Sometimes the knife thrower misses, and that’s the breaks. But other times he outlines his lovely assistant’s body with his knives, and she steps away and they depart from the stage with waves and a curtsy. And that’s the way we like it.
For your consumption I have made a mixtape for the moments after the knives are thrown. The outlines of figures and of life, in the shadows and in the light. What am I trying to say? I have no idea. But collaging these particular pieces of music together feels like a completion of something for me.
Perhaps I’ve constructed another memory lane for myself. Or discovered a rotting, long-lost corduroy road. I hope it translates into something meaningful for you.
The link is at the bottom.
Berceuse-Ilous & Decuyper
Man, is this stuff moody.
Excerpt from The Magnificent Ambersons
An American masterpiece, however incomplete it is after being cut against Orson Welles’ wishes by the studio.
Rhapsody- Rita Marley
This is not even a b-side, it’s just floating around Bob Marley box sets, and it’s unbelievable.
Weather Report (The Only Living Boy In New York)- The Tennors
A slice of amazing rocksteady, covering a Paul Simon classic, and also dropping lines from “My Little Town.”
Dying On the Vine- John Cale
“I’ve been chasing ghosts and I don’t like it.”
Sound On Sound- Big Boys
This is a quiet, collaged moment from the Texas punk band that really resonates with me.
Last Night at the Jetty- Panda Bear
It Started Out So Nice- Rodriguez
At first the off-ryhmes and busy language seem like nonsense, but he’s really just created a new way of expression, and it’s the end of the affair.
Observatory Crest- Captain Beefheart
Everybody acts like this album is really awful because the original band had fallen apart. But the title is great, Bluejeans and Moonbeams. And this song is a winner about going to Griffith Observatory.
Snakes- Mike Nicolai
I met Mike Nicolai in Minneapolis at a bar called Dusty’s,which was located across the street from Grain Belt Brewery. He was a friend of a friend of mine. His girlfriend was bartending, and he gave me his album, and we had a couple of beers, and he put “I’m Going Down” by Bruce Springsteen on the jukebox. The whole album was amazing. Recently, while driving on Long Island checking out thrift stores, I burst into tears unexpectedly listening to this song. To me it sort of capture’s the loss of childhood. I didn’t know I’d lost it, and I didn’t know that I was sad about it until then. Discover more of his music here.
The Neverending Happening- Bill Fay
Bill Fay brings it, per usual.
Bown Bown Bown- Francoise Hardy
Heaven- David Byrne & Caetano Veloso
They should play together more.
No Other Love- Jo Stafford
This song really builds up but is so controlled at the same time.
A Time To Live In Dreams- Dennis Wilson
A Dennis Wilson ditty that expresses, to me, the versatility of this guy: one minute he is a total horn dog, and then as heard here, a total sweetheart.
Cold Song- Klaus Nomi (Henry Purcell)
I first heard this during the opening credits of the French film A Nos Amours, which I rented from Major Video in New Orleans as a teenager. A fantastic film.
Willin’ (live)- Little Feat
One of my favorite songs ever.
Sway When You Walk- Flo & Eddie
God, these guys wrote great pop songs.
Driftwood- The Wailers
Not THOSE Wailers.
Gypsy (demo)- Stevie Nicks
Just listen to it. And watch the clip from the dressing room as she stares into her makeup girl’s eyes and sings an early versionsof “The Wild Heart” with a backup singer.
Story of My Life- Lesa Aldridge
Alex Chilton’s off-key muse and girlfriend playing around covering the Velvets in the studio, and I get it. And in this William Eggleston photograph she’s the one on top. You could read more about this photo here.
Song to the Siren: Tim Buckley
No one else could ever sound like this dude.
Empty Boxes- Everly Brothers
Nothing to say, but, like, wow.
What It’s Like- Arthur Russell
What happens after the young preacher uses you up and throws you away like a Kleenex.
Down Among the Sheltering Palms- Boswell Sisters
They were from New Orleans and they sang like birds.
While Drifting- San Sebastian Strings
I have a Rod McKuen problem. I love him for all his cheese and schmaltz. This is pretty great. He’s not the one speaking but he wrote it.
OK, here’s the mixtape, The Never Ending Happening.