Author Topic: Calenture  (Read 39447 times)

Offline JasonW69

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Calenture
« on: June 13, 2006, 09:58:21 AM »
I remember seeing my first copy of Born Sandy Devotional at the only "record store" in a coastal resort town on the east coast of New Zealand. It would have been mid-late 1986, and the 'record store' was actually a shop that sold bikinis and I had to have some excuse to hang out there. The woman who ran the shop took a shine to me and used to let me order whatever I wanted to without paying for it up front. I spent most of my pay from my bakery job (rise at 3.30am and fill up the big mixers with flour, water and yeast then stand back and smoke for four hours and make endless cups of tea) at that little bikini store. I remember the cover because it kept catching my eye (and it was on CASSETTE too mind you) but get this - I never even bought it. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it but at the time I was heavily into Motorhead, Genesis, Neil Young and Dire Straits. Oh dear god. I'm only embarrassed about loving two of those artists but hey I was 17. And it was New Zealand.
Anyway, less than a year later I had moved to Sydney to live and work and had started my first group The Fish Stickers with my mate Steve Broughton and he was instrumental in turning me on to the Triffids. Calenture had just come out and I was seriously hooked. I bought a Walkman and the vinyl of Calenture, taped it and listened to it endlessly. I used to have a one-hour train trip to my night shift job and I could listen to the whole album and start over again before having to reluctantly turn it off.
That album still really resonates with me today - I was at a gig with some friends of mine recently and one of them pulled out an acoustic guitar and we were passing it around like a bottle. Someone asked me to play Boy Named Sue and instead I came out with "I have a letter, familiar paper, I keep a figurine in a locker, it's dedicated, engraved initials, a yellow photograph in a pocketbook..." and everyone was silent so I just ploughed ahead. What amazed me more was that everyone then joined in on the chorus.
That was a really sweet moment.
So, long story short - Calenture, bloody amazing record, incredible lyrics, brilliant musicianship, great, great guitar sounds, love that non-country-specific pedal steel sound too Graham.
Favourite tracks: well, all of 'em but particularly Hometown Farewell Kiss, Jerdacuttup Man (it beggars belief how DMcC could write such a moving song about a man preserved in ice for 10,000 years), Save What You Can (never fails to bring a tear) and yes, all of them. Hey, um while I think of it - just wanted to say this is a fantastic website!!! Really very comprehensive!

Offline Urpal

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 04:43:59 PM »
That album still really resonates with me today - I was at a gig with some friends of mine recently and one of them pulled out an acoustic guitar and we were passing it around like a bottle. Someone asked me to play Boy Named Sue and instead I came out with "I have a letter, familiar paper, I keep a figurine in a locker, it's dedicated, engraved initials, a yellow photograph in a pocketbook..." and everyone was silent so I just ploughed ahead. What amazed me more was that everyone then joined in on the chorus.
That was a really sweet moment.

It sounds it. Lovely story. Really touching. Welcome JasonW69.
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Offline Eke

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 05:40:24 PM »
Motorhead, Genesis, Neil Young and Dire Straits. Oh dear god. I'm only embarrassed about loving two of those artists but hey I was 17.

I'm hoping you mean Genesis and Dire Straits. No-one should be embarassed at loving Motorhead or Neil Young :)

Offline JasonW69

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006, 11:26:16 AM »
Quite right. Neil and Lemmy are like my slightly dodgy but very loveable uncles.
In fact, in the spirit of the old Stoney Edwards tune "Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul", there should be a song called "Neil and Lemmy Rocked My Folk/Hard Rock/Metal Soul".
It might not be a great song but it would tell the world how I felt. Although Dire Straits remain terminally unhip, at age 17 I defended them staunchly. I don't hate them that much now but their early albums were always better than anything they did in the 1980s. As for Genesis... bleurrrrrgh! And as for Genesis with Phil Collins singing lead, fuhgeddaboutit.

Offline JerdacuttupMan

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Calenture
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2006, 12:47:01 AM »
It's my favourite Triffids' album. "Bury me deep in Love" is beautiful. "Jerdacuttup man", "Save what you can" is magic, "Open for You" is sooo sweet!!!
WideOpenRoad

Offline Urpal

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2006, 10:37:34 PM »
Brother Smog had been listening regularly to Calenture as the only Triffids record he had on CD in the run up to the re-issue of BSD.

He takes the view that Calenture is a stronger record songswise than BSD (only let down by overblown production which makes some songs sound a bit Duran Duranish, as he describes it) - a controversial view but one also shared by a number of others (writer and media figure Andrew Collins being one of them).

I agree it's jam packed with great songs, but favour BSD for it's consistency and thematic integrity: a rare achievement which makes it outstanding as an overall work rather than a gathering of songs in one place. Calenture also has a structure all of it's own which fits neatly with the title and album art work though - a sea shanty of a record about isolation, illusion, being stranded or all washed up and the constant beating of the sun and lapping of the waves.

I love all the three main studio albums with just about equal passion, seeing each as having it's own distinct merits.

What do others think on the Calenture vs BSD debate?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 10:42:40 PM by Urpal »
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Offline vps

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2006, 10:46:06 PM »
Well, I know from the Finnish forum (this will always be remebered as the day when the Finns and Finnish-speakers momentarily took over  ;)), that Prkl prefers Calenture but has issues with the 80s sounding production (I assume). I actually prefer BSD but as for the quality of material Calenture is right up there. My only issue with it is that at times the production is somewhat dated, while at other times the over-the-top production really suits the songs, Bury me deep ..., blinder by the hour...etc.  being cases in point. Oh, I don't know ... BSD it is but I still deeply love Calenture, and In the Pines, Black Swan and Treeless Plain, and Raining Pleasure (and it is not "somewhat lightweight", in my humble opinion, as it was described in the Penny Black interview.     
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 10:48:19 PM by vpsaarinen »
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2006, 10:53:57 PM »
Yeah, VP, I agree. That comment about Raining Pleasure really jarred with me too. As Topol might say "God bless me with the talent to create something that lightweight"  ;)

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Offline Eke

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2006, 11:22:05 PM »
When pushed I always have to say I prefer The Black Swan and that's purely for its adventurousness and willingness to go that bit further to try something different. Calenture is a great, great record but has neither the integrity of BSD nor the experimentalism of TBS so probably comes a close third despite having some of my favourite songs on it. I guess what I'm trying to say is
I love all the three main studio albums with just about equal passion, seeing each as having its own distinct merits.
:D

Maybe perversely, given the common denigration of '80s production values on classic albums from that era, I love the sound of Calenture. I love Sulk, 16 Lovers Lane and Dare! too, and you don't get albums much more '80s in their sound than those three.

Offline fuel

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 12:07:00 AM »
Raining Pleasure "somewhat lightweight". :o  Never. The snap, crack, lyrical flow and dirty funk that are in Everybody Has to Eat and Property is Condemned are magnificent. Urpal's right and I bet most band would willingly be so light if only they could.

When Calenture came out I was living in the US surrounded by 80's production records blaring from the radio and tv. Calenture sounded and still sounds nothing like them to me, but I get the point that it has the production feel of that era. However, I think the songs are big and deserve to be so production wise. I always loved how Hometown Farewell Kiss changed from In The Pines and was given the sound to fit its theme. Honestly I'd love to hear a gospel group do that song.

Having said that BSD remains my favourite but if Open for You was replaced by Region Unknown well I might have to reconsider. ;)




Offline Annie

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2006, 12:23:58 AM »
Maybe perversely, given the common denigration of '80s production values on classic albums from that era, I love the sound of Calenture.

I really love it too. I only found this forum a few weeks before heading off to Hasselt and I remember (through a haze of hoegaarden) saying to someone how much I loved it and was looking forward to hearing Kelly's Blues because it had been in my head all week. The response was a bit muffled and I got the impression I'd said the wrong thing (like 'I really like that one off Neighbours'). Having gotten a little more familiar with you all now I know its pretty common to like it the least but to me I think it just sounds the same as when I first heard it - and it does stand apart from most of the other dross there was around at the time. Its the sound of my home and my youth  - long lost now both of them....

 :'(
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Offline Prkl

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2006, 12:28:23 AM »
Calenture is my favourite Triffids album, yes... and also my favourite album by anyone, ever! And I don't really have issues with the 80s production, other than the little nagging feeling that if the album was recorded in some other period of time, it could (and IMO, probably would!) have been even better!

Offline vps

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2006, 12:33:16 AM »
Calenture is my favourite Triffids album, yes... and also my favourite album by anyone, ever! And I don't really have issues with the 80s production, other than the little nagging feeling that if the album was recorded in some other period of time, it could (and IMO, probably would!) have been even better!

Ok, maybe I understated and overstated your case simultaneously but hey, that makes a good copy!  ;)

 
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2006, 12:40:09 AM »
Its the sound of my home and my youth  - long lost now both of them....

 :'(

Aaah ;)

Annie, I believe the general perception is that Calenture is definitely one of the better Triffids albums - see the polls here and here taking members opinions on the same issue from different directions. You're right to like Kelly's Blues - a cracking song.

Funnily enough, Smog was singing that song and it's praises whilst we were on the Hasselt adventure too.

By the way, there are numerous polls seeking the opinions of members on a myriad of Triffids and music related issues in the Polls section of this forum. You and other newer members should check them out and vote.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 12:42:38 AM by Urpal »
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Offline Annie

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Re: Calenture
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2006, 12:48:11 AM »
mmmm but it's too hard... ...

 :D

might wait for the re-issue programme to run through and then try and decide.
Hold the newsreader's nose squarely waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.