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February 20, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Everything you need to know (which we probably knew first thus making us inherently better…)

Bea Turner: Hi Chris
Chris Walker: Hi Bea, isn’t it funny how the music section in Salient always sucks ass?

B: Yeah, isn’t it. Congratulations on being the new Music Editor, by the way.
C: Thanks. I hear congratulations are in order for you too. Way to go.
B: Cheers, Chris. Isn’t it also funny how Salient writers spend far more time pandering to our already massive egos than we do writing anything of substance?
C: HILARIOUS. I think we should ramp the ego stroking up a notch this year.
B. Excellent! We’ll only review albums and gigs that we like. We’ll recruit a bunch of young, starry-eyed first years who want to prove their hipster credentials, then we’ll tear their lovingly worded reviews to shreds. We’ll reference our own superior tastes in every review we write, and we’ll lambast every local gig we go to.
C: That’s if we get any contributors! I have this great idea for a mini column where people can submit their accounts of musical realization: a gig that rocked their world or an album that changed their life… But, fuck it. You can just write about Joy Division every week and I’ll talk about that time I got an erection over a guitar solo.
B: No, you might have a point there Chris. That way, when the vicious tide of hate mail hits us, we can turn around and say, ‘you know what, you unbearably smug little shit? You write the articles! Go on! Tell us about your precious epiphanies! And then we’ll scotch them, too!’… And so on. You get the idea.
C: I’m looking forward to character-assassination style interviews, where we act all lovely and friendly to bands and then burn them in our write-ups.
B: But… Ah, hate to play the good cop and all, but James said I can’t let you be too hateful. So we could be nice to some bands, y’ know. Like the good local bands, and maybe if one of my idols does a gig here then I could get to write a sycophantic article and maybe get a signed t-shirt.
C: Hmm, you have a point there. International acts have better beer we can steal. They also get enough attention as it is, so our toadying little articles will be lost amid the gigantic major label suck-up.
B: Aside from the chance to ingratiate ourselves with The Pixies then (they ARE going to tour, you hear? I’ve been promised), what you’re saying is that in order to gain maximum attention and thus aid the ego-boosting exercise this is all about, we should probably try and focus on local bands. Then, when they get big, we can claim them from “way back.”
C: “Before they sold out.”
B: Yeah. What else should we do? I was thinking we could have ‘An Album for All Occasions’ box. Just to keep things light-hearted.
C: Most of my music taste can be filed under ‘An Album to Slit Your Wrists in the Bath To’ or ‘Music to Soundtrack Suburban Angst’. But I’ll try to run with it.
B. Not everyone shares your dark and maladjusted take on life, Chris. There are freshers out there for instance, who would be enlightened by ‘An Album to have Awkward, Drunken, Virginal Sex To.’
C: Strokes fans. I hear you. Though let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not like we’ll have any influence on the apathetic and downright boring conservative drunken zombies who call themselves university students these days. People either give a shit or they don’t.
B: This is the perfect opportunity, then. If we piss them off enough, maybe they will crawl out of their rank holes and start to care. Maybe they will start going to local gigs, supporting upcoming artists who really need it. Maybe they will listen to something that’s not dub. Maybe they’ll start to have opinions, and be so kind as to share them with us. Not in the letters page, though. That’s for sociopaths.
C: More like solipsists.
B: On that wildly appropriate note, we should mention at this point that we do in fact welcome input from anyone who thinks they have something worthwhile to say, although we draw the line at Dashboard Confessional fans and girls who want to dribble about any member of The Checks.


Bar Bodega (103 Ghuznee St.)
With new premises and a new look, the live music staple of Wellington soldiers on. Now with a downstairs lounge bar for double the fun. A wide range of musical styles are catered for. Has BYO Music on Mondays for the budding DJs.

Indigo Bar (Lvl. 1, 171 Cuba St.)
Currently undergoing metamorphosis into ‘The San Francisco Bathhouse’ (And the Oscar for Worst Bar Name in the History of Drinking goes to… Jesus Christ! Who runs that place!- Ed). Following a stage renovation it has become an even better live venue. Home of the long running acoustic lounge and comedy nights. Music varies widely through all flavours of independent rock.
Nice Wallpaper.

Valve (154 Vivian St.)
Where old punks go hoping to die and young metalheads earn their scars.
Circumcision by broken beer bottle, tribal ritual.
Up and coming local bands most nights, drum ‘n’ bass on Tuesdays.
Currently seeking new acts- get your band in there.

Sandwiches (Cnr Majoribanks St. and Kent Tce.)
Wellington’s home of ‘doof-doof’ music. The dance floor is ruined by huge pillars. Looks like it has a dress code and would be hard to get into. Isn’t. Generally has a door charge, even when no one of note is playing.

Happy (Cnr Vivian and Tory St, underneath Latina Tapas Bar.)
Plays host to the most wonderful and weirdest musical acts around. Be sure to check out some of the upcoming fringe festival events.

Katipo Cafe (Willis Street)
Shadowy little upstairs cafe/bar. Mostly features singer song-writer types and musical oddities. Gigs are generally very cheap here. Overpriced tea, though. Staff get extra points for all the Tom Waits on their playlist.


Slowboat Records (183 Cuba St.)
This is that record store in High Fidelity. There’s even a fat guy who probably thinks he’s Jack Black. Regardless, they all know their shit. The selection here veers toward the folk/country/acoustic end of the spectrum, but includes almost everything else. All you self-identifying hipsters should own every album on their ‘greatest 50 of all time’ wall. The stock is limited but great in quality (being the pick of second hand trades) and the prices will have any serious collector salivating. One of the last decent vinyl retailers. Every ten purchases earns you store credit equal to the average of your
total expenditure.

Real Groovy (250 Cuba St.)
The mecca of music lovers. The dark void in my bank account. This is where your course-related costs are going.
The widest range in DVDs, CDs, vinyl, clothing and games. They buy, sell and operate an online store from which shipping is free within New Zealand.
Their loyalty club costs $5 to join and gives you first pick of their second hand albums online, plus every $200 of purchases accrued earns you $20 store credit.

Smoke CDs
Online NZ music shop with good taste.

Big Chain Stores & The Warehouse
Let’s face it, this is about as cool as buying CDs from a service station. Wait for the annual stocktaking sales or watch Tower for $25 bargain imports. If you really need to purchase major label bullshit for super cheap, you can even go so low as to help fund the big red shed’s raping of local business. But be sure to check the CD case- those greasy teenagers have a habit of sticking the wrong discs inside.Most of the loyalty schemes involve you getting one free CD for every ten $35 albums you purchase.

The Package ( comes out every Wednesday, and contains gig, arts and film listings. Pick it up free at any number of shops, bars and cafes.

Cheese on Toast ( is a great indie gig guide.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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