Tuesday, June 21, 2005:

Dragon -- Sunshine / Blacktown Boogie

dragon (New Zealand pop band)
Dragon -- Blacktown Boogie
Dragon -- Sunshine

Dragon were a rock band from New Zealand, much more popular in the Antipodes than they ever were stateside. Allmusic.com has a writeup of them that makes them sound more like something out of La Dolce Vita or Satyricon: surrounding themselves with drugs, strippers, transvestites, animals' head on mic stands--a real carnival atmosphere. Fortunately the music's worth checking out.

"Sunshine" is one of those songs you didn't know you knew. It's a pop ballad; I don't think I've posted one before and I'm not sure I'll post one again, but I love that melody on the chorus. The triplet figure on the piano works well, especially with the backbeat and the subdued guitar. The sax is a bit much but, well, it is a ballad.

I think I've seen this song used in a movie montage but I can't remember which film; the song has a "dappled sunlight/late spring" feel to it that could almost work for the romance/wedding sequence in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

"Blacktown Boogie" is a much funkier song; the main riff moves along at a steady clip; the bass is understated, sort of a kissing cousin to Tina Weymouth's work in Talking Heads; and the piano is, again, a nice touch. Lots of fun.

Dragon are still in print, mostly in greatest-hits comps. There's this one at amazon.com, a single disc greatest hits comp which allmusic.com rates quite highly, and also this one, which is that disc plus another of curiosities and so forth, which allmusic.com rates a bit lower. I don't know which to recommend, as I've only heard their 1977 LP Sunshine, which these come from.

Then, for all your Dragon biography needs, there's a fan page with a lengthy writeup of the band


I got an email yesterday from Will Georgantas with Thunderegg, telling of an ambitious project to record one song a week for the year. In a rare show of motivation I went right off and downloaded some. I recommend "Hall Pass" and "It's Not You, It's Not Me (It's Her)," which both have a sort of lo-fi They Might Be Giants charm to them. The band's recording them on a four-track and digitizing from that, and Georgantas freely admits the technical limitations, but it's nice work: geeky, friendly, occasionally introspective, with a light humor throughout. The band promises a new song every Monday. Can't beat that. Check it out.

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