1001 Songs Challenge #887: Frontier Psychiatrist (2000)
On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist (2000)
Frontier Psychiatrist – Wikipedia
” Frontier Psychiatrist” is a song by Australian electronic music group the Avalanches. It was released on 21 August 2000 as the second single from the group’s debut album Since I Left You .
We’re leaving Sweden today, dear reader, and taking a very long flight down to Australia. Formed in 1997 The Avalanches are an electronic group that specialise in a genre known as Plunderphonics, whereby the artist creates tracks made up of samples, sound effects and dialogue from TV and movies. When we join the group in 2000 it is with the release of their debut album, Since I Left You, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with a track entitled Frontier Psychiatrist.
Frontier Psychiatrist opens with dialogue from John Waters’ 1981 film, Polyester, which speaks of a truant child named Dexter. The song picks up on this exchange by insisting that the boy needs therapy before throwing a series of bizarre images at us, even making mention of cowboys and Indians in the Wild West. A combination of eerie music and sound effects in the background give this song the feel of a descent into madness and pandemonium.
The name “The Avalanches” did sound familiar but I am pretty sure I have never heard this track before. Plunderphonics is also a genre I am not previously aware of but music sampling is perfectly acceptable as an art form, as long as it is done correctly of course and doesn’t land one with a lawsuit. The Avalanches continue to this day and their third album, We Will Always Love You, was released in 2000.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)