118degrees and the infectious vibes of imelda

one way to kick off your morning peppered with 3 digits weather temperature forecasts from various forms of media is to drown your auditory nerves from david byrne and fatboy slim’s disco album in commemoration of the former first lady imelda marcos- here lies love.

there is an atmosphere of surreal freshness that envelopes me while listening to the tracks of the album. your body could either respond to the disco rhythms and beats of the songs or your mind could dance to the historic, autobiographic, narcissistic, patriotic, and even nationalistic semiotics of the whole album. it's a good playlist that could take your mind off from the 3 digits heat and the boredom of early morning traffic.

listening and paying attention at the same time to the lyrics paints a different imelda marcos on my mind. i see an mtv of a country girl that would seem to come from an amorsolo painting singing and dancing on rice fields made of shoes.

the story i am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? how do they make and then remake themselves? i thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? was that possible? if so, wouldn’t that be amazing!

david byrne, from the introduction

who would’ve thought that the fusion of something “grand” that is imelda marcos with disco and club music would work? the album is a work of genius.

my personal favorites are: here lies love from florence of florence + the machines, men will do anything sung by alice russell, seven years with vocals by david byrne & shara, eleven days by cyndi lauper, solano avenue by nicole atkins and american troglodyte by david byrne.

i was able to listen to the album via digital download. you can purchase the album here.
the deluxe package sure looks interesting with the 22-song double cd + dvd with 6 videos featuring songs from the album cut to archival and historical footage from the philippines + 120-page hardcover book with lyrics, photos & essays. sounds like a great deal to me. somebody out there kind enough to get me one? :)

the imelda who emerges from here lies love is not the greedy, power-mad virago many would prefer to see, but a naive country girl who truly believes that the story of the philippines is her story. in her mind she is the philippines. isn’t that what dance music does? for four minutes, it makes you believe that you are the invincible queen of the dance floor. it’s a match.

-jessica zafra, writer of the twisted series and columnist of philippine star

poster illustrations by scott menchin // poster design by alvaro villanueva

you can listen to the sample of the tracks below:

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