Tag Archives: John Cale

New Iggy Pop video: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Video: Iggy Pop – “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

Directed by Simon Taylor. From Free, out now on Loma Vista.

I wonder if Iggy Pop was inspired by a recent episode of “Jeopardy” in which all three of the contestants tried and failed to remember the exact wording of the first line of this Dylan Thomas villanelle. Probably not, but who knows? This reading comes from Ig’s 2019 album, Free.

It’s a classic poem about getting old and kicking the bucket, and the older you get the more powerfully it speaks to you.

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I think I first heard it via an inappropriately jaunty version by fellow Welshman John Cale that my homie PLP was prone to including on mixtapes for a while there in the beginning of the 90s. Maybe I read it in school before that but I doubt it. We didn’t cover a lot of poetry in my suburban Michigan high school. The Cale version is goofy yet still pretentious enough to ruin the vibe of any mixtape.

Iggy’s version is appropriately morbid and defiant. It’s also helped by its brevity, under two minutes long.

Dylan Thomas died in 1953 at 39. He drank himself to death. So he never even got to see the old age he wrote so eloquently about.

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Lost Classic: Nico – Desertshore

Nico - DesertshoreNicoDesertshore (Reprise)

You’ll all be grateful that Nico‘s third and most ambitious album, Desertshore, clocks in at a mere twenty-nine minutes…but maybe for different reasons. For some, the lack of variety within its grooves and the fact that Nico’s voice is a challenging instrument mean those twenty-nine minutes cannot come soon enough. For others, the material is hauntingly dark and the short running time is all that a sane person can probably take. In fact, if it were any darker, the record would need to be shipped with a suicide-prevention number. Just in case.

Nico pairs up with Velvet Underground alum John Cale once again on what may be the most challenging post-Velvet offering ever made by a former member. You’d have to remove Metal Machine Music on sheer principle to get that distinction, but Cale does a stand-up job by removing everything out of the mix, save for his occasional piano jabs outlining the drone of Nico’s harmonium and her Germanic monotone.

Continue reading Lost Classic: Nico – Desertshore