Suzanne Vega sings Blood Makes Noise, from her fourth and most unorthodox studio album 99.9Fº. Killer bassline, me thinks.
Everytime we come across one of her songs, my father always calls out her name with such excitement, so I guess there really is something special about her music. It is usually so simple, but obviously good, soulful.
To me, it is an example of music that could be easily marketable, and retain a qualitative standard. Still, you hardly ever pick up good music on the generalist radio stations around here… we are doomed.
Mind the lyrics.
I’d like to help you doctor Yes I really really would But the din in my head It’s too much and it’s no good I’m standing in a windy tunnel Shouting through the roar And I’d like to give the information You’re asking for
But blood makes noise It’s a ringing in my ear Blood makes noise And I can’t really hear you In the thickening of fear
I think that you might want to know The details and the facts But there’s something in my blood Denies the memory of the acts So just forget it Doc. I think it’s really Cool that you’re concerned But we’ll have to try again After the silence has returned
Cause blood makes noise It’s a ringing in my ear Blood makes noise And I can’t really hear you In the thickening of fear
Blood makes noise…
What else does this song remind me?
Yes, this was, and remains, the intro song to a really cool TV-programme, in fact one of the few that made me watch TV at all.
One that was produced by Eurovision in collaboration with a number of European TV-stations, and whose concept was to pick and follow around a small group of citizens from each European capital or major city, recording their routines and the particularities and cultural diversity of our continent, but also showing some of the least mainstream attractions, be it The Hague’s street art, or Berlin’s party parades, etc.
In a way, documenting the modern European patchwork, if you compare it with Alan Lomax’s project of documentation of the rustic American patchwork culture.
The programme was called CITY FOLK, and here in Portugal, where public station RTP2 aired it, GENTE DA CIDADE, and I guess it had localised titles all over Europe.
It had several runs, though you can’t find the older ones anywhere online, which is a shame, I used to love it and I would like to watch it again.
I remember the most dearly the Berlin episode, in which they followed around an East Berliner alternative rock band, a skating teenager, a young West Berliner girl living in East Berlin, an underground house musician (and she was relatively notorious in Berlin’s minimal dance music scene). But as it unfolded, you could witness a spontaneous party parade of the kind that only Berlin has, see the leisure parks by the river, the skate parks, the rock music festivals/competitions, all the little pleasures that city has to offer.
In a way, I became infatuated with Berlin that night, which later influenced me to start learning German by myself. I did not succeed, which I deeply regret, but I still expect to improve my German during this next Summer, after my final exams, and while I study to obtain my car license.
Unfortunately, I never watched it again, and I can’t find this specific episode anywhere. I might be posting another one though.
So, back to Suzanne Vega.
She recorded this song again in 2011, and it’s much more rock-ish now, and less industrial, as her live version of it always was. So check it out below.
I like the riffing, I might learn it someday. What do you think? About the song, the programme… communicate, people.
In the very remote case that you do know where to get the Berlin episode, which I would very much like to show a friend of mine…