Yesterday I threw a ton of music onto my computer - mostly older stuff that I haven't heard in a while. I couldn't figure out where to start so I just let it 'shuffle'. I know that posts like these are a bore - but I wrote it and I never ever update this damn thing (that no one reads) - so what the hey. I will be changing this later in the day because I know I cannot write and revision is king.
Female Trouble - Bootsy Collins
Ah what a great and noble song. Its relentlessly dirty and I wondered if it has anything to do with the movie. I hope so. It does sound like the gayest of all songs. Like the ‘down low’ anthem. Featuring the line “You know they call me the sugar crook”. Undeniable. Also featuring a great synth part - And - “I can only do it with the window open - Let the sunlight in”. Love this track.
Seeing Other People - Belle and Sebastian
Really sweet song about mistaken love - has all the willful confusion of the young. The ‘singer’ has a boyfriend (maybe it was just an experimental weekend) and is not so gay for him anymore. I also love the arrangements on this record. Its loose and not stodgy. Always reminds me of a forgotten Peanuts soundtrack. Something in the 60’s called We're All Fucking, Charlie Brown. But the real Peanuts were never this cool and we now know Charlie Brown was just a drag. Not sure how I took him as my role model. I always self identified and more of a Pigpen.
Too Much Sorrow - The Greenhornes
I like the 'horror house' school of music. I like the dark smoky atmosphere of this. I will embrace the singers tragic vision as he stares through the miasma of the darkened disheveled post party motel room. First heard this band for this song. Its revival music but beautifully done. “Well come on! Wanna go down to the riverside wanna take one last look / finally close my eyes...” says the broken voice of reason. I'm in.
Folsom Prison Blues (Live) - Johnny Cash
Not good enough artist to even comment on this track. Soul music at its best - it's a perfectly written song. It connects with the crowd. You've heard it. Its spare and simple as a clean new wooden boat. His voice is a fighter's: Lean stripped back and proud. What a fucking man he was.
Computer World - Kraftwerk
Every song on this record is a commercial to sell something you are not sure the band likes too much. It’s an eighties vision of our era and its so good. Never deny the power of a great arrangement. “Business Numbers Money People” Man the chorus is such a pay off. The indifference of the corporate face is so beautiful. Like an A-Bomb, or an abandoned monument. You are there in your fuck you suit at Mercedes Benz with your powerpoint presentation feeding the naked parasitic god. I am embarrassed, actually how many times I have listened to this track.
Minneapolis - Lucinda Williams
She sings this one like someone reporting an accident - or someone long dead. Such an odd but beautiful song. You never know until the end that what really has frozen her is her own rage. God she does it so well. She ends a beautiful description of her hotel room with “Shaking and trembling on the clean white linen - slivers of starlight danced across the ceiling” Its a song that feels so true its almost hard to hear - but the pedal steel player saves it - bringing the heavens down to us in our dirt.
Leucippe - Rodolphe Kuffer
Don’t know where to find this guys music - I would buy more if I could. This track is like a sculpture made out of the paper left after a parade. It is as if all the lines and near words on a jackson Pollock painting became self aware and started talking to you in a language you never heard before. I love how the ‘one’ appears and disappears like a rope being dragged in the surf far behind a huge ship. Its a bunch of noise but its always so beautiful. I have only found one other track by him - can’t wait for more.
To Turn You On - Roxy Music
I know so little about this album - beyond the hit. I love them but my knowledge is actually limited. Brian is such a gifted man and seems to want us all to live in a beautiful 70’s movie. Its his revenge against the world. He's in a white suit and she's in a white chiffon dress and a coat made out of white foxes. Right? A cocaine hangover and a bucket of champagne. And the clincher is (as always) the absolute sadness of his voice. He always sounds like someone whose future has run away. In his voice he's always holding the bag for an empty handed woman and a hollow feeling.
Elevation - Television
Its odd. I go back and forth about Verlaine’s voice but last night it was clear as a bell. The lyrics of this one are the party I’m not invited to - and I kinda know what its about and I kinda don’t care - but he’s drowning I think. Mostly I just marvel at the perfect arrangement and the perfect guitar playing. Come on. It all jut sounds so great. I then listened to the rest of the album.
The Part You Throw Away - Tom Waits
Here is a song I wish I could have written. Lyrics: “All of your letters burned up in the fire / time is just memory mixed with desire / thats not the road it is only the map / I say gone just like matches for closed down cabarets / in a Portuguese saloon the flies circling around the room / you’ll soon forget the tune that you play / Cause that is the part you throw away”. Its a song on guitar with the usual stumbling percussion and a clarinet that floats on the track like a confused hostage. Honestly its a testament to a great songwriter when they can slather ‘style’ both inside the song and out and after a while you forget it all - and just hear the song. I love everything on ‘Blood Money’ though sometimes his voice inspires uhm fatigue.
Planet Claire - B52’s
When I was a kid this record was a pretty big deal - and though I haven’t heard this track in years it dates pretty well - It’s as good as naive retro future spy music can get - and I have to say there is a lot of room in my life for really fun dance music like this. Because its friendly and funny. I hate the music that makes people in the room mean. (mind you if I ever hear “Love Shack” one more time in my life I will get mean.) “Some say she’s from Mars / or one of the seven stars / shining down at 3:30 in the morning / BUT SHE ISN’T!” It used to be one of my favorites moments ever. Ha my eighties past. We were on the dance floor almost every fucking night. It is odd to me how few bands like this I have seen over the years. This reminds me strangely that I must get hold of ‘Remain In Light” or “Fear Of Music” by Talking Heads...