by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


About a month ago, I was at a party chez Dan's, and he threw on this wonderful classic rock album, with Beach Boy "ba ba bas" and cracked-voice lovesongs and guitar-solos that work. It's pretty and gritty, lush and raw...

"What is this?" I asked.

"The Velvet Underground," he said.

He had to be joking. I thought I knew the Velvets. I had heard The Velvet Underground & Nico, dismissed it, returned to it, tried harder, and gained some modest appreciation. I understood the appeal of the band's grey-and-yellow melancholy, but couldn't love it. (Apart from "Pale Blue Eyes," that is, discovered in a show by Montreal post-rock film-scorers Les Angles Morts. This was one of those songs that was just waiting for me to pay attention to, but that went ignored due to lazy listening. After the LAM show, though, I returned home to hear the original - and found myself thrown into a cloudlazy crush haze.)

Anyway - I had heard The Velvet Underground & Nico, and not been impressed enough to explore the VU's catalogue any further. I assumed that this was all that they did - the messy drug-mussed protopunk.

But what Dan put on was Loaded.

I told him I wanted to borrow it, and then yesterday he remembered to bring it over.

Jesus Christ!

What a great record! Why the hell did no one tell me that the Velvets' later record explored new territory? Why didn't they tell me that they were the missing link between The Beatles and The Who? There's sunkissed love-songs and outright rock'n'roll - the brokendown lyrics (and Lou Reed's delivery) are genius, here. I was at another Les Angles Morts show last night, for the Unicorns' CD release, and all I could think about was how this afternoon was going to be wonderful because I could put on Loaded. And listen to it. More than once.

rock'n'roll epiphany! and they've got another album or two, right?

Posted by Sean at April 6, 2003 4:40 PM

Four albums, all totally different in style. Loaded is great, but the third eponymous album is my favourite. The second one is rougher and more experimental, but also excellent. Hell, there's only four albums, all classic in their own way. Get them all - eventually you'll get it.

Posted by frank at April 6, 2003 9:39 PM

try the third album, sean. i know you are gonna like it. and vu & nico is their most versatile album. it took me about ten years to find out how good it was.

Posted by alex at April 9, 2003 7:05 PM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
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Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
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Words and Music
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Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
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The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
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Horses Think
White Hotel
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Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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