Banga (Remastered) Patti Smith
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- 2April Fool03:46
- 4This Is the Girl03:49
- 8Tarkovsky (The Second Stop Is Jupiter)04:50
- 11Constantine's Dream10:19
- 12After the Gold Rush04:13
Info for Banga (Remastered)
Banga, Patti Smith's eleventh studio album, and her first in eight years, contains a dozen new tracks recorded with her longtime group of Lenny Kaye, Tony Shanahan, and Jay Dee Daugherty, along with guests Tom Verlaine, her children Jesse and Jackson, and Jack Petruzzelli. Among the album's selections are a ballad written in memory of Amy Winehouse ("This Is the Girl"), an exploratory, partly improvised jam about Amerigo Vespucci's journey to North America("Amerigo"), a birthday song for actor Johnny Depp ("Nine"), and a meditation on art and culture ("Constantine's Dream").
"In the eight years since Patti Smith's last studio effort of new, original material, Trampin', she's toured, assembled art installations, had her photographs collected for global exhibition, and written Just Kids, a National Book Award-winning memoir. On Banga, Smith marries together her various forms of literary expression with rock and pop in an iconic assemblage. Her collaborators are (mostly) familiar: guitarist Lenny Kaye, drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, bassist Tony Shanahan, guitarist Tom Verlaine, her children Jackson and Jessi, and guitarist Jack Petruzzelli. Italian band Casa del Vento and Johnny Depp also appear. The album is saturated with poetry, sung or spoken -- sometimes both. Its themes range from a non-didactic reflection on environmental crisis, the dominion of art as man's greatest gift to the divine -- as well as its own species -- homages, elegies, and love songs, all offered with authority and tenderness. Musically, the album is absent the dynamic, free-form chaos that marks her earlier recordings, but is better for it. This is true even when the band stretches to improvise forcefully on a theme by Sun Ra in the glorious "Tarkovsky (The Second Stop Is Jupiter)." This is not to say that Banga doesn't rock; it does, all over the place: in the aforementioned cut, in the dramatic "Fuji-San," and in the blistering title track (named for a dog in Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita). But there are the pop songs, too: the hooky "April's Fool" (a song about nomadic lovers that echoes the themes in Just Kids), the sweet ballad "This Is the Girl," for Amy Winehouse, and the elegant waltz "Maria" (for Maria Schneider). "Mosaic," driven by Daugherty's mandocello riff, is a lush, sensual rocker that spiritually counters the rebellion and betrayal in the album's title cut. "Amerigo," with a lilting backdrop of strings, explores Amerigo Vespucci's vision after discovering the New World. Smith imagines that after encountering its indigenous people, his colonial ideology was turned inside-out. At over ten minutes, "Contantine's Dream," offers a feverish juxtaposition of painter Piero Della Francesca's death, his painting (the title of the cut), a dream she had of Saint Francis weeping at the current state of the environment in the 21st century, and the ecstatic vision of Columbus as he saw the New World for the first time-- on the same day De Francisca died. Smith's poetic skill -- she improvised the lyrics on the spot -- is astonishing. She pulls it all together with visionary social and spiritual context. The set closes with a lilting cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," underscoring the previous tune's apocalyptic meaning albeit more gently with a children's chorus on the refrain. Banga is an event; it's not only provocative and expansive lyrically, but abundantly enjoyable musically. As an artist, Smith embodies the highest calling of her vocation: she completely absorbs everything she encounters, then gives it back to the culture in a manner that holistically edifies it." (Thom Jurek, AMG)
Patti Smith, vocals
Lenny Kaye, guitars, backing vocals (12)
Tony Shanahan, bass, keyboards, backing vocals (12)
Jay Dee Daugherty, drums, percussion, mandocello (7), backing vocals (12)
Tom Verlaine, guitar (2, 9)
Jack Petruzzelli, guitar (1, 3—5, 7) Hammond organ (9)
Jackson Smith, guitar (2, 4, 6, 8, 12)
Jesse Smith, piano (8, 12)
Johnny Depp, guitar, drums (5)
Louie Appel, drums (1, 6)
Rob Morsberger, piano (6)
Luca Lanzi, vocals, guitar (10, 11)
Riccardo Dellocchio, steel guitar (10, 11)
Sauro Lanzi, accordion (10, 11)
Massimilano Gregorio, bass (10, 11)
Fabrizio Morganti, percussion (10, 11)
Tadhg Brady, vocals (12)
Clea Payer, vocals (12)
Fynn Payer, vocals (12)
Kobyn Payer, vocals (12)
Recorded 2011 at Electric Lady Studios, New York, New York; Hobo Recorders, Hoboken, New Jersey
Engineered by Eric Spring, Keenan Wyatt, Stewart Lerman, Emery Dobyns, Iestyn Polson
Produced by Patti Smith, Tony Shanahan, Jay Dee Daugherty, Lenny Kaye
Part-Punk, Part-Folk, but 100% rockstar, Patti Smith has proven herself to be an enduring legend within Rock & Roll. For her work as an early pioneer of the punk movement, Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Also an author and an activist, Patti Smith maintains a relatively low profile, but still performs and records. Patti Smith tour dates are currently scheduled nationally. Use Eventful as your Patti Smith concert calendar.
The Chicago native moved to New York City in 1967 with no money and survived through near impoverished conditions to become a rock icon. After cultivating her poetic craft on the streets of New York City and Paris, Smith began to perform rock music in 1974 and was signed by Clive Davis in 1975. She released her debut album, Horses, in 1975 and started a musical revolution. Smith was at the forefront of the punk movement and was a frequent performer at the legendary CBGB. Smith released her biggest commercial success, Easter, in 1978; the album included the massively successful single "Because of the Night", and Smith toured aggressively.
Smith remained largely out of the spotlight in the '80s, preferring to raise her kids outside of the limelight. She reemerged in the mid-90s with Peace in Noise (1997) and Gung Ho (2000), both of which earned her Grammy nominations for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 2006, Smith returned to where it all began and performed a near four-hour concert at CBGB the night that the iconic club closed down. Smith has returned her attention to writing and won a National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids, in 2010. Patti Smith is a rock legend whose music spans punk, folk, and politics.
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