This week’s artist of the week is a New Yorker who was part of the CBGB scene of punk intellectuals that included Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith and Richard Hell. Though his name isn’t as well preserved as the aforementioned artists, his legacy lives on in movies and books in addition to his music. This week’s artist of the week is…
Like all those guys mentioned above, Jim Carroll was a hard rocking intellectual punk poet influenced primarily by the French surrealists Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine (Tom stole his last name, in case you were confused). Musically, he’s best remembered now for the song “People Who Died” which has appeared in movies like E.T. (for some reason) and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. At the time of its release it was a “near hit”, according to AMG. True, the song probably is his most visceral and affecting musical accomplishment, but he also released several albums with plenty of other great tracks, like “Catholic Boy” and “Three Sisters”.
As great as some of his music was, he is best remembered as the author of The Basketball Diaries, an autobiographic work detailing his experiences with sex and hard drugs from the ages of 13 to 16. The book was made into a movie of the same name in 1995 and starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.
Though his music sounds a little aged in 2009, Carroll’s great lyrical writing still holds up wonderfully and should be checked out by anyone interested in the CBGB intellectuals or people who just like great song lyrics.
Hey, this is the first of a new feature I’ll be starting called “Awesome Album Covers!” in which I find really bad, awesome or weird album covers and just right a funny little caption below them. This will be a regular feature and I’ll probably post one at least once a week. Here’s this week’s, Warren Zevon’s 1989 Transverse City.