Janu­ary Playl­ist

Published Categorised as Music No Comments on Janu­ary Playl­ist

The second half of Janu­ary has been a bad time for me, with a lot of very diffi­cult things to deal with. I’ve been low on energy for doing anything much creat­ive. Here’s a playl­ist of songs I’ve been listen­ing to lately though.


1) Queen of Borrowed Light- Wolves in the Throne Room

I was really disap­poin­ted with the most recent Wolves in the Throne Room album. I mean I guess it’s nice that they stopped trying to be a pale copy of Brian Eno, but the new stuff was really gener­ic. Enjoy this instead.

2) Mouth Breath­er- Jesus Lizard

This song is about Britt Walford from Slint. He might be great at drums and song­writ­ing, but don’t let him mind your house. There will be plumb­ing incid­ents.

3) I Am Living Death- Insti­tute

Great new punk/­post-punk from Texas.

4) Real World- Hüsker Dü

Great old punk from Minnesota. RIP Grant Hart.

5) Cross the Breeze- Sonic Youth

6) Закрой за мной дверь (Zakroy za mnoy dver’ /​ Close the door behind me) – Kino

This song from the 80s is incred­ibly well-known in Russia. Vikt­or Tsoi is kind of their Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain rolled into one. In the early 80s he was repressed for his music- they had stopped send­ing people to the Gulag or falsely impris­on­ing them in mental insti­tu­tions, but if you did anything to displease the author­it­ies suddenly you would lose your univer­sity place and your job applic­a­tions would always be unsuc­cess­ful. Tsoi was kicked out of art school and given a job as janit­or of his own block of flats for lyrics like “well this train isn’t going anywhere anyone wants to go” and continu­ally push­ing the very tight limits of what was allowed in public perform­ance. By the late 80s under Gorbachev he was allowed to get away with lyrics demand­ing outright polit­ic­al change and became hugely success­ful in the USSR, but then died in a road acci­dent less than a year after the Berlin Wall came down. You can see the lyrics in Russi­an & English here.

7) Abschied (farewell)- Nico

Nico on the other hand was a deeply unpleas­ant person, even if I enjoy her music. I’ve never really under­stood why people call the Marble Index “unlisten­able” or an “ordeal”. It’s quite a sooth­ing album really. I like the baroque style of this song- which extends to the lyrics, full of old-fash­ioned liter­ary words like harren and verzehren. The words and trans­la­tion are here.

8) Master Song- Leonard Cohen

I listened to Leonard Cohen non-stop when I lived in Budapest, and it fits the city and its atmo­sphere pretty well. I miss Hungary a lot, but no way could I live there under the current far-right (and increas­ingly actu­ally fascist) govern­ment. The soon­er Vikt­or Orbán is out the better.

9) Trans­late- Suuns

The soundtrack to walk­ing over frozen rivers in the Czech Repub­lic last year

10) Oh Yeah- Can

11) Pig- Sparkle­horse

It’s still sad what happened to Mark Linkous.

12) Corpse Pose- Unwound

13) Night Goat- Melvins

14) Chro­makey Dream­coat- Boards of Canada

15) Etna- Sunn O)) & Boris

Around the Winter Solstice I always seem to want to listen to noth­ing but Sunn O)) and Earth. Let your ears take a sooth­ing bath.

16) I Trold­skog Faren Vild- Ulver

I like Ulver but am also aware that they are in some (many?) ways cheesy. The lyrics on this album are in Ye Olde Fairy Tale Norwe­gi­an and are actu­ally pretty ridicu­lous (but let’s let them off, they were teen­agers when they did this album). Enjoy them here.

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