Was it one of the iconoclastic rock 'n' roll innovator's greatest works, or was it his most flawed statement this side of Lulu? Was the double album a carefully crafted work that expanded on experiments made by the founders of minimalism a decade earlier, or was it a hastily conceived barrage of senseless noise? Did he really expect this caterwauling double album of loud feedback soup to be released on RCA's classical label Red Seal, or did he simply turn it in as a way of flipping off The Man — fully intending for this mess to upset his label enough that they'd break his contract with them? The answer to each of those questions is most likely somewhere in the middle. We do know for certain that Lou Reed's 1975 double album Metal Machine Music (RCA) was reviled by rock critics upon its release, and that most copies were returned, ...Read More
This is the best news for fans of immersive sound, the Velvet Underground, and trip metal. Surely, we've all at least heard of Metal Machine Music by now. Once critically reviled, in time it's come to be understood as an important if idiosyncratic link between 1960s minimalism in New York and later developments in industrial and noise musics. As a teenager, I spent the better part of one summer listening to Metal Machine Music, daily (or as close to daily as I could, because family members did not share my enthusiasm for this overlapping collage of manipulated guitar feedback). It began as a challenge, and ended with me finding all kinds of pretty little seagull-sounding flourishes and repeated melodic themes inside of what at first seemed to be an uncompromising and indiscriminate wall of squealing shit.Anyway, what's the actual news? Cranbrook Art Museum will present an audio installation called “Metal ...Read More
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