Velvet Underground

It's only cool if no one's heard of it.

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Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:16 am UTC

aaron wrote:posting because white light/white heat is velvet underground's best album and i'll contest it with anyone who says that i'm wrong and that vu&nico is

BECAUSE IT ISN'T


Now listen here, douchetard.
You have to be the most idiotic person in the world to think that Whitelight/Whiteheat is even half the pure awesomeness of VU and Nico. C'mon dude. Heroin? Sunday Morning? I'm Waiting fo tthe man? The mothereffin' Black Angel's Death Song?!?!
I love WL/WH, but it's not as good. The gift is interesting. . .and Sister Ray is nto that good. I do love Lady Godiva's though.

Also, this is the official Velvet Underground thread.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby mickyj300x » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:45 am UTC

One of my friends introduced me to the Velvet Underground a couple of years ago, and I've been hooked since. My Mum has been listening to Lou Reed for ages, but I only found out about the VU recently.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:01 pm UTC

All their four albums are great, though I do like the debut the most. But White Light/White Heat does have the title track and I'm a sucker for songs like Sister Ray.

Brilliant band anyway. I've seen all four albums individually championed as their best by various people over the years, a sign of how good they were.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Huginn » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

What makes them so great? I've listened to them before, and nothing really grabbed me.

So many excellent bands have cited them as an influence, but I don't get it. Can y'all explain it to me?

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:15 pm UTC

Huginn wrote:What makes them so great? I've listened to them before, and nothing really grabbed me.

So many excellent bands have cited them as an influence, but I don't get it. Can y'all explain it to me?


You can't 'explain' a music act to someone really, either you like them or you don't. If you like them, fine. If you don't, they might just not be for you.

It's hard to verbalise about music, and what makes a band or musician so good I find. At the least people can try to verbalise (like the post below) but it's not likely to convince you or persuade you. But you might see why others like them I guess.
Last edited by charliepanayi on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby poxic » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:It's hard to verbalise about music, and what makes a band or musician so good I find.

I can take a stab at it, sort of. I haven't heard much VU, just one listen through their first album I think, but what struck me most was the emotional content. They played their instruments with an edge that matched the lyrics. The album seemed to alternate between pop-style songs and harsher, exploratory pieces that were hard for me to listen to (I often get overwhelmed by strong emotional content in music).

Interesting stuff, and groundbreaking for its time. Unfortunately I have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to it.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

It's the punk aesthetic and ethic in music that predated punk rock. It paved the way for noise and dissonance in popular music that was later expanded by bands like Sonic Youth (who happen to be one of my favorite bands of all time), who in turn inspired countless other bands from the early nineties onwards.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby thatguy » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

They were also probably the first notable band to make the music they wanted to.

Drug lyrics? Go for it.
Poppy music? OK.
Drones? Sweet.
17 minutes of noise rock about transsexuals? No problem.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

thatguy wrote:They were also probably the first notable band to make the music they wanted to.


I'd say they were a tie for first - The Beatles around the same time (certainly from Rubber Soul onwards) belonged in that category too.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

poxic wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:It's hard to verbalise about music, and what makes a band or musician so good I find.

I can take a stab at it, sort of. I haven't heard much VU, just one listen through their first album I think, but what struck me most was the emotional content. They played their instruments with an edge that matched the lyrics. The album seemed to alternate between pop-style songs and harsher, exploratory pieces that were hard for me to listen to (I often get overwhelmed by strong emotional content in music).

Interesting stuff, and groundbreaking for its time. Unfortunately I have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to it.

Yeah, I would have to agree with you. The songs have a wide range of emotive music. And it is also so energetic. Heroin. It alternates between slow and fast, but each fast section becomes more intense until the end is pure chaos, but sounds so good. And the lyrics
Spoiler:
Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, its my wife and its my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then Im better off and dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really dont care anymore
About all the jim-jims in this town
And all the politicians makin crazy sounds
And everybody puttin everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds
really put you in the position of a junky, and you sympathize with him. It's that raw emotion, rejecting society and it's harshness for chemically induced happiness. the Black Angel's Death Song. People don't really talk about that one so much, even though it's the most experimental and harsh sounding. When I first heard that song I was impacted heavily with emotion, even though the lyrics are mostly nonsense.
Spoiler:
f the stone glances off
Split didactics in two
Leave the colors of the mouse trails
Don't scream, try between
If you choose, if you choose, try to lose
For the loss of remain come and start

Start the game I che che che che I
Che che che ka tak koh
Choose to choose
Choose to choose, choose to go
So existential.
Pale Blue Eyes. "I thought of you as my mountaintop, I thought of you as my peak. I thought of you as everythjing I had but couldn't keep". The emotion in that part gets me.
Oh Sweet Nuthin. Listen to that climax. Stephanie Says. The desperation in "It's so cold in Alaska". I'm Sticking With You is probably their sweetest song.
And then you just have pure awesome rock with songs like "Can't Stand It" "Run Run RUn" WL-WH, "I'm Beginning to See the Light".
It's not all just chaotic noise. Some songs are experimental in other ways. Some are very slow, sweet. Some are poppy. There has to be at least one VU song someone loves.
I'd say they were a tie for first - The Beatles around the same time (certainly from Rubber Soul onwards) belonged in that category too.
This is true. But of course there were other bands, like Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. One notable thing about VU is that they were probably the first important band (that I know of, could be wrong) to associate sex and drugs and violence with rock and roll. The Beatles had some drug-inspired tunes, of course, but very few are explicitly about drugs, and there is almost no sex (with the exception of Happiness is a Warm Gun--and still, this is not obvious) and violence either.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Julien » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:20 pm UTC

If Nico and Warhol could read you, they would facepalm... Don't act like Comic Book Guy when it comes to such music, please.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

Julien wrote:If Nico and Warhol could read you, they would facepalm... Don't act like Comic Book Guy when it comes to such music, please.
Huginn wrote:What makes them so great? I've listened to them before, and nothing really grabbed me.

So many excellent bands have cited them as an influence, but I don't get it. Can y'all explain it to me?
Someone asked, I gave my opinion, and I was not dismissive or demeaning about anyone else's. I don't care what Warhol or nico would have thought, or what Lou Reed thinks. Why would I?
Why don't you like my post?
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby thatguy » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:27 am UTC

Went to the local record shop, and spent over $70. :? Anyway, I found most of The Velvet Underground discography in the used section. I'm now the proud owner of:
The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground
White Light/White Heat
Loaded
VU

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:28 am UTC

thatguy wrote:Went to the local record shop, and spent over $70. :? Anyway, I found most of The Velvet Underground discography in the used section. I'm now the proud owner of:
The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground
White Light/White Heat
Loaded
VU


Congratulations, your Velvet Underground collection is now complete!
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby thatguy » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:45 pm UTC

Yeah, that's what the clerk said:

"Well, that's everything worth owning."

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby 6453893 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
thatguy wrote:They were also probably the first notable band to make the music they wanted to.


I'd say they were a tie for first - The Beatles around the same time (certainly from Rubber Soul onwards) belonged in that category too.


You forgot Silver Apples.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby thatguy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

I revise my assessment of the Velvet Underground to say:

They were the first notable band that had incredible pop sensibilities, but didn't bother and went the avant-garde route from the get go.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:48 pm UTC

thatguy wrote:I revise my assessment of the Velvet Underground to say:

They were the first notable band that had incredible pop sensibilities, but didn't bother and went the avant-garde route from the get go.
I would agree with this.
I certainly wouldn't agree with the idea that they were the first band to do what they wanted . . .of course not. Music has been evolving for thousands of years, and I doubt very many artists just follow blindly some formula. Probably most musicians like the music they play.
Although, they didn't always do what they wanted, 100%. They were definitely influenced by the market. Andy Warhol had them have Nico sing in the first album, even though they didn't particularly like her in the beginning. Loaded was created specifically to be full of popular singles. Even in VU&N Sunday Morning was the most polished because they figured that it would have the greatest chance of being a popular single.
They probably weren't the first band to be this avante-garde, but all the other ones never beame famou (probably because they weren't particularly good, like VU is),
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby 6453893 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:other ones never beame famou (probably because they weren't particularly good, like VU is),


No offense, but I think you are grossly mistaken. First of all, your opinion is perverted by the fact that nowadays, everybody knows the Velvet Underground. Don't forget that during their career, the band were complete commercial failures. Their music sold so terribly, it was allowed to fall out of print for several years before a new generation of music lovers in the late 70s/80s took an interest. Even now, you'd be surprised at how many people have never heard of VU. Most people, sadly, only know their name from the Juno soundtrack.

Second, plenty of avant-garde groups were more famous than the Velvet Underground before and during VU's career. The Mothers of Invention were both more experimental and more famous than the Velvet Underground, and remain so to this day. White Noise and the Residents were both contemporaries of the Velvet Underground. You really want to accuse The Residents of not being famous? Just because you haven't heard of them is no reason to belittle their role in the history of music.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

I know that the Velvet Underground were never famous during their time. They are famous now, though. Maybe not hugely famous, but enough. And I'm sure that their are a lot of very good bands from then that are still hugely obscure.
My point is that VU were avante-garde, but they were probably not the first to be avant-garde. I could start an avant-garde band right now, but I won't actually be any good at playing my instruments. I won't be able to produce a good soundscape, for anyone. Just like I could never replicate a Jackson pollack, I will never be able to make good experimental music or anyy good music at all. And my band will not rise above and be generally recognized by either critics or fans as a significant part of music history. Because my band was never good.
\What I'm saying is that if that if a band rises from obscurity to become well loved, it is generally is a good band. A horrible band would never do that. And that you can't say that this band was the first band to be experimental. They were the firs band that became well known that were experimental (or the Mothers, or whatever).
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby whitelightwhiteheat » Tue May 05, 2009 7:58 am UTC

I just thought i would reply because of my user name but still

and if someone asked me what my favourite album by the velvet underground was I'd tape the first 3 together and say 'this one'

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Sun May 17, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

I have come to the conclusion that 'Sister Ray' is not safe to listen to through earbuds.
I get halfway through, and then my brain feels really funny, and I start to fear that a combination of elements in the song are calibrated to make my brain explode. Because see, they didn't have ipod technology in 1968, so they had no idea they were making something so dangerous.
It is only a pet theory.

I have Velvet Underground&Nico and White Light/White Heat. It's outside the scope of this discussion, I guess, but one of my favorite albums ever is Lou Reed's Transformer.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Dream » Mon May 18, 2009 9:52 am UTC

H.E.L.e.N. wrote:It's outside the scope of this discussion, I guess, but one of my favorite albums ever is Lou Reed's Transformer.


Actually, not so much. The tension between Reed's more pop sensibilities and Cale's more contemporary compositional efforts were a large part of what broke up the band. If you listen to The Velvet Underground you can see that Reed is wining the battle, and you should notice some similarities between that and Transformer.

Also, if something in a VU song makes your head feel like exploding, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Cale had recorded it thinking "This is going to make people's heads explode". And he wouldn't need earbuds to do it either :)
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Mon May 18, 2009 1:02 pm UTC

i
Dream wrote:
H.E.L.e.N. wrote:It's outside the scope of this discussion, I guess, but one of my favorite albums ever is Lou Reed's Transformer.


Actually, not so much. The tension between Reed's more pop sensibilities and Cale's more contemporary compositional efforts were a large part of what broke up the band. If you listen to The Velvet Underground you can see that Reed is wining the battle, and you should notice some similarities between that and Transformer.


I agree, but I imagine Reed would have won that battle as such on the self-titled album as Cale had left the band by then (and been replaced by Doug Yule) hadn't he.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby SirMustapha » Mon May 18, 2009 4:28 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Also, if something in a VU song makes your head feel like exploding, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Cale had recorded it thinking "This is going to make people's heads explode". And he wouldn't need earbuds to do it either :)


That's exactly the feeling that Sister Ray gives me -- or for that matter, the entire record.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Tue May 19, 2009 2:03 am UTC

This thread is neat. :)

Something I semirandomly happened upon on the interblags: The day Velvet Underground played for psychiatrists, as 'revenge'

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby whitelightwhiteheat » Tue May 19, 2009 8:36 am UTC

H.E.L.e.N. wrote:This thread is neat. :)


yeah its great, I don't know anyone else who likes/has heard of them
sad really
they kick serious ass, makes some punk look a bit flowery
actually most punk
and i think the organ is the key to the exploding head feeling on sister ray

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby nuggetmonkey » Wed May 27, 2009 3:14 pm UTC

I'm partial to the VU and Velvet Underground (the albums).

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby thatguy » Fri May 29, 2009 11:14 pm UTC

Just got the new laptop, and The Velvet Underground are some of the first being ripped.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Dream » Sun May 31, 2009 10:36 am UTC

Do... you speak in character sometimes?
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:42 am UTC

6453893 wrote:You forgot Silver Apples.


bumped this thread for this.

totally saw silver apples at a house show in brooklyn about two years ago. it was amazing.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Guy_At_A_Keyboard » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:50 pm UTC

Consider me a bit late to the party. I just got White Light/White Heat out of the library and ripped it. So far, I get why they're a big deal (i.e. the "Holy shit this was being made WHEN?" factor). That being said, I think I need a few listens before I really start to like them. So far though, I am really impressed by 'Sister Ray' (of course), and I especially enjoy 'Lady Godiva's Operation.'

Any recommendations on what a college freshman with limited funds should get next?

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

Guy_At_A_Keyboard wrote:Consider me a bit late to the party. I just got White Light/White Heat out of the library and ripped it. So far, I get why they're a big deal (i.e. the "Holy shit this was being made WHEN?" factor). That being said, I think I need a few listens before I really start to like them. So far though, I am really impressed by 'Sister Ray' (of course), and I especially enjoy 'Lady Godiva's Operation.'

Any recommendations on what a college freshman with limited funds should get next?


I'd say go for The Velvet Underground and Nico next, sounds like you like the more 'messed up' side of Velvet Underground.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby 6453893 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:52 am UTC

Guy_At_A_Keyboard wrote:Consider me a bit late to the party. I just got White Light/White Heat out of the library and ripped it. So far, I get why they're a big deal (i.e. the "Holy shit this was being made WHEN?" factor). That being said, I think I need a few listens before I really start to like them. So far though, I am really impressed by 'Sister Ray' (of course), and I especially enjoy 'Lady Godiva's Operation.'

Any recommendations on what a college freshman with limited funds should get next?


The five studio albums are worth getting, even the last one that everybody derides. I always recommend people listen to them in order, so go for VU+Nico next, followed by the latter three when you can.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:58 am UTC

Guy_At_A_Keyboard wrote:Consider me a bit late to the party. I just got White Light/White Heat out of the library and ripped it. So far, I get why they're a big deal (i.e. the "Holy shit this was being made WHEN?" factor). That being said, I think I need a few listens before I really start to like them. So far though, I am really impressed by 'Sister Ray' (of course), and I especially enjoy 'Lady Godiva's Operation.'

Any recommendations on what a college freshman with limited funds should get next?

I think Velvet Underground and Nico is the best. The other three are a lot softer and melodic, and Reed. The first two are more Cale, and avante-garde. I reccommend that you try to listen to them on youtube or grooveshark or last.fm or something free before you go out and buy it, though
Lady Godiva's was my favorite on WL/WH, by the way.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby Guy_At_A_Keyboard » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:36 pm UTC

Thanks a lot for the advice. Looks like there's a consensus so far. VU and Nico it is.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:39 am UTC

I think this is pretty funny, since Mo reminds me of Velma, but I don't understand the last two panels. Can someone help me out?
Image
From Cat and Girl, obviously.
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:11 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:I think this is pretty funny, since Mo reminds me of Velma, but I don't understand the last two panels. Can someone help me out?
*comic*
From Cat and Girl, obviously.


That was bizarrely hilarious. I don't know if I get exactly what the two last panels mean -- maybe a physical resemblance of Fred to Andy Warhol?... that seems to make a strange sort of sense.

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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

quick google search:
Velma's analogue, "Val", is a parody of Valerie Solanas, the militant misandrist who shot Andy Warhol



andy warhol produced the velvet underground and nico
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Re: Velvet Underground

Postby sje46 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:03 pm UTC

Well, I'm pretty sure that he is confusing Scooby Doo with the Velvet Underground because of similarities.
VU&N:
Spoiler:
ImageImage

Scooby Doo:
Spoiler:
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Nico is Daphne, and Moe is Velma. I'm guessing that Lou is possibly Fred (who were both the leaders). I feel bad for who ever is supposed to be
Scooby, but whatever.
There both started out around the same time (65 for VU and 69 for Scooby Doo), and yeah. I know that Warhol lead the group, and I think that the choice of "factory" is interesting. Warhol did have mylar balloons.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.


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