Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Dose 20...Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas

1)Fake Palindromes by Andrew Bird

On the six and a half hour ride (if you take I-95) from Tallahassee, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina, most of us would relax by taking in the scenery, listening to music, and gorging on rest stop knick-knacks (I prefer Sour Patch Kids). However, the true genius, it seems, instead spends his time concocting lyrically surreal fantasies...or at least that's how the story goes. In an NPR interview, sometime back, Bird confessed to having devised "Fake Palindromes" while on just such a journey, in an effort to amuse himself. He also explained that the lyrics are centered around a particular 'singles-ad' that interested him, as it was different than most others that he had encountered.

Bird opens the piece with chaotic electric violin swells, creating the imagery of a ship on rough waters (perhaps drawing comparison to the treachery of singles life). But, it isn't until the folk singer-songwriter chimes in with his lilting, though reserved, vocals that we get a chance to understand complexity of Bird's creation. Utilizing his lyrical prowess, which would baffle even Chomsky, he begins nimbly unloading his artillery of cryptic shibboleths over the heavy cadence. (My dewy-eyed Disney bride, what has tried/swapping your blood with formaldehyde?) As interesting as what Bird says, is how he says it. His voice carries with it a faint Rufus Wainwright-esque murmur (this is very apparent on "Masterfade"), while his mouth seems wired shut ala Kanye West (...it sounds as if Bird is actually singing with his teeth clenched).

Though the song contains no actual palindromes, the theme may be much more subtle. Perhaps the notion of a palindrome, a phrase that works from either direction, can be seen as synonymous with opposites which are, in reality, the very same. Extrapolated, this metaphor works pretty well with the idea of finding love. As the song is named "Fake Palindromes", the title seems to suggest Bird's pessimistic sentiment towards singles-ads. Just a thought...

Don't stop here. Listen to the entire album. Andrew Bird is extraordinary, and this was my gateway into his brilliance.

Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (2005)

2) If I Had A Hi-Fi by Bottin

Bottin, or William Bottin, or Guglielmo Bottin, is a Venetian musician, producer, and sound designer (an Italian designer...sounds reliable) who specializes in downtempo and trip-hop. His music very much resembles that of Kruder & Dorfmeister, but carries with it an aura of artsy-ness. Unlike K&D's G-Stoned (their only really worthwhile album), Bottin seems less reliant on single instrumentation. The focus of Bottin's music is never centralized to a single soloist (sample, of course), but instead meanders frantically creating a soundtrack to some alien dream world.

So why Bottin over any other DJ/Producer? Honestly, it's because he's the only guy with 3 palindromic song titles on one album.

I know! I'm stretching my credibility here, right? But come on. You knew today's theme when you started reading. I guess you're gonna have to forgive me if you thought there was something much deeper.

If I had a hi-fi

Also, here's a list of some other songs, whose titles are palindromes...
I'm a lasagna, Hang a salami (credit to Jordon Wolosky for inventing this one)

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