Monday, October 25, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

I have to credit Jon Sidel who delivers TVD's very own free form radio show/podcast, The Idelic Hour each Friday afternoon, for putting Diego Garcia on my radar.

I had been a fan of Elefant, Diego's previous band and their Mc5 meets Bowie and Suede leanings (where 90% of my musical tastes reside.) I wasn't aware though that he'd struck out on his own and in a wholly different direction.

Diego referenced Julio Iglesias to me as a marker for his new musical trajectories which at once seemed very appropriate upon hearing the tracks and at the same time a little limiting. Perhaps in tandem with the fresh material, it's the production behind his new recordings which wraps Diego in the warm blanket of an entire era—the romantic, pop sensibilities of the 1960's to be exact.

To my ears it's somewhat similar to what The Clientele have achieved, which makes that band such a personal favorite and what has kept Diego on constant play over the past few weeks.

We'll be hanging out with Diego over the coming days here at TVD, dipping into his new music and into the bands that inform his background and tastes.

All this week, it's Diego Garcia's Vinyl District.

“My Plastic Jesus” | The Education of Diego

The following is my take on a quote from Tarkovsky: “The purpose of music should be to help people live, even if it sometimes causes unhappiness.”

“Peel Slowly and See,” the box set by the Velvet Underground released in September of 1995, months before my 19th birthday, should have come with the following warning: These 5 records listened to all at once will mess your brain up and you will sound like the “Velvet Underground” when you make your first record.

Add a little Bowie, the Ramones, Stooges, some Beatles, The Smiths, Stones and you pretty much start getting it…

Any relevant artist today had to have gone through at least one of these bands.

And then there are the records with songs made just for me. Records that I owned the only copy of.

1. “Plastic Jesus” from The Flaming Lips' “Transmissions from the Satellite Heart.”

Fifteen when I first heard this record. And over the years I would play it on my guitar to anyone that might listen , and no matter how wasted or high I was, it always felt good.

Chapeau Mr. Wayne Coyne.

You changed my life with your cover of “Plastic Jesus.”

And continue to inspire.

2. “Weird Horses” from Teenage Fanclub's “Thirteen”

Around the same time I got into the Flaming Lips, I heard the track “Weird Horses” and had the same kind of reaction. Had to learn it. Saying “fucked up” in the opening of this song was always fun… immediately drew people in…

3. “The Strange Effect” by The Kinks' “The Songs We Sang for Auntie: BBC Sessions 1964-1977”

Important to note that I recently sang this song for Karl Lagerfeld at a dinner held in his honor… why is this important? I don’t know, but singing the line “you got this strange effect on me and I like it” to Karl while wearing a chef hat should not be left out….

Check out me and Zeke Zima from my new band playing it acoustically poolside in Miami a few months ago. Please note the mistake I make on the guitar at the 1:09 mark.

Goes to show a good song is really hard to mess up. Simplicity is key.

Maybe it was part of the discovery, or the vulnerable nature of the recordings that made these songs so special to me.

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