Bret McKenzie, who is a half of the fourth most popular folk-diggy-bongo-comedy parody duo Flight of the Conchords, a Grammy Award winner, an Academy Award winner and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), stars in the music video for Give Up Your Dreams. You see what I did there?
It was written and directed by Loren Taylor and The Guardian premiered it.
The video – a homage to the work of Soviet film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky – shows the actor digging himself a deep hole, jumping into said hole and awaking in a different state, as if liberated by the freedom of coming to terms with the loss of his creative drive.
“I like the ambiguity of watching someone dig a very deep hole. Is he burying something (his dreams)? Or is he digging a grave? Or is he digging a tunnel to somewhere? I think there is something compelling about watching him get incrementally more exhausted as he gets deeper and deeper into the earth,” says the video’s director, Loren Taylor.
“At the point of utter fatigue and despair he cracks open and falls into the infinite/space/void/a portal to another realm – and wakes reborn where he started, but with a new perspective. It’s a long song, and it felt like it needed an action that slowly evolved over the minutes, and digging has a lovely percussive rhythm to cut with – or against.”
“I was delighted to be asked to remix this track for The Phoenix Foundation who I love. I have never done one before and enjoyed being able to take apart and reassemble someone else’s music, it’s like landscaping your neighbours garden while they’re away on holiday.”
– Neil Finn
“Nothing” from the Bunnies On Ponies LP “Heat Death Of The Universe” is an explosive splosh of tramadol rock. Our protagonist is locked in a back pain relief haze where he can do is watch Anthony Bourdain repeats and contemplate his own existence. Perfectly captured in animated form by Creature.
Concept & Direction: Creature
Animators: Creature & Joren Van Suylekom
The Phoenix Foundation had never made a sport song, up until now. Two days before Cricket World Cup 2015 finals, when New Zealand would play against Australia, the band was getting ready for the flight to Auckland to play at the Titirangi Festival. And this is what happened,
The song was picked up immediately by cricket fans and Black Caps supporters on Twitter, hit the news in NZ Herald, was the leading story on stuff.co.nz and before the final game started, it got 30,000 hits.
Ladies and gentleman, here is Big Mac (Run Rate),
A tribute to our national cricketing heroes made in the hours between our cancelled and new flight. Thank you (and %^&$ you) budget airline.
Featuring Lucien Johnson on the sexamaphone.
Artwork by Laura Myers
Written, performed, produced, mixed and mastered by The Phoenix Foundation between 10.30am and 2.30pm March 27th 2015
Bunnies On Ponies have cooked up a new video for ‘Baked’ with LA-based director Luke Savage. The mesmerising clip has been billed as an abstracted performance video, where frontman Samuel Flynn Scott was filmed lip-synching and then the footage was “layered and manipulated to the point where the subject of the video is movement and light. The streets of LA at night, car parks in Kilbirnie and the interior of Samuel’s mouth collide in a wasted fantasy of concrete and flesh”. The track comes from the group’s full-length album Heat Death Of The Universe, which came out last year. Get baked and watch the clip below…
Wild Bill Rickett’s latest opus’ “Later At Whitby’s” title is a nod to the hotel where Toby Laing sketched out some of the initial ideas for the album whilst on tour with Fat Freddy’s Drop.
An eclectic mix of songs otherworldly, contemporary, psychedelic jazz pop, kraut rock and other bits and bobs, “Later At Whitby’s” explores the potential for creating new genres in music.
The album was constructed all over NZ: Anawhata at Jon Baxters place (perceptual engineering), many sessions with Puck Murphy doing file transfers from Protools into Ableton and back again, a session in Neil Finns personal Studio C at Roundhead, Bay Rd Freddy’s studio, The Phoenix Foundation’s studio in Wellington, etc. A two week session with Connan Mockasin in Anawhata was key, where the duo also worked on his internationally acclaimed album Caramel
With drumming from Julien Dyne, Elroy Finn and Riki Gooch, the album was written in most part by Toby Laing with Wild Bill reworking sketches initially done by Toby on tour, it features guitar by Conrad Wedde and Craig Terris and bass by Tom Callwood and Rio Hemopo. The album’s closer, “Don Decaprio” has vocals and lyrics by Connan Mockasin as his character of a 6 year old obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Will Ricketts’ new album Later at Whitby’s is now available digitally. You can purchase it on iTunes or Amplifier now.
We owe you an apology: it’s been ages, and we’re really, really sorry. When we were last with you, we promised we’d return, never thinking it would take us this long to haul our aging bearded selves across the Tasman. Note that we say ‘this long’ – cos it won’t be any longer. We have finally made some small steps to rectify the error in our ways by hosting two shows in Sydney and Melbourne in mid April.
We assure this will be the first visit of many as we will be back with a new album later in the year.
Since we last visited we have released some wonderful albums such as Happy Ending, Buffalo, Fandango and last years Tom’s Lunch EP.
We do hope you will join us to listen to many of the songs from these albums and some brand new ones too. If there’s a track you really want to hear, please tweet us (@phoenixfound) and we’ll do our best to add it to our set list. It’s the least we can do, under the circumstances.
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou – see you soon,
Luke, Sam, Con, Will, Chris and Tom (The Phoenix Foundation).
THE PHOENIX FOUNDATION (we’re sorry Australia) SHOWS:
A game of fetch where Sam Scott (The Phoenix Foundation, Bunnies on Ponies) is given an obscure genre and a week to return with relevant musical examples and stirring stories. This week, he delves into America’s new rave heartland with Country Dance Music.
The Phoenix Foundation wrapped up a busy year with two packed-out shows at Wellington venue Moon over the weekend. The sizeable group squeezed on to the stage and worked through a bevy of songs to warm the Christmas cockles of the audience, including tracks from their most recent release, Tom’s Lunch EP, which came out earlier this year. Supporting the group was “rough-pop and gypsy-rock man” Fraser Ross, who has also had a full 2014, back in August the Christchurch-born musician released 12-track album Mongrels from his current home in Glasgow. Photographer Dan Robinson went along to Moon to watch the performances and captured the lovely shots below…
The Woods, a band created by Tom Callwood and his brother Joe with Blair Latham and Rick Cranson has released their debut album, Manyana. It consists of five tracks of ‘some groovy tunes influenced by Jazz, Peruvian music, Blues, Ethiopian Music etc etc…’
Blair Latham – Tenor Saxophone / Bass Clarinet
Joe Callwood – Guitar
Tom Callwood – Bass
Rick Cranson – Drums
released 12 November 2014
Recorded by Joe Callwood at the Car Club, Wellington, NZ
on 29th & 30th April 2014
Mixed by Joe and Tom Callwood in Te Horo, Kapiti, NZ
Artwork ‘The Magic Ocean Tree layered Tree Lasagne’ by Guy Capper
Stephen Malkmus and Samuel Scott / Photo by Dru Faulkner.
Stephen Malkmus fronted one of the most influential bands of the 90s, Pavement, and has continued to write intelligent, oblique and at times cutting tunes with his band, The Jicks. We sent Samuel Scott to meet up with Stephen when he was in Aotearoa for shows recently. Here’s their conversation – one that Sam describes as. “the most lucid chat between stalker and 90s indie rock hero you will ever hear”. Play
Download: Ogg | MP3
Audio duration: ( 13′ 10″ )