Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Songs that Should Be Films #4

In earlier blogs, I've written my lists of Songs That Should Be Films. There's one here. One here. And another here. What's the point? Maybe the point is that embodied in a perfect four or five minute song is enough emotion and narrative and dynamism and complexity to sustain a feature length film. God knows a lot filmmakers could take some notes on light and shade, structure and depth from good songs and great songwriters.

Two Cents. Mine.

As we're currently running the rounds of the media traps at the moment with a film about protest songs, tonight I am going on the freaking great Superfluity radio show (on RRR) hosted by a dear friend, the absurdly brilliant literary and intellectual heavyweight Christos Tsiolkas, and two other damned fine hosting folks, Casey Bennetto and Scott Edgar. It's a two hour spot from 8-10pm of conversations and songs that riff off or emerge from the last song played and the conversation as it evolves. No pre planned playlists. I am guessing part of what we'll be doing is talking about the songs in 'murundak - songs of freedom', protest and folk song traditions, but as the nature of the show demands, it will also be free ranging and, hopefully, satisfy my secret radio host fantasies.

I hosted a couple of radio shows at high school. The first one was in Yr 10 and, along with some pals, Tiy Chung and Nicola Dracoulis (now a kick-arse photographer), we played straight up golden era hip hop (well, it was the golden era, it wasn't a conscious choice), repeating Jungle Brothers 'Doin Our Own Dang', Tribe Called Quest's 'I Left My Wallet In El Segundo' and Boogie Down Productions' 'Jack of Spades' over and over again. Then, in Year 11 and 12, I used to embarrass myself and everyone else in the college common room by playing the same handful of angry protest songs - mostly political hip hop and agit punk (and, strangely, probably because I was a dreary teenager, I used to start every show (7.30 am in the empty school grounds) with The Cure's Plainsong (you know the one with the wind chimes and the wrist slitting romanticism?).

In my late teens, I then briefly hosted a show on community radio. I desperately wanted to get the gig doing Velvet Nights (music influenced by Velvet Underground which I assumed if I actually played and understood it at 18 would lead me straight to girls and rock'n'roll hair) but I made the mistake of listening back to my first and only show recording and realised I sniffed between every second word and sounded like a stuffed up toddler. Besides which, the uber cool Pip Branson from Sidewinder hosted the show and I had no chance of taking his spot. I gave up on radio, community and otherwise, never to return... until now!

So, tonight is my chance to redeem myself. I expect nothing less than glory.

And with that in mind and without any real segue, here are the lyrics to Fugazi's song Cassavetes, the perfect synthesis of music, protest and cinema.
"Crush my calm you Cassavetes
I was sitting tight so quiet quiet
In the dark till the lights came up my heart
Beating like a riot riot
Hollywood are you sitting on a sign
For someone to come on bust a genre
You poor city of shame
Ask me what you're needing
I'll sell you his name
cos he was the one to send it with truth
That's something from someone
And Gena Rowlands complete control for Cassavetes
If it's not for sale you can't buy it buy it
Sad-eyed mogul reaching for your wallet
Like hand to holster why don't you try it try it
Hollywood are you waiting on a sign
For someone to come on bust a genre
You poor city of shame
Ask me what you're needing
I'll front you his name
cos he was the one to send it with truth
that's something from someone and Gena Rowlands"

words/lyrics/awesomeness: Fugazi

No comments: