on life, music etc beyond mainstream

Like so many people I felt that Lou Reed’s recent death was a great loss and one which seemed even more perceptible with each passing day. I think that I was more into the Velvet Underground than Lou Reed’s solo work – but this is nothing to do with the quality of his solo work, which is great – it’s just that there’s sometimes a limit to what there is time to listen to.

The track that I have always loved most of the Velvets is ‚Foggy Notion‘ – but I don’t know why …  and this is perhaps the answer …  it’s precisely the fact that I can’t say why I love it so much that explains why I love it. I can’t readily point to the emotion that it excites in me; I can’t say even what the song is about – because I have never really listened closely to the lyrics. What I can say is that when I listen to the song I get a sense of carefree playing and singing – almost as though the song were being made up on the spot (and who knows (or cares) if it was?) … there are references to calamine lotion – which is something that is very familiar … though I don’t really know what it is for … some references to Sally Mae and (I realise as I write this) some references to hitting her ‚harder harder harder‘ – Ooh dear … nothing sinister I hope … but where the narrative is going I don’t know. There are countless other songs by Lou Reed / the Velvets that are probably more memorable – or even ‚better‘ but sometimes you just need a song that you can’t get a handle on – one that remains chimerically foggy.

This entry was posted on Dienstag, 5. November 2013 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    This is something that I’m just thinking about concerning the music of Mika Vainio, formerly part of the noise-industrial-electronic-ambient-hard core duo Pan Sonic. Apart from some simple explanations that don’t satisfy me at all, i don’t know the gist of my attraction.

    In fact I’m getting quite calm and relaxed listening to these post-industrial rattling of nealy dead machines and deserted Stalker-like areas in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t be surprised by a steady flow of alpha-waves in my brain. How can that happen inside quite terrific horror images?!

    And nice to read that even Englishmen often don’t get close to the lyrics of a song:)

  2. Bob:

    I hadn’t heard Mika Vanio before – but am listening now. I think you’re right about how music affect us at a deep level beyond words.

    Even when we get the meaning, it’s usually nothing like the writer had in mind!

  3. Henning:


  4. Martina:

    I am listening now as well and I appreciate it too. It reminds me to another music and an exercise I offered to a poetry course for beginners I lead years ago. The authors should write a text inspired by „Spring Fever“ by Biosphere from V.A. – Touch 25″. I like that piece of music and it has an industrial mood as well, but I had always listened to it in a warm light and there was a cold neon light in the room of the poetry course and so the music had a totally other effect, much harder. Most of the authors weren´t able to write anything at all, but a woman in the course wrote her best poem, it was about a woman crossing a puddle.

  5. Bob:

    Hi Martina. I’m not familiar with Biosphere, but will check them out. I’d be interested to learn about your interest in Poetry. It took me a while, but I can now see what a wonderful world the world of poetry is and there are some great German poets (Rilke being one).

  6. Martina:

    Hi Bob. I am pleased to read about your interest in poetry. You mentioned your poetry course a time ago.

    In march my first collection of poems was published in a book. The titel is „erinnerungen an einen rohstoff“ (recollections of a raw-material), poetenladen Verlag. You can find the cover, some poems and several reviews in the internet.

    I also wrote a book about writing and publishing poetry, the first edition was published in 2004. It´s for beginners. „Zwischen Handwerk und Inspiration. Lyrik schreiben und veröffentlichen“ Uschtrin Verlag. In fact, you can´t learn writing poetry. But it´s possible to give some support.

    Rilke is a wonderful poet, deep thoughts. But in our times you can´t write poetry like he did. I am impressed by modern english and us-american poetry. I will write more about it in this blog, maybe a category like „from Martina´s poetry shelf“.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz