Lest we forget: Glenn Branca playing solo guitar in 1978, doing what he does
Beautiful colour film of London in 1927. For whatever reason, it reminds me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” (or, for some, Eliot’s and Ezra Pound’s “The Waste Land”), published five years earlier. The clip ends on the promenade in front of my medical school, St. Thomas’s, which I chose mostly for its view out over the Houses of Parliament.
The xx, “VCR”, Four Tet remix. OK, I’d forgotten that the Tinariwen remix kind of runs out of steam at the end, so here’s the “VCR” remix, which again showcases Hebden’s skill with breakbeats and tuned percussion, and which just goes from strength to strength. Uh, you’re welcome!
Tinariwen, “Tenere Taqhim Fossam”, Four Tet remix. A beautiful song, stripped down to put the focus on its insistent rhythm. Another incredible Four Tet remix.
Yellow Ostrich, “Whale”. Indie rock at its most precious, perhaps, but a ferociously beautiful song with an elegant structure. Totally satisfying.
Just watched Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in LARRY CROWNE, one of the most nauseating pieces of rom-com puffery I’ve ever seen. Every narrative turn involved a decision to be even more blandly inoffensive; every progression to the next stage of self-realization triggered a Tom Petty song. The most pukeworthy piece of pandering to the middle-aged I’ve ever encountered, it was like being served a gigantic cone of melting, oversweetened, overaerated commercial ice cream that rapidly deteriorated into a dripping, sticky mess. WHY does Hollywood believe so fervently that an appealing depiction of post-adolescent romance must be so fucking nutless? Not a drop of sweat or spit or blood or semen, just a bunch of witless cursteying and dosey-do’-ing. I should probably immediately re-watch the episode of GAME OF THRONES with the penis leeches to restore my faith in the essential humanity of humanity.
Cass McCombs, “County Line”. End of the day, end of the journey.
The Orb, “Toxygene” - Kris Needs’ Up for a Fortnight mix. God I love this record! My strongest association with it is driving way too fucking fast on the rush hour highways through Orlando, pumping this thing as loud as I could. I don’t usually like remixes that stray so far from the original, but this is great.
Aphex Twin, “On”. A song of pure texture, organized meticulously. I love when the rain comes in at about the 30 second point. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out if the song title was “On”, “One” or “On E”.
Joy Division, an early recording of “In a Lonely Place”; it seemed appropriate for the anniversary of Curtis’s suicide. The B-side for “Ceremony”, the first single they released when they became New Order, the song sounded so much like Joy Division, right down to Albrecht’s Curtis-cloned vocal, that I was sure it was Curtis singing for the longest time. The final New Order version is beautiful, though - I like it better than this demo, in part because Martin Hannett was involved. Hannett was far more important to Joy Division than he’s generally given credit for.
Eluvium, “Don’t Get Any Closer”. All the softness of deep fatigue.
Aphex Twin, “Cliffs”. Now opening my hands and letting something slip away, as I must.
Happy 65th to Brian Eno, probably the most important of my heroes. Here he is talking and playing his favourite records on NPR.