Jan 14, 2013 5:16PM

Ashley Smith x Cara Stricker in Brooklyn at Tame Impala: Shoot & Playlist

The model and photographer friends talk disco, dance music and road trip soundtracks.

It was an old case of being in the right place at the right time. Late last year, Oyster contributing photographer Cara Stricker and Texan model Ashley Smith (featured in issue #96) went to Tame Impala's concert in Brooklyn together and took some happy snaps after the show, and, from the looks of it, there must have been some magic in the air that night. Both being lovers of music new and old, the two also had an email conversation after Cara had returned to Australian shores about what they've recently discovered and their all-time favourites. 

Cara Stricker: Hey Ashley! What's going on with your music taste at the moment?

Ashley Smith: I've been getting into a lot of oldies and disco recently...

'I Wanna Be Your Lover' — La Bionda

'Heatwave' — Boogie Nights

Cara: Love the La Bionda video! I'm mesmerisd by 80s music videos: eras mixed with cut and paste visuals from different countries with green screen digital vibes. It makes me think of Doctor Who crossed with Gatekeeper — they sound like something that fell out of John Landis' Coming to America!

I also currently can't live without 'Waiting for a Train' by Flash and the Pan.

Ashley: I'm totally digging the video for Flash and the Pan's song. I like to pride myself on 80s pop culture but I must have missed Flash and the Pan somehow! The guy in the video looks like an American Serge Gainsbourg. Your email reminds me of one more of my favourite dance jams — 'I Think I Like It' by Fake Blood. Watch the video, it's freaking hilarious; two girls pretending they are the TV sales women with big fake white smiles. 

Cara: Strangely enticing. Funny that you included 'Heatwave' before — it was 42 degrees in Sydney last week! It was like being in an oven, and then nearly fainting after thinking a walk in the park was a good idea. Note to self: remember this when cold back in NYC. 
Ashley: It's definitely not summer over here in NYC, but maybe that's why I keep summer jams on my iPod. Some people eat lots of red meat in the winter to keep away from the winter depression, other listen to summer jams to keep the times alive! Here are two more songs that remind me of last summer...

'Make You Mine' — Best Coast

'Bang Bang Bang' — Mark Ronson & The Business Intl

Mark Ronson reminds me of being in Paris. I spent me summer there two years ago, spending days in the Tuileries garden and nights near Pigalle. Oh, and also 'It Ain't Gonna Save Me' by Jay Retard is a summer song for me. Jay Retard was a close friend of my best friend back in Austin before he passed away. So the song reminds me of senior year in high school. My best friend Caroline got a car and we would cruise around downtown yelling at hipsters as we passed by. We were so cool! 

Cara: It's the best to have his music to remind you of those times. I watched Mark Ronson play here the other night at an off-the-cuff set at a friend's bar, seemingly to provide the soundtrack to our romanticised lives? After his set, I went to the empty bar upstairs to have a wine over a candle propped up on the floor, sharing YouTube video clip moments of my friend's parents' psychedelic rock band, when Mark Ronson flew past, ripped off his top, paced up and down and ran back down. Hmnm... Not forgetting that one too quickly.
Ashley: Haha. What do you think of these?

'Moody' — ESG

'Freedom' — Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton

Cara: ESG's bongos are a perfect little addictive touch. Loving the country swag in 'Freedom'. I've been listening to a lot of music that makes me feel like I'm in the desert, on road trips. In an off kind of way, 'Freedom' is fitting... losing yourself to a dark midnight landscape. I realised this is from Tarantino's new film...

'State Trooper' — Bruce Springsteen (Trentemøller Edit)

Ashley: I'm glad you like the song 'Freedom'. You can always trust that a song is going to be good if it lands on Quentin Tarantino's soundtrack. The movie is every sense of BAD ASS, especially with an accompanying song from Rick Ross and James Brown!
Cara: Genius! 
Ashley: My favorite road trip song is 'Magic Carpet Ride' by Steppenwolf and of course 'Riders On The Storm' by The Doors is the ultimate desert road trip soundtrack. It's similar to the way Bruce Springsteen is singing in 'State Trooper', the echoing voices and occasional howling. Perfect for the midnight desert road trip.   

Cara: Jim's smoooooth voice filled our beach shack as kids. The wind would fly up through the floorboards and the house kind of swayed! 
Ashley: I also nerd out to Sugar Ray's 'Every Morning'. It reminds me of my freshmen year. That year I had a bad case of boy fever! I crushed on over 17 guys that year and Sugar Ray was really popular at the time, along with a lot of feel good dance music...

'Shoot 'Em Down' — Ghostland Observatory

'Ring My Bell' — Anita Ward

'Turn The Beat Around' — Gloria Estefan


'I Wanna Take You Out' — Part Time

Do you like to dance?
Cara: At discos on the beach, always! I watched Psychemagik a couple of nights ago on a manmade island, so here's an excuse to listen to Fleetwood Mac!

'Dreams (Crystal Vision Remix)' — Psychemagik

And let's throw in...

'Gee Up (Erol Alkan Extended Rework)' — Kindness

'Nightmares of the Bottom (LOL Boys Edit)' — Lil Wayne

Ashley: Don't want to even talk about your escapades on a manmade island because jealousy is seeping out of my every pore! Why didn't you invite me? That's right up my alley! Good song too! 
Cara: In that case here are a few good ones for you to listen to whilst watching afternoon sunsets...

'Since I Left You' — The Avalanches

'Brown Eyes (Maulongated Version)' — MAU vs Fleetwood Mac

'This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)' — Talking Heads

Ashley: I'm also a big fan of The Avalanches. If you haven't seen the video for 'Frontier Psychiatrist' go Google it now! And Talking Heads is a no-brainer for a good playlist!
Cara: And then you can wake up to...

'Forever Dolphin Love' — Connan Mockasin


Ashely: I've never heard of Conan Mockasin before, and I'm not sure if I like that particular song. It's strange because I normally like weird songs like this, and the video is definitely weird. It reminds me of my favorite band, Of Montreal, but something is just a not quite right. I use weird as a compliment BTW.
Cara: I find his off sense of rhythm kind of addictive. Have a look at his 'Faking Jazz Together' video directed by Fleur and Manu — super talented combinations.

I recently found this Tame Impala cover whilst singing 'That's All For Everyone' over and over again. I typed it into Google to find out who was stuck in my head. I think Fleetwood is on the mind.

Ashley: I find Tame Impala hard to include on a dance-y playlist. They play the type of music I generally like to listen to on my self-exploration days, during my playful walks in Central park on sunny days or while running on the treadmill. The drum beats in a few of their songs remind me of the rhythm of horse hooves, the perfect beat for running a mile.
Cara: Those kind of days make me think of Ken Nordine's Colors. I like seeing the world through 'Rosey' glasses...

Introduction: Ingrid Kesa
Interview: Cara Stricker and Ashley Smith
Photography: Cara Stricker (website, photo diary and blog)