So I've decided to finally bring you the list of tracks that dominate my ears when I try working on Sometimes Sinister. As you may have noticed by the title of this post this is part 1, implying there will likely be more parts to follow. I'm calling this part 1 because I want to leave it open-ended enough to allow me to throw more tracks your way in the future in case I change my listening patterns somewhat to suit the needs of my poetry on this project. So without further ado, here's a list of songs that I listen to to get me in the mood for sinister poetry in no particular order of importance.
1.) "Someone's In The Wolf" by: Queens of the Stone Age album: Lullabies To Paralyze - This one started it all. I brought this track up in the ten songs that I am currently digging post from last week. Basically, the pacing is tumultuous and the guitar riffs are brutal. Something about Josh Homme's voice suggests apparitions howling through a forest at night.
2.) "Erased, Over, Out" by: Nine Inch Nails album: Further Down The Spiral - This track is a slow burn and has no real progression to it. It's almost drone-like with its sparse electronica and what sounds like distorted samples of somebody screaming.
3.) "A Warm Place" by: Nine Inch Nails album: The Downward Spiral - An eery and slow instrumental offering from Trent Reznor. I love instrumental pieces to write to because it's quite easy for me to be distracted by the presence of a lot of vocals, especially in terms of my cadence. "A Warm Place" seems rather romantic to me for some reason, but the bassline gives it a darker sheen.
4.) "Ripe (with decay)" by: Nine Inch Nails album: The Fragile - Nine Inch Nails music in general has a sinister quality to it. If and when I do a list of further listening into my sinister bend there will likely be more NIN music on there. Oddly enough, Amazon doesn't have this track listed on their entry for the album The Fragile, but I assure you that's where I cull this track from. I'm not sure if the track has been omitted or what. "Ripe (with decay)" is another one of Reznor's instrumental tracks and the guitars, while used sparingly, bring about this sense of urgency in my mind.
5.) "Divorced" by: The Melvins with Tool album: The Crybaby - I think it's funny how Amazon.com's editorial review of this disc mentions that the collaboration between The Melvins and Tool is "sleep-inducing." Granted, the song takes a while to get going into its topmost gear, but once it does I can't see how anybody could sleep to it. The vocals are indecipherable and littered with bone-shattering screams. The highlight of this 15 minute opus is a segment near the end with dueling drum solos. I suppose this could be a sleep-inducing track, a la Amazon's editorial review, but only if you sleep like a baby when somebody is screaming and following all of that up with dueling drum solos over a disquieting drone. I think Amazon's editor is a strange person if that's how he/she sleeps. Well honey, I'm getting a bit tired, lets queue up this mix tape I have of Texas Chainsaw Massacre's greatest screams and some Gene Krupa. That oughta help me get some rest. I think I should apply for work as an Amazon.com music editor.
6.) "Pink Maggit" by: The Deftones album: White Pony - Chino Moreno has some incredibly evocative lyrics. The lyrics to "Pink Maggit" are incredibly violent and evoke some very dark images. "I'll stick you a little / enough to take your oxygen away / then I'll set you on fire / 'cause I'm on fire / And I'm with you alone. / I'm so into this whore, / afraid I might lose her / so forget about me / 'cause I'll stick you." That's just the slower first half of the song. It gets harder and faster after that. And the coup de grace is an ending consisting of a heart beating.
7.) "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire" by: Queens Of The Stone Age album: Songs For The Deaf - It's almost hard for me to believe this is the same Josh Homme who sings songs like "No One Knows" and "Hangin' Tree," but that screaming is him apparently. The guitars are like chainsaws on this track, growling constantly.
8.) "Here To Stay" by: Korn album: Untouchables - Jonathan Davis can emote so much rage. Korn has fallen by the wayside somewhat since the whole rap-rock fusion died early in the aughts, but this song still gets my adrenaline pumping. The rolling bass line and the growling vocals do so much to convey rage.
9.) "Twist" by: Korn album: Life Is Peachy - Sometimes I wish that I could read poetry like Jonathan Davis sings on the track "Twist". That would make for an interesting show even though most, if not all of the words, would be garbled and enigmatic beneath layers and layers of growling and yelling. A short, but sweet track of Davis flexing some of the lower frequencies of his vocal range. So much testosterone.
10.) "Pushit" by: Tool album: Ænima - The lyrics to "Pushit" by Tool are oblique, but they seem to suggest a relationship that is sometimes sinister just like the relationship that I am trying to describe in my project. The lyrical highlight in this song from Maynard James Keenan is "If, when I say I might fade like a sigh if I stay / you minimize my movement anyway, / I must persuade you another way." Those seem to be the words of a man who loves a woman who could feasibly destroy him.
Well, there you have it, part 1 of a sometimes sinister music mix. Compiling this list has proven to be a fun little exercise and a nice little distraction for me. I might just look through my music library and see what I can do to put together some more songs that are worth checking out to put one's self in a sinister mood.