Music Reviews

Lou Reed

The Raven

Warner Brothers

Lou Reed’s take on the master of horror, Edgar Allen Poe is… well… horrible. Commissioned by the Thalia Theatre in Germany, Reed has crafted an almost unlistenable (even by his standards), unconnected mishmash of song. Most of the pieces have nothing to do with Poe, and the ones that do suffer from infantile lyrics (“Edgar Allen Poe/Definitely not the boy next door” is one “notable” example). Even guests such as David Bowie, Laurie Anderson and The Blind Boys of Alabama can’t redeem this drek, and one almost feels sorry for someone such as Bowie, reducing to chanting “Call me the hopfrog” over and over again.

All is not lost, however. Spoken word moments from Amanda Plummer and Elizabeth Ashley are chilling, Ornette Coleman wails on “Guilty,” but for every moment like that, you have something like actor Steve Buscemi’s bad version of a lounge singer on “Broadway Song” or the retake of Reed’s “Perfect Day” featuring someone called “Antony” who warbles unconvincingly, making the listener long to hear Reed’s vocals again, and that takes something. Really, don’t waste your time with this. Lou Reed’s place among the mighty is forever intact, and while he certainly is capable of stunning work, this ain’t it. If Poe is half as eerie as he’s been portrayed over the years, Reed should be looking over his shoulder for a raven, ready to exact vengeance for this tripe.

Nevermore, Lou. Nevermore.

Warner Brothers Records: http://www.wbr.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Year-End Record Roundup

Year-End Record Roundup

Features

Ready for a cold one this season? We thought so! Enjoy, as Christopher Long reflects on his favorite VINYL releases of 2023 — an intoxicating (and satisfying) “six-pack,” to be sure.

A.J. Croce

A.J. Croce

Interviews

Concert addict Jeremy Glazier talked with A.J. Croce near the beginning of his year-long Croce Plays Croce tour about embracing his father’s music and his own while honoring both their familial bond and shared influences.

Best of Film 2023

Best of Film 2023

Screen Reviews

For Lily and Generoso, 2023 was a fantastic year at the cinema! They select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one extraordinary repertory release seen at microcinemas, archives, and festivals.

Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco

Event Reviews

This fall, Ani DiFranco brought new Righteous Babe labelmate Kristen Ford to Iowa City, where Jeremy Glazier enjoyed an incredible evening of artistry.

Garage Sale Vinyl: Ian Hunter

Garage Sale Vinyl: Ian Hunter

Garage Sale Vinyl

This week Christopher Long grabs a bag of bargain vinyl from a flea market in Mount Dora, Florida — including You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic, the classic 1979 LP from Ian Hunter.

Archive Archaeology

Archive Archaeology

Archive Archaeology

Bob Pomeroy gets into four Radio Rarities from producer Zev Feldman for Record Store Day with great jazz recordings from Wes Montgomery, Les McCann, Cal Tjader, and Ahmad Jamal.

Archive Archaeology: Phil Alvin

Archive Archaeology: Phil Alvin

Archive Archaeology

Bob Pomeroy digs into Un “Sung Stories” (1986, Liberation Hall), Blasters’ frontman Phil Alvin’s American Roots collaboration with Sun Ra and his Arkestra, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and New Orleans saxman Lee Allen.

A Darker Shade of Noir

A Darker Shade of Noir

Print Reviews

Roi J. Tamkin reviews A Darker Shade of Noir, fifteen new stories from women writers completely familiar with the horrors of owning a body in a patriarchal society, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

%d bloggers like this: