Loaded: Watch out, Reed's re-issuing
It may be reputed to be one of the most unlistenable albums ever, but it hasn't stopped Lou Reed from jumping on the re-issue bandwagon. 1975's oh-so-experimental Metal Machine Music has been remastered by the former Velvet Underground frontman and is set to be released in three formats -- double gatefold vinyl in quadraphonic sound, audio DVD and Blu-ray.
Few albums by a major artist have met with such overwhelmingly negative reviews. On its release, it was described by Rolling Stone as sounding like "the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator" and as displeasing to experience as "a night in a bus terminal". Four years later, Rolling Stone Record Guide's Billy Altman called it "a two-disc set consisting of nothing more than ear-wrecking electronic sludge, guaranteed to clear any room of humans in record time".
Not everyone hated the album, though. Famed critic Lester Bangs -- one of Reed's greatest champions in the 70s -- wrote: "As classical music it adds nothing to a genre that may well be depleted. As rock 'n' roll, it's interesting garage electronic rock 'n' roll. As a statement it's great, as a giant F*** YOU it shows integrity -- a sick, twisted, dunced-out, malevolent, perverted, psychopathic integrity, but integrity nevertheless."
This uncompromising/rubbish -- delete as appropriate -- album is re-released on April 16 on Reed's own label, Sister Ray.
- Rising Dublin singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is taking a route favoured by the likes of Gemma Hayes and Bell X1: having his music played on hit US TV shows.
His song, From the Woods, appeared in an episode of Grey's Anatomy that was first shown in the US last week and is set to be aired on this side of the Atlantic at the end of the month. It's taken from his self-produced debut album Early in the Morning, which was released last Friday. He has also had a song on the popular series One Tree Hill.
McMorrow has been busy of late, bagging plum support slots to the likes of Natalie Merchant, Bon Iver and Iron and Wine. Furthermore, he supported Tracy Chapman on her European tour last year.
The singer plays Dublin's Sugar Club tonight and plays Galway's Roisin Dubh (upstairs) on Thursday.
- As an occasional contributor to Newstalk's Lunchtime show, it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that host Eamon Keane isn't just an engaging broadcaster. The Kerry man is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and his debut album, Hang the Moon, went on sale on Monday.
The title track is particularly affecting, and is inspired by and dedicated to Eamon's late father, the actor Eamon Keane. Its poignancy is accentuated by the fact that the pair hadn't spoken in the year before Eamon Sr's death.
The album features backing vocals from former Choice winner Julie Feeney and apparently moved Chris de Burgh to tears.
- Bargain hunters are in for a treat tomorrow and Sunday with a major CD and vinyl fair taking place at Filmbase in Dublin's Temple Bar.
Forty dealers from Ireland and the UK will be in situ and music can be bought, sold or exchanged. Entry costs €3 and collectors' items have been promised by the organisers.
All those attending will be entered into a free draw for two concert tickets for shows of your choice, so here's your chance to bag those covetable Paul McCartney tickets.
- This year's Oxegen has received a major boost with the news that Arcade Fire will be making their first Irish appearance in three years. It's the first European date of the year to be announced by the Montreal collective. By then the Win Butler-led septet will be on their third and as-yet-untitled album.
Tickets for Oxegen 2010 -- to be held, as usual, at Punchestown Racecourse on July 9 to 11 -- go on sale at 8am this morning. The line-up is the best in years, with hip-hop royalty Jay Z and Eminem (right) giving the festival a very different flavour this year.
The cheapest ticket is €99.50 for a one-day pass and the most expensive costs €244.50. For that, you get four days of camping and access to an entire weekend's music programme.