SNOG – “Old Atlantis” (1999)

This was it, this was the song. The first dance at our wedding, but also one of the first songs I danced to my with my future wife. I convinced a DJ friend of mine at the club, while I was with my girlfriend/future betrothed frequented to play it, despite it being a total floor-killer. We slow-danced, entangled together. I felt we were alone, luxuriating in the club’s limelight.

It was magical.

You can’t ask for a better moment than that.

(Yes, I realize that we were dancing to a nihilistic anti-capitalism song in a queer club that didn’t prioritize cleanliness, and that was perfect for us.)

“Old Atlantis” — via the album Third Mall From the Sun — is absolute bittersweet melancholy with amazing vivid imagery. The build is incredible; it’s an intensely emotional song. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, and I doubt I ever will again. It’s a singular work, something that works with the cadence of a quintessential prom song but also feels like it shoulders the weight of the outside world.

I cannot emphasize how much this song means to me or the feelings it evokes in me. The aural punctuation — the fire — in the latter third of the song devastates me every time. You’re encircled in an audio attack while the two of you are holding each other tightly, protecting each other through the aural maelstrom. It’s exhilarating, and then the clocks descend and the house lights flicker awake, and you can let loose your breath.

For as sensitive as this song is, Thrussell himself? Not so sensitive when initially dealing with fans. SNOG performed at a tiny-ass club just a stone throw away from us in Chicago many years later, and while buying merch, my wife and I gushed to him as to how much “Old Atlantis” meant to us, how much we loved the song, how we knew immediately that it would be our first dance for our wedding, and how formative his work was for us. He essentially hand-waved us away, which hurt, but we rolled with it because we knew this kind of shit can be tiring when you’re on the road! One of these days I’ll recount our times as bookies.

However, his partner later elbowed him into seeking us out before the show and he did apologize and thanked us for our kind words, which meant the world to us. Also, he is a consummate performer, and the show was incredible.

It’s not often you get to meet the artists who move you, who create indelible life moments, much less get to personally interact with them and, while that experience was a bit of a rollercoaster, it’s a memory I’ll always cherish, although not as much as our first dance.

“Let’s do it. You and me. Let’s do it. Together. Let’s. Burn it. All. Down. Again.”

I’ll close this out by noting that one of the most often exclamations I hear from folks are: “You used to be a DJ?!” I don’t know why, because hasn’t everyone considered themselves a DJ at some point in their life? (That said, unlike most, I was paid for the privilege.) Anyway, every time I’m like, just wait until you find out my wife and I had our own club night for years, and that we both helped to set up a collective to book underrated electronic bands. We’ve done a lot! We spent our twenties exactly how you should: by throwing around money you don’t have and shouldn’t be spending on efforts that very few folks will appreciate but will be extraordinarily memorable for those who do attend!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that SNOG wasn’t a major impetus for that; I wasn’t exaggerating when I said SNOG was a formative work for us. We earnestly and honestly wanted to bring the same feeling we had with “Old Atlantis” to others, and we did all that we could to do so.

SNOG – “Cheerful Hypocrisy” (2015)

While SNOG can compose devastating works — see “The Ballad” and “Old Atlantis” — “Cheerful Hypocrisy” from the album “Compliance” aurally bounces. It’s pure bubblegum until the lyrics pop.

While the songwriting is quite progressive, although it does contain satirical use of slurs that I’m not too keen on, I’m not sure I can say the same for the video, which seems like a bit too much fetish well-wishing.

I’ll be honest: Despite the obvious STARSHIP TROOPERS riffs, I don’t love some of the phrasing, and I hate some of the lazy ALICE IN WONDERLAND tropes, but it’s still one hell of a song. Just be glad I didn’t extoll the song where he’s basically being spanked for four minutes straight.


SNOG – “The Ballad” (1997)

You may have noted that all of these music-themed weeks have included at least one spaghetti western-themed work, and this week is no different.

“The Ballad”, from his album (aptly named) Buy Me… I’ll Change Your Life – is certainly the most melancholy track, and could easily be slipped into any western. It’s expertly executed, and the depth of his voice only exacerbates that. It’s a brilliantly evocative work that made me realize that Thrussell was more than just a musical engineer.

“When the working day is done, I refuse to belong to anyone.”

SNOG – “Corporate Slave” (1992)

I first heard this song as a young teenager, well before I had any knowledge of the Paddy Chayefsky-penned film NETWORK that Thrussell liberally samples from, and it lit a fire in young socialist me.

From his album Remote Control, lyrically, it’s soothingly provocative and musically it has a confident swagger that you don’t hear much with political musical screeds. It’s at odds with itself, which makes sense given the push-and-pull of capitalism.

This is, sadly, more relevant than ever, although a number of the corporate names have changed over the years.

SNOG – HOORAY!! (1998)

What sounds like a peppy electro song is a surprisingly dour and nihilistic track, which is SNOG in a nutshell. Nonetheless, it’s immaculately constructed and perfect to sway to.

(I’ll note that there’s an entire remix EP of the song, which is how I’m justifying posting this as well as “The Ballad”, both of which are on “Buy Me… I’ll Change Your Life.”)

“Hurry on madness. Hurry on, disease. Hurry on insanity. Hurry on, please.”


If you consume any modern media, you’ve probably heard Jim Thirlwell’s work, even if you don’t recognize the name. He does a litany of orchestrations, most notably for THE VENTURE BROS. [R.I.P.]

He’s best known for a cacophony of minor chords, idiosyncratic programming, brassy elements, and emotional lyricism.

He has an amazingly rich and inventive back-catalog that extends back several decades and has consistently impressed and influenced me over the years.

I could spend an entire year writing about his works, but instead I’m cherry-picking from a handful of select albums.

I’ll note that I’ll indulge Thirlwell’s love of four-character verbs, even if that means dropping a few vowels and swapping in nouns.

So, starting Monday, welcome to “FOETUS ‘WEEK’”!

JUNO REACTOR – “Pistolero” [Mr. Black] (2013)

This might as well be called the “Coachella remix”. It’s all about hedonism, self-promotion, the worst parts of club culture, exploitation of others, and patched together by stock footage. It’s basically THE WHITE LOTUS: the music video — without repercussions, however, so many reverberations — but damn, it still bangs. Maybe listen to it while viewing other browser tabs.

Gotta admit: I absolutely love the person throwing fingers in a NASA outfit.

JUNO REACTOR – “Pistolero” [Sub6] (2012)

I have mentioned this in the past, but my body is stupidly physical. “I want to be thrown around.”

It’s hedonistic and I’m not proud of it but that’s what fucking techno is all about and this remix is the most physical of all of them. The beats just surround you and you succumb to them.

Oddly, I didn’t discover this mix until recently, but this fucking remix rips.