1. KILLING JOKE were always a bit lumpen for my taste (being more of an NME boy than a Sounds one; more inclined towards ABC and Haircut 100), but there are plenty who’d disagree (Nirvana, say, or Nine Inch Nails or our own Shihad), and there’ll be no shortage of takers for the band’s first-ever New Zealand concerts, a singles-focused endeavour featuring both key original members, Jaz Coleman and Youth. The Studio, Auckland, June 13; Bodega, Wellington, June 14. And hey, there are times when a spot of lumpenness hits the spot even for a Haircut 100 fan:
2. The Okareka Dance Company are taking Auckland’s Karangahape Rd to the city’s Queen St and then on to the rest of the country when they tour K’ RD STRIP, a celebration of the infamous district that includes pole dancing, drag queens, haka and more, all to a soundtrack featuring Th’Dudes, Annie Crummer and Gin Wigmore. Q Theatre, Auckland, June 11-15; Mangere Arts Centre, June 19-22; The Regent, Dunedin, June 28-29; Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Hamilton, July 2 and 3; Centennial Drive Auditorium, Palmerston North, July 6; Downstage Theatre, Wellington, July 10-13. Continuing the central Auckland vibe, but this time not touring beyond central Auckland, F*** LOVE is a play by Sarah Graham inspired by the “epic tales of complicated love and heartache” she’s heard over the past two years during drunken conversations with women in bars and at parties. Basement Studio, Auckland, June 11-22.
3. Classical groups do have a finite life – or at least some of them do (others just reform and reform forever). The TOKYO STRING QUARTET are calling it a day after their two longest-serving members decided to retire and are performing a farewell tour. Auckland Town Hall, June 14; Wellington Town Hall, June 15.
4. As art writer Mark Amery points out in a review in the Dominion Post, the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES exhibition at Wellington’s Adam Art Gallery makes a good complement to Te Papa’s blockbuster WARHOL: IMMORTAL (until August 25; to be reviewed in a forthcoming Listener), featuring as it does both work that influenced Warhol and was influenced by him. The exhibition focuses on the aesthetical appeal of youth and also includes 15 photographs by Australian Bill Henson, whose work has walked a precarious line and provoked controversy as well as acclaim over the ditch. Until July 7.
5. You’ve read the book, you won’t be seeing the film, but you can see the stage show: THE EXERCISE BOOK LIVE, in which the exercises used to flex students’ writing muscles at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters are put into practice both in front of and with audiences. Yes, that’s right: it’s interactive! Those taking part include poets Helen Heath and Sarah Jane Barnett and writers Dave Armstrong, Lawrence Patchett and Emma Martin. Bats Theatre, Wellington, June 13 (poetry), 14 (prose) and 15 (scripts).
Now, I don’t know about you, but the mere mention of their name sends me down to the lake, I fear …