REM - "Leaving New York"
(from "Around The Sun") (album - release date Oct 18) (Warner Music)
REM are back with a new studio album - their thirteenth. It will be released in the run up to the American Presidential Election and the band are claiming that this one will be their most political album yet. Having said that, "Leaving New York" is a love song from a band that don't write very many of them (and "The One I Love'" - one of their most celebrated songs - is anything but a love song).
REM are also about to about to embark on an extensive Northern Hemisphere tour - and there's guarded talk that "the band will potentially embark on a Pacific tour mid-2005".
REM's official website is at
(and while you're there you can download rem:ix for free. It's a collection of remixes of songs from their last album).
Thrills - "Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?"
(from "Let's Bottle Bohemia") (album) (Virgin)
The Thrills might be from Dublin - but their first album "So Much For The City" was recorded in California and owed a huge debt to the Beach Boys.
"Let's Bottle Bohemia" is the follow up and features appearances from REM's Peter Buck and string arrangements from Van Dyke Parks (who also worked with the Beach Boys in the sixties)
official site is at -
Corey Haim was a teen star in the late eighties who featured in The
Lost Boys and then descended into a lengthy battle with drugs and
alcohol (and briefly dated Victoria Beckham in her pre-Posh Spice
days). After 15 attempts at rehab Corey claims to be "clean, sober,
humble and happy". More about him is at-
SJD - "The Witness" (NZ)
An exclusive Hum performance from Sean Donnelly and his band - Paul McLaney (acoustic guitar), James Duncan (guitar), Dominic Blazer (keyboards) and Tom Atkinson (drums).
The song is from the critically acclaimed SJD album "Southern Lights".
The ballad-like "Superman You're Crying" and the guitar based "From A to B or Not To Be" (featuring David Kilgour of the Clean) have already gathered plenty of student radio airplay for SJD. "The Witness" is another side of Sean - a much more soulful one.
More about SJD and "Southern Lights" at -
Dimmer - "Come Here" (NZ)
(from "You've Got To Hear The Music") (album) (FMR)
Dimmer is, of course, the group fronted by former Straitjacket Fit Shayne Carter - and at this year's New Zealand Music Awards they won best rock album and best rock group (although it must be the least "rock" venture Shayne has ever been involved in.
"You've Got To Hear The Music" is the second Dimmer album and features contributions from Anika Moa, Bic Runga, members of Fat Freddy's Drop and Dr. Graham Downes (from the Verlaines and the Otago University School of Music).
The Dimmer website is at -
Strawpeople - "Love My Way" (NZ)
(from "Count Backwards from Ten") (album) (Sony)
Paul Casserly's Strawpeople with another early eighties cover. Add this Psychedelic Furs song to the Cars "Drive" and the Swingers "One Good Reason" in the Strawpeople back catalogue. The vocal is by Leza Corban who sang "Sweet Disorder" for Strawpeople on the "Broadcast" album back in 1994.
Other contributors to "Count Backwards From Ten" include Fiona McDonald, Pearl Runga, Boh Runga, Jordan Reyne, Mahinarangi Tocker, Dan Sperber, and Joost Langeveld.
The official site is at -
Fat Freddy's Drop - "Hope" (NZ)
(Hope Remixes) (10" vinyl) (Kartel)
Wellington's "Purveyors of a hypnotic groove of skanking urban Pacific roots, dub and electronic dance vibrations". Fat Freddy's Drop was awarded Best Live Act at the independent bNet New Zealand Music Awards 2004.
The video was shot at the Splore Festival in 2002. Director Marcel Allen was also the cameraman and when he showed the band his footage they invited him to turn it into a clip. That rather ghostly effect was achieved by projecting the original 8mm film onto a screen -and rerecording it with a video camera. Marcel has since made the most recent Goldenhorse video - "Northern Lights".
The best way to keep up with all of the different releases for "Hope" is to go to the band's website
Fat Freddy's Drop are currently spending time in a beach side studio recording a studio album. The CD and double vinyl album is due for release late 2004 on the independent record label, The Drop.
Emma Paki - "System Virtue" (NZ)
(from "Oxygen of Love") (album) (Virgin)
Emma Paki was the big winner at the 1993 New Zealand Music awards with "System Virtue" and its video. The song also came in at No 40 on the Apra Top 100. Emma had largely dropped out of the music industry in recent years but this month sees a new song from her on the third edition of Loops Green Room compilations. More about "Green Room 3" at -
Emma Paki's website is at -
Kathleen Edwards - "6 0'Clock News"
(from "Failer") (album) (Zoe Records/Elite Imports)
A Canadian born singer-songwriter who attracted rave reviews from alt-country circles for "Failer" - her debut album. Rolling Stone named her as one of the 10 artists to look for in 2003. Lucinda Williams gets name-dropped a lot as a comparison - but Edwards says that Aimee Mann is much more of an influence.
Edwards played in a recent series of Gram Parsons tribute concerts organised by Gram's daughter Polly - and she's currently working on a follow up album.
Her website is at -
Graham Brazier -"In Your Company" (NZ)
(from "East of Eden") (album) (Wildside)
The former (and still sometime) Hello Sailor lead singer latest solo album. The video for "In Your Company" features scenes from Graham's stamping ground of Grey Lynn - and also the rare books shop that his mother runs in Dominion Road (that's her in the shop with him)
More about Graham at the Wildside records site
And there's also an interview that John Dix did with Graham for the Listener at -
This week's Hum List -
No Hum List this week but Murray Cammick at Wildside Records is a master of the form. His website has dozens - including several from Graham that we couldn't improve on -
10. Stills - "Lola Stars and Stripes"
(from "Logic Will Break Your Heart") (album) (Warner)
Originally from Montreal, the Stills are now based in New York. "Lola Stars and Stripes" is from their debut album "Logic Will Break Your Heart". They're one of a number of bands around at the moment who are revisiting the early eighties - and they're very happy to be compared to The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen.
Read an interview with them here (where they display a very dodgy understanding of New Zealand animal life) -
And visit their website here -
11. Ramones - "I Wanna Live"
(from "Ramones: Anthology") (album) (Warner)
We lost another Ramone. Johnny died at age 55. (Hard to imagine a 55 year old Ramone but there you are. Dee Dee and Joey have also passed away in recent years - but the band's three drummers seem to be in better health.
Music since the mid-seventies would have been a much duller place without the Ramones who managed to combine cartoon humour with a pure understanding of punk rock.
Good early clips from the Ramones are hard to find for broadcast - but there's a great version of "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" at -
We chose "I Wanna Live" because "I Wanna Be Sedated" gets plenty of airtime. The title might seem odd in this context - but it's a rather un-Ramones-like celebration of life
There's plenty of coverage of Johnny Ramone's life and times on the MTV site at -
Hey ho, let's go...