Item one: It's New Zealand Music Month from tomorrow. Often at this time, we have sat around asking ourselves: Do we still need NZMM? We would have this time too but we have been too busy putting together some stuff to help celebrate it.
That includes a trip to Vietnam with Minuit to see them fly the NZ music flag where it doesn't usually get flown.
Yes, I was going to write something long and possibly thoughtful about the worth of New Zealand Music Month in these harsh, unforgiving, downloadable, ripoffable times.
Especially as this year, there seems a building wave of new talent (see here).
Instead, somewhat inspired by the musicians we've covered in the following pages, I've decided to just get on with it.
But let me say this: New Zealand Music Month remains a very good thing. For lots of reasons. Music, mainly.
Item two: Various other media have had some Big Ideas for NZMM. Juice TV's big push is to have 2000-plus people playing the Exponents' Why Does Love Do This to Me? as part of a world record attempt strum-along (words and music page 5) which sounds like more fun than a whole weekend of Guitar Hero (which inspired an idea about the NZ songs we'd like to see included on future editions, also page 5). Meanwhile, C4 are on the search for the nation's favourite song which they will present as a countdown at the end of the month - they're taking votes on c4tv.co.nz. Hey, wouldn't it be funny if the nation's favourite song turned out to be Why Does Love Do This to Me?
Of course the nation's favourite song for the past 10 weeks has been Smashproof's Brother, which this week finally broke the record for the longest consecutive run by a local act on the New Zealand singles chart. The previous longest run at number 1 was the 1986's America's Cup song Sailing Away by supergroup All of Us which stayed at number one for nine riveting weeks. We all owe Smashproof a vote of thanks for setting that particular record straight.
Item three: Have the Flight of the Conchords lost it? Last week's episode - the really unfunny one with the charity song about the epileptic dogs - proved the duo have run into trouble on the song front. Which means bigger trouble on the laugh front. The first season was inspired by all the songs they had written leading up to their big break. In the second one, the songs aren't sustaining the laughs and rather than taking any genre and bending it to their own devices, they're falling back on parodying stuff like West Side Story. If there's going to be a third series- and both have expressed doubts in the lead-up to the second - you can only hope the songs come first.
Only three more episodes remain to be screened here - next week it's one entitled New Zealand Town and co-stars Lucy Lawless and a sheep named Gary and apparently the pair become addicted to hair gel, so that all sounds promising huh?
And thankfully reports of their US tour suggest they remain funny in real life.
Item four: It's comedy festival time again. Yes, like NZMM, it is one of those annual events which is seemingly designed to drive the likes of me mad with a barrage of requests for coverage and reviews and so on.
But the festival remains an early winter defibrillator to the cold heart of this city. Yes, us reviewer types may not like everything we'll see. But our deep admiration goes out to those with the sheer guts to stand up in front of a room of people to make them laugh. So, comedians, we salute you. Er, no need to return the gesture, you guys from Puppetry of the Penis. Cheers.By Russell Baillie @RBaillieNZH Email Russell