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Tortoise – Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)

March 18, 2020

[Album 740/1001]

This album would make an excellent movie score.

As a stand-alone album, I’m not sure I was all that engaged.

Which, like most things, says more about me than the artist.

The timing probably wasn’t fair for Tortoise: coming off of a few albums where I was uncharacteristically interested in the lyrics (Drive By Truckers / Common / Ms. Dynamite / Dizzee Rascal), I just wasn’t really in the mood for an instrumental selection.220px-Millions_Now_Living_Will_Never_Die_-_Tortoise

But I think that if Millions Now Living Will Never Die was paired with some interesting visuals/dialogue, it would work magnificently (the same could not be said for Drive By Truckers / Common / Ms. Dynamite / especially the fast-paced Dizzee Rascal, as their thought-provoking lyrics would be competing for attention).

The closing track here, Along the Banks of Rivers, would be especially effective in the closing scene of a film.

Perhaps rivaled only by Portishead’s Glory Box when it comes to film-closing-scene-aptness, the guitar line feels tailor-made for a last-minute big reveal (like the true identity of Keyser Söze in The Usual Suspects).

Add some voice-over narration that wraps up with the closing note (at 5:39).

Then let the percussion rattle / fade out blend into the closing credits.

To paraphrase Keyser, and like that, (the on-screen character)’s gone.

The scene practically writes itself!


Verbalize the Positive

It’s encouraging when a crisis can somehow bring out the best in people.

Cheers to all you humans showing kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic!

From → 1990s

  1. You haven’t covered Slint’s Spiderland yet, right? The two bands are connected.

    My Canadian neighbour just came over to check on me.

    • I have not gotten to Slint’s Spiderland yet – I remember enjoying a line from your review about the absence of melodies. And how Canadian of them!

  2. One of my very favourite LPs, this one. Djed is amazing!

  3. This won’t come as shock to you Geoff but I have never heard of this act. Thanks to you though I have as I clicked the video posted and it’s amazing how the first 10 seconds can set the vibe of the tune.
    Great stuff and keep safe to you, Wendy and the Kids.

    • Cheers Deke – and agreed, it didn’t take these folks long to create an atmosphere. It also made me want to watch the usual suspects again!
      Hope you & the Williamson ladies are well

      • We are all hanging in. Went back to work and making a go of it. It’s a day to day thing in the Health Care field Geoff as you know.

      • The health care field is doing amazing work – thanks for all you do, Deke!

      • Thanks Geoff. Its a total team effort really. Hopefully people buy into the program and follow protocol.

  4. jprobichaud permalink

    I have a hard time getting into instrumental bands myself. Maybe it’s because it’s hard to sing along with in the shower.

  5. This was my first Tortoise album. Still love it. Possibly my favourite.
    They were great live too.

    • I have a feeling if I revisit this in a different listening context, I might adore it.
      For some reason, I’m craving meaningful lyrics lately!

      • Fair enough too. I’ve long been an instrumental kind of guy.
        Tortoise are very interesting. Try “It’s All Around You”.

  6. Instrumentals are tricky. A whole album’s worth is trickier.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised though if one day this becomes a favourite – I’m just not in an instrumental zone these days!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1996 | 1001albumsin10years

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