A few months ago my friend and musical collaborator Ross Cunningham pulled out a box of VHS cassettes containing his music-TV work from the mid 90s, and started loading them all up on his YouTube channel. If you ever went to a gig or bought local (i.e. Aotearoa) music at that time chances are there’ll be something – or someone – in there you know and love. For instance:
Here’s Teremoana Rapley doing the business on Nina Simone’s Four Women.
Here she is again with Moana Maniopoto fronting Moana and the Moa Hunters. Songs like Treaty and AEIOU felt as if they were part of the cultural fabric from the get go, as if Moana wasn’t so much as writing them, as channeling them.
In a rather different vein, Paul Casserly and Mark Tierny give a brief lecture on how to imagine music in the upcoming century. Favourite line: “Singers. Yeah, right.”
There’s a lot of Shayne Carter, most of which Ross bootlegged at recent solo performances, which is well worth the scroll to the end of the channel page. But here’s a 90s Shayne explaining some of the musical and personal machinery of the Straightjacket Fits. I love how his cool, calm, clear analysis contrasts with the massive sound of his band.
Ross is particularly strong on the indies of the time like Love’s Ugly Children, Semi Lemon Cola, Able Tasmans, Shihad (right on their second album), and King Loser. They’re all worth the trip. But he’s particularly at home with the free-flowing, fun-loving, genre-busting Hallelujah Picassos.
It’d be daft of me to show any more, because you can just go over there and check it out. I might come back here and update with more comments. But then again, why not just add your own?