Saturday, March 23, 2013

Countdown #52 - the power of

Broadcast March-16-2013 - podcast available here. All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence). Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried). Nor is every record represented here. To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

New Order - perfect kiss
Proof, I guess, that sometimes a new form is best before it's fully formed – the form in question here being techno dance when it was still cool to even have human factors in the mix, pushing the machines in directions they might otherwise have chosen not to go, and visa versa.  In Perfect Kiss, it all really kicks in, in the second half.  Things get sparse for a bit, and then the build to that bass guitar, that glorious, beautiful bass guitar.  No wonder the car crashes at the end.

Bob Marley - soul rebel
There's something about the early Bob Marley stuff, long before he was getting heard by we, the multitudes of greater Babylon, when he was still just some struggling Jamaican local working with the singularly mad producer Lee Scratch Perry, exploring darker, edgier realms of soul and rebellion than what would eventually come to hog all the space on the Greatest Hits albums.  Yeah.  There's definitely something.

Krafwerk - home computer
I guess it all started in 1981, this strange age we now find ourselves in.  Normal people actually owning computers, keeping them in their homes next to the TV maybe, playing games on them, writing with them, making music.  Not that I was paying any of this much attention in 1981.  I was mostly just confused in 1981.  Or more to the point I was fighting my confusion, because I'm still confused.  I just gave up the fight a long, long time ago.  Which gets us back to Kraftwerk's Computer World, techno before we had a name for it, and it was right there bleeping and popping along on the personal soundtrack toward the end of 1981, helping me to calm down, relax, get my shit half-together about this, that, other important things. 

Dr. John - walk on gilded splinters
I seem to recall this album getting played on cool FM radio when I was an early teen.  Late at night, of course.  And then there was that time Dr. John The Night Tripper popped up on TV, late night again, some concert show, in full headdress and weird voodooo regalia … or whatever the hell was going on.  What it was, was dead cool.  Even fourteen-fifteen year old me could figure that out.  Forty year old me would term it a gumbo, a dense and delicious stew concocted from whatever rare herbs, old bones, strange elixirs happened to be at hand, which, musically speaking meant soul, blues, gospel, even a few voodoo chants, I'm sure.  Whatever it takes to get you walking on splinters, and gilded at that.

Queen - liar
Memories of that awkward Grade Nine moment when I heard this new band on the radio called Queen and got knocked spiralling out of my orbit.  The song was Liar, from their first album, like something from Jesus Christ Superstar, except without any Jesus involved, thank God.  Just the trials of tribulations of some guy who'd done too much lying and now there was hell to pay.  But it was the guy doing the singing that had me floored.  And the band, kickass tight, all the power of Led Zeppelin, all the epic sweep of Yes.  Of course, I had to tell everybody about it.  But I just got laughed at.  A band called Queen?  What was I, a fag?  Jump ahead a year or three and I'd be vindicated.  Queen would be huge with even the football jocks into Bohemian Rhapsody.  Except, of course, I'd be mostly past them by then, onto the next big and glorious thing.  Because Queen never really topped what they had on that first album.  Controlled raunch, Suicide James called it.  He was right about that at least.

Ministry - stigmata
It's true.  The mind is a terrible thing to taste.  All those lysergic juices, leaking from your brain to the back of your mouth when all the acid you put in your veins gets to bubbling over.  Actually, I was in total control the whole time, Lollapalooza, 1992, the biggest moshpit I've ever encountered, the dark gods of Ministry reigning supremely over us all in their ridiculous over-sized cowboy hats.  Which is a key point.  Despite all the menace, there was also something genuinely funny about Ministry live.  Although there was that moment toward the end of their set, when they were playing Stigmata.  I turned for a moment, looked away from the stage, back through the multitude – thousands of spent and wasted young faces illustrating the key lyric all too well:  The only truth I know Is the look in your eyes.  Not a pretty at all.  And the hard rain just kept a-falling.

Stooges - 1969
1969's the highest Stooges track on this list because I only have the one album and I've got to assume you've heard I Wanna Be Your Dog.  Which isn’t to diminish 1969, it's solid and raw all the way.  It was the year of Woodstock, the year we all got back to the garden apparently, but Iggy wasn't seeing it that way.  He just saw war across the USA, and another year with nothing to do.

Bob Dylan - one more cup of coffee
This is the Dylan record I dig out when somebody's stupid enough to say he can't sing.  Oh yeah, I'd like hear you or anybody you know do what he does in this one, the way he waivers just so, like something out of lost centuries.  The instrumentation helps, of course, that wandering fiddle, the whip sharpness of the drums.  And what's it about other than a trip to the local Starbucks?  The mystical stuff of all those lost centuries, I suppose, by way of his current marital woes and reflections of himself seen in a distorted mirror ... and hearts like oceans, mysterious and dark.

Rolling Stones - stray cat blues
1968.  If you were concerned at the time with the cutting edge of things, you knew that the love and flowers part of the 60s was maybe not dead, but certainly suffering some major hits to the body.  Which was good news for the Stones, who generally couldn't quite nail the flower power stuff.  They were more into dirty blues, like the one about the fifteen year old girl who liked to drag her finger nails down the backs of her fave rock stars who, no, hadn't asked to see her ID.

Beatles - yer blues
True fact.  In the 1980s, the Rolling Stones always won those Beatles vs Stones arguments.  John Lennon had been murdered, George and Ringo were mostly MIA, Paul was dumping stupid love songs on the world and foolishly letting the back catalogue get sold to Michael Jackson.  And anyway, the Stones' had the sort of teeth the times required (their old stuff, that is).  And yet, Yer Blues from the so-called White album, was always good to toss into the mix.  Here was a Beatles song as voracious as anything the Stones had ever released.  Although, of course, it wasn't really the Beatles.  It was just John, so lonely he was gonna die, with Paul locked in a cupboard somewhere, certainly gagged, because that is a pretty hot bass line. 

Roxy Music - song for Europe
I suppose that the truly cool position to take, is to write off Roxy Music after For Your Pleasure (their second album), because that's when Brian Eno quit.  But who ever said I'm cool?  I'm way too romantic for that, wandering the streets and canals of some imaginary Paris where hearts get sweetly, devastatingly torn asunder as slow water flows, and great songs get written about it, their rich melodies rising high, being heard across all Europe.

Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - Invaders of the Heart
This one's a mystery all the way.  A 12-inch single which features four different mixes of a track called Invaders of the Heart, which is also the name of the band.  But that's all I know.  No word on who the other players are, when it was released, if it ever charted as a single.  Although I do remember hearing it on local cool radio in around 1983.  And then there was the concert.  Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart rolling into town to play the Commodore, also in 1983.  Hell, I bought a ticket.  But it never happened.  Apparently the whole tour got cancelled.   Which just leaves us with the record – bass as big as a continent, everything else vibrating exquisitely from there.

Jimi Hendrix - voodoo chile
There are two Voodoo Chiles on Electric Ladyland.  The second one (the Slight Return) is the one everyone's heard, some of us maybe a thousand times too many.  But the first – that's still as fresh as the fifteen minutes or so in which it came to be, Electric Ladyland being the name of the studio where it happened, Stevie Winwood being the guy that dropped in to pound away on the Hammond organ, extend the journey.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - the power of love
It so obvious now, but it didn't really strike me at the time (1984) that this song was about AIDS, the holocaust that was currently tearing through the world's homosexual population.  Indeed, Holly Johnson, the guy singing it, was himself infected and (in the belief of the time) fated to a horrible death from the vampire that had got in the door.  Of course, last I looked, Mr. Johnson is still alive as are many who were once doomed (all hail, medical science), which doesn't in any way detract from the power of Power Of Love – one of those rare songs about that four letter word that starts with L, that doesn't diminish it, doesn't whore it for cheap emotions, maybe sell some flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day.  And I think it's very much because of that vampire line, the truth it nails (all hail, the power of love, a force from above, no question).

Van Morrison - listen to the lion
Exactly what you want on in the background when you're finally emerging from Chapel Perilous, a prolonged season in hell, a dark night of the soul (choose your analogy).  It won't miraculously pull you out, make you whole again, but once you've done the heavy lifting (you and whichever gods and/or demons may have stooped to redeem you), it's there to welcome you, take your hand, tell you you're not alone ... and remind you.  It's all about the lion inside you.  It needs to roar.  It needs to rage, tear free.  Else you will be torn from within and the love shall never come tumbling.  Which is all another way of saying, me finally getting what Van Morrison was doing in a song like Listen To The Lion was the part of me that cherished complexity in music finally growing up, realizing that nothing was as complex as the human soul. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Countdown #51 - but a dream

Broadcast March-9-2013 - podcast available here. All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence). Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried). Nor is every record represented here. To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

Parliament - 

P-funk wants to get funked up + night of the thumpasorus people + give up the funk
I vaguely remember skimming through a book a friend foisted on me a few years ago that had something to do with the all sci-fi imagery and metaphors inherent in certain BLACK musics (people like Sun Ra, Lee Scratch Perry, George Clinton).  It was way too academic, probably some guy's thesis.  And thus it lost me.  Or certainly I lost it.  I can barely remember a single idea now, except maybe the spaceships being the opposite of the slaveships (maybe the things that would finally take them home).  What I do remember very well is seeing Parliament (or was it Funkdadelic?) back in around 1975-76 on one of those Friday night concert shows they used to have on TV.  In Concert, or Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, or Friday Night Special.  It was one of the tours when they had an actual spaceship, great clouds of smoke, lights, and then the music itself.  Talk about alien intervention, straight into my narrow, whitebread suburban heart and soul.  And thus was my universe changed.  But good luck actually finding any of the records down at the local mall.  Cool funk just didn't travel that far north and west.  Nah, it would take decades to track down some Parliament – the Mothership Connection, from 1975 – so much its own unique universe of funk and strange that it requires three consecutive selections to do it justice.

Husker Du - celebrated summer
I always loved Celebrated Summer, exactly what the Universe needed in the mid-80s.  But it never truly transcended for me until the night I saw an all-girl band do a cover -- Arts Club on Seymour, 1986 I'm pretty sure.  They were all blonde, from California, and it was summer, which meant Expo was squatting in the near distance if indeed it was 86.  And I'm pretty sure it was, because it would've been the same night that I saw Skinny Puppy up at UBC, which was a terrorizing experience, because man, the acid was particularly strong that night.  So yeah, it all came around to not so much saving my soul (my soul was pretty intact in those days) as reigniting it with hope, fervour, blinding white light, which is to say, celebrated and wild, erupting with summer.

Neutral Milk Hotel - the king of carrot flowers
I'm pretty sure this is one of those it's-not-about-what-you-think-it's-about songs, even if you think all the "I Love You Jesus Christ" stuff is just being ironic.  Because there's a level of sublime madness at work here in the Neutral Milk Hotel --  call it surrealism -- where Jesus is real and miraculous, and so are the carrot flowers, but the higher real isn't in the words anyway, it's where they allow the music to go, the great storm unleashed, except its not all wind and rain, but multi-colours, psychedelic and pure ... And yeah, looking down from on high, the Lord God in Heaven smiles and knows that it is good.

Negativland - Christianity is stupid
This was so much fun to play on the radio Christmas Eve, 1987, peak of the Winter of Hate observances, which gets me thinking I should clarify two points here.  1. Yes, there was actually a late night radio show on CiTR called Winter Of Hate that ran for a few months (late 1987 through spring 1988).  It wasn't my show but I did contribute occasionally.  2. The term of Winter of Hate didn't originate with the radio show.  It was just something somebody heard about while traveling through San Francisco earlier in the year.  Apparently they were making a big deal of it being the 20th anniversary of the Summer Of Love, but given the temper of the times, it was anything but a celebration.  Hence Winter of Hate.  Which proved a damned nourishing bone to chew on.

Ray Charles - living for the city
I'm pretty sure Mr. Charles was supposed to be past his sell-by at this point in his career (the mid-70s).  And indeed the rest of this album, Renaissance, tends toward ballads of an over-produced nature.  But damn he doesn't take Stevie Wonder's Living For The City to church.  Which isn't to say it's superior to the original, just so beautifully its own weird thing that angels can still be heard wailing whenever it is played.  But is it laughter or tears?

Clash - Broadway + one more time
Two from the Clash's last truly great album, but I wish I could play twenty (there being thirty-six tracks spread across Sandinista's six sides).  Because sometimes more really is more when it comes to art, beauty, meaning, everything.  You really do need to just throw yourself into the deep end, immerse yourself, drown if necessary.  And with Sandinista, it is necessary.  Because it's the greatest band in the world (at the time) firing all of their guns at once and hitting way more often than they missed.  In the case of One More Time (and it's dub), that means the perfect soundtrack for walking an upscale suburban enclave on a warm spring evening:  must I get a witness for all this misery?  Particularly if there's a housefire in the distance, sirens a-howling, black smoke rising, and you're a little high on LSD.  

With Broadway, things are more urban, genuine, there being no irony in the misery, which when you really think about it, is a bullshit statement anyway.  Misery is never ironic.  It just is. 

Talking Heads - crosseyed + painless
1980 was the kind of year that delivered big time in terms of albums that laid it all out in no uncertain terms.  The future was here and it was going to be different, cool and strange in all manner of ways.  In the Talking Heads case, that meant Remain In Light, an album nobody really saw coming.  Rhythms and polyrhythms and drones and eruptions taking songs in all kinds of unprecedented directions, like they'd somehow heard what the whole world sounds like and figured a way to get it into 40 album minutes of so-called pop music.  Brian Eno helped, of course.

Hawkwind - master of the universe (live)
I realize it's difficult for those who haven't been there to grasp, but the difference between Hawkwind's space epics and everybody else's, is theirs are real (note the present tense).  They aren't fantasies.  They're honest reports from the very edge of time, where mystical warriors stand forever at the very brink of the vortex, the void, the abyss … and hold true.  By which I mean this live version of Master of the Universe may have been recorded in 1972, but all that temporal distance is illusory, side effect of the weird mechanics that make so-called reality at least begin to make sense to our puny mortal minds.  Which I realize must be confusing as hell to even try to comprehend.  So don't.  Just trust that the Universe has a master and she does get it.  And one of his favourite bands is Hawkwind and they're playing for her/him even now just slightly past the edge of meaning.

Rare Earth - I know I'm losing you (live)
By the time I was thirteen or fourteen and paying proper attention, there were three versions of I Know I'm Losing You percolating around the radio airwaves.  Rod Stewart's stomping rocker, the Temptations original, and Rare Earth's stretched out magnum opus.  Actually, there were four versions, because Rare Earth also had a live version which was the best of bunch – rock hard, funky, a powerhouse that just went on, on, on, because sometimes, what's going on is just too good to stop, so you don't.  So much early 70s music had this.  Like everybody knew the 60s were over, but so what, just keep pushing, this beautiful shit must never stop.  And yeah, thanks to recording technology, it hasn't. 

Marianne Faithfull - sister morphine
Maybe the best Rolling Stones record ever, that you probably haven't heard, even if it's not Mick singing.  Though he is apparently playing some guitar along with Ry Cooder, and that's Charlie on drums.  Who knows where Keith is?  Probably on the nod.  Which drives home the point.  Marianne Faithfull gets the credit and she deserves it all the way, but this is very much a 1969 Stone-truth being imparted.  It's not the Summer of Love anymore.  The drugs have gotten heavy and souls are getting crushed.

Violent Femmes -  never tell
The Femmes gave us more than their share of horny and cool party anthems in the early/mid 80s, but their high water mark for me is of a much more serious nature – an epic and fierce eruption of rage, angst, pain, betrayal called Never Tell, which I seem to recall hearing is about child abuse.  But I can't remember where I heard it, so all I'm really left with is the impression, and fuck if it's not indelible – an vicious scar across something that was once flawless.  I believe Jesus put it best.  Don't mess with the little ones.

Bauhaus - exquisite corpse
They still had one more album to come but in terms of sheer sonic edge, it's pretty safe to say Bauhaus peaked with The Sky's Gone Out, and nowhere is it creepier, more inventive than Exquisite Corpse, the final track.  Needless to say, this got a lot of play through any number of psychedelic excursions in the lead up to the mid-80s.  An abandoned house comes to mind, right at the seashore, a sort of lost cove off the edge of the city.  The weird part is how everything was still furnished, the library still stocked with books.  I pulled one down, heavy, bound in leather.  I opened it up to some strange calligraphy, a language I didn't recognize and yet it spoke to me, and then it occurred to me that the ink was brownish red, the colour of dried blood, but it wasn't dry anymore, it was running in trickles to the hungry floorboards.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that was all but a dream. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Countdown #50 - gimme some truth

Broadcast February-23-2013 - podcast available here.  All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence).  Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried).  Nor is every record represented here.  To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

Devo - Satisfaction
1978.  Another lost Saturday night.  If it wasn’t lost, why was at home watching Saturday Night Live?  Devo were the musical guests.  I'd heard them already, the whole first album, and didn't hate it, but I wasn't exactly blown away either.  But then they did their version of the Stones' Satisfaction and it was a Ballad-of-a-Thin-Man moment for me (that Bob Dylan song where he sneers at straight old normal Mr. Jones and says, "Something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you?")  And yeah, I was Mr. Jones, not even twenty years old but already getting swept aside by some brand new thing I didn't get.  Except I wasn't that far gone.  Because I did like it.  I just didn't know what to do with it.  Later, I'd realize that this was the whole point.  This was my confusion asserting itself, beautiful and uniquely mine.  The trick was to love it, not fight it, but that would take a serious season in hell to figure out.

Yello - bimbo
There's a lot of stupid out there in the music marketing biz.  But labelling Yello a synth-pop band rates particularly high.  True they had synths and even a few shit-hot pop songs, but put on their first album (the aptly named Solid Pleasure) and a different picture gets painted.  Sambas, ambience, outright strangeness, and yeah, in the case of Bimbo, a nifty bit of synth pop, albeit with Swiss tongue deep in cheek.  Dedicated to a guy I used to know (I forget his name now) who told me his idea of a perfect night was to stay home, drink beer, play Solid Pleasure on from beginning to end and bash away to it on his drums.  Last I saw him, he was drunk, passed out on a couch.  I don't remember what music was playing.  

Replacements - Alex Chilton
The Replacements were exactly what you needed in around 1987 if you were desperate for something/anything genuine in the realm of booze-soaked-truth-telling-poetry-infused rock and roll.  Which I wasn't.  I was deep into noise and psychedelics and other higher, more quantum concerns at the time.  But five years later I was drinking again and finding it very easy to fall in love with Alex Chilton (the song not the man), me and children by the millions.  But all love to the man to for inspiring a song that could inspire such love, Alex Chilton being the guy from Big Star, still maybe the greatest band that hardly anybody's heard (there's none on this list because I've never found any affordable vinyl).  And before Big Star (way before, when Alex was still a teenager) there was a group called the Box Tops, who had a big hit called The Letter.  Love that song.  

Pointed Sicks - the real thing
Local Vancouver  band hits the eternal pop gold standard with the kind of three minute pop rocker that the whole world should know, but it doesn't.  Which puts a big loud BULLSHIT to that argument I've heard over the years from some I know in the music biz that, despite all its corruption, ugliness, waste, criminality and stupidity, the truly good stuff always rises, gets its due.  Yeah, right.  

Magazine - song from under the floorboards
It's all in the opening line.  I am angry, I am ill, and I'm as ugly as sin.  Welcome to Magazine, a band that was definitely not Fleetwood Mac or The Eagles or Van Halen or Boston or any of the other outfits of the day that kept on selling bullshit fantasy (and millions of albums).  Nah, this was the truth finally, bitter and beautiful.  And what a hot band!  All the bile and eviscerating energy of punk, but not afraid to be a little sophisticated.  Hell, you could even dance to it.  

Sonic Youth - teenage riot
Thurston Moore gets political, makes his demands explicit as to what it's going to take to get him the fuck out of bed and deliver the goods.  A full-on teenage riot, which is to say a certain pure wild energy that may be inappropriate, wrong even, but fuck is it fun to tear up Main Street, smash all the windows!  Which by the end of Teenage Riot is exactly what's going on – Mr. Moore and Lee Renaldo crossing frequencies with their magical guitars, smashing everything, setting all humanity free for a while.  The rhythm section's not half bad either.

Yes - sound chaser
Summer 1975, Pacific Coliseum.  I see Yes for the first time.  They open the show with a
song I haven't heard before.  Something to do with sound itself, and tempos that will continue, and the look in your eyes.  And the scariest cha-cha-cha's this side of a fever dream.  I'll eventually discover it's called Sound Chaser.  Actually, the show opened with some Stravinsky, a recording of the finale of the Firebird Suite.  Curtains rise, the stage is like something out of Middle Earth, a great Elven Hall, all these mushroom-like globuals of light shimmering in time.  Call that whole concert a revelation.  God him(or her)self imposing on my affairs.  Ecstatically so.  Heaven suddenly had a texture, a sound, and a helluva cool light show.  But don't be fooled.  The lights and such were just tricks to keep my attention.  The sound was the thing, and these musicians, these wizards weren't exactly making it, they were chasing it, but not trying to catch it or cage it, just get closer to it, revel in its whispers and its roars.  I'd get the same feeling maybe twelve years later the first time I caught Sonic Youth live – that the music that really matters isn't made, it's already here, and so those responsible are not so much makers as channellers, like little kids playing in a sandbox, barely able to contain all the mad stuff erupting from their imaginations.  

Soft Machine - we did it again
There's a pile of Soft Machine albums out there, but way too many of them are the wrong kind of sophisticated (some would say boring) jazz fusion or whatever.  But their first, 1968's Vol.1, that's just wild and delirious free form fun.  Though in the case of We Did It Again, a nifty sort of drone pop rises up that sounds as hip now as anything new I'm currently hearing on the planet.

we did it again

Public Image Ltd. - rise
Johnny Rotten hooks up with Bill Laswell, Ginger Baker, Stevie Vai etc, unleashes a monster on the world, maybe with ambitions of getting himself some of the same rarefied pop air as U2.  The crazy thing is, he almost pulls it off, and indeed should have with a single like Rise, about Apartheid I seem to recall hearing, but mainly about anger and how it is nothing if not an energy.  Like wind or electricity or the stuff of split atoms, the question quickly becomes not, should we have it (fact is, we do and it ain't going away), but what should we do with it?  Get drunk and wail on some guy down at the pub, or maybe get it organized, get it focused, turn it into the kind of human expression that destroys empires, frees slaves, saves children from lives of boredom and futility.  Not bad for a give-a-shit punk.

John Lennon - gimme some truth
So I'm twelve almost thirteen, smart enough to not believe in the God I'd had foisted on me my entire life, and thus scared to death of death – the fact that sometime somehow I would die (maybe in the next ten, maybe in a hundred years of old).  Either way, life would end, my heart cease pumping, my mind cease minding.  And then nothing.  Just blank.  Like a light getting clicked off.  Sorry, but twelve almost thirteen year old me couldn't accept this.  There had to be something, which is why I just couldn't buy John Lennon's Imagine, all that no heaven stuff – above us only sky.  There bloody well better be more than just sky.  And anyway, Imagine (the song) was kind of lame, a little too hippie, too la-la-la.  Gimme Some Truth on the other hand.  That I could chew on.  Way more than just sky.

John Cale - mercenaries
John Cale being the tall, brooding, avant-Welsh part of the Velvet Underground sound that changed everything forever – the guy who brought the white light to the white heat, did furious things with his cello.  But he was gone from the Velvets by 1970, pursuing a solo (and) producing career that seemed to get him wherever he felt like going.  In 1979, this meant a live album that was as hard as punk, but tougher, more seasoned, ready for war, greedy enough to want to kill for you, but not stupid enough to die for you.

Mott the Hoople - hymn for the dudes
Mott (the album) is the one Mott The Hoople album everyone should own (along with the Greatest Hits, of course).  Because here they're rocking their strongest, most shambolic, but also finding space for the kind of ballads that make grown men cry.  Hymn for the Dudes for instance, which is one of those bottle of red wine wonders.  Sip it down, close my eyes and remember all those lost friends that I used to party with, rage with, surf metaphorical tsunamis.  Where are they now?  Where the hell am I?

Dub Syndicate - stoned immaculate
Sample some Jim Morrison poetry about what it's like out there at the starless psychedelic edge, mix it up with some suitably strong and mysterious dub and voila! it must be summer 1991.  The Winter of Hate is over, something new and beautiful is being born.   

Current 93 - be locust or alone
Of course 1987 would be the Locust Summer, being the midpoint between the two winters, 1987 and 1988, that would come to represent the full de-flowering of the Winter of Hate, David Tibet 93 being its sort of patron saint and/or hell demon.  But seriously.  This stuff is sinister for damned sure, but also beautiful and heartfelt.  Just because a man is pointing into the maw of Moloch itself does not make him an agent of Moloch.  He's just the messenger.  And a reporter, filing yet another missive on the ongoing Apocalypse by way of wigged out folk music by way of deep and dark industrial sturm + drang, or as a friend put it late one psychedelic evening -- "That neo-Christian-pagan rigmarole I can't seem to get enough of."

Faust - it's a rainy day, sunshine girl
How cool am I to even own this album in perfect shape, Japanese pressing with the complete booklet.  And it cost less than ten bucks.  All apologies but every now and then, a man must brag, else why do all the bin-digging.  Which is bullshit.  The reason for the bin-digging is the sonic treasure you find.  In the case of Faust's So Far, that means an album of strange and extreme moods with It's A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl either a #1 pop hit in another, far cooler universe, or just a long brash walk along a certain edge – that very thin line where genius actually touches stupidity, but it never falls in.

Cocteau Twins - Pandora
"The Cocteau Twins are like new wave Kate Bush."  I can still see the idiot who said it to me, one of those music biz types who was still doing the feathered 70s hair thing well into  the 80s.  Not that there was anything wrong with Kate Bush.  It was the timing of it.  So-called New Wave had peaked in 1979, and it was never a sound anyway, just a way of referring to punk-like stuff that was easy enough on the ears to maybe sell to mainstream audiences.   Which gets us back to the Cocteau Twins who were certainly easy on the ears, but a million miles from punk in 1984 or any other year.  What they were, was a welcome shade of beauty and mystery at a time when everything just seemed to be getting more and more obvious, strident, aggressive.  Even the good stuff.  Pandora and the album it came from (the aptly named Treasure) gave us something to listen to when we got home from various gigs and warehouse situations.  Smoke a little dope, sip a little wine, get exquisitely, luxuriantly lost.