Dirty Blvd. // Lou Reed
This is a statement that will probably cost me my musician card, but I’ll make it anyway: The Velvet Underground was vastly overrated. The music was pretentious, too self-aware, and poorly played. It’s the best example of the bad genre of art school rock. Just…shut up already. And learn to play your instruments a little. And supermodels can’t sing.
So it was a great surprise to me when Lou, who bored me, released the vicious, smoldering New York album. His anger is blue-hot and no one is spared. Better yet, he found a bunch of guys who could actually play their instruments at a professional level. I had an internship as a technician in a recording studio the year this came out (worst job ever…long story for another time), but I distinctly remember hanging out in the tech room with this CD just blasting through the monitors we used back there to bench test the equipment we were fixing or installing. And we would listen to it over, and over, and over. We’d talk about the lyrics and the guitar tone and the vocal performance and the liner notes. I can almost smell the solder flux vapors when I listen now.
Anyway, a comment Matt (remember him?) made on Facebook reminded me of this song today.
Give me your hungry, your tired, your poor—I’ll piss on ‘em
That’s what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ‘em to death
And get it over with, just dump ‘em on the boulevard