It's widely known that one of the best things about Laneway isn't just seeing your favourite artists; it's discovering three new ones. I was glad to have arrived at Laneway early this year, as it meant I got to catch D.D Dumbo on the Princes Street stage. I was immediately blown away by the Australian alt-pop artist's knockout falsetto, as well as his irresistibly funky band with multiple horn instruments. It's not surprising that his 2016 album Utopia Defeated won the triple j Award for Australian Album of the Year – its 10 tracks play with textures of pop, blues and world music, making for an astonishingly catchy and wholly original record.
Lady Bird finally arrives in New Zealand cinemas next week, months after it premiered in the US and swiftly became one of the most critically acclaimed coming of age films in recent memory. If, like me, you're trying to make that wait less excruciating, there are a few tonally similar films you can stream in preparation. Before Lady Bird, director Greta Gerwig wrote and starred in the brilliantly idiosyncratic comedy Frances Ha, which displays Gerwig's knack for capturing emotion in the most normal moments of human life. Netflix also just added the iconic teen comedy Juno, while over on Neon, you can see 2016's underrated family drama Captain Fantastic.
One of the best places in Auckland for a drink, a show and a boogie, Golden Dawn, is entering into its final days ahead of its closure in March. Just to remind everyone how sorely missed it'll be, its last few weeks are stacked with some incredible shows. Next week, folk genius Nadia Reid is playing two shows with her band on Monday and Tuesday as a way to farewell the beloved Ponsonby bar, which has hosted the singer countless times. Reid's stunning music is perfectly suited to the intimate space, so I'll be heading along for a dreamy send-off to the Auckland institution.
I'm a huge fan of fictional podcasts and audio dramas, but they're often hampered by weak voice acting that can yank you out of the story. When I stumbled across Gimlet Media's podcast Homecoming, I was mind-blown. Not only is it an eerie, carefully constructed conspiracy thriller, but it has a cast of A-list talented actors: Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer and Amy Sedaris all lend their voices to the story. Keener plays Heidi Bergman, a therapist who is recruited on a mysterious government project involving recently returned soldiers. It's like a twisted, mysterious and gripping TV thriller, but for your ears.