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Baker's Dozen

Number 13 Baby: Frank Black's Favourite Albums Revealed
Mic Wright , April 26th, 2012 07:10

Mic Wright takes down the details of Frank Black's Baker's Dozen, talking to him about old poetry and skewed authenticity

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Frank Black is in his car. Over the next two-and-a-half hours, he will do pitch perfect impressions of Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jones and Robyn Hitchcock among others. Black’s in a good mood. A really good mood. And thankfully for us, a really talkative mood too: “It’s not the first time I’ve been asked to select records I like but, you know, I’ve been so busy lately trying to write songs that when my manager asked me to pick 13 albums, I was like: ‘Oh man!’”

Black’s been writing songs for his next project after the second Grand Duchy album, Let The People Speak, which he’s promoting today: “I have to decide to write a song and it takes me a while to get going. I’m writing a lot of songs right now. My family finds it a little difficult to communicate with me at these points. The next recording session is going to very important. I haven’t made demos like this in years! I’m trying to wow people right now. I’m trying right now to make a good record. I’m overdue.”

It soon becomes clear that however much of a pain in the arse the Quietus’ request might have seemed at first, Black definitely got into the task. He starts off by riffing on his relationship to his record collection - or rather, his lack of one: “When I first started with the Pixies in the late-80s, I was a college student. I didn’t have a lot of records. When you’re 19 years old, your record collection isn’t your biggest priority in the world. I just didn’t care about it. I did when I was 14 but at 19? No.”

“Do you know how many times I’ve bought Lust For Life? I’ve probably bought that 20 times. I’m just not a very organised person, but I’m a musician and I don’t mind buying other people’s records. Sure I fondled the records and read the liner notes when I was a teenager hanging out in my headphones but now, for me, it’s really just about the music, not these objects.” And on that note…

Click on the picture below for Frank Black's 13 favourite albums


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Apr 26, 2012 12:07pm

Combat Rock is "my" Clash LP too, & listening back to it nowadays I'm rather pleased that my 12 year old self could find so much on it to love. It's their one GENUINELY experimental album, I think - despite it's rep, Sandinista! always struck me as a band fumbling about in the dark, trying to make a "statement" of some kind (of ANY kind, actually!) - & tracks like "Car Jamming" & "Overpowered By Funk" still sound phenomenal DJed out.

Growing up, I was told that Sally Can't Dance was Lou's worst LP, most notably by Lou himself, but it's one that I find myself coming back to surprisingly frequently. It's FUNNY, more than anything, the gallows humour in Lou's music has always been awfully undervalued, I reckon?

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Stavros P. Leibowitz
Apr 26, 2012 2:33pm

Cpmbat Rock is a terrific album and a really satisfying experience from start to finish. It seems to get overlooked for no other reason than it produced hits when really it's an absolute gem.

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Apr 26, 2012 7:49pm

Love his passion for music, he doesn't just like these albums, he LOVES these albums. A fun read.

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Kid Cornish
Apr 26, 2012 8:44pm

Tony James should get some props too... after all he is the other half of Carbon/Silicon.

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Mic Wright
Apr 27, 2012 5:34am

In reply to Apop:

You're so right. It was a pleasure talking to him because he's super-passionate about music. He was so effusive about the records he chose!

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Mic Wright
Apr 27, 2012 5:35am

In reply to Kid Cornish:

I'm pretty sure Charles does know who Tony James is. It was quite a long chat and I couldn't include absolutely everything!

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Apr 27, 2012 8:13am

Thankyou sooooooo very much Quietus for the Baker's Dozen Series. It has become most looked forward to in our household and is responsible for the finding out about and listening to some truly fantastic records. Many ta's and keep them coming.

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sebastin rivera
Apr 27, 2012 10:20am

i wish you could do this with kim deal too

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Mic Wright
Apr 27, 2012 10:31am

In reply to sebastin rivera:

Agreed! I'd love to interview Kim Deal.

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Terry Tibbs
Apr 27, 2012 5:40pm

Disappointing selection,alot of drab americana and a couple of shite anglophile choices to placate the brits
I could never give a definitive list as my listening habits change daily so these lists are just snapshots of a moment in time,come back a week later and it will be totally different
Oh yeah,The Clash were and are shit,hugely overrated,never liked em

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Apr 27, 2012 7:44pm

In reply to Terry Tibbs:

Cool down, whats with all the negativity?
I found the interview so amusing that i'm going to download Combat Rock to see what all the fuzz is about

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Mic Wright
Apr 28, 2012 11:14am

In reply to Terry Tibbs:

Terry, you seem a bit angry. These aren't really his 'favourite' albums but more, as you say, of a snapshot of his current listening. And I don't think he's arsed about 'placating' us Brits.

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Apr 30, 2012 2:30pm

Charles partially got his wish, working with Danger Mouse on Dark Night of the Soul. Just sayin'.

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The Patient English
May 4, 2012 8:50am

In reply to Terry Tibbs:

Terry Tibbs... 'S okay. We've seen Phonejacker, and we get the concept of trolling. A closet anglophile yourself?

The albums took back-seat to the sheer joy and passion Black feels for them. A great read, and a great way to discover the site.

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May 14, 2012 2:56pm

In reply to Kid Cornish:

I was thinking the same thing, but he clearly would rather make out with Mick.

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Jun 10, 2012 6:28am

As for Mr. Tibbs, he was much better on "Are you being served".
Euro will soon be worth noth so pucker up lame boy.
FB is a true artist, so bow. Don't be a giant behind a keyboard or dwarf.

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zheng lulin
Oct 17, 2012 8:39am

Newer trailers resemble unique cars and trucks and may even be purchased originating from a company.

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Feb 5, 2013 3:46am

In reply to Mic Wright:

How could an article with the same title as my favorite Pixies song not be good? Thanks for insight...helped me find my lost Robyn Hitchcock groove.

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P. Henry Saddleburr
Jun 28, 2013 3:21am

It's the weirdest thing. I was sitting in Capital Ale House in Richmond looking at a keg label for Starr Hill brewery and I flashed back to seeing Frank Black at that brewery several years ago so I Googled him to see what he's been up to.

This article is fantastic and I've gone down all of the musical worm holes that I wasn't familiar with. It's been a great night of discovery.

For instance, I've always been MEH on Springsteen, but the cuts I heard off of Nebraska gave me a new appreciation.

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Robt Clark
Oct 10, 2013 11:17pm

Eddie Floyd did Knock On Wood and he's a million times the artist you are you old boring bald fuck

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Oct 18, 2013 4:42am

In reply to Robt Clark:

Pmpl... Sure whatever buddy. Like this is even a popularity contest. If it were Frank wouldda sold out long ago. And so what if Eddie Floyd did Knock on Wood? Tell me how Eddie Floyd is still relevant to this era? Hmmmm?

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