Category: Unexpected Results

The Lou Reed Obituary For Normal People

Lou Reed didn't care what you thought.

While Lou Reed was a hero to many many people — me included — there were millions upon millions who neither knew or cared who he was and what he did. This obituary is for them …

Musician Lou Reed, who for decades was an icon for freaks, weirdos and deviants from ages 8 to 80, died on Sunday.

Mr. Reed first became known to the public in 1967 as the lead singer and songwriter for The Velvet Underground, a New York City band. Mr Reed and his band mates — John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker — became part of the “Factory” scene of Andy Warhol, an artist for whom art wasn’t really about creating new things, but making copies of old things with different colors.

The first Velvet Underground album — The Velvet Underground & Nico — sounded like it was produced by an artist, not a record producer, and contained unlistenable songs about unfathomable subject matter, glorifying drugs, street life and deviant sex. This was taken to an extreme on the second Velvet Underground album, White Light White Heat, which climaxed with a 17-minute jumble of noise where Mr. Reed chanted words about a drug-fueled transsexual orgy.

Needless to say, neither of these albums made much of an impression on the record-buying public at large, selling only a few thousand copies each. There is a quote — probably apocryphal — that while these albums only sold poorly, all of the people who bought them formed their own bands, and subsequently released their own poor selling albums. This was the beginning of the “Alternative Music” scene.

After a couple more records, Mr. Reed broke up the Velvet Underground and embarked upon a solo career. After befriending David Bowie, and inserting himself into the “Glam Rock” scene, he had his only top 20 single, the vaguely racist transgressive novelty song, “Walk on the Wild Side.”

After this unexpected success, Mr. Reed then spent the rest of the 1970s alienating his audience and picking fights with the burgeoning rock press, culminating in the release of a two-disc set of abrasive noise with the caveat emptor title of Metal Machine Music.

In the 1980s, punk rockers and college students, desperately looking for something to help them rebel against the prosperity of the Reagan era, glommed on the music of The Velvet Underground as forerunners of their “Alternative Music” scene, which was then gaining steam.

Mr. Reed reinvented himself as a godfather of that scene, and experienced a career renaissance resulting in his starring in a commercial for Honda Scooters, which referenced his novelty song from the prior decade and ended with Mr. Reed looking at the camera and declaring “don’t settle for walking.”

At the time, there was still a concept known as “selling out,” and it was hotly debated whether or not Reed’s trademark patina of ironic detachment mitigated the fact that he was still being paid money to hawk a product for a major corporation. The debate fizzled out when it was realized that the general public still had no idea who he was.

In the 1990s, the “Alternative Music” scene briefly ruled the music world, as Velvet Underground-influenced alternative rock bands like Creed, Third Eye Blind and Bush topped the charts. Mr. Reed responded by reuniting the Velvet Underground for one tour, but declining to record any new music with the band. He then spent the rest of his career periodically releasing a series of concept albums on subjects such as death, Edgar Allen Poe, and his favorite subject, himself.

Lou Reed was 71. He is survived by his partner, Laurie Anderson, who is that performance artist you might have heard of.

Please Don’t Stop The Jogger

Medialoper, in conjunction with the ACLU and the Heritage Foundation, would like to make the following Public Service Announcement: Please don’t stop the Jogger.

Even if it’s 5:30 in the morning, and you are lost, it’s not a good practice or policy to stop the Jogger and yell seemingly random places, (“The church! The church!”), actions (“voting”) or street names (“Ruberta”) at the him.

There are quite a few reasons why you should stop anybody else other than the Jogger to get your directions:

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A Sneak Peek at Some Upcoming Editions of Rock Band

It’s a given that the upcoming Rock Band: The Beatles, is going to be a huge, huge success, and the hope is that it will simultaneously spur both the gaming and music industries. Which is why many many more bands are jumping on the Rock Band, er, bandwagon.

Yesterday, on Twitter, of all places, it was revealed that artists such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, U2, and The Rolling Stones all have editions in the pipeline. Naturally, each version has its own idiosyncrasies, based upon the artist to which it is dedicated. Since a lot of you still aren’t on the Twitter, I thought that I would give you a sneak peek at what you can expect when you buy some of the upcoming special editions of Rock Band.

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Tweets in Space!

Because you are absolutely nobody or nothing if you don’t have a presence on Twitter right now, NASA has gotten into the game. This week, they announced that one of their astronauts — Mike Massimino — is going to be using the Twitter from the Space Shuttle.

Top that, Oprah and Ashton!

In any event, Massimino — tweeting under the admittedly awesome nom de twit of “Astro_Mike” — is a relative newbie to the Twitter, so you can only imagine what he will be tweeting.

Well, luckily, you don’t have to. As it turns out, Medialoper is currently beta testing super secret software that allows us to go and retrieve tweets from the not-too-distant future, and I’ve compiled a list of some of the things that Astro_Mike will be sharing with a waiting world.

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The Worst Cover Version of All Time is The Epitome Of American Idol

Look. The truth is, I try to ignore American Idol. I lot of people I respect like it, and while I think that it’s essentially a ‘roided up version of Star Search that’s only produced two even marginally interesting musicians — Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson — in seven years.

So I try to ignore the early rounds, which seem to be about feeling superior to talentless retards who just Want to Be on Television. I try to ignore the later rounds, which seem to be about singerbots performing soulless — but technically perfect! — versions of Other People’s Songs.

But the greater truth is that I live in the middle of the popular culture, and since Idol is the biggest thing in today’s Long Tail culture — 10% of the country watches it every week! — I am inundated with it on both the radio and the TV.

Which means that I get assaulted with things like some douchebag’s version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire:”

Wow. Not only is this abomination this week’s Worst Thing I’ve Ever Heard In My Entire Life, Ever and — by default — the Worst Cover Version of All Time, it’s also the absolute epitome of American Idol.

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