Sunday, October 22, 2006

October Songs

Seasonal musings from yet another new scribbler here at The White Noise Revisited. And Lighthouse makes four, arriving on the scene from underneath the sofa, like the missing piece of a very hard jigsaw puzzle…

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What a banal topic for a post. Autumn is such an easy thing to write about. Why is this happening?” I know that’s what you’re thinking, but have you actually been outside recently? It’s amazing. Currently, there’s nothing but a thick and stubborn mist with thin brown things where trees used to be sticking out of it. Meanwhile, all the animals are getting ready to fake their own deaths. Also, for one month, you can play conkers, the only sport which really makes sense in the grand scheme of things. And in a couple of weeks, everyone is going to put a hat on, get together and hurl fireworks about and burn things and when the smoke clears, everything will be gone, and all that will be left is unremitting blackness of Winter.

So go outside now and get some nature. Here are some suitable songs to listen to, while you’re about it.

James - Seconds Away

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. It’s almost forgotten now that James once went into a studio with Brian Eno and forged a brave and unusual album called ‘Wah-Wah’, which is brilliant. This isn’t on it, but it came from the same sessions, and turned up as a b side. There’s very little to it, aside from the trademark bass undertow, some clattering percussion and distant bellowing. I think it’s probably about getting lost in a field because it’s a bit foggy, even though you’ve walked through it hundreds of times.

Mogwai - Tracy

I went to university in a field. You could hear the motorway but not actually see it and if you got up early enough, there were deer. It was about a mile outside Watford. If you wanted to buy music you had to get the bus to Virgin Megastore, which wasn’t so bad, in the Harlequin shopping centre, which was. On a Monday in October I went there and bought Mogwai ‘Young Team’. By the time I returned to my small room, the daylight was ending, and I played the record. By the time ‘Tracy’ emerged out of the fog of noise with muffled voices and liquid bass, the sun was setting in a particularly stunning fashion. Those glockenspiels are the sound of hearts breaking in small rooms in fields.

R.E.M. - Perfect Circle

I know what you’re thinking, and you’ll probably be right to think it. But let’s not dwell on that – ‘Murmur’ is the Autumn, and 'Perfect Circle' is a song so autumnal, it’s wearing a coat. It’s all here in the serene surreal spaces it creates, the impenetrable muttering and the unidentifiable whooshing, sometimes miles away, sometimes right in your ear. I’ve never been able to make out a single word of this song, and I don’t think I ever want to.

Low - Over The Ocean

A friend of mine once copied ‘The Curtain Hits The Cast’ for me, an act of kindness which could so easily have been pernicious cruelty. It was alright for him – he lived in Manchester. I lived in the East Midlands. An encroaching winter in Lincolnshire will test the mettle of the bravest young men. The vast grey skies will tip you over agricultural based whimsy into black hearted despair at the drop of your hat. Great featureless plains stretch out far enough into the future, which contains more of the same – soil and cold and a hangover. My advice would be, should you find yourself there, is not to listen to this song anywhere in the vicinity of Swineshead Bridge. But don’t let that but you off – it’s a beautiful song.

Search ebay for 'Wah Wah' by James
Buy 'Mogwai Young Team' by Mogwai from Amazon
Buy 'Murmur'by R.E.M. from Amazon
Buy 'Curtain Hits The Cast' by Low from Amazon