The Indie Equation

The Unholy Marriage of Music and Math.


Equation #34: Satellite Party

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Satellite Party

If there's one thing that many music lovers can agree on, and I'm sure there's at least one, it's that the sex has been drained from modern rock music. Not the misogynistic, porn-like sex that's prevalent in pop music, the "girl, I wanna rock you world" type, and not the idyllic, storybook romance sex, the "baby, our bodies sing to each other and the universe becomes one with us" tripe. No, what's missing is the "sexual" (not the "sexy"; there's plenty of "sexy" since Justin Timberlake was kind enough to bring it back), the carnal, passionate, unashamed human sex between two people who aren't just "hooking up". While "Sexy" requires gender roll-playing, physical perfection and, quite often, alcohol, "sexual" is funky, earthy, and has a mole on it's ass. Does "sexual" care? No! "Sexual" is all about the inner beauty, it's all about the deep desire for your lover and that good, good lovin' that happens. That's what's missing from rock; songs about planet-aligning connections and the ancient art of sensuality.

Well, Perry Farrell, his wife, and his A-list of talented friends are bringing the "sexual" back, as it were. Farrell's latest project called Satellite Party (occasionally "Perry Farrell's Satellite Party) culls together a "who's who" of modern prog, funk and pop including, but not limited to, Nuno Bettencourt, Flea, John Frusciante, Fergie, Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook, Thievery Corporation, Hybrid, Peter DiStefano, film composer Harry Gregson-Williams and Jim Morrison. Yes, that Jim Morrison. Farrell's included a "lost song" by the long-deceased Doors frontman called "Woman in the Window".

The debut album "Ultra Payloaded" is filled with upbeat, funk-rock tunes that resonate a sexual energy and project an atmosphere of, well, a celestial party. Dancing, loving, indulgence and uninhibited grooving are the themes. Virtually every song is either a call to boogie or a call to nookie. The first singe "Wish Upon a Dogstar" is a solid opener; a new wave rocker with a soaring chorus and an endlessly danceable beat starts the album the way a party album should be. The energy stays at shin-dig level through the funky, Chili Pepper infused "Hard Life Easy", the love-fest anthem "Kinky" and onto the deep disco groove of "The Solutionists". A key theme of "Ultra Payloaded" seems to be that everyone deserves to cut loose once in a while; life is hard, you put up with a lot of shit and now it's time to let your hair down, grab a Mai Tai and get buck naked.

Even more mellow tracks like the orchestral "Awesome" and the hot and sweaty "Mr. Sunshine" keep the flow alive, the album as a whole could serve as a stand-alone party mix, for the right crowd. All along the way choice nuggets of ass-shaking, hip-gripping music. The closer, the "lost song" featuring a drowsy lyric by Jim Morrison, puts punctuation on the hippy lovefest experience with the line "Just try and stop us, we're going to love." For bonus reading and confusion, see the "Bio" for the band from their website.


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