The British writer, Nik Cohn, (who wrote "awopbopaloobopalopbamboom", an early reappraisal of pop music, as well as the story which inspired Saturday Night Fever" and more recently a book on Broadway as well as much great writing on New Orleans hip hop) used to, hilariously , bag Bob Dylan, because he saw him as a fake and a ham. He must have been able to see who Bob Dylan was channelling . The originals must have been fresh in his mind. Now those original figures, ( who Bob Dylan always attempts to draw people s attention to) are all but invisible and Bob Dylan is seen in splendid isolation, it is hard to see what Nik was getting at. The last time anybody cared to ask him as to whether he had changed his mind, Nik said something along the lines that he though Bob Dylan was hokey but he hadn't seen Bruce Springsteen coming. That's funny.
It.'s the same with a lot of popular music though. Things come and go and disappear like fuckin.. snow. I saw that character Devendra Banhard, ,whose initial pr encapsulated everything that I thought bogus and dim about indie music, on tv and was shocked at the outageous hamminess of his act. I'd heard his songs and the only thing I could detect of interest in his music was that little warble in his voice that was pure Marc Bolan.If you didn't know Marc Bolan you would be charmed, I am sure. If you did know Marc Bolan and T Rex, you would , of course, know where Marc took that great vocal effect and how he dressed it up in glam clothes and traded his acoustic for a Les Paul and spent years listening to nothing but Ricky Nelson records with that great LA rockabilly sound and all those cool James Burton licks. You would know that. That was in the future, in a funny way. You would also know it was , hopelessly, in the past.
Anyway, I'd heard the songs and had some hilariously hyped emails from his Australian promoter. Talking of this tramps genius and how he recorded his albums like a cat ,coughing up furballs in his sleep - and how none of it was tainted by artistry or craft, just unconscious luck and shit.. It was "ultra whatever,,,acoustic.." I'd even emailed back to the agent, saying , "this prick sounds like Forrest fuckin.. Gump!" ( In my world, an indictment of a recent modern scene but in reality, an affirmation of the innocence of idiots, loved by dolts the world over). And then I caught him on Jools Hollands show "later". He was sittng cross legged , with candles all around him , dressed in some sort of wizards cap and cloak, playing an acoustic guitar. Of course, all I could see was Marc Bolan in his pre electric Tyrannosaurus Rex days. I thought it was cute. It was a show a couple of years out of date. I remember that time. The national youth boadcaster radio network, had 9 songs of Devendra Banhards on their very tight and rare NATIONAL playlist at the time.
I guess its proximity. I was at high school when Queen actually had that horrible single out, "bohemian Rhapsody". The only kids who were into Queen were ones that would grow up to be Alan Partridge type characters. Guys who would wear driving gloves and play golf and actually BE swinging voters. That is where my mind has stayed with them.
AC/DC were funny. Now they are blown up hugely and what matter was there in the beginning just can't take the strain of so much interest. And they used to be a place for outcasts to go to and find like minded bedraggled headbanging types and be far from the trendified shit that was out there in the world. Now everybodys in on it! Leave AC/DC alone!
There is an act from Melbourne who make a music that is informed by the sounds of 1975. No punk rock and no mucking around. ( well there are lots of young acts like this, reactionary types). Anyway, they have been so enormously successful that its not worth talking about. They are in their early twenties and the singer was talking of his battles with Cocaine and writing their second album. Now , really, that is so scripted and lame that you would be ashamed to say it. Cocaine, the businessmans drug. What problem could you have? I am old school, you should only talk about drugs and problems, to the press, as you are COMING OUT OF GAOL AFTER BEING BUSTED!". Wouldn't it be boring to follow a script so closely? Why bother continuing? We have all seen Spinal Tap. Theres some girlfriends and some managers and some touring and a break up.
Speaking of Spinal Tap. We went to see it when it came out in London at a cinema in Notting Hill. 1984.I was wearing a leather coat ( brand new, like the Black Panthers) and leather pants and leather boots. Clare was dressed up like Annie Oakley in fine Western shirt and dress. There was hardly anybody there and it was so true to any musicians experience that we sat in a foetal position for the entire time. We tried to sneak out, feeling ashamed to be so overtly parading our Rockitudeness. I read somewhere of the singer of Silverchair talking of watching it with his dance nusic buddy and how they "cacked themselves". I was not surprsied to hear this . To us it was no laughing matter! We had the same experience watching "the Mighty Wind" People, who were not musicians, had told us how fun it was. This was even sadder than Spinal Tap. We knew people like that! It was very affecting. Again, it..s the proximity. This tinted drama into slapstick, the further away you got.
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release