Arthur Russell (1952-1992)
The late, great, Arthur Russell.
After searching record stores far and wide for the one missing record in my Arthur Russell collection, I went down to Laurie's Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square. Though they didn't have Another Thought, they were able to order it from Europe as an import. I was so excited! It came last Tuesday, and the verdict is in... maybe the quest predicates my reaction, but it's definitely my favorite. It's the closest (in my opinion) that Arthur came to merging his techno-producing-ways with his avant-whatever-you-want-to-brand-it-as amazing cello intuitions and pre-Dirty Projectors vocal stylings. The lyrics really clearly recall the influence of his time spent in a Buddhist monastery... if you haven't heard this guy - check him out! Here's a clip from a documentary about his life called Wild Combination that is currently circling the globe:
It's sort of an artistic cliche to use the phrase "ahead of his time," but truly, this was the case with Arthur. Especially if you listen to World of Echo or Tower of Meaning, it becomes blatant that our favorite artists of today are somehow forever tied to a continuum that also previously included Arthur in the echo (literally) of influence.
If anyone can tell me the name of the composition that he's playing in the black and white clip @ The Kitchen, NYC, I will be forever grateful... it's so weird to hear a clip playing behind narration and nearly cry because of the power of the composition and performance.