Monday, March 15, 2004

Oh, by the way: Franz Ferdinand have a live appearance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic today. I'm kind of fond of the ending of their song Darts of Pleasure, and they make a much better Strokes than the Strokes do, so I'm rooting for them. Up to a point.

Last Friday I featured some tracks from Simon Fisher Turner's project Deux Filles (if you didn't listen yet, be advised that Deux Filles recordings are 1. not that easy to get ahold of and 2. really cool/creepy quasi-ambient stuff). The bulk of Simon Turner's output, though, has been film scores, many for underground filmmaker Derek Jarman. My favorite soundtrack of his actually resembles, at times, his work with Deux Filles. It's from an arty vampire movie called Nadja that came out in 1994, which was, for some reason, the year of the underground arty vampire flick. Nadja also got some attention because it included some footage shot in
Pixelvision (at a time when enthusiasm for that format -- sort of the 4 track tape recorder of video -- was running high) and because it included some actors from Hal Hartley's stable. In some ways, in fact, Nadja was like a Hartley-produced horror movie, including a lot of the same deadpan sense of comedy, and you might want to do a double feature of it with Hartley's Amateur someday, if you're so inclined.

What's especially nice about the soundtrack to Nadja is that most of the bits are strong enough to stand on their own without the film. Here's Love, Death, Avoid It, featuring vocal samples from the lovely and talented Elina Lowensohn.

Just so you don't get the idea that everything he does is creepy, here's a track from another one of Simon's alter egos, Loveletter. The song is called Sun and it originally appeared on a compilation called Songs for the Jet Set 2000 and it was originally written by Margo Guryan, who I'll get to at some point. The initial volume of the Songs For the Jet Set series bore a great deal of responsibility for the Free Design resurgence in the US of a few years ago. "Free Design?" you ask. You know, they've been written about and written about, but nobody ever seems to post or discuss their best song. Which is (I think) this really unusual jazzy version of the Doors' Light My Fire. I implore you to stick around for the instrumental break which is dreamy and trippy beyond all belief.

Tomorrow, Christmas comes early.

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