Countdown to Pot

In just over a week, The Phoenix Foundation will be kicking off their European Tour at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. You can still buy tickets to the show, and I really think you should. They’re from New Zealand after all, so they don’t get out and about quite as much as some of us would like. You should make the most of this opportunity now, while you can, even if you’re not as familiar with their music. If it sounds like something you might like, go ahead and seize the day! You’ll be kicking yourself otherwise! Really!

If you can’t make it to the show in Amsterdam, or more likely if you want to go to multiple shows, here’s more info on their current tour dates and locations.

25/01/11: Instore @ Rough Trade East, London info

27/01/11: Paradiso, Amsterdam – Buy Tix
28/01/11: Botanique, Brussels – Buy Tix
03/02/11: Oran Mor, Glasgow (w/The Go!Team) – Buy Tix
04/02/11: Liquid Room, Edinburgh (w/The Go!Team) – Buy Tix
05/02/11: Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (w/The Go!Team) – Buy Tix
06/02/11: The Cluny, Newcastle (w/The Go!Team) – Buy Tix
09/02/11 – The Hope – Brighton, UK – Buy Tix
10/02/11 – The Louisiana – Bristol, UK – Buy Tix
16/02/11: La Fleche d’Or, Paris – Buy Tix
17/02/11: Le Bleu Lezard, Lausanne – Buy Tix
18/02/11: Komplex, Zurich – Buy Tix
22/02/11: Comet, Berlin – Buy Tix
23/02/11: Studio 672, Cologne – Buy Tix
24/02/11: Beatlemania, Hamburg – Buy Tix
26/02/11: The Borderline, London – SOLD OUT… stay tuned!
(more info and links on their website)

Their latest album, Buffalo, has been getting some rave, five-star reviews in the British music press, which is saying something! They’ve also been getting some play on various UK radio shows, including Jarvis Cocker and Guy Garvey (Elbow frontman)! And hey! Buffalo is going to be released in the UK/Europe on Monday, 24 January! You can pre-order through sites like Amazon and such. You could also probably pick up a copy at the show. *nudge nudge*

In the meantime, here’s a cool video for their song Pot:

Music Giveaway

The Phoenix Foundation
I’ve mentioned them here before, and it’s time to mention them again, because they’re awesomesauce. The Phoenix Foundation, a wonderful band from New Zealand, is going to be invading Europe in the beginning of the new year. Between now and then, I will be doing my best to win them new fans and acolytes, as they so richly deserve. You can find the full list of tour dates on their website.

I was lucky to see them for three shows in New York during their first mini American tour back in 2006, and I’m thrilled to finally get to see them again. They’re opening their European tour here in the Netherlands with a show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Sure, I was hoping for a gig here in Utrecht, but considering I had to take a plane to see them in New York, just taking a short train ride (weather permitting!) to Amsterdam is nothing! If you’re in the general Netherlands region on January 27, you too should go see them. I insist!

To get you more interested and exposed to their music, I thought I’d post a few of their videos from their four albums and give you a chance to win a free download of their latest album, Buffalo. Free, excellent music! Think of it as a Christmas gift from your favorite Utrecht Flamingo.

To enter, just leave a comment and tell me which song/video you liked best. Entrants must be from Europe (since it’s a European tour). I’ll do a random drawing Wednesday and post the winner. I’ll then e-mail a link and download code to the lucky recipient.

Let Me Die A Woman from the album Horsepower

Damn The River from the album Pegasus

Bleaching Sun from the album Happy Ending

Buffalo, from their latest album of the same name

Bonus video for the song 40 Years, on the Happy Ending album. The video was directed by, and stars, Taika Waititi, and was all done in one shot. Impressive and entertaining! Waititi wrote and directed Eagle vs Shark, as well as an episode of the Flight of the Conchords tv series.

Back in the Saddle

Mijn Fiets [Day 171/365]
You know the old adage “It’s like riding a bicycle”, meaning it’s something you don’t forget? Yeah, I may have proved that one wrong. I finally bought my very own bicycle today, but I’ve yet to ride it properly. I had G end up testing it out for me when I failed to get it going without almost riding it into a wall. It was lunchtime and there were tons of people around and I was fast running out of any ability to not be horribly embarrassed and mortified. Plus, I was worried about running over the mail delivery people nearby who were doing a good job at not laughing and pointing at me.

I was up by 5 a.m. this morning, albeit unintentionally. Maybe tomorrow morning I’ll get up early again — this time on purpose — and go practice when fewer people can see me wobbling all over the place. My memories of riding a bike and the reality of it were two drastically different things! I used to ride my bicycle for hours on end, practically flying on the wind. Unfortunately, that was 20+ years ago.

Still, I finally have a bike again and I’m sure it will come back to me eventually. Hopefully without anything getting broken! I’m thinking of naming my bike Sally after the song by The Phoenix Foundation (you can hear the song and the whole album at that link), partly because of the line “you look like Kodachrome, you’ve gone a little yellow”, in honor of my very first bike, which was a yellow one.

F of the C

The Phoenix Foundation
Can’t sleep. Too excited!

Well, I really couldn’t sleep this morning, and as I lay there tossing and turning, I started thinking about the Flight of the Conchords show I’m going to tomorrow (and Tuesday) and that did get my mind going, making it even harder to fall back to sleep. You try getting back to sleep with Jenny going through your head!

I became a fan of the Flight of the Conchords five years ago, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to see them live. They didn’t bother touring the US until I moved here to Europe and now this is the first European show they’ve done in ages. It’s about time! After years of following them, back when there was so little available we treasured every rare photo or video piece that showed up. Now fans have such a plethora of things to choose from. Kids these days don’t know how easy they have it. 😉

I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting a few people at the shows, as well. I know I’ll be meeting one of the writers from Trippist, as well as two women from Sherry’s wonderful What the Folk website, who have flown in from the US just to see the Amsterdam shows. I know a few more of you are going and would love to meet up if possible, even if just for quick hi. I admit that I’d like to get a chance to meet Bret and Jemaine, as well. I may technically be a Bretaholic, but after the occasional — and completely unexpected, out-of-the-blue — PMs from Jemaine himself about NZ music, I’m particularly curious to meet him, since he seemed to remember me somehow.

Speaking of New Zealand music, the photo above is of The Phoenix Foundation, a fantastic band that I’ve mentioned here before. It was because of FotC that I found out about them (and numerous other NZ musicians). I got to see TPF way back in 2006, for three gigs in New York. I had a fantastic time and they put on a wonderful set of shows. They’re also just a really nice bunch of fellas. I’m hoping they’ll be touring a bit of Europe in the near future, particularly since they have a brand new album out. You can hear it here through their official website. If you want to purchase it and you’re outside NZ, I recommend Amplifier. I’ve bought both downloads and physical CDs from them for years and never had any trouble at all.

By the way, I’ve never been to the Melkweg, where they’re playing, so I’ve got two questions. How easy is it to get there from the train station, and how strict are they about no photos? I’d like to take my camera, obviously (and I don’t use the flash, especially for shows like this), but I don’t want to be turned away because I’ve got it with me.

Buffalo by Way of Phoenix

One of my favorite bands, The Phoenix Foundation, has a new album coming out soon. To tide us over until it is released in April, they’ve made the first single, Buffalo, available for free download for a few days. Bonus points to them for also providing a free download of the non-album b-side, Dickheads Abound. Go listen. Go download. Go love!

Free Good Music

One of my favorite bands, The Phoenix Foundation, is releasing an EP on December 7, to tide us over while we wait for their next full-length album to come out sometime next year. To tide us over until December 7, they’ve released a free download of a song off the new EP. You can get it here:


They Ryan Prebble show on Wednesday was fantastic. Truly impressive and I’m so glad I got to see him perform live. He’s crazy talented and really throws himself into the performance, even in a small venue like U Rock Café. He did two songs from his album Fruits, but the rest were new (at least to me). All were great. At one point, he was going to do another song off of Fruits, but then changed his mind. When I spoke to him afterward, he said that he figured the song was a bit too mellow and that the crowd would probably prefer he keep it more energetic. Understandable. He kept the blues/roots theme going for the whole show and hopefully won over a few new fans.

It turns out he actually performed here in Utrecht a few weeks ago at the Uitfeest! He was part of the big concert going on over at the Vredenburg. I looked at the Uitfeest program a lot and saw that concert listing, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t listed at the time. Damn! Sadly, he’s back to New Zealand soon, so no more opportunities to see him any time soon. I’m just glad I found out he was here in time to see the show this week. I also found out that he was touring in Europe last year as a member of The Black Seeds, filling in for Mike Fab. Another series of concerts I was sad to miss, but I think they weren’t playing the most convenient of dates and places for us to make it last year. Oh well.

Ryan has also been a part of some of the Fly My Pretties programs and I think he’s back for the latest installment in December (in New Zealand). I got a kick out of seeing the FMP sticker on his guitar case. (If you’re still reading, you’re either a fan of kiwi music or completely bewildered at this point. Sorry. Most of this post is really just a bit of fan-girl giddiness. 😉 )

Cheers for the awesome show, Ryan!

Music With a Kiwi Flavor

If you live in Amsterdam or Utrecht, or anywhere remotely near the two, go see Ryan Prebble this week and next. He’s a fantastic musician from New Zealand, playing a blend of blues, funk and experimental. I’m definitely going to see him next Wednesday here in Utrecht when he plays U Rock! Café, and I might look into going to Amsterdam this weekend to catch one of the shows. He’s playing this Thursday at Bitterzoet, Saturday at Winston Kingdom, and Sunday at Blijberg. If you even remotely like what you hear of his music on his MySpace page, or in the video below, go see him. Support the arts!