Sunday, March 6, 2011

1990-09-26 Dead City Radio

Christiaan Tonnis ~ William S. Burroughs / Vid...Image via WikipediaThis week features William S. Burroughs and his album of this title. It had a huge effect on me when I heard it, and I was already a WSB enthusiast. It was the way it was put together that was so amazing. There are other things here, but mostly this.

Dead City Radio is a musical album by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs, which was released by Island Records in 1990. It was dedicated to Keith Haring.
The CD is a collection of readings by Burroughs set to a broad range of musical compositions. It was produced by Hal Willner and Nelson Lyon, with musical accompaniment from John CaleDonald FagenLenny PickettChris Stein, and alternative rock band Sonic Youth, among others. Although not Burroughs' first album—he released his first spoken word album, Call Me Burroughs in the 1960s and was a fixture on the Giorno Poetry Systems collections of the 1970s and 1980s—this was the first release to receive wide public attention.
Most of the recordings of Burroughs readings were made at his home in Lawrence, Kansas between December 12 and 15 1988, with further recordings taking place on June 24, 1989. The music was added at a later date. During these sessions Burroughs was captured singing the German standard "Ich Bin Von Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt" (Falling in Love Again), a song associated with Marlene Dietrich. This recording was included as a bonus track.
The material performed by Burroughs on the album included excerpts from some of his famous works such as Naked Lunch, as well as a couple of items from his 1989 short story collection Tornado Alley. The track "Kill the Badger!" is an excerpt from Burroughs' novella The Cat Inside. A music video was created Burroughs' reading of "A Thanksgiving Prayer" (a poem from Tornado Alley); the reading (like the book from which it came) is dedicated to John Dillinger.
Several tracks include Burroughs discussing elements of Christianity and The Bible.
The track "Ah Pook the Destroyer" was later used as the soundtrack for the acclaimed animated short film Ah Pook is Here. Burroughs' song "Falling in Love Again" plays over the closing credits of the film.

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