Skip to main content

the soundtrack for packing

maybe we could just make a new place out of them...
music is a really great motivator [among many other things], and while packing for a move, which is at least 40% winnowing out garbage in advance of a move, there are some things that can motivate more than others. i'm not sure what those are for most people, but for me, there are a couple of general rules:

1. tracks have to be upbeat, both in rhythm and in atmosphere. i love troum and cranioclast, but they are not what i turn to when i need to get moving. likewise, i enjoy scott walker, but more in a "let's have a glass of wine and despair of the future" sort of setting. clearly, that would be a mistake.

2. they have to have a regular flow. that's tied to rhythm once again, but it also means that the music can't get too far into experimental fields. that's the sort of thing that's going to capture my attention, which means that my attention won't be on putting stuff in bags and boxes. that music will have its time, later, when we're settled and i can afford some attentive listening time.

since moving isn't the only time when we can use this kind of motivation, i've taken it upon myself to list some things that are great music for these occasions. obviously, these choices aren't going to appeal to everyone, but for those whose tastes are a bit offbeat, there's probably at least one thing in here that will make you want to move around [and possibly be productive].

severed heads :: now an explosive new movie

i'm definitely biased, because i saw severed heads just last week and they were almost perfect. i say "almost" only because i didn't get to hear my very favourite song of theirs. i did not expect to hear it, so it wasn't a great disappointment, but that's the one thing that could have improved the event.

the truth is that i could make an entire list of this sort made up of nothing but severed heads, because so much of their music is uplifting, bouncy and singalongable. i've chosen what i think is a "medium" track of theirs. if you wanted something a bit poppier, "petrol" is great. if you want something a bit heavier, "adolf a karrott" might be more your style.



german army :: flies glittering

i think that this is one of the few bands who seem determined to do their own thing, in defiance of genre norms. it's difficult to keep up with their output, and they have a tendency to keep their tracks almost irritatingly short, but that doesn't make them any less captivating. this track is from their very latest album and has a wonderful rhythm, the kind of thing often described as "tribal", that invites you to get into a groove with whatever you're doing.




eindkrak :: ontvreemd

this isn't the first time that i've sung the praises of this obscure dutch act, and i doubt it will be the last. basically, i'm going to keep pushing eindkrak until you all agree with me, or until his albums start to suck [and, frankly, there's no evidence of that happening anytime soon]. he has a deft touch for bringing together noisy elements with ridiculously groovy backbones. it is really tempting to just roll [your hips] with it and do basketball shots into your open boxes across the room. and who am i to stop you?



pop will eat itself :: wise up, sucker

truly one of the underrated classics of the industrial dancefloor, it's the sort of thing that makes you feel invincible. until the next morning, when you realise your invincibility was extremely temporary. then you down an energy drink, listen to this track again and, voilĂ , your inner superperson is back.



s.k.e.t. :: alternative facts

anything on hands productions is the shit when it comes to motivation to physical labour, but i figured i'd go with something from this year's releases. it's not heady material, but that's really what you're looking for in these circumstances. [see point #2 above] now, to be fair, this whole album is a lot more complex than the average rhythmic industrial slab of sound. you could, in fact, get very wrapped up in it. but that's for later. for packing purposes, you can just let the frenetic rhythms push you to your limits when you're feeling drained. and what could be more appropriate than a track named after what will undoubtedly be remembered as the phrase of the year?



stiff little fingers :: roots, radicals, rockers, and reggae

punk is supposed to motivate you to move on every level: to move around physically, but also to move for social change and to fight the goddamned man. and while not every punk fan necessarily buys into both of those things, there can be little doubt about the power of a great punk rock anthem to make you get down to business and get shit done.



razor x productions :: boom boom claat

a collaboration between the bug [kevin martin of god, among many other worthwhile projects] and the rootsman, with an almost alarmingly intense vocal by reggae icon cutty ranks, this is an absolute monster. truthfully, the entire album is a monster, but this is possibly the monster-y-est four minutes from it. i have never gotten to dance to this in a club, and therefore my life is incomplete.



stevie wonder :: superstition

if you don't recognise the awesome power of this song to get feet and asses moving, or its awesomeness in general, then i don't think we can be friends.



ok, ok. i could go on, but i think that this is a fine list of musical selections for getting your butt in gear and your life in boxes. some of you may be surprised that i didn't include a few classics from the likes of front 242, skinny puppy, or other such artists. the truth is that, as much as i enjoy those, i find them a little too icy cool for this particular purpose. no disrespect intended.

wish me luck, because, no matter how good the motivational soundtrack to the endeavour, the moving experience is just unpleasant. 

Comments

Ben said…
Was listening to that second PWEI album just yesterday.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…