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August 11, 2008 | by  | in Music |
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A Low Hum Inc. aka The Scene that Celebrates Itself

In early 1990s London there was an exceptionally small and exclusive pool of musicians, producers and journalists who promoted each other’s gigs, played together, drank together, and cast themselves into the spotlight of the media and music fans. This was The Scene That Celebrated Itself. Such mutual support within a scene – although a charming idea – should be a prospect that is horribly familiar for most Wellingtonians, seeing that our music scene is embedded with the most self-promoting, self-glorifying and incestuous bad blood to ever plague New Zealand music DNA: A Low Hum.

A Low Hum (ALH) was born when ‘Blink’ (Ian Jorgenson) began organising tours for small indie bands around New Zealand. The first ALH tour featured Ejector and Degrees K in September 2003. After a Batrider tour the following April, Blink continued to tour bands almost every month or so until 2007, and it was awesome. During these early years A Low Hum held a light to the unexplored abyss of New Zealand music. Not only did it promote small bands by touring them, it also released compilation CDs, catalogues, and a local knowledge publication to educate anyone interested of the unknown potential New Zealand music holds.

A Low Hum gigs gained a reputation of being unique and chaotic, where the barrier between celebrity performer and grateful audience were smashed down. The music offered by bands such as The Phoenix Foundation, Cut Off Your Hands (aka Shaky Hands), So So Modern, The Shocking Pinks, Connan and the Mockasins, and Die! Die! Die! was so very different, so very original, and so full of fresh untapped energy which was unleashed live, and poured into the audience through electric waves of ecstasy. Provoked by yet another DIY revolution The Mint Chicks and This Night Creeps had initiated, bizarre previously unheard music escaped the bedroom and entered the spotlight, with A Low Hum as its mentor.

For a while it was beautiful. A new movement, so full of promise was in motion; the future of New Zealand alternative music away from the insipid New Zealand On Air funded bands looked bright. A Low Hum gained momentum, and the first Camp A Low Hum festival was held in February 2007. A shambolic, folkey festival, Camp was all about the music: musicians in trees, people strumming guitars, singing and dancing, music was always happening somewhere: it was small, peaceful, and wonderful. Camp 2008 would prove to be very different.

Their live spectacle at the 2007 Camp combined with over a year of extensive touring saw Wellington’s So So Modern begin to lead the pack as they became the quintisential Low Hum act, and kings of the Wellington indie scene, and not undeservingly. Why? Because they were fucking amazing. More than possibly any other Low Hum act, So So Modern released a beast on stage. Their music was powerful, forceful, and out of control. Through this band ALH and its followers found a central identity, a force strong enough to carry the movement, be it’s Jack Skellington and see ALH endure. With all the love, trust, and potential of the movement placed in this band, So So Modern and it’s Wellington sub-scene became a figure which if corrupted would corrupt everything.

As well as flowering a new scene, So So Modern set a benchmark for all ‘indie’ bands that came after them, and brought maturity and concreted credibility to ALH. This is what ‘indie’ looked like, and this is what A Low Hum could do: start an entirely new movement of explosive sounds, bright clothing, and awesome feelings. Little if any thought was given to the fact that So So Modern, sooner or later, would have done it by themselves, and consequently A Low Hum has been given nothing but support from a Wellington scene which has lapped up everything ALH likes, recommends or masturbates over and heralded it as law. So So Modern were the new shit, and everybody wanted to be like the new shit.

In early 2007 things were already changing. This Night Creeps had broken up the year before. The Sneaks and Connan and the Mockasins moved overseas, and most importantly The Mint Chicks and So So Modern’s live performances started to seriously deteriorate. In the sense of the former, perhaps they had just passed their New Zealand use-by date and needed to move on, but in the case of So So Modern there is little excuse. In the absence of such live whirlwinds that once exercised the underground fans of New Zealand, ALH and its subscenes in the cities grew fat and bloated.

The scene extended to include a network of copy-cat wannabe bands who retained little of the original force and ethics of the ALH movement and thus ushered in a very lazy fat-cat indie scene, crystalised through the medium of ALH which was beginning to change character.

The result has been a surge of psuedo-alternative acts riding off the strength of the A Low Hum scene, and its fresh, trendy ‘indie’ image. Bands such as Teenwolf and Brand New Math in Auckland; Frase + Bri and Bang! Bang! Eche! in Christchurch; and the now departed Holiday with Friends, and Little Pictures here in Wellington have wriggled their way into popularity by playing the right-sound to sedated-ALHloyalists and befriending their way through the right channels. But in reality these bands are no more than the crusting semen of New Zealand underground music after the orgasm that was So So Modern. It felt good at first, but now we’re all just covered in wank. Especially here in Wellington, what we are left with is a scene that simply cannot think for itself and question the quality music that is produced. Instead of playing music for the pleasure of communicating ideas, feelings, and experiences (which music is supposed to do) ALH bands it seems now play for the sake of being seen and being scene.

Camp 2008 only highlighted this fact. So So Modern were the prize celebrities of the event, alienated from the audience by their extensive network of leech friends, and scene bands, the barrier only contributing further to a deterioration of their live act. Little attention was paid to the actual quality of music present, and special attention was paid to the quality of ‘party’. Music is meant to be a party: the motto of the new ALH scene.

Fortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg and New Zealand is riddled with a wealth of promising bands, full of potential and waiting to be discovered. Bands such as Death in Gaza, New Friend, Sora Shima, and Amy Racecar are continuing to show an absurd amount of awesomeness, and absolutely rip apart Wellington-ALH-scene bands live, but are still struggling for recognition. Granted, some of these bands have played at the Campfestival but the four days’ attention they’re given there compared to the years of attention a band like Shaky Hands was gifted is hardly compensation. And so unfortunately these bands are not attaining the attention and credit they deserve, and the fat-cat indie scene refuses to roll.

A Low Hum’s purpose in New Zealand is dwindling. Early ALH celebrities have either grown too big for their boots and moved offshore (The Sneaks, Cut Off Your Hands) or have been forgotten and left in the dust in the shadow of more successful and profitable acts (Yokel Ono). Its future will probably involve a more concentrated focus on the Camp festival and on the record label (which has already signed three artists), while Blink casts his eyes overseas to see what international talent he can dig up. Blink probably never predicted the monster that his movement has turned out to be, but like it or not we’re all stuck with it. New Zealanders have loved the emergence of an institution that has brought the undercurrents of kiwi music into the light, but now maybe it is time for ALH to step aside, release its tight grasp on the power it holds, and a let a new movement arise.

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  1. wanklicus says:


  2. Luke Rowell says:

    Oh man, why was I relegated to a cross-reference? Do I suck now or not?

    love from loogie

    PS Obviously coming from some higher place, you’re involved in some kind of cooler scene I should know about.. What’s it called? Where do you meet?

    PPS I think you made Frase mad.

  3. Fraser Austin says:

    I don’t like being referred to as dry semen. It’s disgusting and low-minded.
    Also I resent the perception of my band as being alternative-at all let alone pseudo-so. We aren’t cool hipsters who want to “indie”-party every night or ride some fashion synth rave-wave. I’m just doing my best to write pop songs that I like. And frankly your attack on Blink’s efforts and the bands he has supported seems based purely on some backward notion that because he is actively DOING something he should be called accountable. However, you have no evidence of his wrong doing other than some diatribe against So So Modern’s live shows. Evidence of us not being worthy of playing a show or Blink’s offensives need to be better articulated if you want to begin to rat on something. You talked of a decline in quality. Is that it? Your personal tastes obviously are sat in the highchair of judgement so why not put yourself out there, you let us know of your accomplishments, or of the band you play in, or the tours you’ve successfully managed. And then we can gauge collectively here on the internet whether your “taste” is of sound character to Judge.

  4. Gary Albridge says:

    Um, I don’t think you should take it so personally man. Apart from the small fact that no one actually reads Salient, I think it was more of an attack on the Wellington scene.


  5. hey ho says:

    It’s really hard to respect what you’re saying when you’re a nobody, criticising people who have actually done stuff.

    Who are you?? And do you like Shihad

    …I think you do

  6. Bradley Artist says:


    Love the article. Your obsession with the semenal leads me to believe you are a man of unrequited passion. If I suck on your pasty cock can you say you like my band? I will play some Muse in the background if it will make the experience more comfortable for you.


  7. John Keys says:


    Look at those enraged scenesters. Look at them jump. It kinda just proves the whole point of the peice.


  8. Bradley Artist says:

    Less enraged, more bemused. Although I can see why Frase is annoyed. I have enough semen stains on me for it not to matter so much. But Frase and Luke are good clean boys, they arn’t crusty at all. I do not understand why you would be so cruel.

    The spelling mistake in the advertising is more annoying actually. Can you fire that person?

    Thank you.

  9. Bradley Artist says:

    and then I go and spell aren’t wrong I’M SUCH A FUCKING HYPOCRITE!

  10. jeremy says:

    wow what a homo

  11. tim says:

    fuck who ever wrote that is fuckin racist, hes racist as fuck
    fuck you im reporting this bitch

  12. Glyn says:

    Love your writing, come work for me!

  13. thomas says:

    wow, i think anyone who tries to help the NZ underground scene deserves a bit more respect than this. i don’t know much history of ALH but i imagine what they’re doing has been a good thing for NZ music. you want someone else to take control of it cool, what particular group do you suggest?

  14. Glyn and Yulia says:

    Great write up! We agree, the indie scene is really silly. We prefer serious and better music like Love Siege

  15. ihatealowhum says:

    Weird timing with your article. I mean, people have been hating on alowhum for ages. But you chose to write about it right when nothing alowhumy is happening?

    It’s almost like you just thought of it now

  16. Raider says:

    I think ALH has done some sweet things for small(No longer small thanks to ALH) NZ groups/bands. Sounds like a bit of an attack on indie in general (In all honesty i hate most indie bands =P) But still…

    Maybe it is time for some bands to accept the new age and the talent coming thru.
    Its time that ALH got onto them and gave them a chance.

    and as for ‘dry semen’…HAHAHAHAHA

  17. dayglow abortion says:

    correct article,when will those idiots who listen to that shit stop dressing in shitty fluro whilst reading pretentious magazines drinkin a coffe at the local cafe down cuba st.

  18. archi says:

    lets rid our mouths of opinions on the popularity of enright house and burn the leather jackets with hoods(now only $30 at supre) and all dance together nakie!!!

  19. dick shitface says:

    Uh, dayglow abortion, nu-rave is SO over.
    Also, I don’t think your comment made any sense.
    This article is absolute wank. You think you’re better than me because I enjoyed camp? Eat my arse. Blink’s done more for New Zealand music than you could dream of. And that, my friend, is a stone cold fact.

  20. nurave says:

    jocks and skanks dressed in fluro buying cut copy and presets albums? what do they have to do with alowhum?

    Oh I get it, it’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about

  21. Cameron says:

    You liked the new Shihad album. That tells us exactly what your opinion is worth.

    You douche.

  22. Jamename says:

    You make some good points, and i agree with nearly all of them. But i think its unfair to label ALH followers under this seamen clad umbrella, I mean they are so widespread and varied, from extremely attractive and/or talented people who wouldn’t give you the time of day, to socially inept bush pigs that crawl out anyway because they like the music.

    There are pretentious people around but i think you have to take a step back and realize there always was, more importantly there always will be, ALH stepping down isnt going to solve that.

    My guess is that your heading towards your mid twenties, you might already be there and lately you have probably been glorifying those younger years in your head. Its made you write an article on a widely recognized topic that is just poorly articulated, a little gimmicky and aimed at the wrong things.

    i mean so what if the next band to come along after So So Modern isnt good enough to be signed to transgressive records, it doesnt mean we should all admit defeat and shoot ourselves in the head because we might be so stupid to think that New Zealand underground music has reached its apex.

    This isn’t an article that encourages the new and improving or the teenagers that are thinking of picking up thier instrument more seriously (like you try to say it is with your concluding statement). Its an article that winges and moans that things arent as good as they used to be, like an old granddad, its a bit pathetic. . Ironically, your article talks to much about the people and not enough about the music. Join a bowling club and go shit out your mouth in the clubroom instead of writing somthing like this here. Sorry =/

  23. sid says:

    Random lost souls have asked me
    “What’s the future of Rock’ n’ Roll?”
    I say “I don’t know, does it matter?”
    This and that scene,
    they all sound the same to me
    neither much worse nor much better.

    We’re so fucked up these days
    we don’t know who to hate and who to praise
    yet we consider this our suffering and pain
    when we’re so privileged, a fact
    we all forget about as
    we go on whinging all over the place.

    How we laughed as they shoveled the ashes
    wrath hath soured
    blood and death, we will pay back the debt
    for this candy store of ours.

    Look at those cunts on MTV
    with their cars and cribs and rings and shit.
    Is that what being a celebrity means?
    Look boys and girls, heres BBC.
    See corpses, rapes, and amputees.
    What do you think now of the American dream?

    And our soccer moms and dads
    who raised us brats on those TV ads
    I know that they sleep at night.
    Their conscience is intact
    they’ve convinced themselves of that.

    Giving money to Jesus fucking H Christ

    How they laughed as we shoveled the ashes
    of the twin towers.
    Blood and death, we will pay back the debt
    for this candy store of ours.

  24. yoyoyo says:

    Best comments section quote: “seamen clad umbrella”

    And bradley, there’s nothing wrong with a little semen. I think it’s the magic ingredient that helped you own the mic at karaoke the other night.

    Did i mention it was scenesters only karaoke?

  25. HAHAHAHA says:

    In your previous words “Fuck Shihad rock” need I say more?

    Ok so I predict you live in wellington and you think you are the shiznit for living there.
    Firstly…. I’m sorry, but you come across as one pretentious fuckwit whos glory days are over.

    some of the bands you mentioned “were crusting semen” are possibly the hardest working bands in the country right now.


  26. mr says:

    Christopher Gilbert, if what those bands are doing is shit then what do you think everyone will think about this article?

  27. Josh says:

    Yeah… my least favorite student magazine in New Zealand for a reason. I totally don’t get the bitterness about ALH at all. For the most part Blink has supported party music that people have had a great time partying to. Not sure what the issue is, frankly… nothing ALH has done, has made it harder for anyone else to succeed – if anything, quite the contrary.

    There are so many New Zealand bands not affiliated with ALH which are so infinitely worse and untalented than anything Blink ever touched. ALH bands derivative? Oh please spare us your “taste” or “opinion”, they aren’t worth the spit slithering out the side of your mouth when you talk.

  28. Christina says:

    It does seem like a funny time to finally reach your wits end and come to the realiation that the only hope for new zealand music is for blink to step aside….. Um, coz like he hasn’t done anything for AGES. In fact, I don’t think he has been in this country since camp.
    So it begs the question….where are all the previously suffocated and exciting new bands now that all the bars are not booked up with ALH bands?
    I love some of the bands Blink has helped tour, but I also think some of them are total rubbish and I laugh when i think about them.. hah hah. (but it would rude to expect Blink to cater soley for my tastes) So I go see the ones i like, and sometimes I think, gosh thanks Blink. It is pretty simple really, and fluroed conspirousy.
    Don’t be so bitter dude.

    oh yeah, and why would someone be apart of a scene they did not in some way celebrate?

  29. Christina says:

    That was meant to say “and NOT a fluroed conspiracy”

  30. PBtM says:

    So many comments about this guy liking Shihad – who cares? The dude’s harsh, but he’s just raising a question – a valid question. Same question that has to be asked with every art form, whether painting, writing, music or whatever, with anything that matters: anything that can’t be reduced to finish lines, gold medals, profit and loss. Where is the merit? Where is the beauty? Are these bands beating new paths, striving to stand on the shoulders of giants? Or are they aping – Monkey see, monkey do, spawning the mediocrity that comes of any artist pandering to a market.

    It is a valid question, a question all bands have to ask themselves after their break, after they’ve built a scene, a fan base that know what they expect. After busting their guts trying to make that break, a little self-congratulation and basking in the supplement to the income is fair enough – and deserved – for a short time. But then it’s time to prove yourself all over again. This article’s just a nudge, c’mon, move along.

    I don’t know these bands under the spotlight; but the spotlights good for any band, if they make use of it. I’ll certainly be happy to catch them live, judge them by their own merits. As, I’ll add, Shihad have done for twenty years, being themselves, taking their own route and earning enough to be free to do it. So maybe this article is kind of about Shihad, if these fledgling bands are smart enough to see it, and have aspirations of lasting anywhere near as long.

  31. C DOGG says:

    personally, this guy is soo fukn ryte, ive wanted sum1 to say dis 4 sooo long!!!
    i mean i fukn h8 these bands aye, they are just so arrogant and shit!

    and they only get gigs coz they are lyke da mormons or whatever and help each other out even tho they kno theyr shit
    why dont ppl support good bands anymore?! none of this indy shit was famous before or that film about gardening or whatever made it cool to like boring music made by emos in da closet
    i mean, who fukn won all the tui awards last year?! EVERMORE not some fukn shit indy band! theres a reason y they won aye – COZ THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOOD
    i fuckn hate emos tho srsly

    Is that blink guy an emo? i think i saw him wear emo jeans in town once
    but whats the difference rlly, they all have fringes and kiss each other and wear tight jeans (fukn gurls aye) and im pretty sure i saw that singer from bang bang etche who looks like a girl kiss the singer of that brand new math band (now called teenwolf i think).. pretty gross aye, its like my chemical romance or sumthing

    i think alowhums should just give up aye (even tho they only alh gig ive been to was the tutts motocade one, that was actually pretty sweet, i think they are proper indie bands aye) so maybe keep doing shows lyke that

    but yeah i want to hear the new movement aye! alowhum bands need to fuck off so other bands can come in and play shows, ive heard about this new band called the naked and famous i think they are pretty kewl someone should get them to play at pheonix bar

    but indykids stop h8ing on this guy k, he obviously knows his stuff and is standing up for the ppl
    y’all just need to chill out and mayb not go to mighty tonight, jst hang with all the cool kids on salient k

    one last thing
    is this reviewer indy or wat? i heard that indy kids hassel bands that they used to like on a blogs just to be cooler than every1 else, like say its not cool to like RHCPS nemore or something FGGTS
    wateva man im with you all the way aye
    KILL THE EMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111


  32. Jaybone says:

    YeAh I AgRe WiT Cd0gGz. Di$ b0i Noz Hi$ ShIT. 0bioUsly Christopher Gilbert Ha$ BeEn fRonTin’ ThA sCenE siNcE hE wA$ b0rNz. YeW sUrE Kn0 y0uR $hiT Christopher Gilbert. FuK ThAt BliNk C*Nt f0R BeIng So Em0 aNd TouRinG wiCkeD bAndS. AnD FuK Th0sE So s0 ModErn faygs For dEtEriaTin’ AnD G0iNg OveR sEaz. ClEarly If ThEy wEre a$ Indy As Christopher Gilbert ThEy W0ulD of stAyed In WeLliNgTon. I D0nT seE WhY Nz BanDs TouR? Nz MuSik sUx.

  33. thomas says:

    C DOGG’s post has been the highlight of my week. that was fucking crack up.

  34. nathan says:

    god that was so unfunny

  35. so so old says:

    just cause so so modern suck, doesnt mean a low hum sux.
    and FYI saying that the early days of a low hum shed light on bands other than’insipid New Zealand On Air funded bands’, is bollocks. the mint chicks, the phoenix foundation, die die die and conan and the mockansins are are heavily funded bands.
    this is just bitter backlash a la new zealand

  36. random says:

    this whole article sounds personal
    like someone got bummed out by someone, then starting hating on what they did.
    not even well written either
    hope you’re not a journalism student….

  37. Matthew Crawley says:

    Oh man. Chris, I’m sure you’ve been told be now, but this article is factually unsound (Teen Wolf were around long before So So Modern reared their heads, or at least at the same time) and the other thing is it really doesn’t sound like you’ve even heard any of these bands you’re bagging. Just because a band use a keyboard it doesn’t make them the same. Little Pictures and So So Modern couldn’t be more different, for example. Oh wait, maybe Mark sometimes wears a hood. And there’s a guy called Mark in both bands. Maybe you have a point. Maybe not. Actually, not.

    As someone who has worked on putting on shows myself, one of the shittiest things that inevitably happens is that people start with the dissing – often for small or baseless reasons. It’s a small country, and writing an article like this just seems so incredibly pointless to me. “Scenes” need nurturing, otherwise music doesn’t happen. Hell, it would be great if someone really took the ball with a band like Sora Shima. And you know what, I can almost guarantee they’ll be playing at the next Camp Low Hum, and you know why? Because Blink refuses to get the same bands two years in a row, with like three or four exceptions. And why? Because it’s about getting new and interesting talent out there. He canvases the opinions of a lotta people before putting the lineup together, it’s not a boys club. And AND AND he’s set up a space so that now ANY band can play at camp without even being invited.

    I’m really still in some kind of shock at reading your retarded article. Go ahead and accuse me of being “one of them”, before I tell you that I got Sora Shima to support a packed out international show recently, and love folk music as much as party music as much as anything. This country isn’t big enough for haters – but it *is* small enough for just anyone – ANYONE – to take up an idea and make it work. Low Hum started from nothing, student radio started from nothing, the “indie” scene started from nothing. And through some really hard work and SUPPORT from a select few hard working people – not the illuminati as you seem to suspect – we’ve seen some of these bands / ideas / things come to fruition.

    In Auckland right now, there’s been a real call for new talent – cause like you pointed out, bands have gone overseas to find the next level for themselves. It’s been hard, but also pretty cool as it’s given amazing bands like Mean Street, Wilberforces, Moron Says What, Trees Climbing Trees (the list is growing) a platform to get acceptance and grow. I can count on a few fingers the bands I know who I might suspect are just doing it to “be cool”. And those bands are a joke, and shortly nobody will care because it’s obvious and there’s no space in this country for poser behaviour. Fun bands are genuinely just trying to have fun, and it’s been great that people have cottoned on to it.

    Right, that’s enough, I know you don’t give a shit what we say. The spirit of things really hasn’t changed since all the good stuff you said about it at the start of your article. Nothing pisses me off more than accusation of “scenester” behaviour. It stems from insecurity and grumpy-bum attitudes.

    Nobody’s massaging anyone’s butt muscles pointlessly here. Some people have worked hard and done an amazing job changing the face of New Zealand’s social scene almost singlehandedly, so fuck you! xo

  38. Matthew Crawley says:

    Hey – I just realised Sora Shima actually ALREADY played at Camp. Ta da!

  39. Stenhouse says:

    This article is a disgusting example of tall poppy syndrome. There is little wonder why so many New Zealanders leave the country when at home they can only expect insult and criticism for being successful. In the music industry the playing field is level and to succeed your friends bands need only put in as much effort and dedication as Blink has over the years.
    I have know Idea who So So Modern are but, suggest that one of them puts a shotgun to his mouth so this glorious era of New Zealand music that you have proclaimed can end with a martyr. Then you can wear your So So Modern Lives T-Shirt with pride, telling people how you were there, when it all happened, when music was real and meant something. Those were the best years of your life.

  40. Gibbon says:

    I completely agree with the article.
    I think anyone who doesn’t agree with it is probably just someone in a band that got slammed.
    Your music (probably) sucks, okay.

  41. random says:

    hey chris gilbert why dont you book some tours and put on a festival or two, see how difficult is it and you can have all your mates bands play then!

  42. Dan says:

    What was the point of this story? It doesn’t make any sense.

    You herald four bands that you think should be taken notice of. Two of those played at camp, the third didn’t exist when camp was on and the fourth moved to Australia 6 months before camp. What is your point?

    Were we even at the same festival or were you busy wanking over the new shihad cd in your tent the whole time. There was some awesome party times, but I would love to see you email The Phoenix Foundation, die die die, family cactuses, sean Anderson, liam finn, Lawrence Arabia, ragamuffin children, enright house, Grayson Gilmore, cassette and the bulk of the bands that played there and tell them they have no songs and are just “party” bands. I agree some of the bands there were shit, but when was the last time you went to a festival with 60 bands and liked all of them? What is your point?

    You want blink to step aside? The dudes been like 10000 miles away all year, is only doing a festival once a year and releasing a couple of records a year. How much less exactly does he need to do for others do step in?

    You’re a douche. You should step aside and let somebody who does their research and doesn’t name call write for salient instead, perhaps bring back some much needed credibility to it.

  43. Gibbon says:

    Moral of the story:
    Don’t ever ever have an opinion, because that means you’re a failure.

  44. gibbon is great says:

    Moral of the story:
    when publishing an opinion in a magazine maybe do some research because otherwise it lacks credibility

  45. Matthew Crawley says:

    Gibbon, the moral of our response is: have an opinion, express it intelligently and with good reason.

  46. Gibbon says:

    GiG –
    Opinions can be informed by facts, yes, but I feel that opinion and fact are two very very seperate entities. They certainly don’t mean the same thing.

    MC –
    I think that Christopher did all three of the approve. You don’t. That is your opinion, and I won’t hold it against you. If only everyone else did the same.

  47. The King Of Cats says:

    MEow mEow Meow meoW mEow

    Dont call me FAT!
    I eat out of bins!

    Indie suXX unless it’s Babyshambles.
    have you listened to Mechanical Animals lately it’s really good.
    You guys should all just chill out and jsut have sum Laffs and LOLz
    ur just FAp FAp FAp

    w00t Calum! Chansey! Level 32!
    Mat is practice this sunday?
    Luke when you in Auckland next?
    Hi yoyoyo!
    Blink can you get me a boomerAng?

  48. Tristan says:


  49. Matthew Crawley says:

    Hey Brad from Teen Wolf / Brand New Math, Vincent from Whipping Cats & Teen Wolf, Gary from … award winning author Gary, and Eddie from Degrees K – band practice is 5pm on Saturday in the usual place. Saturday!

  50. The King Of Cats says:

    Delibirds better but its weak against electric type

  51. The King Of Cats says:

    When is small balls practice?
    Tim what’s the link for that keyboard?

    Cool I’ll see yous on Saturday

  52. Michael Oliver says:

    anyone wanna buy a keytar off trademe

  53. Award Winning Author Gareth Shute says:

    You’re a great writer Chris, keep on trucking

    wutang clan

  54. Tim Math says:

    hey Brad, shall we buy this:


    I mean, we can’t afford it, any of us, no way, but as “Indy Fatcats” I’m sure we can get a grant or something RIGHT?!?

    You know what, I imagine from the outside the Low Hum thing does look exclusive. And this is the problem with this piece, it makes no attempt to look at things except from VERY far away.

    Also, Death In Gaza played Camp, twice. Your research is shit.

  55. a disgruntled soul says:

    WTF? You’re bands! You’re meant to be criticised! WHY are you all being so precious? Have you never been criticised before? All you’re doing is proving this guys point.


  56. jeremy says:

    the guy from teen wolf let me have a casual hoon on his funnel

  57. Dan says:

    “All you’re doing is proving this guys point.”

    What was his point?

  58. me says:

    “Have you heard the latest Feelers single? Fuck they rock hard!”

    Woops! Looks like I just did a Chris Gilbert


  59. bob says:

    teen wolf do suck….
    so did holiday with friends.
    however Ian is good and the camp is still fun….

  60. ian 'blink' jorgensen says:

    Teenwolf – Shit
    Brand New Math – Bland shit
    Frase + Bri – Has a bit of substance
    Bang! Bang! Eche! – Shit
    Holiday with Friends- Pretty shit
    Little Pictures – Incredibly shit
    So So Modern – Absolute garbage
    The Phoenix Foundation – Worst shit/dudes
    Cut Off Your Hands – Garbage
    The Shocking Pinks – Good
    Connan and the Mockasins – Pretty mediocre
    Die! Die! Die! – Ok

  61. dick shitface says:

    golden axe are the best band in the country and they need to tour already

  62. Gareth Shute says:

    Hmm … Nice to see someone stealing my name as a hilarious joke … There is so much sarcasm going down, I hardly know what to say, since people will probably assume I mean the opposite…

  63. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Why are people talking about HWF like they got hit by a bus? They just played last night. Sounding crisp too, with ol’ crazy eyes on the drums. I was gonna say stuff but Crawley said it all and said it perfectly. I’ve never made so many great friends so quickly as I did when I started going to ALH gigs. It’s like a lovely family but we’re allowed to touch each other and the police don’t come.

  64. Tommy Ill says:

    Woah! Is this the real Christopher Gilbert? THE Christopher Gilbert? Famous writer/musician/poet/promoter/manager/record exec/super hero/king of Wellington/person-whos-opinion-really-matters-to-anyone-asides-from-himself? Well if CHRISTOPHER GILBERT said it, it must be true. I mean, we’ve all heard of Christopher Gilbert. It’s not like he’s just some lonely man writing for the Salient who likes to say a few nasty things just to see what sort of response he gets, is it? No, of course not. And if he was we wouldn’t play into that trap would we? No of course we wouldn’t.

    I deny all existence of a “scene”. I go to shows if a band I like is playing. I go to shows with my friends. Apparently my having friends makes other people very unhappy. I now must cut off all contact with my friends as I wouldn’t want to risk being called a “scenester”.

  65. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Thomas! Are you home tonight? Are you free on Tuesday? I’m gonna have a birthday dinner. Keen?

  66. Tommy Ill says:

    Yes! Home tonight. Jordan and I have DVDs and things. I will see you after work. Tuesday sounds good!

  67. “It’s like a lovely family but we’re allowed to touch each other and the police don’t come.” – Thanaa

    “Apparently my having friends makes other people very unhappy. I now must cut off all contact with my friends as I wouldn’t want to risk being called a “scenester”.” – Tommy

    Fuck you guys give brilliant quote. Freebird!

  68. Gibbon says:

    Tommy Ill is the worst person in the music scene. Ever.
    You are a pathetic worthless talentless slimeball of sleaze, mediocrity, and undeserved self-importance.
    Go away.
    Oh God, all of you, go away, this is turning into such a wankfest.
    Don’t you see that you are actually confirming Christopher’s point?
    Go away, please.

  69. Umberto Eco says:

    FREEBIRD!!! but seriously pretty lackluster article, be construstive with your criticisms you hack.

  70. Yo Mr. Semiologist, I have to agree wholeheartedly that our criticisms need to be constructive. Time and time again I encounter music reviewers who simply seem to hate music, and it drives me insane.

    Having said that, what makes Chris’ piece so vitriolic is the extent of personal feeling here – as he points out in the article, he really, really loved So So Modern and it pains him to see them imitated (in his opinion) so poorly. Should we perhaps have been more measured in our vitriol? Probably. But I don’t regret publishing passionate opinion when it is genuinely felt.

    Anyway, I don’t actually know shit about ALH (being a metalhead and all) so I’ll probably shut up now, except to say…. FREEBIRD!!!

  71. mitro says:

    Gibbon, who invited you? Maybe everyone will go away if you leave first

    You’re branding people with the whole “the scene that celebrates itself”, but how is Salient exempt from that? What makes you so un-self-celebrating that you can go dishing that out in such a camp-mother fashion?

    Just seems rude is all, and I feel it says more about you than about what these other people are saying

  72. Gibbon says:


    I am “un-self-celebrating” because I am not celebrating my own work, or that of someone I know, or that of someone in my scene?
    I don’t understand what you’re getting at.

  73. Michael Oliver says:

    Yeah music’s pretty sweet heh

  74. Thanaa Majeed says:

    I don’t get you Gibbon. You pretend like you’re working from some great rulebook but you wrote all those rules. Hence, according to you, anyone who does support the bands is seen to be a part of the problem. How then can it be anything but ‘self-celebrating’ if you label every celebrator as self-involved, negating the possibility of an honest informed opinion? According to you no outside praise is possible, only negative whining. We’re right and you’re just bitter. Go make some friends.

  75. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Or, more specifically, I’m not celebrating my own work because I’m not personally a musician, just a music fan. I wasn’t originally celebrating the work of anyone I knew because I knew no one, but once I let loose and celebrated I got to know them all. And they were nice. And lastly, drop the scene thing. It’s sad. No scene is ever a scene. It’s just people having fun that you feel more comfortable labeling from the outside than getting to know. I know first hand how welcoming they all are because I actually gave a shit. Go on, throw a party. See how good it feels. Or just come to an ALH show when they finally start up. If no one knows you’re Gibbon you’ll make heaps of friends. Then you won’t have to hide behind an internet pseudonym anymore.

  76. Josh says:

    What I find amusing is that people care about Gibbon’s opinion, since it is absolutely obvious from the way he writes that he is not a smart person. He’s just a kid with an average mind, who presumably thinks of himself of a heroic martyr for writing up a sloppy essay about his dislike of an existing scene.

    Gibbon hates the scene, and the people who appreciate the scene laugh at him. Let’s call it a draw and move on to something more interesting.

  77. mark and johanna from little pictures says:

    Chris, I think you’re generalizing there. What I imagine you’re referring to (and correct me if I’m wrong) is a group of people in Wellington who a year or two ago used to go to all the So So Modern concerts, dress up in loud clothes, take pictures of each other and so on. I didn’t used to know those people, and I felt somewhat similarly to you about it all. I felt like an outsider, and my first instinct was to think that it was all exclusive crappiness.

    But then I met those people! Those people are really lovely, and not exclusive or snobby. I really urge you to talk to these people and these bands that you’re talking about, get to know them a bit and then you will realize that this picture you’re painting in your article isn’t true. Although negative, the picture you’ve painted is far more romantic than it actually is.

    And maybe you’re frustrated that there isn’t a bustling Wellington music scene happening right now. I am too! There just aren’t that many bands in Wellington doing anything much. I don’t think that’s anyone’s fault, but it does mean that the best shows in Wellington at the moment feature out of town bands.

    There’s no great conspiracy. There are just a very small number of active bands around the place, and they tend to gravitate towards each other.

    I also think your romanticising the ‘popularity’ of these ALH bands. You think that selling a couple of hundred albums and getting a good review in Real Groove is success? None of these bands you’re talking about are making a living out of their music, let alone becoming ‘famous’.

    But most of all, saying that these band’s hearts aren’t in the right place is, I feel, an uninformed statement. If you’re interested in getting to know more about what these bands are like and what the people in the bands are like then come hangout a bit! I mean it too, give me an email on and we can arrange something. Because I feel like you’ll be able to offer a slightly less romantic and down to earth appraisal of the situation once you get to know some of the people involved. Again, I used to feel similarly to you before I met all these nice people properly

    I hope you’ll take me up on my offer Chris, we’re all perfectly friendly :) You can say what you like about the music these bands make, but please don’t start talking about the intentions of the band-members ( “ALH bands it seems now play for the sake of being seen and being scene.”) without at first giving everyone a chance. And I’m not trying to be some kind of ‘representative of indie’, but just trying to extend a warm hand :)

    -mark and johanna

  78. Al Gangbang says:

    For a comment from a band, that was kind of nice.

  79. Gibbon says:

    What I find amusing is that people care about Gibbon’s opinion, since it is absolutely obvious from the way he writes that he is not a smart person. He’s just a kid with an average mind, who presumably thinks of himself of a heroic martyr for writing up a sloppy essay about his dislike of an existing scene.

    Gibbon hates the scene, and the people who appreciate the scene laugh at him. Let’s call it a draw and move on to something more interesting.

    um wat

  80. Captain INTENSE says:




  81. nicole gaffney says:

    August 14th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    lolz chris
    are the conjurors getting back together>!!>??
    now that’s a party I wouldn’t wanna miss

    I just wasted half an hour of my life reading the comments….. I think if we all stopped reading these articles and wrote some music the world would be much happier.


  82. dick shitface says:

    Pretty fuckin intense.
    I agree wholeheartedly with Thanaa about the ridiculousness of including everyone who enjoys these bands as part of the self-celebrators. Like, what?
    Does that mean that every fan of every band ever is a self centered piece of wank? Probably, huh. Sucks.

  83. bumblebees have hooves says:

    you people sound like you could form your own revolutionary movement. meet at mighty mighty on saturday, 4pm. wear puffy reeboks, dark sunglasses and 80s haircuts. that way, we will be able to identify each other. bring all your friends from all those cool bands you’ve been talking about. i think this guy, that one that wrote the article, is the antichrist. how dare he criticise the indie music scene. we all know it’s perfect.


    p.s. punch and pie and we’ll play Justice all night.

  84. dick shitface says:

    eat my fuck.
    a – I am not even from Wellington
    b – why should I allow some dude to tell me that I am essentially mindless because I like some bands. I aint following shit.

  85. me says:

    c – ???
    d- Profit!!

  86. dick shitface says:

    Ha. I like it.

  87. Captain INTENSE says:


  88. Tyrone says:

    You know who I really don’t care for? Dem Mehicans.

  89. James James says:

    C-Dogg 4 Salient Music Editorz

  90. Doif says:

    TROLLING: a style of fishing which involves trailing bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. As a verb, “to troll” is probably a corruption of “trawl.” Troll is fine as a verb since trawling for comments and flames is innate troll behavior. A “Troll” is a mythical monster that lives under a bridge and surprises people who try and cross the bridge with some bizarre puzzle or challenge that they must complete before crossing. It has been suggested that people who lurk in groups and suddenly enter discussions with unwanted and provocative contributions inspire the same type of fear in law-abiding netizens. More rational people know that Trolls are, in fact, monsters who live under a bridge, probably in Utah, who flocked to the information superhighway after real superhighways were declared obsolete by Al Gore. Bad things happen when trolls meet IRL.

  91. James James says:

    Was that a reference to my post, or the article? I daresay my comment was hardly provocative. C-Dogg was funny.

  92. coolnerd says:

    I am not surprised to see so many comments on this article, I thought in general the article was good in that it shows how an underground scene can kind of glorify itself and start to be more about the rock and roll excesses (wearing fluro hoodies and eating ice creams on the cover of Real Groove Magazine anyone? or even the Ramones? Gabba Gabba Hey. Hey Ho!) as opposed to the DIY ethos that sprouted it in the first place, this is not the first time and place this has happened.

    What comes to my mind is Calvin Johnson founder of K Records and a key organiser of the Washington underground scene back in the 80s which flourished and interestingly Kurt Cobain after he moved from Aberdeen to Olympia started to complain about Johnson’s arrogance and the scene built up around him. He grew disenchanted with SupPop (formerly Olympia before moving to Seattle) as he felt Nirvana weren’t getting good enough a deal. Cobain of course went on to become a rock star which he failed to reconcile himself with. And of course the flourishing underground of the West Coast lost it’s original energy and was commodified… The whole Grunge scene was a sad story of how the underground goes wrong and is what music critics/historians consider as the prime model for the underground (noting that Punk wasn’t defined as anything other than it was i.e. there was no ‘Alternative’ section in music stores in the 702 – early 80s like there is now…).

    The difference between this scene (A Low Hum) and other scenes are the level of talent.

    There are always gurus and Svengali’s around scenes/music talent, e.g. Albert Grossman and the Folk scene…

    Blink is no different in that he is a character/identity around his hard work to create A Low Hum which it seems had (and probably still does) authentic intentions, he is stuck in a rock and a hard place with this, i.e. has an interesting moniker (which probably has sparked part of this debate i.e. being identified as a figurehead of the scene)) he has used for a while, worked hard to get music out there that he loves and by going against the grain of the main stream industry, it is interesting that the grain has turned around 180 degrees (as it always does when the market sniffs an underground that can be commodified and exploited…).

    The whole issue of the scenesters, hipsters, trendies, cool people, fashion clique, emos or whatever you want to call any of them is interesting in itself. As people who belong to a scene/group are obviously identifying with this group/scene and are either doing it with maybe strength (like the punks etc) or with insecurity (emos! people into the fashion of it because it is cool who love to read Vice because they might be try hards etc) then it is obviously they are going to feel emotional about all this.

    Thus when an article comes along (doesn’t matter where it is or the level of analysis, this could have been on some random blog or in the pages of Rip it Up or even Tear Away) you will get a massive backlash from the bands, the friends of the bands, the fans of the bands and all those who are into the scene and those who want to be part of the scene…

  93. Hamburger says:

    christopher gilbert is a complete wankjob, good on you for shitting all over blink who works hard to promote bands that he likes, rather than sitting behind a computer and dissing his efforts towards bands that you feel are ‘too scenester’ what a fuckin crock, maybe if you did something towards the local scene you wouldnt have to sit at home and think about ‘semen’ ‘ecstasy’ and ‘orgasms’ i wouldnt be surprised if you were the same retard that wrote the pathetic review of neon bastard last week. suck a cock dude.

  94. Al Gangbang says:

    Kudos for coolnerd for finally saying something intelligent after almost 100 posts.

    This is also intelligent: BALLS big soft drooping ol balls.

  95. Hannah says:

    this is all getting a bit touchie feelie

  96. Luke Rowell says:

    I just want to say I’m officially over this thread of comments. Now maybe it is time for Christopher to step aside, release his tight grasp on the power he holds, and a let a new movement arise.

  97. SXCBTCH says:

    I think the similarities between Seattle (Grunge era) and NZ (A Low Hum era) are astonishing.
    Mark and Johanna are so Curt Kobain and Courtney Love, and little pictures are the new nirvana
    you just wait
    next year we will see bogans in baggy jeans throwing down all around hamilton to i wish i could keep you and thanksgiving for a habitat

    i think we should praise mr gilbert for showing us the light

  98. bob says:

    Any band full of themselves enough to be offended by one article deserves to be insulted. Get over yourselves guys, you’re just proving his point.
    The world isn’t going to stop turning just because somebody finally broke the news to you that ALH is now irrelevant.

  99. Matthew Crawley says:

    Yup yup yup Nicole, the Conjurors are back together and have new songs and we are just waiting for anyone to wants us to play a show. And also there is a new band on the way, set to ride the coat-tails of the grunge new wave. Look out for Smallballs everyone. SMALLBALLS.


  100. josh says:

    matt crawley is the only one here who has made any sense. in a place as small as new zealand, you should be nuturing any ‘scene’, not slagging it off as soon as it starts to flourish, for better or for worse. wouldn’t you rather, local bands actually getting heard and seen? before ian started doing low hum, there was no feeling of the nz scene as a whole. nz is small enough that everyone should be helping each other out, not making it difficult for people to do things. i reckon if chris gilbert moved o/s, he would be shocked at how little community there is in terms of music scenes in bigger countries and cities. nz is pretty unique and amazing when it comes to the accessiblity of ‘famous’ local bands, and a choesiv network of people who can help you out, if you are a new band with a little drive and talent. the thing is in nz, there is such a fine line between mainstream success and virtually unknown. do you think a band like so so modern are packing out shows all over the world, and are figure heads of any sort of trend? of course not. but just because they are/were in nz, is no reason to criticise them, or any band in their position.

    i really do not understand the mentally of tearing someone else down, to bring yourself up. why not just make yourself better?

    time will tell who has left a bigger and more honorable imprint on the musical history of nz.

    anyway, go write a song somebody. this isnt what music is about. have some fuckin fun! dont just sit there whinging.

  101. submit a comment says:

    You all talk about this movement as if it has been corrupted by commodification, exploited by the greedy Low Hum corporation and that the participants in this scene are rolling about in piles of cash, drugs and sex, laughing at how they have manufactured coolness and then sold it (massive profits from fluro hoodies). The truth is that last time I saw Blink he was sleeping 4 out of 5 nights in his car while promoting a New Zealand band on European tour, and I imagine that the majority of those other scene “sell outs” are still working in bars and cafes to make ends meet and continue to produce music they want to. No one is getting anymore out of this movement and its success than seeing more bands they like perform to more people.

  102. princess chelsea says:

    You should never hassle someone for being really cool and popular, but also quite attractive and with a great personality and kind of rich parents, but maybe you came from a religious background, but you’re still real hip and have real hot hair and you’re real awesome and generally just like have heaps of friends and everyone likes you and you’re also really witty and intelligent, even though youre really hot.

  103. dick shitface says:

    Princess Chelsea is a babe. In every possible sense. Tour with Golden Axe, already.

  104. charlie says:

    Yo Matt
    We’re coming up to auckland on sept 13th. do yo conjorawwwz wanna play with us?

    miss you

  105. Little Running Bear says:

    You know, I think your article is interesting and I do agree that NZ’s “indie” scene did revolve around the “wonder boys” of So So Modern for a while. Or at least their fans were the most ostentatious.
    However, I think you’re overlooking the fact that in the end, Blink just asks bands that he likes to play shows. There were quite a few bands I would have considered very good, that Blink didn’t like. What Blink did was not “save” New Zealand indie music, but created a very effective brand which generated a big following. I suspect that those who feel bitter at A Low Hum are those who recognise that it has fostered laziness amongst indie gig goers. Instead of going out there and discovering bands for themselves, they blindly follow Blink’s choice.
    I’m sure that So So Modern’s success would have inspired other bands to form. But to be honest, the resurgence of so-called “Post Punk” isn’t limited to New Zealand. I think bands that play music like them are following a happening trend around the indie world. The bands that you claim to be “dripping in the semen” of SSM share very little in common- other than the fact that both bands have keyboards. But Holiday with Friends were more Brunettesy in my books, and Little Pictures just play saccharine electro pop- which I admit is nothing new, but it is fun.
    Your article, while it raises interesting points, on the whole comes across as though you feel left out by all the “fluro excitement” and envious that you are not apart of it. Because if you look around at the LH gigs, most of the people are just regularly nerdy types like you and I, just looking to spend the evening watching a (hopefully) good band.

  106. sigh says:

    um, its just stupid to say that indie gig-goeers or anybody ‘blindy follow’ Blink or anyone’s tastes… gig goers go to the shows that are on… there are a lot more people who just go to shows than people who put shows on, obviously the shows that are on are on some level reflective of the tastes of the organisers. Thats like saying “people who watch movies just blindly follow the tastes of people who make movies”. I mean come on.

  107. Erin says:

    i have never been to a low hum camp or show, and i realise that 99% of these comments are fans of the music but until someone else helps out band on a large scale, i seriously do not think you should whine and cry abot indie bands making it ok overseas.
    new zealand is a small place. you can eat me.

  108. mark says:

    People have a whole bunch to say, come say it on this new Wellington/Auckland music forum..

  109. dan says:

    “but until someone else helps out band on a large scale,” – Erin

    What is a large scale?

    Who are these people who blindly follow blinks tastes? didn’t he stop putting on shows and touring like two years ago? Surely Camp doesn’t really come into it…

  110. mark says:

    Yeah, Blink likes all sorts of random shit. Just like anyone else. What are you talking about? I’m confused

  111. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Heh, Blink’s gmail status right now is ‘grasping the awesome power of A Low Hum’. Looks like you lose; relinquishment = negative.

    P.S. Josh: I think So So actually are packing out shows all over the world. Well, Europe, at least. Great festivals too. It must be refreshing playing to happy new crowds that don’t get jaded and pissy when the band they’re watching starts getting popular. Not to cast any doubt on the NZ crowds; I’ve made enough friends at their shows here to know that the people that go are always quite lovely (and excited about baked goods). It’s just sad when people like Gilbert miss the point and see that sort of loyal turnout as parasitic. Baked goods!

  112. SNAKEBITES says:

    who cares.

  113. robbery says:

    wouldn’t this have been the slightest bit relevant if blink hadn’t stepped aside 2 years ago and only did his camp gigs? as it is he has retired alh mostly which makes this article pointless and mean spirited.

  114. undies says:

    i am pretty sure i remember blink saying at the time he was stopping the magazine was because it was now irrelevant since real groove had finally gotten a good editor and that there were some new up and coming magazines on the way, and bands had started touring themselves so he didn’t have too…..i think that was the point of “local knowledge”, that bands could read it and know everything about touring that blink did so that he could step aside and just be a record label.

    the only thing irrelevant about this whole saga is this article.

  115. Gibbon says:

    Panic on the streets of London
    Panic on the streets of Birmingham

  116. brotown says:

    Most of these bands just sound like ElemenoP with keyboards…

  117. Namei Rimai says:

    “… but now maybe it is time for ALH to step aside, release its tight grasp on the power it holds, and a let a new movement arise.”
    WTF, …this new movement you speak of…..what, where, who?
    Are you suggesting ALH is the bung that stops this new movement from passing.
    That the NZmusic is in some state of constipation?
    I miss the shows, the bands, the posters, the press releases, the mags and the CD’s, but I also miss the bearded friendly dude at the door.
    There is much to learn from this character.

  118. Al Gangbang says:

    “Looks like you lose; relinquishment = negative.”

    haha oh dear. Looks like someone who wrote an opinion and successfully sparked debate on the issue has failed to throw off Blinks chains of oppression and lead his gang of mutant ninjas to music scene revolution! I’m sure Mr. Gilbert had a neo-conservative global agenda n’all.

    Stupid muppets.

  119. Michael Oliver says:

    so anyone wanna recommend some music

  120. samson says:

    hey gangbang, i’m pretty sure that thaana’s comment was tounge in cheek. relax.

  121. Al Gangbang says:

    Those who post are those who put themselves up for making-fun-of.

    Thus I mock.

  122. helmut says:

    don’t believe the hype

  123. Stuart Harwood says:

    Mr. Matthew Crawley,

    You are guilty of being a hater as much as anyone else, on Myspace, and Pavement magazine. Ever thought about remembering what you wrote about my old band, The Gladeyes (now The Tweeks) awhile back?

    It was pretty bloody awful.

    However I saw your band at camp, and you guys ruled. Infact camp ruled. You also booked us a Whammy and the Schooner, which was nice too.

    That’s all.


  124. ben says:

    “Most of these bands just sound like ElemenoP with keyboards”

    how the fuck can you argue with that

  125. q456cboq4765oq2765bo367boq79365bpq9376bqp23975bqp97e6pqhdhr7qdw98e6bq9736bq27bqo8e7rh6oq2378h6 says:

    the guy that everyone hates whos quoting random smiths lyrics is a gaaamtaaard

  126. bernie mac says:

    im fucked

  127. Hrm says:

    You know… for the fact that “no one reads Salient anyways” there are a of comments here. Salient’s online visitor numbers have probably doubled in the week that the article hit the net. Even though the article was nonsense, they’ve at least upped the value of their advertising placement.

  128. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Hey Samson, correct. And Hrm, you’re sadly very right. For a poor excuse for a magazine that I haven’t picked up for my entire degree (arch, so it’s been a while), I couldn’t resist this one cheap opportunity for online scrappery. And Blink’s back in town! Fingers crossed he has some lovely gigs up his sleeve. And another camp.

  129. tron says:

    i keep on re-reading that bit that name drops Yokel Ono, but it makes even less sense then the rest of the article (which is saying something)…is it saying that were profitable? or that they have been left behind by the other profitable groups? Why single out Yokel Ono? Were they particularly non-profitable? Did all the other bands make profit? This whole article is messy, but that particular moment is geniously messy. Were Yokel Ono ever ALH celebrities? (as implied, or not implied…I can’t tell) Has anyone ever been an ALH celebrity? Did the magazine editor even glance over this before publishing it? Has the author been run out of town? Did Chris really think he was smart by guessing that the future of A Low Hum will “probably” focus on camp and his record label…though blink has repeatedly said this to be the case himself?

    the only movement that needs to rise is a bowel one, perhaps dislodge his own head which the author obviously has shoved so far up his own ass he has no idea what is going on around him.

  130. scenesters says:

    Man I am sick of all these scenesters posting comments on this article. WAKE UP PEOPLE! It is these fashion orientated obsessed try hards who have clocked in 130 comments in like a week!

    Get over it, A LOW HUM is a scene! It is for immature and insecure people who wear skin tight black jeans who go to mighty mighty every night trying to look the bomb…

  131. The "It's not worth it, eh" guy from that ad says:

    I get offended by articles posted on the internet.

  132. poop says:

    It’s funny that people who don’t know what they’re talking about associate mighty mighty with any of this. Blink has been pretty outspoken on the crappinesses of might mighty, and most of the bands mentioned in the article have had not much to do with it. Have you been in there? A lot of people in suits drinking expensive drinks. just saying

  133. Daniel says:

    I love partying my ASRE off in wellington. Its such a nice town.
    Down with haters, up with the fun people. Lets all have fun and let the haters be forgotten in the void of dark loneliness.. Heil SATAN

  134. tron says:

    here is a link to the bands who played at camp last year:

    PLEASE can i watch as you tell those bands they are skinny black jean wearing scenesters?

    You would get beats. Especially from Boss Christ. I don’t think he’d appreciate that call much.

  135. The "It's not worth it, eh" guy from that ad says:



  136. Thanaa Majeed says:

    Is that you Dan? Who else would Heil Satan on the internets? And Mighty isn’t an ALH bar, it’s not really a band bar at all. San Fran has the only decent PA, and James works it like a magician, Bodega is mildly improved in terms of sound since the buyout, and Mighty is, well, Mighty. It’s about the mess and the fuss, not hi-fidelity appreciation. I think it’s doing so well because it treats its patrons wonderfully, and it serves toasties. And no other bar has a host like Rich. Recipe for success. Mmmm, toastie..

  137. The Spirit of John Lennon says:

    Why can’t we just all come together and embrace and sing songs that everyone loves, listens to and learns from. It is my opinion that you scensters are wrong to exclude the non scenesters, but I also think that the excluded people shouldn’t hate on the excluders. They should run up to them and embrace them, in their skinny black jeans, and brightly coloured clothes, rip them off and have an orgy. And as we all lie back, shaking with post coital paroxyms of joy, we shall find unity and a way forward to bandage this perilious divide that has split Wellingtonians.


  138. Logie says:

    ah man, that is some quality eh.
    blink: the money grubbing, cigar smoking, monopoly guy.

    well, i went to camp, i enjoyed myself heaps, and i congratulated ian on a job well done.
    i did get a little sick of the sort of “twee” theme happening there,
    but thats my taste and i think the group i played in did our best to add a small amount of brutality.
    i havn’t been on a tour organised by blink before, but as far as im aware, touring with blink seems to be a way for new bands to tour around the country without having to organize anything.
    and since there is a magazine there to promote all the tours you are virtually guaranteed of not loosing money.
    (i dont know the math but it seems that is the appeal)
    you cant really call it a scene tho can you?
    blink doesnt seem to tour bands he doesn’t like so, in an abstract way the bands are similar, but, its not a genre is it?

    i can see where the lack of appeal comes from, (fuck, i wont be returning to nz for a while), but if everything sux and fashon is taking over music, cant you just start a band with the substance that all the others are lacking?

    blink is the only one who has a magazine, a record label, and a touring company that all support each other, and there is no reason he should “step aside” until someone puts in more work than him and does something better.

  139. A commenter says:

    Nice provocative piece. All music scenes do celebrate themselves.

  140. Sue de Nim says:

    “AT LEAST THERE’S THOUGHT CREATURE TO BRING US ALL TOGETHER” – good point archi, those guys have achieved the impossible: winning the approval of both the ‘hippies’ and Aro-Valleyites and the ‘scenesters’. Fuck yeah.
    Lots of people here seem to think that Chris has committed a mortal sin by daring to voice somewhat less complimentary opinion on ALH. Interesting, I didn’t realise that freedom of speech doesn’t apply to local music coverage… Seriously guys, chill, it’s one person’s opinion, he’s allowed to disagree.

  141. ron howard says:

    i think people aren’t so much hassling him for his opinion, just some totally inaccurate calls and un-thought out commentary. I’m sure this isn’t the first time A Low Hum has been dissed (is it?), but the article is simply written to get a few laughs and like 90% of student journalism – designed to piss off somebody, so at least one person pays attention to their crumby news coverage.

    It’s a poorly written, poorly executed and doesn’t even have a point. It’s paying out a bunch of hard working musicians just to get a few laughs and raise a few eyebrows, Chris would have been better spent coming up with an actual argument, rather then writing a drunken from-the-gut rant that a primary school child’s zine would be embarrassed to print.

    It’s only succeeded in making people pay less attention to anything he writes… even those who were still paying attention after that Shihad review.

    Maybe Salient could have interviewed Blink and asked if he’s still relevant/needed, if its time to step aside, if he feels that bands are now shit, if he thinks he killed the scene…shit, i’d much rather read something like that then this cowardly rant.

    I think alot of people on here would be interested to read a follow-up piece. Has Salient approached Blink about doing an interview in regards to this? Well, I know they haven’t cause I just g-chatted and asked him ;)

  142. foals says:

    are better than any nz band. yeah, even evermore

  143. Russian Federation says:

    Its pretty cool that so many people are so behind a scene that’s doing something different. But at the same time is pretty sad that they’re so insecure that they blow up the moment one guy expresses his opinion.
    Chill out guys

  144. Chris Wilson says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this article for ages and couldn’t cause the internet filter at my work detected rude words I guess. I really enjoyed it actually. Criticism is totally valid and not everyone has to be a lover.

    I live in Wellington and organise and play sporadic gigs here which is pretty fun. I consider myself to be part of the Dunedin scene cause that’s where I was born and went to uni. The last gig I played was a Iggy Pop/Stooges at Arc in Dunedin in June with Onanon, Spastic Luscious Nobodies, Synthesia and Gold Medal Famous. I was the Iggy substitute. The night was great fun and bought home to me how (in general) Dunedin bands tend to rock a lot harder than Wellington bands. Maybe it’s the latitude, maybe it’s the large student population there. Wellington has some great bands like The Sproutts and Vorn and the Powerful Boys but they tend to be formed by people who move to Wellington.

    I think the sycophancy of some scenes in Wellington can create generate lots of hype but nothing actually dangerous.In fairness I like a lot of the ALH associated bands though and I thought the ‘post rock’ focused complimation CD with the Looma album was excellent. So I wish Blink well.

    I’m just an old crank who loves stuff like Sonic Youth, HDU, God Speed You Black Emperor!, 3Ds, Ladytron, Dresden Dolls, The Chills, King Loser, Slayer and Kate Bush amongst others. Party on dudes.

  145. Rupert says:

    Thankyou for the props! I think that’s the nicest compliment New Friend has ever got. Actually I think I love most of the bands that you mention, whether they are crusty semen or not. But that’s just a matter of taste.

  146. nik brinkman says:

    Blink is evil.

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This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

: Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided