Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vol. 1 - Birth

Welcome to Blog Bodies! We're an assorted cast of characters with different-but-often overlapping musical tastes, here to share a themed mix each week featuring songs we dig.


Aesop: English Romantic Age poet William Wordsworth once penned, “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” but it was the venerable Chuck Schuldiner who said of birth “Born dead into this world/To starve and rot in agony.” Perhaps Chuck wasn’t as profound as Wordsworth but Wordsworth never made anything even remotely as heavy as the album Leprosy. And with that we launch this collaborative endeavor known as Blog Bodies. Thanks and accolades must go to my fellow “Blog Buddies” Asa, Hasan, Adam, Jess, Jason, Bitsy, Froggy, Lil’ Dreamer, Musk Ox, and Sweet Pea. Thanks for having me along.

Hasan: Exivious - Embrace The Unknown

I went with an instrumental song because I'm lazy, oh but I guess it's subjective so it can mean whatever the hell you want. Nah, just kidding!

Everyday we're "born" to face new challenges and endeavors that life hands us. To me this song just screams out a new beginning with unexpected twists and turns. From the beginning drum roll to the amazing jazzy breaks in between, we're given moments of new beginnings and what uncertainty lies ahead. Enjoy!

Bitsy: Being an avid appreciator of well-constructed song lyrics, it surprised me when I finally settled on choosing the Appleseed Cast’s “Bird of Paradise” as my song choice for the theme of birth. As an instrumental track, I feel I can relate more of my own experiences surrounding the idea of “birth” to it as oppose to someone's lyrics. “Bird of Paradise” pretty much consists of slightly changing repetitive loops, not unlike most of its sister tracks on the album Low Level Owl: Volume One. There isn’t a great sense of build up or excitement behind the echoes of bell chants- yet, after listening, I can’t help but feeling like something more is going to happen in the next track. It’s hopeful to some extent.

Much like birth, this track is almost like a blank map- an unwritten plan. Through much of the beginning of our lives, we move in circles- routines, until we build on of the familiar and branch out into the not so familiar. The loops in “Bird of Paradise” remind me a lot of that concept. Although I’m sure lead man, Christopher Crisci, intended for this series of loops to put pictures of brightly colored fowl rising and falling in the air in the minds of his listeners, I associate it with an thought not so far from the idea of an uncharted flight.

Adam: Negative Approach - Lead Song

Birth, eh? I'm guessing other people will be posting about some bobo-ass stuff involving "beautiful" moments in their lives, deep metaphors, and other Fern Gully shit, but not me. Not Adam Whites.

To write a proper paragraph on birth, I had to man up. Transforming into a true hardcore warrior, I started jamming the Negative Approach 7". As amazing as the seminal "Ready To Fight" is, I always listen to it and just want it to make way for the blistering "Lead Song." The latter has always been one of my favorite hardcore songs and is definitely my favorite NA song.

As brilliant as its simple guitar line is, it's the pissed-off revolutionary lyrics that seemed appropriate for this week's theme; the song is the sound of the birth of a true revolution, not that of the rich, privileged, white-guilt (read: secretly racist), college anarchist. No room for these future lawyers and doctors, only hard-ass dudes and dudettes: "You laugh at us from behind our backs/Just fucking wait till we attack/Your type is someone we despise/Watch the slaughter from where you hide." This is the sort of nihilistic and vengeful uprising that is all too necessary in this day and age; the rebirth through death. Death to jocks. Death to suits. Death to humanity.

"We want a fight/To have a chance/To change the future/Erase the past."

Chris: A birth, whether figurative or literal, is something to be both anticipated and worried about, something beautiful yet dissonant. Japanese post-rock/ambient artist World’s End Girlfriend captures this feeling of birth masterfully in his song “Phantasmagoria Moth Gate”, the opening track to his 2005 album This Lay Lie Land. A warm, ambient background and bright trumpets are juxtaposed with honking, off-key saxophones, resulting in an atmosphere that can be uncomfortable for the listener yet stills evokes beauty. Enjoy.

Jason: Anthrax - One Man Stands

February 21, 2007, my second daughter, Ellory Reed Walton, was born. For some reason, I have no idea why, during the entire delivery I had this song running through my head. Now, when I think of her birth, I think of this song as well.

Jess: As fat and juicy as a ripe peach, Church of Misery spin the best '70s groove of the 21st century. Try to resist its sweet nectar and not let it drip down the chin in 'Born to Raise Hell.' The first bite is rough and tart, just like an ordinary peach skin. Taste buds turn inside-out when the steady snare, chugging bass and flirtatious guitar stream behind the drunken wails. This song chugs like Pentagram on Quaalude. But as tempting as these luscious riffs are, they're a bittersweet facade for lyrics about serial killer Rickard Speck. "Born to Raise Hell" is a great motto for anyone willing to take risk—for those who haven't yet, this track is a respectable start. Just don't get too carried away on this born-again venture. After all, Mr. Speck successfully demonstrates what happens when 'raising hell' pushes limits.

Asa: Alright, I'll be honest. I can't think of any song that I really, really dig that directly pertains to birth. But Byla's "Closer to the Center" is a beautiful double-guitar drone piece that climbs a staircase into the nighttime sky, and sounds like something I'd use to soothe a crying infant.

Quinn: When I learned the first theme was “birth” I struggled with finding a song. The first one that came to mind was “Billie Jean” – you know, “the kid is not my son.” Maybe I was too caught up in the aftermath of Jackson’s death or maybe I just think the song is so damn good. Anyways, it finally struck me that “Flume” by Bon Iver would be a wise choice. For me, the lyrics capture the tale of the unborn child, especially a mother’s unspoken nurturing love for her baby. The line “Sky is womb and she’s the moon” pretty much conveys it all. Furthermore, this is the lead-off track to Bon Iver’s debut album – one born out of the death of Justin Vernon's old band and life. Apologies for the inadvertent pun.

Download the Birth mixtape HERE.


  1. Neat first-run, although I was anticipating less heavy stuff, haha. I guess it was partly my doing as well picking my track.

  2. I was anticipating less heavy stuff as well, and I'm not going to lie-- that definitely affected my choosing Byla.

  3. Pungent Stench - "Happy Rebirth Day"? What the Hell, guys?

  4. Definitely appreciating the heavy here, but looking forward to some sophomore compilations :) Great blog idea!

  5. certainly. this worked out well! good game, everyone. good game.

  6. my favourite Anthrax song. that Jason guy is cool.

  7. Great idea, and great first go! I really like how diverse the selections are. All rad. I can tell this is going to be awesome, I can't wait.

  8. Watching born is kinda gross but still interesting in a evolution time of way.

    -Zane of ontario honey