Here’s the list of songs played on the last episode of THE ART MOVEMENT – the weekly radio show about arts and culture, where all art forms and free thoughts are allowed, hosted by Matt Micucci. (To listen to the full show, scroll to the bottom of the page.)
A partial transcript from Episode 21 of THE ART MOVEMENT. Scroll down to listen to the full radio show.
So, when I think of music and space, one of the things that comes to my mind is Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Steven Spielberg movie where the benevolent aliens and humans essentially use the language of music to communicate with each other.
I also think about that Canadian Space Agency astronaut who recorded a version of David Bowie’s song, “Space Oddity,” and recorded a video for it on the International Space Station in 2013. The video was posted on YouTube and went viral. Bowie himself states that he thought it was possibly the most poignant version of that song ever created.
Another famous story is that of the Voyager probes, a sort of time capsule launched by NASA in 1977 that was intended to communicate a story of the world of humans on Earth to any interplanetary civilization out there.
These time capsules were records featuring spoken word greetings in 59 languages, sound recordings of locations and things on earth and a 90-minute selection of music from many cultures. One of which, I’m sure, was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”
In fact, if you’d like to know more about the Voyager mission, there’s a fascinating documentary about it called The Farthest, which was directed by Emer Reynolds, whom I interviewed in my hometown of Galway, Ireland, when she premiered the doc there at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2018. Interesting to note that Chuck Berry had died just a few weeks before then.
Then of course, there is the whole thing about the sound of planets. Apparently, the earth and each of the planets of the solar system revolving around the sun make a musical note so low that it cannot be heard by human ears.
Ok, so sound doesn’t travel through space, which would explain that famous tagline from Alien, “In space no one can hear you scream.” But NASA has used powerful radio telescopes that can pick up the electromagnetic signals coming from the planets, especially the active ones like Jupiter, and convert them to sounds the human ear can hear.
Here’s the list of songs played on the last episode of THE ART MOVEMENT – the weekly radio show about arts and culture, where all art forms and free thoughts are allowed, hosted by Matt Micucci. (To listen to the full show, scroll to the bottom of the page of CLICK HERE.)
ABBA, Dancing Queen
WHAM!, I’m Your Man
AMANDA LEAR, Follow Me
DAVID BOWIE, Rebel Rebel
SOFT CELL, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, Sweet Transvestite
JUDY GARLAND, Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Listen to the full show via the player below. You can also listen to it on Spotify, Podbean and IHeartRadio. Clips from the show are also uploaded on my YouTube channel.
I’m going to do the 30-Day Song Challenge, which has recently gone viral. However, me being me, I’m going to expand on the concept to write a few lines about each of the songs I choose and why I chose them, as each of the songs I choose I am – for one reason or another – attached to.
Already got stuck on my fourth entry of this list! It took me a few days to think about this one. That’s because I immediately realised that forgetting someone is a concept I am not totally down with. It’s too drastic.
Also, I really struggled to think about people who truly did me wrong in such a significant way that I would want to erase them from my memory. But I maintain that for better or worse, I would not want to forget anybody from my past. Not even those who have harmed me or whose memory I associate with heartbreak and pain.
Why? Because to me they represent moments that were integral to my evolution as a human being. I’m not saying I am perfect now; I am the least perfect person of all. But when I think about people I’d like to forget, that person is a version of myself from past situations who behaved in ways that make present-day me shudder.
Those versions of myself represent that person I’d rather forget, the person who invades my thoughts in the middle of sleepless nights. But David Bowie’s “Changes” represents my belief in the power and necessity of constant transformation. (This is also part of the reason why I tattooed Bowie’s name on my arm in the font of the Hunky Dory album where it first appeared.)
Release Radar is a playlist of new music created by Spotify and based on your personal taste. I have widely ignored it in the past but in the interest of constantly discovering new music, I have decided to regularly start engaging with it. For this feature, I listen to the first five songs listed on the playlist and provide some feedback on each track.
David Bowie, “Nuts”
“Nuts” is a semi-instrumental track recorded during the sessions for his 1997 LP Earthlings. At this time, David Bowie seemed convinced that jungle music was the sound of the future. He was wrong and jungle music is mostly associated with the mid-’90s club scene. But Earthlings is a lot of fun. As far as this particular tune is concerned, it’s a lot of beat and groove but nothing outstanding. Had it been included on the album, it would have been considered filler. But it is part of a six-track EP of previously unreleased tracks, Is It Any Wonder?, released via Parlophone. Which prompts the question: is it always worth releasing the unreleased posthumously, in the interest of an artist’s oeuvre?
Pixies, “Mal de Mer” (Demo)
Call me crazy but while I love the Pixies, I haven’t heard any new material from this band that impressed me since half of Trompe le Monde (1991). That is, until Beneath the Eyrie, which was released last year and marked a true return to form. This is the album that fills the gap. Now, new material has emerged from the recording sessions – three stripped-down demos that, at best, sound like they could have fit into Surfer Rosa (1988). I particularly like “Mal de Mer,” which is full of that sensible rage that has characterized the band over the years. Frank Black’s vocals have matured and he doesn’t have the range he used to but somehow, he is the first to have come to terms with this simple fact and these new songs are all the better for it.
Best Coast, “Different Light”
It’s possible that Best Coast would have been more popular in the ’90s. Then again, their music would perhaps have been relegated to the soundtrack of such shows as Dawson’s Creek – which would at least have possibly made them more money than they make. I like this track, don’t get me wrong. But I miss their lo-fi beginnings, when songs like “Make You Mine” made you really feel as if you had discovered something out of sheer luck. Now, they really do sound like just any other ’90s-rock band. Their lyrics say little that is of any originality. And while occasionally some of the melodies of the vocals can pleasently surprise – and at best recall those of the Cocteau Twins – one can get very frustrated with the repetitiveness and dullness of the music. Such is the case of their latest single, “Different Light.”
Patrick D., Alice, “Frei”
I don’t even know why Spotify thinks I would be interested in this song. It has those same three chords that have defined pop music for-like-ever. I don’t speak German but from the title, I presume they speak of something to do with being free. I could find very little about the artists… not that I bothered to do any in-depth research, given how little the song itself impressed me. Alice seems to be an Italian singer, and her frail, high-pitched voice really got on my nerves. Next!
King Krule, “Alone, Omen 3”
Clearly, King Krule is one of the more interesting indie artists to have come out in the past years. His music is a cool amalgamation of trippy rock, hip-hop beats and electronic experimentation, as well as other influences of styles and genres. This song comes from a new upcoming solo album called Man Alive!, and what I’ve heard from it seems promising so far. This particular tune, “Alone, Omen 3,” seems to be quite uncharacteristically uplifting, backed up by the simple message, “don’t forget you’re not alone.” But it does retain a sinister canvas that has been been a defining trait of most of his music.