A thing I wondered about as I combed through 1960s girl groups, gris-gris, freak folk, regular folk, prewar blues, classic blues, The Basement Tapes, the Lomax collection, and the big 1970s—all in the service of making your Saturday night sadness (definitely a thing) into something soothing—is this: how best to listen when you’re feeling kinda low? Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Lonely Saturday Night”
Tag: lou reed
Big Sound Saturdays: Winter Sun
It’s been a minute since our last Big Sound Saturday, but we’re back with a mix of chilly winter sunlight, cold bones, and ache-y tunes!
There’s this episode from the third season of the Twilight Zone where the sun never sets. Like a relentless fever dream, it gets closer and closer to the heroine’s high-rise apartment window, until her paintings of cool water begin to melt, her thermometer breaks, and—spoiler!—she wakes up, trapped, instead, in eternal winter, crying with relief. This is s u c h a dramatic thing to think about when it’s sunny out, but it’s all just to say that El Nino is really freaky on the west coast—same for global warming, everywhere—but I love California in the Blue Ridges. So, here! A toned-down twilight mix for that. Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Winter Sun”
Big Sound Saturdays: Hot Meat (Songs To Bake To)
I guess it’s probably true that even if there are things in the world that are inherent goods, weather isn’t one of them. Winter people confuse me and I don’t want to talk about it. Fall and spring people make sense, opinion-wise, but the whole thing seems ultimately kinda milktoast; why not just go for it? I’m for the summer, and not just its beginning—the long haul, California’s dry desert heat, New York’s simmering trash swamp, Virginia when it feels like the literal surface of the sun. I like that body-bake feeling that makes you want to lie down and toast forever in the sun rays, I never want it to end!
Finding the best jams for deep summer proved trickier than I thought it’d be. No formula for vibes, I guess. Inspired by my best friend in California, who covers herself in literal olive oil when we lay coast-side and bakes her body like a big pasta, by ghost towns swimming in desert people and ants, swampy crocodiles and livid punk rock, noble pups panting in the sun, lazy Sundays and The Hawaiian Craze, I couldn’t decide on a single sound so I put them all together. Riding into the sun with Lou Reed (no truer words than “it’s hard to live in the city”), Hot Meat comes from Bjork’s early punk band The SugarCubes’ eponymous title—this mix is truly of Songs To Bake To.
Listen here, then, for Shadow Music from Thailand, Hawaiian tunes from Kalama’s Quartet, Kenyan guitar jams from the Mombasa Swingsters and country guitar twangs from Speedy West, Cambodian Bodega Pop from Touch Saly, soul-crushing reggae from the Soulettes, heavy rock from Pavement and swamp pop from Rod Bernard and Myron Lee & the Caddies. Hot jazz from the Nite Owls! Detroit R&B! Kurt Vile! The late and ever-great Townes Van Zandt! In truth, this mix is a little bit of an excuse to make public once more TVZ’s gut-wrenching and ever-so-small “Don’t Let the Sunshine Fool Ya,” but Hot Meat, in its thrust for sounding deep summer, sings the opposite, too. I kinda like getting duped by the summer. Maybe it’s a good exercise in letting yourself go.