I find myself, yet again, happily transported by the art and symbolism of Patti Smith and her talented daughter, Jessie Parris Smith along with the collaborative known as Soundwalk Collective. They give us pause to show how fragile life is in this garden universe.
Killer Road is a sound exploration of the tragic death of Nico, Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon, while riding her bike on the island of Ibiza in the summer of 1988. A hypnotic meditation on the idea of perpetual motion and the cycle of life and death, the composition features Patti Smith lending her unique voice to the last poems written by the artist. Soundwalk Collective uses a travel log of field recordings and samples of Nico’s signature instrument, the harmonium, to create a magnetic sound scape.
Killer Road is an ambient sound scape and spoken word tribute to Nico, eight interpretations of her lyrics, predominantly taken from classic albums such as Desertshore and Drama of Exile, arranged by fellow poet and kindred spirit Patti Smith. Originally executed as a live performance piece with Jesse Paris Smith and Soundwalk Collective, Killer Road sees the light of day in album format for the first time in stores, next week, September 2, 2016.
I ordered the limited edition online as a collector, ***Limited Edition Version: Edition of 300 hand-numbered copies, comes with alternate screen-printed wrap around sleeve, wax sealed, and available by mail-order only. ONE PER PERSON LIMIT.***
Directed by Stephan Crasneanscki
Produced by Soundwalk Collective for Bella Union & Sacred Bones Records
Video by Tina Frank
There is something hauntingly romantic about the Jackson Browne song, “The Birds of St. Marks”.
“This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved the Byrds. She even said on a couple of occasions, ‘Oh, you can play something like Jim McGuinn?’”
“The Birds of St. Marks” was originally written in 1967 when Jackson Browne was 18 and returning home to California after a brief stint living in New York where he was recording with Nico. A time of innocence and lost love. A time of youth.
Nico: Chelsea Girl
Three of Jackson Browne’s first songs were recorded on Nico’s solo album. He played electric guitar on her recording as suggested by Andy Warhol to create a modern sound.
- These Days
- Fairest of the Seasons
- Somewhere There’s A Feather
St. Marks Place Landmarks – East Village, New York City
St. Marks Place was a vibrant community in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s still a happening scene today.
#13 – Home to Lenny Bruce in the mid-1960s.
#19-#25 – The Dom, Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey turned The Dom into a nightclub in 1966, which served as a showcase for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s multimedia stage show for the Velvet Underground.
#19-#25 – Became The Electric Circus. Billy Joel filmed his video, “A Matter of Trust” (1986) inside The Electric Circus.
131 Second Avenue (corner St. Marks Place), Gem Spa – Home of the Egg Cream 😉
#96 & #98 – The Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti features a front and back cover design that depicts these two buildings, which feature carved faces. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are in front of same building in the Rolling Stones music video “Waiting on a Friend“.