2013 was a banner year for albums. Yeezus. Modern Vampires. Nothing Was the Same. 2014 feels like more of a single year, so far at least – so here’s five albums and ten songs (in no order).
All year, Rose and I have brought you news, reviews and interviews about theatre in Wellington. To fill the gaping hole in your brain that will be empty once Salient’s What’s On page is no longer, here are four events to keep you company over the summer months.
Orders from on high to produce something along the lines of a ‘Best Of’ playlist for TV. I don’t know much about TV, so thought we could just have some shows in here that you might like to watch at some point, or not, even though some of them aren’t that recent.
Art is robust. We’ve spent at least the last century declaring it dead and yet here it is, making a lot of money, alienating the masses, wearing black and scowling. Perhaps, then, it is a matter of strategy. Art can’t be killed by a manifesto, or the undermining of the fetishised object: its death may, just maybe, be brought about by small gestures.
Binge Culture are well known among Wellington theatre circles for producing unorthodox yet thoroughly entertaining theatre. Comprised of Rachel Baker, Joel Baxendale, Simon Haren, Fiona McNamara, Claire O’Loughlin and Ralph Upton, they are currently aiming to raise enough money to take some of their work to a New Zealand performance festival in New York next year.
The story goes like this. During exile on Saint Helena, Napoleon lived in a lodge lined with a particular kind of green wallpaper. The dye used in the wallpaper contained arsenic which reacted to the humid conditions of the island and contributed to the illness which eventually killed him.
It was getting dark, but through the branches of the kowhai tree I could make out all the jagged, narrow streets of Kelburn, the same streets where many characters in The Red Queen happen to live.
Only true film connoisseurs could grasp the beauty of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. A journey into neo-noir, the postmodern contemporaneous form of film noir. ‘Noir’ meaning ‘black’ in français. ‘Black’ meaning ‘dark and dangerous’. ‘Dangerous’ meaning ‘treacherous’. ‘Treacherous’ meaning ‘the repulsively enigmatic Sin City where everyone is enslaved to the temptation of their inner monster’. “Death is life in Sin City: it always wins.” It’s deep. Let me launch into a panegyric.
So how does the 2014 effort compare with Interpol’s creative peak? Their self-titled 2010 release sounded like a hollow reiteration of the band’s sound without the substance of strong lyricism. El Pintor is a definite improvement on Interpol.