THE DRONES – Lucky 7

LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask bands to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…

Today it’s the Australian death rock cult The Drones, active since 1997 and already legendary, here represented by founder Gareth Liddiard. I’ve pretty much a Johnny Come lately having been into them only since 2005’s “Gala Mill”, with its sound like rattling around inside Ned Kelly’s tin helmet while being buried alive underground.

DRONES PIC WB wood panel 1

They’re launching their seventh studio album “Feelin’ Kinda Free” on 18th March and it’s a dark morass of mixed morals and mirthsome lurching, in the best traditions of countrymen The Birthday Party and The Saints, mixed with the aural chaos of ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead or “Halloween” era Sonic Youth. According to the colourful press release the themes it explores include: “koro syndrome, the fruits of western imperialism, ISIS, celebrity chefs, being a “fucking cunt”, seaside statecraft, beach-bum race riots, Rupert Murdoch, the new middle eastern/european diaspora, the spectre of neofascism, Hugo Boss, Luftwaffe psychological warfare techniques, girls, sweet revenge, capitalist consumer psychosis, body image dysmorphia/mania, Gertrude Bell, eating people and selling yourself, having great skin, leftist utopianism, scientific triumphalism, E.T. and the mindless assumption that alien lifeforms would be nicer than us simply because of their technological superiority.”

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With that in mind, them choosing songs by others is an intriguing prospect. But a rewarding one, like panning for gold. It’s over to our man Mr. Liddiard for a musical accompaniment to a lop-sided world view…

 
1. Kate Tempest – The Beigeness 
This is really good.  She’s like the hip hop version of Courtney Barnett in that she’s shit hot at playing music and doing really well without having to be an over achieving, all singing, all dancing, Maybelline advertising male sex fantasy like Rhianna or Taylor Swift.  

 2. Billy Bunks – Devils Clay

Hip hop (and rock n roll for that matter) wasn’t born earnest.  People forget this and get really upset at non earnest types.  Take the Vile Sniper for instance.  He made a really funny, obnoxious song so you’ll laugh at it.  But he’ll be rounded up and shot at dawn once the good people from the Guardian comments section come into power.  
People should lighten up.

3. Neil Young- Keep On Rockin In The Free World (Live on SNL)
 
This particular version of this song is what it’s all about. Popular rock and roll or whatever you want to call it has lost it’s joie de vivre. Like there is this taciturn agreement that going balistic is somehow inappropriate and offensive. Too primal for a society that thinks it’s better than all the other animals.  But here we see a middle aged guy who’s not exactly Mr Rock Out With Your Cock Out absolutely fucking destroying this TV show.  

4. Captain Beefheart- Ash Tray Heart (Live on SNL)
 
While we’re on the SNL trail let’s have a look at this one.  That’s got be be the greatest crowd response in the history of live music……. Stunned silence and then a solitary “SHIT!”. 
And listen to that telecaster.  It’s just maxed out weirdness. 
 5. Xylouris White – Chicken Song

Jim and George travel the world and jam out all these mad Cretan tunes. George is a monster on the lute and the son of lyra legend Psarantonis and nephew of Nikos Xylouris, who is like the Fela Kuti of Crete specifically and and Greece in general.  
Jim is one of a hand full of rock n roll drummers (if you can call him rock n roll) that you could describe as a true artist. He’s so good it’s not funny. 

(If you want to know what Jim White from Xylouris White is into, here’s his “song for ewe”…)
6. Bill Orcutt – Solo Improv

All i know is that there are two kinds of musician, and I don’t mean fly by nighter hobbyist poseur types. I mean people who live for music.  One starts with the spirit of the music and gets that right before getting to the technical side which he/she hopefully gets right.  The other perfects the technical side first then hopes the spirit will catch on.  The former is the real deal and the latter is boring. Bill is an example of the former.

7. The Drones – To Think That I Once Loved You

Here’s a little song we recorded.  

THANKYOU TO GARETH, AND TO SARAH LOWE OF FIFTH AVENUE PR