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Indie Rock Politics Post-Rock

Poisoned political discourse, Gonzo journalism & Rock n Roll: The Strange Existence Of Richard Milhous Nixon

“He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.”

Hunter S Thompson, ‘He Was A Crook’

Earlier in the year, whilst furloughed from work in the midst of the pandemic, I read through Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Hunter S. Thompson. One of the most striking pieces in the book, for me, was the obituary he wrote for Rolling Stone following the death of disgraced Republican former president, & in many ways Thompson’s arch-enemy, Richard Milhous Nixon (Reprinted in The Atlantic here). The most striking thing about this article, here, in the year of our lord 2020, is that the poison that Nixon poured into the political discourse is what has, inexorably, lead to the batshit chaos of American politics today. The normalisation of lawbreaking by public figures, at least in the public eye, is probably the primary building block which lead to the incumbent Republican, criminal, president Donald J Trump. Unlike Nixon, however, Trump didn’t have the weasel cunning to jump ship, to resign, rather than face impeachment. As such the stain of being an impeached president will forever linger on his record.

The pardoning of Nixon in light of his many criminal acts, is perhaps the single greatest mistake made in US history. Had Nixon been convicted & imprisoned for his lawbreaking, perhaps the crass opportunism of Trump wouldn’t have turned so many heads in the 2016 election. This is all by the by, however, Trump’s opportunism isn’t his worse crime. He is merely a toxic byproduct of Reaganism/Thatcherism, a poisoned outflow. His greatest crime is the enormous amount of fraud & tax evasion he has committed o=ver the years to hide his greatest flaw, his lack of ability in business. Ironically, he presents his business acuity as his greatest strength, despite the wreckage of his many bankrupt business ventures littering the highway behind him. Richard Milhous Nixon normalised this use of criminal acts by a public figure, & normalised the notion of the said public figure then being able to ascend to the lands highest office.

The main reason, however, for my thinking about Nixon today, is that I heard the excellent hit single The Love Of Richard Nixon by Manic Street Preachers on YouTube earlier & decided that I’d put together a blogpost of artwork, pics & links about the both the song & the Hunter S Thompson article. The video & artwork are excellent & the song is extremely different to much of the Manic’s catalogue up until that point. Driven by synth sounds & motorik rhythms, The Love Of Richard Nixon resembles artists like Depeche Mode more than the usual list of Manics influences. Over this New Wave/Post Punk sound, singer James Dean Bradfield treats the lyrics with a wonderful vocal performance. According to one YouTube commenter, “it is loaded with wit, pathos, irony and humour.”

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Ambient Post-Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): John Murphy – In The House – In A Heartbeat

Day 6. Attempting to stick to the two tunes per movie formula for now & choosing this absolutely huge piece of music from the introduction to 28 Days Later. In The House – In A Heartbeat is the kind of Post-Rock inspired thing which made this film stand out. Ostensibly an action film about zombies, the soundtrack & the acting gave 28 Days Later a distinct & contemporary (2002) vibe. The pretty melody building up into the intense, loud section is textbook Post-Rock & I remember wondering if this was a new Mogwai tune when I first saw the movie.

No lyrics for this one as the tune is 100% instrumental. Here’s some screenshots from the section of the film which this tune plays during.

Looking for some great music? Check the Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Post-Rock

Song of the Day (The Chain): Mogwai – Cody

Day 8. From the swirling psychedelics of The Flaming Lips to the stark Post-Rock soundscapes of Mogwai. The connection between yesterday’s Flaming Lips song & todays is that they were both produced by the same producer, Dave Fridmann.

Cody is the title track (via acronymisation) of Mogwai’s fan favourite second studio album, Come On Die Young. Cody is a slow, melancholic track. One of the few Mogwai tracks to feature lead vocals, Cody has an almost narcotic beauty.

Of all I knew, I held too few 
And would you stop me, if I try to stop you? 

Old songs stay ’til the end 
Sad songs remind me of friends 
And the way that it is, I could leave it all 
And I ask myself, would you care at all? 

When I drive alone at night, I see the streetlights as fairgrounds 
And I tried a hundred times to see the road signs as Day-Glo 

Old songs, stay till the end 
Sad songs, remind me of friends 
And the way that it is, I could leave it all 
And I ask myself, would you care at all?

Old songs, stay till the end 
Sad songs, remind me of friends 
And the way that it is, I could leave it all 
And I ask myself, would you care at all?

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Music Post-Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Mogwai – Party In The Dark

Day 16 (P). Predominately instrumental Post-Rock pioneers Mogwai trying their hand at psychedelic Dream-Pop. This is Mogwai at their most playful & seems to me to suggest shades of latter day Slowdive & (pretty much any period) New Order. Taken from their 2017 album, Every Country’s Sun, Party In The Dark came out just as my own band, Nauseous Skies, was forming & was a huge influence on our sound. We included it in our playlist of reference material we gave to the engineer when we recorded our debut singles, Only Shadows and Stay Young.

I see everything
All their suffering
Tiny vehicles
Space-age miracles

All our hearts were sore
No fight left in this war
Before the ghostly chase
All those that rearrange

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

Wards are ours to keep
Definition free
Unkind and alone
End of the idea

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

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Categories
Post-Rock

Red Light Skyscraper – Take Me Somewhere Nice (Mogwai Cover – played on smartphone apps)

During lockdown, Italian instrumental Post-Rock group Red Light Skyscraper, separated by quarantine, have recorded this excellent cover of the Mogwai classic Take Me Somewhere Nice. It’s quite amazing, especially considering the limitations of these apps.

Elsewhere on their YouTube channel, Red Light Skyscraper have been killing time in quarantine by making this brilliant cover of Quiet by This Will Destroy You. The idea this time is that the recording is composed of just 1% performance & 99% editing. It sounds great.

Before I saw this performance on a Facebook group I’m a member of (The Post-Rock Appreciation Society), I was unfamiliar with Red Light Skyscraper’s work. After watching a fe of their videos I am definitely a fan now. I’ll be keeping an eye on them, going forward. Check out this excellent performance recorded in Bristol, 2019.

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