Top Shows


Programme Five

Airs Saturday October 2

1. Jeff Buckley - Forget Her  
(from "Grace - Legacy Edition") (CD) (Sony)

Word Magazine's "Most influential artist of 2004" - although he has been dead since he went for an ill-fated swim in the Mississippi River in 1997.  At that stage Buckley had produced a live EP and his only proper studio album "Grace".

"Forget Her" was originally intended to be on Grace - but was pulled at the last minute when he decided that the lyrics about a failed relationship were just too personal. The record company wasn't overly happy. They thought the track was going to be the big hit single from the disc.

Buckley has been reissued and reissued over the years (there can't be a lot of live material left in the vaults) and it's also hard to imagine this not being the last word on Grace. The original tracks have been remastered and the bonus disc has an additional 13 songs (not to mention the DVD). It's been done to mark the tenth anniversary of Grace's release and all the details are here -

Jeff Buckley's mother administers that site - and it's a good place to start if you're new to him.

2. Loretta Lynn - Portland Oregon  
(from "Van Lear Rose") (CD) (Universal)

Video number two from Loretta Lynn's project with Jack White- and he co-wrote this one which probably accounts for the more White Stripes-ish feel. The video features Jack and Loretta in a bar, and we're sure the affection that passes between them is all in the name of acting - but Rolling Stone got a bit excited about it.

If you would like to have another look at the video (and you've got the bandwidth) you can find it on the Rolling Stone site by doing an artist search for Loretta Lynn.

3. Dresden Dolls - Coin Operated Boy   
(from "Dresden Dolls") (CD) (Universal)

Still no word on whether the Dresden Dolls will be playing here later this year. Their site has everything an aspiring Dresden Dolls fan might need to know -

including both of their videos and some live footage. The fan art is a bit of worry though-

Amanda Palmer's autobiographical piece is very funny (college&) but she hasn't had a lot of luck with piano teachers until recently

Nothing about the painted on eyebrows though - which is a shame.

4. Rachael Yamagata - Worn Me Down  
(from "Happenstance") (CD - release Oct 11) (BMG)

"Happenstance" is 27 year old Rachael Yamagata's debut album - and we were particularly drawn to this track because it's got such a great beat (and the same can't be said for every new singer-songwriter out there at the moment).

Rachel has written her own artist biography because "I just can not be satisfied with another's account of my psyche when even I don't understand it myself". She then goes on to call herself an "indecisive control freak hopeless romantic". You can read it all here -

Hard not to like an artist who has made an album about how everything happens for a reason - and then says, "look to the second album for a more cynical approach in which it all goes to hell and nothing makes sense and chance is winning&"

Her website is at -

5. Lucid 3 - AM Radio  (NZ)
(from "All Moments Leading To This") (CD) (Lupin)

Album number two for Auckland's Lucid 3 featuring the singing and songwriting of Victoria Girling-Butcher.

In the middle of October they start a 15 date national tour supporting Brooke Fraser. The dates are on their website at -

There's an interview Graham Reid did with Lucid 3 on the Herald website at -

6. Pluto - Dance Stamina  (NZ)
(recording for Hum)

Pluto made a huge impression with their debut album - "Red Light Syndrome" - and the classic "Hey Little" - back in 2001 but there hasn't been much in the way of recorded output since then. The good news is that a second album is in the final stages of being recorded - and it should hopefully be out before Christmas.

Pluto's website is largely empty at the moment but that should change when the album gets released. It's at -

In the meantime everything the very fine Noizyland site is a good place to start for information about the band that started life as Johnny Custard

Photographer Mel Smith (who also doubles as recording artist Emerald Green) has some good live pics of Pluto on her site -

7. Faithless - "Take The Long Way Home" (1998)
(from "Sunday 8am") (CD) (BMG)

English act Faithless plays Auckland on October 5th and Wellington on October 6th. Core members are vocalist Maxi Jazz, Rollo Armstrong (Dido's brother) and a third person whose name is the answer to this week's giveaway competition.

They've been around for eight years and their latest album "No Exit" is their fourth album (not counting remixes).   

Their website is at -

8. Ghost Tones - Material Girl  (NZ)
(from "Ultrasound Vol 2") (CD) (Sugarlicks/BMG)

Definitely the most exotic track of the week. Ghost Tones is a collaboration between Haitian native Maya and g-muva "exploring afro-beat and hip hop dub in a Pacific context. The vibe of the group is a fresh take on global hip hop with Pacific style elements, broken beats and Maya's trademark bilingual (English/Haitian French) rap".

Maya has lived in New York and he helped to set up weekend drumming sessions in Central Park. He is also an accomplished voodoo drummer.

A Ghost Tones album s currently in production and will be out next year on Sugarlicks-

The video can be seen at

9. Age Pryor - The Best For You (NZ)  
(from "City Chorus") (CD) (Loop)

Age Pryor is based in Wellington - and "City Chorus" is his second album. The first was Homerecordings, which he made in Nelson in 2000. Tessa Rain helped on that project and her voice is also featured on "City Chorus".  The recording is a typical Wellington "round up the usual suspects" number with "fifteen other musicians representing over a dozen Wellington bands including Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots, Twinset and The Black Seeds".

Age Pryor has his own website at -

and he's been known to pass the time of day with the Wellington's highly productive Loop Recordings who have their site at -

10. Straitjacket Fits - "Down in Splendour" (NZ) (1990)
(on "Straitjacket Fits") (CD) (Flying Nun/FMR)

Straitjacket Fits were the Flying Nun band that almost made it in the USA in the 90s - but making any impression on such a big market is a very tall order - made even taller when you're trying to do it from New Zealand. For more on the Fits have a look here -

No prizes for knowing that Shayne Carter went on to form Dimmer but "Down In Splendour" was an Andrew Brough song. Andrew provided the band's more melodic moments until he left. He later formed Bike who released two Eps and an album - but not a lot has been heard from him since then. More about Bike at -

Leza Corban (who sings on Strawpeople's "Love My Way") does a very nice version of "Down in Splendour" on the Peaches album that Debbie Harwood put together a couple of years ago -