I’d commented earlier to a friend upon being shocked at hearing the news of Mark E. Smith of the Fall’s passing that at least, living into 2018 and seeing the world’s truly fucked up global political events of 2017, that we could take solace knowing that he’d seen his query posited on 1982’s Hex Enduction Hour’s ‘Who Makes the Nazis?’ answered. Of course, you listen to the song, and you quickly get that he already knew this, and the question was rather rhetorical. Of course he did, he was maybe the greatest intellectual rock has ever seen. RIP.
Who makes the nazis? Who makes the nazis? I’ll tell ya who makes the nazis
All the Os Wino Spermo 29 year old Arse-licking hate old
This mix, in its original form, started as a mere concept to show the beauty of Pop music that is purposefully arty and outwardly beautiful; the type of stuff that the form has really sought to do on a few remarkable occasions (the 1966-1967 sunshine era, the mid-1980’s jangle period, and the early 90’s post-modern boom). It started when I noticed the remarkable similarity in a melodic motif in Chad & Jeremy’s ‘The Cruel War’ (an outtake from Before and After that is listed as being from Chad and Jill Steuart) and Sagittarius’ ‘Would You Like to Go’ from 1967 (from one of the great Pop lps ever made, Present Tense). From there it was just a very loose playlist, something I’d add to every time I heard something I thought highly artful, but poppy. Then, after a few listens, a bunch of lyrical references pointed me in the direction of day and night and a concept emerged, the most repurposed idea in all of Pop: that there are conflicting natures, and artists often represent them similarity. Hopeful happiness is painted with imagery towards light and darkness sitting in for depressive melancholia. What if the mix was a Pop journey through literal darkness, a night spent tossing and turning in bed listening to a still, quiet city or township outside in complete stillness, only connected, if at all, in the minds of those who have psychosis wandering about in insomnia-induced states. The playlist then becomes where the beauty in Pop music comes from: the deep black nights of the mind and those that have optimism enough to provide the lamplight with which to brighten the shadowy recesses. At a few points you’re even able to see the passage of time in references to the slow moving alarm clock numbers. It’s then, in equal measure, the most depressive and optimistic playlist I’ve ever made. Or, in the words of a song selected here, ‘For I have the warmth of the sun/within me at night’. Continue reading →
A funny joke of a pun started the idea behind this months mix—one that any hard rock fan who counted the Who over Led Zeppelin in their formative years has probably thought at least a hundred times. With dozens of friends over the years, not to mention classic rock radio DJ’s, insisting that Led Zeppelin, and not the Who, where the best English rockin’ band featuring a gonzo drummer, an incredibly gifted and underrated bass player and, and a cocksure front man with golden locks to his shoulders (oddly enough these aren’t the only two that fit that description!) it was nearly enough to drive us Who fanatics insane. I’ve alway remained steadfast that the Who are where it’s at—in many ways Led Zeppelin to me were birthed in an attempt for Jimmy Page to have his own Who to himself. Thus, via the very definition of ‘derivative’, Led Zeppelin were always a slightly more sluggish, prodding, less cerebral Who. In effect, a Who for the bar crowd who were thicker than any Porter on the menu. Continue reading →
Today, Thursday, May 11th Wonders in the Dark will be hosting a 16 day Allan Fish Online Film Festival (Allan Fish OFF), of which I am a part of. The rules are simple; each day will see a new chairman host the festivities and select a film that is available to be watched by anyone, online for free from a popular streaming site (youtube, vimeo, dailymotion, etc.). The host for that day will decide how the film they chose will be presented; an essay, a sparse teaser introduction, or ‘other’ (the creativity seen on the blogosphere for film commentary knows no bounds as we all know). Thus, conceivably the film festival could be nearly real; people anywhere on the globe watching the same film, at roundabout the same time. It’s named in honor of our dear friend and film scholar Allan Fish, whose birthday was May 11th, and will be an annual event from this day forward. He found so many of his treasured Obscuro’s doing just what we’re setting out to do with this Festival, so it seemed the most fitting way to remember him. More information on the festival can be found here, with the first post here.
From here on out I’m attempting to create a poster for every CIFF poster competition that runs during late winter/early spring. Since I just received the notice for the 2017 (due sometime in May) I thought it’d be interesting to post the one I did, and submitted, last year. I didn’t win, but I made it to the final rounds, before ultimately loosing to an Alfred Hitchcock inspired design. Continue reading →
With this month being the triple themed smorgasbord that it was (Valentines Day, Black History Month, and LGBT Awareness Month), I tried to come up with an idea that used all these in some way, and still flow in a coherent, seamless way. Thus, I envisioned a dance mix (what could be as romantic on a Valentine’s Day?) with a more or less continuous heavy bass line running through it using African American artists predominately, but also many overtly political ones of several different nationalities as well (of mixed gender and sexuality throughout). Featuring a wide ranging mélange of genres (from raunchy hip hop to feminist post-punk dub to 70’s English prog rock to suedehead Mod), I wanted to show how all this is cut from the same cloth. In a world like ours currently, dance floor unity Trumps all (and many of the songs feature appropriate lyrical content for anyone interested in reading between the lines). So to all my soul brothers and sisters, I present my February mix: Get Higher Baby and Never Come Down.
Over the last two days I’ve posted my favorite 50 records of this past year in a two part rundown over at this blogs sister site, Wonders in the Dark. Part 1 can be read here, while Part 2 can be seen here. Plus, as a bonus, the first post (50-26) also contains a rundown of what I considered the most essential compilations/reissues from last year. Happy listening.