Year: 2000
Original Format: cassette

At this point I was theoretically done making mixtapes, finally ready to fully enter the digital age. But there were a bunch of ideas laying around that ended up, almost against my will, organizing themselves into a mix.

As for that artwork: The picture was taken in Arkansas in 1992, at a Hopeful time.

Playlist:

All the Way to Next Tuesday William Shatner & Geraldine Brooks
I had forgotten where I got this from, but after consulting IMDB I am pretty sure it was a 1964 episode of The Outer Limits called “Cold Hands, Warm Heart.”

Vroom (excerpt) King Crimson
“[The Thrak album] presents the group in a series of unique ways: with the band consisting of two guitarists, two bassists and two drummers, the opening track begins with all six musicians in the center of the audio mix. As the album progresses, they are split into two trios, with one guitarist, bassist and drummer heard in the left channel and the other guitarist, bassist and drummer heard coming from the right channel.” —Wikipedia

Hiromi & Stan Talk Gang of Four
The internet says nothing of Hiromi’s part, but here’s translation of Stan:

The Arab world was, for us, a place of uncontrolled passions, a colony that we could only control by force. The greatest French artists have fantasized about harems, an escape from chained bourgeois sexuality.

It’s No Game (Pt. 1) David Bowie
“[It’s No Game’s] chronology recalled John Lennon’s ‘Revolution,’ recorded first as a mid-tempo, acoustic guitar-based track (the White Album version) and then reconstituted a month later as a compressed, sped-up electric rocker for the single. Lennon, who Bowie saw often during the Monsters sessions, inspired the sound of ‘Game,’ as Bowie later admitted — the shrieked, bellowed lines in ‘Pt. 1’ was Bowie’s attempt at the righteous zeal of ‘Instant Karma,’ the catharsis of Plastic Ono Band. It’s no coincidence that ‘Pt. 1’ is sung by an Englishman and a Japanese woman.” —Chris O’Leary

Line Up Elastica
“‘Line Up’ was a brittle joke at the expense of some unnamed starstruck hanger-on, whose life revolved around the parade of groups who passed through the pages of the music papers. Its title came from Justine Frischmann’s wry observation that the press was in the habit of placing groups on its conveyer belt, well knowing that all but a few would quickly topple off.” —John Harris

Los Angeles X
“This song is actually pretty straightforward — it was a small-town friend of Exene & John’s from their early X days. She couldn’t handle being in Los Angeles & had to go home. I like how it portrays LA in all its gritty, soul-sucking glory.” —SongMeanings commenter “Mojave66”

(I Want to Live In) Los Angeles RJB, age 5
Ah, the golden age of answering machines.

Los Angeles Frank Black
“I was under the influence of a lot of coffee when I wrote this song, so I don’t really remember what it’s about, but I think it’s about linguistics.” —Charles Thompson

Beercan Beck
“As mentioned in the song, Beck once had a job blowing leaves. Beck once reminisced, ‘There’s a leaf-blower contingent. There’s no union that I know of so far, but there’s certainly a spiritual brotherhood. They are the originators of noise music. It’s like a cross between a Kramer guitar and a jet pack.’” —Wikipedia

Mistadobalina Del the Funkyhomosapien
It took me decades to figure out that this song was built around a Monkees sample. For whatever reason only James Brown’s “Mind Power” is listed as a source in the liner notes. Many years later I got the deluxe edition of the Headquarters album, which contains not only the original track:

But also the isolated vocal track of each Monkee. It was Peter, in case you were wondering, whose voice Del and Cube lifted.

Spare Ass Annie (excerpt) William S. Burroughs & the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
“Hal Willner was the genius behind the idea to doing this album who was the producer, recording Burroughs near his home in Lawrence, Kansas and then all the music was done after in San Francisco with him and finally the editing and sequencing it in New York as we can hear it now. The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy very soon split up after this album, the two members Michael Franti formed Spearhead while Rono Tse worked with the Mystik Journeymen. —a1000mistakes

The Bubblemen Are Coming Love and Rockets
I got to see L&R live twice this year, which is something I never thought would happen again. They were fantastic and I have no complaints, though it would have been great to see the Bubblemen make an appearance. Well, you can’t have everything.

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream King Crimson
Five of my favorite things to do.

Look for the Signs Matt Dillon
“Strangely enough, it is the family feeling that makes ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ so poignant and effective. This is not a movie about bad people, but about sick people. They stick together and try to help one another in the face of the increasing desperation of their lives. The movie is narrated by Dillon, whose flat voice doesn’t try to dramatize the material; he could be telling his story at an AA meeting. He knows it is sad but he also knows it is true, and he is not trying to glamorize it, simply trying to understand it.” —Roger Ebert

Signs Shriekback
As part of Shriekback’s ambitious and ill-fated 1992 relaunch, they created short films to accompany every song on the Sacred City album.

Down by the Water PJ Harvey
“Some critics have taken my writing so literally to the point that they’ll listen to ‘Down by the Water’ and believe I have actually given birth to a child and drowned her.” —Polly Jean Harvey

There’s Always Music in the Air Michael J. Anderson
Mr. Lynch, Peter Dinklage would like a word:

Vroom (coda) King Crimson
There’s a lot of King Crimson on here, and Robert Fripp is on “It’s No Game” too. There’s never a bad time to revisit my favorite Fripp quote:

Within the sacred circle where music, musician and audience meet, there are remarkable possibilities which, were we to fully experience the degree and extent that we miss the mark, might leave us weeping and knowing bereavement. If this were not itself sufficient tragedy, the meeting of music, musician and audience in our contemporary culture is mediated by commerce. This is the bad news….

When the Muse descends, we know directly (one aspect of) the Creative impulse and its inexpressible benevolence. This is the life-giving force that maintains all audients and performers who continue, despite all evidence to the contrary, to return to the place where Music opens itself to us. When we find how many participants in our musical enterprise, even good people with the best of intentions, act to close the door on the Benevolence that seeks to walk in and embrace us, in that moment we know pain, grief, loss. When good people further declare their consumer rights in the event, we know despair….

Despite all, the potential remains. Whenever a musician picks up their instrument, finds a pair of open ears and the Muse is in attendance, life begins again. In this moment, Time has no dominion and the music industry sits outside (albeit most likely with the ticket receipts). This is the good news….

My life changed direction in 1974 following a terrifying vision of the future. Now, three decades later, I find that I underestimated the extent of radical change that is presently underway. In 1974 my response was terror. In 2006, I trust the unfolding process.

May we know, and trust, the inexpressible Benevolence of the Creative Impulse.

Exposure reissue liner notes, 2006

One comment on “A Lovely Way to Go, Side 1

  • Professor Jimcredible Magnanimous

    In high school I ran the student “radio station”, really just me, 2 turn tables and microphone, playing music during lunch. At that time Costa Mesa High had about 6 “Punker” kids, one of them later turned into PETA’s Dan Matthews https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Mathews.
    I asked him to suggest some of the music he liked and I would play it one day. The gen pop students hated it so much they unplugged the speakers. the only song I remember liking was X’s Los Angeles.

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