(I lied. I’m back. Tumblr provokes, in me, too much anxiety about digital clutter and my online popularity and other things I don’t really need to be spending time caring about, and I don’t understand their music posting rules, so I’ll keep it here until external forces dictate otherwise, which they certainly won’t.)
Hear it is, a collection of songs for early spring. Of course any mix containing an eight-minute Kitchens of Distinction song is intended primarily for myself, but if you’d like to hear it, click your choice of download or streaming. I was originally going to call it Hair and Hearing Loss or something like that, but once “New York Crown” became an obvious choice for lead-in track, I scoured the artwork of its parent album, Mel, for phrases, and found the synonymous EFFECTS OF AGEING among the words crowding the outline of the title guy’s head. So that made a neat substitute. And then because I love East River Pipe so much, I further promoted him to bookends. The rest:
1. East River Pipe – “New York Crown”
2. New Order – “All Day Long”
3. Aaliyah – “Rock The Boat”
4. Kraftwerk – “Computer Love”
5. Björk – “History of Touches”
6. Shabazz Palaces – “Motion Sickness”
7. Kitchens of Distinction – “Gone World Gone”
8. OMD – “VCL XI”
9. The Boo Radleys – “Thinking of Ways”
10. The Isley Brothers – “You Walk Your Way”
11. Cranes – “Jewel”
12. The Bats – “Mastery”
13. Don Covay – “Can’t Fight It Baby”
14. Disco Inferno – “Even The Sea Sides Against Us”
15. Basehead – “Play With Toys”
16. The Chameleons – “Home Is Where The Heart Is”
17. Little Anthony & The Imperials – “Over The Rainbow”
18. East River Pipe – “Three Ships”
Topics include undying love, breakups, loneliness, sexual positions, joy, defeat, dreams of other lives and worlds, the end of all things. The usual disclaimer applies, i.e. assume no autobiographical intention in any lyrical themes represented herein. Sequencing 18 unrelated songs is simply a process, much better than writing, of thinking about music and its great well of sounds. The seeds of this current process (#2, 4, 16) go back some 12-14 years, while most of the rest have made their mark on me since last summer.
1. Being every age you’ve ever been, simultaneously.
2-6. An inventory that’s been accumulating since long before you or I ever knew. A history of transcendent electronic sounds, perhaps. If you listen on Mixcloud, a great tremor will enter you when “Rock The Boat,” new millennium in repose, crossfades with “Computer Love,” the ur-melody of the 1980s. Both can be abstracted out of all musical texts which have ever existed or which will ever exist, I think.
7. Fell asleep to this long before I read the lyrics.
8-10. A kind of brightening. Thanks to Rockaliser for all the Isleys love.
11-12. Strum block.
14. Strum decay.
15. Lou Barlow? No, Michael Ivey. (My confusion would have been boring as long ago as Floundering.) Album’s denouement becomes prelude to another climactic symphony of washes and textures…
16-18. Exactly as intentional as you might suspect. Further listening: D’Angelo’s “Another Life.”
Expect another one before too long, because I ran out of space for Tori Amos’ “Jackie’s Strength” and Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” (crucial, to figure out ways to include super-popular and overplayed songs, a.k.a. ancient hits, on personal mixtapes); Clarence Carter’s “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” (a joyous ode to infidelity, and though it’s helped me through winter I’d rather anchor it to summer); and Cornershop’s “6 A.M. Jullandar Shere” (so enormous I’ll need to formulate a mix with it as the inciting thought, not an afterthought).