Friday, August 3, 2007


Samarkand "Cathedral 95" MP3

Here's a late entry into the Samarkand catalog. In summer 1995 I rerererererererecorded several old Samarkand hits for the sheer hell of it. Feeling at the time, much as I do now, that these songs have never been presented correctly.

So, a few pokey jabs of keyboards, a few experimental twists with drum programming, and a fresh coat of paint all around, then. And that was the end of it, I don't think anyone has ever heard any of these re re re re re re re re recordings. I didn't touch the lyrics, though.

This song was originally called "Cathedral Decay," I'm not sure why the title changed. Maybe for the white tape we wanted all the songs to have single-word titles? I forget now.

The lyrics are rooted in the exhaustive William Carlos Williams biography I was reading at the time. William Carlos Williams became my favorite poet in high school. When I heard about 'the red wheelbarrow' and the one about the peaches, it was probably more mindblowing than the first time I heard the Sex Pistols. It was AS mindblowing as the first time I heard Napalm Death. Williams's poetry was extreme and accessible and it made sense in a visceral way. Plus it was absurd and funny.

My amusement turned to fandom as I began collecting books of his work and this thousand page biography. It felt very important for whatever reason for me to document my interest in William Carlos Williams. Fearless as I was of making another big pile of pretentious w@nk.

Of course I wrote an even more pretentious streak of monkeysp@nk in 1995 for In Bursts, titled "William Carlos Williams" and, yep, biting the style of Hugo Largo in the process.

I don't know either, it was a big deal at the time.

"Cathedral Decay" quoted heavily from the Williams biography and my own reactions to it. Wow, superw@nk. Looks like I'm hinting at making a suicide pact with the man there. Plus, so many words. Why so many words?

Musically it sounds like New Order, which is odd considering my lifelong apathy to Barney & the Gang.

I believe everything you say
and love is lovelier for its lust
And cathedral decay
is efflorescent

Pervert my thoughts
with your carelessness
amputate my mind
until I'm sufficiently crude as you

Yes I believe everything single thing you say
and a poem is merely poetry
And death can never fully replace
Life's faulty excellence

I buy it all and more
and if you see me at the door
Know that I, too, am four days from the end
Listen for the doorbell

The inclination to end it all
Temptation to laugh aloud as you fall
and run back where the air isn't quite so severe
Await the end in fear

1 comment:

Darrin said...

Niiiice. I dug the harmonized repeat of the last set of lyrics especially. The sweeps at the end remind me somewhat of ambulance sirens... interesting given it's 'suicide' under/over tones.

I'm looking at the dorm clutter newspaper cutout and I'm trying to figure out what was interesting there. That's not in a 'scoff... egads Noise Gate' kinda way but in a 'I'm so uneducated and unread and uncultured that I have no idea what is significant on this ad' kinda way. I see the green outline around the section with the Shadow Box Holy Cow thing, but nothing in there means anything to me..... oh wait... and final last glance and I see the reference to "featuring members of Christian Death". Now it all makes sense. Don't mind me. Nothing to see here. Move along.