Fodder Jams7 June 2017
It was a great exercise of reflection to try and pinpoint one record that greatly influenced my trajectory in life. It also proved the power that music has over my emotions, thought processes and overall satisfaction. As such, I posed the challenge to my colleagues at Radio Fodder – I asked them to choose one album that has been greatly influential for them. Whether that be in terms of constructing music taste, soundtracking a pivotal moment in their lives, shaping their Radio Fodder show or adopting a new philosophy. The team open up about some of their most personal musical memories.
The Libertines, The Libertines
As a child I was somewhat of a ‘normie’. I dove into any trend that seemed to be permeating at the time. Wherever the bandwagon went, I wouldn’t be far behind. But at the age of twelve, I stopped buying overpriced surf brands and Scoobies. I started to embrace the kookiness that I’d learnt to suppress. This shift coincided with my first listen to The Libertines’ self-titled album that my sister recommended to me. I was overwhelmed by a soundscape that was so unlike anything I’d previously heard. It was gritty, daring, unclean and overwhelmingly charismatic. The Libertines sparked my journey of music exploration and intense fixation that continues to shape a very large chunk of my identity. For the very first time, I became absorbed by lyrics and melodies, and found comfort in a favourite album or song. I even picked up a guitar for the first time. The Libertines started it all. Discovering new genres and personalities, everything from Prince to Patti Smith, allowed me to realise that the bandwagon, for the most part, isn’t all that fun.
Claire, Writer of The Fodder Blog
The Runaways, The Runaways
The Runaways’ debut self-titled album meant a lot to me when I was younger. For fourteen year-old me it was an album that really inspired me to learn guitar, take up singing and start a band. I wanted to be Joan Jett, with her androgynous eff-you attitude. As young women playing in the male-dominated world of ’70s rock music, The Runaways were powerful figures who made me feel that I also had a place in the scene. They embodied the idea that women can be loud and angry and take up space. Later I read accounts from the band members about the sexism, manipulation and abuse they experienced whilst in this band. While disrupting the somewhat romanticised perception I had of The Runaways, this more informed perspective only strengthened what this album symbolises – women’s efforts to keep carving a bigger space for themselves in the rock music industry. All hail the Queens of Noise!
Acacia, Radio Fodder’s Social Media Officer
Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell
I remember sitting at home in early 2015 pretending to do my year 11 history homework when I first heard the blissful opening notes to ‘Death with Dignity’, the opening track from Sufjan Steven’s seventh studio album Carrie and Lowell. I discovered it through my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify and I recall being so captivated by the gentle guitar line that guided me through the opening bars of Stevens’ album that I lay down and listened to the whole thing twice (Spotify advertisements included). Stevens said in an interview with Triple J’s Zan Rowe that he tends to find “emotional therapy in [his] writing,” and at sixteen, I experienced intense feeling from an album for the very first time. Stevens’ raw and honest exploration of his experience following his mother’s death in 2012 struck me and led me to new artists and albums for the first time that are still on high rotation.
Conor, Presenter of A Current, A Fair
Lou Reed, Transformer
It’s eye-opening, enchanting and eclectic. It’s the glammest Glam Rock that provides everything I need to dance around my bedroom. It was the first vinyl that my dad bought for me. He explained how influential it had been for him in transitioning from a traditional farming background to accepting other sexualities and gender identities in his own punk music scene. This album advocates for a decrease in discrimination. Lou Reed and David Bowie have inspired me to know that it is okay to not shoehorn yourself into a set identity. All the songs on this album are beautifully crafted. They’re heartbreaking yet uplifting and so self-confident that it is difficult to not love the character of Lou Reed – someone who does not care what others think of him.
Alice, Presenter of Down The Rabbit Hole
Gorillaz, Demon Days
Gorillaz’s Demon Days was the first album I owned and also the most influential album I’ve listened to. I first listened to the album when I was nine, too young to comprehend the complex themes of inner demons or society’s self-destructive nature, but I loved the album for it’s mixture of weird instruments and sounds, dope raps, as well as the animation. Today, when I listen to the album it serves as a reminder as to why a comedy radio show is so important. Without laughter and joy, the world is how the Gorillaz paint it: broken and melancholy. But a smile is the beginning of defeating any of your worst Demon Days.
James, Presenter of The Mein Event
Nelly Furtado, Loose
When I was asked to think of an album that greatly influenced my musical taste, I knew there was only one real answer. My life can be divided into two distinct categories: pre and post-listen of Nelly Furtado’s explosive LP Loose. Released in 2006 as a mesmerising force of Latin dance and sensual charisma, Nelly Furtado’s Loose blew out onto the Australian Top 40 Charts in a hurricane of pop and raw sexuality. I was first introduced to Loose by the single ‘Promiscuous’. As a big beat anthem endorsing sexual freedom, it was the perfect expression of Furtado’s vocal passion and Timbaland’s cut-throat production. Followed immediately by the seductive ‘Maneater’, the album was instantly toxicating. It’s impossible to quantify how influential this album was on my emotional development. The first album is an important one; something to look back on and say ‘part of my identity began here’. As a young man, Loose began a journey of self-exploration that remains unfinished. Even today when I hear the opening bars of ‘Promiscuous’ burst onto the radio, my heart skips a beat and I know deep down that a special part of myself with forever belong to Nelly Furtado.
Hamish, Presenter of The Trash Hour
Bleachers, Strange Desire
Strange Desire by Bleachers is a huge influence on how I approach my show. Features of the show take inspiration from their eclectic style. This is shown mainly through the mix of music that we play, and through our cutaways and sound bites; all of which feature occasionally distorted and altered samples of the voices of our friends, which is also a recurring technique Bleachers use to tie the whole album together. Thematically, the main message I draw from the album is that you need to grab whatever life throws at you. Whether it be good or bad, embrace it, learn from it, and push yourself to be better. I feel my show, where my brother James and I compete in various debates and challenges, follows that mantra. We take our sibling joys and rivalries and relieve them in a one hour time slow, and ultimately try to be better. Or at least better each other through our banter.
Gilbert, Presenter of The Mein Event
As evident in the responses, music is super important to many of us at Radio Fodder. What an incredible sensation it is when you hear the first few bars of a favourite song and you’re instantly transported to a particular time or place, or you simply feel at ease with the world. As such, we need to savour any kind of platform for sharing and appreciating the magic of music. Radio Fodder is just one way that we can do this. It also has the added bonus of comedy, interviews and commentary.
Tune in to Radio Fodder online at http://radiofodder.com to hear more musical discussions and explore the newly established online blog for album reviews, gig guides and similar pieces dedicated to the lively world of Melbourne’s music scene.