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.


Daniel Sprague said...

thanks for introducing this to me.... where should I start.


Anonymous said...

it's called EliI, it's supposed to be on Audika's upcoming compilation of AR's folky material. Was previewed on their myspace last year.


Ryan Hammer said...

Yes Yes Yes!!! Can't wait for the film to come through Chicago!

...its not you, its your narrative said...

Daniel - definitely start with "World of Echo" in headphones.

Anonymous - I can't believe that this random request harvested such an amazing response. Audika has an upcoming release of AR's folky material? Do you know if it will primarily contain untreated (raw) material or live performances? Or... ?

This is great news. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Glad to be of help
and the song is actually called Eli, bad typin on my part.

"Do you know if it will primarily contain untreated (raw) material or live performances? Or... ? "
your guess is as good as mine
"After Springfield is out I'll jump into completing a new AR compilition of "songs" that tentatively included the John Hammond Sr. tracks + Flying Hearts sings + folk/country tunes. But keep in mind they don't sound like folk and country tunes. It's Arthur music. It will take me awhile so don't expect a release on this stuff for at least a year. Did you know that Arthur was obsessed with Randy Travis? Really weird and beautiful songs"
Steve Knutson, Head of Audika

from here: http://sandbox.thehold.net/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?action=showall&boardid=41&threadid=24540


Sebastian said...

A very cool find, will definately be checking this guy out.

Parker Davis said...

that Eli track is rad. but the one before that i think may be even better. those lyrics..."i didnt like the ending though, maybe im crazy but it just seemed tacked on...i was afraid at the end that i might be crazy but i knew what the whole story was before it ended."

anyone know what that song is called?

beautiful stuff.

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