said if they had one night left on earth, theyd spend it with
receives 4 Stars from Margaret Moser and the Austin
John Cale (and Friends) Reviewed
BY MARGARET MOSER
John Cale HoboSapiens (Or Music)
Sturgis Nikides Man of Steel
Deerfrance Extra Virgin Mary
Blest (Moon Caravan) When considering
John Cale's storied career, remember he came into rock & roll
through the backstage door, via the Velvet Underground. The classical
music background developed in his native Wales, the one that met
with the New York avant-garde in the Sixties, was stunningly reintroduced
on the recent Sun Blindness Music. With its pre-natal "Sister
Ray" prototype, "Summer Heat," Sun Blindness suggested
that the Velvets were a mere (albeit profound) stepping stone for
his lengthy oeuvre. On HoboSapiens, Cale reasserts his position
in the pantheon of musicians who matter. At 61, he's as creative
and subversive as ever, sure of his craft and comfortable in his
art. Witness the bright "Things" and doppelgänger
"Things X," where he deconstructs his own work, not to
mention "Magritte," which echoes the viola elegance of
Paris 1919. Cale has also created one of his loveliest compositions
in the ethereal "Over Her Head." Hobo's beauty lies in
its organic cross-pollination of electronic wizardry and instrumentation,
an aurally stunning tour de force in a lifetime blessed with many.
Cale's influence on generations of musicians is understood, but
nowhere is it more apparent than with guitarist Sturgis Nikides
and vocalist Deerfrance, both of whom released their first solo
albums this year. Nikides played guitar for the latter half of Cale's
'79-'80 Sabotage tour, but those searing leads bear little resemblance
to the fine and moody National Steel performances on Man of Steel.
With a voice cured in the smoke of countless nightclubs, Nikides
travels a contemporary road of nine captivating, melancholy compositions
and a fine rendering of the Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire."
"I'm not easily impressed," he sings on "Heartbreak
Lost & Found," but he pays homage to the Delta bluesmen
on "Dusted." Deerfrance was the honey-voiced, 6-foot,
pink-haired punk rock darling of CBGBs in the late-Seventies when
Cale tapped her for the band. The dreamy pop of Blest is her impressive
debut, a delightful collection of 15 originals (save for Cale's
"Only Time Will Tell") that lure with her china-doll vocals.
"Operation," "Cher O' Bowlies," and "Tramp"
are outstanding, while "Dark (Nico)" invokes the Velvet's
Teutonic vocalist. The choice of "Only Time Will Tell"
to end the disc is indeed telling. The song was Deerfrance's spotlight
moment during the heady days of Cale's tour and it's as sweet and
tender 25 years later, delivered as it is with the patina of wisdom
(Man of Steel) ***
Extra Virgin Mary did the music
for the film Orwell Rolls in His Grave
... released and played at Sundance, Seattle, Philly and Hampton
film festivals this year.
join the mailing list for Extra Virgin
Both Buster Keaton and Buddha booked the Deerfrance machine to
exit the planet ... you should too ....