Continental Shelf Wars: Australia vs. New Zealand

As an ignorant American, virtually all I know about the cultural nuances of Australia and New Zealand can neatly be summed up with these skits from Flight of the Conchords:


So: I know nothing. I even thought that New Zealand was part of Australia’s “continent”; turns out they’re on completely different continental shelves. So what qualifies me to talk about Australia’s or New Zealand’s music? I know how to use the internet just well enough to set up a blog, that’s what. Someone should really put a stop to that.

Australia’s Deep Sea Arcade
The press release we got sent from Deep Sea Arcade likens them to “The Zombies throwing a beach party for Portishead.” I don’t hear Portishead, but I do hear The Zombies. And oh my, do I dig their The Zombies handshaking Elvis Costello sound. New single is “Keep on Walking.”

Deep Sea Arcade, “Don’t Be Sorry”
Deep Sea Arcade, “Keep on Walking”

New Zealand’s Surf City
I first heard Surf City doing a credible Jesus & Mary Chain shtick for their debut EP. But what’s really got me going is the krautrock of “Icy Lakes,” which is off their upcoming debut LP. Due out in November on Fire Records.

Surf City, “Icy Lakes”

And there you have it: two bands from loosely related countries. American ignorance FTW.

Update: How ignorant am I? I used the wrong “sea” and failed to capitalize the word “new” in New Zealand the first time. Someone should really make blogs harder to use, separate that chaff.

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11 Responses to Continental Shelf Wars: Australia vs. New Zealand

  1. Material Lives says:

    I do like it when you admit you don’t know things. Love “Keep on Walking.”

  2. Aussie Dan says:

    A little known fact outside the Antipodes, should any Kiwi artist become successful and much loved internationally, they automatically become Australian – i.e. Crowded House. Should fame and fortune drive them to become a complete wanker, they then reassume their New Zealand heritage – i.e. Russell Crowe.

    • David G says:

      Ha. Where do The Chills fall then?

      • Noizy says:

        Heh. Considering The Chills have never really reached any level of international success, or fame or fortune, the question is kinda moot.

        • james says:

          I think that there are so many people world wide who would totally disagree with you comment about The Chills.

          • Noizy says:

            I’m sure there are. Depends how you measure international success and fame, I suppose. Critical darlings, sure — actual chart success and mainstream crossover? Not so much.

            The fortune aspect is, unfortunately for Martin, beyond argument though, methinks.

          • David G says:

            Complicated: even an ignoramus like me knows about them, but I also knew they were from NZ. As Joseph Gorden-Levitt would say, “Paradox!”

          • Aussie Dan says:

            A survey of several Australians within yelling distance of my Melbourne desk has revealed widespread ignorance of The Chills. They retain their Kiwi status.

  3. David G says:

    @Aussie Dan: Please check if they’ve heard Peter, John, & Bjorn’s homage “The Chills.” Perhaps they’re honorary Swedes?

  4. Pingback: New Music Tuesday: PJ Harvey, Surf City, Tune-Yards, Drive-By Truckers, and Mogwai | Noise Narcs: A Philadelphia-Based Music Blog

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