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Main » 2008 » August » 26 » Alan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn - Cubist Blues (1996)
Alan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn - Cubist Blues (1996)
5:19 PM

In 1996, the fine Thirsty Ear label -- never motivated by commerce, always driven by the need to issue the what was new, odd, and fresh, even if it is that rare freakish and fractured thing -- released Cubist Blues. It was the unholy union of future roots music wailer Alan Vega with a pair of terminal rock & roll outsiders in Ben Vaughn and Alex Chilton. Since almost everybody else in the indie and pop worlds were still wandering around in shock after the death of Kurt Cobain, almost no one took notice of this terrifyingly great record made in two consecutive dusk to dawn improvisational sessions at Dessau Studios on the Lower East Side of New York in December of 1994! Like the best of jazz when the cats in the '50s would just show up to see what would happen (more often than not, it did: check the Norman GranzJam Session albums and the Prestige All-Stars).

So what does Cubist Blues sound like? Crazy voodoo ghost music. It sounds like Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent, and Johnny Burnette fighting for a place at Elvis' table someplace between heaven and hell that isn't earth. Vega's a poet of the other side of rock & roll. In the grain of his voice is the cry, weep, and wail of the blues as it met speed, cars, rocket ships, and the inside of Papa Legba's drum. Forgot for one moment he was in Suicide, if you can, and listen to these freaky, screwed down guitars, ramshackle pianos bearing their low keys like a dog's teeth, basses that rumble instead of pop. It's messed up -- check tracks like "Fly Away," where Jim Morrison meets Jeffrey Lee Pierce in the rebel squall of the south wind; the steam shovel rockabilly of "Fat City" that is as streetwise as any hip-hop crew's boast shop, or creates a roaring sound Dion would have love to have heard in his head in the Bronx in the '50s.

It is poetry, man. There's the noir-ish blues of "Sister" that stumbles, falls, and breaks its leg before it ever starts, and the post-nightmare retake on "Dream Baby," where nothing is as it seems in the mirror. Brilliant, disturbing, obsessive, and addictive; Cubist Blues is an album that time forgot, but was never more in time. (AMG)
Views: 1282 | Added by: illuminaut | Rating: 5.0/1 | |
Total comments: 4 Don't forget to rate this post!
1 illuminaut

2 Kreng  
You'll understand that there's no use commenting every post but this blog is sucha nice place to visit.
It's like my old tapes & vinyl coming back to life. Thank you so much for resurrecting my days gone by... I'm about to enjoy this music so much.

3 Richard  
It's one of life's injustices when something totally awesome is overshadowed by events totally outside the control of anybody involved - and this is a case in point.

If the world didn't have it's head up it's arse for Kurt Cobain at the time, who knows where this might have ended up?

Genius... and thanks for flagging it up because it had completely slipped under my radar!


4 michaelDUSTdevil  

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