The Take 5 is a music podcast where the people you love, share five songs they love. Each guest has a different theme, and the memories attached to their most beloved songs flip them to fan mode, often giving a rare insight into their creative heart. Hosted by Zan Rowe.
Max Richter's songs to compel
Max Richter is one of the most loved modern composers in the world. He’s sold millions of albums, and been streamed billions of times. Max’s work is just as likely to be heard in prestigious concert halls as through your tv speakers, and his scores for shows like Leftovers and Bridgerton, or films like Ad Astra, have been critically acclaimed. Richter’s compositions are as comfortable in the catwalks of Paris as the hallways of your home, and his music has been a beautiful saviour and release to me for many years.
For all of these reasons, asking Max to Take 5 was a bucket list. I wanted to get a window into his mind, and hear the songs that compelled him. As someone whose music can make me cry, swoon, and think differently about the world around me, what are the tunes that do that for Max Richter? From Kraftwerk to Joni Mitchell, to Bach, this is as much a conversation about songs as it is the creative lifeblood of one of the world’s greatest living composers.
Kraftwerk – 'Computer World'
Joni Mitchell – 'Chelsea Morning'
Johann Sebastian Bach – 'Concerto in D Minor for two violins'
Soft Machine – 'Why Are We Sleeping?'
Nina Simone – 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'
Kate Mulvany's backstory
Kate Mulvany is a professional storyteller. An award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and actor, she’s built a name for herself in her incredible performances, whether in The Great Gatsby, The Little Death, or opposite Al Pacino in the Amazon series Hunters. On stage she’s redefined roles like Richard III, and Kate is acclaimed for her writing, holding a knack for adapting and reinterpreting Australian classics. The latest, is her version of Playing Beatie Bow, and in the week before her sold out season at Sydney Theatre Company kicked off, I asked her to Take 5.
Away from her CV, Kate has lived an extraordinary life; filled with challenges and heartaches, but also hope and opportunity. For all of these reasons, I was so excited to sit down with her. If you love a good yarn, you’re in the right place. I asked Kate to share her backstory across five songs, and from The Muppets to Bowie to Ben Salter, this is a beautiful conversation about the transformative power of story.
'Can You Picture That?' - Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (from The Muppet Movie soundtrack)
'Science Fiction' - The Divinyls
'Randwick Bells' - Jimmy Little
'Space Oddity' - David Bowie
'The Stars My Destination' - Ben Salter
Tana Douglas' songs from the road
What do Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Status Quo, and Neil Diamond all have in common? Tana Douglas. She’s recognised as the world’s first female roadie, and got her start as a teenager working with a young band who were about to release their debut album. The band was AC/DC, and that story is just one of hundreds that have filled her extraordinary life. Tana would go on to tech for The Who at Wembley Stadium, Iggy Pop in Amsterdam, even Elton John, playing a birthday party at Windsor Castle.
She’s just published her story, a memoir titled LOUD, which captures not just the wild tales from the road but also the spirit of the crew who make magic happen every night on stage. It’s a brilliant read, and I was so excited to meet Tana when she joined me to Take 5. She didn’t disappoint. This is as much about a trailblazer as it is a testament to the many roadies who bring our favourite music to life on stage.
Foo Fighters - Darling Nikki
Urge Overkill - Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon
The Who - Who Are You
INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
Social Distortion - Story of My Life
Fat Mike's no rules
Fat Mike from NOFX is a bit of a legend. As frontman for the band for almost four decades, he’s been the soundtrack to countless generations of punk fans. He set up Fat Wreck Chords, championing other bands for the past 30 years. And when he’s not doing that, he’s getting around with supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
If you know anything about Fat Mike, you know he doesn’t play by the rules, so that’s where his theme led us. From formative songs by Meatloaf, to re-energising moments from Propoghandi, this is a rare peek into the music that fuels one of music’s risk takers.
The Dickies - 'Paranoid'
Meat Loaf - 'Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul'
Operation Ivy - 'Yellin' In My Ear'
Propagandhi - 'Anti-Manifesto'
The Spits - 'Tired & Lonely'
Brendan Cowell's turning points
There are only a handful of people I ask back to Take 5. Brendan Cowell is one of them. The actor, author, playwright, and poet is a master storyteller who lives a full life. And in the decade since we last met on air, he’s starred alongside Billie Piper in hit plays on Broadway and the West End, had a key role on Game of Thrones, written a book, and scored a major part in the two new Avatar sequels shooting in New Zealand.
It’s no surprise though, Brendan has an electricity about him. He draws you in as an audience member and fires off the inspirations in his daily life, no matter where in the world he finds himself. From growing up in Cronulla, to living in New York and London, this is a conversation about the moments that were turning points for him, from Pearl Jam to Drake to Bob Seger.
Pearl Jam – 'Animal'
Sharon Van Etten – 'Give Out'
Drake – 'God’s Plan'
Justin Townes Earle – 'Lone Pine Hill'
Bob Seger – 'Night Moves'
Adalita's evolution songs
I still remember the first time I heard Magic Dirt. The burning sounds of their single “Ice” captured my 16 year old heart, and I can still recall climbing the stairs of my favourite city record store to buy their “Life Was Better” EP. Adalita was the coolest woman I knew; she shredded on stage and exuded the ultimate rock n roll attitude. In the years that would follow, I’d see them play on stages small and large, then follow Ads down her solo path to hear a whole other side of her musical heart.
2021 marks 20 years since Magic Dirt scored their highest placing in a Hottest 100 for their pop tinged song “Dirty Jeans”. It’s also a year that Adalita plans to release her third solo album. In the years dotted around this, Adalita has gone through many evolutions in life and sound, and we explore the songs that took her there.
'Here Comes Your Man' - The Pixies
'Hieronymus' - The Clouds
'That Ain't Bad' – Ratcat
'50ft Queenie' - PJ Harvey
'Toys and Flavours' - The Hellacopters