On my stereo this week: Veruca Salt, Sarah Blasko & Crowded House.

Veruca Salt – Shutterbug (1997).

Veruca Salt has been on my mind of late, especially because I am seeing them play live in Melbourne next month. The last time they were here in 2014 I missed out on seeing two of my favourite female singers of all time. It’s fair to say I was gutted and assumed I would never see Nina Gordon and Louise Post play live again. I’m glad they’re back. They are truly an amazing act and arguably sounding better than ever in their late 40’s! Coincidently  I am also working on a lengthy article about their story and at the same time celebrating this month the 21st birthday (or is it anniversary) of the release of their sophomore album Eight Arms To Hold You.

From it comes a song called Shutterbug, which is incidently a term used to describe an enthusiastic amateur photographer. But to be honest I’m yet to decipher what the songs title has to do with the song. All I can tell you is that it sounds like one hell of an angry breakup song written by Louise Post. I love how it elbs and flows between Louise Post’s softly spoken delivery of her lyrics and next explodes with a gush of guitars and whaling between Gordon and Post. The best verse or line is pretty much for me: “It’s morning in Phily/ My heads feeling heavy/ The sun makes me dizzy/ You monkey you left me!”

For over twenty years people have wondered whether the song was a dig at Dave Grohl and his ugly break up with Post. Personally, I’m not sure what I believe until I actually hear it from Post.  But in short ‘monkey’ is often assumed to be a reference to Grohl and his Foo Fighters song Monkey Wrench. Unfortunate as much as we would like it to be true, Louise Post allegedly a few years ago in a Periscope session said the song was in fact surprisingly about Nick Cave? But more recently, and to add to the confusion, a friend of mine told me a story how at their recent Lodge show in Los Angeles, Post apparently said the monkey was in fact Steve Lack, Veruca Salt’s bassist. That might make more sense since he did leave the band around about the time of the release of Eight Arms To Hold You. 

Sarah Blasko – Never Let Me Go (2018).

I remember discovering Sarah Blasko watching Rage, the ABC’ s national music video program, well into the night with a little song called Your Way. Soon after critics and fans alike (including myself) fell in love with her first solo record The Overture and the Underscore in 2004. Fourteen years later she is still around and has just recently released her sixth studio album called Depth of Field.  It’s fair to say the 41-year-old indie genius hasn’t lost her incredible knack of producing sophisticated pop. From it comes Never Let Me Go, a mesmerising and haunting track I am absolutely playing to death this week. Seriously, who am I kidding, the whole album is being played to death! 

Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over (1986).

Thanks to David Duchovny last Friday night during his Melbourne show, his amazing band covered Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over, and in turn inspired a trip down memory lane. Far out, if you don’t seriously well-up every time you hear this song, you’re not human! The best version of this song, besides the studio album version on their self titled album Crowded House (1986), was recorded in their farewell tour that they played for the last time at the Sydney Opera House. I don’t think there was a dry eye in Sydney way back in November of 1996. More recently they played it on the eve of their Aria Hall of Fame induction in 2016 (without the late Paul Hestor) on a webcast to the faithful. It is truly one of Neil Finn’s greatest penned songs. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: The header image of the stereo equipment is by flickr user Bruno Girin and it is licensed and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. I am not the uploader of You Tube clips embedded here.