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Take 5

Author: Double J

Subscribed: 3,090Played: 17,246


Every week, Zan Rowe invites a guest in to pick five songs around a theme. Along the way we hear a heap of stories, and find out a whole lot more about their musical heart. We might even partake in a bit of therapy. Join us.
115 Episodes
In the early 00’s The Streets burst onto the scene. Original Pirate Material was like nothing else around. Combining garage beats with everyday stories from a geezer we could all relate to. Mike Skinner wanted to literally push things forward, taking the garage genre in a new direction and using his lyrics to talk about what was really going on inside the hearts and minds of people in the clubs. It struck a chord, and The Streets got a lot of attention. Over five albums Mike Skinner would tour Australia a whole lot, always playing festivals and always drawing a huge crowd. Then in 2011 he called it a day, releasing his final album and doing his final shows as The Streets. Music stayed in his life though. He threw himself into producing, directing, and most notably DJ-ing, behind the decks instead of out front on stage. Across his five songs choices we get a snapshot of a kid writing raps in his notebook in a hostel in Sydney. As well as the man today who is older, wiser, more grounded but with plenty of stories to tell. From Johnny Cash to Grim Sickers to Daft Punk, this is The Streets, Taking 5 with Zan Rowe and playing us his songs from then and now.Johnny Cash – 'A Boy Named Sue'Snoop Dogg – 'Serial Killa (ft. The D.O.C., Tha Dogg Pound and RBX)'Grim Sickers – 'Open the Till (ft. Ghetts and Mike Skinner)'Daniel Bedingfield – 'Gotta Get Through This'Daft Punk – 'Human After All / Together / One More Time / Music Sounds Better With You' (from Alive 2007)
Where do you begin with Mark Ronson? 7 Grammys, an Oscar, and so many hit records over 15 years of writing and producing music. He may not sing, but he’s topped the charts in every other way; crafting 'Uptown Funk', co-writing 'Shallow' with Lady Gaga, and collaborating with musicians from right across the genre map. Ever since that debut album back in 2003, I’ve been a fan. The way he scooped up hip-hop, soul, and funk into perfect pop packages grabbed my attention and kept it. Over the years Mark and I have crossed paths a few times but he’s never done a Take 5. And the opportunity to get inside the musical mind of Mark Ronson is something I’ve been hankering to do for a long time. From OutKast to The Smiths, King Princess to Kacey Musgraves to Prince, hear one of the world's great producers explore how their songs define pop perfection for him.King Princess - ‘1950’The Smiths - ‘Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’Outkast - ‘Ms. Jackson’Kacey Musgraves - ‘Slow BurnPrince - ‘Pop Life’
Jen Cloher is a beacon in Australian music. She’s one of our best songwriters, and a great champion of her peers. Whether it's running management workshops, or co-founding Milk Records, her sage advice and keen ears propel others. But what about the artists who light a path for her? From Patti Smith to Gareth Liddiard, Camp Cope to PJ Harvey, this is a conversation about so much more than music.Adalita - ‘Free Money {Live}’The Drones - ‘Taman Shud’Camp Cope ‘The Opener’PJ Harvey - ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’Evelyn Ida Morris - ‘The Body Appears’
Warren Ellis’ music has been the soundtrack to my adult life. I remember when I first heard Dirty Three, they were like nothing else around; an instrumental band with a violinist who played like Hendrix, and epic songs that tore at the very fibre of your being. I listened to their albums and like many others put my own meaning into those wordless songs. In the mid 90’s we started seeing him more in the Bad Seeds. He found a friend and collaborator in Nick Cave, they would form Grinderman together and compose beautiful soundtracks for film and television. Warren Ellis doesn’t sit still. He also rarely looks back.. for him, creative life is about propelling forward, solving the mystery of song that awaits in his next project. When Dirty Three announced they’d be performing their debut album in full, I knew I wanted Waz to Take 5. He’s always been the most entertaining part of Nick Cave doco’s, and his fiery spirit on stage is magnetic; I wanted to get close to that, see what made him tick. What I witnessed, was an entirely different Warren Ellis. In a pin drop quiet room, he took us from his childhood in Ballarat, to the streets of Europe, finding his voice in Melbourne and then leaving it all behind to become the man he is today. Songs in the key of Waz. From the maestro himself.John Ellis - ‘Mis’ry is my Middle Name’Johnny Cash - ‘Orange Blossom Special’Beethoven -  ‘Symphony 7 slow movement number 2 Allegretto’Arleta - ‘Mia Fora Thymamai (I Remember a Time)’Alice Coltrane / John Coltrane – ‘The Sun’
Kelsey Lu's songs of hope

Kelsey Lu's songs of hope


There are times when I like to take the Take 5 on the road; heading to places where creative people gather, and the conversations around art and music are part and parcel of daily life. Dark Mofo in Hobart is one of those places. A festival set in the middle of winter, in the southernmost city in Australia. When the wind blows, it’s coming from Antarctica. The streets light up with red crosses each night to signal some sort of curiosity you should explore within, there are open fires and pagan feasts, and there is music; curated in such a beautiful way it feels like a movement, like a moment. This is the place I met Kelsey Lu. Lu grew up in North Carolina, and was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. Early on, she found the cello, and connected deeply with the strings. She followed her heart, left home, and broke bonds with her family as she headed to New York City to follow her musical dreams. Through her 20’s Kelsey Lu found her voice, she collaborated with Solange, and Sampha, she experienced heartache and pain, and she headed west to heal, and begin again. Across five beautiful choices, Lu shared her songs of hope. All women, all powerful, and all tied to the human and artist she has become. Settle in for a beautiful conversation, with Kelsey Lu.Alice Coltrane – 'Journey in Satchidananda'Billie Holiday – 'Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do'Des’ree – 'You Gotta Be'Lafawndah – 'Substancia'Chaka Khan – 'I’m Every Woman'
It’s fair to say, Kirsha Kaechele has lived a life less ordinary. The American artist and curator lives in Hobart, but Australia is just the latest home for a woman who has sought out experiences her whole life. As a teenager, she left home and travelled to 50 countries in 7 years – a self-education in the furthest corners of the world. She lived with the Sannyasin cult, she dropped ayahuasca in the Amazon, and set up shop in a derelict part of New Orleans, bringing art projects to some of the poorest neighbourhoods in town. Kirsha’s latest work is a book called Eat the Problem. It’s a work of art and cookbook all at once, with contributions from famous chefs and thinkers; looking at the question of invasive species and how we can make a flaw a feature in the most sustainable way. When you read Kirsha’s bio, you want to spend a day talking to her. I got an hour. From The Kinks to The Stranglers, Chamorro celebration music, to Tasmanian troubadours, she shared her illuminating songs and incredible stories with me. A wild conversation with a wonderfully curious soul.Johnny Sablan - ‘Tippi Tippi Tan’The Kinks - ‘Waterloo Sunset’The Stranglers - ‘Golden Brown’Ben Salter - ‘Isolationism’Christopher Coleman & The Great Escape - ‘Jesse’
Megan Washington is one of my favourite people to talk to. Ever since we first met her ten years ago, she’s been an open book, who has an incredible perspective on creativity. On and off air, a conversation with Meg is never small talk, and you always feel richer for it. Washington’s music career began as a jazz singer, she morphed into a pop artist, and explored avant garde experiments in the years that followed. Her latest work is textured, synth filled pop music, with the lyrical weight of a decade fully lived. But will this shapeshifter rest here? Across five songs, Megan Washington wears her creative chameleon heart on her sleeve; you can hear the thread of each of her choices, sewn into what she has crafted herself. From Split Enz to Talk Talk, Kendrick to Mitski, and an unforgettable story about Rufus Wainwright, these are the songs that fill Meg’s chameleon heart.Rufus Wainwright - 'Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk'Split Enz - 'I See Red'Talk Talk - 'It's My Life'Kendrick Lamar - 'King Kunta'Mitski - 'Nobody'
It’s not overstating it when I say Jimmy Barnes is a national treasure. Everyone can sing along to a Cold Chisel song, you’ve undoubtedly seen him or them live at some stage of your life, and the harrowing story of his childhood has connected him to people who may have never even engaged with his music before. He also electric; the energy that comes off him is insane. Throughout this Take 5 I just held on for dear life and went along for the ride. Even when the songs played, he was air drumming and singing along at the top of his lungs, to every word. The Take 5 is all about stories, and Jimmy Barnes has ‘em in spades. Even before he started singing, music was in his blood; a saviour growing up, and a way out of the northern suburb of Elizabeth, in Adelaide. From Ray Charles to Oasis, Tina Turner to Led Zepplin and Dylan, these are the songs that made Jimmy Barnes.Ray Charles - ‘Hit The Road Jack’Oasis - ‘A Bell Will Ring’Ike and Tina Turner - ‘River Deep Mountain High ‘Led Zeppelin - ‘Immigrant Song’Bob Dylan - ‘Like a Rolling Stone’
Kacey Musgraves is the woman of the golden hour. At the Grammy’s she won every category she was nominated in, including Album of the Year. Her live shows, and candour, have made headlines. And her journey from Nashville country singer to crossover pop artist with that acclaimed album, has won her a whole lot of new fans. Whether speaking plainly about small town life, being open about doing drugs, or singing out for those who love who they wanna love, Kacey Musgraves is a straight shooter, a woman of conviction. In person and in song, the bridge she creates with her fans is something else, and it’s making her one of the most loved artists around. For Kacey’s Take 5 I wanted to find out about the music that brought her to today, and to borrow a title from her own debut album, helped Kacey “follow her arrow”. From Neil Young, to Sade, Bee Gees to Tame Impala, and of course Dolly Parton, Kacey tells the story of her life through the artists that shaped her.Neil Young - 'Harvest Moon'Sade - 'By Your Side'Bee Gees - 'Stayin' Alive'Tame Impala - 'Eventually'Dolly Parton - 'Here You Come Again'
For around a decade now, New Zealand artist Tiny Ruins has been singing stories to us. Across three albums, Hollie Fullbrook has sketched beautiful pictures of the world around her, and taken those tunes on the road. Hollie is the songwriter behind these tales, and these days she spends a lot of time trekking around. Whether it’s the US, UK, Europe, or across the pond in Australia, she’s built a dedicated live following. But travel has been a big part of her life forever, and has given her plenty of great yarns. With some truly wonderful sounds, this Take 5 takes you from England to Amsterdam, America to New Zealand, and through blustery Wales. Let Tiny Ruins fire up the engine and press play on the car stereo.Paul McCartney & Wings – Heart of the CountryLaura Jean – TouchstoneLove – The Red TelephoneCate La Bon – DukeBedouine – You Kill Me
Comments (3)

Jared Sommer

well I just spent a couple of weeks at work listening to all of these back to back, and now that I'm finished I feel like I've come to the end of a really great book. grateful that I got to experience it, happy to have learnt so much, and completely devastated that it's all over. cannot wait for the next weekly installment, keep up the great work you amazing lady of music x

Apr 10th


Wow, I could listen to Gordi talk for hours on end. What an incredible soul and how wonderful to hear her stories.

Feb 23rd

Catriona Thomson


Oct 28th
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