Put It Directly Into My Veins – 2

«I remember
How the darkness doubled
I recall
Lightning struck itself
from the series imPermanence — Kyoto, Japan 2013
[ photo by fernand de Beauvoir ]

in this second segment, the songs that mattered from the late 70s, with the post-punk explosion. well, a small segment of them, since the list is dominated by this genre, and it is the most defining era of music that would impact my listening habits. I cannot define what exactly about the genre made it so, as all of my listening is intuitive and lacks any musical (theory, or playing) discriminant: it just feels like a connection. perhaps, in some ways, it is so because of the attitude (groups coming out of the punk movement with new ideas not necessarily grounded in musicianship), and yet achieved a shift comparable to the 60s. sadly, I would not see many of these bands live when this was happening.

songs affecting one listener, in no particular order,
just grouped whimsically, yet with some intuitive connection:
either historically, situationally, or for the groove of it all.
  1. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” : the crossover from Goth Nights at clubs. I am not sure if I ever went to a Goth Night at any club, perhaps because it was all still mixed-in as New Wave. not my favorite Bauhaus song — that goes to “Dark Entries” and “In The Flat Field” — but this song was the entrance (as it would be for many I suppose). yet, the biggest reward from this discovery was Tones On Tails, which is my favorite group of all the Bauhaus-related groups.
  2. “Memories”: I cannot recall the precise way this album crept into being played so much, and if it was dismissed earlier because I really could not care for John Lydon‘s singing up to that time. I can say that I have not gotten much into dub, though I can also say that this album is a pillar of my favorite (and most played) albums. The trilogy of Metal Box, Wire‘s 154, and Joy Division‘s Unknown Pleasure makes 1979 the most important year.
  3. “Mercy” : given the unforgettable words from a roommate, who could use my record player to play his latest acquisitions from his visits to NYC, it should be a song from Pink Flag. he walked one day into my room, asking if he could play two records:

    « can I play these two records? this one’s (Joy Division‘s Closer) singer recently committed suicide, and this other (Wire‘s Pink Flag) is a collective of four art students »

    I listened quite well to what was playing… so foreign sounding and yet so comfortably familiar (even if the first time). I remember thinking, as I looked at the records I owned, and feeling that I didn’t really have any records. it would be a couple of years before I exorcised the music I was listening at the time, and connected with Closer and Chairs Missing (with “Mercy”) having that same effect as the first listen to Pink Flag.
  4. “Marquee Moon” : I could have caught onto Television‘s debut album much earlier. the resource was there (see the story above on Joy Division and Wire first’s listen), but it was not until the last decade that I finally connected to this album. I can say that I didn’t connect much to the NYC scene stemming from CBGB‘s and others. thus, this album connects me to that time, and it is indeed a prototype for much of the music I came to like (before this song, but came after this song). in that sense, this song/album may be the equivalent to The Velvets‘ “Heroin”.

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