Willie Alexander's Persistence of Memory Orchestra

Willie Alexander's Persistence of Memory Orchestra

by Willie "Loco" Alexander
     
 
Boston scene patriarch Willie Alexander's first new album in five years -- and his first U.S. release in over a decade -- 1993's Persistence of Memory Orchestra finds the singer and pianist in an entirely new musical setting largely removed from his usual R&B-based roots rock. Recorded with a new band composed of himself, two reed players, and a combination

Overview

Boston scene patriarch Willie Alexander's first new album in five years -- and his first U.S. release in over a decade -- 1993's Persistence of Memory Orchestra finds the singer and pianist in an entirely new musical setting largely removed from his usual R&B-based roots rock. Recorded with a new band composed of himself, two reed players, and a combination drummer/guitarist, the songs are defiantly weird avant blues, with free jazz accents and a surprisingly up-to-date interest in hip-hop (dig the turntable scratching in the Rahsaan Roland Kirk-like "Sambarama" and the near-rapped "Fishtown Horrible"). For someone over three decades into his musical career, having started with primal Boston garage bands like the Lost in the '60s, Alexander has an impressively forward-looking attitude on this album. Mixing humor and horror in his lyrics by following the amusingly spacy "Alligators" with the nightmarish "Tubes," Alexander comes off like Captain Beefheart's slightly more normal younger brother. Even the pair of covers, a remake of Alexander's own '70s character study "Shopping Cart Louie" and a version of the classic "Mystery Train" that owes slightly more to Junior Parker's spooky blues original than Elvis Presley's better-known rockabilly take, are completely rearranged, with Ornette Coleman-style sax runs and an overwhelming sense of dread. Almost entirely unique in Willie Alexander's enormous catalog, Persistence of Memory Orchestra is a strange and impressive record.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2005
Label:
Accurate Records
UPC:
0743431100221
catalogNumber:
1002

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Around the World
  2. Ogalala
  3. Sambarama
  4. Fishtown Horrible
  5. Alligators
  6. Tubes
  7. Shopping Cart Louie
  8. Rita Ratt
  9. M F Swine
  10. Minimum Wage
  11. Mystery Train
  12. Like Trash
  13. Too Bad

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