Andrew McKenzie released solo album, The Edge of The World in 2010, before that he was a member of the band Grand Prix. Currently he’s a member of Golden Curtain – you can check out the band’s 2013 album, English Tuning via Bandcamp (name your price) and the band has readied a new album, Dream City. Here’s five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Dwight Yoakam. Thinking about Leaving [Long Enough to Change My Mind]: This is all about old-school songwriting. Verse, chorus, verse etc where the chorus repeats and has a different angle after each different verse. From Hank Williams to this guy, there’s a direct line. Some people don’t like country; I blame Deliverance. It’s an important part of music history – even Bob Dylan seems to be more concerned with acknowledged forms of the past than forging new paths, musically. There’s a conservatism in country that leads to an appreciable economy, and lack of baroque carry on. The guitar and pedal steel solo is a good example of that.
2 – Franck Monnet – Waimarama: I know Franck, so I have to declare my conflict of interest, but this is what’s getting played at mine. I got an early copy of this a while back, and now it is released it’s not a secret anymore. The beauty of music is that you don’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy it. I have no idea what he’s talking about, as it’s in French, [he writes lyrics for people like Vanessa Paradis] but I keep on listening to songs like Waimarama and Differents. It’s like Paul McCartney but much better. I get freaked out thinking that tracks get made in the U.S. from the beats up. The melody, or Top Line, is the last thing they add. That’s not how you come up with a song.
3 – Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs, Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006: Came back to this after reading ‘Time Out Of Mind – The Lives of Bob Dylan,’ by Ian Bell, and it’s amazing to think these are all songs that were left off albums. They’re largely better than the songs that made it, but maybe didn’t fit. So it’s a great Dylan album, and now I’m better informed on the environment the songs might have come from. When it comes to words he’s pretty good. He’s faced criticism for ‘plagiarism’ in his use of other people’s sentences, but it’s about a lexicon. For instance, let’s face it, lines from Shakespeare have made it into our lexicon, and the lexicon is what this is about. Maybe. When you see the lines he borrowed, and what he did with them, you see Bob Dylan. Everyone talks about the words, but I love his tunes. On World Gone Wrong you can hear just what a great guitarist he is.
4 – Future Islands, Seasons (Waiting on You): Just the one song, but it’s cool how it caused quite different reactions from different people – that’s a good sign. Love the bass, drums, keys, vocal melody – this could be Sinatra if it was slowed down and taken back in time. But you still wonder – is it great or terrible?
5 – Joan As Policewoman, Holy City: Heard this the other day, noticed the three chords coming back to the one, one chord early if you will. Three bar soul, I like it. 4/3?