Sunday, July 15, 2012

Music to travel the world to

Gang Gang Dance, Eye Contact- lying in bed in Leh, Ladakh, altitude sick, sleeping for 20 hours, in one of the more remote parts of one of the more foreign countries in the world, reliving the past day of driving on the friggin' moon and sucking down Maggi noodles in parachute dhabas, listening to this bizarre record and wondering where the hell am I, and why?

The Police, Synchronicity- on my next long long distance bus ride, from Leh to Srinagar in the middle of the night, getting again a little freaked out by "Mother" and then just enjoying the slightly-adventure-spooky "Synchronicity II" paired with reading Lovecraft. Picking it up again months later humming "Tea in the Sahara" while drinking tea in the Thar.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM- same as above. Leh to Srinagar by the full moon and songs about lobotomies or electroshock or something. Geez, couldn't I have picked something a little more uplifting for my first month diving into the deep end?

Cults, s/t- ah, but here's where things start to get a bit nicer, on somewhat-more-sane buses around the somewhat-more-sane roads of Himachal Pradesh to easy places like Dharamsala. This is fuzzed out pop rock, 3 minute tasty morsels that remind me that my college-radio life exists somewhere.

Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot the Son of Chico Dusty- and let me tell you, there is nothing like stopping overnight in the dark and, well, very dark border town of Mahendranagar, Nepal, rousing yourself at the crack of 4am, drinking some weird bitter lime tea and slamming into the front seat of a bus that you know will take 12 hours, wishing for something to be a little easier, and then this record starts off with "it is on!" and you can just tune out everything else and thump along to this super fun slick rocking hip hop. Maybe the best album I've heard in the last year.

Friendly Fires, s/t- in Wellington, New Zealand, I had a week to indulge things that I enjoy: drinking coffee, underground theater shows, working on easy coding projects, and hipster indie music like this. Of those four, listening to this record had the least staying power.

Bill Callahan, Apocalypse- On a late 28x bus in Pittsburgh, listening to a rambling yet surprisingly sticky poem called "America!", not being able to decide whether it's praising or criticizing. Feeling about the same way about this country. It's complicated.

Bot'ox, Babylon by Car- Back to disorienting, this one had me mentally wandering while I was physically wandering the streets of Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Tracks like "Tout Passe, Tout Lasse, Tout Casse" served as a safeguard against getting too positive, I guess, while reminding me that I don't know languages.

Orbital, Wonky- techno, but... sometimes very human and optimistic? Meaning that "one big moment" is still good music to catch the sunrise on the ferry from Italy to Croatia.

Daedelus, Bespoke- not only is this the first Daedelus record that I would recommend to just anyone, it's the soundtrack to my putzing around Lublin, Poland. It's great beats and guest vocals, but a little eclectic and queasy. Kind of like I felt in this foreign place, with a few welcoming friends, but still wondering how to plan a trip around an indefinitely broken motorcycle.

Justice; Audio, Video, Disco- freezing through Alps and Poland on a motorcycle is made a lot easier if you've got something this pounding to be singing.

Yeasayer, Odd Blood- sitting in a tower on the old city wall of Pecs, Hungary, realizing that I've just been sightseeing for a month and a half and will probably continue to do so, but now I've got a day to myself to just wander around and this is fine; in fact I can just sit here and listen to this record for a bit and not keep moving and that is also fine; actually it doesn't matter whether I'm sitting or moving because this thing is so damn good. Please hurry up and listen the heck out of this. You can start here.

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