The Listening Project week ending 19 June

(NZ) Katchafire Best So Far Katchafire 2013

This last week Katchafire has been in the news lamenting about the lack of an audience in NZ, when they have sell out crowds in the US and elsewhere. As I couldn’t have said whether I’d ever deliberately listened to them before, I decided to give them a shot. While I like reggae well enough, I’m not a real fan, so I couldn’t tell an amazing artist from a good one. This was a fine album- it’s something that I could chill out to on a summers day, but I couldn’t say that they particularly caught my imagination.

As for their problem about being noticed in NZ- it’s actually not a problem limited to them. This is something that I’ve seen a lot with New Zealand media- a band that bases themselves overseas for any length of time is basically forgotten about no matter how well they do. There are exceptions to this, but they are rare. I’ve never figured out why this is, but it is. I’m sure some place like NZ Musician would cover all the NZ bands overseas if they could, but since they rely on volunteers to do a lot of the writing they are limited in what they can cover and where. However, Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 should be doing more of this because they have the resources to cover New Zealand artists wherever they are in the world.

Radiohead Moon Shaped Pool LLLP LLP 2016

Confession time- Radiohead is one of those bands that I’ve heard, but never listened to. I know enough about them to sound conversant, but…it’s such a bluff! So, with all the hype around Moon Shaped Pool, I decided I should sit down and listen to a whole album. I’m got a real 1960s/1970s prog rock vibe from this album. There was something very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull’s most psychedelic moments in MSP.

(NZ) Ladyhawke Wild Things Mid Century Records 2016

A fun new album from Ladyhawke- some laid back synth-pop that has a distinct ‘Breakfast Club’ vibe to it.

Joshua Redman and The Bad Plus The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Nonesuch Records 2015

I was a huge fan of Joshua Redman a while back, for some reason, I just stopped listening to him. It’s not that I grew bored with him, I just stopped (possibly lack of money to buy CDs for a long while contributed to this). I am very glad that streaming has made it easy to get back into listening to various artists, and of course find new ones. The Bad Plus, I’d heard of…but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to any of their albums. Meandering aside, I really enjoyed the combination on this album- must listen to more of both Redman and The Bad Plus separately.

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