TWO SIDES OF THE SAME LOU
Tonight on A Different Nature, we present, in it's raw entirety, Reed's controversial and intense METAL MACHINE MUSIC from 1975. Upon it's initial release, the album caused nothing less than an uproar-- the rock music world ran the other direction-- it made a 1991 list of The 100 Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time, in 2010, it was listed as one of the top "career suicides"and the Rolling Stone Record Review even said "guaranteed to clear any room of humans in record time"... ahem.., yet, over time, the reviews took a deeper look and eventually the record came to be known as a starting point for many musicians who wanted to create free-form music that didnt conform to the usual compositional constrictions of time, rhythm, melody or lyrics. Indeed, MMM is now reputed to have influenced a new generation of musicians and sonic explorers from MERZBOW to SONIC YOUTH and is finally regarded as ahead of it's time. Reed himself has said he was influenced by Stockhausen as well as LaMonte Young's "THEATRE OF ETERNAL MUSIC". In an interview with rock journalist Lester Bangs, Reed claimed that he had intentionally placed sonic allusions to classical works such as Beethoven's Eroica and Pastoral Symphonies in the distortion, and that he had attempted to have the album released on RCA's Red Seal classical label. The album, in fact, cost Reed credibility in the music industry while simultaneously opening the door for his later, more experimental material. Historically, Metal Machine Music is considered a forerunner of industrial music, noise rock, and contemporary sound art.
That's right--KBOO wants to give the people who never braved it a chance to see what all the controversy was about with a complete presentation --all 4 sides-- of METAL MACHINE MUSIC, a record once deemed one of the most "unlistenable" records of all time. Yay! That's what we're here for. We'll even answer your vicious, angry or ecstatic and inspired calls. You can make up your own mind. Maybe you'll feel that everything you've heard about this record is hogwash--or you'll say, "they tried to warn me..."
THEN, around 9:00 pm, we'll hear Reed's other sound experiment created for himself.
By contrast, 2007’s HUDSON RIVER WIND MEDITATIONS was made explicitly for concentrating on something else–for “exploring inner spaces,” as Reed put it. He originally created its long, hypnotic drones just for himself, to accompany his solitary Tai Chi and meditation practices. But when he brought it to his Tai Chi class, colleagues asked to borrow it, so he decided to release it as an album. And he did so without much publicity, via a small label specializing in New Age-style products. “I don't want rock people thinking that there are rock'n'roll songs here, like they did with Metal Machine Music. It's for someone who wants it and knows what it is.”
That last sentence echoes Reed’s description of MMM: “It's for a certain time and place of mind...Most of you won't like this and I don't blame you at all. It's not meant for you.” The similarity in sentiment is not coincidental. As different as their presentation and reception were, METAL MACHINE MUSIC and HUDSON RIVER WIND MEDITATIONS actually have a lot in common. It’s right there on the surface: two albums made of four wordless tracks lasting about an hour, both with the kind of literal, matter-of-fact titles that Reed rarely used in his solo work. Below the surface lie even stronger connections. Both albums see Reed exploring sound purely as sound, without the encumbrances of literal messages or conventional musical structures.
Tonight's show is dedicated to the creative spirit of LOU REED - March 2nd, 1942 - October 27th, 2013