Sunday, September 26, 2010

The John Cale Song Of The Week - Paris 1919

On Thursday, John Cale will grace the stage of Royce Hall and play his mythical record Paris 1919 in its entirety, with the UCLA Philarmonia and with his band. I never had the chance to see the band before but, according to musicians Pat Fish (of Jazz Butcher fame) and Tom Watson (The Red Krayola, Mike Watt and the Missingmen) they are absolutely wonderful. I've been told to pay particular attention to his guitarist and his drummer.
So to keep on celebrating the event, today's John Cale Song of the Week will be the song title of the eponymous album, Paris 1919. Yes, you've noticed I hadn't posted anything from it yet, right? We've been busy exploring his back catalog, and I figured you guys could just go to the concert and discover the album then and there. And hopefully go buy lots of Cale's music after you realize what a genius musician he is.
I'm putting up the original album version above, as well as a recent bootleg of the live version in Brescia (fantastic sound, eh?) below. You will notice that Cale's voice sounds much more beautiful now, but he has lost a bit of his Welsh accent when he sings (but not when he speaks, fear not).

So the way it goes during the concert, Cale and band and orchestra do Paris 1919 first, and apparently they play Macbeth at the end (a bit of a shame as Antarctica Starts Here is  such a great song to end the cycle), there's a short intermission during which everybody madly scrambles for the restroom, the bar, then rushes back because at Royce Hall they do everything exactly on time, so don't come in late people, and then during the second part they do a medley of older and newer songs. I wish he'd do Buffalo Ballet, but it seems Cale hasn't played that one in a while.
There are special guests whose name I can't remember, one is a guy from boring indie band Death Cab for Cutie, if I recall correctly, and the other was on the Nico tribute that Cale organized. I hope they'll guest on the second part and won't spoil Paris 1919. Or maybe they'll play covers of Cale, who knows?

So I'll post one more song on the day of the concert, and maybe a last one Sunday next week to wrap up the series. Meanwhile, you can read a recent interview of Cale here.
If you haven't done so yet, buy yourself a ticket, and see you at Royce Hall on Thursday night! 
And, remember, rumor has it that Cale hates when people take pictures of him on stage so avoid at all costs, since the legend says that he either walks out of stage if he notices someone filming/taking pictures, or, if you're rude enough to use your flash, he's said to threaten to slit the offender's throat, and much, much worse. So, don't disturb our Welsh genius  and his musicians while they are at work, and enjoy the concert.

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