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Issue 0, 2017

Issue 00



  • Attack adverts could alter election landscape

  • Boulcott Blues

  • Rankine Brown Update

  • Amending Education

  • Charges against peace protesters dropped

  • Pardons for historic homosexual convictions

  • Pads and tampons might soon get cheaper

  • Medicinal cannabis laws relaxed

  • Indian students seek symbolic sanctuary

  • Ongoing safety issues on notorious walkway

  • School of Languages and Cultures restructured

  • Features

  • On the periphery of the imagined world

    For the local, Wellington is a city of few surprises. At 500 feet, a larger, more formidable metropolis, like the sprawling small print of terms and conditions, enfeebles any sense of total comprehension. In contrast, the familiar Wellington harbour lined by a city and cradled by hills is as immediately explicable and loaded with the […]


  • Ten people you meet in fresher year — a cynic’s guide

    Your first year at university can be daunting when you don’t know what to expect. The extensive number of people enrolled makes it near impossible for cliques to form, but it won’t stop you from encountering a few select personalities. To help you navigate your first couple of weeks, I have compiled a list of […]


  • Eclectic Guide to Wellington

    Here is Salient‘s guide to the city’s coffee, vegan food, cinema, craft beer, quiet bars, walks, things to get involved with, community gardens, and bookshops.   Coffee Lamason Brew Bar Corner of Lombard and Bond Street, Wellington Central Lamason Brew Bar has been at the forefront of alternative coffee brewing, broadening Wellingtonians’ horizons past the […]


  • On the periphery of the imagined world

    For the local, Wellington is a city of few surprises. At 500 feet, a larger, more formidable metropolis, like the sprawling small print of terms and conditions, enfeebles any sense of total comprehension. In contrast, the familiar Wellington harbour lined by a city and cradled by hills is as immediately explicable and loaded with the […]


  • Ten people you meet in fresher year — a cynic’s guide

    Your first year at university can be daunting when you don’t know what to expect. The extensive number of people enrolled makes it near impossible for cliques to form, but it won’t stop you from encountering a few select personalities. To help you navigate your first couple of weeks, I have compiled a list of […]


  • Eclectic Guide to Wellington

    Here is Salient‘s guide to the city’s coffee, vegan food, cinema, craft beer, quiet bars, walks, things to get involved with, community gardens, and bookshops.   Coffee Lamason Brew Bar Corner of Lombard and Bond Street, Wellington Central Lamason Brew Bar has been at the forefront of alternative coffee brewing, broadening Wellingtonians’ horizons past the […]


  • Arts and Science

  • Laneway Vocals

    Auckland’s seventh Laneway festival took place, at the start of February, up the road from its traditional Silo Park venue. The move to Albert Park, a more open and shadier space, was welcomed by the many pasty, indoorsy types who frequent the festival. A few scheduling and technical difficulties were largely overlooked and the performers seemed pleased to be there and able to play on some particularly idyllic stages. Olly Clifton, Salient’s music editor, managed to get a chance to talk to some of our favourite local and international acts:


    White Lung

    White Lung are a Canadian punk-rock band that formed in Vancouver in 2006. Olly chats with vocalist Mish Way-Barber and guitarist Kenneth William.

    Salient: Your record Paradise came out in 2016 but it was recorded the year before. How was the recording?

    Mish: We recorded in LA at the end of 2015.

    Kenneth: With a guy named Lars at his studio. He produced the HEALTH record and he’s working on one with Alice Glass right now I think.

    Salient: Your new record has often been called indie-punk rather than noise-punk; what brought on the change in your sound?

    Mish: I just think that was a difference in production.

    Kenneth: Yeah, but I also listen to a lot of music that comes out all the time and I’ve heard five years worth of stuff that didn’t exist in the time since we made the first record. Obviously some things are going to change. Every time you do a record you use up ten ideas, so you’ve got to get new ones.

    Salient: You guys have been together for about ten years now?

    Mish: Technically Anne-Marie and I started the band ten years ago but we didn’t do anything for the first four. It was four girls, we fought, I went and lived in the Netherlands for a year, we made one seven inch. When [Kenneth] joined we actually made a full length record and we started touring. It doesn’t count until you start touring.

    Salient: How does the songwriting process work now you’re scattered around?

    Mish: We all do our own parts. I write all the melodies and lyrics, Kenny writes all the guitar and the bass, and Anne-Marie plays the drums. When it comes to do a record Kenny will throw us parts that we’ll hear, him and Anne-Marie will work together, and then they’ll show me what they’re working on because I live in a different city. But mostly everything is done in the studio because that’s the time that we’re together and can actually work.


    The Veils

    The Veils are an indie-alternative band that formed in Auckland in 2001 and are now based in London. Olly sat down with lead singer and songwriter Finn Andrews.

    Salient: So you’re based in London, is this where the latest record Total Depravity was put together?

    Finn: The latest one was done all over the place because of working with EL-P [Run The Jewels]. They were on tour a lot so we’d go out and meet them wherever they were. We did some of it in Portugal and some of it in New York and Los Angeles.

    Salient: Sonically this record is quite a bit different — more electronic and noise-poppy. Was EL-P involved in bringing that about?

    Finn: Yeah it was a mixture of him, and I think because we had a few years of writing it. We had our own little studio I was going into everyday and just sort of fucking around really.

    Salient: Have you got your own setup at home?

    Finn: We’re always moving around so this was the first time we had a dedicated space to go into everyday, and all the gear was there so I could write songs from a different angle. I’d begin with weird loops, mutilated sort of sounds rather than the more traditional beginning of a piano. It began in a different way so it went down a different direction. I was learning more about production and it was quite nice not to be tied to the piano as I usually am.

    Salient: The drums sounds are pretty crazy, were they all done on loops?

    Finn: A lot of the time we’d play them live and then we’d fuck with the drums afterwards — stretch them and distort them.

    Salient: I’ve also heard you’ve been working with David Lynch and that the track “In the Nightfall” was recorded at his house. How did this come about?

    Finn: That was through his producer/engineer Dean Hurley who has worked with him for years. He was the one that invited us up to David’s house and we did a song there, and then got asked to be involved with Twin Peaks — sadly we’re not allowed to talk about until it comes out.



    Tycho is the ambient music project of Scott Hansen, who is originally from San Francisco and involved in design and photography. Olly sat down with Scott and talked about his project.

    Salient: I heard you got into music through computers and computer science.

    Scott: I studied computer science but I never finished. I was a visual artist and then I started messing around with computers and using photoshop. I then realised you could use them to make music.

    Salient: It was just you on the original albums right, and now you’ve got a band that came in on Dive [2011]?

    Scott: Yeah Dive was limited, I worked with Zac Brennan who plays guitar and bass on a few songs, and then we got a drummer for the live show. It wasn’t until Awake [2014] when we all worked together.

    Salient: How would you compare working solo to working with your band?

    Scott: What I liked about the process of making Dive was just spending a lot of time alone really drilling down on the details of everything. That’s what Epoch [2016] was for me. I wanted to go back and do that again. I spend four months really mapping out what the record might look like and then everybody else comes in, it’s a nice two-tiered approach.

    Salient: How does recording work for you? Have you got a home studio or do you tend to get out?

    Scott: We spent time in Tahoe and then we went to Stinson Beach to a studio there and we recorded some drums in Brooklyn. I like to get outside when I’m working with the band.

    Salient: I’ve heard you’re really interested in post-rock too and see elements of that coming into your music, did you grow up playing guitar or other instruments?

    Scott: No, I never touched a musical instrument until I was like twenty and it was a drum machine. I learned guitar later but I love guitar rock. Rush, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater — all that old stuff. I was into heavy metal in high school. Those things have found their way back into the music and that was always kind of the goal.


    Purple Pilgrims

    Purple Pilgrims is the ethereal project of sisters Clementine and Valentine Adams. Olly sat down with both of them.

    Salient: You guys have been a bit in and out of the country for a while right? When did you last play in New Zealand?

    Valentine: We last played a secret show for New Years. It was at A Low Hum, just outside of Wellington. We played at 3am in the forest.

    Clementine: We were covered in huhu bugs because of the UV glow.

    Salient: What’s the deal with the new track “Drink The Juice” that just came out, is this a one-off single or off of an album?

    Valentine: It was a track we wrote that felt really complete. We’re working on album right now, the next release. But it just felt so finished and complete, and it had its own story so we just decided to put it out by itself.

    Salient: How are you guys recording the new album?

    Clementine: We have a property that we go to in Coromandel. This time we’ve been collaborating with some friends in the states as well. So we’ll send bits of songs and they’ll send back percussion, things like that.

    Salient: Who are the friends in the US?

    Valentine: Our friend Nick Malkin; he’s from LA and has a solo project ‘afterhours’.

    Clementine: And another friend George Elbridge who we’ve toured with in the past that’s mixing

    Valentine: George plays in Ariel Pink’s band and we did a tour with them around the states.

    Salient: How was touring with Ariel Pink?

    Clementine: It was eventful, fun.

    Valentine: He’s a good guy; he’s got a stage persona.

    Salient: How did that relationship come about?

    Valentine: We’d been in the states doing DIY tours ourselves and met up with some of the members in his band. We became friends and it sort of dominoed from there.

    Salient: You guys grew up split between New Zealand and Hong Kong why was that?

    Clementine: Our father got a job there and we moved there when we were really really young. Valentine was five.

    Valentine: We spent a lot of time there up until really recently. Hong Kong is a really great place to move around from. It feels like a good center point for travel and stuff.

    Salient: Do you feel more like your from Hong Kong than NZ?

    Clementine: Feel like it’s a fifty-fifty.

    Valentine: We’ve got kind of split personalities. When we’re in one place we’re always pulled to the other.

    Salient: How did you find your way into making music together? Has that always been part of your family life?

    Clementine: We come from a family where music is really present but neither of our parents actually play.

    Valentine: Our grandparents were musicians. We started doing music together in late 2011. I did some folk before, then started doing stuff with Clementine and she just had a whole new perspective — we went way more experimental.

    Clementine: I was at art school and into experimental music and sound art, manipulating pedals and stuff.

    Valentine: We booked our first show before we had a set. We’d just been messing around for a while and then we played at a gallery in Christchurch and that was our first show.

    Salient: Did you get quite into gear and stuff?

    Clementine: Yeah it started with guitar pedals. We got a Space Echo pedal, it was one of our first, and then built from there realising the capabilities of what you can do manipulating vocals, guitar, and samples.

    Valentine: Recently we’ve been getting more into post production and that has opened up a whole world to us.

    Clementine: We were far more of a live band. We didn’t even know how to go about recording what we were doing. So then once we started focusing on trying to record something it just opened up a whole new level of possibilities and experimentation.

    Salient: I heard you had some really cool backup dancers at your set?

    Valentine: For our new song that just came out with a video, we had two excellent dancers Piripi Macki and Siabhan Leilani. They did such a good job that we were like ‘ahhh have to do it at Laneway’.



    DMA’s are an Australian rock-band, Olly sat down with Johnny Took.

    Salient: I hear you’re working on some new stuff at the moment, how’s that going?

    Johnny: We’ve just come back from nearly two years of touring. And now we got home in late November and it’s been really nice. My things more songwriting. Live I play acoustic guitar so I’m playing e-minors and cs, and shit like that, so it’s not very exciting. I still have fun. But it’s nice to come home and have a bit of time and actually be in the studio and record and write and get back to that again. It’s kind of when I’m most happy and that’s how me, Tommy, and Mason first met. We were recording for nearly three years before we played a live gig.

    Salient: So is this Laneway date a one off while you work on new stuff?

    Johnny: Yeah exactly. I’m stoked I’m gonna hang out here for a few days. Go to Hot Water Beach get my shovel out and shit. Gonna go to Hamilton because Joel’s [bass player] dad owns a pub, so we’re gonna sit at the bar and drink fifty guiness. A mad Irish pub in Hamilton, I’m into it. It’s gonna be sick. Then we’re gonna party in Auckland for a day.

    Salient: How was the world tour you guys just got back from?

    Johnny: UK is amazing, Europe’s coming together, the US was fucking shit. New York was cool, San Fran was mad, Los Angeles was sick, and the festivals we did were cool. Guitar music in the states is hard enough at the moment, in such an EDM filled landscape.

    Salient: How did you guys meet and form DMA’s?

    Johnny: Tommy was the drummer in this psych band I used to be in. It was called Underlights. Indie-psych shit. I played bass and he played drums. Mason used to play blue-grass music around town and then me and Tommy were living with each other and Mason was always just hanging out. We’d be in rehearsal and Tommy’s like ‘you know in that part’, sitting behind the kit, and would sing the chorus. I was looking around the room like ‘is anyone noticing this?’ One time he was dropping of some drum gear and I was recording another folk song called “The Tamers” (which we might release) and it was the first time he’d ever recorded into a microphone and then we played it back. And he’s like ‘do I sound like that Johnny’ and I was like ‘yeah dude you fucking do.’ He didn’t even know! That’s the beauty of Tommy; he didn’t even know he was a good singer.


    Yukon Era

    Yukon Era are a four-piece melodious punk band from Auckland. Olly chatted to all four members.

    Salient: Your latest song “Tongue” just came out and was recorded at Red Bull Studios in Auckland. How did that come about?

    Lachie: I know Dan who looks after all their music stuff and he was like just come in and do a single or two and we ended up doing two songs. The other one will probably come out at some point, maybe on an album.

    Salient: How was the process working with an engineer, and in a studio, rather than recording it yourselves?

    Lachie: If we tried to explain to him how we wanted it to sound, he’d kind of know how to produce that sound. In terms of using which microphone and all that which we’d have no idea about. We showed him a few reference tracks as well: Preoccupations [Viet Cong], Chicks who Love Guns, Telstar drugs.

    James: He didn’t really make it sound the same, just did such a good job of relating that sound to our sound.

    Salient: So now you’re all (mostly) finished school, what are you guys all up to this year?

    Christian: We’re all doing different stuff which is weird, but we’ll see what happens I guess.

    Lachie: We’re doing a bit of touring to start the year. Piere is doing university, Christian is doing university in Melbourne, James is doing Year Eleven, and I’m spending a lot of time overseas for pretty much the first half of the year.

    Salient: So are you planning on doing the record sometime within the year?

    Lachie: I’d like to get it done before we go away, but I mean that’s getting close.

    Pierre: Never stop dreaming though.

    Salient: How do you guys like to describe your music, are you into the post-punk kind of description?

    Christian: We just don’t know what to call it in fear of someone being like what? You’re not like that.

    Lachie: I think our sound has changed heaps as well

    Christian: Yeah when we started we were definitely more party / garage kinda stuff, but I think as we’ve gotten a bit older we’ve just gotten into different music. Kind of punky sometimes.

    Pierre: It’s melodious punk.



  • Switched On

    Welcome newbs! This year is set to be a pretty exciting time to be a gamer, and I am once again at the helm to sort the surprisingly awesome from the painfully average. I’ve been writing about games for a few years now, with one of my key messages throughout that time being “games are for everyone.” I don’t discriminate here, but I do want you to share my joy in this hobby and if that means calling out bullshit, then so be it.

    Nintendo are certainly a company that expresses similar goals, though these days they are more likely to generate bullshit. When they get it right, their games are capable of inducing players into a state of childlike glee that will stay with them throughout the experience. They are responsible for so many innovations that the entire gaming industry probably would have died had the NES not been a success thirty years ago. When they get it wrong, however, they seem incredibly out-of-touch with the gaming community and even with common sense, often innovating just for the sake of it — just look at the state of the Wii U and the forced scarcity of the NES Mini this past Christmas.

    In spite of that, and with the future of the company at stake, they might just have something to get back in the good graces of gamers. Rumoured for many months, the Nintendo Switch is just a few weeks from launching, and while it may not have exactly lit a fire underneath the gaming public, there is still an air of hope surrounding it.

    If you’ve been living under a rock for a while, the Switch is a hybrid console, able to play games both on your TV and in a portable tablet mode. The bundled Joy-Con controllers are detachable and can be used in a multitude of ways, including individually for multiplayer titles. It will be fully online capable, including online multiplayer with a new subscription service similar to Xbox Live and PS Plus launching later this year, plus integrating with various social media services for sharing features similar to the PS4’s Share button. While it likely won’t be as powerful as its competitors, it does appear to hold its own, especially against smartphones and tablets. The biggest factor in a console’s success, however, is the games and while the Switch has only ten games lined up for launch day that list includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — pretty much guaranteeing some success.

    This seems to be an attempt by Nintendo to retain its reputation for hardware innovation while at the same time potentially widening its customer base. We saw this with the Wii ten years ago and it could potentially happen again, though perhaps not on the same scale. But smart devices didn’t exist ten years ago, and they’ve taken up so much of the casual market that Nintendo aggressively targeted that mobile is now the biggest sector in the industry. Maybe by having a device that is essentially a tablet, Nintendo are investing their future in the mobile market, complete with games on iOS and Android, which is something I thought would never happen.

    The small launch line-up of titles is also not indicative of the effort Nintendo has put in to bring back third-party developers, a notable failing of the Wii U. We may well see more, and more triple-A releases, on the Switch but they won’t sell systems, so Nintendo can also not afford to let their standards for first party titles slip. Their efforts to court independent studios is also quite impressive.

    I really want the Switch to be successful. If it is, it may not necessarily change everything, but people will certainly be happy to fork over the cash for it. If it isn’t, it may well be the end of one of the biggest names in the industry.


  • Saturday Night Live in Trump’s America

    On November 7, 2015, Donald Trump hosted the iconic American skit show Saturday Night Live (SNL) for his second time. Exactly one year and one day after, on November 8, 2016, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States — a shock result for an election that seemed in the bag for his opponent until the very last minute. Throughout his campaign and, indeed, his entire career, Trump has enjoyed his position as a divisive ‘popular’ figure. Sure, he was hated by most of the liberal world but we could say “fuck off” and actually make him do that by simply turning off the television or exiting his Twitter profile. Now one of the most powerful positions in the western world is held by a reality television star, and not even one of the good ones. How did we go from 2011’s “Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump” to 2017’s Donald Trump Roast of America’s Civil Rights and Constitution?

    Lorne Michaels created SNL in 1975 and since then it has been an enduring staple of American television and culture. Currently in its 42nd season, it’s hard to find an SNL alumni who hasn’t gone on to feature heavily in mainstream American comedy. The show has birthed many careers since its inception, including Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, and Jimmy Fallon. There was no way SNL could ever function without inclusion of the country’s current political climate but in order to maintain success it had to make sure not to make camp with either the Democrats or Republicans. Showrunner Michaels has stated that it’s easier to make fun of Republicans than Democrats while remaining bipartisan, but it’s become clear that this has created tension in recent years. When Donald Trump was announced as host for the November ‘15 episode there was immediate backlash — claims of humanising a man who had no intention of relating to anyone on a human level himself. The episode was awkward and stilted and it was apparent Trump had demanded limitations on the jokes. After the episode, cast members gave interviews recapping their experience filming with him. Cast member Pete Davidson, in particular, has been extremely vocal in describing Trump’s lack of humour and understanding of the culture of SNL. Davidson has also expressed personal displeasure in having to work with a man he saw as an unrelenting bigot.

    Despite holding power over an entire nation, Trump has made it clear from his Twitter rants (from his @realDonaldTrump account — the account he prefers to use as it has more followers than @POTUS) that he cannot tear himself away from his television come 11:30pm, Saturday night. In particular, he loathes Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him — a smug, ignorant, racist, power-hungry maniac — and to everyone but Trump this rings true. His current White House Chief Strategist and personal assistant is simply portrayed as the Grim Reaper. Since Trump’s election almost every single host has addressed the now President of the United States personally: Aziz Ansari begged for acceptance of people of colour within America, while Kristen Stewart mocked Trump for his previous obsession with her relationship with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.

    At this point SNL finds itself in a strange position; it seems crass to make light of a man who for all intents and purposes is a neo-Nazi and who intends to create a modern civil war in America, but it seems absolutely delightful that a comedy skit show has the full attention of the President of the United States. Trump is a man with an ego so fragile the humour doesn’t even have to be intelligent, it just has to piss him off. With a cast that has become increasingly more diverse since its inception, and with the frankness that comes with hosting comedians, it’s only a matter of time before the show itself becomes controversial — but with a President whose skin is so thin it’s increasingly easy to push his buttons. As long as SNL continues, and as long as Trump maintains his position before his eventual impeachment (fingers crossed), the hosts and cast members will hopefully continue to antagonise him and humour us through admittedly one of the darkest moments of modern day politics.


  • Welcome to Night Vale — Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

    In the arid American Southwest lies a small town, easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there — Night Vale. It is a quaint place that provides everything you might expect from small town life. Its citizens are friendly, the library boasts a great reading programme, the pawn shop always has its doors open, and they have recently added a dog park. It’s almost, perhaps, too perfect to stomach.

    Against this backdrop, Fink and Cranor tell their intermingling stories: the heart-warming tale of a mother with a turbulent teenager who wants to meet his father for the first time, and the routine of a shopkeeper who wishes her life would amount to something for once but struggles to move forward from the tender age of nineteen. Welcome to Night Vale, in short, is an ordinary novel about ordinary lives, at every moment evoking the commonplace world in which we live, day after day after day. After day.

    When a new man enters town, you won’t think twice and as the fates of the two women are brought together by his arrival, nothing could be more normal. After all, he is only an ordinary man, they two of the most average women you shall ever read about, and the town the simplest, most unpretentious, location any author could imagine as the setting for their novel. You’ll fly through the unassuming pages, covered with words that you’ve read a thousand times before.

    In fact, you might as well find another novel to read and not subject yourself to the content that fills the space between these derivative covers. There’s nothing exciting to see here, after all. There are endless other interesting novels out there, as well written as this one might be.

    However if you do insist on reading Welcome to Night Vale, or even searching the desert to find this ordinary little town, you’ll be glad to know that Night Vale’s alien abduction rates are low this year, and that the government is definitely not watching you.

    We promise.


  • Mimicry 2

    I’m torn. I like classical books — I would list some names, but I also like to be liked, not discarded into irrelevance by the exhibition of insufferable pretentiousness. The opposite of a classic is an amateur collection of mixed-form creative works. Or, at least, they’re not the same. So, having read Mimicry 2, said collection “of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comedy, music, art, photography and design by young New Zealand artists,” I will try hard to be insufferably even-handed in my review.

    Every piece in this journal made me feel / think things. Therefore, I first conclude: this is art. This is not some rushed high school nonsense. Each piece was thoughtfully crafted and evocative, because they were personal — like the events of Jaws: The Revenge… “this time it’s personal”… you get it. Here’s the proof: Claudia Jardine’s poetic recollection of the time she was informed “your cervix is iron.” Or Mia Gaudin’s admission, remembered vividly in the beautiful Canadian wild, that her mother cried. Or Matafanua Tamatoa’s “brown hands working big machines,” and it’s sad and it’s family and it’s simple.

    But the key point is that, despite the risks inherent in a journal like this — the self-conscious over-writing; the adjectives as far as the bright, clear, sea-green eye can see; the insanely popular use of Second Person (stop it… looking at you, hipsters); the free form structure that you can’t be sure is knowingly breaking the rules, or not knowing the rules to begin with; the inevitable inconclusiveness of liberal writing — I still saw moments of pure, perfect talent that gave it all meaning. Like Mikee Sto Domingo’s line: “For a moment, as she tucked a lock of her burgundy hair behind an ear to reveal the round slope of her jaw, I felt that she was pretty.” Now, I’m just an amateur reviewer, too. But that line caught hold of something. To everybody: write, and continue to write. And read this collection, if you have time on top of the seventeen textbooks you have to read by next week for a class whose summary online you didn’t “fully get.”


    There will be a reading of Mimicry 2 on Friday, March 17, at 12.30pm at VicBooks.


  • 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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