James Rovira’s just-published book, Rock and Romanticism: Postpunk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), includes my chapter “‘Little crimeworn histories’: Nick Cave and the roots-raves-rehab story of rock stardom.” (That chapter’s a full treatment of an inkling I first shared here nearly a decade ago.)
Rovira’s book is also accompanied by its own iTunes playlist that I was happy to help build and curate (and, in the process, encounter some great music I’d not previously known about); and the editor’s also got a whole blog post with listening samples and other links related to topics covered in the book.
For my part, I’ll just leave here a link to the video for the song that my chapter takes its title from: the exhilaratingly evil, deliriously demonic “Deanna”:
It’s been a minute since I recorded a new #drumandbass mix, so here’s a longer one, “Liquefaction,” 1.5 hours’ worth of new & recent tracks from labels like @HospitalRecords, @FokuzRecordings, @soulventrecords & @metalheadzmusic.
Here’s a track list, too (since Mixcloud only reveals the track list during playback).
- Danny Byrd, “Devil’s drop” 00:00
- The Vanguard Project, “Love call” 04:13
- Addiction & Villem, “Makes me feel fine” 08:04
- Etherwood, “Fire lit sky” 12:52
- Changing Faces, “Talk to you” 17:17
- Serum feat. Inja, “Blow them away” 20:33
- Revaux & Aslan, “Sinner” 25:09
- Moby, “Porcelain” (Pola & Bryson remix) 28:31
- Bert H & High N Sick, “Aurora” 32:45
- S.P.Y., “Alone in the dark” 36:41
- Fliwo, “Hypnotize” 39:22
- Bladerunner, “Kick off” 43:30
- Scar feat. Naomi Pryor, “The wrong side” 47:24
- Avalon Rays, “Don’t cry” 52:26
- Royalston, “Popular mechanics” 57:25
- Whiney feat. Inja, “Flashlight” 1:02:25
- Enei & DRS, “The process” 1:05:30
- Anile, “Allergens” 1:08:57
- Metrik feat. Rothwell, “We got it” (S.P.Y. remix) 1:12:13
- Digital feat. Villem, “Sun bites” 1:16:26
- Dilemma & Ownglow feat. Courtney Odom, “Mercy” 1:20:40
- Scar, “Make ’em know” 1:24:30
Some Apple Music playlists seem bot-made, but its Velvet Underground Essentials is a proper journey, and a masterfully curated introduction for anyone who doesn’t already dig this seminal rock band. (The Velvets are the only hip band I can confidently say I introduced many highschool and undergrad friends to.)
In this playlist — which for some reason made for perfect holiday listening yesterday — the songs are perfectly sequenced (for instance, following “Oh sweet nuthin,” a deeper but critical cut, with “All tomorrow’s parties” is inspired); the versions are judiciously selected (for instance, here’s the proper take of “Sweet Jane,” with the bridge); and if there are some omissions (like “The Murder Mystery” or “Cool it down”) there are more essentials (“Here she comes now”), and even some delightful surprises (how have I never heard “Foggy notion” before?).
I’m sharing a pic of the playlist for those who don’t have Apple Music but can source the tracks otherwise and sequence them this way. For Apple Music users, here is the playlist link.
“Montreal is still small enough to have one or two centres, one or two late night centres, and into this funnel is drawn everyone who happens to be up that night or at least a representation of the various groups operating in the night, and groups operating in the night always have a special kind of interest and a special kind of ritualistic atmosphere.
“And into these places, these special places in the city, and Ben’s is one of them, is drawn this very urgent cross section of people who have somehow committed the first rebellious act that a man can perform: refusing to sleep.
“That’s the real rebellion against life and the generative process. That’s the real human idea: I refuse to sleep. I’m going to protest the idea of sleep by turning night into day.
“I’m going to revel and drink and womanize all night and this way I show time, death, the natural process of destruction, decay and regeneration — I show it all with my mind and my will that I, man, triumph. And so they come to Ben’s.”
–Leonard Cohen, quoted in Ladies & Gentlemen…Mr Leonard Cohen (NFB, 1965)
[A thousand thanks to you, Mr Leonard Cohen, for showing us how the light gets in. And for being the light.]
“…dance clubs should be safe spaces. Where you can take #pride in yourself and freely express yourself. Where you can #BeYourself. This idea, this ethos has weighed heavily on my mind this week. This mix of newish tracks veers between darkness and light, dread and remedy. The track list titles sketch a kind of story, an all too familiar story. But it starts and ends with tracks that insist what a dancefloor should be: Shrine. Sacred Floor.”
Update: Dan Savage and Carl Craig have written good articles this week about the importance of dance clubs as sanctuaries. See Savage’s “What we find in gay bars and queer clubs” and Craig’s “On the importance of club culture after the Orlando shooting.”
00:00 Artificial Intelligence “Shrine”
05:33 Whiney “Guardians”
09:12 Maduk “One way”
12:50 Boston “Conscious”
16:53 S.P.Y. “Hidden fire”
20:23 Alibi, Unreal & Dogface “Drop dead”
23:38 Dan Bowskill & Kalm “Living in the red”
28:12 Nitri “Shiver”
33:34 Bcee “The river runs dry”
38:08 Phase & Whiney “It means nothing”
41:15 Spirit “Interstate”
46:03 Bcee “Back to the street” (S.P.Y. remix)
50:28 Technimatic “Remember you”
55:05 Kid Drama “Red magic”
58:55 Maduk & Veela “Got me thinking”
1:02:22 LSB “Remedy”
1:07:33 Fred V & Grafix “Like the sun”
1:11:12 Bungle & Urbandawn “Sacred floor”
“The DJ as Critic”: my article in the latest issue of English Studies In Canada. Seeing work reach print never gets old, but the design of ESC is always exceptional, from typeface to pull-quotes.
This issue also features work by national treasures like Diana Brydon, Susan Brown, George Elliott Clarke, Smaro Kamboureli & Len Findlay, to name just a few…so I’m thrilled my words get to rub paper shoulders with such a Who’s Who of Canadian literature and literary studies.
This article is presently available only in the print edition of ESC; I will update this post when the article becomes available online.
UPDATE: This issue of ESC is now digitally available via Project Muse. The article is at this link, available to Project Muse users (i.e. postsecondary students and faculty). If you don’t have Project Muse access, but want a copy, just e-mail me a request for it. (That’s one way fair dealing works.) Eventually it will be openly accessible at ESC‘s website, but not for another year or so.
My new mix of current and recent drum & bass tracks is streamable on Mixcloud. Recently, Mixcloud’s Terms of Service changed so a full track list isn’t shown before playback. (I’m assuming this change was made under pressure from the RIAA.) Which is why I’m providing the track list here.
Track List [artist, “title” (label)]
00:00 Keeno, “Land, Sea and Sky” (Medschool)
05:22 Lenzman & Forren, “Never Enough” (Metalheadz)
09:35 G.H.O.S.T., “Blood Brother” (Goldman)
14:58 Insomniax, “Lunar Dub” (Viper)
19:34 Document One, “Run the Block” (Technique)
23:01 Response & S.T. Files, “Wanna B 3” (Computer Integrated Audio)
28:23 Pola & Bryson, “Music” GLXY remix (Soulvent)
32:36 Semi Sense, “From Stars” (Liquid Tones)
36:49 Urban Dawn feat. Elsa Esmeralda, “Cloudless” (Hospital)
41:25 Keeno, “Bleary-Eyed” (Medschool)
45:15 Anile, “Stay With Me” (Medschool)
48:17 Subwave, “Tell Me” (Hospital)
52:55 Hugh Hardie & Pola & Bryson, “Lifted” (Hospital)
56:22 LSB, “If You’re Here” Luke’s Tangerine Dreaming remix (Hospital)