*numbered/limited edition of 500.
Philadelphia in 2006 is a funny place. With every season, it seems, a new busload of young pups appear on the streets of Fishtown with their Martin guitars slung over their shoulders, their iPods stuffed with This Is the Wind That Blows It Out, Dark Noontime and Raag Manifestos, and their heads full of expectations. One of their destinations is Kensington, where Jack Rose lives. But they quickly find that the gritty, working-class Kensington is a bit disappointing, not as dangerous as they’d hoped and even on the verge of gentrification.
Great artists, however, use audience expectations as a tool of their craft. Lou Reed’s follow up to the arena-rock smash Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal was the astonishing Metal Machine Music. The Aztecs once flattered the king of a rival tribe, the Culhuacan, by asking him to allow them to make his daughter a goddess. He thought that meant she would be married to their Huey Tlatoani until, as part of the ritual during the feast, Aztec priests emerged dressed in her flayed skin. As Sam Walton said, high expectations are the key to everything.
Now, we’re not saying that this new Jack Rose 7" is like Metal Machine Music (or even Sally Can't Dance), nor will it transform your daughter into the goddess Yaocihuatl. On the other hand, if you’re expecting Kensington Blues, you’ll find that Jack is light-years ahead of us all. It’s a live improvisation that starts with an atonal face-slap and spirals ever deeper into dissonant darkness, propelled, apparently, by an irksome and chatty crowd (which afterwards got a double dose of angry Jack, a gem of vituperation that may appear on a later release).
Jack Rose, Untitled: Parts 1 and 2, on Tequila Sunrise Records.
Recorded in London, on the day 8-Reed, in the month of Death, in the year 6-House.
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