“The second of two in a row from John Cage’s rather intense Sabotage/Live is a sailor’s tale of sorts. It starts as an instrumental meander perhaps evoking unsettled seas, then gets deadly serious as the singing creeps in. No, I don’t think Peter Pan’s involved, unless he’s the one that slipped the laudanum into the Captain’s rum. For a fever dream it is, apparently driven by the evils British Colonial India. The journey is long, with treasures along the way, madness at the end.” (Philip Random)
John Cale being the tall, brooding, avant-Welsh part of the Velvet Underground sound that changed everything forever – the man who brought the white light to the white heat, did dangerous things with his viola among other noise crimes. But he was gone from the Velvets by 1970, pursuing a solo (and) producing career that seemed to get him wherever he felt like going. In 1979, this meant a live album that was as hard as punk, but tougher, more seasoned. Like the greedy, full-on call to war of Mercenaries, monstrous and strong, and yes, the very definition of nihilistic. But in a good way.
“The raw, reductive simplicity of the Velvet Underground is one of the foundation blocks of everything that has mattered since 1965, musically or otherwise. But their story is not remotely complete without a chapter or seven devoted to their more avant concerns, which Murder Mystery illustrates rather nicely, coming across like premeditated murder of all conventions, expectations, intentions. John Cale was gone by 1969, but you can’t help but feel that when he heard it, he thought, man, I wish I’d had a piece of that. Deadly and mysterious and not entirely unmusical.” (Philip Random)
The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a rather convoluted process that’s still evolving: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here. Whatever that means. What it means is over a year of radio if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?
Installment #15 of The Final Countdown* went like this.
1007. Regular Fries – Mars Hotel
1006. Audio Active – Electric Bombardment
1005. Love – between Clark + Hilldale
1004. Luther Wright + The Wrongs – goodbye blue skies
1003. Scissor Sisters – comfortably numb
1002. Bill Nelson – hope for the heartbeat
1001. Negativland – the perfect cut [piece of meat]
1000. Addrisi Bros – we’ve got to get it on again
999. John Cale – The Soul of Carmen Miranda
998. Bo Hansson – flight to the ford
997. Pavement – Stereo
996. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso – Miserere alla storia
995. Dominic Frontiere – film caravan [Stunt Man]
994. The Bees – Angryman
993. Focus – Hamburger [birth + concerto]
992. Tarwater – all the ants left Paris
991. Yello – reverse lion + downtown samba
990. Tribal Drift – Ants
989. Nancy + Lee – you’ve lost that loving feeling
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“John Cale being one of those artists who has never felt compelled to repeat himself. This version of the old cowboy song comes from 1981’s Honi Soit, which may not be anyone’s definition a pop item but it was his biggest seller. Which means there are likely still many copies of it floating around, which makes me feel very good somehow. Curious young minds stumbling onto Streets of Laredo gone discordantly into the ditch, dumping all the sunshine and melodrama, leaving only drama and the stink of death. I’d love to see this movie.” (Philip Random)
John Cale, original underground Velvet, reminds us that when it comes to intelligent chunks of aural sculpture that also rock a pop groove, few can touch him. So why did he give the world so few of them? You may as well ask, why did Lou Reed have to be such an asshole?