Various artists
- Six Feet Under Volume 2: Everything Ends

2006-03-30 05:26

It may be a hit television series, but make no mistake: Six Feet Under is easily one of the most miserable things you're likely to see in your living room. Just about every character on the show takes the concept of a miserable life to a whole new level. They experience addictions, disastrous relationships, depression, and alienation in every episode, and all this in the setting of an undertakers business.

Given the tone of the TV series, you'd expect "Everything Ends" to be a wrist-slittingly morose album from start to finish. But sadly, it isn't. The most downbeat songs on the album are Radiohead's "Lucky", which is merely maudlin, and Death Cab for Cutie's "Transatlanticism", which is heavy-hearted, at best. Nothing on the compilation comes close to capturing the intelligent intensity that made Six Feet Under brilliant television.

In fact, the album seems strangely disconnected from the show. Disappointingly, there are no photographs of the cast or stills from key scenes in the series, and no liner notes. Hardcore fans will feel cheated.

Perhaps worst of all, the disc uses Copy Control technology, which means you'll have problems trying to play it on certain computers and car systems. In case you didn't know, Copy Control technology is both useless and annoying. Computer geeks are constantly finding new ways to crack it, and the average CD buyer has to worry about whether the CD they just bought will actually play properly on their sound system. EMI, you should know better. Boo!

On the positive side, there's some pretty good music here. Nina Simone's "Feeling good" is a jazz classic; the Caesars offer a competent cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) the Reaper", and there's a Coldplay song, for those who like that sort of thing. The perfect soundtrack for when you want to entertain yourself with a bit of harmless emotional wallowing, without going too far over the edge.

- Chris McEvoy

Much like its predecessor, Volume 2 is another evocative and filmic soundscape that brilliantly captures the show's haunting atmosphere and intelligence, which will continue to reverberate long after its final episode.
- Craig Roseberry for

It certainly won't be sufficient to assuage the pain of the show's own passing at the end of this season, but Six Feet Under fans should be better equipped than most to deal with endings.
- Jason Jackowiak for

I don't expect a CD soundtrack to have a cohesive sound in terms of artists, but I do expect it to have some sort of consistent theme that jibes with the art its backing.
- Jessica Grose for

Are drugs essential to our wellbeing?

I watched some kids playing with their lives on a skating ramp at a shopping centre. They twisted, flew, and landed. Sometimes nearly landed on their heads. It was exciting and scarey and against my own will, I found myself shouting "Wooooaaah!" each time one of them survived, or fell, just like the kids in the crowd. It was fucking dangerous. Clearly.

Why is that legal, and not drugs, driving drunk, or other entertainment that clearly places others in danger? Summersaulting in the air can't seriously be any safer than a gram of cocaine - nobody's bled to death from the nose (as far as I'm aware, though apparently some users lose their noses altogether.)

If you pity the parents of teen tic addicts, who feel sad when they realise their kids are taking their money and spending it on a substance that only makes them impossible to understand and miserable in the end, think how the parents of Sk&ers must feel when they see their child spending 600 bucks on a pair of jeans that falls down and has big rips in it. Or when their darling boy lands on his head a is suddenly dead. And plus, he's wearing those terrible pants.

Like drug users, extreme sport types just carry on pushing the envelope until they push it too far, right? No wonder those who give up drugs end up doing things like surfing with sharks, hanggliding, skateboarding, and worshipping imaginary and very strict father figures who they proposed created the universe in a week. Now that's what I call an irresponsible rush job.

Of course,in moderation, skateboarding is ok. But when skateboarding culture results in the making of a movie as utterly dismal as Straight Outta Benoni (step aside Leon Schuster, you have a rival!) then it's gone too fucking far, hasn't it? You'll need some serious hard drugs to get through that thing.

So what would I recommend you take along to wash down with your K-Way coca-cola?

Actually, nothing, the way I feel tonight. I just went to a party.

I'm ashamed to say it's probably the first party I've been to in my life that I didn't even have one drink. The main reason I didn't have even one drink was that the last time I went to a party, i drank, and I woke up the next morning feeling serious doubts and dread over the things I might have done and said. All wisdom tells me I made some bad social moves.

I'm not willing to say I think I should stop jolling altogether. I don't want to, for a start. But it was very cool coming back from tonight's party having eaten lots of snacks, feeling sane and calm, and being able to do a couple of hours work. I also know that on the way home I didn't do any extreme driving

And that's all the more interesting because, to some extent, I've always realistically planned my life around jolling as hard as I felt like. Going to a party on Friday? Won't be making any plans to do breakfast on Saturday. At least, not before 12. Invited to a launch that starts at 11pm? Well, how the hell am I meant to stay up that late if I don't get totally trashed? Thinking of doing an astrology course that starts at 8pm on a monday night? Hmmm... it's going to be so weird not to drink with dinner. Could I have ONE glass of wine? Malaria tablets: I'll pay 12 times as much for the ones I can drink on. Learning to drive? Better to do it drunk. That way I would always be able to handle the race home from the club.

And so on and so on. Or not.

I'm thinking of having kids. I'm running out of time to achieve the things I want to achieve things workwise. And drinking takes time. I can write when I'm drunk, but not as well or as fast. And i don't have time to write badly and slowly.

If the three drinks that have become the norm most nights, stretches to five or six if I'm out and more if I'm out late, I'm guessing that once a month or so I end up pretty smashed, make some mistakes, and feel ashamed enough to take more care for a while. But not for long enough.

And according to what the AA says not only I, but almost everyone I've ever known well, is a functioning alcoholic.

Don't get me wrong, being a functioning alcoholic isn't the worst thing. Note the word functioning, for instance.

I don't crave booze, and I don't drink straight after work very often. Mostly, I don't embarass myself of drive dangerously drunk. But there's an element of depenency, and htis is it: most people I know do drink, most social occasions centre around drinking, and my own job is virtually unbearable without drinking.

My father once said that he always enjoyed the first four drinks, then spent the rest of the evening trying to recapture the four beer peak. I'm different - I don't stay to drink.

I drink to stay.

Try going to a CD launch, an event launch, a club launch or anything else SOBER. It's hell. It's not humanly possible to enjoy these things unless you're swallowing alcohol. But after a few drinks, hey presto, what a party! There are some problems to which, like it or not, booze is the only answer. There are others to which other substances seem like the only answer. Like an all night dance party, for instance. You simply cannot do aerobics til 6am without a little help. And jesus, it feels good, once a year or so.

So my question is, can I keep my lifestyle as it is, and ditch the crutches that make it not just bearable, but fun? I don't want to satisfy my quality of life just to be dignified and productive. I want to feel high, and wild still, sometimes.

The people I know who don't drink DO stop doing all the fun stuff they used to do. They don't go to live music. They don't hang out and talk for hours and hours. They have children and knit and stuff. Or they do crazy shit like base jumping.

I'm not so keen on knitting - I did so much of it when I was a kid and couldn't drink yet. I'd have to be pretty smashed to jump off high buildings or somersault on a stunt bike. And I mainly want to have kids when I'm pissed. When I wake up in the morning, all I want is a panado, four litres of fruit juice, six eggs and the day in bed with a nice novel.

Sadly, Everything Ends, the Six Feet Under Official Soundtrack, isn't half as wrist slittingly miserable as you would hope. But it's a pleasant enough emotional wallow.

Goda 2005/10/07 12:25 PM
Nina Simone That track of hers is lovely. So is archade fire's, but in their case I'd rather go for the album Funeral that it comes off. Archade Fire - Funeral
Neilen 2005/10/09 12:08 PM
Saurax BRILLIANT! 5 Stars & loving the dark comedy! Life as we know it on an elevated level indeed! Portishead
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