La Cathedrale Engloutie


Claude Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral” is based on a myth involving, well, a sunken cathedral off the coast of Brittany. The beautiful princess of a prosperous coastal town named Ys had an affair either with Satan or one of his many lieutenants on earth (as beautiful princesses tend to do). As punishment, the town was destroyed by sinking into the sea along with most inhabitants. Local legend held that on certain days you could hear the bells of the cathedral of Ys ringing from below. On other days, it was believed to rise briefly to the surface. Debussy begins by representing both waves and the ringing of the cathedral bells. As the cathedral rises, chanting monks and priests emerge, culminating with the great organ at 2:25: a brief emergence of a grand, underwater zombie Mass of the damned. Then it all sinks again until we just hear the bells. Near the end, the great organ melody makes a muted reappearance from the murky depths.

Beautifully creepy stuff here, with the obsessively perfect Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli looking like he’s playing this from deep within his castle in Transylvania. (He actually never lived in a castle in Transylvania, but for a while he did live in one near Brescia).

“Boogie” Said with A Mancunian Accent is My New Drug

I’m addicted to Andrew Hickey’s A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs. I started at #1 after finishing Cocaine & Rhinestones, and have grown progressively more impressed with it. It’s impeccably researched,and so full of good stories and facts you never had any idea of. The episode on “Brand New Cadillac” is masterclass. Highly recommended. I will avoid spoilers.

Episode 77: “Brand New Cadillac” by Vince Taylor and the Playboys

This Is Weird, For Many Reasons

… but mostly because Welles is an opinionated genius and world-class hater. It’s hard to imagine him being a talk show host who could get guests comfortable.

Throw in Andy Kaufman, and I’m not sure what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s clear that Welles had watched Taxi, and had thought about it in some depth.

“I want to know why it is that you go and wrestle with people, when you can act so well.”

Viking Kittehs

In honor of Len Zefflin week, enjoy this gem from the early internets.

I think I liked the song better after finding this. I’m sure it’s what they pictured when they wrote it.

Parking Lot Movie

I really enjoyed this. Available for $0 on Amazon Prime. A great antidote to overhyped action hero fare, and probably the sort of thing someone who appreciates abandoned malls would like.

There’s probably nothing worse than poets working in parking lots.