Sunday, February 12, 2017

Since I Was A Young Boy, I've Wanted To Make Men's Clothes

The glorious Royal Crescent Mob with their complete and utter non-hit "Na Na Na" from their non-noticed album Spin The World (1989). Clearly one of the greatest non-meaningful songs of the non-alternative eighties. I remember many non-parties dancing to this in non-college, especially at non-parties with non-friends and and non-girflriends.

Na na na indeed.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hate A Sad Face On Your Lucky Day

On my birthday, here are the Replacements' singing "Birthday Gal," a song recorded during the Pleased To Meet Me (1987) sessions in late 1986 but, for some reason, ultimately left off the album. Finally released in 2008 as a bonus track.

So much deep melancholia in these chords and lyrics, it's hard to even articulate coherently....

Happy Birthday....

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Accelera Deck - Drifting Out

This is "Drifting Out" by Accelera Deck (often also known as Acceleradeck, one word) from their album Narcotic Beats (1998). This is basically a guy named Chris Jeely. I think he's still somewhere out there releasing material, now under the name Llarks. Here's a recent interview with him.

Monday, February 06, 2017

At Seventeen

This is for S. Who made me grow up. Seems weird to think of this song now, as an adult. It's a bit sophomoric, the mid-seventies high-school poetry Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter aesthetic distilled down to 4 minutes. But there's a strange allure to it, I'm not sure why. It's the deep breaths she takes in between each verse. It's the fact that I first heard it in a particular context. I was actually seventeen when I first heard it. As was S., I think. She lived with her mother in this strange house with shadows and corners and whispers. Upstairs her room had an eerie glow. I spent a lot of time in her room, working on my calculus homework. She had a weakness for getting high, as did I. We used to get skyscraper high, just lulled into oblivion and listening to music. She loved Bill Withers, Al Jarreau, Joni Mitchell, and Janice Ian. I was into Prince and Gary Numan. But I do remember this song, echoed out to infinity, played on a small cassette player in her room, close to midnight, ourselves tired and lying in her bed, and staring at the ceiling as the highs came down, our upper lips full of perspiration in the tropical night. When I said goodbye to her, it seems it was indeed for ever [sic]. Wherever you are these days, hope you're well. Actually I know where you are now, in San Francisco. Which is kinda appropriate. Sending you this message as a small gesture of .. something. Hope you're well.

Pollo Asado

This is for Dave. I miss you. I hope you're doing fine somewhere in the universe

We would listen to this from beginning to end.

"I would like a guacomole on my chimichanga..."
"Would you put some hot sauce on that for me...?"
"Could you make me some guacamole...?"
"Two lemonades and one medium iced tea..."


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

All Apologies

I can barely stay awake. Haven't slept in 36 hours. Am in Zurich? This is how I feel:

Stone In Focus

"Stone in Focus" is the vinyl & cassette-only track on Selected Ambient Works Volume II by Aphex Twin.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Love Is Stronger Than Death

It’s a bit of a cliché already to remark that 2016 was in some way a year of deaths. By which, people generally mean famous deaths. Yes, for pop music, there are the obvious ones: David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Paul Kantner, Maurice White, Merle Haggard, Prince Buster, Bernie Worrell, Alan Vega, Vanity, Scotty Moore, and David Mancuso. Let us also mention the ones who made crappy music but who also passed away: Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Leonard Cohen, Pete Burns, etc. I do not wish ill on them.

There were, of course, many other famous people who died in 2016: Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, John Glenn, Ed Mitchell, Mohammed Ali, Alan Rickman, Umberto Eco, George Martin, Gary Shandling, Alvin Toffler, Edward Albee, Fidel Castro, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher (the guy who played the chaplain on M.A.S.H.!)

But I also personally felt surrounded by death. My beloved cousin (and basically a sister to me), Shampa, unexpectedly died in February. This was the most devastating loss I've had in my life. It's still hard to process even after all these months. I'll never forget her.

A close friend Ben, died in July. A lovely academic colleague, Ann Johnson, died in December.

Mark Fisher, k-punk, died recently, took his own life. I did not know him but almost felt like I died, having voraciously read his blog in the early 2000s. Simon Reynolds has written a wonderful eulogy to him. He was only just a bit older than me.

As I get older, there will be more deaths, I am sure, in my life.

Perhaps it's time for more earnest emotion, and less esoteric rumination. It's time to not be afraid to express those things that make us live and love. So anyway, Matt Johnson wrote this song a long time ago. I never really liked it when it came out, thought it was a bit embarassing. But as I get older, I kind of appreciate its unabashed lack of pretension. Love is, indeed, stronger than death. We have to believe that sometimes, don't we?