I own some pretty strange records. I have a cover of the Scorpions’ ludicrous power-ballad ‘Winds Of Change’ sung in Moroccan. I’ve got two albums of Mafia folk songs, records of quite astonishing lyrical power (once you’ve translated them from the original Sicilian):
Tonight the honourable society meets
The blades of our knives will turn red
With the blood of the traitors who have wronged us.
I’ve got a recording of Marie Osmond reading an avant-gaarde tone-poem. I have an album by disgraced 60s crooner PJ Proby in which he covers New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Garbageman’ by The Cramps. I’ve got a four-CD set of cold-war era intelligence agency messages broadcast on short-wave radio. I have a box-set of recordings featuring forest music by the Babenzele Pygmies of North-Eastern Zaire. I have a CD by the Thai Elephant Orchestra, which does pretty much what it says on the tin. Honestly. The list goes on.
Perhaps the stangest CD I own is by American musician Bob Ostertag. I can’t even possibly begin to describe it, so I’ll reproduce a section of the sleeve-notes here instead:
The sounds in this piece come from a recording of a young boy in El Salvador burying his father, who had been killed by the National Guard. There is the sound of the boy’s voice, the shovel digging the grave, and a fly buzzing nearby. In Part 2, there is an additional sound from a 3-scond sample of the guitar playing of Fred Frith.
Needless, to say, I’ve added it the “party shuffle” mode in my iTunes profile.
It’s a blast, really.
Anyway. Tonight I’m making dinner for a friend. I’m doing a black bean, pancetta and vegetable soup for starters and panna cotta with a blackberry couli for desert. Any suggestions for the main course? I’d like to do something with fish, I think.