Introducing “The Surveillance Tapes,” a new series by Pursuit’s own undercover rock star, Cain Colby.
In coming months, he’ll be making us virtual mix tapes—songs to surveil by, music that’ll glue your sweaty eyelids open on those long nights of watching and waiting.
by Cain Colby
No one ever tells you about the shit parts of this gig. You’ve been on enough stakeouts to know that surveillance less resembles the high-wire tension of a Sidney Lumet thriller than the existential angst-fests of Ingmar Bergman. The crappy cups of coffee, the gut-challenging food, the making of lists, the endless checking of smart phones and the occasional forays into aimless nothingness set to the lonely sounds of passing traffic and talk radio… not to mention that anxious premonition that you might miss something if you stop paying attention.
Unlike a good film, surveillance can’t be edited down to the exciting bits. It can, however, be infused with a riveting soundtrack that helps maintain focus and keep our energy levels up. Over the coming months Pursuit Magazine will be suggesting different musical selections to ease the tedium of the stakeout.
This month we’re digging on Import, the debut album by Nashville rock trio Elle Macho. Elle Macho is a band that pays serious attention to the ebb and flow of things, working a dynamic that more closely resembles what we might want the surveillance experience to be. It’s more of a feel thing than a perfect lyrical approximation, but we find that Import puts us in the right mood to be on the street. Here’s a track by track rundown: (Hear a preview here.)
1. Sweet Pancello (The Ascending One): An open invitation to danger. From the opening windmill chords to the creepy pentatonic ascensions over a pounding drum beat, this is the perfect sonic backdrop for that first cup of coffee and the drive to the location.
2. Not A Love Song: The anachronistic anthem to get you in the mood for nailing a philanderer… or pretty much any scumbag up to no good.
3. Glow In The Dark: The verse of this one sounds like a 5 MPH roll down a dark alley before exploding into a chorus like a full-on tire squealer over San Francisco streets.
5. The Offbeats: The soundtrack of an espionage thriller played out across the cities of Europe. Imagine Bond meeting Graham Greene dressed in Dee Snyder‘s leotard.
6. Allez Le Danse: A brief foray into somewhere you might rather be… like a sweaty French disco replete with paramour sliding up and down your leg. Every dull moment needs a little daydreaming.
7. Hey Dude: Ever find yourself trying to get into your mark’s head whilst waiting for him to emerge from the dicey situation you’ve followed him to? Ex: “Dude, you’ve got a good-looking wife and three sweet kids; why are you holed up in this truck stop motel with a lot lizard named Gina?” This one’s for you.
8. Sleep Through It: We’ll admit, the subject matter may not be the ideal fodder for staying alert, but the emotional punch of the chorus keeps us on our toes.
9. Car Crash: The mark has emerged from her den of iniquity before drunkenly cranking up an engine. She swerves out of the lot. You are right behind her, adrenaline pumping, waiting for the inevitable. Cue music…
10. Conquistador: For all you do, this one’s for you, baby. Fresh off howevermany hours of hard work, let this epic tale of triumph lift your spirits on the drive home. Then grab a few hours of sleep, get up, and do it all again.