Last week Paperhouse offered one take on rainy day songs, a take that based on fighting the downtrodden mood of the city in the rain. Today, I’m going to flip that around: These are rainy night songs — songs that embrace the loneliness of a black wet night and intensify it. Songs that sound better with rain and cars going by on top of them. Songs for crime.
Now, let’s say you’re robbing a bank. When you’re preparing, getting all the tools you’ll need (welding torch, pliers, possibly explosives, black stockings, guns, etc.), you should be listening to Coil’s “Are You Shivering?” It even has watery sounds built in, and after you come away with all the money, the opening lyrics (“Are you shivering?/Are you cold?/Are you bathed in silver/or drowned in gold?”) will be prophetic.
Once you get to the bank, it’s time to sneak around, right? So you need some sneaking music — try Nurse With Wound’s “A Silhouette and a Thumbtack (Dance In Hyperspace).” Its slightly off-kilter beat is perfect for winding your way around dark hallways in search of the vault, and its tiny, tiny metallic percussion will subliminally remind you to be quiet and skittish like a mouse.
Finally, once you’re at your destination, breaking out the welding torch or the explosives or whatever, you need tense music. Pan Sonic’s “Keskeisvoima/Centralforce” has got you covered. It’s nearly silent for the first half, mostly faint bells and that noise you hear in physics when you rub resin on metal poles. Halfway through, the song explodes in shredding noise, sounding exactly like your metal saw cutting through the door of the safe.
Maybe this is too serious for you — you’re thinking more like a ’20s-style caper, a half-joking escapade where the coppers might be after you. I can’t think of a better artist to put behind some bumbling robbery attempts than Amon Tobin.
With him, you’re not sneaking through the cool financial world — you’re breaking into something lit by incandescent bulbs and with stucco walls, and the safe still has a wheel on the front. I think one of the most perfect tracks for this is “Proper Hoodidge;” it even includes little sections composed of what sounds like guys smacking their lips in perfect imitation of slapstick comedy, alternating with huge bass thuds that’ll make you feel cooler than you really are.
And, finally, if you want some combination of these scenarios — not totally ridiculous but not totally serious either — try the utterly-’90s “Black Milk” by Massive Attack. For this one, though, you have to wear a cat suit, and there have to be a lot of laser beams for you to dodge in a slow, utterly effortless series of maneuvers.