The (Implicitly) White Music of Scott Walker"/>
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The (Implicitly) White Music of Scott Walker

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No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker
Edited by Rob Young
London: Orion, 2012.

“I’ve come far from chains/From metal and stone/From makeshift designs/And seeking a star” — Scott Walker, “Rhymes of Goodbye”

“Searching for a more authentic life than just as another puppet on a string he withdrew into the world of his own music” — (“Didn’t Time Sound Sweet,” No Regrets, pp. 59–60)

“For in this medley the worlds of high art and ‘pop’ art . . . all meet.” — Harold Beaver, “Introduction” to Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, ed. Harold Beaver (New York: Penguin, 1972), p. 25.

The ongoing “career” — to use the inevitable but rather misleading term — of Scott Walker, from ’60s teen idol to ’70s Jack Jones-style crooner to ’80s recluse to 21st-century avant garde icon, is perhaps the most problematic in pop history, even surpassing, perhaps, “Elvis — What Happened?”

No Regrets is a collection of around a dozen new essays, along with a couple of interviews, arranged chronologically by album release, that attempt to explain — at least in the sense of “make the details known,” if not exactly “make plain or comprehensible,” or “provide a motive for” — that unique trajectory of life and work.

No one’s life or work, or life’s work, is likely “explainable” so there’s cause for complaint — no regrets! — if the unprecedented phenomenon of Scott Walker remains a mystery. Rather, the reader should appreciate the offer of enormous amounts of detail about not only Scott’s life — most of which, if known, is rather banal: parents’ divorce, life of both coasts of the US, petty juvenile delinquency, but still managing to make his Broadway debut and his first 45 while still in high school; screaming, bloodthirsty female fans; endless lucrative touring, both as a group and later solo; shopping sprees and self-medication with vodka and valium to cope therewith; then seclusion, save for an occasional orange juice commercial to make ends meet, releasing increasingly hermetic records every decade or so to acclaim from smaller, less violent mobs of fans — but also about the social and cultural atmosphere — such as the union rules that broke up sessions for mandatory tea breaks “just when you got something going” and forced Scott to break into the studio after hours to do overdubs without the contractually required presence of live musicians — in which he created his own contribution to that ’60s sound phenomenon Phil Spector once called “little symphonies for the kids” but, in Scott’s case, more influenced by Sibelius, Bartok or even Ligeti than Beethoven or Brahms.

The reader shouldn’t expect “the answer(s)” about such a cultural phenomenon, and certainly not some “Very Short Introduction” or even “Complete Idiot’s Guide” to Scott, but rather enjoy the opportunity to take a private, after-hours tour, curated by expert docents, around various facets and angles of a rare work of art — rather like the book of essays on Joyce’s equally hermetic late work by Beckett and others published in 1929 as Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress — and so come “to experience the awe and mystery” — to use the catchphrase from The Outer Limits, the Twilight Zone knock-off that was just finishing its run the year Scott’s plane set down in London — of Scott Walker.

Naturally, though each is devoted to one or more of Scott’s albums, the essays vary widely in tone, length, and value. Oddly, the ones devoted to some of Scott’s most important albums — Nina Power on the first solo albums, Scott and Scott 2 and Brian Morton’s on the 1986 avant garde return Tilt — are the least valuable. Power’s is too short to say anything, while Morton throws around some opaque grad school terms like “significs” that shed no light; and while several essays take T. S. Eliot as a reference point for Scott’s physical and mental exile from America, with more or less insight, Morton says Walker’s “European sensibility” has “a distinctively American phenomenology” (see what I mean) that can only be compared to . . . Susan Sontag — the notion of Sontag being typically “American” about anything leading the reader to gag and even Sontag to spit at the author.

Smack in the middle, and taking up about a third of the whole book, is the longest and most daring essay here, Ian Penman’s, which caught my attention right from the title, “A Dandy in Aspic,” taken from a favorite ’60s British spy novel and film, which I plan to review at some length in the coming year. In fact, the whole essay, in its barely controlled run-on of McLuhanesque “probes” tossed out and left behind, paradoxically combined with a sharp focus on the tiniest of details, reminds me, and perhaps the reader, of my own work here on Counter-Currents[1] — so good for him! But especially since it’s the longest essay here and centrally placed, I’d like to zero in on it a bit to give you some idea of its intriguingly allusive qualities.

A Dandy in Aspic, the film,[2] opens with a Saul Bass-style sequence in which the credits appear over a dancing puppet that eventually become entangled in its strings and collapses. Penman starts “Dandy” right off by telling us that the contemporary icon of British MOR, and Scott’s presumed role model, Matt Monro (who sang the title song in From Russia with Love) was no “swarthy puppet on razzle-dazzle strings” but a working man like Ian’s dad and his chums, whose ascent to lounge stardom appealed because it exposed “the business of class” as “a world of illusion, strings pulled”(pp. 76–77). Through Monro, we are subliminally — Penman never makes the point explicitly, like some of Scott’s opaque lyrics — led to the film’s dandy, a double agent sent against his will from England to Europe, as Scott fled first America then England for Amsterdam and Sweden, both under assumed names: the spy’s is “Dancer,” while Scott’s is “Walker” (The Walker Brothers was a Righteous Brothers knock-off comprising neither brothers nor Walkers).

Penman goes on to mount a spirited defense of the idea that “critical consensus” be damned, Middle Scott is the best Scott, really the Heart of Scott. For dedicated fans who fell in love with, or to, “the early stuff,” but, while glad he’s found some revered place in the history of pop, find the “later stuff” a little off-putting, it’s mighty welcome to have Penman on our side.

Penman reminds us that in the actual world of the ’60s things were not so clear cut as they may seem “after the (youth) revolution” which was itself just a marketing scheme that meant little more than selling hippie wigs at Woolworths, while Jimmy Page did session work not just with The Who but Tom Jones and Harry Seacombe, “the Bow Tie Brigade” he calls them. In that context, Scott’s “lost years“ period of post-Brothers, post-solo albums, the period of movie soundtrack songs, ersatz “Country Western” made by middle-aged Brits in London, a TV variety show, and pub tours seems less incongruous, less of a challenge to the understanding.

Some might even find it ideal: “the sudden illumination of serious art, mixed in with the cheap and heady cocktail rush of popular idiom” (p. 81). Eliot, another American exile, did something like that in the confines of “The Wasteland,” and Rob Young, the editor of this collection, reminds us that Scott arrived in London the month after Eliot’s death. Like the code phrase for the spy’s death in Dandy, it is “the passing of the buck” from Old Tom to Young Scott. Much of the pop cultural coverage on Counter-Currents fits that description, since only the despised pop or lowbrow cultural artifacts fly low enough under the elite radar to smuggle in some Traditionalist meaning.

And despite touring with Hendrix, Scott was already “far nearer the MOR realm of Matt Monro,” even on those solo albums his fans consider to be the “real” Scott.

The music pulls off the trick of looking in two directions at once, without feeling like it’s pulling in two directions at all. The surface may feel initially slight and bland, all quivering strings — but then you’re hooked, can’t turn away, keep returning. Songs with subtly shape everyday language into something oddly memorable. Some detail or undertow. You listen and things go dark. (pp. 82–83, my emphasis)

Again, strings are pulled, but they’re yours, not his.

And speaking of those “details” that hook you, Penman steps back from his defense of Scott’s unfashionable period to deliver a self-conscious defense of his own procedures, which could just as easily be used to defend my own, reviewing movies and TV shows from a high-minded Traditionalist perspective:

Am I projecting too much on to mere makeweight songs? Or isn’t that the whole point and glory of such songs? That being slight or fluffy is no barrier to smuggling themselves illegally into places within our listening hearts . . . [unlike] the rock cult of ‘hidden meaning’ [there’s] the thrill of exposing something for yourself, finding something surprising in the sonic shadows you had no reason to suspect would be there. . . . The simplest word or phrase can end up freighted with impossible richness and ambiguity. (pp. 117–18)

As Penman sums up Scott’s output during these MOR years:

Of course Middle Scott is all surface; but as we well know, surface can become quite fugue-like with the right degree of concentration. This is the entire basis of the secrets of spell-casting and invocation. (p. 124)

And as the British archetypal poet Jeremy Reed insists, the fan’s obsession with pop ephemera is a relation of the poet’s eye on the mundane, so it’s no surprise that Reed has produced several poems and even a rather stalkerish biography devoted to Scott.

Unfortunately, Penman’s essay drawls down and peters out without really making much of a point — the titular Dandy in Aspic reference that got me all hopped up never becomes as explicit as I’ve made it here and ultimately goes nowhere — and one feels the editor should really have put his foot down and demanded one more rewrite. Still, Penman leaves us with this lovely image, a YouTube video of Scott, vintage 1972, singing some desolate Euro-MOR to some dissolute Euro-crowd, nicely dressed like the Rat Pack but mod; or mod enough but without a cravat or lace cuff to suggest Austin Powers, and even so intimating his secret nature, pop industry puppet no longer, now the Chakravartin, the Taoist Realized Man of no-action, the unmoved mover at the center of the cosmic wheel, the still point of the chaotic post-War era: “He is compellingly un-animated. A still point. He could be the unhappiest, drunkest man in Europe — but he looks like a perfectly Scandinavian picture of health” (p. 135, my emphasis).

From blond American teen idol in England to Scandinavian lounge singer? On that note, let’s turn back to the collection as a whole. Each reader, of course, will have his own area of interest — which others might call his ‘bias’ — and those who recall my previous discussion of Scott on this site[3] will know that my own is using Scott Walker as a model for a future Aryan Musician, a proud maker of White Music. And so I was most interested in the evidence provided throughout the essays here of Scott’s exemplary Whiteness; indeed, many of his “mysteries” evaporate when one realizes, as most of the authors do not and likely would be horrified to consider, that one is dealing with not some Judaic crooner — even if Eddie Fisher gave him his first job, and there’s been a few Israeli managers and “collaborators” here and there since — but with a true Aryan.[4]

Since I think most of the readers of this website share this interest, at least to some extent, and so I’ll give some indication of what these essays provide us, likely unknowingly, to flesh our idea of Scott Walker, White Musician in the modern age — or indeed, as the film biography calls him, the “30 Century Man.”[5] So here are some of the Aryan themes that are implicitly referenced throughout the book:

First off, the name. As I’ve already noted, it’s not “really” Scott Walker, but Noel Scott Engle. A couple of writers here note how “Engle” relates to “Angle,” that is, the Anglo people who settled England, making England his natural home and Scott a synecdoche for the nation, or, as we would say, the White race. And a few others make the same connection as Pope Gregory – non Angli, sed angeli – while Penman, of course, goes recklessly further, linking his hermaphroditic beauty and melancholy Eurocentrism to Der Blaue Engel and “Walker” to Baudelaire’s flâneur, the angel as wandering ghost.

The Walker Brothers act extended both the name play and the beauty. His agent’s secretary recalls “They were these American male gods who looked perfect” (p. 31); the front men were, as Greg Johnson recently said in another context, “both tall and blonde, which at one time was considered quintessentially “California.”

It wasn’t really about the music alone, though. As I’ve suggested, based on the work of Michael Hoffman, classic rock, especially heavy metal and psychedelic, are the contemporary versions of pagan Mystery rites (and hence, of course, their implicit Whiteness). In the case of the Walkers, the “concerts were less about the music and more about playing out a ritualistic ceremony where the blond American gods appeared in the flesh before their braying worshippers” (p. 39).

The flesh of the gods, of course, is provided by the entheogenic drugs accompanying such performances. While Bowie could only suggest that “we could be heroes just for one day” Scott, on the album that seemed to have provided Bowie and Eno with the template for their Berlin adventures, assured us on Nite Flights that “We will be gods.”

Unfortunately for his career, and his record company, Scott was actually too Aryan to tolerate for long the messy unpleasantness of ’60s stage performance (screaming teenyboppers and endless touring on British Rail), and “the emerging counterculture and hippie underground made him shudder” (p. 150). The aforementioned secretary recalls that “Scott was very aloof. There was a certain amount of arrogance.” Indeed, Scott sounds a bit like Archie Bunker or even one of the Mobile Infantry of Starship Troopers as he recalls that “The place was crawling with hippies and there was no way around that, if you weren’t in their uniform. It was tough” (p. 152). Interestingly, Scott, like Alan Watts at the same moment, picks up on the real phoniness of the hippies’ supposedly “liberated” rags.

So Scott retreated to — that is to say, took his stand in — the studio. Not that it was a big change, really. The Walkers “did not adhere to any accepted notion of authenticity as a group, either on stage or in the studio.” With a non-playing drummer and two guitarists who let session men handle the chores, they were “a mythical beast, spawned and constructed under laboratory conditions in the Phillips studios” (pp. 32–33).

Again, it’s the whole notion of “authenticity” that puts Scott at odds with the modern “counter-culture,” where “the paradigm of authentic expression was interminable electric blues rock” (p. 89). Rock (which, Penman reminds us, was best described by the National Lampoon as “black roots music played by longhaired English homosexuals”) hates MOR because it’s “too smart . . . too implacably adult, it luxuriates in its stylized lack of passion . . . thoroughly ‘square’. No edge, no soul” (p. 90). I’ll say it, as Penman won’t: too White.

Instead of grubby, yet ultimately fake “authenticity,” the White musician seeks technological perfection, producing a smooth, flawless result that is, ipso facto, truly authentic, because it is his own. “Pulse-free Muzak” (p. 88); “American music created in stilted laboratory conditions in Britain” (p. 13). By contrast, “Things were so primitive when I was performing . . . I simply could not achieve the results I was after. It was all quite so traumatic for me as a young man” (p. 40). “Scott 3 emerged at the height of psychedelics, and while it eschewed its methods, ideals, and its morality, it nevertheless makes ruptures in time and space that match any record of that era” (p. 67).

How on Earth did he accomplish that? Two factors were key: the White pursuit of technological superiority in the studio is at the service of a Faustian quest for The New in sound; and respect for the Logos or Word: “All that guitar based stuff — I just feel that I’ve heard it before so many times. It goes on and on and never seems to end. It’s just the same narrow ground being worked over. I would drive me mad to have to work within those parameters” (p. 7). “Some guy strumming away, telling you the story of his life . . .” (p. 248).

Or as Eno says in his interview in 30 Century Man: “I have to say it’s humiliating to hear this . . . you just think ‘Christ we haven’t got any further!’ I just keep hearing all these bands that sound like bloody Roxy Music and Talking Heads. We haven’t got any further than this. It’s a disgrace really!”

“[I]t’s never about the meltdown of logic” but rather the opposite: “being allowed to record exactly how he visualizes everything” (p. 89), Scott was able to use the studio system with artistic precision due to another Aryan trait, his very un-hippie professionalism.[6] Middle Scott “was a pro. He huddles with the session guys and arrangers and gets the albums done. He doesn’t sink or slip away into drunk afternoon decrepitude” (p. 84).[7]

Unlike tedious generations of White trash “rock stars” and “rap artists” that the Judaic music industry has chewed up and spit out bankrupt or dead, Scott had found a way to “ride the tiger.”

“This is how you disappear” as the Scott lyric so frequently repeated in this collection goes. Cranking out “product” without the vulgarity of suicide or living out forgotten years in a Sunset Boulevard mansion. Hiding in plain sight, like the Russian double agent Eberlin/Krasnevin in Aspic, home “an improbable image,” “internal exile” in a “Siberia of the soul” even “inside your own [fake] name.” You’re “between checkpoints, a sonic no-man’s land . . . right inside the song itself” (pp. 86–87).

By Scott 3 there were already “few of the trappings of rock” that would “time-stamp the album;” the songs were “untethered by percussion and stretch out endlessly . . . as if moving in zero gravity” (pp. 64–65, my emphasis).[8] As I suggested in the same essay, White music is proudly un-rhythmic, reaching for the Infinite by means of new technologies and instruments free of the “slavery of time.”

Secondly, the lyrics: the key was to “focus on the word,” the Aryan Logos, “with the song at its service” (p. 71). Hence the interest or obsession, with the French chanson, à la Jacques Brel. At the same time, he wanted to “progress without becoming unmusical” (p. 57). Already in 1969’s Scott 3 the “lyrics” are as impenetrable as they’ll be on such later work as 1995’s Tilt — “Every single sound on the track is related to the lyric in some way” as he says in a 1995 interview (p. 199) — or 2006’s The Drift, where, in an interview that year Scott insists that even where there are “no beautiful string arrangements” but just “big blocks of sound and noises” you “always have to keep matching it to the lyrics” (p. 248).

“Literary allusions and livid visions are crow-barred into dense, awkwardly scanning lines that need to be unpacked by the listener” while delivered by a voice “not always so far from Vegas” and “none of the wild style studio tricks that rock was exploring at the same time” (p. 73).

Those lyrics, however abstruse, reflect a realistic Aryan individualism: “Scott’s prostitutes, hustlers, transvestites are not lumped together” — “the Masses” fit for self-congratulatory bleeding hearts to weep for at a distance — “but dealt with . . . individually . . .” (p. 108); as well as the high status of women in Aryan societies: “Not only does he not share the casual sexism of his rock/pop contemporaries, but some of Scott’s best songs are sung from a woman’s point of view” (p. 108).

“Everything right out in the open but hardly anyone seems to have noticed. Why? Because it was set not to a twelve-bar blues but to a gorgeous caroming Broadway melody?” (p. 111) Indeed, more than that: “it has the sheer ease and economy and space of jazz. It has the balls of classic show tunes. It has the anger of protest. It has the unassuming cleverness of a Sondheim. Maybe that’s the problem — how much it jumps around” (p. 115). But it has to, since each song is about an individual, “a different person, a different nationality, a different era,” each one a “link in a chain of wasted lives” — “heartbreakers without kitsch” (p. 52).

Just as the operatic and implicitly White rock of Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf) has been described (with a sneer) as “camp for straight people,” Stephen Kijak, director of the Scott bio film, 30 Century Man, recalls someone calling Scott’s music “Judy Garland for gays who grew up writing poetry and wearing black turtlenecks.” But “queer culture” is bigger than that, a “gap in our culture” (Kijak again) where Scott has placed himself, “insider looking out,” renouncing everything “we are supposed to want — money, sex fame” to “become a nobody, a place to work or not to work.”[9]

Like Bartelby, he would prefer not to. So the realized man, as Coomaraswamy reiterated, has abandoned the ego and become nobody, his epitaph hic jacet nemo (“Nobody special” as Suzuki described himself), and as the Chakravartin, no longer the puppet controlled by others but the Universal Man in the Center, pulls all the strings himself, and works by not-working.

That brings us back to the spiritual elements in Scott’s work, a spirituality of endlessly renewed struggle (again, “Europe Endless”) quite opposed to that of the passive Christian mentality (what Evola would call a “confused form of mysticism”): “Most of my stuff is about frustration, of being unable to hold on to a spiritual moment, always losing it” (p. 250). “I’m a man who struggles with spirituality whereas he [David Sylvain]’s given in to it. [My albums] are about struggle in a Dostoyevskian sense. It’s a real fight for me in every line. Whereas he’s given in to a state of grace” (p. 201).

However difficult the struggle, the White Man finds it worth it; the reward is adulthood, and above all, Light, even if it is in the form of Ice or Glass. Even, or as Penman would have it, especially, in his MOR work: ‘Til the Band Comes In is just as obscurely avant garde as Climate of Hunter, but it is “his lightest work: light because adult, and adult because confident enough to be light” (p. 109). “Easy on the ear melodies that feel distinctly icy, with a weight of compacted absence, sadness, wasted time. Flawless like cheap glassware – pretty songs with no real prettiness. Light entertainment that lets no light escape” (p. 121, my emphasis).

In Cesare della Riviera’s “The Magical World of the Heroes” (Il mondo magico de gli heroi), written in 1605 and edited by Evola in the early 20th century, there is an Italian pun that alchemists would return to over the centuries:

ANGELO = ANtico GELO, i.e. the “Angel = Ancient Ice”

Even if I haven’t convinced you that Scott Walker is the ultimate White musician and worthy of your attention for that reason alone, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the mechanics of the post-war pop music industry or just some damned fine cultural writing. It’s really quite exciting to see such implicitly White music, both avant garde and MOR, receiving serious critical attention. White Nationalists should be heartened by it, and should encourage this unexpected entry point into the mainstream by purchasing multiple copies for family and friends!

Notes

1. Collected in in The Homo and the Negro: Masculinist Meditations on Politics and Popular Culture (San Francisco: Counter Currents, 2012), and the forthcoming The Eldritch Evola . . . and Others (San Francisco: Counter Currents, 2013).

2. There’s no record of Scott’s interest in or even awareness of the film, but the theme, existential doubt in a Euro-Brit, Cold War setting, is similar to what he was gropingly exploring in the albums he was making at the same time, both originals and compilations of movie songs. He’d eventually contribute a song of his own to a James Bond film — such a downer it was dropped from the film and relegated to the soundtrack album, in a kind of karmic payback for those late ’60s potboilers of his. His early career was short-circuited when his patron, Eddie Fisher, was dumped by Liz for Richard Burton, who played the definitive ’60s existentialist agent in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

3. “I’ll Have a White Rock, Please — Implicit Whiteness, Aryan Futurism and the Godlike Genius of Scott Walker,” reprinted in The Homo and the Negro.

4. Rather than vaguely insinuating what “White” is, I base myself here on Baron Evola’s discussion of the ideal type of the “Roman Spirit” found in Men Among the Ruins:

This original Roman spirit was based on a human type characterized by a group of typical dispositions. Among them we should include self-control, an enlightened boldness, a concise speech and determined and coherent conduct, and a cold dominating attitude, exempt from personalism and vanity. . . . The same style is characterized by deliberate actions, without grand gestures; a realism that is not materialism but rather love for the essential; the ideal of clarity, which eventually turned into rationalism in only some Latin peoples; an inner equilibrium and a healthy suspicion for every confused form of mysticism — a love for boundaries; the readiness to unite, as free human beings and without losing one’ s identity, in view of a higher goal or for an idea. We may also add religio and pietas, which do not mean “religiosity” in the Christian sense of the word, but instead signify for a Roman an attitude of respectful and dignified veneration for the gods and, at the same time, of trust and reconnection with the supernatural, which was experienced as omnipresent and effective in terms of individual, collective, and historical forces. Obviously, I am far from suggesting that every Roman man and woman embodied these traits; however, they represented the “dominant factor” and were embodied in the ideal that everybody perceived to be specifically Roman. [. . .]

The Roman chastity or sobriety of speech, expression, and gesture is contrasted by the gesticulating, noisy, and disordered exuberance of the Mediterranean type, by his mania for communication and effusiveness, and by his feeble sense of boundaries, hierarchy, and silent subordination. The counterpart of these traits is often a lack of character, the tendency to get excited and become drunk with words: verbosity, a flaunted and conventional sense of honor, susceptibility, concern for appearances but with little or no substance. The expression “Pobre in palabras pew in obras largo” [Poor of words but rich in deeds], which characterized the ancient Spanish aristocratic type, should be compared with Moltke’s characterization: “Talk little, do much, and be more than you appear to be”; all this points to the “Roman” style. (p. 259)

5. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, directed by Stephen Kijak, 2007 The title comes from one of Scott‘s compositions on his Scott 3 album — the cover of which reduces him to a single, cover-filling eye, at once anonymous and icon of Aryan genetics. The song is perhaps most generally familiar from its use in The Life Aquatic.

6. As Penman notes, the old time soul revues were, for all their “funk” rather like MOR than rock: professionalism, crowd-pleasing, matching outfits, and elaborate choreography. James Brown was proud to be “the hardest working man in show business.” Les extrêmes se touchent: I suggest, as I did in my earlier essay, that the White man impresses the Negro not by imitating him — dancing around like a monkey — but precisely by taking his Whiteness “up to 11” and being himself to the nth degree — true authenticity. Grandmaster Flash was knocked out by the motionless Kraftwerk: “They were so stiff, they swung!”

7. Bogart was a similar professional, who keep the drinking, though heavy, after work hours, and also like Scott, that “easy to work with” image helped keep him in demand with producers where more “temperamental” artistes might have been exiled. See my essay on Bogart reprinted in The Homo and the Negro. Oddly enough, Brian Dillon, in his review of this book, refers to Scott as “Bacall-beautiful”: “Brian Dillon on Scott Walker’s manic pop stardom and long vanishing act.” The Guardian, Friday, July 27, 2012.

8. “Stretch” was Scott’s nickname, for his height, and the title of one of his MOR albums; “endlessly” recalls Kraftwerk’s “Europe Endless” and again, the puppet strings of Dandy in Aspic. David Toop’s essay describes Scott’s music as “flexing, sagging, cracking, breathing, stretched over bloody fluidity.”

9. From the essay “Black Sheep Boy,” pp. 56–57 — the title comes from a song on one of Scott’s solo albums, but it’s also the title of Joel Grey’s solo album, who is best known for his performance in Cabaret with Garland’s daughter, Liza.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Sylvanus Carpenter
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Well, after reading this I went to find some of his songs. At first I was listening to the earlier stuff, and although it had something that I can only describe as a Bowie-esque quality it was relatively tame. Then I stumbled on to this, more recent, piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXilIFvAVgI

    That’s much cooler…this too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdpynZjrGDs

    That’s the extent of my Scott Walker though, so it may not be representable.

  2. Sylvanus Carpenter
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    “representative”…

  3. WG
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Another fascinating O’Meara essay by an oustanding, thought-provoking cultural writer, one of the best we have. A long-time Scott Walker fan here, even if I did come to him through Bowie, Ferry, and Sylvian. There are so many questions and comments I have for O’Meara, I don’t know where to start. It’s writing like this that helps us reclaim parts of modernity as our own and make our peace with it and even turn it to our advantage, even if it’s mere pop culture, a process which I think Matt Parrott alluded to in his most recent essay.

  4. Ulric
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    If you have any interest in folk music, folk-rock or British popular culture, take a look at Rob Young’s earlier book ‘Electric Eden’, which is full of interesting stuff.

  5. Jaego
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    James, one mustn’t confuse the Yogas or Paths. In devotional paths like Christian, Vaishnava, or much of Sufism, passivity to that which is above you is required. There is no confusion – it’s just different than Occultism, Meditation, or Jnana. And far more accessable to most people. The Sages of Zen have the highest respect for the Devotion to Amida that leads to the Pure Land. Many actualized Zen Masters expressed their Devotion and desire to be born there to complete their Enlightenment.

    But yes, certainly we need the Roman virtues if we are to retain our freedom or even our very existence now. Quite different than the Viking style: the men loved to see feats of strength and agility from their Lord. When the ships were coming into port, the Lord might jump from oar to oar to thunderous approval from the men and the crowd on shore. All this would be far beneath the dignity of a Roman Senator or Centurion though I’m sure some of them would have been capable of it. Caesar himself was said to have been a superman of endurance in the field. Perhaps the difference between a developed Aryan Culture and a more primitive one. At the same time, the Vikings were known to be cunning and ruthless, also qualities that we need.

  6. Hvareno
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Douglas P. of Death in June has often cited Scott Walker as a source of inspiration.

  7. Posted January 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    For those seeking more info, the TV Tropes site actually has a fairly interesting collection of such tropes as Walker fulfills, such as “Doing it for Art” and “Darker and Scarier”. Plus a discography!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Music/ScottWalker

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    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    The Lightning and the Sun

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Carl Schmitt Today

    A Sky Without Eagles

    The Way of Men

    Generation Identity

    Nietzsche's Coming God

    The Conservative

    The New Austerities

    Convergence of Catastrophes

    Demon

    Proofs of a Conspiracy

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    The Wagnerian Drama

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    Notes on the Third Reich

    Morning Crafts

    New Culture, New Right

    An eagle with a shield soaring upwards

    A Life in the Political Wilderness

    The Fourth Political Theory

    The Passing of the Great Race

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Fighting for the Essence

    The Arctic Home in the Vedas

    The Prison Notes

    It Cannot Be Stormed

    Revolution from Above

    The Proclamation of London

    Beyond Human Rights

    The WASP Question

    Can Life Prevail?

    The Jewish Strategy

    The Metaphysics of War

    A Handbook of Traditional Living

    The French Revolution in San Domingo

    The Revolt Against Civilization

    Why We Fight

    The Problem of Democracy

    Archeofuturism

    The Path of Cinnabar

    Tyr

    Siege

    On Being a Pagan

    The Lost Philosopher

    The Dispossessed Majority

    Might is Right

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace

    Defiance