“Growing up, we were taught over and over again what steps to take in case of an approaching tornado. Listen for sirens, go to your basement or cellar, or a closet in the center of your house, duck and cover, wait it out. We had drills twice a year, every year, in school. We talked about it in class. We talked about it at home. The newscasters reminded us. We went to the basement. We practiced, practiced, practiced.
But we’d never— not once— discussed what to do after.” – Jennifer Brown, Torn Away
“You can't spend the rest of your life tiptoeing around to try and avert disaster. It won't work. You'll just end up missing the life you have.” – Kim Edwards
I first heard Hüsker Dü when a neighbour would graciously share Zen Arcade loud enough to shake the walls of a shared flat/dosshouse every morning for what seemed like months. It sparked an enduring love of this terrific band. RIP Grant Hart, here’s one for you.
“What took 500 years to build was over in a flash
With people, tables, government houses, all covered up in ash.”
From one eruption to another. Following the (inexplicable!!!) chart failure of World Shut Your Mouth and Fried, Julian Cope returned with attitude, black leathers and some mighty tunes: Eve’s Volcano.
Big Dipper arose from the ashes of Volcano Sons and The Embarrassment. Despite the title, All Going Out Together is not about being out on the lash. We will all go together when we go.
Amid the encircling gloom, let’s follow Bob Fosse and “live like you'll die tomorrow, work like you don't need the money, and dance like nobody's watching.”
And Irving Berlin:
“There may be trouble ahead
But while there's music and moonlight and love and romance
Let's face the music and dance”
… And you will know us by the trail of dead litter Monsoon with apocalyptic imagery, while Mos Def’s anger at the devastation caused by the flood and the inadequate response of those in power still burns brightly in the thundering Katrina Klap/Dollar Day.
Likewise, the Fiery Furnaces' fierce lament seems to link an outbreak of bubonic plague in New York to the (re)election of a guy totally unqualified for the job. In 2004. We Got Back The Plague:
“Early November/We got back the plague…”
Now, let’s take a breath. I’m now at an age where I know that I know nothing. At least half a dozen nominations seemed nailed-on A-listers when I first heard them. None made the final cut, except for Toots and the Maytals’ mighty Pressure Drop.
John and Beverley Martyn are long-time favourites round these parts. Stormbringer was made when they were both in their early 20s and still sounds as fresh as the day it was released. By the way Beck did a pretty nifty cover.
“Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.”
Kathryn Kluge & Kim Allen Kluge wrote Rain Falls Unceasingly On The Sea for the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s film Silence. An evocative piece leading to the final entry in this week’s playlist, Riders on the Storm by the Doors, marmite band if ever there was one. I like ‘em.
Thanks to you all for the nominations. This past week I’ve discovered loads of great music, enough to fill at least half a dozen playlists. Special thanks to leaveitallbehind – much to my surprise I really liked that Snow Patrol epic!
If any of you who haven’t previously taken the chair are thinking of throwing your hat in the ring – go for it. It’s not hard (I can do it) and is really enjoyable so long as you find the time. We rely on the good services of gurus to support the Landlord and the greater variety of voices here, the better.
Severe Atmosphere A-List Playlist:
Nova Mob - The Last Days of Pompeii
Julian Cope - Eve's Volcano
Big Dipper - All Going Out Together
Tony Clarke - Landslide
Beck - The New Pollution
And You Will know Us By The Trail of Dead – Monsoon
Mos Def - Katrina Klap/Dollar Day
The Fiery Furnaces - We Got Back The Plague
Toots and the Maytals - Pressure Drop
John and Beverley Martyn - Stormbringer
Robert Fripp and Peter Gabriel - Here Comes the Flood
Kathryn Kluge & Kim Allen Kluge - Rain Falls Unceasingly On The Sea
The Doors – Riders on the Storm
Barometer Bustin' B-List Playlist:
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Forest Fire
Captain Beefheart - When It Blows It Stacks
Eric Bibb - Flood Water
Randy Newman - Louisiana 1927
Diana Jones - Henry Russell's Last Words
Tom Russell Band - Hurricane Season
SRC - Eye of the Storm
Villagers - The Waves
Honolulu Mountain Daffodils - Hurricane Marylin
The Horrors - New Ice Age
Imagine Dragons - Thunder
Chris T-T & The Hoodrats - Tunguska
The Grateful Dead – Here Comes Sunshine
Guru's Wildcard Pick:
Massive Attack – Hymn Of The Big Wheel
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Storm warning: songs about natural disasters and climate events. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.