Saturday, November 2, 2013

A questionable tribute to Lou Reed

It's been a busy month but I hope to get back to some music in a (slightly) slower patch between now and late January. However, I would be remiss not to commemorate Lou Reed's passing somehow. I admit to only a passing knowledge of his music outside of the "hits", though he touched the lives of many of the musicians I hold in esteem. REM's Dead Letter Office, which I bought in '87 when it came out, featured 3 Velvet Underground songs, serving as my gateway, and the band did other VU songs at concerts I attended.

And my college band, Dr. Lüst and the Chiefs of the European Space Agency, did a VU song as a major part of our sets early on: White Light/White Heat was how we'd end our sets, with Doug the instigator and singer. He was a big David Bowie fan, and our version was based on Bowie's (inasmuch as it was based on anything). I just liked the "flip out on G7" at the end. After a year or so it dropped out of the sets as our repertoire evolved (or something).  I include below a version we did one night at WMBR when our friend got us access to the studios for some recording in 1990. We'd tacked it on to a band intro song called "Dr. Lüst on Safari", which I excised and from which faded in.  For the curious, I'm on drums in this band.

For the second song I decided I'd just record Sweet Jane, my favorite of Reed's, cliched choice or not. On Twitter I called it an "indestructible song" and there's no better way to test that than have me play it...

Once again:

White Light/White Heat (Dr. Lüst)
Sweet Jane (solo acoustic!)

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