18 April 2010

Lou Reed Week (Day Seven)

(art by gary)
Berlin (1973 RCA)
There's this one part in Wes Anderson's Royal Tennenbaums where Mordecai is flying back to Richie, and as this is happening the Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says" is playing. This same song appears on Lou's Berlin, but it has been retitled "Caroline Says- II". On this record, the track has been reworked and is essentially stripped of whatever promise and hope it once displayed. It's a chilling rendition, and never before has the line "All her friends call her Alaska" held so much weight.
Repeated listens of Berlin are akin to shots of fine whiskey. It burns a little bit going down to the point where rejection is contemplated, but after it settles in your stomach there is a warmth that smacks of satisfaction. Yesterday, I said that this was the best Lou solo album and I stand by that statement but I would be remiss without at least suggesting that it's really for true Lou lovers.
Special thanks to Gary for making art all this week, and apologies on my end for the writing.

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