The Brother Who Lived
is a ten track post Moodists 2003 SUPERSIZED heavy
entertainment affair. Below is the story behind each of the tracks on
the album. It is sub titled "aka the evil and sinister sound"
thats the way a lot of the music was written, with unsettled, unresolved
chordings . It was a way to relate it to our previous effort, "the
soft 'n' sexy sound" which also had a real in house ambience
and sense of proportion, albeit in a prettier, breathier way.
of the times I felt a real rejuvenation in my writing and performing
and feelings for the music. Bill Miller really features on this album
. In his playing and the great cameraderie he brought to the proceedings.
A great guy to have on your side. Amazing skills on the electric and
acoustic guitars too. This is also the fiourth and last album Adele
Pickvance played on.Privelegfe also to work with Geg Walker from Machine
Translations. Most of these songs were resung or restrung and
remixed on SUPERMODIFIED in 2010.
The feeling of rejuvenation had come from playing
reformation shows with the Moodists and also the general Melbourne
underground scene , which Clare Moore had brought me into touch with.
Great bands like the Wagons and the Ancients were starting to play
around the scene.An inspiring time.
"you look out one night / see a bunch o' ham hocks'n'hog jowls and their trotters
are up on the table / upsettin' their glasses
I'm seein demons an' I ain't the only one / I'm seein’ demons an' they're
lookin' back at me
they know - they know - they're movin' all together / wonderin' why I'm hangin'
so" (I'm seein' demons)
art tony mahony
1: Im seein demons
This was recorded with me singing and playing acoustic in the vocal booth,
Clare playing in the drum booth with Adele accompanying on shaker beside
her and Bill in another booth playing acoustic as well. It was the last
song of an all day session and Stuart was asleep in the car. We'd played
the song live quite a few times but only with myself, Clare and Bill.
I liked the way the drums and two acoustics sounded with no bass guitar
taking up the bottom end. Later, I added some bass and set it way back
and Clare put the keyboards down.
The chords are major sevenths with minor notes as well to get that unsettled
, queasy feel.
The lyrics were inspired in parts by Roky Erikson and Chad Morgan. 2: The brother who lived
We recorded this with J.Walker. I put down the guitar and the bass to
a rhythm track put together by J and Clare. We used an old rhythm box
that has a lot of latin styles on it.
Stuart put down the tasy licks and did some vocalising with Clare and
It's a story song about two singers. One lives and one dies .in this
dimension. In another dimension its reversed and the one who dies lives
on forever and the other And then that dimension bleeds
into this one ..
3: Midnight to dawn
We were at a Moodists practice session, Clare and I wanted to play
a bit more after everybody else had left. I had my amp and guitar
on very loud
and Clare was into pounding the kit Moodists style. I suggested we
try a few of my new songs at this level of volume and power chording.
they'd stay pretty acoustic. It sounded real fresh to us so we booked
the studio again and bought the RDGS to the songs.
Lyrically, I was thinking of the kinds of songs of mine that people
seem to respond to. "Late night" songs I guessed. I was trying to
write a song about the frequency that I get heard on. The neutral time
and space that is "midnight to dawn".
We recorded this all together, in real time. I added the loudest guitar
later. 4: There's the royal troll
A song about an old friend I see sometimes. It was one of my tunes
that I seem to write in a "latin" rhythm that sounded sweet when
played hard and loud.
I laid the harmonica down later 5: All our friends were stars
The other song we recorded with J.Walker. Again, we cooked up the rhythm
from our old latin beat machine. I played all the guitar and the bass
and Clare played the keyboards. I love the feel and we would have put
it out as a single but it's five minutes long. Also, it's the most
disco vibe weve ever cooked and a lot of rock people mightve
mistaken it for a parody or a joke. It ain't no joke. We dig the latin
disco vibe and always have.
Lyrically it's a song about all the kids I knew when I grew up and
at that early teen age and youre trying on so many attitudes and
styles. It's so fast moving compared to later on.
pic tony mahony The RDGS (line-up 1998-2004) dg,adele pickvance,stuart perera, bill miller, clare moore Click HERE to
see the lyrics for the rest of the album.
Click HERE to
see David crudely go through the chords he used to construct the songs.
6: She looked at me from out of her eyes
I played everything on this. Bass, electric and acoustic guitars and vocals.
I tried for a real unsettled, unresolved chord styling . Like a horror
movie where your guts gets all churned up. The title came from a Raymond
Chandler book I was reading. He could say so much with just a simple phrase
like that. 7: Like a millionaire
Clare wrote the music with me and we played it acoustically for a while.
Its a song about feeling so on top of your game .your life .that
you are flying above the scene. We went for the disco beat and it got
a wild response when we played it live. Bill started with these country
licks and they sounded great. I wanted the backing vocals to be like a
sudden tase of that cold , modern , classical operatic sound that Phillip
Glass uses. Or Max Roach on the "it's time" album. Massed voices
charging onwards with much power. 8: A boy named epic
Epic Soundtracks was a friend and fellow traveller in mid 80's London.
A record collector and fanatic. He turned me on to so many things in that
grey period as the Moodists were winding down. All kinds of singer songwriters
and over reaching underground legends. He played drums with These Immortal
Souls and Crime and the City Solution and made many solo albums. This
was all years after inventing indie lo fi rock with the Swell Maps.
The chords are all suspended major sevenths . The rhythm is again my natural
latin feel. He would probably have hated the song. He wasnt a dancer.
9: I am your humble servant
We played this live quite a few times. Again , a very latin feel. It almost
made it onto Heroic Blues but didnt really fit in the lyrical way.
Clare is in her booth playing the shaker, Adele is playing bass and Bill
and I are in our own booths playing acoustic. I am singing into a mic
as well as playing guitar.
Lyrically it's about a political fellow in the old "brown paper bag
full of money at the races track" tradition. Wasn't it simpler when
you could see the corruption at work on the corpulent, diseased bodies
of our leaders rather than the flunkies who front for grey mono-national
corporations nowadays? What are they in it for anayway? Are they actually
aliens? 10: Twilight of a villain
Clare and I played and recorded this track at the Ponderosa. I am on 6
and 12 string acoustics and bass, Clare is on keyboards.
It's a meditation on the plight of an old gangster, or hard man. Or singer.
Battling against his own past as well as the new guns blowing off all
around Tracks 1,3,4,7,8 and 9 recorded at Woodstock studios in Melbourne on
April 3rd 2003 by Adam Rhodes.. Tracks 2 and 5 recorded and mixed at the Ponderosa
by Greg Walker during February, March 2003.
Tracks 3,4,7 and 8 mixed by Adam at the Ponderosa.
Tracks 6 and 10 recorded by David Graney and Clare moore at the Ponderosa
during March 2003,
Tracks 1,6,9 and 10 mixed by Bill Miller at the Ponderosa.
Produced by David Graney and Clare Moore.
All tracks written by David Graney
except for Like a millionaire (words Graney/music Graney and Moore)
and I am your humble servant (words Graney/ music Graney and Miller).
Copyright Control. David Graney, vocals, harmonica , organ, bass, acoustic and electric
guitar. Clare Moore, drums, vocals, keyboards, percussion. Adele Pickvance, vocals , percussion and bass. Stuart Perera, vocals, electric guitar. Bill Miller, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals.
"No doubt the kids will
take shots at Graney for this latest collection of ruthless social commentaries
that range from mischievous to scathing-'cause he's an easy target. But
Graney doesn't care too much about what the kids think. He has such a
rich body of experience and achievement behind him, you're never going
to push him over. So why do he and Clare Moore keep making music , holed
away in their hillside Ponderosa? Because they still have something to
"what this situation needs is a veteran from a strange land/ a crank.
Someone with nothin to prove and nothin to lose" he observes on "I
am your humble servant", typically and charmingly switch hitting
between arrogance and self depreciation. Amen!
So here comes our golf buggy driving prophet. Graney and Moore are leading
by example in "the Brother Who Lived"; nurturing organically
home grown sounds and assembling them with educated but also adventurous
ears into unfashionably honest songs. Songs that , in their reminiscences
and sharp contemporary observations , always speak with intelligence and
passion". Martin Jones, Inpress
If you think you know Dave Graney-rock'n'roll's
master of hipster cool-think again. The once -King of Pop has become
the Brother Who Lived, and he's bringing his "evil and sinister sound"
to scare the hell out of your post irony blues. On their latest monster
of a jazz-funk-blues-boss nova-guitar-pop record, the Royal Dave Graney
Show go from transcendent power rock to the hard boiled cocktail, with
everything from latin hip hop folk to film noir atmospherics in between.The
man is still swingin'; alright....can you dig the experience? Luke Goodsell, Drum magazine The critics who've dubbed this "lounge pop" aren't listening
hard enough. There's a chance they never made it past the opening "I'm
Seeing Demons", where an edgy vocal should have given the game away.
Not lounge, more like doing laps around the sunken island bar of a very
whacked-out nightclub where rock dinosaurs once ruled the world.
The latin rhythms and acoustic guitar that underpin most of these tracks
mask a dark heart and a hovering rock influence. These are the usual Graney
musings and observations - Rock Star as the Great People Watcher. While
it would be tempting to attribute this to recent forays with the Moodists
- the old band for Dave (or David, as is his current preferred moniker)
Graney and drummer Clare Moore - it would also probably be wrong. It doesn't
pay to try and second guess royalty.
"Heavy entertainment" reads the subtext on the CD slick, and
in some ways this album IS at least a mirror image of 1995's "The
Soft 'n' Sexy Sound", whose lush textures were more Bacharach than
Birthday Party. They're not altogether missing, but on cuts like the title
track and "There's the Royal Troll" the guitars of Bill Miller
and Stuart Perera give proceedings a rocky edge, against the always nimble
rhythms of Clare Moore and bassist Adele Pickvance.
Variety remains a watchword: "All Our Friends Were Stars", for
example, takes things back to the loungeroom, but "Like a Millionaire"
is a jaunty walking
blues and "I Am Your Humble Servant" an exercise in folk narrative.
The various incarnations of Dave - sorry David - Graney pre-date the lounge
music fad by several years and many shades of powder blue safari suit,
so let's dump the labels (except those inside the collars of shirts that
say "Polyester-rayon: Do not iron") and listen up.
There's no pretending that this fare is going to satisfy every I-94 Barfly
but those who know the Graney muse will be well pleased. We'll be giving
than the odd late evening spin.
- The Barman (from the i94bar
? Liquor? these
were coupled as a double set of discs released in 2005 - one disc by
dave graney and one by clare moore