5 Songs … Ken Stringfellow (The Posies)
In der Rubrik „5 Songs” erzählen uns Musiker von Songs, die einen großen Einfluss auf ihr musikalisches Schaffen hatten bzw. haben. Nach Beach Slang-Sänger James Alex und der überaus bezaubernden Julie Doiron (ex-Eric´s Trip) haben wir diesmal einen meiner Jugendhelden nach seinen Lieblingssongs gefragt – Ken Stringfellow von The Posies. Nach seinem Soloalbum „Dancing in the moonlight“ (2012) wird er Ende April ein neues The Posies-Album veröffentlichen und mit dieser großartigen Band auf Deutschland-Tour gehen.
Tighter, Tighter – Alive N Kickin‘
Maybe this is the ultimate analog recording. I love the far panning of everything in the mix. It’s just a slammin‘ AM radio production from the early 70s (really Tommy James operating thru his protégés), but its gospel fuzz and simplicity have always felt profound to me. I’m probably reading WAY too much into it but that’s what you get when you listen to a song 5000 times. I can’t be in a bad mood listening to this song. It has saved me countless times, and will again. Hold on. Just a little bit tighter.
BTW if you listen to the bridge in „This One’s On You“ from my 2001 solo album „Touched“ the fuzz guitar from this song gets quoted and integrates into the music perfectly. For me it was like quoting a hymn for effect.
I Can’t Go For That ( No Can Do) – Hall & Oates
No, not every entry will be ampersand-worthy! Once on tour (I was by myself) I listened to this song for a day on repeat. It is absolutely insane what they assembled here. I love the efforts of Electric Lady studios to make these lo tech drum machines and synths sound like drips of gold falling on the fields of Elysium. Things enter, and keep entering. There’s so many layers to this tune, it just keeps revealing and revealing. Now. Check out the vocals. Are they doubled? Or not? Elliott Smith, master vocal doubler that he was never approached this level of tight. It is truly the work of crazy people. I start to feel my mental grasp sliding off its mount if I work on a song for more than 20 hours. I have a feeling they worked on this song for a year. There is no other explanation for the result.
Act of the Apostle – Belle and Sebastian
Haha! Yes, every artist WILL have an „&“ in their name today. So, it’s clear to me from this third entry on the list that as much as I present myself as a songwriter’s songwriter, or sometimes people pin that label on me as my primary arena of contribution to music as a whole… that what I truly love is sonic greatness. Production. Creating imaginary landscapes via sound. The three songs presented so far are brilliant compositions, but…but… try playing unaccompanied at an open mic sometime. Some of the moods and leaps and components are so unlikely as to defy gravity. BUT… if you place it in an amazing imaginary sonic landscape… the rules of physics no longer apply. The sound of this song has captivated me for some time. So much so, that we asked Tony Hoffer, who made this song sound like what it is, mix most of Solid States (So heißt das kommende The Posies Album. Anm. d. Red.).
Mira Niñita – Los Jaivas
OK, no ampersands here. Just a beautiful, mystical song from the Chilean progressive rock band. The lyrics translate as something very simple, but the context of political darkness that surrounded the group (they had to leave the country soon after and still live in France to this day) meant that the messages had to be very subtle indeed. So it speaks volumes without giving away its stance exactly. It only took two bars of me playing the intro to this song to get the entire audience *immediately* singing when I played it in Santiago a few years ago.
Aisatsana – Aphex Twin
I think the best compositions should not feel like compositions. Not everything can be done in a Nashville 15 minute speed date writing session. Is this song a performance or a composition? Is it as performed or is it manipulated electronically? It doesn’t matter. A great composition is about transporting a mood from century to century. And this will, I predict, survive intact, long after its maker is scattered in the sea and air.