Flash Pan Hunter/Intro - The Black Rider [210]

Charlie Harding of Switched On Pop joins Sam and Martin for some discussion around this little instrumental interlude on The Black Rider. We begin with a brief exploration of leitmotif as related to lightsabers, and then move through Waits's more elegant compositional techniques, before landing on a bit of light bird identification. Many thanks to Charlie, as well as Suzy of The Casual Birder Podcast (casualbirderpod.libsyn.com), the hosts of Hannah & Erik Go Birding (www.gobirdingpodcast.com) and mash_ton of reddit for their input this week.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Flash Pan Hunter/Intro, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Flash Pan Hunter/Intro at 55m33s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

Text - transcribed from the 2004 Barbican version of text, spoken over the top of Flash Pan Hunter/Intro

The The The The The The
The Angel
The Angel of Death

The angel of death spreads wings on the blast.
And breathed on the human worm has passed.
There lies the hero broke and rank.
The dew on his brow, the rust on his tank
The Widows of Langley are long in their wail
And the idols are broken in the temples at Yale.
(breath)
The might of the bored unspoke by the sword
Has melted like snow with the glance of the bored.
The wandering dead, like automatons,
out of control are all but demands
The work pyramid silently falling apart...
no crops in the fields... no food in the stores...
(shh)
Bleak, ragged figures, wordless and starved
Crawling through garbage, eyes covered with gore.
Some regress to the state of apes,
Roaming through cities to plunder and rape.
The human mold has broken to pieces
And all hell leaks out

OUT!

(breaths)
Star Wars Character Themes (via YouTube), Star Wars: A New Hope Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, John Williams, (1977)

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'Tain't No Sin - The Black Rider [209]

We’re sort of missing Waits this week, as William Burroughs covers this Edgars/Donaldson song from his childhood. Simon and David return for more discussion with Martin and Sam around authenticity (of voice, of writing, or of instrumental sound), the fusion of Waits and Burroughs’ writing, and the nature of wax art.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
'Tain't No Sin, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

'Tain't No Sin (To Dance Around in Your Bones), Lee Morse: A Musical Portrait, Lee Morse & Her Blue Grass Boys (1930)

'Tain't No Sin To Dance Around in Your Bones, Single, George Olson & Dick Gardner (1929)

'Tain't No Sin at 1h21m50s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

London Road Trailer, via YouTube, film adaptation of the stage musical by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork (2015)

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Black Box Theme - The Black Rider [208]

More mental gymnastics from David, Simon, Sam & Martin, as Song by Song grapples with not only defining the Black Box as a song, as well as a theatrical conceit. There’s some in-depth discussion of unusual instruments and their use in musical storytelling/signposting, comparison with other Robert Wilson collaborations, and we work our who that guy from Labyrinth is.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Black Box Theme, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Knee Play 1, Einstein On The Beach, Phillip Glass/Christopher Knowles (1975/1979)

Black Box Theme at 1m51s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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Just The Right Bullets - The Black Rider [207]

Playwright Simon Stephens and Composer David Shrubsole join Martin and Sam to talk about the influence of Kurt Weill, the nature of musical theatre and the origins of the story at the heart of The Black Rider. Looking at Porgy and Bess and the performance of Nina Simone in terms of themes of addiction, we touch on other autobiographical elements of the play, as well as the effect of poetic vs dramatic lyric writing.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Just The Right Bullets, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

I Loves You Porgy, Little Girl Blue, Nina Simone (1958)

Just The Right Bullets at 40m31sfrom The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

I Loves You Porgy, Porgy & Bess, Gershwin/Audra McDonald & Norm Lewis, (2012)

There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York, Porgy & Bess, Gershwin/David Alan Grier (2012)

Trailer for The Threepenny Opera (adapted by Simon Stephens, MD David Shrubsole), National Theatre London (2016)

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November - The Black Rider [206]

As we try to unpick some of the interplay between the album The Black Rider and the play of the same name, Jeu Jeu la Foille, Martin & Sam reflect (pun intended) on the fatalistic imagery in the song, the foreshadowing of endings and beginnings, and the benefits of bonfire-building in awkward social situations.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
November, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

April Showers, Judy, Judy Garland (1956)

November at 21m27sfrom The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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The Black Rider - The Black Rider [205]

Guest host Jeu Jeu La Foille returns for a second week looking at the opening tracks from The Black Rider, discussing with Martin and Sam the presence and absence of Wilhelm and Käthchen in the play and the music, the mirror the play provides to Burroughs' own history, and how "beauty" and "ugliness" represent themselves through music and performance.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
The Black Rider, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Pirate Jenny (English-language TV performance, via YouTube), The Threepenny Opera, Lotte Lenya/Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill (1928/1966)

Seeräuber Jenny (German-language film performance, via YouTube), Die Dreigroschenoper, Lotte Lenya/Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill (1928/1931)

The Black Rider at 4m24s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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Lucky Day (Overture) - The Black Rider [204]

Song by Song returns for its 15th season, digging into one of the densest and most involved albums in the whole project, The Black Rider. Guest host Jeu Jeu La Foille joins Sam and Martin to add her experience in use of Waits in theatrical performance as well as her own memories of the stage production, as we discuss the function of overtures & introductions, the interactions between ablism & empowerment, and how to properly discipline wayward children.

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Lucky Day (Overture), The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

The Struwwelpeter Overture, Shockheaded Peter, The Tiger Lillies (1999)

Lucky Day (Overture) at 0m7s from The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

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The Black Rider Teaser - The Black Rider [203a]

We're just a week away from season 15, but The Black Rider needs a little contextual work from both us the podcast and you the listeners. Check the website for links to some of the material we'll be using to discuss the album as well as the play, collect your opera glasses and buy your popcorn, and we'll see you back here for the overture very shortly...

Music extracts used for illustrative/review purposes include:
Flash Pan Hunter/Intro, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

Black Box Theme, The Black Rider, Tom Waits (1993)

The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Weiner Festwochen, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (1990)

The Black Rider: The Casting of the 12 Magic Bullets (filmed at the Barbican Centre, London, via YouTube), Wilson/Burroughs/Waits (2004)

The Black Rider song breakdown from The Tom Waits Library
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