Thursday, October 04, 2007

7 Means of Movement: Interlude 6, Helicopters

Gambell Village Eskimo Singers, Rise Up Helicopter, Like a Bird.
XTC, Helicopter.
Kumiko Ishizaka (Pink Capsule), Helicopter.
John Holt, Police in Helicopter.
The Handsome Family, When That Helicopter Comes.
Swell Maps, The Helicopter Spies.
Deep Blue, The Helicopter Tune.
Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Isle of View (Music For Helicopter Pilots).

An Army helicopter
came nosing around and in.
He could see two men inside it,
but they never spotted him.

Elizabeth Bishop, "The Burglar of Babylon."

Extra credit question (20 points).

A helicopter is to an airplane as:

a) a motorcycle is to a car.
b) a catamaran is to a steamship.
c) John the Baptist is to St. Basil.
d) a steamroller is to a Zamboni.
e) the Shim Sham Shimmy is to the Maxie Ford.
f) John Tyler is to Georgy Malenkov.
g) The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates are to the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
h) bankruptcy is to death.

The helicopter in song:

"Rise Up Helicopter, Like a Bird" is an Eskimo song, found on the 1966 Folkways LP Eskimo Songs from Alaska. The village of Gambell is on the northwestern tip of St. Lawrence Island, and is close enough to Russia that one could take a helicopter to go visit whichever poor souls are exiled in places like Anadyr. "Rise Up Helicopter" was recorded in Gambell in August 1961.

Helicopter joys: XTC's "Helicopter" is off 1979's Drums and Wires, while Pink Capsule (a Japanese studio band consisting of the singer Kumiko Ishizaka and the guitarist Asaki, and which primarily does video-game soundtracks, I believe) recorded their "Helicopter" in 2003--an utterly incomprehensible video is here.

Helicopter paranoia: John Holt's threat to burn the cane fields if the cops don't stop spying on his herb planting is from 1983, and is on Definitive Collection; Swell Maps' "Helicopter Spies" is from 1980's Jane From Occupied Europe; and The Handsome Family's helicopter forebodings can be found on In the Air, from 2000.

Helicopter serenity: Deep Blue's "Helicopter Tune" was released in 1993, on several compilations including Jungle Rewind; and the Penguin Cafe Orchestra's music for helicopter pilots (who desperately need their own music) is from 1984's Broadcasting From Home.

An Advertisement

For any readers in Western Massachusetts who happen to be writers/editors/researchers etc., and who also happen to be in need of a quiet space to work, come check out The Writers' Mill, in Northampton, MA. I can attest to the Mill's charms, as I work there regularly.

An open house is on Saturday 13 October, from 2 pm to 6 pm. Feel free to stop by.

No comments: