Saturday, May 22, 2021
JEFFREY MORGANíS MEDIA BLACKOUT #784
Sat, May 22, 2021 | link
JEFFREY MORGAN'S MEDIA BLACKOUT #784.523.152!
PLATTER OF THE WEEK: The Scenics - How Does It Feel To Be Loved: The Scenics Play The Velvet Underground
(Dream Tower) :: Recorded live in a number of trashy Toronto punk dives between 1977 and 1981, it's the first album of Velvet
Underground covers I've ever heard that actually manages to evoke the VU's classic cacophony of studio sound-something that
latter day Doug Yule-infused live albums like Live At Max's Kansas City never seemed to attain.
But somehow the Scenics have managed to do just that with an edge-teetering fan-based fervor that doesn't seek to
duplicate the Velvets' sound so much as it uses that primal distortion as a jumping off point to differentiate themselves
from the masters while remaining true to the source. And the fact that all 10 numbers were recorded, in true live Velvets
tradition, on a buncha crappy cassette tapes doesn't tarnish the Scenics' sonic patina-it only enhances their chances of making
this the best VU tribute album ever.
First of all, there's their informed choice of song selection.
Sure, they do a few obligatory standards like "I'm Waiting For The Man" and "I'll Be Your Mirror," but
they also mine the less-obvious depths of Unca Lou's songbook to essay what are arguably some of his greatest songs: "New
Age," "I'm Set Free," "What Goes On," "Here She Comes Now" and "I Heard Her Call My
Name." Finally, it all culminates literally live in a basement with a twisted 10-minute Metal Machine Music
meets Television version of "Sister Ray" that even John Cale never envisioned in his wildest nightmares.
So if the proceedings sound even more demented than you might expect, that's because the Scenics don't ape the Velvets,
they enhance them-which only goes to show that sometimes between rot and depression there lies a lifeline.
Be seeing you!