Initially delayed from March due to scheduling conflicts, Nelson-born brother-sister pop duo Broods bring their Don't Feed the Pop Monster tour to Auckland's Town Hall tonight. The tour is off the back of their acclaimed third album of the same name, a shimmering pop record bursting with life and ideas. After two albums that felt constrained by major-label expectations, Pop Monster showcased the duo's true potential for intelligent, emotive, addictive songwriting, and innovative art-pop production. If previous tours are anything to go by, Broods throw one hell of a party, and it's clear the duo are having more fun than ever with this album; bring some comfortable dancing shoes.
Broods, Town Hall, tonight, 7:30pm
The Auckland Writers Festival:
As far as some of us are concerned – actually several thousand – there's only one show on in Auckland this weekend and it's the annual writers festival. A bit like TED Talks on steroids, the festival brings to town around 200 leading local and international writers, thinkers and artists to talk books. But it's so much more than super-sized book club sessions with more than 200 events: conversations, performances, lectures, presentations, workshops, book readings and launches and prize announcements designed to entertain, inform, provoke and inspire.
Auckland Writers Festival, various venues until Sunday
NZ International Comedy Festival:
The laughs keep coming as another of Auckland's annual festivals continues. Sticking with a literary theme, if you're addicted to Darcy, without pride and prejudice or you've just lost all sense and sensibility then the Con Artists' show The Lost Musicals of Jane Austen might be the ticket. Alternatively, if it's Broadway music you're craving then the Covert Theatre has been working with theatre stalwart Jennifer Ward-Lealand so they'll be good enough to improvise an entire Broadway-style musical in the show Instant Broadway. The audience gives them a name of a made-up musical title and away they'll go with an entire musical from start to finish…
The Lost Musicals of Jane Austen, Vault at Q Theatre, until Saturday; Instant Broadway, Herald Theatre, until Saturday
Comedy Festival, continued:
Meanwhile, a number of local stalwart comics present their new 2019 shows this weekend at the Basement Theatre. Eli Matthewson flexes his classics degree in his new show Myth and Legend, in the main space at 8:30pm; Theatremaker/comedian Alice Canton offers a deep-dive into internet humour with Meme Lord, in the studio at 10pm, while downstairs at the same time is Tim Batt's Space Couch, a riff on the late-night talk show format hosted with Disasteradio, with guests including James Shaw, Alice Snedden and Chloe Swarbrick.
Basement Theatre until Saturday; Comedy Festival continues to May 26
Tomorrow night, a different kind of pop star lights up the Town Hall. Kacey Musgraves is a US country singer-songwriter who gained legions of new fans with her 2018 album Golden Hour, which blended futuristic pop production with country songwriting styles and instruments. The result was a stunning modern pop-country record, lauded as one of the best releases last year, that was awarded Album of the Year at this year's Grammy Awards. She performs at Auckland's Town Hall tomorrow night; in the meantime, read our cover feature with the star in today's TimeOut magazine.
Kacey Musgraves, Town Hall, 7pm