Julie Lamb, in addition to having a full time preoccupation with music, runs a Wellington based accountancy business. She has recently launched her second album, Trippin’ the Light, and is currently playing music with the album band, The Lambinators. (Bodega, 13th December.) She is also the “mum” of 10dd (10cc acapella troupe) (Kelburn Village Pub, 2-4pm 9th December.) Julie also sings with funky blues band, the LambHunters. Blasts from the past include Channelling Janis, The Toby Jugs and Frankie and the Bee. She probably needs a cup of tea and a lie down after all that lot! But first, here are five albums (and a few others) she’s loving right now…
The selection process:
The sadness of realising your favourite albums are mainly from the 70s
The difficulty of dropping the number of favourites from 40+ to 5
The realisation that you actually don’t really listen to albums any more , that you, just like the shift from the Old Museum to Te Papa, have became a reader of snippets, rather than novels. The harsh realisation that every matrix you come up with to narrow your choice, will end up with you trying to justify cheating to get ANOTHER album in.
The moment you try to use the specific instruction to narrow your choice and it still doesn’t work
The discomfort of humming 40+ albums of tunes all day in the hope that by putting them into the ether, they will all magically and suddenly become part of the largest 5 compilation albums in history.
The decision process:
After using decades, continents, genres, live vs. studio, instrumental vs. vocal, the albums with the largest footprint on my phone, the albums in the latest played stack next to the stereo, numbers of band personnel, who I’d be likely to faint in front of if I ever met them – and various other tortuous methodologies – here they are – in decade order, with a list of close runner ups!
1 – 10cc, How Dare you: This was the only album that absolutely had to be included. It had such an impact on me that I set up a choral group (10dd) so that I could recreate some of this special goodness! Even after spending years breaking down each song into parts to recreate it for voice, I still gasp at the clever and innovative approaches and the combination of skills (Mind you, maybe that’s WHY I gasp.) I think this line up (Stewart, Gouldman, Creme and Godley) were the best of 10cc, they were all amazingly talented multi instrumentalists and all incredible vocalists. The 50% split – two loved pop two loved alternative styles – made for a kind of magic that hasn’t really been replicated in their other various guises. Oh, and it didn’t hurt that Eric Stewart was HOT!
Huge influences from the seventies, and still on high rotate in my head are: Court & Spark, Joni Mitchell, Full Sail, Loggins and Messina, Trick of the Tail, Genesis, Between the Lines, Janis Ian (And that is ignoring the absolute must haves of the day: Rumours, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Made in Japan, A Night at the Opera, Toto and Hotel California) SO MUCH LUSH VOICENESS in the 70s – and yes, I know that isn’t a real word!
2 – King Crimson, Beat: Just on the edge of inaccessible (for me). My 30-second attention span loves this quirky, but awesomely arranged album. Adrian Belew is a hero of mine. He has been built with a magic set of pipes, and him and Fripp et al (Bill Bruford was still in the line up at this time) seem, in this album, to get to that place that shows off all their talents at once. Heartbeat is one of the most incredibly sensuous songs. The lyric catches my breath, almost without fail.
3 – Ernest Ranglin, Below The Bassline: Listening to this right now – King Tubby Meets The Rockers makes me smile EVERY time I hear it. And the rest of the album just sits nicely in the room, almost like an extra presence. I love the personality that presents itself. Whether it’s true or not – I think I’d really like Ernest Ranglin. Because I’m a vocalist, I have a tendency to listen for lyric, this album is the one that taught me that instrumentals can “say stuff” too.
The “almost made its”: Electric Digger Dandy, James Reyne, Grace of My Heart soundtrack (So many amazing talents on this album) Sheryl Crow, Sheryl Crow. Cruel Inventions, Sam Phillips
4 – Fruit, Burn: This choice has some residual “most fun at a live performance ever-ness” about it. Went to see Michelle Shocked (In Oz) and this band was the support act. The trio of women – with their absolutely indisputable talent; the points of difference provided by the three very different writing tones; the amazing vocal arrangements and the fun that they had on stage made this such a magical gig. That said – this album is one of the most played in my house. It’s amazing. And, I think, their best. I was star struck when I got their autographs, burbled nonsense at them, as you do. I didn’t buy Michelle Shocked’s album.
On the “list”: Six Strings, Ian Moss. (Was dumbstruck when I got his autograph a few years ago – not over it yet) The Steeldrivers, The Steeldrivers. Patti Austin, For Ella. (Patti Austin is one of my favourite arrangers of all time – I was witty and erudite when I got her autograph… o_O )
5 – Julia Deans, Modern Fables: I resisted buying this album because of a preconceived notion of what it would be. Not that I didn’t like Fur Patrol, perhaps I didn’t like my perception of Julia Deans at that point of her career? Who cares… what a delicious album this is! Acousticy goodness that feels live. Interesting and engaging lyrics, great hooks, and tasty arrangements. Thanks telly, for interviewing Julia Deans and having her bust out a tune on the spot. How fantastic she was in that interview, and what a voice. So if I get her autograph, I’ll probably dribble.
There are less 2010s. They haven’t had time to get me yet. And, funnily enough the more recent additions are mainly instrumental.
The String Contingent, The String Contingent. Resonator, Reuben Bradley. (Personal favourite jazz number of all time – Doppler Effect) And while I have resisted talking about my own album, it is still on high rotate in my head, and lives a little in my heart. Trippin’ the Light, Julie Lamb.
Go find some of these lovely goodnesses. They all bring me such pleasure. Thanks for letting me share!