Saturday, June 13

30th Century Man

The newest release from the Beastie Boys' surprisingly diverse studio-cum-distro company Oscilloscope Laboratories is a brilliant little gem for fans of obscure and uncompromising musician Scott Walker.

His is the classic tale of the visionary artist/recluse who fades from the limelight of public adoration, yet continues to deliver their increasingly cryptic missives with glorious indifference to their 'audience'. After skyrocketing to fame in the paisley powered soft rock outfit 'The Walker Brothers' (none of them brothers, none of them actually named Walker) tabloids began speculating on the moody nature of bass guitarist/singer Scott, who was just not cut out for the cult-of-personality record executives use to sell their acts. The 'troubled' star soon lost interest in the hordes of screaming teens who regularly bum-rushed the stage during their sold out auditorium gigs.

What's so refreshing about Scott's story is that it contains none the typical pitfalls associated with similar social deviants- no major drug addictions, grave mental illnesses, suicide attempts or spiritual awakenings. In the absence of any such subterfuge, we are forced to cast a stone-cold sober stare into the stark and uniquely unsettling world Walker creates with his music. A music that is quite unlike anything else you've heard- even when taking on familiar tunes from well known troubadours like Jacques Brel, Burt Bacharach, or Elvis Presley- Walker's eerily deep crooning and lavish orchestrations frequently evoke an air of dark mystery.

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