Scott Walker – Bish Bosch

gretaclue   12/6/2012   12-inch, A Library

Bish(n,sl)-bitch. Hieronymous Bosch(n)-16th century Dutch painter. Bish Bosh(sl)- job done or sorted out. Walker said this about the title for his latest, “I was thinking about making the title refer to a mythological, all encompassing giant woman artist.” Before I start in on this, I’ll give a brief back story. Besides being a genuine weirdo, Scott Walker is an American singer songwriter who’s creepy baritone voice along with some very user friendly hooks and such made him something of a 60’s pop icon. While The Beatles made their way to the US, Scott and The Walker Brothers became big news in the UK. Scott rode that train, but got off in the late 70’s and made a bunch of really pretty strange career choices, from guest appearances on other band’s records (Pulp, Bat For Lashes,etc) to a James Bond soundtrack. In 1995 he released the solo record Tilt which was described as, “an anti-matter collision of rock and modern classical music”. It got even weirder with the 2006 release of The Drift. Enough history class. Lets talk about monster women, multi-layered religious art and getting shit done. I’ve never had to hit up wikipedia more while listening to a record. Brown dwarfs, epizootic, Nicolae Ceaucescu.. this record challenged me musically and intellectually. Inasmuch as I love a good pop song or some dirty old punker stuff, I also love a good story and Scott can tell a story. Lyrically and sonically you go on a trip through history, space, and imagination. Among these stories.. Zercon, a real life jester of Attila The Hun imagines his only escape from??Attila’s court is up. From soaring with eagles to heaven and beyond only to freeze to death as a brown dwarf in SDSS14+13B (Zercon, a Flagpole Sitter). Epizootic! (an epidemic outbreak of disease in an animal population, often with the implication that it may extend to humans and track 5) is like dirty dancing in ancient high-born footwear through the leftovers of a Dionysian luau. “Narcrotic leis yanked down around melianomed ankles” You WILL catch something. The Day The Conductor Died is an ode to Nicolae Ceausecu, the Romanian communist dictator who was infamously murdered along with his wife by firing squad in the 80’s. As the story goes, they didn’t wait for the word “fire”, they just lit ’em up. Its not all heavy. Someone lets one rip in the beginning of the first track and he’s got some one liners that deeply amused this sharp-tongued broad (“This is my job. I don’t come around and put out your red light when you work.””I hear the only place you’re invited is outside” and “Does your face hurt, cuz it’s killing me.” are a few favorites). Dictators, disease, saints, sub-stellar space objects, trash-talking, farts, hula dancing, there’s even some lyrics in Danish. I’m not sure how this last part will come across in a review, but here goes. When I was a kid I used to have these dreams where everyone was made out of paper and I was able to see all different levels and dimensions sort of like a diorama. Hieronymous Bosch paintings have always reminded me of these childhood dreams and this record reminds me of a sonic version. Its almost too much to take in. It requires much more than one listen. I always thought that’s why my dreams were reoccurring. I imagine I will revisit this record in a month and find a new corner of it that I’m obsessed with. Eventually you get the full picture and you can appreciate all the action going on. Like Bosch, Walker paints such vast scenes, encompassing the physical, spiritual, and beyond. A strange trip



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