Our Electric Destiny/The tape is a circle

Year: 1995
Original Format: cassette

Playlist:

It’s Electric The Firesign Theatre
”Listening to this album sober is the closest thing to being stoned.” —YouTube commenter “CidermanBob”

The Machman Gary Numan & Tubeway Army
It can be weird to look up the words to songs I’ve been listening to for 35 years or more. Oftentimes I had built up my own versions of the lyrics that turn out to be wrong. If the internet has it right — never a certainty — there are lines in here like

Only police ever
See night time for real

and

My mind turned on me
With a vengeance I had never known

and

You disgust me tonight
With your answer to something new

I still don’t know what any of it means; maybe someday the computers will be able to tell me that, too.

Electricity Sonic Youth
“While playing ‘Electricity’ in a warm-up performance for the Monterey Pop Festival at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival at Mt. Tamalpais in 1967, Beefheart stopped the song, straightened his tie, and walked off the stage, landing face flat into the grass. He later claimed that he saw a girl in the audience turn into a goldfish. This caused guitarist Ry Cooder to immediately quit the Magic Band because he couldn’t deal with Beefheart’s unpredictability.” —Wikipedia

It’s Kind of an Eternity, Doug Producers for Bob
I’m not sure why Producers for Bob chose to render “Bob’s” name without the quotes, which are generally de rigueur; maybe they feared some kind of copyright issue? “Bob” is a vengeful god, to be sure.

The Voice of Energy/Antenna Kraftwerk
Google translates the words to “The Voice of Energy” thusly:

This is where the voice of energy speaks
I am a huge electric generator
I deliver light and strength to you
And enable you to use speech, music and images
To be sent and received through the ether
I am your servant and your master at the same time
So take good care of me
Me, the genius of energy

And the German parts of “Antenna” like this:

We set up antennas in the firmament
Receive the sounds that nobody knows
The transmitters emit image, sound and word
Electromagnetic to every place
We are radio transmitters and listeners
Playing the wave piano in the ether

So now you know.

Monkey Bone-Walker The Elastic Purejoy
The aptly named Elastic Purejoy was a project of Dave Allen, former bass player for Gang of Four and Shriekback and, at times, a dark-horse candidate for the title of Funkiest Man Alive. The words to this are pure gibberish but who cares? The bass carries all the information.

Be the Revolution Love and Rockets
The line “Now that we have nothing, we can begin” reminds me of one of my favorite Steven Wright quotes: “You never know what you have until it’s gone, and I wanted to know what I had, so I got rid of everything.”

Be the Ball Chevy Chase & Michael O’Keefe
Let Go Your Conscious Self Sir Alec Guinness
Good advice here from Ty Webb and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Reconstruction Voice Farm
A while ago I came across a website called “Deconstructing Yourself.” I keep meaning to do that; need to add it to the to-do list.

William’s Welcome (excerpt) William S. Burroughs
“I often wonder what a Complete Works of William Burroughs would look like; it’s hard to think of a ‘novelist’ prior to Burroughs whose complete works would feel incomplete without both audio and video appendices (consider for example The Revised Boy Scout Manual, a novel in the form of three 60-minute audio cassettes dating to the 1970s). As we edge into the 21st century, Burroughs’ multimedia explorations seem less a digression and more a prescient openness to the aesthetic possibilities of emerging modes of communication and documentation.” —Sand Avidar-Walzer, Welcome to Interzone

Sue Me Jack Pavement
Mark E. Smith once dismissed Pavement as a “Fall tribute band.” You and I know better, but there are times when imagining MES’s voice in place of SM’s doesn’t take much imagination.

Mother Valentine The Wolfgang Press
The clip at the beginning is from Jack Warden’s eulogy for Melvyn Douglas’s character at the end of Being There — which I haven’t seen for a while; that’s probably a mistake.

A One-God Universe William S. Burroughs
“I listen to this and think about how much energy the 3,000 deaths of 9/11 created contrasted against the lack of energy created by the 250,000+ deaths caused by Covid-19.” —YouTube commenter Bob Albin

Everything, All at Once, Forever (Pt. 3) Th’ Faith Healers

Dr. Doom 13th Floor Elevators
Sometimes I really love the internet.

These Days/Feeling Lucky The Jesus and Mary Chain
Although these are two tracks on the CD I really think of them as one song; they have the same chords and everything. Like Lou Reed, Jim and William Reid had the gift of creating towering beauty from the simplest components.

New Year The Breeders
I Could Stay Here Forever Frank Black
The bright side of the Pixies breaking up was that in the space of a little over a year, we got Frank Black, Last Splash, and Teenager of the Year. That’s 52 songs of pure delight.

Welcome to the Future The Firesign Theatre
If you’re reading this right now, you made it to the future. Congratulations; give yourself a pat on the back.

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