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.
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.
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.