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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Month: December 2018 (page 1 of 4)

3WA 2018 #52: Mono Inc. – Together Till The End

We did it, folks. We’re at the end of another year of these Weekly Word Working Assignment posts. Thanks for staying with me through this.

(The both of you who have done so, anyway.)

As is traditional (if “twice” makes for a “tradition”) I saved pride of place at year’s end for one of my absolute favorite things.

What is it?

Together Till The End is the early 2017 studio album by Mono Inc, a German outfit that does a brisk business in English-language songsmithing nowadays.

How does it sound?

There’ll be no sampler mixes when the day is done:

Why this pick?

This is absolutely my favorite record of 2017. Yes, even over Public Service Broadcasting’s Every Valley. (I assure you it’s a slim margin.) I tried to listen critically in order to point out the highlights and low points on the record and kept getting pulled into the groove, forgetting entirely to actually jot down words. It’s amazing this post got written at all.

I can’t even claim that this is because it’s somehow musically superior in some subjective way. Oh, heck no. This record just hooks directly into the grin-inducing head-bop-making toe-tapping center of my brain and rarely lets go. You want to know what I’m into right now? This. This is what I’m into right now. I bought this record early in 2017 and I haven’t tired of it yet.

So yeah, that’s why this pick.

Which songs are the highlights?

“Boatman,” which features Ronan Harris of VNV Nation, was my first exposure to Mono Inc and remains a favorite most of two years later. It’s part of the rock-solid high-energy opening block of four songs on the record, including “Banks of Eden,” “Out In The Fields,” and the record’s title track.

Later in the album we get “Across The Waves” and “This Is My Life,” among other gems.

Which songs don’t work so well?

There’s nothing actually wrong with “There Comes A Time,” it just doesn’t come together as well as most of the others for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

The album closes with a mostly-instrumental reprise of the opening track. Your enjoyment of it will center on how much high-pitched warbling you can stand. For me, it wears thin well before the three minute run time completes.

Which album did you almost pick in favor of this one?

There was no other choice. Not that I dislike Terlingua, but Together is just so much more my kind of thing, and I haven’t gone further back into the band’s catalog yet.

And since Welcome To Hell didn’t arrive until partway through 2018, that one wasn’t an option. (It’s a damned good record, though.)

Any final thoughts?

Compare and contrast, even via just the sampler mixes, the music I was into as a kid (last week’s Lindsay Buckingham album) and what I’m into now (Mono Inc, VNV Nation, etc). I’m not sure what kind of journey I’ve been on all my life, but it’s been some kind of.

So, what’s next? How do I follow “animation” and “music” into 2019? Well, it’s a bit complicated: I’m going to do a hybrid project next year.

My original idea was to follow from media type to media type, following “animation” and “music” with “books.” Most of my readership (all half-dozen of you) are into books, right? Right.

Problem is, 52 books is a tall order. I read less than I watch shows and listen to music, so coming up with a roster would be troublesome all on its own. Then I’d have to commit to reading and writing about a book every week, which is… daunting. The first solution to that problem was to simply cut the roster in half and do a project post every two weeks.

But… the 3WA concept starts with the word “weekly” so that wasn’t going to cut it.

Then it hit me: The other idea I considered was instead of doing reviews, doing a sort of serialized bits-of-a-story thing. Not creating an entire fully-fleshed story, mind you, more of a something inspired by the concept of one of Caro Emerald’s albums, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor. Bits and pieces from a story that might-have-been. The good-parts version, if I may take a bit of inspiration from Bill Goldman here.

So the final result of all this is: Once per month, last Friday of the month, you get a book write-up much like the animation and album write-ups I’ve done up to this point. The other Fridays, you get dribs and drabs from a story which will probably never be completed but you should be able to piece together the key bits of by the time I’m done.

We’ll see how that goes. The first story entry is due next Friday. Here’s hoping.

James Burke – Countdown

This is it. It’s the last episode I crafted gifsets out of for Tumblr a few years ago. We’re all caught up.

There’s one more thing to archive off of that site but it can be done in a gallery and I’ll get to that, later…

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James Burke – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

This episode features one of the most famous bits from the entire Connections run, so of course I had to gif it…

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James Burke – The Long Chain

Don’t say I never got you anything for the holiday.

What’s that? You didn’t ask for old Tumblr gifsets? Whoops. Sorry about that…

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James Burke – Thunder In The Skies

We’re getting close to the end of this, folks…

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James Burke – The Wheel of Fortune

The Tumblr posts I’m archiving here for the James Burke gifset project were mostly created back at the old townhouse. From here on out, though, they were produced at the Hillsboro abode…

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