Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Groove Book Report: The Adventures of Tintin - various books - Random house

The Adventures of Tintin - Tintin's Daring Escape - Bantam Press $10.99
The Adventures of Tintin - Danger at Sea - Bantam Press $10.99
The Adventures of Tintin - The Mystery of the Missing wallets - Bantam Press $10.99

The Adventures of Tintin - A Novel - Bantam Press $19.99
The Adventures of Tintin - The Chapter Book - Bantam Press $14.99

The Adventures of Tintin - The Sticker Book - Bantam Press $14.99

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Weta Studios release that acompanies this movie (by Peter Jackson/Steven Speilberg). That book looked at the technologies behing the making of the film and whet our appetite for the movie. This series is more like a watered down version of the script with still from the film.. I was interested to see the consistency and difference in language between each book, which are designed for a range of ages. The Chapterbook is designed to be for 6-7 year olds. Where as, my 9 year old devoured the novel version in a little over an hour. Her verdict was that it was ok, but she hunkered for the original comics - the pictures and words together make it work better apparently. That is true and part of the magic of Herge's original art was that the older you got, the more detail you understood but essentially, you always understood the plot and experienced the adventures. These tie-ins will appeal this xmas to those drawn in by the film but as enduring literature you can't beat the original comic book series - which fortunately is being republished - Hooray for that!

The Groove Book Review: Scrim The Man with the Mike: William Renwick: Victoria University Press; $50.00

'Scrim' tells a cautionary tale of an immensely popular radio broadcaster who just couldn't resist any opportunity to taunt and tease his political masters, epecially Fraser and was finally sacked by them when they would not put up with him any more.
'Uncle Scrim', as the Reverend Colin Scrimgeour was known at the time, was one of our most notoriously innovative and popular citizens during the great depression. Whilst working with his Fellowship of the Friendly Road, he took any oppotunity to run black market style tactics accross theestablishment to get the needy food, jobs even shoes - what ever it took. And it was that Friendly Road that he based his radio station 1ZR, and brought radio evangelism to Aotearoa. His Sunday evening broadcasts offered comfort and hope to the tens of thousands of people who were impoverished and out of work during that harsh times. Through his kind words he encouraged them to believe that good times could come again.
From 1936, Scrim headed the first Labour government’s highly successful commercial broadcasting service. Yet he also courted much controversy for himself. Following Joseph Savage's death, he was innovative in finding ways to taunt Prime Minister Peter Fraser and Wilson, the minister of broadcasting and finaly years of skirmishs, the government finally axed him in 1943, and he went to Australia.
But on returning to New Zealand in 1968, Scrim, who was a natural for the broadcasting game, set out to play a leading role in the country's fledging television industry. But that dream ended when series of heart attacks hit in 1971. It was then that he worked on his autobiography, of which only The Scrim–Lee Papers, written with John A. Lee, was published. "Scrim: The Man with the Mike" is a correction to that biography, which was highly embelished with facts and reminses that are not necessarily entirely true. Tebook reviews the life of a talented, yet uneducated and impulsive man who, despite his short comings was a man for his time - the country’s outstanding broadcaster, and assesses the myth he created for himself in some detail.
William Renwick is the perfeck reviewer for Scrim - with a distinguished career as a teacher and civil servant he's published papers and books on education, Treaty issues, and the 1940 centennial celebrations. His approach to this wor, "Scrim" is a lttle dry at times, and partially misses the fluidity of, say a journalist but from an academic work t is a piece of great writinf, covering all bases to a 'T' . If you are looking for the definitive work on the man, this could be vary well it.

The Groove Book Report: The Great Kiwi Motorhome Guide; J Malcolm & B Savidan; $45.00

It's a bit of a shame that this book was'nt released 3 months before the world rugby cup began because the tone and nature of the book would really suit the foreign traveller - especially the European variety. The first half of the book covers off all the basics right through to tar and correct evacuation procedures for the onboard tolet. The second haldf s all about where to stay and how much it would cost, what the advantages of each campsite are and the various pitfalls of camping are. This is a thorough, and I do mean thorough, introduction to the sport! It contains everything you should know before setting out and (LOL) after you may need to go - for example how to use a dupstation, driving courtesies, regulations and what to pack. Plus, tere's plenty of stunning photos, to boot. Yep this one covers all the bases including the Jasons guide. Worht the money though? Well if you consider the wrters have visited every location and dumped at evry station, then yes. So, before heading out this summer - get this!

The Groove Book Report: Top to Bottom: Marc Ellis, Harper Collins.

On Ya Marc. Yep. As part of a tie in earlier this year, 'ol Ellis decides to celebrate 60 years and a new 'improved' model by travelling the country in the new Toyota Fj Land Cruiser. A vehicle, I have to say is a stunning number. Though, I'm not sure what Crumpy would think of this GPS, leather seated, IPOD connecting version. On the way (and this is the off road, laz-ier version - to Marcus Lush's North/South) he meets some bloody legends. That's a series of down to the worm infested, salt of the earth personalities that frequent small town Aotearoa. And this is what makes Ellis the Bloke he is - diggin' out the good sorts and shoving the camera up their noses. I'm sure this was a TV show, though I've never seen it advertised. Anyways youse jokers would enjoy it for the cracking yarns and of course the extensive photographc history of the predecessors to the curret FJ - worth a look for that alone!

Check out the website, too:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Groove Book Report: THE ART OF THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: Weta WorkShop - Harper Collins - $60.00

‘Great Snakes’ and ‘Billions of Blistering Blue Barnacles’. Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are re-making Tintin? Is that possible? So it seems. Well, if you’re a Wellingtonian, you are probably IN the new production. Aren’t we always? What will the film be like and who would have the Gaul (sic) to re-make Georges Remi’s near perfect masterpieces. Some years ago Philippe Condroyer attempted a live action version of the unpublished Tintin and the Blue Oranges. Suffice to say it was a poor imitation on the vibrant document that is Herge’’s art. It could never live up to the style and sophistication of his simple yet highly graphical drawings. So it is a bold challenges pits for the artists at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop to create these highly elaborate digital renditions of our favourite childhood characters. Can they pull it off? How can the mix of pixel and live action work successfully? And how DOES IT WORK, for that matter? How can the actors ‘act’, wearing these SGI ‘costumes’ and masks and become the elaborate beings that belong both in the electronic and everyday hemispheres? Weta spent five years working on this movie. This is the book to fill you in on that story. It documents how the film makers started with the original Hergé artwork and books and ended up with what appears on the screen. One of the best features is the beautiful painting and early concept drawings, previse sequences, models and costume designs. There is plenty of focus on the creative process, with the many designs that made it into the movie and plus the rejects. To their credit they film makers have brushed aside the temptation to re-make Tintin, Calculus and Haddock in the image of the actors and have intentionally sculpted CGI versions of the original Herge drawings with uncanny likeness. This is way beyond a few wigs, blue polos and plus fours from the back of the wardrobe. Far from being a vehicle for the film, this book really is a labour of love for Weta, as it focuses on their work rather than the out come of the final celluloid product and in that way makes it more enduring beyond the screen experience. About the Author:Chris Guise first worked for Weta Workshop on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His ‘Rowlf the Dog’ bust won the World’s Best Statue/Bust Global Award in 2003. In 2006, Chris was hired as Weta Workshop’s Lead Conceptual Designer for the film The Adventures of Tintin.

Check out the trailer for the movie at:

Go to the Tintin Movie website:

The Groove Book Report : THE BRUCE MCLAREN SCRAPBOOK: Harper Collins RRP $59.99

Gentlemen, Start your Engines.

Bruce McLaren’s life story definitely the stuff of boyhood dreams - a motor-racing career ran at full throttle and it seemed he was unstoppable until the sport he loved claimed him at Goodwood, an hour or so from London, on that fateful day, 2 June 1970.
McLaren was not only the first New Zealander to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix but also the youngest racing driver in the history of GP to win a significant race when he took out the 1959 United States Grand Prix. By ’66 he’d started to not only race but design and build his own cars, founding the ‘McLaren team’ which still operates today (only 2nd to Ferrari as the longest continuos team entry in the sport).
He was a man of both vision and amazing skill, this book is not only a tribute but a personal journey. It’s the kind of high end quality scrapbook that you’d be proud to show your kids, no matter their interest. I’m not a great racing fan, but I found the articles and the facsimiles of old photos, tickets etc a great visual document of the times of the man. My family have connections with the motor trade, so for me seeing the everyday items mixed in with the various names, clippings, even street photos had some personal significance. Often sports books are concerned with the stats and the one off moments that defines the sports personality. They focus on the big events like divorces, births death etc but don’t really give us the visual clues we need to understand the personalities effectively. A scrapbook also lets us make up our own mind and investigate more on various topics. It’s like finding a bx of photographs with info on the back, you know some but want to know more – I like that.
This is a great document not only of the man but his times – an overworked cliché’ I’m sure. But true.
Jan McLaren, Bruce's younger sister, is CEO of the Bruce McLaren Trust.
Richard Becht, who lives in Auckland, has been a writer and journalist for more than 30 years, working in print, television, radio, public relations and media communications. Currently media manager for the Vodafone Warriors, he has written numerous sports books, including the bestselling biography of Tawera Nikau, Standing Tall. Another of his books was Champions of Speed, a nostalgic work about New Zealand motor-racing drivers Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Groove Book Report: What to buy for Xmas: Three Books for the Ladies in your life.

3. The Trouble with Fire - Fiona Kidman, Random House (Vintage) $36.99

Over 20 books Kidman is still the considerate writer. Like a well made quilt and a cup of Earl Grey from a bone china cup, she treats every word as a treasure, to cherished and admired.

This, her latest work contains eleven long taled vignettes, vaguely connected by a theme of 'fire'. The book itself is divided into three parts, the spark, the flame and the extinguishment, I favour to guess. Although it really isn't that clear.

Our favorite Wellingtonian, Kidman is now 71 and many of the stories in the first section seem as if they are autobiographicial, or at least anecdotes from her friends and relations. They seem worn in and famiilar, to a degree. A woman looking back over life. Like any of that theme and genre they cover the power of the past, how it plays on the present, and how we allhave different perspectives on it. We write our own plays and then perform them to a criticalaudience, hoping to sell the scenes to our own end.

Opener, 'The Italian Boy' is about a writer who receives a visit from an old friend, promping her to remeber the events of her school days which are both threatening and romantic. It takes in the extremes of the day, like (in the 1970s) New Zealand women had to fly to Sydney to have an abortion because it was illegal here. 'Heaven Freezes' sees a a man remembering his first wife as his second marriage crumbles, and dwelling on the past to forget the incoming future. 'Preservation' offers alittle twist, wth the most unlikely member of a group of girlhood friends ending up in prison.

They'r not nostalgic stories but there is a feeling of years passing as girls gofrom cheeky wee slips to greying matriarchs. you can sense that Kidman is accepting her own fate and toying with it almost as a distraction or a defiance to grow old with out the poise and grace of accomplishment.

The main story in the second section has three connected tales tracing the generations of a family with a grim, long-buried secret. The first, 'The Man From Tooley Street', uses the Morrison macabre to paint a goulish picture of a young Waikato farmer’s wife disappearance. It's not until no. 3 'Under Water' that he maternal grand daughter uncovers a credible solution to the mystery. What most likely happened to her? These are fractured relationships, always enveloping Kidman's favourite topic: the plight ofwomen through the ages, and a reflection on how their lives have changed.

Finally, secton 3 contains two historical stories, both based in fact it would seem. 'Fragrance Rising' is about Coalition Prime Minister of the 1930's Gordon Coates whlst 'The Trouble With Fire' is about Lady Barker, author of the book 'Station Life In New Zealand', which recorded her time living in the foothills of the Southern Alps in the late 1800s. Both are good historical fictions of individuals, metaphors that highlight themes like race relations, women's rights and women's work and the genuine hard yakka of the day.

Always, Kidman speaks with a gentle voice of confidence and authority, She's done her home work and her characters are so real you could pop next dor and borrw a cup of sugar. If you've never read Kidman, then here's a good entry level to one of our greatest writers of fiction and non fiction.

The Groove Book Report: What to buy for Xmas: Three Books for the Ladies in your life.

2. Hand Me Down - Michelle Holman Harper Collins, $24.95
All right I admit I'ma little out ofmy depth on this one. Romance noves are not really my thing. Though I have to say they are adictive! Not that I'm saying that I'd read this or anything. But if you were holed p in a chalet for a month with a lot of red wine and bear steaks, the I guess this wouldn't be too bad a read, I guess. Ok, Ok. Actually it was pretty good. Holman is a master at the compelling read, and yes, the characters are sufficiently engaging and realistic to hold your attention.

Ok, quick synopsis. Over 26 years ago , two little girls were born in the small town of Pisa, um, Otago. (Home of the best Cherries by the way!). One, a brunette, olive skinned girl and the other blonde and blue eyes. 'Hand Me Down' starts the day these two babies go home home with the wrong set of parents. Oh dear, you can see where this is heading. But wait! All her life, April Ritchie is a princess in her daddy's eyes, her family were wealthy and important (they own the biggest house in Pisa and the largest farm). Seventeen years later, though, this little girl's life was about comes crumbling down as rumours were spark that she's not the biological daughter of Heather and Grant Ritchie. April gets kicked out of home and leaves Pisa, vowing never return but before a quick detour into the hospital to steal the two medical records (her's and that of one Nola Gutsell. Fast forwad nine years later, April's flat-broke and making her living as a kissing telegram girl. When a job comes up, it takes April back to her home town of Pisa. A lot has changed in 9 years. Her family home has been sold to the one person whose reputation she ruined, to a whole town annoyed at April for the girl she used to be.

And there the story starts as our heroine (sic) must prove to the town that she has changed. What will happen when the truth of who April really is comes out, will her closest friend 'Latoya' Gutsell feel betrayed?

This is book five of Michelle Holman's cracking collection of slightly trashy romantic click lit. Like a good buttery chardonnay and a a Violet Crumble, it's a superb story that will will keep you in laughter in parts and tears in others (or if a guy like me train spotting the cliche's) as the cracks between April's tough exterior start showing and her true colours revealed. The best bit is the Kiwi twist on this slighly overcooked America saga, and that alone will make it the book to read with those left over turkey sammies and pink champers & lemmy-aide.

Indulge on the You tube clip:
Hand Me Down by Michelle Holman - YouTube

The Groove Book Report: What to buy for Xmas: Three Books for the Ladies in your life.

1. Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury, Harper Press, $28.99

Every wondered why the cocoa in your cupboard is call 'Bournville Cocoa'? Bournville was the location at the beginning of Richard Tapper Cadbury's Empire. With meticulous detail and a surprising mix of economics, anthropology and good old down to earth invesigative journalism, the great, great, great grand daughter of the original chocolate baron unveils the story of not only a chocolate empire but an industry and a commodity more precious than gold. This is a product consumed and known by virtally every kid able to read the posters at their local shop. What you might not know is that, unlike other chocolate barons, the Cadburys were Quakers. Honest hard working and frugal. An odd juxtaposition you might think, for a family that makes a luxury good. And there lies a tale. Cadbury covers the economic situations, the exploration and the eventual all-out fight for market share. And of course there are a few nogstalgic "Willy Wonka Factory" moments, too. After all, we are talking about the kid who grew up in the sweet shop! Interestingly absent from the narative is any real scorn on Kraft, the current owners of the Cadbury brand. The politics and historionics behind Cadbury's demise and sale, andevental recovery of sorts is all on the page, be itsome what clinical. Cadbury, herself seems content that it exists and is alive and well. That is enough. Also missing is any real analysis of Cadbury's contribution to modern day obesity and tooth decay or the commonisation of treats such as candy and chocolate from expesive luxuary tems to everyday items from the super market. Still, we are talking about one of the UK's most beloved and revered brands, with a real history and an accessibility like no ther. For that we should be thankful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

This week on the Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid

This week we check out new music from LA Mitchell, Sharon Jones, Amira Grenell (feat. at WOMAD next year), and interview

Mike McRoberts (TV3's Foreign Correspondent) about his biography 'Beyond the Front Line' and Sports Writer Bob Howitt, who's just released 'Black where it belongs' a retrospective play-by-play celebration of the All Blacks most awesome World Cup Campaign.

Plus we GIVE AWAY two passes to Fly My Pretties IV - St.James Theatre 19 November.

All the goss on the Pretties:

Fly My Pretties will be touring the country from October through to November, with a re-imagined show, new cast and wealth of new songs. The fresh concept will see the 16-strong cast collaborate with celebrated contemporary visual artist, Hayley King (Flox). Audiences can expect a completely new production, from re-imagined costumes, to unique boundary-pushing visuals. In Act I, Flox will interpret each song from the new album into iconic images, which will be uniquely brought to life both during the performance and as an exhibition of original limited edition prints in the theatre foyers.
In Act II, Fly My Pretties will deliver a set filled with a range of their classics plus a few surprises from Live at Bats, The Return Of… and A Story.
Led by Barnaby Weir, the latest Fly My Pretties family will combine an exciting and diverse mix of established and up-and-coming New Zealand talent, with performances in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland.

Wellington: Saturday 19 November – St James Theatre.

For more info see:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tonight on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

We take a sneak peak at what's on offer at next year's International Arts Festival. And Review and peruse Aligator Reocrds back catalogue (Now in it's 40th Year!) See you tonight from 7.30 only on Groove 107.7 FM and streaming right here!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween is nearly here!

And a last minute Interview this week with writer Jo Davy, co-author with James Gilberd of 'Spooked: Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand'.

Are the dead really all around us, treading the boards of theatres, pacing the corridors of prisons, or terrifying the occupants of scary old houses? Or are ghosts just in the mind of those who think they’ve seen them? What is ectoplasm? And can you really photograph a ghost?

People around the world are curious about ghosts, and New Zealanders are no exception. In Spooked, New Zealand paranormal investigators Strange Occurrences search for the truth behind the dark stories of some of the country’s most infamous haunted sites – including Wellington’s Town Hall, the Hawkes Bay Opera House and The Vulcan Hotel – as well as some of its lesser known ones, such as the Dunedin YHA Backpackers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This week, the Kid goes all “bookworm”

This week, the Kid goes all “bookworm” with the first of his series on “What to buy for Xmas”. This week, it’s three different Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends: Steven Tyler; Dave Grohl and Katy Perry. Click here to read the reviews and don’t forget to tune in at 7.30 On Thursday Nights to “The Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid” Only on Groove 107.7FM.

Does the Noise in my head bother you? A Rock’n’Roll Memoir. Steven Tyler. Harper Collins RRP $39.99

This would be one of the most appropriate book titles ever. Tyler is a dynamo of language and thought. He write, if you could call it that, like a Ralph Steadman cartoon: the image is there but you have to search through the splodges and ink blots, the outrageous colours and exaggerated lines, to find the true constructs. Whilst “ghost written’ to a degree, I would have preferred this book to be in the form of an interview, perhaps more structured, some way of containing Tyler’s mind explosions and harnessing the impossible tangents that he inevitably travels. For a man now sober, you wouldn’t know. On paper – at least – this one covers all the bases: Early days, Aerosmith, Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’Roll and family life, then more sex and drugs as Tyler proves himself to be the living effigy of Keith Moon and Mick Jagger.

Despite or perhaps because of all this, Tyler and Aerosmith have remained America’s own version of a good down to earth good time Bogan band, with their popularity as big in the States as ACA DACCA is down under, and every long haired or aspiring long haired teen from 10 – 50 yrs having a copy of, at least “Pump” in their collection.

On the whole, I’d plug this one for the significant male in your life. Take his mind off the tournament of the usually shaped ball for 10 minutes!

This is a call: the Life and Times of Dave Grohl. Paul Brannigan. Harper Collins RRP: $39.99

I recently saw Nirvana’s Live at the Paramount DVD and was reminded of the sheer amatueristic approach of three slackers from Seattle. Their entire set seemed like it was made up by jamming there and then, with little regard for professionalism, delivery or direction. Kurt, as always was moody, brooding and closed. Noveselic was tripping and vague. Grohl was concentrating for dear life, nervous as hell.

On the cover of “This is a call” Grohl admits he ‘lost it’ when he heard of Kurt’s death. He reveals through out that this was not only the loss of a band mate but a job as well. His entire reason for living, the accolades, the tour cycle-feedbag and the direction that taught him hour to lay, and more over, to perform on stage had gone. In the following chapters Grohl works through the pain, the loss of direction and the final hurdles that shaped him as the leader of Foo Fighters, a stadium sized band that on paper has output more, been heard by more and met more than Nirvana ever had. Had the monkey of Nevermind been lifted, though? Whilst Grohl cathartically works through that here on the page, I’m not so convinced. You be the judge. Brannigan, who’s actually hung with Grohl many times, has done a good job here and speaks like someone who knows his subject at the right level. He does reveal anything that Grohl doesn’t wand him to, and that’s a danger I guess. At least it would be if Grohl was the kind of guy to have a past that shdy. No that was Kurt who had the issues. Another one for the mature males in your household (say 25+ . Any earlier and they’d be uninterested. They’re too busy still living the R’n’R dream).

Katy Perry: The Unauthorised Biography – Alice Montgomery – Penguin RRP: $35.00

Who knew the demure Christian popster, Katy Hudson would go on to change her name, marry Russell Brand, sell millions, have the Chipmunks cover her songs, and become the tabloid darling she is today? Not so much a rags to riches story, this one but and interesting little journey. There’s the usual bad-ass boy friend, Record Company dumpings and in-your-face success that only Hollywood would lap up these days. Still, it’s a good effort. I’ve only read four chapters so far but I can see Alice Montgomery, who recently saw success with Susan Boyle’s bio ‘Dreams can Come True’ has done her homework. The only thing I have against unauthorised biographies is the propensity to rely on second hand sources and people “close’ to the Star in question, which usually turns out to be the domestic help or a barista at a favourite coffee shop. And in this case, this is mostly a narrative of previously published articles and a few choice interviews with editors and such. If you know nothing about Perry, it’s a good 101 Text to refer to. But if you’re a fan. I suspect you’ve already read the tweets and facebook comments from the star her self, and that, at least these days, it a closer ‘source’. If you can stand the “OMGs” on Christmas morning then buy this for your teen daughter or her cousin.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THe Groove Book Report: House Of Holes - Nicholson Baker - Simon and Shuster - $36.00

First, a wee commercial message: 'If you have a sex ache that needs relief, jump onto a Smutship and jig right over to the House of Holes. Oh,yes indeed, you'll find all sorts of gratification available, the huge variety is limited only by your own imagination. Ask and ye shall receive -- inhibitionists need not apply.

Baker, himself may look like quiet, calm almost puritanical - judging by his cover photo - but his writing is a veritable aladins cave of sexual fantasies and daliances. Yet there is an overwhelming femini touch here. In House of Holes only women get to visit this adult fun-park for free. Men, it seems must pay. If they run ot of money they can forfeit a limb or even their head to keep 'going'. One even gives up their most sacred appendage, as one man did swapping his penis for a womans' bits Then, in an amzing twist ended up being screwed by his own dick.! Another gives his right arm, literally to swap his for alargerpenis. Just a couple of examples of how Baker twists standard sexual fantasies into a very raunchy take on the standard wet dream.

There's no such thing as kinky sex in the House of Holes; every technique appears to be regarded as perfectly normal. For example, women visiting the House of Holes sometimes select a no-brainer option: sex with a headless (but otherwise alive) male body. Perhaps that's an apt metaphor for our contemporary popular culture, in which professional models and athletes are spectacularly rewarded, whereas the TV show Jeopardy constitutes our most profound national celebration of intellectual activity.

Nevertheless, the publication of House of Holes is not a major literary event. There's no deep plot or character development appears here to interfere with the unrelenting march of orgasmic vignettes. All chapters are short and only a few characters intertwine throughout the book, so we neverreally get to a final, err climax!. Sorry, had to be said.

There is plenty sporadic humor, but its few literary pretensions reduce to some clever puns and occasional references to cultural luminaries like Borodin, Dickens, and Hawking. The principal achievement is likely that it yields a huge thesaurus of novel sexual synonyms for genitalia. Yet again,despite the lurid graphic depiction of sexual activity, this is a book of 'un-titillation', which I get - is the point!

This week's Show. From 7.30PM

We have two interviews tonight.

Singer Songwriter Mel Parsons. And Carolina Moon.
Here's some info about Mel ....


Following the success of her debut record ‘Over My Shoulder’, Tui-award finalist Mel Parsons has just released her brand new album RED GREY BLUE and is currently on a 20 date tour of NZ with her trusty backing band the Rhythm Kings.

One of NZ’s rising songwriting stars, Mel Parsons is in her element on stage, and is known for ‘pin-drop’ performances – drawing in her audiences and keeping them all night.

With a voice that “could work any night in Nashville, yet somehow sounds intrinsically New Zealand” (Black Magazine) Parsons draws on the folk tradition of telling stories, and blends it with pop hooks and a unique sensibility to melody and harmony.

Her debut album was a finalist in the NZ Music Awards for Folk Album of the Year in 2009, and she has toured NZ numerous times both as a solo artist and with her backing band “The Rhythm Kings”. Along with her own shows, Parsons has supported and played alongside some of NZ’s best including Anika Moa; Don McGlashan; The Warratahs; Anna Coddington and Greg Johnson.
After a growing up on NZ’s rural West Coast, Parsons has spent the past 10 years on the road: touring, travelling and gleaming material from life, love and loss. Her experiences translate to song in a true, bare and at times heartbreaking manner, weaved together with an infectious optimism and ever-memorable lyrics.

“One of those nice treats you occasionally stumble over while trawling through a sea of mediocrity” Nick Ward, The Nelson Mail

Cape Road Recordings is proud to present Mel Parsons’ highly anticipated sophomore release ‘Red Grey Blue’. Co-produced by Parsons and award-winning producer Jeremy Toy (She’s So Rad, Opensouls, Hollie Smith) the record was made in Auckland, NZ over the summer and autumn of 2011, and features a host of musician friends from near and far.

Following on from the success of her Tui-nominated debut album ‘Over My Shoulder’ in 2009, ‘Red Grey Blue’ runs the gamut from gentle and assured, to the depths of darkness and everything in between. Quiet ballads rub shoulders with fall-in-love pop gems and dark alt-country numbers. Written over the past two years whilst touring her first record, the album is inspired by the melting-pot of Parsons’ musical influences from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to Paul Simon, Dire Straits to Fleetwood Mac. The song-writing itself is a reflection of the highs and lows on her own journey, delivered with Parsons’ trademark heart-on-sleeve lyrical style.

Forever a fan of soaring vocal harmony, Parsons is joined in the vocal booth by Anika Moa, Christof (UK), and Anji Sami (The Sami Sisters/She’s So Rad). Guitar duties are shared by Toy and Parsons’ long-time guitarist Neil Watson, while drums are taken care of by rising sensation Alistair Deverick (Ruby Suns, Lisa Crawley), with additional percussion by Paul Taylor (Feist). Ex-Cat Stevens bassist Bruce Lynch steps in on double bass, along with guest spots from Greg Johnson and Don McGlashan among others.

Mixed by award-winning engineer Andre Upston at Radio NZ and mastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark in Sydney, ‘Red Grey Blue’ is out now and available here

Cape Road Recordings is proud to present Mel Parsons’ highly anticipatedsophomore release ‘Red Grey Blue’. Co-produced by Parsons and awardwinning producer Jeremy Toy (She’s So Rad, Opensouls, Hollie Smith) the record was made in Auckland, NZ over the summer and autumn of 2011, and features a host of musician friends from near and far.Following on from the success of her Tui-nominated debut album ‘OverMy Shoulder’ in 2009, ‘Red Grey Blue’ runs the gamut from gentle andassured, to the depths of darkness and everything in between. Quietballads rub shoulders with fall-in-love pop gems and dark alt-countrynumbers. Written over the past two years whilst touring her first record, the album is inspired by the melting-pot of Parsons’ musical influences from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to Paul Simon, Dire Straits to Fleetwood Mac. The song-writing itself is a reflection of the highs and lows on her own journey, delivered with Parsons’ trademark heart-on-sleeve lyrical style.Forever a fan of soaring vocal harmony, Parsons is joined in the vocalbooth by Anika Moa, Christof (UK), and Anji Sami (The Sami Sisters/She’sSo Rad). Guitar duties are shared by Toy and Parsons’ long-time guitaristNeil Watson, while drums are taken care of by rising sensation AlistairDeverick (Ruby Suns, Lisa Crawley), with additional percussion by PaulTaylor (Feist). Ex-Cat Stevens bassist Bruce Lynch steps in on double bass, along with guest spots from Greg Johnson and Don McGlashan among others.Mixed by award-winning engineer Andre Upston at Radio NZ andmastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark in Sydney, ‘Red Grey Blue’ is duefor release September 19th 2011.

And here's some info about Carolina Moon

And link to her site:

CAROLINA MOON (UK/AUS/NZ) ~ vocals, bells, arrangements
Carolina spent her formative years on the London jazz and world music scene, moving to Sydney in 1995. She performed and collaborated with many leading artists including Mark Isaacs with whom she first performed the Sephardic repertoire. In 2002, she travelled, performed and studied voice and raga at the Jazz India Vocal Institute, Mumbai. The Shaman’s Kiss CD was nominated for a Bell in the Australian Jazz Awards 2003. Carolina is now based in Auckland New Zealand. She completed her Masters of Music in Performance in 2009 and has performed widely throughout the UK, Australia, India, China, Aotearoa and the Greater Pacific.

This week on the Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid: Mel Parsons & Carolina Moon

This wek we have two fantastic interviews. One with West Coast singer Songwriter Mel Parsons and the other with Carolina Moon, Auckland based jazz singer and virtuoso.

Also, arather saucy review of Nicholson Barker's 'House of Holes'.

For details from theshow click the link:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Week on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid: The Man Cave.

This week we'regoing Man Caving, exploring all the different ways a Man can find a little peice of santury in a household of wives, kids, grannys and domesticity!

We also look at Steve Hale's new book: The Kiwi Man Cave (Harper Collins - $39.99.And some of the innovative characters and we look back on the most famous man-caver of all - Burt Monroe, Motor Cycle Record breaker and legend of the Indians!

All this from 7.30 this Thursday nght on Groove 107.7 FM.
Steve Hale's 'The Kiwi Man Cave'.
The Kiwi Man Cave invites you in, in full colour, to over 30 man caves from all around New Zealand, as well as giving you a bit of humorous background to this well-established Kiwi phenomenon.

Steve Hale lives in the picturesque Thames Valley town of Te Aroha. He has enjoyed and endured a variety of occupations including bull hide flesher and pub bouncer. He played endless winters of senior rugby in the front row as a combative tighthead prop and was also a onetime sumo wrestler. The 36 year old is passionate about scrummaging, reggae, road trips, stout, painting and flame grilling red meat.

Check out Man Caves ....

Check out the Official Man Cave website:
Check out the most expensive Man caves :

Ok, More about Man Caves.

To get started - what is a Man Cave? According to the great Wikipedia a man cave, sometimes a mantuary[1] or manspace,[2] is a male sanctuary,[3] such as a specially equipped garage,[4] spare bedroom,[3] media room,[5] den,[6] or basement.[6][7] It is not a cave but rather a metaphor describing a room inside the house, such as the basement or garage or attic or office, or outside the house such as a wood shed or tool room, where "guys can do as they please" without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design.[8] Paula Aymer of Tufts University calls it the "last bastion of masculinity".[8]

While a wife often has substantial authority over a whole house in terms of design and decoration, she generally has no say about what gets "mounted on the walls" of a man's personal space.[8] Since it is generally "accepted that women have the rest of the house to decorate, including the closets," a man cave or man space is in some sense a reaction to feminine domestic power.[8] While the term man cave has connotations of retreating to a more primitive primal place, the term man space has been used which does not have the negative connotations.[8]

So what are they for?
Man caves have multiple purposes: they're a place to be alone, to be away from women and from female sensibilities, to indulge in hobbies, and to hang out with male friends. It is, loosely, a male-only space to retreat to,[9] watch sports matches,[10] or play video games.[6] According to psychiatrist and author Scott Haltzman, it is important for a man to have a place to call his own, referring to a male area to which to retreat. Some psychologists claim that a man cave can provide refuge from stressful surroundings and be beneficial to marriage.[1] Rules are relaxed; it is a place where female sensibilities about standards of cleanliness are not necessarily observed; as one man said, "You spill a beer there or leave a hamburger overnight, who cares?"[2]

In a sense, for married men, it is a way to recreate some of the space and freedom of their bachelor days since it was like a "pad" similar in feeling to a frat house game room or a college dorm room where people could come and go "as if they owned the place."[2] It is where a man doesn't have to be on his best behavior, where no women are around, and where "no one is going to make you watch your p's and q's" and "no one is going to ask you to explain yourself".[2] Writer and handyman Sam Martin explained:

“ Men have had an identity problem since the women's movement. They have tried to figure out who they're supposed to be. For a while women wanted them to be more sensitive, so they were more sensitive. Then women wanted them to be more manly. One of the things I discovered is when men have their own manspace, what they put inside of it is really an expression of who they are. Manspace is about establishing an identity for a man. Our premise is that women have control of the look and the feel of the house and that left guys wanting more. Anybody who has a specific interest or hobby or work or collection is going to want a space to indulge that.-- Sam Martin, in the Chicago Tribune, 2007[11] ”

Click below to read much more fascinating insight!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Week on the Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid - Other People's Wars

That's right we have Nicky Hager on the show, Author of OtherPeoples wars - a comprehensive look at the New Zealand Defence Force's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicky takes us through the salent points and demysities some of the military jargon. Far from being the major conspiracy the mainstream medi have hinted at, this is a great red for anyone who wants an independent view on what's hapenin over there.

You can read a comprehensive review for yourself at:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tonight on The Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

New Music from the Nukes (A Westie Ukelele Band), Oval Office and Holly Smith. plus Check out everything you need to know about 'Gurbing'. See you at 7.30 tonight only on Groove 107.7FM

Click here to see more about tonight's guest : Janet Luke

Green Urban Living-Simple Steps to growing Food, Keeping Chickens, Worm Farming, Beekeeping and more in New Zealand.

This week we interview Janet Luke about her new book and her philosophy on 'Gurbing' (Green Urban Living).
Her new book offers practical and sensible advice on keeping small livestock, planting the right food and vegetables, involving the kids and more. Also check her website for more helpful info:

A bit about Janet.

Janet is a Landscape Architect and have a Masters degree, with Honors, in Environmental and Resource Planning. Click for contact details.

She has always enjoyed growing vegetables but since having our three children has become more and more concerned about the state of our environment and the rising cost of living. "I want our kids to learn where food comes from and how to grow it, I also want my family to do our bit for the environment and as I do have Scottish heritage, I want to save money and learn to live a more frugal lifestyle, without having to give up my daily Lattes!"

"Many people think that if you live in an urban environment you can’t grow your own food or have animals but after looking through my web-site you will see that that is not the case. My goal is to help you produce more and consume less in ways that make you and your family live a more healthy, sustainable lifestyle, connected to nature, whilst saving money. There are so many ways we can all live more green and eco friendly".

"I have a passion for sustainable design, edible landscaping and permaculture and I want to share this knowledge. I am completing a Certificate in Permaculture Design and run Green Living Courses from my urban garden".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Week on the Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid - The Kids Are All Right?

This week the Kid reviews a selection of Kid's Stories and CDs, and features the book 'Lost and Found' , a delightful, Penguin tale by Oliver Jeffers. Check out the GROOVE BOK REPORT :

Also, New Music from Beruit and Kimbra.

And ... a sneak peak at the controversial new book by Nicky Hager 'Other People's Wars'. We hope to get Nicky on the programme next week!.

The Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid, on the eve of the tournament of the unusual shaped ball! This Thursday Nite from 7.30PM.

Toddlers are readers, too! The Groove Book Report: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers Harper Collins rrp $17.50

It may have been coincidence, or serendipity that the rep at Harpers sent me this delightful little tale. For the first time in many a years the back of my house in Alicetown was knee deep in snow! And, that night on the news Wellington's own Antarctic hero, Happy Feet was preparing for his journey back home on NIWA's next vessel to the pole. All this provided great context for the littlest readers in the household. Lost and Found proved to be an immediate favourite. The simple, beautiful, watercolour illustrations and enchanting story have won over the two year old on the first sitting. I can understand why it won the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2006.

Oliver Jeffers using an economy of line and colour and focuses most of his message in the subtle expressions of his two characters. This is unusual in a book designed for such a young readership. Normally the template approach is big and bold colours, simple colours, references to shapes, colours and family surrounds. Repetition in the manuscript and a reinforcement of ideas and laces usually wins over a two year old. It also helps if the book works when read out loud.

Jeffers doesn't really do any of this, yet the charming story, two line per page speaks volumes in the silence between the words. It requires the reader and the listener to prompt each other about what's happening. I like that. The young missy and I have spent much time talking about the details of each page - where is the penguin going; why did he leave; what do concepts like 'lonely' and 'love' mean and what is the value of a hug?

A bonus - the book is now available for in toddler friendly board format so the youngest generation can enjoy this unforgettable story about friendship and the search for a home.

Worth a look is Jeffers own website, where you can see his latest projects, his stunning art and find out about more of his writing.

You can see Oliver Jeffers work at:

And, don’t forget Happy Feet is now on his way to the pole. You can track his journey at:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

...And now Back to the Music! 1 September - On tonight's Show : The New Album by Caro Emerald

Tonite we feature new music from Caro Emerald.

Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor : Caro Emerald (Grandmono / Dramatico Records)

Dutch Pop Jazz Chantuese Caro Emerald features on tonite's show. Her debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor set an all time chart record on 20 August 2010 by spending its 30th week at number one on the Dutch album chart, beating the previous record set by Michael Jackson's Thriller by one week.[1] The album has become the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands, selling over 270,000 copies so far. On 3 October 2010, Van der Leeuw was awarded the Dutch Music Prize "Edison" for Best Female Artist.[2] On 15 January 2011, she won the Popprijs 2010 for best Dutch pop act of 2010.

With a nogstalgic swing meets DJ thing, it's like a mix of Sola Rosa and Madonna (Circa Dick Tracy Album). That Man is the top tune on this generously swinging hunka wax. Just One Dance follows up with a slightly more poppy tune, backed by some nice bandstand brass.

From there the execursion begins towards mainstream. The strings and Carribean undertow on Riviera Life are a little too sachrine for my taste (Think Madonna's Holiday) but redemption is at hand with followups Back Up (Sultry Sax Samples) and the The Other Woman (Some sexy breathy vocals and xylophones, a la Luis Bega and a great Bond guitar riff too).

This is Caro's debut album was released on 29 January 2010 and immediately occupied the number 1 position of the Dutch Album Top 100 charts.

The album has been at number one in the Dutch Album Top 100 almost continuously since (except for two weeks when it went down to number two to make way for a new number one). On 20 August 2010, the album grabbed another record by spending its 27th (non-consecutive) week at number 1. The previous record was held by Michael Jackson's album Thriller, which spent 26 weeks at number one in 1983 (although that album still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number 1, with 23 weeks).

The album reached double platinum status in the Netherlands on 5 July 2010. In August 2010 it reached triple platinum. and in November 2010 it reached four times platinum, which means over 200,000 copies sold.

The first new song from the album was A Night like This. The song was listed in the Dutch Top 40 for 26 weeks and peaked on the number 2 position. The song was selected as the official song of a 2009–2010 Martini ad campaign. In May 2010 Caro announced she was going on a promotion tour to France. In an interview on the Dutch TV show "X de Leeuw" she announced that her debut album will be released in October in France. After having released her singles and album in France she will try to release it in other European countries. In August 2010, it was announced that the album would be released in the UK by Dramatico Records, home of Katie Melua. Caro was supposed to support Melua on her upcoming UK tour in October, but the tour was cancelled, because Melua is suffering from exhaustion. In December 2010, a second single, Riviera Life, was released in the UK. A Night like This was released as the third UK single early in 2011. A small number of UK concert appearances are planned for 2011.

There are other surprises like the reggae tinged Stuck, the darkly cool Dr Wanna Do, another big swinging number and the Bassey retro reacher The Lipstick on his Collar (My personal fav).

Consistent through this album is the constant references to 20's bandstand swing, horns and sax, the images are all aural cinema, sampled and mashed underneath Emerald's competant, confident vocals. The title fits perfectly. This girl is one to watch and to jive to, meantime.

A bit about her ...

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw (born 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam), better known by her stagename Caro Emerald, is a Dutch jazz singer. She debuted on 6 July 2009 with her single "Back It Up".
Caro Emerald first gained public recognition for her debut single "Back It Up". The single was initially written for a Japanese pop group, by David Schreurs, Robin Veldman and Jan van Wieringen, who are Dutch producers, and Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio, who had previously worked with various artists including 'N Sync, Atomic Kitten and Aloha from Hell. Van der Leeuw was approached to record the demo of the song and consecutively added it to her own set. Before 2008, when Caro sang it live on local Amsterdam TV channel AT5, the song was unknown to the general public.

Back It Up was officially released by Grandmono Records on 6 July 2009. It was listed in the Dutch Top 40 for 12 weeks and reached the 12th position in the charts. Kraak & Smaak made a remix of the song. Back It Up was the most played song by radiostation 3FM in 2009 and Caro received the 'Schaal van Rigter' award for this achievement.[3]

Official website
Official Uvumi Profile
Caro Emerald Profile and Discography on This is Vintage Now

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Groove Book Report: By Any Means by Ben Sanders - Harper Collins $24.95

For some, inexplicable, yet compelling reason, I feel the need to tell you about this book before I finish it. In fact, it's imperative that I do it now because I'm not sure I can keep the ending to this intense, fast paced thriller a secret for very long.

This is North Shore resident Ben Sanders's second effort. His first, written in his late teens, proved him to be a master of economical, witty, visual prose. With just enough paint to set the scene he encourages his reader fill in the white spaces. A script writer would hate this. Where's the dimesional characterisation; the detailed settings and the fabrics of familiarity that usually drape a good crime novel? Detective Sean Devereaux is not your average alchoholic, cigar chewing, alimony laden, pussy whipped, cheeto muncher in a dirty mac, with the boss on his heals for beating up witnesses and an ex-call girl for a girlfriend. Nope. No cocaine addiction. He doesn't frequent bars or drive a Jag. At the end of a night Devereaux heads home, puts on some quality music (he, or is it Sanders, is a bit of an aficionado), claims a Mac,s Gold from the fridge and opens a case file. No TV screams out from the corner, the unit is quiet. This is a shared quiet time between himself and the house. Only one step up from a very sad Plod, he could be just a bit little boring. Like you and me, perhaps?

Unlike the other characters and the events around him.

Friday rush hour a lone shooter fires from across a crowded street and slays an operating bus driver.

Across town, a mother daughter murder suicide occurs, with the father as the main witness. And downtown a woman is abducted from a bar in front of an ex-cop with street smarts and a '78 Escort. The pace quickens as the ex-cop makes all the investigations, follows all the clues and hunts down the kidnappers, whilst Devereaux ponders, ums and ahhs.

He's the perfect realistic Kiwi cop. No heroics, no violence and no pastel lounge suits. He goes about his work, methodically working through the clues, almost in an oblivious juxtaposition to the speeding narration of murders, violence, chases and rapid fire clues that literally spit venomously off the page. Gritty and page turning this sure is. But more effective is the distinct Kiwi accent that is present in every page. I almost get the feeling this novel wouldn't work anywhere but Auckland. The details are accutely accurate. Sanders is a keen observer, right down to the placement of CCTV cameras and the socio--economic product selection of a tavern's clientele.

It's true we love to read and see stories about ourselves, no matter what the scenario. But this one is a little creepy. The flesh is a little to close to the bone. "By Any Means" is a stunning piece of contemporary crime fiction, a real 'worth it' read.

And, no, I wont tell you how it ends, even when I get there. You'll have to do that yourself!

About the Author:
Ben Sanders is a 21-year-old university student who lives on Auckland's North Shore. He has been a keen writer since his early teens and his debut novel, The Fallen, was published to high acclaim in 2010. This is his second Sean Devereaux novel.

For more check out

Also check out Sean Devereauz on

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Kid will be taking a break this week

But stay tuned next week for new music from Holly Smith and Caro Emerald. In the mean time here's a wee taster to tide you over:

'A night like this' :

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Groove Book Report:New Zealand By Design: A History of New Zealand Product Design by Michael Smythe (Godwit Press - $65.00)

Right. Let's get this out there. This is not a cheesy book about Kiwiana. That period of cringe has gone. New Zealanders are magical innovators and the creation of manufactured objects and solutions that enhance our environment streches well beyond any No.8 mentality. Accornding to author Michael Smythe, that while the concept of design embraces all the elements of form and function truly great design almost exists un-noticed. In this comprehensive volume he surveys many of the products that have documented the ordinary in our in our society from pre-European times until now. Begining with ingenious Maori tools, traps, lures and weaponry he moves through to pioneer-era inventions, the industrial and agricultural inventions, and entreprenuers like Hayes Machinery and the housewife's friends - Shacklock and Fisher & Paykel (his former employer), to our modern era with products as varied as electric fences, Crown Lynn china and NavMan GPS.

There are so many cool, brainy and quite frankly gutsy approaches to the design and manufacture of local products. Smythe, in a recent interview, summed it up by suggesting when a Kiwi is asked to make a product on par with an international label that inventive lil' bird thinks harder and broader. Kiwis are just not content to reproduce facsimilies of existing products they RE-INVENT, with bells on, to suit their own dreams and aspirations. Smythes book is abundant with examples such as Shacklock's response to overseas examples of coal ranges. These units not only burnt poorly and were not suited to NZ's coal supplies but were cumbersome to install. Shacklock chose to re-design, building a coal range that ran on local coal AND had it's own flu system allowing it to be installed any where without the need to fit to an existing fireplace. Years later Shacklock was saved by the great f&p who, out of a doomed Dunedin factory, invented the energy and water saving dish draw units we all have for our dirty dishes. And there are thousands more examples.

Smythe's mandate was 'designed by New Zealanders', regardless of where the final product is actually made. Examples are abound - sophisticated products such as the Yike bike and Formway furniture, products which hold their own in international company. Oh, and there's even a wee story about the Trekka and the personal rocket thingy, as well as wool pressers, bathroom sinks, petrol cans, bicycles, stoves, washing machines, electric kettles, TVs and radios, crockpots, rocking chairs, industrial dredges, dishwashers, forestry tools, spinning wheels, office chairs, outdoor seating ,rubbish bins, children's toys, heaters, electric fences, stock drenching guns, gumboots, buses and guitar pedals.

As I said out in the outset this is an exhaustive, and by no means definitive conversation. There are many messages here, yet the one that sticks out, despite it's corny overtones is this: A Kiwi saw; was frustrated with the current product. Took it apart. Made it better. Gave it more than it ever had before. And in time that product became the standard to which all Kiwis measure other imitations. By Kiwi Designed products. Buy Michael's book!

Check out Michael's ongoing discusion about design history at:

See a sample on the Random House Web Site:

Read more about Michael:

Further reading:

Coming up this week on The Adventures of the Coffeebar Kid

We investigate the history design of innovation and product design in New Zealand with our guest Michael Smythe. Michael is the author of the fabulous new work: New Zealand by Design (A history of New Zealand Product Design). Michael is best known as a lecturer in design and former industrial designer with Fisher and Paykel and JASMAX (amongst others).

Tune in Thursday night at 7.30 to hear more about this fascinating book and also keep your eyes peeled for the 'Kid's' review:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Music We Love- "Sing Along With The Yoots" – Economy Records

The concoction of Fat Freddy's bubbly, terry towel trackie trombonist Joe ‘Hopepa ‘ Lindsay, this fine disc serves up some delicious brassy, and at times moochy dance hall renditions of classic Maori show tunes and strum-alongs. The Yoots are bot you background jives at your next garage partay and the best local Kareoke band in the land – and best of all its all in te reo (Well, at least you’ll be singing in te reo, as technically these are all instrumentals but you get the idea).
Once the idea of a brass heavy album of dusty ol’ numbers like Tutira Mai, E Papa Waiari, A.E.I.O.U would have repulsed me to the core of my coolness bones. But thanks to Hopepa and his dragnet of Freddy’s players I have been enlightened. Not since the demise of National Radio’s Brass Programme have my speakers sung with such joyous clarity and nostalgic pining. So, a wee nod to the Masterings of Mike Gibson and the Engineering of Mike August. And, further head moves go to Jeff Konig’s eye catching sign written door – inspired touch of fromage, that!
The sun will shine for ever more down on the toes of this band of merry horns. Overall, cheesy, breezy and skankin’ good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This week on the The Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid

We talk to Ryan Pretties from Wellington's funky bluesy trio the Nudge - Ryan's a bro of Lee Prebble and a fellow member of Fly My Pretties. Listen in from 7.30PM to check the Kid and Ryan in full natter on the goods. The Nudge release their new album at the San Fransisco Bath House Tommottow Night (5 August from 10.30) . Big Nudge Pie is available from Monday - at all good record shops! For more check : or go to

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This Week on the Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid - Who Killed Jesus ?

We talk with TV Presenter Bran Bruce and also the original Modfather him self, Mod Nodder Ray Columbus. See more at:

Only on Groove 107.7FM - 7.30 Thursday nights!

Who Killed Jesus? Who is the Modfather?

This week on the Adventures of the Coffeebar Kid we talk to Producer/Presented Bryan Bruce about his documentary "An Investigator Special: Jesus the Cold Case". Bruce goes to the Holy Land and investigates the facts behind the Passion and the Crusifixion of Jesus. He also makes a startling connection between the persecution ofjews in Europe and the role of early Jewish leaders in the Temple where Jesus over turned the tables of the money lenders. The Coffeebar Kid investigates the investigator and asks where the idea for the doco came from and why he chose this topic.

See for yourself "An Investigator Special: Jesus the Cold Case" plays on TV1 Sunday 29 July at 8.30PM. See more at:

Join in the blog chat after the show:

Also this week, the Kid talks to Ray Columbus, the original 'Modfather' about his life in Music and his new biography.

One of pioneers of modern music in New Zealand, Ray Columbus began his career in 1959 at the tender age of 17. After more than four decades at the top of the New Zealand entertainment industry as a singer, songwriter, bandleader and TV star, and having hits with such classics as 'She's a Mod' and 'Till We Kissed', Ray is well and truly a household name.
Surprisingly, Ray's story has never been told: not fully, not in book form, and certainly not by him. Until now. The Modfather is the first authorised account of his unique life in music – growing up in the 1950s, early days as a teenage bandleader, stardom at home and abroad, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous (Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones and Tom Jones, to name just a few), reflections on an ever-changing music industry – and his ongoing influence.
Illustrated with photographs/ephemera from Ray's personal collection, it is at once a disarmingly candid memoir, a snapshot of a bygone era, a behind-the-scenes exposé and, more simply, a great read.

Read an extract :

It's a happening show so don't miss out! Tune in from 7.30 Thursdays only on Groove 107.7FM.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Featuring on The Adventures of the Coffeebar Kid Tonite!

Music from the album 'Group Hug' - Wellington's Damien Wilkins & some kind souls have put together an eccletic mix of tunes, a little Neil TYoung, a dose of McGlashan and plenty of Graeme Downes intelliagenca! This is music to treasure. My favourite for the year, next to my treasured Avalache City.

Also, tonite a bunch of ol' has beens from the Deep South the Chaps, lead by John Dodd. They're new album "Don't Worry Bout Your Age" is a real doozy! They specialise in a lighter touch of blues, jazz and honkytonk with an album of all new and originals.

Listen tonite from the Special Winter Time of 7.30PM only on Groove 107.7FM.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Groove Book Report: The Penguin Jazz Guide - Brian Morton and Richard Cook - Penguin rrp$50.00

Subtitled the "History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums".

This is a transcript of a review to go to air on 7 July 2011

Now in it's 10th edition Brian Morton and the late Richard Cook have spent the best part of their post 1990's contributing to a volume that continuously changes and evolves every two to three years. Earlier versions focussed on the stars and ratings approach - Something you'll be more familiar with if you were a fan of Leonard Maltin or the Time Out Series. At one point the earlier editions sported comprehensive indexes to help the reader quickly find a reference - useful if you are standing over a table of sale items and you need to do a quick sanity check on a potential bargain.

Now, however, the stars and the special 'core collection' ratings are gone. As is the index. In place is a number of 'key' recordings laid out by decade and in the chronological order of their recording. An interesting concept but utterly frustrating, especially for a novice. When exactly did Sonny Rollins or Chick Corea record? Can you remember? Hang on I'll rifle through the massive contents at the beginning divided up into 5 year chapters . What? And by the way who decides what albums are worthy anyway? Who determines that the music is one of the "Best 1001 Albums"? At least on that I'd suggest these guys have some clout. Both based in the UK, Morton and Cook had the advantage or collecting both from the early days of America through to the European and more modern works from the Antipodes - I noted our own Alan Broadbent has earned him self an entry here. Sadly other Kiwis, like Kevin Smith or Caroline Moon are too small to demand attention from these writers. I was also saddened to discover such elitism in their choices. Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Laura Fygi, Cassandra Wilson, or outfits like Germany's Re:Jazz, famous for reworking pop and techno into Jazz are absent. They are not good enough to make the shelves of Mortons Toolshed, the home of his holy grail collection.

So what does make the grade? Was Miles or Herbie too mainstream or 'un-jazz' sometimes to make it in here. Were Ella or Louis mainstream sellouts? What about the standards like Frankie or Mel - were they pioneers or well crafted charlatans. It's all a little random. And anyway why is George Benson's Elevator music Breezin' worthy of a mention when In the Wee Small Hours is not?
Make sure you click below to...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Groove Book Report: "Day After Day" by Max Lambert - Harper Collins - $44.99

This Transcript was broadcast on Thursday 23 June 2011.

There is no denying Max Lambert's follow up to his bestselling 'Night after Night' is an exciting collection of a ripping yarns. In the earlier effort Lambert covered tales of courageous New Zealanders in Bomber Command. This time he's profiling their daytime counterparts - those pilots of single-engined day fighters - Fighter Command. I was amazed how many New Zealanders, some of them still in their teens, flew in the many air battles of the earlier parts of WWII, such as Norway and the Battle of France. This volume essentially covers the period from 3 September 1939 until the very last sorties in May 1945. And, of course, we're familiar with Kiwi's contributions to the historic and decisive Battle of Britain when Spitfires and Hurricanes fought the Luftwaffe. Not to mention those long years of attacks against the fringes of German-occupied northwestern Europe followed. After the invasion of France in 1944 Kiwis were climbing into the cockpits of the new Spitfires Typhoons Tempests and trying out Mustangs from French Belgian and Dutch airfields and finally from German bases as the Allied armies marched deep into the into the heart of the Third Reich's territory.

'Day after Day' is the story, or rather retold stories and tales of Kiwi participation in Fighter Command, and later, in the Second Tactical Air Force (2TAF). I say 'retold' because many of these stories have been reported or written about elsewhere, something Lambert, the good scholar he is, is keen to bookmark. He recounts in detail what some of the men who took part in these defining events - about what they achieved in the air and sadly how they died. And there were many who died, too. Lambert mines present and past literature, newspapers and the like to build up profiles of these individual piots. But like writers for the 'Boys Own' his reportage stays sterile. He really only gives us the facts and we never really learn much about the indivdual personalities, save for a brief history about which town they cam from and what they did before the war. Sadly, also missing is much in the way of first hand interviews or accounts from realatives. Partly this is a timing issue, many have already passed on, or are too mature to provide comprehensive interviews. Yet, I would have like to have seen more personal histories from the realtives, co-workers or anyone who was around at the time these magnificent men flying their machines.

That is not to put any kybosh on Lambert's splendid work. It seems for the first time this is the most comprehensive look at Kiwis in Fighter Command. And like a good Commando Commic, it's smashing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It was a Big Night on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid - on Thursday.

Oh, yeah. It's a big night we have interviews from Bob Cranshaw, Bassist with Sonny Rollins (who plays the Michael Fowler Centre this Saturday nite!).

Sonny Rollins is the original saxophone colossus, a name he earned playing alongside jazz greats Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis. Now 80, he is one of the great bebop saxophonists, and still has incredible form playing with the energy of a man half his age.

His only New Zealand concert, this is a rare treat for jazz devotees to see one of the world’s finest musicians on stage.

“By the finale, everyone knew what a jazz giant sounded like. Long live Sonny Rollins" - LONDON EVENING STANDARD

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The CoffeeBar Kid will be going along, courtesy of the Festival, to review the show, so stay tuned next week for the review!

We also have Paul Gurney, who's front man with the De Sotos - Alt blues/Country Outfit - playing at the San Francisco Bath House tonite!!

And... a new Book Report - Barbara Eden's New Biography : Genie Out of The Bottle.

in other Groove News ...

Celcius Coffee takes the "Green Gold" award at 2011 DominionPost Gold Awards Celcius Coffee. One of our former sponsors (hopefully we'll have their coffee back in stock in the future!), is a boutique family-owned coffee company. They took the green gold award for positive and sustainable business practices.!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

THe Groove Book Report: Jeannie Out Of A Bottle - Barbara Eden with Wendy Leigh

This a the transcript - 1st Broadcast 9 June 2010

Growing up, Barbara Eden was definitley my biggest crush. As Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, she was the epitome of the 60's blonnde Bombshell - a little come-hither, demure, tame, with an under current of wild (...But always sophisticated and never crass - like the hotter version of Peggy Lee). No surprise, then that Eden's biography is quick to point out all of this in the early few sentences of the introduction. Or put another way, Eden was very aware of her self and the image she protrayed. And true to form, Eden's book is refined and polite. Oh, it does dish some dirt, but with a golden trowel, not a gravedigger's shovel. She is graceful and delicate around issues like Larry Hagman, who was notorious for getting stoned before filming Jeannie.

Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona.. Her parents divorced when she was three; she and her mother Alice moved to San Francisco where later her mother married Harrison Connor Huffman, a telephone lineman. Barbara's mother entertained the children by singing songs. This musical background left a lasting impression on the actress, who began taking acting classes because she felt it might help her improve her singing. At no stage is Eden bitter about this, always looking at oppotunities as a gift - at times that's a little saccahirine, but endearing on the whole.

Her first public performance was singing in the church choir. She was always doing the solos. When she was 14 she was singing in local bands for $10 a night in night clubs. At age 16 she became a member of Actor's Equity.She studied singing at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco and acting with the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco in 1949 and went one year to the City College of Theatre in San Francisco. Then she was elected Miss San Francisco in 1951. Barbara also entered the Miss California pageant, but did not win.

Eden made featured appearances on television shows such as The Johnny Carson Show (as "Barbara Morehead" and "Barbara Huffman"), The West Point Story, Highway Patrol, Private Secretary, I Love Lucy, The Millionaire, Target: The Corruptors!, Crossroads, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, December Bride, Bachelor Father, Father Knows Best, Adventures in Paradise, The Andy Griffith Show, Cain's Hundred, Saints and Sinners, The Virginian, Slattery's People, The Rogues TV, and the series finale of Route 66 playing the role of Margo. She guest starred in four episodes of Burke's Law playing different roles each time. She was an uncredited extra in the movie The Tarnished Angels with Rock Hudson, in partnership with 20th Century Fox studios. She then starred in the syndicated comedy How To Marry A Millionaire Eden's co-stars were Merry Anders, and Lori Nelson. After 39 episodes, Lori Nelson left the show and Lisa Gaye joined Barbara and Merry Anders from the 40th episode to the final 52nd segment.The show was based on the movie of the same name about 3 girls looking for millionaires to marry.

Discovery in the Hollywood sense came when she starred in a play with James Drury. Film director Mark Robson, who later directed her in the movie From The Terrace, had come to the play and wanted her for 20th Century Fox studios. Her screen test was the Joanne Woodward role in No Down Payment. Though she did not get the role, the studio gave her a contract. Eden did a screen test for the role of Betty Anderson in 1956 for the movie Peyton Place, though Terry Moore got the role. She had minor roles in Bailout At 43,000 Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Wayward Girl and then became a leading lady in films and starred opposite Gary Crosby Barry Coe and Sal Mineo in A Private's Affair and had a costarring role in Flaming Star (1960), with Elvis Presley.

The following year, she played in a supporting role as Lt. Cathy Connors in Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, with Frankie Avalon playing the trumpet while she danced in one of many successful science fiction outings by the so called "Master of Disaster." She starred in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm a George Pal-directed Cinerama film for MGM, and another Irwin Allen production for 20th Century Fox Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962). Eden was also the female lead in the 1962 20th Century Fox comedy Swingin' Along, starring the comedy team of Tommy Noonan and Peter Marshall, in their final joint screen appearance. She did a screen test with Andy Williams for the 20th Century Fox movie State Fair, but didn't get the role.

Her last film for 20th Century Fox was The Yellow Canary (1963). She left Fox studios (due to budget cuts) and began guest-starring in shows such as Saints And Sinners and also doing films for MGM, Universal, and Columbia. She played supporting roles over the next few years, including The Brass Bottle, and the notable, if odd, movie 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, both with Tony Randall. In The New Interns, she co-starred with Michael Callan. She starred in the beach movie Ride the Wild Surf playing the role of Augie with Fabian.

Whew! That's a mess of work. Yet despite all this - It's I Dream of Jeannie that won her audience and out hearts. She signed to become "Jeannie," a genie in a bottle rescued by an astronaut in the television sitcom I Dream of Jeannie and played this role for five years and 139 episodes.

As nearly everyone knows, ...Jeannie is the sitcom tale of a genie set free from her bottle by astronaut and USAF Captain (later Major, then Colonel) Anthony Nelson, played by Larry Hagman (played by Wayne Rogers I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later). Interestingly, Eden was initially passed over for the role as she was blonde and of small stature, but Sidney Sheldon called on her when he was unable to find a suitable brunette to play the part. Eden is very nonchalant about this. She, again, is graceful about this fate. I Dream of Jeannie was a mild success in the ratings, and it ran from 1965 until 1970, and during this time Eden was nominated twice for Golden Globe Awards. Ironically, it's become a cable/re-run classic. The appeal is in the nostalgia and the cheese factor cannot be underestimated either. Eden was a little apprehensive, as she illustrates in her book, abot reprising her Jeannie role in two made-for-TV reunion movies (I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later in 1985 and I Still Dream of Jeannie in 1991), both which bombed, alas. Worth You tubing is the Jeannie appearances in TV commercials (AT&T, Lexus, Old Navy). I Dream of Jeannie has gone on to international syndication and finally found it's eternal place in TV Sitcom Heaven.

Her book isn't really a great revelation, most of it is on the web, in other books, or in print somewhere. But it's a great package. She's kind to her three husbands, and never blames her upbringing, or any one else, for that matter. There's a lengthy narrative around meeting actor Michael Ansara in October 1957, as part of a blind date arranged by her studio and publicist Booker McClay. They married in St Nicholas Church in Hollywood January 17, 1958. Eden had difficulty conceiving and her first pregnancy in 1961 ended in miscarriage. This, she whimsically blows off as an oppotunity missed, like a cue. The show goes on, the audience forgets and focuses only on the action on stage right now. And so the same is for her. Later, and successfully, her son, Matthew Ansara, was born, in 1965, shortly after filimng the 11th episode of the first season of I Dream of Jeannie. Sneakily, to conceal her obvious pregnancy the directors of the show covered her with veils, and filmed only above her waist. The heartache continued with her third pregnancy, in 1971, ending in a stillbirth and Ansara and Eden divorced three years later. It's all a light tocu for what really was a desperate survival from an abusive, cocaine-addicted husband. Later the drugs emerge again to cause her "emotional breakdown" following the loss of her only son, Matthew Ansara, due to drugs

Eden was married to her second husband, Chicago Sun-Times executive Charles Donald Fegert, from September 1977 to 1983. And with little commentary she marries fro the third timeto Los Angeles real estate developer Jon Trusdale Eicholtz in 1991. Both of thse seem to be a bit prefunctionary, as Eden prefers to focus on the set and TV work around this time than on her nuptuals.

I'm not sure if this really is the tell-all memoir we were promised. Whilst it describes Eden's public and private tragedies that came with her Hollywood fame. The book includes intimate details about her two failed marriages.

Overall, this is a graceful, intimate and honest memoir of personal tragedy and a legacy of work. It is with some candor that Eden reflects on the challenges she has faced and the joys she has experienced. All through she has maintained her humor and optimism. It's obvious the Jeannie magic is still there.