Rob and Jo are listening to Grasshopper by Tremolo Please
Rob: So we first saw Tremolo Please at the Captain Cook Hotel. I remember being overwhelmed by the beauty of the singer’s guitar, a Bilt Revelator, which looks like a piece of candy and would be my first choice if I ever have to eat a musical instrument.
Jo: I also remember thinking he looks a lot like J Mascis.
Rob: Yeah, quite a ringer. I should add that his name is Stephen Farrell and he performs with drummer Chris Cantor. They are a noisy guitar band and they rock, or they “have the rock”, as Steve Albini is in the mildly annoying habit of saying, I guess to differentiate himself from people who use the standard cliché “they rock”. I don’t think his expression is much of an improvement on the existing one, but I do admire his determination to go non-standard whenever the opportunity arises. I include all of this only because in an interview I heard with Steve Albini, he once said that whenever he sees a band, he always asks himself one yes or no question, “Do they have the rock?” For the record, in my case, the yes or no question of choice is “Would I listen to this at home?” Anyway, yes and yes for this quality tune, Grasshopper, by Tremolo Please.
Jo: The equivalent yes or no question that Echo Room followers are asking at this point is “Would I read this at home?”
Rob: Has anyone ever read a blog? I think most people just write them. What does the name Tremolo Please mean to you?
Jo: On the evidence of the point of view shot we’re looking at, this is not a figure of speech. Stephen has a tremolo bar and he’s not afraid to use it.
Rob: And where does the “Please” fit into this literal interpretation?
Jo: I’m not sure, but I do think politeness is an underrated quality in the Sydney music scene. They get extra points from me for good manners.
Rob: The song title, Grasshopper, is interesting. The only other musical references I can think of to grasshoppers are the pitifully weak seventh album by JJ Cale called Grasshopper, which I bought in a thrift store on cassette for $1, listened to only once, and then deposited in the charity bin outside the very same thrift store. JJ Cale did have a great early career of course, but lost it in the 80s, no doubt in connection to the very product that was the subject of his biggest seventies hit, Cocaine. A grasshopper is also the subject of the second worst poem ever by Jim Morrison. The worst one is so bad, I get nauseous even thinking about it. Last time I heard it, I threw up so much that I fell unconscious. I think that’s how Jim Morrison died. He was trying to read one of his own poems and choked on vomit.
Jo: So how does Grasshopper by Tremolo Please stand up to these efforts?
Rob: Definitely number one in its field. The best song that may or may not be about a grasshopper I have ever heard.
Jo: I think we’re out of time for today, Rob. I would just add that this song, in addition to capturing the live experience and being very catchy, also has really interesting timing.
Rob: Yeah, I do enjoy the driving syncopation of this track. There are many ways to write a song, but historically, across all genres, the most effective approach has usually been to find a good riff and repeat it lots of times. I found myself listening to this one over and over.