Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little Pictures are OUT OF HERE

Hi everyone, my name's Mark and I play in Little Pictures. Johanna and I have big news, we've left New Zealand! We're going to be playing a 40 date tour of Europe, and then we're going to move to The Netherlands!

We're going just to get a new perspective on everything. New Zealand's awesome, and heaps of people have helped us out a lot, including Lil Chief. It'll be really sad to leave everyone behind, friends and family, but what the hell. We're young, we'll give it a go.

I'll keep posting stuff up around here, but check out our blog for a regularly updated tour diary:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Princess Chelsea in centre of cycle safety shitstorm

"The $1.8 million Big Little City marketing campaign to attract more domestic visitors to Auckland has made a big little faux pas in its first week.

A 60-second television commercial featuring 84-year-old Dick West with locks of silver hair cycling through the central city at daybreak has been changed following a complaint he was not wearing a safety helmet.

Anticipating there could be a complaint, campaign organiser Heart of the City filmed Mr West with and without a helmet.

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney said he preferred the version showing Mr West's hair. It showed him as a slightly whimsical, non-threatening, elder statesman waking up to a city with cameos from well-known locals, including chef Peter Gordon, musician Boh Runga and fashionista Denise L'Estrange-Corbet.

"It's a domestic campaign. We want people from Invercargill, Oamaru, Ashburton and Taumarunui to not be intimidated by Auckland," Mr Swney said.

Most of the advert was filmed with Mr West on a trailer, he said. Only in a brief shot of him cycling down O'Connell St without a helmet was he pedalling for real.

The commercials began a six-week run on May 17."


Monday, May 18, 2009

Princess Chelsea - Monkey Eats Bananas Music Video

Here is my very first music video for my song "Monkey Eats Bananas". Basically the plot follows along the same lines of most commercial music videos - I dance around and show off all my different outfits.

The video is directed by Jonathan Brunette and produced by JB and Joseph Harper or Joe 90s as people like to call him. The music video features a cameo by it's director plus of course Phil Collins, Bill O'Reilly, Corey Feldman-Haim and the now infamous 'Monkey' who also appears in a live music video for the band Still Flyin'.

Anyway Still Flyin' are this supergroup of talented musicians who play a trendy hyrbid of modern dance hall ska reggae type of stuff (forgive me I'm not an expert on the genre hence the word vomit) - many horns and dancing singing people on stage plus an extremely engaging and charismatic front-man. Still Flyin' features some of our friends from Architecture in Helsinki and The Ladybug Transistor.

While I'm on a tangent, Monkey appears in a Still Flyin' video - crowd surfing on a boogie board through manny thousands of people at Laneway Festival in Melbourne. Somehow he was was returned to me. Interestingly enough some footage of this same day is in my Monkey Eats Bananas video (the footage that is obviously not blue screen and where some moron is being all woohoooo Dunnerz4eva theres a camera here yess let me get in on it all up in my grill).

To be honest Monkey is a bit of a scene hopper and if you trawl the internet carefully enough you'll find photos of him with various different rock stars.

Anyways less namedropping and back to my shameless self promotion. NEW MUSIC VIDEO. We made it on a budget of $0 and some sandwiches. If I ever manage to get a NZ on Air grant I promise to make one set in Space / Underwater.

Also - Monkey eats Bananas is now available for download on Itunes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Rare and Irregular Ruby Suns track

There was a time about three years ago when I had a sudden inclination to write a song in Japanese for my girlfriend (her being part-Japanese). I stole some lines from a phrase book and pieced them together into a half-arsed song. Then my girlfriend got a letter saying that she'd been accepted to teach english - she left a month later and spent the next two years in Japan. The song remained just the ghost of an idea and faded into the ether...

Time passed...

I went from playing in the Tokey Tones to playing in the Ruby Suns. My friend Kiku heard me noodling about with a song one afternoon and was surprised to find that it was written in terribly-pronounced Japanese. Funnily enough, this was about the time that my girlfriend got back from Japan and I thought that maybe I would record a rough version of the song after all. I twisted Ryan (main Ruby Sun) to lend me his assistance for an afternoon. We recorded the drums and guitar together, then he sprinkled some of his indie-pop fairy dust over the rest of the track and we ended up with something halfway decent.

Hayden from bFM heard it and liked it enough to get it on their playlist, though the song was so short that DJs often weren't ready for it to end and it would result in a patch of dead-air while they figured out that it was time for them to start talking or put on another song. I listed the track as being by The Investigations (myspace page is here). But when the Ruby Suns needed a digital bonus track for the UK release of their first album and a bonus track for the Australian pressing, the track magically became a Ruby Suns track as well (though if you don't like it, then I'm happy for you to blame me rather than Ryan). It was enough to win the girlfriend back, but not enough to keep me in the Ruby Suns for much longer (though I did tour a bit with them and wrote about here). Pretty soon, I'd drifted into the Brunettes instead (yet another link, here! or you can read about it in the next issue of No Magazine).

Ryan then took the Ruby Suns on a search for the 'new sound' (excuse the Mighty Boosh reference, but do check out the Ruby Suns Myspace Page for more idea of where the band are at these days, e.g., touring the US at the mo). I offer up this little nugget from the past merely as a nice piece of nostalgia ... (please don't use the pronounciation as any sort of guide to Japanese - it'd be like learning English from a Guitar Wolf track) ... here ya go:

The Ruby Suns - Michi Ni Mayoimashita