Thursday, July 11, 2013

Song of the day

"Hallogallo", by Neu!.

All roads led to this being a "song of the day". Well, two, anyway.

Road one: I was walking home from the bus stop in the brisk Canberra winter evening, with Stereolab's "Jenny Ondioline" coming through the headphones for warmth. My thoughts (though I should have been concentrating on the road I was crossing) wandered in the direction of how that one song might well be the essence of Stereolab: from Laetitia Sadier's crypto-Marxist lyrics, to Mary Hansen's gorgeous harmony vocals, to the propulsive motorik rhythm that drives the thing along for most of its 18 minutes. That brought me to the notion that "Jenny Ondioline" might be thought of as a remix of Neu!'s "Hallogallo" with added vocals. (The entire early career of Stereolab might well fall under that one umbrella, actually.) This thought was confirmed when I arrived at the four-minute coda, which, it then dawned on me, loosely approximates the tape loop / varispeed shenanigans that take place on side two of Neu!'s second album, "Neu! 2".

Road two: later that very same evening, while catching up on some episodes of "Portlandia", we came upon the one where the parents of the preschool kid (in which Fred Armisen, with his long grey hair, looks not unlike recent photos of Lee Ranaldo), at a meeting of parents, complain about the records that the preschool has available for their children's listening, which, after some fun but perhaps overly knowing references (eg later Clash vs early Clash), culminates in the general horror of everyone present that the preschool teacher has never heard of Neu!. (Ah; hipster comedy.)

So: "Hallogallo".