Cover up – Random gum of July 2018 soundtrack

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Cover up – Got just enough to cover you – Random gum – July 2018
www.comraderadmila.com / Follow me on Spotify

01 Alberteen – “We Are the Mods
Big thanks as usual to Ade – never in the same place. One of my favorites from Alberteen
02 U.S. Girls – “Rage of Plastics” …there’s no telling how long you’ll be paying…
Relatable sadness and all the nods to plastic. “There are scores of us born in the silent spring/Whose wombs won’t take, won’t bear anything”
03 Alice Skye – “Friends with Feelings” …I hope that tomorrow/won’t be like today, anyway…
04 Depeche Mode – “Cover Me” …Way up here with the Northern Lights/beyond you and me/I dreamt of us in another life/one we never reached…
Memories of some entirely other life. “Better take cover…”
05 Flesh for Lulu – “Postcards from Paradise” …And I fell under your spell/And I lay where I fell…
Weird memories of junior high school and that awkward, fragile friendship with Terra; had no idea until right now that the lead singer died about three years ago
06 Ultra Vivid Scene – “The Whore of God”…But a kiss on the lips is far too much for anyone…
This is like a taste of sophomore year in high school, the weekends of Leighanne, Gary and Terra
07 Bruce Springsteen – “Cover Me” …Promise me baby you won’t let them find us/Hold me in your arms, let’s let our love blind us…
I have no real love, but plenty of respect, for Springsteen, but the ‘cover’ theme must be covered, right?
08 Huri Sapan – “Karanfil Ocak Ocak”
A Turkish delight, naturally. I love how unnatural this sounds directly after Springsteen
09 Julia Jacklin – “Cold Caller” …Will I be a mother or will I always be a child?…
Oh, Julia among Julias. One of my favorites lately. “And some cold caller decides I’m not Ready to change Oh what if my body is but my mind remains the same?”
10 Trashcan Sinatras – “Obscurity Knocks” …Owner of this corner and not much more…
For SD rocking the Maryhill Tesco – but happily not shirtless
11 Love and Rockets – “Ball of Confusion” …Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors/Solid gold in demand, population out of hand, suicide/Too many bills, everyone movin’ to the hills/People all over the world are dying in the war…
Perfect for these tragic, confusing, bombastic times
12 TV on the Radio – “Love Stained”
“In the middle of the night, when fear comes calling/Singin’ it all dies, awfully scared, alone/I’m looking into your eyes to feel your call/Pretty thing that catches me so strong when I fall”
13 The Shacks – “Blue & Grey”
“What did you really mean to say?/I’m tired of waiting because/All we have is blue and grey”
14 Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”
“Let ’em laugh while they can/Let ’em spin, let ’em scatter in the wind/I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends/And the joke’s on them”
15 The Fernweh – “The Liar”
Liverpool
16 Coco Morier – “No Pressure” …Let’s mess around…
17 AURORA – “Life on Mars”
Because I don’t know that we’ll ever know how to live without Bowie, though he got out just in time
18 Peter Perrett – “How the West Was Won” …If I ever get really depressed/I’ll download Tor, buy a suicide vest/Leave a dirty bomb at a Wall Street address/Gatecrash a Rothschild party and leave it in a mess…
19 Savoy Motel – “Sorry People”
Groovy Nashville
20 Belle & Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown” …Thus starts the lonely walking/There’s always too much talking/I should have stayed home…
Glasgow… don’t blow my thicker-than-ever cover. Love to all my Dear Green Place folk & to Inga
21 Terry Bush, United Forces – “Maybe Tomorrow” (radio edit remix) …So if you want to join me for a while/Just grab your hat, come travel light, that’s hobo style…
For every person of a certain age in the UK who knows this theme song from a dog-led Canadian tv show, The Littlest Hobo, that Americans never had the dubious treat of seeing
22 Grupo Mogambo, Carlos “Chacho” Ramos – “Dime”
Because… MOGAMBO!!
23 Amber Coffman – “Kindness”
24 Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – “Monkeys on Juice” …laughing at such pointlessness…
25 Tom Waits – “Gin Soaked Boy” …Well, I’m on your tail/I sussed your M.O. …
26 Conspiracy of Owls – “A Silver Song” …You open your heart/And I drift right through…
“We’re not above it all/And we’re in love again”
27 Drapht, Indoor Fins – “The Come Down Was Real”
28 The Julie Ruin – “Just My Kind” …Don’t you know I really like how/You know my mind/But even more to the point is the fact/You’re just my kind…
29 The Moonlandingz – “The Strangle of Anna”
30 Rival Consoles – ”Ghosting”
I’m not too good at ghosting
31 Samara Lubelski – ”Soft Focus”
32 Värttinä – ”Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta”
A wee folk taste of Finland
33 Modern Studies – “Disco” …I used to be a totally different kind of person/and the difference it made…
Scotland Scotland Scotland
34 Triathalon – “3” …help me get myself in the groove…
35 Xmal Deutschland – “Feuerwerk (31.Dez)”
The old days in Hamburg
36 Klaus Johann Grobe – “Geschichten aus erster Hand”
The big Z-city in CH
37 Sonic Youth – “Bull in the Heather”
38 Coda Conduct – “Love for Me” …my love for you, boy, comes after my love for me…
Australian lady hip hop
39 Gwenno – “Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki”
Wales
40 Chapterhouse – “Pearl”
Driving through a painfully hot late spring day, suddenly feeling all the aimless pangs of teenage pain and insecurity stabbing me from the inside, again and again. Ugly. Uglier. Ugliest. Time.
41 Hovvdy – “Thru” …Cover for yourself all the time…
42 Au Revoir Simone – “A Violent Yet Flammable World”
Wondering whatever happened to Aurélien, to whom I owe the Au Revoir Simone debt. Twin Peaks reboot but makes me think of those days in 2008-9, the bittersweet of Paris, misery of Oslo, homesickness for Reykjavik
43 Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Spellbound” …We are entranced…
44 Phantastic Ferniture – “Fuckin’ ‘n’ Rollin’”
It’s no wonder I fell in love with this almost immediately – only after I was hooked did I wake up to the fact that this is another Aussie darling, Julia Jacklin, vehicle…
45 Grover Washington, Jr – “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”
46 Goldfrapp, Dave Gahan – “Ocean” …People collector/I’m on the move/For you…
47 Kings of Convenience – “Know-How”
“Just a little bit of danger/When intriguingly/Our little secret/Trust say trust me/Cause no one will ever know/That this was happening”
48 Class Actress – “Journal of Ardency” …You think I’m living it, living it, living it, living it up/In the spotlight/It’s a lie, lie…
“This game of cruelty/Hardly becomes me…/…’Cause everybody knows/Everybody sees/That this is the thing you do to me”
49 Air, Gordon Tracks – “Playground Love” …Yet my hands are shaking/I feel my body remains/Time’s no matter, I’m on fire/On the playground, love…
50 Emmit Fenn, Yuna – “Modern Flame” (acoustic) …Don’t tell me this doesn’t feel right/’Cause I’m thinking ‘bout it every night…

May I come in? – Random gum of May 2018 soundtrack

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Time again for another monthly random gum music mix; music for May 2018. To discover all my playlists on Spotify and follow me.

I don’t have any words of wisdom this month. I’ve been busy with my sudden students status, but nothing ever stops me from finding and listening to music. I invite you to listen, too.

May I Come In? – Random Gum – May 2018

01 Nico – “The Fairest of the Seasons…Yes and the morning has me/Looking in your eyes/And seeing mine warning me/To read the signs carefully…
Love for and thanks to AB… “Now that I’ve tried/Now that I’ve finally found that this is not the way”.
02 Brigid Mae Power – “Let Me Go Now”
Heartbreaking. “It was just too hard to love unconditionally/you can let me go now, that’s okay/it was just too hard to love in that way”
03 Belle & Sebastian – “Nobody’s Empire”
Glasgow love. “There was a girl that sang like the chime of a bell/And she put out her arm and she touched me when I was in hell”
04 Feu! Chatterton – “Grace”
The French past. “Le tendre passé qui nous hante/Croît comme un jardin vivant/Un terrain vague/Peuplé de très vieux mirages/De fleurs sauvages”
05 Akofa Akoussah – “I Tcho Tchass
Tales of Togo and Togolese radio
06 Lower Dens – “Your Heart Still Beating”
“Your heart is still beating in all of my dreams/And I swore again and again/Never again”
07 The Helio Sequence – “Deuces” …now I’m gone/you’ve lost your hold on me…
PNW. “I don’t wanna be cool, I don’t wanna be distant/Or harbor grief for you/And I don’t mean to be cool, I don’t need to seem never like/I’m holding out for you”
08 Tortoise – “Yonder Blue” …Oh, I’ll fill the ocean with tears until I find you…
09 Gentle Hen – “The People You See Regularly Never Grow Old”
Hold them horses, hen.
10 Twerps – “Dreamin”
Australia/Melbourne
11 The Communards – “Don’t Leave Me This Way
Glasgow disco. SD
12 BC Unidos, Shungudzo – “Ouagadougou
13 Belly – “Superconnected”
Memories of driving-around singalong sessions with dear Tara in the mid-90s and our continued connection
14 Alberteen – “Infant Nation”
Thanks to inimitable AB
15 Silver Apples – “I Have Known Love”
16 Veronika Boulytcheva, Natalia Ermilova – “Ouj i ja li moloda”
A song that hurts most people’s ears – reminds me of college and my dad saying this sounds like ”wailing Chinese people”
17 Yo La Tengo – ”Pablo and Andrea” …someone came and took all the roses away…
“I’ll cover for you like a slipcover covers a chair”
18 Geowulf – “Greatest Fool”
Aussies in London. “Point at me and laugh, my love/’Cause I thought we were enough/Guess I make the greatest fool/Gentlemen, I’ll humor you”
19 Julian Cope – “Sunspots” …I’m in love with my very best friend…
Back to high school and the nightmare “environmental camp” I went to one year trying to make a friend feel better
20 Hoshi – “Comment je vais faire” (acoustic version)
21 Alabama Shakes – “Dunes” …Somewhere in me, a memory that I cannot gather anymore…
22 Delta 5 – “Mind Your Own Business”
Words of wisdom
23 Diane Coffee – “Hymn”
“So come on, walk to your house/You put a record on”. Afternoons after school listening to records, love to my school friends (Terra, Leighanne, Gary)
24 Sugar Candy Mountain – “Atlas”
25 Lost Horizons – “The Places We’ve Been”
Vocals by Karen Peris from The Innocence Mission
26 Cinerama – “Tie Me Up”
“You own me, you own me, and I’m not arguing”
27 Emily King – “Sleepwalker”
“I feel my body move without me again/Ooh, like a sleepwalker getting closer to him”
28 Tracy Chapman – “Smoke and Ashes”
Reminds me of the interminable summer of 1996
29 The Stone Roses – “Love Spreads”
I never cared much for this Roses song, but after seeing it live, it took on a different feeling
30 of Montreal – “Last Rites at the Jane Hotel” …These tears I cry for you must prove that I’m not the demon that I’m meant to be…
“Other people can be so disappointing/I need to spend more time alone”
31 A Taste of Honey – “Boogie Oogie Oogie”
For SD, as all danceable tunes are
32 Bam Spacey – “Avstånd och skog”
Malmö.
33 Heather Nova – “What a Feeling”
“Life is only half way in our hands/Years have passed while I was making plans/And I could never find the words/I always felt absurd, and always outside”
34 Kalbells – “Alonetime” …life can be so emotional/when you’re lonely…
Springtime. Here’s cheers to Annette, AB, SD, J, Anne
35 Fastbacks – “I Never Knew”
The old Seattle haunts and sounds; Oslo tunnels
36 Brandi Carlile – “Sugartooth”
Locals
37 Olden Yolk – “Cut to the Quick”
38 Low – “Let’s Stay Together”
Because yes, sometimes, people do stay together
39 Indigo Girls – “Kid Fears”
It’s like junior high school again, and somehow makes me think of Amie
40 Bedouine – “Summer Cold” …You say, ‘What have they done to you friend?’…
Armenian-American via Aleppo. “I’ve had enough of your guns and your ammunition”
41 Orange Juice – “Untitled Melody”
Glasgow. “You need me more or less, I need you more and more”
42 Belly – “Judas My Heart”
“Where I live/There’s a blanket of sighs and it covers the stars/In my heart, I’m as hungry as ever”
43 Madeline Kenney – “Signals”
A signal is what you use in your car, dude. Not a way of communicating with someone who clearly needs direct answers.”
44 Sevdaliza – “Amandine Insensible” …There’s a woman, she’s every fantasy/And no reality in one…
“How can I suffer without the pain?/Can we struggle without the shame?”
45 Dori Freeman – “Cold Waves” …There’s something bitter and it’s tyin’ up my tongue/My body’s restless but I’ve got nowhere to run…
“I’ve got a lover and he loves me very well/He took my broken heart and brought it back from hell/And with the slightest glance and movement he can tell/That I am lost and only he can lift the veil”
46 Deep Throat Choir – “In My Bed”
Amy Winehouse cover
47 Aidan Moffat, RM Hubbert, feat. Siobhan Wilson – “Cockcrow”
Scotland
48 Salad – “Warmth of the Hearth” …Here comes the hearth/We’re almost there baby/I’m on the path/Missing you already…
One of those bands that never quite hit (I loved them) but has reunited to tour recently
49 Julia Lucille – “Lie and Wait” …What do you think should we take it slow/Or go as fast as my body wants to go…
“Wrapped up in your loving arms imperfect as I am/You don’t tell me I’m beautiful, you tell me I’m a badass but/I hold back my love” … “What do you think was it too much too soon/I felt your mind just leaving when I walked into the room”. I like almost nothing more than I like Julia Lucille these days.
50 The Go-Betweens – “Dive For Your Memory”
“When I hear you saying/That we stood no chance/I’ll dive for your memory/We stood that chance”

april’s fool – random gum of april 2018 soundtrack

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It comes just slightly early – the April random gum soundtrack. I also think I will be sending out a few copies on CD (along with the previous few months’ music) in postal form because there are a handful of people who need more candy.

April’s fool
Random gum – April 2018

Entire playlist on Spotify. Listen!

Follow me and find all my playlists.

01 Negative Gemini – You Never Knew …now you’re pretending that i’m someone you never knew…
For all the beautiful negative Geminis
02 Gianna Lauren – Mistakes …Mistakes, they are my own…
Thank you to Esteban
03 ABC – All of My Heart …What’s it like to have loved and to lose that much?…
Thanks to J
04 Vorderhaus – Tanz Tanz Tanz oder ich bin verloren
Thanks to ML & Inken 
05 The Jack Moves – Doublin’ Down
06 Mark Gaetani – Rwanda
With Rwanda on my mind
07 The Aislers Set – Cocksure Whistler …Showers icy but the streets are chalk/Like the cocksure whistler’s on a winter walk…
08 Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
For SD and to memories of Terra and her insistence that she would like to stick her tongue between Roland Gift’s front teeth
09 Katie Von Schleicher – Baby Don’t Go
10 Kelley Stoltz – Kim Chee Taco Man …Let your grace go wild…
“You’re not alone… You know the smile is real/It’s something you can feel/The stars with twisted teeth/Not so out of reach!” For Martina: “The Kim Chee Taco Man/The real Mexican”
11 Lushes – Low Hanging Fruit
For Annette and our dislike for low-hanging fruit preachers with deer-in-the-headlights eyes
12 Mugison – Patrick Swayze …there’s a ghost living here in the scrapyard…
For SD, the Swayze gym and the way Scottish people talk, even over strange Icelandic soundtracks
13 Jane Weaver – I Wish …I wish you were cool/I wish you were something…
MP. “So you really did nothing/So you really did nothing of concern?/In the distance I’m humming/Are the whispers nothing?”
14 Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted to You
Sing-song singalongs with SD
15 Negative Gemini – Don’t Worry Bout the Fuck I’m Doing
“I don’t care about your shit face, the street goes down two ways, Don’t worry bout the way I’m going”
16 Belle and Sebastian – Poor Boy
True words. “Poor boy, I could never live up to your imagination/Poor boy, I was a crush that killed”
17 Emma Lee Toyoda – Nünü
18 Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
SD and locker-room recordings
19 Feu! Chatterton – L’oiseau
Merci, Laurent.
20 Karen Marks – Cold Café …on the esplanade/my coffee’s gone cold/I won’t forget the sounds/you left me…
Australia.
21 Robyn Hitchcock – Godnatt Oslo
22 Cat Power – Nude as the News
Memories of Seattle, Naomi and the Finn from Funland
23 Ösp Eldjárn – Ástarnetið
Thanks to and love for Eva
24 Maggie Björklund – The Road to Samarkand
Danmark
25 Veronika Boulytcheva, Natalia Ermilova – Зачем тебя я, милый мой, узнала …И сердце песню радости поет…
For J. This ‘relic’ from the college years pops into my head now and then. I had to dig through all my old CDs to find it.
26 Houndstooth – Bliss Boat …words are just a poor man’s pennies, dear…
Portlanders. I love the sound of this. “My aching heart/my wounded knee/you were the only air I breathe”
27 Kon Kan – I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
Thinking back to being 13 and the people populating that period
28 Clara Luciani – Comme toi
“J’ai le coeur qu s’égare en attendant que toi/Qui me ressemble tant, qui ne me comprend pas”
29 The Sundays – God Made Me
“We’d love to be good but we’d rather be bad/But how was I supposed to know that?”
30 Scott Fagan – In My Head
31 Martha Ffion – We Disappear …guess we never really knew how good we were…
Irish in Glasgow 🙂
32 Velly Joonas – Kaes On Aeg
Estonia
33 YACHT – I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler
“Got my broken heart—/I got it sold right back to me—/By an algorithmic social entity!”
34 Widowspeak – Dead Love (So Still) …Even if it wasn’t as good/If it didn’t hurt so bad to remember…
35 The True Loves – The Dirty
Seattle, you know…
36 Martin Courtney – Airport Bar …I can pass the time/But I can’t undo the changes once they’re made…
“Life in that dream was just what it seemed/If I knew then what I know now I would not have stayed”
37 Cate Le Bon – Aside from Growing Old
“What’s the hubbub, I’m losing my mind/I’m running from people/What’s the measure of a passing time/I’m, I’m running from people/Deep seated inconsequence/Still running from people”
38 Fleetwood Mac – The Chain …And if you don’t love me now/You will never love me again…
For Erin
39 Vendredi sur Mer – L’amour avec toi
40 Laura Marling – Gurdjieff’s Daughter …Darkness can’t do you harm/Fear will hurt you…
“Man is made in such a way that he is never so much attached to anything as he is to his suffering.” –Gurdjieff
41 The History of Apple Pie – Keep Wondering
I keep wondering about some never-tasted mysterious apple pie
42 Jane Weaver – Slow Motion …I want to feel the life we loved in the sun,/Slow motion…
“Let’s get together/We keep changing/Sometimes everything’s amazing/Then the silence/Reminds us we are lost/Stop listening/To other people/Whose agenda/Doesn’t seem good/Then exception is the only/Thing we’ve got.”
43 Dan Deacon – Feel the Lightning …I try not to worry/But I always worry…
44 Belle and Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane …Being a rebel’s fine/But you go all the way/To being brutal…
Missing my Jane
45 Crybaby – When the Lights Go Out …There’s a beauty in this/A privilege in parting I know…
46 Meshell Ndegeocello – Waterfalls
A Meshell take on someone else’s song that somehow outshines the original. Love to Anne
47 Strawberry Runners – Dog Days
48 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Sorry is Gone …Leave me alone, but I want you with me every minute…
49 Damien Jurado, Richard Swift – Radioactivity
50 Veronika Boulytcheva, Natalia Ermilova – Вьюн над водой

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marching on – random gum of march 2018 soundtrack

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Here we go… music for March, which is the most wintry month of all this year. Check out the whole playlist on Spotify.

marching on
march 2018 – the good goo of random gum

01 Saint Etienne – “Nothing Can Stop Us”
*For poor deported, beloved Ben, who will nevertheless not be stopped; love for Tara, as this was one of our signature soundtrack songs when we used to spend time together
02 Negative Gemini – “You Weren’t There Anymore” ...you didn’t care at all…
*For at least those Gemini souls among us who are as negative as we’re accused of being
03 Vanishing Twin – “Choose Your Own Adventure”
04 Claudine Longet – “God Only Knows”
05 Neko Case – “Star Witness”
06 Los Zucara – “Lamento de Febrero”
*Uruguay. Love for J, Billy and Travis
07 Gwenno – “Tir Ha Mor”
*Wales
08 The Fall – “Mexico Wax Solvent”
*Love for Naomi – everything’s gonna be okay. (Must play LOUD)
09 Them Are Us Too – “The Problem with Redheads”
*Martina: Maybe Joel was right about the internet obsession with redheads. Haha. Sadly, one of the band members was among the dead in 2016 warehouse fire in Oakland, CA.
10 Dear Nora – “To Fall is Not to Fail”
“It’s better not to cry/Or to look me in the eye/When you leave and you let it go”
11 Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – “False True Piya”
12 Nicole Atkins – “Darkness Falls So Quiet”
13 Sexores – “Berlin”
*Despite being from Ecuador, this is one of two “Berlin”s on this mix. Sometimes I’m still missing it. Hard to believe it was already more than a year ago that I dashed off to Berlin for an afternoon just to see a movie, returning home the same night.
14 Julia Lucille – “Beneath the Spring” …Can a woman love/and not lose herself?…
*The countless onslaught of talented Julias continues. “We’ve had some fun/We’ve had some good loving/On to the next thing/My conscience forcibly brings/So many things that I could do/One of them being you/The slow slide into lying/And here come endless apologizing”
15 Beach House – “Chariot”
16 Pérez Prado – “Mambo No 5”
*A curious, out-of-place thing that reminds me of the misery of being 19
17 Siobhan Wilson – “Whatever Helps” …you’re stuck in the break of a wave/you’re haunted by a line from a song/you’re beaten by the wing of a prayer/try to move on…
*Glasgow. “Whatever helps to pass the time/when you’re on the other side/Switch it off, switch it off, whatever it is/That bleeds out all your best thoughts”
18 Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – “The Evening”
19 Tennis – “My Emotions Are Blinding”
*Love to Esteban & Ana
20 Laura Groves – “Friday” …You never gave a sign of pieced together phrases that Ive heard…
21 Beach Fossils – “This Year” ...This year I told myself it’d be a better one/Try not to fall back onto the knife…
22 The Raincoats – “Lola”
23 Ramona Lisa – “Arcadia Reprise”
24 Franska Trion – “Empty Space”
*Sverige, Sverige, Sverige
25 Gorillaz – “Clint Eastwood”
*Thinking more of Digit the gorilla, Mike, and Jesse Dude (another plastic gorilla, featured in the main image), but also Filbert/Ph’s fleeting flirtation with ‘fame’ via Clint Eastwood. The strange world of models and film extras…
26 Pink Mountaintops – “I (fuck) Mountains”
27 Charlotte Adigéry – “Senegal Seduction”
28 The Luxembourg Signal – “Laura Palmer”
29 The Fall – “Pumpkin Soup and Mashed Potatoes”
*When you need a dose of pumpkin soup to go with your fix of The Fall
30 Anika – “I Go to Sleep”
31 Jitka Zelenková – “Rád”
*Another Czech check-in, which means … love to Anne & to Martina
32 CCFX – “The One to Wait”
33 Katie von Schleicher – “Life’s a Lie”
34 Andrea Davidson – “Thank You Fuck You” …thank you for what we went through/and fuck you for something, too/I’m done with you…
35 Negative Gemini – “Ice Sluts”
*Lóa: Is an ‘ice slut’ a cross between a ice queen and a fuck mattress? 🙂
36 Pale Saints – “Half-Life Remembered” …It’s eating you away and some will never know it’s taste…
*O, emotional waves of late teen years. It’s like sitting in traffic-safety class in high school, the long drive to university, and more crying jags that I can count: “Biting off more than you can chew again/You’re just a child/And all you know is/That it’s sweetness brings you close to tears/Each time you can’t resist/And some will never know it’s taste”
37 Belle & Sebastian – “The Party Line”
*A spontaneous leap one day, deciding to go see B & S after many years of wanting to. And it was as lovely as I needed it to be. (And come on now, gotta love Glaswegian bands to bits.)
38 Gentle Hen – “I Wasn’t Looking for This”
*Thinking mostly about the use of “hen” as a Scottish term for a woman: “Gie us a kiss, hen“. “I wasn’t looking for this/I wasn’t ready for this/But it’s so convenient, I don’t have to do a thing/And I’ve always been lazy at best”
39 Meshell Ndegeocello – “Sometimes It Snows in April” …Springtime was always my favorite time of year/A time for lovers holding hands in the rain…
*Meshell doing Prince. For Anne, whom I must see in April.
40 Hanne Hukkelberg – “Berlin”
*Norway.
.. merci, Andreas
41 Madonna – “Crazy for You”
*Ended up here in some roundabout way after mentioning to S that Matthew Modine‘s daughter, Ruby, is in the US version of Shameless; he said he can only remember an 80s movies starring Modine that had this song in the soundtrack but couldn’t actually remember the movie (Vision Quest, of course, about wrestling… “God, you can count. See, I knew you had to be smart to be a wrestler.” –The Breakfast Club)
42 Kate Bush – “The Kick Inside”
*I fully, firmly believed I would never, ever appreciate Kate Bush. I have tried so many times over the years, and I just couldn’t hear it. Then suddenly in February, it was the right moment. More proof that we do change, and our tastes can in fact become more expansive rather than contractive.
43 10,000 Maniacs – “Trouble Me” …Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back is sturdy and strong?…
*And with the inclusion of this song, which I have never liked, we devolve (further) into the world of adult-contemporary, near-easy-listening. I remember my anger in 1989 when this song displaced The Cure from some top-five-of-the-week on some MTV show. Seems hilarious that I cared so much. I thought of this again recently when someone said, “I’ll trouble you later” and I said, “You could never trouble me.”
44 Crowded House – “She Goes On” …Pretty soon you’ll be able to remember her/lying in the garden singing/right where she’ll always be/the door is always open/this is the place that I loved her/and these are the friends that she had/long may the mountain ring/to the sound of her laughter/and she goes on and on…
*RIP Margaret, who died on 16 February 2018; “til we see her once again/in a world without end…”
45 The Sundays – “When I’m Thinking About You”
*Remembering the varied tastes of Mr Watts when we used to talk and he remembered weird folks like me
46 Pink Martini, The von Trapps – “Rwanda Nziza”
*Dreams of, thoughts on Rwanda
47 Cowboy Junkies – “Come Calling (Her Song)”
*One of those songs that, catching me at the right moment, makes me cry, remembering exactly where I was when I heard it, repeatedly, in one of the worst times of my life
48 Jane Weaver – “I Need a Connection”
*Opening act for Belle & Sebastian – when deciding whether to go spontaneously to see them, seeing that Weaver was opening, that tipped the balance and made me decide to go
49 Sarah Klang – “Milky Way”
*Gothenburg love
50 Shamir – “Lived and Died Alone” …I resign myself to the fact/that I will always love/never to be loved back…
*A beautiful ending, sad sentiments

The whole playlist. Or follow me on Spotify to see all my playlists.

Image (c) 2018 S Donaghy

February action

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February has historically been a month of inaction and hibernation for me – this one has been no exception. Last year I did jump on a plane to Berlin on a whim just to see a movie, and ended up in a mild debate with someone about the Holocaust while I was having lunch in a Jewish restaurant. Hmm. Seriously. It was a cold but bright day, and I was glad I had broken out of my routine to do something completely different, unexpected and spontaneous.

I had no intention of doing anything similar this year, but today I happened to see that Belle & Sebastian is in Oslo, so I quickly bought a ticket, got a train ticket and head over to Oslo in the afternoon. It’s not quite the distance of Berlin or somewhere further afield, but it’s still something (a band) I’ve wanted to see forever, especially as I have Glasgow so much on my mind these days. Bonus: Jane Weaver opens! Brilliant. Two birds, you know…

Any other day I might have ignored this urge to go, but I had a dream last night in which I kept wanting to do things but kept putting them off, and I started writing a poem in the dream, which I never had a chance to finish before someone would interrupt and drag me off somewhere:

If I light a fire, I will stay warm.
If I light a fire around myself, there will be no way back.

In dreams, never going where I want to go, but always with a fistful of melting popsicles.

Photo by Lindsay Moe on Unsplash

a love supreme – anti-valentine – random gum of february 2018 soundtrack

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a love supreme – anti-valentine
february 2018 – the good goo of random gum

01 The Supremes – Love is Like an Itching in My Heart
“Just an itching in my heart and I can’t scratch it”
02 Cate le Bon – Are You With Me Now?
03 Margo Price – Hands of Time
“Turn back the clock on the cruel hands of time”
04 Nana – Menino Carioca
05 Mary Lou Lord – I’m Ahead If I Can Quit While I’m Behind
06 BC Camplight – You Should’ve Gone to School
07 Sandie Shaw – (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me
08 Sibylle Baier – Softly
Here’s to hidden women making their belated mark
09 Grizzly Bear – Losing All Sense
“Like a rogue wave you/Wash right over me/Losing all sense of what my body could feel/I was able to drift away from here/I have lost all control”
10 Gingerlys – Incandescent
11 BRONCHO – What
12 Sofia Freire – Canção da Bruxa
13 Dita von Teese, Sébastien Tellier – Bird of Prey
14 Marta Kubišová – Už se léto schovává
…Hang up the Czech habit. Love to Anne, to Martina, to Mr MI
15 Claudine Longet – Medley: Jealous Guy/Don’t Let Me Down
16 Belle & Sebastian – I’ll Be Your Pilot
All the Glaswegians
17 Nap Eyes – Delirium and Persecution Paranoia
18 Angel Olsen – How Many Disasters
19 The Supremes – Forever Came Today
20 The Barry Sisters – Vyoch Tyoch Tyoch
Can’t resist a Yiddish song, now can we?
21 Tommy Allen – Ghosts in the Walls
22 The Fall – There’s a Ghost in My House
RIP Mark E. Smith – who seems like the type to linger as a ghost in another dimension, tormenting people for all eternity from the beyond.
23 Jenny O. – Lazy Jane …I’m feeling blue/Cause I can’t have you…
“I’m never gonna be a cheerleader/I can’t do tricks/And I ain’t that sick”. For all those so far away now I will never get them back
24 Emma Gatrill – Odd Ones Out
“Don’t judge a book by its cover/Its façade is simple, simple to see/But by twenty pages in/You’ll find the story is not what it first seemed”
25 Over the Rhine – Latter Days
26 Al Masrieen – Men Awel Deqiqa
27 The Fall – Feeling Numb
One can only feel numb at the passing of Mark E. Smith (RIP), knowing the end probably could easily have come earlier. Still, the only good thing about his death is that I have learned about so many more people in my circles who are fans of The Fall, and I might never otherwise have known.
28 Hollie Cook – Desdemona
29 Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou – The Homeless Wanderer
Ethiopia
30 The Fall – Big New Prinz
I didn’t think much about how The Fall served as a soundtrack thread through most of my life until the recent passing of the cantankerous Mark E. Smith. All the way back to my adolescence, when my friend Terra and I would be sucked in by the aggressive sounds of “Big New Prinz” (and the rest of the songs from the same album), and not too long thereafter when my bricklayer pen pal Peter in the north of England would send me mixed cassettes that included loads of The Fall. And then how Naomi and I would share this connection and even see The Fall together many, many years ago. The Fall continued to help me forge surprising connections through the years.
31 Renata Zeiguer – Follow Me Down
32 Duke Garwood – Blue
33 France Gall – Laisse tomber les filles
34 Mattiel – Whites of Their Eyes
35 Yo La Tengo – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
36 Slow Club – In Waves
“You can’t tell me you’re not like this/Staring down the pages of the shit you’ve missed/Hoping you’ll find a way to change/Days spent waiting in my living grave”
37 Julia Lucille – Darkening
Such pretty sounds “As I’m darkening I must go alone”
38 Brigitte Fontaine – Une fois mais pas deux
39 Ofege – It’s Not Easy
Nigeria
40 Luwten – Pinball
“I am the pinball/I am the deer/I hear the shot/I disappear”
41 Mogwai – I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
“Jim Morrison… Van Morrison more like!” For S (naturally with an additional nod to Glasgow in Mogwai)
42 Wooden Wand – Mexican Coke
Martina! You know if it’s Mexican I will tag you!
43 The Fall – British People in Hot Weather
I had been an avid anglophile as a kid/adolescent, and I don’t really know what happened to make me so negative on the English. Still, The Fall has been something of a ‘negative soundtrack’ all along.
44 De Lux – When Your Life Feels Like a Loss
45 Ramona Lisa – Dominic
“Forgive me if I was too forward too fast”
46 The Fall – Powder Keg
And what else is the world today than a powder keg?
47 Sexores – Bluish Lovers
Ecuador
48 The Supremes – Someday We’ll Be Together
…but will we?
49 The Psychedelic Furs – Sister Europe
“Words are all just useless sound” … for all my Furs friends
50 Tori Amos – Josephine
51 Cowboy Junkies – Cowboy Junkies Lament
Memories of college-era road trip with my Russian class, all long disappeared, all of us singing together in that fleeting moment of closeness. And the long, lost Townes van Zandt, who wrote this song for the Cowboy Junkies. “There’s a hole in heaven where some sin slips through/Close your eyes and dream real steady/Maybe just a little will spill on you”
52 Al Green – How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
“I could never see tomorrow/I was never told about the sorrow”
53 The Cranberries – No Need to Argue
RIP Dolores O’Riordan. I remember listening to this song on repeat one year during college – it had such a sad, resigned finality to it that resonated with me (as I greeted endings, particularly of relationships with this kind of sad resignation. I have never been the type to really “freak out” and go crazy). This seemed like the perfect anthem for that kind of sad acceptance. Much as we must go forward with sad acceptance when people die too soon.

Follow me on Spotify to find all my random gum soundtrack playlists.

Expectation and the value of nothing

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“Expectations carry the day, causing us to ignore contradictory data. We speak in conversations in incomplete thoughts and sentences but we do not perceive it that way. Oral conversation is full of holes, but we don’t hear it that way. If we did, it would be quite disruptive. It is usually efficient to perceive in terms of our expectations. On the other hand, it disguises just how much we actively share what we perceive to fit our image of what is there to be perceived.” – Awakening Your Psychic Powers

I think (and write) a lot about the concept of expectation – but what exactly is it?

We all seem to have an understanding of what ‘expectation’ means. We expect something to happen, to receive something, and there is a level of trust implied in that expectation because, as I have written elsewhere, expectation is on one end of the spectrum and hope is on the other. On both ends, some action or object is ‘promised’ – it’s just that with expectation, we have a stronger sense or assumption, or trust, that we will experience or receive the promised thing. With hope, it’s more distant, just a possibility, and often much more unrealistic. Is that how everyone perceives these concepts? Is expectation always in the “likely, unless…” (sometimes with caveats) column while hope resides usually in the “unlikely” column?

Sometimes it’s practical: things go as expected… until they don’t. And you wonder why. Promise theory aims to get to the root of some of these issues. Even if it won’t solve everything, it is an interesting enough concept to delve into briefly (with an handy animated video, no less!):

“No matter how good the plans or how detailed the instructions our expectations about the world have limitations. Our information is incomplete.

One answer to the question is that the world has both remarkable predictability but also maddening uncertainty. But that’s not helpful.”

Can we immunize against uncertainty?

“What did you expect?”

From Calvino’s Invisible Cities: ““I speak and speak,” Marco says, “but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. The description of the world to which you lend a benevolent ear is one thing; the description that will go the rounds of the groups of stevedores and gondoliers on the street outside my house the day of my return is another; and yet another, that which I might dictate late in life, if I were taken prisoner by Genoese pirates and put in irons in the same cell with a writer of adventure stories. It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.”” “At times I feel your voice is reaching me from far away, while I am prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present, when all forms of human society have reached an extreme of their cycle and there is no imagining what new forms they may assume. And I hear, from your voice, the invisible reasons which make cities live, through which perhaps, once dead, they will come to life again.”

It’s funny when you’re immersed in something, especially with another person, and when something changes, that other person – almost like an amnesiac, or a cold operator who shuts everything down with emotionless precision, now outside the sphere of shared feeling or experience, forgets or misplaces what the connection once (possibly only in a limited or illusory way) offered to both people. Or when you are part of a project or a job or any activity. Expectation boils down to – to be successful – a give and take.

But failing that, in essence, we can always expect inconsistency, a lack of transparency and, most of all, contradictions, particularly where people and feeling are involved.

Is anyone better at juxtaposing the contradictions and our propensity for fooling ourselves than Pessoa? At our expectation and desire for the new but then being exhausted and annoyed by having to actually deal with the details and complications of the new?

“I reject real life for being a condemnation; I reject dreaming for being an easy way out. But my real life couldn’t be more banal and contemptible, and my dream life couldn’t be more constant and intense.”

“This is true in the whole gamut of love. In sexual love we seek our own pleasure via another body. In non-sexual love, we seek our own pleasure via our own idea. The masturbator may be abject, but in point of fact he’s the perfect logical expression of the lover. He’s the only one who doesn’t feign and doesn’t fool himself. The relations between one soul and another, expressed through such uncertain and variable things as shared words and proffered gestures, are strangely complex. The very act of meeting each other is a non-meeting. Two people say ‘I love you’ or mutually think it and feel it, and each has in mind a different idea, a different life, perhaps even a different colour or fragrance, in the abstract sum of impressions that constitute the soul’s activity.”

“The tedium of the forever new, the tedium of discovering – behind the specious differences we see in things and ideas – the unrelenting sameness of everything…” “…the stagnation of everything that lives just because it moves…”

“To love is to tire of being alone; it is therefore a cowardice, a betrayal of ourselves. (It’s exceedingly important that we not love).” Yes, even within ourselves. We long for love, sometimes to not be alone, but at the same time, feel as though that longing is a betrayal or that we have succumbed to a great weakness. (See the poem “Longing is the betrayal of oneself…” by Agneta Ara for a more poetic take…)

Expectation of superfluity

“this syndrome is a war that nearly every woman faces every day, a war within herself too, a belief in her superfluity, an invitation to silence…” –Men Explain Things to Me

We can also – almost always – expect mansplaining and sexism. It’s almost always a given, unintentional or overt. Rebecca Solnit has published two whole collections of essays on how half the world’s population expects the worst – expects to be silenced or talked over or had its concerns ignored, at best, or expects to be raped or killed, at worst.

In Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, she pretty much hits all the nails right on the head:

“Yes, people of both genders pop up at events to hold forth on irrelevant things and conspiracy theories, but the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. Some men.”

“…billions of women must be out there on this seven-billion-person planet being told that they are not reliable witnesses to their own lives, that the truth is not their property, now or ever.” “…And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t.” “…Dude, if you’re reading this, you’re a carbuncle on the face of humanity and an obstacle to civilization. Feel the shame.” (Maybe I fell in love a little bit with this statement because I love starting statements with “dude” when I am at-the-end-of-my-rope frustrated and irritated.

“Think of how much more time and energy we would have to focus on other things that matter if we weren’t so busy surviving.”

Perhaps the remarkable thing about Solnit and her writing is that, despite describing the condition of – and expectation(s) – of, for and by women in society, she nevertheless explores the opposite end of the spectrum: hope. And why? Because, back to the principles of the aforementioned promise theory, of uncertainty:

“To me, the grounds for hope are simply that we don’t know what will happen next, and that the unlikely and the unimaginable transpire quite regularly. And that the unofficial history of the world shows that dedicated individuals and popular movements can shape history and have, though how and when we might win and how long it takes is not predictable. Despair is a form of certainty, certainty that the future will be a lot like the present or will decline from it; despair is a confident memory of the future, in Gonzalez’s resonant phrase. Optimism is similarly confident about what will happen. Both are grounds for not acting. Hope can be the knowledge that we don’t have that memory and that reality doesn’t necessarily match our plans; hope like creative ability can come from what the Romantic poet John Keats called Negative Capability.”

It is not blind hope, though. It, too, is informed by experience – the times we have ignored logic or signs to succumb to seeing only the reality we wanted – or expected – but if we were to marry the two, could we overcome the stumbling block of the ‘plan’ we can’t seem to abandon?:

“As I began writing this essay, I picked up a book on wilderness survival by Laurence Gonzalez and found in it this telling sentence: “The plan, a memory of the future, tries on reality to see if it fits.” His point is that when the two seem incompatible we often hang onto the plan, ignore the warnings reality offers us, and so plunge into trouble. Afraid of the darkness of the unknown, the spaces in which we see only dimly, we often choose the darkness of closed eyes, of obliviousness.”

“We are by nature optimists, if optimism means that we believe we see the world as it is. And under the influence of a plan, it’s easy to see what we want to see.”

The expected end

We expect death, but we hope it comes for us later, much later. But do we know what to expect within death? Is it, as I have asked before, just an expanse of nothingness forever?

What we do know, as William Empson writes in “Ignorance of Death“: death is “the trigger of the literary man’s biggest gun”. Too true – pondering its manifestations and meanings runs through everything. And yet, as Empson also wisely states, “Otherwise I feel very blank upon this topic,/And think that though important, and proper for anyone to bring up,/It is one that most people should be prepared to be blank upon.”

In Slaughterhouse Five it is: “At that moment, Billy’s high forehead is in the cross hairs of a high-powered laser gun. It is aimed at hm from the darkened press box. In the next moment, Billy Pilgrim is dead. So it goes.

So Billy experiences death for a while. It is simply violet light and a hum. There isn’t anybody else there. Not even Billy Pilgrim is there.

In Calvino’s Invisible Cities: “I thought: “Perhaps Adelma is the city where you arrive dying and where each finds again the people he has known. This means I, too, am dead.” And I also thought: “This means the beyond is not happy.””

In Pessoa: “I don’t mean the mystery of death, which I can’t begin to fathom, but the physical sensation of ceasing to live. Humanity is afraid of death, but indecisively. The normal man makes a good soldier in combat; the normal man, when sick or old, rarely looks with horror at the abyss of nothing, though he admits its nothingness. This is because he lacks imagination. And nothing is less worthy of a thinking man than to see death as a slumber. Why a slumber, if death doesn’t resemble sleep? Basic to sleep is the fact we wake up from it, as we presumably do not from death. If death resembles sleep, we should suppose that we wake up from it, but this is not what the normal man imagines; he imagines death as a slumber no one wakes up from, which means nothing. Death doesn’t resemble slumber, I said, since in slumber one is alive and sleeping, and I don’t know how death can resemble anything at all for us, since we have no experience of it, nor anything to compare it to.”

Also, even one of the new-age psychic books suggests that meditation is as close to near-death experience as we can get – makes me think of my questions on this very topic earlier.

When you can expect nothing: A gift horse, full of surprises

Maybe we don’t always have expectations – penis size, for example, is apparently a crapshoot. One can hope, of course, but pop culture will caution about expectation in either direction.

Vonnegut’s preternatural obsession with cocks and their sizes (appearing in both Slaughterhouse and in Breakfast of Champions) is another reflection on how our society prioritizes and values this all-important fact. Size matters, even when this particular size is confidential and invisible. He has just made it visible.

From Slaughterhouse: “Montana was naked, and so was Billy, of course. He had a tremendous wang, incidentally. You never know who’ll get one.”

No, in fact you just never know… until you know, that is. But you really cannot have any expectations in this department. In Breakfast, there are stats provided about multiple characters on these matters.

And then there is Lars von Trier, famously bizarre film director, who claimed that actor Willem Dafoe had a “confusingly large” member, which called for a “stunt cock” in Antichrist. (And this becomes slightly more confusing for me, reflecting on watching The Last Temptation of Christ and recently wrapping up my reading of Reza Aslan’s book Zealot about Jesus of Nazareth. By the way, even Aslan refers back to Dostoevsky when it comes to faith and religion – does anyone not fall back on Dostoevsky?! Hard to reconcile it all somehow.)

Oh, and then there are always the poor micropenises.