Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wayback Whensday:
The Velvet Underground - Live

The first time I heard The Velvet Underground I thought they sounded so cliché. At the time I didn't understand that they weren't the ripoff artists, but rather the countless bands that followed hoping to capture their distinctive sound.

Lately I've been on an old music kick, so forgive me. Here are some of my favorite songs from The Velvet Underground and Nico, performed live.

The video of "Venus in Furs" is only 1:17, but is still pretty damned cool.

Why doesn't anything today feel this important?


"Femme Fatale"

"Venus in Furs"


Hackworth Artifex said...

I dunno what it is, but those videos make me feel like I'm really there. I actually yearned to travel back to the 60/70s. Nice find.

SonicRyan said...

I think if you had said the Velvet Underground were important 40 years ago you would have been laughed at. No one disputes it now, of course, but that's because we've seen countless bands rip them off for the past four decades. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if nothing sounds important now, wait 40 years.

panopticon said...

I like Velvet Underground now and forty years ago in a bizarre alternate universe.

They're so good alternate universes think they're awesome. How can you argue with that logic?

I still think almost everything now sucks. Maybe the problem is that there's not people editing anymore?

Like... there's a whole bunch of stuff right now that back in the day when they made albums and people bought them (!), no record executive would have put it to wax because people wouldn't have bought it. Or as Tom Petty so eloquently put it, "Their A&R man said, 'I don't hear a single.'" Technology has removed the barrier of the label, so the end result is an anarchic, unedited pastiche?

I yearn for the days of some sort of unspoken musical quality minimum standard.

Either way, time bleaches out all but the most vivid photographs.

I would argue that forty years ago, we would have been listening to Velvet Underground. Not the public, but we as connoisseurs of musical talent and appreciators of art in general. I think we would have sought them out. And I think that we would have found it fucking awesome on first listen.

And to be perfectly honest, the only thing I can still see myself listening to still in 40 years is Sigur Ros. Maybe Arcade Fire. Most everything I hear recently isn't so much technically deficient as it is just plain UNINSPIRED.

And Velvet Underground - love or hate them - certainly did not lack for inspiration.