Monday, March 31, 2008


Another "One Word" b-side and North American Wrong Way Up bonus track, "Palanquin" is unquestionably Cale and Cale alone. If it it's not... well, I'll eat my hockey mask.

Why am I so sure? (The plastic may be hard on your teeth, but it's the padding that really discourages taking a bite.) I'm sure because it's a solo piano instrumental, the sort of rolling poco ritardando composition with light counterpoint and right and left hand voices moving in unison. But listening to it again...

Well, there's some synth in the background. There's no reason Cale couldn't have added that, really. He's perfectly capable of the trick of hiding the synth in plain view as part of the chord the piano is slowly exploring, then letting it peek out from behind the keyboard just when you've been lulled into thinking there isn't anything there...

But when the bubbling chimes come out to usher the piece to a close, precipitating out of the synth so naturally, irresistibly, inexorably... that's when I start thinking about what kind of condiment is appropriate for polyurethane.

No idea what this track has to do with human-powered transportation, though. (Chomp chomp.)

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