Twelve Months of Music: March

Welcome to the erupting orange of March. Wintry death overcome is the theme (introduced by Mr Wagner) and the gut-raptures of a dawn that nobody believed would ever arrive. Foundationally a clear-eyed, innocent and everlasting YES, but not always necessarily sublime, the birth of a new land contains raw granite, seismic ruptures, bursting blood-vessels and a few parturient screams too you know!

  1. Siegfried’s Funeral Music Richard Wagner (Szell)
  2. I’m Free The Who & The London Symphony Orchestra
  3. El Eco Y El Carretero Afrosound
  4. The Lions and the Cucumber Manfred Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab
  5. Mundo Cocek Boban Markovic Orkestar
  6. Siki, Siki Baba Kocani Orkestar
  7. Panis Et Circenses Os Mutantes
  8. He Will Come He Will Come Elpida
  9. Lust for Life Iggy Pop
  10. Gut Feeling / Slap Your Mammy Devo
  11. I’m Alive Tommy James & the Shondells
  12. Rite of Spring Igor Stravinsky (Markevitch)

The Siki Siki Baba link goes not to the Kocani Orkestar’s original but to a cover by Beirut who I went to see in Osaka, where they played this song in a third encore; such joy, which this video doesn’t come close to replicating — the audience here seems to be comprised entirely of bored Parisian hipsters rather than weird wild Osakans* — nor any of the KO’s versions I could find on youtube. Try and imagine perhaps this song, a hundred times more passionate (and I seem to remember more tightly performed), with a thousand rapturous Japs around you.


Ai: Do all the swans really belong to the Queen?
Me: Yes.
Ai: And all the dolphins too?
Me: Yes, and whales.
Ai: What other animals?
Me: Cats.
Ai: All the cats belong to the Queen?
Me: Yes, all of them — we’re just borrowing them.
Ai: What happens when she asks for them back?
Me: Well they’ll all go, won’t they?
Ai: I’d like to see that… the Queen on the palace balcony, arms in the air… millions of cats…
Me: It’s called ‘the time of the summoning’.


* A common stage observation of bands playing in Osaka is: ‘You guys are so much better than Tokyo!’