Songs Of Discomposure: Quietus Writers Pick Their Most Disturbing Pieces Of Music

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"We asked our contributors to write about the songs that most disturbed them. From Carl Orff to Leonard Cohen, via Tom Jones and The Beatles, disturbance manifests itself in many forms"

Read: http://thequietus.com/articles/23238-disturbing-music-top-40-most-disturbing-songs-of-all-time

I love lists like this. Elaborate, surprising choices, stuff to discover. It's the stories that make the picks here, so do read them. Poll is for the most disturbing piece of music from these.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Rhoda Dakar With The Special AKA - 'The Boiler' 8
Nina Simone - 'Strange Fruit' 3
Scott Walker - 'The Escape' 3
Suicide - 'Frankie Teardrop' 2
Butthole Surfers - '22 Going On 23' 2
György Ligeti - Requiem 2
Current 93 - 'Twilight Twilight Nihil Nihil' 2
Aaliyah - Age Ain't Nothing But A Number 2
The Magnetic Fields - 'I Thought You Were My Boyfriend' 1
M.B. (Maurizio Bianchi) - Symphony For A Genocide 1
Nurse With Wound - Homotopy To Marie 1
Public Image Limited - 'Death Disco' 1
Third Ear Band - Music From Macbeth 1
Tom Jones - 'What’s New Pussycat?' 1
Kate Bush - 'The Infant Kiss' 1
John Zorn - Kristallnacht 1
Jandek - Ready For The House 1
Circuit Des Yeux - 'Paper Bag' 1
Alternative TV - Vibing Up The Senile Man 1
Diamanda Galas - 'This Is The Law Of The Plague' 1
SoulFly - 'Tree Of Pain' 0
Sounds & Silence - 'The Lyke Wake Dirge' 0
Stalaggh - Pure Misanthropa 0
Beherit - Drawing Down The Moon 0
The Beatles - 'I Am The Walrus' 0
Today Is The Day - Sadness Will Prevail 0
V/VM - 'The Lady In Red (Is Dancing With Meat)' 0
Shirley Collins - Lodestar 0
Carl Orff - Carmina Burana 0
Richard Dawson - 'Poor Old Horse' 0
Khanate - Clean Hands Go Foul 0
Leonard Cohen - 'The Future' 0
Gnaw Their Tongues - Teeth That Leer Like Open Graves 0
Manic Street Preachers - 'This Is Yesterday' 0
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 0
Earl Sweatshirt - 'Grief' 0
Coil - 'The Dreamer Is Still Asleep' 0
The Residents - Duck Stab 0
White Noise - An Electric Storm 0


Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

came here for ligeti, was not disappointed

Mr. Eulon Mask, urging the UN to ban the "homicide robot" (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

fave would be VVM, most disturbing has to be Suicide.

piscesx, Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

first encounter with ligeti was at about eight years old, being absolutely shit-scared of the sounds and images coming out of the tv showing 2001

it's still probably the most eerie music i've ever heard

Mr. Eulon Mask, urging the UN to ban the "homicide robot" (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hmmm, I don't find Ligeti disturbing tbh. Or much else on that list. No Throbbing Gristle?

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:22 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Though I'm probably not very reliable on what constitutes disturbing music.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What I like about the list is that it's a mix of music that is sonically disturbing (Galas, Today Is The Day etc) and songs like Aaliyah's where it's the story behind the song that makes it disturbing.

Sucker for Subjectivisten lists though obv.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hmmm, I don't find Ligeti disturbing tbh.

the choir in requiem sounds like the wordless suffering of damned souls in hell to my imagination, but i'm willing to concede that early exposure to 2001 might have left some psychological scars

same thing happened with jeff lynne's war of the worlds tbh (shut up)

Mr. Eulon Mask, urging the UN to ban the "homicide robot" (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Frankie Teardrop almost got me into a car accident once.

obvious, Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

it's what rev and vega would have wanted

Mr. Eulon Mask, urging the UN to ban the "homicide robot" (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

first few seconds of the original Wipeout by The Surfaris is the first thing that ever really disturbed me on a record. there's something really 'off' for kids about non-genuine-laughter.

piscesx, Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That V/VM album is a classic

El Tomboto, Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

xp "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" gave me nightmares as a kid after hearing it on some K-tel 'Goofy Greats' comp.

llurk, Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Frankie Teardrop almost got me into a car accident once.

hah, ditto. I was driving home from work on an icy highway in the middle of a snowstorm, which in itself puts you on edge, then, listening to this for the first time...

frogbs, Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Didn't see it at first but hard not to go for 'The Boiler' (only heard it for the first - and probably last - time this year).

nashwan, Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Torn between Butthole Surfers, Khanate and Rhoda Dakar.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

should have gone with Songs of Disquietude

jmm, Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:55 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Poor Old Horse is disturbing because it's so funny, right? And then you realise what you've been laughing at? Great song but a slightly weird choice here

imago, Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Strange Fruit

good art is orange; great art is teal (wins), Thursday, 21 September 2017 16:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Love the description of our very own DL about Scott Walker's The Escape: ‘The man behind the dumpster’ of musical moments.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 21 September 2017 16:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I could have gone for Strange Fruit, The Escape or the Khanate album (the latter for personal reasons) but voted Kristallnacht.

ultros ultros-ghali, Thursday, 21 September 2017 16:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That Gnaw Their Tongues fella tries too hard and his stuff comes across as OTT and silly rather than genuinely disturbing imo

ultros ultros-ghali, Thursday, 21 September 2017 16:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

No Penderecki no credibility

"Celebration" encourages the listener to celebrate good times. (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 21 September 2017 16:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

While I think Vibing Up the Senile Man marks a surprise turn in Alternative TV's music, I don't really find it disturbing, just unexpected if you've come to it after hearing previous Alternative TV stuff.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 21 September 2017 20:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Actually, I agree with Tom D. - there's not much here that I find disturbing.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 21 September 2017 20:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I guess it depends on what disturbs the listener most. When I was younger the Residents' cover of "Satisfaction" was the most disturbing song I knew. I also didn't like Frank Zappa's antisemitism-with-kazoos tune Jewish Princess. More recently I'm disturbed by Full Body Anchor, which seems to express the despair at the core of my being. There's "Babble" by Krause and Coyne about the Moors Murderers, humanity at its most twisted.

White rock musicians disturb me most. She's A Jar, by Wilco. Sensitive indie ballad with twist domestic violence ending. Nasty song.

And then there's "Polly" by Nirvana. There's an extra dose of futility to this one. Lunkheads took this horror song and used it as a template for rape. Cobain encouraged them to kill themselves, but if they did, Kurt killed himself first. No point in art. No point in communication. Not with people like that, and there are more people like that than we can ever believe. That's pretty disturbing.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Friday, 22 September 2017 00:47 (three weeks ago) Permalink

where's parallelograms by Perhacs?

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 22 September 2017 02:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

where's parallelograms by Perhacs?

Really? I can't possibly think of how that would be disturbing. Crazy beautiful? Sure. But disturbing how?

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 22 September 2017 07:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

'22 Going On 23' is horrific, even thinking about that song makes me feel like crying

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 22 September 2017 09:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

My pick would have been "Disturbance" by The Move.

b-side of "Night Of Fear", trust me, it's scary when yr a 10 year old buying 2nd hand singles at jumble sales.

Mark G, Friday, 22 September 2017 09:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Actually, I agree with Tom D. - there's not much here that I find disturbing.

... apart from that Donald Duck thing on the Scott Walker track.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Friday, 22 September 2017 10:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I did the Scott Walker entry on this, but it's a great list and some nicely written accounts from lots of different perspectives. What other music would Ilxors add to this?

Shat Parp (dog latin), Friday, 22 September 2017 10:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Ween, "Mourning Glory". Something to do with it being about pumpkins and not serial killers or whatever.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Friday, 22 September 2017 10:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

List needs something by Throbbing Gristle, my pick would have been "Hamburger Lady".

heaven parker (anagram), Friday, 22 September 2017 10:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Of the songs I know, I thought the oddest choice was the selected Magnetic Fields song. The accompanying text simply writes it down as disturbing for describing pain (of the emotional/romantic kind) in a relatable way. By that criterium a whole lot of songs would qualify as being disturbing, perhaps the Beatles 'For No One' more than anything.

I'd be thinking more of darker themed, sinister songs, though.

The song that first came to my mind was Tom Waits' 'What's he building?', along with its video.

Then there's Nick Cave: Song of Joy. Someone seeks shelter at an inn, tells about his family being murdered, nothing known about the killer except that he leaves John Milton quotes on the walls with the blood of his victims. The man ends his story with a Milton quote before asking for a room.

Valentijn, Friday, 22 September 2017 11:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Ed Sheeran singing about what his bedsheets smell like

Erotic Wolf (crüt), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

xxp came here to write-in hamburger lady

gospodin simmel, Friday, 22 September 2017 11:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel, Intruder. (and I'm a Butthole Surfers/Coil fan.)

StanM, Friday, 22 September 2017 11:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Couple more I'd have included:

Autechre - Bine, which soundtracked the closest thing I've had to a night terror / panic attack
Jacques Brel - Les Bonbons, whose protagonist is an oleaginous creep, bringing his (ostensibly under-aged) paramour gifts of sweets, because they're 'so much nicer than flowers'

Shat Parp (dog latin), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Klaus Nomi doing Cold Song on TV while already ill

StanM, Friday, 22 September 2017 11:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

John Cale, Fear

StanM, Friday, 22 September 2017 11:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Jacques Brel - Les Bonbons, whose protagonist is an oleaginous creep, bringing his (ostensibly under-aged) paramour gifts of sweets, because they're 'so much nicer than flowers'

Oh, I'd never realized before what this song was about, he always seemed to be playing it for laughs. There's a David Ackles song about a cripple who owns a sweet shop who takes his revenge on the people who mock him by hiding pornography in their children's sweets, that's pretty creepy. Another particularly disturbing 'singer-songwriter' song is Randy Newman's "In Germany Before the War", you don't really want to think about what's going on in that song.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

In Germany Before the War is p much a variant on M/Tenderness of Wolves

Gunpowder Julius (Ward Fowler), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"patricia" by doc corbin dart too, probably.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Brel is definitely 'in character' during that song. As with most of his songs, it's down to interpretation, and the interpretation is my own but it makes sense to me.

Here's a translation I found online (it's not great, a little too literal):

I've brought you some sweets
Cause flowers are perishable
And sweets are so nice
Although flowers look more presentable
Especially when they're in bud
But I've brought you some sweets
I hope we can go for a walk
That your mother won't mind
We'll watch the trains go by
I'll bring you back at eight o'clock
What a nice Sunday it is for the season
I've brought you some sweets
If you knew how proud I am
To see you Hung on my arm
People look askance at me
Some of them even laugh behind my back
The world is full of naughties
I've brought you some sweets
Oh yes! Germaine's not as nice as you
Oh yes! Germaine's Less pretty
It's true that Germaine has auburn hair
It's true that Germaine is cruel
Oh, you're absolutely right
I've brought you some sweets
So here we are on the Grand' Place
They're playing Mozart at the kiosk
But tell me isn't that by any chance
That your friend Léon is over there
If you want me to step aside
I had brought you some sweets
Oh, good morning Miss Germaine
I've brought you some sweets
Cause flowers are perishable
And sweets are so nice
Although flowers look more presentable

Shat Parp (dog latin), Friday, 22 September 2017 11:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think NWW is a fair shout here, although more on a level that it plays games in a slightly queer fashion rather than being str8 up disturbing.

MaresNest, Friday, 22 September 2017 12:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I haven't heard everything on the list but by far the most harrowing thing here is 'The Boiler' - like the blurb's writer I first heard it on a 2-Tone compilation, I must've been about 12? I was aware of the Specials as a band who wrote about real life in a kind of direct way but nothing prepared me for that. I've maybe heard it once or twice again since, that first listen really did stay with me. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title.

Gavin, Leeds, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

To be honest the only recordings I can think of that ever properly shat me up are The Conet Project, The Ghost Orchid and the epilogue from War of the Worlds and none of those can qualify as music.

MaresNest, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I would've picked Scott Walker's "The Electrician" as genuinely disturbing.

Also, there's a Selector song about a woman getting raped...

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 22 September 2017 13:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Are you thinking of "The Boiler"? If so, it's on the list. It was on 2-Tone, but not by The Selecter.

heaven parker (anagram), Friday, 22 September 2017 13:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ok, now this is fucked up. i mean, you know, internet. but i google "hamburger lady" and this comes up:

http://www.scaryforkids.com/hamburger-lady/

i know the kids love creepypasta and so on, but what the hell kind of sick fuck is suggesting that children should listen to "hamburger lady"?

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 23 September 2017 18:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

John, I started this thread wholly because I loved the idea and execution of it on tQ. And also because the question invites very open and diverse answers. For that - and not just for that, but today specifically for that - I applaud what tQ does and continues to do. It's subjective, it's inviting, it dodges usual suspects. It inspires and invokes.

Just want to say that to you/tQ, regardless of this thread.

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What disturbs me I guess is music that makes the very act of music-making and music-listening seem cultureless, and futile, an extension of nationalistic jingoism (patriotic country music), co-opting of political text (nu Katy Perry), exhibitions of laziness-as-depth or personal-anecdote-as-artist-statement (William Basinski)

Sorry, are you really saying that Katy Perry's recent performatively woke material actually "disturbs" you? Because I'm going to need a bit more justification to back that up. Which political text is she co-opting in 'Chained To The Rhythm' and why is it dangerous?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 23 September 2017 20:51 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Le Bateau Ivre - well, hot damn! That's a fine thing for you to say, thanks! They don't *always* come off as well these features - the guilty pleasures one was arguably a misstep even - but I was very happy with this one.

Doran, Saturday, 23 September 2017 21:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that lisa germano one with the the scary phone message on it used to shake me up. ugh. i could have used a trigger warning when i bought that album.

scott seward, Saturday, 23 September 2017 21:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that album is a genuinely disturbing work of art. in my opinion. it goes to a lot of dark places that a lot of those bondage-loving noize boyz could never attempt to go.

scott seward, Saturday, 23 September 2017 21:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

@ scott yes that is a disturbing album, mostly for me for the recurring "comic relief" pseudo-klezmer moments that keep coming back and just make me feel like I'm having an episode

@ CaAL can't tell you what texts "Chained To The Rhythm" is co-opting but yes yes the adoption of anti-bourgeois sentiment turned into a generalized railing against "dance music spaces" (?) I guess (?) availability of living spaces (?) I guess (?) for the purposes of capital accumulation of Katy Perry Inc. is inherently dangerous, absolutely dangerous, deeply cynical, are you joking? I hear Diamanda Galas screaming Hebrews and I feel like "this woman has my back". Katy Perry would eat me for dinner

fgti, Sunday, 24 September 2017 00:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I totally forget what it sounds like, but there was an album called "Kaddish" by a group called Towering Inferno that Eno branded "the most frightening record I have ever heard."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish_(Towering_Inferno_album)

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 24 September 2017 13:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

third ear band. had a reaction similar to whoever did the write-up

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 24 September 2017 14:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

100% I think the work of modernist/micropolyphonicists like Ligeti and Penderecki is meant to be religious, that is, comfort music, I'm always amazed at when like Lynch uses this music as a signifier for "DISTURBING!" because the collection of pure acoustic pitches and sound walls just feels to me like gazing into a telescope or reading about Calvinism

Really enjoying this take (although, heh, the piece was called Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima tbf). I tried to say something similar about guitar noise in indie rock in a pop music class at York (and was only being semi-challopsy) and the prof had everyone explain to me how I was deluding myself.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 24 September 2017 14:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Third Ear Band album just makes me think of Keith Chegwin.

めんどくさかった (Matt #2), Sunday, 24 September 2017 14:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I still have that Towering Inferno record, it's pretty great but I wouldn't call it frightening exactly. The multimedia show that went with it was incredible.

xps

heaven parker (anagram), Sunday, 24 September 2017 15:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Fgti bringing the heat to this thread.

Rob Lowe fresco bar (m bison), Sunday, 24 September 2017 15:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

@ Sund4r, can't back this up but I was told by my comp prof that Penderecki rather cynically admitted to simply tacking on that title!

And yeah, I had similar discussions w my profs about noise and its function. Interestingly I think the ear's relationship to dissonance changes over time. I may have said this elsewhere, but at age 18 I found Stockhausen impenetrable. Now, it's my comfort music. The only thing I've ever heard which was so dissonant that I had to turn it off (and I've never actually got through it) is Ventolin

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 24 September 2017 15:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Fwiw, it's true that the original title was 8'37", which Penderecki changed after the piece had already been performed. I wonder if it was a legend among composition profs of a certain generation that Penderecki admitted to tacking on the title as some sort of cynical marketing/promotional move. I heard it from my undergrad prof too but I haven't found a convincing source for it. In The Rest Is Noise, Ross did write that [Communist Polish] "officialdom only took a favourable view" of the piece after someone suggested the new title, though he makes no suggestion that Penderecki intentionally did this to curry favour with the authorities. Auner just writes that it reflected Penderecki's ongoing interest in connecting his music to political and social issues.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 24 September 2017 16:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the third ear band is interesting because i don't listen to the macbeth soundtrack that much - i listen to their first album and "the magus", which are very different albums and excellent albums but neither of which i would term "disturbing". i just think of them as the best raga-rock band. but that title track is indeed pretty disturbing; should probably give the whole thing a listen.

i have a copy of "kaddish" somewhere. it mainly came off as "arty british record about the holocaust". which is fine and all but i don't know what precisely it adds to our collective understanding of that event.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Sunday, 24 September 2017 16:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"The boiler" lyrically
Either Residents or V/VM musically.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 16:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

@ CaAL can't tell you what texts "Chained To The Rhythm" is co-opting but yes yes the adoption of anti-bourgeois sentiment turned into a generalized railing against "dance music spaces" (?) I guess (?) availability of living spaces (?) I guess (?) for the purposes of capital accumulation of Katy Perry Inc. is inherently dangerous, absolutely dangerous, deeply cynical, are you joking? I hear Diamanda Galas screaming Hebrews and I feel like "this woman has my back". Katy Perry would eat me for dinner
Don't understand enough of this to know if it's insightful, hyperbole, idiocy or irony. Don't understand what "bringing the heat" is either. Guess I should quit the discussion at this point.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 24 September 2017 17:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Not in here because it's in Spanish but one of the most disturbing songs I heard growing up was "Alarmala de Tos" by Cafe Tacuba a cover of Botellita de Jerez.

The song's lyrics are so perverse but that was Botellita de Jerez schtick they were setting on to be one of the most hated bands in latinamerica. I don't know which version is more disturbing the original one is very chirpy like a 50's 60's rock song hiding hideous lyrics, cafe tacuba takes the lyrics at face value and pairs it with much more sinister ambience.

I'll try to translate it for you in a bit.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 17:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Not in here because it's in Spanish but one of the most disturbing songs I heard growing up was "Alarmala de Tos" by Cafe Tacuba a cover of Botellita de Jerez.

The song's lyrics are so perverse but that was Botellita de Jerez schtick they were setting on to be one of the most hated bands in latinamerica. I don't know which version is more disturbing the original one is very chirpy like a 50's 60's rock song hiding hideous lyrics, cafe tacuba takes the lyrics at face value and pairs it with much more sinister ambience.

I'll try to translate it for you in a bit.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 17:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

La Lola, paciente mendigaba,
Sufría, su jefe la obligaba
Con ella, sacaba buena lana
La pobre era jorobada
Su madre, le metía al talón,
Era perversa, y de mal corazón
Su hermano, vivía en el reventon
El era el filo, amante de un pasión
Ese día, pasaba normalmente,
Cuando su padre, atacola de repente,
Violola, con un deseo demente,
Y ella quiso, morirse en ese instante,
Mato a su padre, cuando este la seguía
Mientras su hermano, con su madre le ponía,
Pensó que ayuda, jamas encontraría,
Hasta que al fin, hallo un policía
Alarma, Alarmala de tos,
Uno, dos, tres,
Patada y cos,
La Lola, su historia lloro,
Y auxilio al "tira" imploro
El azul, sonriendo la miro
Que creen que fue lo que paso
Que paso?
Siguiola, atacola, golpeola, violola y matola con una pistola
Alarma, Alarmala de tos,
Uno, dos, tres,
Patada y cos,
Alarma

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 17:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hard song to translate as there's too much wordplay and some invented words like 'ALARMALA' and "COS". There's no easy way to translate the title and chorus to english 'alarmala de tos' is a word play on alarma (alarm) and 'armala de tos" which google would translate as "make a cough" as that is the literal translation but it's a phrase that would actually translate as 'create a problem'... like say if you're mad at someone and you would look to pick up a fight him that's what 'armarla de tos' means roughly.

Anyways here it goes:

Lola was a patient beggar
she suffered, his father forced her
with her she made some good money
the poor girl was humped.
Her mother would make her trip when walking
She was perverse, with a bad hear.
Her brother was always partying
he was 'el filo' (no idea what this means), lover of a fat man.
That day felt like a normal day for her
Until his father started attacking her
He raped her with an insane desire
and she felt like dying at that moment
She killed her father while he was following her
while in the other room her brother and mother were fucking
She thought she would never find any help
but then she found a policeman

Alarm, Alarmala de tos
one two three, a kick and cos

Lola cried her story to him
and 'help' to the 'tira' she implored (tira is slang for police)
the blue man, smiling looked at her.
What do you think happened next?
He followed her, he attacked her, he hitted her, he raped her and he killed her.
With his gun.

Alarm, Alarmala de tos
one two three, a kick and cos

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 18:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Her mother would make her trip when walking
She was perverse, with a bad heart.

not sure about the translation to this one actually. In spanish it literally says 'She put her heel in her' but we say 'le metio el pie / put the feet" when you make someone trip... odd thing is you always use 'feet' not 'heel' when using this phrase... I dunno considering how perverse the rest of the song is it might be something sexual.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 18:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The only thing I've ever heard which was so dissonant that I had to turn it off (and I've never actually got through it) is Ventolin

:) i went thru a phase of cranking "Ventolin" thru headphones cos it felt beautifully cathartic/calming

be the cringe you want to see in the world (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 24 September 2017 18:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The weird thing about this song is that it's lyrics are horrid but it would play on the radio. It was fairly popular back in the 90's when cafe tacuba covered it.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 18:07 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The only thing I've ever heard which was so dissonant that I had to turn it off (and I've never actually got through it) is Ventolin

:) i went thru a phase of cranking "Ventolin" thru headphones cos it felt beautifully cathartic/calming

― be the cringe you want to see in the world (Noodle Vague), Sunday, September 24, 2017 6:06 PM (twenty-one minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'll happily listen to that song through speakers but usually skip it if I'm listening on earphones, always feels like a recipe for instant tinnitus.

Thinking of that album I also remember jumping out my skin at the "ALRIGHT?!" at the beginning of 'Cow Cud Is a Twin' the first time I heard it.

Gavin, Leeds, Sunday, 24 September 2017 18:41 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That seems like a strong candidate, Moka.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 24 September 2017 19:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Do you have a Spotify/YouTube link Moka?

Le Bateau Ivre, Sunday, 24 September 2017 19:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Sure. This is the original Botellita de Jerez one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2BJD2qLNxI

And this is the more popular Cafe Tacuba cover:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl3oooLM9R8

They sound like two very different songs.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:06 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This has turned into quite a fascinating discussion.

After reading this thread, some approach the topic from an aural angle; e.g., sounds and tones that sound disturbing. Others come at it from a narrative or lyrical content perspective (no doubt fed by one's culture), regardless of the tones used. In the latter, there is much more discussion to be had, of course, and I would thus add an array of examples such as Wagner for its appropriation by Nazi supporters, Charles Manson, and one which gives me a bit of a chuckle that has not even been hinted at: performative metal (such as black, doom, etc.). It appears as though the post-modern tick of "death of the author" (bless Barthes) has bitten a few, so authorial intent gets thrown out the window. It's definitely not a bad thing. Constructing an argument for disturbing vs non-disturbing songs makes for a far more interesting read. My apologies for this meta-analysis on the ways different users in a community or ILXOR.com interpret the topic at hand.

the sound of space, Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I much prefer the Cafe Tacuba one and the video is good. So before watching let me put some context behind this song which makes it kind of a parody song... the lyrics on their own are disturbing but it is because they are poking at a very specific kind of tabloids we have in Mexico. We called them 'Amarillistas' which stands for Yellow Press or Yellow Journalism. The Cafe Tacuba video is even based on this sort of yellow press where the exaggerate and create a very morbid scenario when writing news... it's usually very disrespectful to the victims as they even include very explicit pictures of the corpses and the crime scenes.

I'm not from Mexico City but I think one of the most popular yellow tabloids was called 'ALARMA' so Botellita de Jerez were criticizing their news format with this song.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yes, I just doublechecked... it was called 'Alarma' magazine and it was fucking horrific. Take a look at the google search but beware it is very NSFW / NSFL so only click if you don't mind looking at dead people:

https://www.google.com.mx/search?biw=1453&bih=843&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=alarma+revista&oq=alarma+revista&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i67k1j0l3.3275.3560.0.3784.3.3.0.0.0.0.158.305.0j2.2.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.2.304...0i13k1j0i8i7i30k1.0.fMlLriaM3Sw

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh looking at the Cafe Tacuba video I now understand this part:

Her brother was always partying
he was 'el filo' (no idea what this means), lover of a fat man.

It's actually:

Her brother was always partying
They nicknamed him 'Lilo' and he was the lover of a fat man.

Lilo in spanish is a usual nickname for Liliane a girl's name.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh btw it seems 'coz' is not actually an invented word sorry it's spanish for the backwards kick horses do with their two legs... is there an english translation for it? Is it just called horsekick?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Good share Moka

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Feral House published a book some years ago that included a lot of photos from ¡Alarma! and other Mexican tabloids, as part of a larger study of death in Mexican pop culture.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 24 September 2017 21:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

voted Boiler, I can handle fully whacked destructo sound terror and enjoy it, but I cannot listen to that narration any more

sleeve, Sunday, 24 September 2017 21:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

“Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon,” Robert Ashley

sarahell, Sunday, 24 September 2017 21:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

It's been a long time since I heard The Boiler and went to check it out again. I didn't realise it has a music video. Obviously the heaviest of trigger warnings apply to this, got to the end but not listening again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va5Rdg3ibBI

I reckon this + a good Channel 4 drama I watched = possibly the reasons I never had the rape humour phase which seemed to afflict so many of my fellow sixth formers.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 24 September 2017 21:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The second most disturbing Scott Walker track for me is 'Cue'. The idea of the 'flugelman' (in my mind some sort of grotesque man/horn hybrid) stalking through hospital wards, was enough to keep me up til the early hours after a late-night Drift listen. 'The Escape' has the jump-cut but the imagery in 'Cue' freaks me out almost as much. 'Clara' might be about a hanging but I think of it as a moment of respite on an album full of incredibly tense moments.

Shat Parp (dog latin), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

for entries in the list its 'the boiler'.

for non-list suggestions, it has to be 'Requiem: The Holocaust' by David Axelrod.

mark e, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

“Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon,” Robert Ashley

Oh yes, this shook me up a bit the first time I heard it.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Having listened to a few of these...well, it's Diamanda, isn't it, always was going to be

imago, Thursday, 28 September 2017 10:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

opened this thread solely to see if the lisa germano album was mentioned

dyl, Thursday, 28 September 2017 13:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 29 September 2017 00:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

This series from The Caretaker, constructing a musical narrative around progressive dementia using jazz-age source material, is seriously unsettling/depressing to me, to the point that I'm dreading the release of the last three parts of the series:

https://thecaretaker.bandcamp.com/album/everywhere-at-the-end-of-time

Stage 1 - September 2016 (A+B)
Here we experience the first signs of memory loss.
This stage is most like a beautiful daydream.
The glory of old age and recollection.
The last of the great days.

Stage 2 - April 2017 (C+D)
The second stage is the self realisation and awareness that something is wrong with a refusal to accept that. More effort is made to remember so memories can be more long form with a little more deterioration in quality. The overall personal mood is generally lower than the first stage and at a point before confusion starts setting in.

Stage 3 - Released in September 2017 (E+F)
Here we are presented with some of the last coherent memories before confusion fully rolls in and the grey mists form and fade away. Finest moments have been remembered, the musical flow in places is more confused and tangled. As we progress some singular memories become more disturbed, isolated, broken and distant. These are the last embers of awareness before we enter the post awareness stages.

Stage 4 - Released in March 2018
Post awareness stage 4 will be without description.

Stage 5 - Released in September 2018
Post awareness stage 5 will be without description.

Stage 6 - Released in March 2019
Post awareness stage 6 will be without description.

Erotic Wolf (crüt), Monday, 9 October 2017 04:00 (one week ago) Permalink

i've found the first volume of matana roberts' coin coin project particularly disquieting, given all the things i listen to that would disquiet most people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOu0Y52BqEY

... to the point where i don't really seek it out to listen to, even though i think it's great. i never feel up to it.

j., Monday, 9 October 2017 04:34 (one week ago) Permalink

crut - stage 3 gets seriously rough.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Monday, 9 October 2017 12:40 (one week ago) Permalink

Good call on Matana. The primal scream stuff on pov piti is devestating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKVq4_lBgzY

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 9 October 2017 16:22 (one week ago) Permalink


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