Saturday, March 23, 2013

Song of the day

"Planet Phrom", by Peter Gutteridge.

On the subject of Dunedin.

It may turn out that one of the reasons I am so fond of the music of Real Estate is that it contains within its crevices the latent influence of the golden age of music from Dunedin. Matt Mondanile plays guitar for Real Estate. Real Estate are not from Dunedin. They are not even from New Zealand. They are from New Jersey, which is not the same thing at all. Mondanile also has his own band/project, entitled Ducktails. Ducktails have just released a new album, called "The Flower Lane". It includes a song called "Planet Phrom". This may or may not ring bells with you. "Planet Phrom" is a song from Peter Gutteridge's Xpressway cassette, "Pure", from 1989.

Peter Gutteridge is from Dunedin. He may not be a household name anywhere, possibly even Dunedin, but his name crops up in a surprising number of places, if you were obsessed by the "DN scene" in the mid- to late-eighties. (As I was.) He appears on assorted tracks by The Chills (of which, in the early days, he was a member), The Clean (ditto), and The Verlaines, all of which are household names somewhere, if only in my own household. He was a member of short-lived almost-supergroup Snapper. He plays keyboards on The Alpaca Brothers' sublime "Legless" EP. (What's that you say? Never heard of it? Where have you been?)

He co-wrote "Point That Thing Somewhere Else". And there aren't many people on this earth who can say that.

When I first heard Peter Gutteridge the file-card system inside my head positioned him somewhere between Suicide and Spacemen 3. In fact he sounds nothing like either of them but the resonances of both are there, if not so much on "Planet Phrom."

Alan Haig plays drums on this track. There is another Pete Frame-type family tree for Alan Haig, perhaps at least as complex as the one sketched out above for Peter Gutteridge. Which is, in any event, far from complete. (Sandra Bell, anyone?)