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Baker's Dozen

Chance-Taking: Stephen McRobbie Of The Pastels' Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 3rd, 2013 08:53

With The Pastels releasing their first album in 16 years last week, original member Stephen McRobbie reveals the 13 albums that “defined his taste” and inspired his band

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Michael White
Jun 3, 2013 2:14pm

Intriguing, largely unexpected choices, and beautifully articulated explanations. Couldn't agree more with his assessment of Stereolab.

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Hal
Jun 3, 2013 2:42pm

Great article and Stephen is as articulate as ever. The man is a genius and an inspiration. It's nice to see him picking some different records as the same ones usually tend to crop up in these Baker's Dozen columns.

I noticed a few typos and errors here and there but I wouldn't expect anything else from The Quietus. I've never been sure why you don't seem to have anybody who reads over the articles before they're published. I read the site daily and not a day goes by where I don't notice some kind of spelling mistake, missing word or grammatical error.

That said, good stuff!

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Jun 3, 2013 6:06pm

A predictably "indier than thou" selection.

McRobbie and the rest of that Glasgow indie mafia are the Godfathers of hipsterdom...thanks a million.

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Jun 3, 2013 6:22pm

In reply to :

A predictably "indier than thou..." response.

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MargyC
Jun 3, 2013 7:35pm

I always enjoy Baker's dozen, even when it features someone I can't stand. Can't say I noticed typos or errors as I was much too engrossed in this, the best Baker's Dozen yet. I do like The Pastels a lot but this is still a fascinating selection of albums that he explains beautifully. Must check out the French chanteuse, she's one I haven't come across before. Does Stephen Pastel hold the secret to eternal youth by the way? He is unchanged since the 80s

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Jun 3, 2013 7:36pm

For a guy who works in a record store... what a mostly banal list. "Kind of Blue" for his token black album? VU & Nico? Maher is garbage too btw... Hard to believe he doesn't listen to Prince, although the new Pastels album is at least as tired and unnecessary as the the worst handful of P. Rogers Nelson albums... What's "great" about Stephen is he convinces no talents they're tiresome mewling also has merit when in fact it does not. No wonder he venerates the wholly unnecessary Stereolab instead of any # of the jillion people they pastiched together. CONET PROJECT >>>>> Pastels career.

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Jun 3, 2013 7:37pm

In reply to Hal:

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Scotlad's Shame

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Jun 3, 2013 8:07pm

In reply to :

For such a 'tired and unnecessary' LP, it hasn't half rattled your cage, has it, you tedious fucking bore? There are many albums that I find tired, unnecessary and dull; the last thing I'd do is then trawl this site posting boring, badly written and bitter messages slagging off the group in question.

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MichaelWhite
Jun 3, 2013 9:05pm

In reply to :

This same bitter, professional troll also peppered the "Slow Summits" album review page with numerous slags and tried to pass them off as having come from different people, but the consistencies in tone and content made it obvious they were from the same person. "Tedious fucking bore," indeed.

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Jun 4, 2013 1:04am

I don't agree that white people have no soul but wow does Stephen Pastel make a hell of a case for that assertion. Stereolab?!?!!! I guess if you want to tout an entity as non-taltented as yourself for nothing but careering persistence, that's as good a choice as any. REIGN IN BLOOD!

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Jun 4, 2013 1:06am

In reply to Michael White:

Be funny to lock Stephen Pastel in a room with Miles "On The Corner" and not let him out until he can at least pretend to dance.

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William Wallace
Jun 4, 2013 1:10am

Too easy to bust on McRobbie but he actually did make a good album, ONCE, and it's called "Sittin' Pretty." I'm too drunk to look up who played the interesting, energetic parts and why they he/they never came close to that again but for more people dismiss him as the flatulent emblem of 20th c. twee, check that record out. It had moments.

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John Doran
Jun 4, 2013 6:37am

In reply to Hal:

Hal: as you've probably noticed, this is a website, which you don't pay a cover charge for, this and the reduced presence of advertising (which commands a significantly lower rate than comparative print advertising) means that although we're much bigger in readership than any monthly magazine we command none of the money. If you know of any subs who want to work for free or for CDs let me know. You'd be well served to remember this next time you want to whine about something that is essentially a free service for you.

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Wellwellwellington
Jun 4, 2013 8:17am

Good to see Stereolab in this list. I personally would ’ve picked Dots & Loops over this one but nice to see them getting some well deserved love.

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James Reid
Jun 4, 2013 8:36am

I said I wouldn't post any more comments on here but, with reference to the anonymous Tartan Troll spitting blood above, I just wanted to say that there are some excellent, very honest choices here, several of which (To Rococo Rot, The Sea & The Stars, Mummy Your Not Watching Me, The Faust Tapes,) are my favourites too.

It's hardly a "indier than thou" selection, & you can certainly hear the influence of these specific LPs on the last 2 decades' worth of The Pastels' music - if, for instance, I had to choose one Miles Davis LP whose sound had explicitly impacted on their current work it would be Kind Of Blue.

Stephen's assertions, re; Stereolab, are spot-on also. Though they kind of scuppered themselves by releasing WAY too many similar sounding records too quickly, their benchmark albums (Dots & Loops, for instance) remain, for me, some of the finest of their era.

n.b. Of course he's a hipster, he's worked in record shops for the last 30-odd years FFS!

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Jun 4, 2013 9:26am

In reply to :

"Be funny to lock Stephen Pastel in a room with Miles "On The Corner" and not let him out until he can at least pretend to dance."

I've seen Stephen busting some moves and, boy, can that man dance!

A great selection of records. The best Baker's Dozens (IMO) are a blend of the expected and pointers towards new records to discover. I'll certainly be investigating a few of these over the forthcoming weeks.

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Chris
Jun 4, 2013 9:49am

In reply to John Doran:

How big is that chip on your shoulder?

Back to the article, one of the best Baker's Dozens so far. Stephen McRobbie speaks articulately and with passion about music he loves, what's not to like?

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IAIN MUTCH
Jun 4, 2013 10:14pm

mr pastel is i am sure a nice fellow and all that...but really these choices could be scripted.
if he had included the beatles or something lees self consciously obscure/cool i would doff me cap.
alas its all rather glasgow all that insider knowing hipster bilge.being a resident and glasgow band member(scunner) i know what i am talking about.stand up belle and sebastioners .with a hair slide and haircut coolness is not yours for the taking ..
fav record choices is all good and well but contingent with age personal circumstances etc.i cant be done with "cool" and the glasgow way..na na its the north east for me..

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Big Wheels
Jun 5, 2013 10:32am

In reply to IAIN MUTCH:

That would be 'taste', then. Also, let's get this straight: you feel threatened somehow by some twee indie kids? Is that what you are getting at here?

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James Reid
Jun 5, 2013 10:49am

In reply to IAIN MUTCH:

"Insider knowing hipster bilge" - ?

Mr. Pastel's choices reflect the type of music you can read about every single day on The Quietus (& similar sites), providing you explore beyond the front page.

Would you prefer that we were all still listening to the U.K. Subs or something?

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keith serle
Jun 6, 2013 12:46am

Weird amount of vitriol from a couple people here. I think it must be really difficult to come up with a bakers dozen without feeling very conscious of how cliched or willfully obscure it is.

I knew Stephen a bit from clubs and gigs in the late 80s and early 90s and the fact that much of this list is stuff he would've picked then would kinda suggest it is genuine heartfelt love of the music and the music makers than any attempt to be cool and happening. His fairly extensive explanations of his choices also back this up and also hint at the difficulty in selecting a favourite 13 lps when you've been immersed in all sorts of music for close to 40 years.

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Jun 6, 2013 1:36pm

In reply to Big Wheels:

hoi "bigwheels"! no you got it wrong.i aint threatened by indie kids just dismayed.i am annoyed that these insipid types need their culture shrink wrapped ..they need it to be approved by the guardian music critics..they need totems.
look wheels "art" should never be a badge of honor .one should never buy in to a lifestyle /aesthetic because its deemed cool.no anyway "coolness "is a by product of passion.if one is passionate about the tweeest thing and if it genuine then its cool.
alas i feel the glasgow indie kids are posers without an inch an integrity thats all.
incidentally i do believe mr pastel is the real thing and never really questioned his integrity..only his hundreds of imitators.

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History's Bunk
Jun 8, 2013 5:11pm

The criticisms of Stephen's choices seem petty and vindictive.

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Jacqueline H Climpson
Jul 19, 2014 8:15pm

Stephen,
Can you let me have your Mum's email? I tried last night but she couldn't hear me and I am sure it was because she is so deaf. I think it is so fantasstic at 95 she even can use an i pad! I want to keep in touch with her because she is my Aunt and also my Godmother. I think email will be the best. How she found out Andrew's Lymphoma I don't know. I do want her to have all the details since she is very concerned. With lots of love to you and Kirstin. Our cousin Jacqueline ( I am also your Godmother!) x

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Jacqueline H Climpson
Jul 19, 2014 8:15pm

Stephen,
Can you let me have your Mum's email? I tried last night but she couldn't hear me and I am sure it was because she is so deaf. I think it is so fantasstic at 95 she even can use an i pad! I want to keep in touch with her because she is my Aunt and also my Godmother. I think email will be the best. How she found out Andrew's Lymphoma I don't know. I do want her to have all the details since she is very concerned. With lots of love to you and Kirstin. Our cousin Jacqueline ( I am also your Godmother!) x

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