There is no more brilliant musician and lyricist than Edward Ka-Spel, the leader of the Legendary Pink Dots who turns 58 years old today. Ka-Spel has appeared on something like 50 albums in his lifetime, with the Dots, solo, and with cEvin Key in Tear Garden. His songs dance the lines between psychedelia, goth, pop, and rock and he is bar-non the most interesting person we have ever seen perform.
Houston has always had a hardcore following for the Prophet, but sadly every show we attend has fewer and fewer people in the audience. As a birthday present for one of the unsung geniuses of modern music, we thought we'd present the top 10 songs we've run across in hopes of maybe re-sparking a love of the man.
Since we're trying to make friends and influence people here, we're mostly staying away from the many seven minute plus jam band on heroin tunes you get on Ka-Spel's albums, but we'd be remiss if we didn't do at least one. Since "Window on the World" starts so strong and shocking it's our pick to represent that style.
This early cut maybe the poppiest Ka-Spel ever gets, and was the song the Wife With One F used to get us into the Dots. We're still convinced it's about Walt Disney.
Even though it's nowhere near the top, Whispering Wall is one of the albums almost every Dots fan own simply because it was one of the most widely released. It's nothing next to something like Nemesis Online, but "A Distant Summer" always struck us as a master work.
The good news is that Edward Ka-Spel is hilarious. The bad news is that to get the joke you kind of have to be insane. The great news is that listening to enough of his music will ensure that you are, in fact, insane. Six minutes maybe too long to wait for a punch line, but it's worth it.
If the Dots had a hit, it would be "Belladonna." If it doesn't show up on the soundtrack for the last Twilight film then we will know that the filmmakers are complete cowards.
Now, Ka-Spel's work with Skinny Puppy's cEvin Key is much more palatable to the pop and rock crowd in our opinion. We don't know how you combine two of the most famous avant gardeners and somehow end up with something radio-friendly and lovely, but there it is.
Yet another iconic tune that brilliantly sums up the Dots. This is actually a fan video from the '90s shot on 16mm and recovered from an old VHS, and somehow that makes it seem like an official video in our opinion.
03. The Unlikely Event - 090301
We picked up the EP 090301 as an insert from Ka-Spel's book of poetry, which is so very worth the buy. Remember what we said about him being funny? Well, is there anything funnier than calling your lover from a crashing plane and finding out they're cheating on you?
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In our opinion Nemesis Online is the best Dots album, and picking one song from it to showcase was hard. In the end we went with the one we sing to our daughter.
Simply put, if God were a song then this would be the song He would be, with all the power and mystery that that that implies. Spread across two tracks, something you'd never notice unless you stared right at the player for the switch, it still gives us chills down our spines even a decade later.