Monday, March 06, 2006

Velvet Underground, Live in 1969

Originally uploaded by arimoore.
According to movies and television, rock was once electric and not electronic. It was this stuff, this uncontrollable substance that lived up to its own hype in every way.

Everything everyone said about rock was true.

If you listened to it enough, you did start skipping school and making out in cars, heading down a dirt road to destruction while finding your own soul. There was no punk, no post-punk and no post-rock for damn sure -- just rock itself, loud, bold and mighty.

These three tracks from the Velvet Underground take me into those days that died long before I was born. Not the day in 1976 that I was removed from my mother's womb -- but born into rock and roll's influence, with dizzying passions and low lows of my own for rock to come along and play with.

Recorded at a Velvet Underground show in 1969, these three tracks showcase the Underground at the height of their raw, elegant powers. The tape recorder was stored inside Lou Reed's guitar amp, so the mix is a little distorted to say the least. 'What Goes On' is exuberant and ecstatic -- it's a rapid-fire psychedelic explosion, the audio equivalent of pressing on your eyeballs really really hard.

'Sister Ray' is 24 minutes long if it's a second, and a bit of an endurance contest, to tell the truth. It's raucous and brilliant, and the part where the guitar drops away completely is stunning ... but you can be forgiven if you don't make it all the way through. My apologies for the Real Audio format here. It's the best I could find.

Here they are for your downloading pleasure:

Candy Says
What Goes On
Sister Ray


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