The National Gallery

Performing musical interpretations of the paintings of Paul Klee.

Paul Klee is a abstract artist who practiced in the early 20th century. When I first glanced at this album, I thought it was going to be music to watch Paul Klee by -- i.e., lame instrumental fluff you could play in your art gallery while you enjoyed Paul's paintings. Much to my delight, I was wrong. This record is exactly what it says: musical interpretations of Paul Klee's works, done up in extreme beatnick style by a 60's band called The National Gallery.

The National Gallery Imagine you're in junior high school and the teacher asks you to look at some paintings and then write a song or a poem about them. That's exactly what Musical Interpretations is -- a series of incredibly unlikely tracks, each named for a Paul Klee painting, each with its own set of psychedelic lyrics that never cease to amaze you with their "interpretation" of the painting at hand. For convenience, a handy insert is included with full-color photographs of each painting along with the printed lyrics so you can follow along (maybe even sing along?).

On "Boy With Toys", based on a simple block painting of a child with a few wooden toys, the National Gallery gives us lyrics like "Boy with toys, alone in the Attic/ Choking his hobby horse, thinking of his mother". For "A Child's Game", the Gallery goes all out, giving us lyrics like "Grown ups in a city somewhere/Surrounded by uncertainty/Just objects of society/They play the children's game". There's even a musical interpretation of Klee's "Self Portrait"!

Whether you love Paul Klee, you love beatnick lyrics, or you just love the lengths to which musicians will go to be "different", Musical Interpretations is one of your best buys on vinyl today. Look for it at a garage sale near you.

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A Child's Game (MP3) When you grow up, what will you be?
Barbaric, Classical, Solemn (MP3) Laughter, hatred, half-dead, naked, where is the solution?
Self Portrait (MP3) Can you truly paint yourself, when so affected by unrelated matters?

See Also: Poe through the Glass Prism

Your Comments:

Kerry ( says:
I love this!! It's like one of those records that you only imagine exist. Paul Klee + naive moonchild easy listening -- what a concept! (10-02-1999)

LoreNZo Van Der Lingen ( says:
Why weren't these hepcats as huge as 'The Magic Mushrooms'??? There ain't no justice! As with all true visionaries, it is only until many years later that their luminous gifts to the world are at all appreciated, and furthermore - oh, excuse me, I've lost my train of thought - DAMN that noisy carpet sweeper... (03-22-1999)

Adameleven says:
Chuck (Charles) Mangione (of "Feels So Good" fame) worked on this album. "Think I'm Seeing Double" is a great psychedelia-inspired track. (11-06-1998)

Guest says:
Audio in & out - what a shame. What I heard was pretty neat (09-26-1998)

chong chin teck ( says:
no comment at all.Fantastic!!!!! (09-01-1998)

Anita P ( says:
Where's "Bird and CAT?" THANK YOU. Maybe it's "cat and bird" 'cat with bird" "kill neighbor with a soup ladle." (07-22-1998)

John Vawter ( says:
Does anyone else hear the resemblance to mid-'70s Roxy Music? (06-15-1998)

Lolyp ( says:
thanks for the postcard jo. (04-06-1998)

Sir Droopy Drawers says:
One word; CAFFEFINE! (03-18-1998)

Guest (reddred) says:
eat your heart out ELP (03-06-1998)

Kroisos Pennonen says:
I bought this record a while ago from a flea market and thought it'd be some cool avantgarde "noise" or something. It apparently wasn't and now I hate myself for buying this piece of junk. Nice cover, though... (02-16-1998)

Dave & Phil says:
Nice collection (09-17-1997)

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