Willie Alexander's Persistence of Memory Orchestra

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/12/2005
  • Label: Accurate Records
  • UPC: 743431100221
  • Catalog Number: 1002

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Around the World (4:08)
  2. 2 Ogalala (3:10)
  3. 3 Sambarama (3:37)
  4. 4 Fishtown Horrible (3:08)
  5. 5 Alligators (4:23)
  6. 6 Tubes (2:53)
  7. 7 Shopping Cart Louie (4:17)
  8. 8 Rita Ratt (3:05)
  9. 9 M F Swine (3:33)
  10. 10 Minimum Wage (3:24)
  11. 11 Mystery Train (3:12)
  12. 12 Like Trash (4:36)
  13. 13 Too Bad (3:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Willie "Loco" Alexander Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Jim Doherty Guitar, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Ken Field Flute, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Mark Chenevert Clarinet, Saxophone
Technical Credits
Erik Lindgren Contributor, Bass Arrangement
John Carden Producer, Engineer
Eric Clapton Composer
John Flansburgh Composer
John Linnell Composer
Toby Mountain Mastering
Victor Young Composer
Harold Adamson Composer
Persistence Of Memory Orchestra Producer
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