black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
“It’s not that we don’t want to be signed. It’s just that there aren’t a lot of places that you want to be signed right now. It’s more hassle than it’s worth. If you have a brand name, you can sidestep some and go directly to customers. But it’s a pain in the ass if you’re just starting out nowadays, because how do you get noticed? Where? On the Internet, the biggest bathroom wall in the universe?”
Records Are Dying? Not Here
"When it opens on Monday, Rough Trade NYC — a branch of the London shop that has been an independent tastemaker since 1976 — will be the biggest record store in New York City, an ambitious bet on CDs and vinyl at a time when thousands of other music retailers have closed, and the music industry over all looks to a largely digital future.”
"Rough Trade NYC, on a not-quite-postindustrial block of North Ninth Street, near the East River, is the kind of place that most music fans had given up hope for in New York: an airy 15,000-square-foot temple to record retail, with a coffee counter and a 300-person-capacity performance space with a bar that will present concerts almost daily."

Records Are Dying? Not Here

"When it opens on Monday, Rough Trade NYC — a branch of the London shop that has been an independent tastemaker since 1976 — will be the biggest record store in New York City, an ambitious bet on CDs and vinyl at a time when thousands of other music retailers have closed, and the music industry over all looks to a largely digital future.”

"Rough Trade NYC, on a not-quite-postindustrial block of North Ninth Street, near the East River, is the kind of place that most music fans had given up hope for in New York: an airy 15,000-square-foot temple to record retail, with a coffee counter and a 300-person-capacity performance space with a bar that will present concerts almost daily."

I dreamed I was the president of these United States
I dreamed I replaced ignorance, stupidity and hate
I dreamed the perfect union and a perfect law, undenied
And most of all I dreamed I forgot the day John Kennedy died

I dreamed that I could do the job that others hadn’t done
I dreamed that I was uncorrupt and fair to everyone
I dreamed I wasn’t gross or base, a criminal on the take
And most of all I dreamed I forgot the day John Kennedy died

I dreamed I was the president of these United States
I dreamed I was young and smart and it was not a waste
I dreamed that there was a point to life and to the human race
I dreamed that I could somehow comprehend that someone
Shot him in the face

Lou Reed

NYT: Do you think of yourself as a synaesthete?

Eno: I wouldn’t call myself a synaesthete in the sense that Nabokov was. But I’ll talk about a sound as being cold blue or dark brown. For descriptive purposes, yes, I often see colors when I’m listening to music and think, “Oh, there’s not enough sort of yellowy stuff in here, or not enough white.”

There’s a famous anecdote about your coming up with the idea of ambient music while bedridden and listening to a record at too low a volume. Is it accurate?

Well, like all stories like this, one never recognizes something completely out of the blue. In the early ’70s, myself and a few friends were exchanging cassettes with each other. We’d all started to realize that what we liked best was long cassettes without much variety in them. You used to have allegro followed by andante and then largo and blah blah blah. None of us really wanted that. We weren’t after drama and surprise. We wanted a single continuous atmosphere. Then, when my friend Judy Nylon left my flat that day and left the record at too low a volume, and it was raining outside, I could only hear the music as part of the landscape. I wasn’t sure what was music and what was just the sound of rain on the window. That’s when I thought, “O.K., this is where I want to be” — sort of on the edge of music, not firmly in the center of it. …

You’re not troubled that so much work seems designed specifically to shock and awe?

Well, I was giving a talk the other day. I said, “The 20th century saw many art movements. Cubism, Futurish, Suprematism, Abstract Expressionism … ending up at One-Linerism.” Shark in a tank. It’s like, “Wow, yes, I get it.” Immediately. I’m not saying that all the works that can be described as one-liners are bad. But it’s almost become a qualifying condition. Confronting the work itself sometimes isn’t any more interesting than the title.

NYT Q. & A.

Lou Reed: the man rock music was waiting for

"When a famous rock star dies, there’s a natural tendency among fans and journalists alike to overstate the late figure’s importance: the former out of grief, the latter because it makes better copy. In Lou Reed’s case, that’s almost impossible to do, just as it’s almost impossible to imagine what rock music might sound like had the Velvet Underground never existed.

Elvis, Beatles and Dylan fans might be wont to disagree, but there’s a compelling argument that their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground And Nico is the single most influential album in rock history. Certainly, it’s hard to think of another record that altered the sound and vocabulary of rock so dramatically, that shifted its parameters so far at a stroke. Vast tranches of subsequent pop music exist entirely in its shadow: it’s possible that glam rock, punk, and everything that comes loosely bracketed under the terms indie and alt-rock might have happened without it, but it’s hard to see how.”

"You could tell from that first album alone that Reed was a bundle of contradictions: the man who wrote a ballad as straightforwardly beautiful as Femme Fatale was the same one that came up with Heroin, with its complex, amoral narrator and its astonishing lurches into howling sonic chaos.

He got more contradictory as his career went on. On the one hand, he embodied a certain kind of rock and roll attitude. The face he presented to the world, at least in interviews, was endlessly combative, contemptuous and taciturn and you could often see that reflected in his music: the four gruelling songs that make up side two of his 1973 concept album Berlin are quite astonishing expressions of coldness and cruelty.

On the other, he could write songs that were impossibly moving, that spoke of a tenderness and sensitivity: the lambent, peerless Pale Blue Eyes; Halloween Parade’s heartbreaking lament for New York’s gay community, devastated by Aids; his meditation on death, Magic And Loss. He was, when the mood took him, capable of writing perfect pop songs; he was equally capable of coming up with Metal Machine Music, his infamous 1975 double album of screaming noise, still the benchmark by which all musical screw-yous must be judged and are usually found wanting. Each side of his character inspired boundless numbers of copyists. It goes without saying that none of them were really like him at all. As it turned out, one of the most imitated artists in rock history was entirely inimitable.

Alexis Petridis | The Guardian

©2011 Kateoplis