There Is No Cat

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Wednesday, September 4, 2002

It's Not Fair

Any fan of music from New Zealand, particularly of the Flying Nun kind that was so hip in the 80s, but even today's bands, could do worse than to visit They've got an excellent database of bands, message boards, and videos. Which was what brought me there. I was looking for some information about a defunct band, Able Tasmans, who I've been listening to a lot lately. Google sent me to the page about them there, where I found an absolutely incredible video for their song The Big Bang Theory. If you've never seen a planet sing a song, go immediately. There's also some neat footage of coronal mass ejections from the sun, thereby tieing together two big interests of mine, music from New Zealand and solar weather. There was one compilation of videos by Flying Nun bands released back in the late 80s or early 90s, I'm In Love With These Times. But since then, nothing. With DVDs offering the ability to cram all sorts of stuff on a shiny metal disc, including multiple formats, I would love to see Flying Nun release a DVD or three of all the videos produced by their bands over the years, in both PAL (the TV standard used in New Zealand and much of Europe) and NTSC (the TV standard used in North America and Japan) on the same disc. Because while NZMusic has a lot of these videos online, watching a postage-stamp sized video, particularly for one like The Big Bang Theory that's so full of quick cuts and motion, just isn't the same as seeing it on the comparatively big screen of the TV.

Posted at 11:35 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

good idea about the flying nun dvd should write and suggest they do it.

there was, in fact, another compilation of flying nun videos from 1996, called "popeyed" (a companion to the cd comp of the same name). it was only in pal format, but i had an ntsc copy made. you're welcome to borrow it (no able tasmans on it, though).

p.s.: i hope you agree that able tasmans' "sour queen" is one of the most outstanding pop songs ever written.

Posted by shirley at 1:55 PM, September 8, 2002 [Link]

Hi nice to met you. I'm Yasushi Yanagidera form Japan

I'm sorry my suddenly my e-mail. I'm looking for obscure 80' or early 90' New Zealand's indie artists.

So, will you do me a favor? I looking for ""Guava Groove - Who That Girl?"" on Flying Nun Do you know this artist ?

Also, I am asking for such records most. New Zealand's indie scene is very cool. I like rhythm of cutting guitar and soulful vocal sound. I'm looking for New Zealand bands which sound like Go-betweens, Charlotte's Web, Sneaky Feelings, Even As We Speak, The Bats, Love Gone Long,,,,etc...

Do you know these artists ??

Plese help me !! I would like to get Guava Groove materials.

I'm sorry for my selfish Plese let me know.

THank you Yasushi Yanagidera (

Posted by Yasushi Yanagidera at 3:53 PM, February 5, 2003 [Link]

Hi, Yasushi,

I hadn't heard of Guava Groove before you posted here. I did a little research, and they didn't release anything on Flying Nun. Their records were released on a little label called Onslaught. I'm not familiar with them, either.

Probably the best place to check for such records is Roy Colbert's store, Records Records, in Dunedin. He's got a web site at that includes listings for their annual auctions of New Zealand independent records. The list for 1998 shows that they had a copy of Who’s That Girl? for auction that year. You might want to e-mail Roy and ask if he's got any more copies. Records Records is also a great source for other NZ music. Roy is deservedly a legend in NZ indie music, having written many of the articles that exposed bands like The Clean and The Chills to the world.

If you're looking for current reissues of the old Flying Nun stuff, Smoke CDs is a good source, the one that Flying Nun recommends on their own site. I've bought from them a couple of times and been quite happy with their service.

If you like the pop-like sounds of bands like Sneaky Feelings and The Bats, you would probably like the Able Tasmans as well. Jay Clarkson is another musician who would fit into that category, as well as the all-female Look Blue, Go Purple. Let's Planet, as I recall, was pretty poppy too; it included Caroline Easther, who was in one particularly good lineup of The Chills.

I hope that helps. Good luck finding what you're looking for.

Posted by ralph at 8:58 PM, February 8, 2003 [Link]

i discovered yasushi yanagidera's message tonite - 31 october 2006 - (but @ 3 & 1/2 years late), unfortunately the e-mail address is no longer happening. but if you check this again double-Y, then please give me a shout! her's my attempted emailed response in full anyway, just in case!: *hi yanagidera! (i think that japanese personal names are last, apologies if i've got it around the wrong way!) ;) *my name is troy shanks, i'm a guitarist, songwriter, among many other things & in 1985, when i was 17 i formed a groupcalled guava groove on the north shore of auckland, new zealand. 2 years later the original incarnation of the group split when i moved to london. the record ('who's that girl?' e.p.) that you ask about in your email from 3 and a half years ago (i have copied it out below) to a site called 'there is no cat' , was released shortly after i left new zealand. the other members of the group eventually found another guitarist, but no songwriter & from what i heard became a harmonica-led rhythm & blues group (as contrasted with basically a harmonica-led rhythm & soul - with lashings of pop, rock & ska group! our singer craig used to like to call it ska'n'b) *i would love to know how you found out about the group & the record & to know a little about yourself (age, sex, city, occupation, musical tastes)... nosey, aren't i?!) ;D if you want to know a little bit about my interests & musical tastes, etc...then check out my myspace profile at: myspace/soul_inspiration (there's no music on it , just a 'personal' page that i set up late this summer. *did you ever find the record? my own copy is in storage i new zealand & it ain't going anywhere - sorry! (if you're still even remotely interested in such an obscurity). we only had the funds to press up the single on 7" 33 1/3 rpm (rather than 12" 45rpm). for stuff like ours i always visually/aesthetically preferred 7", but the sound quality (especially the bass) really suffers when you cram 4 songs over 2 sides, so the sound always bothered me. also the engineer was used to doing television sound (which emphasises a very clean sound) & i would have preferred him to have recorded it hotter (v.u. meter's in the red) for an almost saturated sound. but there you go, bloody musicians - never satisfied with their own sound! ;D *the other musicians are still alive & well, i believe. my brother kurt plays bass in one of new zealand's most successful groups (stellar*) & once every few years maybe he bumps into one or two of the other guys (craig bracken - lead vocals, harmonica; daniel salmon - bass: darren kennedy - drums). *i formed the group with craig a few months after leaving high school. we had a different drummer for the first gig (in a talent competition in the 'family' bar of an otherwise notorious pub frequented by hardcore gang members in south auckland - we came a very close second to a father & son country & western duo!). that original sticks man got committed to an insane asylum for painting all the windows of his parent's house black & nailing shut all the doors & windows! he used to phone either craig or myself up all the time from the asylum. we told him that we'd split up the band (which we hadn't) & he insisted that we reform when he got out. i never knew what happened to him. we got another drummer, darren, who was a little more sane (the sanest one of us probably!) & had been my classmate @ school. we found a bass player, dan, who was really young - a couple of years younger than us & who still went to school. *we did loads of gigs. plenty of funny stories, but i won't bore you too much more! a friend of mine, a really big guava groove fan, who also lives in london, gave me a bag with loads of guava groove posters & newspaper clippings - but i left it in the record shop where he had left them for me & i forgot about them until he asked me a little while later, but they had been thrown out & that was that! *the record was the second release (but our first & last) on a label called onslaught records based in auckland. flying nun was almost totally dunedin bands from the south island who would have hated our sound & look (kind of a post-mod/2-tone thing, not too unlike the american group the untouchables who appeared with their first record about halfway through our 'career' - i had been a mod since 1982, when i turned 15, & by the time guava groove had been going for a little while i was obsessed with colin macinnes' late 1950's novel about hip modernist teenage london, 'absolute beginners' - the movie was so-so, but not a patch on the book. i was going for an italian-american late 50's/early 60's look as can be confirmed from the pic on the back of the e.p.) yeah, dunedin/flying nun groups though weren't big on image & style! *i've got a friend from tokyo, she's called setsuko & she arrived in london a few weeks ago. japanese people who like music & style are mostly very groovy in my opinion! i hope you are well & that you managed to find a copy of the record. *i'd be very happy to get a reply from you & if you're on myspace, then feel free to send me an 'add me'. *keep cool love, peace, respect! troy

Posted by troy at 6:15 PM, October 31, 2006 [Link]

p.s. to above!: if you're not on myspace, my e-mail address is: cheers!

Posted by troy shanks at 6:33 PM, October 31, 2006 [Link]

Hi Troy,

Whats going on, you on e-mail?? I stumbled on this item, So i thought i would reply. Hows the UK? i have been meaning to call you just, me been to lazy. I only have a couple of copies of the Guava record also & dont really want to part with them.

Get back to me when you get this, Cheers & "Get Hip To The Guava"

Posted by Craig Barcken at 5:33 PM, June 20, 2007 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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