Close Encounters of the Funk Kind

February 5th, 2017

Some random covers of the theme from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

Because I just somehow accumulated all of these by accident.

I know, I have weird problems.

Hideki Matsutake
Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Hideki Matsutake is a genius so it’s not a surprise that his version of the theme takes the most liberties with it, using the technology available to him at the time to really expand and divert upon the original in interesting and fun ways. At times, all this version has in common with the original is the basic melody we all know, using that as a backdrop for some smooth funky jazz. If you removed it, the song would become entirely unrecognizable. Great instrumentation and sound effect choices on here as well.

Electoru Polyphonic Orchestra
Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Oh boy, this thing.

So I bought this record on a whim. Mostly for the cover, but also for the tracklist, which includes some severely oddball selections like the themes to “Zero Population Growth,” “Barbarella” and the cult classic, “No Blade Of Grass.” Although that one is spelled as “No Blade of Glass” because English is hard.

Was it worth it? Eh, not really. Humor derived from the cover and poor translations aside, there isn’t much to enjoy here. The covers far too faithful to the original versions. Instead of using the electronic technology to branch out from the originals, I feel like this album goes for mimicry far too often.

There is a bit to like in this cover though, the weird wah-wah bassline at the end is groovy as fuck.

Toru Hatano
Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Talked about Toru Hatano last year in my last Star Wars post, so I’m not going to repeat myself. I dig his cover of the theme, even if it’s not all that out-there when compared to some of the others. I really like the effects on the synthesizer in the last minute. Got some good space funk going on there.

Close Encounters
Spectrum was a late-70s/early-80s Japanese funk/disoc/soul/electronic act who released six damn albums in just three years. Most of their stuff that I’ve heard is by-the-numbers disco and funk, with a slight jazz influence. Nothing all that special.

However, their second 1979 album, In The Space, is something else. Half of the record is your standard jazzy pop-funk, but the other half is made up of funky disco covers of sci-fi movie themes. They got Star Wars on here (of course) as well as the above version of the Close Encounters theme, but there are some oddities thrown in as well. There’s the theme to War In Space, a third-rate Star Wars rip-off by Toho, and also a cover to the theme of Space Battleship Yamato. Because holy shit that thing was popular in Japan. A take on “Also Sprach Zarathustra” aka “That song from 2001” is here as well. The best of the bunch is their version of “Close Encounters” though, good disco bounce.

But that’s not the best thing about this album. No, the best thing about the album is the DOPE AS FUCK art inside the gatefold.

Squad goals.

Techno for smashing fascists

January 29th, 2017

I get that in times of strife and hardship, distractions are important. They’ve certainly served me well this week. In light of all the horrible ills that have befallen us all, I find a great source of escapism in film. The boyfriend and I recent purchased an amazing Hammer Films box set, so I’ve been drowning my sorrows in copious amounts of Peter Cushing being a bad motherfucker.

I also have been absorbing a shitton of Giant Bomb content right now. They’ve seemingly always been there for me. When I went through a horribly painful fit of depression three years ago, the Bombcast was always a three-hour block where I could for sure keep away the demons and darkness.

So please, right now, do your best to stay sane. While it’s important to fight the good fight in any way you can, it’s important to take time to collect yourself as well. Whether it be video games, movies, music or just talking a nice long walk. Find something that can distract you, and hold onto it when needed.

Just don’t expect that thing to be this blog. Because fuck that orange assclown with a rusty crowbar.

Seriously, could someone do that? I’m sure Pence would like to watch.

The Art Of Noise
Instruments Of Darkness (All Of Us Are One People) (The Prodigy Mix)
Sometimes you stumble upon a track at just the right time. Right when I first read that Trump was instituting his curb-stomp earning racist ban on legal immigration, I was listening to this song for the very first time. An aggressive acid house track with a chorus consisting of nothing but the platitude of “all of us are one people” may be over simplistic and a bit on the nose, but it sure hit the spot for how I felt at that exact minute.

Nine Inch Nails
Capital G (Switch Remix)
The Hand That Feeds (Photek Ruff Mix)
Neither of these remixes are as good as the album versions. But they’re still quality, and good soundtracks to breaking shit and spray painting graffiti of Trump with a tiny dick and a klan hood on.

I mean, if you wanna do that.

Japanese Synthpop by Bands who aren’t YMO

January 22nd, 2017

I realize that this has been a stressful and/or depressing weekend for many of you, and I’m right there with you. However, I need some time to decompress before I talk about politics again, for my own mental health. I hope you’re all doing what you can do to stay healthy and fuck up Nazis. Try to do both in equal measures.

In the meantime, I finally finished part four of my guide to YMO! Yeah, it took me a year, sorry about that. Life got in the way at first, and then a serious case writer’s block regarding exactly how to cover the solo careers of the YMO members. I ended up changing it up quite a bit from the previous parts of the guide, I hope you all like it.

I still have at least three more sections of that guide planned. The next will cover side-projects, which I suspect won’t take nearly as long as there aren’t that many. After that I’m going to write on the multitudes of YMO associates out there. There are a metric shitload of those, but I have records by almost all of them, so it should’t be all that hard.

If that all goes well, I’ll close out with a special in-depth look at…something cool. Anyways, here’s some great music by Japanese new wave/synthpop artists who aren’t YMO.

Rhetorics & Logic
So I don’t know all that much about these guys other than the fact that they’re highly lauded among the more experimental types in Japan. They’re first album came out in 1980 and they’re still going strong today (with some major line-up changes along the way) they’ve released something like 20 albums I guess.

If their first album (the only one I have) is any indication, they were inspired by Kraftwerk and Talking Heads. So if that sounds good to you (and it fucking should), check it. A few of their newer albums are even on American iTunes, they’re…something.

Break Out Generation
Panic In The City
Of the three bands I’m featuring here tonight, I think Ippu-Do are the least known. They pumped out four studio albums and a live record between 1980 and 1984, but broke up soon after. I don’t think any of their studio albums proper have even been released on CD save for a limited edition box set that goes for a mint now.

As such, I don’t have much by them, just their 1980 sophomore album Normal. It’s good, but its much less of a synthpop record and much more a general “new wave” record, even with some fairly standard rock songs on it. It’s kind of uneven, to be honest, but considering the cult following the group has, I imagine their other records have more interesting stuff on them. I certainly dig the tracks I’m sharing here.

Health Angel
(Love) Story
Art Mania
When P-Model started out they were a good, if relatively by-the-numbers synthpop act. Throughout the years they went through many line-up and stylistic changes, however, eventually covering everything from punk, psychedelic rock, experimental electronica and even prog rock.

So they’re kind of like Yes, but backwards.

Anyways, after finding three of their albums and absolutely loving everything about them, I’ve decided that they’re my new YMO project. Gonna hunt down everything. If it all ends up being great, except a multi-part guide on them on my other blog sometime this year. Give or take.

Somehow you can currently buy two of P-Model’s albums on the US iTunes store and I highly recommend you do as they are fucking incredible.

Cross Continental Divas

January 9th, 2017

Happy new year!

Let’s all work together to make this year less shitty than 2016. I know it’s going to be an uphill battle. But don’t worry, I have Japanese covers of classic TV theme songs to help us get through it.

Jun Togawa
Femme Fatale


Ahem. Sorry. I’m a little excited.

I was taken completely by surprise by the fact that Jun Togawa released a new CD over the holidays, the amazing Watashi Ga Na Kou Hototogisu. It’s a covers album of sorts, featuring the legendary singer performing new versions of some of her best-known tracks. Usually, that’s the kind of thing that bores me to tears, but this record is special. Because the new arrangements were in part composed and performed by the Japanese post-rock/metal band Vampillia, and they really take the tracks to some crazy new places. “Suki Suki Daisuki” in particular is completely reworked, transformed into a heavy and dark nightmare that treat the song’s morbid humor with dire sincerity. It’s amazing.

But I’m not sharing that, because you can buy it on iTunes in America! So you should do that!

So instead, I’m sharing these two fairly rare covers that are on the singer’s three-disc greatest hits and rarities set. Yes, the second one is a cover of the TV theme song.

It’s great.

Eartha Kitt
I Love Men (Dance Remix)
I Love Men (Dance Remix Instrumental)
So I’m listening to this and I immediately think, “well, this must’ve been a hit in the gay clubs back in the day.” And while there’s no “gay club top 10” Billboard chart, there is the Billboard Dance Chart, which is pretty much the same thing. This track made it to number seven on that chart, which pretty much confirmed my suspicions.

I suspect this track was made specifically with gay clubs in mind. The fact that it was produced and co-written by Village People producer Jacques Morali and so-gay-he’s-made-of-rainbows writer/comedian Bruce Vilanch, I think my suspicions are entirely spot-on.

Everything about this track is great, from the by then retro disco production to the “vampire cat lady” vocal styling of the legendary Kitt. A hell of a dance classic that is ripe for rediscovery. It’s songs like this that make me almost want to seriously become a club DJ. Because if I’m not going to drop these banging tracks into the club, then who the hell will?

Happy New Year, let us never speak of 2016 again

December 27th, 2016

I hope you all had a merry little Christmas. I mean, 2016 even managed to make Christmas shit by killing George Michael, but I hope you tried your best. My boyfriend and I went to a special museum showcase of vintage boomboxes! That was pretty fucking dope. Expect a write-up soon!

Gary Numan
Music For Chameleons (Extended Version)
This version of Numan’s single from his 1982 album I, Assassin is approximately 50 seconds longer than the original album version. I feel that, in this case, calling it “extended” is really false advertising. There needs to be another word for it. Maybe “elongated?” No, that sounds stupid. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions from the peanut gallery for this one.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Rydeen (Instrumental) (Remixed by YAMADA)
You’ve Got To Help Yourself (POPbanana trap’mix)
These two remixes are from the vinyl edition of the YMO Remixes Technopolis 2000-00. It’s not the best compilation, as most remixes of YMO tracks are downright awful. However, these two takes, which didn’t make it on the CD version, are light years better than nearly every other track on the album, which is odd. Of course, “Rydeen” is a hard song to fuck up, but the remix of “You’ve Got To Help Yourself” is surprisingly great considering that’s not one of YMO’s best tunes. This version has a really rad bassline and some happy fun beeps that sound like something out of a Willian Orbit track, so I can really get behind it.

Viral Infection Punk Rock and HI-NRG

December 9th, 2016

Apparently my body decided that I wasn’t in bad enough mood and hit me with a brutal viral infection early Tuesday morning which led to a sore throat that day, followed by a horrific fever and violent coughing for about 24 hours. Feeling more human now, but that was kind of the last thing I needed right now. You know how sick I have to be to not even want to listen to records? Pretty damn sick.

Sheena & The Rokkets
Lemon Tea (12″ Version)
So I’m sitting at home and my throat hurts so much that I can barely swallow. As an English teacher who has to speak most of the day, I’ve become more than familiar with many of the remedies of a dry and/or scratchy throat. The number one cure? Lemon tea. I think I’ve probably drank four milk cartons worth of the stuff in the past three days.

That has two side effects.

One, I pee a lot.

Two, I get this song stuck in my head. And I assume I’m one of five people on the planet who immediately think of this song when hearing the words “Lemon tea” and I bet I’m the only non-Japanese person who makes such an immediate association.

I only shared Sheena & The Rokkets once, a little over two years ago, so a quick refresher. They’re another in the long line of YMO associates, but unlike many of the groups that worked with the Japanese techn-pop innovators, they had one foot firmly in punk rock. If you’r interested, check out their greatest hits, it’s a good jumping off point.

Also, this song totally rips off Aerosmith’s version “Train Kept a Rollin” and I like it all the more for that.

Dead Or Alive
Dead Or Alive Nude Medley (The Bevery Hills Convertable CD Edit)
I was really stoked to buy that Sophisticated Boom Box 19-disc box set that features nearly everything Dead Or Alive ever put out. But then word got out that Denon fucked it up royally. How royally? Ten of the 19 discs have errors on them. And these aren’t tiny errors. They put the wrong versions of songs on some of the discs, and two of the discs were accidentally mastered IN MONO. How the hell does that even happen? Like, did anyone even listen to it on headphones before they decided it was good to go? Horrible.

Anyways, when they do get around to shipping out versions with the fixed discs (which I hear will be next year), I’ll pick one up. Until then, here’s a DJ only mix that didn’t make the box set. Grabbed it off a Hi-NRG promo 12″ a few weeks back.

Music For Dangerous Times

November 29th, 2016

I always find it interesting how my own tastes in music (and media as a whole for that matter) change whenever I’m faced with some serious cause for anxiety and stress. I remember a long time ago, after getting dumped particularly hard, I just repeatedly watched High Fidelity up to the point where John Cusack got it on with Lisa Bonet.

We all cope with heartbreak in different ways I suppose.

I’ve actually written about this quite a bit. Right around the time I moved to Tokyo I faced a serious bout of depression and anxiety brought on by becoming “woke” to the urgent nature of the climate change crisis. I found a lot of ways to cope with that, one of them being repeated listening of Yes. I still don’t entirely understand how that worked, but whatever, it did so I’m grateful.

I also wrote about how I’ve turned my back on “serious” horror as of late. As the world has become a far more horrifying place in recent years, turning to media to be horrified seems like an exercise in masochism. I highly suspect that’s why The Walking Dead’s ratings are finally starting to plummet (that and it’s a horrible show).

Now, faced with the terrifying prospect of a Trump presidency, I’m finding my musical and film tastes changing even more in an attempt to shield my psyche from the worst of it. In terms of films, that means it’s nothing but pure comedy and/or escapism in my house for a while. A solid dose of undying optimism doesn’t hurt either. Basically, I’ve been watching a lot of The Muppets.

In terms of music, I don’t think it’s effected me all that much. At least not in in terms of what I’m listening to. It’s more effected me in what I’m not listening to, if that makes any sense at all.

I bought two new albums this month. The Sleigh Bells’ latest, Jessica Rabbit, and the new Metallica album Hardwired to Self Destruct. Both are very, very good records. Of the two, I probably like the Metallica one more. It’s a tight collection of songs, and a good balance of their classic thrash sound, their more epic-guitar solo driven stuff and even some of their more mainstream work. I really recommend it.

I’ve listened to the whole thing twice.

Look, I just can’t deal with Metallica right now. I can’t deal with an album whose title literally could be the title for a thesis about the current global political climate. It’s just too much.

The new Sleigh Bells, on the other hand, has a good mixture of love songs (both of the optimistic and dark varieties), a few good bangers about fucking shit up, and plenty of poetic and abstract tracks whose true meanings are beyond me. Calling it escapism would be doing it a disservice, but it’s allowing me a chance to escape in another world, and I’m jumping at it.

I usually just can’t listen to “feel good” music. It always sounds fake and phony, like the lead singer is trying to convince him or herself that everything is going to be alright and even they don’t believe it. I think the only two “happy” songs that can actually cheer me up are Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and that cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

And “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit The Frog. Because Muppets.

So, instead, right now I’ve been listening to an album that I’m pretty sure is mostly about death. But it’s really pretty.


Virginia Astley
Some Small Hope
A Father
Tree Top Club
I discovered this LP on a fluke, it was stuck in the Shibuya HMV’s YMO section. I thought it was a mistake, until I flipped it and saw on the back cover that Ryuichi Sakamoto produced the album. So I bought it on the spot. Such decisions have proven disastrous in the past (Sakamoto has a penchant for jazz) but it paid off in spades here. Within seconds of dropping the needle on the record I knew I was in for something special.

Every track on this record, which has the amazing title Hope In A Darkened Heart, has an ethereal feeling to it, very reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush or Bat For Lashes. It oozes beauty and a dreamlike quality, with Astley’s childlike delivery serving as constant centerpiece to each song’s wonderfulness.

It’s all so beautiful that it took me at least five listens to realize that almost every single track on this album is about death and/or sadness. The cheery-sounding “Tree Top Club” is a sad journey about the futility of nostalgia. “A Father” sounds like a lovely and twee nursing rhyme, but it’s about abandonment. And the duet with Japan’s David Sylvian, “Some Small Hope,” well, I think that’s literally about death. A lot of this album is about death.

It’s also really, really pretty! Like, the prettiest. Its ridiculous how pretty it is. And it does feel like a dream. It takes me away to another place, a better one (despite all the death). Sakamoto’s production is top-notch on this, it’s minimal and electronic, but its still organic and breaths life throughout. And the relative lack of instrumentation make Astley’s unreal voice stand out even more. Brilliant all around.

So of course it’s out of print. Even in Japan, the only place where it was apparently popular at all, it’s out of print. And while in the past that would mean I would share the record in its entirety, I’m trying to cut down on that. Because, I really believe damn near everything goes back into print eventually, and I would hate to steal some sales from an artist like this, who desperately deserves them.

Instead, here are a few highlights. If you enjoy, do your best to track the album down. Maybe even pay for it!

And don’t focus too much on albums about death, even if they are really pretty. Listen to some disco or something. I recommend Sylvester.

Fantasia Stupidia

November 27th, 2016

How’s everyone doing?

After three weeks of excessive drinking (not non-stop, just on my days off) I’ve decided I need to stop drowning my sorrows and anxieties in booze and try to find a more healthy coping mechanism. For now, that’s buying obscure game music on vinyl. It’s working out for my liver okay, but my wallet is a little pissed.

Additionally, stupid music has been a lifesaver during this time of strife. So to the person who shared the YouTube links of the Hi-NRG versions of “Bette Davis Eyes” in the comments section of my last post, I say thank you. Don’t suppose you have Hi-NRG versions of “Rainbow Connection?”

Moving on, I updated the massive Tokyo record store guide! Now it’s even bigger. A new store opened up in Shinjuku that I thought was worth incorporating because it’s damn good. If you find yourself in Tokyo anytime soon you must make your way to the Shinjuku HMV, the place is a palace of vinyl.

Now let’s dance.

Carmen Electra
Fantasia Erotica (Indecent Proposal Mix) (Radio Edit)
Fantasia Erotica (Erotic Groove Mix)
Fantasia Erotica (Sex Drive Dub)
Fantasia Erotica (Xtra Sex Dub)
Fantasia Erotica (He Dances Instead)
Fantasia Erotica (Double Deep House Mix)
Let me just get this out of the way right now, for those who are wondering why the hell I’m sharing Carmen Electra remixes; this song was produced by Prince.

Does it make sense now?

Oh but don’t worry, your initial thought upon seeing Carmen Electra’s name was correct, this song is quite awful. Even Prince had his fair share of misses. I don’t think these tracks are going to get re-issued via some Prince Vault special edition re-release campaign anytime soon.

Of course, I hope they do. No matter how bad the song is, I hope that eventually everything that Prince ever put his hand on is made available, in-print and easy to purchase either digitally or physically. Because that’s how music should be.

But I hope that they get to re-releasing The Family album before they dig this bad boy up again. This song has the line, “Oh, speak American? No speak Carmanese!”

What the fuck does that even mean? Oi.

Donna Summer
I Feel Love (Mega Mix)
I Feel Love (Edit Mix)
I’m kind of bending my “never share legally available music” rule tonight, because while you can get at least one of these mixes on a legally available CD, it sure as hell isn’t easy.

For those wondering, these are two of the “I Feel Love” mixes that were remixed by the legendary Patrick Cowley, the man who brought us Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and singled-handedly invented Hi-NRG disco.

You can get the “Mega Mix” on at least two compilations. One is the two-disc edition of Donna Summer’s greatest hits album The Journey, and other on a hard-to-find remix compilation series that I have forgotten the name of. Regardless, you can’t buy it on Amazon or iTunes digitally, and you sure as hell ain’t going to find it at your local record store (if you still have one of those, I keep forgetting that most people live in cities that aren’t Tokyo) so I don’t feel too bad for sharing it. Also, I’m fairly certain that the version on The Journey is a straight-up vinyl rip. Mine sounds better (in my opinion).

As for the “Edit Mix,” shit, I don’t know where the hell you can find that. I’m sure it’s been on CD at some point, but that point was probably a long time ago, so I feel safe in sharing it now. I actually like that version a bit more than the full “Mega Mix.” Fifteen minutes of sequencers is a bit much, y’know?

Depeche Mode
I Feel Loved (Danny Tenaglia’s Labor of Love Radio Edit)
I just really wanted to share a remix of “I Feel Love” and “I Feel Loved” in the same post and then have an internal debate about the grammatical differences between the two. These are the kind of things that English teachers think about. It’s a sickness, really.

And for those keeping count at home, it has been approximately 13 months since the last time I posted Depeche Mode.

Here are some songs that make me happy

November 20th, 2016

Because that’s what I need right now.

Yuko Sakaitsukasa – Computer Obaachan
Cosmic Invention – Computer Obaachan
This song is about a grandmother who is a computer. Literally. It was written by Ryuicihi Sakamoto because, I assume, he was like “fuck it, I can make stupid fucking pop music as good as the next guy.”

I’m not going to say it’s the greatest song ever written in the history of the world, but I’m not going to not say it either.

I don’t know which one of these versions came first, but it doesn’t really matter. Both are amazing. I prefer the Sakaitsukasa take on it though just because it’s a bit more fast-paced and frantic.

If you want more “Computer Obaachan” in your life, and why the fuck wouldn’t you, there’s this video of the song being performed with English subtitles. And there’s this version by Polysics, which is probably my favorite because it sounds like it was performed by chipmunks on meth.

Jan Hammer
Miami Vice Theme (Extended Remix)
Miami Vice Theme (Remix)
In case you haven’t figured it out already, with my repeated posts featuring covers of the themes to Airwolf and Knight Rider, synthesizer-heavy TV theme songs from the 1980s are like opiates to me. And now, with me posting these remixes, I think I’ve hit the holy trinity of electronic 80s TV theme music tunes. If anyone out there wants to share some lesser-known 80s theme tunes that they think are rad, please do so in the comments. Just don’t post the theme to Streethawk, I did that years ago. I’m a trendesetter like that.

Quantize (Feautring Jackie Lowry)
Because The Night (Extended)

*frantically combs through my iTunes library for a funny yet oddly appropriate suggestion*

…”Bette Davis Eyes!”

Get on it people. The world needs you.

The Strangest Of Days

November 18th, 2016


A few weeks/months ago I said on Twitter that if Trump won I might quit writing this blog. Just because I didn’t know if I’d have the motivation to keep it going, living in a world that would readily elect a fascist conman to the world’s most powerful position really puts a damper on my desire to write about music.

Well, I guess the good news is that I’m reneging on that thought. In times of extreme strife, writing is one of the only things that keeps me remotely sane. So unless I want to plunge headfirst into depression and/or insanity, I best keep this thing going.

Right now a lot of people are talking about the importance of diversions and distractions. Even in the harshest of times, people need to escape with something that gives them joy. For example, I was exceptionally happy that the Giant Bomb guys avoided politics with their podcast this week. I needed some stupid laughs about video games.

But, I don’t know if I can do that. As long time readers of this blog know, I write what I feel, especially when what I feel makes me angry. This was especially true a few years back, when this blog could’ve been more accurately titled “Angry Ramblings and Synthpop.” But those were stupid little posts about how much I hate the VMAs or the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Rambling off a few hundred words about a pop culture event that makes you angry isn’t exactly the same as crafting an in-depth and well-researched essay on the dangers of fascism.

What I’m basically saying is that I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do right now. Probably a little bit of everything. So if you were hoping this blog would be a respite away from the horrible world we find ourselves in, sorry that’s not going to happen. And at the same time, if you wanted me to rebrand this site as an anarcho-punk blog showcasing protest music and anti-fascist action, sorry that probably won’t happen either.

If for nothing other than the fact that most anarcho-punk sucks.

Here are some songs from a movie about a future I wish we had.

Peter Gabriel and Deep Forest
While The Earth Sleeps (Album Version)
While The Earth Sleeps (Long Version)
The “album” from which the album version comes from is the soundtrack to the film Strange Days, an absolute masterpiece of 90s cinema that is 100% required viewing in the world we live in today. Want to see a movie that predicts by about 20 years the Black Lives Matter movement, smartphone video culture, and the struggles of living in a thinly veiled fascist society? Check out Strange Days. You also get to see Angela Bassett beat the fucking shit out of people. And that’s just cool.

Anyways I was browsing a record store in Yokohama today and I came across a single for said song, which also includes the long version. I had no idea there was a long version of this song, so hey, nice surprise. The long version is basically just an extra two minutes of vocalizing by Peter Gabriel, but there are worse ways to make a song longer so I’m not really going to complain about it. But I really bought the single for the next track.

Juliette Lewis
Rid Of Me
Strange Days is a sci-fi neo-noir, and you can’t have a noir with a femme fatale. In the case of Strange Days, the femme fatale is played by Juliette Lewis, who plays an indie-rocker named Eve. For some reason, all the songs Eve sings are PJ Harvey cover tunes. I guess someone involved in the production of the film really dug PJ Harvey. The soundtrack has Lewis’ cover of “Hardly Wait,” which is featured prominently in the film. The other PJ Harvey cover is this tune, which didn’t make it onto the soundtrack proper. I always figured it wasn’t even recorded in full so imagine my surprise when I discovered it today. It’s a really great cover of a fantastic song.

And if you’re chuckling at the idea of Juliette Lewis singing, stop it, her voice has an angry intensity that serves the PJ Harvey track well. Listen to her actual albums of original material sometime, they’re not bad.