Listened No Song No Spell No Madrigal, by The Apartments from Microcultures

8 track album

I started reading Andrew Stafford’s book on the Brisbane music scene, Pig City, and I stumbled upon this quote from Peter Milton Walsh:

Peter Milton Walsh: We sped them up! I was terrified of doing my own stuff, because it was so slow, and because it was intimate. And essentially, the thing that I liked about that time was everything felt like it was all amphetamine-driven and it was a great rock experience . . . [Whereas] a song like Nobody Like You, I could play it on the piano now and it’s a big, slow ballad. It wasn’t lounge music in the sense of the commodity that lounge is now, but very much like playing in your living room.

It dawned on me that even with all the references to Walsh throughout the Go-Betweens history, I had never actually listened to any of his music, so I jumped in.

Spotify provided me two references to ‘Nobody Like You’. I listened to the first version, the original track from 1979 EP, The Return Of The Hypnotist, while the second version was from the 2015 album, No Song No Spell No Madrigal. Interestingly, the 2015 version was much closer to the ‘slow ballad’ that Walsh touched upon in the quote from Pig City. I really liked the newer version, so I jumped into the full album.

I had read pieces about Walsh and his thoughts on things in the Go-Between’s documentary Right Here, however I did not really know much about Walsh himself. I really enjoyed No Song No Spell No Madrigal. It certainly showed a maturity from the early sound. It also demonstrated a rawness that really hit home. As Andrew Stafford captured in his review of the album:

For years, silence had seemed like the only way to suitably honour his son’s passing, but the more songs that came, the more they weighed. “I [couldn’t] go on if I didn’t do them,” he says. “It was like a necessity because here he lives, in these songs – do I just throw them away, so that’s another thing that’s forgotten?”

Walsh’s reflection on the lose of his son, Riley, reminded me of Nick Cave’s discussion of lose in Faith, Hope and Carnage. Foc Cave, the devastation of grief happens to everyone eventually:

this will happen to everybody at some point – a deconstruction of the known self. It may not necessarily be a death, but there will be some kind of devastation. Page 102

Place between Destroyer and Guy Pearce.

Listened Oceans Apart by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Oceans Apart is the ninth and final studio album by The Go-Betweens, released in 2005. All the songs were written by Grant McLennan and Robert Forster. The album was recorded at the Good Luck Studios in London between November 2004 through to January 2005, except for “Boundary Rider” which was recorded at The White Room Recording Studio in Brisbane.

I always remember Oceans Apart, it did win an Aria, but I am not sure I ever heard it in full at the time it was released. I certainly never owned it. Listening now, it represents a classic Go-Betweens album, with a contrast between Robert Forster’s spritely upbeat tracks set-up in contrast with Grant McLennan’s dreamy pop. Although the band reunited with producer Mark Wallis, for me this album does not quite match the completeness of 16 Lovers Lane. I wonder if it misses the ‘Go-Betweens drama’ as Amanda Brown has put it or if a part of this disappointment is my own listening? I am going to assume the later. I think once I got over that I found that the hooks and melodies to be quite infectious. I also found the use of programmed beats and synthesisers worked, which seems ironic at time with how much the rallied against some of this in the 80’s.
Listened album by The Go-Betweens by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Bright Yellow Bright Orange is the eighth album by Australian indie rock group The Go-Betweens, released in February 2003 on the Trifekta Records label. It was nominated at the 2003 ARIA Music Awards for Best Adult Contemporary Album, but lost to John Farnham for The Last Time.

Bright Yellow Bright Orange moves away from the rawness of The Friends of Rachel Worth to cut back to a more acoustic sound. Although not new, with 16 Lovers Lane being a heavily acoustic, this album is more stripped back about this album.

Bright Yellow Bright Orange is a perfect example of how guitar pop can sound when stripped of shallow musings and regurgitated anthemics.

The post-punk charge that found its way into some of the band’s early recordings is all but gone; the band focuses almost all of Bright Yellow Bright Orange (their eighth full-length) on their acoustic, folk-inflected side.

It may not be as quirky as the 1980’s but it is has an accentuated, intense beauty.

Listened Thom Yorke: Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film) from Pitchfork

Yorke’s score tackles a broader range of styles and ideas than any of his previous solo work, and all of them shine. There are appropriately cinematic, minor-key passages for piano and strings; great sheets of electronic buzz; gorgeous choral miniatures with a whiff of Arvo Pärt’s arctic grace; brooding, gothic Americana; and striking forays into pure electronic abstraction, the kind of thing you might have found on the German experimental label Mille Plateaux in the late 1990s.

Pitchfork also wrote a review of the title track.

Recorded on what sounds like the type of upright piano you might find in the corner of an empty recreation hall, “Suspirium” drifts along with practically no production, a desolate snapshot of Yorke in his studio, quietly summoning with moody magic.

Bookmarked You May Not Know Jack Antonoff. But You Probably Love His Music. by (

“The heart and soul of pop is newness, excitement, innovation,” said Mr. Antonoff, a spirited, zealous talker who rarely stops fidgeting. “The music industry is built on chasing that ambulance — ‘someone did it, let’s go that way.’ I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to be away from it.”

After bringing artists into his modest space, he likes to start with a simple question: “What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”

In contrast with the cold, near-scientific approach to songwriting favored by titans like Max Martin and Dr. Luke, Mr. Antonoff strives for a gut-level, emotionally probing therapy experience — “excavating,” he calls it. “If someone could do it without me, then I don’t want to be there,” he said, recalling an unsuccessful experience trying to write for Rihanna, who often pulls from large pools of competitive talent.

In this review in the New York Times, Jack Antonoff shares some of his past, how he goes about working with other artists and how Gone Now differs from the first Bleachers album.
Listened Steel Train, by Steel Train from Steel Train

Steel Train is the third full-length studio album by Steel Train, released on June 29, 2010.[5] The album features an all-female companion album entitled Terrible Thrills Vol. 1, which consists of covers, remixes, and re-imaginings of every song on the album by female artists.

Before Jack Antonoff produced tracks for Pink, Lorde and Taylor Swift, he was a member of Steel Train. I am always interested to listen to how artists evolve. This reminds me of the contrast of the early Powderfinger albums to their latter pop productions. I am also interested where the particular interest in 80’s synthpop came in as it is not really present in these guitar laden tracks.