Friday, 12th of November – Sounds like time for the weekend

Yay, it’s a Friday again! Although to some people that actually means the end of the work week, my work is about to begin. I need to do a lot of writing this weekend, and I will have a very long busy day on Sunday. I also have to clean my apartment and do some shopping for next week.

I like good music for keeping motivated, whether it’s for study, for going out jogging, or just for cleaning my place. Fortunately, some new CDs just arrived the other day. I only ordered them in the last week or two, so now I’m excited to be able to listen to some new sounds from back home, and maybe also see a DVD of what is apparently a great movie.

When I was first going to university back in my home town of Poneke (Wellington) in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Friday nights were extra-specially exciting. My friends and I could wander on down town to this small shopping complex in the middle of the city. That shopping complex was a strange collection of white metal and concrete frames filled in with lots of large glass windows. There were – and still are – no wooden panels nor fittings to be seen throughout the place, so it still seems strange to me that it is called ‘The Oaks.’

You could take this small escalator up all the way to the top – one level only – and when you got to the top, on the left was a thin double swinging glass-paneled door, and through that door you could hear this intense, rich, hypnotic sound.

The sound was of a guitarist and a drummer with a good band between them, playing some great, great music, and clearly enjoying playing, and enjoying playing the music together, and also really enjoying playing together in front of people who were also enjoying it.

That sense of enjoyment in the music sprang out from those guys on stage, past a wonderfully interesting mix of different people from all ‘walks of life’ from throughout the small city, through the narrow doorway, and pulled me back into that oddly-shaped, misplaced bar of a random assortment of strangers every otherwise gloriously mundane Friday night. There was rarely if ever a door charge, so cheapest beer-swilling, jean clad students and long-haired rock chicks clutching hand bags under one elbow and swinging a glass of bourbon in the other hand would cavort shoulder to shoulder with the business suit-set from the capital city’s CBD HOs, some still in their high heels or ties.

That sound made everyone feel at home and comfortable with each other and the strange place. It made people smile, nod their heads, chat, and start shaking their bodies all over the room dancing badly, or dancing well, but just trying to enjoy that music nearly as much as the guys on the small stage. The drums shuffled and swung, the guitar swaggered, swayed and stung. The fact that it was ‘blues’ of all the variety and different styles that go to make up that huge overblown and distorted genre just made the infectious sound all the more exotic, intriguing and attractive.

Nearly twenty bloody years later, it’s still strangely comforting, distracting, perplexing and interesting, all at the same time, to hear Darren Watson sing in an accent that is from both New Zealand and the United States. At the end of the day though, the thing with blues as much as if not more than with most forms of music is the feel, and Darren Watson has always had feeling seep through, soak up, and exude from every note he’s played and sung.

And, praise your lord, his voice, his guitar playing, and his love for and enjoyment of the music are still pulsing with the power of a good T-bone shuffle-shaped heart. Equally glorious is that the guy playing drums with him is still Richard Te One Jr. Also completely fantastic is that they’ve managed to get some other “‘O’ for awesome” (knock out) local musicians, and together the whole dang lot of them have gone and got all of that sense of the live excitement recorded clearly and cleanly onto this new CD that just got here to the other side of the world.

Stoked? Mate!

This is what just arrived:

1.) Darren WatsonSaint Hilda’s Faithless Boy

You can read a media review of the album here, and check out the website for Darren and the band here.

My review: I like it!

More detail pending…

2.) ShihadIgnite

You can read a media review here.

My review:


3.) Emma PakiTrinity

You can read a media review here.

My review:


4.) Taika WiatitiBoy

You can read a media review here.

My review:


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