• wears the trousers magazine: the first 100 interviews

    Ott 15 2008, 14:19 di thetrousers

    A milestone we’re proud to bursting to have reached after three years of sometimes tortuous shenanigans but mostly brilliant fun in our efforts to bringing you the inside scoop on the contributions of women to the music industry: here they are, our first 100 interviews in vaguely chronological order of publication.

    Click through to read the articles

    001 Diane Cluck by Alan Pedder
    002 Kamila Thompson by Gillian Masland
    003 Shelly Poole by Alan Pedder
    004 Pooka by Alan Pedder
    005 Beth Hirsch by Rod Thomas
    006 Mara Carlyle by Rod Thomas
    007 Carolyn Mark by Clare Byrne
    008 Nerina Pallot by Michael Banna
    009 Rosie Thomas by Clare Byrne and Alan Pedder
    010 Eileen Rose by Alan Pedder
    011 Emma Anderson (ex-Lush) by Alan Pedder
    012 Jane Monheit by Aaron Alper
    013 The Chalets by Robbie de Santos
    014 The Rogers Sisters by Anja McCloskey
    015 Dévics by Clare Byrne and Pete Morrow
    016 The Organ by Alan Pedder
    017 The Pipettes by Alan Pedder
    018 Neko Case by Alan Pedder
    019 Elin Ruth by Alan Pedder
    020 Bic Runga by Alan Pedder
    021 Marissa Nadler by Alan Pedder
    022 Emm Gryner by Marc Soucy
    023 Terri Walker by Alan Pedder
    024 Reese Witherspoon by Stephen Collings
    025 The Hot Puppies by Rod Thomas and Alan Pedder
    026 Isobel Campbell by Helen Ogden
    027 The Cardigans by Robbie de Santos
    028 Emily Haines by Andrzej Lukowski
    029 Rainer Maria by Emily Anderson
    030 The Dresden Dolls by Andrzekj Lukowski
    031 Inara George by Loria Near
    032 Joan as Police Woman by Angelina Adsmill
    033 Mia Doi Todd by Clare Byrne
    034 Tender Trap by Russell Barker
    035 Psapp by Alan Pedder
    036 Lisa Germano by Alan Pedder
    037 Juana Molina by Adam Smith
    038 The Puppini Sisters by Anja McCloskey
    039 Broadcast by Clare Byrne
    040 Lou Rhodes by Paul Woodgate
    041 Thea Gilmore by Alan Pedder
    042 Nerina Pallot by Trevor Raggatt
    043 Astrid Williamson by Trevor Raggatt
    044 Amy Wadge by Trevor Raggatt
    045 Stephanie Kirkham by Trevor Raggatt
    046 Amy Millan by Andrzej Lukowski
    047 Robyn by Robbie de Santos
    048 Bat for Lashes by Alan Pedder
    049 Basia Bulat by Alan Pedder
    050 Catherine Feeny by Trevor Raggatt
    051 The Last Town Chorus by Anja McCloskey
    052 Shawn Colvin by Paul Woodgate
    053 Charlotte Hatherley by Ellen Forster
    054 Voice On The Verge #1: Emma Tricca by Alan Pedder
    055 Wendy Flower by Stephen Collings
    056 Voice On The Verge #2: Rosie & The Goldbug by Alan Pedder
    057 Voice On The Verge #3: Helen McCookerybook by Alan Pedder
    058 Voice On The Verge #4: Jessica Grace by Alan Pedder
    059 Hummingbird by Trevor Raggatt
    060 Voice On The Verge #5: Edwina Hayes by Alan Pedder
    061 Stephanie Dosen by Thomas Atkinson
    062 Architecture in Helsinki by Rod Thomas
    063 Sarabeth Tucek by Rod Thomas
    064 Voice On The Verge #6: Kárin Tatoyan by Alan Pedder
    065 Voice On The Verge #7: Nancy Wallace by Alan Pedder
    066 Meg Baird by Hugh Armitage
    067 Madam by Katy Carr and Alan Pedder
    068 Anjani Thomas by Alan Pedder
    069 My Brightest Diamond by Clare Byrne
    070 Voice On The Verge #8: Miranda Barber by Alan Pedder
    071 Beth Rowley by Michael Banna and Alan Pedder
    072 Voice On The Verge #9: Joni Davis by Alan Pedder
    073 Voice On The Verge #10: Jo Gabriel by Alan Pedder
    074 Voice On The Verge #11: Katy Carr by Alan Pedder
    075 Silje Nes by Alan Pedder
    076 Nanci Griffith by Trevor Raggatt
    077 Voice On The Verge #12: Miwagemini by Alan Pedder
    078 Voice On The Verge #13: Oh, Atoms by Alan Pedder
    079 Pepi Ginsberg by Anja McCloskey
    080 Voice On The Verge #14: Tallulah Rendall by Alan Pedder
    081 Voice On The Verge #15: Polly Scattergood by Alan Pedder
    082 Voice On The Verge #16: Naomi Hates Humans by Alan Pedder
    083 The Ditty Bops by Martyn Clayton
    084 Voice On The Verge #17: Fran Rodgers by Alan Pedder
    085 Shannon McArdle by Mario Onnis and Alan Pedder
    086 Voice On The Verge #18: Saint Saviour by Alan Pedder
    087 Rose Kemp by Alan Pedder
    088 Kamila Thompson by Sacha Whitmarsh
    089 Nina Nastasia by Chris Catchpole
    090 Voice On The Verge #19: Doctors & Dealers by Alan Pedder
    091 Voice On The Verge #20: Honey Ryder by Alan Pedder
    092 Society of Imaginary Friends by Katy Carr and Alan Pedder
    093 Voice On The Verge #21: Ana Silvera by Alan Pedder
    094 Voice On The Verge #22: Gemma Ray by Alan Pedder
    095 Voice On The Verge #23: The Beautiful Word by Alan Pedder
    096 Bec & Beth (The Hot Puppies) by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
    097 HK119 by Léigh Bartlam
    098 Die So Fluid by Gary Munday
    099 Holly Golightly by Sacha Whitmarsh
    100 Rose Elinor Dougall by Charlotte Richardson Andrews

    * * *

    Alan Pedder
  • A Blessing or a Curse

    Ott 25 2007, 17:04 di websheldon

    Sat at work feeling a bit blue and thinking about how my musical taste is pretty dominated by female singers. I'm usually thinking that I should try and listen to more male vocalists (I've been doing quite well this year - Elliott Smith, Ray LaMontagne, Mumm-Ra, Arctic Monkeys, Andrew Birdetc.) So I thought instead of thinking like this, today I will embrace my love of female singers and make a compilation for my iTunes.

    There were 3 songs that didn't make it (I like my compilations to have 20 songs because then they can usually fit on a CD!)
    Death Of Samantha - Yoko Ono
    Bulimic Beats - Catatonia
    Riverwide - Sheryl Crow

    The playlist is quite depressing really, but it picks up towards the end - "Wise Up" is recognising there's a problem and realising you need to change to sort it,

    "Deep Water" is along a similar vein 'we must demand more not from each other, but more from ourselves' and then Good To Yourself is one of my favourite feel good songs.

    A Blessing or a Curse

    Possibly Maybe - Bjork
    This is the song that got me into Bjork. I actually heard it on 'Now 35 - That's What I Call Music', it was something like track 18 on CD2 (not exactly high priority in the Now office!). I didn't love it when I first got into it, I just liked playing it at bed time, and I did that for quite a while. Later, I bought Homogenic, which I thought was brilliant - like nothing else I'd ever heard before, and then I got Post. After that, I listened to Possibly Maybe properly and I realised what the lyrics were about. It's tracing a relationship from start to end. And I love the fact that it's called "Possibly Maybe", because I'm never sure of anything in a relationship. Does he really love me? Probably. Has he cheated on me though? Maybe. You can never be absolutely sure of anything in life, and that goes when you're in a relationship too. Or maybe you only get that kind of trust when you meet your soul mate? Or perhaps, like many songs say, you have to completely love yourself (therefore be secure about yourself) before you can truly love anybody else. Halfway through the song, Bjork asks "Where is the love you promised me?" and then in the next verse her partner has given her too much love "I'm exhausted, leave me alone". Another vital part of a relationship is not just being compatible, but actually loving each other similar amounts. How can you ever love someone as much or as little as they love you? You can't. Probably. The line that is usually quoted when I talk to people about this song is "Since we broke up, I'm using lipstick again, I suck my tongue in remembrance of you". I remember laying in bed when I was about 13 or so and imagining what it would be like to kiss someone, and pretending I was kissing someone, although, obviously there was noone there, but I pretended that there was. Kissing is one of my favourite things in the world - its so intimate and so expressive...

    Under the Ivy - Kate Bush
    It was so difficult choosing a Kate Bush song. It was between the above, Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) and This Woman's Work. Running Up That Hill reminds me of a guy called Simon who I used to go out with. He lived in Nottingham and we decided at first that we couldn’t see each other because we didn't think a long term relationship would work. But we got ourselves so upset (not realising the other person was also so upset at first) that we realised we had something that we couldn't ignore. Then the other two songs remind me of my longest relationship to date, Douglas. I remember us lying in bed in each others arms listening to Kate Bush (his favourite artist) and Under The Ivy came on and he said "this is such a romantic song". I don't usually play it because although its all in the past now and we're best friends, it's upsetting to remember something and feel it so deeply - and realising that it doesn't exist anymore. But listening to it tonight makes me happy that once I felt like that - better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

    Rapture - Laura Veirs
    I've been into Laura Veirs since her first album with The Cloud Room on it. I introduced her music to my housemate Ez/Mark this year and he really loved her. The album now reminds me of getting back from nights out and having long chats on my bed about love and life etc whilst listening to Carbon Glacier. Rapture is one of my favourites off it, with the lyrics "Love of colour, sound and verse, is it a blessing or a curse?" I think love of any art form can be amazing, but it can take you to places so dark, that you would have never deemed it possible without the aid of that art form. Maybe music is a like a drug.

    Good Friday - CocoRosie
    My favourite CocoRosie song is By Your Side, but this one is also beautiful and I think gets over shadowed by the other when I'm talking about CocoRosie. "I once fell in love with you just because the sky turned from grey to blue". Such simple lyrics, but very easy to relate to. Falling in love with someone can happen so easily and not always for the reasons that you'd think most likely.

    You Look So Fine - Garbage
    I've talked to a lot of people who don't rate Garbage's slower songs, but in my eyes this is a classic.

    Daniel Cowman - Regina Spektor
    Regina has got so many songs that touch me deeply, and this wouldn't actually rate at the top. But what I love about it is how the song structure progresses from start to end. She's so good at picking up on a vibe, and building on it and taking it to the next level. And I also like the idea that someone believes in something so much, that they are prepared to put their life on the line without a second thought. I don't think I hol any such beliefs so I'm kind of in awe by that concept. In the song, Daniel Cowman believes he is destined to die by hanging - so he can do what the hell he likes (for instance, having a bath which its said he could easily drown in (for some reason??!), but he won't die until he is hanged. The songs ends with the lyrics "Now that we've got that clear, can I just be left alone, I want to take a f***ing bath!".

    The Last Time I Saw Richard - Joni Mitchell
    The last song off her album Blue from 1971. Blue is one of my favourite albums of all time. This song (like many of Joni's) is not just about one thing - it incorporates a few different areas. In one respect its about believing in what is true to yourself vs compromising to conform to what the majority tell you, its about the ultimate romantic vs the practical cynic, and its about sticking to what you believe and seeing the positive side, even when others who used to stand next to you have now departed and are seemingly doing 'better' in life. "All good dreamers pass this way some day, cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe. Only a dark cocoon before I spread my gorgeous wings and fly away, only a phase, these dark cafe days."

    Riverwide - Sheryl Crow
    Sheryl Crow has been one of my favourite artists for years - she was probably the first female singer songwriter I got into when I got Tuesday Night Music Club back in '95. This song reminds me of starting my A Level College - I'd moved to a different place to all my friends and it was so scary - but it felt good at the same time, cos I felt brave...hehe

    The Couch - Alanis Morissette
    I find this song quite confusing. I can't work out from whose point of view she is narrating in the song - it might be more than one person. This song is structured in a way that defies regular songwriting methods. It takes one set of chords and melody and repeats in each verse. There's no chorus and no bridge. And it works. Brilliantly. Favourite line: "I've walked sometimes confused, sometimes ready to crack open wide, sometimes indignant, sometimes raw, can you imagine I pay him $75 an hour, sometimes it feels like highway robbery and sometimes its peanuts I wish it could last a couple more hours".

    What Would Happen - Meredith Brookes
    Obviously famous for her song "Bitch". This song is about when you have a crush on someone and your senses become heightened to tiny things like each other's legs touching under a table, or how long you hold their glance. In this song, she fantasises about kissing this person: "What would happen if we kissed? Would you tongue slip passed my lips? Would you run away? Would yo ustay? Or would I melt into you? Mouth to mouth, lust to lust, spontaneously combust!".

    Nobodies Perfect - Madonna
    This song reminds me of when I'd just started university and I'd split up from my first long term boyfriend and Kev and had started going out with this really gorgeous guy called Alex (you know when you look at them and you can't *stop* looking at them because you can't believe how beautiful they are?). Well, it didn't last very long with this guy, he had sexuality issues and decided he was straight (he's come to terms with everything now though, but we don't speak anymore). This song kind of represented the darker side of that period of my life, breaking up with Kev and getting together with Alex.

    Dare You to Kill Me - Alisha's Attic
    Most of the songs on here are very important lyrically to me - this song isn't here primarily for that reason (although the dark lyrics do go sooo well with the music), I simply connect with the vibe - created by their gorgeous voices, the eerie chord structure and the atmosphere.

    Marianne - Tori Amos
    Whilst I was at uni, I used to play in a band with a girl called Lucy and I'd stay over at her house in the spare room. I'd just got into Boys For Pele at the time (my favourite Tori album) and this is one of the stand out tracks for me. I learned a few months ago that she actually wrote this for a close friend who died and I've got a video of her playing this live on my myspace page.

    Never Is a Promise - Fiona Apple
    An amazing song. I can't say its the lyrics alone that make it because its not. But the lyrics coupled with music is an undeniable illustration of a pain that is created by an overwhelming sense of loss and disappointment in someone you care about so deeply. "You'll say you understand, but you don't understand, you say you'll never stop seeing eye to eye. But never is a promise and you can't afford to lie."

    Death of Samantha (With Porcupine Tree)- Yoko Ono
    When I first heard this song, I coudln've sworn that I'd heard the "Chick baby" bit before - but at same time I'm positively sure that I haven't. I love this though - its all about how you can look beautiful and cool and fashionable, but its not gonna bring you happiness! Favourite lyrics: "When I'm with friends, I thank god that I can light a cigarette when I'm choking inside".

    Bulimic Beats - Catatonia
    I bought this album when I was on a field trip at my college. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. I didn't like any of the people I was on the trip with - they are all complete bastards - really laddy blokes. uh! All my mates had gone with the other group and the teachers wouldn't let me swap. Anyway there was no way I was going to integrate with the nob head bloke crowd for the sake of it, cos it would have felt wrong, so I kept myself to myself. But it was such an isolating experience...

    Lights of Life - Donna Lewis
    This has been a favourite of mine for years now. She's got a beautifully husky and sensual voice. I can't work out exactly what the song is about but it makes me feel relaxed, serene and hopeful.

    Rescue - Lucinda Williams
    My favourite Lucinda song is Are You Alright? or I Envy The Wind but I think this track fits in better on this compilation. I think it's saying that you shouldn't look for a relationship to solve your problems, because your problems will still be there, a relationship will only take your mind off them. Saying basically what I said earlier, love yourself before you love someone else.

    What You Gonna Do? - Joan Osborne
    This song and Dare You To Kill Me are in a similar vein I think... This is from "Early Recordings" - a collection of songs she used to play live at Delta '88 before she got famous.

    Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu - Martha Wainwright
    I loved this song the first moment I heard it, but when I found out the lyrical translation it took it to a whole new level. It was originally written by a French singer-songwriter called Barbara.

    Wise Up- Aimee Mann
    The structure and general arrangement of this song is really very simple, but so effective. I think it's quite a positive song generally, she says "It's not going to stop till you wise up" all throughout, but then right at the end she says "It's not going to stop, so just give up". Being the eternal optimist, I can't help but think that she is saying that to provoke a reaction in the person she's addressing. All through the song she is suggesting that 'it' will stop if the person just sorts the situation out, but then she drops the line, "so just give up", and I think that is the line that is supposed to kick the person she's addressing into action.

    Deep Water - Jewel
    "When you're standing in Deep Water and bailing yourself out with a straw, and when you're standing in Deep Water, and you wake up making love to a wall". Sounds a bit like the kind of person that would kiss someone who wasn't there?! hehe That level of loneliness though, is something I'm sure everyone can relate to at some point, usually post break up. Jewel is often criticised for her child like or simple lyrics, but I think that often, she hits the nail right on the head.

    Good to Yourself - Vonda Shepard
    Awww this song makes me feel positive about life. The first line, "I stopped at an all night diner, it seemed like a romantic thing to do, oh but I'm lonely, it aint like the movies in the old days", makes me think how just because you might feel lonely, doesn't mean to say you should dwell on it. You can still follow your own path of happiness, you can still do something romantic even if its by yourself. For instance, if someone is coming round to visit me, I usually light a few candles, put an oil burner on, some soft lighting etc but I don't usually bother if I'm in by myself. But when I do make the extra bit of effort and do these nice atmospheric type things for myself, it makes me feel so much better. This song makes me think that life is what you make it. At the end of the day, you can either choose to be happy or you can dwell in your unhappiness. Of course, you can't be happy all time, and to truly appreciate your joy, you must first feel your sadness, but ultimately its your own decision.

    ...the end :o)