Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Friday Music: I like your old stuff better than ...

81 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Damian Christie,

    Interesting to read the Reed obits both good and bad. I decided to unfriend a certain grumpy old music reviewer (oh okay, Gary Steel) because he couldn't help but write a snarky "never liked him/he had a lot of shit albums you know" update. He did the same thing when Amy Winehouse died, and you know, literally in some cases, life's too short.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    And then there's this http://www.easthamptonstar.com/Obituaries/20131031/Lou-Reed Laurie Anderson's personal obit in the local paper (currently being slashdotted, you may have to wait a while)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We should all aspire to the Daily Mail trampling on our graves.

    I’m pretty sure basically everyone who knew Ralph Miliband might beg to differ.

    It’s not like Lou stopped after that. Christ, he put out Lou Reed, Transformer and Berlin inside 24 months. You could have built a legend on any one of them. It did get more patchy from there

    Sure. And the latest albums from David Bowie, Elvis Costello & Tom Waits are perfectly cromulent but, let’s be honest, they’re never going to replace Ziggy Stardust, This Year’s Model or Rain Dogs in my affections. I may like my artists young, hungry and terminally, furiously fucked up; but as a human being, I can’t begrudge anyone basically feeling they're doing OK and don't have a lot to prove any more.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    And it's back - Lou Reed tai-chi master may not be the one you remember ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    It’s pretty much the opposite of literature

    And visual arts, and in fact most other forms of music. "True" pop is supposedly more ephemeral, but it's full of seasoned pro writers, producers, session players churning out hits. And classical music, whoa. Even Mozart was showing some signs of promise when he died at 37.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    That stuff about Rachel at Dangerous Minds, including comments, is fantastic. A couple of other good Lou obits:

    Luc Sante in the New Yorker:

    The least you could say about Reed is that he was complicated. He was lyrical and crass, empathetic and narcissistic, feminine and masculine, a gawky adolescent and an old soak, a regular guy and a willful deviant, an artisan and a vandal.

    And Gordon Campbell at Scoop:

    From the Velvets to the Berlin album, Reed told us that the serious pursuit of sensation came at a price ….even if hey, the whole stupid display of desire and self-immolation was also grimly amusing, when it wasn’t simply hateful. For a while, Reed was the elder brother/uncle who was either an inspiration or a cautionary tale, or both. Like most innovators, he had usually moved on by the time his fans and imitators climbed on board.

    Songs for Drella was the album Gordon says he turned to. I was listening to third VU album, then the first. I still think the first is maybe the greatest rock record ever.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The odd thing is that all of the above still know how to bring it when they take the stage. They're better, wiser musicians. But we're not there to hear their new songs.

    Part of this might have to do with the human brain. As we get older, we lose the ability to enjoy new things as much as we did when we were younger. So when you're 25, a new Rolling Stones song will be exciting, but when you're 50 it's a lot easier to stick with the stuff you already know. There's a partial New Yorker article about it here.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And on the home front, Colonel Karl du Fresne returned to his favourite theme – the depravity of all popular music since 1965 – with a withering commentary on the Velvet Underground:

    That, or he invokes the limo liberal/bourgeois bohemian card. In fairness, the Stones probably should know when to quit.

    Wonder if du Fresne is a Colin Craig supporter?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Greg Jackson has woken long enough to broadcast from his couch:

    "Lou was a reporter; a chronicler of his times. He was the Dickens of smack."

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Life is indeed too short to read the curmudgeonly outpourings from the meat and two veg world view of the likes of Du Fresne and pretty much anyone who writes for the Daily Mail, no matter how unintentionally hilarious they are. Also are the Fall the only band in the world who’s fans look forward with enthusiasm to their latest release? Smith’s borderline insanity, prodigious output and policy of regenerating his band more often than Dr Who keeps Fall anoraks constantly craving new material.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    yeah, the snark has been interesting and I'm sure Reed, being a contrary bastard, wouldn't have given a shit. but aren't there some joyless, self-satisfied asshats around? I guess there's an element of Slater's look at me factor involved.

    and I go along with how you've summed him up, but I've long given up on saying anyone was the wellspring of anything musically - people were recording all manner of madness with electric guitars from the moment Link Ray poked a pencil through his speaker cone, and I'd even take that milestone under advisement.

    and just to share - got this 7 in the mail yesterday - honest to goodness, crank it to 11 and then some, geetar-soaked, psych styles...just the business to iron my shirt to this morning

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I think SWANS is an example of a band who are better than they used to be -- how many bands have made better new stuff after a reunion, that actually develops on what they did in the interim (Angels of Light) as well as adapting the old? And I suppose the Clean are as good as they ever were.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch,

    RIP Lou, you irascible old bastard. I love all the Velvets stuff and much of his 70s solo stuff. New York, released when he was ancient (like, 47 or something!) has some really great songs, too.

    Why even mention Karl du Fresne's ignorant rant? Really, is there a less relevant opinion about Lou Reed out there? Withering? More like blithering idiocy, I'd say.....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double,

    Every time Paul McCartney puts out a new album – which is surprisingly often – some of my dearest friends will gamely insist that Maccas’s back on form. He’s not. It’s just another lot of annoying sing-song melodies.

    Thank God, yes. I believe Paulie's technocratic tinkering has finally found its natural audience - indie. They all worship "Ram" like it was the Golden Calf rather than a pleasant if occasionally annoying collection of ditties, so whatever he puts out now is deemed to be evidence of genius rather than facility. The old bugger does deserve a break after the boomers have (rightly) lionised his buddy for four decades, but honestly....

    Du Fresne's slag of the Velvets was flat out hilarious. The work of an unreconstructed coot. He proves my assertion that to understand the VU is to understand the nature of rock itself. I'm not sure even Chuck Berry himself wrote a song about rock and roll as good as "Rock & Roll".

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Nice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Also are the Fall the only band in the world who’s fans look forward with enthusiasm to their latest release? Smith’s borderline insanity, prodigious output and policy of regenerating his band more often than Dr Who keeps Fall anoraks constantly craving new material.

    When they played here last year, a number of my friends insisted it was yet another great Fall show.

    Having seen them six or seven times previously, I thought it was rubbish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to philipmatthews,

    plus one on the Swans, and how's about Richard Hawley? sure, there's a couple of plodders on his last album, but when he sets his fingers and tonsils to it he's still nigh untouchable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch,

    And this piece in Salon is quite good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    You want musical regression? I have just weeded out my CD collection and donated boxes to a local school fair. In their place goes a 1950s HMV portable gramophone and a collection of 1930s/40s jazz on 78s (another charity fair acquisition). Wound up the gramophone for the first time last night, bunged on Woody Herman and it was great. "Yokohama Mama" by Hari Kari and the Six Saki Sippers was not so great.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Life is indeed too short to read the curmudgeonly outpourings from the meat and two veg world view of the likes of Du Fresne and pretty much anyone who writes for the Daily Mail, no matter how unintentionally hilarious they are.

    I confess, my delight in du Fresne's utterances on music (this isn't the first time) is undoubtedly perverse. His extended outrage here about Chris Knox's appearance on Kim Hill's Playing Favourites segment is absolutely precious:

    Knox, who is considered a founding father of the punk movement in New Zealand, chose as his first song the Beatles’ Baby You’re A Rich Man, and made the comment that the Beatles were a punk band themselves in their Hamburg days.

    With all due respect to Knox, this sort of revisionist bullshit can’t be allowed to go unchallenged. Attempts to confer musical legitimacy on punk by claiming that the greatest pop band in history were precursors of punk won’t wash.

    Punks raged against the status quo, but there was nothing in the music of the Beatles to suggest they were remotely interested in bringing down the “system”. The most they did was mock it in a good-natured manner, as when John Lennon famously told the audience at a Royal Variety performance in 1963: “Those of you in the cheap seats, clap your hands. The rest of you, just rattle your jewellery”.

    And again, he manages to tie his outrage to to Radio NZ. You couldn't write this stuff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    mate, that sounds like good times to me. I hope you've got a good stash of needles though. they don't last very long at all and soon become nails that scratch more than play.
    saying that though, is a 50s model powered?
    I've only ever tudooed about with hand-cranked 20s/ 30s models.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Chowdhury,

    I'd like to think Lou would have given Mr de Fresne and other detractors a riposte similar to the one quoted in The Guardian yesterday, from an interview shortly before he died:

    "I am what I am, it is what it is. And," he added, "fuck you."

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    Thanks, Alan. It is a wind-up machine but quite portable, in a natty box. I have sent away for a large supply of needles.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    excellent, some summertime picnics might be in order?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.