Monday, October 17, 2011


[Warning !  The videos linked-to are rated NC-53 !!  No-one under the age of 53 or so should watch them !   And even these, only after making Confession, and taking Communion. -- Everyone else -- Read the Gospels;  Smash the State;  and get married; OK ? ? ? ]

Maximal, in that:  Everything is at stake.
Minimal, as regards the artistic means.

("Heroin".  The Velvets.)
This one is meditative, ethereal;  and minimal, principally in the singing.  Quite beautiful organ, which strains not at all  to achieve its effect.  Reed's signature sassybrash streetwise delivery  is here muted.  [Update 5 Jan 2013.  Evil forces manipulated by the Illuminati  have just removed this. Internauts!  Strive to retrieve...]
This one is minimal  in the violin-drone.  Notice that the violinist here is apparently an angel, blessedly content to play but the single note assigned to him.
Both these performances are redemptive:  strange, in view of the lyrics, and the lifestyle of the bandmembers at the time.  For this paradox, compare our remarks about "Backstreet Girl", here:

In this early recording, as in the later Stones recordings, the vocals are drowned.  If this was the only version you knew, it would be nonsense;  but knowing the full performance, you realize that it captures the essence, which is indeed but the drone (“Ommmm”), later disintegrating into a screechyscream as the addict starts coming off his high.
It pretty much sounds like a badly-mixed rendition of the original album version.
I included it  not for itself, exactly, but as part of the ongoing meditation about Minimalism.
The Velvet's were so much about Lou Reed's precise and penetrating enunciation;  yet here they are lost almost entirely, and the song still works.  Trending towards that ideal, treated here in as much detail as the topic needs:

The album version (which I, well, basically grew up with) remains unsurpassed on its own hyperplane; but the first-mentioned live version represents a reflective step back, and maybe up.
[Note:  I may actually have attended this concert; hard to tell.  The camera angle isn’t from where I sat;  and so long ago …]
Musical oddity of the album version:  The drummer, who in principle  keeps the rhythm for the whole band, eventually drifts off into her own tempo-space.  Yet this somehow does not spoil the song -- perhaps because it acurately reflects the way drug-users, nodding out, lose contact with one another.

One of the young commenters on YouTube said:  What do you mean by Hair-Oh-In?? Joan of Arc ???
Answer:  Yes !!!  That is what he was trying to mean.  Take up your rosary, bless you, and say prayers to the Maid of Orléans ….

Wondering what had become of him in later days, I checked Wiki, and found this:
“On April 12, 2008, Reed married longtime companion Laurie Anderson in a private ceremony in Boulder, Colorado.”

God bless the blushful couple ! 

Actual footage of the wedding-ceremony:
This one is reminiscent of "Jesus, Help Me Find My Proper Place", in its concerted attempt to recapture simplicity and innocence.  And it goes farther, in that it sacrifices professional for entirely amateurish singing.  Just as God made us, that is.  That is genuine humility.
Laus deo.

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