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11/5/21 | 42/52

I really enjoyed seeing all the amazing Halloween costumes online this year. Two kids dressed as Tupac and Biggie, a woman dressed as Mark Z in sunscreen, Buscemi recreating his "hello fellow kids" look, all pure gold! I didn't dress up but next year I'm going to think up and execute a really top shelf transformation. I'll even shave my head and mustache if necessary. Suggestions are welcome and encouraged. We've got a year to make it happen. For now I'm going to step outside to try and make the most of this beautiful day.

on a pilgrimage

who's afraid

Reflections on the English musical act the Art of Noise.

My first memory is the song "Beatbox." I don't remember how I was introduced to it but I know that it was associated with breakdancing and at that time we were hungry for anything related to breakdancing. If you heard the words "hip hop" or "popping and locking," you turned up your ears and committed every syllable to memory. What is breakdancing music? This is breakdancing music? The drums still sound exceptional. Did they play it on Soul Train? I group this in with "Planet Rock" and Kraftwerk's "Tour de France," as music that sounded like it came from outer space compared to everything else on the radio.

The video for "Close to the Edit" was played on weekly music video programs before MTV came into the picture. It featured a young girl dressed in what I like to call Police Academy Punk, punk rock clothing so over the top it looks corny and unbelievable. The young feral punk child and 3 members of the group destroy various musical instruments. At one point they take an angle grinder to a saxophone causing sparks to fly off. Years later David Letterman would feature a reoccurring segment with a woman angle grinding her metal outfit and showering the stage with sparks. That was during the short lived angle grinding dance craze. The video also has a really swell hotdog dog and the line, "To be in England, in the summertime, with my love, close to the edge." Once you hear that you know that you want to experience it yourself.

Art of Noise eventually split into pieces and dove into the lucrative world of movie soundtracks. They were prominently showcased in the opening and closing credits of one of my favorite terrible movies, "Dragnet." In this movie Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd try to stop a satanic crime cult named PAGAN. Around the time this came out one of my school mates decide that PAGAN sounded pretty close to my last name and would yell it every time we saw each other. This movie has that weird retro but out of time jokey feel that you find in later TV movie remakes such as the "Dukes of Hazard," and "The Brady Bunch Movie." Is it good? Of course not. Is the song good? No. If I happen to catch it on TV will I watch it until the end? Undoubtedly.

As new styles of electronic music emerged I remember Art of Noise remixing their old catalog to fit into the new genres. I think the original "Moments in Love" stands on it's own merits but if you're interested in trance, trip hop, drum n' bass, or ambient dub versions, you can find those as well. I don't think they did a nu-metal version but I wouldn't put it past them.

I wanted to write about Art of Noise because we are now in the month of November and every year when it arrives I think about all my friends and family members who celebrate their birthdays during the 11th month. I think about the changing of the seasons. In the back of my mind "Opus 4" plays on a continuous loop. Certainly not their most celebrated work. Almost poetry. The perfect mixtape opener. "November."

Friend of the Week

No submissions this week so I'm celebrating pumpkin seeds. Before you get rid of your Halloween pumpkins get the seeds out and roast them! Make yourself a nice little treat.

If you would like your best friend, handiest tool or dearest animal associate to be featured email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.

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