I’m not a young man anymore

Which is true, and also the name of the previously unknown Velvet Underground song unearthed last month and just about immediately seeded on the net. (Here’s the direct link; go thou and download, if you haven’t already.)

Let me reiterate that, so we can savor it together: previously unknown Velvet Underground song. One of five tracks that have come to light here, in the so-called “Gymnasium” set – including the first known performance of “Sister Ray,” in a filthygritty version clocking in at nineteen full minutes.

I haven’t written this up yet – various other things on my mind – but this is epochal. In my world, this is already the equivalent of watching flabbergasted as previously-lost dialogues of Plato suddenly turn up on eBay: an occasion for loving exegesis, for delight in seeing how the new fragment fits into the known canon. And it would be even if the material didn’t totally howl…which it does.

This is the Velvets as primitivist garage band, circa ’67, a sound you’ll no doubt be familiar with from Disc 3 of Peel Slowly and See. It’s raw, propulsive stuff, with none of the overlay of Warholiana that Nico brought to the proceedings; to my ear, the glorious, metronomic crunch and thud of the Mo Tucker/John Cale rhythm section makes out best under circumstances like these. Or is that “thud and crunch”?

Either way: fuck me, basically. A new Velvets song, and it’s a keeper, something I’m (appropriately enough, I suppose) happy to think of as an early 40th birthday present. That’s just the pure niceness, and the secret generosity at the core of the world speaking.

4 responses to “I’m not a young man anymore”

  1. Kevin says :

    Oh, AWESOME. Music to this young man’s ears (and other parts).

  2. webweaver says :

    Yum! I just love your writing! Fantastically evocative! Much better than my sparse description, I have to say… so here I am very pleased that I followed the link from my blog hits to your blog, and got a chance to read it.

    I came here to say “thanks heaps” for the link to my blog, and that I really appreciate it – and what an excellent surprise to read such excellent writing in the process.

    And yes – I agree with you absolutely on how totally awesome it is to hear a NEW VU track – together with such a killer version of Sister Ray.

    You do know you can get a copy of the LP on ebay, don’t you? Do a search on “Velvet Underground Gymnasium”. There are both black and green vinyl versions floating around…

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Diary of a Mad Natural Historian - 12 March 2008
  2. Diary of a Mad Natural Historian - 23 March 2008

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