Midnight Album Feature – Earth, Sun, Moon


Howdy. Every Friday night at 9pm I do a show on KEXP called Nite Life. And at the stroke of 12 I do the Midnight Album Feature, bringing you tracks and stories from one of the world’s greatest albums. This week’s Midnight Album Feature is Love and Rockets‘ third album, Earth, Sun, Moon. It was released way back in 1987. This album was given to me by a close friend when I went to UC Berkeley. My friend (a guy) Kim had grown up in California, and I had grown up in Pennsylvania. So while he was exposed to many different kinds of artists I had mostly only heard classic rock and bluegrass. My musical knowledge at age 20 was wanting. And when I heard all of Kim’s music I was hooked.

His extensive collection had artists like Jesus and Mary Chain, Love and Rockets, David Bowie. Throwing Muses and the Pixies. And all through college I had friends who turned me onto bands, but Kim was the main inspiration. Without him I would probably not have dedicated my life to alternative music. I would probably not be a DJ and producer at KEXP. And I probably would not live in this lovely place called Seattle.

It’s so interesting to me how one person can make such a huge impact on your life. How that one turn in the road can change everything. This album Earth Sun Moon by Love and Rockets reminds me of that turn in the road. It’s very acoustic (earthy) , it’s also very electric (edgy), it’s psychedelic (trippy) , it’s philosophical (brainy) and it always grounds me, no matter what’s going on in my life. This album definitely brings me back to center.

Love and Rockets were a band that formed out of the ashes of the goth rock group Bauhaus, and they formed in 1985 with Daniel Ash on guitar and saxophone and vocals; David J on bass and vocals and Kevin Haskins on drums and synthesizer. It’s definitely a more psychedelic and warmer sound than the Bauhaus stuff. It doesn’t have that “made in a cave as death is impending” feel that Bauhaus has. It’s definitely more a propulsion into the future from the past. I love the lyrics on this album. The first track “Mirror People” has the part that says “Time goes so slow when you';re stuck to me.” So poetic and romantic and beautiful, with these existential, cynical, optimistic lyrics and a sexy driving beat. “No New Tale To Tell” has excellent lyrics as well. I’m not super fond of the chorus in this song, how they sort of yell it out, but the rest of the song makes up for it. The lyrics “You cannot go against nature, Because when you do…go against nature, it’s part of nature too.” This was the big hit from the album. Love the start of the video (what’s that they’re spilling on the ground??) and you gotta love the umbrella and hat.

This album is so good all the way through. It has lyrics that are obviously very personal but also so well-written, so poetically done. I feel so connected to this band because one, they did set me on my path to loving alternative music and music that never really hits the mainstream; and two, this album also stands for my love of sound effects. As a radio producer I make things out of vocals and music and sound effects. I’m still hoping that someday we’ll get one of those cool sound effect boards where you can press the buttons and you hear a horse neighing, and glass breaking and all kinds of crazy noises. The song “Lazy” is not a usual one for Love and Rockets. It’s bluesy, jazzy and ends with this rhythmic glass breaking sound. I always turn that part up. I love that. I want to be the
person that makes those sound effects, that gets paid to break stuff. If you have a job opening like that, call me.

Join me this Friday night for Nite Life at 9pm and the Midnight Album Feature at 12 am. And this week’s Midnight Album Feature shines the spotlight on Scottish electronic band Boards of Canada and their trippy headphone-friendly masterpiece Campfire Headphase.

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  1. Dann
    Posted November 28, 2007 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree, this is one of my favorite albums as well and reminds me of college and especially one of my friends who played this non-stop. My favorite tracks are The Light and Waiting for the Flood

    thanks for bringing back this great album, I wish I heard your show last Friday

  2. Julian Palacios
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    This album is special. I used to listen to it on the train as a young, pale student. Definitely a centering, holistic sort of album. I’ve never heard anything quite like it and wonder why no one tried anything similar. Like ‘Victorialand’ by the Cocteau Twins, its rooted in the acousti guitar, though one wouldn’t think so. Love & Rockets made it after the LSD-fuelled intensity of album’s like Express. Even Peter Murphy said it was his favourite of theirs.

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