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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mike Patton and Secret Chiefs 3 Deliver a Rousing Take on Scott Walker's "Jacky"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Mike Patton
  • Mike Patton

So here's a little energetic vibration to rev up your afternoon: Mike Patton, guesting with Secret Chiefs 3 -- the project of Trey Spruance, Patton's Mr. Bungle collaborator -- covering (the hell out of) Scott Walker's "Jacky." (Which is itself an English-language take on the late, great Jacques Brel's "La chanson de Jacky.")

It's, um, bombastic -- as anything with Patton on the mic is inclined to be -- and it's also pretty great: Patton ably sings the song's rollercoaster lyrics both in English and in the original French (tricky, that), and gives the vocals the big-lunged gusto they need. Secret Chiefs 3 do a very slick job of playing the theatrical strings and brass of the music, and there's a wonderful little part in the middle where the song takes on the tint of a crackly telephone. Given that the narrator spends this song imagining himself in different places, under different names, living different lives, the shifts in language and sonics are a clever addition.

The "Jacky" cover is the A-side of a new 7-inch, and comes backed by a western-themed Secret Chiefs 3 remake of their song "The Exile," now called "The Western Exile" and credited to the Traditionalists.

Check out both new songs -- and the originals on which "Jacky" is based -- after the jump.

Here's the new Patton/Secret Chiefs 3 version of "La chanson de Jacky":

Here's Scott Walker's original English version, "Jacky":

Here is Jacques Brel performing the original "La chanson de Jacky":

And here, finally, is "The Western Exile," which comes on the B-side of the new Secret Chiefs 3 7-inch:

Since Secret Chiefs 3 are playing this Thursday (Feb. 2) at Great American Music Hall and Friday at Slim's, we're kinda hoping Patton might make a surprise appearance to perform this song. But it's just a hope.


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