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?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …