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Baker's Dozen

No Reconciliation Necessary: Doug McCombs' Favourite LPs
Nick Hutchings , July 16th, 2015 13:36

With the prolific bassist and guitarist and Tortoise and Brokeback founder about to release a new album, Works For Tomorrow, with Eleventh Dream Day, he gives Nick Hutchings a tour of his most seminal records

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Public Image Ltd - Metal Box
I liked the sound of it right away. It was unusual and I had become used to seeking out unusual music. My friend and I saw it, the film canister version, in a record store in Peoria on a Friday night and didn't know what it was. On Saturday morning they played on American Bandstand. It's a hilarious performance with instrument swapping, look it up. We were both on the phone to each other simultaneously which means we both got a busy signal, but when we got through to each other we were like: "That's that record, it's Johnny Rotten!" We raced each other to the record store and he got there first.

My Midwestern experience was close to rural. Before I moved to Chicago in 1980 we didn't know anything about any of these records. We picked things based on the cover. Don't know why we passed on Metal Box the first time. I think it was kind of expensive. But that was a great time to pick albums by the cover. As well as the ones I mentioned talking about Television, we also got the Buzzcocks, Wire, The Stranglers, Gang Of Four, Tuxedomoon and The Residents.

PiL's influence on Eleventh Dream Day or Tortoise I would say is huge on both counts. Metal Box was the first record I heard with open/abstract song forms. Having only listened to rock bands for a couple of years at that point, it took some getting used to, but I liked the sound of it right away.

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ad hominem
Jul 16, 2015 4:25pm

yum yum Dots & Loops is my fave Stereolab too

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Sheila Drummond-Lopez
Jul 17, 2015 3:42am

Great read. Love everything Doug does and the new 11DD is awesome.

One pedantic quibble, Quietus Interviewer: Neil Young WROTE those tunes during his famous fever - he didn't record them.

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Jul 17, 2015 4:43pm

I'm in my early 50s, have tried to listen to Marque Moon about 20 times and I always come away perplexed. Why? Because it is utterly unlistenable and Verlaine's voice recalls a cat being tortured-even worse than Morrissey. It reminds me of the Grateful Dead but worse, if that is even possible. Give me Wire, Killing Joke, early PiL, etc. but for the life of me I just don't get them-like the Dead they can't even write a cohesive tune.

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Jul 19, 2015 6:49am

In reply to ad hominem:

Same here! It’s the grooviest too.

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Kenneth J
Jul 23, 2015 2:36pm

In reply to Ricardo:

The Dead can't write a cohesive tune? Wow.
I refer you (though I doubt you're listening, as it appears you may have a hearing disorder) to "New Speedway Boogie" ~ that might...oh well, whatever. Nevermind.

To each their own.

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