Iain’s playlist

A sort of an introduction to NZ music for the sort of person you might find in a small bar listening to local bands on a Friday night. Just don’t expect the order of the songs to match the order of these notes

Iain has a playlist. It’s as long as a workday and it comes in two flavours.

The original, very non-chronological version:

The more orderly version:

It’s the same set of songs both times, but these notes don’t follow either tracklisting too well.

Iain has a playlist because Iain helicoptered into the NZ indy rock world without growing up here first. A terrible mistake, but a common one among immigrants. No playlist can right a childhood gone wrong, but we’ll do our best with what we have.

Part one: Flying Nun’s Dunedin Sound – pretty much the 80s, maybe with a year or two’s grace either side

There is no easy way to discuss these acts separately, as you’ll see, and no natural order in which to place them. I’ve tried to make something that’s easier to follow than stream-of-conciousness ramblings but, wow, it’s hard to tie all these strings together.

This playlist was always going to begin as a Flying Nun sampler because, as the saying goes, you gotta playlist what you know. In its early years Flying Nun became known as home of the “Dunedin sound”. (The word “jangle” is obligatory here.) The reputation of the label ended up so strong that by the mid-90s expectations preceded any release from any new signings – the space to evolve was filled up with a rapidly-lionised history. This stuff was my introduction to music that you never heard on the radio and could imagine yourself making one day.

The Clean, famously (but falsely) known as the first band released on the label. More truthfully the first to jangle their way into what would eventually become near-cliche territory. The story goes that, lacking a distortion pedal, David Kilgour (also included in this list in his later guise as a solo artist) took to an amp with the pointy end of a screwdriver instead. When you hear it, you could could believe that. Tally Ho typifies the really early stuff, Anything Can Happen makes the very limited drum kit really obvious, and Point That Thing Somewhere Else gets better every time you listen to it. They’re all very much from the 80s.

Just for kicks, I’ve put Kilgour’s 2009 version of Nothing’s Going to Happen right next to Anything Could Happen. What a funny guy. Nothing’s Going to Happen is a Tall Dwarfs song originally (their version is in the list, too). The video is ridiculously low tech and maximum effort at the same time:

So…anyway. The David Kilgour version, which is all lush guitars and scant vocals and nothing like what the Tall Dwarfs did, is from Stroke. There’s a story here. Chris Knox (The Enemy, Toy Love, Tall Dwarfs, and also lots of solo stuff) was an absolute stalwart of the whole Flying Nun thing. They used his four-track recorder. He made videos (see above). He drew posters. He personified the DIY/art scene side of things, and even had a comic strip in the NZ Herald. Anyway, in 2009 (I think), Chris has a Stroke. It was a bad one. He’s not been able to talk since. Stroke was a fundraising album in which friends from all over the world covered songs of his. Here’s most of it (but not Jeff Mangum’s Sign the Dotted Line, which is SO GOOD):

So let’s go back to Toy Love (I’m skipping The Enemy because they’re not on Spotify, largely because they didn’t release any “real” recordings). After The Enemy…ok, so maybe I can’t do this without a little bit about The Enemy. Late ’70s, when punk had broken everywhere else, these southerners decided to bring it to NZ. Chris Knox fronted the band, often with a fake accent that sounds like he copied it from Johnny Rotten. Reportedly, they put on a hell of a show. Bootlegs abound. During Iggy Told Me Knox would cut himself and bleed as he sang/yelled. Don’t say he wasn’t a showman. It sounded like this:

By the by, it’s said that The Enemy and The Clean named each other through making jokes about each other sounded. Interesting. Anyway…after The Enemy came Toy Love. We’re in about 1978 or 1979 here. Give or take a band member or two (this thing is long enough already and it’s going to turn into a fucking book if you make me mention Split Enz founding member Phil Judd here), The Enemy stayed together, gave up the punkiest of their sound, added a keyboardist (Jane Walker), kept some of their songs, wrote some new ones, and became a new wave band. What’s most important to keep track of here is that Chris Knox is the vocalist and Alec Bathgate’s in the band too.

And what a band. Funny thing is, if you weren’t around for the year-and-a-half of their existence, you had almost nothing to know them by for decades afterwards. They played something like one show for every two days they were together. They recorded something like 30 songs (some left over from the The Enemy, but that’s still a lot of songs). Then they just…went away. Their only album, which was self-titled, sucked. Horribly. At least one band member cried when they heard the shitty, thin production. It wasn’t until 2005 that something good and permanent came of Toy Love – Cuts. Two discs, with everything on them majorly-remastered. Digital wizardry couldn’t fully save the disaster of the album tracks, but the second disc pulled together demos, rehersals and other cuts that salvaged what had been forgotten: This band kicked serious, serious ass. I Don’t Mind sounds like Knox is singing through some sort of effects mic, but it’s all performance. I’ve included a couple of others, all from disc 2, a.k.a. “Ceiling With Knives”.

And now we can get back to the Tall Dwarfs. 4-track DIY recordings dominate their back catalogue, because after the Toy Love album debacle, Chris Knox swore off recording studios. He and Alec Bathgate (also from The Enemy and Toy Love) ditched the rest of their bandmates and took on the low-fi fun as a duo. They’d record bangs, clicks and thumps on cassette, manually loop the tape, and record everything else on top of the the resulting, off kilter rhythms. Sadly Spotify is missing the 1996 album Stumpy by “The International Tall Dwarfs”. In the cover notes of a previous release, Bathgate and Knox had encouraged fans to send in contributions for songs. 16 submissions from around the world (all snail-mailed, I believe) made it onto Stumpy, including someone who’s pretty handy on the coconuts:

I’ve included four Chris Knox solo songs too, sampling three decades (or near enough). Not Given Lightly has slowly became a national favourite. I doubt any other artist on this list has a bigger recognition gap between their first- and second-most popular songs. In a touch of obviousness I’ve put I Wanna Look Like Darcy Clay next to Darcy Clay (about whom more later).

The Bats. Quite possibly the first non-Dunedin band I’ve mentioned here. But Christchurch is quite nearby.

The Verlaines. Death and the Maiden is a standard of Flying Nun retrospectives. Joed Out is more fun to sing. The Verlaines deserve bonus points for academic integrity – Dr Graeme Downes teaches music at Otago University. When I wrote music stuff for the student magazine, bands that studied under him would say things like “if you can play it drunk, it’s probably not a very good song”.

The Chills. Let me start by admitting that Song For Randy Newman etc. and Ocean Ocean are cheeky, misleading picks. They’re from Soft Bomb (1992), which doesn’t have a lot of fans. Phillipps took The Chills’ band name, but not the band, to the USA to record this one. Not a great way to make friends or keep fans. Even worse, the album has obvious production values – crisp ballads, even – and not a hint of jangle or DIY. It’s as un-Chilly as Phillipps could get. BUT, in its defence, the songwriting is as good as ever. As it happened, this was the first Flying Nun album that I got to know, so all those people who got upset at all the things that weren’t like Kaleidoscope World would probably have been better off being 12 years old, dubbing tapes off their big sister, and just loving the pop. Digging back into the ’80s and the “real” Chills (although there were something like 25 line-ups in the first decade), Doledrums is possibly the finest kiwi song about being on the unemployment benefit (but I’ve included Home Brew‘s Benefit as a close second. This might be the only time DIY indy rock and DIY indy hip-hop, separated by about 30 years, have been so similar.) Martin Phillipps has cheated death, never been arrested for anything too serious, given up drink and drugs (I think) and consequently is able to have a version of The Chills still making music today.

Look Blue Go Purple. Too often overlooked. Not sufficiently integrated into the well-known stories that I can reel much off. Members (all female, which may well explain but not justify the lack of ‘legend’ status) were serial collaborators with all sorts of other musicians, but LBGP was their all-female statement.

The Stones – what a name to take on – didn’t last long. They folded not long before main man Wayne Elsey, who had been living fast, died young. It happened when he stuck his head out a train window. True story.

Elsey’s death was the end of The DoubleHappysShayne Carter and Peter Jefferies recorded a tribute, Randolph’s Going Home. We’ll leave this story here for now, but you’re going to get sick of reading about Carter before the end of this thing.

Sneaky Feelings belong here too.

Part two: Flying Nun in and around the ’90s

Does Shayne Carter really deserve his own subheading? Yes. Yes he does.

Straitjacket Fits are as good a point as any at which to draw that line under “early Flying Nun”. The best justification for this one of:

  • This band is 100% jangle free. Except possibly for Sparkle That Shines, but whatever – SJF blew away the old Dunedin Sound.
  • SJF achieved actual overseas recognition, thus changing the whole idea of what a Flying Nun band is or should be.
  • Their main man, Shayne Carter, was in school when he started hanging out with the bands all mentioned above, so is obviously Next Generation Material. The only complicating factor is that DoubleHappys, his earlier band (which included Wayne Elsey of The Stones), were very much in the 1980s Dunedin Sound scene. But screw it. I’ve made up my mind. So’s history, which has cast the Doublehappys as nothing more than a footnote to Straitjacket Fits despite the wonder of songs like Needles and Plastic.

So, back to SJF. There they were, in America in the early 90s, >>THIS<< close to international superstardom when grunge suddenly stole away all the major labels’ attention. However true the stories of contracts nearly signed, SJF most definitely blew the small-time, lo-fi Flying Nun ethic and aesthetic apart. Their recorded work has always been said to have failed to bottle the lightning of what the band sounded like live (and judging by their 2005 and 2018 reunions, there’s a pretty strong case that this is true). “What if?” will always hang over them.

She Speeds is an obligatory inclusion – the one song that SJF are typically boiled down to. Dialling a Prayer is obviously better though, so it’s made the cut. Missing Presumed Drowned shows another side to what Carter was doing. Sparkle That Shines is actually one of Andrew Brough’s. He’s the second singer/songwriter that the band jettisoned somewhere in the middle of their time together.

Brough’s next move was to put together Bike. Massively underappreciated mid-90s pop, inexplicably not on Spotify. One album and done. Damn shame, that.

Post-SJF, Shayne Carter called himself (and whoever else was jamming with him) Dimmer. Seed is off the first Dimmer album, which was a home-recorded ProTools affair, and a massive change from the twin-guitar attack work of SJF. I’ve skipped over the second album because it’s too much of a stretch for a nominally “indy” playlist. Too many awards and sales. Anyway, Scrapbook is from album #3, by which time Carter was back in front of a four-piece rock band. Degrees of Existence comes off the last album and shows you how blistering Dimmer-the-band (as opposed to Dimmer-the-guy-in-a-recording-studio) got.

This subheading is here simply to denote the end of the Shayne Carter section and the continuation of the 90s-ish Flying Nun bit

The Headless Chickens are difficult to quickly sum up. From sludgy, dark beginnings they made a big change in the 90s, picking up Fiona McDonald as a singer and switching to ridiculously catchy pop. After the chart-topping (or at least chart-nagging) McDonald era they ended back as a metally, menacing band. I’ve kept Gaskrankinstation and Cruise Control next to each other to show off the difference between the first two phases. If you’re not looking for it you might not notice that Secondtime Virgin is the same band (from the 3rd phase). For added kiwi cred, Cruise Control samples Shona Laing‘s 1905. That song doesn’t wouldn’t normally have made it onto this list—it’s way too respectable—but it seemed like a good idea to stack it on after CC just to prove a point.

Bailterspace are long-lived noise merchants who divide audiences pretty neatly into big fans and people who leave the room. They must be deceptively old because they originated from the ashes of The Gordons, who were on Flying Nun in the very early ’80s and would therefore have belonged in the first part of this INCREASINGLY WORDY AND RAMBLING POST if they hadn’t sounded nothing like the rest of the bands there.

JPSE, aka the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, lose points immediately for their pretentious name. The delightfully twee I Like Rain earns all those points back, though. Drummer Gary Sullivan has his fingerprints all over Dimmer (see above) and David Yetton fronted JPSE right before he started up…

The Stereo Bus. Unfairly remembered by many New Zealanders for having a bassist who also presented children’s TV Show ‘What Now’. Lacked a certain amount of gravitas as a result. Players of beautiful pop nonetheless.

While we’re at it we’ll cover David Yetton‘s post-Stereo Bus solo work, even though it came years later. Stars Without Makeup comes from a home-recorded album he made while being dad to a young baby. The music is quiet because he’d record while the little one was asleep. The lyrics celebrate trashy, mindless magazines.

Garageland and Superette were often paired together as the “new Flying Nun” after the end of Straitjacket Fits put a seriously dark line under the Dunedin Sound and everything even tangentially related to it. They were poppy when grunge was cool, which gave them a bit of an outsider vibe, and popular enough without ever troubling halls of fame. Garageland stuck to the script and lasted longer; Superette wrote a single from the point of view of Mark Chapman as he shot John Lennon (Touch Me).

Loves Ugly Children fit in here, too. More of a straightforward grunge band than anyone else on the list.

I don’t really know where King Loser fit, and they probably don’t either. It’s hard to leave them out of a playlist like this, but it’s equally hard to say exactly what they’re adding. It was never 100% clear exactly what they hell they were doing. Their off-key, psychodelic/surf song about eating human bones is called Stairway to Heaven.

We’ve already talked about David Kilgour in the context of The Clean, but his 1990s solo stuff places him in this group as well. Shayne Carter likes to claim partial credit for the title song of Kilgour’s 1992 debut solo album, because he supplied the drugs that led to Kilgour sitting on top a hill, repeating to himself with fixated paranoia, “Here Come the Cars…here come the cars…here come the cars…”.

Part three: There’s no clear line between 90s Flying Nun and garage rock revivalists of the twenty-ohs, but here’s a section that’s more about the latter

The 3Ds are from a little earlier than most of the acts in this section, and are best played loud. They achieved a bit of recognition overseas and even got the first support slot when U2 brought Zoo TV to Auckland. Most people there didn’t really appreciate it. Then again, Big Audio Dynamite (or were they B.A.D. II by then?) got a pretty cold reception as well. U2 fans, huh?

The Hasselhoff Experiment were early into this scene as well and were also early adopters of the two-person rock band format.

The D4 (not to be confused with the 3Ds) hit that 2002-04 garage rock thing perfectly. Their live shows often threatened to end in fires or in death. Only the former ever actually happened, though.

Iain, you missed another D-band, The Datsuns, on Saturday night. Shame! Still as tight as ever. I hope you weren’t asleep that weekend in 2002 when they were the biggest thing on the UK rock scene. John Peel, NME…we were all super-proud. Bonus points for being a Waikato band (they trace back to Cambridge High School).

Deja Voodoo weren’t even a band when they first appeared on TV, and only barely made music when they were a band. But could they party? Hell yes. The short version is that Back of the Y Masterpiece Television (we don’t really have the space to go into this properly, but oh my god what a beautiful trainwreck of a zero-budget show) had a running joke of in-house band that was always introduced as “my favourite band, your favourite band”, but who sucked. I think they were played entirely by the show’s regular cast (Matt Heath was definitely a cross-over here). Anyway, Deja Voodoo had terrible songs about beer and girls and drugs, and it was a time when no-one cared whether or not you could play your instruments, so it was probably inevitable that they’d end up recording and touring. Included mainly out of obligation.

Oh, shit. Back of the Y is on YouTube.

The Checks were still at school and hadn’t even released their first album when they broke through. No 17-year-old had any right to a singing voice like this one, but for a few months we all bought into it anyway. Not just New Zealanders, either: Michael Stipe (REM) even included Mercedes Children on a CD he compiled for an issue of Uncut magazine.

The Mint Chicks win the award for the best band name to say in a kiwi accent. Members are possibly more notable now for what they’ve done since – in acts like Opossum and Unknown Mortal Orchestra – but their time in the sun was bright and punky and loud. Surprisingly popular in their time, given all the shouting.

When Marty Squires decided he wanted a band that was entirely dictated by him, he invented The Accelerants. They lasted for one album and never got beyond being compared to what had come before, which was Squires’ band…

D-Super (not to be confused with The D4). Wait, D-Super are on Spotify?!? Amazing. In a short few years they churned through band members and then just flamed out. I’ve thrown one of theirs in between a couple of La De Da’s numbers so you can compare the 21st-century revivalists to the 1960s originators.

We’re way out of order here, but La De Da’s have become the standard bearers for NZ’s 1960s rock wave. Their dirty, blasting cover of How is the Air Up There has given its name to at least three compilations drawn from this scene, all of which you should buy and obsess over.

Part four: Elsewhere in the 80s

Sorry for tripping back in time like this but I’ve just realised that not everything was from Dunedin, and not every band was on Flying Nun. Weird but true.

Able Tasmans score one out of two, being Aucklanders on Flying Nun. This band revolves around a marine biologist, Peter Keen (he’s the one who does the singing), and broadcaster Graeme Humphries (piano/keys). Not a lot of guitar to write about here, which conclusively proves that we can upset the nerds and file this under “Not A Real Flying Nun Band”. Humphries went as Graeme Hill when DJing on bFM so it would seem less shady when he played his own music. In the end he became better known as Hill than Humphries.

Blam Blam Blam were more outrightly political than their contemporary southerners. To judge from some singalongs, the irony of There is No Depression in New Zealand is easy to lose. Perhaps it’s our Born in the USA. Blam Blam Blam were Don McGlashan’s first band, before The Front Lawn, which was also a bit of a comic act and a bit arty, too. Andy is one of the saddest ballads to come out of this country; How Are You Doing is one of our finest and funniest takedowns of excessive masculinity. That they came from the same band – same album, even – is pretty incredible.

We’re into the 90s now, but McGlashan went on to deserved recognition through The Mutton Birds, represented here by a live version of A Thing Well Made. Lyrical storytelling, perfectly-observed moments, and enough beauty to almost completely disguise the fact that this song is about how David Gray armed himself before the Aramoana massacre.

The Swingers were led by Phil Judd, briefly a member of The Enemy (see above) and a key founder of Split Enz. After the Enz went on without him, The Swingers gave him scope to make interesting music without worrying whether it would sell. Judd vs Finn debates rage amongst Split Enz tragics even today, with supporters of the former not even put off by an unsavoury criminal conviction of Judd’s a few years ago in Australia.

The Mockers revolved around Andrew Fagan. Forever Tuesday Morning won awards and stands out as the one song a lot of people recognise today, even if we don’t really knows what it means. In 1994, Fagan had a solo single called Jerusalem; he secured public funding to shoot the video in Jerusalem. Bastard.

Part five: Meanwhile, back in the 70s

Split Enz don’t need any introduction, but I’ve picked a couple of their really early stuff for fun. Matinee Idol/129 was one of two songs they played on a TV talent show in the early 70s: they finished second-to-last.

Hello Sailor were majors in a reportedly-decent pub rock scene and probably don’t really belong in this supposedly indy playlist either. But I’m a Texan is just so bloody good that I couldn’t resist. Their slow stuff is easier to leave alone.

Part six: In the 90s, NZ mainstream radio got over itself and let heaps more local music be heard

Shihad probably don’t much introduction either. Wellington spat out a good few rock acts in the early 90s and these guys led the charge. They began as a straight-up metal act but adjusted around the edges on their way to earning a massive following. Deb’s Night Out is the only track I’ve selected: a down-beat demonstration of the experimentation they took on as early as album #2 (Killjoy).

Head Like a Hole arguably vied with fellow Wellingtonians Shihad for the title of scene leaders for a while. The drugs didn’t help their cause, but they at least ended up prominent enough to attract the attention of Nine Inch Nails’ lawyers and shorten their name to HLAH. All three tracks on this playlist are from the one album that came after they moved beyond sludgy, formless metal but before they lost sight of where ironic rock nonsense starts and ends.

Greg Johnson writes nicely timeless pop-rock and deserves his dues. There’s not a heap of variation in the three selections here, but they pretty much capture his range. If he’s written a bad one he hasn’t released it.

Fur Patrol were together before our radio overlords let a relative flood of NZ rock onto the airwaves. That means their first EP, Starlifter, captures the moment between a band believing that selling 500 albums would be a good result, so they might as well record whatever they want (like, say, Man in a Box), and that same band making serious climbs up the charts with a bit of well-crafted songwriting (as with Dominoes).

Strawpeople started as a couple of bFM DJs experimenting with this new electronic music that was taking hold around the start of the 90s. A few years later they were booking whichever vocalists they cared to invite in (Trick With a Knife features Fiona McDonald – see Headless Chickens), selling CDs by the barrowful and enjoying plenty of hard-earned recognition.

Part seven: 1990s outliers

Darcy Clay released one EP, stormed from student radio curiosity to catch-phrase creator with Jesus I Was Evil, supported Blur in the biggest show he ever played (which included an offensively badly-done version of Elton John’s song about Diana), and then killed himself. Chris Knox’s I Wanna Look Like Darcy Clay was a tribute from the country’s finest DIY pop artist to a man who could have been a contender.

Bressa Creeting Cake came up with their new name when they got a bit too much attention to continue as Breast Secreting Cake. They were on student radio playlists through most of the 90s before Palm Singing blew up, relatively speaking. Papa People is in here because no other song makes a more delightfully irreverent line from the falsetto lyric, “I wanna shoot you”.

Edmund Cake‘s name needs some explaining here. After becoming Bressa Creeting Cake, the three members of the band decided to each take one of those words as a new surname. You know, so they’d be like a law firm. So that’s who Edmund Cake is. Anyway, I’ve dropped in Gunga mainly as proof that Mr Bressa and Mr Creeting must have been the moderating influences.

The Hollow Grinders prove that a lack of beaches hasn’t stopped Hamilton from producing at least one surf band. They’re still going, so assigning them to a decade is a bit cruel, but Rhythm and Swing is 1990s for sure. It’s named after Sir Richard Hadlee’s autobiography, which is the sort of thing you can do when all your music is instrumental. At least one member was a Contact FM DJ back when that station broadcast from the Cowshed on campus.

Voom hit shoegaze/zone-out perfection with Relax, then surprised us all with an album that more than balanced this sort of stuff out with jammy, home-recorded acoustic stuff like Beth.

Part eight: Years that start with a “2”

Let’s just get through the rest now, ok? Ok.

4 Corners were Hamilton’s most prominent hip-hop act in the middle of last decade. That’s not the biggest boast ever, but it’s something.

Pluto sometimes promised to tear guitar pop a new one, and sometimes seemed to just be crafting really nice filler. The dual singer/songwriter thing helped keep them interesting, and it’s a real shame that their debut album (Redlight Syndrome), which would be a better fit for this playlist, isn’t on Spotify. Either way, Pluto will always be in the “better gigs than albums” basket. Two picks from album #2 will suffice for the tracklist, including Long White Cross, which confirmed their success (or sell-out, if you’re a cynic) status when Vodafone used it on all their TV ads. At a time when there was even less money in recorded music than there is now, they deserved the pay day.

Street Chant run Yr Philosophy, Stoned Again, and You Do The Math consecutively on their first album Means, and it’s such a strong three-song run that I’ve kept it here. Another group with a strong bFM connection through band leader Emily Edrosa.

Surf City have been the finest Dunedin Sound revivalists of this century. I’ve dropped I Had a Starring Role in between a couple of 1980s tracks just to see if you can tell the difference. Spotify lacks the album Kudos. Spotify ought to be ashamed of itself for missing out on stuff like this:

Drab Doo-Riffs were a low-flying, radar-dodging return to music for Karl Steven, from chart-topping 90s funk-pop-gods Supergroove. By this time he’d gotten a PhD in Philosophy, recovered from a breakdown (I’m Depressed), and apparently decided that as far as his next musical adventure was going to go, there’d be no such thing as “too zany”.

Every Man For Himself aren’t too many people’s cup of tea, but Manchester probably doesn’t have a lot of socially-conscious Māori metal, so I’ve given you a short sample here. You’ll never hear “Toiora!” yelled as an opening lyric any more forcefully, I promise.

Mëstar make psychodelic-ish pop with kid-like naiveity built in. Konked Out seems a lovely sentiment on which to end this playlist. It’s from album #2, Shut the Squizwot Factories Down. Debut Porupine isn’t on Spotify or YouTube, but as long as BandCamp is alive and allowing embeds, here’s the truly wonderful Distant Star:

The Brunettes made self-conscious but ironic music that all sounded like it could have been cut from Grease. Somehow they were soaked in indy cred the whole time – to the point where Edmund Cake was their producer and singer Heather Mansfield was dating Shayne Carter – so they seem to belong on this playlist. That said, they’re a bit shit: yes, you’re being all cutesy and kitsch, but it’s just not that interesting. Mars Loves Venus might work as a palette cleanser between a couple of loud songs, but even at a touch under two-and-a-half minutes it feels long to me. I dunno, you be the judge (unless I’ve cut them by the time you read this).

Hollie Smith has the world’s most incredible voice. Full stop. Along with many other Wellington-derived acts of a souly, funky, dubby, nature she’s played a part in the legendary Fly My Pretties performing collective.

Operation Rolling Thunder spent years as a gigging duo from Dunedin before they finally released an album. They’re a pair of brothers who make way more than two guys’ worth of noise, even without vocals. I don’t know of a rock duo with a better drummer.

Ghostplane seemed set to be around forever, but faded away sometime early this decade, having never really left as massive a mark as they deserved.

Die! Die! Die! have been noisily touring the world since 2004. Andrew Wilson (guitar/vocals) and Mikie Prain (drums) met at school and haven’t stopped being in bands together since. About a hundred different bassists have rolled through D!D!D!. They released six albums without a bad one, with Shayne Carter producing Promises, Promises in 2007 (from which we get Blinding and Throw a Fit). And that’s a pretty nice loop to end these notes.

67 acts, 134 songs, a tick over eight hours, and I’m still worrying about all the stuff I’ve left out. ENJOY.