How to Die with a Clean Grave (aka Ten Blessed Minutes in Hell With Your Host Lou Reed)

I have to do this in a bulleted list, because that’s as long as I can hold a thought: why this is the most glorious ten minutes I’ve spent in any hell in a long time (at least since Christmas in the Heart)

  • The beauty of seeing an acid city slicker singing delta blues, which proves that there are many paths to the blues — too much of either whiskey, cotton picking, broken hearts,  or cocaine and educational electro shocks @ young & tender age
  • If Take no Prisoners is Lou Reed’s best album, this is the best remake of it: the refusal to let it die, the refusal to let the beauty of whatever you’re singing take over, and the song’s refusal to take your refusal into account.
  • if you’re ugly from the start and manage to communicate sublime beauty in/despite that condition (alternatively: if you choose to communicate your desperate take on sublime beauty in an ugly form) you will not age, and since you don’t age, you will never die.
  • Anyone who watches this and still wants a strat instead of a tele should have his brain checked (unless he has black curly hair, enormous hands (and you know what they say about big hands), and died in 1970).

(Thanks to Meinhard for putting this up on his Facebook profile)

10 thoughts on “How to Die with a Clean Grave (aka Ten Blessed Minutes in Hell With Your Host Lou Reed)

  1. Thanks for posting that.
    I agree with you that Take No Prisoners is one of his best albums, his live albums are superior to his studio, non-VU work.

    It reminds me of another incredible Lou Reed song:
    It sounds like the exact same band (and the exact same tele, using the same sustainer effect)
    Its from a Doc Pomus tribute album that Dylan is on also.

    Are you going to bother tabbing CITH?

  2. Absolutely! I just haven’t had time to do it yet — I’ve been too busy listening to it. :) It’s the most enjoyable Dylan album since Time Out Of Mind (I didn’t say “best”, though).

    And, yes, Lou Reed live is something special. Live in italy is a favourite, and among the studio albums, I have a soft spot for The Blue Mask, which has the rawness of a live performance.

    Thanks for sharing the link — great stuff!

  3. I also think CITH is probably the most hilarious music album ever released. The problem with most funny albums is once you hear a joke the first time, its not really funny anymore.
    But every time time I listen to “Do You Hear What I Hear” I’m in tears.
    I’d also argue that CITH is much better album than TTL. I think I’ve listened to TTL 20 times and never want to listen to it again. But I’ve already listened to CITH that many times and don’t imagine getting tired of it anytime soon.

  4. Perhaps the problem is that they both “just” want to revel in American popular culture without intentions of adding something substantial. Christmas succeeds because the aim isn’t higher — and he succeeds in adding something nevertheless, just by being who he is and the association with the repertory being as unlikely as it is.
    TTL fails on the same account: it doesn’t add anything either, but it isn’t good enough to stand alone.
    We shouldn’t be too harsh on TTL, though: It has one stunning song (Life is Hard) and a couple more that are worth listening to (Forgetful Heart, This Dream of You).

  5. Sorry, I forgot that one. Yes, it’s good. Quirky, but quirky good. You’re absolutely right: it is worth listening to. I don’t see it as the stunner, but I can see how others can think so. Tastes differ.

  6. great lyrics, wonderful rhythm, and yeah-lou reed’s all american husky tone has great blues all over it….great music:)

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