What’s up, Mr. Parks? Since I know you’re reading this as you gear up for the release of your new album Songs Cycled, I thought I’d shoot a couple questions your way. Vanny D., do you remember which country raised you? Do you remember which country instilled in you the belief that the only way to make yourself truly valuable was to amass as much property and capital as possible? Do you remember which country taught you that there should be no taxation without representation, and that apple pie and baseball are the only pure pleasures in this world? Have you forgotten???
Dear readers, it would appear as if Mr. Parks has turned his back on the great nation of America! Though, of course, Songs Cycled will be available, eventually, in the US, it won’t be released until July 23. That’s over two months after the UK release date of May 6! This is an OUTRAGE!! A travesty! And, okay, maybe you’re sitting at home saying to yourself, “Chill out a little bit, Taylor. I mean, yes, America is the greatest country in the world and all, but come on, at least we can stream the album ahead of time online, let’s take solace in that!” Well, if you are indeed saying this to your computer, I would first remind you that I cannot hear you, and second, I would suggest that you, as the saying goes, “check yourself before you wreck yourself,” because, dear friends, the online stream of Songs Cycled hosted by The Guardian is NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES! Don’t believe me? Check for yourself right here. (There are rumors, unconfirmed on my end though they may be, that if you can fake a British accent well enough while on the page, it will let you listen to the tracks. I say give it a shot).
So yes, of course Songs Cycled will still feature a probably delightful array of tunes, both covers and originals, with guest vocal spots from the likes of Gaby Moreno and Irana George. And yes, Vanny D. is still very much the king of American songwriters (er… I mean the president), and it’d take a whole lot more than a little British favoritism on his part for us to be able to quit him. We Americans are nothing if not forgiving and possessed of short memories! Even so, it’s stuff like this that wounds the square-jawed and barrel-chested patriot in me, ya know? If you can get over the pain of your wounded patriotism, maybe catch him at a few dates throughout May, listed below.
Songs Cycled tracklist:
01. Dreaming of Paris (original)
02. Hold Back Time (re-recording of song from Orange Crate Art)
03. Sassafras (new recording, originally by Billy Edd Wheeler)
04. Black Gold (a fantasy on the sinking of The Prestige, off the coast of the Bay of Biscay, recorded in 2002)
05. Aquarium (cover of Saint-Saëns piece, recorded in 1971 with the Esso Trinidad Steel Band)
06. Money Is King (picks up where “Wall Street” ends, written with Growling Tiger, a.k.a. Trinidadian Calypso musician Neville Marcano)
07. Wall Street (original)
08. The Parting Hand (version of a Sacred Harp hymn from the 1800s)
09. The All Golden (a re-recording from Song Cycle)
10. Wedding in Madagascar (version of traditional folk song)
11. Missin’ Mississippi (original)
12. Amazing Graces (ft. The Van Dyke Parks Orchestra)
Upcoming Van Dyke Parks dates:
05.05.13 - London, UK - ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror
05.19.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge
05.23.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (Speaking on a panel as part of the Red Bull Music Academy)