William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Opinions on Leonard Cohen & Sudan Archives

Beat writer William S. Burroughs had a profound impact and interaction with rock and hip-hop music from the 1960s through his death in the late 1990s. Jim and Greg talk with author Casey Rae about his book on Burroughs and“the cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”They also review new albums from Leonard Cohen and singer and violinist Sudan Archives.

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Leonard Cohen Thanks for the Dance

Although Leonard Cohen died in 2016, his 15th album, Thanks for the Dance, just came out. Produced with his son Adam, this record continues Cohen's legacy as a gravelly voiced, poetic artist. Jim is impressed by the album and enjoys the minimalist instrumentation and production on it, especially since he notes many of his past works were too '80s synth heavy. He also likes that Cohen continued to weave seductive adventure tales like "The Night of Santiago." Greg feels differently. He preferred Cohen's last three records to this one, citing he felt it sounded unfinished and that his lyrics weren‘t particularly fresh or inventive. He doesn’t think it's a terrible album, but it doesn‘t measure up to the high standard he has for Cohen’s music.


Sudan Archives Athena

Sudan Archives wowed both Jim and Greg at SXSW a few years back, and her debut album, Athena, did not disappoint. Jim calls her sound "really sophisticated R&B… based on her songs, her voice and that violin." She is also inspired by the fiddle-based folk music of Sudan, which shows in her self-taught violin stylings. Greg notes that she uses the instrument as a“sound machine,”using the violin in a variety of ways to add texture to the tracks. He adds that he loves that Sudan Archives is "mixing the pop with the experimental feel, the exoticism with the more experimental." Jim concludes that Athena is a "stunning debut."


William S. Burroughs and Music

Allen Ginsberg with William S. Burroughs. AP Photo Beyond his influence as a Beat Generation writer, William S. Burroughs had an outsized influence over decades of musicians from Mick Jagger to Al Jourgenson, Paul McCartney to Patti Smith, and Throbbing Gristle to Kurt Cobain. Jim and Greg talk with music journalist Casey Rae about his new book, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In it he makes the case that Burroughs' influence on music was deeper and more profound than his Beat contemporaries Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Featured Songs

  1. William S. Burroughs, Ah Pook the Destroyer/Brion Gysin's All Purpose Bedtime Story, Dead City Radio, Island, 1990
  2. Sudan Archives, Confessions, Athena, Stones Throw, 2019
  3. Leonard Cohen, The Night of Santiago, Thanks for the Dance, Sony, 2019
  4. Leonard Cohen, Happens to the Heart, Thanks for the Dance, Sony, 2019
  5. Leonard Cohen, It's Torn, Thanks for the Dance, Sony, 2019
  6. Leonard Cohen, Puppets, Thanks for the Dance, Sony, 2019
  7. Sudan Archives, Glorious, Athena, Stones Throw, 2019
  8. Sudan Archives, Did You Know, Athena, Stones Throw, 2019
  9. Sudan Archives, Limitless, Athena, Stones Throw, 2019
  10. Sudan Archives, Stuck, Athena, Stones Throw, 2019
  11. William S. Burroughs, Summer Will, Nothing Here Now but the Recordings, Industrial, 1981
  12. Nirvana, Come As You Are, Nevermind, DGC, 1991
  13. Iggy Pop, Lust For Life, Lust For Life, RCA, 1977
  14. Lou Reed, Walk on the Wild Side, Transformer, RCA, 1972
  15. Material, Seven Souls, Seven Souls, Virgin, 1989
  16. William Burroughs with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Words of Advice for Young People, Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales, Island, 1993
  17. The Soft Machine, Joy of a Toy, The Soft Machine, Barclay, 1968
  18. Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil, Beggars Banquet, Decca, 1968
  19. Blondie, Dreaming, Eat to the Beat, Chrysalis, 1978
  20. William S. Burroughs & REM, Star Me Kitten, Songs In The Key Of X: Music From And Inspired By The X-Files, Warner Bros, 1996
  21. Ministry, Just One Fix (Official Music Video), Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs, Sire, 1992
  22. Patti Smith, Picture Hanging Blues, Patti Smith's First Performance, St Marks Church, unreleased, 1971
  23. William S. Burroughs, Joujouka, Pt. 4, Break Through in Grey Room, Sub Rosa, 1987
  24. Grant Hart, So Far From Heaven, The Argument, Domino, 2013
  25. Patti Smith, Gloria, Horses, Arista, 1975
  26. David Bowie, Moonage Daydream, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, RCA, 1972
  27. Kurt Cobain and William S. Burroughs, The Priest They Called Him, (Single), Tim/Kerr, 1993
  28. Michael Kiwanuka, Solid Ground, KIWANUKA, Interscope, 2019
  29. Go West, Call Me, Go West, Chrysalis, 1985
  30. Bette Midler, The Rose, The Rose (The Original Soundtrack Recording), Atlantic, 1979
  31. Hank Williams, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It (single), MGM, 1949
  32. FKA Twigs, Home With You, MAGDALENE, Young Turks, 2019
  33. Ulysses, Situation Man, On Safari, Black Glove, 2019