laurie anderson – the dream before (for walter benjamin)

” A Paul Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; his wings are caught in it with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.” 

— Walter Benjamin, 1940

paul-klee-angelus-novus

Paul Klee – Angelus Novus (1920)

burning at both ends

“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!”

― Edna St. Vincent Millay

I made this sleepless mix in 2003 on a slide into depression after I had to abandon my MA dissertation after three years’ work, like an almost-full-term still birth (I’ve just gone back to give varsity another shot, more than a decade later)… I was djing almost every weekend and hanging out with lost people on drugs talking mostly empty crap at one another until the sun came up. I passed many hours in the company of some beautiful, talented, bored, unhappy, bitter humans… and also a fat complement of irredeemable oxygen thieves. Anything to distract from the rip in the fabric of who I had thought I was, to cackle in the face of hopelessness. It just made me lonelier and lonelier. I would come home with the scabs over the hole in my soul all picked off, and listen to music like this to feel OK.

When we were kids, my dad used to warn us that “late nights make sad mornings”. He was right, though not for the reasons he thought.

Track list:

1. Velvet Underground – After Hours
2. Dntel – Umbrella
3. Lali Puna – Bi Pet
4. Grauzone – Eisbaer
5. The Kills – Space Race/Electric Horse
6. Suzanne Vega – Fat Man & Dancing Girl
7. Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Blank Generation
8. David Bowie – Kooks
9. Faust – I’ve Got My Car & My TV
10. Wire – I Feel Mysterious Today
11. Sparklehorse – My Yoke Is Heavy
12. Yo La Tengo – The Summer
13. My Bloody Valentine – Off Your Face
14. Adorable – Sunshine Smile
15. Slowdive – Alison
16. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Forest Fire
17. The Microphones – I Want Wind To Blow
18. Bauhaus – All We Ever Wanted
19. Einstuerzende Neubauten – Blume
20. Madrugada – Hidden track off Grit
21. Pixies – Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf mix)

ros sereysothea – who’ll stop the rain?

Cambodian cover by Ros Sereysothea and Sinn Sisamouth of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain?”. They died under unknown circumstances during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror,  as did countless other artists and intellectuals murdered in Pol Pot’s Killing Fields, and this recording only survived on tapes smuggled out of the country.

“Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down.
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, tryin’ to find the sun;
And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain.”

Read more of their story HERE.