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August 12, 2010

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FBC!

and then Cale wrote the song Guts: "the bugger in short sleeves fucked my wife"

Kent Jones

Evelyn, I understand that John Cage and Merce Cunningham were big fans of THE GOODBYE GIRL.

Your comments about Lou Reed are interesting. A couple of hours ago I decided to put on my CD of SET THE TWILIGHT REELING and see if "NYC Man" still sounded good. It didn't. The last one I remember liking was NEW SENSATIONS, but I have no desire to go back and listen to it. I liked the Quine records because the band was good (there was a video made of their Bottom Line show, in which a 20-year old version of yours truly crops up in a few shots) but I never have the urge to listen to those either. I think I'd have to go all the way back to "Coney Island Baby" to find something I liked, but that would probably sound too languorously pretentious. Never should've left the band.

Glenn, I haven't listened to JUNE 1, 1974 in ages. Is it any good? Eno's one of those guys who never really added up live, although I have to admit that I like "Rongwrong" on the 801 Live record. But I think he went back and double-tracked himself.

I don't remember the CAGED HEAT score. Cale did a very good, subdued and somber score for PARIS S'EVEILLE, Olivier Assayas' third movie. But as much as I like LA NAISSANCE DE L'AMOUR, I'm not over the moon about his solo piano score.

Of course, who can forget "Big Apple Express," the final track on STAINLESS GAMELAN, with vocals by the New York Fire Department?

joel_gordon

I was plugged into the iTunes a few minutes before reading this post, and "Dirty Ass Rock & Roll" came on, which always makes me happy. Of course, I'm always listening to a Feelies song when Glenn makes one of his many Feelies references, so I guess I'm not shocked by the coincidence. No love for MAGIC & LOSS, Evelyn?

Paul

I'm still excited by the revelation that Church of Anthrax's title track is the missing link between blaxploitation soundtracks and Krautrock that I always fantasised about but never really believed could exist.

ptatleriv

I always love this album in theory rather than practice (kind of like the Eno DALI'S CAR live set). It's three of my favorite artists (and Nico) performing some of my favorite songs ("Shouting in a Bucket Blues" - YOWZA). Maybe it's owing to the quality of the recording, but it always feels a little flat or rote when I spin it.

According to the internet, Cale performed "Gun" during this set but it didn't make the cut. How could that have missed?!

Glenn Kenny

@ Kent: My VERY deep affection for the "June 1" record probably has more to do with adolescent nostalgia than actual quality, but I do enjoy the thing to this day when it pops up on the iPod or whatnot. Eno's life-without-Fripp arrangement of "Baby's On Fire" is pretty nifty, the Cale "Heartbreak" is the Cale "Heartbreak," and Ayers' numbers have a nice ramshackle boho rock quality, plus guitar solos from Patto's Ollie Halsall, who was pretty dazzling. So. Mostly fun, not essential. By my lights.

Sal C

Kent, I'm not all that familiar with Cale's score for LA NAISSANCE DE L'AMOUR (or the Assayas film), but I do love his solo score for LE VENT DE LA NUIT.
And now to pull out that bootleg DVD of Lou Reed Live at the Bottom Line. Quine was simply amazing if I remember correctly. On 'Kill Your Sons' his part seems to consist of raking his right hand across the strings while not fingering a single fret with his left. No guitar player has ever looked cooler.

Chris O.

Do you think he's taking the piss out of Lou Reed on the cover of "Slow Dazzle"? He's dressed like him and covering his ears.

@joel: Despite not having listened to "Magic & Loss" in fifteen years, I loved it and am curious if it holds up. I don't know what "seeing-eye chocolate" is, but I love that term (from "What's Good" which I think is also on the UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD soundtrack along with "Sleeping In The Devil's Bed", which I also love, from frequent Eno collaborator Daniel Lanois).

Kent Jones

Sal C, I haven't looked at LE VENT DE LA NUIT in quite a while - a little too much longing for oblivion in that one for me - but I'm sure the score is good. Cale also did live accompaniment at screenings of THE UNKNOWN (it seems like everyone has done live accompaniment at screenings of THE UNKNOWN), but I never managed to catch it.

I like quite a bit of Wrong Way Up, especially "Footsteps" and "Crime in the Desert."

I'd forgotten all about Magic and Loss. At the time, it seemed like a good album in theory, maybe less in actual fact. I should give it another listen. Back in the day, I did love Reed's version of "September Song" from the Rob Wasserman album.

Glenn, how much of the "Baby's On Fire" solo did Paul Rudolph play?

Glenn Kenny

@ Kent: Not a lot, I don't think, and it's hard to really say. That might be him doing that little low-register arabesque figure around the sheets of Fripp noise in the latter part of the solo. But I suspect his guitar contribution to the song is mostly the ambient (such as it is) buzz. All the stuff that sounds like Fripp—it's the same distortion he uses on Bowie's "Heroes," and all over a lot of "Scary Monsters"— is DEFINITELY Fripp!

Kent Jones

My own favorite Fripp "solo" is on "St. Elmo's Fire." I also love Schumacher's mise-en-scène.

Somewhere out there lurks a conspiracy theory that Rudolph played most of "Baby's On Fire." The motivation for concealing the full extent of his participation remains obscure.

Actually, apart from the collection of doodles they released a couple of years ago, I really love the Fripp/Eno records. Trolling around the internet a few months back, I found a great bootleg of one of their concerts, with "Peter's Clock" and "Oaken Gates" in addition to "Swastika Girls," "Wind on Water," etc. It's called AIR STRUCTURES. Of course, you're probably way ahead of me there. If you're not ahead of me, it's worth seeking out.

J.M.

Cale's score for "The Unknown" is available on cd:
http://www.amazon.com/John-Cale/dp/B00000JA88
It's on the same label (Crepuscule) as the Garrel & Assayas scores; the brief liner notes are by former Eastman House film curator Paolo Cherchi-Usai.

I haven't listened to it in years so I can't really comment on it (and I never tried syncing it up to the film), but I recall the keyboard sounds being rather similar to his score for the Spanish film "Antardida".

Kent, if you enjoyed "Hobosapiens" you should check out the "5 Tracks" e.p. It's in much the same vein, but even stronger, imo (and I say this as a fan of "Hobosapiens").

re: the June 1 album: no love for "Driving me Backwards"? I love the addition of Cale's viola.

haice

Forever dissapointed the planned 1977 remake of ALPHAVILLE never materialized with Debbie Harry as Natasha von Braun and Robert Fripp playing Lemmy Caution by way of Gurdieff.

joel_gordon

Chris: I haven't listened to Magic & Loss in years. But I had a great emotional connection to it when I was in high school--quoted it in my yearbook profile and everything--so that never bodes well for future appreciation. I'll give another listen soon and report back.

James Keepnews

Ah, my kinda thread...

Working backwards (pun intended), I'm with haice on lamenting the non Fripp/Harry ALPHAVILLE. They could pull off a GERMAN YEAR ZERO remake now, though.

Kent, AIR STRUCTURES is THE FE bootleg, featuring their '75 Olympia gig a Paris. I love the longueurs on it as much as the music -- e.g. when the French M.C. requests the audience niether smoke nor take photos, as requested by "Monsieur Fripp". You may notice that the loop for "Wind Over Water" on EVENING STAR is what was performed in that gig, albeit played backwards. I trust you've heard FE's most recent EQUITORIAL STARS -- it's a pretty simple set-up, Fripp soloing over Eno-scapes, but those 'scapes are some of Eno's very best, very much in the ballpark of his career-best Ambient 4 - ON LAND stuff. Quite lovely. The outtakes, less so. But our aging prog pioneers still got game in the 21st.

Had no idea about Cale's soundtrack work, apart from obvious things like WORDS FOR THE DYING and his haunting solo version of "Frozen Warnings" to close out NICO ICON. But What's Welsh For Zen has to be one of the great rock autobios of all time, even if it sure seems as though Cale is dismissive of just about every project with which he's been associated, up to and including the underwhelming WRONG WAY UP w/ Eno. In many important respects, and as reinforced by Cale's recounting, LaMonte Young remains my pusher of choice.

Finally, to my ears Church of Anthrax sounds less like anything resembling blaxploitation or Krautrock than like two hophead contemporaries well-um-prepared to noodle on piano &c. on Columbia Records' dime. Rather wish it was on the level of these giants' other solo work.

Kent Jones

J.M., in fact I think of HOBOSAPIENS (thanks for the reminder of the title) and 5 TRACKS as one. They came from the same sessions, correct?

James, I too love the French MC. Eno told a story about his parents coming to see one of those performances with Fripp, and greeting him back stage after the show with, "Cor, that was LOUD, boy!" Yes, I'm really fond of THE EQUATORIAL STARS - haunting, lovely spidery music. It's THE COTSWOLD GNOMES that I find completely underwhelming, about as underwhelming as that ridiculous record Eno and Byrne released last year or whenever it was. On the other hand, I'm fond of Eno's last solo album, the title track in particular. And that BBC documentary about him is very good. I know what you mean about WRONG WAY UP, but it's not a bad record. Personally, I wish Eno would stop building his own rhythm tracks and start working with real drummers again, but I don't see that happening. I understand that Cale and Tony Conrad would love to see the stuff they did with La Monte Young released to the general public. Young alloww it to be played at the Dia space, right?

Evelyn Roak

The Trio TV station (does it even still exist?)--or was it Ovation (not sure)? Used to show said Bottom Line show from time to time. Was always wonderful to stumble upon and not just for Robert Quine looking a hundred times cooler than Lou Reed and giving the main man a lesson in aging gracefully. Lose the leather, Lou.

There are good moments and records in Lou Reed’s last 30 years of records but there is a load of crap too and the distinction with Cale is that the good and bad seem to drift apart in execution, not idea. Cale’s bad records still inform his good ones and vice versa. Reed’s most interesting moves of late seem to be reviving Berlin and updating Metal Machine Music.

Got to agree with Kent that for just how good The Birth Of Love is the score leaves something to be desired. A little too much hammering home the point. Garrel is one of my absolute favorite filmmakers but in the last 20 years the one thing that rankles at time is his scores (at times only. Some films scores are great). Particularly coming from the guy who formed Les Jeunes Rebelles for the excellent psych-jams of Le Lit de la Vierge and the Nico/Cale work of Desertshore for La Cicatrice Interieure (Finally was able to make mp3’s of those Les Jeunes Rebelles jams recently. Excellent.).

I am quite disappointed that the online version of the Meatus Murder album “More Songs About Balling and Food” (formerly www.fetusfervor.info) is currently down because, really, right now we should all be listening to the parody (Weird Al, etc) of Baby’s On Fire (“Maybe McGwire”) which has been turned into an explanation of McGwire, the A’s and ‘roids (I think Meatus’ parody of Belle And Sebastian’s “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” which has become “Oh Give Me a Rave from Jeffrey Lyons” would be appreciated as well….amongst others. The whole album is brilliant) http://siltblog.blogspot.com/2006/03/would-you-eat-moon-if-it-were-made.html is one of the few writeups turning up online these days.

Kent Jones

Evelyn, I gave BLACK ACETATE only about half a listen and wasn't too impressed. Is it any good?

I do remember liking Barney Wilen's score for LE COEUR FANTOME by Garrel, but I haven't seen the film in ages.

Evelyn Roak

Kent, never really listened to it, truth be told. Just went over to Amazon and gave a listen to some snippets. Cursory thoughts (not that they amount to much)? A little Waits-y on a song or two, eh? Some not so good choices in guitar sounds, etc. Interest piqued a little though not enough to rush out and buy it. The most entertaining part of the page is the Amazon product description.

I do like the score to Regular Lovers, chock that one up in the win column. Garrel is often best when going without, or less of, a score. His natural sound recording is usually excellent and has an audio-tactile quality that works wonderfully with his images. Similarly he has always used silence brilliantly and sometimes would be better to run with that.

Le Vent de la Nuit has always had me wondering, given the autobiographical nature of his films, whether Garrel himself has owned/driven around Europe in a Porsche. Important questions these are...

Fuzzy Bastarrd

For a while there, Reed and Cale were neck-and-neck, each releasing one great album after another. But after the last-minute wakeup of STREET HASSLE (a gloriously obnoxious record), Reed just sorta trailed off into middling fame and middling records, while Cale kept making great songs in total obscurity. Never had a hit like Lou, and never got half as famous, and never banged Laurie Anderson (ah!), but still had one hell of a career.

Has anyone seen the terrific concert film of SONGS FOR DRELLA, directed by the great cinematographer Ed Lachman? I originally caught it at BAM's Lachman tribute, but most of it's now on YouTube. Besides being a terrific song cycle, it's fascinating to watch Reed and Cale together on stage (but almost always separated in the frame), still full of competitive mutual loathing, still very good for each other's work.

Kent Jones

Evelyn, I know (and love) Garrel, and I'm fairly certain that he does not drive a Porsche these days, although he rode through Paris during May '68 in Godard's red Ferrari (I think it was a Ferrari). I remember the first time we met, in Vienna in the mid-90s at the film festival. He and Monte Hellman ran into each other, Monte asked him how he was doing, and he looked at a car parked on the street and said, "I made my last film for a little less than the value of that car."

Evelyn Roak

Thank you Kent for the info and amusing anecdote. Two great filmmakers who have done more with less to great results. Now, I never really believed Garrel was cruising around like that, shooting up with Xavior Beauvois but the autobiographical element always made for a funny image in my mind (the Porsche part).

The amazingly rare screening of L'ENFANT SECRET (without hyperbole one of the greatest movies I've ever seen) at MoMA a few years ago was actually followed by Beauvois' DON'T FORGET THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DIE (which has a few scenes shot by Garrel I believe ((shot concurrently with LE VENT DE LA NUIT? They seem to share, besides production company, a few locations. Hmm))), also quite good, though not the most uplifting double bill. Anyone seen Beauvois' new film? Did well at Cannes. Hopefully will make it here sooner rather than later.

As for Lou Reed thoughts that occured to me the other day re: literary albums: I'll take Randy Newman's Faust over Reed's The Raven eight days a week.

Chris O.

Not to hijack, but speaking of Robert Fripp... by way of Nick Cave...

http://pitchfork.com/news/39754-listen-grinderman-super-heathen-child-featuring-robert-fripp/

Glenn Kenny

@ Chris O.: Hey, great. Between this and Kanye sampling "21st Century Schizoid Man," this could herald another quasi-mainstream phase of Fripp bringing the muthafuckin' noise... (As in the late '70s and early '80s, backing Bowie, Blondie, Gabriel, et. al.)

Kent Jones

Evelyn, Garrel dropped into the Beauvois set in Rome and directed a couple of scenes. I didn't care for that movie.

I remember visiting the set of LE VENT DE LA NUIT. A depressing movie, but Garrel was having a great time.

Fripp's website is worth a visit: http://www.dgmlive.com/

Glenn, let's not forget his two Roche records. I find myself listening to them every few months or so.

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