106. perfect

The The being (at the time anyway) the last of the The bands, and they weren’t really a band anyway, being mostly the vision, the passion, the soul of Matt Johnson. And man, did he get it right in and around and on 1983’s Soul Mining, one of those albums where every song works, every moment feels inevitable. And yet, there didn’t seem to be room for Perfect, not on the original vinyl anyway, certainly not the longer, cooler, better remix version. Which is the first The The track I ever heard. One of those psychedelically enhanced long day’s journey into night and then back again into day situations. And yeah, I’d be paying for it in the long run, but in that sublime dawn moment, my friend Simon’s freshest mixtape playing from yonder blaster, the first rays of sun touching my face, it was a grand thing, like feeling the gods invent the world anew … grasping all of my considerable problems as their work, essential to the great scheme, whatever it was. Because in the end, everything’s perfect somehow, thus justified, even as a wild wind kicks up, sends loose trash swirling … or is it shrapnel from some distant warzone? You probably had to be there. I still am apparently.” (Philip Random)

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244. Giant

“Don’t let the tricky name fool you. The The (mostly the work of just one man, Matt Johnson) are one of the pivotal outfits of 1980s, particularly Soul Mining, their first proper album, of which Giant is the final track, and yes, it’s at least as big as its name. And forever dedicated by me to everyone who’s ever chased their passions, pushed envelopes, stayed awake way too long, and gotten torn apart for their troubles. Because Giant seems to be about all of this — scared of God, scared of hell, caving in on upon itself.” (Philip Random)

(photo: Nicola Tyson)

10. reSEARCH

Gargoyles + Monsters, installment #10 of The Research Series aired June-3-2018 on CiTR.FM.101.9

The tenth of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, theme or agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.

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10. Gargoyles + Monsters

Bill Nelson – the door, the mirror, candelabra + gargoyles
Faust – meer
Bo Hansson – waiting [part 2]
Bo Hansson – the city [sax groove]
Osamu Kitajima – benzaiten [reprise]
The The – icing up [edit]
Brian Eno + David Byrne – mea culpa
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – as above so below
Allman Brothers – stormy [fragment]
Mott the Hoople – El Camino [fragment]
Mushroom – I had a dream, there were clouds in my coffee
The Boy Lucas – there are great monsters going past
James – pressure’s on

Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

443. this is the day

“It’s all there in the first couple of lines of This is the Day, the story of my life, summer 1983: Well you didn’t wake up this morning ’cause you didn’t go to bed – You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red. Maybe 5AM, looking myself in the mirror after way too many mixed up hours of mixed up partying, imbibing, whatever. The song spoke directly to me, Matt Johnson and his burning blue soul joining me in my young adult mixed up pain and ecstasy, telling me I wasn’t alone, wherever the hell I was. Melody was pretty much perfect, too. The whole album really.” (Philip Random)

574. red cinders + song without an ending

“Two tracks from the first The The album that I’ve always thought of as one, because of how they flow together. Although technically, Burning Blue Soul is not a The The album as it was initially released as a Matt Johnson solo album. But nobody really heard it, so after the success of Soul Mining, it got repackaged for a bit of cash-in, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because The The was always pretty much just Matt Johnson anyway. Either way, Burning Blue Soul is a darned fine album, a dense and connected and beautiful flow, even with all the noise and chunks of rusted metal just left lying around — an essential piece of soundtrack from a movie about the ongoing decline and fall of the British Empire that no one’s gotten around to making yet. But they will someday.” (Philip Random)

801. sweet bird of truth

The The (aka Matt Johnson) being the last word in ‘The’ bands, Infected being their second (or perhaps third) album, and though not as overwhelmingly soulful and melodic and relevant as its predecessor, Soul Mining, it was still pretty darned strong. Sweet Bird of Truth was the lead off single, and sweet it wasn’t, because it was 1986, and if you were reading the papers, it was pretty clear we were all gonna die, and soon, what with the arms race out of control, Ronald Reagan slipping into dementia, the Doomsday Clock ticking closer and closer to midnight. And if that wasn’t keeping you up at night, there were all those angry folks in the Middle East and beyond seen often on TV, jamming city streets, shaking their fists, Death To The Infidels and all that, and we deserved it. Sweet Bird of Truth captured all of this rather nicely.”

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