Here’s the main feature from Show 2 – a sampler of Nature’s Worst 3.
We start with Sexy Times at the Parachute Festival by Gold Medal Famous, a Wellington three-piece. They also do a series of songs called John Key is a dick and once, I am told, played in a pedestrian tunnel underneath a railway line in Tauranga. It’s pretty rock and roll..
The song comes from from a 2012 compilation album called Natures Worst 3. It’s part of a series, with the fourth currently being released track by track on facebook and bandcamp.
Put together by Dylan Parry, a guitarist and vocalist, who has lived in Hamilton, Wellington and is currently in Kuala Lumpur, the third compilation features 24 tracks of bands that mostly you’ve never heard of.
We played Dunedin outfit Brown’s track Our Love is like a David Bain Jersey last time – and that track is one of the many that feature a different take on our image of ourselves – You see Nature’s Worst focuses on the inane, boring, annoying and frustrating things that make this country as unique as all the other inane, boring, annoying and frustrating places that are out there…
Here’s another example
DiscJockey Joe Bloggs – this is Parry having fun as a bad beat poet –
This gives you a taste of a Tokoroa open mic night there. The idea of the album is part piss-take and part satire – and and all sorts of our sacred cultural cows come under the microscope – like rugby and housing and public service announcements, but our our obsession with pop idols cops a serve as well in tracks like Pop Idol Song
Take Aim. Feat Miss Priss – The Pop Idol Song ( Tomorrowpeople Mix)
Nature’s worst is an off-beat look at ourselves– and songs like the ballad of happy feet, the suicidal penguin will be gold for a social historian twenty or thirty years down the track. AS well as our attitudes, our small towns are in the spotlight too.
Hiro Peaceful karamea – 1.30
At the end of the road, at the edge of the world – its’s a wonderful line in the song called peaceful Karamea by Hiro – and when was the last time you heard a song about Karamea or Granity? That gives you a bit of a clue as to the other motivation of this compilation – Parry says he’s also trying to put together a musical geography of new Zealand. It’s an interesting idea – relating music to place, and again, one that will cause all kinds of debate for future arts or music students.
As well as Karamea and Tokoroa, there’s this classic southern anthem taking on the marketing slogan – I am Dunedin
I am Dunedin but if I try hard enough I might be Wellington by a band called Dick Jokes.
Nature’s Worst 3 has songs about social issues like freedom camping, but there are also quirky tracks about peanut butter toast, or that accidental battered sausage you got when you ordered a crabstick.
Among all that silliness though, there are real gems like this cover of Tom Wait’s Green Grass by the Weatherspoons – an off shoot of the Serious Ukulele Ensemble. And the big muffin serious band. Check out the beautifully moody Martha Weatherspoon – Debra Powell, on vocals.
As well as smooth performers There’s well known songwriter Robert Scott –from the Clean and the Bats – who features on a recording with some schoolchildren. And that’s the real appeal of this album – quirky, unpretentious snapshots of us – raw and unexpectedly fun. There’s melodic rant, swearing, noisy, shouty homages to Janet Frame – All in all it’s kind of like the solid gold records you used to get as a kid but for the off beat and out of tune dissenters of our musical spectrum – and that’s precisely what makes it so interesting.
The last track was a taste of the fourth compilation, My home town, being released track by track on facebook and bandcamp – this is Alexandra Stockbrokers Consortium by a band called gadget goose.