Categories
New Wave Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): Peter Schilling – Major Tom (Coming Home)

Day 3.

Having just begun watching the cold war spy thriller The Americans after reading about it in Mark Fishers book (see Day 1), I started to think of one of my other favourite Cold War spy thrillers, the excellent Deutschland ’83 & it’s fantastic sequel Deutschland ’86. I also discovered that the third series, Deutschland ’89, is also due to be released in the next month. I found this particularly exciting.

Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling is the opening credits theme tune of the Deutschland series; interestingly though, only for the English language (subtitled) version. The original German version of the show features Blue Monday by New Order as its theme tune. I find it amusing & interesting that the German release uses an English Synthpop song as its theme while the English release features a German Synthpop song. A nice bit of pleasing synchronicity.

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
All systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort

The countdown starts

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax, up in the capsule
“Send me up a drink”, jokes Major Tom
The count goes on

Four, three, two, one
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling home

Second stage is cut, we’re now in orbit
Stabilizers up, running perfect
Starting to collect requested data
“What will it effect, when all is done?”
Thinks Major Tom

Back at ground control there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
“Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on, we’re standing by”
There’s no reply

Four, three, two, one
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling home

Across the stratosphere
A final message, “Give my wife my love”
Then nothing more

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don’t realize, he’s alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
Now the light commands, this is my home
I’m coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming, coming home

Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home

Looking for some great music?

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Indie Rock Pop Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Cardigans – Erase/Rewind

Day 2.

At work we (sometimes) listen to Absolute Radio (or one of its decade themed sister stations like Absolute ’90’s) & today this song was played as I was leaving work, reminding me how great a band The Cardigans are & how great a tune this is.

This is a downtempo, sensual Indie Pop song with sonic features akin to genres as diverse as Alternative Rock & Trip Hop. Nina Persson’s saccharine vocals are particularly engrossing on Erase/Rewind, lending it a warm, inviting vibe.

The excellent video references sci-fi classics like 2001: Space Odyssey & the first Star Wars movie.

Hey, what did you hear me say
You know the difference it makes
What did you hear me say

Yes, I said it’s fine before
But I don’t think so no more
I said it’s fine before

I’ve changed my mind
I take it back
Erase and rewind
‘Cause I’ve been changing my mind
I’ve changed my mind

So, where did you see me go
It’s not the right way, you know
Where did you see me go

No, it’s not that I don’t know
I just don`t want it to grow
It’s not that I don’t know

I’ve changed my mind
I take it back

Looking for some great music? Here it is.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Art Pop Experimental Pop Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

Day 1.

After a brief hiatus (& my first week back at work following furlough) I have settled on a new format for Song of the Day for going forward. Basically, this is just a roll of the dice. The songs are going to be ones I hear or think of throughout the course of my day. Songs heard on the radio, mentioned in a book or magazine or even spontaneously popped into my head. I may explain in the post why I’ve chosen it, if it seems interesting or will draw attention to other blogs or writers I want to promote. If I miss the odd day please bear with me. I’m calling this series Chaotic Neutral, hope you enjoy.

Today I am choosing Peter Gabriels sinister Cold War hit Games Without Frontiers. I am currently reading K-Punk, a collection of blogposts & magazine articles by the late culture writer Mark Fisher. Today I read this review of cold war thriller The Americans, in which he mentions this paranoid Pop masterpiece due to its appearance during the finale of the shows first season.

Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrico plays with it

Whistling tunes, we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes, we’re kissing baboons in the jungle
It’s a knockout

If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers, war without tears
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers, war without tears
Games without frontiers, war without tears

Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching’s is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in treetops, shouting out rude names

Whistling tunes, we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes, we’re kissing baboons in the jungle
It’s a knockout

If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers, war without tears
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers, war without tears
Games without frontiers, war without tears

Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans frontières
Jeux sans

Looking for some great music? Roll the dice.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Indie Rock

Radiohead – Airbag/How Am I Driving?

The Airbag/How A I Driving EP, released by Radiohead towards the end of the promotional campaign for OK Computer, featured not only some amazing b-sides from the OK Computer era, but also some of the most unique & compelling artwork of any CD I’ve ever bought.

There are all sorts of prescient seeming phrases in the artwork which make me think of 2020. Especially the disclaimers on the “survey” which explain what will happen to the data you give. These feel like an explicit reference to what we now call Big Data which Radiohead, in 1997-8, could already see creeping into our lives. In many ways the artwork of this EP could be considered a satirical masterpiece of Capitalist Realism, which resonates strongly today, in the chaotic atmosphere of late capitalism.

The point of this post is to show you the incredible artwork. Unfortunately, my copy has spent about twenty years in a smoking house & has become yellowed with age, losing its brilliant white colour. I am a little disappointed by this but luckily I was able to find excellent pictures of the packaging on Discogs.

My smoke-yellowed & dog-eared copy.

How it’s supposed to look.

The cartoon on the left is a little blurry & indistinct on the Discogs pic so here’s a close up taken from my old copy:

Pictures courtesy of Discogs

Airbag was never commercially released as a single, & as such never had a promo video produced, so here’s a great live version of it from the UK TV show Later With Jools Holland. As an aside: I’m sure I remember reading, possibly in an interview around the tie of release, that all of the songs on OK Computer were going to have videos made for them. Obviously this never happened but would have been amazing.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Uncategorized

Explanations

Regular readers of Scruffy Theory may have noticed that my once regular posts have become more sporadic over recent weeks. There are many factors which have contributed to this & I feel the need to explain to people a little of what has been going on.

The chief reason I have slowed down in my creation of content is due to mental health reasons. I am, & have been for a while, experiencing depression & anxiety while, maybe unwisely, keeping this pretty much to myself. It’s not that I’m particularly ashamed of this or anything, but I do find it difficult to talk about. I have typed & retyped the bulk of this paragraph multiple times, giving varying amounts of detail, though I have decided to settle on just depression and anxiety. I may write more about it at a later date but for now, I’m just trying to deal with it as best I can.

Another thing that has begun to take up my time is my studies. I’m currently just starting my third year (of six) of a part time degree through the Open University. I am studying towards a BA in English Language & Literature. This is going to take up a lot of my free time in the coming yer because I am studying a literature module this year, & have a fairly sizeable amount of reading to do in my spare time, in addition to my usual recreational reading.

This years reading.

Another factor which is going to impinge on my ability to post as regularly as I’d like is the fact that I am going to be returning to work following a long period of absence due to being furloughed. Perversely, I was furloughed in the first place in line with the ‘Shielding’ guidelines, to protect my partner who suffers from severe asthma, & now, as the danger level is rising again, I am being asked to return to work because I “no longer qualify” for furlough. I obviously know that this is a lie, but since furlough is at the employers discretion there is nothing I can do about it.

So my daily posting schedule is going to take a bit of a hit. I am going to attempt to keep going with Song of the Day for a while (I know, I’ve missed it for a little while now) but I may dispense with the themes I’ve been using & just use it to share with you a song which I particularly like or have been listening to that day. I will attempt to write a proper post at least once a week. I’ll also try & share images, songs & videos with you when I find something of interest. I may also start posting a little about what’s going on at work now I’m back as well as the literature I am reading as part of my studies.

I apologise for the slightly negative tone of this post. Here’s some great music with a great video by way of an apology.

I’m sharing this because I watched a great YouTube video by Trash Theory this morning about the evolution of Shoegaze that lead to Loveless. Oh hell, why not? Here’s the Trash Theory video too.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Politics Videogames Visual

Night In The Woods – Onward Revolution

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post like this, but I like sharing screenshots from video games I’m currently playing, especially if they have a clever, leftist vibe to them. A couple of days ago I began to play Night In The Woods after seeing it in a great video by YouTuber Jacob Geller, which I’ll include at the bottom of this post. Seriously, check out some of his video essays. They’re really well written, researched & contain a sense of wide-eyes wonder that I find makes them incredibly watchable.

In the screenshots I’m sharing, main character Mae & her friend Gregg are smashing up this abandoned car (a tree is growing through it) with a baseball bat; to acquire the cars battery; to power an old, disused animatronic cartoon character; to give as a gift to Greggs boyfriend, Angus. The game is filled with charming, innocent (yet youthfully rebellious) scenes like that & is a joy to play. I’m playing it o XBox One but it is also available on PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch & even Linux so don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to play it.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Politics

The Brexit Trade Talks by @RussInCheshire

I didn’t write this but I thought it was important to share it far & wide. It’s originally by Twitter user Russ, so give him a follow & like for his hard work.

Image from https://www.politico.eu

The Brexit Trade Talks

UK: We don’t like our deal
EU: Why not?
UK: We only get 95% of what we want
EU: It only gives us 95% too. That’s how negotiating goes
UK: We want a new deal that gives us everything we can think of
EU: But you signed a deal
UK: Don’t care, we hate you
EU: Bit rude
UK: We elected people to go to your meetings specifically to say we hate you
EU: And how is Nigel?
UK: Not happy?
EU: Why not?
UK: TV has dried up. So we want a new deal, and we want the deal in 3 weeks, or we cancel our existing deal
EU: Wait, what?
UK: You heard. Give us 100% of what we want in 3 weeks, or we break the law and walk away with 0% of what we want
EU: Er suits us!
UK: Wait, what?
EU: Perfect. Do it. Walk away. Take Nigel with you.
UK: No, hold on, wait: you have to negotiate, so Boris can win
EU: Why? Right now you have 95% of perfect, and we have 95% of perfect. If we renegotiate, you get more but we get less
UK: That’s right
EU: But if we don’t negotiate, we still have our 95%
UK: Woah, hold on
EU: And you have nothing
UK: But Dom didn’t superpredict you’d say that!
EU: And if we don’t have a deal, we don’t have to put up with you **** on our lawn
UK: The Daily Mail made us do it and then ran away!
EU: I just found this spine. Is it yours?
UK: Welp!
EU: So we’ll just sit this one out
UK: Fine, we’ll go and make a great deal with the US

US: Yo suckers
UK: We are here to get a lovely big trade deal
US: Sure thing. Obey existing deals, and give us 100% of everything, plus 51% controlling share in the NHS, and you get, let’s see, 60% of what you have now
UK: Not good enough, we have a Special Relationship
US: Bye
UK: What?
US: Bye. Talks are over, the Special Relationship is over, your country is over. Bye
UK: But we haven’t got a deal, and we told everyone it would be easy!
US: It is easy: we are 26% of world trade, making deals with EU (20%) and China (17%). We don’t need your 1.8%. No deal: easy
UK: But we really need a deal, the EU outsmarted us
US: We know. Some of us can read. Not Trump, obviously, but the rest of us. Try India

UK: Hi India, remember us?
India: Oh ****, these guys again
UK: We want a trade deal
India: And we want to vastly increase the number of Indians who can live in the UK
UK: We can’t do that. Turns out we’re, like, properly racist
India: That is brand new information!!
UK: So can we have a deal?
India: Sure, fine. Join the queue
UK: Who’s in front of us in the queue?
India: EU, USA, China, Brazil, Korea, Canada, Australia basically everybody. We’re kind of a big deal now.
UK: So you’ll be ready to negotiate in, what: 3 weeks?
India: Ha ha ha ha ha
UK: What did we say?
India: 3 weeks? Try 3 years. This **** takes ages, bro
UK: But we had a timetable of 3 weeks with the EU
India: And how did that work out?
UK: Erm
India: Try Brazil

UK: Hi Brazil
Brazil: We ArE oN FiRe!!
UK: Maybe we can trade you some fire engines?
Brazil: We LiKe bEiNg oN FiRe, iT’s OuR tHiNg NoW!!!
UK: Shall we try New Zealand?
Brazil: I aM So DrUnK!!
UK: Yeah, let’s try New Zealand

UK: Hi, New Zealand
NZ: Hi, Crazy Uncle
UK: We’d like to sell you some lamb
NZ: Sorry, it’s very noisy here, cos we still have a working economy. Did you say you want to sell us some lamb?
UK: Yes
NZ: Hold the line, gotta tell Australia this, they’ll **** themselves

UK: Hi Australia, wanna trade stuff?
Aus: We wanna offload Rolf Harris and our worst ever PM. What can you give us for them?
UK: We’ve already got them
Aus: That was easy! So what can you trade?
UK: We can send you some racists
Aus: I think we’re sorted. Try Russia

UK: Hi Russia, we have loads of lovely things we think you’d love to own
Russia: We already own them
UK: You don’t own Boris
Russia: True. We rent him by the hour. £160k for a tennis match
UK: We really need a trade deal
Russia: We know. We made you need one. Try China

UK: Can we please have a trade deal?
China: And you are…?
UK: We’re Great Britain
China: Great, you say?
UK: Well once
China: It’s not ringing any bells. Do you have another name?
UK: United Kingdom
China: United, you say?
UK: Alright, smart arse
China: So you want a trade deal?
UK: Yes, but first we demand you obey international law
China: What happened to your deal with the EU?
UK: We broke international law
China: Have you been drinking moonshine with Brazil again?
UK: We’re very tired.
China: Why did you leave the EU?
UK: We couldn’t deal with foreigners telling us what to do
China: What do you want?
UK: A deal
China: With who?
UK: Foreigners
China: And why can’t you get one?
UK: Cos we don’t know what to do
China: Were you dropped as a child?
UK: We just want a trade deal worthy of our status
China: You’ve got one
UK: No we haven’t
China: Yes you have
UK: Why won’t anybody take us seriously?
China: Would you like to buy a mirror?
UK: Finally, a deal!
China: You had a deal worthy of your status, with the EU. You don’t need to renegotiate deals: you need to reassess your status. You’re not a mighty nation, you’re a small, wet, heavily indebted island on the edge of a globally important trade bloc, which you just left, you tit
UK: So, what do you suggest?
China: Aw, mate. You already know

EU: Hi there! Here to rejoin?
UK: Yes, and on the same terms as before
EU: Oh, I don’t think so. Say goodbye to your rebate, hello to the Euro, and bonjour to the Schengen area. Welcommen!
UK: We hate you

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Experimental Folk Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): The Beta Band – Dry The Rain

Day 10. I’m not really sure how I feel about the movie adaptation of Nick Hornby’s The High Fidelity. I remember enjoying it somewhat, but the smug, salesman-like smarminess of the scene in which Dry The Rain by The Beta Band plays really grates on me. I guess it does highlight how amazing the song is, even if it does so in such an aloof & arrogant way. What did you folks make of this scene?

Dry The Rain was the lead track on The Beta Band’s 1997 debut EP Champion Versions (& later The Three E.P.’s). This acid-soaked, Psyche Folk melancholia was a blast of invigoratingly fresh air when it first emerged. It was millions of miles away from the late Britpop which was just about hanging on to relevance in 1997.

Late afterthought: While adding The Beta Band to the ‘tags’ on this post I was surprised to see I haven’t written anything about them before. Expect this to be addressed soon.

The scene

This is the definition of my life
Lying in bed in the sunlight
Choking on the vitamin tablet
The doctor gave in the hope of saving me
In the hope of saving me

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

Dusty brown boots in the corner
By the ironing board
Spray on dust is the greatest thing
Sure is the greatest thing
Since the last since the last

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I Need Love, yeah
I Need Love

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I need love
I need love

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

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Pixies – Where Is My Mind?

Day 9. “Oooh. Stop!” Where Is My Mind? by the Pixies not only soundtracks the explosive finale of the psychological late ’90’s uber-thriller Fight Club (below) but it’s also a ridiculously good song that doesn’t really need an excuse to post about it. It’s a rare song (although, come to think about it, Pixies have quite a few) that doesn’t sound as if it was written & recorded so much as it was grown. It’s got an elemental, organic feel to it that is preciously rare in a way which I find difficult to explain.

Partly as a result of it’s inclusion in Fight Club & partly as a result of it’s inclusion on the genre-defining Indie Rock masterpiece Surfer Rosa, Where Is My Mind? absolutely writhes with the kind of cultural significance that that you could write entire series of books about. To attempt to get the importance of this phenomenal work of art, I have included below both the ending scene of Fight Club during which the song is utilised & an excellent live (TV) performance of the song by the band back in 1988, at the absolute peak of their powers.

Pixies, 1988, “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”

Ooh, stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

I was swimmin’ in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rock
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin’ to talk to me koi koy

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

Ooh
With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Ooh
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks) Spotify playlist?

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Electronic Music Metal Nu Metal Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Rob Zombie – Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Remix)

Day 8. Another one from The Matrix, Dragula by Rob Zombie was another Alternative night classic at the kind of nightclubs I used to frequent in my teenage years. The version used in The Matrix was the Rod Herman remix but for the video I have opted for the original version, not least because it has a really good video. I also failed to find the remix on Spotify, so the original version will be on the SPotify playlist too. I’ll include the remix YouTube link here.

The remix adds layers of electronic production to the track which nicely brings the song in line with the late ’90’s cyberpunk visions of The Matrix. I’m not sure but I also think our local Alternative Rock DJ’s played this version too, presumably The Matrix OST was a useful CD for any Alt/Rock DJ to own.

Superstition, fear and jealousy

Dead I am the one, exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
While they slowly turn, conquering the worm

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dead I am the pool, spreading from the fool
Weak and what you need, nowhere as you bleed
Dead I am the rat, feast upon the cat
Tender is the fur, dying as you purr

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Do it baby, do it baby
Do it baby, do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dead I am the life, dig into the skin
Knuckle crack the bone, twenty one to win
Dead I am the dog, hound of hell you cry
Devil on your back, I can never die

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Do it baby, do it baby
Do it baby, do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

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

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00