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The Amplifier - Favourite Albums

The Amplifier - Favourite Albums

Kia ora ,
As the sacred summer holidays draw ever nearer, Amplifier Towers have narrowed our favourite albums of 2012 down to a carefully selected few. Today we'll have a formal argument over a meal (as we do every year) to determine the order of our Top 20 and make the all-important decision as to what our Album of the Year will be...
We'll fill you in on the results in next week's newsletter - but for now, there are a bunch of great new releases that have arrived just in time for the festive season. There'll be a stocking filler or two in there for many of you, I'm sure!
Mr Editor


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Album of the Week
The Mutton Birds - Free Range (Live 2012)

In early 2012 the original line-up of The Mutton Birds reunited after 10 years for a series of concerts in New Zealand, to ecstatic reviews. An intimate show at the King's Arms in Auckland has resulted in a new album Free Range - The Mutton Birds Live 2012.
Says lead singer Don McGlashan, "It was great reuniting for the tour earlier this year and the one-off show in London. I think we're playing as good as, or better than we did when we were at our best. There are a few versions of songs on this new album that, for me, eclipse the studio versions, even though it's a live record."
Free Range was recorded and mixed by Andre Upston of Radio New Zealand and contains all the band's hits, plus a few less-well-known gems.


Single of the Week
Laura Hunter - Don't Be Afraid To Love

Laura Hunter's new single Don't Be Afraid To Love is an acoustic meets electro and drum and bass pop song. Its lyrics express following love and the love for music and how often the two intertwine.
Producer Lukas Kelly has a passion for a range of genres, including acoustic, hip hop, pop, drum and base and electro, which is of great advantage to the career ahead with Laura Hunter.


DVD of the Week
Laughing Samoans - Funny Chokers

Funny Chokers is the latest DVD release from Laughing Samoans - the Pacific's favourite comedy duo of Eteuati Ete and Tofiga Fepuleai.
From the producers of such hits as A Small Samoan Wedding, Off Work and Prettyfull Woman this one is sure to be another big seller.
Recorded at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Australia, this DVD features the hit show that the Laughing Samoans toured throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific in 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: NZ orders cannot be shipped until Friday 7 December. International orders can be shipped now.


SJD - Elastic Wasteland

Following a stint as co-producer and keyboard player in Neil Finn's Pajama Club, and marshaling an all-star cast for the Breast Cancer Foundation release of Chris Knox's Not Given Lightly, Sean has returned to his solo synthesized roots with a stunning set of new songs on the 2012 release Elastic Wasteland.
SJD produces disarmingly music uninterested in high-octane dance-floor posturing, opting instead for beautiful melodies that move you in a decidedly more sublime manner. This said, his choons chugg along and propel your tired legs into movement in a contented shuffle.


Imploder - Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits is the debut single of Auckland stoner pop band Imploder. Recorded with Scott Newth and mixed and mastered with Chris Chetland (Kog Studio), the song is a blistering introduction to the band's live ethos and catchy tunesmithery.
Enrenched in punk and classic rock history, Imploder combine being the loudest band in town with tunes that stick firmly in your wormhole.


Foundation - Give Thanks

Foundation is headed by one of New Zealand's most in demand hip hop and RnB producers and widely regarded as one of the best musicians in New Zealand, multi-instrumentalist John Chong Nee.
Foundation has a fusion of urban reggae and soul, with many layers and sounds, setting a youthful feel good sound, for young and old. The sound is embodied in Give Thanks. Whether it's played in the background to set a relaxing atmosphere, or standing front and centre with the music moving through you, Foundation are the next big thing for this summer season.


Win Sven Olsen's Songs From The Bottom Of A Hilltop box set!

Up for grabs from Amplifier is Songs From The Bottom Of A Hill Stop - Box Set by Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga! It contains a two disc, 16 song collection accompanied by a full colour, 80pp, paperback book of illustrated lyrics. To enter, all you need to do is answer the following question correctly: Who mixed and mastered the album?
What began as an excuse for a catch-up with distant friends turned into a multi-year odyssey of home recording for Nigel Beckford and Clyde Clemett. The songs were recorded at a set time every Sunday afternoon for five years with various Saga members.
To enter the competition, visit the ARTICLES page on Amplifier, or simply click >HERE<


Rhys Darby - This Way To Spaceship

Rhys Darby returns with the release of his new stand-up DVD, This Way To Spaceship. Based on the bestselling book of the same title, Darby's This Way To Spaceship stand-up show was also the recipient of the prestigious Fred Award (an accolade which is named after Fred Dagg and symbolised by a gumboot) at the NZ International Comedy Festival in May this year.
If the world really does end when the Mayan calendar runs out this year on 21/12/12, then Rhys Darby has a plan. He is fairly sure that the superpowers have spaceships set up to evacuate VIP's from Earth, but the big question is, has he done enough to get on board? From meek geek to king of cool, this is the story of the nice guy finishing first.
This hilarious DVD also features bonus content, including a behind-the-scenes look at the UK tour through the eyes of Rhys' loyal technician James as well as an interview with Rhys Darby conducted by fellow New Zealand comedian Ben Hurley.


Otis Mace - Country Tree

Fresh, bright, irreverent and darkly comic tales of life in Aotearoa - Otis Mace presents artfully constructed love ballads and bright pop songs, and includes an element of vivid story telling in his punchy performances on Country Tree.
In March 2012, Mace performed in New York and Los Angeles, with Hamish Kilgour on drums. The end of 2012 will see Otis tour New Zealand to flog off Country Tree, recorded with help from Don McGlashan.


Strahan - Water & Fire

Strahan's are not songs of a preacher. Water & Fire is not made up of ballads to lilting love. These are just alms to that old, worn faith. Skin for the skeleton. The sound of someone looking for a resurrection.
From the opening throes of Hallelujah to the closing refrain of Resurrection Song, Water & Fire is the sound of someone who travels with dust on his feet, connected to the earth, but eyeing Heaven.


Dan Poynton - Douglas Lilburn Complete Piano Music Vol. 4

This fourth and final volume in Dan Poynton's Piano series brings to light several first recordings, with assured and idiomatic performances, presenting an unseen side of this pre-eminent New Zealand composer.
Included is one of Lilburn's finest works for solo piano, Sonatina No.2 (1962). Another highlight is the first complete recording of Five Bagatelles (1942), which is quintessential among Lilburn's early piano works.


Coffee Table Book
10.98 Seconds of Wellington Artists by Lennart Maschmeyer

The coffee table photo book titled 10.98 Seconds Of Wellington Artists is the first portrait of its kind of the Wellington art community by German-born photographer Lennart Maschmeyer.
Lennart Maschmeyer worked to create a portrait of Wellington's thriving art community. The resulting book titled is the first work of its kind in Wellington. Its aim is to capture an authentic impression of the people creating and carrying the spirit of the city.
The book features portraits of 55 artists, including numerous musicians such as Samuel Flynn Scott (The Phoenix Foundation), Warren Maxwell (Little Bushman, Fat Freddy's Drop, TrinityRoots), Jess Chambers, Ryan Prebble (The Nudge, Fly My Pretties), James Cyole (The Nudge, Newtown Rocksteady) and many more.

Video of the Week
Joe Blossom - Control
Joe Blossom's first in a series of 'anti-videos'.


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Amplifier Release Chart
01. Kora - Light Years

02. Deach - Slow It Down (Remix) - Single

03. The New Zealand 28 (Maori) Battalion - AKE, AKE, KIA KAHA E! - Songs Of The New Zealand 28 (Maori) Battalion

04. Various - How To Meet Girls From A Distance (OST)

05. Shapeshifter - Monarch - Single

06. 1814 - Relax

07. Various - Songs From The Inside (CD/DVD)

08. Various - Boy - Movie Soundtrack

09. Soulovus - Love Foundation

10. Sons Of Zion - Good Love - Single

11. Sharkness - Coat Of Arms

12. The Black Seeds - Dust And Dirt: Deluxe Edition

13. Flight Of The Conchords - Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That) - Single

Friday 30 November
Electric Wire Hustle
San Francisco Bath House, Wellington

Saturday 1 December
w/ Sherpa and The Psychs
Kings Arms, Auckland

Saturday 1 December
w/ Bat Country and Elliot Brown
Lucha Lounge, Auckland
New Zealand music online


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