Tuesday, 12 April 2011


We've had a lot of rain over the past few days, so much in fact that our bedroom flooded. Somehow a rock or piece of rubble lodged itself in the drainpipe, causing the gutters to fill and water to seep in through the roof. It also seems our house may be located on a sinkhole, as the front door has significantly shifted and now can't be opened, same with our bedroom door, and walls are looking crooked.

Rain is the finest time to listen to many types of music, and has inspired some fine songs. Here's a favourite, New Orleans' Soul Queen Irma Thomas' "It's Raining". She's in Melbourne this weekend!

Might be best heard in this context, one of the finest scenes in Jim Jarmusch's career filled with them - Roberto Benigni dancing with his real-life partner in the closing moments of Down by Law:

From a similar time and space, the combination here of childish xylophone "raindrop" plinks, tacky throwaway lyrics and all of Orbison's usual pre-Lynchian psychodrama - operatic wail, chorus of angels, strings, sax - make for a distinctly odd and unsettling song. Not one of his more well known tunes but deserving of being more so:

The Ronettes did as countless future wishy-washy pseudo-ambient bedroom producers and incorporated field recordings of rain and thunder in their "Walking in the Rain":

"It's more than woe begotten grey skies now":

Heck, Tom Waits has loads of songs about rain. Here's a promo for his Rain Dogs album:

... and a far from wishy-washy ambient album featuring rain sounds, "Atta" by Icelandic producer Yagya. From his album Rigning, Icelandic for "raining", I first heard him back in 1999 when he made The Rhythm of Snow for Force Inc. Guess he likes wintry weather:

Approaching Youtube overload, but will do another rain post and look solely at rainy ambient, some other time...

1 comment:

  1. One of my favourite rain tracks is from the Jesus and Mary Chain (and not Happy When it Rains as good as that is...). It is a bit hard to pin point as it turns up at the end of different tracks on different compilations, like Barbed Wire Kisses, but is essentially some heavy rain fall with some waves of feedback dripping from inside a room seemingly far away. Only a minute long, but very evocative. Yagya is great and such a good use of the rain in this album to create that dub techno trademark high end wash.