When Ariel Rechtshaid fronted a ska pop band called The Hippos, I doubt he had any clue where his musical path would take him. They had a big hit in 2000 with “Wasting My Life”, which scored a spot in the Hottest 100. But playing on stage wasn’t to be his destiny. After some time in the band Foreign Born, he stepped back and started crafting other people’s songs. As a writer and producer, his CV has ballooned from indie artists like Cass McCombs, Blood Orange and Sky Ferreira, to huge names like Usher, Kylie Minogue, U2, and Adele. His collaborations with Vampire Weekend extend back to their last two, for HAIM it’s their entire catalogue. When you think back over the past decade in music, Ariel Rechtshaid is responsible for so many of the songs you love.
Which is why I asked him to Take 5, and take us into his studio to peel back the layers of five of his biggest songs. Even if you’re not a gear head, this is an amazing conversation, and it reflects the grounded nature of Ariel, who works alongside his best mates one day, and some of the world’s biggest artists the next. Through it all, his drive to find that sweet spot, to solve that problem, answer that question, guides him always.
Cass McCombs - 'County Line'
Usher - 'Climax'
Adele - 'When We Were Young'
Vampire Weekend - 'Ya Hey'
HAIM - 'The Wire'
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to live with a comedian? You’re about to find out. Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford both make people laugh for a living. You would have seen Eddo on stage and screen over the past ten years, she reached a whole new audience as her alter ego Helen Bidou, and is part of the hugely popular podcast The Grub. Lloyd Langford hails from Wales, and has popped up on QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and countless over TV shows as he’s plied his trade in stand up. Recently, he moved to Melbourne. To be with Anne. Cos they’re a couple. As the Melbourne International Comedy kicked off, I asked the two of them to join me to Take 5. See, they’re doing a show together, so why not continue the theme? Two songs each, one together, and a barrel of laughs.
Kasey Chambers – Captain
Lee “Scratch” Perry – Clint Eastwood Rides Again
Chuck Berry – Let It Rock
Emmy Lou Harris – The Boxer
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash – Jackson
Eksik bölüm mü var?
If I say Afrobeat, what’s the first name that comes to mind? Fela Kuti. The polyrhythmic prince who coined the term, and pioneered a movement that would stretch it’s tentacles far beyond Nigeria and into the decades, and genres, that would follow. Afrobeat was a swarm of sounds. Western African highlife, American jazz and funk, and a big dose of Black power. It came to life with Fela but continues through his sons, and grandsons, and through the rhythms of bands all over the globe.
Fela’s eldest son, is Femi Kuti. As a child he would watch, then play with his father. As an adult, he has carved his own path… continuing and expanding Afrobeat through eleven albums. His latest, he paired with his eldest son, as he released his debut. And so, Made and Femi continue the legacy Fela set out all those years ago.
Having Femi Take 5 is a huge honour. Afrobeat has directly and indirectly influenced so much of the music I love. Across this Take 5 you’ll hear the foundations from where it was born, and the incredible stories, the sweat, and the passion that brought this movement to life. It’s an education, a celebration, and a tribute all in one.
E.T. Mensah – 'Nkebo Baya'
Haruna Ishola – 'Oroki Social Club'
Duke Ellington – 'Take the "A" Train'
Miles Davis – 'Milestones'
James Brown – 'Say it Loud - I’m Black and I’m Proud'
Eskimo Joe are a band that need little introduction. If you grew up in the late 90’s or noughties they were all over the radio, a trio from Fremantle making catchy indie guitar rock that stepped up to stadium sounds as their career progressed.
They were voted into Hottest 100 countdowns, they toured consistently around Australia and became one of the best known bands from the West Coast scene. Then around seven years ago, they took a break. In 2021, they returned with two new songs, and a catalyst for me to ask Kav to Take 5. What were the songs that united a band who had worn so many hats? From Supergrass to PJ Harvey, to Haim, this is a cracking convo about what it takes to have a long term relationship with your musical mates, and the soundtrack to some incredible moments.
Supergrass - 'Moving'
Wilco - 'A Shot In The Arm'
PJ Harvey - 'Big Exit'
DJ Shadow - 'Six Days'
Haim - 'Summer Girl'
Ione Skye has been on our screens for decades. As a teen she starred in the legendary high school movie “Say Anything”. She’d pop up on “Fever Pitch” and “Arrested Development”, and behind the scenes directed her own short films and music videos. From the beginning, music has been a big part of Ione’s life. Her father is Donovan, and while he wasn’t around when she was a kid, her brother would become a songwriter and Ione would immerse herself in the scene in the 80’s and 90’s.
As she admits herself in this Take 5, she’s dated a few muso’s too. Her first marriage was to a Beastie Boy, and a longer union has been forged with Australian songwriter Ben Lee. For all of these reasons and more, I asked Ione Skye to Take 5. I wanted to explore some of the “firsts” in her adventurous creative life. And draw back to how those moments have shaped the person she is today. From The Go-Go’s to U2 to Stevie Wonder, this is a rainbow patchwork life filled with incredible stories.
The Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed
Stevie Wonder - Maybe Your Baby
Beastie Boys - Get It Together
U2 - The Unforgettable Fire
Harry Nilsson - Me And My Arrow
Max Richter is one of the most loved modern composers in the world. He’s sold millions of albums, and been streamed billions of times. Max’s work is just as likely to be heard in prestigious concert halls as through your tv speakers, and his scores for shows like Leftovers and Bridgerton, or films like Ad Astra, have been critically acclaimed. Richter’s compositions are as comfortable in the catwalks of Paris as the hallways of your home, and his music has been a beautiful saviour and release to me for many years.
For all of these reasons, asking Max to Take 5 was a bucket list. I wanted to get a window into his mind, and hear the songs that compelled him. As someone whose music can make me cry, swoon, and think differently about the world around me, what are the tunes that do that for Max Richter? From Kraftwerk to Joni Mitchell, to Bach, this is as much a conversation about songs as it is the creative lifeblood of one of the world’s greatest living composers.
Kraftwerk – 'Computer World'
Joni Mitchell – 'Chelsea Morning'
Johann Sebastian Bach – 'Concerto in D Minor for two violins'
Soft Machine – 'Why Are We Sleeping?'
Nina Simone – 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'
Kate Mulvany is a professional storyteller. An award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and actor, she’s built a name for herself in her incredible performances, whether in The Great Gatsby, The Little Death, or opposite Al Pacino in the Amazon series Hunters. On stage she’s redefined roles like Richard III, and Kate is acclaimed for her writing, holding a knack for adapting and reinterpreting Australian classics. The latest, is her version of Playing Beatie Bow, and in the week before her sold out season at Sydney Theatre Company kicked off, I asked her to Take 5.Away from her CV, Kate has lived an extraordinary life; filled with challenges and heartaches, but also hope and opportunity. For all of these reasons, I was so excited to sit down with her. If you love a good yarn, you’re in the right place. I asked Kate to share her backstory across five songs, and from The Muppets to Bowie to Ben Salter, this is a beautiful conversation about the transformative power of story.'Can You Picture That?' - Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (from The Muppet Movie soundtrack)'Science Fiction' - The Divinyls'Randwick Bells' - Jimmy Little'Space Oddity' - David Bowie'The Stars My Destination' - Ben Salter
What do Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Status Quo, and Neil Diamond all have in common? Tana Douglas. She’s recognised as the world’s first female roadie, and got her start as a teenager working with a young band who were about to release their debut album. The band was AC/DC, and that story is just one of hundreds that have filled her extraordinary life. Tana would go on to tech for The Who at Wembley Stadium, Iggy Pop in Amsterdam, even Elton John, playing a birthday party at Windsor Castle.
She’s just published her story, a memoir titled LOUD, which captures not just the wild tales from the road but also the spirit of the crew who make magic happen every night on stage. It’s a brilliant read, and I was so excited to meet Tana when she joined me to Take 5. She didn’t disappoint. This is as much about a trailblazer as it is a testament to the many roadies who bring our favourite music to life on stage.
Foo Fighters - Darling Nikki
Urge Overkill - Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon
The Who - Who Are You
INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
Social Distortion - Story of My Life
Fat Mike from NOFX is a bit of a legend. As frontman for the band for almost four decades, he’s been the soundtrack to countless generations of punk fans. He set up Fat Wreck Chords, championing other bands for the past 30 years. And when he’s not doing that, he’s getting around with supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
If you know anything about Fat Mike, you know he doesn’t play by the rules, so that’s where his theme led us. From formative songs by Meatloaf, to re-energising moments from Propoghandi, this is a rare peek into the music that fuels one of music’s risk takers.
The Dickies - 'Paranoid'
Meat Loaf - 'Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul'
Operation Ivy - 'Yellin' In My Ear'
Propagandhi - 'Anti-Manifesto'
The Spits - 'Tired & Lonely'
There are only a handful of people I ask back to Take 5. Brendan Cowell is one of them. The actor, author, playwright, and poet is a master storyteller who lives a full life. And in the decade since we last met on air, he’s starred alongside Billie Piper in hit plays on Broadway and the West End, had a key role on Game of Thrones, written a book, and scored a major part in the two new Avatar sequels shooting in New Zealand.
It’s no surprise though, Brendan has an electricity about him. He draws you in as an audience member and fires off the inspirations in his daily life, no matter where in the world he finds himself. From growing up in Cronulla, to living in New York and London, this is a conversation about the moments that were turning points for him, from Pearl Jam to Drake to Bob Seger.
Pearl Jam – 'Animal'
Sharon Van Etten – 'Give Out'
Drake – 'God’s Plan'
Justin Townes Earle – 'Lone Pine Hill'
Bob Seger – 'Night Moves'
I still remember the first time I heard Magic Dirt. The burning sounds of their single “Ice” captured my 16 year old heart, and I can still recall climbing the stairs of my favourite city record store to buy their “Life Was Better” EP. Adalita was the coolest woman I knew; she shredded on stage and exuded the ultimate rock n roll attitude. In the years that would follow, I’d see them play on stages small and large, then follow Ads down her solo path to hear a whole other side of her musical heart.
2021 marks 20 years since Magic Dirt scored their highest placing in a Hottest 100 for their pop tinged song “Dirty Jeans”. It’s also a year that Adalita plans to release her third solo album. In the years dotted around this, Adalita has gone through many evolutions in life and sound, and we explore the songs that took her there.
'Here Comes Your Man' - The Pixies
'Hieronymus' - The Clouds
'That Ain't Bad' – Ratcat
'50ft Queenie' - PJ Harvey
'Toys and Flavours' - The Hellacopters
So we’ve taken another trip around the sun, and before we have a short break – I want to leave you with the annual best of buffet, for the Take 5.
It’s been a remarkable year for this podcast. When the borders closed, and the tours stopped, we – just like everyone else – had to figure out how to do things differently. What I realised pretty quickly, is that music was central to how we got through… and for many of us, those deep connections in the stories that we tie to songs, got even stronger.
A silver lining to 2020 was reaching out beyond the guests I could share a studio with. We spoke to people from all over the world, all walks of life. And got heroes who had been on my bucket list for years, to finally say yes. This year we were also awarded Best Radio Podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards; which I’m hugely proud of. I love the Take 5 and love sharing these conversations with you every week.
If this is your first time listening, it’s a bloody good place to start. Over the next little while, we’ll visit some of the best moments... that mirrored the beauty, the tumult, and the grounding force of music in all our lives.
J Walter Negro And The Loose Joints – ‘Shoot The Pump’ (chosen by Fatboy Slim)
Prince – 'Let’s Go Crazy' (chosen by Susan Rogers)
Christine Anu – 'Island Home' (chosen by Miranda Tapsell)
Micko Donovan - 'Promised Land' (chosen by Emma Donovan)
Elvis Costello - 'Shipbuilding' (chosen by Peter Garrett)
Midnight Oil – 'Beds are Burning' (chosen by Daniel Levitin)
Gloria Gaynor – 'I Will Survive' (chosen by Kylie Minogue)
Joe Smooth - ‘Promised Land’ (chosen by Bernard Sumner)
The Stooges - ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ (chosen by Roisin Murphy)
Nina Simone – 'Mississippi Goddamn' (chosen by Tori Amos)
American rapper Common is a renaissance man. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, his records reflected the world he saw; and the one he wanted to see. He’s an acclaimed poet, has featured on the silver screen as a lead actor, and taken to the stage as an activist; using his platform to rally against social injustice, and rally for unity, for peace, and for change.
He does this all with love, as you’ll hear for yourself. For his Take 5, I asked him to Take 5 with his music for a movement. The soundtrack that lifted him, and empowered him to make a change. From Fela Kuti to Mos Def to John Coltrane, this is a powerful and beautiful conversation about music’s ability to lift us all.
Brand Nubian - Wake Up (Reprise In The Sunshine)
Fela Kuti - Water No Get Enemy
Mos Def - Umi Says
Sounds of Blackness - Optimistic
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Pt.3: Pursuance
Tara June Winch knows how to tell a story. In 2006 she released her first novel, Swallow the Air. It won a bunch of awards, and was added to the high school curriculum. Years passed. She released a collection of short stories, but it wasn’t until 2019 that she published her follow up. And oh what a follow up it was.
The Yield is the tale of two generations, a Language that tells their story, and a connection to culture that stretches back tens of thousands of years. A Wiradjuri woman herself, Tara’s novel is about finding lost connection in contemporary Australia, and it blew me away.
I’m not alone. The Yield has won a heap of prizes in the past year, including the highest literary accolade in Australia; the Miles Franklin Award. For all of these reasons, I asked Tara to Take 5. With the songs that share her story. Across five classics, this is a profound conversation about identity, empowerment, and what it truly means to find home.
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World (MTV Unplugged)
Paul Kelly - How to Make Gravy
Aretha Franklin - Think
Mo'ju - Native Tongue
2010 was a big year for bangers. The Australian dance music scene in particular, was thriving. Stalwarts like The Presets and Cut Copy were kicking it, and a new breed of beat makers were coming up, soundtracking hedonistic summer days and big festival party nights.
This was the year Bag Raiders released their debut album, and on it’s 10th anniversary I invited the duo to Take 5 and go back. Jack and Chris joined me for the final Take 5 for Ausmusic Month, and so I thought it’d be fun to stay local, and celebrate the incredible talent in our own backyard. From supermarket crossover hits, to deep club bangers, this is a glorious celebration of one very bright year in Australian music.
Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP - 'We No Speak Americano'
Flight Facilities — 'Crave You'
Tame Impala — 'Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind (Erol Alkan rework)'
Light Year — '5 Girls'
Temper Trap — 'Sweet Disposition'
I think we can all agree 2020 has been a YEAR. No one more so than country music singer Fanny Lumsden. Based in the tiny town of Tooma, on the western side of the Snowy Mountains, her release plans for her beautiful third album Fallow took a turn for the worse, when disaster and pandemic struck. But that didn’t stop Fanny. Her resilience, and optimism has carried her and her community through this year, and it’s why I asked her to share her songs of solace for her Take 5.
Fanny Lumsden has been making music since 2015, but her new album is what’s really put her on the map. It’s been nominated for seven Golden Guitar Awards, leading the pack. She’s up for an ARIA for Best Country Album, and she’s gained a whole lot more fans with this heartfelt and acclaimed new record. Fanny joined me from her property in Tooma to share her story, some beautiful songs, and a big dose of hope.
Josh Pyke - 'Middle of the Hill'
Allison Krauss - 'Baby Now That I Found You'
Fleet Foxes - 'Tiger Peasant Mountain Song'
Melanie Horsnell & Steve Appel - 'Someone Like You'
Debussy - ‘La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin’
Bjorn Stewart is a slashie. An actor, director, writer, and comedian; I became a massive fan seeing him doing Quarantine Cooking Challenges on the lockdown TV series At Home Alone Together. He’s also written and appeared on Black Comedy, and has been performing on stage for years. Recently Bjorn flipped to director, and will soon showcase his latest project, a comedy called All My Friends Are Racist. I wanted to get to know Bjorn, so asked him to Take 5 with the full course. Five songs for five sides of his creative life... from appetizer all the way through to cheese. He thoroughly embraced it.
Gorillaz - "19–2000 (Soulchild Remix)"
Thelma Plum - "Woke Blokes"
Run the Jewels - "Walking in the Snow"
Janelle Monae - "We Were Rock and Roll"
Electric Fields - "2000 And Whatever"
Where do I begin with Kylie Minogue? She’s been in our lives for over three decades, she’s sold more than 70 million records, holds multiple ARIA and Brit Awards, and a Grammy. Over fifteen studio albums, countless tours, and plenty of other side hustles, she has become one of the most legendary Australians alive. She’s just Kylie, our Kylie, and she’s an icon. No doubt like many of you, I grew up with Kylie Minogue. Her new albums would be on every Christmas and birthday wish list, and as I got older and opened up my world view, so did she; broadening her sound to indie music, taking on country pop, and collaborating with everyone from Nick Cave to Robbie Williams to The Wiggles. But disco has always been in her back pocket, and in 2020 she returned to the Studio 54 dancefloor with an glittering new album of classic dance. On the day “DISCO” was released, Kylie joined me to Take 5 with her disco ball. The tunes she picked were classics, but wait till you hear the stories behind them. This is a bucket list Take 5 with a living legend.Donna Summer – "Love To Love You Baby"Earth, Wind & Fire – "September"Gloria Gaynor – "I Will Survive"Bee Gees – "Night Fever"Daft Punk – "Around The World"
Roisin Murphy is a force of nature. We first met her as one half of Moloko, whose pop house hits made them a household name. But since 2005 Roisin Murphy has carved out an incredible solo career, and a dedicated fanbase to boot. Her latest album is Roisin Machine; it’s a deep cut of house, disco, and industrial sounds fuelled by her formative years in Manchester and Sheffield.Roisin’s life story is pretty fascinating, which is why I asked her to choose her foundation songs. From formative moments in a mosh pit, to the organ shaking surround sound of a club, go deep with this legend and her incredible record collection.The Stooges – "I Wanna Be Your Dog"Minnie Riperton – "Inside My Love" Talk Talk & Tim Frisee-Greene – "Life What You make It (Extended Mix; 2003 Remaster)"The Family Stand – "Ghetto Heaven (Soul II Soul Remix)"Cabaret Voltaire – "Yashar"
There are some bands that just sound like summer. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, are one of them. Those jangly guitars, the three part harmonies… pressing play on their songs sends me straight to the beach, to balmy nights and road trips with friends.
We’re on the cusp of summer right now but given 2020’s shitshow of a year I figured we may as well skip ahead to that happy place. So I asked Tom from the band to Take 5 with his “songs of summer”. Whether it’s a sound, or a memory, he transported us to dance festivals, and family holidays, to rolling waves and Australian classics. Like eating an ice-cream, there’s no way you can be sad listening to these songs.
Amen Dunes - 'Miki Dora'
The Shapeshifters - 'Lola's Theme'
Sunflower Bean - 'Twentytwo'
Gilberto Gil - 'Palco'
The Triffids - 'Hell of A Summer'