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Connan Mockasin Brings 'Caramel' to Amoeba Hollywood This Friday

Posted by Billy Gil, January 15, 2014 03:50pm | Post a Comment

connan mockasin amoebaConnan Mockasin’s Caramel was one of the more intriguing records of 2013. As syrupy and sumptuous as its name would suggest, the native New Zealander’s second album is a trip, yawning awake with spacey love songs, delving into psychedelic soul singles (the irresistible “I’m the Man, Who Will Find You”) and moving into a five-part, mind-bending suite called “It’s Your Body.” Even among underground releases, it’s a strange bird, and an album that stays with you. I sat down with Mockasin to ask about the record as he prepared to play in San Francisco. He’ll be at Amoeba Hollywood this Friday Jan. 17, performing at 6 p.m.

 

There’s a really interesting quality to the album that the whole thing feels kind of warped and disorienting, but you get used to it as the album goes on. Was that part of the idea, to create a sort of all-encompassing sound world?

Mockasin: I didn’t really think about it too much. I just wanted to make what a record that was called Caramel would sound like. That’s just what I had in my head.

connan mockasin caramel amoebaWhat made you choose the word “caramel” as inspiration?

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Toy Love Song

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 15, 2013 07:25pm | Post a Comment

A 1980 interview with a bunch of new bands based in Auckland by the old New Zealand rock mag Rip It toy loveUp posed the question, "How would you most like the audience to react to your music?"

All the bands interviewed answered that they liked it best when the punters hit the dancefloor...except Chris Knox, the peripatetic vocalist for Toy Love. His response? "We'd rather stun them..."

Done and done. Over their all too brief two-year life, the South Island band were the best in the country by a long shot, packing pubs and slaying the hundreds of people who packed in to see them.

The band put out three singles and one LP before splitting up in late 1980. Their impact was monstrous in NZ, directly influencing the formative years of the country's premier indie label in the '80s, Flying Nun.

Brooklyn label Captured Tracks has just released a vinyl document of Toy Love's recorded output, toy lovean eponymously titled double LP comprising the best of the LPs and singles, along with other recorded material and demos. Your writer was an unabashed fanatic; I saw all but one Toy Love show in Christchurch, and a bunch at other places around the country.

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CHRIS KNOX (TALL DWARFS, TOY LOVE, THE ENEMY) SUFFERS STROKE

Posted by Billyjam, June 13, 2009 09:27am | Post a Comment
Chris Knox "Not Given Lightly" (1990)

Chris Knox, the pioneering New Zealand musician of influential Kiwi bands The Enemy, Toy Love, and the Tall Dwarfs, is reportedly in an Auckland hospital today after suffering a stroke two days ago. The talented New Zealander, who also co-founded the country's legendary indie Flying Nun record label in the early 80's, is a major figure in the development of the kiwipop story.
Chris Knox
A living legend in his native New Zealand, the 56 year-old Knox's rich & respected career dates back to late 70s NZ punk era bands The Enemy and Toy Love, followed by being one-half (along with The Enemy guitarist Alec Bathgate) of the quirky oddball 4-track pioneering duo the Tall Dwarfs, whose music I highly recommend you seek out at Amoeba if you don't already have it in your collection. (For a prime example of their sound, check the video down below of the brilliant Tall Dwarfs song "The Brain That Wouldn't Die.")

Knox, who has an uncanny knack for creating the perfect infectious pop song, has also released a number of solo, self-produced albums. His 1990 song "Not Given Lightly" (a love song to his wife -- see video above) was named "New Zealand's ninth best song of all time" at the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards.

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More News from the Wild Kingdom

Posted by Whitmore, January 27, 2009 03:37pm | Post a Comment
 
At the Southland Museum in Invercargill, New Zealand a rare and endangered native reptile, a tuatara, has become a father, possibly for the first time, at the age of 111.
 
Henry the tuatara was thought to be past his prime -- you would think -- especially since he has shown no interests in females since his arrival the Southland Museum in 1970. But last July Henry mated with Mildred, herself no spring chicken either; she’s in her 70’s. Mildred laid 12 eggs and this week after 223 days of incubation, 11 baby tuataras successfully hatched.
 
According to the Museum, Henry’s new found vitality may be due to a 2002 operation to remove a cancerous tumor under his genitals. Known for his foul moods and aggressive behavior towards other tuataras -- 25 years ago, Henry bit off Mildred's tail when the two were put together for mating purposes -- Museum tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley said that Henry has had a "major personality transplant."
 
Tuataras are found only in New Zealand and are sometimes referred to as "living fossils." They resemble lizards and are the only surviving members of a species that walked the Earth some 220 million years ago. Today most tuataras live in predator-free sanctuaries or on New Zealand’s offshore islands. They can live between 150 and 250 years and usually reach sexual maturity at about 20. This coming spring the newly rejuvenated Henry is expected to mate with another tuatara, Lucy, one of three females he currently lives with -- sounds like a basic cable reality TV show …

Books on Film: J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 30, 2008 12:07pm | Post a Comment
Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings
At the end of every year the urge to take in several hours of epic cinema storytelling never fails at filling my darkest mid-winter nights with adventure. What better way is there to spend all that spare "holiday season" time than enjoying a bit of movie magic? Ever since my childhood I've been romanced by the otherworldly wiles of fantasy films, being always at my most vulnerable around Christmas with an easy schedule and a heightened desire to escape into the imagination I possessed as a little girl where I could be as Grace Jones-crazy (Conan the Destroyer), Tanya Roberts-sexy (Sheena), Nigel Terry-valiant, Nicol Willamson-wise (King Arthur and Merlin, respectively, in John Boorman's Excalibur) and Brigitte Neilsen fierce (Red Sonja.) Surely I needn't mention how easily I took to playing Dungeons and Dragons in my teens or how largely Led Zeppelin figured into my lifelong playlist -- anyone who can claim the feeling of being partially raised by fantasy and sci fi flicks takes to rock 'n' role-play like a good sword to a well-oiled sheath. However, I would like to point out how deeply one Englishman, who was recently voted the 92nd "greatest Briton," John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, has irreversibly influenced contemporary popular culture foFrodo lives buttonrever by writing faerie stories to entertain his children. Being a big Tolkien nerd myself, I count him in the topmost of my top ten "greatest Britons," after a handful of musicians, writers and and that Arturus Rex guy.

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