New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Mogwai

Posted by Amoebite, July 31, 2018 02:43pm | Post a Comment

Mogwai - Stuart Braithwaite

Stuart Braithwaite of Scottish post-rock band Mogwai paid Amoeba Hollywood a visit during the band's North American tour for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. "This is probably the thing I'm most excited about," said Braithwaite while holding up the massive vinyl box set Root Hog Or Die: An Alan Lomax Centennial Tribute. The massive 6-LP box set of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax's field recordings was sure to have something worth delving into. "I love these compilations 'cause you'll just hear something on them and then you can go and find out more about it," Braithwaite explained. He then shared how he discovered American sacred harp singing through another Lomax compilation. "I'd never heard anything like it...I tracked down a lot of that." 

Mogwai was formed in 1995 by Stuart Braithwaite, Dominic Aitchison, and Martin Bulloch. They took their name from the creatures in the movie Gremlins. The group released their debut LP, Mogwai Young Team, in 1997. Kicking a Dead Pig: Mogwai Songs Remixed was released the following year, featuring remixes from the likes of Kevin Shields, Arab Strap, and Alec Empire. The band's current Mogwai - Every Country's Sunlineup solidified with the addition of Barry Burns prior to recording their sophomore LP, 1999's Come On Die Young. By their third album, Rock Action, Mogwai was moving away from guitars and incorporating more electronic instruments. Rock Action was their biggest commercial success to date, peaking at #23 on the UK album charts. 

Next came the genre-expanding Happy Songs For Happy People, which gave Mogwai their first major success in the US, landing at #13 on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart and even cracking -- for a week -- the Billboard Top 200. The band continued to release albums regularly, growing more and more into their signature spacious and spaced out post-rock sound with each new work. In 2010, they moved from longtime US label Matador to Sub Pop for the release of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Three years later they provided the soundtrack to the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. With the formation of their own label, named after the Rock Action album, the band began releasing their own work in the UK. Their most recent studio album is 2017's Every Country's Sun, with a soundtrack to the 2018 film KIN coming on August 31st.

Braithwaite started off his episode with the book Going Underground: American Punk 1979-1989. "I like a lot of these first person stories about music. They're always good fun and interesting," he commented. Braithwaite also picked up a couple of LP soundtrack reissues of some of his favorite movies, Zodiac and Alien. An ardent gospel fan, Braithwaite found several records that piqued his interest, including Reverend Sam Dixon's My Soul Says Yes. "I don't know what this is. It just looked really cool and like the kind of thing that I should have," said Braithwaite. He also grabbed two records by The Staple Singers, who are his favorite gospel group.

But what is Stuart Braithwaite's favorite Sleater-Kinney album? And which Sonic Youth album does he consider to be underrated? You'll have to watch the video to find out!

Mogwai - What's In My Bag?
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Sleater-kinney (16), Staple Singers (1), Reverend Sam Dixon (1), Alien (5), Zodiac (3), Punk (68), Kin (1), Every Country's Sun (2), Sacred Harp (1), Alan Lomax (1), Amoeba Hollywood (872), What's In My Bag (378), Stuart Braithwaite (1), Mogwai (9), Sonic Youth (39)