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Radio Week

SATURDAY DECEMBER 29

The Best of Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand National, 8.10am. Saturday Morning with Kim Hill may have ended, but the memory lingers on with highlights from the year. We'd like John Cale again, please.

Music 101 - Summer Edition, Radio New Zealand National, 12.10pm. Kirsten Johnstone is in for the long haul, presenting five hours of musical frivolity, beginning with a review of the highs and lows of 2007 with Grant Smithies and Simon Sweetman. At 1.06pm, there's walking in the park, dancing in the dark and reminiscing about dance party the Gathering, a three-day freak-out on Takaka Hill near Nelson that was our Summer of Love from 1996-2000. Info and archive pictures at http://thegathering.co.nz. Speaking of nostalgia, Blam Blam Blam Live at 3.06pm is not a recording from the archives, but a live concert from Auckland's King's Arms this year featuring the legendary Don McGlashan-fronted outfit that was quite possibly the only punk band in New Zealand to use a euphonium. Johnstone wraps up the afternoon with The Mixtape at 4.06pm in which celebrity musical guests are invited to spin their faves.

The Brunettes Live at the Kings Arms, Radio New Zealand National, 5.12pm. The Brunettes' charming, sweetly clever pop has attracted the attention of Seattle label Sub Pop and the group have lately been on tours of the UK and the US. "It's their unerring ability to captivate, both on stage and in the studio, that inspired me to purchase their souls," said Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman, so expect to be captivated by this gig at the Kings Arms, featuring tracks from their latest album, Structure and Cosmetics, as well as old favourites.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 30

A Prairie Home Companion, Radio New Zealand National, 10.06am. The drollery, the jolly japes, the elegant absurdism of A Prairie Home Companion return for another holiday break and although Garrison Keillor's "Guy Noir" sketches and "News from Lake Wobegon" hail from Minnesota, they have some charm for a lazy, small-town Kiwi summer.

On Safari, Radio New Zealand National, 4.06am. Lynn Freeman begins a three-part account of her travels in Tanzania and Kenya. Sure, there are lions and elephants in the Serengeti and Masai Mara national reserves, but Freeman also looks at the effects of tourism on the countries' economies and learns about young Masai who walk both traditional and contemporary paths. Just don't call it "darkest Africa" again, please, Lynn.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

Matinée Idle, Radio New Zealand National, 12.35pm. Classic Concert continues with Warren Zevon live at the Roxy Club in 1980 (today); soul, blues and jazz singer Eva Cassidy at Blues Alley from 1996 (New Year's Day); Noel Coward at Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, Las Vegas, 1950 (Wednesday); Neil Young at Massey Hall, Toronto, 1971 (Thursday); and the Neighbours at the Gluepot in Ponsonby in 1983 (Friday). All concerts at 3.06pm.

From Age to Age, Radio New Zealand National, 5.30pm. Gosh, that David Steemson gets around. Today he starts a five-part series about growing older, in which he interviews unusual New Zealand residents. First up is Maureen Thomas, who grew up in India between the wars, but found herself raising four children with another on the way in New Zealand. On New Year's Day, it's the celebrated potter and conservationist Barry Brickell who, at 71, says he's retreating from public life and giving his last interview. Wednesday features John and Cath Carpenter, rekindling their youths as bikers; on Thursday, an interview with US-born Betty Ransom who lived in Asia with her diplomat husband; and Friday features New Zealand's first woman firefighter, Anne Barry, now touring Australia and New Zealand with her husband in their luxury house bus.

New Year's Eve with Warwick Burke, Radio New Zealand National, 7.06pm. Get ready to clean out the ashes from your fireplace, pay off your debts and welcome a dark-haired stranger after midnight as Warwick Burke celebrates Hogmanay with music and guests, including rugby great Waka Nathan; the first woman to score a cricket century for New Zealand, Trish McKelvey; and the silver-tonsilled singer, songwriter, broadcaster and entrepreneur Les Andrews.

NEW YEAR'S DAY

Settling the Score, Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00am. RNZ Concert has a whole day of the music most dear to listeners, counting down to the most popular work. There are a handful that always appear in the top 10 every year, says music production manager Kate Mead, including Elgar's Cello Concerto, Bach's sacred music and Vaughan Williams's Lark Ascending.

More radio frequencies are available online at www.listener.co.nz. or write to PO Box 90783, Auckland Mail Centre