Wednesday, 26 October 2011

William S. Burroughs - Dead City Radio (1990)

The elder statesman of literature's Beat Generation - and, by extension, of the American underground culture - few figures outside of the musical sphere exerted a greater influence over rock & roll than novelist William S. Burroughs. A provocative, controversial figure famed for his unique cut-up prose aesthetic, Burroughs lived the rock lifestyle years before the music itself was even created; the ultimate outsider, he existed on the dark fringes of society in a haze of drugs, guns, and violence, remaining a patron saint of hipsterdom until his dying day. Ultimately, Burroughs' hold on the popular culture was extraordinary: few artists failed to credit him as an inspiration, and while bands like Steely Dan and the Soft Machine adopted their names from his turns-of-phrase, younger artists like Kurt Cobain and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy lined up to offer musical support for his occasional excursions into spoken word performing.

One of the best Burroughs recordings, "Dead City Radio" features the writer reading five previously unreleased pieces, along with selections from several of his books. The acerbic Burroughs wit is at its finest on many of these selections, and he even takes a shot at singing on one track. Musical contributors to this project include Sonic Youth, Donald Fagen, Lenny Pickett, Cheryl Hardwick, Chris Stein, and John Cale.

(256 kbps, no cover art)

3 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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    Zero

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete