Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Constant commentary by the wayside

Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle, despite being one of the my absolute favourite rekkids, is one I am usually hesitant to proselytize on behalf of, because it's an either/or, hate/love kind of rekkid, and even I hate the idea of an avant-whimsical take on Americana. But as with most great art, what doesn't work in theory, can utterly astound in practice. Or just grate on your nerves. This one does the former for me. That it does the latter for most people is absolutely not a sign of poor taste or philistinism or anything like that - a lot of very wise music-minded people can't stand the thing. It just does what it does, regardless, mincing around in its own little world where Charles Ives writes ballet for B'rer Rabbit.

Here is the man in a NYC radio studio just this year, showing again why Song Cycle can only be loved or hated:


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