The specialist carefully manipulated the waldoes linked to the robotic arms in the front of the submersible. The pilot peered out of the top dome, the glare of the spotlights illuminating the complex structure of the oil rig but the visibility of this part of the Gulf of Mexico not allowing much to be seen past the first couple tangles of girders. A single wire tethered the craft to the surface, its sole purpose safely delivering the radio signal carrying its obscure music and coded instructions past fathoms of seawater. The robot arms clasped the watertight bale of Oaxacan tamales tightly. The mission was only half over.
The driver felt the leads tremble under their hands. The navigator clung resolutely to the sled, keeping an eye on the white horizon of the Wexford hills as they put some miles between themselves and the Monongahela. The only sound besides the rushing skids on the snow and the panting of the dogs was a faint crackle of song leaking from the driver’s earpiece. The heist had been a success; behind them, a net filled with silver Mylar balloons trailed and bobbed in the generated midnight wind.
I’m not going to deny the synesthetic appeal of songs with words about pictures, but there is something additionally poignant about the mood created that seems to stand out. The images called forth serve a variety of purposes, from the reminiscent to the hedonistic, but just like your family album, the whole thing works out because it has to.
The thin Nebraska ice crackled ominously as one of the occupants of the well-appointed tent leaned back on their recliner. They peered at their line, descending into the near-freezing water and vibrating sympathetically to the sounds of the radio. The other ice-fisher threw a log on the fire, pausing in recognition at the song before smiling and turning it up.
The vessel floated silently across the Mississippi, as silently as a hovercraft possibly could, which was not very silently at all. The two occupants of the walnut-paneled bridge listened intently to the sounds of the radio above the drone of the fans, one of them spinning the wheel with wild abandon, the other plotting an imaginary course over river and land using a nubby pencil and printed map. The sextant lay unused, for it was, after all, night.
It was a jam-packed evening, and we even got to fit in a request for Mission of Burma for Generoso and Lily, listening over the satcom from their armored zeppelin thrumming over the Iowa cornfields. Also: the world needs more Franklin Bruno.
The usual random process of Lacking Selection has yielded a playlist that will trigger recognition in Nick Lowe fans, without actually playing any Nick Lowe. It also yielded a set in the second hour that went from “Fantastic” to “Impossible”.
Snow was expected, but never showed up. Suits me fine. Surprisingly, this is the third episode of 2019, and I’m warming up to the hectic weekly pace. Thanks to Mark, Generoso, Lily, and Robin for tuning in and triumphing over the depths of midwinter midnight.
It’s a slack time for new releases, but The Lacking Organization still has a tremendous backlog of excellent music from 2018 to work through. Gratitude to tonight’s participants, ranging from Charley attending CES in Las Vegas to Sean fiddling with the dial and wondering if he got the right station.