Dividing her time between New Zealand and England, New Zealand violin virtuoso Fiona Pears is back home for a series of collaborations with Christchurch guitar duo La Petite Manouche that includes several shows in the South.
Chronic shyness hasn't stopped Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey from performing in stadiums around the world. It's all about facing your fears, he tells Shane Gilchrist.
Northern England quintet Elbow's sixth album (and six years on from breakthough hit One Day Like This) is a curious blend of the workmanlike and, occasionally, wondrous.
American artist Beck might have first come to attention more than two decades ago for his space-funk and trippy electronic noodling, but his more laid-back moments have their place, too.
The third instalment in a collaboration that reaped rewards with the 2012 NZ Country Album of the Year Award again reveals that Delaney Davidson and Marlon Williams like to have a little fun, twist the truth and see who wants to come along for the ride.
The fact the debut album from Temples drips with reverberation is fitting given the British guitar group's 12-song set holds strong echoes of the pop-psychedelia of various 1960s acts (from both sides of the Atlantic).
Apparently, Kim Dotcom was inspired by trance/dance tracks he listened to while roaring along the autobahns of his native Germany, yet if there's any excitement to be found in this musical foray then it's certainly well buried, way below the cliché burbling synths and plodding house/techno beats replete with a breakdown/build-up formula that is not so much stale as corpulent.
As another school year looms so, too, does the weekday routine of actually getting children to class. For some, that means going the distance, as Shane Gilchrist discovers.
Former Central Otago songwriter Hannah Curwood has enlisted some top-shelf help for her latest album, writes Shane Gilchrist.
Heard the one about the dog that fell into the long-drop toilet? Shane Gilchrist goes digging at Tailings Hut ...
Special forces? Satellite tracking? The playground that is Queenstown might be just around the corner from his business base, but Julian Grimmond deals in adventures on a rather larger scale, writes Shane Gilchrist.
Wellington outfit City Oh Sigh's debut album might delve into themes of love, loss and loneliness, but Fragments Fine is more joyous than mournful, albeit in a quiet, reflective way that follows on from the gentle promise of 2011 EP Like A Light.
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bill Haley's son aims to entertain as well as educate his audience, writes Shane Gilchrist.
Inspired by the glamour and enchantment of the circus, Dunedin Fringe Festival act Vague de Cirque also depicts the routine of life on the road, writes Shane Gilchrist.