Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Play it Strange

New Zealand tends to get overshadowed by its bigger, louder neighbor across the Tasman Sea. This has certainly been the case for me lately. I’ve been getting myself in the proper frame of mind for my upcoming trip to Australia by watching a lot of Australian movies and listening to a lot of music from down under.

My neglect of New Zealand’s contribution to popular culture is especially egregious right now, as May is officially New Zealand Music Month. (Well, it is in New Zealand, anyway.) This inspired me to put together a tribute to some of the strange, beautiful, genius music from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Split Enz: Six Months in a Leaky Boat
Tim Finn’s New Wave paean to the rugged individuals who settled New Zealand.

The Swingers: Counting the Beat
Led by the mad genius Phil Judd, the Swingers were the most famous band to come out of Split Enz that wasn’t Crowded House.

Neil Finn: She Will Have Her Way
Here’s another Split Enz alumnus, Neil Finn, at his Beatlesque best.

Tim Finn: Fraction Too Much Friction
And here’s his brother, Tim. I saw him open for Suzanne Vega when I was in high school. At the time I hadn’t really heard of him, and was impatient for the main act. Now I wish I had been paying more attention.

Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Long before there were Tegan and Sara, there were the Topp Twins. This song might be better with the just the audio because the clothes and the hair are, frankly, a little distracting. But acoustic sister jams don’t get much catchier than this.

Flight of the Conchords: Business Time
Proof that New Zealand zaniness is alive and well in the 21st century.

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