Q Magazine

Playlist - Here We Go Magic's "Songs to break your back to" with Nick Drake, Captain Beefheart, Duke Ellington, Skip James & more

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Originally an outlet for singer Luke Temple‘s creative juices to flow through, Here We Go Magic became the five-piece indie rock band they are today in 2009, and have be grafting hard ever since. With their third record A Different Ship out next next week (7 May) – get Q311 now for our review – they have given us their ten songs to inspire hard graft. “I have the best job in the world,” says drummer Peter Hale. “Though that any job would be shitty is subjective, and I can say that I have had a few – as have we all. Here I’ve given myself some latitude and selected tunes that I love. Some most likely fit the style mentioned above, but some are songs I associate in a less literal way. They’re all bangers though.”

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Furry Lewis – John Henry

“Back-breaking jobs never had a more bad ass champion than John Henry. I love many versions but Furry‘s is longer than most and truly psychedelic thanks to the overtones and his spectral voice.”

Captain Beefheart – Peon

“The word says it all. No one would ever want to be an under-compensated disenfranchised labourer. As for the tune, it offers hope: it sounds like the apotheosis of toil.”

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Skip James – Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

“This song reminds me how lucky I am to have the best job in the world. Skip and his blues man peers truly had it rough. Sad, sexy, haunting. And what a voice.”

Abner Jay – I’m A Hard Working Man

“The class clown of serious blues, he needs money for grass and whiskey, but he will work hard for it. The levity in Abner‘s records belies the frankness and funkiness of his songs and groove.”

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Earl Hagen – New Intern Watusi

“I’ve never had an internship, and I’m sure some of them are grand, enlightening affairs, but most of them sound like shitty jobs to me. The song doesn’t make me think of such awfulness, though. It makes me think ‘adventure vacation’ which is essentially the opposite.”

Foy Willing And Riders Of The Purple Sage – Stampede!

“I actually think being a cowboy would be a fantastic job, but this scenario sounds like a nightmare. “Don’t get out in front, or every man dies…” Sonically, the track is a perfect example of that old Hollywood Western, complete with orchestra and sound effects. So romantic!”

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Nick Drake – Hazy Jane II

“Subject digression: this track was in heaviest rotation on my CD player (ten-plus years ago) during long winter commutes to one of my last shitty jobs in New York. I really think it kept me from giving up all together.”

The Highwaymen – Highwayman

“Noble pursuits (save, maybe, the actual highway robberies) one and all, these jobs get all the guys killed. The recording features a super cast of characters and soulful, shiny production (almost an 80’s analogue to the Foy Willing piece).”

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Michael Rother – Sonnenrad

“This is a song I liked to listen to while cleaning the bar I tended for years. Not a shitty job at all, but the end of the night is the dirtiest, most fastidious part of the shift, and jams like this really help get it done.”

Duke Ellington – Isfahan

“First of all, this is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. I played it and ethos-similar stuff after everyone had left the bar and all the glasses were polished and the money counted as I enjoyed a drink by myself. Then I would blow out the last few candles and lock up.”

To hear more from Here We Go Magic, head to Herewegomagicband.tumblr.com.


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