Top Shows


Programme Three

On air September 18

1. Badly Drawn Boy - "Year of the Rat" 
(from the "One Plus One Equals One" album) (Shock)

A folky anthem from the former British Mercury Prize winner (he beat Coldplay) and an animated video that sends him in search of world peace. His real name is Damon Gough and he gets extra marks for calling his debut album "The Hour of Bewilderbeast". He also composed the score for the "About A Boy" soundtrack - and "One Plus One Equals One" is his fourth album. His website isn't the most expansive in the world but it's at -

2. Steve Burns - "Mighty Little Man"
(from the "Songs For Dustmites" album) (Rhythm Method)

An odd prospect - Steve Burns used to present the children's TV show Blue's Clues - and he's been recording with members of the Flaming Lips. The result is an album a lot of critics wanted to hate on principle - but haven't found a way to. Rest assured that there is no trace of Blue's Clues in the song or the video.

We were pretty sure it wasn't Steve Burns in the clip but we sent him an e-mail and got this reply - 

"That is none other than Gabe Soria, one of my very best friends. He is a music journalist, soon to be dad, and all around fancy dancer. Mighty Little Man is one his favourite songs. I shot that video myself along with two other guys around my apartment. The whole thing took less than two hours. It was shot in Brooklyn NY."

Gabe Soria has a rather sporadic blog that you can find at -

and the official site for Steve Burns is at -

3. Loretta Lynn - "Miss Being Mrs" 
(from the "Van Lear Rose" album) (Universal)

Loretta Lynn is, of course, a bona fide country music superstar - but like Johnny Cash she's been more and more marginalised by the mainstream Nashville machine. Cash found a way back into the limelight through the albums that Def Jam's Rick Rubin produced for him - and now Loretta Lynn is receiving a similar push from Jack White of the White Stripes.

There's no shortage of information about this project on the web - but this article at Paste is one of the better ones.

And Loretta Lynn's website is at

4. Steve Earle - "Transcendental Blues" 
(from the "Transcendental Blues" album)

The American elections are just weeks away - and Steve Earle has released a new album in plenty of time. It's called "The Revolution Starts Now" an appropriate reminder that he's one of the most politically active musicians around

Most of us who saw him here earlier this year had a very fine time. We would play his clips if he made them - but he doesn't seem to. Instead we've had to make do with this one from 2000. He's a lot thinner now (the Atkins Diet) and clean shaven as well. He recorded a track for an Australian TV show while he was in these parts that you can find at -

and his website is always worth a look -

5. The Bads - "Off The Rails" 
(unreleased) (NZ)

A special recording for Hum from the new band led by Dianne Swann (Everything That Flies, When The Cat's away) and Brett Adams (Mockers). Dianne and Brett formed the Julie Dolphin in London in the early 90s. They had a single of the week in NME and toured with Oasis, Green Day and Catatonia.

They supported Radiohead on two tours - Dianne is the female silhouette seen playing keyboards in the Radiohead Live at the Astoria video and the other voice on a song called 'How Can You Be Sure?' a duet with Thom Yorke which featured on the Japanese version of the BENDS and on the B side of 'Fake PlasticTrees'.

Dianne and Brett formed the Bads when they returned to Auckland in 2002. They have released one single ("Don't Go Losing") and just about finished recording their debut album. A new single "Bit By Bit" will be released to radio and TV in a couple of weeks then one more single before the album is released in Feb. The album is to be called Earth From Space.

6. Gasoline Cowboy - "I Hear You Call My Name" 
(from "The Hill Is Alive" compilation)  (Arch Hill) (NZ)

Haunting song from a three piece that play "minimalist melodic rock".  Formed in Christchurch but now relocated to Auckland. Gasoline Cowboy has just received a New Zealand on Air recording grant and they'll be going into the studio with Neil Baldock (who has worked with Neil Finn, Dave Dobbyn and Che Fu") to record a new single.

Forthcoming live dates for Gasoline Cowboy include -

Sept 25 @ The Roadhouse, Papakura with Pluto
Oct 2nd @ The Grand, Helensville with Pluto
Oct 8th @ Indigo, Wellington with Tommy

7. Pine - "See Saw" 
(Arch Hill) (NZ)

Another Christchurch band - and a very clever (and beautifully shot) video that makes this trio look like a six piece. "See Saw" is the first single from Pine's second album (which will be released on October 16th.

Keep an eye on the Arch Hill site for further information -

or Pine's on site

8. Strawpeople - "No One Like You"  
(from the "Triumph" compilation)  (Sony) (NZ)

This track is also featured on the latest Strawpeople abum "Count Backwards From 10" and features a vocal from Pearl Runga (younger sister of Bic and Boh)

"Triumph" is a benefit CD to raise money to fight breast cancer. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the developed world. The disease claims 600 lives every year in this country.

Other artists who have donated tracks include Bic Runga, Goldenhorse, Anika Moa, Pluto, Scribe, Che Fu and Nesian Mystic.

More details about "Triumph" are at the Breast Cancer research Trust site -

And Strawpeople's site is -

9. Rhian Sheehan - "Boundaries"  
(from the "Tiny Blue Biosphere" album) (Loop) (NZ)

Another very fine clip for a Rhian Sheehan track - and very different to the video for "Sunshine" that we played last week. This is an animated update on Hansel and Gretel made by Wellington animator and director Matt Pitt. Loop tell us that

"This clip was created because when one of Rhian earlier clips 'Waiting' was first released, Matt was intrigued and has found Rhian's music always triggers his imagination. Boundaries is a re-imagining of Hansel and Grethel, shown as a series of memories experienced by Hansel. combined with the questions asked by Rhian's samples, the video questions whether the key to the creation of the universe lies in the mind and memories of a child".

More info about Matt Pitt's work is at

And Rhian Sheehan's website is

10.  Dresden Dolls - "Girl Anachronism"
(from the "Dresden Dolls" album)  (Universal)

Art punk cabaret from a Boston duo. Shades of Tori Amos run completely amok with a little help from Kurt Weill. This clip is from their debut studio album. Even better is the video for "Coin Operated Boy" from their second disc - "A For Accident". It's not available here yet but you can see it at

And the Dresden Dolls site has everything you could ever need to know about them (except whether they really are playing dates here later this year as is rumoured)

11.  Patti Smith - "People Have The Power" 
(from the Dream of Life" album) (BMG)

Like Steve Earle, Patti Smith is another artist we'd love to see new clips from (same goes for Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris&). Her latest album (her ninth) "Trampin" has been out for a couple of months. It's just the 29 years since she stunned the music world with her debut "Horses".

"Dream of Life" was the first album she made with husband Fred "Sonic" Smith back in 1988 - and "People Have The Power" is just a great anthem sung with passion and commitment by an artist who has both qualities in spades.

Patti's website is at -

(Don't try - you'll get the Real Estate agent of the same name from America's Pacific North West).