Causal virtue, actions neatly chained
Original Format: cassette
I like this one.
This Is How It Begins Ernie Hudson
The 1993 miniseries Wild Palms really wanted to be the next Twin Peaks, and many of us watching wanted it to be. It wasn’t. But it did turn out to be a good source of audio clips.
The Second Grade Applauds The Loud Family
In the course of researching these things I’ve been learning for the first time all sorts of lyrics to songs I’ve been listening to for decades. For instance this one begins:
Little Joe says, “Tired of ropin’ steers”
Branding and fencing off the years
Spirit warriors dance out from the pines
Dance on the graves of our designs
Come On Chuck Berry
Chuck is chronically underrated as a lyricist. This song is loaded with nimble rhymes and nifty turns of phrase, but “I wish somebody’d come along and run into it and wreck it” just kills me.
100% Sonic Youth
“For those of you who missed the 90’s, that was basically it in 2 minutes.” —YouTube commenter David Morrison
Night Shift Bob Marley & the Wailers
This is one of those cases where I cast my mind back to try and figure out what logic might have led me from the previous song to this one. And I’m coming up empty. It’s a great song, though.
Unusual Problem with a Tongue Pastor Robert Tilton
There is so much to unpack about this short clip that I scarcely know where to start. The short version is, Pastor Bob Tilton was (actually still is) a televangelist who purported to heal people remotely and, in the process, often lapsed into speaking in tongues. He was always a weirdo and never believable, but nonetheless a 1991 ABC expose laid him low by revealing that after taking the donations from people’s envelopes, he threw their prayer requests in a dumpster. The faithful were scandalized; the rest of us were unsurprised. 29 years later, Bob is still out there doing a modernized and slightly subdued version of the same shtick; his website even has a form where you can submit your prayer request, which will no doubt be sent straight to the digital dumpster.
Sing, Harpy! The Fall
Mark E. Smith’s lyrics are often cryptic, but this one is not hard to parse: It’s the first song on the first Fall album after his split from wife and lead guitarist Brix, who is clearly the target. (“I love the song,” she later commented. “At least he calls me skinny and a good lay.”) Even in departure, Brix — who for many a year was not just MES’s muse, but the closest thing The Fall ever had to a co-leader — inspired the best in him. Though (as The Annotated Fall points out) this song’s musical DNA was derived from the Stooges’ “Little Doll,” it has a dark, hypnotic power all its own.
Like Cockatoos The Cure
“I was so young the first time I heard Like Cockatoos. Kiss Me… was the third album I bought from my beloved Cureheads, and it took me a while to fully understand it. Subtle, like most Cure songs; sad, which is a prerequisite; surreal, painting a landscape of abandonment. But love, always love, whether it breaks you, engulfs your very being, or leaves you standing in the rain.” —Anne Michaud
Divertimento in B Flat, Variation III Wolfgang A. Mozart
“Mozart’s last and famous opera The Magic Flute was premiered for this first time on this day, i.e. September 30, in 1791 at Schikaneder’s theatre, the Freihaus-Theater Auf der Wieden in Vienna. The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and it is the form of Singspiel, a popular form during the time it was written that included both singing and spoken dialogue. The work was premiered just two months before the composer’s premature death on December 5.” —RepublicWorld.com
Places Named After Numbers Frank Black
This search brought up a Wikipedia page called “List of places with numeric names,” which is sort of an interesting read. Apparently there is a place in Japan called “40,010.”
Life on Mars? David Bowie
It’s strange to think now, but because “LoM” wasn’t a hit in the U.S., it never got played on rock radio and a lot of us never knew of it growing up. If I ever heard it before buying the Rykodisc reissue of Hunky Dory in the early 90s, I have no memory of such. So at this point it was basically a new release.
“An edgy little number with a sultry, smokey-tinged melody and slightly deranged vocals.” —The Listening Post
Where You Come from Is Gone Brad Dourif
From the movie version of Wise Blood (the words are verbatim Flannery O’Connor, if memory serves), one of the few starring roles for Dourif, legendary character actor and Avatar of the Weird.
Fear Loves This Place Julian Cope
This was the only single released from the Jehovahkill album, which seems like sheer perversity on someone’s part. I mean, yes it has a strong and memorable chorus, but it’s not exactly the feel-good song of the summer is it?
Lung Shadows The The
Do yourself a favor and don’t search “lung shadows” like I just did.
The Black Dog Runs at Night Thought Gang
This is from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. But of course you knew that already.
Smashed Princess David J
A search for this turned up the headline “Starsky & Hutch star’s wild night with Princess Margaret ‘smashed’ on gin.” The story itself turns out to be rather dull; better to imagine for oneself the details.
Warshed in the Blood
While driving cross-country in 1992, I captured some truly priceless stuff off southern radio stations. I couldn’t begin to tell you who or where this was, but it rocks.
Here is the West German Broadcasting Station with the news
Fifty nuclear power stations will be built in the West German Republic
In the next ten years
Each one can supply a city of millions with power
The North German Broadcasting Service with the news
In the whole world 355 nuclear powerstations are operational or being built
According to plans of the nuclear lobby there will be 2000
At the turn of the century
Here is the Bayerische Broadcasting Service with the news
No other postwar technology
… even space travel, …
Here is Radio Bremen, we bring you the news
The supplies of easily fissionable uranium
Needed as fuel for the reactors is as limited as the supplies of oil
The now known supplies of uranium is just sufficient
To operate the reactors already operational and under construction
For a period of 40 years
The Ballad of How You Can All Shut Up The Loud Family
Back in 2014 some kind person separated out the left (song) part of this:
But they didn’t post the right (spoken word) part, maybe because it is impossible to isolate totally due to leakage between the tracks. But here is an audio file anyway; enjoy.
The Great Soda Pop Machine in the Sky The Rev. Little Ed Pembrook a/k/a Michael Keenan
If memory serves, I originally wanted to include the musical coda to this bit, but the tape ran out. This is a problem that can now be solved: