Octo Realm/Ketamine Sun
OCTO REALM (1)
a) Hi! I'm Spliffhead I like to lie on the floor (2)
b) Hello, I'm Girlie
c) I'm Rob and I'm cynical
d) Hi! I'm Ketamine Kettison
e) Hi! I'm Julia and I'm Schoolie
f) I'm Smith
g) Hi! I'm Smartass at the computer
h) Hi! I'm Skunklad
New Programme: The Kettisons
Your kids are making queerer sounds
Little dog go and moan
You don't need all this hassle because your brain is a seed
Anthony takes a front tooth
We count them all at least K Sun - AK/AK like a wise one
Your brother's in the pen but then you see your electromorph (3)
And you can't even describe it because you're a K sun
You are a piece of slop (4)
Can't say it any better
You took a TV and nailed it to the bench of a jeweller
Your mum's moustache needs fixing
Dad's washing up for one Ketamine Sun
All stoolpigeons need tea, even at six foot one
You're a walking tower of Adidas crap at a cobbler's four times a month
KETAMINE SUN (5)
I was right but now I'm wrong
I loved you now and now you're gone
I was a goddamn fool, you taught me that
But I look out at
Life is like a holy war
Destroyed my life and the ties that bind
Take it - my world's destroyed
Behind the clouds
Like I did it
1. Technically these are two separate songs, but they comprise a single track on The Unutterable and are thematically linked. "Octo Realm" marks the exact point where The Unutterable makes the transition from a relatively tight Fall album to something stranger and less focused, though not uninteresting at any point. The lyrics here are handed back and forth among the band (see note 2 below). For the first 43 seconds we are treated to the idea that the band members are characters in a new sit-com called The Kettisons, although it doesn't last long enough to give us any idea what the premise is; the pursuit of the idea is rather desultory and the song soon moves on. From 0.44 to 1.38 MES takes over the mic and, in an odd and unplaceable, but vaguely Southern, American accent, rants a little in a vein that may still have something to do with the sitcom idea; then, at 1.39, Tom Head strikes up the beat of "Ketamine Sun," and after a couple of bars the band kicks us into a gorgeously hazy psychedelic dream.
Ketamine is a veterninary anaesthetic, and when used recreationally is a powerful dissociative psychedelic, in certain dosages inducing out of body experiences, ego loss and a breakdown of temporal cognition. The Story of the Fall humorously identifies the theme of the whole thing as "the new Ketamine drug sweeping the nation's slobs," but of course as he is aware there is not, and has never been, any such epidemic. I don't think the idea is so much to imagine a world where Ketamine plays the role of crack or methamphetamine among those who can't balance their drug habits with the more functional aspects of their lives; rather, the overall tenor of life as a drug addict and cultural misfit is figured as the unreality and dissociation of a Ketamine trip. At the same time, the gauzy lushness of the latter half of the song introduces a dreamy beauty into the mix, even as the narrator wistfully recounts the aftermath of a failed love affair. We're left wondering whether a Ketamine high is a symbol of his subsequent alienation and half-hearted stab at genuine depression, or whether he drifted away from his loved one in the throes of a (literal or figurative) trip. Either way, the narrator of "Ketamine Sun" bears little resemblance to the goofy losers of "Octo Realm." It should be acknowledged, however, that this does not necessarily indicate the suture of the two halves is ill-advised; we may be witnessing the disjunction between a superficial view of an alienated existence, which is always debased and ridiculous when viewed from the outside, and the interior grandeur of the alienated consciousness which speaks in an idealized voice which, by dint of its alienation, cannot be made dramatically audible in the third person.
The song is written off of Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons," from which it borrows the chord pattern and basic melody, but which it does not much resemble in terms of feel and overall effect. According to Julia Adamson (Julia Nagle):
According to Julia Adamson, "particularly the first verse was taken from a letter. Mark asked me what I thought of it in the studio with regards to using it for lyrics. It looked like a girl's handwriting, and was obviously like a love letter. I sort of said hmmm and honestly thought it was a bit wishy washy. I asked if it was from Elena, but he said it wasn't, I think he said it was from a fan. When I heard it sung though I thought it was fab."
Ketamine Sun: Fall Tracks A-Z (there's a lot more on both songs here, check it out)
I hear "but then you see..."
Apparently a lot of people just don't take to ketamine. Some do, and another chunk really like it. My mate can just space away to whatever bleepy nonsense is on his headphones. Myself, I got a sudden excess of awareness of the type that made me stop smoking weed. I can't cope with all the horror at once, right in front of my face.
Though this was years after "Ketamine Sun" came out. But we're in the sticks, maybe those cool Manchester kids started doing it years before. Or maybe, as in the time MES presciently blew up Manchester City Centre, there's more to that Tarot bollocks than you'd think.
"A mutant form of a protein, phenotypically distinguished by its electrophoretic mobility."
A genotype is a gene that causes a particular configuration, ie the gene for blue eyes.
A phenotype is that gene expressed as it's characteristic, ie having blue eyes.
So here the phenotype is the actual protein, produced by whichever gene.
Electrophoresis is like chromatography, where you separate compounds in a mixture by seeing how far they soak up a piece of paper. You did it at school. Only instead of a piece of paper, electrophoresis uses gel, with a voltage applied across it. Different compounds will travel further along according to their nature. That travel is their "mobility".
Now you know the trouble MES has to go to to write all this for you.
What I wanna know, is why is Julia Nagle a schoolie? Surely she left a while ago. And why's she Skunklad? Doesn't, er, immediately make sense. Phenotypal electrophoretoc mobility is a piece of piss compared to that.
(I have corrected the lettering; on the site 'd' sppears twice in a row).
The site lettering has now been corrected; "sppears" on this one not yet!
Lol, as they say...
A suggestion: I think the third line is "I'm Rob & I'm cynical"...?
"I did it 'cause I'm"
Should I add a note about the Octo-mom?
No, of course not, but it is impressive "pre-cog"...which is to say, comparatively more impressive than most other "pre-cog"...I'm very diplomatic about "pre-cog," you see.
Only one "Ketamine Sun" sung/said here, I think.
Hi, I'm smart-arse. Thank you.
Or very similar. Whatever is said after Hi, I'm smart-arse is dispensed with in 2 syllables, not the 5 it takes to say the lyric as currently stated. Plus, it seems quite a smart-arse thing to do, if not ironically, to introduce oneself as a smart-arse but then not to even attempt to justify why that might be, preferring instead to end the discussion by saying thank you and inviting the next introduction instead. In so doing, one is an obvious smart-arse, but in no positive sense to be admired.
But there is the point where calling someone an "ass" doesn't mean the same as calling them an "arse". There "ass" is referring to donkey-like creatures. However, in the phrase "smartass" or "smartarse", there's no such difference.
Dunno what the middle section of lyrics are about, maybe real time internal monologue of Smith/protagonist at this party.
Whether it's correct or not, I'm sticking with it.
They did interview her, although the quotes don't come from the Pseud Mag interview here: https://sites.google.com/site/reformationposttpm/the-pseud-mag-archives/psa-julia-adamson, so your citation is probably going to be "pers. comm."
"Your little dog moans" doesn't sound right to me. Sounds more like "Rebel dog gone home". There are definitely two syllables before "dog" and two after, not three and one.
"And you can't even describe it because you're a K sun": is it "you're in K sun"? K sun might refer to the dissociative "K-hole" experience you're supposed to get if you take enough (side note: ketamine is TERRIBLE).
BTW, I was curious about what "AK/AK" might stand for but I have no good suggestions.
[Internet Archive version]
And what a great site this is!
Nothing insightful to add. Just encouragement!