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It’s always delightful seeing fresh faces as yet ungrizzled by the demands of academia! Realistically, I’m going to accept that you’ll be much too busy pashing totally exquisite babez at your hall/partying down in town/livin’ it up/imbibing all sorts of illicit substances and generally indulging in every base whim to worry too much about music at the moment. And that’s okay! No judgement here yo. But, dear reader, I beg of you not to give up on this column just yet. As the endorphins and euphoria wears off, you may find yourself looking to satiate musical cravings – and here in Wellington you are spoilt for choice you rotten shits. Here is a quick rundown of relevant venues, buskers and purveyors to explore at your leisure. Wishing u happiness and prosperity for the upcoming year xx
‘Your Venue Menu(e)’
MIGHTY MIGHTY: 104 CUBA ST
A tr00 1nd13 haven. According to (possibly apocryphal) rumours I’ve heard, one can get a full year’s secret membership by making a
twat of yourself in front of the owners. Salient recommends disrobing and jumping into the bucket fountain just in case. What do you have to lose?
TOWN HALL: 111 WAKEFIELD ST
Best acoustics in Wellington full stop. Capacious and exquisite. The only downside is that only gigs that attract an audience of 1000+ are hosted here. I saw Bon Iver here last year incidentally. 1. It was predictably amazing and 2. Yes, I can see your look of vexation from here. SUCKAA.
SAN FRAN 171 CUBA ST
Where ‘big’ shows that aren’t big enough for the Town Hall are relegated, San Fran is a pretty hip joint that proffers fine acoustics and a lovely atmosphere that gels best with hip-hop gigs and bands that veer towards the experimental.
PUPPIES 188 TORY ST
Newish, and finding its feet with laudable promptitude, this venue is perhaps the most intimate and comfortable in Wellington. Just to
set it apart further, it stocks a great selection of records for pretty decent prices. $$$$
MEDUSA 154 VIVIAN STREET
To tickle your inner bogan/rock ‘n’ roller, this is the go-to venue for all things metal/punk/hard rock.
‘Show me the goods’
Popular wisdom has it that the advent of digital downloading has resulted in the dearth (if not the death) of physical media outlets. And while this doomsday prophesying does have some validity (RIP Real Groovy Wellington, we remember thee fondly) all hope is not lost. And I have the proof!
SLOW BOAT RECORDS 183 CUBA ST
An iconic Wellington institution that has curried favour with the likes of Thom Yorke, Justin Vernon and Regina Spektor, Slow Boat contains a truly phenomenal amount of music (a lot of it on the vinyl format, all you collectors/audiophiles/hipsters out there) that spans an eclectic amount of genres and time-frames. Comparable only to Narnia, really, except that it’s real. Magical.
RPM 140 VIVIAN ST
The trendy-as-all-fuck new kid on the block offers an impressive array of new/pre-loved vinyl and an especially voluminous collection of
electronica, hip-hop, and jazz.
VANISHING POINT RECORDS 251 CUBA ST
A wonderful nook near the top of Cuba that specialises in all things rock, owned by a cheerful, irrepressible, and lovely ol’ runk couple. In keeping with the runk aesthetic, the surroundings are grungier than the previous mentions. This look enhances rather than detracts from the appeal, and the owners are always willing to shoot the shit about anything from your favourite obscure post-hardcore band to U2 to the best concerts they’ve been to. Oh, and they effectively double as rock ‘n’ roll encyclopaedias. School yo’self.
‘every day i’m busking’
Bob Dylan acolytes. There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can make his line “she breaks like a little girl” sound soulful,
poignant and tender, and those who make it sound desperately creepy – not unlike those porn pop-up ads that promise an “18yo virgin
TORN APART by HUGE COCK” when you’re just trying to look up some sensual James Deen or Faye Reagan action (though I’m more of a Stoya man myself). Sadly, most of Wellington’s innumerable Bob Dylan impersonators fall in the latter camp. And none of them know how to play anything off ‘Blood on the Tracks’. Hacks. The ‘Metal’ Busker – usually seen scowling at passers-by at the Railway Station, accompanied by a fearsome entourage of hooligans who smoke indoors and occasionally expectorate at those they deem unfavourable. Avoid.