"King Kong Serenade" Album Description
Tales from the

"King Kong Serenade" offers a gritty, noirish portrait of New York City, from its famed icons to its ill-fated ghosts. The album’s songs invoke spirits past of Times Square, the Beat writers, jazz greats, the Lower East Side, Coney Island, and the Bronx.

 "Like (Lou) Reed, (Allen) Shadow has the poet’s gift for imagery (‘Platform cheek to cheek/The paper hides the morning geeks/Signs read in shock speak/Sunglassed to the knees…’), said the Berkshire Eagle of "King Kong Serenade." "Charles Mingus haunts the proceedings, as do Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk and Jack Kerouac, but Shadow is an original storyteller, painting vivid portraits of the romance and terror of life in the world’s greatest city."

 The album works as a kind of post-modern novel of Gotham and the 20th century, as Shadow deconstructs the city’s faces, places and myths, and rearranges them into a wild serio-comic mind movie.

 "I wanted to see the city through time," says Shadow, who worked on the CD for four years. "The city has a thick family photo album. All we see when we stand on the corner of 46th and Broadway today is a sterile assortment of eye candy. It may say a lot about us at the moment, but you can’t expect to know New York from that point of view."

 Meanwhile, the star of "KKS" is always the language, front and center. As a poet, Shadow has always been known for leaning on the language, and "KKS" is a feast of stunning, muscular imagery."

 Measured against today’s dizzying backdrop of one-hit wonder groups, "KKS" is a daring artistic project, suitable to the tastes of hungry discerning listeners.

 Musically, the album is cutting edge. Shadow's band features Bob Dylan guitar alum John Jackson and John Prine drummer Paul Griffith.

Photo Credit: "Untitled, 1947" by Ted Croner


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