"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no
small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"
This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.
C: a song from a soundtrack
I don’t listen to soundtracks that often, as much as I love them in the contexts of movies, TV, etc. I am even slightly ashamed of how well-disposed I feel towards a show or movie if I recognize a song I like on the soundtrack (for example, The Middleman is a wonderful, wonderful show anyway, but I felt an extra little surge of affection for it when they had Ladytron’s “Ghosts” playing in the protagonist’s apartment). When I do listen to soundtrack separate from the visuals, they tend to be scores instead; I’m more likely to grab a couple of songs I like and don’t have elsewhere from a compiled soundtrack. On the latter note, I really, really like the score for The Fountain (by Clint Mansell, done with the Kronos Quartet and Mogwai); beautiful movie, beautiful score. I’ll pick the second last track, the most Mogwai-ish of them, I suppose: "Death Is the Road to Awe"
L: an instrumental song
I listen to plenty of instrumental or primarily-instrumental bands, but for a question like this I’d rather pick an instrumental song from a band that usually uses vocals. And not an intro or little interlude or a remix or a reprise or anything, an instrumental that’s a fully satisfying song all on its own. A little while back I reblogged Teenage Fanclub’s “Is This Music?,” which is right up there in that category for me, but this time I’ll pick the Beta Band’s layered, slow-growing "B+A" (I don’t think the wordless vocals near the end disqualify it); striking enough that after I bought The Three EPs there was a good stretch where it was my favourite Beta Band song and it’s still top ten, maybe top five.
V: a non-english song
Last time I was asked this, for OWOB, I immediately went to Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, and they’re incredible. That’s also a band I have some albums by and like in general; this time my head went in an entirely different direction. I haven’t had the time to do anything with the Singles Jukebox recently, but my years there (with Stylus and after) has been so valuable to me in terms of exposing me to things I wouldn’t have heard otherwise. I’m tempted to nominate m-flo ft. 2NE1’s “(She’s So) Outta Control,” which is just such an amazing, world-devouring song. But as you can tell from the title, there’s some English in there. Instead I’ll go with a song that I believe I heard via SJ head honcho Edward O’s old let’s-review-various-european-charts projects, which I was thrilled to be part of; I don’t remember which country Sel’s "Tik" was from, but I’ve been listening to it ever since.
X: a cover
My first thought was Kid606’s lovely, cloudy rendering of New Order’s “Temptation,” but I can’t find a link (and could hardly believe it myself when I stumbled over the MP3, but I checked and it’s real). Then I thought I’d mention the last track of the kid’s ridiculous The Action Packed Mentalist Brings You the Fucking Jams album, an even-more ridiculous version of Radiohead’s “Creep” titled “This Is Not My Statement” that fucks around with the song via synthesized zaps and a sad male choir before bulldozing the “I don’t belong here” refrain into the fucking ground for around ten minutes. But the version on YouTube cuts out just as the track gets to the good bit (Wikipedia agrees that the song is that short, but I’ve got a 13-minute version on my computer that disagrees). It’s a shame, in very different ways, that I can’t share either with you. Instead, please enjoy this excellent version of New Order’s "Ceremony" by Meishi Smile.
“Map Ref 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W” – Wire
Interrupting my train of thought
Lines of longitude and latitude
Define and refine my altitude
The curtain’s undrawn
Harness fitted, no escape
Common and peaceful, duck, flat, lowland
Landscape, canal, canard, water coloured