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 -
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 -
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.
posted by porn in the woods
on Jun 16, 2014 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -