Chris Knox

         Chris Knox post=stroke updates

October 12, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized @ 11:02 am

Howdy – Chris had a good weekend – he had his first Epic (beer of champions) since the stroke whilst watching Frankenstein (orig. 1931 James Whale version o’course). Now unfortunately I couldn’t join him for certain reasons but if the rest of you felt like imbibbing I wouldn’t criticise.

We have also been out for several walks around the neighbourhood and it was nice to see Chris reintegrating into his community.

On Sunday we went to an art exhibition & it was a glorious Auckland day so we sat on the deck in the sun & drank tea. We even managed quite an indepth discussion of an issue to do with the album &, after some perseverance, I think I understood what Chris wanted pretty well.

It’s good to see Chris’ quality of life improving.


  1.   Barry S. — October 12, 2009 @ 12:56 pm    

    God! Great news there!
    Thanks for this blog and your posts.

  2.   Barry S. — October 13, 2009 @ 6:11 am    

    Hello,once more!

    I guess this is sort of long(even “epic” possibly?) ,but here’s a blog posting I did you all may enjoy….

    The Clean/Circulatory System…connect the Knox,…”ummm”…dots?
    Current mood: blessed
    Category: Music
    Yes,these two connect to Mr. Chris Knox of the Tall Dwarfs from New Zealand fame. First let me tell (or remind ) you that Mr. Knox is still recovering from a stroke that took out his speech centers and one side of his body functioning. He is recovering ,and ,God bless him,working on new Tall Dwarfs music too,with the help of very good friends! This is amazingly good news. Now I’m not saying Chris is back 100% here,….I’m saying that just like he always has he’s doing with what he has to offer. If you don’t know him ,well,this spirit is what makes him a blessing to us all, a pillar of strength first against what was and is expected of us from “normal society” (“do what you are told”,and “stay in your place” might be examples) ,and a motivator to the “every man” to make art if you feel driven to it(this also against all the derivative things said against every-day people creating what they feel compelled to). So,it’s with that in mind I present two great examples of music inspired by Chris Knox and his personal values…..

    Number One here is by a group he produced in his early hey-day….THE CLEAN. Their new album(well,CD) is called MISTER POP and it’s a return to the vital early sound that was helped along by Chris and his home productions. The first track is an instrumental called LOOG,almost a bit like a western movie theme all very well produced and featuring wordless female vocals(a very slight bit of Ennio Morricone possibly?),but right after this introduction things take a more “home-recorded” turn with a song that asks “Are You Really On Drugs?” The early vibe ,as I’ve said before ,of the Clean’s first few albums and EPs is here in all it’s vibrant Velvet Underground sound! Over the whole ten song disc this more home recorded sound is evident,unlike the band’s last few studio produced releases. But I feel this may be an intentional nod to their past. Along the album’s path we come across some songs that point out that the Velvets weren’t the only influence on The Clean,……”Moonjumper” and “Tensile” show a decidedly Kraut-Rock angle that was never before so out-right quoted. So dig how Kraftwerk and Neu! bent these folks minds ,and all sorts of new angles seem to be revealed on this CD. But of course this is a long standing New Zealand band and most of you may know of them already and their affiliation to Chris Knox? Knowing that this was released just before,or just as Mr. Knox suffered his stroke,…well this now seems to me to be a fine tribute to the days when the Clean were a bunch of young friends of Chris Knox recording their raw beginnings in New Zealand living rooms and bedrooms while Chris egged them on and twiddled the apropriate knobs to document their sounds. Nice one guys!

    Speaking of young musicians…..Number Two here is a disc by CIRCULATORY SYSTEM called “Signal Morning”,…and while they aren’t as young as when they started out in Apples In Stereo or Olivia Tremor Control(for example..) these are the “young turks” on the block compared to The Clean….

    This disc is a new release on Cloud Recordings which re-issued two Tall Dwarfs albums(Fork Songs/ Weeville) a few years back and band members also are counted as International Tall Dwarfs too(playing Dwarfs’ songs live in New Zealand),…so there’s a Chris Knox connection for you. This CD is an amazing mix of tape-manipulations and tunes that could give “I Am The Walrus” a run for it’s money(if you don’t mind a bit of tape hiss and a home recorded sound)! There are nineteen musicians featured here and it’s been quite a few years in the making since their last CD,……but this is well worth the wait.

    The Circulatory System here takes the psychedelic Beatles,”Good Vibrations”-era Beach Boys, and The DREAMIES and makes a modern day psychedelic-pop masterpiece that should blow-away anyone who can tune into it’s vibrations! Songs ebb and flow through static noise of radio signals ,taunt straight-thinking society,and recur like dream sequences(or flash-backs?) and it’s all very concise and never dwells too long on one tune or effect. In fact there’s so much effect here that most band’s would have used them over a few releases,…and I think that’s not a bad thing. Unlike the DREAMIES album itself ,this has quite a bunch of tunes too. Many folks who had any one thing bad to say about that Dreamies album(which you should find and buy!) said “There’s only three songs on it!” . Well,here songs abound! Albeit under and through many effects and permutations and reflections of themselves too,….maybe a sort-of “shoegazing” sound(although not really exactly). But here is an album that is like a heathaze or daydream with songs surfacing throughout it’s fun-house mirror of sound-sensibilities. It’s beautiful in it’s own fun and crazy way. Go and check it out,…and give it a few spins too,I’m sure you’ll find loads of new things with each listen.

    So,there you are two cool new CDs that may have never existed without Chris Knox’s influence over indie music. May God bless Chris with a full recovery,…or at least ,enough of a recovery to allow him to still influence the music world in his own inimitable way. Visit for news of Mr. Knox and his recovery.

    I hope I’m not too out of hand re-posting this here?

  3.   Chad — October 15, 2009 @ 1:24 am    

    Very glad to hear you’re creating again, Chris – it’s what neurons are for. Are you drawing?

  4.   Findlay.D — October 15, 2009 @ 2:00 pm    

    Good news. Thank you for this blog. I would also like to thank Chris Knox for his work enthusiasm on “The Vault” a few years back. He inspired me and opened my eyes to the magic of film.


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