April 11, 2014

A priest added a pitch-perfect rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to a couple’s wedding service:

The video of Fr Ray Kelly’s unique version of the often-covered song was filmed at the weekend and has been watched on YouTube more than 2.7 million times in the space of four days.

The parish priest of Oldcastle, County Meath, told BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme that the couple had no idea what was going to happen.

“Normally local people know I sing at weddings, funerals or when I’m asked, but they didn’t know – the bride Leah is from Dublin and the groom Chris is from Cookstown in County Tyrone,” he said. . .

Fr Kelly changed the original lyrics to be more suitable for a wedding. It begins: “We join together here today, to help two people on their way.” . . .

Sol3 Mio

March 1, 2014

Interview of the week

Jim Mora in conversation with Sol3 Mio  and obviously enjoying their music and humour.

Pete Seeger: 3.5.19 – 27.1.14

January 29, 2014

Folk singer Pete Seeger has died.

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 94. . .

Lorde’s a winner – tiwce

January 27, 2014

Lorde’s a winner:

Kiwi singer Lorde appeared shocked and overwhlemed as she accepted the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

The 17-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore was up against established superstars Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars in the category.

Lorde had performed her smash hit Royals earlier in the ceremony, and it was that song which secured her the award. . .

This probably isn’t the appropriate place for a confession – I’ve heard snatches of Royals, but haven’t knowingly listened to it, or any of her other songs, in full.

I have enjoyed what I’ve heard and intend to listen properly soon.


Lorde has now won a second Grammy:

Lorde has won her second Grammy for Song of the Year, after earlier winning the award for best pop solo performance.

She and producer/co-writer Joel Little – joint winners of the prize – took to the stage to say their thanks to their families, managers and record labels.

“Thanks to everyone who let this song explode,” she said. . . .

Things to talk about this afternoon

January 27, 2014

What will people be talking about this afternoon?

It’s not a difficult choice – there’s Lorde at the Grammys or another speech by David, um, which one is leader just now?

On the cover of the Rolling Stone

January 16, 2014

Dr Hook sang about it, Lorde’s done it: she’s on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

UPDATE: A preview of the interview is on-line at Rolling Stone.


Phil Everly: 19.1.39 – 3.1.14

January 4, 2014

Phil Everly of the Everly brothers, has died.

Auld Lang Syne

December 31, 2013

She can do worse than twerking

December 27, 2013

The twerking was bad enough, but Miley Cyrus has come up with something worse:

Follow the link if you want to. It’s on TV3′s news site but it’s not the sort of thing I’d expect to see in news while children were watching.

No doubt it’s designed to get publicity as it has – and I thought long and hard about posting on it because I realised I was giving it more.

I decided to do so because I’m increasingly concerned about the lyrics in popular music and the videos which promote them which are normalising lower and lower standards of behaviour.

Things which used to be considered private are becoming acceptable in public; illegal or immoral acts are no longer considered aberrant and if you raise so much as an eyebrow at them you’re considered a prude.

That being the case I’ll accept the label and be grateful there are still some singers like Sol3 Mio who sell records simply by singing  and some parents who know teenagers need boundaries:

. . . THE REAL LORDE: My name is Ella, that’s who I am at school, hanging out with friends, while I’m doing homework. But when I’m up on stage, Lorde is a character. . .

FINDING TIME FOR HIGH SCHOOL: My parents are really onto it; they know what young people need. My mum takes my iPhone off me at night, because I need to do homework and sleep, otherwise I’d spend all night on Facebook and Instagram. . . .

O Holy Night

December 25, 2013

When A Child Is Born

December 25, 2013

Te Harinui

December 25, 2013

Another version of my favourite carol.

What’s your favourite carol?

December 24, 2013

There are some beautiful Christmas carols.

Silent Night, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger, When A Child is Born, Little Drummer Boy . . .

But if I had to choose just one, it would be Te Harinui.

My mother chose it for her funeral, and I always remember her with love and gratitude when I hear it.

Sol3 Mio out-sells Lorde

December 23, 2013

Teenage singer Lorde has made the top of the charts internationally, but Auckland opera trio Sol3 Mio have taken the best-selling album in New Zealand.

. . . Despite it only being on sale for five weeks, it is the No. 1 selling album on this week’s Recorded Music New Zealand chart and the No. 1 selling New Zealand album for 2013.

The Samoan-New Zealand group is made up of brothers Amitai and Pene Pati, and cousin Moses Mackay. . .

You can watch. and listen to a Tagata Pasifika profile of the trio here.

Recycled music

December 23, 2013

The musical instruments are created from rubbish but what they produce is certainly not rubbish music.

CBS has a story on the Recycled Orchestra .

You can see more om Landfill Harmonic’s Facebook page.

There’s a story at making music out of trash at Sierra and Mother Jones says Their Instruments May Be Garbage, But the Music Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes.


December 14, 2013

From Peterson Farm Bros:


Lorde & Ko most influential teens.

November 13, 2013

Two young New Zealand women are in Time’s list of 16 most influential teens.


The just-turned 17-year-old New Zealander rocketed to international fame this year with the release of her first album, Pure Heroine. Proof: New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who won the election on a message railing against economic inequality, walked onto stage to Lorde’s defiant “Royals.” The child prodigy—she signed with a label at 13—is already competing with pop’s biggest stars, surpassing Miley Cyrus in September for the top spot on iTunes with “Royals.” The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is forging her own path, turning down an opportunity to join Katy Perry on tour because, as she said at the time, it “didn’t feel right.”

Lydia Ko:
A New Zealand golfer born in South Korea, 16-year-old Lydia Ko has multiple LPGA wins. She turned pro this year—the LPGA waived the age requirement for her to join—and she’s already fifth in women’s world rankings after just 23 tournaments. She’s the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA tour event (and the only amateur to ever win two LPGA Tour events).

What is that tune?

November 6, 2013

I know the music that plays in the background of the railway advertisement on TV but it’s name eludes me.

There’s an electronic jelly sponge waiting for anyone who can tell me what it is.

Maybe one of #gigatownoamaru’s many musical people, or someone from further afield can help.

Voice of an angel

October 30, 2013

The list of talents I don’t have is long.

At the top of it, and the one I’d choose were I given the opportunity to pick just one, is the ability to sing in tune.

I love music, I enjoy singing but alas neither passion nor enthusiasm are enough to help me make a joyful noise.

We can’t all and some of us don’t sing tunefully, but some can and do – like the nine year old Dutch girl, Amira Willighagen who has been blessed with the voice of an angel.

The Huffington Post explains:

When 9-year-old Amira Willighagen from Nijmegen stepped onto the “Holland’s Got Talent” stage, no one was expecting such a big voice to come out of such a very little girl.

Her incredible rendition of Gianni Schicchi’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” earned her a Golden Ticket from the judges that would take her straight to the live show.

It’s hard to believe how young Amira is, but even more surprising to learn that she is completely self-taught, and used only YouTube tutorials to learn how to sing. . .

A longer video, with an introductory interview with Amira (in Dutch) is here.

Win tickets to Otago Food Wine & Music Festival

October 28, 2013

The Otago Food Wine & Music Festival is being held at Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin on Saturday November 23.

If you like the Facebook page and share the post on the contest before midnight tomorrow you’ll be in to win a double pass:

Win a double pass to the Festival. LIKE our page AND SHARE this post to be in the draw to win a double pass to the Otago Food Wine and Music Festival. Closes midnight Monday 28th October.

Music – Jackie Thomas, Benny Tipene, Tom Batchelor, Jody Direen, The Chills, Matt Langley, Kylie Price and others.

Enjoy scrumptious Otago wines, and gourmet food, on the pitch at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. November 23rd from 12 noon.

Tickets – Adults $49, Secondary School Students $25 (Ticket Direct).


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