Canción Mixteca

Playing around with the Harry Dean Stanton monologue from Paris, Texas when I was putting yesterday’s Isolation Mix together last week caused me to play the entire soundtrack through a few times. It’s not a very long album, only ten tracks and if it wasn’t for ‘I Knew These People…’ which clocks in at over eight minutes it would be much shorter. Ry Cooder’s guitar playing, all slide guitar, delicate finger picking, reverb and atmosphere, perfectly matches the moods and look of the film- the dust of the desert, the longing of the characters, the melancholy and loss of Travis and Jane. Ry Cooder said in 2018 that director Wim Wenders caught the ambience of the south west of the USA with the use of ambient microphones which picked up the sound of the desert and the wind, which he discovered is in E♭. So for the soundtrack they tuned all the instruments to E♭. That’s the kind of detail I like, tuning your guitar to the key of the wind.

This song, Canción Mixteca, is ne of the highlights of the soundtrack and is little more than Ry Cooder’s echo laden guitar, some piano and Harry Dean Stanton singing. The song is a Mexican folk song, written between 1912 and 1915 by Jose Lopez Alvarez. He wrote it in Mexico City suffering from homesickness for Oaxaca, his home. Since then it has been adopted by many Mexican exiles who long for their hometown.

‘So far am I from the land where I was born!
Immense nostalgia invades my thoughts,
and, to see myself, as lone and dismal as leaf on the wind,
I would that I’d weep ‒ I would that I’d die ‒ out of sorrow!
O land of sunshine! I sigh for‐to see you.
Now that, far from you, I live without light ‒ without love.
And, to see myself, as lone and dismal as leaf on the wind,
I would that I’d weep ‒ I would that I’d die ‒ out of sorrow!’

Canción Mixteca


Isolation Mix Five

Five weeks into these isolation mixes already- doesn’t time fly when you’re socially restricted? There is a higher BPM count on this mix but also some folky darkness and post punk dread from Nick Drake and A Certain Ratio respectively, some dance grooves from Ellis Island Sound and Scott Fraser, the ultra Balearic vibes of Richard Norris’ Time And Space Machine remix of A Mountain Of One, some 1990 class from World Unite when Creation Records went all E’d up and dancey, Andrew Weatherall remixing Moby and Wayne Coyne in epic style, half of The Clash with Frank Ocean and Diplo plus the West Los Angeles Childrens’ Choir (brought to you in association with Converse) from 2014 and a very long Seahawks remix of Tim Burgess, some headspinning ambient noise set against Harry Dean Stanton’s monologue from Paris, Texas. ‘Yep, I know that feeling’.


Nick Drake: ‘Cello Song

A Certain Ratio: Winter Hill

Ellis Island Sound: Intro, Airborne, Travelling (Scott Fraser Remix)

A Mountain Of One: Ride (The Time And Space Machine Remix)

World Unite: World Unite

Moby Ft. Wayne Coyne: Another Perfect Life (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Diplo: Hero

Tim Burgess: A Gain// Stoned Alone Again Or (Seahawks Remix) v Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and Ry Cooder: I Knew These Two People, Paris Texas soundtrack

Why Don’t You Play Us A Tune Pal?

Nicolas Roeg has died aged 90. The films he made in the 1970s and 80s were the type of films you read references to and in those days where things were scarcer you hoped they’d eventually be shown late at night on BBC2 (with a VHS cassette close by). Performance is a counter-cultrue classic, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and James Fox all going slowly mad in a big house in Notting Hill Gate (and when it was being made Keith Richards waiting in his car outside the set, paranoid about what Jagger and Pallenberg might be up to). The soundtrack was legendary too and this (with my surname too, which added to it for me) is a genuinely great Jagger vocal with slide guitar from Ry Cooder…

Memo From Turner (Alternate Version)

Mick Jones paid tribute to Roeg, his films and especially Performance in Big Audio Dynamite’s 1985 single E=MC2, peppered with dialogue from the film and a verse about taking a trip in Powis Square with a pop star who dyed his hair, mobsters, gangland slayings and insanity Bohemian style. The opening verse is about Walkabout (1971) and the 3rd verse is about The Man Who Fell To Earth, another late night, video tape film that had the capacity to freak the viewer out.


The chorus took me years to fully work out and I’d sung all kinds of words along to it but I think it goes…

‘Ritual ideas, relativity
Holy buildings, no people prophesy
Time slide, place to hide, nudge reality
Foresight, minds wide, magic imagery oh ho’.

Happy Mondays 1988 masterpiece Bummed was also Roeg and Performance inspired with at least 3 songs referencing the film. Mad Cyril includes dialogue from it including the line that opens the song ‘We’ve been courteous’. The Mondays played it on Granada TV for Wilson’s The Other Side Of Midnight show, a band at their peak…