Darren The Foulds


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A Midnight Oil podcast hosted by Darren Foulds and Robin Harbron. In preparation for the Great Circle Tour 2017, Darren and Robin are listening through the entire Midnight Oil catalogue. In each episode, they will dig into an Album and explore the music, lyrics, historical and social content. In addition to each of the Oil's albums, Darren and Robin will discuss some of Midnight Oil's EPs, live albums and video releases.

Tweet to us @DarrenTheFoulds or @RobinHarbron and use the hashtag #oilscouch or #sheepyards.

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Ep 30: Capricornia (Part 3)

Join the Couch-Sitters as they spin the "other side" of Midnight Oil's 2002 CD, Capricornia. In this final episode of the 2017 Comfortable Place on the Couch podcast project, Robin and Darren will trot out old chestnuts such as, King of the Mountain, unsuccessful comparisons with The Beatles and Pete noises. They'll also unnecessarily discuss yodelling and generally outstay their welcome.

  • Triple J Exploding Head t-shirt
  • Those Beatles Guys' podcast (Canadian too!)
  • Jim on the drums for a warmup with Bones and Martin. Where's Rob? Where is he?
  • Santa Pete pics.
  • Roy Rogers (a singing cowboy) yodels. Notice how it sounds nothing like Pete in World That I See.
  • Recreating the final chord from A Day in the Life. Poets and Slaves ending chord is reminiscent.

Ep 29: Capricornia (Part 2)

Join the Couch-Sitters as they spin Midnight Oil's 2002 CD, Capricornia (at least, the first half.) And, so you're aware, Sony got it wrong when they released the album on vinyl, and Robin sets them straight. Listen as Robin and Darren politely disagree over the "Back of your hand", wreck a car during Too Much Sunshine, and try to figure out why the crocodile was so sad. Darren rains on plenty of parades and Robin accuses Jim of being a dirty rotten cheat and thief, multiple times.

Ep 28: Capricornia (Part 1)

Join the Couch-Sitters as they talk about Midnight Oil's 2002 CD, Capricornia. In an effort to be reasonable, the first episode consists solely of non-song "fluff." Catch up on Business as Usual, get into details of the lead-up to and recording of the album and then (with plenty of warning for those who might not be interested) spend a half-hour or so talking about the Xavier Herbert novel which informed and inspired much of the content of the album. So sit back and enjoy, it's a free ride.

Ep 27: Saturday Night at the Capitol

Join the Couch-Sitters as watch 1982's performance Saturday Night at the Capitol. Yes, it's a bit of a fashion show rundown, but really, with all Pete's costume changes, what did you expect the boys to comment on? The music? Oh yeah, they do a bunch of that too. Bass chorus, organs, flat rack-toms, computery-noises and all the great stuff from this iconic Oils concert!

Ep 26: The Real Thing

Join the Couch-Sitters as spin 2000's The Real Thing. Learn why the guys consider this combination of EP and Live album part of the Oil's canon. They'll spend lots of time catching up on business as usual, talking about harmoniums, and close-imonies. Darren tries to give as much credit to Martin as he possibly can and Robin has to correct him more than once when he ascribes Mogenius to Rotsey.

Ep 25: Redneck Wonderland (Part 2)

Join the Couch-Sitters as they finally complete Midnight Oil's 1998 CD, Redneck Wonderland. In the end, Redneck proves to be not as much of an ear-assault as they may have thought it would be. But there are other factors, that Darren and Robin discover, that play into the overall feel of the album. Enjoy the Beatles-esq harmonies and horns, the strum-alongs, glockenspiel and other gentle tones with your Canadian Oils friends.

Ep 24: Redneck Wonderland (Part 1)

Join the Sitters of the Couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1998 CD, Redneck Wonderland. Listen in as Darren and Robin talk a little bit about the state of Australia in the late 1990s that influenced the sonic and verbal assault that is Redneck. Is this album as aggressive as the Oils get? What about the strummy-strum songs on the disc? And surprise of surprises, they actually get to discussing the songs in this pod, the first four. Warne Livesey is in the spotlight, but Magoo does help out a bit too.

  • Judy at Goat Island, she tried to send us beer!
  • Ok, here's my cover of Men Without Hats Safety Dance just to illustrate some point or another.
  • Might as well take a look at the videos for Redneck and Cemetery seeing as we give them a little talk-about.
    • Pete: Yellow pants at table
    • Jim: Standing by fountain, busking with home-made stick guitar?
    • Pete: Reading newspaper on bench with clown
    • Rob: Orange shirt with microphone
    • Martin: Selling newspaper
    • Bones: Walking with cane and dark glasses
  • Care to listen to Robin and Darren's cover of Comfortable Place on the Couch?

Ep 23: Breathe (Part 3)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they finish spinning Midnight Oil's 1996 CD, Breathe. Didn't get enough Malcom and Ringo jokes last episode? Your Couch-Sitters have more! They listen to the Oils most rocking-est song since who-knows-when as well as some of the sweetest tunes they've set to tape. Listen along as they come to their decisions and play The Game. How will Breathe fare against ESM?

Ep 22: Breathe (Part 2)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1996 CD, Breathe. Six songs get the treatment this time, which is almost half. Listen as the Couch-Sitters enjoy the liquid-ESM sounds of the first two tracks and then listen to a couple more before they hear the first acoustic guitar (of note.) Is Emmylou singing uncredited on multiple songs? Does Malcom want to play your instrument? Better not stop for a bathroom break, he might take your place too.

Ep 21: Breathe (Part 1)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they... well, they don't spin Midnight Oil's 1996 Album, Breathe. Not really. Your Couch-Sitters set aside the first podcast dedicated to Breathe to talk about the circumstances behind the making of the album what the band was up to prior to recording, the varied attitudes and reactions to working with producer Malcom Burn (the Canadian) and some overall thoughts on the sounds and themes presented on the disc.

  • If you weren't in Canada in the mid-80's you probably missed out on Gowan, who's sometimes-guitarist Robin got Jazz lessons from. You're a Strange Animal was his big hit, complete with Tony Levin on Chapman Stick.
  • Check out Robin's band Bedford Level Experiment, especially for his Oils inspired album, Place Without a Computer, and his Steve Jobs, The Agony and the Ecstasy soundtrack... æther.
  • Cameron's Left of the Dial blog covering all 45 Midnight Oil shows he's attended. Great storytelling.
  • Jim took inspiration for the song Earth & Sun & Moon from the 1990 documentary Blue Planet.
  • Only The Strong: The Making of Ten to One is an incredible show with Jim and Nick sitting at a mixing desk listening and talking through 10, 9 ,8. And there's a lot of the other band members talking about the album too.

Ep 20: Great Circle Tour — Minneapolis Recap

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they reflect on seeing Midnight Oil play in Minneapolis, on August 28, 2017 as part of the Great Circle Tour 2017. The Couch-Sitters reminisce on six glorious hours in line with some of the best people on the planet, gush over meeting the band and even talk about the concert, the music and the end of the Northern-Hemisphere portion of the Great Circle Tour, aka: the Summer of Oils!

Ep 19: Earth and Sun and Moon (Part 3)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they put away Midnight Oil's 1993 album, Earth and Sun and Moon. In this record breaking third episode for a single album, Darren exhausts his supply of vinyl Oils albums, Robin changes his mind on how little he dislikes Now or Never Land and the two couch-sitters take some time to tackle the final four songs on a great album. But the big question is, does ESM have what it takes to win "the game" over Darren's current pick: D&D or Robin's 10-9-8?

Ep 18: Earth and Sun and Moon (Part 2)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they continue spinning Midnight Oil's 1993 album, Earth and Sun and Moon. You'd better set aside another hour-and-a-half as your Canadian Couchers get extra spaced-out on Jim's title-track lyrics, lament the total mishandling of Truganini (did it "ruin" the band's future?) and try to get the attention of Ground Control. Apparently, there's a man out in space and he's trying to reach you.

Ep 17: Earth and Sun and Moon (Part 1)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1993 album, Earth and Sun and Moon. Your Couch-Sitters make it all the way through the first three songs before calling it an episode, but in their defence, there was a lot of business arising and general album discussion to get through before tackling the songs. And of course, there are giggles. Did I mention one-and-a-half hours?

Ep 16: Scream In Blue (Part 2)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they flip over Midnight Oil's 1992 live album, Scream In Blue. Knocking off five tracks, an encore and bonus material, the couch-sitters still manage to ramble down some bunny-trails and set themselves to laughter. Perhaps there's even more disagreement on side two as your hosts cannot agree on what Bones is doing at the end of Progress, if Rob fails in Beds, the tempo of Burnie, and who's fault it is that they didn't dedicate an episode to the Capitol Theatre show.

Ep 15: Scream In Blue (Part 1)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1992 live album, Scream In Blue. As per the norm, the Couch-Sitters are taking their time and in this first episode, they butt heads on the effort (or lack thereof) the band put into Brave Faces, and the nothing-new-to-listen-to-here of Warburton. Apparently, this album has polarizing tracks unlike any before... Also, test your Midnight Oil trivia skills as Robin tries to win a prize.

Ep 14: Black Rain Falls

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they insert Midnight Oil's 1990 video Black Rain Falls into the old VCR. Between nostalgic tangents and Siri's interruptions, the couch-sitter manage to enjoy this live performance and try to understand what made this guerrilla-action so memorable to their young eyes and ears that 27 years later, certain parts just snap back into memory like they've always been there.

  • Get yourself to the Screaming Skulls of Burke's Falls, if you're ever in Central Ontario.
  • For true Sheep-Yarders only: An UN-Comfortable Place on the Couch. A special non-iTunes episode we recorded taking a look at Robin's band's album Place Without a Computer. Yes, there are Place Without a Postcard connections.
  • We need some more King of the Mountain. Unfortunately, this video does not have the band name overlays. But it does have Pete struggling to climb up a mini-mountain of dirt.
  • Really neat video of the Paris show from July 2017. The Deadheart has a remarkable Doo-Doo-Doo reprise at the end.

Ep 13: Blue Sky Mining (Part 2)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they flip over Midnight Oil's 1990 album Blue Sky Mining. Taking a very reasonable fifty-odd minutes, the couch-sitters race through "King of the Mountain" so they can spend more time with the other side-two songs. And if you're honest, you're glad they did. Darren laments the use of pan-pipes and Robin gets excited about guitar explosions.

Ep 12: Blue Sky Mining (Part 1)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1990 album Blue Sky Mining. In this podcast, the couch-sitters welcome the Oil's longest bass-playing member, the man with the "Golden Tones" Bones Hillman. They learn about the hard time the band had putting together a follow-up to D&D and speculate on how some of the sound we hear on the blue vinyl reach back to the 10, 9, 8 and Red Sails era of recording. Finally, there's a special treat for listeners who would be curious as to what out hosts sounded like a quarter of a century ago. Here's a hint... they sounded worse.

Ep 11: Diesel and Dust (Part 2)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they continue to spin Midnight Oil's 1987 album Diesel and Dust. In this hour-plus podcast, the couch-sitters talk with each other about the strengths and weaknesses of side two and if Sometimes makes for a better conclusion to the album than Gunbarrel Highway. The purple Kangaroo sweater makes a return, Robin almost gets killed by a plummeting piece of SkyLab and Peter Garrett walks on the heads of other Peter Garretts. This is what happens when the couch-sitters go long.

Ep 10: Diesel and Dust (Part 1)

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1987 album Diesel and Dust. Yes, this is part one of a two-part episode where the couch-sitters really take their time with D&D. This was their introduction to the Oils and despite thinking that they were tired of it, they manage to spend an hour and a half on the first side. They start by talking about the Blackfella Whitefella tour and throw in lots of stories of two nerdy teenagers getting into the Oils in the 80s.

Listen along as they skip right over Beds are Burning and start counting the number of times Martin's black Fender acoustic guitar shows up in Oils music videos. Cheer along as Darren pronounces place names like “Papunya” and “Yuendumu,” hold your breath while Robin converts degrees Celsius into degrees Fahrenheit and feel the vindication as listeners to the Couch set Darren straight on Blossom and Blood.

Ep 09: Species Deceases

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1985 EP Species Deceases. Have you been practicing your counting? Because it's time to count along with the couch-sitters. Count the fake endings. Count the radio-friendly “hits!” Count the pick-slides! Things get a little excited when the couch-sitters have a disagreement on what constitutes acappella singing. Maybe you can help them come to an agreement.

Ep 08: Goat Island Concert 1985

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they pop in the Oils on the Water DVD and watch the famous Goat Island Concert… Darren for the first time (in it's entirety.) The couch-sitters offer up lots of fashion commentary in addition to reactions to the live performance of songs from the last couple albums they've been spinning for the podcast. If you've got the DVD (or some other way of watching the Goat Island concert) give it a watch and then listen in to hear the view from the Comfortable Place on the Couch.

Ep 07: Great Circle Tour — Toronto Recap

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they reflect on seeing Midnight Oil play in Toronto, on May 20, 2017 as part of their Great Circle Tour 2017. The couch-sitters count their steps, visit with folks in line, enjoy listening to Boy Toy, and, oh, really enjoy their first Oils experience in over fifteen years.

Ep 06: Red Sails in the Sunset

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1984 album Red Sails in the Sunset. Things get a little silly this episode as the Couch-Sitters take their sweet time talking about the album in detail. It seems this is the album were Robin and Darren start to disagree about things a bit more, but in true Canadian style, they're pretty polite about it.

So listen in as orchestra hits, disco beats and didgeridoos all get put under the audio-microscope while optimum glasses of saké and the number of trumpets in Bakerman are counted.

Ep 05: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1982 album Ten, Nine, Eight. In this hour and a half episode (there's just so much on 10, 9, 8 to talk about) your hosts quibble about every plucked piano string, gated drum, soaring note and, of course, Peter Garrett's absolutely beautiful voice on Scream in Blue.

On top of all that, Robin picks a safe favourite track while Darren goes for something a bit more divisive, and they eventually get around to playing that awful, awful game where they snap a record in half (not really.)

Ep 04: Place Without A Postcard

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin Midnight Oil's 1981 album Place Without A Postcard. With Postcard, the Oils seem to have arrived at an exciting new stage in their recording career that Darren dubs “80s Oils.” Robin extols the magnificence of bass chorus and Darren points out each track that employs their drum-assist technique.

In addition the Couch-Sitters talk about the Oils time in England; recording with Glyn Johns, opening for The Who, and bailing hay. Does Postcard contain the best Oils track to date? Find out on the pod.

BONUS: For '80s Computer-Nerd Oils-Fans

Listen to this special episode of UN-Comfortable Place on the Couch where we talk about Bedford Level Experiment's album Place Without A Computer.

Ep 03: Bird Noises

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as the Oils' 1980 Extended Play Bird Noises get some playtime. The band acquires bassist Peter Gifford for the recording of this EP, and his three month trial with the band turns into a full time gig. Darren and Robin discuss the band's first instrumental track and try their best to decipher the unpublished and near undecipherable vocals on I'm the Cure.

Even though Bird Noises (or Bird Schnozzes as Robin calls it) is just fifteen minutes long, Darren and Robin manage to talk about it for over forty minutes. So, spin the EP and get comfortable on your couch, this isn't going to be quick.

  • Robin is quoting from Mark Dodshon's excellent Beds Are Burning: Midnight Oil, the Journey. (Affiliate Link)
  • “Some kids got no time for radioactive playgrounds!” Darren still hasn't been able to track this down, can you help?
  • Donnie Sutherland Interview: This is 80s-hair-guy talking to Pete about many things including the lost vocals from Wedding Cake Island.
  • I'm the Cure unpublished lyrics poorly deciphered:
    [unknown] me a Bible
    [unknown] at the bar
    There's/I've a ragdoll
    growing in my heart
    [unknown] you're the only cure

Ep 02: Head Injuries

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they spin 1979's Head Injuries. This album consistently ranks among the best loved Midnight Oil albums. So listen close as your hosts pay careful attention — leaving no bassline un-commented upon and no time change un-noted.

I bet you didn't know that Darren could talk for an hour about the drums in Profiteers alone; fortunately he keeps it to about five minutes. Robin takes a look at Andrew “Bear” James' bass-work and lasting legacy in his last album with the Oils. And they decide what is the best Midnight Oil album thus far… not an easy decision.

  • Death to Disco: Pete berates the Disco Man at The Stagedoor Tavern, April 13, 1979.
  • Non-fade-out ending of Is It Now, played live at Melbourne Showgrounds June 19, 1980.

Ep 01: The Blue Album

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they start their dissection of the Midnight Oil catalogue with the self-titled album, aka: “The Blue Meanie.” Does the Blue Album have a theme? Is it the frustration of a young man coming to grips with the futility of adult life? Does Nothing Lost – Nothing Gained answer that frustration? Only Jim can tell us. We talk about fuge solos, harmonics, the meaning of Surfing with a Spoon, Pete's vocals (and misheard lyrics) and was there another option for a single?

Darren would like to take this opportunity to publicly beg Rob Hirst's forgiveness for his unnecessary and unfounded criticism of Rob's kick-drum work at 1:32, 1:39, 3:36 and 3:38, on Run By Night. Please forgive me. :)

Ep 00: Introducing the Couch

Join Darren and Robin on the couch as they introduce their new Midnight Oil podcast: Comfortable Place on the Couch. They discuss the things that they're looking forward to as they listen through the entire Midnight Oil catalogue in preparation for Midnight Oil's 2017 Great Circle Tour.