Monday, October 15, 2007

The Jeweller

The mid-period Cale track to stop your next social function cold.


Jack Feerick said...

...or, "Waiter, there's a c**t in my eye."

Ian said...

Oh come on, details!

Anonymous said...

hahaha. We think he used to read this to his daughter as a bedtime story.

Vagabond Sun said...

This is a great song. It manages to be creepy and compelling at the same time. Slow Dazzle is such a brilliant record. It is definitely one of my favorites.

Jack Feerick said...

I think “The Jeweller” is an interesting piece in the way that—considering where it sits in Cale’s career—it simultaneously looks forward and backward. In one sense it’s a callback to the VU (“The Gift”), while also anticipating the monologues of future records, leading up to Music For A New Society, where he probably took the “difficult listening” angle as far as he could.

It’s a neat bit of body-horror—a make-believe David Cronenberg movie, maybe an imaginary outtake from Dead Ringers—but such things usually work best when you play them deadpan; and ultimately Cale oversells it, being (as always) too in love with the sound of the language to simply let the images lie.

Inverarity said...

My favorite/least favorite thing about the track is the way he randomly throws in nonsequitur words and phrases: erotic existence (unless this is in the Platonic sense), "What does this word mean?" "Nothing for dessert, sir?", in Hawaii only 10am, "follicle and perfectly formed."

In general, though, compared to the tight, wry, splattery humor of (Lou Reed's) The Gift or the straitjacketed epiphanic ascension of Sanities, indeed compared to other microstories of metamorphosis and madness by authors like Kafka and Stanley Donwood, this one's ponderous and pretentious ("like the flow of substance, however varied, into thatlysergic entity known as the black hole").

I'm sure it's intended to be satirical - the ludicrous egoism of the character and the parodic wordiness of his inner monologue are too extreme not to be - but like Jack said, it's oversold.

I do quite like the drone, though!