Grinderman, Grinderman (2007)
For about seven years I reviewed music on TV on the Good Morning show. It was a lot of fun. Although, TV being TV, you take a pay-cut every year and are supposed to be grateful for the fact; I started off reviewing music every week and it was fun and useful money for an easy (quick) segment. Then it went to fortnightly and less money and then every three weeks and no pay increase – and all the while I was told I was doing a great job and to keep it up. It was, to me, always worth doing because some money is better than no money and it was an interesting experience: reviewing for TV or radio is very different from reviewing for print. And it’s been great dabbling with all formats; it’s good to try new things. I no longer do the TV-reviewing – the show moved its production base to Auckland from Wellington. I can’t be sad about that. I’d done my time. I’d lasted longer than I thought. And besides, a lot of talented people that actually made TV-work their career were left without a full-time job. I now don’t have to get up at 5.30am every third Monday morning – that’s the extent of my loss. Oh, and having a baby filled that particular void. I still get to get up at 5.30/6am now. Yay! (And it’s back to every week – and no pay-rise!) Anyway, so, I’m doing this music reviewing on the box for a few years and I would have to pick the obvious things that should get a mention for that audience – any Norah Jones album for instance. But I also like to extend out beyond that. Just because a TV show thinks you should listen to Norah (and I’m not knocking her) doesn’t mean you couldn’t also try Nick Cave or whatever he’s up to right? Well this one time I decided to review the new album – the first album – by Grinderman, Cave’s new band. And so I’m saying some stuff about the album, we’re on air, and I’m talking about Cave and how this is a rawer sound than where he had been at and he’s playing guitar not piano and so on. And then they play some audio, as was the way, underneath my talking. I realise that they’ve chosen the first track from the album, Get It On. And I’m thinking oh no because I can predict that Cave’s voice, in the intro-rant, is going to clearly say fuck on national TV, early in the morning. So I’m filled with a bit of panic but also I’m kinda thinking this is funny. So I’m trying to time how I will speak and fill the space, cover over the bit where Cave says, “Kick those baboons and other motherfuckers out”. (It’s said with such an exclamation-mark too). So I’m doing my spiel – and gratingly, jarringly underneath all the while is Cave going, “I’ve got to get up to get down and start all over again” then I’ll be saying something like “this is the new album by Grinderman”. Then Cave is all, “Kick those white mice and black dogs out” and I’ll be something like, “Cave of course has been known for his work with The Bad Seeds but this is something a bit different, a return perhaps to his earlier band The Birthday Party” – and in saying that I might have covered up from him saying, “Kick those white mice and baboons out”. But then I’m spent. I’m so sure that I need to cover up for the motherfucking-motherfucker line that is about to turn up that I just freeze. And so I say nothing. And clear-as you hear Cave doom-and-boom out, “Kick those baboons and other motherfuckers out” and those last three words “other motherfuckers out” dribble and drawl and seem to last for 30 seconds or more. Maybe a few minutes even. And then, without laughing, without blinking (well, maybe I blinked) I say, “it’s really quite different to some of his other material”. Or something similarly inane and TV-review like. I know all of this because I watched the tape back that night (I used to record the appearances so my wife could watch the segments, occasionally I’d watch myself on the TV, it was always an odd thing to do and it felt wrong/weird). Anyway, I was convinced the show’s producer was going to call me. I was convinced that someone filling in the spaces between buying steam-mops and new Woolrests (the Bio-Mag?) had heard a dirty word and was furious. Someone must have called in to complain right? Well I overestimated the audience for morning television in New Zealand it seems. As I kept my job for another four years. Yeah, so, anyway, it’s hard not to think about that when I hear Grinderman. I always think about that.
Sample Track: No Pussy Blues
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown