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Desert Island Disc Day 3H: Colorado Wasteland

Day 3H: Colorado Wasteland, Round Three

Day 3H Start

How we got here:
Day 2G, East/Midwest Subdivisions
Day 2G, West/South Subdivisions

The East subdivision rounds itself out with…

#16 Blue Öyster Cult, “Godzilla”
vs.
#13 Burning Star Core/Prurient, “Quiet at the Bottom”

[at least one song is an instrumental, so no lyric-to-lyric matchup possible.]

photo credit: ourstage.com

What do you want? It was the seventies!

I originally looked at this one and thought I had an inkling of which way it was going. Then I looked at it again and I wasn’t sure. By the next morning, I knew this was going to end up being one of the ten roughest decisions of Round Three, and it proved out. “Godzilla” is one of the few songs that made it to selection day that has been a part of my musical existence as far back as the seventies, and unless I am misremembering, it is the only song still standing that would fit that description. That gives it some heft here, and if I’m being honest with myself, I bungled the song choice on “Quiet at the Bottom”, which I actually thought was another track from the box set (“Hydrophiliac” is the one that always sticks in my mind, though I can never remember its title; I actually had to play through the box to find the name of it again just now). Both of these things make me think the competition’s other Öyster band should be getting a pretty easy ride here, but that hasn’t been the case; “Quiet at the Bottom” just keeps popping its head up and reminding me it’s still in the hunt here. For all that I am a huge, huge fan of BÖC, I’m an even bigger fan of Prurient, and when you add Burning Star Core into the mix (who would have made this competition had not my shortest favorite BSC song been sixteen and a half minutes long), it’s a heady cocktail of depression ambient…and it springs a pretty massive upset here and heads for the Final Ninety-Six.


Live 2012. Yes, still going strong after almost fifty years!

#6 S. J. Tucker, “The Pixie Can’t Sleep”
vs.
#7 John Carpenter, “Halloween II Main Title”

[at least one song is an instrumental, so no lyric-to-lyric matchup possible.]

Unlike the battle above, when I first glanced at this one, I thought it was going to be very tough, but when I sat down to think about it it was actually very simple: there was no way John Carpenter, for all the song’s might and iconic status, was going to be able to get by S. J. Tucker’s sweet, sexy fantasy-folk. I’m not sure I can put my finger on the reason for this decision, but it took root almost immediately and it hasn’t gone away since I first had that thought; given both these two songs on selection day, I would have predicted for you a different outcome indeed, but Tucker’s track, which I have loved from the minute I heard it, has really gotten under my skin with the last few months of on-and-off repeated listening, and by this point, there’s no way I can not send it to the hopper…and thus John Carpenter, almost unimaginably, heads to the bleachers.

In the Midwest subdivision, we have:

#16 Current93, “Hooves”
vs.
#4 Rudy Adrian, “At the Edge of the Desert”

[at least one song is an instrumental, so no lyric-to-lyric matchup possible.]

I have been doing my best to keep my reasons for sending certain songs on as the rounds progress different each time, but seriously, “I covered this at a poetry reading” would give a lot of things in this competition carte blanche, really…but the only song here about which I can actually say it is “Hooves”. That gives it an edge over most anything it could have encountered in this round, and it heads easily for the hopper.

#6 Chaos As Shelter, “Rainbow Cross”
vs.
#2 Dog Lady, “Children of the Torn Snare”

If you actually need an empirical reason, okay, I am finally tossing Chaos As Shelter for being bad car listening, but really, it’s the same reason it’s always been: “this song is just not as good as ‘Children of the Torn Snare’.” The mighty Dog Lady heads into the hopper with a minimum of fuss.

In the West subdivision…

#9 Motörhead, “Killed by Death”
vs.
#12 Thomas Köner, “Eleven”

[at least one song is an instrumental, so no lyric-to-lyric matchup possible.]

It’s the event you’ve all been waiting for… the battle of the heavy metal umlauts! With all that I’ve been talking up the greatness of Thomas Köner over the course of this competition (and for the record, I finally slapped his newest-as-of-this-writing, Novaya Zemlya, on the player, and immediately made it into a baby-go-to-sleep CD, it is fabulous and you need a copy right now), and for all that Nunatak Gongamur has been a staple on my mp3 player for almost a decade at this point, when it came right down to it Motörhead were a pretty simple choice here, if only because “Killed by Death” has been a staple since long before I had an mp3 player. It’s a wonderful piece of music and I love it to death and there was no way it wasn’t going into the hopper, really.

#6 Grinderman, “(I Don’t Need You To) Set Me Free”
vs.
#10 8BallRack, “Charlie”

“Well every time I see you, I get sick
And every time I think of you, well I get sick
And every time I dream of you, well I get sick
And every time I cry for you, well I get sick”

vs….

“Does your mama know what you do when you’re alone
Holed up inside with your TV and your telephone?
All the pretty girls, he can hardly wait
Charlie’s got a girlfriend on channel ninety-eight”

It may seem that I have been unfairly penalizing the repetitious in this round, but let’s face it—if you were to have eighty minutes of music to listen to for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you want as much variety as possible? And so I really kind of (not kind of, really really) surprised myself here…and I’m promoting 8BallRack at the expense of the great Grinderman. No, I honestly did not see that coming at all.

Finally, the South subdivision hands us…

#9 Edward Ka-Spel, “Tanith and the Lion Tree”
vs.
#4 Alice Cooper, “Roses on White Lace”

“She fed the lion candy so its teeth turned pink and scattered
She gathered up the pieces, hid them deep beneath her bed
And made a wish for lion trees, so roses grew
Red roses and the lion watched his ghost go hunting bees
Bees which hovered, dropped, and split as thorns grew moist and ripped
Black yellow dropping red, it wrecked the carpet,
Made the lion weep for his meat. Live meat. Raw meat.”

vs….

“You hurt me in the deepest way
I’m crippled inside
I took your evil skin away
It’s all cut and dried
I saw you tonight
And carefully took your hand
With these smears on my cheeks
I knew that you’d understand”

While I have always given Alice Cooper credit for the subtle, amusing double-entendres in his lyrics, it’s still teen-angst cock-rock fantasy posing. Which gives us a point of comparison, since Ka-Spel’s lyrics are fantasy of a more psychedelic nature, far more innocent and childlike, and to my mind a great deal more original and thought-provoking; thus it is that Alice Cooper heads for the sidelines, and Edward Ka-Spel heads to the hopper.


Two songs, actually. “Roses on White Lace” is the second.

#11 Silly Wizard, “A. B. Corsie (The Lad from Orkney)”
vs.
#15 Amon Tobin, “Taxidermia”

[at least one song is an instrumental, so no lyric-to-lyric matchup possible.]

photo credit: splintercell.wikia.com

“The more I look at you, the more I think: you’d make a great stir-fry.”

Here’s another I didn’t expect to be as rough as it ended up being, though from the get-go I was leaning towards Silly Wizard in this all-instrumental matchup. I’d always been a kind of casual Silly Wizard fan before selection day, but looking them up, doing research, and realizing just how much they’ve influenced so many bands that made this list (and a large number of others in my collection that didn’t) has really garnered me a deeper appreciation for their music. While there’s no denying Amon Tobin came up with a fantastic score for Taxidermia, he heads for the bleachers as Silly Wizard take their rightful place in the Final Ninety-Six.

And another eight songs are fed into the hopper…
Burning Star Core/Prurient, “Quiet at the Bottom”
Current93, “Hooves”
Dog Lady, “Children of the Torn Snare”
8BallRack, “Charlie”
Edward Ka-Spel, “Tanith and the Lion Tree”
Motörhead, “Killed by Death”
Silly Wizard, “A. B. Corsie (The Lad from Orkney)”
S. J. Tucker, “The Pixie Can’t Sleep”

Previous: Day 3G
Next: Day 3I

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Desert Island Disc Day 3I: Africa Addio | Popcorn for Breakfast

  2. Pingback: Desert Island Disc Day 3G: Rusted Cleveland | Popcorn for Breakfast

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