To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.
2004 – #9. Dallas Crane – Dallas Crane
It seems like every batch of ten, there is at least one album that makes this list in retrospect. Most of the albums either were, or just missed out on being in my top tens of that year. Then there are albums like the self titled second record by Dallas Crane, that years later I have decided is brilliant. How the hell did I miss it?
My own prejudice really. It’s because Dallas Crane were one of the greatest live bands in Australia at the time. And like a lot of live bands I enjoyed, especially in classic Australian rock mode, I don’t care for their records. The first Dallas Crane record summed it up quite nicely – great live, but not great on record.
So it’s the beauty of modern listening that I had these songs on a harddrive, and three of my favourites on my iPod. Over the years, on shuffle or whatever, those three tracks would come on. They were Dirty Hearts, Iodine and Can’t Work You Out.
And they are three blisteringly great rock songs.
The guitar interplay (the band used to do a note prefect, 11 minute cover of Television’s Marquee Moon) and Dave Larkin’s awesome vocal chops made for fun live, and sounded pretty great on record too. One would come on, and I would have to listen to the others. On repeated listens, I decided to finally dig out the tracks on my hard drive and complete my album.
Those first three songs (also the first three songs on the album’s running order) still rule, but the rest of the album is great. I finally noticed it was produced by Wayne Connolly, one of Australia’s finest ‘straight’ producers. He really captures performances and lets natural sounds shine.
And the rest of this album gave me another handful of great Dallas Crane rockers, the best of which is Wrong Party, that I remember from seeing these guys live. But it also gave me some ballads, such as the touching Open To Close.
More interesting is the lyrics. Above and beyond the standard rock fare. Iodine opens with the stunning image – I dreamt a poet fall out of the sky – and goes into some weird Leonard Cohen fantasy land. I mean, yeah, there are plenty albums with better lyrics, but at least the songs don’t have interchangeable lyrics, as so many records on the Alberts label tends to do.
The other thing to be said for this record is that I still kind of don’t like these kind of albums. Not to listen to, and I prefer records over live shows. I like listening on headphones, sitting or lying down. But now there is a new place for me to listen to music, which is walking. And this kind of rock record is great for that. I don’t really listen to this record at home. Even sitting here, typing this, and putting this record on – feels jarring somehow.
So, Apple’s Ipod. For all it’s revolutionary elements, it also revolutionised my music tastes. I now have a time and place for music without introspection. And Dallas Crane are the first beneficiaries. Pity that, from what I can tell online, this band is actually no more.