Wednesday, 28 May 2014

John Cale

John Cale - grit sucked ... ReedNicoLa Monte YoungJohn CageTerry RileyHector ZazouHis umber sounds, earthy, grit sucked into the oyster, welded to the soil of human creativity, falling like angels on broken wings into the amber of captured art, declaring indifference to the passing, posturing of catch-me-quick-sink-me-soon-find-me-some-money-honey top ten tunes. Melodic imperialism. CranesNick DrakeMike HeronKevin AyersBrian EnoPatti SmithThe StoogesLioThe Modern LoversArt Bergmann,  worked within various genres - drone and classical. Man of the Empire. Meet the Queen. The university of London. OBE. Studied music at Goldsmiths College, Arise.
Since departing from the Velvet Underground in 1968 he has released thus far thirty albums. Inducted, abducted, deducted constructed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member (MEMBER) of the Velvet Underground in 1996  Confounding, confusing, contorting harmonics. Counterpoint. Rhythmic. Soulful  Baritone and tenor. A tenner for the coal missus. Welsh as Cymru. Cosmopolitan as a glossy magazine. Four back four and folded, gate folded, saddle stitched into the gloss of art periodical. Welsh as the hills, Welsh as the vales. SqueezeHappy MondaysLCD Soundsystem,The Replacements, and Siouxsie and the BansheesA Song for Drella and then some. Emily. Fear. A triptych in stereo. Vaulting the values of contemporary pop as a gazelle from a Lion.  Molested by two different men during his childhood. A kick in the cassocks from Anglican Priests. Shirt lifting hugger buggers. 1963 conducted the first performance in the UK of John Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra with the composer and pianist Michael Garrett as soloist. The university of London. Grit sucked. Sitting at a café in Paris  drinking coffee and smoking Gitanes. Watching smoke curl and snake around a pink horizon. The flowers of romance petals blushing, bruised and pained. Manic Street Preachers and frontman James Dean BradfieldMarc AlmondElement of CrimeRock and Roll Hall of Fame Souffle shuffle sweet, sharp as sin, sharp as the death of fear, bitter as fear, of Fear and on without fear, yet on and on, anon.

His album Paris 1919, his cover version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", his trilogy of albums: FearSlow Dazzle, and Helen of Troy. Cale has. Cale was. Cale is. March 9th, 1942. Holy in his approach yet caustic, electronic, harmonic dissonance. Wales oh Wales. The music of the words. The poetry of the soil, of the grit and toil, of the soul. Grit sucked. Whole, holistic. Holy mother.John Cale born 9 March 1942 in Garnant heavily industrial Amman Valley. Will spoke only English, Margaret brought John up to speak only Welsh.  Of Wales to Will Cale and Margaret Davies. The incident occurred in a church. Molested as a boy. At the crucifix  of art, the crux of the matter, the Fluxus of interest. Fluxus concert, A Little Festival of New Music, 6 July 1964. His music played, published - 1963. He conducted the first performance in the UK of Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra with the composer and pianist Michael Garrett as soloist. Tony Conrad's ensemble the Theater of Eternal Music. Cello and viola. Guitar and harmonium. La Monte YoungErik Satie's "Vexations". The Dream Syndicate. His dreams described in exotic tones, heady, experimental, full bloodied and full on. Rich and robust, regal and pagan, pure as marigolds, meaty as beefcakes, muscular and majestic, grit sucked.

The Velvet Underground - .Muffled bone, a palimpsest set over the muffled bone orchard music of decaying rock. Urban sketchbook toadstool smoking hallucinogens greases the easy pole of utter contempt for easy access to commercial oblivion.

A brutal bust up, a kick ass dust up. Reed and Cale went separate ways only to kiss and make up years later when they produced together the immaculate Songs For Drella. It too was a classic.

Now, 72 his youth extends beyond his years. If Lou Reed was the sidewalk realist conjured forth in The Velvet Underground and Nico, on White Light/White Heat then Cale, gilded vowels, gliding across waters of splintered glass, was its exploratory visionary.

And there are still those albums. That '70s trilogy - Fear - Slow Dazzle - Helen of Troy.

Shifty Adventures in Nooky Wood - 2012 - isn't shabby either.

John Cale. Encore.

Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.


LeeKwo said...

Great rave Monsieur Duffy mixing the song titles in with the music of the words works great you feel and recall the tunes while reading the words/I am heading straight to Songs for Drella/Yes the sort of review that makes you want to go thru all the albums again/He is a fine talent and has worked with some fine musicians/Great review/Regards Lee Kwo/

Russell Duffy said...

Thanks Lee.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog

A Utility Fish Shed Blog