Guest playlist: Nathan Larson

This week, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we continue our series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. (Check back late afternoons: we’ll probably be posting two a day.) Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from author/musician Nathan Larson, who began his artistic life in the DC hardcore punk scene, playing in bands such as Swiz and eventually serving as lead guitarist in Shudder To Think. He relocated to NYC in 1989. Today he is best known as a film composer, having scored upwards of 30 films, including Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Woodsman.
His debut novel
The Dewey Decimal System was released May 2011 on Akashic Press. Nathan lives in Harlem with his wife Nina Persson and their son Nils. Follow him on Twitter at @natoism.

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New York jams i love

To state the very obvious NYC is nothing if not a seething mashup, a massive cross-pollination, inter-bred uptown-downtown or across oceans. This is well expressed musically :

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA – PLANET ROCK

The South Bronx/ Dusseldorf connection that kicked off, oh, just pretty much everything we understand as modern pop music

ROLLING STONES – SHATTERED

Hey bloated/ rail skinny rock star tax exiles from the UK! You too can make one of the ultimate NYC records.

Fun fact: two major unifying factors of all great NY platters: heroin n’ hookers!

SWANS – A SCREW (HOLY MONEY)

No city crafted musical noise better than our City. Swans were one my favorite live bands ever, they just kicked you repeatedly in the chest and you loved it.

LIQUID LIQUID – CAVERN

which folks will recognize as the basis for WHITE LINES….I don’t know the story behind how Grandmaster Flash got a hold of this obscuro record but I’m sure it’s fascinating and is one fine example of inter-breeding.

TRIBE CALLED QUEST – CAN I KICK IT

ok take Queens finest, add that Lou Reed classic + you have an amazing new track that still sounds fresh as hell.

WU TANG CLAN – “C.R.E.A.M.”

Kung Fu films + super raw hip hop, an all-boroughs crew of instant superstars…when this dropped i was fucking SCARED of these guys and still am. BIG BABY JESUS 4EVAH

JAMES CHANCE AND THE CONTORTIONS – I CAN’T STAND MYSELF

My nominee for induction in the R + R Hall of Fame, if I was God. Live At the Apollo played downtown by very white dudes with badass white skronky soul.

BLONDIE – HEART OF GLASS

RAPTURE would have been more in keeping with the theme here, Fab 5 Fred wandering around in there, but this track contains multitudes.

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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