Patti Smith, God bless her, has kept the faith on peace and noise: These are songs forged of necessity and passion. No A&R man had to coax this one out of her. ("This chick thing is big, Pats; the way I see it, those Lilith dames owe you a piece of the gate.")
the sept. 6th issue of billboard had an article about the new album...here are a few tidbits:"a kaleidoscopic view of the American experience -- from the Dust Bowl migration of the '30s to the Aids crisis and Heaven's Gate suicides of the '90s"that's about the gist of the article. arista is apparently planning a big promotional push, and clive davis says he loves the album, etc.
"As potent an artistic statement as Smith has ever crafted"
Patti: "So perhaps in being concerned about the youth of America, I accidentally constructed an American album."
Some song insights:
peace and noise was collectively produced by Smith and her band. The whole record is basically live, with certain overdubs by the band. Patti says "If you really trust your band, you don't need a producer. We're a fairly evolved bunch of people, and we all have a lot of ideas."
- 1959 examines the nation at that crucial historical juncture
- "Blue Poles" (which bears the title of a Jackson Pollock painting) is an intimate ballad about the hardships endured by the Dust Bowl refugees
- "Death Singing" addresses the AIDS epidemic through the description of a final concert by a musician stricken with the disease
- "Memento Mori" is a raging epic about a Vietnam War helicopter mishap: the song was improvised live
- "Last Call" is a cautionary look at the Heaven's Gate tragedy.
- "Spell" and "Don't Say Nothing" are animated by the spirit of Allen Ginsberg: The former is a setting of "Footnote to Howl" to music, and the latter captures some of his fierce social commentary.
The lone guest on the record is Michael Stipe, who contributes vocals on "Last Call."
Patti will be on a number of benefit albums this fall:
Tour will commence in early September with some Ireland dates. "I really can't go out an tour at length, because obviously I have a son and daughter."
- live cut of "People Have the Power" on the Bridge School album (Nov.)
- live cut of "About a Boy" on the Tibetan Freedom Concert album
- "We Three Kings" on Very Special Christmas 3
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