- Released: May 10, 1999
- Label: Table Of Elements
The Wire - 02/99, pp.56-57
"...these recordings give form to the desert kingdom of Jack Smith's mind. It amasses collages of archaic film scores and vintage ethnomusicla albums....Outrageous..."
- 1.Carnival of Ecstasy - (from "Flaming Creatures")
- 2.The First Memoirs of Maria Montez
- 3.Buffalo Song
- 4.Mario and the Flickering Jewel
- 5.Contadina Tomato Paste
- 6.Silent Shadows on Cinemaroc Island
- 7.The Horrors of Agony
- 8.Jack, Mario and Tony Talk
Personnel includes: Jack Smith (spoken vocals, finger cymbals); Tony Conrad (spoken vocals, violin); Mario Montez (spoken vocals); John Cale.
Recorded at 56 Ludlow St., New York, New York between 1962 and 1964.
Recording information: 1962-1964.
This is the second volume compiled from minimalist composer Tony Conrad's Jack Smith tape archives. Smith was the film-maker/proto-performance artist who single-handedly gave birth to a whole generation of New York underground theater, including Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, Charles Ludlam and the Wooster Group. In the early '60s, Smith was at the height of his considerable powers, creating a self-sustaining "exotic" aesthetic out of second-hand Hollywood fantasies, inspired by his lifelong muze, the Dominican-born actress Maria Montez, star of COBRA WOMAN and ALI BABA AND THE 40 THIEVES.
As on the previous LES EVENING GOWNS DAMNEES, the opening track is a sound collage taken from Conrad's collaborative soundtrack to Smith's infamous film FLAMING CREATURES. The impromptu readings and routines which follow are somewhat more nuanced than the "overstimulated" hysterics characteristic of the first volume. The echoing drones and sound effects provided by Conrad and John Cale on the title track nicely complement Smith's comic, meandering drawl. You might even call it finished.