Monday, February 8, 2010

The Nilpferd A listers- the rock and pop bands.

Sepia tones suit the mood of The Go-betweens' streets of your town. I grew up across the Tasman from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne but these townscapes are still very familiar.

The Church - Ripple
The Chills - Ghosts
Ruby Suns - Tane Mahuta
Go-betweens - Streets of your town
U2 - With or without you

Nearly all from down under- and for the sake of completeness I'm tempted to claim U2 as an antipodean band, given the NZ associations of The Joshua Tree- the album was dedicated to kiwi roadie Greg Caroll, who died in an accident shortly before the album was recorded.

Ripple's ringing guitars, married with Steve Kilby's languidly sneering character assassination, perfectly capture the ideal Australasian indie sound, while Martin Phillip's Ghosts has a surprisingly folky tinge on its way to spiritual bliss, conjuring up abandoned settlements and the spectres of shattered families.
Streets of your town combines nostalgia with neglect, the rosy tint of memory blighted by a sinister undertone of violence and decay.
I owe a nod to Blimpy for bringing the Ruby Suns to my attention- Tane Mahuta certainly conjured up the eponymous god for us on our way through his dazzling back yard a year ago- and With or without you is for me the one true moment of genius by the much maligned Dubliners, a structurally perfect song.


B=Mc2 said...

@nilp - do you have the album? any good?

nilpferd said...

Sea Lion? No. I listened to it, but Tane Mahuta was way above anything else on the album for my tastes. Most of the rest seemed washed out in comparison.

steenbeck said...

Nice list, Nilpferd. THey all sound good together. I think I like the CHills and the Go Betweens best, maybe. Though I do like them all.

nilpferd said...

Thanks for listening, Steen.
I was thinking about the fact that, as far as pop/indie goes, I do feel more at home with antipodean bands, though it is hard to explain exactly what is unique about the sound, besides the accents. Or maybe it's the same for everyone with respect to the bands they heard from 18-25. For all those older than 25, of course.
*end of 40-something rambling drivel*

saneshane said...

I'm trying to work out what it is in an accent that makes me like a vocal or not..

I don't know the nuances of antipodean bands enough to judge them...

but I know with American bands - there's some vocals that I just can't stand... and it's mostly male singers, so it got me thinking.. is it just American (male accents) that I disliked - it couldn't be..
Once I scratched the surface, it became quite interesting.. and wasn't a simple prejudice..

... and you know what, I had an entire file about it with examples.. but it's lost in the depths of this computer somewhere!

maybe when not too tied I'll try working it out again.

good post again nilpf.. what are left with?

nilpferd said...

All the stuff I was too embarrassed to admit to... or in other words it's actually it's the stuff which I spend most time listening to.. jazz week for my final post.
A lot of voices put me off but it's more the sound of them than the accents, I think- it's kind of a foggy tuneless nasalness which gets up my nose most, if that makes sense..

ejay said...

I've been enjoying the antipodean pop rock you've introduced me to Nilpf, I hadn't noticed the accents so much, but there does seem to be something different about it...
Well that's my contribution, cheers.

nilpferd said...

Thanks, Ejay. I will do that Flying Nun post sometime soon, there's a lot of other stuff I've been meaning to put up.

Mark68 said...

nilpferd - I've never been anywhere near the Antipodes, but that part of the world has produced some of my favourite bands - Go-Betweens and Triffids especially, but also the Church, Mutton Birds, the Chills and Even As We Speak. There is a unique charm that I can't put my finger on, but I have a half-baked theory that by being a little more isolated they don't absorb influences quite as obviously as British or American indie bands.

nilpferd said...

Hi Mark, nice to see a comment from you! Definitely agree about the influences- perhaps the isolation led to more selection too- I know Martin Phillips was influenced by the Beach Boys and Randy Newman, and probably some of the glam rockers, The Clean absorbed VU and surfer rock.
But being so far away, their interpretation was quite different to other bands. At the same time I think there was a conscious effort to avoid the "classic rock n roll" sound their parents would have loved, in favour of a much more psychedelic, jangly noise.