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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?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…

making faces :: chanel's velvet realm

who doesn't love velvet? i know when i was younger, i used to, as george costanza longed to, "drape myself in velvet" and although that phase passed with time, i still think that the plush fabric has to be one of the high points of human achievement, up there with interior heating, advanced medicine and vodka. so to me, it's no surprise that one of the most hotly anticipated launches in the cosmetic world is chanel's new "rouge allure velvet" lipstick line, because even the name immediately makes me want to put it on my lips.

on a more concrete level, chanel describes these lipsticks as "luminous matte", which is sort of like the holy grail for lipstick lovers. we all want those intense, come-hither film noir lips, the sort where young men and sunlight are lost and never heard from again, but historically [including during the making of those films], applying a matte lipstick felt sort of like colouring in your lips with an old crayon that had…