Listen to This While High: John Cale's New Extra Playful EP
Listen to this while high: John Cale's Extra Playful EP
Behind the buzz: Seeing John Cale's first new release in over a half decade casually racked at Amoeba Music last weekend was a pleasant shock, and the title itself imparts a nice little thrill of suspense at what the fabulously playful artist might be up to this time. This reputed foretaste of next year's rumored full-length finds the ex-Velvet Underground genius in as close as he gets to full-on Spike Jones mode, deconstructing a handful of pop tunes perhaps as therapy for having to do Paris 1919 live for much of the past two years.
Today's weed: Sativa aptly named Dolce Vita, its native nimbleness only a little hobbled by some hash residue.
Giddy Tunes and Meager Melodies Present... "Catastrofuk" sounds like a reaction to having to tickle the live ivories with the one about the bishop and his iron drum for so long. Cale's usual bitter wit is turned this time to how fast money goes and the pale politics of reputation. Doomed love haunts "Whaddya Mean By That," and "Hey Ray" is like listening to one half of some Edward Albee scripted conversation at the Old Radical's Home -- an amusing mush of historical jokes and crumbling cookies. "Pile a L'heure" is like some dessert decoction served en frappe, and "Perfection"is the music already playing in the abandoned 4 a.m. disco of your heart. This limited edition CD (available only at indie retailers like Amoeba) gets two extra songs -- "Bluetooth Swings" and "The Hanging," which bring the run time up to a generous 30:32 while extending the cutthroat's dance hall vibe.
Psychoactive verdict: Either another amusing blip in a catalog consisting of little else or an early entry to a new Mutilated Pop genre -- and tasty either way.