Sunday, August 01, 2010

Listening Wind

Today's soundtrack was brought to you -- well, me -- by Sasha Frere-Jones.

First we have "On The Corner", by Miles Davis. This is an album I cannot listen to without thinking that  Brian Eno and David Byrne must have been listening to it, either separately or together, while planning the strategies that became "Remain In Light".

Then it's "Cupid & Psyche '85", by Scritti Politti, an album I don't, in any sense, "need" to hear. But it can't hurt to do the actual listening thing every once in a while.

And "You Are In My System", by The System. A Robert Palmer-free zone.

And "The Golden Age Of Wireless", by Thomas Dolby. Here is another record that I have no recollection of ever having owned in any form, and yet upon hearing it for the first time in what must be decades every note, every shimmering sonic inflection, comes flooding back. I probably acquired a tape of it from Roger and thrashed it for a while until it got stuck in the machine and snapped. Cassettes were like that. Roger was a big Thomas Dolby fan. (He was also a big Martha and the Muffins fan, which I could less understand, but to each his own.) There are so many perfect songs on this album that it seems ridiculous that I could have lived my life without its presence, however fleeting, for so long. The song I find most affecting in 2010 is "Airwaves". Even though Trevor Horn had nothing to do with this record he is, in a very real sense, all over it.

Finishing off with "I Am Not Willing", by Moby Grape, which I have clung onto, in a kind of gentle desperation, ever since I first heard it, courtesy Art Decade, a couple of years or so ago. Not, of course, to be confused with its opposite, "Willin'", by Little Feat. Although they do make the perfect couple.