The Taste of Music: Seekae
Each week for the next few weeks, we're asking a different music personality to craft us a playlist based around the theme of "pop" or "rock". A theme so good you could taste it. And that taste might taste something a lot like a Drumstick ice-cream. I mean, I just pulled that out of thin air, but just to give you one example. (Previously: Muscles. Spod.)
Today's candidate is Seekae, the Sydney trio who—since their inception in 2006—have undergone a metamorphosis from shy bedroom headphone act to a globe-hopping, festival-smashing aural beast over the course of but two full lengths. Of course, it's the quiet ones you need to look out for: turns out they're hilarious. At least when excavating their music nerd hearts in order to craft us their ideal Pop playlist.
1. David Bowie - 'China Girl'
"This is the pinnacle. David Bowie. China town. Picture in picture. Stereotypes. Double Bass. The clip was primarily shot in Australia with director David Mallet who also masterminded the film clip for 'Let's Dance'. David Bowie is a real guy. That goes without saying. You can tell by the way that he dances. It's barely even dancing. None of this shit you see these days with the group of boys running around with all the girls yelling at them. A romantic and entertaining clip. I watch it once a week."
2. Bill Withers - 'Use Me'
"I think this is the drummer's attempt at not trying to steal the limelight. You can see in this clip he's a real son of a bitch. Type of guy who gets a call from Bill Withers talking about coming on the TV to play a couple of tracks for the people of America. This song is my favourite Bill Withers track. He clearly doesn't give a shit. I heard that he wrote 'Ain't No Sunshine' in his head one day at work. He worked in an assembly line and spent his pay cheque on a recording session. You see this guy sweating like a criminal's mattress? That's the real deal. Just a man playing the shit out of the rhythm part and thinking goddamn, they turned the lights on for this one. Bill Withers."
3. ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) - 'Telephone Line'
"I like this clip a lot. I also like that it's out of sync. I also like stories about Jeff Lynne. Jeff Lynne did a lot more than most people I know give him credit for. He's in control. Listen to that chorus melody. Look at his fucking hair cut. The guy is totally airborne. Sometimes when I'm driving and I'm listening to my Bob Rogers he'll spin this number for me. I turn it right up and just drive thinking about all the shit that gets me going. Jeff Lynne also did a lot of production work for Roy Orbison. They also worked with a guy called T-Bone Burnett. That says a lot about the type of cavalry they rolled with. I've also got no problem with needing a solid six or seven fellas to make a live set work."
4. Roy Orbison - 'She's A Mystery To Me'
"Roy Orbison. Apparently when he recorded this song Bono was there. Because that's what happened when Roy stepped in front of a mic - people like Bono turned up to watch. They ran the track through once with Roy in the booth and no one thought he was singing, like maybe he was just getting the vibe for the next take. Turns out Roy was singing. Turns out no one could hear him or see his mouth moving but he nailed it in one take. Sure enough, they turned it up and they had another hit on their hands. Roy Orbison."
5. Darkurd - 'If You Want Me To Stay'
"It was a big thing for me to include this one. I've known Darkurd for about six years. I went through a big talk box phase when I was seventeen - John Hurd's one of those motherfucker's always posting shit on YouTube. Well at least he was about six years ago. This is a lesson in DIY editing. I know it's the cool thing right now. Wacky, low brow editing. But this was in 1996. When most of these kids were still listening to Ronan Keating and playing Teenage Music Nine Inch Turtles. You want the real deal go to Darkurd. He's got some real twisted videos of Christmas lunches and things like that which are pretty upsetting. It's also clear that the guy plays a pretty mean Key-tar. John."
6. Steely Dan - 'Reelin' In The Years'
"Steely Dan played a large part in my childhood, mainly because my dad would never stop playing them. Once I reached puberty though, I finally started to appreciate the genius of their music, and I know I will continue to for years to come. A friend told me that the guitarist in this video now works for the FBI and carries a pistol with him at all times. Frankly, if you're responsible for that guitar solo, you can do whatever the fuck you want."
7. Shoes and Socks Off - 'Here's My Head On A Plate'
"I discovered this guy a few months ago through my cousin. From what I've heard, he's an incredibly prolific and diverse composer, and also has one of the finest beards in Surrey. Luckily, I managed to catch his last gig before he discontinued this project. The video is one of the best I've seen for a long time."
8. Peter Gabriel - 'Sledgehammer'
"When I was about 4, my parents would often occupy me by placing me down in front of the TV and putting on an Aardman Animations VHS. It would be partly enjoyable, mainly frightening, but I always enjoyed this video at the end of the tape. The horns in the track get a ten on ten from me too."
9. Midlake - 'Balloon Maker'
"Midlake are a fantastic band, and I really think this song is one of their best. It's directed by Jason Lee AKA Earl from 'My Name is Earl'. Turns out Jason Lee used to be a professional skater and can also Stalefish and 360 Flip like you wouldn't imagine. What I like about this clip though is that I have no idea what's going on. This is kind of how Midlake's music makes me feel. It makes sense, but if you were to try and explain it to someone, they'd spit in your face."
10. Eiffel 65 - 'Too Much Of Heaven'
"Too much of heaven really can bring you down. I'm quite sure in Eiffel 65's case, "heaven" is a metaphor for crystal meth. This video is great though, especially the newspaper headlines at 1:43, and the neon robot ninja suits at the end. They also have a song called 'My Console' that quite simply names playstation titles for four and a half minutes."