Test Listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise' : The Bryant Park Project Test listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise'
NPR logo

Test Listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17123949/127336422" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Test Listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise'

Test Listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise'

Test Listen: LD Beghtol's 'AKA Paradise'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17123949/127336422" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">



"AKA Paradise"

From Amoral Certitudes (Darla/Acuarela, 2007)

LD Beghtol is a man of many bands -- his own, including Flare and the Moth Wranglers, and others'. Beghtol played with Stephin Merritt's Magnetic Fields on 69 Love Songs and later wrote a book about the record. (Full disclosure: I've known him since at least 1903, used to work with him and intend to learn ukulele from him if I possibly can.)

In his incarnation as LD and the New Criticism, Beghtol sends this song, AKA Paradise, and -- after the jump -- his take on making it.

From LD Beghtol:

I wrote this song about two years ago when I was going through a serious love affair with certain Wire and New Order tunes: strange, contradictory songs with sinuous, high-register bass riffs and affectless vocals that have an exultant sense of yearning, whose abstract lyrics somehow also contained an implied narrative.

Though many readings of the text of my song are possibly and I guess equally plausible, to me it was meant to be a reasoned rejection of the impossibility of coupledom (something I may or may not actually believe!) -- hence the joyous sense of abandon suggested by the bells and pulsing cymbals -- mostly of the virtual, cyber sort. It was great fun to use lots of acoustic, handplayed instruments (warm-blooded clarinets, chiming mandolin, Specterian sleighbells) on a song that was essentially an homage to chilly mid-80s synthpop, though of course I couldn't resist a little distortion on the bass to dirty it up a bit. Of course, ultimately love is a fool's paradise -- but to quote Joe Orton: "If the pain is real, I must be real." Maybe!

--LD Beghtol

Ed. If you'd like us to test listen your music, drop a note in the comments.