Grant-Lee Phillips: Mona Lisa (2004)
I first came across Grant-Lee Phillips when he was the front man and songwriter for Grant Lee Buffalo, and began another campaign to convince friends that GLB were the next big thing. Everything was on track when they outplayed both REM and Crowded House at the Auckland show of their 1995 world tour. Sadly GLB didn’t last, but Phillips has now released seven CDs in his own name, and gives occasional hope of a return down under. Mona Lisa is from his third solo release, Virginia Creeper.
Martin Phillipps and the Chills: As Far as I Can See (2006)
The eternally misspelled Phillipps has been head-Chill since he formed the band in 1980. He briefly changed the moniker to Martin Phillipps and the Chills for his 1996 release, “Sunburnt”. Line-up changes, health problems and isolation from bigger markets haven’t helped his chances of wider recognition, but with the appearance of a new single and live album in 2013, hopefully Phillipps will soon be getting the success he deserves. One question: Martin, why wasn’t this song a single?
Pixies: I’ve Been Tired (1987)
I think Pixies is the only band that I can remember where I was when I first heard them. The song was “Here Comes Your Man” and it’s impact was immediate. Another campaign to indoctrinate my friends soon began, and once more (I am also responsible for the demise of Luna, Sugar and Grant Lee Buffalo) the band broke up after only two more releases. “I’ve Been Tired” was a regular singalong towards the end late nights in Auckland back in the day, and with its nod to Lou Reed, it seems an appropriate choice.
Pink Floyd: Bike (1967)
Years before Pink Floyd became the stadium filling corporate giant, Syd Barrett was writing quirky tales of a night-time thief of womens’ clothing called Arnold, a girl called Emily, games involving eiderdowns, and my personal favourite – Bike. I had always hoped that one day I’d have a son who would like this song; I’m lucky enough to have two and it seems to be a favourite. They’re still young, but musically I think they’re on the right track!