So I see the news that Lou Reed has passed on at the age of 71.
Lou Reed – the man who helmed The Velvet Underground, the man whose influence made everything from industrial to punk to shoegaze possible. Poet and innovator, Lou Reed rode the entire rock n’ roll roller-coaster and came out none the worse for the wear, surviving years of decadence and volatility to mellow out and still be relevant.
There really isn’t much for me to say that isn’t already going to be said. One of the greats died- there will be eulogies and retrospectives. I did not know the man, but I did know the music. This was one of the few people whose works and ideas made music exciting and interesting to me beyond the mind numbing pop that constantly repeated on the radio. Imagine growing up in the 90s in an extremely sheltered environment. Halfway through your life you discover the internet, and you realize that there existed music beyond bubblegum pop and love ballads. Songs like the vacillating and frantic ode to narcotics heroin and doom riddled lovesong Berlin sucked me in and spat me out. After years of cleanly produced pop and the parents’ evergreens, this was sonic and cerebral abuse – and I loved every second of it.
So thank you Lou Reed, thank you for an education.