Headless Chickens to receive Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award & finalists revealed for Auckland Live Best Independent Debut

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Independent Music NZ have announced the 2018 recipient of the Classic Record which aims to acknowledge New Zealand's rich history of making fine albums that continue to inspire us and that also define who we are.

This year's judging panel have given the nod to Headless Chickens ‘Stunt Clown’ (Flying Nun 1988) as one of Aotearoa's classic records.

The award will be presented to members of the band at the official Taite Music Prize 2018 ceremony, Tuesday April 17th, The Wintergarden at The Civic, Auckland.

Vocalist and guitarist for Headless Chickens, Chris Matthews reacted with his trademark humour,  “When I heard that we’d won the Classic Album award I was shocked and stunned... that there’s no prize money! I thought that on the 30th anniversary of the release of Stunt Clown I was finally going to be able to give up my day job. Oh, well, cheers and better living, everyone!”

Presenting the award on the night will be Flying Nun aficionado and media commentator, Russell Brown. He says of the winning album, “From the strange field samples that open ‘Expecting to Fly’ on in, Stunt Clown is the sound of a band not just waiting for change but imposing change on itself. Made in fraught circumstances – who would have thought winning $60,000 to make a record would be such a pain? – it radically expanded the Chickens’ palette. It plays now as the bridge between the band’s experimental origins and later pop success, but it stands on its own as an ambitious, strikingly varied work. Literally no one in New Zealand was making music like this at the time – they had to invent it. The Taite judges got it right when they chose this album to honour.”

The finalists for the
Auckland Live Best Independent Debut
award are:

Daniel McClelland - Anxious Heart*

Kendall Elise - I Didn’t Stand A Chance

L.A.B. - L.A.B.

Strangely Arousing - Strangely Arousing

The Miltones - The Miltones

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award celebrates the freshest talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2,000 cash prize from IMNZ and a live performance slot programmed by Auckland Live.

Finalists for the Taite Music Prize 2018, from a lengthy list of 92 nominations submitted by record labels both independent and major from across the country, are:

Aldous Harding - Party  (Flying Nun Records)
Fazerdaze - Morningside  (Flying Nun Records)
Grayson Gilmour - Otherness (Flying Nun Records)
Kane Strang - Two Hearts and No Brain (Dead Oceans)
Mermaidens - Perfect Body (Flying Nun Records)
Nadia Reid - Preservation (SPUNK!)
TEEKS - The Grapefruit Skies (TEEKS)
The Bads - Losing Heroes (The Bads)

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This year the Taite Music Prize will be announced at a presentation at The Civic’s Wintergarden in Auckland on Tuesday 17th April 2018.

Now in its ninth year, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one recording.

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the prize-winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 to be spent as they wish, thanks to Taite Music Prize founding partner Recorded Music NZ; recording time at Red Bull Studios Auckland; and a year’s supply of Red Bull product.

Alongside the main prize, two additional awards will again be presented at the ceremony: the Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award and the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award, celebrating the freshest talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2,000 cash prize from IMNZ and a live performance slot programmed at Auckland Live.