1. Orange Juice | Lean Period
The alternative to feeling Anxiety about being inactive or creatively barren is to romanticize it into a kind of bohemian Nonchalance. Maybe the lyrics aren’t referring to this at all but when I hear Lean Period I think of dry spells that are in disguise actually precursors to an ultimate artistic implosion, and the gradual dissolution of one’s individuality. I’m also broke, that factors into it. The perky beat and goofy, dreamy Morrissey-with-a-cold vocals revel in all of this, like Weird Al crooning unempathetically about Constipation or wanting to die, or Christian Bale butchering people to Huey Lewis and the News (whose instrumental Slammin’ was this close to making this playlist.)
2. High On Fire | Rumors Of War
One of my favorite Metal bands, off their best album… Matt Pike’s vocals are beautiful and this song has a sort of a fun Motörhead thing going on… The drums make me wish I had a motorcycle. I think it would be awesome to see this band live and was planning to catch them on their tour in August but I guess Matt Pike is in rehab... SPIT IN THEIR EVIL EYES.
3. The-Dream | Rockin’ That Shit
Sort of cheating here because this is 1 of 10 songs that I’m into now, but I’ve also been obsessed with it since I first heard it three years ago. This is the most romantic-sounding song I can think of…The-Dream is fucking incredible, and Love vs. Money is in my top 5 albums of all time... I just turned it on only to give me incentive for what to write, and I got goosebumps. Even when I listen to this song at 9 in the morning it makes me feel drunk and heartsick. 1977 is kind of like the antithesis to this album, it’s great but so depressing. I don’t know why anyone would listen to that goofy R. Kelly shit when you can listen to The-Dream.
4. Mort Garson | Plantasia
I just finished reading Alan Moore’s ’83-‘87 run on Saga Of The Swamp Thing. Plantasia was supposedly especially composed to aid plant growth and increase “seed yield” (verified by Dr. T.C. Singh of Annamalai University) and one of the many cool twists for which Alan Moore is responsible **SPOILER ALERT** is Alec Holland/The Swamp Thing’s “unearthing” that he’s not in fact the scientist Alec Holland at all anymore, but that the swamp into which he was exploded actually consumed his consciousness and Swamp Thing was never Human but always a plant. This is understandably a real blow at first, but gradually Swamp Thing discovers the apparently Limitless Possibilities (very cleverly and impressively articulated/revealed in Moore’s run) and he begins to embrace this power in very satisfying, environmentally conscious ways. This song sounds very triumphant, like all that.
5. Deadsy | Sleepy Hollow (feat. Jonathan Davis)
I just discovered Deadsy a few weeks ago and, like KoЯn, I’ve found that I can listen to them just about any time (Jonathan Davis guests on this track which only amplifies the Non-Time-Sensitivity of its Listenability). They’re sort of like a sludgier, synthier Orgy, I guess cuz the vocals sound similar. This song is one of their most patient and Sludgy and Spooky. They named it Sleepy Hollow.
6. Arthur Russell | This Time Dad You’re Wrong
I love everything Arthur Russell has ever done, which means I love his Folk stuff, too. I’m not into a whole lot of Folk in general which was why I was so delighted to love Love Is Overtaking Me. This one sounds like it’s sung by someone who has things way more figured out than I do. The way he sings it blows my mind; I’ve never heard someone sound like this, like they know exactly what they’re doing with their voice without it being a self-satisfied display of Folky Faux-Earnestness. For whatever reason, he sounds Humble, even though he’s telling off his dad. And he knows that he’s right about what he’s saying.
7. SpaceGhostPurpp | Suck A Dick 2012 After Party
SpaceGhostPurpp is typically Suicide Rap but I think this is one of his angrier tracks. All of it is super Dark and textured and brooding. The orgasm samples aren’t sexy in the same way that the ominous and unmitigated Voyeurism in Enter The Void isn’t sexy. Sex is sinister and aggressive in this song, like Vincent Gallo on Chloe Sevigny but not in a Misogynist way because he wants Life in general to suck a dick. And this song is good to play when you’re going through your Facebook feed and feeling angsty about all these assholes talking about what their weekends hold or Instagramming their food and then you feel stupid for feeling that angst, because just unfriend them, moron.
8. Bergman Rock | Help The Band
Bergman Rock is the English language alter ego of the Swedish indie band bob hund. Another song I’ve liked for years but right now at this moment is no exception. This was on a Swedish indie rock sampler I found in a dollar bin at Mystery Train in Amherst, MA. In college, I would listen to this song every day before class; it imparted to me this new impression that all musicians produce Music as a purely benevolent act. I eschewed thoughts of the Vanity evident in artists, and thought of all Music, even music I didn’t like, as a gift. I guess if a song sounds uplifting enough, like this one, you can buy into these kinds of notions for a spell.
9. Colourbox | The Moon Is Blue
Colourbox had a really badass theme that was meant to be used in the 1986 Soccer World Cup, but was rejected. Their music is so emotional, even the funny little spastic instrumentals, and the first listen of this song sounds maybe a little like Doo Wop or something, and I hate Doo Wop. But listen again and again and the way they sample the vocals over themselves and pace the whole thing… It’s so Cinematic and decisive. I’m writing a screenplay around the Climax and if I died heartbroken in a car crash in slow motion I’d want this on (at regular speed). Say You is a similar track and does similar things to me.
10. Ministry | Lay Lady Lay (Bob Dylan Cover)
Again, I don’t listen to a lot of Folk Music and additionally I have a real aversion to Bob Dylan… Perhaps just his voice. I guess the specific memory attached to this song now is from when I listened to it every day riding the bus in India and gawking at the tremendously hustling & bustling, hot & stinky Kolkatan streets. Skinny Puppy is my favorite band of all time, but Ministry did right by the Industrial genre with The Land Of Rape And Honey and this cover (off Filth Pig).
+11. From Bubblegum To Sky | Shaboom They Said
I was home-schooled for 7th grade, and around that time started making tapes off the radio, mostly from one of the college stations in range. I became obsessed with this one song I had recorded, but had no clue who sang it. For about 6 months after that, I would call the station between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for their RECORD HOSPITAL block (which provided most of the content for my tapes) and I would play portions of the song into the receiver to whichever patient DJ was there…I would wait until their time slot was over, then call again to ask someone else. So this went on for quite some time, and the tape began to get warped, and I was scared I would lose the song, until finally I reached someone (his name was Adam) who recognized it. He gave me the name of the song and the band that played it, and on one of the following days my mom drove me into Boston to a Newbury Comics who said they had the album. Definitely my most exciting purchase, a memory rivaled only by that of the purchase of my first Skinny Puppy album, Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse. It’s hard to hear this song in any time that isn’t summer; it’s my Eternal Summer anthem. There’s a dance that goes with it.