Top 6 New Zealand Movies

Once Were Warriors

This film is not for the faint hearted, to say the least. An incredibly grim look into a struggling family living in poverty and violence. This movie showed a different side to New Zealand, away from the typical scenic views shown to tourists and presented a life that was, and still is, a reality to many kiwis.Read More »

Top 7 Live Music Performances on YouTube

King Krule – Out Getting Ribs

This ridiculously raw performance from the melancholy King Krule made me fall in love with him, and if you haven’t checked out his album “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” I recommend you do so as soon as possible. The whole performance here is fantastic, but my favourite of the three songs has to be this one, the guitar work is impeccable and Archy’s baritone vocals are as soul destroying as ever.

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Top 6 Day Trips in Wellington, New Zealand

Butterfly Creek

DSCF1161This idyllic little spot is the furthest from the capital, located in Eastbourne. A perfect picnic spot on a sunny day and a lot more remote than the central Wellington walks, so tends to be a lot less crowded. The track begins at a number of locations but I recommend   There will be a fairly steep climb that offers views of the bay, which then heads into denser forest and finally ends at a nice picnic area. The walk itself takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. There is a ferry that leaves from Wellington Harbour to Days Bay, which is just a short walk from Eastbourne, run by East by West Ferries, so check their website for a timetable. Or alternatively you could take a bus. There are a few access points to the walk, below is the one found on Mackenzie Street. Be sure to check out the Cafes and shops in Eastbourne while you are there.

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Top 7 More Beautiful Songs To Play On An Acoustic Guitar

As some inspiration for guitar players, here is a short list of songs that sound amazing when played on guitar, preferably to a tipsy audience of close friends seated around a campfire. No Wonderwall allowed.

Out Getting Ribs – King Krule

This melancholy tune by one of my favourite artists, King Krule, features an absolutely beautiful guitar riff that sounds enthralling on an acoustic. The tuning is a bit strange on this one, drop D with the G string tuned down a semi-tone to F#, but it really is a fantastic song, albeit maybe a bit depressing to play at any kind of social event. Bit of a bring down really, but a very aurally pleasing one.

Tab – http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/k/king_krule/out_getting_ribs_ver2_tab.htm

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Top 5 Places To Visit in Fiji

I hold Fiji very close to my heart. I spent 6 months there studying on exchange, and during this time I made some great friends, had incredible experiences, and saw some amazing sites (both above and below sea level). Here are my top 6 favourite places I went to, but I should note that I didn’t visit the Taveuni Island which is known to have some pretty amazing spots.

Nananu-I-Ra DSCF0468Nananu-I-Ra is a small island off the north cost of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. The island offers clear water for amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities, short walks with fantastic views, with very reasonably priced accommodation some of which have both dorm-style beds or private rooms. The island is known for windsurfing and is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. To access the island from the mainland you will need to get a boat from Ellington Wharf on the Kings Highway, accessible either by taxi or bus, and then a short boat trip.

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Top 4 Things To Do In Scotland

Visit Skye

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I could almost write an entire list based on the Isle of Skye alone. Such a beautiful scenic place. I am told to avoid during June – August as “Midges” (swarms of small mosquito type bugs) can ruin a trip, or you could simply purchase “Midge Masks” to keep them away. There are a few reasonably priced backpackers on the island (which is connected by mainland to the bridge so no worry about bringing a vehicle) so don’t worry about finding accommodation.
Highlights – Old Man of Storr walk (Featured in above picture) and Quirang (Google it, it’s beautiful). I felt like the acclaimed “Fairy Pools” were not that great so possibly skip these if time is short. I recommend getting a bus tour or renting a car as public transport on the Island is not great.

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Top 7 heartbreaking songs

I know it’s over – Jeff Buckley


This cover of a Smith’s song wonderfully blends the melancholy writing of Morrissey with the soulful singing and guitar work of Jeff Buckley. Although his version of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen is the better known and more obvious pick, I have always been partial to this track and find the lyrics, which cover loneliness and loss, to be the more sorrowful. As far as I know there is no existing studio version of this song, only live versions. But the quality is great and the live aspect really helps to convey the raw emotion in the song.

Heaviest lyric: “If you’re so very good looking, then why do you sleep alone tonight? I know. Because tonight is just like any other night.”

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Top 5 Science Fiction Books

To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer

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This novel begins the “Riverworld” series. It is such an intiuging idea for a story and the world Philip creates is so detailed you will inevitably become enthralled with the series. Essentially all of humanity that have been born on Earth from the beginning to the end of time wakes up on the bank of an impossibly large river. From there we follow a group of some historical characters mingling with people from varying eras in history and the slow creation of a new world. It is a lot of fun to read about Mark Twain meeting Odysseus while building a steamboat and Philip Jose Farmer really explores the possibilities and probabilities of the world he has created. Also, points for having such an intriguing title.

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Top 7 Most Beautiful Songs For Acoustic Guitar

Here are 7 songs that are best listened to at the dead of night through a pair of good headphones or performed around a campfire with a faint smell of pine to complete silence as the audience collectively contemplates existentialism. These songs are not necessarily solo guitar pieces. These is singing, drums, an occasional tambourine, but all of these songs can be played with just a guitar and still work as full-bodied songs. I’m sure there are a bunch of Spanish Flamenco or Classical pieces that should be included on this list, but frankly I don’t know enough in that area of music to rightfully include any songs. To summarize, these are the songs I daydream about playing to the woman I love on a beach in Greece as the sun sets.

Baby’s Arms by Kurt Vile


The opening song to Kurt Vile’s fourth studio album Smoke Ring For My Halo and by far the standout track on the album. His guitar is tuned to an open minor chord of some kind which makes spontaneous playing nearly impossible unless you have a great ear for tone or carry a tuner on you, but the song is absolutely gorgeous.  There is a touch of reverb or echo on the guitar and a maraca in the background, but other than that just a man and his guitar. Kurt has a great voice which is especially haunting on this track but really the guitar outshines him on this one. Not too complicated once you master the finger picking pattern, it’s mainly arpeggio’s and with a few embellishments it can be a truly impressive piece.

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