Rishi Dhir’s Top 10 Musical Influences

Back in April I reviewed Elephant Stone’s self-titled second album ahead of their show supporting The Black Angels at The Vic. Next week they’re coming back to Chicago to play at Beat Kitchen (a much more intimate venue). Lead singer and sitar player Rishi Dhir was kind enough to put together this list of his top ten musical influences. If you’re already a fan, this might explain some cues or familiarities you may have heard. If you’re new to Elephant Stone, consider this list a jumping off point that gives you an idea what you might expect to hear from the band.
What can be said about the Beatles that hasn’t already been said? Best band ever. My daughter is really diggin’ It’s Only a Northern Song these days.

Teenage Fanbclub
Heard Bandwagonesque when I was 13 yrs old. At that age you’re really looking for something to connect with, and this band became that for me. The best/most consistent pop band of the past 20+ yrs. My pick is Broken (from the B-side of the Ain’t that Enough single)


The Who
My bro made me a mix tape of the Who’s Meaty Big and Bouncy and the Best of the Doors. “My Generation” blew my 8 yr old mind:

Marvin Gaye/James Jamersons

I’m a huge motown fan, and worship their studio bassist de choix, James Jamerson. Anyhow, What’s Going On is a brilliant album and a killer tune (with an amazing bass line):

The Jam

The Jam helped connect the dots between the Kinks and punk rock. I went thru an intense Mod phase (parka, lambretta and everything) when I discovered these guys. Doesn’t get more mod then this:

The Las

When I first heard this album I thought it was an undiscovered gem form the 60s. Beautiful sounds, amazing songs: (Live in Montreal on Musique Plus!)

The Zombies

Odyssey and Oralce is a classic. They sounded like no other band on this record. Was pretty obsessed with this back in 2003.
The Pretty Things
Discovered SF Sorrow around the same time as Odyssey and Oracle. My first real trip into “conceptual” rock. Amazing psych. (check out the break-beat section in the middle… sounds like the Beastie Boys!)

Big Star

If there wasn’t Big Star, then there wouldn’t be REM, Teenage Fanclub, the Replacements, Elliot Smith… well, they would exist, but wouldn’t be as great as they are.

Ananda Shankar

Nephew of Pt. Ravi Shankar (RIP). He set his own path by creating the first truly “fusion” record. Rumor has it Jimi Hendrix wanted to produce it! This is the first song I heard form him. Classic.

The Small Faces

Start off as 60s teeny boppers, then pure mod, then heavy psych. Steve Marriott (RIP), what a voice.

Thanks for the list, Rishi! Some great bands for sure. And Rishi didn’t include one artist that I thought he might, so I’m going to go ahead and include this video of Beck featuring Rishi on sitar.

Elephant Stone kicks off a short run of dates on August 8th. You can find all the dates and ticket info on their website. August 16th, they will be at Beat Kitchen in Chicago with Coffin Ships. Tickets are $12 and the show, which is 17+, starts at 9pm. You can purchase tickets for that show here.