Thursday, November 06, 2008


Lifetime event spike lee joint starring fresh prince will i am cybermaps and projections first family mixed race black not only white songs of soul stirring multilateral talking don't sign up any of the republican guard for the wars.

PRINCE PAUL - And The Winner Is?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The kinaesthetics of kung fu films are transducted via speakerboxx

Dubbling up the resonances, this side cuts through the medium like a shark's tail

PABLO'S ALL STARS - Tubb's Dub Song

'Cry tough, Don't you know you're getting old. Cry tough, And you know you're getting slower'.

Yep, it was my birthday yesterday and news came in that rocksteady singer Alton Ellis had died.

Alton & The Flames - Cry Tough (extended version)

These tunes are convenient distractions but also spaces to be made anew (again).

Monday, October 13, 2008


May the CEO's expensive car rust. May he have a heart attack from all the rich food he has consumed. May his trophy wife's plastic surgery have terrible side effects. May his mansions be destroyed by cyclones and hurricanes.

THE COUP - George Bush is a Bank Manager
N.W.A. - Panic Zone
RIP, RIG & PANIC - Bob Hope Takes Risks
BARON ZEN - Broke Christmas In Brooklyn

Monday, October 06, 2008


After Lord Quasimoto, Madlib says 'the meaning of the law' not 'the meaning of Allah', as I first thought.

MADVILLAIN - Light of the Past


THE SMITHS - Well I Wonder

The rain on The Smiths song sounds like frying bacon, which is what Flying Lotus sounds like a lot of the time.

This is a San Diego sunset in July.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Bombs at Iftar in Islamabads. Kaafir haraamzaadaa, I'm told. Diners soon after dates have broken the fast. Marriott mayhem, fitnah, the metal logo on fire. Listening to Muslimgauze after 9/11. Fortune brought me to desert rest-stop called Shackleton in Ramadan time and Soundboy's Suicide Note. The Skull Disco music is just broken news, what was that they said, rumours, whispers of a plot, paranoid glitches and distant explosions, CCTV res frustrations and jihadi crash videos. Tuning in then tuning out and in again. Not quite sure if they should play at 33 and a third or 45. Where were you in 92? Never mind the haunting of rave and exhuming Burial mounds and Enya deep Ing-folk dead music. For Shackleton, It Dreadistan inna Inglan. Travelling travelling travelling to Ethiopia Nyabingi as Debra Keese and the Black Five with the interference of Flying Lotus. On 'Shortwave' it's panicking voices after the blast yammering in another tongue. By the time Pole arrives we are in the shrinking hours between iftar and sehri. Though the scene is still burning, it has been cleaned up, cordoned off and Pole has stripped away the cries to leave the bass line rattling the metal of that army vehicle.

GUERILLA NEWS NETWORK - Happy Ramadan, Osama Bin Laden
SHACKLETON - Shortwave
SHACKLETON - Shortwave (Pole Remix)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008


Robert Wyatt - Free Will and Testament

This is the song I can think of that comes closest to the articulation of subjectivity beyond humanism. I'd say that's more of this subjectivity and this subjectivity than that subjectivity. Wyatt sounds like a lickle spider looking for a good spot to weave a web and then a little man working for the bosses. Let me off, please... A toast to bad subjects.

Will And Testament (Wyatt, Kramer)

Given free will but within certain limitations,
I cannot will myself to limitless mutations,
I cannot know what I would be if I were not me,
I can only guess me.

So when I say that I know me, how can I know that?
What kind of spider understands arachnophobia?
I have my senses and my sense of having senses.
Do I guide them? Or they me?

The weight of dust exceeds the weight of settled objects.
What can it mean, such gravity without a centre?
Is there freedom to un-be?
Is there freedom from will-to-be?

Sheer momentum makes us act this way or that way.
We just invent or just assume a motivation.
I would disperse, be disconnected. Is this possible?
What are soldiers without a foe?

Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air.
Be on the loose, neither compacted nor suspended.
Neither born nor left to die.

Had I been free, I could have chosen not to be me.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Let me off please, I am so tired.
Let me off please, I am so very tired.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Blind Willie Johnson - Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

It's in outer space so aliens may already have heard it. You should roll around on its ground, succumb to its darkness. I caught this on a C90 cassette from John Peel's radio show some time in the early 1980s. Heard it again on Channel 4 soon afterwards, when Pasolini's Gospel According To St. Matthew was broadcast. Lazarus was woken from the dead with this music. Got the Yazoo album of Johnson's apocalyptic religious songs at Wazoo in Ann Arbor in the late 80s. R. Crumb has drawn Johnson (see above). I like the colour in the tie. Read a very informative and elegantly written piece on it by Mike McGonigal in Yeti, one of the few magazines that keeps me loving magazines. Thanks to Nick for lending it to me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


THE BUG - Angry (feat. Tippa Irie)

Next week in Bollywood & Beyond it's Deewaar. Polyester, flares and wide lapels take on the state. Well, not exactly.


THEO PARRISH - Synthetic Flemm


LEILA - In The Garden

Toilet seat on a pile of broken stones and bricks, next to the clinic where she had her finger stitched up after it was almost sliced off by the shutter of that antique cupboard

Monday, August 04, 2008


TUPAC - Dear Mama

Twas Mama's birthday last week. I didn't forget that but I meant to post this song earlier. When I were knee high to a grasshopper, my life was nothing like Tupac in his Mama's prison cell. Not much like it later either. But I have a soft spot for the sentimental side of Mr Shakur. Like Slick Rick and Tricky, he tells a good children's story, but I could see Phil Collins covering or duetting on this. As long as it isn't the Coldplay dude who seems to be everywhere these days. Like that other great American pop star Al Jolson, I'm sure Tupac would walk a million miles for one of his Mama's smiles. Oedipus Schmoedipus! What does it matter so long as he loves his mudda.

Friday, August 01, 2008



TRIM - Taliban

WILEY - Taliban

Just to see a different image on the site I've posted something.

It's been a strange couple of months.

Feeling unmoored. That's rich and rewarding too. But I haven't settled into a routine for over a month. Mainly poor health, travel, visitors, moving offices, storms and a new semester.

The back injury due to too much laptop time has loomed large over the period, thanks to an unexperienced physiotherapist yanking my neck-back and enhancing the referred nerve pain down my left arm.

He even said, 'I've got to warn you that it might not help. You might feel worse after we've done this'.

I said a little jokingly, 'Are you telling me that so I can't sue you?'.

He mumbled in North Shore and continued. Click Kerthump. Weeks of pain.

Then a throat infection because the pain killers reduced my immunity. Sounded like Brando in his last few moments of The Godfather.

Late June: finished semester duties with marking and examiners meetings, flew to LA and stayed there and San Diego for a couple of days hoping to fly to a cultural studies conference in Kingston, Jamaica. Failed to make it.

A doctor friend in California advised not travelling and prescribed a blitz of antibiotics. I was laid up for three days in Cali before enjoying a few more days hanging out with friends, Scrabble-ing, and shopping at malls. Not exactly what I'd hoped for (meeting friends in JA, academic dialogue, sound systems and music sites) but the compensations of close friends, lots of tunes and sunshine partly made up for it. Some Karachi research leads too.

Then came back on 9 July and my entire Department was moved to an adjacent building with confusing zigzagging corridors. A lot hasn't happened on time and we are still without shelves and working among boxes at the beginning of another semester. Sub-contraction rules.

A public service announcement has not been made yet, but the higher-ups seem to want to merge us with an 'under-performing' department, now in the same building (aha!). Hardly anyone wants to become the Department of Pictures or whatever. But there's ignorance of our fields, suspicion of interdisciplinarity and cultural studies, the 19th century disciplines rule. Like post-structuralism never happened too.

No persecution complex, honest, but I think we're still considered a bit Mickey Mouse (making movies, film appreciation, TV trash, and that linguistic continental theory) though we publish a fair bit around the globe and have pretty good organizational processes. We may also not be the ideal sized economic unit for the model NZ university at present.

Decide a change, tell people it's a process, then use that process to smooth over and rationalize the decision you already made before the beginning of the process. You make people think that they are contributing to the organizational change that way. Secondary power after an apparent fait àccomplis.

It's really hard to stave off the grumpiness about the big institution in the first couple of weeks of semester when we are signing a lot of forms, worried about economic full-time student units, opening up courses and new research supervisions.

God, I never write about work this much.

But this week, my
first lecture withered into a non-technological monologue once the e-lectern froze and melted down. No powerpoint, no DVD, and then no lights. The next day the tutorial students and I were assigned a room that was being renovated. Blame it all on someone else. Then my mac had to be replaced and all the new software is on the new one, though it doesn't all work, and all the old one is on my laptop. And it's a hassle to make it compatible. Technical support is also grumpy of course.

The excellent third season of the US version of The Office has reminded me that I could be selling paper. I think the US version is better than the English one, by the way. Longer time to develop characters and multiple plot lines which is their greater skill and resource.

Anyhow, I'm amazed at the resilience, spirit and continued enthusiasm of colleagues who have to go through these infrastructural problems and labour on. Washing up glasses after a seminar can have its pleasant moments.

Workwise, I've named no names and disrespected no one in particular, so I should be safe, touch wood.

I'll confess that I am often in a battle with my inner Babu, which is what the Indians called the civil service bods who became Macaulay's 'brown Englishmen' for the Brits in Raj time. On top of that is that girmitya consciousness that Vijays Mishra and Prashad have pointed to as a 'structure of feeling' in the desi diaspora and the immigrant: I'm so grateful I have a salaried job. It could all go kaput at any time. Must not upset the boss whatever. Pass me the machete and let's take the plantation!

I'll tell you if the intellectual buzz wasn't there and I didn't need the money and I could do something else....

I really believe we can be more efficient administrators with better processes, information gathering...

The critical conscience of society, said like Bruce Forsyth in the theme for The Generation Game or 'Here's Johnny' in the Tonight Show...

Oh well, on the bright side: back to exercise, and regular stretches for the radial nerve these days, thanks to a superior physiotherapist.

The NZ International Film Festival opened with Apron Strings, a feature Shuchi (Kothari) and Dianne Taylor wrote. I'm so proud. I did get to see some good films: Arthur Russell, Stax, Albert Ayler, and the fantastic Waltz with Bashir. Loved the scene with the soldiers on a boat with OMD's 'Enola Gay'.

The 50,000 word manuscript by 31 August is spluttering along like an auto rickshaw, hence the Flying Lotus track. Loving his album too. Best of 2008 for me so far.

Blogwise of note: Check out Wayne & Wax with some detail on the signifying chains and networks of the R & B Desi crossover. Thank you EPMD.

And with Pakistan's northwestern territories and the Taliban still high profile in the news, the image above might be the Helmand Beauty shop, not the one in Kabul. I guess like Ted Swedenburg, I'm interested in the resonances of the War on Terror, Islamophobia and Islamophilia in pop culture. I found Trim's mixtape track Taliban online, and then Simon Barber, an Honours student, whose essay on Grime I supervised last semester, put me on to Wiley's version. Seems that a lot of Grimeheads are using Taliban as a metaphor for the changing politics of culture in Londonistan, with the police, the drug trade, crime and East London Muslims 'round the way. The occupation south of the river. Haven't found much in the Grime forums yet or transcribed the rhymes, but looking forward to exploring this more.

Back to that 50,000-word manuscript. Yikes.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


M.I.A. - Bamboo Banga (DJ Eli Mix)

The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner

It ain't where you're from, it's where you're @ to para-sign Rakim. Back in the homeland, more security with 42 days of detention getting through the lower house of Whitehall.

I've been indisposed for almost as long with work
. Not much chance of me joining the post-managerial class. Working over a hot keyboard has taken its toll. Due my fourth session with the physio next week.

I think it was mainly the writing frenzy for this departmental seminar I did on 'Situating popular music: the case of M.I.A'. In the end, it was more the first part rather than the subtitle, though Maya did make an appearance for about fifteen minutes. I'm sure she'd have been taken under Warhol's wing for an NYC weekend if the wig & spex were still here.

Will post the seminar material when I've tidied it up a bit. The prep was draining though helpful, and took me from the several vistas of The Clash's 'Straight to Hell' to M.I.A.'s lines of flight in 'Paper Planes', all in less than an hour. It certainly cleared out some space in my head for the new world order and mobility of music.

On these issues I'm fighting my own impulses to 'make it move, make it move, make it dance and groove' après Sly and Robbie. When so much energy is spent putting things in their place, let us slip away from the categories. But then the nomadic is no picnic on the highways or byways.

Maya's never standing still for long. A couple of days before the seminar the vinyl gods sent me to Real Groovy and without looking for it, I came upon the Homeland Security Remixes.

I prefer the 'Paper Planes' tunes with their multiple vocal stylings, but DJ Eli's version of Bamboo Banga was new to me. Is that the early 80s synthy riff of Yazoo's 'Don't Go' or '
Situation' (the Francois Kevorkian US remix)? Will have to check.

If it is the former as I first suspected, I thought it was an arresting juxtaposition:

Maya on the move in her paper planes with her visa,
laptop wireless and mobile phone, crossing the borders with the friction of UPS trucks.

At the same time the memory of Alison Yazoo's absent voice is belting out 'don't go' like a family member that wants to shut the door, stand in front of it, and not let you pass. Or let you through only if you realize you're not coming back.

Maya's already taken Jonathan Richman's Bostonian road-tripping to the air. Is she coming back to ground in the remix?

Was this some weird diasporic feedback loop? Don't go. Stay. You'll lose all the stuff that matters, only gain restricted access and carbon counts. But the radio is still on and if the BPM don't get that high, the words are still 'a 100 miles an hour'.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The News (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Microsoft Inc.)

Haven't blogged for ages because I had to get loads of stuff out of the way before leaving for UK research trip on 10 April. Then too busy to blog during the 3 plus weeks in the old country.

It was bloody cold most of the time. Yorkshire dampness in the bones dissolved a quarter of a century.

Was haunted in Leeds, Bradford, and Ilkley

(days of Yorkshire past - the Queens Road postbox pictured here is just around the corner from Silverlode House
on Queens Drive, my home 1976-1984).

Dabbled in the contemporary archive of Islamophiliacs and phobias.

Picked up some media studies technology and music texts and reading tips.

Began reading the news as novel more seriously with Gordon Burn. Learned that I have to read David Peace's Red Riding Trilogy.

Hung out with a top bloke and academic and met another and more to talk music and politics over dinners and drink. The vibe and 'the crack' really are different in the UK.

Saw former JB's saxophonist Maceo quote Hamlet at Leeds Uni.

Flew to rendition rendezvous Shannon Airport and took part in a hugely enjoyable seminar on The Smiths and Morrissey at the University of Limerick. Irish hospitality, some great pubs and good scholar after scholar and more and more.

Sleepy afternoon train to Dublin. Met family friend there, quick hike to Trinity College to see very old book and spectacularly roofed library.

Back to Leeds on yellow plane.

Ilkley visit with tears only at the place where I used to chuck broken branches up into the trees to knock down conkers. How Enid Blyton. Lovely evening with Dave and family.

Back down to London for the last week, most of which was spent in hospital with my mother, in for spinal surgery in Stanmore. Alan Bennett meets Dennis Potter in dub conference volume 1.

Highlights included seeing new nephew Bilal and the rest of the fanau.

Kulcha highlight:

A wet Sunday afternoon in Victoria Park, ending in sunshine and SpaceApe giving it the full dreadsome vocals of 'Ghost Town' as grizzly gurgling Jerry Dammers conducted orchestrations with cue cards that read 'First Movement', 'Groove' and 'Second Movement'. Thanks to Stephen and Jon.


Picked up discounted CDs, some newbies and oldies comps. including Kilt By Death, then more functionally: two pairs of long overdue shoes and a coat.

More music:

Plenty of Studio One and Moodisc sevens purloined politely from brother.

More on all this in further segments I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I thought it would slip into the mist of my academic amnesia like a hundred other jargon-l(e)aden talks I've sat through over the years. I didn't expect it to bug me so much. But a seminar paper about mimesis, counter-mimesis and war has really bothered me for days afterwards. I'm not sure if it was the writer-presenter's fault or success. I'm sure I misunderstood since I don't really 'get' the Lacanian lingo and the Zizek cult. So I'm not slagging off the scholarship. There were some useful resources on the military-industrial-media-entertainment network. I can deal with Slavoj's columns and repetitive academic prose in small doses but I can't fully fathom it and, to be honest, can't be arsed to work out how psychoanalysis apparently tells us everything. It bothers me that it's a secular religion for some graduate students. On the day after the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war to end an hour's talk with a powerpoint image of the George Bush action figure, and say that this is what the war is about - the 'fantasy' that veils the 'real' - was dismaying. I guess that was the provocation of the paper - the whole point was the hollowness of the war behind the semiotic overdrive. This little action man, twelve inches high, that was it. But it made me queasy. In any case the juxtaposition of this kind of mimesis with Hamas children's TV propaganda and its anti-semitism seemed an unconvincing ideological symmetry for the sake of the argument. Bush and Hamas are not equal and opposite reactions. The Q & A session following the seminar paper descended into a litany of obvious grandstanding points about US foreign policy (the kind you'd make in a pub after a few pints) and ended with simplistic anti-Americanism when others in attendance added that the USA has, unlike Europe, 'no alternative political imaginary'. Euro-, or rather, Brit smugness makes you just want to sing the praises of the home of the brave on the one hand and big up the anti Brit insurgencies on the other. Gobsmacked, I wish I'd said something like: What about the mimetic foreign policy of the UK in Iraq and Afghanistan? I like a smattering of semiotic irony and culture jamming meself, but I'm glad I research, write and teach about an 'insignificant thing' like popular music when war academia is an excuse to test out your continental theory toys on blood for oil. For language games, I'd rather read this sort of stuff. And then Theory goes to war Strike 1. Or Theory goes to war Strike 2. No symmetry though. Sometimes I wish I was a librarian instead.

Friday, March 21, 2008


BROWN SUGAR - The Game Is Over (What's The Matter With You)
JIMMY SOUL CLARK - (I'll Be Your Champion) I'll Be Your Winner
THE AUDIBLE DOCTOR - Lost Cry (Unreleased)
PERCEE P & LORD FINESSE - Rematch In The Patterson Projects
THE DOORS - Break On Through (Bossarocker Remix)
RICHARD NIXON - Original Material
RIP RIG & PANIC - Bob Hope Takes Risks
BLACK LIPS - Veni Vedi Vici (Mumdance Rework featuring Jammer)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - North American Scum (Dunproofin's Not From England Either Mix)
LAURIE ANDERSON - O Superman (Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. Remix)
KLIMEK - For Steven Spielberg & Azza El-Hassan
GARY LAMBERT - Revolution #9/11
OSCAR BROWN JNR. - Forty Acres And A Mule
MAX ROACH - Equipoise
LIL WAYNE - President feat. Currency
THE WATTS PROPHETS - Pledge Of Allegiance?

Friday, March 07, 2008


Matthew's dad died a few days ago. He had cancer. His ashes will be buried in England in the family plot. I never met him but Matthew talked about him a few times. He was a botanist and taught at the University of Otago.

I thought of 'Farewell, Farewell' because Matthew opened my ears to Fairport Convention, and Adam happened to have lent me the CD of Liege & Lief a few days before Matthew broadcast e-mailed the sad news to some of his friends. The subject title of the message was just 'Dad'.

My listening has become so fleeting over the last few years that in the past few weeks I've made an effort to listen to albums through and through and give them more of a chance. Patience and less skittishness, I promise myself. In practice, the exhausting weeks around the beginning of a new academic year have meant less time to fiddle about with tunes. So it's stick the CD on and listen or forget that you're listening while you work on the computer or the books.

'Farewell, Farewell'
is my favourite track on the record. I can't believe it, but a song like this makes me proud to be British, something I never say, even in whispers to myself. And this about a song from an album that has pictures of morris dancing with it. Exclamation mark. I'm dying to hear more of Sandy Denny's voice. She has mixed reviews for some of her records and I don't know too much about her 'troubled' (auto)biography. And what about Richard Thompson's lyrics? And will you never cut the cloth or drink the light to be? No wonder he went down the sufi path. You lonely travellers all. He looks like the kind of guy my parents might have known in the 70s when they were moving from Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff on their way to the sufis. Someone who taught pottery at the local art college.

The song is so short yet so delicately developed. I just keep playing it again and again. I love how the guitar takes you to that jangly indie place in the way that Lou Reed does on the Velvets' 'quiet' songs (particularly the ones on their third album). Recently hearing the VU's demos on their box set Peel Slowly and See, I became aware of just how folky the Velvets really were. It's kind of obvious really since that's what half of Indie is all about. Belle and Sebastian, Aztec Camera, The Pastels etc. Well, Scottish indie, anyway. I wonder if the Fairports and Velvets knew (each other). The Velvet Underground and Liege & Lief were not recorded far apart in 1968 or 69. There are some major differences though. Dave Swarbrick's viola is woodier and thicker with lamentation than the avant-garde dissonance and raga drone of most of John Cale's playing with The VU. And in any case, Cale had gone by the time the Velvets recorded that relatively quiet and more 'sentimental' album. The other difference is that Fairport's archaeology of that 'old weird Britain' (or is it just England?) -- to transatlantically transplant Greil Marcus for a moment --is quite a distinct project from giving voice to New York bohemia. But I guess Fairport were inspired by the folk revivalists and the folk rockers from the US, like Bob Dylan. And so was Lou Reed's bubblegum sensibility.

Swings and roundabouts, as is appropriate with English folksiness. God, you'll have me extolling the Cotswolds next and the magic of lay lines (sorry, ley lines). I've never bought that Blake-ish Arcadian Englandism very much, but found the lineage from the English revolutions and the frenzied print and proselytizing culture around religion, social and political movement --a kind of 'pre-history' of left politics -- more compelling. I guess it was exposure to Christopher Hill's history and then loads of Puritan marxism in American Studies at Nottingham uni with Douggie Tallack that did it. And the 1984 miner's strike about the same time. In the 90s, JD reminded me of that legacy with his teaching and writing about alternative/radical media, rebellious communication and social movements. There happens to be a traditional song on Liege & Lief called 'The Deserter'.

The mix of 'Farewell, Farewell' is so crisp, warm and enveloping too. Matthew had also directed me to producer Joe Boyd's memoir which was quite enlightening about putting on gigs in the 1960s, the Blues and Folk revivalism, the early Pink Floyd, cups of tea with Nick Drake, and Dylan pissing off the acoustics at Newport. It's a beautifully written book, though it is a bit of a boy's story and didn't have that much about the process of music production as I expected. There must be some good cover versions of 'Farewell, Farewell' out there somewhere, just as a bunch of artists have recorded the VU's 'Pale Blue Eyes'. Incidentally, the booklet accompanying The Complete Hank Williams (to which I've been listening for the last few days, 10 CDs!) opens with Patti Smith saying that Lou Reed wrote 'Pale Blue Eyes' about Hank Williams' death on New Year's Day 1953. Though of course there are other stories about that song.

FAIRPORT CONVENTION - Farewell, Farewell

Farewell, farewell to you who would hear
You lonely travellers all
The cold north wind will blow again
The winding road does call

And will you never return to see
Your bruised and beaten sons?
"Oh, I would, I would, if welcome I were
For they love me, every one"

And will you never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be?
And can you never swear a year
To anyone of we?

"No, I will never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be
But I'll swear a year to one who lies
Asleep along side of me"

Farewell, farewell to you who would hear
You lonely travellers all
The cold north wind will blow again
The winding road does call

Friday, February 15, 2008


She was corrupt and feudal, even if she believed in democratic elections (unlike Musharraf). Several commentators pointed this out in response to the deluge of fawning western commentary after her assassination. Sindhi nationalists said she was a martyr. One of the more comprehensive and nuanced stories was Aijaz Ahmad's take in Frontline. Tariq Ali writes about the Pakistan's People's Party, though the blog reactions are as interesting for their commentary on Pakistan as Chaos Central/Hub of Hell. Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poetry kicks off this last playlist from my India trip through the voice of the great Sindhi singer Abida Parveen. Just remembered that Abida opens up the chapter on South Asian music and diaspora in this academic book. My Urdu is shi'ite but the track's bluesy vibe is the thing that I pursue throughout the playlist. Call me an ignunt phono-tourist but Abida's version has the feel of Ethiopian tezetas. Ah, sufi music. It's got a good beat too, like a lot of the stuff blogged and borrowed on the playlist. For the post-colonising (just learnt that term the other day), Rawalpindi Reserve is not an illegal Pakistani wine (if only) but a small park just down the road in Mt Albert, Auckland. Though some maps say it's in Point Chev. Tut, tut. Should have had a photograph of the Reserve, but haven't had time to nip down there yet en route during my afternoon stroll.


Abida Parveen - Wo Jis Deed Mein
Mariem Hassan - ID Chab
Five Blind Boys Of Alabama - Way down in the hole
Filastine vs. Badawi - Knife The Etherics
Mobb Deep - Survival of the Fittest
Black Milk - Popular Demand
Isaac Hayes - Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile
MLZ - Dark Days
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler (Shackleton Remix)
Trimbal - Taliban..(Dva)
Dalek - Corrupt (knuckle up)
Dave Hamilton Orchestra - Who Are You Trying To Fool
The Audible Doctor - King Heroin (James Brown)
BJ Nilsen - Black Light
Imagination - Just An Illusion (Lindstrom Vocal Remix)


Another of my travelogue playlists, listening assembled in India during January. Happened to be in Rajasthan for a few days of transit but haven't seen The Darjeeling Limited yet, some of which was shot there. Did buy the soundtrack at Crossword in Ahmedabad. It's an odd mix of fragments from Satyajit Ray and Merchant-Ivory films with some folksy rock from Europe and the US. The Kinks' opener suggests all the promise and possibilities of taking a trip. A bit of anxiety about contact zones and travel fatigue suffuses some of the other tunes. As usual most of the songs here are from the blogosphere. And as ever, I'm trying to seek sonic as well as thematic affinities.
Image: Victoria Reynolds, Flight of the Reindeer

The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow
Brian Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets
Johnny Jones - Purple Haze
Go Home Productions - Passenger Fever (Peggy Lee Vs Iggy Pop)
Britney Spears - Toxic (Extended Version)
The Bug ft. Warrior Queen - Poison Dart (Original Mix)
Bloc Party - Where is Home? (Burial Remix)
Ahmed Fakroun - Pyramide (12 inch) (2007 Les Edits Du Golem)
Aeroplane - Pacific Air Race
Gudrun Gut - Move Me (Burger/Voigt Mix)
M.I.A. - Paper Planes (Rene Goulet's Golden Girl Conspiracy)
Gravious - Temple Ball
Mecano - Hawaii-Bombay
Saint Etienne - Some Place Else
Sven Libaek - Nature Walkabout: Birds in Flight
The Kinks - No Return
Jon Lucien - Kuenda / Would You Believe In Me

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Poison in the fertilizer kills the wild asses in the Little Rann. My father's oldest brother died a few days after a fall. Another terrible accident on the Rajasthan highway took lives and paralyzed another. Succumbed to more country and western metaphors. More melancholy babies.

Pictures From Life's Other Side 2:53 Luke The Drifter (Hank Williams)
Cold Dark Waters 2:31 Porter Wagoner
Sin City (Live) 4:10 Gram Parsons & The Flying Burrito Brothers
The Battle 2:46 George Jones
The Girl I Find 2:38 The Impressions
Love Is A Losing Game (Truth & Soul Remix) 4:05 Amy Winehouse
Either Way I Lose 2:43 Nina Simone
Only The Lonely 4:35 Frank Sinatra
Suzanne 3:08 Françoise Hardy
Verde 2:03 Tuca
Little Miss Sad One 2:56 The Fleetwoods
Young Folks 3:26 Dawn Landes
If I Lose My Mind 2:29 Dolly Parton
Rank Strangers To Me 2:35 Porter Wagoner with The Blackwood Brothers
Biker Walk 1:55 Various Production
Morning Wonder 5:37 The Earlies
Teenage Kicks 2:49 Seabear
Little Brother (Electric) 6:30 Grizzly Bear
Gracias A La Vida 4:21 Violeta Parra
No Use To Grieve 2:57 Richard Gibbs
The Deserted Ballroom 0:46 Satyajit Ray
Wally, Egon & Models In The Studio 4:42 Rachel's
Apreludes (in C sharp major) 3:45 Stars Of The Lid


The first playlist I palmed into place in India back in November. Inspired by static, stylus, shellac, dusty grooves and dustbowls in the desert sand and salty rock. Helped cruise me into siesta, but with a few discomforting itches for REM. Photo by Walker Evans.

Unchained Melody (A Cappella Version) 2:48 The Fleetwoods
Toxic 4:27 Yael Naim
Castles in the Air 3:04 The Robbs
No Strings Attached 2:43 Coleman
Brown's Lament 3:14 The Audible Doctor
Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over) 2:52 Ruby Andrews
Concentrate 3:48 The Gaturs
Blacks And Blues 4:37 Bobbi Humphrey
Nascimento (Birth) - Scene II 4:31 Aloe Blacc
I'm Just Being Myself (DK Edit) 9:38 Dionne Warwick
Sure Know How To Love Me 3:23 Darondo
Etched Headplate 6:00 Burial
La Rue des Coeurs Perdus 2:07 Françoise Hardy
Soul of a Convict 3:28 Porter Wagoner
It Makes Me Want To Cry 3:03 Charlie Rich
Sham-e-Gham Ki Qasam 3:13 Talat Mahmood
Ted (Bibio Remix) 4:25 Clark
I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind 2:16 Vashti Bunyan
Dust 2:30 Gene Autry

Thursday, January 31, 2008


The longest bout of jet lag ever with more than a week of disrupted zzzz's at best, insomnia at worst. I left something over Asia and the Pacific which hasn't materialized on the ground yet. The Heath Ledger story weirdly coincided with this sleeplessness. Hence The Smiths. Have been trying to listen to ambient electronica to induce sleep.


Ballad of Distances, Part 1

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


In a jetlag haze last Friday evening I played a thoroughly enjoyable DJ set with the nom de decks of Deliberate Speed for Beatrix's new Facebooked night at the Silo Theatre Bar: Time After Time. One hour per decade. I was up first, early at 7 pm, with the 1950s. A chance to dust off the old R&B and rockabilly in particular. But here's the list of tunes I played. Can't remember the exact order though. Thanks to the friends who came by.

Chet Baker - Time After Time
Milt Jackson - What's New
Cannonball Adderley - Autumn Leaves
The Everly Brothers - Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet
Martin Denny - Quiet Village
Lata Mangeshkar - Chand Phir Nikla
The Cardinals - Shouldn't I Know
Babs Gonzales - Ornithology
Young Tiger - Calypso Be
Little Willie John - Fever
Mac Rebennack - Mercy
Ronnie Dawson - Action Packed
Hank Williams - I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow
Link Wray - Rumble
Howlin' Wolf - Decoration Day
Bobby 'Blue' Bland - Farther Up The Road
Wynonie Harris - Good Morning Judge
Little Esther Phillips - Mainliner
Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama
Faron Young - I Can't Dance
Asha Bhosle - Ina Mina Dika
Carole King - Queen Of The Beach
Manhattan Research Inc. - Lightworks
Elmer Bernstein - Frankie Machine
Lata Mangeshkar & Manna Dey - 1956, 1957, 1958
Henry Mancini Orchestra - A Touch Of Evil (Main Title Theme)
Joao Gilberto - O Felicidade