Here we ask a Hidden Shoal artist to choose three questions from a list of many and answer them as they wish – mini music interviews! A little bit of fun mixed with a little bit of insight.
In this, the second of our Three Questions features, we focus our spotlight on Craig Hallsworth of Tangled Star and The Slow Beings, and previously such pivotal Perth outfits as The Bamboos and The Healers. His last release under the Tangled Star moniker, Let’s Adjourn To The Garden, is the perfect example of his innate sense of melody, composition and wordplay. It’s all wrapped in the guise of rock’n’roll, buts it’s something else if you listen closely enough. Anyway I, and many others, could go on and on with praise for this man and his music.
So without further complications we ask Craig to reach into the bag and pull out three questions.
Which artist would you most like to cover one of your songs and why?
I’d like MGMT to cover ‘Attic Space Conversion #1‘. They’re smarter and more talented than me, and they’d have the resources to do a better job than me. It’s a long song of many different parts, almost like a medley of parts of several different songs, and they do that kind of thing brilliantly, notably ‘Siberian Breaks’ from their second album Congratulations.
Then I’d like Nico and the Velvet Underground to do tosleepingpeople, just because she could sing a toothpaste commercial and lend it a decadently cool gravitas, so she might be able to do the same for me.
If you were writing a soundtrack/score, which director would you most like to work with?
There’s a Thai director by the name of Apichatpong Weerasethakul who made a Palme D’or winning film titled Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. The strangeness of this film is so natural and beautiful and true, the poetry of it is the poetry of a haunted jungle beyond our banal Western concepts. The film ends with a rather awesome guitar-driven pop song sung in Thai by Penguin Villa.
What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?
I find I only remember moments here and there. One was the Old Melbourne hotel about !984. The Scientists started with ‘We Had Love’. It had that sort of tension building intro, then it just exploded. It really was like a rock’n’roll bomb going off. Another memorable show was My Bloody Valentine at the same venue several years later. Real fans were mostly disappointed – it was a blaring mess, you couldn’t hear any vocals or anything. I wasn’t really a fan, but I found it kind of sublime. A completely different kind of show was Jonathan Richman at the Red Parrot about ’83. It was just Jonathan with a guitar, and a packed venue hanging on everything he did. At one point, he put his guitar down in the middle of a song and rolled around on the floor, while the audience continued to clap along in time. Then there was the Cramps at the same venue in about ’87 (which my band at the time, the Bamboos, supported). Lux Interior came on in a shiny gold suit looking like Elvis from hell. By the end he was climbing the PA stacks in his underwear, mascara running down his face, swigging red wine from a bottle.
Every few weeks we ask one of the Hidden Shoal artists to choose three questions from a list of many and answer them as they wish. A little bit of fun mixed with a little bit of insight – and a nice preview to the full-length interviews we have lined up throughout the year with all the Hidden Shoal artists.
Our first three questions are directed at the lovely Todd Tobias. Todd is one half of Brother Earth whose brilliant new album Positive Haywires has just dropped. His next solo album Impossible Cities comes out on the 28th of October (check out the first single here). You may also know him from his collaborations with Robert Pollard (Circus Devils and Pollards solo material) and also as producer of a number of Guided By Voices albums.
So without further ado we ask Todd to reach into the bag and pull out three questions.
Why make music?
It begins with self-enchantment. From there, if the artist is fortunate, it becomes a source of enchantment for others.
If you were writing a soundtrack/score, what director would you most want to work with?
Jan Svankmajer. He is Czech filmmaker whose movies have a surreal quality, mixing live action with animation. His movies are scary and funny at the same time.
What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?
Last summer (2013) I saw the Joffrey Ballet perform to The Rite Of Spring at an outdoor venue here in Ohio called The Blossom Music Center. It was a magical night.