Noveller: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Noveller: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

It’s a hot June day in Brooklyn and Sarah Lipstate is clad in all black — black boots, black skinny jeans and a black leather jacket. Lipstate, otherwise known as Noveller, has just driven in from Philadelphia, where she opened up for the Mary Timothy-fronted alt rock band Helium, and, despite the conditions, appears to be impressively cool.

On top of touring with the band, the guitarist/composer/filmmaker is also scoring a documentary and making music of her own. Lucky for us, she made some time to stop by the TIDAL artist lounge at Northside Festival to talk touring and opening for Iggy Pop, why she started playing guitar and the five albums that changed her life.

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Sonic Youth, Goo

[Goo] definitely goes back to high school era for me, but Sonic Youth was a huge inspiration. Basically why I started playing guitar. First album of theirs that was kind of like the gateway album was Goo. That album just had a huge impact on me. It was kind of unique in that they also released a VHS tape with music videos for every song off the album, so I had that, too. There were so many ways to experience it, just immerse myself in it. I just spent a ton of time doing that.

The Stooges, Funhouse and Raw Power

Those albums just had a huge impact on me, and last year I had the honor of touring and opening for Iggy Pop. After the tour, I actually found a photo of me. I’m nineteen years old, and I’m wearing an Iggy Pop T-shirt. It has his face on it.

[I] really appreciate how much that experience [touring] meant to me. [I want to] just honor what it would have meant to me as a kid who had just started playing guitar, and had no idea that my life would lead me down this path to being a full-time musician.

Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense

I had the DVD of Stop Making Sense and also ended up getting the vinyl release of that. I could listen to the album, but I could also watch the DVD and just experience it as this live performance. That was just so impactful, visually and sonically; it just made you appreciate what a weirdo David Byrne is.

I think that just helped tweak my brain to think about things from unusual perspectives, how I wanted to approach performance and presentation. I thought Tina Weymouth was so cool, even though she played bass and I was really interested in playing guitar. I just really watched the way that she performed and carried herself on stage.

Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets

Here Come the Warm Jets just blew my mind. I love everything about that album. If I had to pick, I love his ambient records as well, but I would say that that period of time, the pop music really had a huge impact on me. I was still a teenager and still very new to being a musician and playing guitar.

Velvet Underground and Nico, Velvet Underground & Nico

[The Velvet Underground & Nico] just was … Well, the Velvet Underground in general, Nico in general. That album, I loved. I had the poster hanging in my dorm room. Can’t go wrong with those.

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