarke.

He is an incredibly talented and versatile guitar (among other instruments) player, a composer, songwriter and a music instructor. And (as you will hear in our discussion in this episode of Kiwi by Proxy) a part-time anthropologist! (I love that he referred to himself as such. It’s fitting. ūüôā )

Justin and I chatted a few weeks back and we discussed how he decided to become¬†a musician,¬†his diversity in his method and style and his online guitar lessons (sign up, they’re great! You won’t regret it!)

Along with our discussion you will hear some of Justin’s own music.¬†Featured¬†are a song he wrote for the Woolshed Sessions collaboration¬†and¬†two¬†stunning instrumental compositions – both with a jazz structure but one¬†having an Indian influence¬†and the other¬†with a¬†Grecian feel.

Be sure to check out Justin’s MySpace guitar lessons page here.

And his regular MySpace page here.

Email him for information on online guitar lessons at firefly guitar at gmail dot com (without the spaces and a . instead of the word dot of course.)

Oh and one more thing before we get to the podcast, I love being back. I¬†am a little rusty at both “interviewing” and writing out my blog but it’s still wonderful to be back at it folks! I tell ya, ¬†I have missed doing the podcast, I have missed hearing new music, I have missed talking to great folks about their work, and I have missed being “Kiwi by Proxy” (although at this stage I don’t think I can ever really stop being that!)

It’s great to be back and what a way to come back from a very long absence than with a phenominal musician such as Justin Clarke.

And now …

The Fireflycast

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Why Kiwi by Proxy …. revisited

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kbpgraphicWell, I have been doing the podcasts for a little more than a year now and it would seem it has ‚Äútaken off‚ÄĚ. The podcast has gone from being played on my MySpace page to being on an official blog to being the top podcast on iTunes under the search term Kiwi music. In December of 2008 it began airing fortnightly on a radio station in Christchurch (thanks Ben you are one of a kind). More recently I was even interviewed for a community radio station in Wellington. Subsequently, surreal is a word that I have been making heavy use of the past few days.

I will tell you I feel strange about all of it. I mean I am used to working behind the scenes (in my day job) and letting my boss get the spotlight and believe me that is something with which I am most comfortable.

When I initially had the idea for the podcast it simply involved me recording and mixing the interviews that other¬†people were to do. I never wanted to be the one that did the interviewing or even the “DJ-ing”. I just wanted to get the music out somehow and thought the podcast would serve that purpose in a small way. I was hoping others would do that “public” part.

Well that wasn’t meant to be and now, well I mean that’s ok. My taking the DIY approach has led to opportunities in meeting some incredibly kind, generous, and humble people and better still talking music with them.

In talking with these people it has given me insight into how they go about making their music (something that completely fascinates me because it perplexes me how people take something they hear in their head or in their heart and translate it aurally.) But along with gaining a better understanding of the music making process I think I have figured out what makes it so good. It’s to do with those incredibly kind, generous and humble people. They got soul.

The last interview (well chat session) I did was with Dan Yeabsley. We were discussing this particular point after the official interview had ended. Dan wondered what exactly it is about New Zealand music that has a certain effect on folks ‚Äď is it the technical aspect of things or is the feeling? ¬†After further contemplation on this I think have to say it is both.

All the folks I have spoken with are well trained musicians. They know how to play. They know what notes go where and why. They know music. But they also have a passion for it. Again, they got soul.

In my line of work we stress the importance of not separating the heart from the mind in matters of faith. The heart will not accept what the mind rejects, nor should it. This basic truth has carried over into my understanding and love of music (and in the immediate context, New Zealand music).

I love watching a musician play strange and difficult chord progressions, I love hearing the subtleties of a certain instrument on a studio recording, I love all the technical stuff but I also love the feeling the music stirs deep within me. I love that not only can I think about the music but that I can feel it as well.

New Zealand music provokes both thought and feeling unlike any other ‚Äúscene‚ÄĚ that has come and gone in the past few decades. That is why I am so passionate about it and that is why I seek to do my little part in getting the word out to anyone willing to listen.

I thank everyone who is supporting this effort ‚Äď be it by subscribing to the blog, the iTunes download, the newsletter,¬†or even those who stumble across the blog and take time to download the podcasts here.¬† It is encouraging to know we are of like minds on this.

Of course we should all thank the wonderful musicians who are making this great music. I thank them for being true to their craft and being true to both their hearts and minds. I thank them for being humble as well. That is a hard thing to find in folks especially in musicians, and especially in musicians of a particular caliber (such as those found in New Zealand).

Keep doing what you do and I for one will keep supporting it in the best way I can.

Written by Carrie

June 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

Mixed Disc Cast – Second of Five podcasts for NZ Music Month

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Howdy all!

This is the second in a series of five podcasts I am doing for NZ Music month.

This time around I have decided to do a bit of a mixed disc (the first half has sort of a country feel while the second half has that indie-pop thing going on).

Lovely artists lovely tunes lovely way to celebrate NZ Music Month.

Have a look at the artists’ MySpace pages¬†as you listen in.

And here we go…

Mixed Disc Cast

mixeddiscgraphic

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Subscribe to KBP on iTunes for the free download (Due to popularity [a good thing] once folks download it at iTunes the bandwidth goes out for three weeks [bad thing]. If you encounter problems on iTunes for this reason simply download above.)

Track listing

Rosy Tin Tea CaddyChestnut
Mel ParsonsDarlin’ Darlin’
The Bats – Castle Lights
Raggamuffin Children –
A Fine Storm
Robo Distaste – Darth Vader Disco
The Puddle – Naked
David Kilgour (featuring the poetry of Sam Hunt) РChord
Luke Buda – Blue Summer

Latest episode of Kiwi by Proxy: Wild Bill Cast

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Howdy all,

Well it is New Zealand Music Month and I am stoked! I plan to do five podcasts this month to celebrate the excellence in Kiwi music. Seeing as how I usually do 1 podcast every 6 weeks or so, five in one month may prove daunting! We shall see how it goes…

Starting off the KbP marathon will be this podcast which features music from and an interview with Wild Bill Ricketts (Will Ricketts that is).

I caught up with Will last week and we discussed his new album John Dryden. You will find four tracks from this album featured in the podcast. These tracks represent a very broad spectrum of sound covered on this album. As most of you know, when you say broad and music together, you are talking my language. I spoke with Will about various influences of his and he stated that in fact he has very broad tastes which are made evident on this fine album.

It is a stunning display of skill in the art of songwriting and musicianship. It features the likes of Ricki Gooch, Rio Hemopo, Mara TK, Ben Fulton, Connan Mockasin, and Sam Lindsay among many other wonderful musicians.

Will Ricketts, as one of my friends and fellow Kiwi music lovers put it, “is not just the conga player from Phoenix Foundation, folks”.

I think you will agree.

Here we go with the WildBillCast…

johndrydenricketts

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Tracklisting:
All tracks taken from John Dryden unless otherwise indicated

Mangi Mangi
I Was You
New J
Siamese Dream
Hitchcock
(from Pegasus)

Latest Kiwi by Proxy – I Am Spartacus….R

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Howdy all.

I recently had the great fortune of speaking with Ryan Prebble. Ryan is among other things a member of Spartacus R (and a member of one of the most musical families in all of New Zealand…The Prebbles.)6covers

Spartacus R has a new album out (well it came out in January and I am now just getting around to talking about it.)

The album is When the Fever Takes Hold and it is superb. Eight tracks of pure sonic bliss with six (yes that’s right, count ’em six) album covers. (Very cleverly done… you can insert each print into a clear cover and change it out according to your taste.)

This podcast will feature a few tunes off that album. Alongside the Spartacus tunes you will hear music from Ginger Brown, Little Bushman and Good Laika.

This is a groovy little number of Kiwi by Proxy as this music is reminiscent of late 60s early 70s pyschedelia/blues/rock. Solid stuff!

Also in between tunes you will hear Ryan discussing the music making process behind their new album and a little bit about his solo work.

So here we go… I Am Spartacuscast….

take1

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Tracklisting

Ginger BrownThe Weekend
Spartacus RWhen the Fever Takes Hold
Little BushmanNature of Man
Good LaikaFires (Keep Burning)
Spartacus RSynthia
Spartacus RLast Trace of the Golden Glow
Spartacus RWhite Zarconia (The Heist)

Vote for the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra at Uke Hunt

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******Update**********

The votes are in and the final tally is in favor of Rod Thomas. W.I.U.O came in at a close second. It was all in good clean fun. Still wanted W.I.U.O to win though…hummpph… ;).

Thanks for everyone who went over from my blog to Uke Hunt to vote!

*****Update has now come to an end*****

wiuoThere is a heated comptetion going on¬†over at the Uke Hunt blog¬†(ok well not a¬†heated competition, I¬†mean after all we are talking about ukulele players, some of the most cruisy people imaginable). But at the moment the W.I.U.O only have 15 or so votes. Let’s¬†change that!

Take a second to go to this site¬† http://ukulelehunt.com/2009/01/28/ukulele-video-of-the-year-2008-your-vote/¬†and vote for the best ukulele video of 2008 at the Uke Hunt blog (which the best uke vid of 2008 is surely “It’s a Heartache by the W.I.U.O. )

Vote Kiwi! 
 
*Chirp*

New Podcast – MonkeyPuddleFishyJunkyBeaks…cast

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Whew…long title eh?

Well that is because this most recent podcast contains much much musical goodness.

My most excellent co-host and equally excellent friend Ian Henderson took time to chat with me about the new Puddle album “The Shakespeare Monkey” (on which he plays drums, keyboards, and melodica!).

This newest effort from The Puddle has been getting a lot of airplay on various indie-type radio stations across the planet (as well it should because it is truly a fantastic album!). It is being well-received by critics also but I am not one to listen to the critics as if I like something I like that. That is pretty much my approach to anything I listen to. I hear it, I like it, I subsequently own it. And once you hear the new Puddle tracks featured on this podcast, I suspect you will wish to own the entire album as well.

Peppered in between talks of the various tracks from The Shakespeare Monkey, you will find discussion about Fishrider Records and the artists featured on the label (Junk Shop Star and The Dark Beaks).

This podcast will not be available on iTunes for a few weeks (yes… still the issues with bandwidth…alas).

So you can download it here exclusively at the blog (down below)

Also take some time (that will be very well spent) to visit the various MySpace pages listed below.

The Puddle MySpace page
The Dark Beaks MySpace page
Junk Shop Star MySpace page
Fishrider Records MySpace page

And here we go …¬†

Monkeypuddlejunkyfishbeakcast

puddlefishgraphic

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Tracklisting

The Puddle – The Shakespeare Monky (from The Shakespeare Monkey)
The Puddle – Friends (from The Shakespeare Monkey)
The Puddle – As it Was (from The Shakespeare Monkey)
The Puddle – Trauma Bear (from The Shakespeare Monkey)
The Puddle Parasol (from The Shakespeare Monkey)
Junk Shop Star – Spacejunk (unreleased)
The Dark Beaks Р Spill Your Hear (from Spill Your Heart)