Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Eskimo Joe’s Stu MacLeod – The Dandy Warhols, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia (2000)
Thirteen Tales. Every time I hear you, it opens the door to a wave of memories. As they swirl and swim through my head, I feel warm and cosy, like an old friend has stopped by on their way through town.
I remember the first time I listened to you. I really didn’t give you enough credit. Something just didn’t click. Perhaps it was the trumpets on ‘Godless’. Maybe it was the way you presented yourself like you were just way too cool for mere mortals like me, and I couldn’t figure out if you were the real deal or not. (I really did hate those trumpets though…)
Either way, I was wrong to doubt you. It really didn’t take long for me to realise that. After a few more visits, my god… I literally couldn’t get you out of my head.
You know what? You are the real deal. I know you put on this show for everyone, but dress it up however you want; you have talent and you ALWAYS bring the party.
Your songs are fucking brilliant. Effortless melodies over simple progressions. Big, fucking ball-busting riffs. Understated, underrated guitar lines. And production? Daymn. Every song is tied to the next, leading you on a start-to-finish journey. You did good.
The silky e-Bow guitar intro sets the scene and from there it’s like each song is a different party. I get those shivers and tingles from ‘Godless’ which stretch out into ‘Mohammed’, trancing out as the late evening sunbeams dance on the walls.
‘Nietzsche’ comes busting through the door just as we’re starting to drift off, arms full of party favours, kicking doors in and waking everyone the fuck up. His girlfriend ‘Country Leaver’ is close behind for a laugh-party in the kitchen as we whip up some snacks.
From there, we’re re-fuelled and ready to dance around the living room with ‘Solid’. The dance party vibes hard once ‘Horse Pills’ kick in, followed by some sweaty smiles all round as we welcome ‘Get Off’ to the dance floor. It all catches up with us by that stage, as we make our way into the bedroom for a slow dance under the covers with ‘Sleep’. ‘Cool Scene’ doesn’t let us get too comfortable though, with some playful, lazy dancing on the bed as the sun comes up.
A carload of replacement supplies with ‘Bohemian Like You’ as the party stretches into day two, everyone in the zone, laughing and smiling, swapping stories and clothes. More dancing with ‘Shakin’’ until the evening sets in once again. ‘Big Indian’ calls last drinks as everyone shuffles out of the house, leaving a small group to lie in each other’s arms, passing a come-down joint and staring into the wallpaper whilst ‘The Gospel’ sends us off to sleep.
You have always brought the party and I love how effortless you are. I know you probably took a long time to get ready in the mirror before heading out each night, but you honestly wouldn’t ever know. You are deep, fun, raucous, sweet, adorable, intense and brilliant. Long story short, the door is always open for you, my friend.
Thanks for the memories.
p.s. I LOVE the trumpets.
Eskimo Joe’s new single ’99 Ways’ is out now – listen here. In March of 2022, the band will embark on their ‘Black Fingernails Red Wine in the City’ tour, playing their classic albums ‘A Song Is a City’ (2004) and ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ (2006) in full. Tickets are available here.