DJ NDHA - Kiwis abroad

The mechanism for collecting the output of New Zealand’s creative folk is our Legal Deposit legislation: this requires that two copies of all works published in New Zealand be deposited with the National Library (one is available for public lending and an archival copy is stored in the Alexander Turnbull Library).

However, as a nation sometimes unsatisfied with this island paradise, many of us choose to go and live in other countries. Furthermore, many writers and musicians choose international publishers to publish their work, and this is where Legal Deposit can’t reach.

Never fear though, the Turnbull Library is on the case.

The world is littered with expatriates plying their musical trade, and no collection of New Zealand music would be complete if it didn’t endeavour to include these artists as well. We have a dedicated team (of one) whose job it is to seek out these musos and ensure their music is added to our collection.

As we discussed back in April, a growing number of these bands and musicians are opting to deposit their music with an open access setting. Here are a few of the latest and greatest from our ex-pat population:

Cover of Share the Joy by Vivian Girls

Share the Joy / Vivian Girls (Polyvinyl Records, 2011)

Vivian Girls are a lo-fi indie rock trio from Brooklyn, N.Y. The group formed in 2007 and in 2010 recruited New Zealand musician Fiona Campbell to bang the drums for them. Fiona formerly lived in Auckland and played with cult punk girls The Coolies before relocating to NYC. She now lives in Portland, Oregon where she runs the record label M’Lady’s Records and plays in several other excellent bands including Coasting and Chain and the Gang. Released last year, Share the Joy is an exuberant, punky take on 60s surf and girl-group pop.

Listen | Collection record

Cover of Sunset over Cairo by Listen Lisse

Sunset over Cairo / Listen Lisse (2011)

Listen Lisse is Lisa McKendrick, a kiwi singer/songwriter currently living in London. Sunset over Cairo is the third full-length release by Listen Lisse, her first, It’s not you, was released in 2007. She describes her music as ‘minimalist post-punk drone-rock’, and this album is a great set of home-made tunes that will appeal to fans of early PJ Harvey and The Renderers.

Listen | Collection record

Cover of Antisocial Tendencies by Dog Trumpet

Antisocial Tendencies / Dog Trumpet (Half a Cow Records, 2007)

An offshoot of iconic Australian band Mental as Anything, Dog Trumpet is the wonky pop project of brothers Peter and Chris O’Dougherty. Chris and Peter were born in Auckland in the 1950s and their family emigrated to Sydney in 1969. Seven years later the brothers, along with some art school colleagues, formed Mental as Anything, who went on to become one of Australia’s best loved bands. Whilst the Mentals still continue to perform today, it is without the O’Dougherty brothers, both of whom left to concentrate on Dog Trumpet and their art careers. Chris, in particular, is well known for his painting and design, which he produces under the name Reg Mombassa; most significantly for the surf-wear label Mambo.

Dog Trumpet have released five albums of their quirky, 60s-inspired psychedelic pop songs over the past 20 years. Antisocial Tendencies is the fourth of these. The latest, River of Flowers was released in 2010.

Listen | Collection record

Cover of Freedom = rock & roll by Slavetrader

Freedom = rock & roll / Slavetrader (2010)

Slavetrader is one of several great bands fronted by prolific Christchurch / Auckland / and now Melbourne-based rock’n’roller Matt Alien. Formed in the wake of cult Christchurch band The Hi-tone Destroyers when Matt moved to Auckland in 2002, Slavetrader were a key part of Auckland’s 2000-and-zeroes rock’n’roll scene.

Released in the middle of 2010, Freedom = rock & roll is an album of classic heavy-riffing garage rock.

Listen | Collection record

PS: If you or anyone you know is making stuff overseas that you think we might have missed, please feel free to let us know.

By Matt Steindl

Matt is the Turnbull's Music Research Librarian.

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