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Desert Island Disc Day 3K: Somewhere in Europe

Day 3K: Somewhere in Europe, Round Three

Day 3K Start

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

And the final East subdivision EVER of the three-to-five division kicks off with:

#16 Luna, “Tiger Lily”
vs.
#5 The Mission, “Into the Blue”

“Sweet obscenity, bring her back to me
Lost in her perfume, think I’m gonna sue
Sweet obscenity, didn’t I know it?
Didn’t I call her name?
Stale cigarettes crumble in your fingers
Caught with a drink in my hand
Edging to the door”

vs….

“There’s a singing dwarf on the streets of New York
There’s a shuffling man with plastic on his head
A preacher woman crying in the traffic
Crying for the living, crying for the dead
The waste of it all, the waste of it all”

photo credit: me

Tiger lilies along Myrtle Hill Road in Valley City, Ohio, July 2013.

Arbitrary? You want arbitrary? How’s this? I’m writing this in early July 2013 (the 9th, to be precise), and about two weeks ago, all over Valley City, the town just west of us, this massive profusion of orange flowers blossomed. I was out driving with my wife on Sunday and asked her what they are, and she told me they’re tiger lilies. “There’s this lattice of coincidence that hangs over the earth…” And thus Luna take their plate of shrimp and head for the hopper, while The Mission head for the sidelines.


Official video.

#3 Antaeus, “Those with No Eyes”
vs.
#2 Bruce Cockburn, “Sahara Gold”

“Blind lies rise
Eternal sweet fire
Killing blink
One with soul
Remains unseen
Licking throne of gold”

vs….

“Half-moon shining through the blind
Paints a vision of a different kind
And your hair tumbles down like Sahara gold
Wet limbs striped with silver light
Locked together at the center of the night
And your hair tumbles down like Sahara gold”

I mentioned Antaeus’ simplistic lyrics earlier. (And actually, I’m still kind of surprised they’re in English; Antaeus always struck me as a band who would take the Burzum route of “fuck commercialism, I’m singing in my own damn language.”) And I kind of knew at that point that they would be going down once we got to lyric vs. lyric, but the RNG decided to add insult to injury by putting “Those with No Eyes” up against one of the true monsters of the competition, “Sahara Gold”, one of the (to me) three definitive love songs of the eighties, and the last of the three to be sent to the hopper. Expect an amusing round-robin matchup later on, if the RNG is nice to us in Round Four.

In the Midwest subdivision…

#1 Wire, “Reuters”
vs.
#5 Brian Straw, “Veins”

“Prices have risen since the government fell
Casualties increase as the enemy shell
The climate’s unhealthy, flies and rats thrive
And sooner or later the end will arrive”

vs….

[just can’t get ONE word in the second line of the second verse]

Forget that Legs McNeil book that claims punk died in 1976. Punk was born in 1974 with the Ramones, and it was after ’76 when it really took hold in Britain—the Pistols, Essential Logic, X-Ray Spex, and of course Wire’s Pink Flag in 1977 (and the formation of Gang of Four, though they would not actually release a single until 1978). “Reuters” kicks off Pink Flag, and if that’s not punk, then you don’t know what punk is, berk. Brian Straw, on the other hand, is anything but. I still find it odd that a guy who, just five years before he released Bleeding Sun, was playing guitar-based harsh noise, is basically the strongest candidate to fill Leonard Cohen’s shoes when Cohen shuffles off this mortal coil, but there you go. The entire album is just amazing, and “Veins” made it this far despite not being my top choice for the album. My original thought was that Straw was going to take this by a comfortable margin, but that keeps not happening, and I’m still mulling on it… and eventually I ended up back where I started, with “Veins” going into the hopper in a photo finish over “Reuters”.

#14 Black Bloc, “By Any Means”
vs.
#7 Rainbow, “Kill the King”

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

“Kill the King” has long been a target of born-again preachers who decry rock music. Which is really amusing, as anyone who’s done even the most cursory reading of the lyrics knows it for the martial spat it is rather than an attack on Mother Church (which makes it a good acid test; anyone who claims it so is either a sensationalist, which is a fifty-cent word for a fraud, or a liar, another type of fraud, and thus unworthy of your respect as, you know, a vessel of god’s word). “By Any Means”, on the other hand, is an attack on pretty much everything, and would probably be a favorite target of “conservative” TV talk-show hosts if they had any idea who Black Bloc was. I know I’m kind of stretching the comparison here, but I have to go with the band who puts its money where its mouth is rather than the band who continually gets misrepresented—and once again I have surprised myself, as when I first looked at this matchup I thought Rainbow were going to take it by daylight, but it’s Black Bloc who head into the hopper after pulling another upset.


Live in Munich, 1977.

The West subdivision hands us…

#9 Slow Head, “Remnant of Foxblur”
vs.
#4 Kishida Kyoudan and the Akeboshi Rockets, “Highschool of the Dead”

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

The single toughest matchup of Round Three is right here. We’ve seen some bloody ones (and we will see many more in the next bracket), but oh man, this battle. It may not look like much to you—neither of these acts has garnered any significant airplay in America, though both richly deserve it—but these are two of the most treasured songs to come into my collection recently. Kishida Kyoudan and her crew are pretty much the epitome of the DIY band who made it big; they started off as a Touhou band (and still, occasionally, perform in that capacity according to the Touhou wiki). Touhou (named after The Touhou Project, a one-man-developed side-scrolling shooter that turned into a national sensation in Japan) is basically the Japanese version of fanfic, but has evolved to encompass all ekphrastic DIY culture; unofficial hentai set in existing manga universes, for example, is an arm of Touhou. (If you’re unfamiliar with such things, do a google search for Sahadou. I am not responsible for your needing brain bleach afterwards.) So yeah, basically, Kishida Kyoudan is the musical version of Janine Cross (a fanfic author whose fifteen minutes of shame came back in 2005, when her first “real” novel, Touched by Venom, created a controversy amongst feminist F/SF critics), but with infinitely more talent. And then there’s Slow Head, who took a joke subgenre and tossed it straight into the stratosphere, creating some of the best experimental electronica I’ve ever heard under the banner of “witch house”. I’ve gone back and forth on this one at least three dozen times in the past two weeks, and I can’t imagine jettisoning either of these. And thus, out comes our old pal George, for what is hopefully the last time. George says tails…and Kishida Kyoudan and the Akeboshi Rockets are headed into the hopper, while Slow Head hits the showers.

#11 Fluxmonkey, “Untitled (B1)”
vs.
#2 Allerseelen, “Santa Sangre”

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

Two ugly ones in a row, though this time there hasn’t been any back-and-forth, I just regret having to leave either of these exemplary pieces of work behind. Fluxmonkey’s excellent black-noise piece went toe-to-toe with the mighty SSQ in the last round and survived, while Allerseelen knocked off The Cult, just as mighty; neither of these acts got here bloodlessly. And both are wonderful pieces of music that you really need in your collection. But Allerseelen’s track taps into something atavistic, focusing the mind on another place entirely. (Note: this is not necessarily a positive thing when one is driving through a thunderstorm, as I discovered yesterday.) As much as it hurts to leave Fluxmonkey in the dust, Allerseelen are headed into the hopper.


Live at Bela Dubby, 2011. I was at this gig, though I don’t think Jeff caught me in this video. (If you search on Fluxmonkey on Youtube, you will find the actual set Bbob and Nate played, which is much longer and was not intended to drive the drunk pub-crawlers out of the building.)

The final three-to-five South subdivision closes things out with:

#1 Soul Coughing, “Super Bon Bon”
vs.
#5 The Replacements, “Here Comes a Regular”

“If I stole somebody else’s wings to fly up
If I rose up with the avenue behind me
Some kind of verb, some kind of moving thing.
Something unseen, some hand is motioning
To rise, to rise, to rise.”

vs….

“Well a person can work up a mean, mean thirst
After a hard day of nothin’ much at all
Summer’s passed, it’s too late to cut the grass
There ain’t much to rake anyway in the fall”
It’s pretty well known (well, it was in the liner notes for at least one song) that Mark Doughty wrote the majority of Soul Coughing’s lyrics whilst stoned. Westerberg wrote most the ‘mats’ lyrics whilst drunk. And Westerberg was traditionally more coherent, as is the case here; it was a tough call, but The Replacements squeaked through into the hopper.


Rumored to be the original official video.

#11 Wolf Eyes, “Burn Your House Down”
vs.
#10 Climax Golden Twins, “Seclusion”

photo credit: last.fm

Neither golden, nor twins.

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

The hits just keep on comin’. I’ve noticed in the last few brackets I’ve been having a tendency to promote a lot of traditional music at the expense of noise, so in yet another case where I just don’t have any empirical way to separate these two, I’m going the other direction this time; Wolf Eyes find their way into the hopper, while Climax Golden Twins retire to an abandoned mental hospital.


Warning: this fanvid contains spoilers for the film.

And thus the three-to-five division completes its contributions to the hopper with the following eight songs:
Allerseelen, “Santa Sangre”
Black Bloc, “By Any Means”
Bruce Cockburn, “Sahara Gold”
Kishida Kyoudan and the Akeboshi Rockets, “Highschool of the Dead”
Luna, “Tiger Lily”
The Replacements, “Here Comes a Regular”
Brian Straw, “Veins”
Wolf Eyes, “Burn Your House Down”

Previous: Day 3J
Next: The final matchup before the redraw

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 3L: North of the 37th Parallel | Popcorn for Breakfast

  2. Pingback: Desert Island Disc Day 3J: The Land of Rape and Honey | Popcorn for Breakfast

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