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Program 651: Art-Pop-Art-Pop-Art

KALW Broadcast Date: May 14, 2021 | Host: Mark Abramson

The theme this evening is Pop Art, or Art Pop — music that could be classified as pop, but that is to some degree experimental as well. A couple of months ago I did a program that featured Joseph Byrd and Frank Zappa, and found the mix made a surprisingly good digression for Other Minds. Normally, we’d play you the work of composers like John Cage or Pauline Oliveros, but there’s some absorbing work where the popular meets the experimental, and that’s what we’re focusing on here…though I will be playing a piece by Gyorgy Ligeti during this program, to provide some context for Scott Walker in particular. Walker may be unfamiliar to many of our regular listeners. He started his career as a pop star, front man for a London-based group called the Walker Brothers, possibly modeled after the Righteous Brothers. Later in his career he developed a unique voice and disregard for convention that pushed his music to another level. It’s definitely not easy listening. His lyrics are impressionistic, hard to interpret, and can be disturbing, depending on your point of view. He arranges his compositions in “blocks of sound” rather than predictable verses and choruses, and changes in volume or intensity are often abrupt. Laurie Anderson’s music is more familiar to Other Minds listeners, and we’ve got 4 of her pieces programmed here. Other artists you’ll hear in this program are relative youngsters Colin Stetson and Lucrecia Dalt, experimental rock artist David Sylvian, Bay Area sound art collective Negativland, and we’ll have cameos from György Ligeti, Cathy Berberian and Bing Crosby.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links

Title: Cossacks Are
Composer: Scott Walker
Performers: Scott Walker, vocals, guitar, harmonica, saxophone, sound treatment; and a cast of dozens
Recording Title: The Drift (2006)
Record Label: 4AD
Catalog Number: CAD 2603


Titles: Corps De Blah, Epizootics!
Composer: Scott Walker
Performers: Scott Walker, vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion; and a cast of dozens
Recording Title: Bish Bosch (2012)
Record Label: 4AD
Catalog Number: CAD 3220


Title: Like Wolves on the Fold
Composer: Colin Stetson
Performer: Colin Stetson, saxophones
Recording Title: All This I Do For Glory (2017)
Record Label: 52 Hz
Catalog Number: 52HZ002CD


Titles: From The Air, O Superman
Composer: Laurie Anderson
Performers: Laurie Anderson – vocals, vocoder, percussion, violins, electronics, keyboards
Recording Title: Big Science (1982)
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Catalog Number: BSK 3674


Titles: Disuelta, Seca, Caotlicue S., Ser Boca
Composer: Lucrecia Dalt
Performer: Lucrecia Dalt – instruments, voices, electronics
Recording Title: No Era Sólida (2020)
Record Label: Rvng International
Catalog Number: RVNGNL65


Title: It’s Raining Today
Composer: Scott Walker
Performer: Scott Walker, vocals
Recording Title: Scott 3 (1969)
Record Label: Fontana
Catalog Number: 510 881-2


Title: Atmosphères (1961)
Composer: György Ligeti
Performers: Vienna Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado conductor
Recording Title: Wien Modern (1990)
Record Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Catalog Number: 429 260-2


Title: Velvet Revolution
Composers: Stephan Mathieu & David Sylvian
Performers: Stephan Mathieu & David Sylvian
Recording Title: Wandermüde (2012)
Record Label: Samadhisound
Catalog Number: SS 023


Title: Speak My Language, Night In Baghdad
Composer: Laurie Anderson
Performers: Laurie Anderson – vocals & keyboards; and a cast of dozens
Recording Title: Bright Red (1994)
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Catalog Number: 9 45534-2


Title: Announcement, Quiet Please
Composer: Negativland
Performers: Negativland, with: Guitar [Doublespeed Disco] – Henry Kaiser; Percussion [Hits, E-cussion] – Rand Weatherwax; Tape [Voice] – Das
Recording Title: Escape From Noise (1987)
Record Label: SST Records
Catalog Number: SST CD 133


Title: Stripsody
Composer: Cathy Berbarian
Performer: Cathy Berberian, voice
Recording Title: MagnifiCathy: The Many Voices of Cathy Berberian (1988)
Record Label: Wergo
Catalog Number: WER 60054-50


Title: Blemish
Composer: David Sylvian
Performer: David Sylvian – vocals and instruments
Recording Title: Blemish (2003)
Record Label: Samadhisound
Catalog Number: SS 001


Title: Sweet Leilani
Composer: Harry Owens
Performers: Bing Crosby with Lani McIntyre and His Hawaiians
Recording Title: Sweet Leilani/Blue Hawaii (2012)
Record Label: Decca Records
Catalog Number: 1175

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