It Takes a Little Time

  • Alan Hawkshaw & Brian BennettMon Amour (Synthesizer & Percussion, 1974)
  • VelcroOne Day (One Day, 2011)

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.

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Category: Blues, Electronic, Exotica, Folk

Imaginary soundtrack for a Wes Anderson movie.

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.

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Category: Folk, Pop, Rock

Dummy Line

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 BunyanDiamond Day
(Just Another Diamond Day)

3. John Fahey In Christ There Is No East Or West
(The Legend Of Blind Joe Death)

4. Matthew YoungDummy Line
(Traveller’s Advisory)

5. Matthew Larkin CassellIn My Life

6. Tony WilsonI Can’t Leave it Alone
(I Like Your Style)

7. Nino Nardini & Roger RogerTropical
(Jungle Obsession)

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Category: Blues, Exotica, Experimental, Folk

The excitement of getting a room with a minibar

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.

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Category: Bedroom playlist, Folk, Psychedelic

Hello Automn!

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”

 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  

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Category: Folk, Motel de Moka

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down. [1]

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) [2]

O long-silent Sybil,
you of the winged dreams,
Speak out from your temple of light
as the serious constellations
with Greek names
still stare down on us
as a lighthouse moves its megaphone
over the sea
Speak out and shine upon us
the sea-light of Greece
the diamond light of Greece

Far-seeing Sybil, forever hidden,
Come out of your cave at last
And speak to us in the poet's voice
the voice of the fourth person singular
the voice of the inscrutable future
the voice of the people mixed
with a wild soft laughter--
And give us new dreams to dream,
Give us new myths to live by! [3]

So our princes who have lost their principalities after many years’ of possession shouldn’t blame their loss on fortuna. The real culprit is their own indolence, going through quiet times with no thought of the possibility of change (it’s a common human fault, failing to prepare for tempests unless one is actually in one!). And when eventually bad times did come, they thought of •flight rather than •self-defence, hoping that the people, upset by conquerors’ insolence, would recall them. This course of action may be all right when there’s no alternative, but it is not all right to neglect alternatives and choose this one; it amounts to voluntarily falling because you think that in due course someone will pick you up. If you do get rescued (and you probably won’t), that won’t make you secure; the only rescue that is really helpful to you is the one performed by you, the one that depends on yourself and your virtù. [4]