- Alan Hawkshaw & Brian Bennett – Mon Amour (Synthesizer & Percussion, 1974)
I’m not sorry for the absence, because i’ve learned so much in that time. I’ve seen lizards, concrete and blue water. I’ve eaten my weight in chilli many times over.
Here’s a playlist dotted with casually sincere sounds and remarks. Hawkshaw & Bennett “Lords of Library music”, Velcro, a charming and highly adequate Melbournian, Madcliff & Brunelle with their forgotten gems of late 20th century Americana.
“Hello Beach Girls” is in there for good measure. Enjoy whatever weather you’re given, overcast days usually make for better photographs.
Photo still: Hotel Chevalier
Wes Anderson’s long withstanding obsession with mellow, baroque pop and british invasion bands is fascinating to me. I keep uncovering my new, old favorite song every time I see one of his movies. I even have a playlist dedicated to his films, filled with songs and artists I discovered thanks to him and a few more songs that I think would fit in his next hypothetical movie. I’ve no idea what his next movie will be about but I’ve been thinking that his mostly muted, awkward characters would develop grandly in a fast-paced environment. It could be an interesting contrast. How about a movie about a speed racer? Or better yet, a road movie? A film about the life of a motorcycle drifter and his dreams of finding someone and settling down. Keep that thought while listening to this playlist. Hope you enjoy.
It seems film directors are returning to the truths all pop music devotees have long tattoed to their heart: the collision of medium and man matters not, if it don’t sound good. In a recurring series tracing the links between movies and the pop music scores to which they owe so much, we’ll look at Wes Anderson’s ultra-stylized The Royal Tenenbaums and its mastery of the perfect pop music score. Film and cinema. Consider it a two-fer and settle in nice and close.
Pop culture fans tend to be self-mythologizers, building an odd nest out of the twigs and scraps of the movies and albums around them and claiming a place beyond themselves from the miasma that evolves. We force the arts into defining elements of ourselves, and copy and paste the way we might live up to them. Wes Anderson’s film is a masterwork of just this self-mythologizing. The grandiose characters—part cartoon-script and part Shakesperean tragedy—, the exaggerated costumes—from Mr. Sherman’s almost neon-blue jacket to Chas’s funereal black Adidas jumpsuit—and even Anderson’s Hitchcockian auteurism and its use of the same actors in widely-divergent roles links each movie to a larger awareness than any single film can lay claim to. Hints are given and fingers are pointed, but the links are there for the audience to follow at their choosing. Anderson rubs things smooth with his hyperstylized sets and costumes, but ultimately the film depends on pop music to connect itself to a world beyond its own colorful walls, and thus to blend the myth with the movie until there’s no longer any differentiating between the two.
- A kiss after supper: The Royal Tenenbaums by Derek Miller.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Today’s list is nostalgic, and includes a track by John Fahey (who I initially discovered on this very website). It’s slightly warped playlist to listen to on a sunday drive. Just like the pumpkins in the photo, it’s earthy and organic, but in a slightly bent and malformed way. Folky, country, electronic and exotic. A few of these original pressings fetch a mighty dollar online, so enjoy the rips.
1. John Sangster - Sunrise
(Australia And All That Jazz Vol.1)
2. Vashti Bunyan – Diamond Day
(Just Another Diamond Day)
3. John Fahey - In Christ There Is No East Or West
(The Legend Of Blind Joe Death)
4. Matthew Young - Dummy Line
5. Matthew Larkin Cassell – In My Life
6. Tony Wilson – I Can’t Leave it Alone
(I Like Your Style)
7. Nino Nardini & Roger Roger – Tropical
Image: Creator’s Inn.
“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. “
- Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex.
Look at me, all grown up and still pretty naïve. I already know much of the things that I like and those I don’t. I feel both happy and sad most of the time and I don’t really know what that means or what to do with it. There was a time where I devoted most of my energy trying to decode it. Now happiness and sadness reveal themselves as emotions that can’t really be narrowed down into simple words. For all I know they might be the same thing.
This playlist is an exploration of sorts of the colliding hues of happines and sadness. Debased by a feeling that these might just be the last days of summer. Hazy, laidback and breezy but wistful and yearning at the same time. They don’t realize that when the end of the night comes and you say goodbye you’ll truly mean it, but we’re all having fun so why ruin it with drunken ruminations. Take your picture and keep on dancing. The sun will keep on rising with or without you.
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper, “October’s Party”
- The Leisure Society-Are We Happy?
The Sleeper (Willkommen, 2009)
- The Coral-Cobwebs
Roots & Echoes (Deltasonic, 2007)
- Ambulance Ltd-Heavy Lifting
LP (TVT, 2004)
- The Decemberists-Architect
The Hazards of Love (Rough Trade, 2009)
- Super Furry Animals-Hello Sunshine
Phamtom Power (Beggars Banquet, 2003)
- The Zutons-Not a Lot to Do
Who Killed…The Zutons (Epic, 2004)
October is my favourite month of the year: It’s my birthday and too of the Kid A, Thom Yorke, John Lennon, Groucho Marx and many others. In where I live the autumn is a second part of spring: the sky is allways in a perfect blue, doesn’t matter if are at 10:00 am or 5:00 p.m. There can be nothing better to get out and walk, the beads of sweat now, are breaths of wind.
This playlist works for see those lazy sunsets, when the night appears in slow motion.
Illustration: Charley Harper