In a new series, Choice Cuts, Jonathan Patrick talks with artists, both local and international, about their favorite records.
Pinkish Black is perhaps the most internationally celebrated of all current DFW acts. Their two LPs, Pinkish Black and Razed to the Ground, were critical darlings, garnering near-unanimous praise throughout the music press. This Friday, the duo (Jon Teague and Daron Beck), alongside Unconscious Collective and Curse, plan to put on one hell of a Halloween show at Fort Worth's The Chat Room. In anticipation of Friday's affair, we caught up with Beck, who plays keys and sings for Pinkish Black, to discuss his favorite records.
Silver Apples by Silver Apples
I was around nineteen when I first heard this record. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Like the first computer music, or the sound of machines committing suicide. I would stare at the pictures of the group's stage setup. It was, and is, the coolest band setup ever: just drums, oscillators and vocals. They changed the way I thought bands had to work. Two people can do a lot with the right equipment and ideas.
Dawn of the Dead (original soundtrack) by Goblin
One of the first VHS tapes I remember my mom buying for me was Dawn of the Dead. I was around 8 or 9, probably 1985. I was obsessed with that movie. Still am. The music was like no other movie music. It was funky and evil, and it made the mood of that movie so perfect. Later, in my early 20s, when independent music stores were thriving all over Denton, the first CD I remember special ordering was this soundtrack. We got to tour with this amazing band [Goblin] and it's something I'll never forget.
The Look of Love by Burt Bacharach
I've had several delivery jobs in my working life. It's the perfect job for someone who enjoys singing in the car and driving around getting high all day. Soul 73 and 770 AM were my stations of choice in those days. Soul 73 turned me on to the Dramatics and the Bar-Kay's, while 770 AM played all the soft rock I had heard in my mom's car as a child. I figured out from listening to that station that Bacharach and his lyricist, Hal David, wrote some of the most emotionally crushing songs in history. I began to dissect them musically and was floored by their complexity and emotional weight.
Suburbia (original soundtrack)
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As a kid, my first introduction to punk music was through movies. It started with Return of the Living Dead introducing me to the Damned and T.S.O.L., and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 introducing me to the Cramps. Then, my video store got Suburbia. The entire soundtrack is great, but "No God" by the Germs wasn't on there, although it was in the movie for just a second. It'd be years before I figured out what that song or band was, but it was my first introduction to the Germs, who are now one of my favorite bands.
Boy Child by Scott Walker
Scott Walker changed the way I thought about singing. His songs are like ghosts. As soon as "Montague Terrace (In Blue)" starts, it's just instant goosebumps. Many of his songs have a similar effect on me. He's had the most amazing musical timeline. To go from doing Righteous Brothers rip-offs to pounding on a side of beef for percussion, he remains at the top in my mind.
Twin Peaks (original soundtrack)
I had an older group of friends when I was around 13 who kept me well informed on movies and music. They got real excited when they found out the director of Blue Velvet was going to do his own TV show. We fell for it immediately. I bought the soundtrack right after it came out and listened to it religiously. I still listen to it fairly regularly.
Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins
I heard this by way of my older sister. She had a bunch of "waver" friends in the late '80s that would make her mixtapes of new weird bands. She played this for me and I just couldn't wrap my head around it. They weren't singing words. I couldn't tell what was guitar and what was keyboard. It was pretty, but dark. I loved it. It's some of the most beautiful music ever made.
Surfer Rosa by The Pixies
My punk friends in the '90s would rag on me for listening to the Pixies because of "Here Comes Your Man". Then I would get them high and put on Surfer Rosa and they would usually shut up. This is just really good songwriting done with an intensity that I had never heard before. Frank Black's scream is one of the best.
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Udu Wudu by Magma
I came to hear about Magma via Gong liner notes around age 18. I got around to hearing them several years later and was pissed that I had waited so long because they were so much better than Gong. They do more with structure and instrumentation than anyone, and they do it without sounding forced. "De Futura" is a song like no other. To my mind, it's close to the best song ever written.
Things To Come by Yeti
An early two-piece version of Pointy Shoe Factory opened for Yeti at Rubber Gloves in the late '90s. This was Doug Ferguson from Ohm's new band and, even though we hadn't heard Yeti yet, we expected it to be a good show. We took mushrooms during our set in preparation to peak by the time they went on. We had our heads damn near blown off. I couldn't believe I was watching a local band. I still listen to this album in awe. The fact that I have been fortunate enough to know these men and play with Jon and Tommy is something that has truly changed my musical path.