Since publishing our recent feature, co-authored with special guest contributor Gromit, there has been a flurry of activity at the Vinyl Connection letters desk. Here is a selection.
G’day mate. Got this really unusual album, released in 2009. Sort of punky energy with some really wild squalls of noise above deep underlying grooves. There’s a fantastic song (except it has no words) called “On The Run” that has this down-a-hill riff over a jump-start bass. It’s really infectious and finishes on an explosion which is always good. Then this alarm – like a shop burglar siren – kicks in and, get this, someone starts coughing in this rhythm while another person is panting. Anyway, you get the idea; it’s really weird industrial strength psychedelic shit. But here’s the odd thing; when you listen to the lyrics they’re sort of introspective and sad. Like “the moments that make up a dull day”. I mean, if you’re smashing up shops and setting off car alarms and stuff, is that dull? Or “One day closer to death”. That’s a bad trip, mate. And that fuzzed voice at the end of side one, sort of singing screaming with a fucked-up guitar. That’s wild, though if the gig in the sky is all like that, I’m not sure I want my ticket.
Side two opens with this lurching off-kilter bass-driven groove and some strange robo-voice singing about getting rich. The guy is obsessed with grabbing cash, that’s clear. Maybe he should give up burglary and find another career. OK, the music. I don’t normally like electronica but this sort of grabbed me because it is so not right. Like schizoid or something. Then there’s this really pretty song. Guess it’s a ballad for the chicks; “Us And Them” it’s called. Bit like my mates and our girlfriends, them and us. You know? With mates it’s easy but the girlfriend, she’s a puzzle. Pretty, but confusing, like the song.
So we’re nearly at the end now. Any colour you like? Like a collida-scope, this riff churns like big surf. It swells between the speakers with more squally sea-bird guitar. I was listening through headphones but it actually made me a little woozy. (Couldn’t have been the tinnies, eh?). The last song is about a lunatic. Strange. Spooky. Spacey. The ending is really powerful. The singer is repeating “All that you _____” with this list of stuff. It soars but is kind of melancholy (I looked that up!) too.
So here is my question. The last thing he says is that there is no dark side of the moon, that it’s all dark. Is that true?
Bright, VIC 3741
hey man, you’ve gotta solve this for us. at the beginning of the album, is that a cigarette lighter making the chit-chit sound, before the proper reggae kicks in? we were sitting round just chilling and having a quiet smoke, and the third time the CD started (it’s on repeat, right?) Roach said it was cicadas. cicadas! so we got arguing and when the wavy on-the-run part finished with the way-cool synths and bongos we were getting uptight about the cicadas or the cig lighter but the ticking clock and the cuckoos and the rooster and reveille just cracked us up like it always does. time is funny, eh? we were smiling and grooving; musta looked like those nodding dolls you have on the dashboard. ‘time is the master’ the man sings, and Roach says, ‘we got time for another?’ and I say, ‘yeah man, a master blaster’. so he passes me the LP sleeve, the black one with the prism and the rainbow, because it is the one for rolling when you’re hearing those softly spoken magic spells. we only have the cover, you know? the actual record died years ago. it was after this monster party at Roach’s old place where everyone was totally wasted and the vinyl, like, appeared to be this big dark ashtray. it ended up with about nine roaches on it – in it, I should say. like, fused into the plastic. Roach wailed when he saw it the next day, like the chick on ‘the gig in the sky’ and that’s when I started calling him Roach but the point is that the record went to the great gig in the sky that night but the dub groove is righteous. come to think of it, why is the CD cover different to the LP cover?
hey when you hear that coughing at the start of side two, the intro to ‘money’, do you start coughing too? Roach and me always do and then we start laughing and that makes us cough more. especially if the green is a little rough. anyway we don’t like this song so much ‘cos we never have any money. the sax is way cool tho and that bass line is a stone classic. you gotta solve this for us man, is it ‘change your ways and lose your mind’ he’s toasting in the bridge, or is it ‘change your ways or lose your mind’? can’t quite remember why it’s important. just looking at the cover it says the next song is ‘us and them’. we want to know what it’s like because neither Roach or me can recall ever hearing it through; it has some secret hypnotic beat that just spaces you out. the FBI for sure, moving the lines on our map, man, from side to side.
dude, I love happy music. those trumpets or trombones or whatever in ‘any colour you like’ are so jazzy and up, riffing over the rock steady beat. we always smile. and then the sweet comedown, a reggae lullaby about being blissed out on the good stuff. the best. gets into your head and takes you somewhere else; inner space or outta space man. that organ in ‘eclipse’, too. all that you love, man.
all you create
it’s all in tune
what was I going to ask
oh yeah… no.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Did you watch The Wizard of Oz simultaneously?
PS. Dub Side Of The Moon isn’t quite Pink Floyd, but close enough. Have a cigar.
I write in relation to your recent piece on the Pink Floyd album Dark Side Of The Moon (released March 1st, 1973). While I am gratified that your co-authors saw fit to mention the private educational institution of which I have the honour to be Vice Chancellor, there are several inaccuracies that I feel compelled to correct.
- The album does not form the basis of the first year Astronomy subject Celestial Rock: Moons of the Solar System (AA107). The LP is simply one resource amongst many.
- Whilst Third year Psychology students have the option of using Roger Waters’ lyrics as a basis for an essay entitled ‘Do Alienation, Self-indulgence and Post-modern narcissism equal Quark, Strangeness and Charm?’ the Psychology Department has not, at the time of going to press, patented a projective personality test based on those songs.
- I can confirm the Nobel nomination of the Head of the Physics department for his recent paper, “Incidence, Refraction & Quadraphonic Physics: A study of wave ambiguities in the Dark Side Of The Moon prisms.”
I would be obliged if you would print this letter unedited.
Professor Cirrus Minor, PhD
Registered Office: Sunshine Coast, QLD 4561
Dear Professor Minor
No lesser source than The Telegraph claims that one in 12 people in the world (presumably Earth) are estimated to have a copy of Dark Side Of The Moon. Perhaps you could borrow one.
Feature image: “Liquid DSOM” prepared by StormStudios for the 2011 immersion box set.