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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Playlist thoughts.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Playlist thoughts.

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mucha mosaic
Going to London, as you've probably heard me blather on about.
What music do you think needs to be played on one's walkman while wandering London- while on the tube, while wandering the Millennium Bridge, while waiting in line to get into the British Museum? There're a few choices that I'm dragging along for my own tastes- Aztec Camera's album 'High Land, Hard Rain'; ABC's track 'Tower of London' (from 'How To Be A Zillionaire'); Shriekback's song 'Mothloop' (for the fact that the lyrics include the name of various Underground stops); a good fuckton of Bowie; the Eurythmics' song 'This City Never Sleeps'; the British Sea Power album 'Decline Of', because it seems to fit the Anglophilia, and some Smiths, because that does too...

What does London sound like to you, then? What would you think the soundtrack of London would have to have on it, if you were putting one together?
Suggestions will duly be noted and examined and considered.

UPDATE: add 'Gravity's Angel', Laurie Anderson, to the list here. Perhaps some of Coil's album 'Horse Rotorvator', if not the whole damn album: Penetralia seems to want public transit listening.
  • Most of Shriekback's 'Sacred City' album reminds me of London; I'd have "Open up your filthy heart to me" to play as the plane was coming in to land, '3 AM' for wandering around drunk after the pubs closed, because it really did sound like that; so does 'Underground' sound like that, but it's a bit long and dull. Then again, so is the Underground. "Hymn to the Local Gods" also works well, and of course "Beatles Zebra Crossing" for the drunken stagger across Abbey Road.

    Large swaths of The Clash, particularly the obvious ones like "London Calling", "This Is England" and so on.

    There's an awful lot of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine which is all Londonish; "only living boy in New Cross", "Lean On Me" (first verse about being "stuck in a tunnell on the Hammersmith and City Line") and, oh, tons of it. Carter's 1992 - The Love Album came out while I was there and I listened to it obsessively, but they're all British and London-esque. Less screamingly Londoner and Brit, but an album of Britpop I picked up then, is Ned's Atomic Dustbin's "God Fodder".

    A few bits of Smiths, like "and if a double-decker bus / Smashes into us" and "London".

    I have about five covers of "Streets of London", from punk bands to Sinead. This is partly because I like the song when it's done (im)properly, and also because it was our godforsaken graduation song when I went to school there.

    I agree that The Jam's Down In The Tube Station at Midnight" is an essential, but it may not be to your taste.

    Trashy Europop from the early nineties was most of my London soundtrack, but may not be as applicable. The U2 album "Zooropa" and I bonded there, also Jesus Jones' "Doubt". Bowie's recent technopop stuff and Zevon's "Transverse City" bits, plus some Garbage for variety.

    Certain old Kinks bits; some old Who bits. Concrete BLonde's "Walking In London". Cracker's "Eurotrash Girl". "Werewolves of London" natch. That old Seventies tune about winding my way down Baker Street. And "All This Time" by Sting talks about Roman London and the river and such like.

    Queen. Sodding stacks of Queen. Of course, my last stint in London was a) just up the road from the international Queen fan club, b) when their last album came out, and c)when Freddie left us, God rest him. There is an odd acoustic rendition of "Days of '39" by Queen, with George Michael on vocals, from the memorial concert album; in the intro to that song, Michael mentioned that he used to busk that song on the Underground.

    All of this is of course either on our server or ought to be, so you can yank it.
  • You know, I've never even BEEN to Abbey Road?
    Half of my favorite albums in the bleeding world were recorded there (or re-mastered therein), and yet- not been to the site.
    What the hell.
    <adding to checklist>
    • I never went in and took the tour or anything like that, but it was about three blocks from where I went to school, so I saw the crosswalk and the wall (covered in interesting graffiti) and sometimes we'd go down there, sit on the wall and smoke, and watch silly tourists in the zebra crossing taking pictures of each other and messing about in traffic.

      I always liked the Abbey Road stretch; it went through some interesting neighborhoods, and that road is where the old Roman road was, and I'm a sucker for stuff like that.
  • if it were me, I would also get hold of Seth, make Seth rip his copy of the greatest hits of Kirsty MacColl, and bring a copy of that peculiar country-western-Brit song "There's a Guy Down at The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis".

    And Sting's "Englishman In New York" because I'm like that and because I listened to a lot of his stuff while I was there.
  • And "All This Time" by Sting talks about Roman London and the river and such like.

    Sting is from Newcastle, which was built on the site of a Roman outpost. After all, the song is about his relationship with his father, so it's natural to assign the locale to his home town. The river would then be the Tyne, rather than the Thames.

    In fact, Sting was born in the locality (or maybe suburb) of Wallsend, which gets its name from the fact that it's at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, and thus marks the northernmost point of Roman influence in Britain.
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