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  • Tiana Speter

EXCLUSIVE:Philly Jay's MC Bad Genius shares his fave trumpet solos

Today we're bringing you a twist of the usual Fave 5 feature, and instead bringing you a Top 7...of songs featuring the trumpet, courtesy of Aussie indie kings Philadelphia Grand Jury. Most recently inciting some incessant toe-tapping with their absolute jam of a tune Nervous Breakdown, the Philly Jays are genuine purveyors of affability and cheeky charm, and the silken jaunt on their latest track is an undeniable triumph of feel-good frivolity.

Conjuring their recent track well and truly before the madness of 2020, Nervous Breakdown's eerily relevant narrative rings somewhat truer than ever in its current setting, and it's another shimmering step forward into the trio's burgeoning iconic status on the Aussie music scene. But for something a little different today, Philadelphia Grand Jury bassman MC Bad Genius is sharing a little trip down trumpet memory lane - read on for a brassy twist on our usual Fave 5, with the Top 7 killer trumpet moments that may or may not inspire some new Philly Jay tunes in the near future!



After pulling out my old trumpet and literally dusting away some cobwebs for a new song we've been working on at Berkfinger's studio, Golden Retriever, I started to think about all the great songs that feature the trumpet. It has probably been 15 years since I last played it properly and I'm pretty sure that none of it will make it into the final mix of the song, but it was inspiring nonetheless.

PS - There are 7 songs, because there are 7 different finger positions on the trumpet. The more you know ...

"Short Skirt/Long Jacket" (Cake)

Is this perhaps the most iconic trumpet blast in pop music? It's one of the songs that will instantly put a smile on my face when I hear it. Maybe it's the memory of the most bizarre karaoke night I've ever been to where the guy who sang this one kept reversing the short skirt/long jacket lyric.


"Godless" (The Dandy Warhols)

I fell in love with this song and The Dandy Warhols themselves when I saw them perform it live on Conan's show (before he got shafted by Jay Leno and NBC). I'm pretty sure the good little Christian boy that I once was enjoyed the "scandalous" nature of a song called Godless. The next day I went straight to the closest HMV to buy the album on CD and played it front to back three times when I got home and it's still one that I listen to on a regular basis.


"Close To Me" (The Cure)

It's easily The Cure's most carefree song, but also easily my favourite. It's unfathomable to me that the version they released on ‘The Head On The Door’ doesn't have the brass section or trumpet solo, but who am I to question Robert Smith? But come on. It makes the song so much better. To be honest, when does a trumpet NOT make a song better?


"Sexx Laws" (Beck)

Before this album came out, Beck used to sing Debra (the final song on the album) at his live shows while descending from the ceiling on a rotating bed. Sexx Laws is basically the embodiment in song of that aesthetic. The lyrics are as mercurial as his earlier work, but the

production is out of this world. There is just so much going on in this song musically that it shouldn't work, but it just does. Because Beck of course, is a genius. Extra points for the Jack Black cameo in the film clip being so confused by kitchen appliances getting it on.


"The Sidewinder" (Lee Morgan)

Lee Morgan is the coolest of cool. As a massively nerdy high-schooler who was obsessed with jazz, Lee Morgan was my hero and who I wanted to be, but I also knew I would never have his effortless style or that perfect sound that comes out of his horn on every note.

There is a fantastic (and tragic) documentary on his life and music on Netflix called "I Called Him Morgan" that is well worth the watch. It's wild.


"How Bizarre" (OMC)

I only just realised that How Bizarre wasn't just a massive hit here in Australia and New Zealand, but it went number one in a handful of countries and top 10 pretty much everywhere that has pop music charts. It's undeniably catchy, strangely unique and perfectly self-deprecating. Basically, it's a perfect microcosm for New Zealand, so I feel like it's part of my heritage.


"Doctor Worm" (They Might Be Giants)

They call me Dr Worm. Good morning, how are you? I'm Dr Worm. I'm interested in things. I'm not a real doctor, but I am a real worm, I am an actual worm ...




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