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VU's The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes: stick your head inside Lou’s amp

On March 15, 1969, The Velvet Underground played its last show of a three-day engagement at The Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts. The entire set was recorded by a fan directly from Lou Reed's guitar amplifier. "Reed’s guitar is, of course, way up front and the rest of the band is barely audible. The result is a mighty electronic roar that reveals the depth and layers of Reed’s playing. Over and undertones, feedback, string buzz, the scratch of fingers on frets and the crackle and hum of tube amps combine to create a monolithic blast of metal machine music." - Head Heritage.

Previously available on a bootleg CD, The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes has finally made it to vinyl, courtesy of Tummy Tapes. Check out one of the most unique VU boots in existence. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 25, 2014 - 11 comments

"See you next year at the halloween parade" - Lou Reed's New York at 25

Lou Reed's New York LP hit the quarter-century mark earlier this year. "Meant to be listened to in one 58-minute sitting as though it were a book or a movie," New York couples an unusually accessible rock style with some of most topical lyrics of Lou's career. "Protesting, elegizing, carping, waxing sarcastic, forcing jokes, stating facts, garbling what he just read in the Times, free-associating to doomsday, Lou carries on a New York conversation--all that's missing is a disquisition on real estate." - Robert Christgau

Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 18, 2014 - 40 comments

Lou Reed Lou Reed

Lou Reed Lou Reed [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Jun 21, 2014 - 21 comments

"The Bells isn't merely Lou Reed's best solo LP, it's great art."

Lou Reed's 1979 LP The Bells, featuring Don Cherry and Nils Lofgren, turned 35 in April.

Lester Bangs' take: Lou Reed is a prick and a jerkoff who regularly commits the ultimate sin of treating his audience with contempt. He's also a person with deep compassion for a great many other people about whom almost nobody else gives a shit. I won't say who they are, because I don't want to get too schmaltzy, except to emphasize that there's always been more to this than drugs and fashionable kinks, and to point out that suffering, loneliness and psychic/spiritual exile are great levelers. The Bells isn't merely Lou Reed's best solo LP, it's great art. Everybody made a fuss over Street Hassle, but too many reviewers overlooked the fact that it was basically a sound album: brilliant layers of live and studio work in a deep wash of bass-obsessive noise. Most of the songs were old, and not very good, with a lot of the same old cheap shots.
[more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 16, 2014 - 56 comments

Velvet Underground / Exploding Plastic Inevitable Live in Boston 1967

Rare footage of the Velvet Underground playing live in Boston (1967, sound, color, 33 mins. Dir: Andy Warhol) has recently been discovered. [more inside]
posted by item on May 26, 2014 - 22 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

Back at the beginning of 2010, Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back, an album of covers of various artists. He had hoped those same artists would, in turn, cover songs he had written. Well, it didn't all come together as smoothly as he had planned, and not all the artists participated, but he's finally released And I'll Scratch Yours. NPR has a limited time preview of both albums running right now. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Dec 29, 2013 - 42 comments

An Open Door to Extraordinary Worlds Opens Wider

The 92 Street Y in New York has just launched an amazing online resource, 92Y On Demand, with recordings from their massive catalog of some of the interviews and performances that have occurred there going back to 1949. Some of the many speakers include Kurt Vonnegut, Chinua Achebe, Sherman Alexie and Sapphire, Dylan Thomas, Maria Bamford, Lou Reed, Dan Savage, Junot Díaz and Jamacica Kincaid, Maurice Sendak, Ruth Reichl with Ann Patchett, David Rakoff, and Leonard Lopate, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 25, 2013 - 11 comments

Lou Reed (1942 - 2013)

Rolling Stone is reporting that Lou Reed has died.
posted by alexoscar on Oct 27, 2013 - 477 comments

It's Minimal. But the *Parts* are Maximal.

Lou Reed Reviews 'Yeezus' for The Talkhouse: "This guy is seriously smart. He keeps unbalancing you. He'll pile on all this sound and then suddenly pull it away, all the way to complete silence, and then there's a scream or a beautiful melody, right there in your face. That's what I call a sucker punch."
posted by Apropos of Something on Jul 5, 2013 - 129 comments

Classic Albums, covering 3 decades of popular music

Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 1, 2013 - 33 comments

Selections from Hal Willner's Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill

Lou Reed - September Song
Sting with Dominic Muldowney -- The Ballad of Mac the Knife
Ralph Schuckett with Richard Butler, Bob Dorough, Ellen Shipley and John Petersen - Alabama Song
Dagmar Krause -- Surabaya Johnny
John Zorn - Der Kleine des Lieben Gottes
Tom Waits - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
Todd Rundgren with Gary Windo -- Call From The Grave/Ballad In Which Macheath Begs All Men For Forgiveness
Mark Bingham, Aaron Neville, Johnny Adams - Oh Heavenly Salvation
Carla Bley with Phil Woods -- Lost In The Stars

Selections from Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill
posted by y2karl on Feb 28, 2013 - 23 comments

you're going to reap just what you sow

Just a perfect day1 drink sangria in the park2 and then later when it gets dark,3 we go home.4 Just a perfect day5 Feed animals in the zoo6 Then later a movie too,7 and then home.8 [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd on Sep 5, 2012 - 18 comments

The Orchestra

Zbigniew Rybczyński's pioneering 1990 HDTV production, The Orchestra (58m), a study in layered images and classical music, a commentary on man in the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Dec 7, 2011 - 19 comments

Two historically significant artists merging unrelated genres for no defined reason.

If these cagey tunesmiths had consciously tried to make a record this simultaneously dull and comedic, they'd never have succeeded; the closest artistic equivalent would be what might have happened if Vincent Gallo had been a script consultant for The Room.
Chuck Klosterman is not fond of the new Lou Reed/Metallica album.
posted by griphus on Oct 25, 2011 - 130 comments

WHETHER 'TIS NOBLER in the mind to......{KACHUNK!}......suffer the slings AND ARROWS OF OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE

It's a bit old, but there's nothing on the Blue about the Eight Track Museum in Dallas, TX which opened this Valentine's Day. Such an oversight must be redressed. The museum's curator, Bucks Bennett, didn't start collecting 8-track tapes until 1988, long after the format has ceased being viable. As of this year, Bennett has about 3000 tapes in his collection, one of which you really, truly need to see (though whether or not you actually want to hear this tape is a decision best left to you, Gentle Reader). [more inside]
posted by stannate on Sep 19, 2011 - 29 comments

Clifford Doerksen

19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2010 - 73 comments

Revisiting Mother Superior

In what may be an attempt to make amends for causing Susan Boyle to 'flee America' (although that apparently wasn't the real cause), Lou Reed has directed her new music video, a cover of his own song Perfect Day. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Nov 8, 2010 - 72 comments

Screen Tests. Good, now 3/4 to the right. Full profile. Thank you.

The screen test offers a disorienting angle on 'behind the scenes' footage—straight through the camera. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Feb 8, 2010 - 21 comments

How in the world were they making that sound?

In a fascinating, still-ongoing conference on The inkWell, Richie Unterberger talks about the process of researching and writing about the Velvet Underground, for his recently published day by day chronicle of the group. (book excerpts here)
posted by anazgnos on Jun 10, 2009 - 10 comments

New VU

I'm not into VU bootlegs really, but apparently this is a big deal. It's the ONLY available live stuff from 1967 and has only become available in literally the last two days. Recorded just after the release of The Velvet Underground And Nico and featuring the debut performance of Sister Ray (19 mins long) and the *previously unheard* song I'm Not A Young Man Any More. That's right, A NEW VELVET UNDERGROUND SONG. And it's fucking good too. This version of Sister Ray absolutely shreds and is what the Velvet Underground are all about.
posted by stinkycheese on Feb 29, 2008 - 61 comments

Songs for Drella

21 years ago, Andy Warhol died of complications from gallbladder surgery. Lou Reed and John Cale, two founding members of the Velvet Underground -- Warhol's Factory house band -- paid tribute to their mentor on the 1990 album Songs for Drella. Edward Lachman's recording of a 1991 performance is available on YouTube: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 on Feb 23, 2008 - 23 comments

Lou Reed on Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music' performed by Zeitkratzer and himself live in 2002

Even if Lou Reed had dropped out of music after the break-up of the Velvet Underground, his name would still be forever etched in the history of rock music. Yet his solo career, filled with eccentric detours and radio-ready rockers in equal measure, remains one of the most fascinating canons in all of rock music. Metal Machine Music, however, is a unique entity in itself, proudly pushing at the very boundaries of what pop music is capable of. Zeitkratzer’s performance not only makes the original album ripe for critical re-evaluation, but it’s a performance that stands on its own ground...
Why Does the Music Have to End?: An Interview with Lou Reed regarding how he came to play Metal Machine Music live in 2002.
posted by y2karl on Nov 17, 2007 - 47 comments

"Window in the Sky", a U2 montage of 137 video clips

"Window in the Sky" is a YouTube style video synch mash-up done on a professional budget with the magic of copyright clearances. "It's a triumph of postmodern reconstruction" says the Washington Post.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 29, 2007 - 160 comments

Velvet Underground Acetate Breaks Record

What you have purchased for less than the price of a cup of coffee is arguably one of the most important "lost" music recordings out there. Record collector Warren Hill paid 75 cents at a yard sale in Chelsea, New York for an acetate in a plain cardboard sleeve. After some research, Hill's friends confirmed that the acetate disc, recorded by sound engineer Norman Dolph (who also wrote Reunion's "Life Is A Rock But The Radio Rolled Me"), was the third recording ever made by the Velvet Underground and the first album they ever did. A demo rejected by Columbia Records, the acetate is now up for auction on EBay, where the high bid is $124,640.50 and climbing, already breaking records as the most expensive LP ever sold at auction. (Bonus: see a post from a teenage eyewitness to the VU's 1966 session that produced this acetate.)
posted by jonp72 on Dec 5, 2006 - 32 comments

THE DEATH OF ROCK AND ROLL VIA WEB 2.0

It's official. The raw evil of AOL has joined forces with the unbridled hubris of Web 2.0 and killed Rock and Roll. I blame BoingBoing.
posted by loquacious on Nov 10, 2006 - 48 comments

There is only one good thing about Pittsburgh: you know you wanna get out of there - Lou Reed

Lou Reed : Photographer
posted by Lanark on Dec 18, 2005 - 48 comments

Loaded

The Lou Reed Guitar Archive "Pre-VU, The Velvet Underground, solos and collaborations"
posted by wobh on Jan 3, 2005 - 18 comments

A walk on the wild side with Warholstars

Warholstars is a comprehensive guide to the colorful cast of characters that made up Andy Warhol's constellation and that Lou Reed sang about in Walk on the Wild Side...meet Holly, Candy, Little Joe, Sugar Plum Fairy, Jackie Curtis, and more.
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 29, 2004 - 9 comments

Lou Reed Interview

BBC Interview (needs RealPlayer) with Lou Reed.
posted by walrus on Jun 2, 2003 - 0 comments

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