Monday, August 12, 2013

Scott and Charlene's Wedding Is a Great Brooklyn Band (That We Stole From Australia)

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

It does not get much more conspicuously Australian than naming your jangly indie-pop band after a famous Kylie Minogue soap opera plot line. But because Brooklyn continues to be a musician-sucking super magnet, plucking bands from all over the globe, it's our fine borough that songwriter Craig Dermody currently calls home. Tomorrow, his band Scott and Charlene's Wedding release their second full-length album, Any Port in a Storm, on the British label Fire Records. It's a super charming record stuffed with funny and nakedly vulnerable lyrics in the tradition of big-hearted neurotics like Jonathan Richman. Dermody's songs paint a vivid picture of a dude in flux, tossed about by a new city he can't quite get the hang of (its title is a reference to Superstorm Sandy, but also being wind-tossed emotionally). It's full of catchy tracks about feeling homesick and generally uneasy, finding comfort in music even when your weird leg wounds just won't quite heal.

In the middle of touring the UK, we asked Craig to take a second to pick a couple of his favorite songs from the close-knit Melbourne rock scene he left behind, and a couple from the Brooklyn scene he's moved into, and then we touched on a few of his songs for good measure.

Songs from Melbourne:

Beaches - "Send 'Em Away"

Reading up on Beaches, it seems that they are something of a Melbourne super-group made up of members of other local bands. Listening to this song it sounds perfectly coherent and seamless, though. Is this the best, purest version of the Melbourne rock scene for you right now?

Their style isn't really common in the scene, but the band is made up of girls that have played in a lot of bands from the city, so they're a great example of an amazing Melbourne band.

Do you consider yourself a daydreamy shoegaze sort of a guy, in general?

Ha! Na, I guess pretty aloof and a bit of a mess but not so daydreamy.

Panel of Judges - "Dream Satisfaction"

I find this one sort of repetitive to the point of being nicely hypnotic. How long can you ride a guitar riff before it loses its power?

It's hard to tell how long a riff like this should last for, it's just a feel thing. Panel of Judges are a great pop band that were never really recognised for the influence they had on Melbourne music. (Dion Nania has moved to New York now and has started a great band called Free Time, by the way.)

Does listening to music from Melbourne help you stave away homesickness, or does it only make it worse?

Listening to Melbourne music doesn't effect homesickness for me. I only really feel it when I'm going through hard times and I need my friends, or when it's winter in New York and summer back home.

Songs from Brooklyn:

Woods - "Bend Beyond"

Woods are just a really amazing pop band, in general. Super inspiring guys, whose songs that have been a huge help to Scott and & Charlene's Wedding since moving to New York. Their guitar player Jarvis recorded an EP of ours, and is bangin' fella. "Bend Beyond" is off their latest record. It's amazing!

The Babies - "Moonlight Mile"

A common trait of the music you picked from both cities is that it all comes from circles of friends who move from band to band, slightly changing the sound as they meet up in new combinations. Do you feel like you've found a community of people in Brooklyn you can slide into in this same sort of way yet?

The Babies and Woods are part of a pretty tight crew that helps and influences each other in the same way that the Melbourne bands do. I love being apart of these communities, whether here or there, going to everyone's shows and seeing everyone do well.

Songs from Any Port in a Storm:

"Fakin' NYC"

Do you still feel like you're faking it when you're in Brooklyn now? Do you think you're going to stay?

In the beginning I felt all over the place—partying way too hard, doing weird jobs, and just trying to make it appear like I had it all together. I've got a bit more of a handle on the place now. I'm going to Melbourne in December for their summer, and then I'll return to New York in April. Then who knows? I love New York and don't see an end to my time there yet.


Everything you picked can be loosely described as "lo-fi indie-rock guitar music," which sort of fits in nicely with this lyric: "I haven't done much changing in what I love since 1993." Clearly, there are a lot of bands making this sort of music right now, but do you think this sort of thing is cursed to be thought of as "retro" going forward?

I don't think this kind music cursed by retro labels. Styles come in and out of fashion all the time and I never notice. If they are good songs they'll get recognition no matter what kind of labels they get.

"Gammy Leg"

Out of curiosity, was this song inspired by an actual leg-wound?

Yeah, my leg looked gross for ages!

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