REVIEW
VARIOUS ARTISTS
KEROUAC - Kicks Joy Darkness
CD
[1997 Rykodisc]


So somehow this slipped by last year with out ever getting a review here, so I thought I would bring it to your attention. This is a collection of works by the late Beat guru JACK KEROUAC, each read and done in personal renditions by other poets and celebrities. (The only exception being a short "Ode to Jack" by HUNTER S. THOMPSON)...appearances are made by other word war casualties ALLEN GINSBERG & WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS..as well as people like MAGGIE ESTEP, LAWRENCE FERLINGETTI, JIM CARROLL, JOHN CALE, JOHNNY DEPP, PATTI SMITH.. and many others.. even an appearance by KEROUAC himself, via a late 50's recording accompanied with music by ex-Clash frontman, JOE STRUMMER. This release is a fine modern interpretation of the words of Kerouac.. even giving light to 5 new pieces that have not previously been published.. and showing some fine vintage photos and drawings in the package. All of the performances and readings caught for this release are really awsome recordings.. the music doesnt ever overpower the words.. some of the stronger cuts are Estep's rendition of "Skid Row Wine" (w/ the band The Spitters)...Burrough's erie voice telling of "Old Western Movies"..."Bowery Blues" by LYDIA LUNCH.. and "Have you ever seen anyone like Cody Pomeray" by Grateful Dead lyricist ROBERT HUNTER. A few of the people chose to read on this disc are not very familliar with the vocal acting needed to recite someone else's words.. and they come off weak and are hard to pay attention to.. of these are MICHAEL STIPE, JULIANNA HATFIELD, & EDDIE VEDDER (see any connections here?..hmm?) ..but there are some really sweet surprizes, with great readings by folks like STEVEN TYLER of Aerosmith, Sonic Youth's LEE RANALDO.. JOHNNY DEPP with COME doing "Madroad Driving...".and ANNA DOMINO's "Pome On Doctor Sax".. and they are are all very well mixed together.. so the disc never really loses you.. it is a really entertaining collection.. and a great way to introduce a friend to poems and words by one of the greats of our fading century, KEROUAC.

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