Thursday, December 15, 2005

Digital mixtape: May 2005

Anton Karas, “Third Man Theme”: Trinity College, Melbourne University, 1982. A number of us were in love with Kris McKie. Kris was small, had short dark hair, an endearing way of saying her “r”s as almost-“w”s, and was from Coventry (ie, “Coventwy”), England. She was, in other words, from the mythical land of the Punk Rock explosion, and had some firstknowledge of the scene. The other particularly nice thing about Kris was the way she would walk around singing the theme from “The Third Man”, in a “doo-be-doo-be-doo, be-doo-be-doo” style. I wonder where she is now.

Marcos Valle, “Garra”: Brazilian music from the late 60s/early 70s is a recent obsession. This is a good example of why. Winter in Canberra serves to make the inherent sunniness of this music more profound.

Would-Be-Goods, “Le Crocodile”: girls singing in French has been a much older obsession. This, again, is another good example of why.

Emiliana Torrini, “Sunny Road”: I thought this might have been a guilty pleasure. Then SFJ gave her a good write-up in the New Yorker. It’s a sure sign of my own inadequacies that I have always been much more comfortable when things I latch on to get endorsed by reputable third parties.

Claudine Longet, “Love Is Blue”: not much I can add here. If the brief had been open ended I would have followed it up with the discofied “Love Is Still Blue” which may or may not have been recorded by Mr Mauriat himself. But we have only 80 minutes, and we must move on.

Paul Mauriat (or perhaps not), “Love Is Still Blue”: a disco-and-harpsichord interpretation of the above. Surely you can’t be serious.

Bobby Hughes Experience, “Season of the Witch”: a funky, electric-piano groove, based on a song that we have previously used in one of these mixes in a much different guise. This song must be endlessly adaptable, like the “Autumn Leaves” (or “Nature Boy”) of the rock’n’roll generation.

The Camberwell Now, “Working Nights”: prog rock rears its no-longer-ugly head. Is this the real thing, or is it just fantasy? (Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.) Or is it a crafty simulacrum of the Camberwell scene, updated to Now?

Sondre Lerche, “Two Way Monologue”: it was a toss-up between this and “On The Tower”. I think if I was doing this now I would have opted the other way. There is something timeless about Sondre Lerche, which is why it sits well in this particular place, between maybe-genuine-maybe-not psych-folk and the real thing.

Harpers Bizarre, “Witchi Tai To”: mmmm, lovely.

Bill Fay, “Be Not So Fearful”: if this was a hymn, I would be a regular church-goer. It covers similar sonic, and perhaps thematic, territory to Nilsson’s sublime “All I Think About Is You”. And it may even be as good. (Readers, that is a very big statement.)

Crosby, Stills and Nash, “Dark Star”: David Crosby did some lovely, although sometimes disturbing, minor-key work with the Byrds. He also got very fat. Here, in a minor key again, is another extremely tasteful piece of work, in a kind of jazzy, funky, smoooooth style. Break out the swizzle sticks.

Rättö Ja Lehtisalo, “Valonnopeus”: what drives me to say that this is the musical equivalent of an Aki Kaurismaki film?

Barrington Levy, “Murderer”, “Version”, “Tell Them Nah Ready”: otherwise known as Dub 101. (Not, I hasten to add, Dub For Dummies.) The song, the version, the dub. See how it all fits together. Or, rather, falls apart.

Arthur Russell, “Kiss Me Again”: and finally, my last most recent obsession (my next most recent being Popol Vuh), Arthur Russell. Different versions of his many different songs abound. This claims to be the version from “Disco Not Disco”. It appears to be identical to what is called the “Version” on the b-side of the 12-inch, although with a brief spoken intro. With Arthur Russell, who knows? What is indisputable is that David Byrne scratches his way through the 12 minutes-plus like an agitated madman/genius. I hate that until 2005 I had no idea that this existed. It is perfect in every way.