Poetic Memory: An Horse (List)

MP3: An Horse – “Trains and Tracks”

Kate Cooper decided to call her band An Horse after a grammatical dispute with her sister:

She was living next door to me in the same apartment block in Brisbane. She’s a book editor and gets to work on incredible ones like Nick Cave’s and Leonard Cohen’s. We were chatting. Grammar came up, as it often does with us, and she said that you say “An” before ‘”H,” rather than “A.” I was like, “That’s bullshit.” She said, “No, that’s true!” and it became a running argument between us…One day she gave me a sweater that had the words “An Horse” printed on it. People would come up to me and ask if An Horse was a band. So when [drummer] Damon [Cox] and I got a gig I thought I’d use An Horse as a joke for my sister. Thankfully, Damon liked the name, too. The grammatical argument over the name still rages today.

This scrappy dynamic is exactly what makes An Horse so charming. When you see them live, it becomes quickly apparent that their talent and hard work don’t overshadow their elfish sense of playfulness.

You’ll be able to see for yourself tomorrow night at the Soda Bar, when the Australian duo plays a headlining show with Gun Runner and The New Kinetics. The band is touring to support their latest album, Walls, which you may purchase here.

In anticipation of their Soda Bar show, Ms. Cooper was kind enough to supply O&B with a list of “5 TV Memories” that changed her life. Seeing as how we love every film on her list, we’d suggest you check it out (below).

Poetic Memory: Kate Cooper

I wasn’t allowed to watch much TV growing up. Maybe an hour Saturday mornings and a movie Saturday night with my parents. We had 4 channels. On Saturday nights the national broadcaster would show old films. I would hang out for these every week. — Kate Cooper

1. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks): This film started a film noir obsession. Lauren Becall and Humphery Bogart! This was the movie adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel. Chandler is now one of my favourite authors.

2. North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock): This was the first Hitchcock film I ever saw. It’s still my favourite. So is Carey Grant. I love how Hitchcock uses suspense. I love his use of the ‘MacGuffin’. I think of the song equivalent of a ‘MacGuffin’ is a good hook. It creates suspense and makes you keep listening.

3. A Day at the Races (The Marx Brothers): Quite simply classic comedy. Everyone should see this film.

4. Annie Hall (Woody Allen): My favorite film of all time. A classic comedy that was clearly inspired by the likes of the Marx Brothers. See above.

5. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick): This was my first foray into Kubrick and Peter Sellers. Classic Sellers driven comedy.

(For the record, we at Owl and Bear don’t think it’s ever appropriate to say “An” before an “H” — except maybe when referring to An Horse. You wouldn’t say “an house,” or “an hat,” would you? It might not come naturally to speakers of the Queen’s English, but that’s just the way it is, so let’s consider the matter settled.)

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