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.
2006 – #2. Lazy Susan – Every Night
I played bass on Lazy Susan‘s Every Night album, their third.
Here’s some fun facts for fans about each track on this record.
1. Every Night is just Paul. It was a home demo that we all thought was sounding great enough to include. He recorded it on one of those then-new digital multi track home recorders, with faders and a CD drive, that I think are now completely redundant.
2. Something Worth Waiting For always seemed like the first song we would play for about two years. It was certainly the first song we tried to record in the studio. Which right now would be a good time to say it wasn’t so much a studio but a recently converted general store. It was the domain of Mr J Walker, of Machine Translations, who was producing our record. It was in regional Melbourne in the middle of nowhere and I loved every minute.
As it was our first bit of recording, and we had just got out of a big drive down there, we were feeling pretty ready to attack. We wanted to put up some pictures torn from magazines for inspiration. Pretty sure I had the Ramones ready to go. Our producer said no.
3. Fake Our Deaths was the first single and the one we made a video for. In a strange art space in Camperdown, we ran around, avoiding to imaginary attacks.
4. Wreckage had the funniest bassline. It was needlessly complicated, but I liked it because it made me feel like Bruce Thomas. We played a gig with C-minus Project once and their bassplayer, Bruno, said something onstage about me not being a real bassplayer (the in-joke was, neither was he). After this record, I felt like I was only a bassplayer. Guitar and piano are just hobbies for me.
5. Don’t Fail Me Now. I love this song. This might be my favourite on the album. Again, it’s very fussy on the bass. This for me is typical Lazy Susan, and what I loved about the songs. The songs were about “Very attractive but unhinged women”. If you want to hear what we did, start here.
6. Pretty White Girls was Pete’ song. Actually Pete had plenty of songs, but the only Pete vocal (For those who always ask me who writes what, here are the Pete ones – SWWF, PWG, Pieces, ITTLWH, Optimism. Rest are Paul’s). I had very little to do with this song, which makes me think of Australian beaches. I often think of this song when I’m wishing I was at an Australian beach. Those pretty white girls are also missed.
My greatest musical contribution to the album came in two funny chords at the end that is the same two funny chords used in several Beach Boys songs.
7. Missing Out On Sleep – the big ballad moment. This and Every Night was the two songs that put the album’s theme into one, recurring night. Which was one of those self fulfilling prophecies, because my last year in Sydney was pretty much the same night over and over. No sleep, alone, listening to music.
Having written songs for my own band, I was always amazed how little the other guys knew the songs I wrote. Whole chorus lyrics would go by unnoticed. Which happened to me with this track, where I never notice how great the opening couplet was for a long time.
(It’s All the planets that were aligned/Now lie scattered across the sky)
8. By & By. This was the last song written for the album. We had more than enough songs, until someone told Paul that what we were doing sounded like the Band. Now, I LOVE the Band. And I was flattered at the time (my two bassplaying heros – Dee Dee Ramone and Rick Danko). But in retrospect, I think that person was high.
Either way, Paul decided it would be a blast to try and write a song that sounded like the Band. What he wrote instead was this fantastic song that, if I had a vote, would have been our second single. This record was getting pretty depressing and/or angry. This song was just a delight. It’s such a Sydney song for me. I think of Oxford St, at 2am as I walked home, leaving all the madness behind, but loving the madness anyway.
I mucked about with different bass things, but only really figured out what to play in the studio. I’m pretty proud of what I came up with. Screw the tonic.
9. Rubbed Off is one of a series of long, build up pieces by Lazy Susan. Scuffed Up and Why Don’t We Just Call It A Night came before on previous albums. I don’t recall ever playing this live, but I love the way this track sounds. It has that evil chord progression that we just kept pushing harder and harder.
I loved the fact that we did this kind of stuff – had album songs. That’s what albums about.
10. Pieces. The big rocker. Pete loves his open G tunings, and this was a great punky thing. And like all great punk, it’s actually close to impossible to play as you have to be so spot on. There was a lot of looking at eachother. Great thing about this song though is there are lots of moments to jump up and down live.
11. I’ll Take The Long Way Home used to be louder, more Oh Darling-ish. I much prefer the quieter version. It’s got every cliche – the diminished chords, the running bass etc. It was originally called just Long Way Home, but I thought that sounded a bit too much like the new Norah Jones album, so it got expanded. We played this song a lot, because it worked.
12. Optimism – this was an odd song. Lyrically I think it’s perfect. Sound wise I think it jumps around a bit, not sure what it should be. It’s very sweet though, and it makes me think of my friend Bec a lot. She is the biggest optimist I know, and how hard it is to maintain that. I’m assuming no English person understands this concept.
13. Nobody Feels Safe Anymore. You know, I barely know this song. Another live hold out, I did my little bit in the studio and that was it. And as I played these songs live so often, putting the actual CD on didn’t happen every often. So it snuck up on me, a member of the band, how powerful this song is. In an album where everyone is sad, angry and lives are falling apart, this track is the saddest, angriest and fallen apart the most. It’s such a bitter note to end an album on.