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Baker's Dozen

By Design: Jim Jones Of The Righteous Mind's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 15th, 2015 13:23

Before they headline Walthamstow's Stow Festival this weekend, The Righteous Mind's leader gives Julian Marszalek an insight into "where my head is at right now" with a tour through his current top 13 albums

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Grinderman - Grinderman
It's funny. I was reading the Warren Ellis interview in the Quietus and he's talking about Grinderman 2 and he goes, "This time we're doing it properly" and I love Grinderman 2 and the whole concept, but the first one for me is like, "Hey, you did already." They did do it properly but they didn't realise.

I remember, and this is a huge fan of The Stooges talking, the day that Grinderman was released was the same day that The Stooges' The Weirdness came out and I think I was listening to Resonance FM and they played a track from that and then played 'No Pussy Blues' and the Grinderman track was like what The Stooges should've sounded like. That, to me, was the modern equivalent of what The Stooges sounded like in '69. I just thought, sign me up! That's fucking great! It was rude and fucking unapologetic. And what was really great was that it was older guys who were a good ten years older than me playing music that was more aggressive and visceral and well thought out and cool than anything else that was going on at the time. It was truly and properly rock & roll and all the things that rock & roll should be.

And those noises that Warren Ellis produces! They're like white noise as well as being an exclamation mark. That's the way Ron Asheton played. That's an important part of what music is for me. Fuck! You should screw up your face and hold your head to the speaker and go, "Fucking hell!" Music should move you like that.

I read an interesting book by [music manager] Danny Goldberg called Bumping Into Geniuses and part of it was talking about when he was younger and how the whole AOR radio thing started. The advertising companies started doing surveys and they found that more people put the radio on as background music while they were doing the housework or whatever than people who were music fans. They also found that with songs that might be a bit challenging or a bit jarring that people might change the station. So the advertisers, who were in effect funding the radio stations, placed their ads on the stations that were the least challenging and that played I'm-not-going-to-upset-you music. Well, Grinderman play proper I'm-going-to-upset-you music.

But fucking hell! At the same time they've got some really beautiful songs. They've got 'Electric Alice' and even if you take away the genius of Nick Cave's lyrics and writing then the sound alone is fucking amazing. Even if you can't speak English then it still sounds beautiful. It sounds like the inner workings of your mind when you lie down to go to sleep but you can't and you get those noises and voices in your head. That's what this record sounds like.

And the method is very much the message. It's got a lot of parallels with poetry, I think. There's that second verse of 'Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)' when the guy is on the phone and he's going, "There's a kid laying on my lawn" and I love that verse. I mean, who else would write that? "He's been giving me shit for years and now he's laying on my lawn." And it works! Who would think to write that? To me, this is proper genius.


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