Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: New Zealand veterans The Renderers and their American opening act, Robert Robinson.
Listed: The Renderers + Sore Eros
When The Renderers put their first record out on New Zealand’s storied Flying Nun label two decades ago, they stood out like a pair of spiffy new cowboy boots in a closet full of well-worn Wellingtons. Since then, the Christchurch-based combo led by the husband and wife singer-guitarist team of Brian and Maryrose Crook have shed some of their Southern Pacific C&W luster in favor of increasingly gritty and hard-rocking expositions of darkness and doubt. On their new album, Rocket Into Nothing (Ba Da Bing), the couple’s voices issue a point-counterpoint exchange of heartbreak and horror, while corroded electronics betray their affection for early avant-garage rock and entropic guitars drag the launch vehicle into the chop shop.
As of Friday morning, the band has two dates left in America: Sunday night in Northampton, Mass., at The Elevens, and Monday night in Boston at Zuzu. Make it work.
1. Pere Ubu - Datapanik in the year dot
This album was the first three Pere Ubu singles on an English released vinyl; it was the first music that blew both our minds (separately). One of the first records where virtually all the references seemed alien, but it also made all other music seem lame.
2. The Fall - Grotesque
This was pretty similar, avant but accessible, funny but dark and furious at the same time.
3. Neil Young - On the Beach
We both always keep coming back to this, the darker side of summer, just so mournful. For Brian, it is the anti Hawks Bay album; for Maryrose , an indispensable soundtrack for painting.
4. Velvet Underground - 1968 Live
Kind of piecemeal but the wild guitar on “what goes on,” when Lou Reed is trying to make up for the loss of John Cale is extraordinary.
5. Neil Young - Deadman
An amazing combination of William Blake poetry, hilarious dark and soulful tales and guitar that feels wild yet somehow exploratory, feeling it’s way, gives you goose bumps.
6. Bill Direen
The first 3 singles, showed it could be done in nz by yourself better than most, even before flying nun.
7. Palace Brothers
We thrashed these albums so much some of them no longer play; dark, loose, shambling and uplifting.
8. Neutral Milk Hotel
That thing of evoking all the components of noise meshed together with simple primal songs with incredible lyrics of wild scope.
9. Victor Dimisich Band
So unworldly and totally out of their time yet coloring the time.
10. Krautrock … Swell Maps … Once Upon a Time in the West … The Dead C. … Patti Smith … Townes Van Zandt
Like Ariel Pink and Panda Bear before him, Sore Eros’ Robert Robinson makes music wrapped in a silvery, reverb’d glow. Yet while many of Pink’s fellow travelers have settled into the pop-disco environs of chillwave, Robinson has applied his echo-y sonics to folk music, filtering his high, plaintive singing style into gauzy, disembodied sounds, transforming guitar strums and pickings into spectral reveries. Michael Cramer, reviewing Second Chants in 2009, observed that, “Robinson is less a songwriter than a studio artist, and delivers the most impressive results when he privileges pure sound and atmosphere over structure. Sore Eros make rich and subtle music that resists easy description or comprehension, but that seems to make perfect sense as soon as one stops trying to figure it out.” Robinson is wrapping up a tour this weekend with The Renderers, and for this week’s Listed, he gives us a soundtrack to the bands’ van.
1. All Night Radio - Spirit Stereo Frequency
Something about this album makes it timeless. It could have been released in the late 60s, mid 80s , today, but was recorded 8 years ago? You find yourself staring out the van window wishing you were riding a "Sky Bicycle’’.
2. Bobby Brown - The Enlightening Beam Of Axonda By Bobby Brown
Not to be confused with the Whitney Houston beating one. This record is psyched out, but also really mellow. Great jams for when the sun is setting.
3. Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column
Super rad and minimal guitar stuff with tribal sounding drum machines and samples of birds. Count us in.
4. Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms
A woman who was putting us up in Bethlehem, Pa had a really awesome record collection and this is one of the gems we discovered. Beautiful voice, reminded one of Vashti Bunyon but with a little more edge. Adam downloaded it shortly after the vinyl listen.
5. War On Drugs - Ambient Slave
This is one of our buds. Loved his first record, but he really stepped it up here, Neu meets the boss, so sick, great jams for the road.
6. Supreme Dicks - Working Man’s Dick
Met these guys in Northampton over the past year. Early Sore Eros was compared to these guys and it was great to finally hear them and meet them. Gentle yet nauseating tunes, perfect for when you have to go pee really bad but no one else in the van does.
7. Neil Young - On The Beach
Stealing this one from the Renderers list. Ambulance blues on repeat, the white lines in the road begin to sway back and forth to the strum of Neil’s guitar.
8. Gibson Brothers - Live Record
Tom from Siltbreeze gave us a bunch of LPs when we played in Philly , which we are totally psyched to hear, but this one is something he was playing in the record store and it sounded totally up our alley.
9. The Rock Cats
We played Super Happy Fun Land in Houston and this guy named Don told us that this band of actual cats played there recently , so we had to YouTube it. Amazing!
10. The Renderers
Last but not least, we’ve been getting our minds blown by these great musicians night after night. In Richmond, Virginia, Brian ripped on his guitar so hard that our ears melted and the PBR bottles smashed off the bar top.
By Dusted Magazine