Monday, September 17, 2007


I'll be flying to Dunedin on Wednesday to guest at the fourth instalment of the 2007 Octagon Poetry Series . I'm a bit embarrassed to be near the top of a bill which is also includes Peter Olds, New Zealand's first and best beat poet and a lively character in some of James K Baxter's late poems. I'm sure Peter, who has lived in Dunedin for many years, will teach me a trick or two.

Besides MCing, Bill Direen will be using Wednesday evening to finally launch the second issue of his journal Percutio (he was supposed to bring the thing up a here a week or so ago, but it got quarantined by the printers). Percutio is a heroic attempt to bridge the gap between New Zild and European literature, and includes translations of the work of fair dinkum Kiwis Peter Olds and Jack Ross into Kraut and Frog. See you at the Circadian Rhythm Bar, wherever that is.

Footnote: speaking of rogue journals, I've just received this e mail from Bill:

Andrew Schmidt, who saw you Dead Men and Buildees perform has just sent me the fourth volume of MYSTEREX, a magazine about Kiwi Punk and Beyond. This issue features The Feature, yours truly (long essay and my own drivel) 'Indie NZ in 1982 Post Punk Chch 1981' and 'The Worst of Flying Nun' by Gene Pool Belmondo.

Andrew's myspace site is here.

At first an article on the worst Flying Nun bands seemed to me as a counterintuitive idea, like a call to nominate George Bush's best idea or Spike Lee's worst film, but after thinking for a minute I did remember one or two bands who besmirched the Nun roster in the '80s and '90s.

My bet for bottom place on any list of Nun bands would be the Society for the Protection of the Unknown Dog, or SPUD as they preferred to be known on their travels around Auckland's most desperate bars. I remember them playing at the old Dog (gettit?) and Trumpet at the end of K Rd, to a crowd of five or six punters. SPUD were so loud and so ugly that I left for the safety of the Open Late Cafe; my mate Adrian Price, who was reluctant to forsake his ten dollar investment, opted to run for the bogs and stuff toilet paper into his ears. (Go on then, use the comments box to tell me SPUD was an aural feast, and that Aido and I were both just despicably soft and bourgeois...)


Anonymous Mad Dog said...

SPUD were an excellent band with real energy....a real talented bunch of blokes who knew how to sell music and become famous.

7:54 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Scott - best for the reading - give my regards to Bill et al. Have great trip.

This vegetarian food business worries me a lot though! Very bourgeois it is - eat some very big meat (pref. steak and kidney - my personal favourite) pies and lots of eggburgers - as many as you can!

That will keep you as strong and notorious as Cravan!

Also - remember Dunedin is notoriously dangerous place.

Very Scottish and Robbie Burnsy (dubius writer at the best of times).

But despite that it should be a great experience in such a strange and foreign part of the far from Panmure.


12:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ta Richard. Am taking down yours and Will's books and brief #35 to plug when I get the chance...

1:43 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Maps -

Burn my book but plug Brief and Wills.

Have good trip..

Richard the Mad.

7:49 pm  
Blogger Adrian said...

Toilet paper has never even been *near* my ears.

Good luck in Dunedin - hope you don't end up as the poet's version of SPUD for them Southerners.

7:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPUD were definitely one of the best Flying Nun bands. Heavy, intense, noisy, silly, multi-layered, and a little deranged in a good way. Flying Nun had some truly awful, over-rated, jingly-jangly, horribly nice and boringly safe pop bands like Sneaky Feelings and the Chills. Good inoffensive and uncreative middle class music, challenging nothing and achieving nothing. No wonder so many people hated the 'Dunedin sound', including many in Dunedin itself eg. the Xpressway crowd.

10:45 pm  

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