Sunday, May 07, 2006

R.I.P. - Grant McLennan

Grant McLennan of the Australian band The Go-Betweens, died Saturday of a heart attack at the age of 48. Here's a link to where you can read more about McLennan, The Go-Betweens, and hear Cattle and Cane, voted one of the 10 best songs in the history of Australian songwriting.

Cattle and Cane is a song that I forgot about for many years until I rediscovered it on a scratchy cassette tape I found at my house in 1990. I had lots of cassettes and a jambox at my apartment in Lawrence in the mid 80s. Sometimes I'd pop in a blank cassette and record KJHK, knowing that I'd listen later, perhaps in my car outside of the broadcast range of the station, and find something worthwhile. This is what happened with Cattle and Cane. I went walking for exercise one summer day in 1990 and popped in an unlabelled tape. It was KJHK mainstay Vicky (now Victoria) Sloan from an airshift done three or four years previously and Ms. Sloan always did a good job. She knew music and her knowledge was my reward that day as evidenced by her inclusion of that song by the The Go-Betweens providing the soundtrack for me.

Later in the tape she played Snowman, by XTC, another indie pop gem. Let's hope Andy Partridge remains in good health.

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