Recent comments

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 1 day ago

    Your description of the "bravery" and "humor" aspects is spot-on. BTW, since you brought it up, Twin Infinitives fits better in the "pessimistic" category. I might be wrong about that though, I need to check it out again.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   5 weeks 1 day ago

    Hi dashforcover, just to let you know that I lost part of my list. I'll try to reconstruct it next week.
    I'm at 217 films now. But if you prefer to keep me at 206 I fully understand that

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 2 days ago

    I'm not sure if what I'm about to say means we agree or disagree but my viewpoint is, briefly, as follows:

    After re-listening to it for God-knows-how-many times, there are additional nuances in theme/emotion here and there but the overwhelming majority of the album is clearly expressing emotions and themes extremely pessimistic, nihilistic, heavy drug use, death, destruction, darkness, orgiastic sexual degradation/abandon, etc. Rarely has the sound of an album been so colorless and ugly (Twin Infinitives comes to mind). I don't think the intent of the album is to sound particularly "brave" or particularly "humorous"; though these are both indeed present. The humor is jet black humor and the "bravery" is, in my opinion, much more about "barely surviving" (if even that) such unrelentingly bleak and self-destructive degradation/life-style choices, and of course, there is bravery and audacity in the very fact of having made such an experimental album covering such themes in such an unflinching manner.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I think Amirkhosro nailed it with "bravery and humor" tbh. Whatever, art is subjective, that's what's great about it :)

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 3 days ago

    There's a certain mass degradation, claustrophobia, bleakness and hopelessness to the album so perhaps "even emotionally moving at all" was somewhat of an exaggeration but it isn't nearly so moving (nor is it trying to be) as, say, Astral Weeks, Rock Bottom, and many other albums. However, it obviously has strengths that those albums, and many others, don't have...

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I've been listening to it regularly for 11 years and am well past looking at it superficially or not being fully familiar with all it's content/emotions/themes, etc, but thanks. If the album doesn't qualify for you as very pessimistic, then that's fine.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 3 days ago

    VU and Nico is so hopeless and defeatist. The protagonist doesn't even try to escape the cycle of addiction (Waiting for the Man), he shoots heroin to nullify his life because he's better off dead (Heroin), he has to keep hitting his woman so she won't fuck someone else (There She Goes Again). And then there's Femme Fatale (what a clown!) and All Tomorrow's Parties (needs no explaining). I love VU and Nico but I usually don't share its overly pessimistic worldview.

    White Light/White Heat deals with way darker material (murder, lobotomy, orgies, hearing the dead call your name!) with bravery and humor. The fact the abject orgy in Sister Ray turns into an incessant quest for redemption is proof that what they express on WL/WH is very different from pessimism.

    Even if we ignore the lyrics (a really bad idea, specially with VU albums), Reed's loud and passionate vocal style on WL/WH is very different from his bleak and monotonous tone on their debut. I don't need to explain how the music on WL/WH is more energetic and more daring.

    WL/WH is a force of nature and a complex masterpiece with layers and layers of meaning. Don't let the black cover, the harsh noise and the ding dongs convince you otherwise. ;)

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I don't find WL/WH overwhelmingly moving -- or even emotionally moving at all (which isn't its purpose so that's not a drawback)

    With all due respect, I can't disagree with any other sentence as much as I disagree with this.

  • Greatest Albums of All Time (Rock & Jazz)   5 weeks 4 days ago

    Whoops thanks! When I make a "sloppy" update like that, it usually means it was from my smartphone instead of my laptop! Ill correct that soon :)

  • Favorite albums   5 weeks 4 days ago

    They're all good! "You Hit Me Over My Head," "South American Eye," "Ferris Wheel," "Love Bomb," "Flying Saucer Over Mongolia," "Carnival in the Swamp." I wouldn't remove any.

  • Greatest Albums of All Time (Rock & Jazz)   5 weeks 4 days ago

    yo Black Tape's Remnants and Jeferson Airplane's Volunteers both appear twice

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    I would agree with the out-of-control part, though I feel the tone, violence, the deafening, colorless noise, chaos and oblivion is a bit far from glorious as a description. I would consider NMHs Aeroplane to be walking a much finer line with "glorious" (though a very fine line with unbearable sadness, destruction, surreality, etc). Deacon's Bromst or Saintseneca's Last are excellent examples. The Ode to Joy movement of Beethovens 9th is probably the most apt musical embodiment of "glorious". Though WL/WH has an intensity and ascension to it where "glorious" could be used as a secondary description in that it can evoke that (as a dichotomy of sorts), I wouldn't really consider it a key or intended theme/emotion of the album. WL/WH is mired in the degradation, the slums, the drugs, the violence, the sexual abandon of the harshest quarters of New York. It's ugly, extremely dark, with some (black) humor, cold, apocalyptic, etc.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    That definition of "pessimistic" might apply to WL/WH in a way, but while its themes are certainly bleak and apocalyptic, the actual mood of the album is gloriously out-of-control.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    I can see that, though with it's simultaneous majesty and (even if deadened) fatalistic beauty, in several of the songs, I've always found VU and Nico a bit more hopeful -- or if hopeful isn't the right word (especially in ending with European Son) -- at least allowing a peak of beauty through the cracks. WL/WH is one of the blackest, darkest, ugliest, most un-optimistic albums ever made -- not to mention the unrelenting apocalypse of Sister Ray -- don't you think?

    ...

    Pessimistic: tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.

    synonyms: gloomy, negative, defeatist, downbeat, cynical, bleak, fatalistic, dark, black, despairing, despondent, depressed, hopeless;

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    I don't find WL/WH overwhelmingly moving -- or even emotionally moving at all (which isn't its purpose so that's not a drawback), so it's not on that list. However in its unrelenting darkness and moral decay, it is really bleak and apocalyptic, so it could probably make a slightly different worded list if I developed one, such as "most pessimistic" or "most morally decayed" etc. And it is quite invigorating, especially its last half, which is among the most relentlessly intense portions of any album ever.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    You have WL/WH on the "invigorating albums" list and VU&N on the "emotionally devastating albums" list yourself, so I assume you know the difference?

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    How so? White Light/White Heat sounds less pessimistic to me. It's darker, sure, but less pessimistic.

  • Music Ratings & Notes   5 weeks 4 days ago

    I got a chuckle out of your comment on Velvet Underground and Nico reading "didn't rate a 9.5 because it's pessimistic as fuck" and then just below that is "White Light/White Heat 9.5/10" :-)

  • Favorite albums   5 weeks 4 days ago

    Ah, your analyses always make for interesting reading (even if sometimes they go over my head). Thanks for the recommendation, I've heard great things about Kevin Ayers but never went beyond Joy of a Toy.

    What are your favourite songs on the album by the way, and which ones would you cut (if any)?

  • Favorite albums   5 weeks 5 days ago

    It is very lively and cheery but at the same time is about the individual's personal relationship with paradise. The paradise is both of civilization (theatrical entertainment, carnivals, shopping malls, etc.) and of nature (animals and flowers). The cyclops represents the shortsighted and ugly animal but his single eye is also a metaphor for the unified vision of the soul where all these images swim. For a similar sounding album listen to Kevin Ayers's Shooting at the Moon.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   5 weeks 5 days ago

    Re: Agree with him? ... I suggested the possibility in a previous post that we may be arguing semantics and little else but it was ignored. I think the only actual disagreement is he feels the lyrics have more impact than I do, while I feel the vocal performance goes much further towards the overall emotional/conceptual impact than the words being said. From the beginning, Ive stated my position clearly and simply and each time its been twisted and complicated into something else/more than what I said. I wasn't ever even trying to state something that wasn't obvious or that should've even resulted in an argument, and yet, here we are...

    The only other part of the argument was he claimed one would need to read the lyrics to Mother of Virtues to experience it as an 8/10 which I disagreed with. He appeared to take some offense and get more argumentative when I also pointed out that Scaruffi doesn't think so either and included a short exchange on the matter plus his website comments about the lack of importance of lyrics.

    That is the actual totality of it.

  • Favorite albums   5 weeks 5 days ago

    You're a great fan of Cyclops Nuclear Submarine Captain, what do you think of it? I think it's one of the most enjoyable pop albums ever, but it's overlong; some of the songs at the end could be disposed of to make the album a better experience (though these songs aren't bad; they just shouldn't be on this particular release).

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   5 weeks 5 days ago

    Re: "I never even mentioned that I don't think the lyrics improve the vocal performance"...so that means you actually agree with him?

    Also, ignore the "sound"/"emotion" point, it was a way too obvious thing to say.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   5 weeks 5 days ago

    I have been very clear, but at this point, I have nothing left to assume than you simply don't understand (or maybe are intentionally altering) what Im saying and I'll just leave it at that. Surely there are better things to discuss/argue.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   5 weeks 5 days ago

    I haven't complicated anything. Re-read my statements if need be. He (and now you) have altered and/or added to what I've said/meant instead of simply receiving what I've said/meant. I never even mentioned that I don't think the lyrics improve the vocal performance, yet that seems to be the majority of his "argument". I mainly said and repeated (however many times and in so many ways) that the performance adds much more to the overall emotional and conceptual content than the lyrics do. This is extremely easy to see and prove (in all forms of music, and in everyday life as well) but it has been complicated beyond belief into all sorts of detours, claims of this and that and basically ... nonsense. This is also extremely easy to prove in different covers/renditions of the same song, each having the exact same lyrics.

    Regarding "sound" having emotion, there is absolutely emotion coming from the performers/performance itself of such sound/music. It is up to the listener to receive it or not, and of course one's experiences and associations can have quite an impact on whether one does so or not.