From The Desk Of The Sharp Things’ Perry Serpa: Scott Walker

Having actually included MAGNET as one of my favorite things (and I promise that’s not sucking up, I really love the publication), you can imagine how chuffed I was at the prospect of a guest editorship. Over the past, well, several years of the Sharp Things‘ existence, Eric Miller has been a friend and an advocate, even when no one else was, so I’m honored to be able to ramble on a bit about a bunch of shit that I dig, because I want everyone to know about it and, more significantly, because it makes me feel important. 😉 Over to you, me …


He was a crooner once, Scott Walker. But then, thankfully for all of us, something went terribly wrong. Not to say that his Walker Brothers catalog was anything to scoff at. There are few pop songwriters who could hold a candle to the likes of “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” but by the late ’60s, he’d broken from his “bros” John and Gary and set off on a path of creating some of the most influential, and progressively, sublimely off-the-wall recordings ever made, in my humble opinion. I can listen to Walker’s renditions of Jacques Brel’s “Mathilde,” “Montague Terrace (In Blue)” and “Jackie” (Scott and Scott 2, respectively) on loop for an entire day. Not to mention Scott 4’s “Boy Child,” and about 50 other tracks he recorded between 1967-1974. Then, there was Tilt, which he put out in the mid-’90s, which pretty much introduced the avant-garde period of the man’s incredible canon. Same guy, even darker, more mysterious—his voice like a cracked, cavernous Sinatra, the songs, the arrangements floating around minor chords and shadowy words. The Drift and the brilliant, Bish Bosch. Wow! And now, he’s got Soused, which is a collab with metal band called Sunn O))) that features five “songs,” clocking in at 50 minutes (you do the math). It’s Walker’s lyrics and Sunn O)))’s industrial drone: a perfect union!

Video after the jump.