Song of the day – 541: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding
I’ve been aware of this band for some time now (years even), but I’ve been put off by their name.
I’m sure it’s ironic. Or perhaps it’s not. Either way, it’s a crap name for a brilliant band. (Listen. You think I’m being silly? Would you listen to a band called Toad The Wet Sprocket or The Courteeners or alt-J? Of course not.) Either way, it’s stopped me from thoroughly enjoying some music, music that I have been aware for some time I would in all probability thoroughly enjoy.
It comes down to pedigree, mostly. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are on Bedroom Suck. (Bedroom Suck rule, though not quite as hard as some would have you believe.) The band is championed by folk like Jake C and Shaun P and Marriah G, and of course my handful of friends too. As the tags on their Bandcamp put it: beaches divorced down and out slacker pop kitchen’s floor panel of judges peak twins pop-grunge-character building the twerps Footscray. Sure, I’m going to notice if a band keeps hitting the right spot, time and time again… even if it does mean they could just turn out to be another (spit) Swervedriver or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. (Why am I doing all these links? I KNOW no one clicks on links.) Gave ’em a listen, trusted my senses. Trusted my ears. Ignored their damn stupid name.
It’s The Velvet Underground. It’s empty beer cans crunched up on your shared driveway on a Sunday morning. It’s the sound of crickets chirping unmercifully all summer long. It’s falling off the top of the secondhand ute cos no one told the driver you were up there surfing. It’s sticky carpets and mouldy, festering ice trays. It’s hope and solace and one-string guitar solos and failed relationships. It’s personal consumption. It’s none of that, and more besides. Scuzzy sofas. Derelict road blocks. Useless wasteland. Useless lists. Useless useless. The Clean, of course. (What isn’t The Clean in Australia 2012?)
Something about the way the singer shouts really reminds me of certain bands on Creation Records in 1984.
It wasn’t just the name that put me off, of course. It’s also the fact I don’t like to be too predictable. No one likes to have their tastes nailed down – and by strangers! I keep having to battle myself over this one: mustntbepredictablemustntbepredictable but MUSTNTMISSOUTMUSTNTMISSOUT. Usually, commonsense wins through but it took me till 2009 to admit to liking even a solitary Stooges album. And 2012 till I ‘fessed up to liking five Smiths songs.
I keep writing ‘band’ and ‘their’: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding is actually just one man, Craig Dermody – an Australian living in New York City. You know that. I know that. But it’s possible that feller over there didn’t know that.
Australian bands were seriously hitting it out of the park left & right this year, but I think the Scott & Charlene’s Wedding side of this split LP might be my favorite thing to come from Down Under in 2012 (which is saying a lot, trust me). I’ll drop the F-word again and bring up the fact that like their label-mates Outside World, getting pegged as Flying Nun disciples is what initially made me seek out this band (I’m predictable like that, so sue me). Scott & Charlene’s Wedding do much more justice to that tag though, striking a balance of melancholy jangle and slightly off-kilter hooks that would do The Clean proud. Can we also talk about how much I love a band that can work the line “blood was pissing everywhere all over the place” into a completely infectious pop song about workplace injuries? Fuck you, Slayer!
Who knew a song about a potential workplace health and safety violation could be so catchy?
Whatever. I know this ain’t the most beautiful piece of music writing ever. But you sure as hell ain’t the most beautiful reader ever.
Just listen to the damn music.