Piece of cake

by Denis Welch / 01 September, 2007

Vultures like cake. This one does, anyway. Edmund Cake's 2004 album, Downtown Puff, was a great off-the-wall set by the guy who was once a third of Bressa Creeting Cake: but all has been quiet on the Cake front since. Having heard that he had a new band, Pie Warmer, the Vulture tracked Cake down and subjected him to a probing three-question interview, in the course of which a dramatic name-change was revealed.

So, Ed, is it that "difficult second album" time for you? No, I only release first albums: 1 Bressa Creeting Cake, 1 Edmund Cake, 1 Pie Warmer - all first albums, see?

Who else is in Pie Warmer? The current line-up is: Ed Pie (vocals/guitar), Tamasin Taylor (vibraphone/violin), Cole Goodley (drums), Anika Moa (bass), Jason Smith (piano).

What's with the Cake/Puff/Pie thing? Are you a closet Bread fan? There's nothing closet about me liking Bread (the band), "Guitar Man" is one of my favorite soft rockin' tracks ever - I guess I find songs about failed musicians irresistible. I don't know, I suppose one day I'll stop naming my projects and myself after food. I'm surprised people don't name more things after food.

Fair enough. But with an album likely by Christmas, all the Vulture can say is, what a tragic missed opportunity to call it Christmas Cake.

AT THIS WEEK'S New Broadcasting Futures conference in Wellington there are lots of exciting-sounding sessions ("Indigenous Goes Digital", "Fat Pipes and Cool Gadgets"), illustrious panellists galore (John Barnett, Jo Tyndall et al) and moderators of every creed, colour and comic potential (Quinton Hita, Te Radar, etc) - but Radio New Zealand National Media Watch presenter Colin Peacock is the only participant honoured with a rare and indeed probably unique designation.

For the session entitled "Broadcast to Broadband: future opportunities", Peacock is listed in the programme as Intelligent Interrogator.

CRIME FICTION IS GETTING more gory, says Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, who'll be in New Zealand later this year promoting the very last Inspector Rebus book, Exit Music (which, he says, after 20 books in the series, he was tempted to call Rebus and the Deathly Hallows).

But when Rankin went further, when speaking at the Edinburgh Festival, and said that "the people writing the most graphic novels today are women and they are mostly lesbians as well", he copped an earful from fellow crime writer (and lesbian) Val McDermid.

Denying that the violence depicted in books like The Wire in the Blood is intended to provide a cheap thrill or a "groovy pornography to get off on", McDermid wondered why it seems to be considered wrong for women to write about violence against women, as though somehow they need permission to do it.

Though claiming later to have made his peace with her, Rankin still reckons that "to get into the Top 10 it helps, if you are a woman, if you write quite violent books. It helps if you are a man if you don't."

ARE THE AUSSIES GOING SOFT in the head? The latest Bulletin not only credits us with Lloyd Jones - thanks, guys - it also describes his memorable tale of the All Blacks' 1905 tour, The Book of Fame, as "a beautiful book: complete, strong and poetic".

"Exquisite", even.

Whatever are they up to? Perhaps the hoopla that surrounded Jones's recent Commonwealth Prize success with Mister Pip has stymied our transtasman brethren's chance to pass off Jones as their own. Perhaps reviewer Anne Susskind is a Kiwi who flit the coop.

Whatever, she hails the book's re-release (World Cup coincidence? The Vulture thinks not) as an "immensely satisfying" read about the triumph of the little man, mateship and the dizzying nature of fame.

"It's a book about blokes, bluff outside, but discerning inside, blokes who speak poetry, the way we would all speak if we could put our finest feelings into words."

Who's a lucky country, then? Now about those apples ...

OUCH. THIS FROM reader Karen Goa, who takes exception to Sarah Quigley and Antoinette Wilson calling their literary agency Squaw, and to the Vulture (August 18) for describing the name as "seriously cute". Maybe in colonialist 19th-century North America, retorts Goa, "but to many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations tribes in the 21st century this derogatory word is as at least as offensive as Negress and Jewess". Over to you, Antoinette and Sarah.

Email: culture@listener.co.nz

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