Friday, July 20, 2012

Semis Baby!

Diamond Sutra entered the Grand's 'Battle of the Grand' and were surprised to be picked to play the first show:
  The first night stirred excitement in the air.  New faces in the venue locked gazes and stares, as eyes on bar staff sparkled with wonder.  Heavy blues licks pieced the average punters ears, 'Blue Grizzly' were moments away from kicking off their set.  First song kicks in and wow!  I am amazed by the vocalists raspy yet warm melodies, and the deep groove of distorted blues.  I liked it.  It is obvious that the two guitarists are very talented as they both shredded up and down their axes.  Wait... no bass? At a second listen, the mix could have been better - from where I was standing I could here all of one guitar, a bit of the other, slightly quiet vocals and no bass.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed their set and would go and se them again.  

  Cue 'Diamond Sutra'.  Pretty casual set up; goaties, mullets, sports shoes and eye shadow.  A quick sound check and we're into it.  I adjusted my volume 3 or 4 times during the intro of 'Spoiled' and then realise I'm too loud once we all come in.  I feel on edge because I haven't quite synced in with what everybody else is doing by the time the song is over... damn, who wanted to play the new song second?  I stammered through Medusa (TL slammed it - it's gotta be one of my favourite vocal performances from her A).  Once the older songs rolled in one after the other I found my groove (and perfect volume).  

  'I and I' (eye and eye) dominated the stage with their presence and energy.  Choice riffs,  leads and groove laid down by the bass.  The rocky reggae vibe reminded me of Kora and I enjoyed nodded away from the back of the room.  The singer is amazing!   I am transfixed on him right now - he obviously sings with huge amounts of passion.  Well worth a look.  

  I congratulate the Grand for putting something like this on.  How awesome to have a blues band, a rock/electronica band and a reggae band in one night?  Also having the show start at 8pm and over by 10:30 is great for your average punter on a Thursday night.  I just hope that Palmerston North backs this idea.  The Grand is a much nicer venue to go to than the Royal - omg - and bands wonder why people don't turn up for shows at the Royal??  If Palmerston North does back it, then moving to a weekend night would be my advice.

  Oh yeah, Diamond Sutra take out the top spot - semis in September, here we come.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

First of all I want to give props to my buddy class teacher Sonita who sent us these notes of the day.  It was a massive day and I really enjoyed it.  Sonita, you have given an excellent summary of the day so thank you.

I think I was asked in all of my teaching interviews about the Treaty of Waitangi and what it means to me as a teacher?  Are there other job positions where you have to have some knowledge of the Treaty and apply the underlying principals?  Crazy really.

How it all unfolded was intriguing.  And it makes me want to inquire more into the rich history this country has.  Particularly the musket and land wars.

Another fascinating aspect that Vicky bought up was the 'urban marae' where new people living in a place are setting up their own marae for their community; in NZ and in Australia.  The argument is that that place is not the place of the olden days or the place of the hapu/iwi pre- 1800 so it's a bit controversial.  But, if people who choose to live that way want to, should have the right to, don't you think?  What's the deal with the Teachers' College marae?

My heart was wrenched out to hear that the Treaty was ignored for 100 years.  Shit man, 100 years.  It's embarrassing.

As New Zealander's how unique is our Maori language?  I remember singing Tu tira mai nga iwi in a bus in London, and hijacking a busker in Chicago to sing Hei konei ra, and rolling down the street in Guatemala performing the haka.  I am very proud of our language and culture; it defines us.

So what does it mean for me?

Turangawaewae: the place where your whanau stood, the place where you stand, your place to be: it's our story and we are all connected to this.