Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Bradley Beesley and The Julie Mittens.
Listed: Bradley Beesley + The Julie Mittens
You may not realize it, but if you're reading Dusted, you've probably seen something made by filmmaker Bradley Beesley. In addition to directing nine videos for the Flaming Lips, Beesley's documentary about the Lips, Fearless Freaks, was recently release on DVD. By capturing the band-members at their most exposed, honest, charming, and pained, Beesley's film is one of the great modern music documentaries; you don't even have to be a Flaming Lips fan to appreciate it (although it certainly helps). He first made his mark with the 2001 gross-out-umentary, Okie Noodling, in which Beesley explored and exposed the world of by-hand catfish fishing. Beesley is currently at work on a documentary about summer camps, which he is co-directing with Sarah Price (American Movie). Fearless Freaks is now available on the Shout Factory imprint.
Music for making-out, dancing and crying:
1. Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners
This record reeks of good times and riding in the back of my parents' car listening to the latest FM hits of the early 70's. I had no idea 25 years later I would rediscover this nostalgic gem. I can't get enough.
2. The Black Keys
Although I like their records, they can't compare to their live show. I saw them in Austin a few weeks back and they ripped my head off. It was like ZZ Top only more grime, fuzz and raw noise. It was so loud I got a bloody nose.
3. Johnny Darrell - Singin' It Lonesome Country
I love his 60's slow country twang. He mostly sung country standards and I think died a few years back. But he's still alive in my iTunes world. Gary Stewart must have been influenced by his music as the two have a lyrical fondness for drinkin' on a broken heart. If you're on the verge of killing yourself, stay clear.
4. Eric B. and Rakim - Follow the Leader
At 2 a.m. if the party is fading put this record on and get the people on the dance floor. To me this is the quintessential dance rap album of all time.
5. Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers
He and Lightnin' Hopkins are cut from the same block, although this record is more crunchy and nasty than any Lightniní records. Recorded in 1971, it sounds like it could have been made in the 1960's or today. It's timeless. Itís difficult to tell if Hound Dog is attacking or playing his Sears and Roebucks electric guitar, either way it screams of raunchy coolness.
6. Thin Lizzy - Vagabonds of the Western World
This is spot on make-out music. "Little Girl in Bloom" is my favorite track but even the non-radio hits all sound like gold. I can't stop listening. For some cosmic reason, these guys have been grossly overlooked by my generation.
7. R.L. Burnside
I was fortunate enough to spend a few months hanging out with R.L. Burnside in his home in Holly Springs Mississippi and after his recent death I have been revisiting his catalog. The first time I went to R.L.'s house I brought him some ribs and beer. He promptly took these treats and threw them into a modest refrigerator that happened to have a very large chain and padlock attached. I think if I lived with 20 other folks I would also bolt-up my food.
8. The Faces
This has had plenty of plays at my house recently. I like Rod Stewart solo but this earlier incarnation has aged better.
9. The Flaming Lips
It's true, I am a bit biased, but The Flaming Lips have had a 23-year career that keeps getting richer. This is quite rare in rock music. If I had to pick the ultimate Lips song it would have to be "Moth in the Incubator" off the 1993 release Transmission from a Satellite Heart as it starts out with a slow typical weirdo Wayne story and then explodes into a classic Steven bombastic drum assault. It kinda reminds me of the way Band on the Run unfolds as it if were three different songs.
10. Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
At first this record was like homework but it has slowly become a daily ritual. It's not for everyone, but I have really grown to love her pungent voice.
The Julie Mittens
The Julie Mittens – bassist Michel van Dam, drummer Leo Fabriek and guitarist Aart-Jan Schakenbos – formed in 2002 after hearing John Coltrane's Olatunji Concert (Our fav record of that year, too - whaddayaknow). This fire-casted eulogy inspired the three Julie Mittens to leave songwriting behind and immerse themselves in total improv, a celebration of sound as they like to say. After a few years, the Julie Mittens have learned to control their noise, or more accurately, to control how they set it free.
After a long out of print self-titled EP the Mittens have finally put more sound to plastic. The album recorded live march 5 2003 was just released in a beautiful limited edition of 100 CD-Rs. A vinyl version will be released in January 2006 on the Italian label QBICO. Some new recordings were made last summer and they should see release sometime next month via the Mittens' own label.
1. John Coltrane - The Olatunji Concert
This is the recording that got us going! Next to being an historically important recording in many ways its version of 'My Favorite Things' is simply one of the most mind-blowing pieces of music ever recorded and with our minds blown we decided to play some music ourselves. (JM)
2. Fairport Convention
The first four Fairport Convention albums seem to have a positive influence on the weather. People who maintain that Full House is still a good record totally miss that magical aspect of music. (AJS)
3. Günter Grass - Die Blechtrommel
Because Oskar, the hero of the book, refuses to grow up. That's one. It's a sharp book. I didn't finish it though, because I lost it somewhere... BUT! Also! Music! Oskar is able to shatter glass using his voice, that's two. And three: he 'plays' things, or people, with his drum. That's something I always keep in mind when playing with The Julie Mittens. How can I play a building for instance? (MvD)
4. Jandek - Corwood 0751 - 0759 (Corwood Industries)
This is from the "band"-period. While I don't really like femalesinger "Nancy"(luckily she leaves after Corwood 0752), "Eddie", the second guitar player, is truly great. I believe Jandek plays a lot of drums on these recordings, wildly banging away. Great stuff. (LF)
5. Maher Shalal Hash Baz - From a Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt) (Geographic, Domino UK)
I don't think I have to introduce this band rather extensively, even though a split with Deerhoof-project The Curtains was the only thing released in the US. It looked like they were going to get a little bit more well known, but unfortunately since then nothing has happened outside of Japan, except for some other projects by bandleader Tori Kudo. This is a compilation of various Japan-only releases and has a very beautiful cover and - if you haven't heard it yet - will be one of the most mindblowingly brilliant things you'll ever hear. (LF)
6. MC5! - Anything I can get my hands on.
Because of their unique, high energy, chaotic, impressive live sound. That's all. Very intense! (MvD)
7. Scout Niblett - I Am
Great record! It gets me out of any bad mood. Miss Niblett knows stuff about life and I'm grateful that she's willing to share her knowledge... Wish I were a trucker too! AJS
8. Remko Scha - Machine Guitars
This music is so incredibly beautiful. No human being could ever play the way these machines play but still these sounds seem to be coming from a big big heart. (AJS)
9. Smog - A River Ain't Too Much To Love (Drag City)
It could be the influence of recording in Willie Nelson's studio, but this one always makes me think of the Old Weird America. This is his best album in years (and his first in years, anyway). Much has been said, to which I will not add. (LF)
10. Tröckener Kecks - Schliessbaum
One of of the most wanted early (1980) dutch punk records. It's very different from other punk-music of around that time. The lyrics are far more "literature-like" and the music is quite transparent even though it's messy. (MvD)
By Dusted Magazine