John Cale Fragments of a Rainy Season


You'd have to be a diehard John Cale fan to appreciate this, and really, does such a specimen exist? Sure, it is somewhat refreshing to hear his finer songs in solo performance on piano and guitar, which brings out the melodic and lyrical strengths of tracks like "Paris 1919," "Fear is a Man's Best Friend" and "Dying of the Vine." But with an annoyingly static three-camera set-up, bad lighting and little stage presence, this 1992 video is as wooden as live performances get. When Cale tries to let loose with some all-too-well-placed cacophony or screams, it all seems too calculated to be remotely interesting. As if this flat concert wasn't drab enough, there are no extras whatsoever on this disc when something, anything at all is badly needed to keep us interested. Stick with the live album of the same name. (Silva Screen/Fusion III)