on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2013 29 Dez

The healing power of an old car radio

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 4 Comments

Gary Warren has posted tracks by The Penguins, The Moonglows, The Orioles, and The Five Satins, the four doo-wop groups name-checked in Paul Simon’s 1983 album track, Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War. You remember this track that so easily can leave footsteps in anyone’s heart?

It’s a sweet, sad and beautiful song, softly surreal in its strange waltzing images of the Belgian artist and his wife dancing naked in a New York hotel room.
Paul Simon – „Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War“
Brilliantly, Simon soundtracks the couple’s time in America with exactly the same music that romanced Simon in his teens, blurring historical fact and personal memory, and infusing the Magrittes’ post-war narrative with the lonesome romance of ’50s doo-wop.

There is no other music like ’50s doo-wop. It’s a teenage music where kids sound like ghosts. Voices are high and keening, miked from a distance with chamber reverb, while the songs inhabit an ethereal landscape of dreams and twilight, where all titles are imaginary, all kingdoms built on air, and everyone is broken-hearted and, finally, alone. This spectral, otherworldly quality is best appreciated alone, and late at night, broadcast on the AM frequency to the small speaker on an old car radio. (Andrew Male, carefully shortened and minimally extended by M.E.)

This entry was posted on Sonntag, 29. Dezember 2013 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    (This is the whole article. Sometimes I prefer to reduce a text to its revealing essentials. You do not get the full story, nor full information, but your mind gets enough food for drifting. And, in fact, this and not much more is what will linger in your memory, no matter in which distant corner of your limbic system).

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    „All the lonesome twilight sadness of doo-wop is there. It’s 4.50am. The kid, Curt, (played by a 25 year-old Richard Dreyfuss) is desperate to get a message to an out-of-reach girl he saw once in a white Ford Thunderbird. The Heartbeats’ 1957 single, A Thousand Miles Away plays in the background and the nightshift jockey has just told him that his DJ hero, Wolfman Jack, is only a disembodied voice (“the man is on tape”). Heartbreak and ghosts. But there are other phantoms here.“ (Andrew Male)

  3. Rainer Harazim:

    Zuerst verbringe ich den 2. Weihnachtsabend mit Francoise Hardy’s erstem Album und lese danach Michaels „Anregung“. Dann beschäftige ich mich mit der wunderbaren CD-Serie „Street Corner Symphonies – The Complete Story of Doo Wop“ und jetzt das hier – wird mir langsam unheimlich. ;)

  4. Uwe:

    „Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War“ und ueberhaupt das ganze „Hearts And Bones“ Album ist eines meiner Lieblingsalben von Paul Simon.

    Auch: „The Late Great Johnny Ace“…., mit der Coda von Philip Glass….

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