After eight years climbing fences and dressing in animal costumes as part of the Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson has gone out on his own to front a new solo project called Opossom (yes, it's spelled like that).

While his brother Ruban has been at the helm of Portland-based three-piece Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kody has been producing a diverse range of projects such as punk powerhouse the DHDFD's and his partner Bic Runga's acclaimed recent album Belle. In his spare time he's been working on his own solo debut, entitled Electric Hawaii, which will be released on June 1.

In celebration he'll be heading out on a New Zealand tour (having warmed up with several dates in Australia) with Runga and fellow ex-Mint Chick Mike Logie making up the band. With nods to the past (60s pop, baroque music, his own Polynesian heritage) and the future (groovy electronics and a fresh approach to genre combinations) they impressed with shows at the Kings Arms last year, and the Laneway Festival in January, so the tour will no doubt be popular.

They'll be playing three nights at Auckland's tiny Lucha Lounge bar on Thursday, May 31; Friday, June 1; and Saturday, June 2, before heading to The National in Dunedin on Thursday, June 7, and the San Francisco Bath House in Wellington on Saturday, June 8. Tickets through


Meanwhile, US rapper and Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, plays The Powerstation on June 7.

The heavy-hitting soul man of hip-hop has arguably been the best and most consistent of the Clan members in terms of solo releases, which include 2006 classic Fishscale and 2010's funk and party driven offering Apollo Kids.

Also, Kenny Rogers and Glen Campbell, two ancient pillars of American country music business are playing two joint concerts in New Zealand in August.

For Campbell (76), the dates come after last year's announcement that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and his acclaimed farewell album Ghost on the Canvas.

Promoters of his New Zealand show said his condition "has not affected his performances although this tour Down Under may be his last".

Rogers (74) was here early last year to play a show at Vector Arena with the APO. The two men bring their vast number of hits to CBS Arena in Christchurch on Friday August 10 and Auckland's Vector Arena on Sunday August 12.

Tickets for each show go on sale on Monday.