Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pinecones (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part V)

Sage, probably the first great record I heard in 2010, has lost none of its allure since that second week in January. Better yet, its efforts to broaden The Pinecones’ reach after We Were Strangers…‘ piano-based pop feel as natural and good-natured under psychedelic lens as any Kinks record from the mid 60s. Lead songwriter Brent Randall speaks like a man who has been there, talking dreamily about hosting tea parties and writing songs in gardens.

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

BR: Dr. Ew (Drew Smith of The Bicycles) put out a really neat album called Gadzooks. Toppermost of the poppermost. The Stance in Halifax put out their nifty full-length debut early this year - that's also a treat. In terms of older stuff I discovered, my girlfriend turned me on to this guy Jimmy Campbell who put out some albums in the early 70's - "Jimmy Campbell's Album" is particularily mindblowing. Oh, I also really like B.A. Johnston's new album "Thank You For Being a Friend." It is really great. The average music fan, while enjoying his live show, may be quick to write off his albums as novelty but this new one in particular is just a straight up good album.

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the excellent Sage?

BR: Something Else by the Kinks. Ian Whitcomb's Mod Mod Musical Hall. Voices in Fun - The Four Freshman.
"Muffin Man" - Land of Oz. The Hollies.

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

BR: The Missuss.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: In mid February I acquired an intense fever that rendered me immobile. Instead of sleeping or watching bad movies, I stretched out in the SCQ office and listened exclusively to The Pinecones' warm and uplifting record. Essentially, you cured me. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Sage.

BR: Unfortunately all the songs are pretty self explanatory. Sage and Marigold were co-written in a friend of mine's garden. We spent the summer hanging about in his garden and wrote those two numbers. Mr. Shoemaker man was written while I was searching for work and I used to walk by a particular cobbler shop and I always wished I could work there. Jenny Ardmore, we all had crushes on this one waitress at a favourite tea room of ours, that's about her. I suppose "O Ivy" is a little funny because it was sort of about a fantasy encounter that later came true after I wrote the number.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

BR: I'll own sevens suits, one in every colour. Seven minis, one in every colour. I'll get to make a living by professional hosting tea parties. I'll own a seafoam green piano.

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