February 16, 2017

"Cale is not interested in circumventing or prettifying anguish: let it come down."

"But he doesn’t revel in suffering, either; he figures out what hurting sounds like and then articulates it...."
Cale has always thought of art as fluid rather than static—he has rarely been satisfied by recapitulations of the status quo...

Here, then, was an opportunity to reclaim and reconfigure his despair. The idea feels deeply human. Who hasn’t winced, looking back on a thing they made—or a place they lived, or a dress they wore, or a type of tea they drank—while enveloped in grief, and hoped for a way to neutralize that history without losing the thing itself?....


IN THE COMMENTS: Carter Wood points us to this amazing segment of "I've Got a Secret" from 1963:

15 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

I absolutely love John Cale.

Probably at his most mainstream on his album with Eno, "Wrong Way Up" -- a great sugar lick of pop songs.

And "Big White Cloud" will always mesmerize me.

i am Laslo.

jaydub said...

I had forgot how much Cale sounds like Bob Dylan.

Sebastian said...

"he figures out what hurting sounds like and then articulates it...." I didn't realize hurting sounds like boring monotony. Good to know.

gadfly said...

When I get past the small difficulty with spelling, I agree with Mickey Dees.

Carter Wood said...

Fragments of a Rainy Season is a beautiful, moving album (and video, for that matter).

I saw him in Portland in 1981, I think, fronting a rock band. Incredible.

Also, John Cale on "I've Got a Secret," 1963.

harryo said...

Fail: You can't dance to it.

Bob Boyd said...

Sometimes it's best not to circumvent anguish.
I tried to stay out of the Heartbreak Hotel and woke up in the Ballbuster Bed and Breakfast.

LYNNDH said...

Crap!

Roy Lofquist said...

WTF? Never, ever try to cover Elvis. Every Elvis song that hit the charts was dreck. Mindless dreck. Why was he called "The King"? Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoqrcTwYrgg

Roy Lofquist said...

This one's better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X0XKe2lL0E

Robert Cook said...

Cale was married for a year in the late 60s to fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

I walked past him once in lower Manhattan.

I think I saw him perform in concert once in the 80s, as an opening act for someone else. It's a faint and perhaps deceptive memory.

As for his former bandmate, I'll recite the Dictators' classic lyric (from 1975):

"I'm just a clown walking down the street.
I think Lou Reed is a creep!"

John said...

I absolutely love John Cale. But not this one. Never even heard of this one.

The one I like is John J Cale of Oklahoma. Better known as JJ Cale.

How about some love for him, too?

John Henry

mtrobertslaw said...

Eccentricity disguised as art.

AFChiling said...

John,

Only after midnight.

Hazy Dave said...

Thanks for linking to the article. Despite the constant adulation for Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" on the Shrek soundtrack album, hardly anyone ever mentions that it's John Cale's version that appears in the movie itself. Buckley's version is a pale imitation, like the faux-Band version of "The Weight" on the Easy Rider soundtrack.