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Today's Playlist - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Today's Playlist
As I prepared to clean the kitchen floor and both bathroom floors by doing the dishes, I listened to The Smiths' "This Charming Man" and then about half of The World Won't Listen. Reading the Mojo magazine feature on them from a few months back has me thinking again, as I have with increasing frequency this decade, about just how unique they were. And yet, they were also products of the same Manchester post-punk scene as New Order, a fact which got me inspired to hear some of the latter.

Before I could do that, though, I had the urge to revisit Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks' latest, Real Emotional Trash. I liked the record on first hearing. Somehow, though, the fact that I'd been listening to most of the songs in live versions recorded at their January 9th, 2007 concert here in Tucson made me less excited than I wanted to be. Interestingly, though, after hearing them performed again live on Thursday, also at Plush, I felt my desire to memorize the album, something I've done with all of Malkmus's work in Pavement and as a solo artist, suddenly activated. Maybe it was the Jicks' new drummer Janet Weiss -- she of Sleater Kinney and Quasi fame -- saying "Hi!" to me at the merch table that sealed the deal. Whatever the reason, though, I found myself completely captivated on today's hearing. It lessened the burden of all that floor scrubbing. Real Emotional Trash is a great rock album that is not ashamed to summon the ghostly spirits of album rock's heyday. I guess "Fillmore Jive" closed Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain for a reason.

After so much guitar, I felt the need to hear something without it, so I put on Carl Craig's More Songs About Revolutionary Food & Art. Generally speaking, the world of dance-electronica-techno has been oriented more towards the 12" aesthetic, with its emphasis on remixing a few strong songs, than albums, but Craig's masterwork, which I've been rediscovering after finally obtaining it for myself on CD, is emphatically meant to be listened to as an album, as its title suggests. Once I'd had my fill of Craig, I returned to the idea of listening to New Order. Only now I wanted to listen to some of their "dancier" synth-and-beats tracks, the sort I generally had the urge to skip through in my guitar-centric past. When I went to pick out an album, though, I was reminded of how much I'd liked their last record Waiting For the Sirens Call and opted to listen to that first. I made it through four-and-a-half songs before it started to skip. Luckily, my favorite songs on the album are the ones that open it. And track four, the single "Krafty," may just be the best distillation ever of their melancholy pop sensibility, with its "Love Will Tear Us Apart"-style fusion of rock and dance music cultures. For that one I felt obligated to dance, watching my legs reflected dimly in the television screen.

Then it was on to Republic, the album with the highest percentage of the "dancier" songs I used to find uninspiring. I still think that one is their weakest pre-hiatus album, but it did sound better after listening to Carl Craig. Part of the problem is that the first song "Regret," which rivals "Krafty" and "Age of Consent" for the crown as catchiest New Order song, is so good that it makes everything after it seem sort of tepid. The effect is especially pronounced in my case, since "Regret" has great personal meaning for me, since I purchased the pre-album release CD single on one of the most complicated days of my life and one, fittingly, that flooded me a great deal of regret.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: 85704
Muse: a memory of the "space" in the middle of the song "Real Emotional Trash"

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Comments
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: April 27th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i saw new order at coachella 2005. it was awesome.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 27th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Every year I want to go. But the timing is so hard. I'm retroactively jealous!
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: April 27th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
that was the last year of it that actually had a decent number of bands that i actually wanted to see...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
There are always bands I wouldn't mind seeing. But that was an especially strong year.
From: e4q Date: April 27th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i wish i still listened to music with that enthusiasm. something got lost in me.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a shame, I think. Music has health benefits. Maybe if you get the surgery?
From: e4q Date: May 1st, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i KNOW!

i suppose i shouldn't be excited this early in the proceedings, but i am.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 27th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yesterday was a Sonic Youth day for me but I think today it might be New Order? But I can't presently find the one or two New Order cds I own, which pisses me off because it may mean that's one more thing I wasn't aware went awol when I moved until I started looking for it. At least I have things on my iTunes but I still fetishize the album object and so it makes me sad--even if none of my albums are vinyl. So I am burning myself another copy of (Best of) because nothing sounds better right now than "Age of Consent."

I still really love reading you on music. I remember back when you were writing so eloquently about _Control_ I was trying to figure out why New Order has always had a more viscerally strong place in my heart than Joy Division. I always wondered if it was really just reducible to what was played on the radio more in my youth and therefore part of my bones or my bloodstream or something. I feel like months ago I figured out something more nuanced than that. But now I can't remember...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
New Order has hope. I love Joy Division equally. But I don't listen to them to feel better, except in the sense that art makes the world more tolerable.

You need to get those CDs back. I take that kind of "borrowing" very, very seriously.
From: marcegoodman Date: April 30th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ah, "Regret." Oh, how I love that song. The irony is that I never got around to picking up Republic at the time, and was no longer listening to Live 105 with sufficient regularity to have heard even “Regret.” Although its improbability beggars belief, I remain reasonably confidant that I heard “Regret” for the first time driving around Tucson after our move here — in 2003! I certainly remember Googling “have a conversation on the telephone” in order to determine the song’s provenance. I know I’ve confessed novelistic intentions (previously regarding MBV) here before. But “Regret” itself inspired similar such imaginings.

(Two scenarios. A classically-trained contrabass player is dragged along to the Shoreline to see New Order on the Republic tour and is so blown away by Hooky and by “Regret”, in particular, he goes out and buys an electric bass the very next day. In the second, a fledgling alt-rock singer-songwriter (e.g. Pete Yorn) sees the same show and is so transfixed and transformed that he tries to incorporate what he has seen and heard into his own music with imperfect, but “lovingly mitigated” (an Xgau phrase) results.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, I think you should write a novel, then! I'd read it.

What's great about the best New Order songs is that, like "Love Will Tear Us Apart," they strut about the boundary between different feelings and genres with such confidence. And the bass is, in my view, the biggest reason.

I hope to see you a show soon.
From: marcegoodman Date: May 1st, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Speaking of strutting about, have you seen this version of "Regret" recorded for Top Of the Pops.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzNQMW7-9Mw

Ridiculous yet mesmerizing!

I'm sorry I missed you at SM and the Jicks. I was all set to go when one of the boys got sick and I opted to stay put. The small posse I encouraged to attend all had a great time.

There are some tempting shows coming up at Plush in a few weeks. I'm thinking of Efterklang and Sea Wolf on the 16th and 17th in particular.

I landed on your profile page on the way back here and was reminded of your upcoming birthday. The 6th, right? Since I'll all for extending birthday celebrations beyond their actual occasion, I'll say Happy Birthday!





cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 2nd, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks, Mark. I have fond memories of you buying me a beer on May 2nd, 2006 a the Art Brut show. I may go see the Scandinavians.
From: marcegoodman Date: May 2nd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's hard to believe it's been two years since that show. I too am leaning towards the Scandinavians. It looks like Efterklang may be as many as eight strong on stage. I still remember how astutely you analyzed my fondness for large ensembles!
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