Original Format: cassette
Year: 1991

Full title: The Sound of Smoke and Mirrors: Radio Venus Vol. 3

Liner Notes:

SMOKE

The scientists at Operation MOFO began to panic as the mysterious transmissions continued. All their strivings to reach the truth were futile; as the evidence mounted, their confusion only multiplied. Attempts to track the signals back to their point of origin pointed to an increasing number of random locations throughout the galaxy. Like figures in a hall of mirrors, they seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. This engendered a profound identity crisis in the MOFO team: if all their knowledge could not help them solve this, their most important question, then what good was it? Truth was shrouded in mist; science was useless; the universe was thoughtless and disordered.

So after much reflection, they elected, in the end, to give up science. Operation MOFO was disbanded, its equipment sold or destroyed — except for the satellite dish and the tape recorders. Ex-MOFO volunteers continued to use these to monitor and record the transmissions. But now they no longer questioned, only enjoyed; no longer seeking truth, but only beauty.

Playlist:

William’s Welcome (What Are You Here For) William S. Burroughs
The first track from the epic Dead City Radio, produced by the late, great Hal Willner.

Here to Go Cabaret Voltaire
As I listen to these old tapes, thanks to YouTube I keep finding videos for songs I never knew had videos. To wit:

Mirror People (88 Version) Love and Rockets
“A shrill cry of panic broke the silence of the night. Cole raced out of bed and into his daughter’s room. He flipped on the light and directed his attention to her. She was covered in a light sweat and her eyes had drops of tears falling from them. ‘Daddy! They almost got me… They-they-’ Her voice quivered as she spoke. ‘It’s alright, Shannon, I’m here now. Who almost got you?’ ‘The mirror people.’” —Creepypasta.com

Personal Jesus (Acoustic Version) Depeche Mode
I actually prefer this to Johnny Cash’s version. Does that make me a bad person?

Compulsion That Petrol Emotion
Not sure if this is related to the Roman Polanski movie of the same name.

Reptiles William S. Burroughs
The Reptiles and I Shriekback

Mote (edit) Sonic Youth
“Blameless as daylight I stood looking
At a field of horses, necks bent, manes blown,
Tails streaming against the green
Backdrop of sycamores. Sun was striking
White chapel pinnacles over the roofs
Holding the horses, the clouds, the leaves
Steadily rooted though they were all flowing
Away to the left like reeds in a sea
When the splinter flew in and stuck my eye,
Needling it dark. Then I was seeing
A melding of shapes in a hot rain:
Horses warped on the altering green,
Outlandish as double-humped camels or unicorns,
Grazing at the margins of a bad monochrome,
Beasts of oasis, a better time.
Abrading my lid, the small grain burns :
Red cinder around which I myself,
Horses, planets and spires revolve.”
—Sylvia Plath, “The Eye-Mote,” 1959

Plainsong The Cure
“Plainsong (calque from the French « Plain-chant »; hence also plainchant; Latin: cantus planus) is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church…. Plainsong is monophonic, consisting of a single, unaccompanied melodic line…. [It] developed during the earliest centuries of Christianity, influenced possibly by the music of the Jewish synagogue and certainly by the Greek modal system.” —Wikipedia

She Lives (in a Time of Her Own) Judybats
Another song from the Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye tribute album. Here’s the original:

Blues from a Gun The Jesus and Mary Chain
“A symbiosis between the most unhealthy and the most luminous in human’s [sic] beings.” —YouTube commenter Nicolas Llherme

I Got the Blues Rolling Stones
To be honest, it’s kind of hard for me to imagine Mick Jagger ever really having the blues. He just seems too in control for that. But it must have happened. That’s Billy Preston on the organ, by the way.

I Was Wrong The Sisters of Mercy

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