Identical twin

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How I ended up with a broken – or at least bruised – heart isn’t terribly important. I lost my heart, temporarily, briefly, to someone who was ridiculously cute, with tastes ridiculously astute, and I struggled with it for a while. I had been swept up in something I could not control. It became clear that while I had really loved, for whatever misguided reasons, I had loved someone who did not really exist as he had temporarily existed for the brief moment we had. Maybe I did not really exist in that way either except for that moment in time. Who knows? It’s irrelevant now. It took some fumbling in the dark to realize that that’s really okay – it does not, as he had once said, take away anything from that moment. He was right. I was never in the game of pointing fingers and laying blame about anything – it was never like that. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of feelings, twisted up inside by injudicious expectations… until you map your way out.

Always life’s impossible balance between expectation and hope. Probably in my life I had expected that certain events would play out as though they were predestined – like when I was a child I imagined that it would be perfectly reasonable that I might be married and even have a child by the age of 25. I suppose I thought and even expected this because it was the reality modeled for me. My parents had me when they were 24, and they had been married just over a year. Their marriage to each other was already a second marriage for both of them. I didn’t consider that perhaps my life would take a different path, that I would spend so much time undertaking formal education, that I would want to uproot myself from where I came from to explore the world, that I would come to think of being 24 or 25 as being almost a baby still, that nothing I did would lend itself to ‘family life’. I didn’t like ‘family life’ as a kid or growing up, so as time went on, I realized that having some other form of family life – one I built myself – was not a priority. The expectation slowly went away, deferred for an undetermined hope of “someday, maybe”.

This hope was dashed early on for various other reasons, but I was still very young, so I had time to get used to the new paradigm, to build different expectations and hopes while convincing myself most convincingly (!) that I didn’t need or want this ‘family life’ or anything like it – ever.

Did hope die then? I don’t think so. It’s just that when you are in your 20s, you don’t feel like it matters. Expectation, though, was dead and buried. Year by year, one by one, all the friends become ‘family people’ (pod people?!). I live on my own island, making the best of, the most of, it. It’s fulfilling enough, but is it enough? Is there still, against all hope or reason, some hope remaining for something that is the unlikeliest of unlikelies? It’s hard to say for sure – there are glimmers. I have made my peace with it.

Still, the body gives and takes away. Strapping young armcandy-like men swoop in and buoy me up but also remind me that I am not 30 like they are. (Who imagined that one day I’d be old enough to refer to someone in his early 30s as ‘shockingly young’?) These virile ‘youngsters’ who casually exclaim, “Marry me!” because we both watch the same tv shows cannot understand how this (in)delicate balance becomes unbalanced – when expectation shifts to outside hope before toppling over completely. Nor can they understand the set of deeply conflicted, jarring feelings that accompanies this whole thing. The older, the wiser, the better.

He: Actually, I think about this a lot. At 6 AM, most 45-year-old men are probably shaving, putting on a tie and getting ready to have a family breakfast before the morning commute.
She: How do you feel about not being one of them?
He: Sad. Elated. Lucky. Hard done by. Jealous. Smug…
She: Heavens. That sounds exactly like me.

How doleful, but unexpectedly joyous, to consider this shared fate, this shared set of discordant, inconsistent feelings and to know, at least in some way, this part of making our way through the maze is not something we have to do completely alone.

Photo (c) 2013 Julie Pimentel used under Creative Commons license.

Random Gum: Raising the Bar 2017

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Getting late & losing track of time – December 2016/early 2017

For no real reason except that I’ve been abnormally into music for a few months (yes, I always am, but even more than usual these days), I have already collected a new mix that makes up the soundtrack of my life for the last three months or so (since my last mix went out). The songs are all listed below; almost the entire playlist (minus the songs not available at all on Spotify, such as track 01, from Vorderhaus) can be found among my Spotify playlists. Those people whose addresses I have can trust that a physical copy is on its way to you as I write.

01. Vorderhaus – “Faintly …future’s looming in the afterglow…
02. Big Search – “Love in Return …river, the warmth has gone/the trail’s not been cold for long…
03. The Passions – “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” …playing the part of a real troublemaker/but I didn’t care – it really moved me…
When you fall out of love with the dream

04. Steve Mason – “Planet Sizes” …the universe makes me cry…
It could have been a ‘date’ in Oslo… or not. The fates only know

05. Wand – “Fire on the Mountain (I-II-III)”

06. The Fat Tulips – “Where’s Clare Grogan Now?”
Courtesy of lovely William; reminders/mentions of Enumclaw & Scotland all in one

07. The Fall – “Lost in Music”
For Naomi, for S. Put the original on a recent Halloween mix after hearing it on the dreadful show Looking. Made fun of it (i.e. “Get a job, dancing, music-obsessed losers”). What can take it all up a notch? A version from The Fall, of course!

08. Alvvays – “Archie, Marry Me” …You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony…
What started as a casual recommendation led eventually to a little heartbreak every time this song came on: “We spend our days locked in a room content inside a bubble
And in the night time we go out and scour the streets for trouble”

09. British India – “I Thought We Knew Each Other”
“Fifteen years of fighting in the dark/Empty hands the only thing I’ve got/All the times I’ve tried to walk away” – it’s the words, not the generic sound

10. Cats on Fire – “Poor Students Dream of Marx …Hated London nightlife, so I’ve heard…
“Go on, get out/I am sharing your doubts”; “last words are for fools who haven’t said enough” (Oh, and it may interest some to know, like Naomi, that these dudes are FUNNISH)

11. The Crayon Fields – “Mirror Ball” …You are still my-y mirror ball/I look at you/and suddenly I’m a virgin/In a dance hall…
“Would it flatter you to know/That mostly it’s you/That makes me so slow”

12. Courtney Marie Andrews – “How Quickly Your Heart Mends”
“The jukebox is playing a sad country song,/For all the ugly Americans,/Now I feel like one of them,/Dancing alone and broken by the freedom”

13. Maud Lübeck – “J’oublie”
With thanks to Laurent S. When music is a conduit to escape dark times

14. Childish Gambino – “Redbone”
Had been meaning to listen but didn’t until it got the “Travis seal of approval”. Love to Billy & Travis xox. And my god, is there anywhere that Donald Glover isn’t right now?

15. Junip – “Line of Fire” …No one else around you/No one to understand you/No one to hear your calls/Look through all your dark corners…
Gothenburg

16. The Church – “Under the Milky Way” …I think about the loveless fascination/
Under the Milky Way tonight…
I often forget how much I love the sound of The Church

17. Roosevelt – “Montreal”
Skåne del Sol adventures (no beheadings) w/ Kyle & musical influence of Mr Bridge

18. Dead or Alive – “You Spin Me Round” …I’ve got to have my way now, baby…
RIP Pete. If the losses of 2016 haven’t spun us all around, I don’t know what will

19. Margaret Glaspy – “You and I” …I think you might be harboring a heartache/I think you might be crying when I’m gone/You and I have been a mistake/I let it linger too long…
Endings that drag on; “I don’t want to see you cry/But it feels like a matter of time”

20. Foxygen – “Follow the Leader” …I know sometimes everyone wants to be someone else…

21. John Lennon – “Watching the Wheels” …when I say that I’m okay/well, they look at me kinda strange/surely you’re not happy now, you no longer play the game…

22. Lianne La Havas – “What You Don’t Do”
Thanks to Esteban and Ana

23. Kula Shaker – “Persephone”
Naming conventions, unconventions & the depth & meaning of a name. Not a Kula Shaker fan

24. Lia Ices – “After is Always Before” …I don’t know after and before’s almost gone…
Missing Jane

25. Grandaddy – “Clear Your History”

26. TV21 – “All Join Hands” …I feel so used or was I just your servant?…
Many thanks to William; thoughts racing while racing through Oslo outskirts

27. Leonard Cohen – “So Long, Marianne”
RIP Leonard Cohen. Generic Cohen to choose but has its reasons. Staple soundtrack of the Indian (why?!) place by my old office in Iceland where I spent so many lunches with old friends. And of course, the Norwegian namesake, Marianne, who preceded Cohen in death by only a few months

28. Diego Garcia – “You Were Never There” …Girl you never cared/You were never there…
“You hide yourself/behind a wall/and it shows”. Such truth

29. Cate le Bon – “Love is Not Love” …And the bars go/And it keeps me high/But I don’t know how to love you…
“I won’t let you, I won’t let you, sing my name again, love…”

30. Laura Marling – “Hope in the Air”
With manifold thanks to MP

31. Tomten – “Nothin’ Like Bein’ No One
Love for the little-known Seattle band. I will include them whenever I can
32. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – “When the Other Foot Drops, Uncle…you better pack up & run…
RIP Sharon. “Every dog has his day, uncle, and it just can’t go on this way…”
33. The Boo Radleys – “Wish I Was Skinny”
Love to Naomi – only Boo Radleys fan I know/can think of!

34. Mitski – “Your Best American Girl”
“If I could, I’d be your little spoon/And kiss your fingers forevermore/But, big spoon, you have so much to do/And I have nothing ahead of me”

35. U.S. Girls – “Island Song”

36. George Michael – “Freedom! ’90”
Holy shit – could 2016 be more brutal? RIP George. I was not a huge fan but what a piece of the 80s landscape and the collective memory of my generation

37. Os Mutantes – “Baby”
For R, always the wrong things to say at wrong times; on occasion knows the right things to do

38. Shonen Knife – “Elephant Pao Pao” とても悪いこと
Totemo warui koto/Japanese-language camp and those old days and ways

39. Low – “Just Like Christmas” …by the time we got to Oslo, the snow was gone/and we got lost, the beds were small, but we felt so young
Conjuring an unfathomably lovely future or a cocoon-like bubble? (Nevertheless, can’t go to Oslo without getting lost and finding an endless array of hi-fi stores)

40. The Verve – “History”
Poetry and history, with gratitude on many fronts to M

41. Nirvana – “Pennyroyal Tea” …Give me Leonard Cohen afterworld…
RIP Leonard Cohen – again

42. Martha Wainwright – “Take the Reins …if you take the reins, I will never look back…
43. Cowboy Junkies – “To Lay Me Down” …To lie with you/Once more to lie with you/With our dreams close together/To wake beside you…
Revival from illness in the cocoon of an illusory under-the-covers world “with our bodies entwined together”

44. Bess Atwell – “Cobbled Streets” …Should it be this hard?/Should it feel like disconnecting?…
“Well I’m afraid I’ve led you to believe I’m not what I am”

45. Steve Mason – “Run Away” …I know you’ll run away/But when I find this I don’t mind anyway…
“Will the love I think, I think I felt/Run away in a day or two?” O, to be pierced through the heart

46. Tori Amos – “Toast” …With a toast he’s telling me it’s time/To let you go…
Losing a brother, stories of toast. For Mom, RIP Paul, ML toastmonster and MP

The end of 2016 particularly was fraught with pain and fear. I can only do what I can: continue on my own path, offer sanctuary to those who have reasons to be fearful of what their current country may become, offer love and sympathy to my remaining family members (whose numbers are dwindling) and love unconditionally. The end also offered a glimpse of light and understanding, which remains unclear. The pain, uncertainty and momentum of all of it inexplicably motivates me as we stumble into 2017.

Photo by the incomparable late, great Paul Costanich.

Decayed Decade of Random Gum (2004-2014) + Part Past Part Fiction 2015

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Forty songs for my forty years of life (in June). And ten years of the Random Gum mix (2004-2014).

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Random Gum, I have selected songs from the mixes of the last ten years to include on this year-end mix as well as a couple of discoveries to usher in 2015. Everything is as random and impossible to plan as ever.

The whole playlist in Spotify (minus those songs not available on Spotify)…

1. The The – “Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)”
A driving, prescient song with a message truer now than when it originally came out in the late 80s. Valid during the hubbub after the Danish cartoon incident several years ago and valid anew after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris

2. Dolly Parton – “Love and Learn”…each new love I find/turns out to be the wrong kind…
Not sure when I will ever learn – this song has been lingering in my head since 2nd grade (Dolly obsession era)

3. Kishi Bashi – “Manchester” …My favorite part’s when I die, in your arms like a movie…
The beauty of recommending music to people that they fall in love with. Here’s to Dr Ross

4. The Dø – “Stay (Just a Little Bit More)”
Perfect anthem for all the wasted years dealing with the Married Idiot. “He was a bore, a true chore, and I still wonder why I ever wanted to see him more…”

5. Melody Gardot – “Pretend I Don’t Exist
For Alex, someone from long ago but who was there when most desperately needed

6. The Aislers Set – “Jaime’s Song
Always true: “You get who you play for, not who you wait for”

7. Wilco – “How to Fight Loneliness”
The ultimate pretending. For S: “And the first thing that you want will be the last thing you ever need”

8. Lindstrøm & Christabelle – “Lovesick”

9. The Fall – “Cheetham Hill”
Nothing is complete without the indestructible sound of The Fall – it will make you drive more aggressively

10. The Jack Rubies – “Be With You”
One of those songs that remains a favorite (since 1989?) even if it’s rather silly

11. Circuit Object – “Voices Fill My Head”
Reminiscent of boundless but unfulfilled talent

12. Serge Gainsbourg – “Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’En Vais”
Memory of driving Hwy 18 with my old friend, Mike. It’s like we were in another life; I was another person

13. Rodriguez – “Crucify Your Mind”
RIP Malik Bendjelloul

14. Glasvegas – “Fuck You, It’s Over”
Again, those Scottish vowels. For a while I got to hear those vowels every day, as I used to dream of…

15. The Chills – “Part Past Part Fiction”
“You cannot drive and stare rear view.” Good advice

16. Foxygen – “San Francisco”
“My brother is a soldier now…”. A song for Annette; a song for Kyle

17. Diana Ross & the Supremes – “Remove This Doubt”
All those times when doubt is all there is

18. Simple Minds – “Don’t You Forget About Me”
Timeless classic – recently watched The Breakfast Club again (hard to hear this and not connect the two)

19. Tori Amos – “Strange”
“Woke up to a world that I am not a part except when I can play its stranger…”. The pain still rings true

20. Bertrand Belin – “La perdue”

21. Tatsuya Ogino and the Bunnies – “My Sweet and Bitter Days”
The Friday song – the good old days at Opera. Happened to hear on the Friday when I finally put this all together. Love to Janne, Lauren, Annette, Jennifer and everyone from the good old days

22. Sam Phillips – “Love Changes Everything” …I’m not sorry we loved, but I hope I didn’t keep you too long…
When things crashed before finally changing the trajectory of everything: “We can’t fix what’s broken, so let’s leave it here, and walk on – I’ll be right behind you”

23. John Grant – “Queen of Denmark” …I hope you know that all I want from you is sex, to be with someone who looks smashing in athletic wear, and if you’re haircut isn’t right you’ll be dismissed…
More reflection on wasted time with Married Idiot

24. Portishead – “The Rip” … and the tenderness I feel will send the dark underneath/will I follow?…
Feels like the painful but transformative spring of 2008

25. Crowded House – “Don’t Dream It’s Over” …there is freedom within, there is freedom without – try to catch the deluge in a paper cup…
This one never gets old.

26. Martha Wainwright – “Far Away”
Heartbreaking sentiment: “I have no children/I have no husband/I have no reason to be alive/oh, give me one”

27. Lia Ices – “Little Marriage” …I started minding not having it all/one little marriage or big love…
For Jane, for Lóa and everyone who has been enveloped by the lush, layered sounds of Lia Ices

28. Joan Armatrading – “Save Me” … immune or evasive – throw me a lifeline – save me…

29. Low – “Closer”
Being enveloped in something that makes you feel more remote and distant than ever and needing escape

30. The Magnetic Fields – “My Sentimental Melody” …cool and unfazed, you’re always amazed when someone gets hurt…
Used to love this song but now it seems whiny self-victimization now that there’s some backstory.

31. Arik Einstein – “Ro’eh Atzuv
Seltjarnarnes early 2000s, Israeli MTV commercials, marshmallow couches and taking years to identify Arik Einstein, who recently died. Love to Sarah and the old days in Iceland

32. Kristin Hersh – “Quick”
Cancer song; the recurring feeling like nothing will ever be solid or trustworthy again

33. Amalia Rodrigues – “Povo Que Lavas No Rio”
Ache. Somehow now makes me think of Kristie – who supplied me with Halloween goodies!

34. O + S – “The Fox”
The formidable, tricky fox is always making an appearance

35. Kazim Koyuncu – “Ben Seni Sevdugumi”
For Roxane, for all my Turkish friends, for Jill

36. Hector Zazou feat Björk – “Visur vatnsenda rosu”
Iceland, of course, and all my beloved friends there.

37. Pulp – “Roadkill”
The early and unfortunate Berlin visits and always painful trips to and from airports and little reminders that trigger memories

38. Roberta Flack – “To Love Somebody”

39. Cowboy Junkies – “200 More Miles”
The first feeling of real heartbreak, 1989

40. Blondie – “The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game”

2015 – Part Past Part Fiction

41. Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Trick Pony”
For Martina – more dog and pony shows, one trick ponies and all the rest.

42. Tomten – “You Won’t Be On My Mind”
Hometown Seattle music. Always lovely. How I wish I’d have my 40th birthday in Seattle this year featuring both Tomten and Tom Skerritt reading a poem! And here’s to all my beloved Seattle friends and acquaintances!

43. Lia Ices – “Magick
For Jane; layered bliss

44. Guns N’ Roses – “Welcome to the Jungle”
For long lost Terra, and our secret love for GNR. Duff! Duff! Duff!

45. The Association – “Never My Love”
I just like the sound

46. Poison – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
For S and spontaneous, passionate renditions of this ridiculous song

47. Bryan Ferry – “This is Tomorrow” … Suddenly a voice I’m hearing/Sweet to my ear/This is tomorrow callin’/Wishin’ you were here…
For S, if only it could be yesterday or tomorrow and not a return to the darkest days

48. The Primitives – “Way Behind Me” …all those lies inside your head/took my hand and led me blindly…
For who I was in the 1980s – and all the people I knew then, and the continued need to know when to walk away. “I’m gonna try my best move/I’m gonna leave you way behind me”

49. Cameo – “Word Up”
For Tomislav; for S and his dancing career/codpiece uniform (ha!)

50. Teenage Fanclub – “Alcoholiday”… Went to bed but I’m not ready/Baby I’ve been fucked already/Falling into line but I’m doing nothing/We’ve got nothing worth discussing./Went to go but it’s all hazy/People say I’m going crazy…
S – the brief time between dark days turned out to be just an “alcoholiday” – never a more fitting song for almost anything. Never knowing what you’ve got til you’ve fucked it up for good. And now it remains to be seen whether the end is Leaving Las Vegas or Edgar Allan Poe

51. Mega Bog – “Aurora/99”
More Seattle gems. For Kyle, Naomi: “Goddammit, don’t take 99!”

52. Cate Le Bon – “I Think I Knew”
Thanks to Aurélien for the lovely recommendation, as always

53. St. Vincent – “Birth in Reverse”
Hard decisions that may close the door forever- a kind of birth in reverse. Love for Annette.

54. Sister Sledge – “Lost in Music” …responsibility to me is a tragedy/I’ll get a job some other time…
Get a job, you fucking disco cokeheads! For S

55. Laura Veirs – “Sun Song”
An Aurélien recommendation – thinking fondly of Malin (because of course I’m the sunshine of her work day!)

56. Jeff Beck – “Morning Dew”
Just has a cool sound

57. The Beatles – “Real Love”

58. The Preatures – “It Gets Better” … And all the times I had you near, through my fingers disappear/I see all that it could be, and it’s better than it ever could be…
S: “Only lonely in your arms again/I know you’re see-through but can we just pretend”

59. Tiny Ruins – “Night Owl”

60. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – “Xanadu” …she’s a lipstick anarchist…

61. Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Shirim”

62. St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” …digital witnesses/what’s the point of even sleeping?/if I can’t show it, you can’t see me/what’s the point of doing anything?…
For Martina and Jennie – the word “digital” is forever tainted for me.

63. Cyndi Lauper – “I Drove All Night”
Always stuck driving all night, through all kinds of treacherous conditions

64. The Dø – “Sparks”
“If someone comes & shows up at the door/No one will be there to answer anymore/We have it all on tape now”

65. Oyama – “Old Snow”
Iceland – represent

66. Mitski – “Texas Reznikoff”
Another one that makes me think of Jane

67. First Aid Kit – “Shattered & Hollow”

68. EMA – “So Blonde”

69. Father John Misty – “Bored in the USA”
Jesus, this cynical song makes me ache. “Now I’ve got a lifetime to consider all the ways/I grow more disappointing to you as my beauty warps and fades/I suspect you feel the same/When I was young I dreamt of a passionate obligation to a roommate”

70. TOPS – “All the People Sleep”

71. Al Green – “Tired of Being Alone”
Can’t just be with someone because you’re tired of being alone. For S

72. Tom Waits – “Ruby’s Arms”
“Jesus Christ this goddamn rain, will someone put me on a train/I’ll never kiss your lips again, or break your heart/as I say goodbye I’ll say goodbye, say goodbye to Ruby’s arms”

Halloween Random Gum soundtrack – Better late than never

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Everyone who knows me knows that I put together at least one “soundtrack” of the songs (i.e. “random gum that holds the year together” – here’s a link to all the previous soundtracks on Spotify) that popped up in one meaningful way or another during the year, put them on a CD and send them out the old-fashioned way via postal mail. Some years, I am organized and get the things in the mail early – this year, I got them done just in time to go out on American Thanksgiving. I had the track listing done ages ago but never had time to deal with the rest of the process – burning CDs, making the simple but nevertheless handmade (thus time-consuming) Halloween cards, printing out all the notes and track listings and folding it all up and shipping them. It also did not help that in the early days of my November vacation, a time I planned to devote to this card-production process, my internet connection went dead for several days, making the songs for the soundtrack out of reach (needed to download a good proportion of them). But finally – finally – the whole thing is finished.

scottish spring – troubled summer – falling down – getting up
random gum – 2014

The full playlist on Spotify (except for songs that don’t exist on Spotify).

Nine Inch Nails – “We’re in this Together” if the world should break in two/until the very end of me, until the very end of you
Had no idea when this year began how true the sentiment would be. “We will make it through somehow” “Even after everything/you’re the queen and I’m the king/nothing else means anything”. For S.

Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Hey Joe”
We didn’t know we needed a breathy Charlotte-sung, Beck-produced version of this song, but we did!

Angel Olsen – “High and Wild” you’re here, you’re here, but your spirit’s disappeared/off to some place that i don’t know, some human thing has squashed your soul
Another dark Berlin summer, emerging in the light. “You might as well be blind, cause you don’t see me anymore/And you, you can’t tell me that you love me, when I’m standing in your way”

Dum Dum Girls – “Take Care of My Baby”
For S, and getting through all the rough times and worries. Takes on unforeseen depth.

Le Prince Miiaou – “Hawaiian Tree”
For Aurélien, who long ago won the battle, in quality and number, of track-listing mentions.

Tennis – “It All Feels the Same”
“We could be good but we don’t live the way that we should/Constantly told we’re imperfect and cannot be good/Tired of waiting around for you to intervene/Tired of wishing that you even knew what I mean”. Pain and strain of repeated mistakes

Wild Flag – “Romance We love the sound, the sound is what found us/Sound is the blood between me and you
“Back when I had no story, nothing to form me/You got under my skin/You were my maker/my re-creator/My reason to live”

The Saints – “(I’m) Stranded”
For Stephen and those half-hour conversations (“wee chats”) that never lasted less than all night.

Sonic Youth – “Kool Thing” I just want you to know that we can still be friends
High school. “Are you gonna liberate us girls from male, white, corporate oppression?”

Angelique Kidjo – “Lay, Lady, Lay”
Angelique from Benin, one of those countries in Africa I learned about only incrementally

Crowded House – “Not the Girl You Think You Arethe bathroom mirror makes you look tall/but it’s all in your head
Always loved this song; takes on new meaning as life passes into new phases. “He won’t deceive you or tell you the truth/he’ll be no trouble. He won’t write you letters, full of excuses…”

Circuit Object – “Hollow Words”
For and by ML. Sometimes things just change, and we can’t do anything about it.

Tamaryn—“Violet’s in a Pool” the sound is moving in
Soundscape for late-night drives in western Sweden – evokes Bengtsfors, of all places!

Aimee Mann – “Amateur” I was hoping that you’d know better than that

Angel Olsen – “Stars” I wish I had the voice of everything
“To scream the feeling til there’s nothing left”. Such beauty…

Patti Smith – “Don’t Smoke in Bed”
“Take care of everything; I’m leaving my wedding ring, don’t look for me – I’ll get ahead. Remember, darling – don’t smoke in bed”. Elegiac words for the sad endings of sad entanglements

Damien Jurado – “Amateur Night” It’s me who made you/It’s me who will take you
“I am not an evil man/I just have a habit I can’t kick/It starts with an urge and ends with this/Hang up the phone, I ain’t finished yet”. Another song whose meaning deepens w/experience

The Smiths – “I Won’t Share You”
Toasting the end of my rural man harem and W, the Smiths-quoting filth peddler

Tadpoles – “Sunrise Ocean Bender”
This makes me feel like I am in the 1990s again.

Glasser – “Shape”
“And I look out longingly/over the beach./There’s an ocean making life/beyond my reach,/and the vastness is/too much for me to stand.”

Warpaint – “Love is to Die” I found a way/To look towards this day/But it all hooked up/This could only go one way/I’m not alive, I’m not alive without you

The Fall – “Life Just Bounces” life just bounces so don’t you get worried at all
An unusually warm and bright February day. Watched a BBC show about the mad, inimitable Mark E. Smith. Blasting The Fall on high all the rest of the live long day. For Naomi

Sydney Wayser – “Geographer”
It’s just beautiful

INXS – “Don’t Change” I found a love I had lost/It was gone for too long/Hear no evil in all directions/Execution of bitterness/Message received loud and clear
Beautiful and bittersweet nostalgia – tangentially thinking of Michael Hutchence, his late wife Paula and Paula’s late daughter Peaches… will tragedy ever stop dogging that family?

Rolling Stones – “Miss You”
For obligatory naked pre-Mogambo balcony dancing

Sonic Youth – “Youth Against Fascism” I believe Anita Hill/that judge will rot in hell
I still believe Anita Hill; pop culture references – some timeless, some a flash in the pan, some culture/country specific, made immortal in song.

Cat’s Eyes – “Over You” I’m over you/Soon I’ll be rid of you and your ways/And I’ll forget all those/wasted days/And I wonder what took me so long/to finally let you know that I’ve begun

Lia Ices – “Thousand Eyes” We are a starry sky/Gazing down with a thousand eyes/And we know that we go on
Multilayered beauty. “Flash your flood, set your fire/You were born to overflow/And we know that we go on”

Buried Beds – “Stars”
For S. You may come upon the blackest stone/What passage lies beyond is still unknown/And sleep won’t come, cause you never close your eyes/Like stars above us we are on fire”

Hefner – “Love Inside the Stud Farm” Girl, you’re a teaser/what on earth did I just do to deserve a girl like you?
“You don’t know what you’ve done to me, with that voice, with those eyes, with that smile, and that smell…” All those auspicious beginnings when things are perfect, before the unraveling of reality

Miriam Makeba – “Liwa Wechi – Congolese Lament
Much love to Zaki

Neneh Cherry featuring Robyn – “Out of the Black” I fear what’s gone before will come right back and slap me

XVIII Eyes – “I’ll Keep You”

Otis Redding – “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember”
“Nobody knows what I feel inside/all I know – I walked away and cried…”

The Boxer Rebellion – “Both Sides are Even” You don’t need a reason/For I know that what I’ve done is wrong/No one there to warn you/About the way that our moment’s gone
“These are my suspicions/And I’ll never know how this was a lost cause/And both sides are even/They are even and alone/Yeah, it’s the same/Right or wrong”

Angel Olsen – “Unfucktheworld” Here’s to thinking that it all meant so much more/I kept my mouth shut & opened up the door
“I wanted nothing but for this to be the end/For this to never be a tied and empty hand/If all the trouble in my heart would only mend/I lost my dream I lost my reason all again”

The Doors – “Love Her Madly”
For S. and poetic comparisons.

Robyn Hitchcock – “Everything About YouI love everything about you/I love your crooked smile/The way I try to please you/And have done for a while

Sonic Youth – “Wish Fulfillment”

George Jones – “The Grand Tour”
For S and the riding lawn mower future. This type of twangy country tune makes me laugh – the “woe is me/she left me” whining, but I don’t think for one minute that “she” left without cause.

The Hat, feat. Father John Misty, S.I. Istwa – “The Angry River”
“The awful cost of all we lost/As we looked the other way/We’ve paid the price of this cruel device/Till we’ve nothing left to pay”

Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five” But I’m giving you my heart, my heart/Are you giving me your heart?

The Kinks – “You Really Got Me”
Meant for playing at insanely loud volume

Angel Haze – “New York” calls from overseas like a motherfucking crusade
For Jill – finally leading the New York life. And for Annette, the vigilante! “I run New York”

Pulp – “Lipgloss”
For M, my lipgloss and girly-stuff provider extraordinaire

Nirvana – “Love Buzz” Would you believe me when I tell you/That you’re the queen of my heart?
20 years since Kurt Cobain died – hits harder now, in middle age, than when it happened

Sondre Lerche – “Bad Law” When crimes are passionate/can love be separate?

Travis – “All I Want to Do is Rock”

Wild Flag – “Something Came Over Me”
“Yeah, you were always headed down the wrong path/But you’ll be back, you’ll be back around/Summer’s creeping up slowly/We’re gonna let the good times, let the good times roll”

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “B.S.A.” it’s gonna be a long cold winter/but I feel so warm when I’m in her arms
“She goes off like a shotgun/she’s got me begging on my knees/she’s like a kiss from Jesus/make me forget my disease”. An S song

Merry Clayton – “Gimme Shelter”
Proves that this should have been a woman vocalist all along

Belle & Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown”
For Jill. For Inga and days in the poopbarn when Boring Guy did not want to “blow my cover”.

Trentemøller – “Still on Fire”
Cool sound + opening to TV show Halt and Catch Fire

Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians – “Queen Elvis” People get what they deserve,/Time is round and space is curved./Honey, have you got the nerve,/To be Queen Elvis?

Sam Phillips – “I Can’t Stop Crying” In dream I scream but you can’t hear me calling you
Floods of tears when circumstances tear something or someone from your hands, your life

Angel Olsen – “Forgiven/Forgotten” all is forgiven/all right, you are forgiven
“If there’s one thing I fear/it’s knowing you’re around, so close but not here”

The Platters – “Twilight Time”
Memories of the old pre-internet days when wild goose chases ensued looking for songs we could not quite place. What on earth did we do without Google?

Townes Van Zandt – “Lungs”
The late, great Townes.

Roxy Music – “More than This”

The Handsome Family – “Far From Any Road”
“And rise w/ me forever across the silent sand/the stars will be your eyes & the wind will be my hands”

Barbara Lewis – “Baby, I’m Yours”
For S.

Aaron Neville with Linda Ronstadt – “Don’t Know Much”
My joke song with S, who does not know where his face is going. “And that may be all I need to know”

Neil Diamond – “Love on the Rocks”Love on the rocks/ain’t no surprise/just pour me a drink/and I’ll tell you some lies
Top-floor flat in Berlin; drunken torture and misery – hatching an escape plan. Traumatic memories of high school teacher and her laminated Neil Diamond posters

The Go-Betweens – “Quiet Heart” And what did I say that made you cry?/Our dream won’t die/Doesn’t matter how far you come/You’ve always got further to go

A Fine Frenzy – “Almost Lover” shoulda known you’d bring me heartache/almost lovers always do

Angel Olsen – “Windows” won’t you open a window sometime?/what’s so wrong with the light?

Sinéad O’Connor – “Just Like U Said It Would B” when I lay down my head/at the end of my day/nothing would please me better/than I find that you’re there

Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris – “Love Hurts”
For S. and the tragic loss of the Gram Parsons shirt. At least there’s still “Yeah!” to wear.

Tomten – “Wednesday’s Children

Johnny Cash – “Hurt” And you could have it all/My empire of dirt/I will let you down/I will make you hurt
I don’t think I can listen to this again without crying; Berlin summer disaster and near endings

Moby with Damien Jurado – “Almost Home”

Good Good of Random Gum – Year-End Soundtrack 2013

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The Good Goo of Year-End – Queen Bee in the Hornet’s Nest
Random Gum / Year-End 2013

Complete playlist on Spotify.

1. SONIC CONTROL – “Broken Television on a Neukölln Street”
“I’m a broken television on a Neukölln street/that dog over there just pissed on me/my screen is cracked, my transformers are gone/I was state of the art until it all went wrong…” The dogs of corporate life. Thanks, ML and MS

2. Ladytron – “Mirage” …You don’t listen,/You do not exist…
“Happy not to notice/The room retracts the focus/Where you cannot see/Reflections from within”

3. Elton John – “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” …live for each second, without hesitation…
Song is a sad reminder of childhood & early years of music videos. “I simply love you more than I love life itself”

4. John Grant – “Leopard and Lamb” …Like learning how to crawl across a floor that’s covered with glass/Like learning how to look away and never to look back…
“Watch The Simpsons to remember how you’d laugh…”. For Ph. Friendship ending always hurts more than love

5. Ulali – “Mahk Jchi”
This is like being back in college again. Upon reflection, the most awkward, misguided time of my whole life

6. Royal Headache – “Distant and Vague”
One for wandering central Göteborg. And the title/theme… what/who isn’t “distant and vague”?

7. TV-Resistori – “Koputan puuta”
FUNland! ”But Ginsberg, my balls hurt!” Finnish music that sounds almost Japanese. Music for throwing away perfectly good shoes. For Naomi and ML.

8. Pepe Deluxé – “Lucky the Blind vs. Vacuum Cleaning Monster”
Thinking about Lóa, who loves vacuum cleaners.

9. Les Sans Culottes – “Tout va bien
All the French – Aurélien, Bruno, Tristan, Thierry, Valérie – and so on. All the cool people.

10. Cepia – “Ithaca”
Anything Ithaca, as much horror as it might give her, is for Jill.

11. John Grant – “I Hate This Town”
But then again you always made it clear/That you do not care either way/Which begs the question/How can I still claim to love you/You told me time and time again/That you don’t lose you always win/And that to make an effort would just be beneath you”. John Grant – hands down, one of my favorites

12. Throwing Muses – “Mexican Women” …love becomes a foreign substance…
For Martina and her reflections on Mexican women making piñatas that will just be destroyed – the fleeting nature of beauty. “Up yours, Bruno!” Also, I might as well be a man – I open doors for and bring flowers to women friends. What woman wouldn’t want to marry me? Hahaha. Pachanga! Free fika cake!

13. Yo La Tengo – “Nowhere Near” …everyone is here/but you’re nowhere near…
I have always loved this song, but love resurged when it appeared in the final episode of the US version of The Bridge this year.

14. Marianne Faithfull – “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” …at the age of 37, she realized she’d never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair…
For a variety of reasons, I really dislike the name Lucy (cue up whiny, snotty British accent for starters). I am sure I had heard this song before (Lee Hazlewood version?) and even think I knew it was written by Shel Silverstein, but it appeared in the Dusan Makavejev film Montenegro, which I only saw recently despite its being made in 1980. I had no idea it was set in Stockholm (you’d never guess from the film’s title!), the dubious heroine a resident of posh island “suburb”, Lidingö. In the early 2000s I went to a film festival in Reykjavik at which Makavejev was the guest – they screened two of his weirder films (they’re all weird)… oh memories. For Leifur.

15. The National – “About Today” …you just walked away/and I just watched you…
What more can really be said about The National? “How close am I to losing you?”

16. The Rolling Stones – “Sympathy for the Devil”
Horrifying memories of hordes of Australians on bus trip; a memory of coming home from kindergarten. My dad was playing this, and it is the only time I remember him choosing willingly to play a record on his own. I was a bit scared/very intrigued by this song because of the title and the drum beat.

17. Martha Wainwright – “Matapedia” …I could not slow down/I was not afraid…
Martha doing one of her mother, Kate McGarrigle’s (RIP) songs – really lovely.

18. Kishi Bashi – “I Am the Antichrist to You” …I was always quick to admit defeat…
“And my heart it shook with fear/I’m a coward behind a shield and spear”

19. The Bee-Gees – “Stayin Alive”
A few years ago when Robin Gibb died, I could not bring myself to include a Bee-Gees song on my mix and instead chose “It Was Disco but Now It’s Over…”. Thanks to TV’s Sherlock and its use of “Stayin Alive”, its worming its way into my brain and all the back and forth with people about disco, Tony Manero (the Saturday Night Fever character and title character of eponymous Chilean film) AND learning that the song provides the right tempo for performing CPR, I could hardly not include it. For Elisa S, Krista H, Adrian K

20. Animotion – “Obsession”
Oh, the 80s. Makes me feel old but brings to mind obsessive statements à la “Nobody has driven me crazy like this for such a long time. Never.” For JKL

21. Run DMC/Aerosmith – “Walk This Way”
Thanks to Jill for the reminder of this song, which I like much better now than in the old days. Late-night, loud rain dance praying with love for Annette.

22. Lia Ices – “Little Marriage”
This song was included on another mix but it’s too beautiful not to use again. It inspires such emotion, bringing an emptiness that longs to be filled to the surface. With love for Jane as always.

23. Jean-Louis Murat – “Colin-Maillard” …Tu traverses le miroir/Ton désir ne veut plus patienter…
Another previous inclusion… the sound and the voice fills me with a kind of melancholy.

24. My Bloody Valentine – “Feed Me with Your Kiss”
MBV released their first album in 20+ years but I select a song from an old album. Nostalgia?

25. The Smiths – “A Rush and a Push”
“Let’s talk about poetry.” The seductive power of knowing a poem or two… stealing things from others’ imaginations.

26. OutKast – “Hey Ya!” …don’t try to fight the feeling/cause the thought alone is killing me right now…
To the joy of knowing Jill: “My baby don’t mess around”

27. Lay Low – “Last Time Around”
Something nice from Iceland, thinking of all my friends there (Alfa, Jane, Lóa, and so on…)

28. Iron & Wine – “Jesus the Mexican Boy”
One of the songs in a playlist I made chronicling dogs, dog and pony shows and Mexicans. For Martina.

29. Belle & Sebastian – “Legal Man” …L-O-V-E – it’s coming back, it’s coming back…
One to lose one’s mind dancing to. “Get out of the city/and into the sunshine/get out of the office/and into the springtime…”

30. Serge Gainsbourg – “Les Sucettes” …Elle est au paradis…
For Jean, who taught me so much, and for JKL, who makes plans he will never keep

31. New Order – “Love Vigilantes”
The confusion of mixing up conversations that started about rotten chuck roast and what I thought was “dal” (as in Indian food) but was actually “dal” as in “valley” (Norwegian). I was wondering, “Since when does dal have chuck roast in it?” But the conversation was really referring to Malala from that “dal” (Swat Valley). J Love my vigilante friend, Annette. And, for Naomi – “O blessed be – my favorite dal of all the dals!”

32. The Bee-Gees – “Night Fever”
Taken aback by the rampant popularity of Daft Punk’s latest offer – it’s good, but in light of the backlash against the Bee-Gees and their sound in the late 70s – it is interesting to hear these sounds make a resurgence.

33. Human League – “Don’t You Want Me?”
Neverending back & forth with ML, who never knows what he wants – just knows it’s whatever he doesn’t have

34. Don Dixon – “Praying Mantis”
For Naomi and the happiness of driving around in a different car.

35. Darker My Love – “Talking Words”
Sitting in the autumn-dark parking lot observing OCD-afflicted people check their doors five or six times

36. Lush – “For Love”
Another song that transports me to an exact time, feeling – making me want to run back to the present

37. Camera Obscura – “Anti-Western” …you’re too good looking, I’m always gonna put up a fight…
Anthem to those stunning but ultimately false moments when you believe (stupidly!) that interest is actually real. How eager even the cynic is to believe sometimes. Thanks to Jill as always.

38. Erasure – “Oh L’Amour”
This will always remind me of the late 80s, very late-night phone calls with JBB – alternate realities that allowed for the most complete and unfiltered feeling I can ever remember feeling

39. Cinerama – “Heels” …you crushed him with your heels/and I know exactly how he feels…
For Mathieu. “I don’t really care that you found another lover/cause I know he’ll be gone the moment that you get bored…”

40. Secret Machines – “Atomic Heels” …uncover your eyes/they’re bloodied in love/who’s staring back at yours, honey what have you missed?…

41. Ladytron – “Seventeen” …they only want you when you’re 17, when you’re 21, you’re no fun…
How to feel old…

42. Lana Del Ray – “Blue Jeans (RAC Mix)” …I will love you til the end of time…
Dislike Lana Del Ray but for some reason like this mix – here’s to new cars and departed Greek dentists.

43. Glen Campbell – “Wichita Lineman” …I need you more than want you
For Naomi – another sort of stalker song.

44. The Bee-Gees – “To Love Somebody”
I put the Roberta Flack version of this on the other part of this mix and knew it had sounded familiar but did not put two and two together until I reheard this version in the film 50/50. The Bee-Gees’ music (as done by other artists) is everywhere. It’s got a sad sort of feel – we’ve all been there, but the “you don’t know what it’s like” also sounds like the condescending sorts who rub your being alone in your face, “You just don’t know what it’s like to be in love…”

45. Blondie – “Faces”
I listened to this – and the whole Autoamerican album – over and over when I was five. No wonder I am so fucked. 🙂 “Rapture” does at least reference Subaru! Memories of Thanksgiving with Lóa (2013)

46. Lou Reed – “Satellite of Love”
Rest in peace and bon voyage.

**             **             **             **             **             **             **             **             **             **             **             **

What does it take to be fearless and loving? Loving people requires a certain risk-taking fearlessness that I have never really embraced. When I say never, I mean never. But kindness – that can substitute.

I take a lot of risks and make a lot of changes but am still fearful of a lot of things. Perhaps I need to focus on these things before running off on another adventure undertaken for the sake of “change”.

Sudden, unexpected loss everywhere this year – there is no time like the present to do what one needs to do to feel healthy and happy. Happiest new year wishes, as arbitrary as that really is.

Random rambling – pumpkin curry soup

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I have remarked that my writing is stream-of-consciousness uncontrollable vomit lately. I made a lot of comments the other day to a variety of people that could be classified as harsh generalizations. I excused myself, though – I was in a broad-strokes mood. Yesterday my visiting friend and I were discussing the concept of making generalizations about Icelanders and the Icelandic population. It is possible – you can easily get a representative sample of such of small population. Of course I am not sure I would want to in the way/manner we were discussing it, but at least we can acknowledge that it’s possible if desired.

This is a stream-of-consciousness ramble as well. Tying up the loose ends of all the recipes and things from the last few days.

The Lia Ices album Grown Unknown is a piece of perfection. I forget how much I love it every time I stop listening to it for a while. Lately I have been wrapped up in compiling the year-end mix (going out next week along with new copies of the fouled-up 2013 Halloween mix).

A couple of other hated words since I enjoy chronicling (bitching about) meaningless corporate language so much: “stakeholder” (the more I think about it, most so-called stakeholders don’t really hold any stakes. They are involved, results are relevant to them – but stakes? No, not so much) and “funnel” as in “marketing funnel”. Not terribly fond of “silos” either, even if the word makes sense. I like to keep silos in the farmyard for grain since I have become like an old-hand farmer, dealing with dead mice and such, I know about these things.

City Winter 2013 – Soundtrack – The Good Goo of Random (Love) Gum

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The CD version went out to the people they normally go to on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, here’s the collection that has carried me through winter and the big changes 2013 has delivered into my life.

City Winter 2013 – The Good Goo of Random (Love) Gum
A stab in the heart is as good as a stab in the eye – anti-Valentine’s Day 2013

The full Spotify playlist. (The songs that are available on Spotify, anyway. Sadly not all are.)

01. “Parting Gift” — Fiona Apple …I bet you could never tell/that I knew that you didn’t know me that well…
“It is my fault, you see/you never learned that much from me.”/ “It ended bad but I love what we started.”

02. “A Night Like This” – The Cure
Summer of 1989. The last time I felt everything unfiltered.

03. “A Good Thing” – Saint Etienne …Pack your bags and move along/before your feelings get too strong…
With love to Naomi. And with love to Ben.

04. “Take a Letter, Maria” – R.B. Greaves
Have always hated this song but last year the artist died and I discovered he is from Guyana (like a dear friend’s “I can’t feel my fingers” dad). I have always wondered with regard to this song how and why, if this guy is so devastated about catching his wife with another man, he can so easily move on to his secretary. And when he questions whether he was wrong to work nights to try to make a better life and cannot understand why his wife cheated, why is he not asking whether perhaps all his late nights at the office led his presumably lonely wife to conclude that he was already having an affair with his secretary, which drove her to another man?

05. “Time It’s Time” – Lia Ices …As bad as bad becomes/It’s not a part of you/And love is only sleeping/Wrapped in neglect…
With love for Jane, for Heather, for Alfa…
The song (no YouTube link!)

06. “Pure” – Lightning Seeds …If love’s the truth then look no lies/And let me swim around your eyes/I’ve found a place I’ll never leave/Shut my mouth and just believe/Love is the truth I realize/Not a stream of pretty lies/To use us up and waste our time…
Tenth-grade coming back to bite me in the ass. I got this album from Rodney as a Christmas gift. We all started getting jobs and more importantly, driver’s licenses (goodbye, Hell Machine school bus!). Present day… JKL and references to long-ago “youth” and end-of-January grey Gothenburg days. “Fresh and deep as oceans new/Shiver at the sight of you…”

07. “Dying is Fine” – Ra Ra Riot
xo Jill. “Death oh baby/You know that dying is fine but maybe/I wouldn’t like death if death were good/Not even if death were good.”

08. “Black Belt” – John Grant …What you got is a black belt in B.S…
“You are callipygian/but look at the state you’re in….” Can you argue with a man who fits “callipygian” into a song? For Kyle.

09. “Subculture” – New Order …In the end you will submit/it’s got to hurt a little bit…
The late 80s, early 90s – and all the illusions and confusions of that time.

10. “There’s a Barbarian in the Back of My Car” – Voice of the Beehive …He’s got his eyes on the horizon/he says I can ride his rocket/while telephone numbers are tumbling from his top pocket/dream logic operator/he falls out of the car/he says, “I’ll fuck you later, now just get me to the bar”…
So many barbarians, so many who want things all their way, all on their terms, with no consideration for others. ML, JKL

11. “Aime Mon Amour” – Benjamin Biolay …Quand bien même elle garde ses mystères/Même si tu l’envoies en l’air/Aime Mon Amour/Je te descends…
For Bruno. For Aurélien. Always the French guys.

12. “Wish You Were Here” – Lia Ices …We’re just two lost souls/living in a fishbowl/year after year…
With love for Jane, this almost unrecognizable version of an overdone Pink Floyd classic. “How, how I wish you were here…”

13. “Some People” – Martha Wainwright …I don’t want to be the one to tell you that I don’t love the way I used to…
“If only I believed in God I’d ask him to help me find my way/I am faced with a world that does not have the words to say…”

14. “I’m Leaving It Up to You” – Dale & Grace …Now do you want my love?/Or are we through?…
Who would I be if I were not including songs that considerably pre-date my existence?

15. “The Belle of St Mark” – Sheila E
No clue why – had an urge to hear music that reminds me of the hell of 5th and 6th grades and of my old friend, Danielle.

16. “Healed” – Lia Ices …Just dust…
Always with Jane in mind. And here’s to the shattering of illusions about who you thought people were (Ph).
No YouTube link – here it is.

17. “Meant to Move” – Lerin Herzer & Andrew Joslyn …Some people were meant to sit still/I’m afraid I was meant to move…
In yet another new place, new city, new job, moving on again, as I am meant to do, even if some things never change.

18. “Computer Love” – Kraftwerk
Thanks to Laurent. With ML in the back of the mind. My computer love days are over; goodbye tech world!

19. “Ends of the Earth” – Lord Huron …I was a-ready to die for you, baby/Doesn’t mean I’m ready to stay/What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given/If all you do is stand in one place…
And where is that person who would wander and follow? “To the ends of the earth, would you follow me/There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see…”

20. “Amor Fati” – Washed Out …What you can’t afford now/Chasing all your thoughts, you know that/You’ll be all right in time…

21. “Hallelujah” – The Helio Sequence …We all want answers anyway…
We faithless few. “And waiting pensive, sad, and look/Up to the stars and counting all the suns and all the moons/How sad it was that we could not believe…”

22. “Hong Kong Garden” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
I have always liked Siouxsie and the Banshees but never got into as much as I have of late. Ecstatic when this comes on during my dark, winter morning walks to the tram. Ecstatic for the sound, not so much for the disorienting, misguided lyrics.

23. “Genesis” – Grimes …Holding on/I am a vagabond /It’s always different/I am the one who falls…

24. “Lovefingers” – School of Seven Bells

https://soundcloud.com/vagrantrecords/lovefingers

25. “Thru the Field” – Memory Tapes …Walk on through the field, it’s already late/I swear I heard somebody laughing/At all my mistakes…
All my mistakes… luckily the majority are personal rather than professional or big “life” things.

26. “Alone Again Or” – LoveYeah, said it’s all right/I won’t forget/All the times I’ve waited patiently for you/And you’ll do just what you choose to do/And I will be alone again tonight, my dear…
Here’s to all the waiting around for nothing, empty plans, broken promises…

27. “You’re Still Beautiful” – The Church
Always forgetting The Church – underrated and underplayed. Brings back late-80s memories

28. “Suspended in Gaffa” – Ra Ra Riot …That girl in the mirror/Between you and me/She don’t stand a chance of getting anywhere at all…
Thanks to Jill for the recommendation. Never really been much of a Kate Bush fan, but I’m all for Kate Bush covers.

29. “Argonauts” – The Little Ones …You ought to kick and scream/For every fallen dream, there’s a hard knock on the door/Like stones, yeah we’ll never move to shore…

30. “Crazy Tropical Survival Guide” – Frederick Squire & Katherine Maki …All at once/the world ended/all at once everything in the world became so clear…
I heard this but could not find it for the last Halloween mix – now I don’t like it as much as then but am still including it.

31. “Crucify Your Mind” – Sixto Rodriguez …And you assume you got something to offer/Secrets shiny and new/But how much of you is repetition/That you didn’t whisper to him too…

32. “Heavenly Bodies” – Tamaryn …She’s a fool/But time is a thief/When it comes in to say/Her love has to wait…

33. “Sometime” – DIIV …Oh your body is a mess sometimes/Your brain is just a part of your head it really is a mess sometimes/Your head is just a part of the rest/It’s really necessary sometimes/Your birth is just a part of your death/That really isn’t it this time your death is just a part of your…

34. “Half Gate” – Grizzly Bear …But honestly it’s fine/When I mention how I love you/It’s all I do/Even as I stray/We have the cold to keep/I’m not sure I still believe/My most is nothing more/Than a place we’ve been before…
Regret. A song as dramatic shopping list of regret. “Which of yourselves is truly gone?/Checked out so long/Unhinged unwound/Come help me on/To let lie what’s done/In some great beyond/You’re still there still as you were…”

35. “Working Titles” – Damien Jurado …You could mess up my life in a poem/Have me divorced by the time of the chorus…
For all those who are never quite the right one. “Killing time til I pass through the chamber/Or the room where you keep my replacement/Se fed up still you’re starving on paper/You are no him, but he’s you, only better…” “Leave me an exit to damage/I could use a ledge to jump off of/I wasn’t lying when I said this was over/I have questions that lead to more questions…”

36. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” – Otis Redding …You were tired, and your love is growing cold/My love is growing stronger as our affair grows old…

37. “Teenage Goths” – Jon DeRosa …Do you remember how we ruled/the only teenage goths in school?…
All realistic and pragmatic, but everything is possible.
No YouTube link. Here is the song.

38. “’Cello Song” – Nick Drake

39. “Don’t Drown in Sorrows” – Jakob Olausson
A Swedish thing, carrying me through the winter. Heard first on KEXP in Seattle. The DJ thought he was cool and pronounced this guy’s name like “YAY-kub” – which reminds me of a manager I used to have and his half-assed attempts at pronouncing things – he could never decide until halfway through a word whether he would say it the Norwegian or the English way, so you’d get some crap hybrid. Can’t find a link

40. “Night Will Be Dawn” – Darkness Falls
This might seem a bit dramatic and dark but … then, so is getting through the darkness of Swedish winter. With love for Roxane.

41. “Victoria” – The Fall
This version of the song will always remind me of New Zealand and Qantas – this was part of a sound program they offered about The Kinks. Rarely is a mix complete without The Fall.

42. “Do the Du” – Certain Ratio …My heart was just an open sore/which you picked at ’til it was raw/it bled away my existence/shriveled under your insistence…

43. “Flutes” – Hot Chip
Naturally all references to flutes tie in to Annette and “blowing meat flutes”. ☺ I’ll join that orchestra. There is a sound in the end of the song that sounds a lot like Skype when a call is coming in. Haha. Another good song for tram waiting and riding.

44. “Cherry” – Chromatics …Cherry/Tells me some things I don’t want to know/And I can’t see /A light at the end for us anymore…
I love the sound of this, with visions of nearing the end of the long drive between Gothenburg and rural Swedish woodland, passing a weird dot on the map called Gustavsfors that boasts not only an oddly placed German bakery but also a campground called Alcatraz.

45. “Say No to Thugs” – Lost Animal …Never get lessons in love from an angry man…
Good advice. “Don’t sweat the little things, love…”

46. “Shapeless & Gone” – Porcelain Raft …In a strange kind of way, lifeless landscapes have so much to say…
“So good to know you’re out there/So good to know you still care…”. The words people say to me over and over…

47. “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” – Stars
Many to whom I gave; got nothing in return. Not sorry but have I ever been brave enough to say so? “There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave/You were what I wanted/I gave what I gave/I’m not sorry I met you/I’m not sorry it’s over/I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save…”

48. Drown in My Own Tears” – Stevie Wonder

49. “Nice Without Mercy” – Lambchop …And the sky opens up like candy/And the wind don’t know my name…
Love the title; perfectly sums up my ongoing campaign to kill with kindness.

50. “Beautiful Son” – Peaking Lights

51. “Lord Knows” – Dum Dum Girls …I want to live a pure life/I’d say that it’s about time/Don’t judge me for the things I’ve done/To get off the only one/The bliss I’ve found in ignorance/A slow burning Icarus…

52. “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” – Nina Simone

53. “The Dark Age” – Widowspeak …We only have ourselves to blame/We had our years to play/It’s getting kind of late/Don’t know what you’re waiting for…

54. “I Wish I Had an Evil Twin” – The Magnetic Fields
“My evil twin would lie and steal/And he would stink of sex appeal/All men would writhe/Beneath his scythe/He’d send the pretty ones to me/And they would think that I was he/I’d hurt them and I’d go scot-free/I’d get no blame/And feel no shame/’Cause evil’s not my cup of tea”

55. “Shy Song” – Containe …I want you to fuck me/Like I’ve never been before…
“If you let me, I will show you a good time/I want to come over/Every day and every night…”. “I’m shy, too…”
No YouTube link. Here’s “Shy Song“.

56. “All I Want” – LCD Soundsystem …All I want is your pity/Oh all I want are your bitter tears…
A strange Echo & the Bunnymen quality to it, especially at the end. Constantly amazed that every LCD Soundsystem song sounds completely different. “Look for the girl who has put up with all of your shit/You’ve never needed anyone for so long…”

57. “So Good at Being in Trouble” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra …Memories, they mess with my mind…
“She was so good at being in trouble/So bad at being in love…”

58. “Looking for a Sign” – Beck
“If I ran across your picture/if I called you by mistake/ and if I ask someone about you/It’s a habit I can’t break/Looking out for a sign/How can I tell what’s right/Changing my ways to spite myself/Cause I still want you”

59. “Ruin” – Cat Power …Bitching, complaining when some ṗeople who ain’t got shit to eat/Bitching, moaning, so many people you know they got…
For Naomi. Even some Finns who think 1,200 EUR will last a year ain’t got shit to eat (ramen and cheap liquor!).

60. “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” – The Smiths …I’ve seen this happen in other people’s lives/and now it’s happening in mine…
While it did not bother or devastate me as it did others, I became one of the masses who was downsized from a job (but already had another lined up when it happened). These lyrics, which always remind me of reading a bio of Marie Antoinette back in 1991, seemed applicable and relevant. “Time’s tide will smother you/And I will too…”

61. “Just Make It Stop” – Low …You see I’m close to the edge/I’m at the end of my rope/the rope is starting to thread/I’m trying to keep my hold/you say I’m something I’m not/but I’m not what I seem/get my back off the wall/if I could just make it stop…
Haven’t we all wanted it all to stop?

62. “Passage” – Exitmusic …Words of promise weigh down on us, settle in our bones/Once the dawn falls down upon us, I will let you go…
Unbelievable layers in which to get lost. “You’re so incredible, why can’t I touch you? Hold back decayed love and light.” For RC.