1. Built To Spill.
This song has a totemic quality to me that is explained at least in part by the fact that I thought I had lost it for ages during that voodoo incident when the drives on my PC exchanged names. Thus, when it was saved, and came back to me Prodigal Son style, it had lived to tell me about my poor character and wastefulness. The song also suggests that one should not believe in oneself and act accordingly, but rather listen to what you’re told, as the other bastard often has a more objective view. Current moralities, such that they are, have led to a decline in good advice, I feel.
2. Nigerian Secret Service.
Fela for President!
3. Indigenous Craftsman.
The winds of technological change swirl into the blacksmith’s forge, or across the face of some guy mending his nets on the beach, and the rhythm of life changes forever. I’m sticking with vinyl, however.
4. Your Fascist Planet.
In which the singer attempts to redistribute our stocks of shame on a more equal basis. People, bound by arbitrary discourse, are unable to see the creative role they play in how fucked things are. Good men do little things here and there, but the rare Um guitar solo at the end is hardly likely to transform global consciousness.
Someone once said all that Morrissey needed was a hamburger and good fuck. This is more like Morrisette: Hand In My Pocket, that cultural pacifier you hear on Radio Two while yr hanging in the dead time of the charity shop, feeling Queasy. One must practice a Zen acceptance of Total Crap, however, to fight the good fight.
6. Lucky Star.
They say drawing is like taking a line for a walk. Once this woman tried to help me get from the Tate Modern to a warehouse party and got completely lost in her own part of London and we almost fell out, even though I only met her on the way. This is kind of what happened with this song, and the song and I both feel hurt and resentful. I feel like the song has let me down, and the song blames me because I was supposed to know where I was going.
7. The Thing.
This song expresses the (potentially inaccurate) hope that by ignoring the root of all your problems, if such a thing should exist, its effects would be lessened to a great extent.
8. Vote Pete.
This is quite hopeful too, in a piss-taking sort of way. It’s kind of about enfranchising yourself, because you have to be in it to win it, innit? You have to change the script, but you also have to remember what part you are playing, too. I finished mixing this and stepped out onto Mill Road and immediately spotted a youth wearing a T-shirt that said “VOTE PEDRO”.
9. In God’s Big Car.
In which we go for a ride in God’s Big Car, which is a large new black Mercedes or something. It’s a POV video where you just see the road, the footwell of the rear passenger seat, the door clunk shut and then shots of the city at night. You don’t see God, or find out what we are doing in his car.
10. Marriage Song.
When you’re young you see things in black and white, and then the world gets increasingly grey. This song evokes acceptance, resignation even, but is not about literal marriage. What would I know about that anyway?
11. Politically Unconscious.
Society of the Spectacle. If you’re not deeply troubled, you just haven’t figured it out yet, etc.
12. Heat And Flies Raga.
Just some technique-free hard-panned reel-to-reel jam to make up the numbers. Sorry the bongos sound like some idiot dog that’s trying to follow you home.