Liveness and improficiency in The Clean’s influence upon Dunedin Sound bands

Authors

  • Darren Jorgensen University of Western Australia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/prbt.33401

Keywords:

Dunedin Sound, New Zealand, Popular music, rock and roll

Abstract

The Clean are a key band in the history of the ‘Dunedin Sound’ of Flying Nun artists from the 1980s. The nature of their influence is however contested by both Dunedin Sound musicians and scholars. This article argues that The Clean’s significance lay in their simulation of improficiency in live performances and recordings. This improficiency is a form of what Philip Auslander calls ‘liveness’, as it represents an attempt to produce authenticity amidst a culture of mediation. The article draws upon accounts of The Clean’s early performances, and on the circumstances within which they produced their first records, to reconstruct the influence of The Clean on Dunedin Sound bands.

Author Biography

Darren Jorgensen, University of Western Australia

Darren Jorgensen is a lecturer in art history in the School of Design at the University of Western Australia. 

References

Auslander, P. 2008 [1999]. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, 2nd edn. London: Routledge.

Baldock, David (dir.) and Tony Hiles (prod.). 1978. Good Day—the Music and Record Industry [documentary]. New Zealand: TVNZ. Online: https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/good-day—-the-music-and-record-industry (accessed 12 February 2017).

Bannister, M. 1999. Positively George Street. Auckland: Reed Books.

—2006. White Boys, White Noise: White Noise Masculinities and 1980s Indie Guitar Rock. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Bendrups, D. 2011. ‘Dunedin Sounds’. In Dunedin Soundings: Place and Performance, ed. D. Bendrups and G. Downes, 9–16. Dunedin: Otago University Press.

Blackley, S. (prod.), J. Graham (prod.) and M. Hawkes (dir.). 2002. Heavenly Pop Hits: The Flying Nun Story [documentary]. New Zealand: Satellite Media. Online: https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/heavenly-pop-hits-the-flying-nun-story-2002 (accessed 14 February 2017).

Chapman, I. 2016. The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening. Auckland: Bateman.

Chapman, J. 2013. ‘Alastair Galbraith Profile’. Audio Culture: The Noisy Library of New Zealand Music. Online: http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/alastair-galbraith (accessed 11 March 2017).

Colbert, R. 1990–91. ‘Singing in My Sleep: Martin Phillipps and the Chills’. Music in New Zealand 11: 58–63.

—2016. ‘What’s in a Name?’ In The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening, ed. I. Chapman, 52–55. Auckland: Bateman.

Connell, J., and C. Gibson. 2003. Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity, and Place. New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203448397

Dale, J. 2011. ‘Success Story: Scenes from the South Island’. In Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand, ed. G. Keam and T. Mitchell, 195–205. Auckland: Pearson.

Dix, J. 2005. Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock and Roll, 1955 to the Modern Era. Revised edn. Auckland: Penguin.

Double Track. 1980. ‘Rock Music’. Dunedin Star Weekender, 1 August: 26.

Downes, G. 1992. ‘The Clean: Modal Conflict and Resolution’. Music in New Zealand 16: 21–23.

—2011. ‘Songwriting Process in the Verlaines’ Album Corporate Moronic’. In Dunedin Soundings: Place and Performance, ed. D. Bendrups and G. Downes, 43–56. Dunedin: Otago University Press.

—2016. ‘Foreword’. In The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening, ed. I. Chapman, 9–11. Auckland: Bateman.

Eggleton, D. 1994. ‘The Bats: Hearing Secret Harmonies’. Music in New Zealand 26: 44–47, 63.

—2003. Ready to Fly: The Story of New Zealand Rock Music. Nelson, NZ: Craig Potton.

Galbraith, A. 2017. ‘Alastair Galbraith’. Online: http://www.emperorjones.com/galbraith.html (accessed 11 March 2017).

Harper, L., T. Mudd and P. Whitfield with D. Hall. 2006. The Rough Guide to New Zealand. 5th edn. New York: Rough Guides.

Higgins, M. 1982. ‘Do They Have McDonald’s Down There?’ Rip It Up (April): n.p.

Holland, M., and O. Wilson. 2015. ‘Technostalgia in New Recording Projects by the 1980s “Dunedin Sound” Band The Chills’. Journal on the Art of Record Production 09. Online: http://arpjournal.com/technostalgia-in-new-recording-projects-by-the-1980s-dunedin-sound-band-the-chills/ (accessed 21 June 2017).

Keam, G., and T. Mitchell. 2011. ‘New Zealand Music and a Poetics of Place’. In Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand, ed. G. Keam and T. Mitchell, ix–xxviii. Auckland: Pearson.

Keenan, D. 2013. ‘The Dead C’. The Wire 353 (July): 26–35.

Kilgour, D. 1994. David Kilgour—Interview. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LH5VPJu2Rk (accessed 11 March 2017).

Knox, C. 1993. ‘Chris Knox: One Little Man and his Big Load of Puh’ [interview]. Forced Exposure 18: 10–41.

—2008a. ‘Interview with Ben King: 4 Track and Flying Nun, Part 2’. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i2fdfcJJBc (accessed 11 March 2017).

—2008b. ‘Interview with Ben King: 4 Track and Flying Nun, Part 3’. Online: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyXd8_ROjkE (accessed 11 March 2017).

McAuliffe, C. 2013. ‘Why a Record Review in an Art Magazine?’ In Impresario: Paul Taylor, The Melbourne Years, 1981–1984, ed. Helen Hughes and Nicholas Croggin, 22–33. Melbourne: Surpllus/MUMA.

McKessar, P. 1988. ‘Flying Nun Records’. Music in New Zealand 2: 27–30.

Mitchell, T. 1996. Popular Music and Local Identity: Rock, Pop and Rap in Europe and Oceania. London: Leicester University Press.

Radio Times. 1982. ‘Local Bands: The Clean’. Radio Times: n.p.

Robertson, C. 1991. ‘“It’s OK, it’s all right, oh yeah”: The “Dunedin Sound”?’ Honours thesis, University of Otago.

Russell, B. 2009. ‘1981: Godzone’s Freaked-out Year Zero’. Landfall 219: 98–106.

Russell, O. (dir. and prod.). 2013. 27 Minutes with Mr Noisy [documentary]. New Zealand. Online: https://vimeo.com/73436706 (accessed 9 March 2017).

Schmidt, A. 2013. ‘The Clean Part One 1978–1988’. Audio Culture: The Noisy Library of New Zealand Music. Online: http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/the-clean/stories/the-clean-part-one-1978-1988 (accessed 11 March 2017).

Shepherd, R. 2016a. In Love with these Times: My Life with Flying Nun Records. Auckland: HarperCollins.

—2016b. ‘Roger Shepherd: The Story of Flying Nun’. Radio New Zealand, 12 June. Online: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/201804188/roger-shepherd-the-story-of-flying-nun (accessed 17 February 2017).

Stanton, R. 1986. ‘The Live Dead Clean’. Garage 3: n.p.

Published

2017-10-03

How to Cite

Jorgensen, D. (2017). Liveness and improficiency in The Clean’s influence upon Dunedin Sound bands. Perfect Beat, 18(2), 154–165. https://doi.org/10.1558/prbt.33401

Issue

Section

Articles