Listened #71 – Community as the Curriculum with Dave Cormier – Modern Learners from Modern Learners

What would the classroom look like if the community itself was the curriculum? That’s the question Dave Cormier answers in our 71st podcast.

Dave Cormier discusses all things rhizomatic. One idea is to use copying as a means to focusing on other things.

Listened A Conversation With Jonny Greenwood, On Chaos And The Element Of Surprise

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joins us to talk about two of his classical compositions we’ve just premiered on our Tiny Desk series. He also shares some of the music that’s inspired him over the years by other artists and explains how he came to love such a rich and diverse tapestry of sounds.

In a conversation with Bob Boilen and Tom Huizenga, Jonny Greenwood discusses two classical compositions premiered on Tiny Desk.

Greenwood discusses growing with twenty records obsessively, including New Order. This gave him a deep appreciation of music and listening. In regards to classical music, he discusses the inspiration of Messiaen and Bach. Associated with this was an initial love of the recorder.

Greenwood compares comping with an actor reading a film script. Some things cannot be written.

Another influence has been Krzysztof Penderecki. This came from his short stint studied music at university.

Talking about these influences, Greenwood makes reference to the idea that to steal from one is theft, steal from two and it is inspiration.

Discussing Penderecki and electronic music, Greenwood talks about how once you change something, it has an impact and you cannot go back.

Listened Daniel Johns’ songs that made him from ABC Radio

Silverchair to The Dissociatives, symphony orchestras to electronic production, Daniel Johns’ musical journey has been broad. One of Australia’s great songwriters shares the five songs that made him, and reveals what a super fan he himself is with his favourite bands.

Deep Purple – “Black Night”
Big Black – “Bad Penny”
Nirvana – “Scentless Apprentice”
Bjork – “Joga”
James Blake – “Unluck”

Listened Dylan Lewis’ iconic songs from the 90s from ABC Radio

If you were a teenager watching TV in the 90’s, then Recovery was like church. Every Saturday morning no matter what, you’d flop on the couch and watch this ramshackle live music TV show; three hours long, with characters like the Enforcer lurking about, shaky handheld camera shooting, and all hosted by an eyebrow ring bearing firecracker, called Dylan Lewis. It was the kind of loose TV we hadn’t seen since Countdown, and that was a show our parents watched anyway. This was ours. And it showed the bands we loved, putting on some of the wildest performances we’d ever seen. Recovery was one of the best surprise gigs Dylan Lewis ever got, and it changed the trajectory of his life. Over the course of this Take 5, you’ll be overtaken by the infectious joy of this iconic host, as he pulls back the curtain on a singular time in Australian music television.

Beastie Boys – ‘Professor Booty’

Kate Bush – ‘Lily’

Regurgitator – ‘F.S.O.’

Mr. Bungle – ‘Goodbye Sober Day’

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – ‘2 Kindsa Love/Flavor’ {Live on Recovery, 1997}

I like the use of ‘joy’ in describing this podcast with Dylan Lewis. As always, a little bit zany, but also very thoughtful. Love his recount of how even with his rash resume he got the job to host Recovery.
Listened Georgia: Seeking Thrills from Pitchfork

The second album written, produced, and performed by Georgia Barnes is the work of a budding pop mind finding her own space on the dancefloor.

It feels that Georgia continues with the current trend of turning back to the rich sounds of the 80’s. As Kitty Empire argues,

For all Georgia’s evident respect for club lore, however, this is, at heart, an album of pop rushes in the vein of Chvrches or Robyn. Much of Seeking Thrills gravitates towards the early 80s, where the developments of late 70s clubland ended up filtering into the charts.

Along with Bat for Lashes and Charli XCX, it feels like this reference to the past is in part with an eye to the future. This

Place between Robyn and Charli XCX

Listened Damian Cowell: Get Yer Dag On review – TISM frontman lampoons us again, and pines for Waleed Aly from the Guardian

Get Yer Dag On! is the second Disco Machine album, and Micallef and Martin are again present, alongside another stellar roll call of guests: Celia Pacquola, Judith Lucy and many more. There’s a certain irony in there being a sort of identikit anonymity about many of these pounding dancefloor grooves, but that doesn’t matter, because (a) irony is central to everything Cowell does, and (b) he can sing: his melodies and phrasing make many of these songs instantly memorable.

There is something about a joke album (is that what this is?) which allows you to stop and take stock. I have always found that with Cowell’s music.

Listened Tame Impala’s songs that would surprise from ABC Radio

Way back in 2010, a little band from Perth had just released their debut album Innerspeaker. It would get attention worldwide, and win the J Award for Australian Album of the Year. Two months shy of that gong, Kevin Parker and Jay Watson came in to Take 5 with Zan and share five songs that we might be surprised to find in their record collection. Kev’s love of pop music is well known today, but at the time these choices got quite the reaction when they came in to co-host, and giggle, with Zan. Justin Timberlake – “Rock Your Body” The Presidents of The United States of America – “Peaches” S.O.A.P. – “This Is How We Party” Boris – “Heavy Friends” Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. – “Bang Bang Bang” (feat. Q-Tip and MNDR)

Listened Did Double J inspire this Vampire Weekend song? from Double J

The Vampire Weekend frontman comes clean on his idea for ‘Sunflower’.

Ezra Koenig shares talks with Dylan Lewis about music, Australian bushfires and the album, Father of the Bride.

The job of the album is to create a world. That’s when you know when an album feels right.

Listened Jon Hopkins raves on from Double J

The UK producer and pianist talks to Dylan Lewis about his massive Australian rave dates.

Dylan Lewis speaks with Jon Hopkins. They discuss Hopkins’ cross-over between classical and electronic music. Asked about this, Hopkins suggests that his particular interest in electronic music is the ability to layer sounds. Although he has worked with many artists, Hopkins says that the one artist he would like to work with is Thom Yorke. Lewis also talks about meditation and his wish to listen to Hopkins’ music when they open the first hotel in space.
Listened Deputy PM slams ‘raving inner city lunatics’ for bushfire climate link from ABC Radio National

Michael McCormack said people in disaster areas “don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time”.

Hamish Macdonald challenges Michael McCormack on the connections between the current crisis and global warming. McCormack argues that it is not the right time for such discussions that are being driven by Greenie lunatics, instead we should be focusing on supporting people. The question that comes up again and again, if not now when?

Here is a link to the audio:

Listened Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’ from the Guardian

Company’s work in 68 countries laid bare with release of more than 100,000 documents

Just when you think you have heard everything there was to know about Cambridge Analytica, someone goes and leaks over 100,000 documents.

The release of documents began on New Year’s Day on an anonymous Twitter account, @HindsightFiles, with links to material on elections in Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Listened TISM from Double J

John Safran looks beyond the masks for the TISM J Files, Thursday 27 August from 8pm on Double J.

John Safran investigates the world of TISM as a part of the J Files podcast. Safran documents a number of myths about their past and snippets from interviews. He also spoke with their ex-manager, Michael Lynch who suggests:

They may have been popular, but they were never hip.

Listened ‎Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine: Message from DC June 17 on Apple Podcasts from Apple Podcasts

His master’s voice

Damian Cowell reflects on the passing of Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. Cowell discusses how the aircon was turned off at the 1993 Big Day Out because Cornell had a cold.

Cowell also reflects upon grunge music in general, which then ends up in a discussion of 70’s rock. He then discusses the way in which front men seem to swap bands like the AFL draft. He wonders why he didn’t front Savage Garden considering where that band might have gone if he had done so.

Listened Kids Love Balloons – Episode 33: Damian Cowell by The Song NerdThe Song Nerd

OK so I couldn’t resist using a TISM reference in my intro, despite the language being filthy, and now I’m caught somewhere in between “that’s a great dad joke” or “why did you swear like that, you buffoon?”. TISM was one of Australia’s most iconic and entertaining bands and when a song title such as “I might be a …” exists, the opportunity to use it contextually was too rare to resist.

Nevertheless. Former member Damian Cowell popped around to my place and we had a great yarn for a couple of hours. He’s now focused on Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine – a new album to be released February 20 and subsequent shows which seem basically unmissable. Just by reading the band name you can sense the sheer fun this project exudes.

It’s about “giving in to the simple joys of my own twisted version of fun dance music”. The album is titled Get Yer Dag On. The gist is: What a shit world we’re living in – let’s boogie!

So we discuss the musical influences of the project, the pleasures of choreography, how his career developed over the years and as it happens, plenty of life lessons pop up. He airs concern that we ventured in to “some sort of self-help” thing and if that element is there, I don’t mind too much. Hahaha this nugget of wisdom does spring from the chat so thanks Damian for the inspiration and comfort:

We can all garner some hope. DAILY DISAPPOINTMENT is beneficial and make you a richer, fuller person. Try things and fail. Feel emotionally vulnerable and experience suffering. It all helps in the long run, keeps us grounded, teaches us lessons, and as long as we keep recognising this we can stay on top and not let the disappointment defeat us.

Damian Cowell speaks with Chris Holland about chemicals, nostalgia, his love of Rod Stewart, playing music that is fun not cool and trying to be more Damian Cowell and less TISM. Cowell also shares how Henry Rollins ended up being on Get Yer Dag On. As always, a case of chance.
Listened ‎Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine: Arseless Chaps Episode 1 on Apple Podcasts from Apple Podcasts

‎Show Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine, Ep Arseless Chaps Episode 1 – 23 Dec 2015

Damian Cowell teamed up with Tony Martin on RRR as the Arseless Chaps during the 2015/16 summer break. The highlight in the four week slot was Cowell’s playing of various tracks at the wrong speed and shortening of longer tracks, including Stairway to Heaven in Episode 4.
Listened Brian Eno’s luminous songs from ABC Radio

When Brian Eno came to Australia for the first time ever, back in 2009, Zan was lucky enough to sit down with him and invite him to curate triple j. He was in the country for Luminous, a festival that would become Vivid in Sydney. He had created light installations, and programmed some of his favourite musical acts to come and play. Over five songs, Eno shared his passion for these artists, and some of the theories and thinking that have made him one of the great modern music philosophers and creatives. This is a rare treat to get into the mind of a genius, across five songs.

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 – “Think Africa”

Battles – “Atlas”

Jon Hopkins – “Light Through the Veins”

Reggie Watts – “Out Of Control”

Ladytron – “Predict The Day”

In this interview from 2009, Zan Rowe speaks with Brian Eno about songs/artists associated with with the Luminous Festival. Some of the points that stood out were his idea of listening as the act of connecting:

When I am listening to someone’s work, I think ‘that is a little bit like’ or ‘there is something in here that might be enriched by hearing some else’s music’

The importance of having strong views:

That’s quite good doesn’t help anyone … if you take a strong position other people can orientate themselves around it. They can see what they feel in relation to your position … Having strong opinions forces others to take positions as well.

Talking about Jon Hopkins, Eno questions how many people are actually synthesiser players.

Most synthesisier players are keyboard players with a few sounds

For me someone like Chris Beckstrom represents this difference.

Eno also wonders about the difference between recorded and performed music.

I often think that recorded music should have a different name. We do not think of cinema as theatre … Music form is different to what composers did centuries ago.

Listened Tom Waits on finding his voice: ‘I don’t really think there is anything genuinely new under the sun’ from Double J

Tom Waits opens up about the mystery of songwriting and the melting pot of influences he draws from.

Zan Rowe speaks with Tom Waits about the songs that inspired his album ‘Bad As Me’. It is one of those interviews that carries you away and leaves you seeing the world in a different light. Some of the notable thoughts were music as captured air:

Tunes are in the air … writing them down is like letter air out of a balloon and then naming it.

Songs living within us after we hear then:

Songs kind of live within you once you hear them, there is nothing new, we are all just doing bad impersonations of each other.

Life as planting seeds:

That’s really what we hope for … plant a few seeds and then we go. We are all just drawing in the dirt with a stick.

Songs in songs and voices in voices:

I think inside every song there are other songs. But I also think, inside your voice, there are other voices that you have yet to discover and that’s kind of why you are here.

Completeness of recorded music:

Until a song’s recorded it isn’t really finished. Regardless of what your plan is, the song itself has a plan of its own. You need to be sensitive to that. Sometimes you need to get out of the way. You need to know when to duck.

After listening for a second time, I was left thinking about the episode with Damian Cowell and how the truth was not what was important, instead it was about a world seen with fresh eyes.

Listened Warren Ellis’ songs in the key of Waz from ABC Radio

Warren Ellis’ music has been the soundtrack to my adult life. I remember when I first heard Dirty Three, they were like nothing else around; an instrumental band with a violinist who played like Hendrix, and epic songs that tore at the very fibre of your being. I listened to their albums and like many others put my own meaning into those wordless songs. In the mid 90’s we started seeing him more in the Bad Seeds. He found a friend and collaborator in Nick Cave, they would form Grinderman together and compose beautiful soundtracks for film and television. Warren Ellis doesn’t sit still. He also rarely looks back.. for him, creative life is about propelling forward, solving the mystery of song that awaits in his next project. When Dirty Three announced they’d be performing their debut album in full, I knew I wanted Waz to Take 5. He’s always been the most entertaining part of Nick Cave doco’s, and his fiery spirit on stage is magnetic; I wanted to get close to that, see what made him tick. What I witnessed, was an entirely different Warren Ellis. In a pin drop quiet room, he took us from his childhood in Ballarat, to the streets of Europe, finding his voice in Melbourne and then leaving it all behind to become the man he is today. Songs in the key of Waz. From the maestro himself.


John Ellis – ‘Mis’ry is my Middle Name’


Johnny Cash – ‘Orange Blossom Special’


Beethoven – ‘Symphony 7 slow movement number 2 Allegretto’


Arleta – ‘Mia Fora Thymamai (I Remember a Time)’


Alice Coltrane / John Coltrane – ‘The Sun’

Warren Ellis reflects on the music that marked his journey. From a creative perspective, it provides an insight into the importance of keeping on going.

You can turn up and fail, but at least you turned up.

Ellis is one of those storytellers who captures you as a listener and really drags you in.

I came upon the Ellis episode via Zane Rowe’s Best of 2019 episode.