Each week filmmaker Jeremy Dylan chats with a musician/songwriter about their favorite album of all time - the songs, the history and how it has influenced their own music.
Jack River on MGMT 'Oracular Spectacular' (repost)
369. Johnny Mackay (Children Collide, Fascinator) on Beck 'Odelay' (1996) and 'Sea Change' (2002)
Today, Children Collide frontman Johnny Mackay (aka Fascinator) joins me to delve into a pair of albums that represent the two poles of Beck, 1996's 'Odelay' and 2002's 'Sea Change'.
We talk about the importance of exploring multiple genres as an artist, how Johnny's bifurcated musical identity reflects Beck's, Beck's use of samples in rock music, his journey to embracing his folk roots, different kinds of breakup albums, finding great lyrics in scratch vocals, songs that start as jokes, how Johnny balances his work on Children Collide and Fascinator, Beck's Song Reader project and for some reason, David Byrne's incredible American Utopia show.
368. Gretta Ray on Taylor Swift 'Fearless' (2008)
Today, one of Australia’s most dexterous singer-songwriters, Gretta Ray, returns to the show so that we can finally do an episode on Taylor Swift, as we dive into the queen of pop’s 2008 sophomore album ‘Fearless’. We talk about Taylor’s recent rerecording of the album, the different contexts the album assumes as Taylor and Gretta age past the experiences of teenage life in the songs, how songwriting changes once people have expectations of you, Taylor as a big sister for her fans, the difference between sad songs and dark songs, how Taylor gave Gretta permission to be vulnerable and how her songs give her audience permission to process and heal.
Plus, we talk about Gretta’s imminent debut album ‘Begin to Look Around’, the songwriting process, touring with Gang of Youths and more.
367. Girlpuppy on Best Coast 'Crazy For You' (2010)
Today Girlpuppy’s Becca Harvey joins me to talk about Best Coast’s hugely influential debut album ‘Crazy for You’. We talk about discovering the album amidst a sea of yacht rock and top 40 country music, being the same age Bethany Cosentino was when this record came out, how music exists as a time capsule, how this album defined California for a new generation, how the ‘quiet ones’ in music duos like Bobb Bruno can be underrated and more. Plus, we take a left turn into a Taylor Swift cul-de-sac and tease a rematch on the album ‘Red’, and get inside Becca’s hopes and anxieties as she prepares to release her EP and go on her first ever concert tour.
366. Elroy Finn on Shuggie Otis 'Inspiration Information' (1974)
Today I’m joined by Elroy Finn, singer-songwriter and Crowded House drummer, on the eve of his self-titled LP ’Elroy’’s release, to talk about the iconic cult r&b album ‘Inspiration Information’ by Shuggie Otis.
We talk about how the album is suitable for all moods and occasions, how the song Strawberry Letter 23 and its appearance in movies helped people discover Shuggie, how young Shuggie was when he made this record, the power and pitfalls of making a record by yourself, the classic drum machines Shuggie uses on the album, the advantages of keeping lyrics vague, and how music can infiltrate your hangs.
365. McCartney III with Davey Lane (You Am I) and Seja Vogel
As Australia heads back into lockdown, friends of the show Seja Vogel and Davey Lane join me and our respective bottles of whiskey for a truly epic deep dive into Paul McCartney’s ‘rockdown’ LP McCartney III. Starting with an overview of Sir Paul’s 21st century output so far, we dig into the record track by track and discuss, dissect, argue, sing and do some truly diabolical impressions along the way as we work our way through the latest work by the greatest pop artist of all time. This is a vast and by the end, totally unhinged, conversation between three confirmed Beatles tragics about not just this album, but what Paul McCartney’s legacy means and what it’s like to operate as an artist with literally no peers long after your heyday.
Topics discussed include:
- Pandemic pop songs
- The differences in approach from McCartney to McCartney II and McCartney III
- McCartney’s drumming style and how ‘non-drummers’ play drums
- McCartney’s lyric writing process and if that has changed since the 60s
- Jeff Lynne’s influence on the drum sounds
- How McCartney’s parental instincts inform his songwriting
- How letting himself sound ‘old’ on songs like Pretty Boys enhances their meaning
- How the Josh Homme and Dominic Fike ‘reimagined’ versions of songs from this record top the originals
- Davey and Seja’s recent experiences recording albums by themselves during lockdown
- The challenge of collaborating when you have no peers
- The best and worst of the McCartney Three-imagined album
- How McCartney deals emotionally with the pandemic without ever mentioning it explicitly
- Constructing the ultimate McCartney-centric supergroup
- Who is the male Helen Mirren?
- Should McCartney be singing about sex at 78?
- Our picks for McCartney’s best lyrics.
Great listen. Loved hearing the enthusiasm from Paul, he’s often less relaxed to discuss the mystery of his own stuff - but he has pumped me up to give it a spin.
Abbey Road - Peter Howitt
Wow. What a great episode of a great podcast. Thank you. So many coincidental things and heartfelt views shared by both Peter and Jeremy. I totally agree with Peter regarding the Bootleg Beatles - They are easily the best and as close as any of us mere mortals will ever get to see The Beatles. Do yourselves a favor if you get the chance to see them, do it.
Kate Miller Heidke on Hejira
Brilliant and insightful interview - so interesting and beyond the cliched homage