Monday, February 11, 2008


There was an article up on Pitchfork last week about why we place such importance on songs that 'stand the test of time' and listening to music here and now. I didn't actually read anything past the blurb on the front page but you know, it looked like an interesting article. I don't think its a strange concept, music stands the test of time because it's really good, usually, and is usually simple enough to still get stuck in yr head. Also, nostalgic quality that only comes out through time even if you weren't alive for The Beach Boys or whateve anyway. It made me think, why the fuck do some people only listen to Bob Dylan? There's so much out there, so many different takes on the huge amount of music that's available to draw from.

Anyway, in an interview with Kelley Stoltz I did last week, the only names he was dropping was stuff like Beach Boys, The Band, The Beatles, etc.; classic stuff. He listens, apparently, to a lot of brand new stuff too, working at a record store in San Francisco a few days a week when he's not recording his wonderfully off-kilter DIY pop at his home studio.

In this apartment/studio, like his music, "stuff’s kind of crowded" says Mr. Stoltz. "There’s a sitar leaning over there, and an amplifier underneath the piano cos I’m making room for something else. I think it does rear it’s head in the songs a little bit. It’s neat when a record takes on a bit of personality from the room that it’s made in. Famous ones like The Band doing the Big Pink stuff or The Beatles Abbey Road stuff. And then even just down to a little guy like me that you kind of get the feeling that it’s a crammed room with a bunch of stuff in it."

My favourite Kelley Stoltz song is 'Ever Thought Of Coming Back' and while the harmonies are ripped straight from Pet Sounds, there's a whole lot of stuff in there that's uniquely his.

"I like to leave a little bit of strangeness in there as well. It’s part of my character and part of what I like musically. Physcdeilic pop records which strange backwards loops and all that, I like those things, so I try to put a few things like that in ther im not flying high on acid or anything when I record so I guess its not that out there. The stuff I grew up liking was always 3 or 4 chords and pretty simple arrangements. And part of that homemade feeling, too, is that im playing everything as well as I can; I’m not a professionl guitar or drummer or anything, so it’s always going to sound a little worn and tattered cos im just playing it to the best of maybe a limited ability. So I guess it sounds little ramshackle that way. The same goes with a lot of other records I love like Bob Dylan or something, it sounds like they’re out of tune a lot of the time and I think that’s great. It really adds a lot of character and you can listen to it again and again and rediscover parts. But if everything is played flawlessly to some click track then for me its missing the human element, even if it sounds like a hit on the radio, it's just not gonna hold up over a long period of time".

Somehow, his new songs (Circular Sounds, his sixth, is just set for release on Mistletone) capture that timeless, nostalgic sort of vibe amazingly. He likes songs, and even if he bashes them out at the rate of nearly one per day, they're solid enough, even if fraying at the edges, repaired with a little masking tape.

Fri Feb 1 Wellington, NZ - Mighty Mighty
Sat Feb 2 Auckland, NZ - Dogs Bollix
Fri Feb 8 Adelaide - Jive w/- Ross McLennan + Birth Glow (tickets from Moshtix)
RRR Presents: Sat Feb 9 Melbourne - Corner Hotel w/- The Lucksmiths + Ross McLennan (tickets from the venue)
RRR Presents: Sun Feb 10 Castlemaine - Theatre Royal w/- Lisa Miller, The Breadmakers, Sime Nugent + local supports (tickets from the venue) (starts 3pm, Kelley onstage 8pm)
Wed Feb 13 Melbourne instore (solo) - TITLE Store, 183 Gertrude St, Fitzroy from 6pm (free entry, all ages)
Thu Feb 14 Byron Bay - Great Northern Hotel w/- James Cruikshank + Andrew Kidman & the Brown Birds (tickets from Oztix)
Fri Feb 15 Brisbane - Troubadour w/- Ross McLennan + The John Steel Singers (tickets from Oztix)
2SER Presents: Sat Feb 16 Sydney - Annandale w/- Richard In Your Mind + Ross McLennan (tickets from Red Eye Records, Mistletone online store or the venue)
Kelley Stoltz farewell show!
Sun Feb 17 Melbourne - The Tote w/- The Smallgoods + The UV Race + Ships Piano + DJs + BBQ. Tickets $20 at the door. Doors open 5.30pm be early!

[Kelley Stoltz MySpace]

[Check Tiny Mix Tapes next week and RAVE Magazine this week for full interviews!]

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