Friday, August 29, 2008

Dance of the Seven Veils

Today's my favorite feast day in the old Catholic calendar: the beheading of St. John the Baptist. It so happens that our man Cale has the perfect song for it, too - a live dramatization featuring Judy Nylon on vocals. Dance of the Seven Veils is a somewhat cheesy recasting of the very cheesy Oscar Wilde interpretation of the biblical Salome story. I find a little girl childishly toddling around the room and then asking for the head of the great (loony) ascetic to be a lot more appealing dramatically than Wilde's psychosexual obsessive.

Cale & Nylon & Co. thankfully do not take the material overly seriously. Judy chews the scenery nearly as well as her partner - as morningside posted over here, Salome is recast as a sassy New York Girl. Nylon's narration proceeds through flirtation ("to tell the truth..."), lust ("take his lips and..."), murder ("I want the head of the Baptist!"), and denouement ("'Now get her.'")

The instrumentals are really appealing, building and building circularly in a very post-rock way before crashing into that coda. The coda, the part that actually features singing, seems a little rough/incomplete, but it's an appropriate conclusion to the piece. ANYWAY, I wish there were more and better recordings of the Cale band(s) of this period - they're among the tightest and rapport-ful of any of Cale's bands. The performances on Sabotage are better than anything on Cowgirls, but not by that much.

Somehow I suspect that there was a visual component to this. Damn shame we don't have a record of that.


Ethan said...

Also special about today: Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno was named after it! Kind of.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I was trying to find the piano tracks that Mr. Cale composed for the movie American Psycho and came across your blog. I'm a great admire of his piano work, could you please send the scores to my email address at (I checked the post where you found the download but the link died)

Thank you so much!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi again, just so you know I've received the mp3s!!! I really appreciate it, thank you for sharing such beautiful music.


Anonymous said...

Actually I always thought the climactic line in the recitation was 'now get HEAD...' A pun, you see.