Boy I miss this band. The Lucksmiths were so good. Naturaliste was originally released in 2003 on Candle Records in Australia (and on Drive-In Records out of good old Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the States).
Now after a successful crowdfunding effort, bassist Mark Monnone’s Lost and Lonesome printed 500 hand-numbered copies on vinyl. There are still some left so don’t sleep if you want one.
To celebrate the new release, a new video for the album’s lead-off track “comprised of some recently exhumed home and tour movies” from the early 2000s filmed by the Lucksmiths and Ali Dullard in Melbourne and Amsterdam.
So if it’s not too much to ask
Let’s just let the moment pass
I have no wish to be reminded
Of just how awkward I can be
Well I’m happy that nobody took that advice back when they were filming this stuff. It’s wonderful to be reminded of just how awesome this band could be.
Directed bu Lily Youngsmith. From Summer of the Mosquito, due May 10 on Lost and Lonesome. 7″ out now.
The former Lucksmith is back with a new single, and yet more evidence that we should all pack up and move down under where everybody is so much cooler.
Mark Monnone says the song “is written from the point-of-view of a mid-40s gentleman, looking back over the years and realising his greatest achievements – the things that have really left an imprint on his being and still bring a twinkle to the eye – are the things that didn’t work out so well; awkwardly handled social interactions, frustrating miscommunications, situations that went monumentally wrong and made the heart beat ever faster and really fire up the perspiration glands. With this in mind, for the video, it was obvious the first thing we needed to get our hands on was a green screen.”
Obviously! If you’re a fan of clever, jangly pop music do yourself a favor and check it out.
Mark Monnone has been releasing stuff as Monnone Alone since his former band the Lucksmiths broke up. Last year he collaborated with a couple former Luckies as Last Leaves, but now it looks like he’s back to his solo project.
Monnone is the guy who wrote one of the Lucksmiths’ most beloved songs, “T-Shirt Weather,” and he brings that jangly sensibility to this new song as well.
The video features a ridiculous trip down a storm water drainage tunnel.
Monnone says, “I asked Lehmann to make me a video for our song ‘Cut Knuckle’ and unbelievably he said yes. He also said that I’d be bound in rope for an entire day and who could say no to that? One thing that struck me, as well as the close attention he paid to setting up the storyboard and other pre-production things, was Lehmann’s complete disregard for workplace safety and the continual threat to human life.”
Earlier this summer Last Leaves released their first official single, and now here’s the second single from the former members of the Lucksmiths along with an updated release date for their debut album, Other Towns Than Ours. Their label has received “the scouts’ honour from the vinyl pressing plant” that it will be ready.
“The Hinterland” is another slice of perfect guitar pop that grabs your attention immediately with “All this was years ago / the accident, the summer spent indoors,” and goes on to describe the “dull dilaudid dream” of our protagonist’s time of recovery.
All those indistinguishable days
From an upstairs window at your parents’ place
You saw the sun set where the highway cuts across the hinterland
Taillights fading in the twilight
It was more than you could stand
A couple of Australianisms in case you were wondering: 1. A “skirting board” is what they call a baseboard, i.e., the piece of trim at the bottom of a wall. 2. The hinterland is an area off the Sunshine Coast of Queensland with lots of rainforests, lookouts, and national parks  as well as historic villages, antique shopping, and day spas. So there you go; saved you a click.
The video stars Shannon Dowling from Melbourne band Spit (who apparently knows a thing or two about accidents) and was filmed in the Dandenong Ranges. I appreciate the “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” poster on the wall.
The single, out now, contains an exclusive b-side, “Nora Creina.”
I was just saying how much I miss the Lucksmiths when lo and behold here’s a brand new video from three-quarters of them. Last Leaves has been teasing us with the possibility of new music for years now, but this is the first we’ve heard about a full album. Marty Donald, Mark Monnone, and Louis Richter recruited drummer Noah Symons and recorded Other Towns Than Ours in their fancy treehouse in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges where this video was filmed.
The song sounds lovely. A little beefier than the Luckies with crunchier guitars and heavier drums. And Donald’s voice isn’t as “pretty” as Tali White’s, so the overall vibe is less twee and more rock and roll. I’ve listened to this at least 30 times in a row now and it continues to reveal its charms. Gone are the signature puns and clever wordplay, but that doesn’t mean they won’t turn a phrase to conjure up emotions.
Did I dream that weekend in a weather-bored hotel
In a tumbled down old tourist town that we had to ourselves?
I kissed you briefly underneath the broken bridge
The moon behind the mountaintops beyond
And I’m sure I was never so happy before
But darling, don’t you sometimes think we could say the same for since?
You were twenty-something the first time you saw snow
We stood there shuttering as the clouds closed in on Buffalo.
I can’t wait to hear the album. Autumn is the perfect time for this type of music.
Gotta love the Marge’s Donut Den t-shirt. Grand Rapids, represent!
It’s a shame that the Lucksmiths have generated more news since they broke up in 2009 than they did in the last few years they were active, what with the posthumous seven-inch last year and now a new DVD of their August 2009 farewell show in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to the 33-song live set, the DVD also contains a 25-minute documentary of the band’s final months.
These are “the last two songs the band scribed” before breaking up. The a-side originally appeared on The Matinée Grand Prix CD, while the b-side (“The World of Professional Golf 1994″) was included with an Australian literary journal. The 7” single is limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies (L&s;L gets the odd numbers, Matinee the evens) and includes the MP3 download. It’s only $4, so what are you waiting for?
They were a great band who deserved a lot more recognition than they ever received. Perhaps their lyrics were too clever or their sound too precious for their own good. While it would be difficult to argue that they weren’t the very embodiment of “twee,” if you ever got the opportunity to see them out live, your impression might changed a little.
In appearance, they actually reminded me of a young, mod Who. Tali White has the same, piercing eyes and undeniable charisma as Roger Daltrey, despite the fact that White’s subdued, gentle vocals are the complete opposite of Daltrey’s histrionics. And Marty Donald reminded me of more than a little of Pete Townshend. Donald wrote most of the songs, sang occasional harmonies, and strummed lovely chords. He even has a respectable honker like Pete! Mark Monnone isn’t really anything like the Ox, and there’s clearly no place for anyone resembling Keith Moon in the Lucksmiths. Regardless, my point is that they were far from puss-pop, especially live.
I’m mad at myself for not getting out there and seeing them the last (several) times they came through town. I always figured I’d catch them next time. Which you’d think I’d realize by now is a very shortsighted way of thinking about bands at this level. Hell, bands at any level. If you care, catch them when you can…you might not get another chance. They’ll be finishing up their European tour and some final dates in Australia, but then that’s it. They will be missed.
Very sad news from Australia: Candle Records is closing its doors on March 31, 2007. For 12 years, Candle has been the home of great Australian pop bands like the Lucksmiths, the Mabels, Darren Hanlon, the Guild League, and many others.
Label founder Chris Crouch says, “Candle Records has been a big part of my life, run on the passion and love of music. I have made so many good friends and have worked with an incredible group of talented people. Great friendships have formed and the Candle family has in fact felt like a family. My job has involved managing bands, releasing albums, booking shows, publicising gigs, selling CDs, running the mail order and website and it’s all been an absolute pleasure. But now is the time for change.”
Thanks for all the music, Candle. You’ll be missed!