Sacred Songs, Part 12: Before and After Silence

Original Format: mp3
Year: 2020

The current plan is for this to be the next-to-last installment in this series; 13 is a good number, I think. It’s always been lucky for me, despite its bad reputation.

No big concept here, just a straightforward tribute to the power of music, one thing we always have to be thankful for. Here’s wishing a happy and healthy holiday, with the emphasis on healthy, to you and yours.

One note: This thing was assembled in a degenerate drug frenzy (meaning: I ate half a Space Gummy), and listening back to it I realized that for some perverse reason all the most difficult stuff is at the beginning (and the end, but that’s another story). If you can make it through the first 10 minutes, you’re gold.

OK, without further ado, smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, and let’s do this thing.

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Sacred Songs, Part 11: The Garden Is Open

Year: 2020
Original format: MP3

When I started this I thought it would be ready in time for the beginning of summer, hopefully in a world that had gotten more or less back to normal. Obviously things did not work out that way. But it did eventually get done, and at least we still have music. That’s something.

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Sacred Songs, Part 10: Get Outside

Year: 2020
Original format: MP3

Virus or no virus, spring is upon us; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, flowers are erupting violently into color. Times are weird but I recommend getting outside however you can, whenever you can, for as long as you can. This music will sound fine on your headphones, but even better on a speaker that lets it out into the open air, maximum volume please; don’t worry about your neighbors, they’ll love it.

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Sacred Songs, Part 7: Getting Confused with the Rev. Hell

Year: 2017
Original Format: MP3

They would lock me in and let me slooshy holy music by J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel, and I would read of these starry yahoodies tolchocking each other and then peeting their Hebrew vino and getting on to the bed with their wives’ like handmaidens, real horrorshow. That kept me going, brothers. I didn’t so much kopat the later part of the book, which is more like all preachy govoreeting than fighting and the old in-out. But one day the charles said to me, squeezing me like tight with his bolshy beefy rooker, “Ah 6655321, think on the divine suffering. Meditate on that, my boy.” And all the time he had this rich manny von of Scotch on him.
—Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s get to it.

Playlist after the jump.

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Sacred Songs, Part 6: What’s Your Thing?

Year: 2017
Original Format: MP3

Connoisseurs of my oeuvre, if there were any, might notice that parts of this are lifted from a mix CD I made about 20 years ago. What can I say, I’m a sucker for certain songs and segues over and over again. That’s my thing.

Playlist after the jump.

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Sacred Songs, Part 5: Darkness Increased by 1

Year: 2016
Original Format: MP3

So here we are again at the great pivot, the Return of Light. It got especially dark this year, and so the turnabout is especially welcome.

But darkness has to culminate before the change can come, and that’s the basic idea here. Heavy stuff man, but light awaits on the other side.

Playlist after the jump.

Continue reading “Sacred Songs, Part 5: Darkness Increased by 1”

Sacred Songs, Part 3: Sing, Cuckoo, Sing

Year: 2016
Original Format: MP3

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
– Dr. Johnson

As the days grow shorter and the weather bleaker, one’s mind begins to turn to the big questions: How long do we have left? What do we do with that time? Should we get a pizza?

Playlist after the jump.


What Happens Next? Simon Jones & Geoffrey McGivern
I only just learned that there was a German radio version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so I guess now I have to learn German.

Nobody Can Live Forever Tim Maia
Some very definitive answers to the big questions, with a nice big beat behind them.

You’ll Have Time William Shatner (with Ben Folds)
The Shat also seems pretty sure about things. “Live life life you’re gonna die,” he advises. “Because you’re gonna.” He also says that “By the time you hear this, I may well be dead.” But it appears that he is going to live forever, and I for one take comfort in that.

Laugh Till You Cry, Live Till You Die CAN
Sync this up if you can. (If you can… get it?)

Cleaning Windows Van Morrison
Van makes a career in glass sanitation sound romantic.

A Splendid Piece of Descriptive Writing The Goons
The eternal question.

Night Shift Bob Marley & the Wailers
Bob makes driving a forklift sound righteous.

Up All Night The Boomtown Rats
Want to see Bob Geldof cuddle and sing to a snake? Of course you do.

Living on the Ceiling Blancmange
Wikipedia says: “Blancmange performed [this] song on Top of the Pops, but for broadcast on the show as well as on BBC Radio, the track was edited to replace the lyric ‘Up the bloody tree’ with ‘Up the cuckoo tree.’ Which would have been perfect for this mix! Well, too bad.

Simon Invents Language Alan Arkin & Wallace Shawn
From Mashall Brickman’s Simon, finally released on DVD a few years ago, but still one of the great lost classics.

Mangalam Ravi Shankar
“Chants of India was a ‘labor of love’ for [George] Harrison following his participation in the Beatles’ Anthology project…. In Shankar’s recollection, following a playback of some of the tracks, Harrison was so moved that he ‘embraced me with tears in his eyes and simply said, “Thank you, Ravi, for this music.” ’ ” —Wikipedia

Spirit with Me Gong
An invocation of something or other; hopefully something benign.

Journey of the Sorcerer (Enter the Vortex Mix) The Eagles (with Mark Wing-Davey & Valentine Dyall)
For 30-some years I had no idea that the Hitchhiker’s Guide theme song was performed by the Eagles. It’s far from a typical Eagles track, but still, some internal reality adjustment was necessary to account for that fact. This piece mixes the original song with some dialogue from the radio show.

Mighty Man The Alpha Band
This is a T-Bone Burnett joint, and while I don’t always necessarily concur with what T-Bone is saying, I appreciate hearing his viewpoint.

I Don’t Wanna Pray Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
“Formed in 2007 by Ima Robot frontman Alex Ebert after a brief period of existential crisis, the cultish ten-piece indie rock outfit Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros draw their inspiration from the communal musical communities that peppered Southern California (specifically Laurel Canyon) with positive vibrations during the ’60s and early ’70s.” —Allmusic

Carpe Diem The Fugs
According to their Wikipedia page, “Some 1969 correspondence found inside an FBI file on the rock group The Doors called The Fugs the ‘most vulgar thing the human mind could possibly conceive.’ ” But this song is nice and pretty, however grim the news it delivers.

Eclipse The Beta Band
In which all the questions are answered, wrapped up with a bow and a nice echoing chord at the end.