Never Undo – Friday Song of The Week

Dear Chris and Listener,

This week I got something special for you lot. Morcheeba, one of my absolute favourite bands has released “Never Undo” for their upcoming album Blaze Away, which should be in stores June first.

They’ve been around since 1995, and have 8 solid albums under their belt. They’re a trip-hop electronic group which knows just how to blend the new with the enjoyable. Skye Edwards’s sensual, warm voice leaves you asking for little, while Ross Godfrey builds a groovy backdrop of rock, blues, and jazz for her to play with. All of this is doused with a masterful electronic touch.

I strongly recommend all their albums, each sounding very different from the next. I can not hype this band enough, they are truly one of my all-time favourites.

April tracks

Introduction by In Love With a Ghost

Lazy Bones by Jeremy Messersmith

Never Undo by Morcheeba

🌸All Hail The Iron Penis, or Kanamara Matsuri Festival🌸

Isn’t it awfully nice to have a penis?
Isn’t it frightfully good to have a dong?
It’s swell to have a stiffy.
It’s divine to own a dick,
From the tiniest little tadger,
To the world’s biggest prick.

Well, Japan definitely seems to think so. Vagina demons, penis black smiths, and lollypops. Ladies, gents, and other such creatures, today we look at the penis festival that is Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of The Steel Phallus).

 

This tradition started in 1969. It is an annual festival held near Kawasaki, Japan. Though it is on April first, make no mistake, this is no joke. Some serious penis tomfoolery goes down every year on this auspicious day.

The legend goes that a demon fell in love with a woman and lodged himself inside her vagina (as one does). She was a strong woman, a confident woman, and not the type to let a little pesky vagina demon get in the way of her happiness. So she found a man, married him, and come the nuptial night, the demon bit off the man’s penis (as one does). However, she was not deterred. She found herself another man, and went on to marry him as well. Come the nuptial night, however, the demon bit off the man’s bits again (as one does). Having had enough, the woman sought the help of the two blacksmith gods enshrined in Kanayama shrine, Kanayamahiko and Kanayamahime.

“Bites off me man’s bits, he does, filthy little demon dude,” she said.

“Most uncool, and heinous,” said Kanayamahiko.

“Most heinous, and uncool,” added Kanayamahime.

Together they fashioned an iron dildo of supreme godliness and craftsmanship. They gifted her the dildo, which she used to smash the demon’s teeth (as one does). The demon fled her vagina, and she was free to marry again without the worry of a demon biting off her man’s fun bits. And all lived happily ever after, except of course the demon (for he had no teeth), and the first two husbands (for they had no penises).

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Vulgar nonsense!” Well, honestly, with the exception of a few comedic liberties, that is actually more or less the story. “LIAR!” you say; well, feel free to Google it yourself.

In the absence of vagina demons, these days the festival celebrates fertility, safe childbirth, and a protection from STI’s. It is a very light-hearted festival, nowhere near as serious as some of the other more popular Shinto celebrations. People wear penis hats, suck on penis lollies, and take turns petting giant stone and iron penises for good luck. It is always heavily attended, and a lot of fun. You can get all kinds of fun merchandise, such as penis towels, penis t-shirts, penis key chains, penis candles, or penis stickers, to round off your day.

 

For those of you with children, don’t be discouraged. This is not at all considered a lewd or adult celebration. There are children present, and it is considered very normal.

I absolutely recommend this experience as it is very fun and silly, but also a rare look at the bawdy aspects of Japanese culture and mythology that we don’t often get to see.

Let Me Out – Friday Song of The Week

Dear Chris and Listener,

Thanks for sending Gone Molly’s track my way. I do love me a good Irish sound, and I hold a special place in my heart for old folk songs. A good story, emotive voices, and just all the right vibes – the song had it. Cheers!

This week’s band needs no introduction. They aren’t below the radar by any stretch of the imagination. But the track I stumbled upon was simply too good and fresh not to share. I am talking about Gorillaz’ Let Me Out.

To anyone already familiar with Gorillaz you won’t be surprised when I say there’s a flawless blend of five or so genres in this track. There’s three sets of vocals taking turns on the wheel of the song, the percussion is constantly in motion between the verses and choruses. I love the Soul and R&B movements in the track, they contrast the heavier hip hop elements beautifully.

Their new album, Humanz, echoes the creativity and quality of some of their best stuff, like Demon Days. It’s great to see such creative and talented artists back on top of their game. I can’t wait until I see them this summer!

March List

“Let Me Out” by Gorillaz

Friday Song of The Week – Fly for Your Life

Dear Chris and Listener,

Thank you for Safe From the Storm. As you said, it’s’ brief and simple. And it’s exactly what we need some times. Something to hit the pause button of your life, and take you somewhere pleasant. After a rather stressful week, this song took me to a desolate beach still wet from the rain were anthropomorphized sea turtles played Caribbean steel drums.

My suggestion for this week is Gunship’s Fly For Your Life. It’s a synthwave track, and though I am not much of a fan for the genre, the synergy of the visuals and music is the best combination of sound and animation I’ve seen in yet. A pair of pilots fight for their lives across the skies as love lyrics seamlessly compliment every beat in the visual narrative. This is more or less a Masterclass on how to shoot and animate an action sequence. And not just in the superb way in which the tension and stakes mount, but also on how to infuse poetry in something so high-octane and violent.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The track list for February:

Fly For Your Life by Gunship

Friday Song of The Week – Nostalgia

Dear Chris and listener,

I enjoyed The Gallant Gentleman’s track. It wandered pleasantly for a while and then it built up its spectacular climax.

It reminded me of my first time I listened to Post Rock. The first song I ever stumbled upon from the genre, and as luck would have it by its better practitioners, was Nostalgia by Mono. Mono is a Post Rock band from Tokyo, Japan formed in 1999. They’ve released nine studio albums in the seventeen years they’ve been active, of which I would definitely recommend Hymn to the Immortal Wind (2009) and For My Parents (2012). 

As most Post Rock songs, Nostalgia seems lost for a while. The musicians are searching in the dark for something that speaks back to them. They grasp a thin thread, and slowly they start weaving. The song builds up energy and tension as it takes you through the musicians’ psychedelic imaginations.

The link I’ve shared is a little on the quiet side, so I would suggest maxing out your volume controls. I would provide a better source, but this is truly them at their best, and well worth the risk of an accidental Skype message puncturing an ear drum.

I would recommend this song be listened to in a dark room with a slow heart rate, and an open mind.

Find Me” by Marcus D (Ft. Jun)

Hide” by FKA Twigs

I Am Here” by Funky DL

El Pescador” by Banda Magda

Empires” by Electric Swing Circus

Jungle” by Tash Sultana

Never Knew a Thing (Live)” by Kileza

Time of Extinction” (소멸의 시간) by Jambinai (잠비나이)

Hi-Lights” by Savlonic.

Common Ground” by Kognitif ft. The Mic Jordon

Believe” by Kenichiro Nishihara ft. Cise Starr

Gerudo Valley (Metal Version)” by Machinae Supremacy

Bloody Tears” by Naoto Shibata Project

Satting Sail Home (End Theme)” by Darren Krob

Ori and The Blind Forest (Main Theme)” by Gareth Coker

A Gallant Gentleman” by We Lost The Sea

Nostalgia” by Mono

Friday Song(s) of The Week

Dear Chris and listener,

I wholeheartedly accept your invitation to dig up some of the musical gems of my video game past. Back when we didn’t know what was good, what was sophisticated, and what was bad. Back when a single song could be the very anthem of the gods, and when played would manifest an instant high-score.  Also, being the work of divine beings, it could never be worn out, even when played 18 times on repeat.

This was a difficult decision for me, as there are definitely several. The Naoto Shibata Project’s Bloody Tears rendition of the Castlevania soundtrack definitely came to mind first. And by all accounts it’s a worthy choice. It’s quick and electrifying, and it can leave you in no other possible mindset than that of fighting your way through the Army of The Night. It’s a track that was shown to me back in my impressionable years, and regardless of how much my music tastes have changed since then, it’s vividly stayed with me since.

In more recent times, an honourary mention has to be given out to Bastion: a game in which the soundtrack and narration can truly be called integral and enriching to the gaming experience on par with the classically core elements like gameplay, graphics, and narrative. Darren Krob made this game a lifetime favourite of mine, and I strongly encourage you to check out the whole game’s soundtrack as it’s pretty much a narrative in itself. It is greatly varied in its used of instruments, tempo, and composition. But for a taste, eat your dessert first, and try the closing track of the OST: Setting Sail Home (End Theme).

And for the closing curtains, I want to take you by the hand and show you the truly magical world of Ori and The Blind Forest. When playing it, it’s hard to tell exactly how, but the game takes you to that secret, vulnerable place you had as a child. The visuals, and pacing of the narrative definitely do their part in getting you there, but I think the music does the lion’s share of the work in making you feel submerged into something so beautiful and vulnerable. I’ll let Gareth Coker’s Ori And The Blind Forest (Main Theme) say the rest.

Our track list:

Find Me” by Marcus D (Ft. Jun)

Hide” by FKA Twigs

I Am Here” by Funky DL

El Pescador” by Banda Magda

Empires” by Electric Swing Circus

Jungle” by Tash Sultana

Never Knew a Thing (Live)” by Kileza

Time of Extinction” (소멸의 시간) by Jambinai (잠비나이)

Hi-Lights” by Savlonic.

Common Ground” by Kognitif ft. The Mic Jordon

Believe” by Kenichiro Nishihara ft. Cise Starr

Gerudo Valley (Metal Version)” by Machinae Supremacy

Bloody Tears” by Naoto Shibata Project

Satting Sail Home (End Theme)” by Darren Krob

Ori and The Blind Forest (Main Theme)” by Gareth Coker

Common Ground – Friday Song of the Week

Dear Chris and listener,

While 80’s synthwave is definitely not my music of choice, I do appreciate the time capsule that Hi-Lights is. And since you mentioned Vice City, I couldn’t watch the music video without wondering when the cops were going to show up, or whether or not she was going to stop to pick up a hooker or two.

This week I am going to share with you something rather high up on my musical taste buds. Kognitif’s Common Ground ft. The Mic Jordan is one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite albums. As a world-class DJ, he layers multiple melodies and progressions over his track with seeming ease. You feel like you’re listening to multiple songs at the same time, and in the best possible way. I stumbled upon this glorious mishmash of hip-hop, trip-hop, funk, and jazz, last year. It has been one of my top go-to albums since then.

Hope this gets your foot nodding.

The track list so far:

Find Me” by Marcus D (Ft. Jun)

Hide” by FKA Twigs

I Am Here” by Funky DL

El Pescador” by Banda Magda

Empires” by Electric Swing Circus

Jungle” by Tash Sultana

Never Knew a Thing (Live)” by Kileza

Time of Extinction” (소멸의 시간) by Jambinai (잠비나이)

Hi-Lights” by Savlonic.

Common Ground” by Kognitif ft. The Mic Jordon