167. exquisite corpse

Bauhaus still had one more album after 1982’s The Sky’s Gone Out but in terms of invention and sheer sonic adventure, it’s pretty safe to say they peaked here. And nowhere are things creepier, more sonically inventive than the final track, Exquisite Corpse. Dub, oblique fragments of poetry, sheets of nightmarish noise. Needless to say, this got a lot of play through any number of psychedelic excursions in the lead up to the mid-80s. An abandoned house comes to mind, right at the seashore, a sort of lost cove off Vancouver’s north shore. The weird part is how everything was still furnished, the library still stocked with books. I grabbed one, heavy, bound in strangely moist leather. I opened it up to some calligraphy, a language I didn’t recognize and yet it spoke to me anyway, and then I realized that the ink was blood red and running in trickles to the hungry floorboards. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was all but a dream.” (Philip Random)

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(photo: Fin Costello)

1062. 18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)

Everybody (or their big sister) had a copy of Cat Stevens Greatest Hits back in the day, and it was a darned good collection in a heartfelt folkie-poppy sort of way. But if you really wanted to know the depth of the Cat, you had to go to track one, side two of the album Catch Bull At Four, the song called 18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare) which managed in its less than four and a half minutes to cover all manner of mood and intensity, all of it cloaked in doom and shadow and, despite the obliqueness of its lyrics, definitely going somewhere.