Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Somewhere in the City

Thanks to this project, I'm the proud owner of a massive library of soundtracks to films I am never going to see. I cobbled together a 5:42 suite of the original John Cale score to this one. It's very uncharacteristic: no drones or atonality or synthesizers or massed strings. I think his trio partners (Dawn Helmholtz and longtime Cale sideman Mark Deffenbaugh) had a lot of input here. It's nice music, if not very striking. I guess I'll take it minute by minute.

Marta & Frankie

What would happen if Ray Davies and John Cale collaborated on a soundtrack composition? This. Not that it was intentional or acknowledged, but this is a beautiful acoustic/guitar/classical guitar/cello instrumental mashup of The Kinks' "God's Children" and Cale's "Set Me Free."

Love Scene
A pensive, even soulful piano and slide guitar duet. Its brevity makes up for the unconvincing relationship between piano and guitar chord progressions. I'm sure this was improvised.

No, seriously, it really is twenty seconds of Far Eastern modalities on a pennywhistle. That seems to be Dawn Avery's thing. Nice, but definitely the odd track out here.

Drive Up to Robbery
Wow, acoustic blues! Nice slide work, and I like the fretboard percussion. I have a hard time believing Cale "composed" this, per se.

Marta and Frankie (Reprise)
Still the same arpeggios, but without the melodies a'la Messrs Davies and Cale. Ah, it is a shame.

Indistinct Notion of Cool
Hey, it's a song! This one... hey, wait just a second! This is a Walking on Locusts track. Bah, I'll cover it later.

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