Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. Harvey MilkLife…The Best Game In Town

Life…The Best Game In Town is just a monster, I’m really awful at track titles but it’s all about the first track. The lyrics are amazing, it sets the tone of this cosy Christmas Eve song and then it goes completely brutal and it’s got this amazing noise section at the end. The production on it’s really creamy as well.

It doesn’t surprise me that the bass player from Shellac, Bob Weston is involved with Harvey Milk because they’ve got a very similar way they present themselves. The album cover is just a picture of an Iron Maiden poster on the wall or something, or a denim jacket. It’s sort of deliberately schmucky artwork. I read they said Life…The Best Game In Town was their least favourite album and I was really annoyed. I’m all for people being self-effacing or whatever but they just came across as utterly hating their own work and you wonder if that’s inverse narcissism. It’s like "look how much I can criticize myself"; like machismo, but the inversion of it – "we really fucking hate ourselves, grrrr". I found it a bit disappointing so I just listen to their music and forget about that, because I just think the actual riffs on that, some of that album is so good, so uncompromising and so singular. It’s quite annoying that apparently they don’t play it live. If I knew they were going to play that album back I would travel the world to see them, but I don’t think they play any of their album stuff live.

That Harvey Milk documentary, not the shitty film with Sean Penn being a dickhead, the actual documentary is amazing. It’s properly moving. It’s got an amazing synth soundtrack as well. It’s just called The Times of Harvey Milk, it’s great. It’s a complete insight into that era of politics in America. Even though, obviously, he was assassinated and the guy who did it is obviously a sociopathic, homophobic freak, it doesn’t totally vilify him, it shows the whole context it happened in, it’s quite non-judgmental. It’s amazing, because I only found out about him through the band Harvey Milk.

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