Advertise with The Big Takeover
The Big Takeover Issue #93
MORE Essays >>
Subscribe to The Big Takeover


Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs

Follow us on Instagram

Follow The Big Takeover

More Info, and Tons of Juicy Quotes, From the Current Big Takeover Issue 60, in stores now! (Why not subscribe?)

5 June 2007

For all those of you who have written and inquired, yes Big Takeover issue #60 with THE SHINS on the cover is now in stores. Look for it! And if you don’t see it, please ask the store to order it!! Or restock!!

Below is a more in depth description of its contents than I have given you in previous posts, with juicy quotes to tempt you!!

(Note, It has already shipped to subscribers—if you are one, your copy should be there by now or should be arriving imminently!; foreign subscribers should get theirs next week), but it remains an excellent time to subscribe if you’ve been meaning to (it’s cheaper and faster!!); or renew your subscription if it has run out or if this is your last issue; or let us know if your address has changed and you want your future subscription copies sent somewhere new.)

(And again, if you want to subscribe, just go to the left of this page, and click on the “subscribe now” button to take you to our secure online Yahoo store (and feel free to indicate which issue you’d like to start with, issue 59 (DECEMBERISTS cover), or the upcoming issue 60 (Shins). It’s only $20 for four issues (save 23% off the newsstand price including average sales tax), or $32 for overseas. Or, for those in the U.S. you can send us a check made out to “Big Takeover” for $20 to the following address:
The Big Takeover
1713 8th Ave. Rm. 5-2
Brooklyn, NY 11215
As ever, there are back issues, T-shirts, and CDs available there as well if you’re interested.)

(And if you want to tell us about your new address, you can at

OK, here’s as promised some much deeper highlights of the issue than what I have noted previously:


SHINS: “Living in Portland, maybe I might have a perverse view of what’s going on in pop culture. But it seems like people generally are seeking out authenticity in all realms of their lives. Wanting to buy older houses and fix them up, instead of buying **** stuff in the suburbs. Even food choices; the restaurants have better quality local produce. There seems to be this desire for this authenticity that’s growing. Maybe we’re part of that?”

SHINS: “I was having some spooky, superstitious feelings for a while. I went through a really stressful period, and one of the interesting things that happened to me… you know that feeling you get when you’re walking upstairs from the basement, or once in while maybe only when you’re 10? I would have that sort of feeling while I was driving the car, just in a random situation in broad daylight. I would get this eerie feeling that there was something very wrong in a very strange way. It was obviously some side effect of whatever pressures I was under. It was almost an enjoyable strange part of my life.”

DECEMBERISTS (Pt. 2): “I think that it may not be quite conscious, but war imagery starts popping up when you’re writing, because there’s always an outside influence; the writing cannot occur in a vacuum. ‘Yankee Bayonet’ is not a war song. There’re lots of references to bombs and rockets, and that’s probably just because there’s a palpable feeling, even though we’re so far from the Middle East, that it’s really created an environment of fear and that has inevitably crept into songs.”

DECEMBERISTS: “No one’s protesting like they were in the 1960s. I think that in the ‘60s, there was such a feeling of empowerment on college campuses, but now people just want to sit in coffee shops and chat on MySpace. Or write on a ****’ blog. There’s no movement. American culture is dead.”

DECEMBERISTS: “The music blogosphere has just become every level of indie rock gossip. There’s no journalistic aesthetic at all, and it’s completely self-edited. As if the blogs weren’t unedited enough, people are then allowed to comment, so then it’s even less edited. So then it turns into everyone bashing on Ben Gibbard for two pages.”

BRIGHT EYES: “There’s nothing as overt as ‘When the President Talks to God’ on the record, but there’s an undercurrent on a lot of the songs that’s shaped by a lot of what’s going on. It certainly hasn’t gotten any less terrifying. It kind of just gets more frightening and more depressing all the time. I feel like I’ve become a bit desensitized to it. There’s only so long that they can keep you in a state of fear.”

BRIGHT EYES: [On Vote For Change:] “It was amazing to be a part of something that transcended entertainment and had another purpose beyond just putting on a concert. I’m really proud of what we did, even though it maybe, in some eyes, wasn’t successful. In the end I think it will be successful, but it just brought awareness and hopefully changed some minds that are still happening to this day. It’s [just] taking longer than everyone wanted.”

(reunited) DINOSAUR JR./SEBADOH: “Playing bass on the road with Dinosaur got me inspired to write bass lines again And I’d bring stuff into the studio to jam them out with Murph and J. My [Dinosaur] songs really are all about coming back to Massachusetts. J still lives close to where we came up, and it was really nice to be back around my old friends and family. And with Dinosaur recording again, it just all became a great experience for me.”

DINOSAUR JR:/SEBADOH: “Eric [Gaffney] and I had been able to clear up a lot of debris between us, and the whole remastering process really become the key inspiration for the reunion.”

VOXTROT: “I guess that when you’re working so hard it doesn’t seem like, ‘Boom! How’d this happen?’ I mean, we work really hard. Not that I’m not grateful.”

VOXTROT: [On “The Start of Something” sounding like The Smiths:] “It’s totally derivative. [all laugh] But it is an unselfconscious song.”

DON MCGLASHAN (MUTTON BIRDS): “Young New Zealanders have this need to go somewhere; generally London. They go there and prove themselves and live pretty rough for a while, and learn about the world. And they meet somebody from just down the road, some other New Zealander from the next town over. And they form a bond and they come back and marry them and have kids in New Zealand!”

DON MCGLASHAN: [On writing many great heartbreak songs despite 18 years of marriage:] “No, I’ve just got a good memory! Yeah, the time when I was shifting from partner to partner was sort of engraved, even though it was like a nanosecond in terms of history.”

JELLO BIAFRA (Pt. 2): “Even when I was a kid, when other kids wanted to grow up to be baseball players and cops, I wanted to grow up to be The Penguin or The Riddler! They were my heroes!”

JELLO BIAFRA: “Emailing is not talking. It isn’t even communicating until the person actually receives it, thinks about it, and replies. If you need an answer right away, you’ve got to learn what the caveman learned already; you go talk to them! Call them up on the phone! It’s amazing, they’ll answer you, and then you can ask them another question, and another. It’s the ultimate instant messaging!”

JELLO BIAFRA: “It just appalls me when both sides of the ‘Republicrats,’ even Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton says, ‘Yeah, we’re trying to establish democracy in the Middle East!’ Democracy was already there in Iran in the 1950s, and the CIA thought it would be a dandy idea to overthrow the elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and install a puppet ruler as a favor to the British to protect ‘their oil,’ and put the Shah in who was already deeply despised. I can’t help but wonder how much of this mess and danger to our own personal lives we would be in today, if we’d left the Iranian people alone in the 1950s and let them elect their own leader!

THE SOUND: “Whatever else you can say about Adrian, he never put on a show. He actually meant it. It is terribly sad that the thing that he meant was the thing which lead to [his suicide]. Great art, however, can be a destructive thing, and it was for Adrian.”

THE SOUND: “It seemed as if From The Lion’s Mouth was going to be the one to break us into larger venues. The album had a grandiose title, and it had a religious theme to the cover. Musically it sounded like the big music, and then there was nothing. I have never managed to figure out why. Something happened, but **** me if I know what it is!”

MODERNETTES: [on the band’s final breakup, in 1983:] “You know what bands are like; enough things turn to **** on ya, and it kind of poisons the band. I just thought, “**** this, I am going to get a job.” After that, things proceeded as they usually do. I played with Lost Durangos [in 1986] for about six months. Then after that I didn’t play, I put my guitar in the closet for like 10 years.”

MODERNETTES: [on 1982’s View From The Bottom EP:] “There were 500 copies. The drummer Ian [Noble]’s grandmother lent us some money to record it. We were going to use it as a calling card and go around to record companies with it. [But] it [cost] at least twice what we anticipated paying. So we had no choice but to put the fucking thing out so we could pay Ian’s grandmother back. She wasn’t rich; and we didn’t want grandma to be eating cat food because we hadn’t paid her back.”

HILTON VALENTINE (ANIMALS Pt. 2): [On “House of the Rising Sun”:] “I first heard Bob Dylan’s version [1962’s Bob Dylan]. I was totally knocked out by it. I think [singer] Eric [Burdon] suggested that we record it, though he had a different version of it; I think the one by Josh White [either 1944 or 1949]. Anyway, it was recorded in one take. When we finished, I just knew that it was going to number one!”

ANIMALS: “Joining [keyboardist] The Alan Price Combo—we later became The Animals—is what got me interested in the blues. Up until that point I was an out and out rock ‘n’ roller with my band The Wildcats. Eric Burdon had a great record collection of all these blues guys that he got from a friend or relation who worked in the merchant navy, and brought them back from America. He’d let me borrow some so I could get acclimated to playing that style, but in my own way. Blues records had just started becoming really popular among the kids, and we were all forming these bands and covering these songs. It was happening all over the country. Venues popped up to satisfy the demand for live music, and this helped fuel the spread of blues music. People started investigating the origins of the blues and found that some of the original artists were still around. Agents brought them over for tours and they’d have the up-and-coming English bands as the backing groups for these artists. The Animals were lucky enough to back [Chess Records’ great] Sonny Boy Williamson [as did The Yardbirds-ed.]. I thought that was just **** great!”

LIBERTINES U.S.: “[On their disastrous 1985 tour:] This promoter in Tulsa said, “Crime & the City Solution are coming and you guys can open for them.” So we stayed and camped in a hobo camp behind this club, down by the river. There was all this dog **** everywhere. You had to move it out of the way to sleep. It was fucking unreal, man! Anyway, nobody came to see us or Crime & the City Solution. We didn’t get paid for that, either!”

LIBERTINES U.S.: [On why their two ‘80s LPs came out on cassette and Dutch import:] “This is pre-burning your CD at home, and we were doing this all with gig money. We had no outside support. Nobody would put up any particular funding. I have a whole drawer full of rejection letters from every label, large and small, that I could think of, at the time when we mailed things out!”


QUARRYMEN (PreBEATLES): “I always got on well with John Lennon, but he was what we would call today a ‘disruptive pupil.’ Instead of getting on with his work he would be fooling around and spoiling class concentration and discipline, and sometimes bringing teachers close to a nervous breakdown. He was of course a brilliant cartoonist, and some of his practical jokes at school were very funny.”

QUARRYMEN: [on the famous day when Lennon met McCartney:] “I don’t remember meeting Paul at all that day. Paul himself has the best recollection of that day. He remembers that we were playing ‘Come Go With Me,’ a Del Vikings’ number, when he first set eyes on John. He was impressed with the way John was improvising lyrics.”


Editorials: Rabid: Death Of The LP? (& The History Of Music Formats): “Thanks to the majors’ systematic and thorough denigration of every facet of the LP’s intellectual and artistic integrity since its ‘60s peak, that once iconic item is no longer recognized by young music lovers. You just can’t keep stepping on your product and then changing more for it without anyone noticing, and today’s kids have turned their backs on the format in a collective snub. None of them want a **** major label LP with one song that caught their ear on a Clear Channel station, and a bunch of filler laurel packing foam. They just want that one song. I can’t blame them.”

(Also: Ackerman: Farewell, James Brown * Sommer: Don Imus & The Virginia Tech Tragedy)

Live Reviews: Agent Orange • Avengers • Bad Brains & Stimulators • Rob Dickinson • Mark Eitzel • Hazey Janes • B.B. King • Lemonheads • Mojave 3 • New Model Army • Pernice Brothers • Pipettes • Emma Pollock • Paul Weller • Brian Wilson •

Hundreds of CD Reviews: Long Blondes • Idlewild • Fields • ‘60s Bee Gees • Pointed Sticks • Maximo Park • Comsat Angels • Stooges • Loney, Dear • Amy Winehouse • John Doe • The La’s • Colin Blunstone • (Vancouver) Subhumans • Louis Armstrong • Sloan • Young Galaxy • Beatles • Smithereens • Desmond Dekker • Rhino 39 • Gene Clark • New Pornographers • Del Shannon • The Sharp Things • Spoon • Saints • BRMC • Tim Buckley • Sly Stone • Of Montreal • Damned • Beck • Joanna Newsome • Neil Young • Low • X-Ray Spex • ELO • Stanley Bros., and more

Hope you all buy it!

And/or hope you subscribe, as that is still by far the best way to support the print magazines you love if you want them to keep going. It means a lot to us!

Jack R

P.S., the surprisingly thoughtful and in depth interview with me by Alex Ogg in issue 29 of Trakmarx is still up at:

Jack R