08 August 2011

10 Important Finn-Related Things To Know.

Thinking about it, this is a list I should have made ages ago. The Finn-fluence (HA!) has reached far and wide and here are some things you should probably become familiar with.

10. Split Enz Pre-Neil
Arguably, Neil was the best thing to happen to Split Enz, but the band was created as a Folk-influenced troupe by Tim and schoolmate Phil Judd. Eventually they evolved into a bigger, more experimental sound heavily influenced by Art Rock, and they released two albums (Mental Notes and Second Thoughts, which was produced by Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera).


9. Denton
The fun side of the Brothers Finn, as seen on the Australian talk show 'Denton'.


8. Finn-Runga-Dobbyn
In 2000, Tim embarked on a tour with fellow New Zealand artists Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn, representing 3 epochs in NZ music. They played their biggest songs, occasionally joined by Neil, and they revisited the format on a 2010 series of vineyard shows.


7. ENZSO
What happens when you merge Split ENZ and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO)? ENZSO, and the 1996 shows were a retrospective of the band's career with an orchestral backing.


6. Bic Runga's Backing Band
For Bic Runga's 2005 album Birds Neil was content become a member of the band, contributing guitar and piano as well as backing vocals. It should be noted as well that those are Neil's harmony's you hear on Sheryl Crow's megahit 'Everyday Is A Winding Road'.


5. Tim Finn, Movie Star
Tim appeared as Phillip in 1985's Coca Cola Kid (with Eric Roberts and Tim's then girlfriend Greta Scacchi). This is the scene where he performs a new Coke jingle, which is very 'Australian'.


4. Neil Finn's Soundtrack
Neil scored the soundtrack for 2001's Rain as well as produced a few new songs for the film (performed by him, as well as others including Edmund McWilliams, Lisa Germano, and Liam Finn).


3. 7 Worlds Collide
With a name taken from the Crowded House track 'Distant Sun', Neil formed a supergroup of sorts in 2001 (including brother Tim, son Liam's band Betchadupa, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Lisa Germano, Johnny Marr of The Smiths, and a couple of members of Radiohead) to rehearse at Neil's house in Kare Kare and then perform a series of shows in New Zealand. The project was so beloved that in late 2008/early 2009 the band reconvened and expanded (including Bic Runga, Jeff Tweedy, and KT Tungstall among others) to record an album and perform live shows for Oxfam.


2. Liam Finn
Eldest son of Neil and Sharon, he is the legacy. You hear his voice and know his lineage, and he's every bit as talented as you would imagine he should be. With his musical compatriot Eliza Jane 'EJ' Barnes (daughter of Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes) he is creating music that will be influencing the next wave of artists.


1. 'Can You Hear Us?'
The song that had all of New Zealand singing at the turn of the Millennium. A rugby nation, this was the theme song for the New Zealand All Blacks and was impossible to escape during the race for the World Cup (they lost in the quarterfinals). However, with a catchy song that not only has brother Tim but also Lucy 'Xena' Lawless in it, it remains to this day Neil's only solo number 1 single.

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