Add to this list a Mr. Craig Braun, a quintessential ''Man Behind the Curtain," a luminary of mostly-unsung parts of the music establishment of the 1960s and '70s. And even more paramount than Craig's resume and bone-deep knowledge of the record business is that he's a refreshingly witty, wonderful human being with umpteen stories to tell.
Lou Reed "never liked the Beatles.” In fact he strongly disliked them. “I thought they were garbage," said the Velvet Underground singer/writer with a BA in English who shared how he always had, "wanted to write the great American novel but I also loved rock and roll." All of these quotes (and more) come from a rarely heard March 1987 interview Reed, who died of liver disease in October 2013, conducted with journalist Joe Smith that was found in The Joe Smith Collection at the Library of Congress. Conducted almost exactly 28 years ago the interview was recently acquired by PBS who animated it and published it to YouTube earlier today as the latest installment in their ongoing Blank on Blank series - published under the title Lou Reed on Guns & Ammo | Blank on Blank. In the audio interview, in which Reed comes off as mostly grumpy and pretentious, he says that in addition to hating the Fab Four that he also hated some of his adoring fans - especially those who made the mistake of tracking him down to his "out of the wilds of nowhere" New Jersey home address at the time and trekking out to it in the hope of meeting their music hero. "I got out with my shotgun. This is hunting country out there. You better run" - he warns. Elsewhere in the audio interview, that as well being animated was also subtitled, Reed expresses his disgust of The Doors ("stupid") while maintaining that the goal of Velvet Underground was steadfastly to, "elevate the rock and roll song and take it where it hadn’t been taken before" - adding that no other group came close to the VU's level in his opinion ("The other stuff couldn’t come up to our ankles"). The animated interview is above while the full original audio interview is free via iTunes from the Joe Smith Library of Congress page - here where it was initially made free to the public last April, and where other interviews by Joe Smith include one with Paul McCartney and another with George Harrison who, it should be noted, do not talk shit on Lou Reed or the VU.
If you haven't already made your way to the ever-popular, Amoeba Music sponsored, excellent exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) which opened three months ago on April 19th (Record Store Day) at the downtown Oakland museum in its Great Hall exhibition area don't fret as you still have some time - well not much, but some - since it is open through tomorrow Sunday July 27th. To mark the end of this wonderful hands on exhibit, that paid homage the joys of analog and vinyl with lots of local Bay Area folks (including many Amoebites) offering their input on the subject, today Saturday July 26th will be the final weekly Talk & Play program of the three month long exhibit in which experts in specific areas of music/records informally chat to a museum audience while dropping the needle on the records that they are referencing in their talk/lecture.
Today - from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Great Hall - the Talk & Play session will be David Katznelson (record producer, and president of Birdman Recording Group) and friends who will be presenting a Talk & Play they call Every Record Has a Story. David's co-hosts will be Steven Baker (former president of Warner Brothers Records), Britt Govea (Folk Yeah Productions founder), and Josh Rosenthal (founder of Tompkins Square Records) - all of whom will share their favorite music/records and tell stories and secrets related to collecting said records. David Katznelson is among the many record collecting musicologists who have curated crates (that museum goers can personally play on provided turntables) at the Vinyl exhibit. For this final fourth installment in the Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Amoeblog series I have included David's crate: The influence and genius of the Velvet Underground, along with those of two other contributors: Sylvie Simmons whose crate is Grrl Power - women in rock from pop to punk, 1960-1980, (she also curated Sylvie Simmons the Americana crate), and the museum's own Rachael Aguirre (Administrative Assistant & OMCA Lab - Curatorial and Experience Development) whose crate is titled Sound track for Dungeons and Dragons: Onyx Discs of Epic Sound: A Dungeons and Dragons Soundtrack. Meanwhile the photos in this blog are either provided by OMCA or James Mak of Joysco Photos who kindly shot this photos on behalf of the Amoeblog (thank-you James!).
All the things that matter most in this world: the music of Velvet Underground, pizza...well, that about covers it.
By now, it's well-known that Home Alone's Macaulay Culkin has grown up into an adventurous and mature actor, artist, New York man-about-town, and has joined a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band called the Pizza Underground. Yes, they re-write all your favorite VU songs to contain a healthy dose of the 'za: "I'm Waiting for the Delivery Man," "All the Pizza Parties," "Take a Bite of the Wild Slice," just to name a few.
Pizza Underground has been active in the NY anti-folk scene since 2012 with members Matt Colbourn, Phoebe Kreutz, Deenah Vollmer, and Austin Kilham. Culkin joined up sometime last year and recorded the band's live demo at his house. Culkin is credited with percussion, kazoo, and vocals.
The 71-year-old, influential rock songwriter/guitarist died earlier today (Oct 27, 2013) after undergoing a liver transplant just five months ago. In honor of the late great artist, we present a selection of videos including, of course, his work with the Velvet Underground, an interview from 1998 with Charlie Rose, and some live concert footage including from Paris in 1974.