Cezanne Says Anne

Because of his association with Monty Python most people don’t take Neil Innes seriously. That’s a mistake because Innes was one of the most talented, brilliant and innovative songwriters.

Most people only know him from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where he played the leader of Sir Robin’s minstrels, but Innes had a long career as a songwriter, a performer and lead singer of The Bonzo Dog (Doo-dah) Band.

His music found expression mostly in British comedy shows but his lyrics were always clever plays on words. On the surface they would induce a giggle but if you really thought about them you would marvel at their brilliance.

And his tunes were catchy, like the lyrics to Cezanne Says Anne which reveals a comfortable familiarity with Post-Impressionist painters and keen insights into human nature. Innes never clubbed listeners over the head with his messages, so you could be forgiven for thinking they were just simple wordplay. Really listen, though, and the the man’s depth is surprising.

Sadly, Innes died of a heart attack in December of last year at his home in Toulouse.

Nemesis Man

If this isn’t the weirdest damn thing. Someone figured out that H. P. Lovecraft’s poem “Nemesis” fits almost perfectly to the tune of Billy Joel`s “The Piano Man”

So, naturally, if you figure something something as monumental as this out, what do you do? You record the song and put it up on youtube.

Here is Lovecraft’s original poem”

By H. P. Lovecraft

     Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
          Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
     I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
          I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.
     I have whirl’d with the earth at the dawning,
          When the sky was a vaporous flame;
     I have seen the dark universe yawning,
          Where the black planets roll without aim;
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.     I had drifted o’er seas without ending,
          Under sinister grey-clouded skies
     That the many-fork’d lightning is rending,
          That resound with hysterical cries;
With the moans of invisible daemons that out of the green waters rise.

     I have plung’d like a deer thro’ the arches
          Of the hoary primordial grove,
     Where the oaks feel the presence that marches
          And stalks on where no spirit dares rove;
And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers thro’ dead branches above.

     I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
          That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
     I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
          That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things I care not to gaze on again.

     I have scann’d the vast ivy-clad palace,
          I have trod its untenanted hall,
     Where the moon writhing up from the valleys
          Shews the tapestried things on the wall;
Strange figures discordantly woven, which I cannot endure to recall.

     I have peer’d from the casement in wonder
          At the mouldering meadows around,
     At the many-roof’d village laid under
          The curse of a grave-girdled ground;
And from rows of white urn-carven marble I listen intently for sound.

     I have haunted the tombs of the ages,
          I have flown on the pinions of fear
     Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages,
          Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear:
And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

     I was old when the Pharaohs first mounted
          The jewel-deck’d throne by the Nile;
     I was old in those epochs uncounted
          When I, and I only, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

     Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
          And great is the reach of its doom;
     Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
          Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

     Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
          Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
     I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
          I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.



I was going to do another review today but those plans have changed.

It’s a weird thing to wake up one morning to find out that David Bowie is dead. It’s weird because for me he has always been there.

I was never super fanatical about Bowie, but it just seems that I was always aware of his existence. His odd looks and his flirting with science fiction concepts, his role in The Man Who Fell to Earth, all of these things intersected with my natural interests.

And I would watch shows that I normally wouldn’t… music specials, etc… just because Bowie was in them. I followed him with a keen interest. I don’t think passion is the right word because my passions really lie elsewhere, but he was a dynamic and solid performer and I liked his music.

I didn’t have all of his albums. I had Ziggy Stardust on LP. I had Heroes (on 8-track, for god’s sake). I had Tonight on cassette tape. The rest was dubs and cuts on various mix tapes and after that countless mp4’s. From his second to last album, The Next Day I heard the cut Where Are We Now. I didn’t think much of it so I didn’t bother listening to the rest of the album. I shrugged my shoulders and thought: “Maybe his next one will be better.”

His next album would turn out to be Blackstar released just two days before his death.

I anticipate that album will sell quite a few copies. I’ll likely pick one up myself.

Rest in Peace, David.