The first place I heard Angel sing was Bloomington, Indiana - she hadn’t yet moved to the west coast. And though she didn’t have a recording contract, her artistic potential was already evident.
She’s continued to nurture her musical expression and develop a body of oblique aural snapshots, including this special portfolio created between 1984 and 1989.
Angel augments her empyreal voice with her nimble accordion, plus keyboards and bass. Several guests appear on 'the 80’s', including Rich Stim, Bruce Anderson, Dave Mahoney, Don Ciccone, and Alan Vega - the former three having been there from the early days in Bloomington.
This disc opens and closes with early versions of originals which were remade for her acclaimed ‘95 'White Courtesy Phone' LP. The first, John Cassavetes, typifies her quirky perceptiveness, searing societal priorities with her magnifying glass. I’m 18 graduates from traditional angst into perilous ennui. Hell is a sizzling study of love for better or worse, now and forevermore. In the center of the disc, Angel offers four covers from her 'I Love New York' EP, including Suicide's liminal Dream Baby Dream.
Theme From Taxi Driver / New York New York is primarily an interpretation of Herrmann’s disturbing Diary Of A Taxi Driver from Scorcese's tour de force. Richard Hell’s Blank Generation is sublimated to a controlled vacuous intimation. And Lou Reed's The Day John Kennedy Died bleeds with regressed grief and weary rumination.
Never Too Late For Linda may be cynical, but it prepares for the deliciously playful King Of Los Alamos. Finally, time for a needed rest as you enjoy the sun setting Way Out West.
But Angel’s not here to sustain your comfort, and the numbness will subside. Even when she lightens up for a while, the bold tenacious undercurrent remains, one to which she will return.