Speaker by Various Artists

My Favourite Things (A-F)

by Shayne Carter

We like Shayne Carter and his music, so we thought it would be nice to post some audio commentary he recorded for the new Dimmer album, There My Dear. The commentaries cover the first four tracks of the album, and they are MP3 files of less than 3MB each. You won't hear them anywhere else on the Internet.

The first track is uploaded as the audio for this post. There's also Track 2, Track 3 and Track 4 to wrap your ears around.

And just to make it a total Shaynefest - a veritable Carterpalooza - below is something he wrote for his MySpace blog, on his favourite music. He's all MySpacey and down-with-the-kids and all with his no-capital-letters thing, and frankly, given that the record company's not evening paying us for this shit, we couldn't be bothered changing it into grown-up spelling.

Enjoy …

i have time on my hands … so i am now going to write 1000s and 1000s of words on some of my favourite music which will probably take me 'til next month. you're probably not interested but it's my blog and i can write whatever the hell i want. besides -it gives me something to do today . i like writing. i like music too. it is a balm for the soul.

so in ipodic alphabetical order - this is some stuff i have occasionally thought...make of it what you will.....

10cc - "I'm Not In love" - this really is one of the great obsessional/denial tunes. it is also 6 minutes 4 seconds long. i've ripped off the stacked harmonies on a tune called "i won't let you break my heart again" from the forthcoming dimmer album - or should that be "alluded to". i like the woman with the speech impediment who does the "big boys don't cry " bit in the middle. she's so teasing and superior - just how we like 'em ....apparently ..

Al Green - Al's autobiography "take me to the river" is a really great read. you can hear the preacher in him. "simply beautiful" is one of the sexiest songs ever. al knew you didn't always have to blaze on the mike. singing quietly means there's more places for you to go. i really love the caught between heaven and hell vibe of the "belle" album that he did after his 'boiling grits' incident . "belle", "georgia boy" and "dream" are all top tunes.

Alice Coltrane - "journey to satchidananda" is a beautiful album. sitars, harps, sleighbells and pharoah saunders all slow burning and dreamy. alice coltrane suffered from the yoko ono syndrome in that she was dissed by the critical "establishment" for having a famous husband and for actually having the audacity to be a coloured woman with something to say . but that's only because so many critics are misogynistic and fucking stupid. i'd say the last laugh goes to alice.

Angelo Badalamenti - The soundtracks he did for that david lynch stuff. music that's kind of like the aural equivalent of that opening shot in "mullholland drive " - red tail lights flickering woozily in the gloomy near distance. ..

Aphex Twin - i would say this guy is one of the few true geniuses to emerge from that whole electronic movement. it's not easy doing music that can range from meditative ambience right thru to complete obnoxiousness - but that's what he did . i'd say my two favourites would be the "richard d james album" and the "come to daddy' ep. the "little lord faulteroy" mix of "come to daddy" kind of sums him up for me. it is completely fucked up, kind of worrying, yet you can still tap your toe(s) along to it. the videos for "come to daddy" and "windowlicker" are top too..

Arthur B Rubenstein - this is the soundtrack for "blue thunder", that roy schneider helicoptor cop movie from the 80's, which is probably a far better encapsulation of the coldness and alienation of l.a than something like "heat" could ever hope to be. ("the long goodbye' with elliot gould is a far better l.a movie than "heat' too. so is "chinatown".) but you can hear the chooka chooka whirl of rotor blades all thru this.

Autechre - one of their really early tunes "second bad vibe' was the one that really made me realise something was afoot with this electronic stuff. they made records that actually Tried Something which is a rarer quality than you'd think. even if their later records did become kind of these unfathomable exercises in completely rooted mathematics, i admired their invention, their bravery and the made up words they employed for album titles.

Basehead - this guy made a really great, overlooked album in the early 90's called "playing with toys". slacker guitar over basic hip hop beats and these mumbly vocals that could barely be bothered trying. basehead tells stories that don't involve much beyond drinking beer, smoking pot and hanging out with your equally sex deprived loser mates. it makes it sound like a really cool thing to do.

Beatles - it goes without saying that i am a lennon man. george wrote "something" and you can't sneer at that. macartney played brilliant bass and he also wrote some great tunes but i could never bear his rooty--toot -toot music hall shit like "ob le da" and "maxwells silver hammer" . it was like he was trying to prove some point about "range" in "songwriting" and the "timelessness" of it all. "helter skelter" is blistering but it's also contrived like he decided he needed to write a song like that. lennon always sounded like he just sat down and did it.

Beethoven - "moonlight sonata" is one of the saddest and most unbearably poignant pieces of music i've ever heard - i can hardly bear to listen to it.. i can't read music but someone who can once showed it to me on piano. it killed me that someone's soul can be transcribed and linger on and resonate like that 100's of years after the fact.

Bic Runga - i think bic's latest album is the best thing she's done. it's honest and it has depth. i sang backing vocals on it and loved the experience, especially being flanked by two pure songbirds like anika and anna. they've both got such beautiful voices even if in reality they are basically these two maori bogans.. bic is a friend and i like the way she is always staring vaguely into the middle distance and the cute way she always says "sorry". don't be sorry lil bic...

Big Star - i saw alex chilton play live once but at that stage he seemed mainly content to churn thru this kinda flat barroom boogie. but i love those completely wiped out tunes on the third album -"big black car", "kangaroo", "holocaust' , "dream lover" - timeless tunes like a broken man barely able to sweep himself off the floor.

Black Sabbath - black sabbath totally kick arse. i even like the tunes on their early records where they get it all wrong cos they're basically inventing heavy metal and as we all know all invention has to involve some doofus experiments along the way. black sabbath certainly had those but they also wrote "paranoid", "war pigs" and "sweet leaf" which are dumb but so dumb that they couldn't possibly be dumb. they're actually pretty smart.

Bo Diddley - bo diddley had one rhythm and all his songs were called "bo diddley". but it was a damn good rhythm and bo diddley is a damn good name. in fact i think i wrote somewhere else that one bar of bo diddley pretty much laid to waste an entire decade of metallica - and i would still hold this to be true. he also is the only human to make wearing a rectangular shaped guitar look cool.

Boards Of Canada - "music has the right to children" is a great record. it's mysterious and elusive and it gets you right in the guts. like a lot of the electronic artists i've liked tho' it's kinda like all the output afterwards seemed like repeats or diluted versions of what had already been . but it can't tarnish this one.

Bob Dylan - i never used to like bob dylan. my dylan joke used to be that joan baez went out with bob dylan but so did nasal whining and protest songs. but my little brother - who is 21 and a huge dylan head - played me "blood on the tracks" and "time out of mind" both of which went way beyond "folk" and both of which delivered unto me this little epiphany...

Boredoms - i saw the boredoms play live once. they were like a full on oriental head-on highway pile up. their latest album is really good.

Brian Eno - all of eno's "vocal" albums in the early 70's rule. he always worked with great guitarists too. things like phil manzanera's work on something like "the true wheel' . i can remember i once came across this sound on my guitar involving an e-bo and filtering thru a wah pedal. i had been working that day with some stonemason friends trying to make ends meet and the sound was like the sound of the machinery we'd been using while wearing ear muffs. anyway - i thought i was really onto something but then i heard "no pussyfooting' with robert fripp and i realised just what a deluded little boy i am. i love eno's ambient stuff like "thursday afternoon" and "ikebokura" too. i fell asleep to that music for a year. it's ambient but uptight all at the same time.it's funny too - turn it up loud and it becomes totally heavy metal.

Buzzcocks - were one of my favourite bands when i was a kid. my first band, bored games, were basically buzzcocks jnr. i think the first album still sounds great and i always liked "a different kind of tension' too... songs like "i believe in' and "you say you don't love me". pete shelley was a top songwriter and one of the few people from that era to be directly influenced by can...speaking of whom..

Can - i fuckin' love can. their music is kinda like primal funk music with germanic stiff knees. holger czukay's bass change halfway thru "mother sky' is right up there as far as My Favourite Musical Moments go. "you doo right" is a monster of a song. i always loved michael karoli's guitar sound as well. keith levine from public image ltd. totally ripped that off but i love his tone too. i once sung this one dimmer tune with a vague japanese accent in tribute to damo suzuki. in various points in my career i have also sung with germanic, american and english accents tho' as i get older i can hear an increasing, and rather authentic, new zealandese seeping in..

Canned Heat - like the title says "on the road again' is one of the great all time "road" songs. voodoo,unwavering, and straight on down that long old line.

Charles Wright - and his band were this r n b/funk band from the early 70's from los angeles. N.W.A sampled their tune "express yourself" and made it famous. they had better tunes tho' like "keep saying" (which curiously was never released and only found it's way onto their greatest hits record) and "doin what comes naturally" - which is one of the all time fuck you i'm gonna do what i'm gonna do tunes. they were kinda in that otis/ sly / jb mould but rougher. it's probably what stopped them from becoming more "successful" but it's also what made them real real good.

Chris Morris - makes me laugh. he did "the day after" and "brass eye" and best of all this later series called "jam" which is black comedy that goes way beyond black- tumbling instead into this dank hole known as completely without hope . there's this skit called "unflustered parents" about these unflustered parents who are totally unconcerned about the fact that their six year old hasn't come home from school yet - after two weeks. sorry. it cracks me up.

Chris Watson - is a former member of cabaret voltaire who became a field recordist with, i think the bbc. i have a record he recorded on an african plain which is basically the sound of approaching storms with panicky animals , rain and thunder and people slopping about in the mud . it is strangely musical, strangely soothing, and...well.. strange.

Cinematic Orchestra - i really like that "everyday" album. at first it kind of drifts over you like so much of that coffee house schlop but eventually it gets in ,until one day you wake up and think "hey, that "everyday' album is kinda deep!"

Cramps - i always loved the cramps. i'm sure the cramps were one of the main reasons why me and my mate wayne elsey formed our band the doublehappys with two guitars and no bass. "psychedelic jungle" and "songs the lord taught us" - what about that song "under the wires" and the way lux interior sings "what colour panties are you wearing ?" it's way more steeped in genuine debauchery and sleaze than anything some bunch of bozos like motley crue could imagine.

Crude - is this south island chap called matt middleton. he makes pretty much an album every week and is a genuinely talented freak. he once drummed in the dimmer band early on before quitting and, i'm sure, slagging my name off all over town. but you should track his stuff down. it is jazzy/electro/hypno/low fi/unclassifiable shit. he should get out of new zealand as his ideas are probably too much for these fair and temperate isles.

Cypress Hill - i don't think i have ever listened to any of their stuff apart from that tune "illusions" which is full of pot infused dread . i like tunes full of pot infused dread.

D'Angelo - "voodoo' is also one of my favourite albums from recent years. "devils pie" roolz the school kiddleywinks. i don't care whether it takes him a million years to make each album -probably cos i appreciate the feeling. but if outkast are the sly stone of the new millenium then d'angelo is it's marvin gaye.

but that video he did for "untitled" makes me feel...well...funny...

Damned - "new rose" is one of the best punk rock tunes . it is one of the first tunes i ever learnt and what an extremely good place to start that was. i played third guitar with the d4 at some party last year and that was one of the songs we did. we had to play it over and over in the practice room ,even when our arms were dropping off, cos it was fuckin' exciting and Still Crazy after All These Years. it is basically one of those songs where you hop on at the beginning, go along for the ride and hope like fuck you can make it to the end.

David Kilgour - i have nothing but the utmost respect for my fellow dunedinite. "here come the cars" is still a classic. i can take some credit for the title track in a very obscure and tangential way. this scientist dude once gave me a bottle - i said a Bottle - of pure lsd. i couldn't even handle being in the same suburb as it, because it was like sitting on a nuclear bomb, so i gave it away. david took some and then sat in a park for two days and then wrote "here come the cars" because that was all he had pretty much been thinking all that time. david is a great guitarist, a great songwriter and a pure musical soul. that "feathers from the engine" album from a couple of years ago is really good too.

Derek And Clive - crack me up too. it's so fuckin' stupid that it is probably genius. the first two albums "live" and "come again" are best cos "get the horn" is when it all starts to get a bit sad and bitter - even if it does have great skits like "the horn" and "endangered species". i love how it's all improvised like a really great jam. i mean who'd ever bother writing that kind of stuff down ? as i said - probably genius.

Destiny's Child - i was really impressed by the fact that beyonce wrote "bootilicious". beyonce is cool. all the shoe gazey, droney bands in the universe would be hard pressed to come up with a better one note song than that.

Donna Summer - georgio moroder's production on "i feel love' is virtually the template for techno music. that tune is psychedelic, woozy and pretty much gone... much like the topic donna discusses so heartily therein..

Donny Hathaway - those fat freddy horn dudes put me onto that live album of his - the one with that version of "you've got a friend" that is oh, a zillion miles beyond old limp ass james taylor's version. it has the best audience singalong in the chorus. there's one woman who screams in pure ecstasy when the chorus kicks in - it sounds like she's pissing ,or coming, in her pants - but it is also one of the best crys of unbridled joy i have probably ever heard.

Dr Dre. - the chronic instrumentals album 2001 - all his clean, clear beats minus the talky bits. really fucking good. dre is a champion of space, economy, minimalism and all those other terms every music writer in the world filches from the thesaurus.

Dusty Springfield - "Dusty In Memphis" is fantastic. what a collection of tunes and what an amazing singer. i really love "i can't make it alone"

Ed Cake - ed's album "downtown puff" is a great album - so far ahead of all that piffy- so- what? that litters the airwaves every new zealand music month . it was the soundtrack to one of the saddest holidays i ever took. in fact a lot of this record sounds like it Should be the soundtrack to the saddest holiday you ever took. a toast to sir ed.

Elvis - if you can't dig elvis then sorry, you're sad and i don't want to talk to you. i prefer the later 'adult period' myself. has anyone looked better than he did in the 68 comeback special ? i would have kissed him - and i'm this really really Really butch guy. the memphis record is fantastic - i can even handle the schmaltzy stuff cos you can tell he really means it. i love his gospel records too cos that was the music he was genuiinely committed to - it was mummy's favourite genre don't you know ? - but i find it sad and haunting - songs of redemption and hope when he never found either. his early vegas band kicked ass too. their version of "suspicious minds" is like the apocalypse.

The Fall - mark e smith is one of my favourite sour old cunts, like that grumpy great uncle who always ruins your christmas. i really love all the early stuff like witch trials and grotesque - they were soundtracks to...sigh...my teenage years. funnily enough the fall were always a great singles band too.."totally wired", "the man who's head expanded", "lie dream of a casino soul"...

Flaming Lips - played one of the best gigs i've seen for i don't know how long at the big day out a couple of years ago. it was like being on e without being on e - ask anyone who was there. i know everyone says it but "do you realise" is a great, great tune. they really nailed something there . to that one must tip their hat forward - like this -110 degrees..

Frank Sinatra - i only recently got into frank but frank is cool - like champagne cool and martini dry. i like his lyrics and his delivery and even if he dosen't get the girl it dosen't mean he'll ever stop trying. frank is easy listening and easy to listen to. frank hangs out at cool parties where everyone is witty and knowing and decked out in tuxedos with just a slither of lemon slice on the lapel.. i like the songs where he sings to ava gardner. it's good to know that even a swell guy like frank gets his heart broke too..

Fugazi - i saw fugazi play in l.a once. we had just come from this gig by that band tool at the scientology centre and fugazi splatted big time all over that lot. dinosaur jr, nirvana (just before they blew up) and hole were all on the same bill. in fact it may even have been the gig where whatshisname met whatshername. but fugazi were brain splittingly good. they had that whole quiet/loud thing down way before everyone else hooked onto that tack. even when you knew the quiet bit was about to get loud it didn't make it any less exciting when it did. they were probably one of the best live bands i've seen.

Funkadelic - people go on about "maggot brain" but i think the first two albums "funkadelic" and "free your mind and your ass will follow" were best. they were kinda like the records they made when all the drugs were still working. the bass change in "free your mind" is probably second only to that holger czukay bass change i talked about earlier. eddie hazel was a blistering guitarist too. i really think he was floating around those same rarefied airs as hendrix.

well that is A-F and these are some of my favourite things.

tune into the next exciting instalment soon time kids !..

meantime my hands are about to fall off and the world will reach it's natural conclusion before we ever find zed.

ciao ...