Tag Archives: Port Chalmers

The Shifting Sands announce a new 7″ single and share a video for “Run”

The Shifting Sands_LA Studio

The Shifting Sands with Manny Nieto in LA.

The Shifting Sands announced a new 7″ single today, sharing a video for a new song called “Run” which appears on the single, due out towards the end of January 2018. [UPDATE: the single is finally on its way to NZ and we expect to have it in stock and to fulfill pre-orders in the week of 12 February 2018. Thanks for your patience!]

TSS Run FB

The Shifting Sands  Zoe/ Run (7” single)

After touring the West Coast of the USA supporting David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Mike McLeod booked studio time at Manny’s Estudio International in East Los Angeles. Far less glamorous in reality than it all may sound says Mike.

Joining the Shifting Sands for the sessions was guest guitarist Steven Schayer – a then LA-based musician with NZ connections, having played in The Chills during the early 90’s US-based “Soft Bomb” album era.  Steven brought a different flavour to complement the independent DIY No. 8 wire approach of The Shifting Sands.

Manny Nieto also brought a different flavour to the table, producing the tracks. Manny has worked with Steve Albini and has recorded bands like the Breeders and Los Lobos.

Whereas previous albums had been layered in fuzzy guitars and synthesizers, this session involved less layers, but more harmonic breadth within the layers. Tom added bass tracks on an 8 string bass, Mike adding a bass 6 – a guitar tuned down one octave.

While there are less layers of harmonic distortion – a characteristic component of the Shifting Sands sound – there is still a lot of harmonic complexity, just realised in a different way to the approach the Shifting Sands took on their first two LPs.

The band recorded on a Neotek console and via a two-inch tape machine, before mixing down through a ¼ inch tape reel.  Back in Dunedin the songs were mastered by Tex Houston. The 7” vinyl release format completes this analogue approach.

These songs reflect a special moment in time, in the sweltering heat of Los Angeles, while the band were far from their busy normal lives and able to spend time purely focused on making music, in a vastly different environment to their home town of Dunedin, and their base at Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers.

Port Chalmers Fisheye2

Port Chalmers, Dunedin

 

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Farewell to Chick’s Hotel (as a live music venue)

Chicks Hotel Sign Saturated

Chick’s Hotel is live music venue in Port Chalmers, which is about 15-20 minutes drive north of Dunedin. The bar and music venue is on the ground floor of a reputedly haunted 135 year old hotel.

Hard to explain just how important Chick’s has been over most of the past decade as a focus for the local alternative music scene here, but especially the last 3 and a half years after the lease was taken over by members of The Shifting Sands and friends. During that period its potential was fully realised, with a world class PA and mixing desk, lightshow, reliable start and end times, a bus service and a welcoming atmosphere for bands and audiences.

Fishrider Records has held memorable album release shows there, including the TEMPORARY compilation release mini-festival in 2014. There have been so many great shows by local bands, touring bands and even some overseas acts we never imagined we’d see in our back yard.

Sadly it is closing this weekend after a final show featuring the above-mentioned Shifting Sands and The Clean. Which is a great way to go out. Tickets – limited to 150 – will sell out so get in quick.

The local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times (ODT or “Oddity” as it is also known) featured a story and interview with Mike McLeod of Chick’s Hotel and The Shifting Sands.

The Wireless has made a short video interview/ documentary on the hotel, which includes interviews with Mike and Tom from The Shifting Sands/ Chick’s Hotel and other musicians. Read the article here and watch the video below.

Thanks for everything Mike, Tom & everyone else who has worked there and been part of making it a home away from home for music lovers and musicians. “Tally Ho!” for Sunday night.

Chicks_tree_cropped

 

Death And The Maiden “Victory” video

Birdation Port Chalmers

Container port crane machinery towers incongruously over Port Chalmers and its 19th century stone buildings like some over-sized mechanical praying mantis family. Machinery hums and clanks day and night and the diesel engines of visiting container ships thicken the air with their subsonic frequency rumble.

PW Elverum (Mt Eerie) takes in the Port Chalmers view from Flagstaff, 2013

PW Elverum (Mt Eerie) takes in the Port Chalmers view from Flagstaff, 2013

“Victory” by Death And The Maiden uses the noise of the port machinery as its unsettling background ambience. Guitarist Hope Robertson (also of Birdation and Bad Sav) has edited a fittingly disorienting impressionistic video of of the port machinery to accompany the song.