JOHN ZORN’S NAKED CITY Naked City (1989), Torture Garden (1990), Leng Tch’E (1991), Grand Guignol (1991), Heretic (1992), Absinthe (1993), Radio (1993) & Live Vol. 1 – Knitting Factory 1989 (2002)

The great John Zorn… saxman, composer, musical shit-stirrer (seen here with my old record collection). His outside-the-box ideas on ‘jazz’ incorporate elements of speed metal and Japanese noise, while his views on ‘rock’ tend to be of the Particle Collider variety. You figure it out, just don’t look to hang any labels on the guy, as his music runs the influence gauntlet from every extreme end of the spectrum; rock to classical, jazz to noise, precision to squawking. I used to collect his work, but his output got too ridiculous, forcing me to stop buying in the 90s because I just couldn’t keep up (it was the 10 live Masada CDs – Zorn’s elegant Jewish jazz combo – that broke the camel’s back). Naked City, however, is one of JZ’s most electrifying outfits (and he’s got many) – a downtown NYC jazz/punk conglomerate (Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Fred Frith & Joey Baron… vocal typhoon, Yamatsuka Eye) whose “structured chaos” has no blueprints and adheres to no limitations. Most who are interested in this kind of stuff already know the band’s sizzling debut, Naked City, but the other seven vividly produced Naked City CDs are more obscure (note the overlap with Torture Garden and Grand Guignol). Below is a handful of randomly selected tracks to check out. Not for the faint of heart. Amazon’s got a Naked City Complete Studio Recordings box set HERE – 5CDs @ $75. Click the covers for links to Amazon.

Naked City (1989)
Batman (2:04)
The Sicilian Clan (3:33)
You Will Be Shot (1:32)
Latin Quarter (4:12)
A Shot In The Dark (3:13)
Reanimator (1:43)
Snagglepuss (2:20)
I Want To Live (2:12)
Lonely Woman (2:46)
Igneous Ejaculation (0:24)
Blood Duster (0:17)
Hammerhead (0:11)
Demon Sanctuary (0:42)
Obeah Man (0:21)
Ujaku (0:31)
Fuck The Facts (0:14)
Speedball (0:44)
Chinatown (4:29)
Punk China Doll (3:06)
N.Y. Flat Top Box (0:46)
Saigon Pickup (4:51)
The James Bond Theme (3:06)
Den Of Sins (1:14)
Contempt (2:54)
Graveyard Shift (3:32)
Inside Straight (4:18)

Torture Garden (1990)
Blood Is Thin (1:04)
Demon Sanctuary (0:42)
Thrash Jazz Assassin (0:49)
Dead Spot (0:35)
Bonehead (0:56)
Speedball (0:40)
Blood Duster (0:18)
Pile Driver (0:38)
Shangkuan Ling-Feng (1:19)
Numbskull (0:32)
Perfume Of A Critic’s Burning Flesh (0:28)
Jazz Snob Eat Shit (0:28)
The Prestidigitator (0:48)
No Reason To Believe (0:28)
Hellraiser (0:42)
Torture Garden (0:40)
Slan (0:26)
Hammerhead (0:12)
The Ways Of Pain (0:36)
The Noose (0:13)
Sack Of Shit (0:48)
Blunt Instrument (0:56)
Osaka Bondage (1:18)
Igneous Ejaculation (0:25)
Shallow Grave (0:43)
Ujaku (0:32)
Kaoru (0:55)
Dead Dread (0:49)
Billy Liar (0:16)
Victims Of Torture (0:26)
Speedfreaks (0:52)
New Jersey Scum Swamp (0:44)
S & M Sniper (0:17)
Pigfucker (0:27)
Cairo Chop Shop (0:26)
Fuck The Facts (0:15)
Obeah Man (0:21)
Facelifter (0:59)
N.Y. Flat Top Box (0:46)
Whiplash (0:24)
The Blade (0:43)
Gob Of Spit (0:20)

Leng-Tch’E (1991)
Leng Tch’E (31:38)

 

 

 

 

Grand Guignol (1991)
Grand Guignol (17:55)
La Cathedrale Engloutie (6:27)
Three Preludes Op. 74: Douloureus, Dechirant (1:22)
Three Preludes Op. 74: Tres Lent, Contemplatif (1:43)
Three Preludes Op. 74: Allegro Drammatico (0:51)
Prophetiae Sybillarum (1:53)
The Cage (2:03)
Louange A l’Eternite de Jesus (7:23)
Blood Is Thin (1:03)
Thrash Jazz Assassin (0:49)
Dead Spot (0:35)
Bonehead (0:56)
Piledriver (0:38)
Shangkuan Ling-Feng (1:19)
Numbskull (0:32)
Perfume Of A Critic’s Burning Flesh (0:29)
Jazz Snob Eat Shit (0:28)
The Prestidigitator (0:48)
No Reason To Believe (0:28)
Hellraiser (0:42)
Torture Garden (0:40)
Slan (0:26)
The Ways Of Pain (0:36)
The Noose (0:13)
Sack Of Shit (0:48)
Blunt Instrument (0:56)
Osaka Bondage (1:17)
Shallow Grave (0:44)
Kaoru (0:55)
Dead Dread (0:49)
Billy Liar (0:15)
Victims Of Torture (0:26)
Speedfreaks (0:52)
New Jersey Scum Swamp (0:44)
S&M Sniper (0:17)
Pigfucker (0:27)
Cairo Chop Shop (0:25)
Facelifter (0:57)
Whiplash (0:24)
The Blade (0:43)
Gob Of Spit (0:21)

Heretic (1992)
Main Titles (1:28)
Sex Games (2:23)
The Brood (2:50)
Sweat, Sperm + Blood (2:05)
Vliet (0:50)
Heretic 1 (2:33)
Submission (4:23)
Heretic 2 (1:46)
Catacombs (2:47)
Heretic 3 (2:44)
My Master, My Slave (2:24)
Saint Jude (2:14)
The Conqueror Worm (2:32)
Dominatrix 2B (2:16)
Back Through The Looking Glass (2:40)
Here Come The 7,000 Frogs (2:00)
Slaughterhouse/Chase Sequence (2:20)
Castle Keep (1:49)
Mantra Of Resurrected Shit (1:43)
Trypsicore (1:47)
Fire And Ice (Club Scene) (2:38)
Crosstalk (1:41)
Copraphagist Rituals (0:53)
Labyrinth (5:48)

Absinthe (1993)
Val De Travers (6:20)
Une Correspondance (5:09)
La Fee Verte (5:13)
Fleurs Du Mal (4:09)
Artemisia Absinthium (4:35)
Notre Dame De L’oubli (For Olivier Messiaen) (4:51)
Verlaine Part One -Un Midi Moins Dix- (4:28)
Verlaine Part Two -La Bleue- (6:12)
Rend Fou (6:03)

Radio (1993)
Asylum (1:56)
Sunset Surfer (3:24)
Party Girl (2:35)
The Outsider (2:28)
Triggerfingers (3:32)
Terkmani Teepee (3:59)
Sex Fiend (3:32)
Razorwire (5:31)
The Bitter and the Sweet (4:53)
Krazy Kat (2:03)
The Vault (4:44)
Metaltov (2:08)
Poisonhead (1:09)
Bone Orchard (3:55)
I Die Screaming (2:29)
Pistol Whipping (0:57)
Skatekey (1:25)
Shock Corridor (1:08)
American Psycho (6:10)

Live Vol. 1 Knitting Factory 1989 (2002)
Batman (2:08)
Latin Quarter (4:06)
You Will Be Shot (1:24)
Shot In The Dark (3:32)
Skate Key (1:06)
Erotico (5:24)
Snagglepuss (2:12)
I Want To Live (1:59)
New York Flattop Box (0:43)
Inside Straight (8:13)
Chinatown (6:04)
Igneous Ejaculation (0:22)
Ujaku (0:31)
Blood Duster (0:18)
Hammerhead (0:11)
Speedball (0:44)
Obeah Man (0:19)
Den Of Sins (1:20)
Demon Sanctuary (0:56)
The Way I Feel (10:38)

17 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    December 9, 2011 - 10:54 | Permalink

    Find them all HERE

  • 2
    buzz baby jesus
    December 9, 2011 - 12:00 | Permalink

    Wow. Let me pick my jaw off the floor.

    • 3
      Willard
      December 9, 2011 - 13:27 | Permalink

      What?? Zorn fan? Didn’t know there were that many Naked Citys? Titillated by the pictures? What?

  • 4
    buzz baby jesus
    December 9, 2011 - 21:03 | Permalink

    D) All of the above.

  • 5
    JM
    December 10, 2011 - 14:46 | Permalink

    Thanks for uploading these. I really dig the more mellow stuff he’s been doing the last couple of years, as well as the William Burroughs-inspired pieces.

    • 6
      Willard
      December 10, 2011 - 15:35 | Permalink

      I like all his stuff. It’s just impossible to keep up with his output.

      • 7
        Visions
        December 11, 2011 - 10:25 | Permalink

        THAT was your record collection? Or, presumably, PART of it? Holy Lord. We’re not worthy.

        Impressive.

        • 8
          Willard
          December 11, 2011 - 11:30 | Permalink

          Almost exactly. Down to the crates and the attached lamp. Had over 6,000, but eventually sold all but about 600. So, I’m down to that… and abut 4,000 CDs these days.

          • 9
            Visions
            December 11, 2011 - 17:43 | Permalink

            Damn impressive all the same, man. I sold my vinyl 14 years ago (had nowhere near what you had) and have accumulated about 3,000 CDs since the first one I bought — East Side Story by Squeeze. In any event, I tip my hat to your knowledge!

            • 10
              Willard
              December 11, 2011 - 19:50 | Permalink

              Well, now… knowledge is a different story. I’ve forgotten most of what I knew about all those records. Thanks, though.

  • 11
    JM
    December 12, 2011 - 12:46 | Permalink

    Looks like he’s got a new Christmas record out. They’re streaming it on NPR.

    • 12
      Willard
      December 12, 2011 - 15:26 | Permalink

      How right you are. Click for a pop up window to hear it. HERE

  • 13
    G
    December 13, 2011 - 13:15 | Permalink

    Zorn, Zorn and more Zorn (could be a name of a new release!). Take a listen to Naked City, go into the ‘archives’ and check out The Big Gundown – somebody mentioned Mr. Burroughs so you go out and pick up Zorn’s Tribute to Mr. Burroughs – “Interzone” or perhaps take some minutes and check in on/with some of Zorn’s “Masada” projects. You could decide to take a listen to some of Zorn’s “Game Pieces” and take a listen to “Cobra” – and then possibly move to some of his other ‘Game Pieces”. Want to hear him working with Laswell – – familiarize yourself with “Painkiller” (Zorn, Laswell and Mick <and check out some of Harris' work with/as "Scorn") – the possibilities are endless – and Zorn, and now I am parphrasing because I can't remember the exact quote, says something like if you don't like what you hear wait for a couple of minutes – it will be changing.
    Many Thanks, as always, for Willard's work – in this site and his help in bring new musics to the masses!
    All the best
    G

  • 14
    G
    December 13, 2011 - 15:34 | Permalink

    More on Mr. Zorn – found the quote and excuse me for saying ‘minutes’
    Zorn has been quoted saying, “If you don’t like my music, wait a few seconds ‘ cause you don’t know which direction my music is heading next”
    Thanks again
    G

  • 16
    general5572
    October 21, 2013 - 21:18 | Permalink

    Seems like these links might be broken. Sure have enjoyed the generosity and insights on the site. Thanks for checking. Could also be on my end, but don’t think so.

    • 17
      Willard
      October 21, 2013 - 21:34 | Permalink

      I tried the first three and they seem to be working fine. Try a different browser.

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