Metal Machine Music – Lou Reed (July 1975)

I appreciate Dada, but the only reason I’d display art from the movement would be to provoke conversation, not to actually bloody look at it.  That said, there’s a certain attraction that I have to both the mythology and the hypnotics of this album. Often regarded as one of the worst of all time, even from the folks who embraced “Sister Ray” and other avant weirdness, Metal Machine Music parades around with its angry guitar feedback for sixty four glorious minutes, or forever if you leave the vinyl running.  I mean, this really isn’t that weird for Lou Reed, is it?  The man could take a big shit into the microphone and you and I would both consider the sound to be art.  What made this one so difficult was that it was practically engineered to have every buyer not make it through side one.  Sure, cool, Lou Reed was doing feedback.  Been there done that, and more pleasantly, too.  Musically, this really doesn’t have much going on for it, but isn’t that the damn point?  I mean, sure, that doesn’t justify it entirely, but the pure abrasion that’s instilled in the, yeah, music is certainly felt, and Lou Reed gets a couple of points across: Anything is music if the right person does it, and no matter how pointless something is, assholes like me will call it now-meaningless words like “art” and “music”.  So 34 years later, Lou Reed accidentally pioneered drone and his gigantic “fuck you” to the world is still horrible-sounding but conceptually brilliant in retrospect.  As music, it’s about as good as a white noise machine.  As a joke, it’s one of the funniest ever told, and we keep giving Lou reasons to laugh.

B

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Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM  Leave a Comment  

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