Monday Mix: Morning with Muammar

The theme of this week’s Monday Mix is music for a world that has ended. It is dedicated to Muammar Qaddafi, who is having a much worse Monday than you are. Deservedly so. Link is below, with tracklist and commentary after the jump. Apologies for its brevity; technical issues and holes in Spotify’s collection (did you know that they only have one Godspeed You! Black Emperor song?) conspired against me this weekend.

Spotify playlist

  • Funkadelic – Maggot Brain: “Maggot Brain” is quite possibly the greatest long form piece for electric guitar of all time. Legend says that George Clinton told guitarist Eddie Hazel to play “like your momma just died,” and then recorded the song in one take. The result is powerful, evocative, and timeless. If the world were to end, this song would be the perfect soundtrack, but it would also be one of the things I would want preserved if we were never going to make music again.
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be): My favorite Jimi Hendrix song. Jimi’s reputation as “greatest guitarist ever” comes mainly from songs that are more technically impressive, but for my money it was his sense of feel and timing combined with his innovative use of recording techniques, which are on display here, that really set him apart. “Machine Gun” would have worked well here too; I picked “1983…” over that song merely based on personal preference.
  • Neil Young – Down By the River: Neil Young wrote this song, but it could very well have been by an anonymous Delta blues man in the 30s (which is a pretty big compliment). While not literally post-apocalyptic, its themes of betrayal, loss, and murder fit very well with the rest of these songs.
  • The Doors – The End: The Doors must have been a pretty good band for so many people to look past their obnoxiously grandiose lead singer. His poetry is terrible. I said it, deal with it. “The End” puts Jim Morrison at his most obnoxious grandiose, but somehow it just works.
  • Explosions in the Sky – The Birth and Death of the Day: Post-rock is almost universally appropriate for this mix. I chose this song because it is Explosions in the Sky at their best. The tension and release harmonics of the song are perfectly executed. It feels like watching the sunrise over the wilderness.
  • David Bowie – Five Years: Guys I really like David Bowie. I’m fudging a little here because I wanted to put this song on this mix, but that’s my prerogative. This song is one of the highlights of Ziggy Stardust… and one of the lowlights of the otherwise stellar Santa Monica ’72. In light of the rioting and overthrow that’s been in the news lately I’ve been wondering this: if we knew we only had five years left, would we make it that long?

About richardwahnfried
Not named Richard Wahnfried, not krautrock legend Klaus Schulze.

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