You Have Dark Blue’s Permission to Give Up on the Cure
In Physical Education, we ask musicians to divulge their earliest, latest and most meaningful encounters with physical media. Today's vinyl fantasies are courtesy of John Sharkey, frontman of Dark Blue, featuring members of Clockcleaner, Ceremony and Strand of Oaks. Their sophomore effort, Start of the World — a gripping amalgamation of Britpop, shoegaze, Oi and punk — drops November 4 on 12XU (with the European pressing on Adagio830). In the meantime, enjoy the Chameleons-on-Creatine drive of "Never Wanted to Hurt You."
What's your parents' favorite album?
I don't know if they share a favorite album, but I can tell you my mother would play the fuck out of Iris DeMent's My Life tape in the family car. That's an extremely morose and weepy album back to front. Not a shred of hope, aside from a few nods to the Bible and southern spirituals. Looking back, it's a pretty fucked-up record to play around children. I definitely benefited from the incessant churning of that cassette.
What was the first record you bought?
The first physical piece of music I purchased with my own money was MC Hammer's Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em cassette. I delivered Town Talk in fourth grade and spent my first bundle of dough on that ridiculous album. I hated heavy rock music when I was a kid because I thought only shitbag Flyers fans liked Guns N' Roses, so I listened to rap and Britpop on late-night radio until I was in middle school.
What record has your favorite art and / or packaging?
Definitely all of the early Discharge records had a profound effect on what I thought was acceptable to put on a the face of an album. A photo of a dead person or a bombed-out building with some simple text. And their logo is probably the best in all of music. Like a person with shot-off fingers wrote it in the lime they were buried in.
What’s your preferred method and setting to listen to music?
I only listen to music at work while I print. I can't really be fucked listening to music any other time because I don't really have the time. Having one of those special rooms or a chair for listening to records is for serial killers and cat owners.
Most disappointed you’ve been with an album?
The Alice in Chains self-titled record really bummed me out. I'd already started listening to punk records at that point, but this really was the tipping point to start to focus on something better. Grunge was utter fucking nonsense except for Tad. Get the fuck out of my face with your Mother Love Bone or Soundgarden romanticism.
What’s a record not enough people own? That too many people own?
Not enough people own the Whipping Boy record Heartworm. Such an Irish classic. Same goes for all of the Comsat Angels records, even the shit later ones. Please stop talking about the shitehouse Cure records and pay attention to the aforementioned. Robert Smith looks more like Kevin Smith at this point. Time to pack away the hockey jerseys, homeboy.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a record?
I foolishly bought the Bastard Wind of Pain LP for $150, a steal in today's oversaturated gathering of the internet Japanese hardcore snuggalos. Bludgeoning record, but why the fuck do I need to own that thing? Is it going to cook my breakfast or make me millions of dollars? That's what I had kids for.
How do you organize your records?
I have like 100 records left from the great cull of 2008 when I sold everything to move to Melbourne. I have one shelf above a bunch of books about football players. I don't really care for owning records much these days. I have other obsessions, like sports jerseys. I saved the Crucifucks, Housemartins and comedy records.
What’s your last acquisition?
I don't buy records for myself anymore. At all. The last record I purchased for my wife was the reissue of the first Cosmic Psychos record. I'm waiting until my kids are 8 and 10 before I start playing that in the car. We live in Philadelphia, so even their teachers are telling them to fuck off, so what's the harm of swearing to a lovely tune?