Saturday, February 13, 2016
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #509
Sat, February 13, 2016 | link
MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #509.137!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Zeitkratzer
– Metal Machine Music: Live (Asphodel) :: Right from the very beginning, when it first came out in 1975, decades
before the advent of such caffeine-laced drugs as Jolt Cola and Tylenol Ultra, I habitually used Lou Reed’s Metal
Machine Music as industrial strength therapeutic headache medication. I’d crank side one up to maximum volume and
the grinding high-pitched feedback would lock in at the exact same neural frequency as my headache and neutralize it without
fail, usually within five minutes. So when I had lunch with Unca Lou a year later in 1976, we confided as one dedicated user
JEFFREY MORGAN: That album performs a service, at certain
times. When you need it, it’s there.
LOU REED: Metal Machine? When
I need to get it out of my system so I don’t kill somebody…it gets things out of my system. It’s cathartic.
Over time, my avowed
advocacy of the album became well known. One day in the early ’90s, during the brainstorming session when I came up
with the title Between Thought And Expression for Lou’s RCA anthology—if you have a copy of the booklet,
you could look it up—box set producer Rob Bowman asked me: “Be honest. When was the last time you listened to
Metal Machine Music?” “Two weeks ago!” I replied and Rob laughed, knowing that I was telling him
And because I do have every sonic squeal and squelch of that album committed to memory, I can tell you
with a fan addict’s unabashed authority that Zeitkratzer’s live version of Metal Machine Music is an
astonishing absolute exact aural duplication of the original random-generated electronic studio recording, transcribed into
sheet music and played on an unlikely array of instruments, ranging from accordion and tuba to violin and trumpet.
But the real payoff
comes at the end, when Old Unca Lou himself takes the stage to pound out a solo guitar shriekfest that’s even more scabrous
than his synapse-snapper on “I Heard Her Call My Name.”
Be seeing you!