SONIC KICKS: J M S Harrison

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James Harrison is a busy musical man. When he’s not writing, recording and performing solo or with bands Charm and Old Etiquettes he’s putting together great bills for tribute shows (Bowie, The Smiths, PJ Harvey). He’s about to release his debut solo LP Tales Surround The Lighthouse Lamp and to celebrate that he’s heading up the Hume to play a show at The Vanguard on Friday, April 8th on a superb bill that also includes The Tall Grass (Jamie Hutchings + Peter Fenton), Peg and Sam Shinazzi and Mark Moldre with full bands. Harrison kindly took the time to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A ahead of the Sydney show this weekend.

The first album I bought…

I started off buying lots of singles as a kid that I don’t care to mention, high school was a little blurry but probably the Deftones album Adrenaline was the first. After high school the first album I bought was XO by Elliott Smith. Things really changed from there…

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An album that soundtracked a relationship…

Automatically I’d say The Cure’s self-titled album. Renewing a love flame around 2004 that still remains. I think it was ranked their 2nd worst album by Stereogum but I was 19 at the time and a new fan so I loved it and still do.

An album that inspired me to form a band…

Dead Air by Heatmiser inspired me in my first band Charm. Funny how Elliott Smith inspired me to pick up both an acoustic guitar AND an electric guitar.

An album that reminds me of your high school years…

Given all the Brandon Boyd comparisons I got definitely Make Yourself by Incubus.

An album I’d love to hear live and played in full…

One of my favourite shows ever was seeing Something For Kate do their 10 year anniversary for Q&A with Dean Martin so think I’m sorted!

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My favourite album cover art…

Hmmm big fan of Doubt Seeds by Bluebottle Kiss artwork. And Come Across. I’ve always loved Drive-By Truckers artwork as well.

My guilty pleasure album…

I’m a sucker for Belinda Carlisle’s greatest hits!

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The last album I bought…

Had to buy The Smiths’ album The Queen Is Dead because I’d lost my old copy. (Shameless plug…I’m putting on a 30 year anniversary show for that album Friday April 29th at Corner Hotel)

The next album I want to buy…

Richmond Fontaine – You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To. I can’t wait to get my hands on their last album.

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SONIC KICKS: Jamie Hutchings

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Earlier this year Jamie Hutchings (Bluebottle Kiss, Infinity Broke) marked twenty years in music with a retrospective solo show at Camelot Lounge in Marrickville. With a such a strong back catalogue that spans both solo and band releases it was an impressive and rewarding trawl through his discography and a remarkable overview of the evolution of his songwriting craft.

Hutchings chatted more than he probably ever has on stage, giving an insight into the genesis and inspiration of the songs and experiences that surrounded them with self-deprecating humour, dedications and some healthy sarcasm. That personal interaction was crucial to the success of the evening and connected Hutchings to his audience who showed genuine love and passion for his body of music.

The success of the evening has resulted in an invitation from the venue to repeat the event on Thursday, August 27th. This time Hutchings will be supported by his sister Sophie Hutchings, an acclaimed pianist and composer whose 2010 album Becalmed was a real favourite of ours.

Thursday August 27th

Jamie Hutchings, Sophie Hutchings

Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Doors 7pm

Jamie was kind enough to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A plus a few other questions relating more directly to the upcoming show. Read on to find out which album inspired a switch from drums to guitar, the band that leaves him breathless, the soundtrack to his teen surfing years and his next musical plans.

The first album I bought.

Probably something by Split Enz. I was a huge fan from around nine years old and I started randomly buying their albums from there on in. I still dig Dizrythmia out sometimes. It’s pretty fantastic.

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An album that soundtracked a relationship.

Astral Weeks by Van Morrison. It makes me dizzy and reminds me of stuff.

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An album that inspired me to form a band.

I’d been playing drums in bands but it wasn’t until I heard You’re Living All Over Me by Dinosaur Jr that I felt I really had to teach myself to play guitar. I’ve never been as immediately effected by an album as that one. It just sounded like the best concoction ever and totally inspired me.

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An album that reminds me of my high school years.

Maybe the first Midnight Oil album. Everyone used to call it Powderworks or The Blue album, the first song has such a great high energy guitar riff, lots of surfers were into them and I was a pretty hardcore surfer so it was the perfect soundtrack. MI0001759825

An album I’d love to hear live and played in full.

Mariposa by Rein Sanction. They’re a lost early ’90’s Sub Pop band with an incredibly claustrophobic playing style. There’s some rough live footage on Youtube, I’d have loved to have seen them, I kind of forget to breath when I hear them.

My favourite album cover art.

Warehouse Songs And Stories by Husker Du. I bought it on gatefold vinyl back in the day, it look amazing. There’s no text on the cover which was pretty unheard of back then. The colours are so rich, crazy and explosive but it’s kind of ethereal too.Husker-Du-Warehouse-Songs-and-Stories-Front

A guilty pleasure album.

I don’t know…Tapestry by Carole King? It’s kind of classic AM radio stuff, such a amazing songs though.MI0001534574

The last album I bought.

Tea Time for Those Determined to Completely Exhaust Every Bit of This Body They’ve Been Given by Keiji Haino/ Jim O’Rourke/ Oren Ambarchi. It’s with the mail man but technically it’s my most recent purchase. They release a live album each year edited from an improvised set they perform annually. They really reach way out and bury me every time.BT012LP_CU

The next album I want to buy.

I’ve been trying to find the first Faust album on vinyl at a normal price which has been tough. When I do that’ll be it. I’m a huge Can fan but haven’t heard much of Faust, I recently watched a Krautrock documentary by the BBC and these guys really intrigued me.

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What are the BBK/solo/Infinity Broke songs that get requested or referenced most by fans?

It depends, when people are requesting stuff on social media or by email it tends to be album tracks or more obscure songs. At Infinity Broke shows people always want to hear ‘Monsoon’ which is fine because we love to play it. Solo if someone yells out stuff it’s usually stuff like ‘Fathers Hands’ or ‘Last Playboy in Town’. It really varies though, I think people that listen to my projects are pretty across most of the stuff which is nice.

If you had to choose between Neil Young, Tom Waits and Greg Dulli covering one of your songs, who would it be and which song would you be most interested to hear?

Geez…what a conundrum! Who to choose! Yes I’d allow Tom Waits to cover me I guess. I think he’d do a good version of ‘The Judas Hands’.

With a 20 year career, do you ever see your influence in younger bands on the Australian scene?

Not that I’m aware of, the best ones probably hide it I guess. On the rare occasions I have heard an overt influence I feel really embarrassed.

Playing a retrospective show, does that conjure up certain emotions, memories, people and places via the range of songs you play?

Not specifically or consciously, but there are some songs that suddenly put me in a spin out of nowhere emotionally and I have to try and hide it somehow. What I found about some of my really old songs when I was relearning them earlier in the year for my January show was how uncanny some of them were. It was like they were mini self-fulfilling prophecies.

How close is your songwriting style and process now compared to your 20 year old self?

I was very inside my songs when I was younger, often pretty earnest and naive which isn’t always the tastiest combo. Apart from becoming a better and hopefully more imaginative musician, the main difference is that I began to stretch myself way more lyrically. I began to feel like I could fly around and inhabit different worlds lyrically whereas in my ’20’s I was really stuck inside my own head. I still am a bit but I don’t feel disingenuous when I attempt to write outside of that little universe.

After looking back, what are the next steps forward for you musically?

Infinity Broke will hopefully start to play live again sometime, it’s been really difficult since our album tour to get everyone together, but it’s a blast when we do. I’ve been recording an album with Peter Fenton from Crow. We’ve got a collaborative project called The Tall Grass. We’re about two thirds of the way through. It’s been really humbling and refreshing working with him, sometimes we wonder where the music’s coming from! It’s sounding great. I’m also planning on recording a very bare solo album soon. Probably just acoustic guitar, double bass and vocals. Hopefully I’ll start working on Mark Moldre’s next album soon too.

SONIC KICKS: Deaf Wish

Sonic Kicks DEAF WISH

Melbournians Deaf Wish have a new album Pain out via Sub Pop/Inertia on August 7th which finds them striking a rich vein of tangled careering avant-rock, genre-splicing its way through the history of post-punk, post-rock, no-wave and hardcore. It harnesses their propensity for tension, both its formation and release as well as the juxtaposition of atonality and dissonance that bands such as Liars, Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and the 3Ds have mastered in the past. Guitarist Sarah Hardiman kindly took the time to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A and give us an insight into the some of the albums that shaped her.


The first album you bought. 

I can’t remember but I can remember the first album I found. There was a second hand Salvos donation bin near my house and there were loads of records piled against it. I was flicking through and found this Rough Trade promo copy of the early Raincoats stuff, it is red with like these dark green African silhouettes dancing on the front. I still have it. I had borrowed a book from my library at high school on punk rock and it had The Slits in it – I didn’t like the Slits but I loved The Raincoats and I was obsessed with how cool all the girls looked in that punk scene. I felt blessed that day because I found the record – I felt like I must be a good person – the way you feel when animals like you, hahaha.

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The album that soundtracked a relationship.

I was living in London in the worst relationship I’ve ever been in and we used to play The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands and I’d think, good tunes at least.

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The album that inspired you to form a band. 

That was Bikini Kill’s The C.D. Version of the First Two Records. My friend and I didn’t want songs to go past 2 minutes. We got drunk in my bedroom and wrote our first song which was about 1.5 minutes long. It was called, ‘Inn-Keeper’ after the Australian bottle shop.

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Your favourite album cover art.

I always loved the saturated colours and composition on The Gun Club’s Miami and the artwork for Hüsker Dü‘s Metal Circus. I felt with both records that I had uncovered a secret cult and that it was all for me – no one else knew them. And I would get emotionally bruised when others spoke about them as if they knew what it was about, I’d think, “But that’s my secret, they’re my cult leaders.” I felt I had found punk music that was outside of the prescriptive punk aesthetic. Both covers looked cool and dangerous.

MI0000426596Your guilty pleasure album. 

Spice GirlsSpice. I used to listen to it with my big love all the time before going out. You know, having drinks and dancing and getting in the ‘mood’ to socialise. I didn’t listen to music like that so I thought it was even more fun. I liked being taught how to relax and be silly, I was very serious back then.

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An album you loved but now have no idea why you bought it.

I have this album of Balinese Temple Music and I have no idea how I got into it, maybe in one of those patches I have when I think I’m gonna clean up my act and become peaceful and spiritual, but I still love it. I kinda clean the house and do gardening to it, just reassess.

The last album you bought.

Mulatu Astatke’s The Story of Ethio Jazz (1965-1975) – recommended by someone.

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SONIC KICKS: Lisa Caruso

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Lisa Caruso has been playing plenty of gigs lately, on the back of her great 2014 EP Take A Walk. With her distinctive phrasing and soulful voice she blends folk, country, soul and sophisticated pop music into her own distinct style. Caruso has released a new clip for the single ‘My Romantic’ and kindly took the time to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A about some of the albums that shaped her musically.

Alanis_Morissette_-_Jagged_Little_PillThe first album you bought.
I wondered if it was The Backstreet Boys Backstreet’s Back or Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill. It was Alanis. My teenage pop phase was real.

f0e5899aacc37252aa993cf2957eb2288a21c270The album that soundtracked a relationship.
Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. I had it on repeat in the car. Mainly at the time of the break-up. It was bittersweet, and good therapy. Still one of my favourite albums.

bluemitchell_1341175757The album that inspired you to form a band.
I was at Uni and Joni Mitchell’s Blue first inspired collaboration. I’d sing songs from it with with a friend that played piano. It was the first time I found a genuine connection with another musician. It was very exciting and influenced my writing too. Then came the rest.

The album that reminds you of your high school years.
I wish I could say Silverchair’s Frog Stomp but sorry no. It’d be the 100% hits series. I didn’t discriminate. The Cardigans, Jewel, En Vogue… I suppose The 90’s did alright with the charts.

51AhynGl12LThe album you’d love to hear live and played in full.
The Essential Leonard Cohen. Hands down. That man! Incredible writing and arrangements.

Bjork,_Debut_album_cover,_1993Your favourite album cover art.
Without thinking about it too much; Bjork’s Debut. There’s something very beautiful and honest about it. I like that the photographs not been overproduced. The sweetness in simplicity! A memorable portrait.

0060249860632_600Your guilty pleasure album.
An album my sister and I will turn up real loud (so we can sing real loud too) on long car trips is Hawksley Workman’s lover/fighter. I started my obsession after I saw him play live. So maybe not guilty. Just a pleasure.

An album you loved but now have no idea why you bought it.
That’s a tough one! The entire pop collection from my teens? Though I still can’t part with them, Ha!. At least maybe I can thank them for the pop sensibility in my writing. It’s welcomed.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.49.25 amThe last album you bought.
A local’s! Caitlin Harnett’s self titled. So pleased she is a Sydney-sider. I hear Joni Mitchell and Carol King in her voice and writing. It’s beautiful and timeless.

SONIC KICKS: Greta Mob

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Sydney’s Greta Mob are picking up some great gigs at the moment (Beasts of Bourbon) and building some buzz around their music which is built on a visceral mix of Australian swamp rock and dirty post punk blues. We recently caught up with drummer Luke Millar who plugged in the memory card for Sonic Kicks and took a look at some of the albums that shaped him musically. Check out a recording of Greta Mob’s epic 10 minute The Vengeful Narodnik at the end of the post.

The first album I bought – The Offspring | Americana

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The first album I ever bought was in the form of a cassette. It was Americana by The Offspring from a two dollar shop in Wangaratta called Crazy Clints. I vividly remember standing in the checkout queue after spending about half an hour kicking footballs around whilst waiting for my mum to finish shopping. I was about 8 years old at the time and being the little shit I was, I nagged mum until she bought it.

The album that soundtracked a relationship – J Dilla | Heroin Joint

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Due to me failing miserably on the relationship front, I actually don’t have an album that has soundtracked a relationship. However, freakishly in the last few months I’ve found myself a girl who loves hip-hop and beat driven music. She pointed me in the direction of Mr J Dilla which has been a mind blowing experience. As Heroin Joint was the first song she showed me by Dilla, I can’t help but think about that moment when I hear it… as lame as that sounds. Check it out!

The album that inspired me to form a band – Tool | Undertow

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Rhyece and my older brother used to play in a high school band together called Iron Turpie which was comically named after the Australian actor Ian Turpie. They used to rehearse at our house and when they’d have a break I’d sneak into the shed and start bashing the drums and cranking the guitars that were still set up. So that was probably what inspired me to start playing music. However, my brother and his friends used to play a lot of Tool around the house at that point so I’d say Undertow by Tool was very influential at that point.

The album that reminds me of my high school years – Rage Against The Machine | The Battle of Los Angeles

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Every single day after school without fail, my best friend and I used to watch The Battle Of Mexico City by Rage Against The Machine. We were about fourteen at the time and both had a stupendous amount of energy. We basically just head banged and drank coca cola for an hour until it finished. So yeah, I’d say The Battle Of Los Angeles by Rage.

The album I’d love to hear live and played in full – David Bowie | Low

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This is probably the toughest question, but the more I think about it, it’d probably have to be Low by David Bowie. Speed of Life… What a way to open up an album!!

My favourite album cover art – Herbie Hancock | Headhunters

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Headhunters by Herbie Hancock is the first funk album I ever bought, and still to this day is one of my favourite album covers. So Headhunters.

My guilty pleasure album – Snoop Doggy Dogg | Doggysstyle

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Hmmm, probably Nickleback’s The Long Road… Just tricking, I’m low, but not that low. I’d probably have to say Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. Now let me explain, yes the lyrics are quite filthy and sexist but gee there’s some fat ass beats on that album. That’s how I like to justify it anyway 🙂

An album I loved but now have no idea why I bought it – Hillsong | Celebrate Jesus Celebrate

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Back in the day when I was a Pentecostal church goer, I bought an album by Hillsong. I can’t remember what the album was called, but one thing I do know is that Celebrate Jesus Celebrate was on it. Just listening to this truly made me feel uneasy. Sorry Jesus, but I just repented of all my sins, which means you’ve now forgiven me. Cheers!

The last album I bought – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push The Sky Away

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I heard it at work for the first time a couple of months ago and after spending the train ride home with Jubilee Street stuck in my head I just had to buy it. Killer!

Upcoming Shows

Sunday 1st September w/ Spencer P Jones @ Lyrebird Lounge, Ripponlea

Thursday 5th September w/ Dead River, The Deep End, Smoke Stack Rhino @ The Espy, front bar, St Kilda

Thursday 26th September – The Bank Hotel, Newtown (solo headline show)

Friday 27th September – w/ Swervedriver, Charlie Horse @ Metro Theatre

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SONIC KICKS: Bryan Estepa

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Sydney songwriter Bryan Estepa has released a bunch of albums that just get better and better, culminating in this year’s brilliant Heart Vs Mind (review) which bursts with glorious harmonies built on classic power pop and slight detours into americana and yacht rock. It shows a musician who isn’t afraid to play to his strengths and channel all the musical influences that have to date made up his own personal style. We asked Bryan to give us an insight into his musical past via our regular Sonic Kicks feature…

 

  • The first album I bought – Bon Jovi | Slippery When Wet

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Yep.

 

  • The album that soundtracked a relationship – Bob Evans | Suburban Songbook

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This album pretty much summed up my relationship with my wife at the time the album came out. It was almost as if Bob was saying everything I wanted to say to her but haven’t had the chance to to.

 

  • The album that inspired me to form a band – You Am I | Hi Fi Way

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You Am I was one of the most important and influential bands during my formative band years. Seeing Tim & co live was a revelation and this album was the icing on the cake. I LOVE this band and still my fave Australian band. Ever.

 

  • The album that reminds me of my high school years – WeezerBlue Album, Pearl Jam | Vitalogy  & Oasis | Definitely Maybe

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Hard to split these three albums amongst all the other ‘grunge’ & mid 90’s albums that I loved at the time. Each had it’s own impact on me but most of all made me want to be in a band and just jam. No matter how shit I was then.

 

  • The album I’d love to hear live and played in full – The Jayhawks | The Sound of Lies & Rainy Day Music

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Those two played in their glorious entirety and back to back. Heaven man.

 

  • My favourite album cover art – The Byrds | Sweetheart of The Rodeo

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Not my fave but I really love the cover for Sweetheart of The Rodeo. I even have a t-shirt of it.

 

  • My guilty pleasure album – Metallica | Black album

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I’m not sure if its a guilty pleasure but I just  love singing along to it and playing better air drums than Lars.

 

  • An album I loved but now have no idea why I bought it – Jars of Clay | Much Afraid

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I really loved this album when it came out. I don’t really like it now.

 

  • The last album you bought – DawesStories Don’t End

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These guys just took it up another notch with this brilliant album. On high rotation since I got it.

 

Bryan Estepa’s Heart vs Mind is out now via Laughing Outlaw Records, digitally and on vinyl.

SONIC KICKS: The City Lights

The City Lights have been around the Sydney scene releasing albums in a few different incarnations since 2004 but it was only recently that I first caught them live, as a power pop trio and they blew me away. On the back of their recently released album I Just Got To Believe they played a tight propulsive set which led me claim in my review “… the way they play, like they are leaning into the wind, makes their music sound and feel like a shot of adrenalin.” The brilliance of their show sent me out to hunt down a copy of the record the following morning and thankfully it lived up to the high volume precedent set the night before. You can listen to a stream of the new album via Rdio at the end of the post.

We hooked up with Jimmy Roden (vocals/guitar) to get the lowdown on some of the albums that shaped his life:

 

The first album I bought – AC/DC / Back In Black


I am very fortunate to say I grew up in a house that had plenty of albums. Sure the albums might have been The Muppets, the Star Wars Soundtrack, James Galway, Aled Jones, The Andrews Sisters, Danny Kaye and eventually my older brother’s mod, soul, and punk albums, but there has always been music. The first two albums I actually chose myself were – AC/DC’s Back In Black and Kiss’ Dressed To Kill – bought for me on vinyl by my mum, with my money. I was about nine. They came out about five years apart so I am not sure what made me buy them together – probably friends. Of the two, I loved AC/DC more. Or should I say, I was more scared and intrigued by AC/DC. The drama of the opening church bells and slowness of the pace of the first track Hells Bells is not really my style then or now so I can only guess that the production was so good and the arrangements so brilliant that I could not resist. As to the sexually charged song topics, I have never been into shock for its own sake so, the fact the album had titles like: What Do You Do for Money Honey had no appeal. In fact, I liked it less when my dad wandered by and pointed out that was not a nice thing to say to a lady. I had no idea what he was talking about but I took it on board and frowned and nodded in furious agreement and outrage at the slur on my metaphorical sisters. Still, I forgave them their barbaric lyrics for I loved the power and the hooks of the music. As to Kiss: I loved Rock and Roll All Nite but even at that age I remember thinking they couldn’t spell ‘Night’ properly. I have always had a lot of nerdy non-rock rules which has made me a little bit of a misfit in both the rock and non rock worlds.

 

The album that soundtracked a relationshipMudhoney / Superfuzz Bigmuff


Despite being married with child, and despite having the odd lady friend in my time, I have to say I can’t really remember listening to an album and crying together with a lady – if that’s what is meant by a soundtrack to a relationship. I would love to say it’s The Smiths and we used to skip through cemeteries but I have no memory of any of that. So, I think what you are getting at is a memory of having your mind blown by someone new and important. That would have to be having my increasingly closed anglocentric / 60s obsessed mind opened by my new university mate (and to this day one of my top besties) Stu the skateboarder from Deniliquin who turned me on to American rockin’ bands. Bands like Husker Du, Sonic Youth, The Misfits, Mudhoney, Fugazi, Dinosaur Jr, Black Flag etc after years of The Who, The Kinks and 70s band The Jam. The first time I heard the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP and Touch Me I’m Sick single by Mudhoney it completed the feedback loop of all garage and rock I had stupidly stopped listening to. Ever since that night, I think I have a clearer idea of how rock all fits together and a slightly less regimented mind as to what is ‘good’. Beer would have helped. So despite it not being an EP and a single, and not an album, it soundtracked an important relationship and period in my life. I even started wearing beads for a while, just like Mudhoney.

 

The album that inspired me to form a bandSloan / Smeared


I have played in bands since I was in high school, and apart from a few lost years here and there, I have not stopped. But there are the occasional triggers that have re-inspired me at different ages to give it another go. I remember being overseas (snowboarding dude!) and writing a postcard to my Canberra high school mate Pete from my first band The Morticians and saying “we should start a band with Cam and Richard when I get back to Australia”. We started The John Reed Club. I had in mind bands like You Am I and Sloan from Canada. Sloan at that time was probably more what I had in mind as there were four of them like us for a start and they had three or four songwriters (as we did) and seemed both bookish and rocking at the same time – which I thought was a great combo. We started The John Reed Club and we did really well for a while and had loads of fun until we stuffed it all up by taking it all too seriously which we all regret to this day. But that period was glorious – You Am I built up to seven nights at The Metro in Sydney which was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. Track one of Smeared by Sloan is called Underwhelmed and it is an absolute cracker of power and melody. Sloan are often referred to as Canada’s You Am I as they are both popular and critically respected. A rare thing indeed.

 

The album that reminds me of my high school years – The Easybeats / Easy

The obvious thing would be to say anything by The Jam (despite them being broken up) as that was the band others were measured against for fire and skill. My friends and I saw so many bands in high school in an age when it was easy to sneak in to pubs despite being and looking very young – bands like The Huxton Creepers (saw ’em), The Stems (saw ’em) and the Hoodoo Gurus (saw ’em) through to the Flamin’ Groovies (saw em) or even my brother’s band The Throwbacks (saw em every other week). All were important as were The Sunnyboys (seen ’em at last!) or The Ramones (saw ’em). But I have a huge love for The Easybeats especially songs like Wedding Ring. I know it’s the wrong era, but in high school we all borrowed bits from the various cults that took our appeal – skins, punks, mods, rudeboys etc. I drifted a bit more towards the mod. While not technically mods, to me there was nothing cooler than The Easybeats and seeing their film clips was like looking through a glass wall at the best party ever, but not being able to get in. But was it all over? They reformed just the once in Sydney and a group of us got a lift from Canberra with one of our Mums and danced in the aisles.

 

The album I’d love to hear live and played in full – The Avalanches / Since I Left You

After the demise of The John Reed Club I was lucky enough to score a job as the label manager for Modular Recordings when Modular put out The Avalanches Since I Left You. I was so stressed by the hard work of it all at the time I would love to see The Avalanches again – they are lovely and talented blokes. When I play the album now, it’s like hearing it for the first time as I was just a bit detached by the workload. Just quietly, that album had quite a few samples.

 

My favourite album cover art – Rocket Science / Welcome Aboard The 3C10

They were an incredible band! I have had so many nights where I have walked away from Rocket Science gigs, drenched in sweat, thinking there is no way humans can be better live than they are. Musically and personally, they are all both scary and approachable, tough and soft, uncomprisingly rock yet full of hooks and subtelty. I love this album (and of course, all their albums) but I think this album worked artistically the best as the cover photo and videos were done by their mates like Ben Saunders and everything fitted together perfectly. It is both tough (see Roman at the front) and incredibly camp (check out Kit second from left!). I will never forget how terrified I was after the label listened to Burn In Hell (track one) and I was given the job to call Roman Tucker on behalf of Modular asking if we could meet. Fortunately for me, Roman and the band were charming and devoid of ego and Modular signed them; the demo was released as the album and the album turned into an all time Australian classic. On their great nights, they were the greatest band I have ever seen. This cover art reminds me of all their glory and a great period in my life.

 

My guilty pleasure album – The Grateful Dead / American Beauty

Oh that is too easy. I absolutely love the antithesis of my normal modernist / trousers must be tight / rule book fury – I love American Beauty by The Grateful Dead. I heard the opening track Box of Rain on an incredible and moving TV show called Freaks and Geeks years and years ago and was completely sold immediately. I love it. I play it quite a bit – I pick up my son throw him in the air. It is just so good. It is nothing like the endless jams they are know for. It is a brilliant americana album that makes me feel good.

 

The last album I boughtCommunity Radio / Serious Magic

Wild Flag’s Wild Flag. I know – so slack as it came out a while ago! But jeezus they were so good at Golden Plains they deserve a mention. And the other week I bought Community Radio’s album Serious Magic by my old mate Cameron from The John Reed Club.

 

 

SONIC KICKS: Charlie Horse

Charlie Horse released one of our favourite albums of the year with I Hope I’m Not A Monster and in a full interview that we’ll be publishing in the coming weeks they tell us they’re already halfway through the next record which should be out in the second half of 2013. With a widescreen rock n roll sound that draws influence from Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Chrissie Hynde and Lucinda Williams, Charlie Horse (centred around guitarist/songwriter Paul McDonald and singer Crystal Rose) are a band we highly recommend you check out. We put the duo through the punishing exercise that is Sonic Kicks.

The first album I bought…

PaulFrankie Goes To Hollywood | Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Maybe this is the beginning of my love for OTT bombastic music. I couldn’t believe how good this was when I was a wee kid, little did I know it was all a bit racey and somewhat sexually oo lah lah… and a Bruce cover too.
CrystalThe VerveUrban Hymns. It’s amazing what an aloof, sexy guy does for your musical growth, shame he turned into such a boring git.

The album that soundtracked a relationship…

PaulRyan Adams |Easy Tiger
CrystalRyan Adams |Easy Tiger – Cough cough, nothing to see here.

The album that inspired me to form a band…

PaulU2 | Under A Blood Red Sky. The mullets, the boots, the flags, the songs. What’s not to like. I can probably still play every note from Edge and sing every part from Saint Bono note perfect. Sleeves on your shirt, no thanks.
CrystalAretha Franklin | I Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You. Dad used to buy these old albums for me because he liked gutsy chick vocals plus they were dirt cheap, two dollar bin style but I do still love the blues.

The album that reminds me of my high school years

PaulThe Cure | Staring At The Sea (on cassette so you got the brilliant b-sides). We used to hitch rides with the older guys from school who had cars and “pull laps” up and down the main street of Tumut and blast this on tape. I remember playing this on the way to the snow fields because we could do skiing for sport, and we spun out and went off a cliff, A Forest soundtracked the terror.
CrystalMatchbox 20 | Yourself Or Someone Like You

The album I’d love to hear played live and in full…

PaulThe Verve | A Storm In Heaven. I left Australia for the UK to, amongst other things, see the Verve. They broke up for the first time the week I got there.
CrystalThe Rolling Stones | Exile On Main Street. Beyond amazing…. made me fall in love with rock filled blues.

My favourite album cover art…

PaulHusker Du | Zen Arcade
CrystalThe Rolling Stones | Goats Head Soup

My guilty pleasure album…

PaulFields of the Nephilim | Earth Inferno. By Christ these guys were vastly stupid and vastly good. Tied with Crystal’s choice actually and sounding much like it too.
CrystalMeat Loaf  | Bat Out of Hell. Jim Steinman crazy and sounding much like Bruce Springsteen actually.

An album I loved but now have no idea why I bought it…

PaulUnderworld – any of them, what were we thinking, well we weren’t thinking we was raven’ maaan… but that is beside the point.
CrystalMatchbox 20 – oh and Cat Stevens what was that?

The last album I bought…

Paul – Well I buy roughly an album a week, so I will put down the last GREAT album I bought. Jack Ladder  | Hurtsville. What a brilliant brilliant piece of brilliance. Perfect songs, perfect production and from the thinking mans Tim Rogers not that there is anything wrong with the drinking mans Tim Rogers.
CrystalThe National  | High Violet. A brilliant album but I wanted to punch him in the face live, what a ponce, ruined it for me. He makes red wine drinkers look bad.

I Hope I’m Not A Monster is out now via Laughing Outlaw Records.