Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekend Morning...

well not really. it's actually about 4 pm right now, but i was pretty much up all night anyway. i just ate a quizno's sandwich and it was awesome. try the double cheese, cheese steak. it's the bee's knees!!!

i'm not gonna post tomorrow since i will be busy all day, so right here right now is a mega post of some sorts. well, it's not really that big, but i want it to be special since the music i'm writing about is special stuff. for those who get pretty deep into punk there comes a time when certain artists get mentioned when the history of the genre is discussed. there are the top three that always get mentioned like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and The Ramones, but if you go back even further there are some more that i think are even better than those. these few artists came from the 60's which we all know was the birthing of most modern rock music with all sorts of ideas going in all sorts of directions. a few artists to mention would be the MC5, The Stooges, and the one band for today's post, The Velvet Underground.

let's see, hmm well i guess i'll start with the dates. from 1965 to about 1973 this band wrote, recorded, and performed music that was so sparse and out there that they immediately stood out amongst all the hippy acts of the time. often playing during andy warhols "exploding plastic inevitable" events (he was their first manager) the band forced lots of feedback with spastic freekout touches and lyrics that weren't quite as sunny as most would like. lead singer lou reed wrote songs dealing with personal issues such as drug addiction, "heroin" and other topics like prostitution, sadism and masochism. not to glorify these topics, but when heard now it all seems pretty tame compared to what's now considered to be of bad taste, so it' no wonder why the music these people created was so controversial back then. i still like the line in the movie "the doors" where keyboardist ray manzarek described the new york underground of the 60's, including andy warhol and the velvets as "vampires".

the first album released by the band is one of the most recognizable pieces of art created. all done by warhol, the banana cover ("peel slowly and see...") was controversial as well. (everything is and was...) this is the only album with german singer Nico on collaboration. after this she split to do her own music which is also wonderful, and the velvets moved on making three more albums before splitting up. lead singer lou reed went on to have a great solo career as well, releasing stellar albums like the totally awesome Transformer and Berlin (another post!!!)

in later years there would be feeble attempts at reuniting, but they would never work. it wasn't until recently, that i heard news of former band members getting together for a discussion. lou reed along with bassist doug yule, and drummer maureen tucker will be getting together in new york at the new york public library on december 8th to talk with journalist david fricke about the bands legacy and how they made such an impact in rock music. of course news of this magnitude can only start the speculations as to what it will lead to. maybe a few shows around the us and over seas??? huge festivals like Coachella or Bonnaroo??? who knows what will happen. all i can say is that it's awesome to hear about this and one can only hope as to what can possibly take place.

here right now is their immediate discography minus a few live recordings and a latter album that was just terrible and not really a part of the band at all. first off we have the masterpiece in modern rock, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and then for second place we have the harsh in your face White Light/White Heat, and then third is the self titled album minus nico of course, and last but not least, my personal favorite, Loaded. be sure to check these out for some classic rock/punk before there ever was any. listen to lou reed sing his heart out in "sweet jane" and listen for the band showing their love in "rock and roll" and last, be sure to listen carefully as one man's addiction shows the surreal beauty behind it in "heroin". (yeah, maybe...) oh, and if it wasn't for the velvet underground, The Strokes wouldn't have anybody to rip off!!!

I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same
When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I have made the big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death
And you can't help me now, you guys
And a
You can all go take a walk
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sail the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
In a sailor's suit and cap
Away from the big city
Where a man can not be free
Of all of the evils of this town
And of himself, and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off and dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
And everybody puttin' everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow
Then I really don't care anymore
Ah, when the heroin is in my blood
And that blood is in my head
Then thank God that I'm as good as dead
Then thank your God that I'm not aware
And thank God that I just don't care
And I guess I just don't know
And I guess I just don't know

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