ZZZs – ‘Dystopia’ from ‘Prescription’ (2012)
3 piece Japanese post punk band based in Brooklyn. Fuzzed out bass, scunged up pedal wails and repetitive dynamic madness. If you want to know how to molest a small riff-based idea from every angle possible (except tradition) then this band is for you. This band isn’t afraid of space, nor repetition. This track makes me think I should get the fuzz pedal out.
MCLUSKY – ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’ from ‘MCLUSKY Do Dallas’ (2002)
My Dad was a huge influence in my life with everything music and my Dad actually introduced me to MCLUSKY. I remember being a snotty 13 year old who thought I already had well defined musical tastes intrinsic to my identity or whatever, and everything, well, most things your parents played to you at that age was somehow subpar. My Dad picked me up from school one day cranking MCLUSKY through the car speakers. I wised up pretty quick and soon started rummaging through the rest of Dad’s collection.
LESCOP – ‘La Foret’ from ‘Lescop’ (2012)
So, I have been taking French languages classes for awhile now, and it has been recommended that I try to fully immerse myself in everything French so that I can get used to hearing it. LESCOP are the first French band I have found that have resonated. Imagine if Jarvis Cocker was French, and grew up listening to Joy Division. I think I just have a thing for the understated muted bass in this track.
MICK HARVEY – ‘The Ballad of Jay Givens’ from ‘Sketches From The Book of The Dead’ (2011)
If you have ever listened to the circle of Nick Cave related artists or acts, Mick Harvey is a stand out Australian musician, composer, arranger, producer and story teller. Unlike his previous work, this particular album seems personal, exploring death and his character’s personal histories. It’s hard not to think that some of these ‘stories’ come from a place of truth rather than fiction.
PRINCESS CHELSEA – ‘The Cigarette Duet’ from ‘Lil’ Golden Book’ (2011)
What draws me to this tack is the tween-pop sound reminiscent of ‘The Vaselines’ or some of ‘The Velvet Underground’s’ cuter stuff. The male/female vocal combo, simple catchy melodies that are almost jingle worthy, and a huge sense of apathy. Exploring some of their stuff online will make you want to rethink your music videos.
GARETH LIDDIARD – ‘Highplains Mailman’ from ‘Strange Tourist’ (2010)
I like the guy for many of the same reasons that I like Mick Harvey. Gareth Liddiard has the ability to get under the skin of his subject and tell a story through song. I get the feeling that it’s the subject that really drives the direction of his songs rather than traditional song writing conventions. It’s raw and sometimes ugly resulting in something really beautiful.
DEAF WISH – ‘Freeze The Sound’ from ‘Deaf Wish’ (2007)
Ben Protasiewicz of ‘Pat Chow’ introduced me to this Melbourne band, giving me their album ‘Mercy’ as a birthday present. He promised I’d be into it, and he was right! Australia’s own Sonic Youth incarnate. Original and boundary pushing in their compositions, it was hard to not be instantaneously taken by them. This band really understands how to use tension, and sonic expression and I can’t appreciate them enough.
LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS – ‘Glory Be’ from ‘Mojo Hand’ (1962)
At uni, I started to get into blues music, but particularly Delta Blues. It’s generally a little more raw, stripped back and exposed. I feel like it really displays a courageous vulnerability of musicians; but it’s also cool to hear old dudes using bottles and cigar boxes to make something feel good. Lightnin’ Hopkins is really a crossover artist; from rural/acoustic blues to electric blues. Everything about Lightnin’s music has ‘weight’ about it – the feel is heavily on the backbeat and felt by the musicians he plays with. For me, Lightnin’s influence is exactly that – all feel.
PJ HARVEY – ‘To Bring You My Love’ from ‘Bring You My Love’ (1995)
I first heard PJ Harvey at the Big Day Out 2003. To tell you the truth, I was watching the ‘Hard Ons’ play the Triple J stage, furiously punching holes in their drum skins and breaking all their shit. Somewhere in the background PJ was wailing it out on the mainstage to which The Hard Ons demanded that the PA be cranked to ‘drown that bitch out’. It was all very tongue in cheek, and the 13yo me thought it was hilarious. I didn’t revisit PJ seriously till my early twenties, starting with ‘Rid of Me’. BEST DECISION EVER.
THE BOYS – ‘First Time’ from ‘The Boys’ (1977)
I grew up listening to a lot of the 70s punk my dad used to thrash in the house. I would always catch my Dad playing singing and playing this song on guitar (FYI he was a drummer, who refused to sing). I suppose if anything, this song embodies that power pop/early punk sound that I enjoy from acts such as the Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers etc. but also, it is nostalgic, and reminds me of some of the best times in my life jamming with my old man.