Playlist Friday: Notes from space

This lunatic playlist is dedicated to Mars Curiosity, Sarcastic Rover, and the Interplanetary Internet.

“Planet of Sound” – Pixies

And you know that once the Interplanetary Internet gets going, people will be using it to illegally download music from the Planet of Sound. Pixies tried to get there using a fission drive, but they seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

“Space Oddity” – David Bowie

Somebody else who got famously lost in space is Major Tom. Of course, if one was to compile a playlist of only the very best space songs, it would contain mostly Bowie. Having to choose just one of his, I’d say “Space Oddity” is the most intense and the creepiest. The lines “And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear / Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare” has much the same effect on me as that moment in horror movies when somebody says, “Look, there’s something moving in the forest, I’ll go and check.” You know that things are about to take a turn for the worse.

“Major Tom (Coming Home)” – Peter Schilling

From space horror to space-horror synth-pop, this German’s take on Bowie’s Major Tom story apparently topped the charts in 1983. I heard it for the first time yesterday – thanks to a tip from my husband, may his weird taste in music live long and prosper – and it is adorable.

“Spaceman” – Bif Naked

Bif Naked’s “Spaceman” was overplayed on MuchMusic in that sliver of the ’90s when I actually watched TV, but the reason this song will always have a special place in my heart is that Kat, my best friend in high school, would holler it at the top of her lungs while plugging her ears when she wanted to pointedly ignore whatever you were saying – in that way most people would yell “La La La, can’t hear you!” Not sure why. Fond memories.

“Astronaut (A Short History of Nothing)” – Amanda Palmer

Just think how much happier AFP’s relationship with the astronaut could have been if only the Interplanetary Internet was already in place. They could’ve kept in touch over Twitter and avoided the dismal lack of communication that got them into this twisted emotional head-space.

“In Space” – Ludo

Now imagine this is Amanda Palmer’s astronaut’s story from his point of view. Dramatic irony galore. Star-crossed lovers retold for the star-faring age. Juliet’s not really dead, only the letter where everything is explained never reaches Romeo. The astronaut is not emotionally distant at all, it’s just the lack of Interplanetary Internet.

“Black Star” – Radiohead

The tragedy of it all is enough to make you want to wallow in the depressive sounds of Radiohead.

Amanda Palmer, by the way, recorded an album of Radiohead covers brilliantly entitled Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele. It’s often better than the real thing.

“Spaceship Superstar” – Prism

To get your spirits back up after listening to Radiohead, may I suggest a palate cleanser of the utterly ridiculous? This one is also care of my husband, so you can clearly see that one of the reasons I married him is for the unparalleled source of absurdist humour.

“Life on Mars” – Seu Jorge

For another surprising take on David Bowie, here’s Seu Jorge, who recorded a whole album of Bowie covers in Portuguese. They are very beautiful and, for some surreal reason, they were recorded for the soundtrack of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

“Satellite of Love” – Lou Reed

Love, from us on Earth, to the humans in space and to the lonely robot on Mars, and to all the curious humans making future robots that will send us awesome data from space over the Interplanetary Internet.

These are available in a continuous YouTube playlist here.

P.S. If you like none of my selections but still think you deserve a space-themed playlist, dammit – check out this one from Space.com.


Comments

Playlist Friday: Notes from space — 7 Comments

  1. Of course I am totally in love with this post! You are making my morning so much better already! Going to be Raku firing my astronaut heads tomorrow so this is great timing. Your blog is really exploding with tons of amazing content. Congratulations.

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