Year: 1991
Original Format: cassette

Salo had an interesting history.

In the Earthling year 483,441 BC, he was chosen by popular telepathic enthusiasm as the most handsome, healthy, clean-minded specimen of his people. The occasion was the hundred-millionth anniversary of the government of his home planet in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The name of his home planet was Tralfamadore, which old Salo had once translated for Rumfoord as meaning both all of us and the number 541.

The length of a year on his home planet, according to his own calculations, was 3.6162 times the length of an Earthling year – so the celebration in which he participated was actually in honor of a government 361,620,000 Earthling years old. Salo once described this durable form of government to Rumfoord as hypnotic anarchy, but declined to explain its workings. “Either you understand at once what it is,” he told Rumfoord, “or there is no sense in trying to explain it to you, Skip.”

Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Playlist:

Great Things Are Afoot Richard Vernon a.k.a. Slartibartfast
It’s a sort of threat, you see.

Forbidden Places Meat Puppets
“LIsten stoners and love one another this CD is is da bomb get it even if you have the mp3 its the shizz!” —Amazon reviewer “nicaragua”

I Have Always Been Here Before Julian Cope
A Roky Erickson cover from Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye, the best tribute album ever made. This was my introduction to St. Julian, oh those many years ago.

The Basement Reprise/Girl Go The Jazz Butcher
“I’m entering the chamber now. Whoa! The jackal-headed dead! Excellent! Music and dancing and improbable combinations of Czech beer and Jalapeños! Doors flung open to an ivied yard where the randomly seditious lounge on cushions and hoot at the stars and that singular man next door. Sometimes friends of friends would come by and take it for a nightclub. But it wasn’t a nightclub, it was a basement.” —Cult of the Basement liner notes

Jubilee The Keaton Sextette
From a great compilation called The Gospel Tradition: The Roots and the Branches.

And Therein… The Fall
Sacred music of a different sort.

Golden Energy Devo
A deeply weird song, even by Devo standards. Me likey.

Opus 119, Bagatelle in A Minor Beethoven
A little of the old Ludwig Van.

Contract on the World Love Jam Public Enemy
“Sometimes I might go through the dial, just sampling at random, keeping it on a cassette, listen to the cassette, and say, ‘Well, being that I’m the lyric writer, how should I arrange these fragments so they’ll add up to a kind of a song?’ That’s how ‘Contract’ came along. A lot of the time, Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadler, Hank (Shocklee), Keith (Shocklee), and I will be hanging, and I might be playing records, and we’ll take some bites and put them together and construct a groove. We’ve used the E-mu SP-12 and the Akai S900 a lot, of course. We just started using a Macintosh for certain things.” —Chuck D

Every Colour You Are Rain Tree Crow
When Japan got back together in 1991, they opted to call themselves Rain Tree Crow for some reason. It still sounds like Japan, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Never Land (A Fragment) The Sisters of Mercy
In its original form, this song was almost 12 minutes of droning, repetitious, excessive, glorious gloom. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the record company was not enthused; it was cut to 2:50, and the whole thing didn’t see the light of day until the Floodland reissue in 2006. In case you’re curious:

Midnight Maps Shriekback
In case you want some visual accompaniment:

The Slider T. Rex
“Bolan wears a Chuck Berry tee, while Finn’s shirt proudly proclaims: ‘Enjoy Cocaine.’ Stripping their sound back to the giddy early days of rock’n’roll while indulging in coke’s nervy stimulation, T. Rex very suddenly manifested the biggest screamfest since Beatlemania. Visconti deemed Bolan’s genius be in skipping over the Beatles’ influence entirely, instead reaching back to the ’50s: ‘[He] emulated Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, that was his little trick. It was ingenious.’” —Andy Beta, Pitchfork.com

Ode to Boy Yazoo
You know it only just occurred to me that the title of this song is a pun on “Ode to Joy”? A little slow on the uptake, sometimes.

The Feast The Church
Wikipedia tells us that “The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is a Christian celebration of the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days (according to the Semitic and southern European calculation of intervals of days) after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name.” Which means that we should be celebrating JC’s bris on New Year’s Day. That doesn’t really have anything to do with this song, but so it goes.

A Strange Kind of Love (Acoustic Version) Peter Murphy
I see that Bauhaus is playing this summer in New York, Chicago, Paris, and Athens. Hmmm.

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