• You know when you meet someone, and from the get go you think, you’re good people. Julia Baird is good people.

    An acclaimed journalist and broadcaster, she’s spent her life chasing rabbits down the hole, fighting for the causes that deserve it, and telling the stories of icons and everyday folk alike. Julia’s life has been a tale of two cities; a childhood in New York that would bring her back to the Big Apple and be the site of some of her biggest moments. And a home in Sydney, where as host of The Drum she holds it down by night, but greets every day diving into the ocean, curiously exploring the expansive world under the tides.

    Julia is also an author, and her most recent book is Phosphorescence. It’s a book on awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark. And even though it was entirely unintentional, it couldn’t be a more perfect book for 2020.

    That’s one of the reasons I asked Julia Baird to Take 5. I also had an inkling she has remarkable music taste… and I wasn’t disappointed. From the big sky sound of The Triffids, to the direct sexuality of PJ Harvey, and a luminous moment on the dancefloor, these songs are stories will light you up from within.

    The Triffids - 'Wide Open Road'

    Fatboy Slim - 'Praise You'

    P.J. Harvey - 'This Is Love'

    JAY-Z ft. Alicia Keys - 'Empire State of Mind'

    Elbow - 'One Day Like This'

  • So where I do even begin with Peter Garrett? He’s one of the most iconic front men, and activists in Australia. As lead singer of Midnight Oil, he lit a fire with their music, bringing the plight of First Nations peoples, of environmental degradation, and the threat of nuclear war, to Top 40 radio.

    The Oils were the first band I ever saw live. I was 12, and my parents took the whole family along to their Blue Sky Mining tour. That lit a fire in me, of the excitement and connection of live music. So the opportunity to Take 5 with Pete is a real bucket list moment. I asked him to share his five songs of reckoning. It felt like the perfect theme, and he didn’t disappoint. Peter has spoken out about his own music, he’s been on the floor of Parliament in Canberra, and at plenty of rally’s and stages across his lifetime. But this is a rare opportunity to hear from his as a fan. And what an articulate, passionate, and heartfelt fan he is. From Edwin Starr to PJ Harvey, and one of the most powerful protest songs of all time, this is an extraordinary conversation with one of our greatest artists.

    Edwin Starr - "War"

    Yothu Yindi - "Treaty"

    Elvis Costello - "Shipbuilding"

    PJ Harvey - "The Wheel"

    Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"

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  • It’s hard to remember it now, but back in 2010 Tame Impala were getting excited about the prospect of their first headline American tour. The Perth band had just released their debut album Innerspeaker. We all thought it was pretty good, and it would go on to win the J Award for Australian Album of the Year.

    This month, September 2020, we’ve been celebrating great Australian debuts on Double J Radio, so I thought it’d be fun to jump in the time machine, and dig into the Take 5 archives to share my conversation with Tame Impala the year they released their first album. Kev Parker and Jay Watson joined me to share their “songs that would surprise”, and it’s such a joy to hear them at this moment, quite unaware of how big they would become. They’ve stayed true to that down to earth spirit, to this day. But I bet they never imagined they’d be headlining Coachella.

    One of the other things I love about this Take 5 is that it sounds like a blueprint. A debut album can be such a forecast for an incredible career to follow; it’s a statement to the world on who you are, and where you’re headed. This collection of songs does the same; we didn’t know it yet, but Kev has a huge love of pop music… he would stray more and more towards that in the Tame albums that followed. And, perhaps most beautifully, he picks a song from a producer and musician who would go on to become on of his greatest collaborators and friends.

    Justin Timberlake - "Rock Your Body"

    The Presidents of The United States of America - "Peaches"
    S.O.A.P. - "This Is How We Party"
    Boris - "Heavy Friends"
    Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. - "Bang Bang Bang" (feat. Q-Tip and MNDR)

  • For Felix Riebl, exploring the world has been his life for more than twenty years. As founding member of The Cat Empire, touring all over the planet and experiencing all kinds of wild adventures is his day job. Away from the stage his curious spirit has taken him to some incredible places. And creatively, the map he draws with his music (whether in his band, solo, or collaborating with others) is broad and unknown.

    From Athens to New Orleans, Glastonbury Festival to the remote Pilbara, settle in for some armchair travel with a guy who knows how to tell a yarn.

    Felix picked these songs for this Take 5:

    Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - S.O.B.
    Mikis Theodorakis - I Hartaeti
    Sigrid - Mine Right Now
    Lil' Band O' Gold - Blue Monday
    Spinifex Gum - Spinifex Gum

  • Have you ever seen one of Karen O’s outfits and thought to yourself “who MADE that?”. Today you’re going to meet her. Christian Joy is a fashion designer and lifelong collaborator of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman. Her DIY style has become iconic over two decades, gracing album covers, video clips and wild stage shows.

    For this untrained punk from Iowa, meeting Karen O right before Yeah Yeah Yeahs broke it big, changed the trajectory of her life. In between that epic friendship she’s made costumes for Childish Gambino, Maggie Rogers, and Alabama Shakes. She’s collaborated with fashion brands and held major exhibitions.

    For her Take 5 I gave her the theme “visionary songs”, and we trekked back to her childhood in Iowa, formative years in street fashion in New York City, and to the many stages where her creativity has made a gig, an iconic event.

    Edith Massey - Punks, Get Off the Grass

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date With the Night

    The Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace

    Rammellzee and K-Rob - Beat Bop

    David Bowie - Be My Wife

  • Have you ever wondered why you get goosebumps when you listen to certain songs? Or what makes a hit, a hit? Maybe you’ve argued that the music you listened to when you were younger, is the best music that was ever made. All of that, relates to neuroscience.

    The way the brain processes music is a huge field of study; it’s why music therapy exists, why people with Alzheimer’s can remember a tune from the childhood, or why songs can be a way for non verbal people to communicate. It’s something I’m endlessly fascinated by, and I know I’m not alone. That’s why I asked Dr Daniel Levitin to Take 5.
    In 2007, Daniel published a book called This Is Your Brain on Music. It laid out, in layman’s terms, all of the neural pathways that spark when we hear songs. It sold millions of copies, and he backed it up with an anthropological book called The World in Six Songs. But Daniel’s life didn’t start in the sciences. First and foremost, he’s a musician himself. He was a producer and engineer for about 15 years too; working alongside Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and The Grateful Dead.

    He knows his stuff. I asked Daniel to Take 5 with the neuroscience of music, and share songs not only from his own life but explain what’s happening to the brain, when he hear them. I loved this chat. I could speak for days about this stuff, and it just adds to a rich understanding and love of music, from all  over the genre map. From Beds are Burning to Beethoven, to one of the most beautiful tunes ever written, Daniel articulates the spark of a song.

    Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning

    Iggy Azalea - Fancy [Ft. Charli XCX]

    The Afflicted - Here Come The Cops

    Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker - Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67; I. Allegro con brio

    Judy Garland - Over The Rainbow

  • Quan Yeomans is a guy who likes to play. Whether fronting Regurgitator for the past quarter century and bringing his songwriting clout to their punk, pop, and electronic missives, stepping out with the hyper sounds of Happyland, or collaborating on any number of other projects, there’s a sense of childlike wonder, of curiosity and risk, to  all he does.

    That’s why I asked him to Take 5 with his inner child songs. I wanted to hear that music that, for him, captured that sense of freedom, of newness, of the silliness of childhood. What I didn’t realise when I came up with the theme though, was that his late father was a psychiatrist. And the concept and exploration of the inner child, is something he had been exploring his whole life. From James Chance to The Velvet Underground to Peggy Lee, this is a perfectly wonderful trip through Quan’s brain and musical heart.

    Contort Yourself  - James Chance

    Shave 'Em Dry - Lucille Bogan

    Dumb Head - Ginny Arnell

    After Hours (Closet Mix) - Velvet Underground

    Is That All There Is? - Peggy Lee/Robert Norberg

  • Darren Hanlon is one of Australia’s great troubadours. His music has charmed us for near on twenty years now, and he’s known as a songwriter’s songwriter; his skill at getting straight to the heart of the matter has built him a loyal following of fans and fellow muso’s alike. Daz is also one of those people who you want to pull up a pew and have a cuppa with. There’s a sense of calm that falls whenever I chat with him, and for all of these reasons I asked him to Take 5. From new friends, to unheard gems, to the songs that pull at the strings of homesick heart, this conversation is a beautiful exploration of how music saves us all.

    Chastity Belt - Different Now

    Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou – Homesickness

    The Honeys - Against the Elements

    Magnetic Fields - 100,000 Fireflies

    Warumpi Band - My Island Home

  • When I say the name Virginia Trioli, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, I think boss. I think killer journalist who, when she does interviews, it’s like watching sport. I think sharp wit, and big passion. If you listen to the Take 5 outside of Australia, you may not think anything… so let me catch you up.

    Virginia Trioli is a Walkley Award winning journo. Her career began in print media in Melbourne, before she pivoted to radio and then TV; holding it down as host of ABC News Breakfast for more than a decade. Along the way she’s been at the helm of everything from current affairs to arts shows, and through it all her curiosity and commitment to holding those in power to account, shines through.

    She’s also a massive music fan, and that part of her extraordinary life, just doesn’t get as much time. So that’s why I asked her to Take 5. I wanted to find out how music had played a role, as she cooked into the person she would become today. From Kate Bush to Faith No More, Prince to Ruby Fields, what a joy to peel back the curtain on Trioli’s life. This is not only a brilliant Take 5, it’s also the best counselling session you’ll get for free; about finding your way and yourself in the potholes of life.

    Kate Bush - This Woman's Work

    Prince – Sign O’ the Times

    FNM - From Out of Nowhere

    The Sunday’s – Goodbye

    Ruby Fields - Dinosaurs {Live at Splendour in the Grass 2019}

  • One of the biggest and best voices in Australia, is Emma Donovan’s. As a little kid, Emma got a heap of practice in with her family band. The Donovans were a legendary country group, and whether her uncles were pushing her to the front of the stage to sing, or her mum was plopping her in front of crowds at Tamworth talent quests, her soulful voice was honed over years of  family support and self belief.

    Emma would go on to form the Stiff Gins, she’d release solo records, join The Black Arm Band, then collaborate with Melbourne soul outfit The Putbacks.  Through it all, her love of music and family has guided her. From Mavis Staples, to Christine Anu, and the Koori King of Country – Roger Knox – this is a beautiful conversation about the bonds of music, family, and place.

    Mavis Staples - Will The Circle Be Unbroken

    Micko Donovan - Promised Land

    Roger Knox - Bridge Over Troubled Water

    Troy Cassar Daley - Back Home Again

    Christine Anu - Island Home

  • Courtney Barnett is a national treasure. Ever since I started hearing her songs, around 2013,  she’s been one of my favourite storytellers. A dry wit, with a knack for writing very catchy indie rock songs and reflecting back on the world around her; big and small.

    That talent has taken her around the world, and for a good part of the last five years, Courtney has been on the road; consistently touring around Australia, the US, and Europe. When coronavirus hit, that all stopped. And CB found herself back in her adopted hometown for the longest spell in quite a while. When I ask her to Take 5, Melbourne is in the midst of a coronavirus spike, the city is back in lockdown and feeling somewhat cut off and left behind from the rest of Australia. That’s one of the reasons I asked Courtney to Take 5 with HER Melbourne… the city, the songs, and the stories that have filled her heart since she first moved here.

    Kee’ahn - Better Things

    Nat Vazer -Higher Places

    June Jones - Look at You Go

    Alice Skye - Grand Ideas

    Sampa The Great - Freedom

  • Rufus Wainwright is one of the greatest voices of our time. Hailing from a dynasty of incredible songwriters in Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, his life has stories and then some. From the get go, Rufus’ 1998 debut album announced an artist who stood on his own two feet. He would make a handful more, before stepping out of the pop realm and into the classics; performing opera and Shakespearean sonnets on stage for a decade.

    In 2020, he returned to his old stomping ground, and on the day he released his new album of pop songs, he joined me to Take 5. Rufus was at home in LA, so you’ll hear his new puppy yapping in the background, and the bubble of his fountain in the background. To be honest, the silver lining of this strange year has been that we’ve connected with so many amazing humans that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Going into their homes, as they open their record collections, and hearts. From Blondie in the backseat, to the genius of Joni, and a song that rings painfully true more than fifty years after it was written, this Take 5 is a life story of one magical maker.

    Blondie – Heart of Glass

    Nina Simone – My Baby Just Cares for Me

    Joni Mitchell – Blue

    Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

    Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall

  • Susan Rogers, by her own admission, is a rare bird. A female producer and sound engineer in an industry dominated by men, her drive and commitment would land her side by side with Prince as his star soared. She came to work with him in Paisley Park as an audio technician right before he would begin Purple Rain, and she’d stay working with him and becoming his sound engineer through his commercial peak; recording Parade, Around the World in a Day, The Black Album, and Sign O the Times.

    But Prince isn’t the only part of Susan Rogers’ story. In 1988 she left Minneapolis, and would go on to produce some of the biggest hits of the 90’s before taking the money from that to go back to school, and become a Professor at one of the world’s most prestigious music schools. Her name is synonymous with Prince, but the story of how Susan got there, and what she did after this legendary collaboration, is just as fascinating.

    From finding her musical tribe as a kid in Orange County, to recording some of the most loved songs of all time, and diving into the neuroscience of why we connect with song, this is a brilliant conversation with a curious mind, and living legend.

    James Brown - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

    Prince - Let's Go Crazy

    Geggy Tah - Whoever You Are

    Barenaked Ladies - One Week

    Wilson Pickett - In the Midnight Hour

  • Ricky Powell is a collector of stories. Whether on the street shooting the daily comings and goings of his beloved New York, or on tour with Beastie Boys and RUN DMC capturing 80’s rappers in front of the Eiffel Tower, or Andy Warhol uptown, standing side by side with Basquiat in a singular moment of modern art. See you may not know Ricky Powell’s name, but you’ve seen his pictures. As a street photographer for the past thirty years, he’s one of those people who has always been at the right place at the right time. His first photo was of geese in a children’s zoo, and since that very first click Ricky’s work has always been rooted in the environment he finds his subjects in. A new documentary on Ricky’s life, called The Individualist, was why I asked Ricky to Take 5. It gave me a peek into a life I’d never heard about before, but felt so quintessentially New York. And as we connected on Zoom, it was clear he’s a quintessential New Yorker… a “lazy hustler” who took me on a wild ride through 30 years of stories. From George Benson to RUN DMC to The Animals, this is a time capsule of a singular life.

    George Benson - Footin' It

    Run-D.M.C - Peter Piper

    Jimmy McGriff - The Bird

    Vicki Anderson - Super Good (Pts 1 & 2)

    The Animals - The Story of Bo Diddley

  • There’s only one person on the planet who has played Coachella, the New York Metropolitan Opera, and hit the stage at Eurovision; and that person is Kate Miller-Heidke. With her soaring voice, Kate’s talent has taken her to stages all across the world. And her talent has made her creative life a rich tapestry; writing musical theatre, performing in many different guises, and penning her own albums over the past fifteen years. With that in mind, I asked her to choose songs for the stages. Music that, through her life, had soundtracked or lifted her into another zone. From Joni Mitchell to Gurrumul to Annie Lennox, this conversation paints a beautiful picture of a polymath’s heart.

    Joni Michell - All I Want

    Divinyls - Science Fiction

    The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd

    Gurrumul - Waak (Crow)

    Annie Lennox - No More I Love You's

  • I was 21 when I first heard Pnau. Their debut album Sambanova would become the soundtrack to pre drinks and after parties, it signalled a duo who knew how to bring it, with an exceptional debut of house music. Nick Littlemore was the producer behind it, and alongside Pete Mayes they’d craft many more records, reaching new levels of explosive, ecstatic pop music.  It wasn’t the only project Nick would excel at through. With Luke Steele, he formed Empire of the Sun, and topped the charts in Australia and the States. He’d dabble with Ladyhawke in a band called Teenager, and his latest collaboration is with Al Wright, as the duo Vlossom. Working with others is key to what propels him forward, and since he was a kid he’s sought out like minded creatives to bring his wild ideas to life. Nick Littlemore is one of those larger than life characters, and over the years I would hear him in interviews exclaiming loudly, distorting the mics with his reactions, and generally taking life by the horns. But recently, his mood has shifted. You’ll find out why pretty soon, as Nick shares his songs of enlightenment. From his adopted home of Los Angeles, in his home studio crammed with synths, amps, cords, and just gear, Nick shows a side of himself you’ve never heard before. From Frankie Knuckles to vedic chanting, this is a magical conversation about the power of song.

    Frankie Knuckles - Your Love

    Alice Coltrane - Om Shanti

    Vangala Kasinatha Sarma & Nishtala Suryaprakash Rao - Saraswathi Suktham

    The Electric Prunes - Holy Are You

    The Terry Riley - A Rainbow In Curved Air


  • Every now and then I invite someone who isn’t a muso, to Take 5. It makes sense right; all of us are affected by music, and the songs that soundtrack our lives. Ben Shewry’s trajectory has been remarkable. He heads up Attica, acclaimed as the best restaurant in Australia, and one of only two that has made it into the world’s Top 50 Best Restaurant list. He appeared on that very first season of Netflix’s Chefs Table series, and has popped up on Masterchef as a special guest over the years. The early part of Ben’s life set the tone for who he would become though, as I discovered when he joined me to Take 5. Music, just like food, is a sensory experience. It can take you back to a particular moment when you hear that first note, or taste that first bite. Which is why I asked Ben to share his songs for the senses. From heading up north to find unique Indigenous ingredients, to having his favourite band dine in, we trekked through a culinary life that has always been filled with music.

    New Order - Blue Monday

    George Rrurrambu and Birdwave - Gating

    Phranc - Take off your Swastika 

    Yo La Tengo - Green Arrow

    Fugazi - Epic Problem

  • Melbourne duo Remi have been making music for almost a decade. We first met then in 2014, when they uploaded a song called Sangria to triple j Unearthed. I still remember finding it online, it was instantly catchy and I instantly wanted to know everything about them. They put out two records, and made a name for themselves with their live shows. The pairing of MC Remi’s elastic rhymes with the killer production of Sensible J made their music a no brainer. And so as they ready to release their third album, one very much grounded in their friendship, I thought it was time to Take 5. There’s been a lot of change in their worlds. Gone are the party days of MC Remi, while J (12 years his senior) is about to become a dad for the first time. They reflected on this quite a bit, while also looking back and celebrating the soundtrack that had brought them to this moment. Whether you know REMI or not, this conversation will lift you.

    Foreign Exchange - All That You Are

    D’Angelo - Chicken Grease

    Radiohead - Weird Fishes

    Nina Simone - See-Line Woman (Masters At Work Remix)

    Jay Z & Jay Electronica - We Made It

  • Jessie Ware got her start in the club. Back before she was making her own music, Jessie’s voice jumped on songs by SBTRKT, and her love of dance music has stayed with her throughout her career, where every album is always partnered with some killer remixes. Her debut album “Devotion” came out in 2012, and in the years since she’s released soaring records of ballads and bangers. In between crafting four albums, she also started a podcast with her mum. Table Manners sees Jessie and Lenny invite someone famous over to theirs for a meal and a wine, and has drawn more than 11 million listeners since 2017; with everyone from Dua Lipa to Kiefer Sutherland popping by for a chat. If you know anything about Jessie Ware, you know she’s a riot. And if not, you’re about to be charmed… by a woman who cut her teeth in raves, and whose club heart beats strong in all she does. From drum and bass classics, to early morning come down, this is an invitation to astral travel into the club with one helluva party pal.Adam F – CirclesKhruangbin – Time (You & I)Masters at Work - Work702 – You Don’t Know (Reservoir Dogs garage mix)Donae'o – Party Hard

  • Tori Amos is an icon. From her arrival onto the scene in 1992 with her debut album Little Earthquakes, to redefining how we felt about classical piano, and opening the door for so many to do it their own way. Her voice, her style, and her presence has blown us away for almost three decades. Tori has released fifteen studio albums, consistently toured all over the world, and penned two books; the latest of which is titled Resistance. That was the catalyst for me asking Tori Amos to Take 5. But to be honest, this is one of those bucket list conversations I’ve long wanted to have. Teenage Zan wouldn’t believe this would happen. When I first heard her, Tori’s music and poetry cut straight to my core at my most vulnerable moments. It gave me strength, it showed me that individuality is powerful, it took me to another world. I know I’m not alone. The theme I gave her was sonic hunters; a phrase she uses in her book, for songwriters. I wanted to find out which artists filled her life with magic, gave her the power and the possibility that I had felt. What she shared was so much more. This is a deep cut, an amazing insight into a genius brain, and a celebration of music’s power to save us all.

    Queen – Killer Queen

    Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddamn

    Joni Michell – Carey

    Led Zeppelin – Going to California

    Beatles – A Day in the Life